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Okay, so Google headquarters we are not. But in honour of Blog Action Day, here are all the little ways that we are fighting climate change here in the YCI office:

  • Printing everything double-sided. And those accidental print jobs or scrap pieces of paper? We turn them into one-sided notebooks for our daily to-do lists.
  • Brewing our own coffee. It’s fair-trade, inexpensive and best of all, there’s no paper cups involved in the process.
  • Walking/cycling/TTCing to work.
  • Since school started up again this fall, we’ve been using Autoshare or public transit to get to career fairs and outreach events.
  • Communicating online with volunteers to reduce our environmental impact.
  • Consume less. Do we reuse our paper folders until the names have been written over ten times? You bet we do!
  • Work potlucks! Okay, to be honest, I’m not sure they have anything to do with climate change, but they sure are delicious and probably one of my favourite parts of working at YCI. So they must be good for the environment.
  • Sharing. (Most recently, in fact, all the women in the office passed around all the books in the Twilight saga. Somewhat embarrassing, but true. Gabriela’s currently working on the last book. We’re all waiting for her to catch up so that we can determine whether we’re all Team Jacob or Team Edward.)
  • Each YCI staff member is allocated time off that they can commit to another non-profit organization. Global citizenship will always place a key role in climate change.
  • Finally, although it’s not specifically in our office, let’s not forget all the YCI volunteers who work on eco-tourism projects in Central America, host environmental education workshops in the South Pacific, and work with environmental sustainability clubs in Tanzania.

But it’s still undeniable that we could be doing a lot more. While our composting experiment failed miserably, there’s always room for other improvement. For example, while we were at the Centre for Social Innovation for last month’s VAC retreat, we noticed there was fabric grocery shopping bags and Tupperware available by the door for take-out lunches. At the YCI office, we definitely bring back our fair share of Styrofoam containers. So, while we certainly aren’t in a position to buy solar panels or goats, investing in takeout containers is certainly not beyond our reach.

-Jessica Lockhart, Program Coordinator

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