Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Can Be the Change!

I was at an event on the weekend called "The Great Turning: An Unconference to Be the Change" and Britannia and our new idea for a Zero Waste Challenge was in my mind a lot that day! The whole day inspired me and left me in a awesome state of reflection on the positive changes we can make to our society.

I had been deliberately trying to avoid the circle talk entitled "Garbage: Our Gateway to Action" as I wanted a break from trash talk between green teams at work and home...but, by the mysterious organic nature of the event I ended up at that particular circle talk anyways! Seems I can't get away from garbage and recycling - it truly is my gateway to action these days ;)

In this circle I met a bunch of great folks including a woman who had been working on the Zero Waste Challenge web site for MetroVancouver and she was a wealth of knowledge on sites to explore. The synergy continues...

Throughout the day I also got to speak with a couple of friends who will be fantastic allies in helping us achieve our visionary changes. Kevin Millsip who has been hired by the Vancouver Board of Education as their Sustainable Schools coordinator, which will be handy given we have 2 schools in our complex to incorporate into a zero waste challenge so I look forward to bringin him in to the loop. And my friend Andrea Reimer, who is a Vancouver City Councillor, upon hearing our plans says she looks forward to working with us to pull it off! Our "little" Zero Waste vision got a few people excited and enhanced my belief that we can and will do this!

So, our next step is to have a potluck lunch, walk around the complex and dialogue - tentative date Thursday June 25th. I'll update when we have confirmed the presence of a Vancouver Greenest City team member, as well as an advisor from the MetroVancouver waste assessment branch.

cheers to possibility!

"You don't filter smokestacks or water. Instead, you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence." William McDonough

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Imagine...Britannia: Zero Waste - 2015

Members of Team Green Brit met today to brainstorm ideas for recycling. As it turns out, we have a much bigger vision then simply overhauling the recycling.

We believe Britannia, and the community that embraces it, are up to a Zero Waste Challenge. The goal is to achieve a Zero Waste footprint for the Britannia community complex by 2015!

Given we live within a city that aims to be the Greenest City in the world by 2020 (and #7 in their scope of mandate is "supporting neighbourhood sustainability initiatives"), and this city is a member of a regional district that has a zero waste challenge mandate...the timing couldn't be more perfect for a project of this size. And if ever there was a worksite, and a community, up for a challenge it is the Britannia community! ;)

So, our first idea is to invite someone from the Greenest City Action Team, and an advisor from the Metro Vancouver waste assesment service, to attend a walk around the complex and discussion on what we're doing...and what we could be doing better. We'd like to find out why a commmunity hub of municipal services does not already have a holistic city recycling program, and how we can help make that happen.

Zero Waste by 2015 may be a lofty goal (maybe we'll stretch it to 2020), but together this community has proven time and time again that it can achieve anything it sets its mind to. Let's envision what the ideal could be...and then find our ways to make it happen!

Please send us your visions, ideas and resources to teamgreenbrit@gmail.com

Details to come on other action ideas we discussed, such as hosting a Day of Recycling where community members can bring batteries, styrofoam and other things that can be returned to manufacturers or desposed of in safe ways.

If you have been riding your bike, walking or taking transit to work this week - Bike to Work Week, be sure to fill out a ballot in the Info Centre each day for entry into the prize draw next week! :)