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Cassandra and Mark, my 2 best friends have always been there for me and to make a blog about experiences of my life without including them seems incomplete. Known them since elementary school, we talk everyday and i feel blessed to have them in my life. They taught me the difference between good people and great people. Cass is a social worker and Mark just got back from Afghanistan. Both of them are trying to help people in need in their own way. My goal of helping change the accouting system seem not as noble but they make me realize that i wouldn’t be able to be just an accountant with money. I don’t want to be a burden on the world.

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from my alone trip to Europe. Taken at a bar in San Sebastian with a great friend i met over seas named Mat. I smile every time i look at this picture and it reminds me to have fun and how sometimes being “irresponsible” and ” unpredictable” can take you to places in life that you won’t regret. Picture from my alone trip to Europe. Taken at a bar in San Sebastian with a great friend i met over seas named Mat. I smile every time i look at this picture and it reminds me to have fun and how sometimes being “irresponsible” and “unpredictable” can take you to places in life that you won’t regret.

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Here are my friends from high school. All play an instrument and are extremely successful.  Pursuing studies in Communication, Architecture,  Medicine, Criminology.

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My boyfriend. Probably the person that taught me the most life lessons. In order to have a healthy relationship, you need to develop a lot of communication, listening and self-criticism skills.

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Ok so i decided to find out just how many establishments don’t recycle on that street. So i went to Stogies, Winston Churchill Pub, Newtown, Madhatters. XOXO and Hurleys to ask the staff what were their recycling standards. Cost me an arm and a leg on drinks and i was pretty tipsy by the end of it but here is what i found out. Turns out most of them recycle bottled beer because they get a commission on them but some such as Newtown doesn’t recycle at all. I found out thought that it was the same owners than my restaurant, so i guess that explains a few things.  I also found out that there is Crescent Street Merchants Association which goal is ” to reinforce the image of the street as being a commercial street focused on entertainment, hospitality and quality establishments. We take care of our environment by ensuring safety, cleanliness, promotion, and by looking after the general improvement of the street”…. So i guess as long as it is cleaned on the outside, it doesn’t matter what they do on the inside. I intent to contact the president or at least send him an email explaining my concerns, i will let you guys know how it turns out.

So i had my meeting with the Big Boss today. We talk a lot in this class about pushing personal borders, i would say this was it.  Its only been 2 weeks i work at this place and i already managed to let everyone know how i think this restaurant is irresponsible and this was my first time meeting the  owner and i was about to give him a harsh criticism. My feelings were kind of mixed because i was actually pretty nervous and didn’t know what kind of person he was or how well he is going to react to what i had to say. I didn’t know if he was going to encourage my “thinking outside the box” or condemn me for telling him how to run his restaurant but i figured that if i ever what to be able to make a difference in the world, i had to start somewhere and speak up.  Tom, the owner, turned out to be a generally nice guy. I asked him if there was a reason why this restaurant didn’t recycle and of its  glass, paper, etc, where so many others have recycling programs? He told me it was a very good question and he had no idea apparently.  So i started my speech on waste and how i was sure that many clients would not appreciate this , including me, and that he was one of the only restaurant in town that didn’t do it. He immediately asked to speak to the general manager so he can ask him how come and said that his wife would kill him too if she ever found out about this. Then he dismissed me and kept trying to call the manager. I felt pretty good, imagining being part of making the change in this restaurant, and having separate bins for all materials, in general i was happy about it. However, as i saw the manger walk past me, i did something i am not too proud of. As the manger came and i was still within a distance where i could hear their conversation,  i ear-dropped on them. Turns out the owner didn’t even mention the recycling thing. He just talked about other issues and completely ignored my concerns.  I did leave but let me say something IT IS ON!  I might get fired but i definitely make sure before i leave this place, there is a recycling system in place. Goal #2

So Montreal is suppose to be a green city right? Not so much! I just just started to work in a new restaurant called Weinsten & Gavinos on Crescent street. This restaurant has a HUGE turnover with hundreds of sits and sell mostly wine and beer. I was outraged when asked by the managers to throw away all glass, paper, beer bottles! When i asked why we didn’t recycle, i was given a poor reason. Apparently because of the turnover, they fill up their bins to quickly and  the trucks don’t collect fast enough. I intend to go to the source of the problem as i have a meeting with the owner of the restaurant and i intent to confront him about it. I also got the feeling that the staff didn’t really give a crap about it and most didn’t even question or realize what a waste that was. Maybe i am assuming but i saw no hesitation and everyone i talked to gave me big eyes and i got responses such as “that’s a good question”. I was also classified as an environmentalist. It is funny how people will jump to conclusion just because you do a little questioning of the people in charge. I don’t consider myself environmentalist nor any other ists, i feel like this makes common sense and that waste and pollution should not be encourage.  So what does that makes me?

Ok i am really happy to find out about this organization! They are a coalition that use and develop the world’s most widespread sustainability reporting.  They have created a network of organizations around the world that understand the importance  of “going green” on their financial statements. We talked in class about the so called invisible movement that is currently taking place around the world. I think this group is definitely part of this movement and they are in my field if studies. I am impressed by the size of this organization.  Here are some numbers to illustrate the importance of their business:

GRI reporting by Country

This is a company i would love to work for, they are doing a bi-yearly conference in the Netherlands about their work and invite speakers in the industry around the world. If i am going to be serious about making a career with those values, i definitely need to get on the wagon. I’ve decided to travel to Amsterdam in 2 years time and be there. I’m not sure how i am going to do it since they offer spaces to companies and a few Phd. students and i am neither, but im making this my goal!

Ok so after careful considerations here is the summary of the issues surrounding green reporting.

The first objective is to be able to include in the financial statement the environmental costs and find financial incentives for companies to “go green”.  The first issue is that this kind of costs are usually expensed. However, if environmental costs meet the criteria for asset it should be capitalized. An asset is a resource controlled by a company arising from a past event and from which future economic benefit are expected to flow in the company,

Then environmental assets are environmental costs and can be capitalized, which can be a huge incentive for companies to find and use new sustainable energies and infrastructure.


However, what i also find out that the Canadian Institute of Charted Accountants doesn’t really encourage companies to report environmental asset or liabilities because the measurements are inconsistent and there is an absence of specific guidance dealing w and that environmental costs are different from other costs because they produce a future benefit that is not purely economical.

I am pleased to see that the issues are being discussed. This makes me want to be an accountant and research, fight and make a change in the Canadian system.

Consequence of ecosystem service loss
•“If the Earth was a listed company, this would represent a loss of capital asset of 60 per cent.” UN
So in my research, i found out some pretty amazing things that really motivate me to work in this field. First of all there is just so many problems with the current model of accounting. Most companies don’t consider the true economic value of producing something, just the marketed and priced value of commodities and in terms of producing input/output.
Here is a pretty good description of what it should be

We spend a lot of time in school learning about economics and opportunity cost. It really aggravates me that we learn models based purely on one side of the story.  The information is available but is still undermined in most academic areas. I don’t understand how schools can teach us half truths and the disillusion it creates for people such as myself. We are programmed to think only about profits, economic wealth and growth. It creates leaders that are irresponsible and ignorant but yet over-educated? How can companies not have a valuation models to account for current or predict future financial impacts associated with ecosystem service decline?
The research goes on….i will be trying to figure out what is actually being done and how can i help!

So the more we talk about all this sustainability and well being affair, the more i realize that i might be studying the wrong thing. I always had this feeling that accounting wasn’t really “driving” me enough.  I feel like there is so much to learn about the world since most humans did a great job at destroying it. I feel personally responsible and in need to do something useful with my life.

In class, we talked about how the accounting system did not encourage sustainable investments and how we invest in companies that have a better profit without considering the environmental cost of their economic activities. I want to do some research in order to find out what is being done about this and how can i make the world a better place in my field.

More to come

In this class we talk a lot about Happiness and the true meaning of it. This made me ask myself what is the true meaning of my happiness. I looked up the definition: “Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.” – Wikipedia. But how can anyone really define happiness and how do I define it? I decided to look at the things in my life that bring me those “good feelings” described in the definition and if i did feel content, love, satisfaction and pleasure, would that make me truly happy?

Here is a list of things I and many other people do on a daily basis that is supposed to cause “Happiness”

TV- i watch a lot of television, sometimes even reruns of my favorite shows- Do i feel content, pleasure, joy?  how much value does it bring to my life?  On the surface it is evident that the answer is not much value, but would i be willing to give it up and do more useful things with my time? Not really!  For me Its an escape from responsibilities and a moment to forget about my life and concentrate on someone else imaginary problems. If it’s an escape and not a true form of happiness for me, why will giving it up not make me happier? Maybe, we do need those things in life in order to be happy, but this raises the question: When TV wasn’t around were people doing more “meaningful” things with their time, were they “happier” and did it bring them more experiences in life. So does more experiences bring happiness or is ignorance bliss?

Work- I don’t like my job but i need thee money in order to be happy, to go travel, to buy books, to go to school. And it does bring a sense of achievement and satisfaction  but it doesn’t make me happy. I work to live but i don’t live to work.

School- Having a higher education is a life goal for me but frankly i don’t enjoy school all that much. In a broader sense i do prefer school to my bartending job and i cannot wait to work in my field (Accounting) but i find that the experiences i get from people outside school is something i value much more.

I think that not everything in life needs to bring you happiness and maybe the best way to look at it is like in business in terms of Investment. Maybe the best definition for happiness should be similar than the one for Investment: short-term or long-term commitment  to different activities in life  in order to gain  appreciation of the value of life.