Crafty BY Nature

Join Whistler’s environmental charity AWARE and some of their non-profit friends in Rebagliati Park on Sunday August 30th, 11am-3pm for Crafty BY Nature: a day of nature crafts, live music, food and fun to celebrate our natural environment.

What Will You Find @ Crafty BY Nature:

  • Nature Crafts
  • Interactive Info Booths with Local Non-Profits
  • Bird & Bee House Making (While Kits Last)
  • Low Impact, Compassionate Cooking Demos
  • Nature Displays & Walks
  • Old School Games
  • Live Music

This event has been made possible thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of Whistler and Pique Newsmagazine, local businesses and the volunteers who commit their time and energy to making the day a success.

Want to help?
Become a volunteer with Crafty BY Nature.
Sign up to help here:  www.volunteersignup.org/B8W78
Take a look at last years event: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.707247212697978.1073741829.163951687027536&type=3
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AWARE Volunteers & Regional Recycling Undertake Recycling Raid at SVMF Campsites

AWARE and Regional Recycling teamed up again over the first weekend in August to help the Squamish Valley Music Festival divert recyclables from landfill.  A small army of dedicated waste warriors came out to help with Recycling Raids at the campgrounds.

In all over 100 people came out to help, with staff and raiders dedicating over 660 on-site hours to collecting beverage bottles, cans and containers from four campsites.  Early estimates from Regional Recycling are that we collected over 80,000 beverage containers!

We cannot say thank you enough to all the AWESOME folk who literally ‘mucked-in’ to help over the weekend.  In return for their fantastic efforts the festival organisers gave each volunteer a pass to that evenings show, meaning we had some raiders who joined us just for a day and some who helped out every day! Again Thank You!

In addition to diverting recyclables from the waste stream, our shared efforts resulted in the estimated donation of $6000 to AWARE, meaning a double-whammy for the environment!

Check out some pics from the weekend below:

The simple but effective collection stations regional Recycling set up in each campsite at the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
The simple but effective collection stations Regional Recycling set up in each campsite at the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Some of our AWESOME Waste Warriors after a Successful Recycling Raid
Some of our AWESOME Waste Warriors after a Successful Recycling Raid
This is how good it feels to volunteer!
This is how good it feels to volunteer!
We can't say thank you enough!
We can’t say thank you enough!
Rocking the Pink - Helly Hansen donated some high-vis vests to help keep us visible.  Beautifully modelled by some of our volunteers!
Rocking the Pink – Helly Hansen donated some high-vis vests to help keep us visible. Beautifully modelled by some of our volunteers!
So Many Solo Cups! - This whole bag of Solo Cups were collected in less than 45 minutes from one campsite - makes you realise how wasteful those flip-cup and beer pong games can be.
So Many Solo Cups! – This whole bag of Solo Cups were collected in less than 45 minutes from one campsite – makes you realise how wasteful those flip-cup and beer pong games can be.
Waste Not Want Not - This was the waste generated from the area around 4 tents!
Waste Not Want Not? – Not So Much – This was the waste generated from the area around 4 tents!  Luckily most people were not so wasteful.
The Big Clean Up - AWARE Volunteers and many others worked hard to clean up the campsites after the campers left.
The Big Clean Up – AWARE Volunteers and many others worked hard to clean up the campsites after the campers left.
Never Doubt What a Small Group of Dedicated People Can Achieve! - As the campers left we were sweeping the campsites for recyclables - this is what we got from just one (of four) sites.
Never Doubt What a Small Group of Dedicated People Can Achieve! – As the campers left we kept sweeping the campsites for recyclables – this is what we got from just one (of four) sites.
photo 3
Another truck filled!


As AWARE is increasingly being asked by Whistler event organisers to help with waste minimisation at events, we were excited to help with the SVMF to see how these mega-scale events are working to combat waste reduction.  What the experience confirmed was that no matter what the scale there are some key areas on which to focus:

  • Education – ensure people know how waste is being managed at that particular event, whether it be colour-coded bags, collection points, etc.  Events are also a great opportunity to communicate broader waste issues to the public
  • Prior Planning – careful planning of infrastructure, tote placement, signage, material purchasing choices, etc. all play a vital part in maximising diversion from events
  • Focus Resources Wisely – waste is traditionally an area that is undervalued.  Managing waste comes at a cost and budgets are often limited.  Focusing attention on your predominant streams is a good start for minimisation.
  • Work Your Way to the Detail – if an event wants to maximise reduction it might need to consider sorting some waste post-consumer.  This means a team goes through the waste to pull out  recyclables, organics, etc.  It requires staffing, budget and a suitable facility, but this is how large corporations and events have successfully maximised diversion from landfill.
  • Empower People  – choices are ours to make.  Waste minimisation starts with re-thinking the way we consume.  Plastic Water bottles & cups have reusable alternatives, as do paper plates and plastic cutlery.  Tents, pillows, sleeping bags, tarps, coolers, camping chairs can be used repeatedly rather than abandoned on a campsite after a weekends use.  We can all work on our own zero waste journeys as together we create the whole.

There is no such place as ‘away’.  When we throw anything away it must go somewhere  ~ Annie Leonard.

FREE — Squamish Valley Music Festival Tickets

SquamDo you love music & hate waste? Join AWARE in helping the SVMF divert recyclables from the landfill and get a FREE ticket(s) to the Fest!

Get a FREE ticket for the same day you complete your volunteer shift on (e.g. help us clean up on Friday and attend the festival for FREE on Friday evening). Shifts finish at 2pm and 6pm, so you don’t have to miss any of your favorite shows. Want to attend the whole festival for free? Volunteer everyday!

*Link deactivated – ALL POSITIONS FILLED. To be added to the waitlist e-mail info@awarewhistler.org with the specific day and time you are available  to volunteer (see below for options). Sign up to volunteer at www.volunteersignup.org/W84D4

 Fri, Sat and Sun: 8am-2pm or 12pm-6pm (volunteer during the day, get a wristband for that evening)

 Mon: 9am-3pm (Since there are NO shows on Mon we are paying our Monday cleanup crew $100 each)

 Tickets will be distributed to volunteers at the end of their shift.

A percentage of the return received from the recyclables collected will be awarded to AWARE.

Questions? E-mail: info@awarewhistler.org



Haze Of Smoke Reminder Of High Fire Danger

Extended periods of hot dry weather have put the fire danger in our region at an extreme high.  There is a province wide ban on activities that could cause fire such as the use of fireworks, camp fires, etc.


Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Please look after our homes and that of wildlife by being firesmart as the areas fire crews are also being kept busy with naturally caused forest fires such as those at Boulder Creek in the Upper Lillooet near Pemberton and the Elaho Valley to the south.

July 6th Updates on Boulder Creek and Elaho Fires:

Wildfire News Information Bulletin Boulder Creek July 6

Wildfire News Information Bulletin Elaho July 6


AWARE Zero Waste Stations make a debut at the Whistler Half Marathon

11401449_851071588315539_7086199694940153622_nThe Whistler Half Marathon approached AWARE for assistance increasing their waste segregation and landfill diversion at the fifth annual event. AWARE provided the half marathon with four volunteer run Zero Waste Stations (ZWS), which were set up in the Whistler Olympic Plaza, the starting and finishing point for all racers. Each ZWS contained bins similar to those found at the recycling depots in Whistler and around the province, consisting of: compost, plastics, metals, paper, cardboard, soft plastics and landfill waste. Many station users felt comfortable separating their post run snacks while others welcomed help from the station volunteers. Through providing this ZWS in partnership with Regional Recycling the Half Marathon diverted 66.6% of their waste from the landfill. AWARE looks forward to partnering with the event again next year and further improving upon diversion levels.

11391195_851071731648858_7627668121503510787_nWhile Canadians have been recycling the usual suspects for a while now, compost is new on the scene to many and can cause confusion. One of the most common questions ZWS volunteers get asked is:

“Why divert compost from the landfill, won’t it break down just the same?”

When compost begins to breakdown in a landfill it can be quite troublesome and therefore is very important to keep out. The Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) states, “landfilled organic waste – especially food waste – contributes directly to global warming as the methane generated by rotting organics in landfills is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2 (i.e. vehicle exhaust)”. The moisture generated from excess organics can significantly impact surface and ground water by seeping into the water table. So instead of trapping this valuable resource underground to cause havoc let’s turn it into high quality compost fit to fuel the flora around us and the food we love.

Recycling and composting can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources out there to help you, here are a few:

Multimaterial BC – What can be recycled

The Recyling Council of British Columbia – Recyclepedia App

Public Comment Period: Garibaldi At Squamish

Please Note – all content below the line is sourced from http://www2.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultations/garibaldi_squamish.page

The EAO held an open house to advise the public on changes and updates information.  AWARE was there – please find below the handouts that were made publicly available at that session.


Now is your chance to ensure that Sea-to-Sky community values and public goals are considered in project planning and decision-making.


Share your thoughts on the Garibaldi at Squamish Project.

What is this about?

Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. (Proponent) is proposing to construct and operate an all-seasons destination ski resort at Brohm Ridge near Squamish, BC. The Garibaldi at Squamish Project (proposed Project) would have 23 ski lifts, 124 developed ski trails, two golf courses and both private and commercial accommodations.

The proposed Project is subject to review under British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Act.

The Proponent must obtain an environmental assessment certificate before any work can be undertaken on the proposed Project. On June 10, 2010, the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts made a decision to require additional information from the Proponent after considering the environmental assessment review led by BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).

At this stage of the process, the EAO is inviting comments on the Supplemental Application. Comments will be accepted during a 45-day period between May 8 and June 22, 2015. All written comments received by online form, fax or mail related to the Supplemental Application will be accepted.

How can my contribution make a difference?

The intention of seeking public comments is to ensure that potential effects associated with the additional information in the Supplemental Application are identified for consideration as part of the assessment process.

Public comment invited by online form, mail or fax:

Chris Hamilton, Executive Project Director
Environmental Assessment Office
PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9V1
fax: 250-387-2208


boy dog

AWARE Kids Nature Club Annual Bike Rodeo

This years bike rodeo taught a range of youngsters the importance of riding their bikes and how to be safe while doing it. Kids started the journey with a bike inspection which included a helmet, brake and tire check. Next the  careful use and application of breaks was explored followed by some slalom and figure eight drills. Kids were also taught the importance of dismounting their bikes while crossing the road and how to look all ways at a four way stop.

girl officer

Following the bike portion of the morning the kids participated in a cumulative effects drill where they looked at the importance of trail use and the severe environmental effects that off trail riding can have on the surrounding environment.

cumulative effects

A special thank you to Corporal Chris Dodds and the Whistler RCMP officers for the space and expertise that were provided to make this event happen. The AWARE Kid’s Nature Club would not be possible without the support of the Whistler Public Library, Regional Recycling and the volunteers who run the club.

The AWARE Kid’s Nature Club has been educating local and visiting youth about all things environmental since 2007. The Nature Club is held on the last Sunday of each month, from 10am – 11:30am at the Whistler Public Library.

Swap Blog Photo

AWARE Earth Day Clothing Swap Success

Whistlerites stood apart this Earth Day by choosing to swap instead of shop at the AWARE Earth Day Clothing Swap. This event allowed locals to spring clean their closets, share fashion trends forward and hunt for new hidden gems to adore. Local artisans lined the exterior of the ballroom and sold beautiful creations, many of which were up cycled into unique and timeless pieces. With over one hundred people in attendance and thanks in large part to the Nita Lake Lodge the event was a huge success. Young ladies from kindergarten to Grade 7 preceded the main event with a Dress Swap tailored to help the girls find new lightly loved dresses for the Annual Father Daughter Dance held on May 9th.

Reasons to Clothing Swap with AWARE Every Earth Day:

  1. Protect the Environment: No matter how environmentally friendly the company – new items use natural resources, undergo a pollutant producing manufacturing process and require fossil fuels to ship them around the globe. Dressing yourself in pieces that already exist takes some pressure off of the earth’s finite resources.
  1. Support a Good Cause: AWARE, Whistler’s Environmental Charity, received all proceeds raised from the Earth Day Clothing Swap. AWARE strives to improve, protect and restore Whistler and its surrounding areas, while achieving environmental sustainability through community education and advocacy. All clothing left after the event was donated to the Re-Use it Centre a local non-profit whose proceeds fuel Whistler’s social programs and efforts keep tonnes of waste out of the landfill annually.
  1. Preserve History & Quality: Our everyday threads aren’t tightly wound with the same indestructible quality they used to be. Recycling old fashions back into our wardrobes is a fantastic way to keep timeless pieces alive.
  1. Save Money: Your dollar goes a lot farther when you buy used instead of new. Whistler residents only paid $10 to have access to jam packed racks and mountains of clothing.

Thank you! Nita Lake Lodge for the generous donation of the Ballroom space and a $2 donation from every beverage purchased. Thank you to Jodi, Nancy, Kimberley & Jessica for helping us organize and make this event come to life, and Jamie for keeping the drinks flowing throughout the night.

Earth Day, everyday.


Great Green Activities for a Rainy Day in Whistler

Rain-AriyaamoWhen temperatures are too warm to turn the endless rain droplets from a pineapple express into the fresh powder we love, revamp your daily itinerary with these warm Whistler indoor activities.  

Start by visiting the Whistler Museum where you can explore the history of Whistler, admire the technological progression of both skis and snowboards, and get your picture taken with an authentic Olympic torch. The museum boasts a tickle trunk, kids activity books and many interactive displays designed to entertain. Open 11am – 5pm daily

If you are feeling a little frazzled from apèsing all week, need an immune system boost or simply want a tasty organic treat, the Green Moustache organic juice, smoothie and live food bar is the place for you. This community space brings people passionate about health and wellbeing together, and serves up delicious fare. Open 8am – 6pm daily

Cozy up fireside with a borrowed book and a cup of tea at the Whistler Public Library (don’t forget your reusable mug). This building is stocked with a myriad of page turners, a computer lab, the latest in local and global news, a large children’s space, as well as free exciting programs and events. The library even loans out movies so you can have a cozy night in. Open 11am – 7 pm Monday – Thursday & 11am – 5 pm Friday – Sunday 

If hops, barley, yeast and water are the ingredients that make up your ideal apès, do not miss out on the chance to visit the Whistler Brewing Company located in Function Junction. Take a tour of the 100% BC owned brewery to fully appreciated the handcrafted perfection, or relax in the tap house while sipping on artisan beer straight from the source. Open 1pm – 8pm daily & Open for brewery tours 2:30pm & 4pm Tuesday – Sunday                       

Operated on geothermal renewable energy, Meadow Park Sport Centre offers something for everyone. Get the chill out of your bones with a swim in the pool, soak in the hot tub, or steam in the sauna. Go for a skate in the arena, pump some zero-emission iron or challenge someone to a squash match. Open 6am – 10pm

Update your mountain equipment, pick up a puzzle or have a scavenger hunt for hidden gems at the Whistler Re-Use-It Centre. Whistler Community Services Society reinvests money earned through the centre into the Whistler Food Bank and other incredible social programs put in place to enrich Whistler as a whole. Open 11am – 6pm daily

If you are on the hill and want to take a break from the slush, Whistler Blackcomb recently opened its first vegetarian restaurant at the top of of the Creekside Gondola on Whistler Mountain. The Raven’s Nest is a great place to guiltlessly indulge while waiting for a storm to blow through, which in Whistler can happen at the beat of a Whiskey Jack’s wings, but don’t hold your breathe. Open during mountain hours

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre allows you to enjoy a truly authentic First Nations experience – play a drum, dance, dress up, make a traditional craft or take a tour through history. Tours are offered in several languages in case you need a break from Canadian banter, eh! Open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Sunday 

Challenge yourself with a human-powered climb at The Core’s 5500 square-foot indoor rock climbing wall. Take a belaying course or build upon experience and get ready for your next outdoor adventureOpen 7am – 10pm Monday – Friday & 8am – 9pm Saturday – Sunday

If these activities aren’t going to cut it, put on your rain boots and jacket, and embrace that which fuels the beautiful temperate rainforest we live in. After all, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

Right to a Healthy Environment


Across Canada communities are coming together to request their local leaders make municipal declarations in support of their citizens rights to a healthy environment (R2HE).  The momentum behind this grassroots movement has come from two longstanding environmental advocacy groups – EcoJustice and the David Suzuki Foundation.

In Whistler, AWARE was asked by a number of it’s members to propose to Mayor and Council that they make a make a declaration in line with the principles of R2HE.  On December 10th we did just that and issued a letter and an accompanying information package to Mayor and Council for their consideration.

To read the letter and get background information on the R2HE campaign click here: AWARE_Dec_Env_Rights.  Council will consider our recommendations at the first council meeting of the 2015 year.

Want to help?  Sign up in support of Canadian citizens Right to a Health Environment and support the integration of these rights in the Canadian Charter.  Every signature counts.  Sign here.

The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) strives to improve the quality of life in Whistler and surrounding areas, protect and restore the natural heritage and maintain our resources and ecosystems, and achieve environmental sustainability through community education and advocacy.