This year we wanted to pour some extra attention on Earth Week and what it means for local Calgary. We couldn’t think of a better way to do this than to talk to REAP Calgary about their Be Local Campaign. We sat down with Stephanie Jackman (founder & president) and she filled us in on some great things you can do to get involved in Earth Week this year.
Tell us a little about REAP:
REAP stands for Respect for the Earth and All People. It’s a community hub made up of 150 local businesses that are committed to being sustainable and responsible in the communities they operate in. We highlight the businesses that create more good.
What does it take to become a REAP business?
1. Local ownership. Most locally owned businesses are rooted in their communities. They are more likely to keep their money here and support other businesses around them.
2. All members must show a commitment to green sustainability in their operations and in their products.
After those two criteria are met, basically any business can be a REAP business. We have bigger participants like ATB Financial and Greengate Garden Centres all the way down to business that are just getting started.
Why did you start REAP?
I was working a corporate, job making big companies bigger. The work I was doing didn’t have the meaning I wanted it to, and I knew that I wanted to make a change.
It all came to a head when I was at a Lynne Twist conference learning about the Soul of Money. I got inspired by what she was talking about and at the end of the conference she asked everyone to make a declaration, mine was to start REAP.
How will you guys be participating in Earth Week?
It’s REAPs job to connect as many people and business owners as we can with green solutions. A big part of going green is going local because local businesses have a smaller footprint, 15x less than non-local businesses in fact. We are the voice telling people who they should support and why it’s important.
Every year for Earth Week we run a festival that supports all things local and all things sustainable, and this is our 9th year hosting it. At the festival, you can find local food, local finance, and local social innovation. The festival is an amazing and unique way to connect with the city and find out how you can do a little good.
If you want to participate in this year's festival you have three really great opportunities:
If people can't attend an event how can they get involved with REAP?
People can participate in our Be Local Awards Program that highlights the all-stars in our local network who are doing good. All you need to do is sign up for the REAP weekly newsletter to stay in the know.
Lastly they can check out our business directory and support local sustainable businesses as much as possible.
50 Cents from every bottle of Blueberry Rooibos Kombucha sold goes towards a REAP, Be Local partnership with a Community Orchard called Grow Calgary. The money donated goes to buy trees, shrubs, and seeds that produce food for those who need it most.
Anyone can volunteer at the orchard – learn more about it here.