Festival Season in Mid-Flight!

Here at RA we are mid-way through our busy, sunny and this year very HOT festival season.

We usually mark this halfway point with the arrival of FOLKFest in mid-July, by most Vancouverites, considered the mother of all the city’s outdoor festivals.

So far, this festival season RA has donated and/or provided trashbusting services, signage, bags and recycling stations to:

  • Sakura Days – April 5-6
  • Youth for Climate Justice Now –Earth Day celebration April 21
  • Brittania Stone Soup Festival – May 10-11 Continue reading…

Eggs-Ellent Eco-Easter Tips

As Easter fast approaches I can’t help but think, not of all that yummy chocolate, but all the unnecessary packaging that comes along with it, and all the waste going to landfill associated with another seasonal celebration. And this is only the waste that we can physically see.Eggs Easter Poster

Canadians consume an average of 5.5 kg of chocolate per person each year. Doesn’t sound like much but when you learn that it takes a full annual harvest from one cocoa tree to produce one tin of baking cocoa (http://fairtrade.ca/en/products/cocoa), it’s even more reason to appreciate every yummy bite of chocolate and consider your purchasing choices.

Here are a few simple ways (can you think of some others?) to
try to celebrate Easter in a more sustainable style:

   Place Fairtrade chocolate on the top of your shopping list. Not only does it help improve the living standards of cocoa farmers in the developing world, fostering a better future for their families and communities, but in addition, Continue reading…

“Dark star” of recycling expected to feed into proposed Metro Van incinerator

Avid waste reducers and recyclers in the Lower Mainland will want to read this recent article on the continuing incinerator saga!

Helen Spiegelman – well known recycling advocate and former Executive Director at Recycling Council of British Columbia also raises some concerns over Multi Material BC’s ‘Printed Paper and Packaging’ program slated to start in May 2014.

Will materials coming through this latest Printed Paper and Packaging stewardship program be used as fuel for the incinerator?

A must read for those following the trash trail!

 

Mike Chisholm – Feb 27th, 2014

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/dark-star-recycling-expected-feed-proposed-metro-van-incinerator

 

Collaborative Consumption and The Sharing Economy

Earlier in February I was excited to attend a talk at the HiVE by April Rinne, Chief Strategy Officer of Collaborative Lab, on “Collaborative Consumption and The Sharing Economy” presented by an amazing collection of local businesses and organizations (Board of Change, VanCity, Modo, the Sharing Project, and CityStudio to name a few…)SHARINGeconomy 3

“Also known as collaborative consumption and the collaborative economy, the Sharing Economy is the bartering, exchanging, sharing, renting, trading, borrowing, lending, leasing and swapping of goods, services, time, capital, experiences and space by individuals, institutions, businesses and communities.”(Vanessa Timmer)  Sharing resources means spending less – time, money, energy, natural resources, etc.

I hadn’t put much thought into the sharing economy before, but as the talk progressed I realized just how large a piece of my life and work were integrated into this new economic model Continue reading…

Trash Talk #11 – Dr Braungart

BoC Dr Braungart 2Last night, on the eve of Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference (www.metrovancouver.org/zwc) , the Board of Change (www.boardofchange.com ) hosted a Round Table conversation with the German chemist turned ‘Cradle to Cradle’ prophet, co-founder of EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (www.epea-hamburg.org), co-author of Re-making The Way We Make Things, and keynote speaker at Metro’s 2013 Zero Waste conference, Dr. Michael Braungart.

It was a close up conversation, with room for only 40 Board of Change members to attend. Continue reading…

Don’t Throw It All Away

BC Homes – Don’t Throw It All Away:
THREE STEPS TO RESPONSIBLE RECYCLING IN YOUR MULTI-FAMILY COMPLEX

Catherine Owen | May 14th, 2013

Source: http://www.bchomesmag.com/dont-throw-it-all-away/

Awareness of the importance of recycling has been growing steadily in the Lower Mainland. Access to recycling facilities has risen since the 1990s, but condo and apartment owners are still at a disadvantage. Some buildings don’t offer recycling facilities. Others have limited options. While single-family homes achieved a 55 per cent diversion from the landfill in 2011, condominiums only saw a 16 per cent decrease in waste. The lack of recycling services means many residents will throw their garbage in the trash can instead, remarks Louise Schwarz of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Challenge. But condo and apartment owners can make a difference. Continue reading…

Less is more in the recycling business

VanCity Investing in Communities – Stories of Impact
Fall 2012

Source: https://www.vancity.com/AboutUs/InvestingInCommunities/Stories/Energy/Recycling/

Some businesses seek to fill the world with their products. But for Recycling Alternative it’s all about getting to zero—zero waste, that is.

More than 20 years ago, Robert Weatherbe offered his friend Louise Schwarz some help to advance her passion for recycling. Today, he and Louise co-own of one of Canada’s most creative recycling companies, Recycling Alternative. Continue reading…

Going car-free with the BC Scrap-It Program

I love my car. Really.

I learned to drive in this car. I moved away to university in this car. I met my husband because he liked my bumper sticker. It’s driven over 200,000 kms, carried dozens of rugby girls covered in mud, and traveled to more parts of this province than most people have probably seen. It’s been towed, ferried, and flooded.

And now I’m scrapping it.

The decision to scrap the car was a tough one. I’ve been debating it for years, but always found an excuse not to. I love the convenience of my car.

It still runs fine! Sure I’ll admit it has transmission problems and costs me a ton to maintain, but I’ve always convinced myself it’s worth it. It’s just that every year (and every major repair) makes it harder to believe. So I’ve decided Continue reading…