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2010 Youth for Sustainability

Y4S Contest winners


2010 Youth for Sustainability

Announcing the winners of the 2010 Youth for Sustainability (Y4S) competition, an environmental contest sponsored by Spiral Table.

Half a year ago a dedicated group of business leaders in the Canadian health food industry put out a call to action for youth to submit their ideas on how to create sustainable changes in their communities.

The competition, called Y4S, was born out of Spiral Table, a mastermind group for progressive business leaders to strategically grow their businesses while integrating sustainability at the core (

Contestants were asked to create a video explaining the idea and how it would benefit youth, influence behavioural changes, be transferable to other regions, and educate others. They could win up to $10,000 toward their idea and receive mentoring from top industry business leaders.

“Supporting youth is always a gratifying experience,” says Y4S judge Stewart Brown. “But to see the diversity and creativity was so uplifting. There is hope for a better world with these inspired youth leading the charge.”

Adds Spiral Table co-facilitator Rob Sinclair, “The Youth 4 Sustainability contest has been a great example of what can happen when leaders in sustainability get together.”

The 2010 Y4S winners

Passion Foundation for the creation of a professionally filmed, produced, and edited video series for teachers and the public that will appeal to youth and their families. The video aims to teach youth to make healthy food choices that will drastically reduce CO2 emissions and environmental pollutants, as well as increase health and well-being.

Guelph Urban Organic Garden Project for their desire to nurture the next generation of growers through education about where their food comes from. The plan is to run public workshops on organic gardening, expanding the programs for children in the community, running a farmers’ market on the University of Guelph campus, and selling organic heirloom seeds and transplants.

Think Tank for being a catalyst in grouping like-minded, compassionate, and motivated individuals together to pursue sustainable initiatives. Think Tank members receive continuous motivation and feedback on their project development, and a chance to network and create partnerships with other like-minded and passionate individuals.

Portable Rinsing Recycling Station for creating an easy, cost-effective way for students to recycle their snack and drink containers at school. The easy to assemble and clean station includes a wash basin, tap, and plastic bins for storing recyclables, as well as wheels for portability.

“It was truly inspiring to see the innovative thinking and dedication to problem-solving around sustainability issues,” says fellow Spiral Table member Randy Whitteker. “These young people really get it, and they intend to apply themselves to make a difference. Would we run the contest again? How could we not?”

The members of Spiral Table™ are: Stewart Brown, Founder and CEO, Genuine Health; Charles Chang, Founder and President, Sequel Naturals Ltd.; Ian Walker, Founder and CEO, Left Coast Naturals; Bruce Martin, General Manager, Community Natural Foods; Randy Whitteker, General Manager, ONFC; Rob Sinclair, Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer, Conscious Brands, and Miriam Karell, Founding Sustainability Strategist, Three Point Vision.


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