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"A thousand mile journey begins with one step"

MEC: Not just about outdoor equipment

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Organization: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

Date: May 25, 2011

Location:400 King Street West,Toronto,Ontario

Facilitator: Dave Robinson, Sustainability and Community Coordinator

About the Organization: In the 1960’s and 1970’s a group of climbers from British Columbia wanted to make mountain gear available in Canada. So, they came together and became the founding members of MEC. Eventually, they grew and expanded to different provinces in Canada. Since then, MEC has made it a point to operate in a sustainable and ethical manner. Most, if not all of their items are sustainable and ethically source. They are very dedicated to helping the environment; they are affiliated with programs such as “1% for the Planet” (where they give 1% of their profits towards an environmental cause) and “The Big Wild” (it is a conservation movement started by MEC to protect forests and its wildlife inCanada).

            Dave Robinson showed us around the store, showcasing the company’s sustainable products and environmentally-friendly building. We went up to see the greenroof.

A greenroof is so practical to have, who knew? If you did not know, a greenroof is where you plant vegetation on the roof of a building (awesome concept, eh?). A greenroof is not only practical but also all-around environmentally awesome. Some of its benefits include cooling/warming the building (season depending) and absorb water from rain to prevent floods.

It was a cool sight to see and it makes me want to have my own greenroof in my house (unfortunately, our townhomes association is not permitting). We even learned that if every building in Toronto had a greenroof, there would be less flooding and the city could be significantly warmer or cooler depending on the season. Think about it. Greenroofs can save us a ton of money! Add that to the many list of things we have to demand from our government.

Besides, the greenroof, MEC has tons of green products (from clothes to boards). Despite the name of the store, it is not actually exclusive to outdoor gear, there are stuff there you could use for other things as well. It makes me think twice where I should buy my stuff. It is not even expensive and I can become part of the co-operative, which means I can have a say in the way the store operates (the way democracy should operate).


Written by Elvin Madamba

June 6, 2011 at 11:29 PM

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