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SaltWire Selects Sept. 15: 102 years of walking, new builds from recycled plastic and shifting small-town streets

Vic and Krista Penner stand outside their new home in Gilbert's Cove, Digby County, during the construction process. Around 560,000 recycled plastic bottles were used by the Meteghan, N.S. company JD Composites in the building material that makes up the shell of their house. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Vic and Krista Penner stand outside their new home in Gilbert's Cove, Digby County, during the construction process. Around 560,000 recycled plastic bottles were used by the Meteghan, N.S. company JD Composites in the building material that makes up the shell of their house. - Tina Comeau

These stories about Atlantic Canada's people and their communities are worth your time today

Putting in steps

Remember Joy Saunders?

She was introduced to us by columnist John DeMont in the spring and now we have an update for SaltWire readers.

Saunders recently went on a walk to support VON; it was her 102nd walk in a fundraiser for the nursing and homecare organization.

Her goal? To complete it before her 102nd birthday next month.

“I love walking. I’m not going to stop,” Saunders told SaltWire.com's Kathy Johnson at the finish line. “I think I might have to get another dog.”

Saunders has had an interesting, long life – including a stint in the army she can't divulge the details of –  and is worth spending time with.

 Meet Joy, find out how much she raised with her walks and what's next

Joy Saunders crosses the finish line of her 102nd walk in support of the VON.  Her daughter June smiles proudly in the background. The 101-year-old Lunenburg resident has raised $73,000 so far. The funds raised by Saunders will directly support VON's community programs across Nova Scotia. - Kathy Johnson
Joy Saunders crosses the finish line of her 102nd walk in support of the VON. Her daughter June smiles proudly in the background. The 101-year-old Lunenburg resident has raised $73,000 so far. The funds raised by Saunders will directly support VON's community programs across Nova Scotia. - Kathy Johnson


Bottles as building blocks

What can you do with that water bottle other than toss it in the trash?

If you have 500,000 or more of them, you can build a durable, energy-efficient house.

That's what Digby County, Nova Scotia's Vic and Krista Penner are doing with their new home built by JD Composites.

“I worked in a recycling plant in Fort McMurray so I understand how much plastic comes in. I also understand there’s not a lot of places for that stuff to go. It was stacked up for years sometimes,” Vic told SaltWire's Tina Comeau.

“This is a phenomenal way to use that stuff up, because we’re not going to stop using plastic.”

JD Composites' owners are also pretty chuffed with the build: they've now used 2 million plastic bottles in projects.

Find out more about how the process works and watch a video with JD Composites' Joel German and David Saulnier.

Joel German and David Saulnier of JD Composites display a piece of panel that is made with recycled water bottles. With a new home construction project in Gilbert's Cove, Digby County, they've surpassed the two-million mark in the number of plastic bottles they've incorporated into the projects. - Tina Comeau
Joel German and David Saulnier of JD Composites display a piece of panel that is made with recycled water bottles. With a new home construction project in Gilbert's Cove, Digby County, they've surpassed the two-million mark in the number of plastic bottles they've incorporated into the projects. - Tina Comeau

Changing course

Last year, the Trans-Canada Highway ran through little Cornwall, P.E.I.

A bypass shifted traffic around the community and Mayor Minerva McCourt says safety and the quality of life have improved since the change.

McCourt looks out at the road that was once the Trans-Canada Highway and likes what she sees on what is now Main Street.

“You don’t feel like you’re going to be rear-ended turning into your driveway," she told The Guardian's Dave Stewart.

"It’s also much quieter."

Stewart and McCourt take SaltWire readers on a tour of Cornwall to see how the town is evolving

Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt says one of the current changes to the town is the construction of a new driveway for the town hall. It will intersect with Mercedes Drive. - Dave Stewart/The Guardian
Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt says one of the current changes to the town is the construction of a new driveway for the town hall. It will intersect with Mercedes Drive. - Dave Stewart/The Guardian

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