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Be Green

The Be Green Challenge

It all started with one of YOU!

Katie from Montreal wrote in with this email:
" I bought a frozen yogurt and asked for a cone, not because I prefer it, but because I didn't want to waste the styrofoam. The server used the styrofoam to measure the frozen fruit anyhow, and then threw it out, before putting my frozen yogurt in a cone. I would suggest using a measuring cup, easy to clean and reuse every day. I would challenge them to go one step further and ask that the owner take away the surcharge for a cone and implement a surcharge for the use of styrofoam."

True enough, as more of us get greener in our personal lives, it's only natural that we'd expect the businesses we frequent to do the same. So here at CBC, we've launched the Be Green Challenge. And we need YOU to help!

Watch the video here

Here's what I need from you:

The name of a business in your neighbourhood. And one or two REASONABLE changes you'd like them to make (so installing geothermal heating is out, introducing a surcharge for plastic bags is in).

Leave me a comment on the blog or email me at geeta.nadkarni@cbc.ca
You can also call our talkback line: (514) 597-5626

As inspiration tonight, our video showcases two businesses who are already doing their part to go green.
One is a personal favourite: Fuchsia, a restaurant and grocery store where Binky Holleran cooks with edible flowers, organic sugar, fresh spices and local produce. Her cooking is to DIE for!
Our video showcases her efforts to go green.
If you get hungry, head down to 4050 Coloniale (corner Duluth).
And if you want a coffee afterwards, bring your own travel mug to Aux Deux Maries at 4329 St Denis and you'll get 10% off your take-out coffee. 5% off if you buy beans to take home and bring your own bag.

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Comments (8)



The grocery store where I usually shop has a big problem with styrofoam. They use it to wrap every last vegetable they sell, along with plastic clingwrap. I've never seen a grocery store do this before. It's getting ridiculous. Please help them see the light.

The place is called "Le Marche du Village," on the corner of Lacombe and Gatineau, near the Cote-des-Neiges metro.


Posted June 3, 2008 07:05 PM



Thanks for the opportunity to comment. I would like to challenge The Laurentian Bank to go one step further and get rid of the foam cups.
For the past year or so the bank has installed a cafe type waiting area where clients can sit at mosaic topped round tables, read the daily paper and have a Van Houtte coffee or tea. The ambiance is pleasing. More and more people are taking advantage of this free offer. However, I wonder if others are concerned as I am about the use of foam cups. I broached the subject to an employee of the bank. She led me to understand that foam was cheaper than cadboard, and that was the bottom line.
My challenge to the bank: Why not go one step further and round out what is a delightful, welcoming place at the Laurentian Bank branch in my area and GO Green as well.

Posted June 3, 2008 07:18 PM



Hi Geeta,

You said: "we want to hear from you about the businesses you frequent
and if you think that they could make small changes and become eco-friendly."

This instills such mixed feelings, the '_small_ changes' part
specifically. We're not going to ge out of the mess we are in with
small changes; everyone knows it, but we are, collectively, still in
denial. So on the one hand I think you give people the wrong
impression: that saving a styrofoam cup here and there is all we need.
On the other hand, I suppose small changes are a necessary first step to
large changes. And with so many doing so little, I am happy to see you
and the CBC doing something.

I wish you the best of luck with this segment.

PS: I can't really think of any small changes to suggest to you... big
changes keep popping into by head instead. :)

Posted June 4, 2008 12:02 PM



Dear Geeta,

First let me say how much I enjoy your segment on the CBC news. (I miss your weather coverage, but I'm happy to see someone so charming and genuine looking out for the environment!)

Here's my contribution to the green challenge, echoing one of the other comments on the Be Green page: My local grocery store also uses an obscene amount of stryofoam plus plastic wrap for any vegetables it can think of. At one point, they were individually wrapping red bell peppers in plastic! (This I have not seen recently, but everything else from green beans, to asparagus, to broccoli is fair game.) When I mentoined it to customer service they said it "keeps food fresher longer" and "prevents shop-lifting." While those reasons may have some ligitimacy, I think it's still a disgrace that they use so much. A single head of broccoli? Come on!

I would love to see more vegetables in bulk with either brown paper bags or bring-your-own bags. For bunches of aspagagus, string would be a better option -- or even an elastic! Hot peppers, snow peas, mushrooms could be in bulk as well.

My grocery store is the IGA (Pagano Shnaidman Inc.) at 7151 Cote St. Luc Road in NDG/Cote St. Luc.

I think this "Be Green Challenge" is a great idea! While I have voiced my concerns at my IGA, I think an institution like CBC has a lot more clout. :)

Thanks so much for all your work. It really warms my heart to know that people do care... It can be very discouraging sometimes.

Go green! Many "one-persons" can make a difference!

Posted June 5, 2008 02:33 PM



Hey Geeta,
I have a good challenge for you.
For many years now, the Montreal Jazz Festival has been using non-recyclable plastic number 6 as the container for beer sold in the street kiosks. Worst, they wont let you re-use them because their inventory is based on the amount of plastic containers sold to the public.

Here is a very reasonable challenge for this festival which mirrors some of the values of our beloved city. Convince the Jazz fest to allow people to re-use their plastic containes (including promoting it!). If you want to go one step further, seduce them into simply selling beer cans instead of plastic containers (which is NOT illegal).


Posted June 5, 2008 02:36 PM



Here's a simple one : we have a simple sushi place in my neighbourdhood. Good quality, low cost but a huge dilemma : do we continue to go there if they're not ecological ?
First of all, they're selling lots of cans and glass containers and they don't have any bins to recyle them. They say they do but I have my doubts. Second, and mostly, they use plastic containers to serve their sushi. Plastic that is not recyclable unlike that of Sushi Shop ! And beware of you're asking for a glass of water : styrofoam is coming your way !
We've have tried calling the eco-quartier of the borough but the only thing they could do, we already did : calling them and asking them to be more eco-friendly.
I guess your challenge could put them up to the test.
They are : Sushi Bonsaï, at 780 St-Zotique Street East.
I hope you could have a more environnemental influence over their choices.
Thank you !

Posted June 6, 2008 11:14 AM



Many nurseries still sell many of their their annual flowers in styrofoam containers.
Perhaps we can encourage them to change!

Posted June 6, 2008 01:21 PM

Ryan Molzan


Dear Geeta,
We need you here in Quebec City! I went to a "Chez Ashton" restaurant last night. I got my beverage in a cup with more styrofoam than liquid!
Good luck with this segment, it's a great idea!

Posted June 9, 2008 10:48 AM

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