Industry expert: David Suzuki's Queen of Green Lindsay Coulter shares Vancouver's greenest hits

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      Unlike most kids, Lindsay Coulter knew what career path she wanted to pursue at an early age. “When I was nine, I said, ‘One day, David Suzuki and I will be like this,’ while crossing my fingers,” she tells the Straight by phone.

      Years later, while sitting in a clearcut in her native Alberta—“counting birds, identifying them by song or something”—she decided to relocate to Vancouver to make it happen.

      Today, the eco-minded zoology grad is living her dream. As the David Suzuki Foundation’s resident Queen of Green, Coulter serves as a teacher, a public speaker, and an all-around green-living expert, writing articles, leading discussions, and conducting workshops that help Canadians reduce their environmental footprint.

      Having now lived in Vancouver for over a decade, she’s also a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the city’s most eco-friendly spots.

      Best place for green newbies

      The Soap Dispensary
      3718 Main Street

      Dream Designs
      2749 Main Street

      “The Soap Dispensary is a completely zero-waste lifestyle and bulk store filled with all the things you would ever need for a DIY. Dream Designs is another really good one.”

      Best place to take an eco-minded workshop

      Homestead Junction
      649 East Hastings Street

      Community centres
      Various locations

      “Homestead Junction conducts workshops that cover everything from how to grow mushrooms to beekeeping to how to make soap. And they have all the supplies there, which is really cool. You also might be surprised by what you find in your local community-centre catalogue.”

      Best eco-friendly fashion label

      Nicole Bridger
      14 Water Street

      “Aside from the stuff I get through consignment, thrift, and clothing swaps, Nicole Bridger is typically where I get my wardrobe.”

      Best recycling rule of thumb

      “My shtick is to recycle less. Some people say, ‘If I just had three blue bins, I could fill them every week.’ But the answer isn’t to recycle more, it’s to reduce and reuse first.”

      Best spot for a locally sourced, sustainable meal

      Go Fish
      1505 West 1st Avenue

      Tractor Foods
      Various locations

      Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream
      102–1926 West 4th Avenue
      3382 Cambie Street

      “Go Fish near Granville Island for sustainable seafood if you’re into that, and Tractor if you’re vegetarian. I also like Rain or Shine for ice cream—everything there is compostable and they use local and organic ingredients.”

      Best green business

      Growing City is pretty cool. [Founder] Lisa von Sturmer has been around for a long time and she does composting for businesses. Also, Spud, if people don’t already know about it.”

      The Soap Dispensary

      Best place for green cleaning supplies

      Choices Markets
      Various locations

      The Soap Dispensary
      3718 Main Street

      Kitsilano Natural Foods
      2696 West Broadway

      “Choices is quite good for this—you can find washing soda and a bunch of different staples. The Soap Dispensary is another one, of course, as well as Kitsilano Natural Foods. That’s where I buy bulk salt and bulk baking soda.”

      Best local green initiative

      “The Jericho Stewardship Group that does tree-planting and cleaning. They meet every week and you can just show up. It’s family-friendly. I also like Keep Vancouver Spectacular, where you can sign up as an ambassador to clean up your block. Then there’s the shoreline cleanups conducted by the Surfrider Foundation, for example, and Little Free Library, which is a fun way to share a book.”

      Best consignment store

      Macgillycuddy’s Consignment for Little People
      4881 MacKenzie Street

      Cobblestone Children’s Consignment
      4394 West 10th Avenue

      Turnabout Luxury Resale
      Various locations

      3644 West 16th Avenue

      “Macgillycuddy’s and Cobblestone for kids and Turnabout for men and women. Cheapskates is awesome if you need outdoor and sports gear—I just consigned a fleece jacket and my old rock-climbing shoes there.”

      Best place to donate used electronics

      London Drugs
      Various locations

      “London Drugs’ green deal program takes batteries, light bulbs, and Styrofoam packaging—whether you purchased the product there or not—as well as soft plastics. Electro-recycle events at farmers markets are great too.”

      Best reason to go green

      “We live in one of the greenest cities in North America so if anyone can master it, it should be us.”