‘We truly believe everyone has a role to play in finding solutions,’ says Isabelle Couture

n the aftermath of the climate strike rally, an activist says we need to keep up the momentum and conversation, as well as sign petitions and rally key issues.

Isabelle Couture, co-founder of Plastic Free YYC, says she thinks the next step for anyone looking to help is to stay organized and push for more changes.

«First communicate with your government or representatives. That’s always very important and then look at reducing your impact,» she said.

On Friday, hundreds of people braved the rain to take part in Global Climate Strike rallies at the University of Calgary and downtown outside city hall.

According to the group behind the U of C event, YYC for a Green New Deal, roughly 600 students pledged to participate and more were expected to attend the campus event before heading downtown to join the city Hhll rally, which swelled to as many as 500 demonstrators.

Couture says having these rallies is an important collective movement; however, people need to also look at the individual level. She explains people can start by reducing their waste and taking a look at their transportation methods.

«Taking the bus or biking is not always possible here in Calgary but those are great options,» she said.

«And then of course our standpoint at Plastic Free YYC is we’re always looking for people to reduce our consumption of plastic, especially single-use items.»

According to their website, Plastic Free YYC is a grassroots group that has launched several environmental challenges in the city, including campaigns to limit or eliminate straws at bars and restaurants, as well as a municipal push to ban plastic bags in the city.

Coutour says the group’s goal is to promote the idea of getting the public to use reusable items and saying no altogether to plastic items.

«Engage everyone in the conversation because we truly believe everyone has a role to play in finding solutions to the global climate crisis,» Couture said.

She says people should call out businesses if they don’t see the plastic-free options available at stores and that needs to be done by phone or in person.

She also wants to see «extended producer responsibility» (EPR).

«EPR is a program that switches the responsibility for recycling back on to the producers, so then there is more control about the kind of materials that are being put out there so the products get actually recycled instead of ending up in our waste streams,» she said.

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