Unleashing Renewable Energy and Tackling Food Waste: Earth Day episode 2024

//Unleashing Renewable Energy and Tackling Food Waste: Earth Day episode 2024

Unleashing Renewable Energy and Tackling Food Waste: Earth Day episode 2024

In honour of Earth Day, 2024, hosts Robin Puga and Sandy Goldman explored two critical aspects of the social economy: renewable energy cooperatives and food waste reduction. Our guests, Dr. Martin Boucher and Carla Pellegrini, provided in-depth knowledge and passionate discourse on these topics.

Dr. Martin Boucher, President of Community Energy Co-operative Canada

Dr. Martin Boucher, President of Community Energy Co-operative Canada

Dr. Martin Boucher: Energizing Communities Through Cooperatives

Dr. Martin Boucher, a Faculty Lecturer at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and the President of Community Energy Cooperative Canada, shared enlightening views on the potential of renewable energy cooperatives in Canada. His work focuses on creating impactful changes through community-driven initiatives in the renewable energy sector.

Topics discussed:

  1. Research with a Co-operative Solution: The Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-ops, with funding from The Co-operators, undertook a census of Renewable Energy Co-ops in Canada (RECs) in 2021 and presented its findings in 2022. 
  2. Vision of Community Energy Co-op Canada: Dr. Boucher discussed the origin and aspirations of the Community Energy Co-op Canada, a cooperative designed to advocate for and support the proliferation of renewable energy initiatives at the community level.

  3. The Role of Renewable Energy in Climate Action: He emphasized the urgent need for accelerated energy transitions to renewable sources like solar and wind, facilitated by community cooperatives to enhance public engagement and investment.

  4. Public Policy and Community Energy: A significant focus was on the need for supportive public policies that could bolster the growth and effectiveness of energy co-ops, which currently face various structural challenges.

  5. Future Prospects and Actions: The upcoming national census of Renewable Energy Co-ops (RECs) and the strategic planning for their advocacy at the federal and provincial levels were highlighted as crucial steps towards realizing their full potential.

“We’re at a point where an all-hands-on-deck approach is crucial. Community energy cooperatives warm my heart because they represent a collective effort to support renewable energy, which is fundamental in our fight against climate change.” ~ Dr. Boucher 

Carla Pellegrini: Reducing Food Waste to Sustain Our Planet

Carla Pellegrini, the Executive Director of the Food Stash Foundation, provided practical advice on reducing food waste alongside insights into her organization’s efforts to redistribute perishable goods and reduce overall food waste in Vancouver.

Carla Pellegrini at Vancouver Co-op Radio studio

Carla Pellegrini at Vancouver Co-op Radio studio

Topics discussed:

  1. Unbelievable Impact of Food Waste: The environmental impact of food waste places it as the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. 
  2. Challenging Aesthetic Standards: Carla urged listeners to reconsider their purchasing habits, highlighting how ‘imperfect’ produce is often discarded despite being nutritionally adequate.

  3. Misunderstood Date Labels: She clarified common misconceptions about date labels on food products, advocating for more sensible, waste-reducing practices by consumers.

  4. Food Stash Foundation’s Impact: The remarkable achievements of her organization, which rescues millions of pounds of food annually, were showcased, emphasizing the importance of community involvement in sustainability efforts.

“By choosing the less than perfect apple, you’re not just saving it from the landfill, you’re also participating in a global movement to reduce food waste and its hefty toll on our planet.” ~ Carla Pellegrini

Both guests spoke to the importance of cooperative efforts and public participation in addressing environmental issues. As always through “Each For All,” we aim to connect our listeners and readers with the transformative potential of cooperatives and community-focused initiatives for their impact for our sustainable future.

Read the transcripts of the full interviews: 

  1. Dr. Martin Boucher interview
  2. Carla Pellegrini interview
By |2024-04-22T20:15:39-07:00April 22nd, 2024|Show|0 Comments

About the Author:

Host and executive producer Robin Puga has been with Each For All from its beginning in 2006. Robin studied at the British Columbia Institute of Co-operative Studies (BCICS) and is active in the co-op community. In addition to working in the technology sector he’s a founding member of the CanTrust worker co-op and previous board member of the BC Co-op Association.

Leave A Comment