In recent years Whistler’s Randall Carpenter has noticed a growing disconnect between people and the food they eat, the town they live in, the consequences of their decisions, and other people. It’s not that people don’t care, she says, it’s just that we are often too overwhelmed to focus on what’s important.
To re-establish those connections, Carpenter’s company, Winning Team Solutions, has launched the LocalMotion Awareness Tour. Whistler is the first stop, but Carpenter says the goal is to expand into Pemberton, Squamish, and Vancouver before taking the campaign national.
The first part is a sticker campaign reminding people to “Get Behind a Local”.
“That can mean anything from getting behind a local athlete, to supporting local food growers, to supporting local environmental groups like AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment), to supporting local businesses and events, to just being nicer to the people around you,” she said.
“They’re just small tokens of awareness that remind people that there is a community here, and that there is community spirit. For example, I feel that a lot of people here are starting to look at tourists as intruders, but that’s also who pays our bills. We have to get connected again, and that means that everyone who comes to Whistler is also a local.
“On a personal level I find myself walking out of Nesters with my groceries in plastic bags when I had 10 cloth grocery bags in the car. I haven’t made it a habit yet to bring my own bags, but the Get Behind a Local campaign would remind me that AWARE has its own campaign to ban plastic bags in Whistler. The sticker will support that campaign, and the green movement in general, both financially and by reminding people of those connections.”
There are three stickers for the campaign, including a removable bumper sticker, a helmet sticker, and a larger version of the helmet sticker that can be put anywhere.
Three athletes that have agreed to sport the stickers this year are Jeff Beatty, who is a member of the national downhill mountain bike team, Britt Janyk, a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, and Brian Bennett, a member of the newly formed national ski cross team.
Proceeds from all stickers will go to AWARE, the local Slow Food Movement, the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, and the Whistler Children’s Centre.
The LocalMotion Awareness Tour will launch Friday, Aug. 24, with a table outside of Nesters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’ll be out again on Saturday afternoon in front of Moguls.
The stickers will be available at the table, as well as information on various other campaigns associated with the Get Behind a Local program.
As well, the stickers will be available at Nesters Market, Wild Willies, Gone Village Eatery, Moguls, Eco Everything, Evolution, Creekside Market, Lululemon Athletica, and Neo Alpine Yoga. Future events will be announced in the coming weeks.
“It’s the general idea of thinking globally and acting locally. We often have a choice of what we can buy but we’re still conditioned to buying everything from China or France,” said Carpenter. “If we can get people to stop and think about that just for a moment... that there’s a story behind everything that we’re not seeing. Everything we buy should be as local as possible.”