You may have seen two girls dressed in green shirts and hats walking around your neighbourhood. We are the Patrouille Verte and we are environmental patrollers who are responsible in teaching and promoting environmental awareness  around your borough! For example, we have been doing food waste surveys to ask whether you have been participating in the new food waste collection. If you see us observing your food waste bins on collection day, we are making sure you are participating correctly by using the proper bags and putting only acceptable items in the collection.

We have also been going door to door in apartment buildings to remind people on how to properly recycle and what types of things are not accepted in the recycling. For example, please remember to remove the caps off bottles or containers before recycling. Also, please rinse everything before disposing it in the recycling bin for collection and remember  not to recycle plastic number 6.

Another thing we are responsible for as Patrouille Verte is to inform people on the emerald ash borer that has been attacking many ash trees in Montréal. Unfortunately, this bug is very prominent throughout Montreal and has been destroying many trees and the canopy cover. If you have an ash tree and are wondering if it should be treated, you can call us to assess your situation at no cost. Otherwise, if the tree appears to be more than 30% dead it must be cut down to avoid the spread of the insect. If the tree has less than 30% damage you can treat the tree with a bio-insecticide treatment. The city will subsidize some of this cost depending on the size of the tree and the contractor company you have chosen. To discover how much of your treatment will be subsidized call 311 or visit the city of Montreal website:  http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=7377,142097470&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL .

Do you know some ways to reduce water consumption in your house? During the month of May, I worked as patrouille bleue making sure people were aware of easy initiatives to save water in their household. I gave out courtesy tickets for sprinkler usage outside the bylaw permitted times and for having gutters facing an impermeable surface. Some ways you can save water in your household is to take shorter length showers, install low flow shower heads, toilets and sink aerators. Puting an empty container in your toilet reservoir can save a lot of water. You may be wondering how putting a container in your toilet reduces water flow. By putting a container in your toilet reservoir, every time you flush the toilet the container will take up space and reduce the amount of water needed to fill up the reservoir. Every time a toilet is flushed it uses 30 litres of water! That is a lot!

As an environmental science student at McGill, this job hits close to home. It is exhilarating to be able to see the community take part and make a difference in the environment collectively. I am proud to be able to do this job and teach others about the importance of our actions. It always makes us happy to hear people actively participating. Be proud of yourself, your involvement doesn’t go unnoticed!

Emily Winsor