Greenest City

December, 2017


  • Greenest City Grants available for community organizations
  • Celebrate the season, sustainably
  • Help us catch a King Tides and document sea level rise
  • Get things at the Thingery

DOES YOUR TOILET HAVE THE RUNS? This December take some time to check your home for water leaks. On average, leaks account for about 16 litres of water wasted per person every day from leaky fixtures and inefficient appliances. A leaky toilet that continues to run after flushing can waste up to 135 litres of water per day. While most leaks are silent, signs of a leak include a hissing sound or continual water running or flushing on its own.
Watch this video and learn how to take the leaky toilet test in 3 easy steps:

  1. Test it: Grab some food colouring and drop some in your toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes without flushing. 
  2. Check it: Check the water in the toilet bowl. If the water is coloured, you’ve got a leak!
  3. Fix it: Flappers are the most common cause of a leaky toilet. These are inexpensive, easy to replace, and widely available at hardware stores.


Does your organization have a project for 2018 that supports the Greenest City Action Plan? We have a grant for that!
As of January 2, 2018, the City of Vancouver will be accepting applications for the Greenest City Grant, which provides over $200,000 in funding to support community-led projects and programs that help achieve our Greenest City Action Plan targets.
To be eligible:

  • Applicants must be a registered charity or a registered BC society.
  • Organizations from outside of Vancouver may apply, but projects must take place in and benefit Vancouver.
  • Applicants may apply for up to 50% of the project’s budget (per project) to a maximum of $100,000 (the typical grant amount is expected to be between $35,000 and $45,000).
  • Projects may be one to three years in length.
  • Applicants are encouraged to address other civic strategies, such as the Renewable City Action Plan, the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the Healthy City Strategy, as part of their project proposal.
  • Youth led and/or youth-centric projects are strongly encouraged.

Since 2012, over 60 projects have been funded through our Greenest City Community Grants, resulting in tangible outcomes across all 10 Greenest City goal areas.

Applicants should plan to attend the Greenest City Grant Workshop on January 11, 2018, 4-6 pm and read the application guide prior to submitting their applications.
Visit the Greenest City Grant website to view past projects and submit your application by February 5, 2018.



With the holiday season upon us, many of us are likely planning a gathering, thinking about last-minute gifts, or putting up a tree. The City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver are offering some seasonal tips to help Vancouverites celebrate sustainably.
Metro Vancouver’s Create Memories, Not Garbage campaign focuses on reducing waste during the holiday season, providing a host of zero-waste gift, decoration, and party planning ideas. Now in its seventh year, the campaign encourages people to celebrate by spending time with loved ones, giving experiences, or purchasing quality gifts that last.


Check out these creative gift ideas including fun experiences such as theatre and sports tickets, building a skill by giving music, art or dance lessons, or offering your time to help with dog-walking or home chores. Take it a step further by starting a new gift wrapping tradition – make a set of gift bags, or wrap presents in fabric like tea towels, sheets, or pillowcases.
What about holiday decor? Watch Metro Vancouver’s video to decide if a real or artificial tree is better for you. You can also find many decorations right in your own backyard — greenery makes great wreaths and centrepieces.
If you decorated with a real tree, keep in mind that the City of Vancouver and Lions Club volunteers will chip and recycle your tree for a cash or non-perishable food donation to local charities. On January 6 and 7, stop by one of these locations between 10 am to 4 pm:

  • Kerrisdale Community Ice Rink parking lot
  • Kitsilano Beach parking lot
  • Sunset Beach upper parking lot
  • Trout Lake Community Centre parking lot



Some of Vancouver’s highest tides for 2018 will happen in early January – and the City needs your help to capture them. These events are commonly known as King Tides, which are extreme high tides that happen twice a year when the sun and moon’s gravitation forces reinforce one another.
Why does the City need your photos? They help us visualise what normal sea levels may look like in the future as levels rise due to climate change. Your photos can also help us calibrate our sea level rise model, which we use to plan for how the City will need to adapt in the future. We’re particularly interested in photographs from the following areas: along the Fraser River, Jericho Park, Kitsilano Park, False Creek, and Waterfront Road.

To participate, visit our Sea Level Rise StoryMap to learn the dates and times when King Tides are happening next. Consider marking your calendar or setting a reminder to help you remember.
From Jan 3-7, head to the water and snap photos of the shoreline with your phone or digital camera. Upload your photos to our StoryMap. If you have access to a data-enabled phone, you can upload photos immediately through your browser. Don’t forget to specify the date and time each photo was taken!
Check out the hundreds of photos already collected on our interactive Sea Level Rise Story Map from the past several weeks.
Find out more about king tides and how the City is preparing for sea level rise, visit



We’re excited to announce that the Thingery will be coming to the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano, Grandview-Woodlands, and Hastings-Sunrise, each opening in the spring of 2018. These community-based lending cooperatives will provide neighbourhood members with tools, sports equipment, children’s toys, outdoor adventure gear, and household gadgets, all neatly packed into a modified shipping container.
Membership to a Thingery means you’ll have access to a range of useful items that will be sourced by donations and collective purchases. You’ll be reducing material consumption by sharing equipment that often sits underutilized and you won’t even need to make space for storage. And to boot, these community initiatives support the City of Vancouver’s Zero Waste goals by reducing our waste and consumption by prioritizing sharing of resources.
While the inventory of every Thingery will be similar, the contents are community sourced; meaning that what goes into the container depends on what neighbours donate to it and what they collectively purchase. As a member, you’ll have a say in the inventory at your location.

Learn more about Vancouver’s efforts to reduce and ultimately stop disposing of solid waste in landfills or incinerators. Subscribe to updates as the City moves to develop the Zero Waste 2040 Strategy, a long-term framework needed to help us achieve a zero waste future.

Find the Thingery nearest you and sign up to become a founding member. A one-time cooperative share costs $50, and the annual membership fee is $29. Once a member, some inventory items will be free to borrow, while some larger-ticket items will require a small daily fee of anywhere from $1-$15.





The Un-making Workshop
Dec 15-17
A three day upcycling hackathon: deconstruct things, consider all the pieces, and have fun re-imagining a new future for it. Bring old items or choose from a library of items. By donation.
MakerLabs 780 East Cordova
Christmas Tree Farm 2017 Sale Dates
Dec 15 & 16
‘Rent’ a small potted Christmas Tree or cut your own tree with the guidance of our forestry students! Trees grown using environmentally safe and responsible techniques and methods.
UBC Farm
Beyond the Blue Box Recycle Depot
Dec 16
Have you got a lot of stuff to recycle? Come check out this convenient recycling event and get rid of your junk!
Britannia Community Centre Parking Lot
Frosted: Upcycled Christmas Market & Pop-Up Café
Dec 16
Find upcycled presents for your loved ones. Cozy up in a pop up café or by the ‘fire’ inside CityStudio’s #ConnectFort. This free event promotes zero waste goals and has the environment in mind.
Merakos Fieldhouse @ Riley Park
Connecting to Place: Dance in the Garden
Dec 16
This family-friendly event uses art to engage people with nature and celebrates the changing of the seasons. Creative activities while connecting to community and the natural world. 
Riley Park Community Garden
English Bay Shoreline Cleanup
Dec 16
Help the Surfrider Vancouver team keep our shoreline beautiful and healthy by cleaning up litter. Free hot cocoa – bring your reusable mug and some work gloves. Chance to win prizes!
Seawall by Davie and Denman
Celebrating Solstice
Dec 16
Ever wonder where winter traditions originate? Explore the history, customs, and plants that have influenced a number of various mid-winter festivals on a two hour walk. $10 adult/$5 children.
Pacific Spirit Park Society EcoTEAM Planting
Dec 16
Help the EcoTEAM plant over 1000 native trees and shrubs at Pacific Spirit Park. Gloves and tools provided.  Please wear sturdy footwear and dress for the weather. Free!
University Hill Elementary School
Nada Zero Waste Pop-Up Shop
December 17
Looking for a way to buy groceries without the packaging? Check out Nada’s pop-up located in their future space! Bring your own containers/jars/bags and load up on local foods, cleaning supplies, and other zero waste items.
675 E Broadway

Frameworq’s Textile Fix it
December 17
Reduce waste by repairing your clothes instead of throwing them out! Frameworq will  provide supplies and teach essential skills. No experience necessary. Free!
Mount Pleasant Library
Classrooms to Communities Winter Solstice Celebration
Dec 21
Join educators and partners at this regional networking event and be inspired by and connect with champions for sustainability and place-based education in BC. Free (RSVP req’d).
TELUS World of Science
Lion's Club Christmas Tree Recycling
Jan 6 & 7
Bring your Christmas tree to be composted! Cash or non-perishable donations collected at the events will be distributed to local charities.
Four Vancouver locations



The Canadian Wildlife Federation invites you to honour deserving Canadians who make wildlife a priority.

Each year countless Canadians demonstrate their commitment to wildlife conservation through active involvement. 

Nominate a nature hero before January 31, 2018.

City of Vancouver - 453 West 12th Avenue - Vancouver - BC - V5Y 1V4