At the 2016 Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference, keynote speaker Owen Zachariasse profiled his company’s Park 20|20 development; with its closed loop energy and water systems, human-centered design, and innovative construction. An condensed version of his presentation aired in Metro Vancouver as the first episode of the 2017 season of The Sustainable Region
There’s a growing awareness of the effects of Indian Residential schools and that knowledge is being shared though words, actions, and art.
Several individuals line up to wash their bodies with a smudge of smoke. They are preparing to go on a walk that is only a few blocks long through East Vancouver, but in fact is part of a much longer road. It is Orange Shirt Day, one of several events emphasizing the memory and effects of Canadian Residential Schools on indigenous people.
At the east end of Burnaby Lake, Metro Vancouver Senior Engineer Ed Von Euw stands on the small dam that divides the lake from the Brunette River as he points to salmon in swirling water near an opening in the dam. “They make their way up the fish ladder where rock clusters have been placed. It creates a series of pools so they can step up (to the dam),” he explains.
Surrey is one of the first cities in Canada to embark on a full conversion of street lighting to LED. The high efficiency and life expectancy of LED lights will result in about $1 million in annual savings in reduced power consumption and maintenance costs.
Across the Lower Mainland, about 2,500 single family homes are demolished every year, each averaging 50 tonnes of wood waste. Municipal bylaws that require demolition recycling are helping keep that wood available as a resource and build the green economy.
A Township of Langley Ecological Systems Initiative pilot project rewards agricultural farmers for maintaining eco-friendly areas on their lands to help farmers bear the cost of keeping waterways, forests and other sensitive areas healthy.
Spending less time mowing and watering? What’s not to like about that? With the expert gardening advice and creative landscaping suggestions featured in Metro Vancouver’s new Grow Green Guide, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a great outdoor space that reduces water demand, supports pollinators, and looks great too!
With more people living in condos, apartments, and townhouses, not everyone has a backyard to call their own. And some people struggle to manage the physical demands of gardening. But around the region, community gardens are filling those gaps. One great example is at Somerset Gardens in Surrey. The residents welcome the opportunity to grow their own food. But, they also reap another valuable harvest, in the friendships that bloom where the seeds of community are planted.
Encouraging sustainable gardening choices is the goal of Metro Vancouver’s new Grow Green Guide – which offers local plant recommendations and eco-friendly gardening ideas. Reducing the demand on our water supply is a part of the plan. This water wise strategy is being embraced by municipalities, commercial landscapers, educators, and individual homeowners.