Volunteer Spotlight: Meaghan Paterson

Over the past few years we have been lucky enough to stumble across some amazing volunteers here at A Greener Future. They're the type that have passion for the environment, and motivation to keep working despite difficulty. In order to honour our valuable volunteers we're shining a spotlight on them and sharing their meaningful stories over the course of 2018. Introducing our first spectacular volunteer: Meaghan Paterson! (aka Maggie)

Over the past three years Meaghan has done a number of projects with A Greener Future. Most notably, coordinating the Butt Blitz in Barrie for two (soon to be three!) years in a row and collecting 26,290 cigarette butts to be recycled! "I get so emotionally involved, I find myself talking about it year round," says Maggie. If you're from the Barrie area be sure to join her at the Spirit Catcher on May 5th, 2018 to help her reach her butt picking goal.


One of the most inspiring projects Meaghan has taken on with us was working with Rogers TV to produce the show Generation Green. "I learned so much and got to meet some amazing people. It was so much fun and something I never thought I would do," she says. If you have a rogers account you can stream all the shows through your account and see Meaghan in action!

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Meaghan's greatest environmental achievement comes in the form of the little things she does each day. It can be hard to change your everyday behaviour, but Meaghan has done just this bit by bit. "As I walk to work everyday I pick up litter as I go. Sometimes my hands are cold and I can barely carry all the Nestle and Coke bottles I find because there are so many on my seven minute walk. But if I don't do it who is going to? They'll still be there the next day."

Meaghan has also done litter cleanups with A Greener Future and supported their Zero Waste 101 program by purchasing zero waste products to use in her daily life. "I hope one day that we can all have more respect for the environment. I think that women will change the path we are on. They are the carriers of the future and care about their children's lives more than money or power."

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So why does Meaghan volunteer with us? She says the short answer is to make the world a better place. "It’s overwhelming with all the bad things that are going on out there, A Greener Future is a way that I can find some good energy locally. I do it for the future, and my baby niece," Meaghan explains. We're very happy to have Maggie as a volunteer, her time and energy is invaluable to us!

We Picked Up The Most Commonly Accepted Form Of Litter


You might be thinking we’re crazy in saying there’s an acceptable form of litter, because throwing our garbage on the ground isn’t okay... right?

Right, but wrong. We’ve been exposed to people throwing their cigarette butts on the ground our whole lives. Those little pieces of rubbish may not seem like much, but cigarette butts aren’t biodegradable. That means every butt thrown out a window, stays on the ground, and isn’t going anywhere.

Well, they stay on the ground until someone comes by, and picks them up. Our team at A Greener Future are happy to announce the success of our third annual Butt Blitz! On May 6th, volunteers all across Canada took their butts outside to pick up the ones off the ground.

As you all know, our forever mission is to reduce waste to create a happier, and healthier Earth for everyone. That can be hard to do with all of those cigarette butts on the ground. Lucky for us, TerraCycle Canada has a cigarette waste recycling program so that those little pieces of accepted litter can be repurposed into something better.

Last year, A Greener Future and our volunteers picked up 122,800 cigarette butts to send in to TerraCycle’s program. With an ambitious goal of 200,000 butts this year, our volunteers set foot outside on the morning of May 6th to pick up as many butts as possible.

Our volunteers made a significant dent in reducing the number of cigarette butts polluting our environment. With 25 Butt Blitz events from coast to coast, we managed to pick up a total of 223,354 butts! 

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who coordinated and participated. You helped eliminate a huge amount of litter in Canada on May 6th. We hope to see all of our butt-picking buddies at next years event! (Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 5, 2018)