Benedict Langille showed it can be easy being green with his “Tips for Going Green” webinar on March 25.
Langille, a member of Seine River First Nation, planned the webinar as part of Project Learning Tree Canada’s (PLT Canada) Green Leaders Program.
“Going green is more important than ever,” he told his viewers. “We want to make sure we’re taking care of the land.”
In January, PLT Canada launched the Green Leaders Program, which involves mentorship, skill development, and community action. The green leaders, Indigenous youth aged 15-25, plan and implement a green community-based project which could be an event, campaign, or another initiative of their choice. Participants receive up to $1,500 from PLT Canada to deliver their project along with training and development workshops to help support their success. The green leaders are also matched with mentors from the forest and conservation sector to help them complete their project and plan their green career pathway.
Langille decided to host his going green webinar because he thinks it’s important to educate as many people as possible about green issues.
“Education is power,” said the Thunder Bay local. “I think we need to be looking ahead for future generations and start tackling these issues now! I thought the webinar was the perfect way to compile all the information in a presentable form.”
Going green can protect the earth’s ecological balance, reduce pollution, conserve resources, and more, said Langille. It can also save you money, improve your health, and guarantee the future for your children.
“You get a healthier you out of it,” he said.
Langille started off his webinar with the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. He said, first, you reduce your consumption; then, you try to reuse objects; and last, you recycle if it can’t be reused. Some of his other tips to help save energy and money were turning off and unplugging electronics like power bars when you leave home for extended periods, installing low pressure faucets and shower heads, seeking the most energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and carpooling or walking.
“It’s the small things that make a difference in the long run,” he said.
Langille also gave attendees some gardening tips and tricks.
“I think now is the time to be reconnecting with the land! It creates independence for people, while also keeping them busy and in touch with being a green community,” he said.
He shared how to create a plastic bottle greenhouse, which reuses old plastic water bottles and helps your plants grow. This project can also be done on a smaller scale, with a single plant inside a bottle. Langille sent out low maintenance seeds like chives, spring onions, and radishes to participants so they could get their gardens started as well.
Langille currently works as a tree planter for Outland. The 24-year-old also has plans to go back to school to help him land another green job. PLT Canada offers a Green Jobs Quiz that matches your personality to the rewarding green career paths best suited for you and a 50% wage match for employers hiring youth aged 15–30 into jobs that contribute to a more sustainable planet. The Green Leaders Program is one of the organization’s newer initiatives helping youth pursue and advance their green career pathways.
“During my time in the Green Leaders Program, I developed and worked on my confidence and networking—while also developing skills to help me in the workplace and the real world,” said Langille. “I have to thank PLT Canada for not only supporting me during my journey, but also giving me the knowledge, resources, and confidence to pave my own pathway!”
Langille is also featured on PLT Canada’s Voices of Indigenous Youth web map with other young Indigenous people who have worked in green jobs.