Playing Without Destroying the Playground - Green Drinks Tackles Sustainable Tourism

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
March 26th, 2009

There is a fascinating dichotomy that takes place daily in Rossland and is often the source of much debate. On one hand you have a town that on the whole seems to have an environmental conscience that runs deep. This is visible all over town from re-useable grocery bag campaigns through sustainability plans to marches down Columbia Ave. to protect the integrity of our drinking water. On the other hand you have a town that lives for the outdoors, for action, for adventure that drives our SUV’s to a ski hill built in the heart of our watershed, driving out to that wilderness in our diesel pickup trucks loaded up with sleds in the back or shuttling mountain bikes to the tops and back of downhill trails.

If you asked the average Rosslander would you give up your sports that aren’t always healthy for the planet to satisfy your green conscience, you’d likely get a firm no. Dialing the same question back a bit and asking would you like to work towards making your sports and tourism pursuits less harmful on the environment and you’d likely get a resounding yes in most cases.

This two-sided issue will be the focus of the upcoming Green Drinks event at the Old Fire Hall, Monday March 30th at 7:00pm.

Hosted by Michelle Laurie, the engaging conversation cafe style event hits on the topic of sustainable tourism this time around asking participants to focus on the questions; How do you play? Who do you want to share your playground with? Are you a tourism destination? And sustainable Tourism for who?

Those questions among others will be addressed by this session’s presenter Schaun Goodeve who will kick off the night with a talk on this issue, providing his expert knowledge on the subject. Participants will then break off into smaller groups to discuss the questions above, swapping groups to bring new faces and ideas into each group before re-convening as a whole to share what was learned and any ideas that were generated in the group sessions.

Goodeve, based out of Kimberly is an expert in the sustainable tourism world and has worked and played in the industry for over 15 years. Having grown up in Ontario where he completed a bachelor degree in Environmental Resource Management, his adventurous spirit took him out on a series of adventures including a solo bike trip across North Africa before returning to Canada to pick up on his schooling.

Seeing a need in the world for true, competent and passionate tourism professionals Goodeve put his heart and soul behind his passion setting out to become a tourism professional that could realistically say he’d been there and done that. An adventurist in general, Goodeve has worked hard to become an accomplished guide and instructor in whitewater canoeing and diving among other pursuits. He has also visited over 30 countries assisting communities and tourism operators worldwide achieve their sustainability goals.

While attending York University in Ontario, Goodeve completed his master’s degree in Environmental Studies focusing his efforts and learning on sustainable tourism, while at the same time launching his own tourism/environmental planning and consulting company Green Dimensions Planning.

Having adventured around the world cycling across the middle east, diving in the Red Sea, leading remote wilderness canoe trips down whitewater rivers and multi day sailing trips while also teaching Tourism and Recreation Management at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, serving as president of the Kimberly Chamber of Commerce as well as operating his own environmental consulting firm, Goodeve is quite literally the embodiment of how to play in mother nature’s playground and run a business doing so without destroying the very playground that sustains you. If there is a person that can offer some insight into how to bridge the dichotomy that Rossland lives in the heart of, then Goodeve may be one of those people to at least start the discussion.

Being a recreation centered city with an environmental conscience, facing a world of global recessions, seemingly inevitable climate change, and with a need to grow and diversify our economy to stay afloat without adding to man’s impact on the natural environment, engaging in discussions around sustainable tourism may just be a logical first step.

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