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Bernie Melanson

Facing the environment

April 2, 2009

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Several years ago Bernie Melanson finished his undergraduate degree in communication and fulfilled a goal to work in the film industry. But it wasn’t enough. Melanson, a long-time closet environmentalist, wanted to share his eco-friendly lifestyle ideas. The lightbulb moment happened during a business trip: Create a web site for like-minded people about environmental change.

So in late 2008 he launched ecoface.ca, a social networking platform that connects and empowers individuals, corporations and organizations that are leading by example and want to inspire others to reduce their environmental footprint. The name "ecoface", he says, puts a face on environmental solutions.

"Studying communication at SFU provided me with a strong foundation in the importance of communicating to solve problems," says Melanson. "Globally we need to connect and communicate to change the way we live our lives." He hopes ecoface.ca will inspire people to take action. He sees small victories: A decrease in the use of plastic bags, the rush to renewable energy and energy-efficient homes. Leaders in communities, he says, are recognizing the groundswell of support for sustainability and are supporting eco programs.

Melanson says the most important sustainable actions people can take are evaluating their food, water consumption and vehicle use. He says, "We need to drive less, connect with companies and organizations that have strong environmental practices and be less wasteful, particularly with food." Auto manufacturers, he says, may finally be getting the message that we don’t need a 345-hp truck but rather a truck with great fuel mileage. And that a vegetarian driving a Hummer pollutes less than a carnivore driving a Prius.

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