With over 30 years of making a difference in Manitoba, Green Action Centre is familiar with getting things done. We’ve had a long road and a varied history, starting as a recycling advocacy group back in 1985 when Winnipeg was only just beginning to consider a formalized approach to municipal-wide recycling services. In a short time and with hard work, through research, analysis, and community mobilization, we succeeded in influencing the establishment of curb-side recycling pick-up. Today, again with input from Green Action Centre, that has expanded to the introduction of 4R Depots for items that can be recycling, composted, reused or resold.

Since then, we’ve broadened our scope both in focus and in location, and have rebranded to better reflect our new direction. Now, Green Action Centre is a non-profit organization with a team committed to provide programming to Manitobans in the fields of green commuting, composting and waste, sustainable living and resource conservation.  Our mission is to promote greener living through environmental education and encourage practical green solutions for homeowners, workplaces, schools and communities in Manitoba.

What do practical green solutions look like to us? Through our Workplace Commuter Options program, we are working with businesses across Manitoba to make it easy for employees to choose a sustainable commute. This includes providing suggestions for on-site infrastructure, such as secure bike parking, guidance on policies, such as an Emergency Ride Home program, as well as conducting employee surveys to monitor progress. The recent introduction of GoManitoba.ca provides a convenient province-wide ridematching program for carpooling and bike or bus mentoring. Though our social enterprise, Compost Winnipeg, we are filling a gap in our city’s municipal waste reduction strategy by stepping up and providing at-your-doorstop organic waste pick-up to residents in Winnipeg. For a nominal cost, residents who do not have the ability or desire to compost in their own backyard are able to have their food waste composted for them. And through our school programming, we assist schools in getting more kids walking or biking to school and reducing waste, as well as championing sustainability through presentations to students and staff. We’ve helped coordinate student-led composting facilities, created school travel plans, and educated students (and often teachers too!) on environmental stewardship. To us, practical green solutions mean green independence, where those who work with us become empowered to lead their own community and their own lives as champions of sustainability.

As of April 2017, we took a significant step in our ability to serve Manitobans by becoming a non-profit partner with 1% for the Planet. Thanks to Manoverboard, a certified B Corp design firm and business member of 1% for the Planet, their referral has given us the opportunity to connect with the over 1,200 businesses, individuals, and nonprofits from around the world that are members of this organization.

There are hundreds of potential 1% for the Planet nonprofit partners in Canada. Andrew Boardman, Manoverboard’s founder, recently said that, “We dedicated part of our 1% contribution to Green Action because of its pro-active, grounded and joyful approach to living green and to advancing green ideas in our province. When it comes to creating a more resilient and sustainable future, Green Action walks the walk and talks the talk!

This means a lot to us. As an organization that works to engage with as many Manitobans as possible, the contribution and assistance by other members of 1% for the Planet, and particularly our support from Manoverboard, will prove invaluable in this lofty task. We work hard to bring our stories and expertise to business leaders, teachers, commuters, and residents, many of whom are looking for sustainable solutions and simply do not know where to look. This engagement is a challenge to many non-profits that balance their funding between delivering tangible results and highlighting those results to the communities they serve. With any contribution from members of 1% for the Planet to Green Action Centre, we become better equipped to showcase our work in communities across Manitoba, which is so important to our organization’s success. We’re a group of “doers”, and helping to foster sustainable leaders in Manitoba relies on this awareness.

Perhaps most importantly, by becoming a member of 1% for the Planet, we are being recognized globally as a leader in the fight against climate change. We are both honoured and humbled to be a part of such a varied and committed group of experts and practitioners that do so much for our planet, and by becoming a member of this esteemed group of businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations, we are inspired to do our best in everything that we do as an organization. Thank you again to Manoverboard for choosing to partner with our organization. As a design firm that provides digital tools and strategies and a member for 1% for the Planet, they have committed to providing 1% of their sales to nonprofits like ours. We are excited to work together to shape this commitment from Manoverboard to develop content that will serve to extend our programs to Manitoba in a way we never could before. We also look forward to connecting with other organizations and businesses of 1% for the Planet to exchange ideas, highlight the great work we do in our respective fields, and contribute together on living sustainably and becoming strong advocates for a healthy planet.