Boyd demonstrates how he and his partner compost all organic waste from their road trip, through the use of a portable composter. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Driving across Canada to promote zero-waste

On July 1, Buddy Boyd and Barbara Hetherington started their ‘Bolt Across Canada’ trip, to show that zero-waste travel is possible.

So far they have traveled 16,000 km, on their journey from the west coast, to the furthest point in the east, and back again. They have spent under $200 on powering their car. In this extensive trip, the couple has been stopping in many regional districts and small communities to promote the installation of electronic charging stations.

On Wednesday, August 16, they stopped in Fernie to meet with council, and charge their car at City Hall.

“Contact!” Boyd said as he plugged in the car.

One of the things they have been suggesting to cities as they travel, is to triple the number of charging stations, and start proper zero-waste community plans.

Council was enthusiastic about their arrival, and complimented them on their efforts and positive message.

As a part of their ‘no waste’ goal, the two environmental enthusiasts are not leaving any waste, wherever they go. If they go to a restaurant, they take their own plates and cutlery, and don’t take anything with them.

“In each hotel, it’s nothing but styrofoam and plastic,” said Boyd.

If they shop for their own food, they make sure to compost all organics in their portable composter which stays in their trunk. For transportation away from their vehicle, they have an electric bicycle.

Asked why he cares, Boyd said, “Because I breathe the same air.”

They have been called tree huggers before, and to this, Boyd suggests they put the label to the side and open up their minds.

Boyd also recalled people saying they can’t afford an electric vehicle.

“We just had a discussion with a couple from Germany, and they said, ‘most people can’t afford an electric car’, and I said, ‘I’ve done the math, I can’t afford a gas car!” said Buddy.

Boyd is originally a truck driver, so fuel consumption is no mystery to him. He is also the owner of Gibson’s Recycling Depot, and was always trying to find a way to reduce emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

In 2012, his company purchased two electric Ford Transit Connect Azures for their curbside recycling pick ups. They were perfect for the local communities deliveries and pickups. Not only were they cost saving, they were also a solution to sound pollution.

Applying this new-found solution into his own life, Boyd purchased a Chevy Bolt. Now, he travels across Canada with a purpose.

“I want to show that electric vehicles are a viable option for all Canadians,” he said.

“I would love to see more public charging stations, more alternative fuel or energy public transportation, and more local service shops for EV’s (electric vehicles).”

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