COLUMNS: For auld lang syne and new beginnings

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society looks at 2017, and the year ahead in its monthly column.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society looks at 2017, and the year ahead in its monthly column.

By Vanessa Moberg and Marg Evans

Down to Earth

It’s time to start thinking about the year to come, and the best thing about 2018 is that it’s not 2017. Sheesh! What a year. Dominated by wildfires and climate change deniers, there’s nowhere to go but up. We hope.

In late 2017, the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society also sadly learned that Diana French would be retiring from our board of directors. She was the ultimate volunteer.

Diana began her time with CCCC in 1996 — the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Council — or C4 as it was called in 1992 until it became an officially incorporated not-for-profit society and changed its name.

C4 was originally formed to provide a voice for conservation interests in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region at the Commission on Resources and Environment (C.O.R.E.). Diana was very involved in this process which led to the development of the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan.

In her 21 years as a director on the CCCS board, Diana served for five years as vice president, eight years as president, and another three years as past president. We truly wouldn’t be here without her.

Diana’s dedication to environmental issues, judicious input at the board level, research skills, and seemingly limitless knowledge were invaluable to the CCCS, allowing us to stay informed of the region’s latest concerns as well as the broader national and global issues.

Anyone that knows Diana will also know that she is an incredibly dedicated person to family, community, and the groups with which she works. It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge her bond with the CCCS staff and board members, and thank her for all those years of dedication.

And this brings us to our 2018 call to action. We now find ourselves with a vacant seat on the board, so if you have a passion for environmental issues, and you’d like to join our delightful team of volunteers, we invite you to call us at 250-398-7929 for more information.

Our meetings are roughly quarterly, so the minimum time commitment is just 8-10 hours per year. But beyond that, the optional volunteer opportunities are incredibly fun, such as repairing bikes in the spring for our Bikes for All program, picking potatoes for our community root cellar in the fall, or gleaning boughs and berries for our Earth Friendly Holiday Event.

In addition to board members, we are searching for a family to participate in an exciting transformation in 2018. Our staff would come into your home, conduct a water and waste audit, measure your footprint, suggest changes for greening your lifestyle, provide coaching and support, and supply key items like a low-flow shower head, clothesline, and recycling bins. The only thing we would ask in return is regular video blogs so we can all follow your progress on Facebook! Is your family up for the challenge? Contact us for more information.

Conservation Tip of the Month: This year’s buzzword seems to be “anti-resolutions” or resolving to do things that may be outside of social norms. How about becoming a conscientious consumer? Only buy what you need. Choose recyclable packaging. Support local merchants. Visit thrift stores. Have broken items repaired. And give experiences instead of things.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society works within the community and with the community to maintain and enhance the health of the environment as the basis of a strong economy and a vital society. The CCCS is locally based in Williams Lake.