Do you ever think about how much water you use in a day? Do you ever double check if you turned the lights off in the room you just left? Have you recently watched Seaspiracy and are now questioning everything about the way you live? Us too! So we brought in an expert to share the work she leads in conversation and restoration, along with a few sustainability tips for Earth Day!
Earlier this week we featured our newest #smashtessfam feature, Jessica Hutchinson. If you missed it – check out the blog here. Jessica is the Executive Director of Central Westcoast Forest Society (CWFS) a non-profit organization that works closely with the First Nations communities on Vancouver Island, the districts of Tofino and Ucluelet, and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, building a strong community that works together to achieve their common goals of restoring a natural recovery in their respective environments.
Many animals have lost what they considered home, communities of species have been fragmented and ecosystems altered due to the loss of their natural land to development. As troubling as it is, CWFS insists that the damage done is not irreversible, and we can repair this with restoration of habitat conditions by working together. With the engagement of their communities, CWFS has been able to educate and raise awareness about their restoration efforts since 1995, planting almost 50,000 trees, restoring 85km of streams, and removing 22,000kg of garbage!
Today we launched our Earth Day Shorty Romper in partnership with CWFS to celebrate Earth Day. Although CWFS focuses on restoration and education on Vancouver Island, the work they do goes beyond our province and can be applicable to anyone, anywhere. As a global community, we must do our part to make the Earth a better place; we have to remember to celebrate our planet every day, and Jessica shared some of her favorite ways to live a bit more sustainably.
In your words, what is CWFS?
We are a small grassroots organization that pinpoints areas where research, restoration, or education initiatives can help revitalize declining wildlife populations in BC.
How do you see your work in CWFS going beyond BC?
We have found that through educational outlets such as film and photography our message of restoration and recovery can transcend borders. Ecological restoration, and the hope that it brings, strikes a chord everywhere.
Does CWFS do work beyond salmon species? What about BC wolves, or bears?
We take a very holistic ecosystem-based approach to restoration. We are not restoring habitat for one particular species but instead we are working to restore the natural processes that create and sustain wildlife.
What does CWFS need from us locals to raise more awareness?
If there is a local stream, wetland, bog, or forest in your area go explore!
How has working with S+T been regarding raising more awareness about CWFS?
We are so excited to be collaborating with S+T on the Earth Day campaign. We love that like CWFS, S+T is also a small grassroots organization like us!
We hope that the S+T community digs into habitat restoration a little further. Check out our website or find out what local stewardship groups are doing in your own community. Ultimately, Earth Day should be about celebrating Mother Earth and finding ways we can each help her out too!
Where would you like to see the Triple Plank event in 5 years?
It is such a fun event! I long for the days when we can get back to big events.
I hope in 5 years' time flocks of people are coming to the coast for an amazing weekend where you can skateboard, snowboard and surf all for a great cause!
I also hope that more professional athletes sign up in the coming years and help bring greater exposure to the event and the cause.
Could you share some organizations for us to learn more about and support?
Well, start with us 😉 But our heroes here in Canada include Raincoast Conservation and the BC Conservation Foundation. If you are in the US check out the Freshwater Trust.
Happy Earth Day! What are your top 3 tips for being sustainable at home?
I love natural cleaning products and home cleaning remedies! I wish I had more time for mixing up new concoctions so in the absence of time I love the Mint Cleaning line of products. They smell great! Second, I try to eat less meat. My husband works for the Coast Guard so when he is away on shift the kids and I pretend to be vegetarian. Lastly, I try my best (but always huge room for improvement) to make smart consumer choices! If there is a choice between products I choose the one with less packaging, the product made locally, or I support the companies that are genuinely trying.
What is the most important message you want give our readers about sustainability?
Let's make this world a better place! Let's think about Mother Earth everyday not just Earth Day. With all our daily choices big and small.
To learn more about CWFS, visit their website here.
Let’s do our part to help our Earth, and even if it’s a small action, every bit of it counts. We can start by using less energy, eating less meat, shopping and donating at local thrift stores or starting your own garden! As we head into summer - walk or bike to your local market instead of driving, and while you're at it, bring your reusable bag and containers! The S+T tote bag is your perfect market companion!