People of Green Drinks: Brittany Davey

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Brittany Davey, who moved to Edmonton in 2014 and works at the City of Edmonton as an Ecological Planner. Brittany’s passion for her newfound home really shines through in this interview, which covers everything from her love of dogs to her belief in Edmonton’s potential to become a world leader of social and environmental change.

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Brittany Davey

Hi Brittany! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

It feels like forever but I’ve only been living in Edmonton since 2014.

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I actually can’t count the number of Green Drinks I have been to, which I am happy to report, but I can recall having to miss two over the past year and both leaving me with immense feelings of missing out.  I’ve attended and had the opportunity to volunteer at a lot different Green Drinks. It has become a monthly thing I’m always looking forward to.  

What were you at Green Drinks to talk to people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

Usually when I’m at Green Drinks my go to topic of conversation is ecological planning. I could ramble on all day about Edmonton parks, natural areas, and the River Valley.

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

I can only choose one? Colin Szenes. The conversation topic on his name tag is always “dogs.”As a fellow dog lover, how can you not be intrigued to indulge in a conversation about dogs?

What do you do for work right now?

I’m currently working as an ecological planner with the City of Edmonton and I love it. Working as an ecological planner provides a lot of diverse experiences that allows me to really feel like I’m a part of building a community. A lot of the work I do is around River Valley planning and working to balance the impacts of development while preserving the natural environment.

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

Darts. I love playing darts. I just started playing recently and can’t stop.

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? 

Edmonton is a city that has so much potential. It’s outrageous. We are living in a city where there are major transformational projects on the go that, when they materialize, have the potential to enhance our public realm and completely change our city. Projects like the Valley Line LRT, the development of the Quarters, Alex Decoteau Park,  etc… all have so much potential to take our city to the next level. Edmonton is anticipated to grow to 2.1 million people in the next 50 years. Our community keeps getting more diverse and innovative as it grows. These changes are so exciting.

Edmonton is the place where six degrees of separation are constantly tested and Edmontonians are a group of people that truly give a shit and we all work to build our city and improve our communities. The vision I have for Edmonton is to see all this potential materialize. Edmonton can be the place we want to make it. Our City is in its infancy and we have the opportunity to steer it in any direction we choose. We can be the ones to make Edmonton more sustainable, inclusive, and livable. My vision is for Edmonton is to draw upon the great things other cities are doing and to use and foster these ideas by giving them that Edmonton touch. This will help to elevate Edmonton into becoming a leader in social and environmental change while maintaining a strong sense of community and identity.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

Brittany Davey

People of Green Drinks: Kara Deringer

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Kara Deringer, who we met at Green Drinks: Good Business. Originally from Camrose, she’s a coach and bestselling author with a new book coming out in just a few months. 

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Kara Deringer

Hi Kara! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I grew up in Camrose, Alberta, and moved to Edmonton to attend the UofA in 1999.

 

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I’ve been to a few Green Drinks events. I love how friendly the people are, and how the information is always refreshing and interesting.

 

What were you at Green Drinks to talk to people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

I’m a coach. I teach people how to create and live an extraordinary life – with an extraordinary career, extraordinary relationships, extraordinary fun, and extraordinary health.

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Enid Dufresne-Dario of Juniper Cafe & Bistro

She is sharp, authentic, and her positive energy is contagious!!

 

What do you do for work right now?

On top of my coaching work, I’m the author of International #1 Bestseller Chill: Creating Happiness in Life and Love. My second book, Chica, will be released in the next few months! One of the interviews featured in Chica is with tireless leader and change maker Sarah Chan. It was an inspiring conversation, to say the least.

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I’m missing 13 teeth…a number of my adult teeth didn’t come in, and I’ve retained a number of my baby teeth.

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? 

I would add more playgrounds and community gardens. Now, I don’t necessarily mean the playgrounds that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even just simple playgrounds. Community spaces bring people together – adults and children – to relax, connect, and play.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

People of Green Drinks: Jesse Hahn

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Jesse Hahn, who has been to so many Green Drinks events that he’s lost count. He’s self-employed and always has several interesting sustainability-related projects on the go. But he emphasized that he doesn’t come to Green Drinks to talk peoples’ ears off. He comes to learn. And we’re so glad he keeps coming back!

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Jesse Hahn

Hi Jesse! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I’ve resided here on and off for around 15 years.

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I’ve been attending Green Drinks since 2008 or 2009. They used to host it by donation in the basement of a little greek restaurant on Whyte Ave. and various other locations. I’ve lost track of my attendance.

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

I don’t go there to tell people anything. I go to learn. But if I had any advice for anyone at Green Drinks it would be along the lines of ‘if you have a project in mind but you aren’t sure if it will work, do it anyway.’ There is magic in the effort.

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Alan Howat. Long time Edmontonian with an eclectic background and some incredible stories. He’s the founder of Maris Media Group and Green Business Canada. He’s giving away a trip for two to Iceland and sponsoring a ‘Green’ trade mission to the EU in September. Check out www.businessofgreen.ca to enter his contest.

What do you do for work right now?

I’m self employed and hustle for Carbon Credit Solutions, Luxeum Renewables Group and am coordinating the means of production for an industrial hemp production project in 2017. 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I only like two kinds of pie…

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be?

I think it would be nifty if Edmonton used geothermal heat in new developments to manage snow on sidewalks and roadways. This is done in a few places in Germany and Iceland. Plowing snow is such a chore and a constant temperature year-round may reduce road maintenance requirements. And it would be nice to have few more places where a guy can get hot or cold pie. 

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

Tad and Jesse

We’re big Jesse Hahn fans here at The Local Good.

People of Green Drinks: Tara Russell

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Tara Russell, who we met at Green Drinks: Good Business. Originally from Vancouver, she’s a long-time lover of the outdoors and is currently putting that passion to work as a Conservation Assistant at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

Our next event is Green Drinks: Green Economy on March 1. Hope to see you there!

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Hi Tara! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

Three and a half years, and I love it!

 

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

It was my second! I went to my first Green Drinks not long after I had moved to Edmonton, and it is actually how I ended up in my current job. I met Alison Ronson, the executive director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Northern Alberta Chapter (CPAWS). We went out for a coffee a week or so later, and I started volunteering for CPAWS. That was more than 2 years ago, and I am now a full time employee.

I love Green Drinks, the people are incredible and inspiring and it is a really phenomenal way to connect with our community.

 

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

This last time I was at Green Drinks was to tell the people about CPAWS and the work that we are doing. I get really excited about the way we go about achieving our conservation goals. CPAWS Northern Alberta works to protect Alberta’s wilderness and wildlife on public lands (60% of Alberta is publicly owned), and all of our work is science-based, and collaborative. CPAWS also strives to reach out to the Northern Alberta community and to educate the public on the threats facing our wilderness.

One of our big projects right now is our #loveyourheadwaters campaign. CPAWS, in collaboration with the Yellowstone to Yukon initiative, is working to protect the Bighorn Backcountry. The Bighorn Backcountry is home to the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River, and provides Edmonton with almost 90% of its drinking water, yet it is unprotected, and threatened by industry, and irresponsible recreation. We are going to change that!

My main project (because they are so cute and fuzzy) is working to help Alberta’s threatened boreal woodland caribou. We are at risk of losing the caribou here in Alberta in our lifetime if nothing changes in the way we use and manage our wild landscapes. Caribou are an iconic Canadian species (they are even on our quarter) as well as indicators of boreal forest health. But don’t worry, there is still time to save them!
Check out our caribou campaign page and read our publication, “Alberta’s Caribou: A Guide to Range Planning” to see CPAWS’ plan for their recovery.

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Tad Hargrave! He was fascinating, and seemed to be involved in so many aspects of the Edmonton community, from working with the Local Good to performing with Rapid Fire Theatre.

 

What do you do for work right now?

CPAWS is the non-profit conservation organization I work for, and everyday we get to do amazing science-based work that furthers the protection of wilderness and wildlife in Alberta. As someone who loves to be outside and on an adventure, it is so incredible to get to work everyday to protect the wild spaces that I love. We are so fortunate to have amazing wilderness still left in Alberta, I hope that through our work we have the chance to keep it for the future.

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I have a vegetable garden plot in my neighbourhood community garden! I love it, and am learning a lot about growing my own food. My garden teaches me something new every year. This year I learned the value of staggering your planting, and what to do with 10 kilograms of green beans all at once.  

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? Is there something you’ve seen in another city that you wish was in Edmonton?

I love Edmonton! It has an incredible river valley, cute and quirky neighbourhoods, a resiliency you are hard pressed to find elsewhere, and all sorts of hidden gems. However, I still meet people that live here that say they hate it, or meet people from elsewhere that do not understand why I like living here. I wish we could change the way that Edmonton is perceived. It is a fabulous city to live in, and filled with awesome people!  

Want to learn more about the Northern Alberta chapter of CPAWS? Check out www.cpawsnab.org and connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

People of Green Drinks: Darren Proulx

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. In this instalment, we talked to Darren Proulx, who was at our last event, Green Drinks: Good Business. He’s a passionate urbanist, who studies how we can make cities better for everyone, regardless of how they choose to get around, through his work at Slow Streets.

Our next event is Green Drinks: Habitat on February 1. If you’re interested in what Darren has to say in this interview, then our Habitat theme is right up your alley. Hope to see you there! 

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Hi Darren! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I was born and raised in Edmonton. I lived here for 24 years and moved away to Calgary for work for 2 years, then Vancouver for a Masters in Urban Studies and work for 4 years. I recently returned to Edmonton.

 

Was Good Business your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I have been to two Green Drinks. I came because I wanted to meet passionate people doing great things to improve the city and this seemed like a good place to do so. I was not let down.

 

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / interest?)

I am extremely passionate about building great cities for people regardless of how they get around. Edmonton is a city that was originally built very walkable around a street car system, but after the 1950s planners started redesigning the city around moving large volumes of vehicles through quickly. Redesigning the city around the car included removing curbside trees, shrinking sidewalks and replacing fine grain retail businesses with parking lots. This was all to the detriment of the comfort and safety of people walking, cycling or using transit. If you want people to choose to walk, cycle or use transit you have to make it inviting. When we design cities around cars everyone loses, including people who drive; when you design cities around people everyone wins, including people who drive. You cannot design cities that move vehicles through quickly and still have a great city for people with a great sidewalk or public space environment. Through Slow Streets, I conduct observational research to show how people use and react to street designs, public spaces, and the built form, and use this to recommend design solutions.

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

I met Daria Nordell who is the director of the U of A Student Design Association. She seems to be up to some interesting initiatives, when I was chatting with her she was planning a design show downtown.

 

What do you do for work right now?

I’m a Transit Planning Engineer with the City of Edmonton

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As part of 6 years of training I had to break two bricks with my hand, do wall kicks, flying side kicks, and cat rolls over five people!

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? Is there something you’ve seen in another city that you wish was in Edmonton?

I would like to see the city move towards an evidence-based Lighter, Quicker and Cost Effective (LQC) or tactical urbanism approach to city building. Often cities tend to treat transportation and congestion as a hard science like chemistry with absolute results however, since it is ultimately people who are driving cars, transportation is more of a social science. This means that congestion is not an absolute given, and the transportation results you get are the direct result of transportation and land use policies and decisions.

An LQC approach is more concerned about achieving and measuring results right now, using cost-effective materials rather than guessing and waiting years for funding. Cities of all sizes and climates (yes, including ones with cold winters) like Calgary, Chicago, Seattle, New York City, Macon and Nashville all demonstrate that it is feasible to implement projects such as protected bike lanes, parking to parklets conversions, street redesigns, pavement to plaza conversions, food truck pods and temporary public space activators and measure the impact through rigorous data collection and analysis. Edmonton has certainly been making great strides towards a quicker, lighter implementation approach with patios, cycling parking corrals, parklets and the new minimum grid of protected cycling lanes downtown. These projects allow people to use and experience new designs and make a more informed decision rather than relying on one-dimensional drawings or abstract concepts if they have never seen it before. Improvement still needs to be done on analyzing the impacts of design changes. How can you determine if you are generating the best return on public investments from a street design change without analyzing the impacts to businesses and user behaviours?

Want to learn more about Darren? Check out slowstreets.ca and connect with him on Twitter.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

People of Green Drinks: Lindsey Locke

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. To start off, we talked to the multitalented and always fascinating Lindsey Locke after our last event, Green Drinks: Good Business. Next up is Green Drinks: Habitat on February 1. Hope to see you there! 

LindseyLocke-CoffeeBureau

Hi Lindsey! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I have lived in Edmonton since October 2014, so just over two years!

 

Was Good Business your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

My very first Green Drinks was in the spring of 2015… I believe it was about local food! I went because, as a newcomer to Edmonton, I wanted to meet new people who enjoyed community-minded initiatives. I’ll be honest, I initially thought there were going to be green smoothies!

 

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? 

When I first attended Green Drinks, I was eager to tell people about a couple of things happening in Edmonton:

The Vegans & Vegetarians of Alberta. We organize and put on events throughout the year to showcase plant-based lifestyles, including Veganuary, March Meat-Out, and Vegtoberfest. A highlight each year is the day that they get to take over the Sip ‘n Savour tent at Taste of Edmonton, where there have been cook-offs, kids activities, and mini-markets. I believe that there are important aspects of a vegan & vegetarian lifestyle that prove to be more sustainable and easier on the environment, which ties into Green Drinks quite nicely!

Change of Clothes. It’s an Edmonton-based (for now) initiative that brings light to ethical, sustainable fashion. I recall the Green Drinks that was called “Greening Out Your Closet”, where I experienced a clothing swap for the first time and brainstormed part of Change of Clothes with Flatter:Me Belts’ Claire Theaker-Brown. It was amazing how an activity so fun and simple could be so sustainable. A few aspects of this particular Green Drinks inspired some of the activities at Change of Clothes (ie. clothes swap, speakers). We had our first event in June of 2015 and our second event in April of 2016. We hope to have our third event sometime soon, ideally showcasing the ethical fashion documentary, The True Cost.

Flash-forward to now and you will notice that my vision has changed since the beginning…
In December 2016, I became a 200HR Yoga Teacher. Over the holidays, I organized an event called “Flow for the SPCA,” where venues provided their space at no charge and all classes were by donation. With the help of the community, I was able to raise over $400 for the Medicine Hat SPCA. I hope to return to Green Drinks in the future, pitching various yoga fundraiser ideas. Stay tuned!

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at the last Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Kurtis Ewanchuk is a pretty interesting fella! I haven’t talked with him much outside of Green Drinks, but he is a notable character who knows a thing or two about permaculture!

 

What do you do for work right now?

I have a few things going on right now, actually! I do freelance photography, writing, and social media under Lindsey Catherine Photo + Media, I am an aspiring yoga teacher under Lindsey Catherine Yoga, and I work full-time as a marketer/writer (this is currently in a transition period, so I can’t tell you much else about that right now!)

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I am currently taking some DJ lessons through Night Vision! I love to learn new skills whenever possible, and this is a great way to keep the creativity flowing! I’m not sure what I will end up doing with it, but I’m having a blast along the way… Yoga DJ maybe?!

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? Is there something you’ve seen in another city that you wish was in Edmonton?

If I could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, it would be to have more efficient ways to get from point A to B. I used to live in Calgary and I found that there were so many main routes (ie. Memorial, Crowfoot), which made driving around the city a breeze. As well, it would be nice to see more designated bike routes along the main roads to make for easier commuting. It seems as though I hear horror stories every week or so from my biking friends (especially in the summertime). I feel most confident biking on the sidewalk, but I understand that’s discouraged by the authorities.

Want to learn more about Lindsey Locke? Her websites are www.lindseycatherine.ca and www.lindseycatherineyoga.ca. She’s on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and she posts about yoga on Facebook and Instagram too.

Lindsey Locke

Storify: Green Drinks Edmonton celebrates Good Business

Attendees networking at Green Drinks Edmonton: Good Business. Photo: Laurice Block.

Attendees networking at Green Drinks Edmonton: Good Business. Photo: Laurice Block.

On November 2nd, 2016, Green Drinks Edmonton: Good Business featured local businesses that set an example for others through sustainable and ethical practices, making and sourcing products locally, or being good community members:

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Storify: Cash Mob Edmonton’s Coffee Week 2016 Tour

Cash Mob Edmonton Coffee Tour 2016. Photo: Advantage Photography.

Cash Mob Edmonton Coffee Tour 2016. Photo: Advantage Photography.

For YEG Coffee Week 2016, Cash Mob Edmonton organized a tour of downtown’s vibrant local coffee scene:

  • Coffee Bureau explained the unique equipment they use to pull their espressos, how their building helps them tell their story and what makes their bean (locally roasted Ace Coffee) truly unique in Canada’s coffee world.
  • Earth’s General Store told us about their new Nitro coffee (coffee infused with nitrogen), their roasting process and their passion for ethically sourced beans.
  • Transcend Cafe told us about their incredible journey over the past decade in sourcing and bringing unique and sustainable coffee to Edmonton. 
  • Lock Stock Coffee gave us a taste of their century-old, Italy-roasted coffee bean and their house-made pastries, and explained how they transform from a bar to a cafe every day.
  • District Cafe and Bakery went from a hidden gem to a downtown hotspot in just over two years. Now, the freshly renovated shop features a full brunch menu, beer taps and room for dozens to stop in for their daily cup.

Read on for a Storify summary of the tour, then hop over to the Cash Mob Edmonton Facebook group for more photos taken on the tour, and announcements of future Cash Mobs!

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