Our new City Council has taken some major steps toward Nanaimo evolving as a community firmly committed to a ‘greener’ future. Following Council’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ in April, they have begun adopting policies that reflect shifting municipal philosophies to address some of the elements of human-influenced climate change.
They’ve made changes to city planning to increase our community’s walkability while appealing to the province for more transit hours to create the greatest single expansion of public transit service in our history. City staff are working on recommendations to Council on ways to regulate single use consumer plastic bags. We’ve long been targeting ‘zero waste’ in attempts to divert as much as possible from our landfill and extend its life while also encouraging citizens to reduce their water and energy use. As much as legislated actions will help minimize climate change, we need to strike initiatives on our own in our businesses and our homes.
Committing to a major shift in our thinking and practices is vital to extending our lease on this planet. This longer lease will give us more time to figure out how to balance, or more fully integrate, environmental concerns with a heathy and strong economy for the future. Rather than looking at managing climate change as an expense, business needs to look at the opportunities to create efficiencies through enhanced energy management, waste diversion, reduction and reuse activities, and other green initiatives.
Seeking out potential business opportunities in this new economy is paramount in unison with the motive of saving money and protecting the planet for future generations. Businesses are doing this in a wide and diverse manner. There are a number of local businesses either operating, expanding or planning on opening to serve new markets created by this ‘green’ shift in our thinking and actions. The term coined to describe this approach is ‘the circular economy’. Take a look around and see where what actions you’re taking and how you’re impacted by this emerging economy.