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Regional Manager Sarah Colley: The future depends on what you do in the present


TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) would not be what it is today without the help of some very passionate staff who tirelessly work to ensure many grassroots environmental projects across Canada get the support they deserve. This month, we connected with Sarah Colley, Regional Manager for Ontario. Here she shares a little bit about herself.

When did you become interested in environmental issues?

I loved spending time in nature as a kid, and I was in my high school eco club – but it wasn’t until university that I really discovered my passion. I ended up registering for a course in the Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) Program and one of the first tasks we had was to explore the various green spaces on campus – I fell in love!  I ended up taking a Double Major in ESS and International Development.

What do you like most about the work you do?

I love to see the impact that even a small grant has on a community. When I see children’s happy faces running around a newly revitalized park, or a newly developed pollinator garden that I know will help protect more native bees and butterflies – it makes all the work worthwhile.

What’s your favourite green space in your neighbourhood?

The park in the Don Valley Brickworks is my favourite green space. Growing up, my Dad and I used to take fall and winter walks at Brickworks to admire how the landscape changed through the seasons.

If you could visit any green space in Canada, which place would you visit?

I’ve never been to the West Coast and I’d love to visit the iconic Stanley Park someday soon.

Who do you most admire?

The person I admire most is my Mom – she taught me the value of hard work and she always has the best advice for dealing with tough situations.

If you were a tree, which tree would you be?

I love the windswept pines in Georgian Bay. I think the way they grow out of the rocks and their windswept shapes show their resilience to the elements. They are shaped through their experience in nature and I feel the same about myself.

What’s one thing you like to do when you’re not thinking about the environment?

I love to cook – I’m always testing out new recipes for family and friends.

What’s your favourite quote?

The future depends on what we do in the present – Mahatma Gandhi.

What’s your best tip for living green?

Stop single use plastic! Things like straws, plastic forks and takeout containers get used once then thrown out. Even though some of these get recycled, many get tossed into landfills, which eventually leach harm chemicals into our groundwater system. If you are a fan of straws, you can buy some eco-friendly alternatives (such as glass and steel) that typically come with a brush to clean with. It also helps to leave a set of cutlery at your desk at work to reuse.

What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we’re facing today?

I think one of the biggest environmental challenges we are facing is overconsumption.  The mass amounts of waste we create because of the constant need to buy the latest products has to change. Tech devices are an example of this, where every couple of years a new version of something will come out and the older models are just thrown out.

What’s the most significant global change you think we’ll see in the next 5-10 years?

I think we’ll see growth in affordable environmentally friendly technologies and products that more people will have access to.


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