Changing the Landscape: One Bag At a Time

March 15, 2012 3:30 p.m. Weather 15 degrees and very windy!  Reports are that wind gusts on the highway from Okotoks all the way south were as much as 100 kms. an hour.  Findings: Max and I headed up to the fence and cleared another two sections, as well as picking up a huge variety of plastics and containers on the way.  I was buoyed by the prospect of enjoying a meal at the Dragon Pearl with my children afterwards…celebrating my son’s 22nd birthday!

Windblown…Parking Lot Photo taken by a hockey Mom.

The City of Calgary has come through for me!  Under some stones, at the base of my bins was a note from Calgary Parks!  I was elated that the city or some representative of the city, made the decision to help me Change the Landscape: One Bag At a Time.  Thank you for responding to my request, left only Monday.

I was discouraged this morning, with the response from Tim Hortons.  I know!  I know!  This looks like they have taken huge corporate measures to address some of the environmental messes their product is creating!  And, yes, once that product walks out that front door, cupped in the customers’ satisfied hands, it is up to those customers to take responsibility for what they do with the packaging.  But…this park space is absolutely FULL of Tim Hortons cups and plastic lids!

Thank you for your recent communication regarding your concern about the litter caused by Tim Hortons packaging within your community.  At Tim Hortons, we always appreciate hearing from our loyal guests.

As published in our 2010 Sustainability and Responsibility Report, we have committed to packaging reduction goals as well as waste diversion goals in our restaurants; however, we acknowledge that there remains a lot of work to be done.  We have a team of packaging experts and environmental professionals at Tim Hortons working to ensure that our business is environmentally sustainable.  

When our environmental and packaging groups meet, we share comments and ideas that we have received from our stakeholders. 

In addition to the information that you can find in our 2010 Sustainability and Responsibility Report, some more specific programs we have run to help reduce the amount of litter caused by our packaging include:

• Anti-litter messages on all of our packaging items, including a “Do Not Litter” message on all of our take-out cups and on our drive thru exit signs at the majority of our restaurants.
• Sponsorship of annual Community Clean-up events by our Restaurant Owners – last year we sponsored over 135 of these events across Canada and this number continues to grow each year.
• Recycling and composting – currently over 650 of our restaurants have either recycling or composting programs for our hot drink paper cups, and this number is continuing to grow
• Reusable mug – we offer a 10 cent discount on all hot drink purchases made by guests who bring their own reusable mug
• Other sponsorship activities – We sponsor many other educational and awareness programs about litter such as our Earn a Bike Program.  This program encourages youth to volunteer to clean up their neighborhoods through community service in order to earn a bicycle. 

For more information on our packaging reduction and waste diversion initiatives, please visit http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/planet_env_steward.html.  Our full 2010 Sustainability and Responsibility Report can be found at http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/index.html

Thank you again for contacting us and we hope to have the opportunity to serve you again soon.
  
Sincerely,

The TDL Group Corp.

Caroline,
Guest Services Representative

I will become familiar with the sustainability plans and reports that Caroline has pointed out to me.  And for today, I simply want to express my gratitude for the support from the City of Calgary Parks.  I’m publishing a wee clip here that reflects how my morning began…up north at the irrigation canal.  The sky was a perfect blue.  The geese were calling with a wild energy, more and more, splitting off in twos.  My heart was bursting with gratitude and love for my home.  Here it was though, a completely different part of the city and I discovered….yes!  You guessed it!  Scads of litter dangling from the bushes and rustling in the dry grass.  I guess you notice what you know and since taking on this project, I notice.

 

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