Around the world, MCC partners with people who are negatively affected by climate change.

In response to these increased droughts, storms, and other disastrous weather patterns, MCC is taking steps to better care for creation.

We at MCC are working to make changes in our own backyard by reducing waste, lessening energy consumption and creating green spaces in Canada. 

Volunteers at the Plum Coulee Material Resources Centre in Manitoba strip the covers and spine of books and send the paper to be recycled into blown insulation for housing. MCC photo/Gord Letkeman


In the small town of Plum Coulee, Manitoba, big things are happening with old, outdated books. At the Material Resources Centre, volunteers are processing books which are culled by thrift shops and libraries to ready them for recycling.

According to Gord Letkeman, MCC’s Canadian Material Resources Manager, volunteers have processed 65.6 tonnes of paper between April 2016 and March 2017. It’s shipped to Morden where a business makes blown insulation for homes.

“We get paid 50 dollars a tonne, which isn’t much, but it keeps it out of the landfill and all the money goes back to MCC,” Letkeman says.

Likewise in Abbotsford, British Columbia, MCC volunteers and staff are recycling thousands of pounds of unsellable clothing, shoes, handbags and hats, the bulk of which is repurposed into insulation for homes.

In September of 2016, guests toured the rooftop of MCC Ontario's office in Kitchener which features 774 solar panels.Submitted by Sheryl Bruggeling

Green Building

MCC Ontario’s office in Kitchener was designed with green in mind.

The award-nominated building produces, on average, 200 kilowatts of electricity per day (the amount of electricity it would need on a typical day) from a 774 panel solar array which is pumped back into the grid. It has a rainwater storage system that allows the whole building to run off of an equivalent amount of water used by a family of three or four. Materials from the previous building were reused in the construction of the new one, while others were chosen based primarily on their environmental impact. The building uses energy efficient windows and light fixtures as well.

MCC Canada’s board kept similar principles in mind when it approved renovations at the head office in Winnipeg several years ago. The carpet throughout the building is made from recycled fibres and plastic bottles.

MCC Alberta’s self-watering rooftop garden brings a bit of green to an otherwise industrial area of Calgary. MCC photo/Angela Bennett


Calgary’s north east is a largely industrial area which very little green space, but on MCC Alberta’s roof top it’s a different story.

Allison Goerzen works as MCC Alberta’s Indigenous Neighbours co-coordinator, peace program assistant and also sits on the Acting Sustainably committee. She said the staff have developed self-watering buckets that lose less water to evaporation, which is usually an issue for rooftop gardens.

“The idea was to create some green space, raise awareness that it’s possible to have more green spaces in an industrial area and to supplement the staff’s lunches with local, fresh vegetables," Goerzen says.

MCC Canada’s head office also has a community garden which many staff and community members use.

Jennifer Dick, a regular volunteer at the MCC Furniture Thrift Shop in Winnipeg, rings through Kelly Milne's purchase of a collection of beautiful blue and white tiles. Milne is renovating her home and says she tries to shop thrift before purchasing anything new.MCC photo/Alison Ralph


MCC thrift stores are the epitome of reducing, reusing and recycling. The more than 5000 volunteers in 52 shops across Canada make millions of dollars for MCC’s work globally by reselling second-hand clothes, kitchen items and more.

Patty Ollies is the Canadian thrift coordinator and says the volunteers work hard to prevent sellable items from being thrown away.

“The bulk of our items are between one and $10, and that translates to $10 million for MCC. That’s a lot of items kept out of the landfill,” she says, enthusiastically.


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