Recommendations for greening existing businesses include recommendations to support building of local supply chains. This idea is included in the draft Greenest City Action Plan
NOTE: LoCo's idea "Buy local" has been merged with this one.
Buying from local businesses reduces greenhouse gases associated with transportation, supports local jobs and builds a green economy. Support a local business organization for local sustainable businesses. This group provides a resource for consumers to put their money where their green local economy is, but also helps to work with large municipal purchasers to get them to support local business through their supply chains.
NOTE: Anonymous' idea "Start a self sustained economy of local made food, goods, and services that are sustainble and green" has been merged with this one.
"Like we had about 120 years ago before we started industrializing and paving over the forest that sustained us. Cut away the irresponsible capitalists and start supporting and empowering the community initiatives that support local economies only."
A great idea and one that has already been started by City Farmer. Check out the great tool they have created to link those with space with those looking for space to garden: http://www.sharingbackyards.com/browse/Vancouver,BC&welcome_box=3
NOTE: Geordie Milne's idea "Support Yard Sharing" has been merged with this one.
like this great site:
Find a way to spread word.
Co-create with the already system to amp up the already great system.
Greenest City awards are included in the Draft Greenest City Action Plan.
NOTE: Christopher Zimmermann's idea "Greenest Neighborhood Annual Championship" has been merged with this one.
What is the best way to change peoples behaviour? Peer pressure! This project aims to change peoples perception of what is a normal lifestyle, of what is acceptable behaviour as far as energy and carbon consumption, in a fun community-oriented way.
The competition is a way to reach out to people who are not yet acting on climate change. It's also a way to bring together the people in our communities who already are. This competition can help provide the stimulus and deadline that people so often need to actually take action.
Carbon Champions is a yearly competition in Vancouver to see which neighborhood earns the title of Champion in three categories. The competition is organized and implemented via a website which allows residents to register and to complete a carbon footprint calculation online. The website tracks average values for each neighborhood in three categories: 1. The lowest footprint. 2. The largest commitment to reduce. 3. The greatest percentage of residents participating. At the end of the annual competition an awards banquet is held with great fanfair, media attention, and prizes!
· To inspire individuals to take responsibility for their own carbon emissions by:
o Changing the "norm" of what is acceptable energy consumption (Currently people feel entitled to a high-carbon lifestyle).
o Making it fun to lower carbon - via good ol' competition and cooperation.
o Making it easier for people to make real reductions. – by providing them with specific, easy to implement actions that they can take immediately.
o Providing concise, accurate, convincing information about what global warming will look like if we do not take action.
· To encourage citizen support of stronger government action on climate change.
· To lower the carbon footprint of Vancouver.
· To act as a pilot project for other cities.
Some similar successful programs:
Over 20000 people participated in this competition for greenest university in USA
Competition is within one school - one student or class wins.
· http://www.wattzon.com/ Allows individuals to compare footprints.
· http://tinyurl.com/y9kf99y “Energy use falls when neighbors compete” article mentioned above.
This idea is included in draft Greenest City Action Plan, as well as more generally as a Greenest City Ambassadors program.
NOTE: The idea raised at the Greenest City Social Media Event "use a multicultural approach to sustainability issues in the city" has been merged with this one.
Idea shared with Vancouver School Board; will be considered in City of Vancouver’s ongoing engagement activities as well. Very important to engage all of our community’s diversity.
NOTE: Terence van der Woude's idea "teach the next generation" has been merged with this one
We have social studies, mathematics, language studies that all begin at the elementary level. These are fundamental tools we give the next generation to survive and thrive. We must implement a new subject: Ecology so we can give our children the means to build a sustainable world
Note: C. Lee's idea "More education to public in protecting environment" has been merged with this one.
Start educating next generation in using less water, 3R's - reduce, reuse, recycle. Maybe have school 'green' project competitions to raise awareness to kids.
NOTE: Affy-Ann's idea "Teach kids early on about the importance of taking care of the environment." has been merged with this one.
"Environmental education starts at home. It is important that kids learn how to care for their environment at an early age and know about the impact they have on the world that someday they will inherit.
If kids realize the importance of caring for the environment now, then they will be doing more and caring more when they're older.
Parents can start by teaching their children about reducing, reusing, and recycling.
A trip to the grocery store and buying fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of canned or pre-packaged ones - or purchasing products with recyclable packaging - can show kids one way to reduce waste. Parents can also teach kids how they can help the environment by reusing school things instead of buying new ones. This will also save money. Setting up separate bins for paper, plastic, and aluminum cans at home will teach kids how to recycle, and they can earn money from redemption centers or make school/art projects out of recycled materials.
Aside from learning how they can help, kids should also see why it is important to take care of the environment. They should appreciate it. Taking nature trips with them, planting trees or allowing them to help with the garden, watching videos about animals especially endangered ones, even cartoons that send a message about nature and environment (like The Wild Thornberrys or Captain Planet - shows that I grew up with) will make kids appreciate the environment and help them strive to take care of it.
~We are not separate from the environment. We are part of it.~"
24 votes2 comments · GC 2020 » Travel predominately by foot, bike, and transit · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
An interesting metric, and a catchy way to define a walkable neighbourhood!
Want to know where to refill your water bottle? Metro Vancouver has developed a free "Tap Map" iPhone app that shows drinking water fountains and bottle refill stations throughout the City.
Note: eeko's idea "Build more public water fountains and help reduce the distribution of water bottles" has been merged with this one.
If you are interested in seeing one of the City's Mobile Drinking Fountains, come to our Open House in the Woodward's Atrium from 4-7 on Friday, October 1st.
This comment and picture was submitted by @hummingbird604 via twitter
"Dear @cityofvancouver @greenestcity please follow UBC's example and install well-designed water fountains. Luv, R" http://twitpic.com/2pcbps
NOTE: wendy's idea "no more plastic one use water bottles in vancouver - our water is great" has been merged with this one.
ban plastic one use water bottles - all should have reusable drink container - if it has glass interior it can be used for all drinks with just a wash - water, juice, tea, coffee - a Libre tea glass is perfect - thermal, glass interior and polycarbonate exterior and a removeable tea filter for truly healthy and ecofriendly loose leaf tea
Note: Greenest City Planning Team's idea "Work with developers and energy utilities to establish district heating systems" has been merged with this one.
Work with developers and energy utilities to establish district heating systems like the one for South East False Creek and identify renewable energy sources that are economically viable once the developments are sufficiently large.
The South East False Creek Neighourhood Energy Utility provides space heating and domestic hot water to all new buildings in Southeast False Creek. It is powered by sewage heat recovery and solar hot water heating and reduces carbon emissions by 50 per cent.
More info on the South East False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility:
The City has already started a food scraps collection program for neighbourhoods where yard trimmings are collected. These materials are currently composted. With more organic waste diversion, the City will explore opportunties to implement technolgies that produce biogas like gassifiers and anaerobic digesters.
NOTE: bartosz's idea "Implement a Biogas Generation Program using Dog Waste" has been merged with this one.
With well over 80 thousand dogs in the Vancouver area, it would be practical to put the 30 thousand pounds of dog waste per day, to good use. (rather than a landfill) Similar to biogas generators used in agriculture, a system in Vancouver could be used to produce clean and renewable heat and electricity.
NOTE: Green Options's idea "Use biomethane to run buses / city vehicles" has been merged with this one.
Collect and process biomethane to be used in diesel buses and other city vehicles (garbage trucks etc). It is being done in other cities that are challenging on the green front, such as Oslo (Norway).
NOTE: Noah's idea "Fuel garbage trucks with garbage" has been merged with this one.
Garbage trucks can now be equipped to use land-fill methane for fuel, and such are in use in California and Europe.
Please see these articles:
NOTE: Tony's idea "Streetlight reflectors + LEDs" has been merged with this one.
A gradual changeover of streetlights to LEDs with the addition of a reflective cover to direct the light downwards. The passive reflector will save energy by lowering the required wattage for the same illuminating effect, and will reduce light pollution in the skies. Also I presume, eventually, lighting in all municipal buildings can be replaced. I realise that the traffic and pedestrian crossing lights have already been retrofitte
NOTE: Al's idea "retro fit to green street lights" has been merged with this one.
We are all supposed to change our incandescent light bulbs to florescent or led.
What about the thousands of street lights which burn every night using old technology? we need to change over to induction lighting or LED like Europe has.
Cheaper to run and last 10 times as long.
If we want to be the Greenest city on earth then City Hall has to change it's light bulbs too! ALL OF THEM!
NOTE: Erik's idea "Reduce street lighting" has been merged with this one.
1. Contrary to accepted wisdom, street lighting does not reduce crime. In fact, many good studies find it increases it.
2. From a road safety perspective, lighting based on need makes sense (timing, brightness varied by location according to foot and vehicle traffic stats). Good studies and experience in Europe support this.
3. Not only would we save electricity, reduce crime, and improve sleep quality for residents, as a bonus we'd also stand to gain more frequent views of the night sky-- an often humbling experience lost to most city-dwellers.
As a side-issue, we might have to lobby Federally to act against the current fashion for tinted automobile windows. These are unsafe because they reduce drivers' visual acuity to sides and rear, and are wasteful because they can only be compensated by increasingly excessive street lighting.
NOTE: Jimmy's idea "Replace City Garbage bins with a greener one!" has been merged with this one.
"Replace existing single selection garbage bins with ones that separate paper, plastic, organics or at the very least units similar to the ones at the rise but at a smaller scale!"
NOTE: Caroline Farquhar's idea "City and translink should partner to present recycling (paper, metal, glass, plastic) at major stops" has been merged with this one.
"People waiting for buses create litter. Especially at major intersections where two or several different transit lines cross. At least the main street intersections (King Ed & Fraser, Main, Cambie etc.) should have recycling facilities present at EACH bus stop surrounding the intersection. This would hopefully greatly reduce curb-side litter.... It would be extremely helpful if this curbside service was in the same colours and format as the city wide residential service: same colours for same function - creating ease of use and reinforcement of other city recycling programs...."
NOTE: Daian Fong Ro'Ronaldoo's idea "We should provide a recycling bin next to every garbage bin." has been merged with this one.
"I've noticed there are a lot of garbage bins and people get REALLY lazy to recycle. I usually put it in my bag & take it home, even banana peels for COMPOSTING. If we do so we'd be able to recycle all those coffee cups, napkins, newspapers, the gum cardboards, straw wrappers & wat not!!!"
NOTE: David Hoff's idea "Here is an amazing & radical idea - how about placing recycling containers in Vancouver Parks!!" has been merged with this one.
"Its surprising that this wasnt done years ago. I usually dont bring waste to our parks, but if I do toss something in the garbage, I am shocked to see the bin full of recyclable items - paper & plastic & glass. We can do better."
NOTE: pip's idea "More public recycle bins" has been merged with this one.
Jimmy, do you have an example of a garbage bin that does this job well? Also, do you see this idea for garbage bins on streets?
10 votes4 comments · GC 2020 » Travel predominately by foot, bike, and transit · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
NOTE: alison's idea "parking for transit riders" has been merged with this one.
How about a little compromise? Parking around transit stations might encourage people to lessen their travel footprint - a good start.
NOTE: alison's idea "schools and other institutions need to have their compost and all of their recycling picked up" has been merged with this one.
2 articles in the courier last week about the amount of compostable material in the garbage - in just two elementary schools. Students and staff could easily compost and sort their recyclables if there were bins picked up by the city.
The draft Greenest City Action Plan includes an action to create a local food procurement strategy for City facilities.
NOTE: shelagh lindsey's idea "farmers' markets" has been merged with this one.
Institutions like Cavell Gardens which is a seniors independent community will not buy food from farmers' markets or directly ftrom the supplier because tthe produce has not met the standards of the Health Canada Food inspection agency
42 votes5 comments · GC 2020 » Travel predominately by foot, bike, and transit · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
NOTE: dashamstyr's idea "Integrate Transit Across Municipalities" has been merged with this one.
Right now, there are very few ways to travel to/from the suburbs without one or more bus changes that often include wait times of over 30 minutes. We need a transit system that integrates with the surrounding communities and gives commuters from these areas a viable public transit alternative to driving into the city.
Merged with N/A's idea "Get transit to the suburbs..."
"Many people who work in the City cannot afford to live in the City; therefore it would make sense to help make transit more accessible to the outer cities so that we can get those single occupancy commuters off the roads. This would bring less cars into the City making it greener."
NOTE: Maria Beatriz L. Villaroman's idea "NO LITTERING!!!! Make Vancouver as clean as possible." has been merged with this one.
Some people throws their garbage in the middle of the road.Well did you know that throwing garbage in the middle of the road it can cost many accidents.For example:
A car that is driving for over 90 km is in a rush and a kid that is like about 13 years old throws a plastic bag or a newspaper in the road and the wind was strong so the plastic bag or the newspaper went in front of the car and BOOM! An accident.
It ca also make Vancouver a dirty place so PLEASE MAKE VANCOUVER AS CLAN AS POSSIBLE!!!!!
Note: Bassam Al-Kuwatli's idea "Biodegradable Food Containers" has been merged with this one.
Mandate all takeout food locations, coffee shops and food stores to use biodegradable food containers, plates, utensils, cups, lids and straws. Add this to using biodegradable plastic bags only; Vancouver will not need to deal with all the plastics in the waste stream.
Most of those products will be composted like the rest our organic waste.
[Submitted via mail by Penny Perry]
"Take out food containers should be made from materials that can be composted."
1,002 votes77 comments · GC 2020 » Travel predominately by foot, bike, and transit · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
An ongoing process. Many of the City’s recent initiatives (e.g. downtown separated bike lane trial, additional traffic calming on existing routes) work towards this vision. The draft Greenest City action plan will support this idea, and include directions to help inform the upcoming transportation plan update and new active transportation plan.
NOTE: Vadim's idea "Bike paths, bike paths and more bike paths. Close down the streets, make more room for bicycles" has been merged wtih this one.
People will bike more if they feel like it's safe and easy to do. Clothes down more streets and make them bicycle only streets. That would be amazing. The peace and quiet, the safety of a car-less street. Open up long greenways and separate bicycle traffic to make it safe. More people will ride if it's safe. Make electric bikes more accessible/affordable for people who can't peddle. Has anyone been to China... people use bicycles and electric bicycles everywhere to commute and run errands. There is no reason it can't be done here... but you must create a safe infrastructure that is SEPARATE from car traffic. Bicycling is not only good for environment, it's good for you... get BC Health to support/fund it too. Less people will need medical care. Give tax credits or incentives for people to own bikes. Make bike rentals a city program, where you can pick up a bike and drop off a bike at major interchanges. Give bicyclists priority checkout at the supermarket, discount movie passes, etc. Make it visible by adding all kinds of creative incentives for people to start riding. Make 3-wheel bikes available to those who can't do it on two wheels. But again, best of all... build major bike greenways separate from cars to people can commute to work.
Note: Travis Martin's idea "A cycling network that makes biking appealing whether you’re 4, 24 or 84 yrs old." has been merged with this one.
Daily cycling is one of the best ways to stay healthy and move around the city in a convenient and fast way. While Vancouver’s cycling network is ahead of many North American cities it is far from safe for 4 and 84 year olds. Many 24 year olds even find the narrow streets and ever present ‘door zone’ to frightful to consider cycling as a means of transportation.
The Netherlands is a prime example of how in 30 years a country has been transformed in into to a lean cycling nation. We should take a similar approach, which means acknowledging pedestrians, cyclists and cars as equally valid and changing the existing conditions to reflect this perspective. Separated bike lanes are the ultimate goal to getting 4-84 year olds on their bikes, but there are many easier and cheaper steps along the way.
Easy first steps for Residential Bikeways (eg. 7th, 10th, Union etc):
1. Create opposing One-way streets to eliminate through traffic.
2. Provide only one parking lane/no parking.
3. Mark bike lanes in each direction, allowing cars to share with one bike lane OR make a narrow central car lane that requires the car to be a guest in either bike lane depending on bike traffic.
Car As Visitor
← bike (2m)
car (1.5-2m) →
bike (2m) >
Parking (1.7m) →
Shared with Car
← bike (2-3m)
Parking (1.7m) →
Separated lanes/No Parking/No car?
< bike (1.7 - 3 m)
bike (1.7 - 3 m) >
Car (0-3.3 m) < or >
NOTE: Jacob's post "Improving Bike Use In The City" has been merged with this one.
These ideas came from the Greenest City Social Media Brainstorming Session on September 20th, 2010.
"Implement bike program similar to Copenhagen – 3000 bikes, painted pink, communal bikes not locked up, maintenance paid through subtle advertising on bikes, small fines for taking bikes outside of city limits,
Bike program similar to zip cars / co-op cars.
Helmet law is an issue (people would need to bring own helmet.)
Bike license program – small annual fee, bike owner gets subsidized bike repair, insurance, how to you keep insurance fee from being an obstacle to bike riding.
Issue: overcoming fear of driving in city. Need to reduce car usage in downtown core (like Copenhagen—reduced parking spots each year, started heated bus shelters, etc.)
How to incentivize business owners to give up street parking spots?
Link between safety and bike lanes.
Road safety: road rage, car doors opening, driver awareness of bikes
Ideas to improve bike safety: paint bike lanes bright green, signage reminding drivers to be careful when opening doors, central corridor for bike paths (N-S; E-W).
If you support bike lanes in the city, write in and share your support.
Montreal/Paris/DC – short term bike rental programs.
Bike storage is an issue with apartments.
Incentives for building owners and hotels to offer communal bikes for residents and guests. (e.g., building would be required to build less parking stalls if they had communal bikes)"
@satya For special events when heavy cyclist traffic is expected I would highly recommend that organizers hire a bike valet service to avoid this problem. Both BEST and VACC offer such services. Our October 1st Open House and Ideas Slam event will have a bike valet to accomodate the amount of bike traffic we are expecting.
Note: Jen Reynolds's idea "Make cycling the #1 best way to get around" was merged with this one.
"Here's what I see as a bright green cyclist future for Vancouver:
- Keep building bicycle infrastructure that is physically separated
from both motorists & pedestrians
- Implement the Copenhagen "green wave" along these routes to
encourage cyclists to take them and cars to take other better car
- Repeal the helmet law for those over 18 to get more folks on bikes
and ensure the success of the bike-sharing program
- Legalize the Idaho "rolling stop" that _everyone_ does without
If we can get these 4 things squared away, I am sure we will be the
greenest city in no time and we'll have much greater than 10% of trips
taken by bicycle."
Here's the working link to the article Paul @ City of Vancouver referenced. http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Cyclists+freeloaders/3155386/story.html
@Ken Lawson The comments from your other account were flagged as inappropriate by a number of users and the system automatically removed from the site.
A staggering 40% of all trips in Copenhagen are made by cycling. One thing that supports such a high mode share is the network of cycling infrastructure throughout the city that makes cycling a safe and efficient transportation choice. This inspiring video outlines the key features of their network:
@anyomous Great question! The Greenest City Planning team is made up of City staff who are working on the implementation plan for the Greenest City 2020 initiative.
To get this conversation going, we seeded the forum with ideas that we have been considering, ideas put forward in the Greenest City Action Team’s A Bright Green Future report, and ideas from previous engagement activities.
So yes, we are very interested to hear ideas from our residents and will be considering those ideas during our planning process. In the spirit of dialogue we are also very interested to hear what residents think of our ideas. With the ability to propose, comment and vote on ideas, this forum seems like a useful way to have that conversation.
Note: Claudine Santos-Smith's idea "Recycling Restaurant/Hospitality Organic Waste" has been merged with this one.
Organic waste makes up the largest amount of waste in restaurants. There exist in Vancouver, companies that specialize in food waste diversion; while the domestic food waste programs are good, in order to be a truly green city, businesses must also change their MO. These programs offer charged pick up on eligible waste (paper towels, biodegradeable packaging, organic waste) and include clean container, carboard and paper recycling pick up for free.
There are a plethora of restaurants within Vancouver, however, I feel that the primary reason restaurants and larger, institutional-sized kitchens have not made the move is due to a lack of education. Totes lined with a PLA compostable bio bag are available so it's not messy; the program alleviates so much waste, that, in the end, a busy restaurant would generate a total of 1 or 2 garbage bags at the end of a week as opposed to the 35 - 40 it normally would. However, the city would need to educate business owners and operators on the ease and eventual financial benefits that this would have for their business.
Small orchards are being planted by the Park Board in golf courses and at Sunset. Plans are in the works for more community orchards. This is a strategy in the draft Greenest City Action Plan.
NOTE: Melaney's idea "boulevards" has been merged with this one.
Plant FRUIT Trees on boulevards...
apple, pear, plum trees that produce edible produce as well as being decorative. Allowing the community to share in the harvest.
Note: Kajin's idea "GROW FRUIT TREES IN PARKS, UNDER-USED SPACES AND SIDEWALKS, WHICH ARE FREE FOR PUBLIC HARVESTING" has been merged with this one.
FYI, there's already a 'Plant edibles' Idea which this can merge with. But I thought re-titling might draw some fresh attention to this possibility of transforming the whole city of Vancouver into city-wide urban fruit garden.
It sounds dreamy (it is) but it is do-able. Let's imagine both the possibilities, and the benefits.
First, the proposal in greater detail:
1. We initiate the program by first bringing together the parks board, city workers, residents, gardeners, organic farmers, horticulturalists, community organizers urban planners etc. to examine feasability, method, time-scale, strategy etc.
2. Maybe this can become a pilot program of picking one street or neighbourhood to start with, with considerations of picking varieties of fruit trees to plant, and whether there’ll be any issues around litter/hygiene etc.
3. Taking what’s learned from the pilot, different neighbourhoods can start to nominate themselves or be nominated for this growing program.
4. Education program: field trips (maybe just outside the schoolgate, or within) where kids, high-schoolers can learn about fruit tree systems - harvesting, growth cycles, seeding, grafting, harvesting, reproduction, ecology (links to other flora + fauna)
Am presently writing this at the Greenest City Pitch Event. Will post now and see what happens!
@Kajin, I love that you wrote this idea at the ideas slam event! It's a great idea and similar to the Urban Orchards idea. I'm going to merge the two to keep votes and comments in the same spot.