City challenged to become a ‘Green Grouch’

Red Deer is joining a friendly environmental battle against Grande Prairie to see which city is the most environmental. City council accepted a challenge, issued by Grande Prairie mayor Bill Given, to join the Green Grouch Environmental Challenge.

Councillor Paul Harris is a big supporter of Red Deer taking up the Green Grouch Challenge, pointing out Red Deer is already in eighth place nationally, slightly ahead of Edmonton and Winnipeg.

“I just think anything we do environmentally is really good. Let’s just do it. All citizens have to do is go to the Green Grouch website (, there’s a checklist and you have to register and answer ten questions, just click, click, click, it takes five seconds and then you get points.”

Participants get “green” points for various environmental actions, like washing clothes in cold water instead of hot, or using a refillable beverage container instead of a disposable bottle. A check of the Green Grouch website shows Grande Prairie in a substantial lead over all other cities in Canada with 3,301 points.

Red Deer (as of Tuesday) had 538 points.

“We haven’t even started yet,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling. “We didn’t officially start Green Grouch till tonight (Monday), and I really appreciated the tongue in cheek comments from many councillors about pipsqueak Grande Prairie tweaking the nose of Goliath Red Deer. That was kind of fun.

“And that’s the way you have to look at engaging people in such community endeavours and doing the right thing environmentally. While we all know we should be doing these things sometimes we just need a kick in the pants to get us on the path. It’s kind of fun to see how we do and compare ourselves with other communities. I think Red Deer does an amazing job with environmental concerns”

Flewwelling also pointed out Red Deer’s sterling environmental heritage, which includes internationally recognized nature writer Kerry Wood and the Red Deer River Naturalists, the oldest environmental organization in Alberta, dating back to before Alberta was a province.

“We haven’t just discovered the environment,” said Flewwelling.