Spring is a season of renewal and growth, making it the perfect time to consider what each of us can do to create a healthier, sustainable future for our community and to get involved in sustainability initiatives taking place in and around Kelowna. 

Now is the time to plan how you can celebrate Earth Day and its theme, Invest in our Planet, on April 22. The Earth Day Action Toolkit provides ideas and helpful resources, including copy for social media posts and suggested hashtags. We encourage you to explore options and ideas for events and celebrations—be sure to tag us on social media when promoting your Earth Day initiatives and use #exploreKelowna, as well as #InvestInOurplanet and #EarthDay2022.   

The warmer weather means more opportunities to bike in and around Kelowna, so be sure to mark your calendars for Spring GoByBike Week, which will take place from May 30 to June 5, 2022. The City of Kelowna has secure bike lockers available for riders and a bicycle rack program for businesses wishing to encourage cycling and support cyclists.

This time of year also means residents and visitors alike will be looking forward to time on Okanagan Lake. Keeping the shores of our lakes clean is one way to contribute to the sustainability of our region. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national initiative delivered by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, with resources for solo, household, or small team clean-ups. Make a difference one piece of garbage at a time by downloading the Shoreline Cleanup checklist and executing your own cleanup. In the fall of 2021, as part of Waste Reduction Week in Canada and in support of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Tourism Kelowna's team collected an estimated 50 pounds of trash from the shores of Okanagan Lake.

Shoreline Cleanup 2021

Lastly, Tourism Kelowna continues to support and further the Biosphere Commitment Program, which is led by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and allows companies to formally commit to incorporating systemic changes in their everyday business operations to adhere to the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Thanks to a partnership with GreenStep Solutions and FortisBC, Biosphere program participants can also have eco-efficiency assessments conducted for their business and receive access to a carbon measurement platform, for one year, at no additional charge. Alternate offerings are available for companies that are not yet participating in the Biosphere program. Interested businesses can learn more and submit an expression of interest through the TOTA website.

Tourism Kelowna's Stewardship Committee is always on the lookout for other great initiatives that we can support. We are committed to making a difference in our community and have set up a new webpage to monitor our sustainability indicators. If you have other great ideas on how our team and other tourism businesses in our region can be involved or would like information about any of the information above, please contact me at jennifer@tourismkelowna.com.