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GT Goes Green – The GT Eco Challenge

Around this time of year, many people go through the ritual of Spring Cleaning – tossing out last year’s ripped jeans, buying (and rarely using) new organizational tools, and clearing out the mystery items at the back of the fridge. Here at GT, we decided to try something different. From May 7th to June 8th we focused on cleaning up our habits as well as our homes.

It’s the GT Eco Challenge 2.0

 

Jorge practicing his spring cleaning at a local shoreline near Olympic Village

We rack up a massive amount of garbage each day – maybe it’s a disposable cup of coffee this morning? A take-out box for lunch? Bags for groceries? To help expose our wasteful ways and to encourage greener habits, we created the month-long GT Eco Challenge. We wanted to focus on small changes that could lead to big results, so we targeted things we do every day – like getting to work!

Our tracking board used to record how we got to work. It was made with materials recycled from around the office.

We created a tracking board to record our methods of transportation – walk, bike, public transit, drive. To encourage green transportation we did a prize draw at month-end. Extra ballots were given to those who took green transportation and completed our green challenges. We coupled this endeavor with Bike to Work Week and the Commuter Challenge. Bike to Work Week encourages new and experienced bikers to leave their car at home cycle to work. The Commuter Challenge is a nation-wide challenge that promotes all forms of low-emission transportation – from bikes and skateboards to carpooling and public transportation. Our goal was to get as many cars off the road as possible; reducing emissions, traffic, and offering the the benefit of exercise on the way to work!

The GT bike parking was very full all week

In preparation for Bike to Work Week GT hired Reckless Bikes to tune-up all of our bikes, making it easier – and safer – to get to work. Good thing we have a lot of bike parking, everyone was keen to get in on the free tune-ups!

Sergio from Reckless Bikes hard at work keeping our bikes safe

Our efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle were made even easier by the addition of compost and mixed plastic recycling at the office! We are now able to make sure that our coffee grounds and food scraps end up where they belong.

It has taken a bit of getting used to, but these new bins have saved a lot of landfill!

While we were all sorting garbage in the office, some of us went out and helped tidy up trash at the beach! By registering a cleanup through Shoreline Cleanup it’s even easier to help keep Vancouver’s beaches safe and clean. Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a fantastic program to protect Canadian waterways!  We’ll be posting more about it in the future.

Who says you can’t have some fun while cleaning up?

Looking for garbage along the precarious shoreline – have no fear, no one fell in False Creek while hunting for litter.

Along with reducing our waste we are also reducing our CO2 by growing our own GT garden! We began planting our rooftop garden two years ago and continue to reap the delicious rewards. Each year we have improved our techniques and increased our garden space.

Our “gourmet” lettuce is coming along nicely.

Anyone know what to do with chard?

In just a few more weeks we will have enough mixed greens and herbs for our next staff BBQ!

Our garden is constantly under threat from above – the seagulls and pigeons love our organic food too! Hopefully we can keep our garden safe until it is ready.

We’ve made some significant changes to our office to make us healthier and more eco-conscious. We look forward to taking even more steps towards reducing our environmental impact!