Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

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We collected some #green super star women in Peterborough that are making a #green difference in their lifestyles and are fighting for change in our community.

Read the below to hear how inspiring these women are… and what they are doing at home, work and play to facilitate more sustainable lifestyles.

1. Kathryn Bahun


“I am always trying to change my behaviour to live a more green life. I am a maker, and I try to make things using items that are headed for the garbage or the recycling bin. Old unloved clothes and fabric find new life in my clothing designs. I think it’s important also to maintain and fix things we own instead of rushing to replace them – that’s why I volunteer with Repair Café. We share our skills to fix damaged things and save them from landfills.  I also want to set a good example for my children, and I am always thinking about how my choices might impact their thoughts on green living and the choices they make now and in the future. In this picture, I am repairing a pair of my son’s pants!” 

2. Kerry McMaster


I care about nature. I don’t want to contribute to harming the earth. I want to be someone who cares about it. I love my trade and fashion. I own a hair lounge called Revive Hair Lounge at 73 Hunter Street East and we practice sustainability every day by recycling hair, foils, and using plant-based hair dyes as much as possible. I feel it is important to find ways to value the earth in my own life as well as in my profession.”

3. Emily Amon

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“As an environmental sciences and studies student, I have been learning about the impacts we have on our planet, and the ways that we can reduce these impacts, pretty much every day for the past 4 years. It is because of this knowledge that I feel empowered to act to lessen my impact through personal changes to my diet, consumer habits, and lifestyle. Eating seasonally and locally, using home made, natural personal care products, reducing plastic consumption, and using public transit all help to reduce my carbon footprint. I also try to spend as much time as I can in our local greenspaces, both for my own well-being, but also to advocate their ongoing protection and importance for local wildlife and water quality.”

4. Jane Braithwaite


“Several years ago a student asked me if green was my favourite colour. Maybe that day I was wearing green or maybe that student has seen me year after year wearing green coats because when I checked my wardrobe I realized ALL my coats are green! I am an Occasional Teacher which means I see a large number of students. Every day I carry my Indigenous hand drum with me. The students think it’s cool when they hear it but when they hear I made it they think that’s awesome! They learn the resourcefulness of Indigenous people when I explain how the drum was made. Whenever I ask students if Indigenous people had been left to run their country, would we be facing the environmental crisis we have today? The answer is always “no”. They know! I remind them they are the next generation and they can make a green difference.”Did I mention I’m a collector of sorts? Well actually I realize I don’t really like throwing things away. Some may have another name for me but I figure someday I could use whatever I keep. I enjoy seeing what creative Ideas my young grandchildren come up with when Nanny brings her bag of ‘stuff’ .

5. Jocelyn Whalen


” As the Sustainability-College Community Liaison Coordinator at Peter Gzowski College and an Environmental Resource Science/Studies student I wanted to get involved in environmental sustainability-driven programs and initiatives at Trent University. I felt inspired to create my own programming where I felt it was necessary. I’ve fostered community relationships at Trent University and in the Peterborough area in order for others to share ideas around sustainability. My main goal has been to set a good example for the future students at Trent University. I want them to know that anything is possible! This year I’ve helped to extend the Zero Waste Program at Trent University. As part of this initiative we are introducing new waste streams through the Terraclye program, including plastic wrappers, plastic film, hair nets, latex gloves, coffee pods, cigarette butts and writing supplies.” 

6. Ashley Bonner


” There are many ways we can live a more sustainable and green life. A starting point is being aware of the impact from our own waste. Did you know that the petroleum used to produce 14 plastic bags can drive a car one mile and can take 15 to 1000 years to decompose? One easy thing I do (and you can too) is always keep a reusable bag on hand at all times. Understanding our own behaviour is the next step in changing our lifestyle and carrying a reusable bag is a proactive way to avoid purchasing bags. Currently I am working with youth, and when possible I share facts about the impact of individual waste as well as different ideas on how to reduce it. Educating youth is the key to sustainable change now and in the future.” 

7. Kathryn Langley


“As a retired teacher who values nature and what is natural, I belong to Transition Town Peterborough, to Peterborough-Kawarthas Council of Canadians, to No Casino Peterborough,  to LEAP Peterborough and more recently to Friends of Harper Park. Thinking globally and acting locally, I share my home, van, resources, time and energy to preserve and protect what is natural. As Einstein said and I believe, “Our technology has surpassed our humanity.” I am eagerly anticipating my summer months at a rustic cabin on Chandos without electricity, without running water and without indoor plumbing! Back to nature with my family – nuclear and extended – and I love it. I value ecological community as I “Reimagine Peterborough” as a resilient and sustainable place to be. For my six amazing young grandchildren, I try to be the needed change for our survival. I agree with Andrea Connell who said in Greenzine, “Love dictates that we care for our earth, her species, and each other.” I try to consume in an environmentally-conscious manner as a “locavore” – shopping  ethically and locally. It’s not easy, but it’s essential. My values include love, hope and optimism for the future.

8. Kelly McDowell


I have become more conscious and grateful for water. I treat it with greater reverence and respect and try not to waste. Last year was the year of the rain barrel and this summer I am hoping to divert more grey water from the house into the garden. I am also working to protect the Harper Park Wetlands that are being threatened by encroaching development in the south end of the City. I am a friend of Harper Park. Check us out at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. There is no shortage of good things to do if you can make it through the day with a good heart!”