The Live Earth Party on 7/7/07 was fun for the kids small and large.
Here are some of the attendees at the the House Party, which was an Earth Organization event. The smaller kids were upstairs making more things. We made Party Hats (reused materials of course) and made helpful suggestions on big charts (back of old printed material) posted around the house. Thanks to all who brought food — yummy healthy stuff— and to all who created the Live Earth Concert, which was playing all afternoon for our enjoyment.
The Vancouver Canadians are showing their commitment to the environment by being the first team in Canada to provide regular bicycle valet parking at all their Vancouver games! Ride to the Canadians’ games at Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario Street), and let the good people at BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation) watch your bicycle. What better way is there to make a beautiful summer day even more beautiful by decreasing traffic congestion and pollution, enjoying the outdoors, getting some exercise, and saving money on parking? At the BEST valet parking and information table you can also find out more about sustainable transportation, pick up bike maps, and get advice on cycling and trip planning. To find a map of the bike routes nearest you, go to http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transport/cycling/routes.htm .
One year ago on Clean Air Day, I started biking to work. It has been a great year, and one which I began to enjoy my daily commute. Although a single year of bicycle commuting hardly makes me an expert, I have some (possibly surprising) observations on the experience.
First, it’s much easier than you think. The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines known to humankind –as a result, even the uphill stretches are manageable, and especially so after just a few weeks of biking. The weather in Vancouver is not as wet as you might think –yes, I need rain gear, but when it rains, it’s usually not that hard. And when it does rain hard, my jacket and pants are dry and comfy by the time I’m ready to go home. Overall, it’s a surprisingly comfortable experience.
Next, vehicle drivers are almost always respectful of cyclists. Really. Drivers regularly yield the right of way to me, even when it is clearly theirs.
Also, there are cost savings of bike commuting. Compared to transit, I save about $600 a year (even when I account for additional costs for bike repair and the occasional taxi ride). Compared to driving alone, the savings are about $10,000 a year (which is the average cost of vehicle ownership in Canada). With my savings this year, I bought a new bike and have change left over.
Finally, gasoline is expensive, and contributes to climate change. But biking is future-friendly. Biking is an important part of EcoDensity, which will create more of the right conditions for an Amsterdam-style bicycling city: high quality density, a top notch public realm, end-of-trip facilities, and an interesting, safe bike network.
Me, I’m just thankful last year’s Clean Air Day gave me the momentum to get started.
For over 20 yrs. i've used green cleaning products. My 3 tenants use them too. The green cleaners are inexpensive if you make your own.
The Cleaning Soap mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil works as a natural antibacterial leanser for both bathrm. & kitchen soaps.
i've had a kidney transplant for 22 yrs & the natural soaps are great. We all need bacteria to thrive, so over cleaning can be just as hazardous as no cleaning!
My garden has been organic for 31 yrs, thanks to the 25 yrs. of the previous owners! Fruit trees, herbs, flowers, veggies & yes, weeds, all thrive. Birds, ladybugs, butterflies & my rescued dogs love it.
Here's your weekly Science Matters column by David Suzuki.
Got a good story? Tell somebody.
As a broadcast journalist, I'm well aware of the challenges today's reporters and journalists face in covering stories - from tight deadlines and a lack of resources, to corporate ownership and the pervasion of tabloid-style reporting in mainstream media. But as guest editor for a recent Saturday edition of the Vancouver Sun, I found out that I still have a lot to learn.
Take the Nature Challenge and learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.
According to a recent article in the Vancouver Sun, people in the Vancouver region use less land and less energy per resident, own fewer cars, take transit and ride our bike more often than our neighbours to the south, Seattle and Portland. (article link)
We've launched OneDayBowen. Come over to the rock and say hi at www.onedaybowen.ca!
DVDs containing Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" will be distributed to all public high schools in British Columbia through a partnership with Tides Canada Foundation (www.tidescanada.org) and Novex (www.novex.ca).
Tides Canada Foundation is donating the DVDs from Paramount Home
I am doing my part for the environment and reaching out to home owners and businesses and hoping to educate them on using 100% Toxin Free Products (that have not been tested on animals). By just switching from conventional stores you can elimate 108 lbs.of packaging waste from landfills, eliminate 248 lbs of greenhouse gas. This is the Environmental Equivalent of planting 10 Trees!! I suggest that you switch stores and Go Green. These products are very concentrated and are less expensive that what you are buying now. Together we can make a difference, one person at a time.
I saw one of your little Smart cars on Pender Street this morning and was intrigued with your name and web site address. I 'm glad I looked it up when I got home. I run a busy concierge/personal assistant service in the Greater Vancouver area and since I have started my business , I have downsized to a small Honda Fit for gas economy and only use TKO Orange,a wonderful 'green' cleaning product, for my own home and for my client's homes.
Two small steps...and if we have all do at least two little things; the results will be amazing! ... The Bizzy Butler, Maple Ridge
While it took more than a day to research and write (actually 15 years) Life, Money & Illusion; Living on Earth as if you want to stay, has now been published (www.SustainWellBeing.net). It's auther, Mike Nickerson, and I have been on the road across Canada, most days for the past eight months, facilitating discussions on how 'shopping til we drop' can be replaced with sustainable living and how reforming our economic system and changing our goal as a society is essential if we are to reverse the climate crisis. It is wonderful to see, time and time again, how much people care about what kind of legacy we are leaving for our grandchildren.
Notes from a bus - Science Matters column by David Suzuki.
Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Self-doubt. It seems like I’ve been assailed by these emotions daily on my cross-Canada bus tour. With up to three speaking events a day, along with a constant barrage of media interviews, punctuated by hours of driving on the open road, the emotional peaks and valleys are truly draining. But of this much I am certain: This is a great country.
Looking out across the vast, windblown blanket of snow the Prairies is hypnotic. And yet I can’t help think that in spite of the vastness of this land and the great distances between us, Canadians seem to share a common set values that I have been lucky enough to have experienced first hand.
Canadians, I have learned, have a profound love of our land and our natural spaces. And they want to take care of them for our children and grandchildren. They feel like they are already seeing the early stages of global warming and they are concerned about what it will mean for the future. They want to help, to do their part. And they have an innate sense of fairness – that we should all be doing our share. The passion with which people have expressed their views has been at times overwhelming, but these stories are the very reason why we did this tour.
It started with a seed of an idea. Long before TV, cars or cell phones, entertainers would load a tent and all their regalia on wagons and move from town to town. When their tents went up, people gathered to share ideas as well as music, acrobatics and theatre. Eventually, a permanent site for annual gatherings was established in Chautauqua, New York, and it became a magnet for people wanting to engage in public discourse.
A few years ago, I began to float a modified version of a Chautauqua. Why not take our ideas on the road, I suggested, going to communities to find out their concerns and to talk about emerging global environmental issues? The idea took root in recent months as, over the past year, reports about water shortages, fires, floods, heat waves and hurricanes suddenly showed us that such problems were no longer just happening somewhere else, they were happening at home too.
As the Inuit have been telling us, global warming can no longer be seen as a slow motion catastrophe – they are seeing it happen in the Arctic right now. In addition, Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, had an explosive impact on the public psyche, while books like Tim Flannery’s The Weathermakers and George Montbiot’s Heat ramped up public awareness and concern about climate change.
So we started planning, but we knew we couldn’t just blow through communities – we needed the conversation to carry on after we left. Our hope was to act as a catalyst to conversation, a dialogue about community, provincial, federal and international issues, starting at the local level. We contacted local community groups in cities on our proposed route and asked whether they would partner with us and organize the events to enable us to gather with local people. Those local organizations have been amazing, and critical to the success of the tour.
When we set off from St. John’s, we had no idea what to expect. But the response has been incredible. To date, we have recorded hundreds of video testimonies from people telling us what they would do for the environment if they were Prime Minister. And we have collected thousands of ballots voting for the environment.
Sustained applause and intense discussion during the question and answer sessions indicates to me a hunger for such discourse and a desire for real action from our political leaders. So here we are, nearing the end of the tour, having met with people in dozens of communities across this vast country. It’s an experience that I wish I could share with everyone, because it has changed my life. Next month I celebrate my 71st year filled with a new hope and optimism for the people of this country.
Take the Nature Challenge and learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.
After much discussion and years of procrastinating, my boyfriend and I got serious about our 2007 New Year's resolutions to make positive lifestyle choices minimizing our contribution to global warming. I can't specifically identify what caused us to act after so many years of passivity. Perhaps it was the strange weather patterns around the globe, or the acute air pollution in Hong Kong over our Christmas holidays, or the fact we're thinking of having children. Whatever the reason, we have successful implemented a few easy changes: 1) we no longer use plastic bags, 2) we're using energy-efficient light-bulbs, and 3) we're limiting our car use. Shortly, we will be buying almost exclusively locally grown organic produce as well as trying new ways of conserving water, such as buying a water saver kit from the City of Vancouver. It has been far easier than we ever imagined to be more environmentally conscientious and we're proud to be doing our part.
In January, Change the World for Ten Bucks hit the top 10 for non-fiction paperbacks sold in Canada (sharing company with books such as An Inconvenient Truth and The Pursuit of Happiness – both of which had major motion pictures to support sales).
Find out more about the book and organziation at www.wearewhatwedo.ca
For Christmas this year my mom bought my siblings (4 of us) and myself the same gift! We received a DVD copy of "The Inconvenient Truth", a bulk package of energy saving light bulbs and a water heater blanket, with a note that said "for the future, yours, mine and my grandchildren's", love Mom.
Here's a picture of Mom with the people that inspire her the most - her grandkids.
Suzanne Summmersgill is a local artist. Suzanne loves to use found bits n' pieces and waterbased paints and finishes as a means of making a difference and creating awareness through art. Projects include... working with kids in schools, big recycle projects like, making banners from old shirts using natural dyes, dirt bags - a gallery show of altered vacuum bags for Earth Day and most recently the t-bag show - painted recycled teabags. She is presently working on a show of paintings on large heavy recycled cardboard. To find out more check out www.thepetridish.ca
Vancouver's first carbon nuetral yoga studio!
Feb 1st 2007 was the 9th celebration of Bogota's Annual Car-Free Day Bogota, which with 7 million people, is the among the world's largest, longest participating cities in this challenge. All private vehicles (including motocycles) are banned from roads city-wide from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm (13 hours). This year it is expected there will be 1 million less cars on the road, a fantastic opportunity to get people to explore transportation alternatives as well as clear the air measurably.
Most participating cities run it on September 22, but in Bogota it is always the first Thursday of February, as voted in by residents in a 2000 referendum with 63% in favour (!)
The "Green Team" at EA has been busy. They meet once a month and have had a number of guest speakers which has included BC Hydro, Greenpeace and Cascadia Biofuels.
They are all passionate about the environment but also aim to shake the stereotypical image of the tree-hugging environmentalist by simply proving that small changes can make a difference. Few people have the bandwidth to be completely green 100% of the time, yet we can all play a part in making ourselves, and others, more aware of our surroundings and the impact our actions can have for future generations.
Since November 2005 they have done a number of initiatives, including introducing 100% post-consumer toilet paper & paper towels into all the washrooms, 30% post-consumer photocopier paper throughout the studio, a discount at Starbuck's (EA has its own kiosk) for bringing a mug, signage in the cafeteria asking employees to reduce their use of take-out containers/plastic cutlery in respect for the environment, removing plastic cutlery from the cafeteria (it is still available, but on an "as-requested" basis), switching to environmentally-friendly cleaning products throughout the studio and kitchen areas, and setting lobby tv's on a timer to turn off after-hours to save energy.
There objective has always been to introduce these changes gradually and as a result, the Green Team has had very positive feedback.
When the coffee shop I work at first switched owners we only had paper cups. Because of high demand, they eventually brought in an assortment of ceramic mugs. Once the customers could enjoy their latte for 'here', I noticed that we went from having to change the garbage sometimes twice a day to sometimes not even having to change them at all! Not only are real mugs nicer to drink from but they noticeably reduce garbage. We even encourage our customers to bring in their own mug by offering them a 5% discount if they do.
Last summer I was working on painting my condo in Kits, and after working on
Educating people and raising awareness really does make a difference.
Not only did british band Gomez put on an amazing show in Vancouver this weekend, they are forging ahead with making the rock scene greener. While on tour, they have been off-setting tour emissions, using biodiesel and sourcing services locally. Check it out at http://www.clifgreennotes.com/musician/band.php?id=1.
Grade seven students at Queen Mary Elementary in Vancouver rode bicycles to school to celebrate iwalk, and then biked to UBC for a swim. This happy coincidence of events allows these students to recognize the value of active transportation, while learning to ride.
Thank you for sending us the new city anti-idling by-law sign. Since we installed it at the Aquarium's delivery gate, it has proven quite successful in reminding drivers to turn their engines off!Last week, one driver failed to notice the sign. An eco-friendly staff member pointed it out and the driver happily, immediately complied. That's a great tool to help us be part of making Vancouver a cleaner city.
We have started being idle free thanks to you! Awesome stuff guys! Keep it up.
On June 18th, the Commercial Drive Festival crew pulled off the most glorious street party East Van has ever seen, for 40-50,000 people, with virtually no problems (and cleaned up after their own party – which is unique among large city festivals ) . The City was most impressed, the police were happy, the Parks Board was satisfied, and the merchants and residents are for the most part jubilant.
Massive props to Fifth Avenue Cinemas (Leonard in particular) for spreading the word on One Day before every screening of An Inconvenient Truth. He's signing people up to receive the One Day newsletter. It's great to see a business wanting to make a difference and coming up with a creative way to do so!
The Capital Regional District (Victoria) has adopted One Day!
Check out their website and how they have made it their own:
From the YWCA's "green roof" opening:
On April 26th, the students of Laura Secord Elementary shut down the road in front of their school and celebrated earth day in style - with a street festival - including music from Pedal Play's pedal powered sound system, a bike rodeo with chopper bikes to try out, cycling safety courses, and a whole bunch of other activities. The students, parents and teachers did a fantastic job of organizing the event, where for the first time for many of the students, playing in the street was okay.
Okay okay - I was feeling a lot of guilt...about my showerhead. My landlord replaced my really old showerhead with a beautiful, hand held, five setting one, which seemed to be a bit of a pig as far as the water was concerned. I kept thinking I should get something with "low flow", but I was just in so much bliss with this one.
One day last week I decided to figure out how much water I was using up during my morning routine, so I tested it with the calibrated bag from the water saver kits that the City sells. It turns out my beautiful showerhead is actually A LOW FLOW one! Yup - less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Yipeeeeee. I can go back to showering without guilt.
One Day at the St. Patrick's Day parade with the Design Nerds
Because I signed up my uncle to receive the One Day tips for 10 weeks, he's installed energy efficient lightbulbs and a programmable thermostsat in his house in North Van. He wasn't happy with me at first (because I signed him up without him knowing), but now he's happy to be saving money on his energy bills every month.
I have to give props to the people at Yellow Taxi for adopting hybrids into their fleet. I use taxis fairly often and can honestly say that part of my loyalty to this company as of late has to do with their use of the Toyota Prius. Plus, the cars are super quiet on the street, and if we had more out there the roads would be a lot more pleasant to drive along or live by.
We improved the EnerGuide rating of our 1930 home from 41 to 79 and we getting $2150 back from the government. The home is more comfortable and a lot cheaper to heat.
One day, people where I work at a large organization got together and built an internal website to promote 30 days of sustainabilty. Passion and teamwork led to action!
I'd never realized it before, but I used to be one of those people who kept the hot water tap running while brushing my teeth. I realized that if everyone in my household was doing this (i.e. my son, daughter, and husband) at least twice a day- that's a lot of water and heating energy being wasted! It was a simple and small step to ask the family to turn the tap off while brushing.
I was introduced to One Day through work (managing SoMa cafe). I installed energy efficient lightbulbs around my apartment and in general became more conscious about the energy being used by my roommate and I. So, the rule now is that lights are shut off when nobody's in the room and we keep as few things plugged in as possible. I've noticed the savings on my energy bill; every small step matters!
Tokyo does not yet have an orchestrated car-free day, but across the city back streets and a few major roads in shopping areas are shut off to motors on the weekends. Many streets around primary schools are also blocked to motor traffic during hours that kids commute to school (about 8-10am and 2-4pm) each and every day. It is fabulous.
Last week, Tokyo had the biggest dump of snow it had seen in 8 years. Roads (especially back streets) were blocked to traffic
throughout the city all day. It was so fantastic. Quiet, clean, and safe. I always thought it was the snow that caused the community to have that fantastic atmosphere when it snowed. It's not - it's the fact that the streets are reclaimed for a day. I can only imagine this is what it is like in Bogota. Fantastic.
Oh yea, I also recently noticed that a big delivery company here in Tokyo is also now using electric bicycles with trailers!! Fantastic.
Working with the One Day campaign over the summer helped me decide to pursue an environmental sciences degree when I enter university in the fall. I'd never really thought of it before, but I realized during the campaign that I'm very interested in this subject and I can make a real difference in the world through this area of study.
I'm in Torino for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Coolest thing so far? They have what they call ecological days here 4-5 days each year. No cars allowed on the streets – period. Substantial fines. Walking around yesterday was magical. The city was quiet, the energy was on a different frequency, and you could see the mountains. Amazing. And, nothing was really open b/c it was Sunday. So all people really had to do was hang out. Very cool.
Yoga on 7th does One Day
EnerGuide Success Story
Through the CoV "oneday" initiative I embarked on having my house
This means the government would give me a grant of $1117 if I follow
One Day Skater
YWCA supports One Day
One Day at Capers
One Day Coffee Shops
I am the director of an environmental education non profit organization here in South Carolina and I am very impressed with your "oneday" program. I am thinking of visiting Vancouver in the near future. Keep up the good work!
Every single time that the cost of heating goes up your investment in home energy efficiency goes up in value. Is there any other investment today that will provide you with that kind of guaranteed return?
What People Are Saying About One Day Pilot Program...
This was great and I encourage the City to keep it going! - Liked the coffee jackets too. Much better than someone else advertising on your coffee cup!
What People Are Saying About One Day Tip Program...
I really wanted one of the one day shirts because I really love the campaign.
What People Are Saying About One Day Tip Program...
I just wanted to say what an amazing program this is. These small, but impactful changes to our day to day lives will help us all become more mindful about our environment. I look forward to being a part of this, making small steps to big change.
What People Are Saying About One Day Tip Program...
These are wonderful suggestions. I am impressed with whoever thought this program up and promoted it so well..... cheers and kudos to you!¡É
Look what MEC did last winter with their front window
My wife & I purchased a legendary 'Vancouver Special' (picture of house as we bought it attached). The single pane windows and 37 year old furnace needed replacing. As well, the attic needed more insulation. We chose a high-efficiency furnace and windows with Low e coating and Argon fill (doubling the insulation value of the windows). The furnace is 94% efficient; we chose the option with a variable speed fan. The indoor air quality is superior due to the constant air exchange. We added R-28 worth of insulation to the attic. We could have chose a less efficient furnace and avoided window extras as well as the insulation. The added cost was about $4000 for all these extras. We made the decision because we see ourselves in this house for many years and expect to recoup the costs in 5-7 years. We also reduced our personal GHG emissions by about about 40% (from space heating) we've concluded. We highly recommend adding on these extras if you can pull it off; we have no regrets!
One Day in Yaletown
MuchMusic’s Chris Nelson and Nardwuar the Human Serviette are down with One Day.
Official One Day Launch - Sept 22, 2005
The Mayor’s One Day Leadership Council and Vancouver City Councilors officially launched One Day on September 22nd, 2005.
The Leadership Council is comprised of corporate citizens who want to lend their voice and organization to the goals of the One Day campaign.
And of course their were some good times:
We are a Vancouver holistic marketing and communications company. We have 18 people, and each of us is trying to do their bit. Some ride to work. Others walk. We had the EYA do an energy and environmental audit of our operations. We buy fair trade organic coffee. We just leased a SmartCar so we have a way to get to meetings and more people can leave their cars at home. It's all small stuff, but it adds up. And thanks to One Day, we have a new bike rider – a mom with three kids who's trying to ride to work once a week. It can happen!
Good branding ... a cool concept, cool delivery. Hope that this will help to make Sustainability cool, one day! To start, I wore my new One Day t-shirt for 4 days solid while cycling the Circle Route up the Island and down the Coast (it's no longer white).
I live in the West End and proudly wear my One Day shirt as often as I can, doing my bit to get the message out. Walking down Robson Street a couple weeks ago I saw Matt Good rocking the One Day t-shirt. Pretty cool!
I was handed a sticker at the Tour de Gastown. Checked the website out. I'm in. One day at a time. I'm attaching the logo to my emails. Thanks.
One Day Folks at Folk Fest, Jericho Beach
One Day at the 2005 PNE