Regional Manager Mandip Kharod: Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself
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 Mandip Kharod, Regional Manager for Western Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Here she shares a little bit about herself.
When did you become interested in environmental issues?
I was always interested in the outdoors; playing street hockey and running cross country. Actually becoming an environmental steward – that journey started almost 10 years ago when we purchased our first home. My husband and I wanted to do our part for the environment so we began growing our own food, installed a rain barrel and compost bin. My interest was further flamed when I asked my then 8- year-old nephew where food came from and he said, with a look of disdain, “the grocery store”. For the first little bit he refused to eat anything that came from the garden and commented on how “weird” the food looked, because of their less usual shapes and sizes. But once he got into it, it was incredible to see how his perspective on the environment changed. He was excited to get his hands dirty and to care for the plants we’d planted.
What do you like most about the work you do?
I like connecting with community members – those regularly involved in grassroots work, as well as those in the community who are just starting to get involved. The energy and excitement they exude when planting trees, conducting citizen science research or simply walking through a new park or garden is contagious. It’s great to see kids plant trees during TD Tree Days, and then see them come back year after year to continue to care for those trees – that’s how I know the work we help facilitate is valuable.
What’s your favourite green space in your neighbourhood?
Having recently moved into a new neighborhood, my family and I have had a great time exploring. So far, the Watershed Park is our favorite. It is Delta’s largest park, with 11 kilometres of gravel trails for cycling, walking, jogging and horseback riding.
If you could visit any green space in Canada, which place would you visit?
I’d love to visit Whitehorse. The city has its own sustainability plan that will take them right to 2050. They’re engaging citizens and businesses on many levels, from composting programs to improved public transportation to investing in green buildings. They also have community clean-up programs to make the landscape as clean and green as possible.
Who do you most admire?
My mother! Hands down the strongest woman I know. She’s given me the support and skills to be who I am. She’s encouraged me to break out of traditional roles and sincerely believes there’s nothing women can’t accomplish.
If you were a tree, which tree would you be?
A red maple. Its gorgeous deep-red colour is lovely to look at but more importantly, it’s incredibly hearty and resilient. It’s adaptable to a wide range of site conditions and provides good shade.
What’s one thing you like to do when you’re not thinking about the environment?
I’m a huge Pearl Jam fan and avid sports fan, and have somehow been lucky enough to incorporate these things into my love of travelling.
What’s your favourite quote?
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw.
What’s your best tip for living green?
Be mindful – of your consumption, of your choices, of your impact on the environment. People think “living green” is an all or nothing way of life, but really it’s about making small changes to your current behaviors. Like no longer using plastic bags at the grocery store!
What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we’re facing today?
Children’s lack of connectivity to the environment. They can’t care about something they don’t understand or deem important. Kids are overscheduled with sports and activities and don’t seem to have as much time to explore local green spaces. I think that when kids play in green spaces, they also learn the value of nature.
What’s the most significant global change you think we’ll see in the next 5-10 years?
I think we’ll continue to see a huge growth in technology. The trend will continue to focus on artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and resource-efficient sustainable production, which will affect the ways we make products and deliver services.
For 25 years, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has worked to help protect the environment and green communities across Canada. By donating to TD FEF, you’re directly supporting projects that make a difference in your community.
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation – BN/Registration Number: 133702845RR0001