Shayne Meechan is a breath of fresh air. When you meet her, her passion and enthusiasm for living life to the fullest immediately comes across. She is smart, conscientious, respectful, and adventurous and it’s these traits that make her a great leader of the local non-profit Green Okanagan (GO).
In 2017, after a realization that she was filling herself up with stuff and with a move to the Okanagan from Alberta on the horizon, Shayne decided to make a conscious shift in her life to live simply, enjoy experiences, and make meaningful connections in the community. These decisions led her to research zero waste living and the impacts it can have on the life of an individual, as well as the collective good small actions can have on the overall community. With so much information out there on the subject, she decided to start sharing what she learned in an innovative way by creating a directory of local, sustainable businesses. At this time she also connected with Green Okanagan co-founder Kayla Bruce and they grew GO from there, by participating in local sustainability discussions, presenting at schools, creating a blog and newsletter, and expanding the directory.
Through all this work, GO provides simple and affordable solutions for people interested in living with less and reducing their environmental and social impacts while giving back to the local community as much as possible. The helpful blog includes everything from zero waste gift giving ideas, green beauty solutions, and environmentally friendly ways to clean, as well as a robust directory focused on connecting people with local small businesses including breweries, bakeries, fill stores, second-hand shops, and more. They even host events online and in-person (with full COVID measures always in place) like how to get into composting.
Because Shayne is so passionate in regards to supporting local, being active, and prioritizing experiences over stuff, Kelowna and the Central Okanagan are the perfect fit for her. Here are some of her favourite places to go and things to do and recommend to others:
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Keeping active is one of the easiest ways to fill your life up with experiences. Kelowna and area offers so many ways to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and Shayne loves to hit the trails by hiking, running or biking, and in the warmer months hitting the water on her stand-up paddleboard. Two of her favourite trails are:
- Spion Kopp to get your heart pumping and enjoy sweeping views of Okanagan, Wood, and Kalamalka Lakes.
- Lebanon Creek for a moderate hike that leads to amazing views of downtown Kelowna and the southern portion of Okanagan Lake.
Check Out the Second-Hand Stores
Finding second-hand treasures and only buying what she needs is part of Shayne’s ethos. Visiting thrift shops and sifting through the merchandise to find hidden gems, whether it be a lamp or a great sweater, is one of her favourite pastimes. She recommends:
- Frock & Fellow for a wide selection of vintage and secondhand fashion finds.
- Value Village for great fashion finds, but also any of those household items you may need.
Don't Miss the Breweries & Wineries
Connecting with the winemakers and those normally behind the scenes at some of the smaller wineries in the Kelowna area is one of Shayne's favourite things to do. She also recommends trying wineries more than once, at different times of the year, as the tasting menu is often different, giving you the chance to try new to you wines or familiar favourites. Not only that, the brewery scene in Kelowna is booming, and checking out what's new or visiting familiar favourites never disappoints. She loves to visit:
- Beaumont Family Estate to see what new and interesting wines this family-run, organic winery is working on.
- Off the Grid Winery to be greeted by cute goats, enjoy great organic wine, and eat delicious food from their vegetarian food truck.
- Rustic Reel Brewing for a homey vibe with good beer, great food, and dog-friendly patio, bonus it's 100% woman run!
If you’re interested in taking small steps that make a big impact, follow Green Okanagan, check out their website, and reach out to Shayne.