Municipal Environment Committee continues to recognize environmental stewards
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Municipal Environment Committee recently recognized Faye Libler for working to contribute towards Encouraging Environmental Awareness and Stewardship. Libler saves found wood, windows, old glass, headboards etc. and repurpose them into creative works of art. She also shares her expertise refurbishing old things into new ones, by offering classes reflecting her knowledge.
Libler said, “I was very honored. That makes me feel good. When you do something that’s in your heart, you don’t do it for recognition and so it was a nice surprise to be recognized for it in that way. I do appreciate it and I think anything that plants a seed, maybe in someone’s head that maybe, this could be reused instead of drawn to the dump, then I think that’s always a good thing.”
The Environment Committee shared with the Bulletin that one of the Committee’s recurring goals is to educate the public about the best practices for living as an environmental steward. They choose to celebrate those individuals, businesses, and organizations that do attempt to make an effort by lessening their carbon ‘footprint.’ The committee relies on the community to nominate those who deserve to be recognized. They encourage people to share about any individual or organization that is exemplifying the promotion of environmental education and/or undertaking good environmental stewardship, by emailing Anne Saltel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Libler said, “I grew up with my mom repurposing things. She recycled, she repurposed, she reused, so it was just the way I was brought up.” Libler shared that it is very difficult for her to throw things out as she can still see life in it. She sees a different purpose for it, or keeps it for later use. Libler aims to keep things in circulation and out of the landfills. She said, “Why buy a new one if you can make something with an old item, like a piece of furniture?” Libler added that while she stresses reusing items as much possible, she also uses new materials as part of her work.
The Vice-Chair of the Sioux Lookout Environment Committee, Anne Saltel shared, “Faye is a person who deserves the recognition. I love how she attributed her environmental stewardship to her mother who taught her to re-use and repurpose everything. Faye is a very talented artist in her own realm. She has a lot of special projects that can be seen on the sides of buildings in rural Sioux Lookout.” She added, “The projects Faye has achieved are incredible. She has amazing energy.”
Originally from Hudson, Libler spent several years of her life in Sioux Lookout before recently moving to Dinorwic. Libler has also been conducting classes in Sioux Lookout for about two years for anyone interested to enhance their skills and techniques to repurpose old items. She said, “I’m looking forward to doing classes again. I taught classes in making wood signs and things like that, and I was teaching people how to do stain glass and mosaics. But now, with COVID, it’s all come to a halt. I’m really looking forward to doing that again sometime.” She added, “It’s very inspiring for me to watch what I started out with and how the students changed that to be their own. It’s quite interesting.”
Libler said, “If you think you have an idea, give it a try. It might work, it might take some time, but everything doesn’t always work the first time. I encourage people to think twice before they throw anything out and think twice before they buy things that maybe, could be purchased from someone who repurposes or maybe they could give it a try themselves.” Libler has been selling her artwork over the years. Anyone interested in viewing her work can contact her via her Facebook account or her Facebook Page at Macgirlver.
The Municipality also recognized another Sioux Lookout resident in November, Lesli Kemp, from Pelican Creek Design for her contribution towards Encouraging Environmental Awareness and Stewardship. Kemp saves found wood from old fences, wood from burn piles and from contractor’s waste, repurposing it into greeting signs.
Kemp, who also gets her inspiration from her mother, as well as from nature, shared that she has been repurposing items for over 30 years now. She said, “Most of my artwork is done on recycled and reclaimed wood and it’s not beneath me to go to the dump to find it. I take it from fire piles, I take down wooden fences for people, just to have a unique canvas.” Kemp added, “There is no point, if there is wood to be had, then may as well recycle it.”
Kemp said, “I feel very happy to be recognized for something that I didn’t even realize I was doing. It was a very pleasant surprise. I’m very humbled by it.” She concluded, “If you can think of a use for anything, don’t throw it away. Or if you have a wooden fence that needs to come down, call me.” Kemp can be contacted at (807) 737-5942.