Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.

CUPE member Belinda Castendyk takes her environmentalism very seriously. She works as a support assistant in Vancouver.

A dedicated public transit user, Sister Castendyk decided to take stronger action for Clean Air Day and every day by walking to and from work. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is, until you consider Sister Castendyk’s round trip to and from work is 29 kilometres long. Her amazing commitment is good for both her health and the environment. The walk takes her five and half hours each working day.

Sister Val Savage is an Hospital Employees Union (HEU) member living and working in Nanaimo, B.C. She improves air quality in her community by biking to and from work every day, regardless of the weather (it rains a lot in Nanaimo). She’s been riding every day of the year and it now takes her half as much time to make the trip as it did when she started.

Sister Savage sums it up this way, “What use to be automatic to get into the car and drive everywhere now is automatic to get onto my bike and go everywhere. With good rain gear it is possible to ride year round in Nanaimo and now I don’t even care about the price of gas. I get the best parking spot at work and leg muscles to die for. My environmental pledge is to keep on biking!”


Sister Moneca Faircrest is an HEU member from Kelowna. She only ever travels to and from work by taking public transit or carpooling. She has also started to walk everywhere she goes at work – between facility buildings at the Kelowna General Hospital and foregoing elevators for the stairs. By relying on foot power, her actions spare the air. She walks about four kilometres per day at work alone, which is good for her health and the planet.

Well done HEU Sisters! Thanks for leading the way by taking actions to clean the air in your communities.