Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sustaining Our World - 2012 Highlights

The day was a little on the grey and drizzly side, but a little rainshine didn't stop our fun setting up the Sustainability Fair in the Britannia cafeteria! :)

We had a Creativity Zone for making crafty items with a wide array of recyled materials, a seed station, an area for mapping green stuff in the neighbourhood, a screening area for sustainability shorts (such as the Story of Stuff series), and we even had music to boogy to which was solar powered courtesy of the Vancouver Renewable Energy Cooperative!

We were also happy to have volunteers from Free Geek and BC Hydro who came out to share information and many fantastic ideas!

The highlight of the day was having two great teams signed up for the inaugural Britannia Race to Zero Waste - 'Felipe Squared' and the 'GangGreens' who brought plenty of keen-to-be-green team spirit!! Yay!
The whirlwind race had the teams following clues and completing challenges providing a tour of some great green intitiatives and inspiration in our community!

To highlight the food gardens that some of our students have helped to grow we began the race at the Britannia Urban Garden (BUG). The first challenge was turning compost with our food security guru Ian Marcuse.
Once their first task was complete they had to find the living wall at Grandview Park and let us know when it was unveiled. Those who live close by will know the park was re-opened in 2011, but how many have even noticed the lovely greenery outside the new washrooms?
The next clue was to find the business that sells 100% sustainable seafood and tell us what certification they require for all their seafood products. If you have yet to enjoy a fishy treat from The Daily Catch you may want to learn more about Ocean Wise which ensures that seafood is harvested in sustainable ways (no overfishing, no habitat destruction, etc)...and that's all they sell here!

Keeping the focus on water and shifting to conservation ideas, teams faced their next challenge at Victoria Park. Each member of the team had to take turns running water from one bucket to the other with a sponge and trying to lose as little as possible. Once all the water had successfully been transferred from one end to the other, they were off again!
Now they're on the lookout for a home that has taken advantage of new city by-law allowing backyard chickens. The generosity of people in this neighbourhood never ceases to amaze me as we actually had a family that welcomed our racers to explore their back yard counting chickens so they could tell us how many they saw before receiving their next clue. Though they have 7 chickens both teams only found 3 outside enjoying the misty air that day. Here's 2 that stood still long enough for a photo op ;)

The next clue was an investigation of savvy green re-design. Our local hub for theatre, The Cultch, is a historical building that has recently received a facelift. They now aim to be one of the first LEED certified arts centres in Canada. Teams had to tell us what LEED stands for to earn the next clue. Do you know what it means? Well, just in case you don't - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Around the corner teams were next on the hunt to find out who funded the herb garden at the corner of Adanac and Salsbury? Those of you with creative ideas for small neighbourhood projects might appreciate the 'Small is Beautiful' mindset of the Vancouver Foundation and their Neighbourhood Small Grants that have helped to fund small gardens such as this one, as well as community programming and other great projects. What bright green ideas could you use a small dose of seed money to help bring to life? 

Back on the Drive teams then had to find the place where clothing and household items are given a new life while helping a social enterprise supporting Women Working with Women. What is the name of this business? misc'cel'la'ny
If you've ever felt like you're swimming in garbage then the last challenge was for you! Set up near the pool teams had to sort a bag of garbage to see how much they could save from the landfill by sorting the waste into recycle and compost alternatives.

Along the way the teams were able to earn extra points by answering bonus questions, such as "what kind of alternative energy can you find on the fence beside the WISE Hall?", as well as for taking pictures of a team member with something from the list we provided. The GangGreens provide a couple of great examples with team members standing next to a recycling container and next to a vehicle that belongs to a car share program such as Modo, Zip or Car2Go.
We would really like to thank our racers for taking on the challenge and being the first to complete a Britannia Race to Zero Waste! Both teams completed the race with incredible speed and awesome team work! Thanks to People's Co-op Bookstore and Havana for their support and contributions to our prizes for the winners!

 Saving the best for last - all great events require many helping hands to pull off, so our organizing team is full of gratitude for all of the volunteers who came out to help us celebrate the day! (We're sorry some volunteers had left before we thought of the group photo idea!)
A couple of months ago we had an idea to organize an event that focused on Sustaining Our World, and we are happy with the day we were able to provide. And we are already planning for next years event so we can showcase even more amazing efforts being made at the local level - this community is full of them! :D

Many thanks to Latin American Youth Project and Britannia Secondary Environmental Club for helping the Britannia Green Team with a great day!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sustaining Our World - Final Update

We are ready for a wonder-full day tomorrow for the Sustaining Our World event! We predict a nice break from the rain between the hours of 12-5 pm over Britannia Community Centre and the surrounding area for every one keen to get out and celebrate all things green with us! :)

Our Sustainability Fair will be held in the cafeteria of the Britannia Secondary school, and the entrance is right off the oval track & field. Here you can:
* enjoy some Sustainability shorts - a random sampling of amazing short videos to inform and inspire
* make seed bombs to spread new growth around your community
* create something beautiful from recycled materials
* help us map out the best green places in the neighbourhood
* chat with great people from Free Geek and BC Hydro
* support the Britannia Secondary Environment Club by bringing down your bottles, cans, cell
   phones, Ipods or mp3 players to contribute to their drives

Registration for the Britannia Race to Zero Waste will finish at 12:30pm so we can be prepared for the race to begin at 1pm. Teams can be 2-3 adults/youth and up to 4 members if 2 are under 12 yrs old. Recommended donation for the race is $20/team.

For teams who are not pre-registered, to be able to earn the most bonus points it will be helpful if you have a camera (or phone with camera capability). Prizes are for the teams who
* win the race with the fastest time
* earn the most bonus points
* show the most keen-to-be-green team spirit!! : )

See posts below for other information, or better yet just come on down and join us as we highlight all that is good and bright green in our community!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sustaining Our World - update

The Britannia Green Team has a new logo with many thanks to Nana for her creative work! : )

The Sustaining Our World event is only a few days away - Sunday Oct 21st from 12:00 - 5:00 pm - so here's an update:

Registration for the Britannia Race to Zero Waste will now stay open until noon on race day. (instead of closing on the 19th)
With Mother Nature being so unpredictable in the weather department lately, we expect some fair weather teams may be up for the adventure of the race once they know the challenge won't include getting drenched to the bone. ;)

I know real Vancouverites won't let the weather stop them being part of a super fun time - so feel free to register your team in advance! (Activity # 65612.411BR)

Remember, only one team member needs to sign up, and teams can be 2-3 adults/youth, and up to 4 people if 2 are under 12 yrs. We already have one team with 2 kids signed up - if they can do it so can you!

The registration fee is by donation with a recommended rate of $20/per team.

If an amazing race is not your speed this Sunday, please feel free to come by the Sustainability Fair in the Britannia Secondary School cafeteria and see what's happening!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sustaining Our World - The Britannia Race to Zero Waste

Have you ever wanted to know more about all the bright green initiatives going on at Britannia and around our community?

Do you like to have fun and enjoy a good challenge?

Have you got a friend or family member who is as keen to be green as you are?

Then you should sign yourself up for the Britannia Race to Zero Waste this Sunday October 21st!

The race is part of the Sustaining Our World event being hosted by the Britannia Green Team, the Latin American Youth Club and the Britannia Secondary School Environment Club.

We were inspired to organize the Britannia Race to Zero Waste as a fun way for families and friends to get out in the community for a hands on learning experience. A team may consist of 2-3 adults/youth, or you may register as a family team up to 4 members (ie 2 adults & 2 children 12 yrs and under).

Evergreen is an amazing organization which held a Green City Race back in the spring. My family participated in that race and had an awesome time, so we have modeled many parts of this race based on that experience - only this race is all within walking distance of Britannia and will not require any transit!

The Britannia Race to Zero Waste will have teams solving a series of clues that will guide them between gardens, businesses, homes and community spaces showcasing just some of the green wonder of our neighbourhood.

Along the way teams will have a few challenges that they will need to complete, and lots of opportunity to earn bonus points as well, especially for teams that bring the most funk and the most keen-to-be-green team spirit!

The race will begin at the Britannia Secondary School cafeteria (entrance at the oval track & field) with teams to meet up at 12:30 to get ready. The race will begin at 1:00 pm and should take approximately 2 hours. We will wrap up with some awards for the teams that win for best time, most bonus points and the most faboo funkyness!

Registration fee per team is suggested $20! One person from each team needs to register, (activity # 65612.411BR) and all racers who sign up early will be contacted before Sunday with any further information you will need for race day.

Get ready racers - this is gonna be fun!! :D

For more details please contact kathy.whittam@vancouver.ca

Sustaining Our World - The Sustainability Fair

This weekend is fast approaching and it's time to share some more details on the Sustaining Our World event to be held on Sunday Oct 21st.

A family fun Bike Parade will begin at Grandview Park with a decorating station set up with Kickstand for those who want to get festive with their bikes. The parade will end at the Britannia Secondary School Cafeteria.

Between 12:00 - 5:00 pm the cafeteria will be home to our Sustainability Fair which will feature a few green groups willing to share inspiration on ways we can save power, consume less and reduce our waste.

We will have a viewing area for people who are interested in watching short clips on sustainability issues, and an area for creative people to have fun making art with an array of recycled materials.

Please come on down and support the Environmental Club from Britannia Secondary by bringing along your refundable bottles & cans for their Bottle Drive with Return It!

The students will also be collecting used cell phones for the Recycle My Cell Challenge, and another drive for Ipods and mp3 players. Don't let those small unused techno gadgets clutter your drawers anymore!

Our event will also be solar powered with thanks to a portable power pack from the Vancouver Renewable Energy Cooperative!

A space for fun, learning, supporting students from your community and getting rid of your stuff - who could ask for more?

Well, the Sustaining Our World event does have another way to participate for those who are really green keeners - the Britannia Race to Zero Waste! Details on the race and what registered teams need to know are coming up next.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Waste Reduction Week

The upcoming Sustaining Our World and Britannia Race to Zero Waste events on October 21st are a wonderful way to wrap up Waste Reducation Week in Canada which runs from October 15- 21st!

Visit www.wrwcanada.com for resources and events from across the country if you are keen to reduce waste like we are!

Download your own copy of Atlas (below) and encourage everyone in your work site and community to help ease his load...his back is getting tired after shouldering the burden of our world for so long. ;)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sustaining Our World

Sustaining Our World is an event the Britannia Green Team, Latin American Youth Club and the Britannia Secondary School Environment Club are hosting to celebrate green initiatives at Britannia and within our community, as well as to help raise awareness of the Zero Waste concept.

The day will begin with a Bike Parade which will lead green keeners to the Britannia Secondary School cafeteria where people can enjoy our Sustainability Fair.  With a short film viewing area featuring clips on sustainability issues, along with tables featuring amazing organizations and businesses who try to make it easy for us all to be a little greener.

Another exciting feature to the day will be the Britannia Race to Zero Waste which is for teams (2-3 people) who want to enjoy a fun way to learn about sustainability while exploring our neighbourhood. Racers will solve a series of clues and complete a few challenges highlighting all we can do to Sustain Our World and achieve a Zero Waste community.

Bonus points for teams that bring the funk and show the most keen-to-be-green team spirit!

Registration for the race is $20/team and will close Friday October 19th. You may register at Britannia Community Centre in person, by phone or online. (Registration is only required for those who choose to participate in the race.)
All ages are invited to play along and the race will be a great family activity for those with children & youth who like a good challenge! :)

The Sustaining Our World event will run from 12:00-5:00 pm on Sunday, October 21st and all are welcome to drop by any time!
Further details on the Bike Parade, Sustainability Fair, and Britannia Race to Zero Waste will be posted here soon. 
Teams who sign up for the Britannia Race to Zero Waste will be contacted prior to the day of the event with everything they will need to know for race day.
Please contact the Britannia Green Team Co-ordinator  kathy.whittam@vancouver.ca if you have any further questions.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Celebrating our super staff

My favourite thing about Britannia is how quickly amazing things happen when everyone believes in it. Last week was a perfect example when a handful of people from a few areas pulled together an amazing idea in just over a week. The outcome was a staff appreciation event with a harvest theme and a whole lot of awesomeness.

Why is this noteworthy for the Green Team blog? Because it was a successful Zero Waste event! Everything but a couple of drinks (that were offered in recyclable containers) was compostable!

Yummy chili served in compostable bowls with compostable spoons. Fair trade hot chocolate served in compostable cups. Corn on the cob, scrumptious corn bread, and napkins.
No garbage - hooray!

And it is always a bonus to have some great live music for listening pleasure while hanging out with good people and good food.  : )