The Value of Garbage

We live in a time when we have the luxury of boredom. How often have I already heard the dreaded “I’m sooooooo bored!” from my kids already this summer. Problem solved; I “voluntold” my 14-year-old daughter that her assistance was not only appreciated but required at our 5th Annual Environmental Awareness Day held on July 6, 2013.

What can boredom lead to? A recent Globe and Mail article cites researchers who suggest boredom identifies a lack of meaningful activity in one’s life. Perhaps volunteering is the answer. There is never a shortage of volunteering opportunities to rid ourselves of boredom.

We are so fortunate at the Chamber that we have outstanding and committed volunteers who participate on our committees, assist with events and share their expertise through our educational forums. This volunteering “opportunity” for my daughter ended up being a priceless teaching moment for both of us.

The event is an annual partnership between the Chamber, Tim Horton’s, Kerr Village BIA, in association with M&M Meat Shops, Shred-It, Peel Scrap Metal Recycling, the Driveway Doctor, Home Depot Children’s Workshop, RecurBox, and the Main Event. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton benefit from the day’s proceeds.

Local vendors were on hand to showcase their green exhibits, a community clean up, confidential document shredding, electronic recycling, children’s activities, entertainment and a raffle all took place. Those who sign up as a volunteer for the community clean-up received a complimentary t-shirt, lunch and refreshments.

Local Tim Horton franchisees teamed up again this year for the Tim Hortons annual ‘Earn A Bike’ program and presentations were made during the event. These bike recipients were selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton, who also coordinated the program and provided supervision. The children completed 30 hours of community service by cleaning up local parks and schools or assisting a community group.

Arriving on scene, we went into high gear: assembling tents and tables, setting up registration, organizing exhibitors, and answering numerous questions. My daughter jumped in with both feet and did not only what she was asked but also what she wasn’t. Pleasant, helpful and showing initiative, she displayed all the characteristics we as parents worked so hard to hone but weren’t always sure existed.

Beyond the obvious lesson of the value of a clean environment and the responsibility all of us have to create one, beyond the message of taking responsibility for your actions and the impact if you don’t, beyond learning about innovative new products and services to preserve our environment and beyond the camaraderie, were lessons for my daughter and myself. Discovering the value of participating in something bigger than herself was priceless for my daughter and the realization about how much she has come into her own was invaluable to me.

Thank you to all our volunteers, vendors and partners for making our 5th Annual Environmental Awareness Day such a success.

Joanne Scattolon
Communications Manager
Oakville Chamber of Commerce