Whistler 2020 on the Ground 

Grassroots green roots at Enviro-Fest

RMOW Environmental Coordinator


For 3,650 days, Whistler has been getting together annually to showcase and share our resort community's commitment to protecting the environment.

Don't miss Whistler's 10 th Annual Enviro-Fest Fair on Sunday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Upper Village, near the base of Blackcomb. This lively grassroots event is a chance for businesses and organizations to show off their green roots by demonstrating their sustainability practices and products. Sponsored by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Enviro-Fest is being organized once again by Marie Fortin of Hilltrip, a social enterprise that exemplifies the sustainability precepts of the fest.

"We're a humble organization, trying to grow organically," says Fortin, rather fittingly of her sustainability-oriented company. The first Hilltrip seed was planted by David Suzuki during his "Melting Mountains" presentation seven years ago. Hilltrip's mission is to improve the sustainability of our mountain lifestyle through "green" events, publications and films. Over the years, it has organized an impressive array of earthy events including: fundraisers for Jeremy Jones' climate-focused charity "Protect Our Winters," AWARE, 1STEP, Surfrider Foundation and David Suzuki Foundation; Earth Day and Earth Hour celebrations; Energy Film Festivals; and monthly Green Drinks, a forum for anyone in Whistler wishing to exchange ideas about improving our local environment.

Not least among the green events, Hilltrip manages and promotes Enviro-Fest: an open-air fair featuring interactive information displays and eco-friendly products and services offered by local businesses. The fair began in 2002 and was created by the RMOW as a way of celebrating Whistler's commitment to protecting the environment and its progress toward sustainability. Since then, the Enviro-Fest Fair has grown in both scale and scope. More and more exhibitors and participants are flocking to the fair each year, eager to explore a range of topics including the Cheakamus Community Forest, water conservation strategies, air quality issues, local food options, alternative energy technology, compostable and biodegradable packaging options and much more.

Enviro-Fest also aims to make itself as sustainable as possible through carbon offsetting, recycling and waste management strategies including "a pack it in pack it out" policy that exhibitors must follow.

In honour of its 10th anniversary, it promises to be bigger, better and, well, greener! An estimated forty exhibitors will be presenting their wares and services. Some of the main attractions will include: an installation art piece displaying the waste resulting from a one-a-day disposable coffee cup habit; a rainwater capture tool called a "Waterhog," and a cake marking the occasion -- vegan, of course. Kostaman, a musical regular at Enviro-Fest, will be performing along with some surprise musical guests and entertainers. Kids will love the face painting and games that make learning about the environment fun and at 10 a.m. they can meet for a scavenger hunt through the woods along Fitzsimmons Creek.

If you would like to learn more or get involved with Enviro-Fest Fair contact: Kim Slater ( kslater@whistler.ca , 604-935-8198)

To learn more about other actions that are moving our community toward Whistler2020 or to get involved, visit www.whistler2020.ca .



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