Mentee Stories: Bella Margolles

 Bella Margolles (left) with mentor Hilary Miller with Climate Smart. Photo: Ivan Belko. 

Bella Margolles (left) with mentor Hilary Miller with Climate Smart. Photo: Ivan Belko. 

Bella Margolles is new to the climate movement but she is already making an impact. “I only started taking active steps towards sustainable living within the last 2 years,” Bella says. “Since then I’ve worked to improve my own day-to-day habits, specifically around reducing waste.” Bella has also recently made a career shift, moving from a degree in Psychology to a career in the technology field as a User Experience Designer. Now, she is bringing both of her new interests together to create change.

With Climate Guides, Bella is designing a mobile application that empowers the Greater Vancouver community to practice and champion sustainability, by recommending restaurants and businesses that have taken steps to reduce their waste. Think of it like your go-to friend who knows which spots encourage you to bring your own Tupperware for leftovers, or which places only use cloth napkins. An app like this would make it easier for Vancouverites to practice sustainability when eating-out, and would encourage businesses to adopt zero-waste strategies.

 Animated version of Bella's app design on Climate Guides Instagram @climateguides 

Animated version of Bella's app design on Climate Guides Instagram @climateguides 

“The idea for this app has been floating around in my head for a while,” Bella remarks. “I wanted to have the support from a mentor and a team before fully fleshing out my idea, and Climate Guides was the perfect way to get started.” Her mentor, Hilary Miller, is well versed in encouraging businesses to improve their sustainability. She is a Client Advisor at Climate Smart, where she trains businesses of all sizes to manage and reduce their carbon footprints. When asked about the benefits of having a mentor, Bella explains, “Having a mentor has been so helpful for bouncing ideas, getting reassurance, and becoming aware of resources and information that I hadn’t known about previously.”

 Mentor Hilary Miller introducing mentee Bella Margolles at the closing event for cohort 2018. Photo: Ivan Belko 

Mentor Hilary Miller introducing mentee Bella Margolles at the closing event for cohort 2018.
Photo: Ivan Belko 

While Bella may be at the beginning of her climate journey, she is certain about one thing: the power of youth. “It’s important for youth to be engaged in climate action because we are the future of this planet,” Bella explains. “Our contributions (both positive and negative) to this earth will make an impact that could span generations.”

One fun fact about Bella? She has relatively recently made the transition from being fearful of dogs, to being a dog-lover. “Sometimes I go to dog beaches just to watch the dogs,” she says.

We can confidently say that both dogs and the planet are better off having Bella on their side.

Caroline Merner