At BC Cancer Surrey, a group of Green+Leaders found their stride working together in 2022. Nisha, Cara-Lee, Asha, Yuki, Mel, Jor, Cher and Adrian were busy in the last year promoting more sustainable practices at work.
The group have different roles at the agency and their work only sometimes intersects. It’s their involvement with the GreenCare Network that really brought them together. The team formed way back in 2012, around the time when the Green+Leaders program first started. The team enjoys shared, distributed leadership, and each member brings their own strengths and abilities to the team.
Adrian, Clinical Services Manager, has been involved with sustainability initiatives at Provincial Health Services Authority for over five years and acts as a chair and organizer for the team’s meetings. He enjoys educating and working with his colleagues to reduce their environmental impact. In 2017, he developed a program that recycled over 150 kilograms of plastic in just six months. Cara-Lee and Mel bring their creative brains to the team. Mel has been behind at least two successful Earth Day events and Cara-Lee has consistently thought of ways to keep the team’s current initiatives sustained. By far, Mel is the longest standing Green+Leader and is one of the originals!
To celebrate Earth Day in April, the group organized a number of ways for BC Cancer Surrey team members to get involved and learn more about sustainability.
The theme for the year was “Lower our Carbon Footprint and Invest in Our Planet.” They created four informational posters, each on a different topic: the carbon footprint of different foods, green transportation choices, recycling coffee pods and a reminder to turn off devices when they’re not in use. Each day during Earth Week 2022, the regional team sent out an infographic via email speaking to a sustainability topic, created by their own team members.
They also organized a contest to win GreenCare prize packages with two ways for staff to participate: either submit a photo of a favourite spot in nature, or a recipe for a delicious meatless dish. Adventure-seeking staff submitted stunning photos of waters, lands, and skies across B.C. and Alberta. Those with gifts in the kitchen shared recipes for cabbage rolls, kimchi, aloo gobi and more. These Green+Leaders showed that there are many entry points into sustainability.
In 2023, waste reduction is a focus for the group. They have submitted three proposals to the Health Promotion Initiatives Fund Sustainability stream so that they seize the opportunities for more sustainable practices at BC Cancer Surrey. The project proposals cover topics such as nitrile glove recycling which could save approximately 1,000 gloves from landfill every week, eliminating the use of soft plastic bags to store patient clothing in favour of reusable linen bags and reviewing options for staff bike storage to empower more team members to ride to work.