Chelsea Greig is an executive assistant at Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre and last fall took it upon herself to form a green committee at the Fort Frances office. This month the organization has a number of green initiatives happening to honour Aki Giizis or Earth Month. Earth Day is this Saturday.
Greig says she was thinking about how indigenous people have lived sustainably for such a long time and thought it was important that an organization serving the local indigenous population should carry on those kinds of practices as well.
“We’ve been looking at our own ways to reduce things,” Greig said. “Trying to take care of Mother Earth.”
Since forming the Green Committee the group has had the opportunity to make some changes around the office.
“We’ve educated ourselves on proper recycling and waste disposal, we learned that you can compost shredded paper and notes, so we started doing that,” Greig said. “We’re ordering everyone reusable notebooks so that will reduce a lot of paper.”
Other initiatives in the office have included turning off lights in rooms that aren’t in use, and are composting at the office as well.
The staff are also participating in an Earth Month Bingo with a variety of activities to do.
“They just have to cross off 20 of the 24 boxes, with different types of environmental activities, such as donate or sell something they don’t need, use our work composter, attend water teaching, make a bird seed craft, etc.,” Greig said. “If they do that, then they’ll win a plant from us. Then we’re also doing a sustainable potluck just to get everyone together and they have to use ingredients or something locally sourced.”
Teams from the office will also be going out to the communities where Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access provides services and garbage cleanups. They are asking that anyone in those communities who notice areas which need cleanups to call the office and schedule a cleanup time. The cleanups will be happening over the months of April and May.
The First Nations served include: Couchiching, Seine River, Lac La Croix Nigigoonsiminikaaning, Rainy River First Nations Naicatchewenin Mitaanjigamiing Mishkosiminiziibiing Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing Ojibways of Onigaming.
Greig says she would encourage anyone to make the effort to make their workplace more green.
“There’s all sorts of different ways that people can motivate others to try to be more green friendly or eco-friendly,” Greig said.
The centre is also sponsoring several different activities for the public throughout the month of April, in an effort towards being green and being kind to the earth.
One event includes a PD Day activity for kids on the Apr. 21 PD Day at local schools. There are two sessions, one at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
“We are doing a PD Day activity for children,” Greig said. “They’ll be making a seed mud bomb. It’s a big ball made of compost and seeds for pollinators, they’ll grow wildflowers.”
Contact Chelsea Greig to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 807-274-3131
They are also asking community members to send in photos of things they are doing that are good for the environment. The names of those people will be entered in for prize bundles of reusable goods and locally sourced items. Photos can be submitted by email to email@example.com. Or at the office at 1460 Idywild Dr. to Chelsea’s attention.
Another opportunity they have is for someone to help choose an Anishinaabemowin name for the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre’s green committee. Submissions should be submitted to Greig by the above email no later than Apr. 24. The winner will receive a prize pack including a gift card for Rainy Lake Sports and Tackle and a prize bundle of local reusable products.