Marshall receives climate change award
Don Marshall has dedicated the last 15 years of his life on Bowen Island to resource recovery. He has worked tirelessly to educate himself and islanders about issues of waste reduction and has participated in numerous initiatives dedicated to finding workable on-island solutions. He currently chairs the Solid Waste Resource Management Advisory Committee (SWRMAC) that is working to create public awareness about the upcoming changes in waste collection that require food waste to be separated out. The first organic waste collection will commence on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 4. More information is available at http://bimrecycles.ca.
For his efforts and successes in making Bowen Island a more sustainable community, Marshall has received the 2012 Islands Trust Community Stewardship Award for climate change. At the council meeting on June 25, mayor Adelaar said, “We congratulate Don [Marshall]. We really appreciate what you have done and we thank you. The award is well deserved.”
Marshall believes that we have to shift our views on “waste” and learn to see it as a resource. He has served on numerous committees whose mandates have been to find a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Marshall has been involved with the Bowen Island Recycling Depot Society since 1998, he has worked with Compost Bowen, an initiative that later morphed into Zero Waste, the Knick Knack Nook and Bowen In Transition.
He has also advised council as chair of the Sustainability Community Advisory Committee. In connection with his work with SWRMAC, he said, “We have given a lot of thought to a long-range education plan on how to reduce waste. This is a concept we’ve also worked on as Zero Waste. We have a leg up in that regard as a community because we already are quite successful at recycling.”
Education is something that Marshall deems important and he has regularly reached out to community members to make information available. Marshall believes that waste reduction can benefit not only the environment but also the economy. He said, “When we look at our carbon footprint and the car and truck travel on and off the island, we have to decide what’s best for Bowen both economically and ecologically. And we’re working towards finding a solution.”
Marshall says he is honoured to receive the award. He added, “I’m pleased to be recognized for the time I’ve put in but one of the things that make it doubly pleasurable is the environment I’m working in.” Marshall explained that he is working in a community where there is a lot of support for resource recovery and that this atmosphere produces great committee members. “It’s a great milieu for working hard,” he said, adding that he’s been guided by a statement by Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Marshall is 81 and said that his motivation comes from his grandchildren and soon-to-be great grandchild.
Councillor Andrew Stone noted that the award will be presented by an Islands Trust representative in September.