IN THIS ISSUE
NOTEWORTHY: Applications for general members of the Climate and Equity Working Group are now closed, thank you to those who applied. We are now reviewing applications and will be in touch shortly. To ensure a diversity of perspectives from those who identify as Indigenous, we are holding three seats in the working group and actively recruiting those members now. Applications for Indigenous members will remain open until April 30 or until filled; learn more and apply.
- Celebrate Earth Day
- Learn how to make the switch to an energy-efficient electric heat pump
- Receive an update on a Coal Harbour herring spawning project
- Get tips for preventing wasted leftovers
- Check out local events and green opportunities
CELEBRATE EARTH DAY
Earth Day, the world’s largest event devoted to environmental action, is April 22.
This year, the focus of Earth Day is Restore Our Earth, based on the understanding that natural processes such as reforestation can store massive amounts of carbon while restoring biodiversity, clean water and air, and rebalancing ecological systems. Capturing and removing carbon pollution from our atmosphere is a critical part of doing our best to limit global warming.
Vancouver has many projects underway that remove and reduce carbon pollution while providing ecosystem benefits; these include retaining and growing our urban forest to the new target of 30% canopy cover, restoring coastlines in the New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project, and implementing green infrastructure across the city. As part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, we are also working on a plan to enhance nature-based climate solutions within the city and beyond its boundaries.
On Earth Day, over one billion people will be celebrating the planet by taking action to restore our earth. Here are some things you can do:
- Do your part to ensure our trees are healthy and abundant. Request to have a city tree inspected or planted along Vancouver streets that are between the road and property line or in a park. Ensure trees on your own property are inspected, pruned and cared for regularly.
- Volunteer with a group working on urban forest and biodiversity enhancement. The Vancouver Park Board has some suggestions on our park stewardship webpage.
- Take your actions online and inspire others to join in. Post your actions in support of Earth Day with #EarthDaySeedingChange2021 and enter a contest sponsored by Fresh Roots and Kiwassa Neighbourhood House to win some earth-friendly art prizes.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY
HEAT PUMP 101
Over half of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from burning natural gas to heat space and water in our buildings. As part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan, the City is working to make sure Vancouver’s buildings are constructed and operated in a way that reduces carbon pollution.
If you’re a homeowner, upgrading your heating source from a natural gas-based system to an electric heat pump is one of the most effective actions you can take to help reduce carbon pollution. Electric heat pumps are the most efficient and climate-friendly heating and cooling systems available on today’s market, and there is also up to $8,300 in rebates available to make the switch to a heat pump – and yet, many homeowners aren’t aware of the benefits and options available to them.
On April 21, the Community Energy Coach team is hosting an interactive workshop to help homeowners explore the world of heat pumps: what they are and how they work, the benefits they provide, and how to find registered contractors, rebates and financing offers to upgrade your heating system. Register here to attend.
Can’t make it on April 21? There will be another workshop in May - watch our events section next month for details.
Learn more about what the City is doing to reduce carbon pollution in buildings by visiting our climate emergency webpage.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY
RESTORING PACIFIC HERRING SPAWNING IN COAL HARBOUR
The Squamish Streamkeepers have been encouraging herring spawning in False Creek for several years. With permission from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, they transferred six nets with herring eggs from False Creek to the Harbour Green dock in Coal Harbour, with the intention of bringing herring back to Coal Harbour, where they have spawned in the past. The Harbour Green dock and surrounding area have various types of kelp on which herring like to spawn, making it a likely place in the harbour for them to return.
Eggs on nets installed at the private Coal Harbour Marina have hatched successfully so far, boding well for the nets at Harbour Green. The Streamkeepers will check back every few days to see if the eggs on these nets have hatched. Pacific herring mature within three years so we’ll know if these herring manage to successfully spawn by 2024.
Help keep spawning habitats like these safe: if you’re near Vancouver’s shoreline this time of year, check the shore-adjacent sand and seaweed for tiny eggs on kelp – and if you see any, try to tread lightly to avoid crushing them.
Learn more about this project and find out how you can volunteer on other habitat restoration efforts across Vancouver by visiting the Squamish Streamkeepers webpage.
SUPPORTING: ACCESS TO NATURE
PREVENTING WASTED LEFTOVERS
Did you know that each year 1.4 billion hectares of land worldwide is used to produce food that is never eaten? That’s about 1.4 times the size of Canada!
In Canada alone, 2.2 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten and enjoyed is wasted annually – and 286,000 tonnes of that wasted food is leftovers. Wasted food is a solvable problem: buying only what we need and using up the food we buy means less land needed for food production and less carbon pollution from the supply chain and methane produced as it decomposes.
The small actions that you take to reduce wasted food will, over time, make a positive impact on our planet and save you money, too. This month, commit to making one change to prevent food waste – use up your leftovers.
Here are some tips to help you use up all your leftovers:
- Place your leftovers (and other foods that need to be eaten first) on the top shelf of your fridge so you can see them easily.
- Designate one night a week to a “smorgasbord meal” and clean out your unused leftover items (and you will get to clean out your fridge, too).
- Get creative and find ways to use up your leftovers with recipes at Love Food Hate Waste.
SUPPORTING: ZERO WASTE
When attending in-person events please follow COVID-19 health & safety precautions.
Vancouver Farmers Markets
Saturdays & Sundays
The Riley Park & Hastings Park markets are open until April 24 & 25 – visit the VFM website so you can plan your next visit and find out what's fresh and in season.
Riley Park & Hastings Park
SPEC Team Meetings
Want to share your knowledge on energy & transportation, food growing, or waste, and connect with other like-minded individuals? The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation has ongoing meet-ups in these areas. Check the link for topics and meeting dates.
Doubling Down: Democracy and Climate Change
Join this SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue webinar and hear climate engagement specialists discuss what methods and approaches needed to tackle the transition.
Imagining a Radical Climate Future with Anjalica Solomon
Join this Climate Creatives series workshop hosted by UBC Climate Hub to work through feelings of climate grief through the creative and healing acts of journaling, collaging and writing poetry.
City Nature Challenge Online
In May, cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature. Join this Metro Vancouver webinar to learn how you can participate in the fun as a citizen scientist.
Listening to the Bees
Join VanDusen and guests Mark L. Winston and Renee Sarojini Saklikar as they welcome participants into their multi-dimensional understanding of bees through conversation, readings and imagery.
Join Dr. Steven Holdcroft for this SFU Public Square webinar as he walks us through the fascinating world of plastics, their impact on the climate, and recent technological breakthroughs.
CONNECT AND LEARN MORE