Meet our 2012 Top 40 under 40 Community Environmental Leaders
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society and the MRPM Times proudly present the Top 40 under 40 Community Environmental Leaders’ “Hall of Fame”
“For our 40th Anniversary celebrations, we decided to focus on the past, present, & future of Ridge Meadows Recycling,” says Kim Day, RMRS Executive Director. “In February, we partnered with the Maple Ridge Museum to honour our history and humble beginnings as a volunteer-run committee collecting newspaper in a backyard shed. In April, we worked with local environmental groups to celebrate our 40th Anniversary and throw the biggest Earth Day celebration Maple Ridge has ever seen. In October, we will focus on what is at the core of any environmental effort, the future, as we search for youth who are making a difference now and will become environmental leaders in the future.”
At the regular Maple Ridge Council meeting during Waste Reduction Week in October, Leanne Koehn, Community Engagement with Ridge Meadows Recycling, presented our 40 under 40 to Mayor & Council and gave an impassioned presentation about everyone’s potential to become an Environmental Leader. Click to download the Power Point of Leanne’s RMRS 40 under 40 Presentation.
Child Category (Ages 4-12)
May Brindley (Age 12) May is a Grade 7 student at the Maple Ridge Environmental School. Last year she did a project on recycling, which led to her setting up recycling for the school. She also did a presentation on it to the school and collected many, many toilet paper tubes to lead reuse craft workshops with the Kindergarten – Grade 3 students.
Aryan Jamshidian (Age 5) Aryan makes sure everything is recycled at home and checks and gives warnings when there is a waste on energy, for example, when someone leaves the lights on after leaving a room.
Carmel Kurland (Age 9) Carmel always looks for ways to help save our planet. He is the kid that loves nature, bears, fish, and, of course, recycles & keeps the earth clean. He reads and learns about ways he can make a difference in the world and he always encourage others to do the same. He cares about healthy foods and food sources, packaging and waste problems, recycling, and how to make clean energy without damaging our planet.
Dane Matthews (Age 10) Dane is a recycling champion at his school. Last year, his class was part of a Ridge Meadows Recycling pilot project to test Solar Cone food digesters in schools and Dane worked hard to educate students how to use the solar cone and ensure that only organic materials went into it.
Danika Pope (Age 11) Danika rides her bike to get where she wants to go, including on vacation! Through her school, , she also helped paint yellow salmon on the road next to storm drains to remind people that things dropped in the storm drain go directly to creeks & rivers where the salmon live.
Eddy Pope (Age 6) Eddy thinks it is important to ride the trail-a-bike behind his dad or mom whether it is to the grocery store or to church or to a local festival in Maple Ridge. He is excited to go cycling: rain or shine! He also helps reduce waste by using the family’s solar cone for apple cores & banana peels.
Joshua Rognan (Age 8) Joshua is a great recycler and helps his family put out their sorted recycling every Tuesday. He reminds his family that many, many things can be recycled – even paper that wraps fish & chips can be put in the Solar Cone instead of the garbage. He packs his lunch in reusable bags and tries to have litter-free lunches. Joshua also enjoys gardening. He helps out in the vegetable garden and composts as much as he can!
Emma Walsh (Age 7) Emma makes her lunch with reusable containers, has a reusable water bottle and loves to sort the recycling. She is an Adopt-a-Block volunteer and walks to school everyday. For her next birthday, she is planning a Toonie Party, where guests bring one or two Toonies instead of a gift. Half the money goes towards a present she will buy, and half goes towards a charity. Emma has already chosen the SPCA as her charity.
Grady White (Age 9) Grady is “THE” recycler in his family, and encouraged his parents to get a composter for food scraps when he was just 6 years old. He despises throwing away anything that is recyclable and at the start of the school year questioned why there is no plastics recycling at his school. Committed to a litterless lunch, he currently takes his plastic wrap and containers home to recycle and is looking into improving the school’s recycling set up.
Youth Category (Ages 13-19)
Annie Chang (Eco Action Group) From a young age, Annie’s parents encouraged her to be conscious about recycling, saving water and energy, and not wasting food. Growing up in a society where environmental concerns can easily be replaced by simple, yet impulsive habits has led her to rise up and take action. She strongly believes it is a genuine human instinct to care, especially for the only planet in this galaxy with the suitable conditions to support life – our home.
Kiersten Duncan (Politician, Activist, Volunteer) Kiersten has great environmental and community awareness and in 2011 was the youngest candidate to run for Maple Ridge Council on an environmental platform. She was the volunteer coordinator for Earth Day 2012 and has volunteered in this role for Country Fest for a number of years. She inspires many with her willingness to step forward and advocate on her beliefs.
Kristen Irvine (Student) When bottle recycling bins at her school overflowed to the point where people started to put them in the garbage, Kristen decided to step up and take on this project. Every Thursday after school she would spend up to two hours collecting and recycling the bottles, usually by herself, and donate the proceeds to the school’s environmental action team. Her persistence and dedication is inspiring!
Amy Liu (EnviRAMental Group) Amy is an essential member of the EnviRAMental group and her commitment and fantastic ideas are valued by everyone. Amy always finds unique ways to raise awareness, push ahead a project, and look at the environmental issues facing us today.
Jenelle Murray (Eco Action Group) This year marks Jenelle’s third year as a member of the Eco Action group. Her passions lie in maintaining sustainable living, buying local and organic foods that support our local farmers, and being as all-around environmentally friendly as we can. She is inspired by many local environmentalists, such as David Suzuki, and also the supportive group leaders in Eco Action.
Vanessa Pogue (EnviRAMental Group) Vanessa is an active member in the EnviRAMental group and is a key part of the team, bringing her passion for the planet to the forefront of all projects. When ideas start to flow, Vanessa is always there to keep track (and keep the group on track!).
Casey Pope (Cyclist) Casey has made cycling a part of his everyday life and chose his high school because it was on a cycling route. His efforts to bike to school, church and even the Vancouver Zoo made it possible for his family to become a one car family. For his vacation last summer he completed a 120 km cycling trip while carrying panniers.
Dustin Quist (Student) Dustin is concerned about the planet and has been a recycling hero for many years. He did extensive recycling at his elementary school and is currently the main recycler at his school. Arriving before 8am every Friday to collect and sort the school’s cardboard for recycling pickup, Dustin is an incredible inspiration to recyclers everywhere.
Maddi Richardson (EnviRAMental Group) Maddi encourages new students to get involved with the school’s environmental group and join other like-minded people taking action on environmental issues. Her incredible insight and unfailing respect and passion for the world has kept the group alive and has been essential in progressing the idea for a planned school garden.
Annie Russell (EnviRAMental Group, Singer) Annie has been part of the EnviRAMental group since Grade 8. She brings her optimism and awareness to every project including the group’s current efforts to create a school garden. Annie also writes and shares songs that encourage others to respect and protect the environment.
Kyla Seward (Environmental Studies, University of Northern BC) Kyla founded the EnviRAMental club at her high school. She is currently in the wildlife and fisheries program at the University of Northern BC, working in natural resource conservation towards wildlife rehabilitation or environmental restoration. She has just been accepted in a volunteer program to travel abroad and work with endangered species.
Andrew Wang (Eco Action Group) Andrew has been a member of the Eco-Action group since Grade 8. Through the group, he has promoted environmental awareness and become motivated to learn more about issues surrounding sustainability. He feels it is our obligation, as 21st century global citizens, to work together to create a sustainable environment for not only future generations but also for planet Earth itself.
Crystal Williamson (CEED Centre Volunteer) Crystal was inspired after spending her school volunteer hours with the CEED Centre interviewing members of local environmental groups for a video. She is now a self-described “hard-core recycler” and tries to reduce her waste by buying products with little/no/recyclable packaging. She is now pursuing Environmental Sciences and she hopes to go into conservation.
Adult Category (Ages 20-39)
Shannon Alke (CEED Centre Volunteer, Singer) Shannon is a passionate gardener. She has always cared about the earth and feels a connection with nature every time she gardens. She volunteers with the CEED Centre and Golden Ears Transition Initiative (GETI) and sings with the Green Singers who are spreading environmental messages through song. Currently working at Changes Recycling Centre, she is happiest when working in a place that corresponds with her values.
Julia Bartel (Artist) Julia is a visual artist who enjoys using materials she finds and recreating them into something inspiring. She says found objects pushes her to be more creative and encourages the awareness of the natural world in her art work. By using recycled products and encouraging discussions about the environment, Julia reminds us that we can think about the earth no matter where our passion lies. *Article
Jocelyn Durston (Farmer) Jocelyn’s interest in the politics of agriculture began in university. Her passion for sustainable agriculture took her to Ottawa where she did policy work, but the opportunity to try farming hands-on and see her theories in action led her to begin the “Farm for a Year” project which she documented in a blog. Now in its third year, “Farm for Life” sells produce regularly at the Haney Farmers’ Market. *Article
Kia Dullemond (Environmental Science, Simon Fraser University) Kia is in his fourth year at SFU with a major in Environmental Science and a focus on Environmental Earth Systems. He has helped coordinate both an “Eco Camp” and a Nature Camp where youth learn about the relationships within ecosystems and the value of nature, and learn to appreciate a sense of beauty in their surroundings.
Melissa Fisher (Teacher) Melissa, currently a kindergarten teacher, regularly schedules environmental workshops through Ridge Meadows Recycling for her and her colleagues’ classes. She works to teach kids at a young age to realize their impact on the world. Through her nature walks, she builds an appreciation of nature and extends school learning into the natural world.
Chris Kasza (Farmer) Chris is incredibly inspiring when it comes to environmental care and animal protection. He is a permaculture farmer with The Farm for Life Project, a member of GETI and a board member at the CEED Centre. He lives a vegan lifestyle and rescues and fosters animals in need of a home. *Article
Ryan May (Farmer) Ryan’s nonprofit organization, Living Land, has a mandate to “work-play the planet into a more green, healthy, and beautiful place to be.” He encourages organic gardens and gardeners, plants food-producing trees, and strives to integrate people and nature for mutual benefit. His love of the land and his eagerness to share his passion is evident in his daily life. Currently in Guyana, Ryan is blogging about his experiences at http://blog.livingland.org/ (colourful language alert!) *Article
Trevor Randle (Teacher) Chef Randle teaches the culinary program at Maple Ridge Secondary School. He promotes the many benefits of purchasing and eating locally grown food through Agriculture in the Classroom. He participates in local food events such as Golden Harvest and the Culinary Cookoff at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest, where his students are able to directly meet and connect with local farmers and food producers. *Article
Adam Rieu (Green Office Initiatives) Adam’s environmental initiatives at work include a bike-to-work program, paperless agendas, encouraging reusable drink containers, and setting up worm composters. He works hard to incorporate young people into positive change and his friends say he has inspired them to spend at least thirty minutes in nature a day, make litterless lunches, compost and recycle.
Keesha Rosario (Business Owner) Keesha owns SMART Watering Systems, a company that works with homeowners, municipalities, parks and recreation, property management companies, contractors, engineers and associations to change people’s behavior for more efficient water use and conservation. This is done through outdoor water audits and assessments, innovative pilot programs and services, and weather-based technologies. *Article
Adlayna Speirs (Environmental Advocate) Adlayna has worked for Greenpeace and recently starred in a video themed “Congo Lines, Not Pipe Lines.” In 2002 she was featured doing “The Stomp” for one of Ridge Meadows Recycling’s advertising campaigns. She, along with her brother Rory, are actively involved in many community activities.
Michelle Vandermoor (Environmental Studies, Simon Fraser University, Alouette River Management Society) Michelle is an Environmental Geography Student at SFU working towards a certificate in Sustainable Community Development. This past summer she explored her interest in environmental education while working with the Alouette Management Society. She enjoys volunteering at the Haney Farmers Market, and is excited to see the Maple Ridge environmental community grow. Michelle is also curious about the possibilities for upcycling and clothing exchanges.
Special Categories – Family & Class
Amanda, Brad, Elise, & Tristn Lambert (Family) Amanda & Brad Lambert teach their children, Elise & Tristn, to “Think Recycle” everywhere they go. Whenever they are out on walks, they pick up trash and recyclables. They also compost at home and only have one small bag of garbage each month.
Miss Herman’s Class (Class) Miss Herman’s class collects and sorts all the recycling (paper, cardboard, cans, glass, bottles and juice boxes) at their school of 1400. The class also works to create “eco-friendly” displays for Waste Reduction Week, Hallowe’en and Christmas to help teach the rest of the school ways to help our environment and reduce our waste!
Darren Durupt (Cyclist, Green Manager) Darren (40 plus 1) is an advocate for cycling infrastructure for commuters and recreational cyclists alike. He rides his bike to the West Coast Express to commute to work in rain, sun, and even snow. As an information technology manager, he makes purchasing decisions based on the amount and type of packaging and while he loves new technology, he uses things as long as possible before replacing them with a newer model.
Kim Lauzon (Co-op Organizer) Kim attends weekly conversation groups at the CEED Centre, where she has been developing and gaining support for the idea of a co-operative storefront that would function as a grocery store, offering local products to local people. She has already established a formal group, called the Golden Ears Community Co-op, and she and other members have started buying items in bulk. *Article
Beth Southwell (Musician) Growing up with her mother singing about “Growing Up Green,” and having her first job with Ridge Meadows Recycling, it was inevitable that Beth would become an environmental champion. At both work and home, she encourages others to recycle and conserve energy. She now sings and performs with her Mum, Pam Carr, as Two Tall Women at events such as Earth Day and Rivers Day.
Brad Zimmerman (Electric Vehicle Innovation) Interested in cars from a young age, Brad is now Director of Engineering with local company Future Vehicle Technologies. Through their innovative electric vehicle technology showcased in the eVaro, Brad’s company aims to “reduce the world’s dependence on oil, reduce our carbon footprint, create skilled and meaningful jobs, and move mankind towards sustainability.”
Congratulations and thank you for all you do!
Thank you to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times for being a partner in our 40 under 40 search and for the awesome photos of everyone!