When it’s attached to metal spikes stuck in the ground it’s a campaign sign, but when detached from the spikes it becomes a reusable shopping bag.
That’s what Michelle Bowman, Guelph’s Green Party of Canada candidate has unveiled for this year’s election cycle as a way to cut down on single-use campaign items.
While some traditional plastic signs have popped up around Guelph, Bowman is now offering her supporters the environmentally friendly approach to display their support for the party.
“I was looking for alternatives, I was considering ribbons, and searching the internet to find if there was anything made with more environmentally friendly material I came across these bags and figured they would work,” said Bowman.
The metal frames the signs sit on are leftover from Steve Dyck’s campaign in 2019.
Bowman said this is the first step in creating a perfected environmentally friendly approach to campaign signs and hopes that in future elections the Green Party of Canada can adopt these methods and create sustainable campaign items.
“I looked everywhere for something that was made locally, even the company I wanted to go with are made overseas, but their ethics standards are really high,” said Bowman. “There is definitely some room for improvement, but we thought this was a good time to test this out as it’s a short election and we don’t need as many signs.”
Bowman referenced the quote ‘be an imperfect environmentalist’ which she says relates to this issue as they are taking a step away from single-use signs and creating a stepping stone for future elections.
“We would prefer they are made out of Canadian hemp and made locally, but we are not quite there yet,” said Bowman.
Due to the shortened election cycle, Bowman said she needed to start her campaign with the traditional plastic signs and needed the bigger signs for busy intersections.
“Originally I found this really great company that goes really far with their ethics, and I wanted the usual shape of 12 by 24, but they took 16 weeks to come so that wasn’t an option,” said Bowman.
Without the immediate option, and with supports calling her for signs, Bowman worked quickly to distribute what signs she had while waiting for the reusable signs to come in.
“Mike Schreiner's team warned me that Green’s want their sings on day one, and it is true, said Bowman. “People called me the day after the writ dropped saying where is my sign.”
Originally, the green party ordered 2,500 signs as that’s how many Dyke put out, but Bowman chose to alter that and place orders of 500 at a time.
“They turned out how I envisioned them,” said Bowman.