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RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014 E1

Think

GREEN The Red Deer Advocate and The City of Red Deer have worked in conjunction to produce this feature aimed at helping to make Red Deer a happier, healthier and cleaner place to live!

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E2 RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Idle Free puts you in driver’s seat

on personal & environmental health

BY TRACY KENNEDY

Going idle free isn’t always about preserving the health of the environment – often, it’s about preserving your own health. The City of Red Deer’s Idle Free program holds the key to air quality improvement in one’s immediate environment as well as the more global environment. It’s for this reason that more Red Deer organizations are signing on to turn the key to be idle free. “We’ve had organizations contact us about going idle free because vehicle exhaust was affecting their workplaces,” said Lauren Maris, Environmental Program Specialist with The City of Red Deer. “Since we started this program, people realize there are more personal health benefits associated with going idle free. Although our work is concentrated on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we’re also making our community healthier.” The City of Red Deer has been helping minimize pollution since it started the program in 2009. Achievements include an internal idle free policy for City fleet, the Idle Free Schools program, and ongoing outreach with other individuals and organizations, including small and large businesses. Red Deer now boasts 36 idle free zones, including those at City facilities, Red Deer College, Peavey Mart, Bower Place Shopping Centre, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, ATCO, BMO, Lafarge, Red Deer Regional Catholic Division, and Sunnybrook United Church. The City needs all the partners it can get, as there’s always work to accomplish. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development regularly monitors air quality, and found recent measurements of area airborne particulate matter were higher than acceptable Canada-wide standards. Reducing air-

borne pollutants is one of the goals of the City’s Environmental Master Plan (EMP). The EMP also guides The City’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing diesel and gas use by corporate fleet. A greenhouse gas inventory was taken in 2010 to establish a baseline and measurements will be ongoing. A community greenhouse gas inventory is next on the agenda. Much of the work in the community is carried out among its youngest members and their families. Sixteen local elementary and middle schools have committed to being idle free, including Red Deer’s newest, Father Henri Voisin School, which isn’t even open yet. “Our goal is for every school in Red Deer to be idle free within two years,” said Ryszard Kozlowsi, Environmental Educator with The City of Red Deer. The Idle Free Schools program – which is run in part due to a partnership with Lafarge – includes promoting the message through school ambassadors; installing idle free signage at pickup/dropoff locations; holding educational assemblies; using the teachers’ guide to share activities with students; and/or including the message in newsletters. “Students are enthusiastic about the environment and so naturally spread the word to their families about not idling,” said Maris. “They are great teachers of the message that if you’re going to be stopped in your car for more than one minute, except in traffic, turn off the engine. Parents and guardians, in turn, want the best for their children’s health.” Improvements to the health of the entire community are within reach. Refraining from idling is an easy action with big benefits, and can be achieved with an easy turn of the key. For more information, visit www.reddeer.ca/idlefree.

“Since we started this program, people realize there are more personal health benefits associated with going idle free. Although our work is concentrated on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we’re also making our community healthier.” LAUREN MARIS, ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM SPECIALIST WITH THE CITY OF RED DEER

Red Deerians cultivate edible landscape and community BY AMBER SMALL

Compost!

& Keep up with the Joneses and the Lunneys, the Kenworthys, and the Latunskis Congrats to more amazing Red Deer families ready to harvest compost this spring after joining the Composting at Home program. Gary Bunch Tracey Carey Tom Caswell Mark Chamberlain Toni Becker Brett Adams Kim Adcock Kerri Kenworthy Krista Latunski Vincent Tremblay Doug Wahl Dan Wind Sean Barrow Kimberly Campbell Pedro Gonzalez Jen Ironside Robert Hainsworth Jo-Ann Hallman

Nathan Maskowitz Curtis Martens Wendy McConnell Lori & Gary McGowan Sharon Mears Ken Meier Marc Lycan Lisa Leblanc Betty Ann Dziuba Leah Deschenes Jamie Christie Fraser Clarke Ruth Galarneau Monika Allin Michelle Zeggil Patricia Terlaan Derek Szyszka Christy St. Dennis Kristen Steenberg

Glenn Nystrom Diane Cote Rashel Buist Terry Flaman Kristin Faechner Michelle Colhoun Luella Foulston Lori Kindopp Angie Kiebel Lana Kostenuk Jonathan Lang Charlie Lamb Michael LaRocque Lene Larsen L’Angelle Lunney Arun Mishra Kaycee Monteleone Loretta Mykytyshyn

Don’t be the last neighbour on your block to compost. Visit www.reddeer.ca/composting to learn how.

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These are some of the 200 Red Deer households to start backyard composting last year.

Are you willing to get a little dirt under your fingernails this summer? The City of Red Deer offers gardening opportunities including The City Garden Plot Program, Neighborhood Community Gardens, and the Parkside Community Forest. The City Garden Plot Program is for someone interested in growing produce on their own plot for a season. Residents register for a plot and tend it for the season. The City prepares and manages the garden areas as well as takes care of soil maintenance practices and plot registrations. “Rather than going to the grocery store and buying fruits and veggies that are shipped from far away, people grow it themselves and have locally grown produce in their fridge,” says The City’s Ecological & Planning Specialist Ken Lehman. “Some people with small gardens may need more space for growing vegetables.” Starting April 23, plots can be rented by the public on a first come first served basis from one of three garden locations within The City: Red Deer College Gardens, Parkside Gardens, and Piper Creek Gardens. The 2014 plot sizes and costs are $41/120m2 and $24/60m2. This is the final season for the RDC Gardens with an alternate location scheduled for 2015. “Public gardening initiatives in public areas make it easier for people to grow more of their own food within the City,” says Lehman. Neighborhood Community Gardens are initiatives that the Parks department helps get underway thanks to the capital funding allocated to community garden startups. Seed funding is capped per site

to ensure as many people as possible benefit. The City delivers the required materials to a site at a certain date and the volunteer group puts boxes together, manages their registration and makes it accessible to the public so they can garden as a group or individually. Most gardens have a raised bed to keep it looking clean and orderly and most sites have rain barrels and composting units. There are five sites in operation throughout Red Deer with several more in the works. Each group reports back to The City once a year to give an update on challenges and successes. “We have some momentum now and there always seems to be more and more people interested in taking part,” Lehman says. “Last year, we started our first community food forest, which ties in with the community garden scene in that it’s sustainable edible landscape.” Parkside Community Food Forest was planted collaboratively by City staff and community volunteers last fall. It is located at the north end of the Parkside Garden plots. All fruit grown is available to the public to harvest. The City asks that people be respectful of others when harvesting to allow many to share the bounty. Residents should also keep from helping themselves to veggies grown in private plots adjacent to the food forest; these plots are grown and harvested by each individual plot registrant. “We’re trying to showcase that more than just veggies can be grown in our area. Fruit and nut trees and shrubs on the landscape add to the local food source and promote important ecological processes like pollination,” says Lehman.


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RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014 E3

GREEN DEER launches this spring As the snow melts, it’s clear our city needs a spring cleaning – that’s why the 12th annual Green Deer campaign is so important. “Green Deer is an annual cleanup of the city that occurs every spring when the snow melts,” says Suzanne Jubb, community and program facilitator with The City of Red Deer. “Taking part in Green Deer is a great way to meet your neighbours, build community, and give back by volunteering your time.” The campaign relies on the generosity of volunteers – people who love Red Deer and take pride in the beauty of our community – to clean up our streets. Since the campaign started in 2003, countless individuals and families, neighbours, schools, corporate and community groups have collected more than 4,800 lbs. of trash. “We’ve had tremendous success with Green Deer in past years, but we still have a ways to go before we can call Red Deer completely litter-free,” adds Jubb. This year, Green Deer runs from April 14 – June 15, 2014. Red Deerians are invited to take part by get-

ting together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs attention. Or challenge a rival business to see who can pick up the most bags of garbage! “There are lots of ways to get involved! Challenge another group using our challenge toolkit or simply take a grocery bag and a plastic glove with you on your walk and pick up garbage as you go,” says Jubb. Participants are encouraged to register for the program to receive garbage bags and other cleaning supplies. Everyone who registers will also be entered to win a barbeque, donated by Canadian Tire, and a barbeque event hosted by Zed 98.9 & KG Country with food supplied by Save-On Foods. “Simple acts like making sure your trash and recycling are properly disposed of go a long way towards the goal of keeping Red Deer clean and green,” adds Jubb. “Together, we can make our city a little better than when we found it, leaving a cleaner, greener Red Deer.”

How to register

Register in person: Recreation Centre, Collicutt Centre or G.H. Dawe Centre Register at the Green Deer kickoff BBQ: Monday, April 28, 5 - 6:30 p.m., Parkland Mall parking lot Register by calling Recreation staff at 403-309-8411 or at www.reddeer.ca/looknbook Registration code: #66641

Garbage pickup available

If you have collected large amounts of garbage, please contact 403309-8411 to arrange to have the piles picked up. Green Deer garbage bags can also be placed with household garbage, and you will not be charged for additional bags.

Green Deer 2014

Green Deer Partners

April 14 – June 15

Green Deer would like to thank the following partners: Save-On Foods, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, KG Country/Z98.9,  TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, The City of Red Deer, Waste Management of Canada, and Century Vallen.

Leave it better than you found it.

Other upcoming events Red Deer River Cleanup Sunday, June 1 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Kerry Wood Nature Centre (6300 45 Avenue, Red Deer)

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Join others in the community as we protect our parks and green spaces from harmful litter.

Sunday, September 7 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Kerry Wood Nature Centre (6300 45 Avenue, Red Deer) These events are in partnership with NOVA Chemicals, Trout Unlimited Canada, and Tim Hortons.

For more information, visit www.reddeer.ca/greendeer

Community kick-off barbeque Monday, April 28 5 – 6:30 p.m. Parkland Mall parking lot For more information or to register: 403.309.8411 www.reddeer.ca/greendeer

FIGHt ENGINE SLUGGISHNESS.

Green Deer 2014 partners:

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Three Hills Carstairs Drumheller Hanna Linden

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Red Deer Stettler Rocky Mtn House Olds Sundre

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E4 RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Think Green: Wastewater Utility BY JASON LUNDGREN Careful next time you flush something down the toilet, you might just be doing more damage than you know. Some objects that are flushed can clog the wastewater system, cause a sewer backup or damage the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The results of these incidents can have serious consequences for our environment. To combat these dangers the City of Red Deer wants people to Think Green and take small steps to ensure our water and environment stay clean. “The environment is very important to us,” says Barry Brookes, Lead Source Control Inspector for Red Deer’s Environmental Services. “Some of these blockages can lead to sewer water going into your street and into the river; and it can lead to health concerns.” The City of Red Deer has come up with a list of items not to flush, which include: Paper products (tissues, paper towels, and paper napkins); Disposable diapers; Feminine hygiene products; Q-tips, cotton balls and cotton swabs; Bandages and wrappings; Medications (pills, capsules and liquids); Dental floss; Disposable toilet cleaning brushes; Cat litter; Condoms; Hair from hairbrushes; Toothpicks; Fats, oils and grease; Vegetable and fruit scraps; Needles and sharps; and, finally, Motor oil, Varsol and paint thinner. All of these products should be disposed of in the garbage or dropped off at the household hazardous waste drop-off at the Waste Management Facility. Sometimes these products might be advertised as flushable, but they may not be safe for your system. The only things that should be flushed are human waste and toilet paper. By heeding this advice you are not only helping the environment but you are keeping your own home safe, says Brookes. “This prevents blockages in your own house and avoids costly, time

consuming clean-up, which can be quite unsightly and damaging. Some of the damage isn’t easy to remove.” Another thing to be aware of is the difference between the storm water system and the wastewater collection system. Wastewater collection removes water from indoor plumbing so that it can be cleaned at the Wastewater Treatment Plant before it is returned to the Red Deer River. The storm water system removes rainwater from sidewalks, streets, and parking lots, but does not get treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. This means rainfall runoff can wash pollutants into storm water drains and into the river. There are simple steps you can make to prevent this from happening. Collect litter and animal waste before they wash into storm drains; choose organic pesticides and fertilizers, apply them sparingly and do not over water your lawn; wash your car on grass or dirt and use biodegradable, phosphate-free soap -- or better yet, go to a car wash. Ensure your vehicle does not leak oil or other fluids and do not wash spills down storm drains (take used motor oil to Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire as the City of Red Deer cannot accept used motor oil at the Waste Management Facility); finally, empty your swimming pool or hot tub into your floor drain, toilet or sink; another option is to drain it on your lawn or garden, but reduce the amount of chemicals beforehand -- the chlorine and other chemicals can harm fish and other aquatic life. Even if you do not live by a body of water, the storm water collection system will carry pollutants to the Red Deer River. Allowing or intentionally pouring pollutants into the storm water or wastewater collection system is illegal, with the maximum penalty a fine of $2500. For more information visit reddeer.ca or contact environmentalservices@reddeer.ca.

Go Green with Red Deer Transit As people shake off the long winter months and head out to explore, transit is a great way to discover Red Deer while going greener and getting healthier. “Riding the bus helps to fight traffic congestion, reduces air pollution, and contributes to a healthy, vibrant community,” says George Penny, Transit manager with The City of Red Deer. “At any given hour that we operate, each Red Deer Transit bus takes between 30 to 60 vehicles off the road. When people make the choice to travel this way, it has a huge positive impact on the environment.” Red Deer Transit’s fleet is equipped with clean-burning diesel engines, which reduce particulate matter emissions by over 90 percent. When combined with the fact that a transit rider creates 65 percent less greenhouse gas than a vehicle user for the same trip, it’s no wonder that more people every day are looking to transit. “Studies around the world have linked a person’s health and well-being to their use of public transit because of the

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walk and fresh air involved in getting to and from the bus stop,” says Penny. That’s just one of the ways public transit is healthy, both for the environment and the individual. Red Deer Transit also offers a bike and ride program on all buses, all the time. Each bus is equipped with a bike rack making it easy for cyclists to get to work or to connect to Red Deer’s beautiful parks and trails system. “The bike and ride program is a really neat way for people to get around, and it’s quite popular in the warmer months,” says Penny. “Each bus can accommodate two bikes in the rack, and additional bikes inside the bus subject to available space. There is no additional charge for this service.” With an extensive network of Transit routes covering most of the city and beyond, “Red Deer Transit offers riders the freedom to do what they love to do most,” says Penny. And when we all have the freedom to do what’s important to us, the whole community thrives.


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RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014 E5

Jane’s Walk and Talk:

Community Conversations BY TRACY KENNEDY

There’s something about a good walk and a unique perspective that makes conversation easy. In the case of Red Deer’s upcoming Jane’s Walks, residents are encouraged to share information and points of view about the past, present and future of Red Deer’s built environment, all the while connecting with neighbours and generating ideas. From May 2 to 4, Red Deer is hosting at least five Jane’s Walks, which are informal, free guided tours designed to get residents out walking and talking to one another about where they live, work, and spend leisure time. Started in 2007, Jane’s Walk honours the legacy of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs, who championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centred approach to city building. “Jane’s Walk helps us recognize that being on foot gives us a different perspective of the community,” says Lauren Maris, Environmental Program Specialist with The City of Red Deer, and organizer for the local Jane’s Walks. “That gives people another view on how communities could be constructed for multiple uses and how we can create communities that are more inclusive and welcoming no matter how we’re getting around.” Our aging population has its own point of view and concerns about walkability. Where will all the Boomers go? is a granddaughtergrandmother led tour set for May 3 that will highlight sidewalks, benches, and audible crosswalks to illustrate how these pedestrian features can help or hinder seniors as they make their way through southeast Red Deer.

Residents can look to the future and see how far we’ve come in the tour Riverside Meadows to Riverlands: Downtown Revitalization Progress, which will help residents visualize what improvements are being made to make the area friendlier for both commercial and residential foot traffic. Looking to the past, City Archivist Michael Dawe will lead a tour on Red Deer’s Early Urban Plan while City Art Coordinator Pat Matheson will guide The Bronze Ghost Collection Walking Tour to tell the stories of our downtown bronze sculptures and provide perspective on how they shaped the city. The present gets its due with Jane’s Walking School Bus. With stops to pick up children on the way to Mountview Elementary, tour leader Emily Damberger will demonstrate a message that’s both environmental and community-minded. “The walking school bus teaches us that the less parents drive their kids to school, the better it is for reducing idling and traffic around school, and the better it is for the health of the children,” says Maris. After all, The City takes part in Jane’s Walk to recognize the built environment, one of the areas of focus in The City’s Environmental Master Plan, with the goal to create vital, well-integrated compact communities that minimize negative environmental impacts. Maris says she received positive feedback after last year’s walks, with many engaged participants asking if they would be held year round. The enthusiasm speaks to the desire to connect with neighbours, explore the community, acknowledge the past, and make smart choices for city building in the future – all at a conversationfriendly pedestrian pace.

Time For Spring Clean-Up! Turn Your Scrap Into Cash!

Join us for free guided neighbourhood walks. Friday, May 2 Jane’s Walking School Bus Led by Emily Damberger, Community Facilitator Meet at 50 Springfield Avenue End at Mountview School Start at 8 a.m.

IS HUNGRY FOR SCRAP We Pay Cash For All Types Of Metal

Saturday, May 3 Riverside Meadows to Riverlands: Downtown Revitalization Process Led by Jordan Furness & Quincy Brown, City Planning Services Meet at SW corner 58A Ave & Kerry Wood Drive Start at 1:30 p.m.

Where Will All the Boomers Go? Led by Maureen Durant & Kari Idland Grandmother-Granddaughter Duo Meet at East Hill Save-On-Foods Start at 2:30 p.m.

Including Scrap Autos, Industrial Scrap Metals, & Farm Scrap Metals • Bin Services (large or small containers) allow you to store your recyclable metals at your own site, we exchange/drop off with a fresh one when needed. • Drive on scale for precise measurements and ease of use • Personal and professional services to load/unload your materials

$

50 CASH PAID For Your Scrap Vehicle Includes pick-up within 10km of Red Deer

• Free scrap vehicle pickup in the Red Deer area • Purchase of copper, aluminum, brass, tin, and many other nonferrous metals • Large volume metal clean ups on site

Sunday, May 4 Red Deer’s Early Urban Plan Led by Michael Dawe, Archivist Meet at Museum (MAG) 4525 47A Ave. Start at 1:30

The Bronze Ghost Collection Walking Tour

$

100 CASH PAID

Led by Pat Matheson, Public Art Coordinator Meet at Museum (MAG) 4525 47A Ave. parking lot Start at 3 p.m.

If you deliver your scrap vehicle to us!

janeswalk.org/canada/reddeer or reddeer.ca/environment

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4029-78 St. Cres.,Red Deer 403-347-5815 www.bulldogmetals.net

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Copper • Stainless Steel • Brass • Steel • Aluminum • Iron • Batteries • Rads • Car Disposal


ADVERTISING

Leave it better than you found it

FEATURE

A clean green space, sidewalk or street is a beautiful thing; it shows pride in our community and creates a more pleasant place to live. No one likes litter, but the reality is that our clean environment is taken for granted by some who do not recognize that often the small things cause big problems - things like tossing a receipt onto the sidewalk or casually flicking away a cigarette butt. Cigarette butts do not biodegrade and account for almost 30 per cent of litter collected in our city. To help combat the problem, The City of Red Deer has collaborated with Century Vallen to give away 1,000 free pocket ashtrays once again as part of this year’s Green Deer campaign. “These light, convenient ashtrays easily fit in a pocket or purse, so people can butt out when they’re on the go and then dispose of their cigarette butts in a garbage bin later,” says Suzanne Jubb, community and program facilitator with The City of Red Deer. “The build-up of cigarette butts is a big issue, and it’s important for people to ensure that this form of trash – just like any other – gets put in the proper place.” You can pick up your pocket ashtray at the Collicutt Centre, Recreation Centre, G.H. Dawe Community Centre or Century Vallen on Edgar Industrial Way after April 14, 2014 when Green Deer officially starts in Red Deer. Red Deer’s annual spring cleanup, Green Deer brings together volunteers - individuals and families, neighbours, schools, corporate and community groups – to help pick up litter from around the city. Since the campaign started in 2003, countless volunteers have collected more than 4,800 lbs. of trash. “We’ve had great success with Green Deer in the past, but we still have a ways to go before we can eradicate litter in the city,” says Jubb. “The goal for Green Deer is to make – and keep – Red Deer litter free, so we need everyone’s help to make this a reality.” This year, Green Deer will be held April 14 – June 15, 2014, and everyone is encouraged to participate. Get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. You can even challenge the staff of a rival business to see who can pick up the most bags of garbage, log the most time cleaning, or have the most people take part. There is nothing like a little friendly rivalry to get

“Taking the time to ensure your trash and recycling is property disposed of goes a long way towards keeping Red Deer clean and green – not just now, but for the future.”

Cigarette butts do not disappear.

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Let’s put litter in its place, because even a little litter can add up to a lot of damage.

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Cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and WKHEXLOGXSRISODVWLFÀOWHUVDQGFKHPLFDOV is toxic to the animals, plants, and water around us. As part of Green Deer, Century Vallen is giving away free pocket ashtrays – handy little tools to help keep litter off the ground.

Ecoland bamboo Àooring is, durable and easy to maintain.

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your Green Deer team working even harder, and having more fun doing it! All participants are encouraged to register their activity to help Green Deer organizers to keep track of the locations being cleaned and the number of volunteers doing the work. Green Deer bags are available for pickup at the Recreation, Collicutt, or GH Dawe Community Centres, if needed. Plus, everyone who registers will be entered to win a barbeque, donated by Canadian Tire, and a barbeque event hosted by Zed 98.9 & KG Country with food supplied by Save-On Foods. Over the years, Green Deer has grown to include events like the Red Deer River Cleanup (June 1, 2014) and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (September 7, 2014) both held at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Sponsored by NOVA Chemicals, Tim Hortons, Trout Unlimited Canada, these annual events bring volunteers from across the city together to keep our river shoreline clean and safe for all, including wildlife. “We know that eating litter can lead to choking, poisoning, and even malnutrition among wildlife,” says Jubb. “Scrubbing our shoreline is about more than just picking up trash; it’s also about caring for the community and protecting our parks and animals from harmful litter.” And that includes inflatable rafts. In 2013 alone, volunteers picked up almost 60 abandoned rafts along the shoreline. “As you go about your day, ask yourself, ‘Am I adding value to the environment or am I only taking away from it?’” says Jubb. “Taking the time to ensure your trash and recycling is property disposed of goes a long way towards keeping Red Deer clean and green – not just now, but for the future.” It is a simple message: ‘leave it better than you found it’. “By cleaning up litter and other garbage, and promoting respect for Red Deer’s natural green spaces, parks and urban environments, we can all do our part to make our city a little better than when we found it, leaving a cleaner, greener Red Deer,” says Jubb. More information about Green Deer is available on The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/greendeer. To register, call 403-309-8411 or go to the Look n Book website at www.reddeer.ca/ looknbook and use registration code #66641.

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Phone: 403.346.4877 Toll Free: 1.800.226.1221 www.dynovac.ca 420, 7700 - 76th Street Close Red Deer

Think Green and Make our Community a Happier, Healthier & Cleaner Place to Live

To learn more, contact 403.309.8411 or visit www.reddeer.ca/greendeer. Green Deer 2014 Leave it better than you found it.

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Red Deer Suite 100A, 4315 55th Ave., Red Deer

Ph: 403-347-7426 Fax: 403-347-7423

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E6 RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014


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RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014 E7

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system, often referred to as “LEED,” was established to exemplify green building, maintenance and operation in offices, homes and neighborhoods. (MS) Embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle is more than just recycling cans and newspapers or campaigning for endangered species. Smart environmental living also extends to our homes and offices. In recognition of that, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system, often referred to as “LEED,” was established to exemplify green building, maintenance and operation in offices, homes and neighborhoods. LEED is essentially a rating system for the building and maintenance industry. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED has become an internationally recognized mark of excellence. According to the USGBC, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. Since the system was created in 1998, LEED ratings standards have been applied to more than 7,000 projects in the United States, as well as 30 additional countries, and more than a billion square feet of developed area has been LEED classified. Various parameters must be met before a building can receive LEED certification. LEED requires a set of prerequisites and credits. Prerequisites include required elements or strategies that must be included in all LEED-certified projects. Credits are extra incentives that can be included in projects to work toward LEED certification. The ratings system generally uses a numeric scale of 110 points for buildings, while LEED for Homes has a scale based on 131 points. Credits are allocated based on the environmental impacts and human benefits of the buildings and operations. Projects can receive basic certification between 40 to 49 points, and Platinum status is reached at 80-plus points. LEED v4 is the next incarnation of the rating system and will focus even more on increasing the lengths to which projects go to employ green goals. While the rating system was developed through an open, consensus-based process that involved USGBC volunteers and working groups, third parties are responsible for verifying that a building, home or community was created using strategies aimed at high performance in environmental health. These include, but are not limited to, water savings, energy efficiency, sustainable site development, and indoor environmental quality. USGBC says LEED is flexible enough to apply to all project types. Examples of LEED-certified structures include the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Penn., which has multiple LEED certifications, including the world’s only Platinum-Certified greenhouse. Shearer’s Foods plant in Ohio is the first food manufacturing plant to receive LEED Platinum status. Since 2011, Taipei 101 has been the tallest and largest green LEED Platinum-certified building in the world. Individuals can visit www.usgbc.org and search the USGBC directory of more than 64,000 registered and certified LEED projects to see how each achieved their certification.

Eco-friendly lawn care can be easy

(MS)Homeowners know that a healthy lawn can add considerable curb appeal to a property while giving residents of the home a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. But few might know that a healthy lawn can also benefit the environment, especially when homeowners take a proactive approach to lawn care that emphasizes eco-friendly techniques. A proactive approach to lawn care can prevent certain problems, including disease, insect infestation and weed growth. When such problems arise, many homeowners opt to combat them with pesticides, which can harm the environment. But a proactive approach to lawn care can reduce the likelihood of developing such problems and protect the planet at the same time.

Emphasize healthy soil

. Healthy soil promotes strong roots, which leads to a more robust, lush and aesthetically appealing lawn. While a lawn needs to be fertilized in the spring and at various points throughout the summer, it’s important that homeowners avoid overfertilization, which can create thatch that, when allowed to thicken, will prevent nutrients from penetrating the soil. Lawns need more nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium than soil can typically provide, so

fertilizing throughout the warm weather seasons and into early fall can promote a healthy lawn. But choose a slow-release fertilizer so it gradually feeds the lawn. Compost and grass clippings can also be spread around the lawn to promote healthy soil. The pH level of the soil should also be checked to ensure the lawn can fully absorb nutrients. Speak with a local lawn care professional to determine what a healthy pH level is for soil in your area.

Choose a grass that can thrive in your climate. Though you might prefer the look of a certain grass, choosing a grass based entirely on appearance is a mistake that could cost you money and prove harmful to the environment. When installing a new lawn, opt for one that’s suitable to the local climate. Installing a lawn that needs substantial amounts of water in a region known for drought can rob the lawn of its aesthetic appeal and will cost homeowners a substantial amount of money to maintain. If an existing lawn struggles to stay green regardless of your best efforts, then consider replacing it with a new type of grass that might be more suited to the local climate.

Don’t cut too low when mowing. Homeowners who don’t en-

joy mowing their lawn might be tempted to simply cut the grass as low as possible to extend the intervals between cuts. But the United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends that grass never be cut more than one-third of the height of the grass blades. Longer grass can take in more sunlight, allowing it to grow in thicker and develop a deeper root system. That deep root system can help a lawn survive drought and prevent disease, two potentially costly problems that often force homeowners to embrace solutions that are not eco-friendly. Ideal lawn height depends on the type of grass, so consult a lawn care professional to ensure you are cutting your grass to a healthy length.

Avoid overwatering. Excessive watering not only wastes water, which is not very eco-friendly, but also hurts the lawn when dry periods inevitably arrive. That’s because shallow and frequent watering encourages roots to stay near the surface, so when dry periods arrive, the roots struggle to find water. An established lawn should not need daily watering. Instead, watering responsibly when the lawn needs water and when evaporation can be kept to a minimum, can strengthen a lawn and do so in an eco-friendly way. -See story at left.

Recycle your Electronics

Water correctly oxygen in the soil to grow properly. But when a lawn is overwatered, the oxygen between the soil particles is pushed out, depriving roots of the oxygen they need to grow in strong. This leads to shallow root systems, which make a lawn more susceptible to stress, disease and insect infestation. But overwatering can also be unsightly, as lawns that are overwatered tend to have more weeds, robbing even the greenest of lawns of its aesthetic appeal.

Drop off:

TV’s, Computers, Monitors, Printers and ANY other Electronics for Recycling at

NO CHARGE Open:

Monday–Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm 8075-49th Ave, Red Deer, 1-403-348-0770 (North side Red Deer behind United Furniture Warehouse)

Recycle-Logic Inc. is a registered Processor in the Provincial-Wide Electronic Recycling Program, visit www.albertarecycling.ca for details

Thanks for helping us make a difference!!

75850D12

(MS) Watering a lawn can do more harm than good if the lawn is not watered correctly. Excessive watering is a waste of water and can cost homeowners money while harming the environment at the same time. Water that is not absorbed by the lawn can result in runoff, which causes nitrogen in the grass, any fertilizer that was applied and chemicals in the water itself to run into gutters and eventually pollute streams, rivers and oceans. In addition, grass needs


E8 RED DEER ADVOCATE Saturday, April 12, 2014

SPECIAL

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FEATURE

How Parents can help kids to go green and protect the planet

(MS) Today’s kids are growing up in a very different world than the one their parents inhabited as youngsters. One of the biggest differences between now and then is that kids growing up in the 21st century are being taught to embrace ecofriendly activities and lifestyles on a far broader scale than their parents were. While parents of school-aged children might have learned about the planet and even celebrated Earth Day when they were kids, their kids are growing up in a world where Earth Day is just one of the many opportunities to protect the planet and respect the environment. Because today’s kids are growing up in an ecoconscious world, it’s no surprise that kids are often enthusiastic about joining in environmental efforts. Parents tasked with finding productive outlets for that enthusiasm may want to employ the following strategies to make the most of their kids’ passion for the planet.

Organize weekly events with other kids.

Much like adults, kids often find activities more fun when their friends are around. Mothers who want to inspire their kids to protect the planet can organize weekly eco-friendly events for their youngsters and their friends. Consult local park officials and set up a park cleanup where kids can pitch in by picking up litter. Do the same if you live near a beach or lakefront area. Kids will benefit from enjoying the great outdoors while simultaneously doing something good for the environment.

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Take kids on trips to the grocery store.

Adults are in charge of stocking the family pantry, and this, too, can be used as an opportunity to teach kids about the environment. When visiting the produce aisle, explain to your youngsters why you’re purchasing organic fruits and vegetables instead of those that might have been genetically modified or grown with the use of pesticides. When it comes time to visit the snack aisle, choose organic items and remind kids come snack time that their new favorite treats also happen to be eco-friendly.This reduces the likelihood that kids will grow up associating healthy and eco-friendly foods with a lack of taste, potentially laying the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy eating.

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Parents who plant flowers or tend to their own gardens can invite kids to join them. As you and your youngsters plant vegetables, explain to them that growing your own fruits and veggies reduces your reliance on trucks to transport these items from afar, which helps to conserve fuel and reduce pollution. If there is room on your property to plant some trees, involve youngsters in the planting and use this as an opportunity to explain the many ways in which trees benefit the environment.

Start a neighborhood carpool. Simple everyday tasks make for great learning opportunities, especially when teaching kids about the benefits of an ecofriendly lifestyle. Parents can organize a neighborhood carpool to get kids to and from school, explaining to each child that carpooling reduces fuel consumption and air pollution.

“Where recycling supports our citizens with disabilities.” Profits generated by recycling cans and bottles at Cosmos Bottle Depots Ltd. support persons with disabilities through Cosmos Community Support Services Ltd. and the Cosmos Foundation.

Volunteer with an environmental organization.

Large blue bins are located around Red Deer and Blackfalds and charities within the communities receive 100% of the profits from the bins on a monthly basis. Contact the depot manager to have your non-profit added to the list.

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Kids benefit from volunteering in numerous ways. Parents looking to get their kids involved with local volunteer organizations can combine the lessons learned with giving back to the community with their youngsters’ passion for the environment by signing the family up to volunteer with a local environmental organization. Such organizations might clean up heavily littered roadways, plant trees in public parks, help remove debris after harsh storms or long winters or promote environmental awareness. Each of these activities teaches kids the value of giving back while also providing for them an outlet to pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle. Parents tasked with fostering a love of the environment in their children can do so in various ways.


Red Deer Advocate, April 12, 2014