7 Goals You Achieved in 2017

Posted on February 3, 2018

Green Calgary asked Calgarians last year what their Green Goals were – what actions they were going to take to improve sustainability in the city. Now, in the beginning of 2018, we wanted to share some of the stories of goals that were achieved. It’s important to remember that, for all the difficulties facing the planet every year, people can make small changes in their lives that will lead to many more changes. As we said at the end of last year, every action counts. Here are 7 goals you achieved last year:

7. Starting to Recycle. Conor tells the story of the man he met last year who said he didn’t recycle at all. Conor asked him to start by just recycling the boxes from his frozen lunches. Next time Conor ran into the man, he had developed a habit of recycling much more than just his frozen lunch boxes!

6. Energy Innovation. Last year, we held our Energy Revolution Fair for the second year in a row and the numbers speak for themselves. From 2016’s few hundred students to over a 1000 in 2017, eyes are turning to what renewable energy and energy efficiency can mean to Alberta and the world. Seeing students tackling, and finding solutions, for energy problems right here in Calgary was both impressive and inspiring. For those who pledged to be more energy conscious in their homes, the Alberta Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program had a whopping 150,000 registrants last year! That’s over 700,000 gigajoules of energy saved each year!

5. Saying No to Straws. We started the year in 2017 talking a lot about the massive, non-recyclable waste that straws make, not only globally, but just in Calgary. The response was a demand for an alternative, and so our EcoStore started to sell stainless steel straws, along with compostable straws, and we found many Calgarians more than happy to change their habits. Stories from our community came in throughout the year of people giving up straws for good, even if this just means saying ‘no straw please’ when you order a drink at a restaurant.

4. Recycling Aluminum Foil. Last fall, Green Calgary blogged about things we mistakenly recycle or don’t, and we had a huge on-rush of questions about that blog, with people asking about certain items that they were less sure about. Many questions about aluminum foil came up to the surprise of one Green Calgary member, Erica, who let us know that she has now made a permanent change in her life to recycle all the foil she uses in the kitchen.

3. Water Conservation. Year to year, Calgarians keep on demonstrating that water conservation is a priority by changing watering habits, looking to get a rain barrel, and using the City’s YardSmart program. At our 2017 rain barrel sales, we heard stories from many Calgarians who were coming back to the sale from previous years getting yet another barrel – most we heard of at a time was 7! – or who were changing out an old, cracked barrel – some as many as 10 years old and we’ve heard of older! Keep it up!

2. Cycling to Work. We asked many of our staff and members what changes they were making in 2017 at the beginning of the year, and the most frequent one we heard was that they were going to cycle to work. Many Calgarians have picked up cycling as a way of transport that’s good for their health and the environment’s health, too. The City of Calgary supported that by making many cycling tracks permanent at the end of 2016. From around our office, at least, this was a success, with many trying cycling to work for the first time, and others increasing the frequency of taking this alternate transit.

1. The City’s Green Cart Program. Last year, the City rolled out the Green Carts throughout Calgary, and we’re happy to say that the reaction was amazing. By November, in just six short weeks of the program running, the carts diverted 15 million kilograms of waste away from our landfills! This is what we like to see! Way to go, Calgary!

As you can see 2017 had a lot of great things going for it, but this year will be even better! Already 2018 has seen a massive amount of support for our Bag Share program, and increased interest from Calgarians seeking to make changes in their community. Don’t know where to start this year? We’re holding a workshop and a webinar next week that will help you set your 2018 Green Goal or get your family on-board for their own Green Goals!

Keep your eyes here for many more exciting announcements in the coming weeks!

Already have a goal for 2018? Let us know about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!