Langley What’s in store: Clean and green

Langley Advance editor Roxanne Hooper goes green for this week's business column.

• Clean up pays dividends

A cleanup initiative in Walnut Grove this weekend is expected to pay dividends for the Langley neighbourhood, as well as a few of the participants – in particular.

The Walnut Grove Business Association, in partnership with the Township of Langley, Royal Bank, and McDonald’s, are asking local residents to take part in a Pitch-In effort on Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone who volunteers can take pride in helping care for the community, can come together to celebrate Earth Day, but moreover (at least for some) can also win tickets to this weekend’s Langley Food & Wine Show happening at Langley Events Centre.

This is the fifth annual Clean Up Langley initiative in the northern Langley neighbourhood, and those interested in taking part are asked to meet up at Walnut Grove Secondary first thing Saturday morning.

“We are focused on building your business and making our community a better place to do business in,” said Teresa Brown, the business association’s executive director.

• Businesses party at Match Eatery

The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is hosting an afternoon party (from 4 to 6 p.m.) today (Thursday, April 21) at one of the swankier establishments downtown.

In their ongoing series of open houses, the chamber is inviting Langley City businesses (including those in the Willowbrook area) to attend the networking event. It’s a chance to meet the chambers’ Langley City community director, as well as other board of directors. It’s also a chance to mingle with other local businesses. And it’s a chance to enjoy some free appetizers and a no host bar at Match Eatery & Public House.

While the event is free, guests must register in advance by calling the chamber at 604-371-3770 or emailing info@langleychamber.com.

• Cloverdale hosts Shred-It

There’s a chance this weekend to combat identity theft and safely recycle some of your personal documents.

Envision Financial’s Cloverdale branch at 174th Street and 56th Avenue is hosting its popular shredding event on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, said Jaime Lord, supervisor of corporate security at Envision Financial.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, identity theft costs Canadians more than $10 million in 2015.

In an effort to help consumers protect themselves against identity theft, Envision Financial is host a shredding event again.

Members of the public are invited to bring documentation to the Cloverdale branch, where Iron Mountain – a data and records management company and long-time supporter of these events, will provide onsite secure paper shredding.

RCMP will also be on hand to provide fraud awareness information to the public.

“Identity theft continues to be a big concern and being proactive in shredding your financial documents before you discard them is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself against identity theft,” Lord said.

“At Envision Financial, we’re committed to making a meaningful difference in the financial lives of our members and in our local communities, so we’re thrilled to be able to work with such great community partners to offer this service.”

As part of this event, Envision Financial will be accepting food and cash donations for The Full Cupboard – its signature community program designed to raise food, funds and awareness for local food banks.

Through this innovative program, Envision Financial has committed to raising at least $1 million for local food banks during the next 10 years.

“You can lower your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud by protecting your personal information,” said Sgt. Alanna Dunlop, media relations officer for Surrey RCMP.

“An event such as this provides citizens with an opportunity to shred their documents safely and raise fraud awareness at the same time. By attending the Shred It and Forget It! event and shredding your documents, you are securing your personal information from fraudsters and scammers, and hopefully developing a lifelong safety habit.”

• Diverting tonnes of bottles from the landfill

Since so many efforts are afoot this weekend – locally and globally – to celebrate Earth Day (which is actually on Friday, April 22) I think it’s worth sharing some information about B.C. Liquor Stores and what’s being done locally and across the province to divert tonnes from the landfill.

During the past year, liquor store customers have returned 94 million beverage containers to the local liquor stores (that doesn’t count the bottle depots). That’s enough to fill more than 22 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It’s just one of many “green” success stories, the liquor distribution branch is celebrating in anticipation of Earth Day.

The branch first became a green leader more than four decades ago when it started its beverage alcohol container return program in 1971. At the time, the minimum refund on beer containers was two cents, compared with today’s minimum refund of 10 cents.

The containers themselves are now recycled into products as diverse as fibreglass insulation, park benches and sand for golf-course sand traps.

Other ways the LDB takes care of the planet include:

• In 2015, the LDB recycled 2,543 tonnes of cardboard, plastic and mixed paper. That’s equivalent to the weight of 13 blue whales.

• In 2015, the LDB discontinued the publication of its BC Liquor Store Product Guide and Store Location Guide, which saved over six tonnes of paper-the weight of an African elephant.

• In 2015, BC Liquor Stores redesigned its plastic bags to save over 21,000 kg of plastic per year – equivalent to the weight of 80 adult grizzly bears.

• At the LDB’s head office and Vancouver distribution centre, 85 per cent of materials were diverted from landfills in 2015, thanks to the installation of four-stream recycling stations in the office and improvements to recycling in the distribution centre. That’s a six-per-cent increase compared to the previous year, when the stations were first installed.

• Since 2010, the LDB has invested in 18,621 tonnes of B.C. carbon offsets-equivalent to taking nearly 4,000 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

• Since 2009, the LDB’s energy-saving projects have saved enough energy to power 327 B.C. homes per year.

“As one of B.C.’s largest retailers, it is our duty and privilege to have a positive impact on the environment. We remain committed to reducing the impact of our operations by lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, diverting more materials away from landfills, and minimizing the amount of printing and packaging we provide to our customers,” said R. Blain Lawson, general manager and CEO of the liquor distribution branch.

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