How do you define sustainability in our community?

If you’ve been to some key community events in the past few months, you have probably noticed three new things are happening: Local food is being sourced, served and consumed, left-over food scraps are being saved to feed to local pigs, and reusable dishes and cutlery are being used instead of styrofoam or paper.

Contributed by

Shelley van Erp




If you’ve been to some key community events in the past few months, you have probably noticed three new things are happening:  Local food is being sourced, served and consumed, left-over food scraps are being saved to feed to local pigs, and reusable dishes and cutlery are being used instead of styrofoam or paper.  This is all part of the work of two organizations:  The NWRI (Northern Waste Reduction Initiative) and The Food Network.  Both of these organizations are under the umbrella of one board: The Nechako Healthy Communities Alliance.   The NHCA helps groups like these by doing some of the administration and advising.  The reason?  NHCA members want Vanderhoof to be a healthy community in which to live and believe sustainability is an important part of a community health.

However, this is where it gets a little complicated.  When the board recently began to talk about what other types of initiatives we might undertake to make our community sustainable, we realized something rather astounding.  We had each thought we shared the same definition of “sustainable”.  But, we don’t.  This made us wonder what all of you had to say about this complex idea.  After all, we are a community group who wants to serve the community.  How can we do that if we don’t have a conversation with all of you about how this community defines sustainability?

How can we expand our activities without asking what you hope to see happening in the community going forward? Here, is where the contest comes in.  We want to hear from people of all ages, all walks of life, and all political stripes about their personal definition of sustainability and what it might look like in our community.  We will take calls, works of art, songs, poems, video, and written submissions of any length.  We would encourage flash mobs that are recorded, scripts, or performances regarding the issue, and letters to the editor.

Every submission will earn the participant(s) a chance at two separate draws for $100 of Vanderhoof Bucks (which sustains our merchants).  One will be drawn the third week in October and one at the end of November.

As the submissions come in, we will share them with the public in whole or in part, giving credit to the contestant.   NHCA will write articles for the paper and share on local media what Vanderhoof residents have to say on the matter of sustainability. Please feel free to respond to these articles often and earn as many tickets as you wish for the contest.

For more information, or to record your definition or response, contact Shelley van Erp at 1-866-279-9733 at the NHCA.  The phone service will record your call for the contest.  If you want us to call you back, simply say so in your message.


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