Since its launch in July 2015, the Explore Lake Simcoe project had the unique opportunity to learn firsthand from businesses in the watershed on what it means to be green.
A business’ everyday operational challenges are unique and with that comes unique opportunities to incorporate sustainability practices. Doing so cuts operating costs, energy consumption and waste, but the benefits exceed simply profit gains.
Businesses working to go green know the value that sustainability initiatives bring to their business; that these initiatives strengthen their brand, build their employee and customer base. They appreciate that minimizing negative impacts to our environment will protect the health of our community. Above all, these enterprises recognize that visitors are looking for sustainable options that align with their own values and love of the region’s outdoors.
The balancing act of doing what’s good for business while doing good isn’t always easy. The reality is there are competing priorities. However, some local Lake Simcoe businesses have shown us it can be done – quite easily. Small actions to reduce waste, support local, educate and engage employees and customers on green initiatives go a long way.
Here are some highlights of businesses in the Lake Simcoe area and the green initiatives they’ve undertaken that we find deserving of applause. Inspired by a shared vision of a healthy Lake Simcoe, these local green leaders are part of a growing community of businesses working to build a stronger, greener economy. We wish to thank them for their efforts.
Here at Explore Lake Simcoe we’re excited to see what this next year has in store for outdoor recreation and tourism. Through community action and partnership we can bring more sustainable offers to the Lake Simcoe region, to ensure it remains a thriving destination for us and our future generations.
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Explore Lake Simcoe
Moksha Yoga Barrie Living Green is a pillar of the Moksha Yoga philosophy. The studio is built green with energy-efficient insulation, renewable materials, air and water purification. But what really makes us keen? They offer free mat rentals to yogis who choose to cycle to the studio. See the video on Moksha Living Green.
McBride’s Organic Farm in Oro Township has been certified organic since 1996. A local leader in sustainable agriculture, the McBride family provides employment to the local workforce for the costly manual labour required to pull weeds in place of harsh herbicides. Now supporting local agriculture is even easier; you can get a custom ordered box of organics delivered right to your door!
Barrie KOA campground is a leader in green initiatives. A participant in the KOA Kamp Green program practicing resource conservation, they employ solar lighting, energy efficient equipment, low-flow shower heads and toilets and only eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Through events like their season-long E-Waste Fundraiser, the money collected from recycling donated electronic waste is put towards helping children with cancer attend summer camp.
Snow Valley Ski Resort is working on green initiatives and they’re inspiring their staff to get on board! Engaging their employees in fun contests to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and waste, they’re plowing ahead on the path to sustainability.
Boon Burger in downtown Barrie is working towards zero waste. We love that the vegan burger cafe walks the talk, reducing their carbon footprint throughout everyday operations. Diverting waste through the use of compostable products like to-go containers and cups is an example of how small businesses can do big things.