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Victoria & Vancouver: the people on the journey to a better planet

Victoria&Vancouver : 2 days of people

Buddy and I went to Victoria not to see the sights but to see people. As well as dividing time visiting an uncle, a mother and a sister, we also were invited to bring our Chevy Bolt to the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club in Colwood, we met up with some incredible young women who are recycling cooking oil to make soap, and our way home we stopped in Vancouver to see the work Brice Jamieson at Elix, a company creating wireless charging stations, and we also met the crew from Growing City, a Vancouver- based company picking up compostable materials from offices.

Victoria Electric Vehicle Club event at the Royal Bakery in Colwood

Buddy and Barb with Dave  at VEVC meeting at bakery

When VEVC heard we were coming over to Victoria, they invited Buddy to bring the Bolt out to Colwood so members could get a look at the new Bolt as the car has not yet arrived at dealerships on the island. The club members have a variety of electric and hybrid vehicles, and like all EV owners they are both keen and curious. As the gathered members looked over the car I really got the sense of comradery and support of the EV community. For individuals changing over to electric vehicles, I would recommend joining a club like this. As well as being a wealth of knowledge about owning and operating electric vehicles, the club organizes an Eco Night at with the Victoria Royals Hockey team that showcases a parade of electric vehicles on the ice. The VEVC members will also be participating at the “largest electric car show” at the Creatively United Earth Day Festival in Victoria April 22.

There is a common thread binding all the members and that is a deep concern about the environment and the future of the planet.

Talking with the members about solar panels, Zero Waste and electric vehicles as the Royal Bakery was a perfect backdrop with its own charging station, solar panels, onsite composting and honey from their own bees.

C Soap

We met up with Carol Folhasi and Cynthia Gabay in the James Bay area of Victoria. Carol and Cynthia are recycling cooking oil into soap. The home-based business C Soap is a new venture for the pair who are presently making a bar soap and dishwasher tablets. Cynthia and Carol also have plans of expanding to offer laundry soap flakes.

The soap comes without packaging and is a multipurpose soap that can be used for cleaning dishes, laundry, body and hair. When I got home I used C Soap to bathe with and I found it a creamy soap that left my skin feeling soft. Buddy also used C Soap to bathe with and wash his hair; it was easy to rinse out and his hair was clean and not dried out or sticky. You do not have to fear you will smell like a French fry or fried chicken as the soap does not have any food residual smell. Cynthia and Carol add a slight natural fragrance on some of the soaps, the one we are using has a subtle lemon scent.

On our trip across Canada we are looking for multi-functional products that will help us reduce waste and reduce the stuff we are carrying, we are definitely picking up more soap to take with us.


On the way through Vancouver we stopped off to meet Brice Jamieson who just got his Chevy Bolt. As well as comparing new car owner experiences, Brice showed us the work Elix is doing.

Elix is a Canadian company that is a cutting edge developer of wireless charging technology. Elix began as a spin-off of a University of British Columbia research project in 2013 that developed a low-frequency wireless power transfer (WPT) technology based on the magneto-dynamic coupling (MDC) of two rotating permanent magnets in transmitter and receiver, rather than on resonant inductive technology. The system can transfer power across a wide air gap enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles.

Brice, who is an inventor, researcher, scientist and a guy from Saskatchewan, showed us the facility and explained the applications of the wireless technology. The wireless charging has significant benefits for electric vehicles. Places like China are moving rapidly to reduce emissions by mandating that fleets like taxis are electric, the ability to charge without plugging in will open up the opportunities to charge electric buses and other transport vehicles more efficiently.

Brice also bought his Bolt for a special project that he is doing with wireless charging. He will have it up and operating by the time we return from our cross Canada trip so we will definitely be stopping by to visit Brice again.

Growing City

One of Brice’s neighbours at facility is Growing City, a young company specializing creating organics and recycling management systems for office buildings. In 2015 alone, with the help of their clients, they managed to divert over 300,000 kilograms of organic waste from local landfills. Growing City installs sustainably made stainless steel bins in clients’ offices and offers two organics recycling services, as well as traditional in-office recycling.


Often we hear the words “road to” and “journey” when we talk about sustainability and Zero Waste, if we are on a journey or road trip towards creating a more Earth-friendly world it will be the people we meet along the way and what they are doing and what we are doing that will get us to the destination.

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