6 Green Vancouver Programs - G-PAK

6 Green Vancouver Programs (that you probably don't know about but should)

February 11, 2016


The city of Vancouver is pretty committed to being green. They want to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. By 2050, the City of Vancouver aims to run on 100% renewable energy. What you may not already know is that the City of Vancouver is doing some amazing community level work to help you help them achieve this goal.

Here at G-Pak, we respect anyone that tries to fix the status quo and bring real change, especially when they are trying to do it from a community level. It's what we are trying to do on a daily basis. We have put together 6 inspiring things the City of Vancouver is doing that you can get involved with.


1. Backyard Chickens

Why run to the store for eggs when you can just have your own chicken? In fact, in Vancouver you can have up to 4 of them.

Chickens are surprisingly low maintenance and come in a whole range of breeds. Chickens are also (not surprisingly) very good at laying eggs. Some breeds, such as the Rhode Island Red, can produce up to one egg a day. Unlike store bought eggs the carbon footprint is minimal and you know the egg is from a happy, healthy chicken. Chickens even have backyard benefits beyond producing eggs. 

Interested in owning your own chickens? The City of Vancouver has made the process easy for you.


2. Keep your own Bee Hives

That’s right. The City of Vancouver wants to encourage you to not only produce your own eggs, but to make your own honey. In fact, the City of Vancouver is so committed that they have had two hives on top of City Hall since 2010.

Although keeping your own beehive is a bit more complicated then keeping chickens, there are resources out there to help you get started. Other ‘apiarists‘, which are what beekeepers are called, would be happy to share their knowledge with you. 

If you are just looking for the guidelines of getting your own hive, the City of Vancouver lays the process out for you. 


3. Growing Food

Many people in Vancouver have heard about the City’s efforts to encourage people to have their own gardens. But did you know that the City of Vancouver can help you have your own garden, even if you don’t have the space or time? 

  • Starting something new is hard, but Vancouver has you covered with these gardening classes. From beginner to intermediate, there are always new classes being added.
  • Community gardens are scattered all over the city. Apply for a plot at your local garden and get outside, meet your neighbours and learn how to grow your own food.
  • Shared garden spaces connect those looking for an entire backyard garden with people who have the yard space but not the time to turn it into a garden. Usually you get fresh produce in exchange for letting someone garden your yard. 


4. Green Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is an amazing thing. It makes you feel good, allows you to connect with your community, helps others, lets you learn brand new skills- and with these particular volunteer opportunities, make a lasting ecological difference. The City of Vancouver has nearly 20 amazing green organizations listed on their site, all in need of volunteers. Here are 3 highlights: 

  • Friends Uniting for Nature (FUN) Society is a youth-led organization that educates about the environment and aims to make lasting change in a younger generation through learning.
  • Fresh Roots is an urban farming organization which runs school yard farms where they educate children how to grow their own food. The finished product is sold back into the school. Fresh Roots wants volunteers for a huge range of tasks. Learn new skills and help grow your community with this great organization
  • The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project harvests extra fruit from the yards of fruit tree owners and helps to distribute it back to the community.


5. Environmental Art

For all the inspiration nature has had on artists over the years, art can be quite hard on the environment. Toxic paints, canvases, tape and glue all take their toll on our earth. Which is why Vancouver is encouraging people to engage in ‘environmental art’. 

What is environmental art? It is:

  • Created with natural materials, such as weaving a basket out of local reeds
  • Designed to be non-destructive and/or ecologically beneficial. Your art piece is able to break down after you create it.
  • Specific to its site, meaning you are keeping materials local instead of shipping things in.

 If you would like to see some examples of environmental art, or are interested in getting involved in community art projects, you can learn more on the city website.


6. Electrorecycle

You know that broken vacuum you have had sitting in your cupboard for the last year? The City of Vancouver can help you recycle that with their small appliance and power tool recycling program. Although a little less fun than the other Vancouver initiatives, this under-rated service goes a long way to reducing waste.

Simply visit the website to get started. You can get connected to your nearest recycling plant by typing in your postal code. If transportation is an issue, click one of the pretty illustrations at the bottom of the page that most closely resembles your electronic and it will tell you when the next collection event for that item is. 

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