Greenest City news

October 2022


  • Adopt a catch basin this fall 
  • Walk, bike or roll into the new school year
  • Celebrate Waste Reduction Week 
  • Learn about the 2022 UBC Sustainability Scholar projects
  • Check out local events and green opportunities

NOTEWORTHY: Welcome to our new Mayor and Council, School trustees and Park Board commissioners, we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more climate-friendly city together! Learn more about the election results here.

WHAT WE’RE READING: A new report from the Canadian Climate Institute examines how climate change will impact the economy and lives of Canadians. The report finds that accelerating climate change will result in increased government spending and make life less affordable for Canadians, affecting vulnerable populations the most. However, it also shows that proactive adaptation measures and taking bold action to reduce carbon pollution could reduce future economic risks and costs of climate change by 75%. 

Greenest City news


The goal of the Adopt a Catch Basin program is to empower residents to take care of their neighbourhoods by keeping catch basins (which you might know as storm drains) free of debris and leaves. Now in its fifth year, the program has seen 5,000 of the City’s 45,000 catch basins adopted to date.

Catch basin adopters provide a valuable service to the community and local ecosystems by: 

  • Decreasing flooding and keeping streets safer for drivers and pedestrians
  • Minimizing garbage from washing into adjacent waterways like False Creek that are also habitat for species such as salmon 
  • Protecting homes and businesses from costly impacts of flooding

During the fall and winter seasons in particular, catch basins need attention as rain begins to fall, and leaves and snow block catch basins. Climate change means that Vancouver will experience 35% more intense heavy rain events and 21% more rain on the wettest days by 2050, so local actions like this can make a difference.

There are still over 40,000 catch basins that need adopting and 6,200 of them are considered “needy” and prone to flooding. Maintaining your catch basin is easy, just check to make sure it’s clear of debris, litter and leaves. If you’re unable to clear the clog and it’s causing flooding, report it online or by using Van311. Be sure to follow the safety guidelines when tending your catch basin. 

Visit to select and name a catch basin near you.

You can also attend an upcoming community catch basin and litter clean up party:


Greenest City news


Across Vancouver, class is back in session, and our School Active Travel Programs are working to provide safe, fun and climate-friendly ways for students to get to school – including our School Streets program.

The School Streets program creates a car-free block beside a school that is open to walking, biking and rolling during drop-off and pick-up times. Participating schools have witnessed improved safety and an increase in students using active travel to and from school. This program encourages physical activity in a safe environment, and helps students to develop a better understanding of their neighbourhood, building a sense of community.

Burning fossils fuels like gasoline and diesel in our vehicles creates nearly 40% of Vancouver’s carbon pollution, so choosing active transportation for your school commute is a great way to cut emissions while also reducing congestion and air pollution.


Interested schools can apply to participate next spring by completing an Expression of Interest before November 4 here.

Walk Bike Roll Mini Grants of up to $500 are also currently available to Vancouver public elementary and secondary schools for projects and activities that encourage and support active transportation for students. Discover past projects and apply before October 28 here.


Greenest City news


Waste Reduction Week in Canada motivates learning, behaviour change and innovation when it comes to reducing what we throw away. In support of this campaign, many landmark buildings will be illuminated in green from October 17 to 23.

Vancouver is working to become a zero waste community by 2040, and increase sustainable resources, along with a healthy economy, and vibrant neighbourhoods through the elimination of solid waste.


Waste Reduction Week activities are happening throughout October. Here are some highlights:

  • Reuse and Recycling Drop-off (October 22): Bring your unwanted textiles, batteries, light bulbs, electronics, and small appliances to our last drop-off event of the year at Kitsilano Secondary School
  • Zero Waste Fair (October 29): Bring your bikes, gadgets, small appliances, computers, and clothing in need of fixing to City Hall. Register to get a ticket for a repair time slot or a zero waste seminar.


Greenest City news


Congratulations to this year’s cohort of Sustainability Scholars for completing another year of inspiring research. 
Since 2010, UBC’s Sustainability Initiative and the City of Vancouver have worked together to provide UBC graduate students an opportunity to work on projects that advance social and environmental sustainability across Vancouver. Over 206 projects have been completed to date, with many providing valuable research that supports implementation of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, Climate Adaptation Strategy, Healthy City Strategy, Equity Framework and more. 
A few examples of the projects completed this year include:

  • Identifying best practices to mobilize community towards meaningful climate action 
  • Rethinking Street Pavement Rehabilitation Practices to Support the Urban Forest
  • Creating an accessible and equitable public drinking water foundation strategy 
  • An investigation of ways to integrate rapid transit stations with affordable housing
  • Research to re-imagine the Stanley Park seawall through an exploration of living shoreline alternatives

Want to learn more about these projects? Check out all the Scholar reports in UBC’s project library. We've also been highlighting some of the Scholar’s work, research and outcomes in more depth on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - follow us there.


Local green opportunities

When attending in-person events please follow COVID-19 health & safety precautions.

Exploring the Intertidal Zone: Year of the Salish Sea
October 18
Learn about foraging, seaweed identification and connecting with marine organisms like nudibranchs and anemones, just by looking over the edge of your local floating dock.

Discovering Glass Sponges and Clam Gardens: Year of the Salish Sea
October 25
Discover the cultural and ecological significance of clam gardens traditionally practiced by coastal First Nations and how humans are connected to ancient, unique glass sponge communities found in Howe Sound.

Forest Bathing
November 3
Open your senses and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of Pacific Spirit Regional Park during an activity that will leave you feeling calm, refreshed and peaceful.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park 

Recycle Right Workshop
November 5
Attend this workshop to learn how to recycle correctly in Vancouver, whether you live in a house or a multi-unit building.
Killarney Community Centre

Stanley Park EcoStewards
November 5
Volunteer with the EcoStewards to help manage and remove invasive plant species from the park’s ecosystem. In addition to removing invasive species, you will also learn about local ecology and conservation issues.
Stanley Park

Zero Waste in the Kitchen and DIY Beeswax Wraps
November 15
Attend this workshop to learn about reducing food waste, package-free grocery shopping, proper segregation of kitchen waste and recycling and composting. Plus, take beeswax wraps to take home with you.
Coal Harbour Community Centre

Volunteering with the Bicycle Valet
The Bicycle Valet’s volunteer team provides informative resources and valet-style parking at events in and around Vancouver. Join the team to support Vancouver’s cycling community and get free entrance to events.
In person events, sign up online

Seasonal Farmer’s Markets
Enjoy the final weeks of the Riley Park, Trout Lake, West End, Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant summer markets, or welcome fall at the Riley Park winter market starting November 5. Visit the website to learn about local farmers, food producers and creators at each market and plan your visit. 

Streetwise Cycling Online
Any time
New to cycling? This free educational series from HUB helps adult beginner riders gain knowledge and skills to start their cycling journey at their own pace with confidence. 

SPEC Team Meetings
Want to connect with other like-minded individuals and share your knowledge on energy and transportation, food growing, or waste? Check the link for Society Promoting Environmental Conservation meet-up topics and meeting dates. 


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