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MacQueen’s Bike Shop now a Charlottetown Certified Sustainable Business

MacQueen’s Bike Shop is one of the businesses that has been certified as sustainable by the City of Charlottetown. Store employee Dayan Gonzalez holds one of the more unique products available, the penny-farthing bike, while Kristen MacQueen holds a piece of artwork that has been made out of recycled bike parts.  ©THE GUARDIAN
MacQueen’s Bike Shop is one of the businesses that has been certified as sustainable by the City of Charlottetown. Store employee Dayan Gonzalez holds one of the more unique products available, the penny-farthing bike, while Kristen MacQueen holds a piece of artwork that has been made out of recycled bike parts. ©THE GUARDIAN - Dave Stewart

When it came to the environment, the late Gordon MacQueen made sure his family left the smallest footprint possible.

Now, his children and those who work at MacQueen’s Bike Shop in Charlottetown are making sure his legacy lives on.

Kent Street Market and MacQueen’s Bike Shop are the latest businesses to be certified under the City of Charlottetown’s Certified Sustainable Business (CSB) program.

Beyond specializing in a sustainable mode of transportation, MacQueen’s is housed in a well-insulated building and heated with a local renewable resource (wood pellets supplied by Pelleco). The business also reduced its water consumption and established innovative waste management and reduction initiatives.

Gordon’s daughter, Kristen, said growing up her father made sure they lived off the land. They had a woodmill and a wood stove. They also owned their own animals for food and milk.

“He was all about not leaving tracks behind, not leaving a big footprint on the planet and he worked toward that for years,’’ Kristen said.

“He’s the one who created this for us. He had the vision to create the building with Insulated Concrete Form Construction (ICF) before anyone was really building with ICF.’’

Also receiving the City of Charlottetown’s Certified Sustainable Business (CSB) stamp of approval:

- Kent Street Market

- Howatt’s Enviro Paints

- Invesco

- Buns & Things

Back in the fall, they took note of the city’s CSB program. Kristen, who was in Cuba where she lives 11 months out of the year, forwarded it to her sister, Kelley, and she and bike shop employee Dayan Gonzalez both agreed they should jump on board.

They have continued to refine how they dispose of waste with employees in constant communication with Island Waste Management Corporation. Staff even helped their Syrian tenants solve their Waste Watch challenges.

“And, we installed aerators on all of our taps. We didn’t have any leaky taps . . . but the aerators definitely helped to reduce the water flow in everything here on the main level.’’

MacQueen’s Bike Shop also works with Belle River kinetic bike sculpture artist Ahmon Katz to repurpose art out of unusable bike parts.

“He takes a lot of what we consider our junk bikes, bikes that come in that really aren’t worth repairing for you to invest in, compared to a new bike.’’

Katz also takes their metal waste materials and transforms them into other objects.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Kristen’s nieces, who are her brother Danny’s daughters, have resorted to turning bike parts into jewelry.

“We’ve compiled a whole bunch of different ideas for them to work on with recycled bike tubes, spokes, wheels and bike chains and we keep adding new garbage creations,’’ Kristen said. “Every day they create something new out of the garbage.’’

Kristen is confident the ideas will keep on coming.

“Whatever we can do to continue (Dad’s) legacy and to improve on it wherever we can, we’re totally on board with that.’’

Dave.Stewart@TheGuardian.pe.ca

Twitter - DveStewart

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