An ardent environmentalist, Bill Slade (BES ’73) has dedicated more than 25 years of his life to the environmental movement through community service and stewardship.
As a founding member and former Chair of the Carleton Place Environmental Advisory Committee (CPEAC), and past member of the Almonte Environmental Advisory Committee, Bill authored and brought forward a local bylaw just prior to the 2009 Ontario Provincial Pesticide Ban and initiated the collection and was a pioneer in the relatively new practice of recycling of e-waste.
He promoted the use and sale of rain barrels and compost bins, initiated a high school environmental bursary award for local high schools and partnered with the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist Environmental Initiatives Committee to research impact of Wild Parsnip’s infestation in Lanark County.
This past February Bill was recognized and honored by the Carleton Place Town Council for his outstanding contribution to how citizen-consumers can play a more active and thoughtful role in protecting the planet and guiding his community.
With an environmentally supportive council in the Town of Carleton Place Bill was able to co-author and initiate an Environmental Action Plan in addition to proposing by-laws on anti-idling, banning plastic bags and single use plastics.
In addition to his environmental activism, Bill volunteered with the Almonte Civitan Club, Hunger Stop at Lanark County Food Bank, and the Ontario Special Olympics Adaptive Program.
He believes action to mitigate climate change and adaptations will reduce the risk to both current and future generations. “What we do now will either slow down or increase the impact of climate change on our children’s future. What keeps the fire burning within me is the future state of the earth we leave our children and grandchildren. “
One of his greatest inspirations for environmental action is Nicole Bruinsma who started an organization to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides in 1999. Through the movement, provincial governments passed legislation banning the cosmetic use of pesticides. Nicole’s motto, “I can do a lot, so, I should do a lot,” inspired Bill’s passion to make a difference.
Bill has taken more than 16 online courses on climate change, sustainability and renewable resources through various continued learning programs offered by various universities and organizations. These courses include Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Global Food Safety, and Water Scarcity. Bill is actively involved as a speaker and leader of seminars on Climate Change and its impact locally.
With no signs of slowing down, Bill is still part of CPEAC but was recently asked by the mayor participate in the formation of a county level Environmental Advisory Committee. Its focus will be organizing and applying for grants establish a carbon inventory, implementing a strategy to reduce Lanark Counties carbon footprint, planning strategies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change leading to public education. And Bill is up for the challenge.
Recently, Bill was appointed to represent Canada by the Standards Council of Canada to a mirror committee on circular economics based on his years of experience working and providing advice on environmental matters at the municipal level.
“I feel passionate that I continue with my environmental contributions for I want to leave my children and my grandchildren a world that they can love, live and prosper in. “