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Lofty goals

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Customers still measure products based on price and efficiency.

For example, some cleaning products may work in individual homes but a commercial operation like a big hotel in Whistler cannot be expected to clean with baking soda and water – it’s just not feasible at this time.

Now Slope Side’s goal has been tweaked a little. Instead of just buying up more "sustainable" products, Horn said they are focusing on educating their clients.

To that end, Slope Side sent out 700 brochures to businesses around town, telling them about their sustainability initiatives.

"In general the community has not accepted this idea of sustainability," he said.

To get the community really on side with The Natural Step he said something big has to happen. He points to something like the small hydroelectric project on Fitzsimmons Creek, which will generate enough power for Whistler-Blackcomb, making them sustainable in their energy consumption. A project on that scale could galvanize the community into more collective action.

Sometimes the task ahead is a bit overwhelming.

"It goes in waves," he said.

"Realistically we may never be sustainable but it’s a great goal to strive for. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try."