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A new team within REAL called “Journey to Sustainability” is organizing a series of presentations for area residents that will inspire them to learn ways to reduce their environmental impact and move toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

It began with a “Towards Zero Waste” presentation in October 2019 with guest speakers Michelle Dunford, who practices a near zero-waste lifestyle, and Heather Mitchell-Adams, owner of Modern Thymes.  The group who planned the evening were already thinking of possibilities to provide additional information and resources on more specific topics, starting with meal planning. 


The “Meal Planning 101” presentation in November featured three guest speakers.   Norma Wrightly described how the organizers of Trinity Tuesdays manage to feed a fluctuating number of guests for less than $1 per person at their weekly community dinner.  Heather Mitchell-Adams described her method of family meal-planning that saves time, reduces waste and simplifies her busy life.   Rebekah Nitschmann,  a registered dietician with Rideau Community Health  Services,  explained Canada’s new Food Guide, the basics of a nutritious diet and how meal  planning can make meeting nutrition goals easier.

“Waste  Audit” in January 2020 provided ideas on how to reduce household waste. Tony Mack, Engineering Technologist with the Town of Perth, described their community compost program that has operated since 2008.  Cathie Green, Public Works Assistant with the Township of Drummond North Elmsley, explained what happens to our recyclables once they reach the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Vanessa Bernicky, Environmental Coordinator for the Town of Smiths Falls, explained how to take an inventory of the waste created by your household and provided suggestions for reducing it. 

A tentative plan for 2020 includes  an  Earth Day Potluck dinner on April 22, an  address by Bea Johnson, author of Zero-Waste Home,  on May 28 and workshops on preserving for August, and transportation for November.  Watch this website, our Facebook pages and local media for details closer to the time.  Please join the discussion through the Facebook Group “Journey to Sustainable Living” that is intended to engage those living in Smiths Falls, Perth, Rideau Lakes and surrounding areas. 

The team will also be participating in the  “Greening Your Home” section of the North Grenville  Sustainability Fair and Market on Sunday April 19 at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.

If you would like to participate or know more about the Sustainability Team , please contact Peter at peter00au@gmail.com  or (613) 284-8338 .


Town of Perth Composting Program, Tony Mack, Town of Perth (PDF of slide presentation)

Recycling, Cathie Green, Drummond North Elmsley (PDF of slide presentation)

Waste Audit, Vanessa Bernicky, Town of Smiths Falls (PDF of slide presentation)


Videos of January 2020 “Waste Audit” Presentation:

Introduction by Smiths Falls CAO and MC Malcolm Morris  and the Composting and Recycling presentations:

Vanessa Bernicky, Town of Smiths Falls, presentation:

Questions and Answers:

One last question and conclusion: