It is one day before Earth Day and Claire Ruddy is looking for a little commitment.
Through a wet, windy and snowy morning in Whistler Village Ruddy stood under an Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) tent with AWARE volunteers encouraging village strollers to write a pledge, have an Instagram picture taken with their pledge and then allow the photo to be uploaded to the Internet to share the pledge with friends and family.
Ruddy, the president of AWARE, said some of the common pledges included vows to compost, grow vegetables, cycle more and reduce garbage.
“Lots of people are interested in Earth Day,” said Ruddy of the internationally declared date of April 22.
Earth Day celebrations haven’t received a significant amount of energy the last few years from AWARE as Ruddy said the organization has been finding its feet the last two years.
“This format has worked really well, it has been really good at engaging individuals and it has been super fun,” Ruddy said of the effort to collect Earth Day pledges on the Village Stroll.
In addition to collecting pledges on the eve of Earth Day, AWARE members are getting together for a potluck dinner at Ruddy’s house on the actual day.
“There seems to be a lot of people going,” said Ruddy with some worry that her house might become crowded. “We also have a screening of Vegucated, the movie, which we’re doing in partnership with Earthsave. The impacts of our food choices are huge and environmental. We also have our AWARE Nature Kids Club, which is next Sunday, the 28th, and that is focusing on plastics. Again, another huge environmental issue.”
A talk on growing a garden in Whistler is scheduled for May 1. The Whistler Museum is hosting the talk at 6 p.m. and the discussion will offer tips on how to produce food in Whistler’s short growing season. The creation of container gardens will be covered along with vertical gardens how to maximize food growing in small backyards.
For families that want to make a green difference Ruddy said the biggest and simplest impact can be made through careful consideration of all purchases.
“Think about what your food is packaged in, think about whether you need that item of clothing, do you really need that new jacket?” said Ruddy. “Consume less would be my key take-away.”
With two volunteers working with her at the pledge tent, Ruddy said AWARE is always open to getting more help. New volunteers can contact the group through the AWARE website (awarewhistler.org) or write a note on the group’s Facebook page.