Tag Archives: VanCity

The Power of the Local Economy – a series by The Tyee

Local Garden

Local Garden

I  thought this was a great article written by Luke Brocki in The Tyee about creative business relationships and making a dream come true. So what is this about exactly?

You take the top tier of an empty parkade, add a vision to grow lettuces for local restaurants and online food retailers, add  bicycle couriers, recyclers and a credit union committed to investing in the community and what do you have?

A “Local Biz Salad” as the Tyee calls it in its third installment on growing the local economy. While the article features Local Gardens’ unique business plan in which it grows lettuce hydroponically on the top tier of an empty City parkade (which it rents from the city), the article delves deeper into studies that illustrate the business case for developing the local economy  through local initiatives. This is  the third in a series of articles on ‘buy local’ but you can read “Biz Salad” right here.

On another note – I just realized that these are the greens I order every week from my new online organic, local food retailer spud.ca – so I can officially attest to the deliciousness of these lettuces!

 

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Take the Sustainability Pledge: It’s Good For Business – It’s Great For Your Community

Long time no talk.That’s mostly because of the aforementioned busy-ness I am currently experiencing as a result of choices I’ve made in my life. This is one reason for my busy-ness but certainly worthy of taking up time.

The Pledge
is a resource tool for businesses interested in taking action to lower their footprint. There are five key resource sections and an online form that is as simple as counting from 1 to 3 to fill out (seriously it is). The work, of course goes into thinking and deciding on what actions you want to take. It can be as simple as deciding to power down your computer every night or placing reminders to turn off the lights to showing how you embed sustainability into every aspect of your business thinking to drive efficiency and innovation (congratulations Vancity, Interface, Van Houtte to name a few:) Sharing business success is a great way to inspire other businesses to take the plunge and pledge to lower their footprint.

For those interested in learning tools to baseline, manage, and reduce their GHG emissions, the Pledge showcases Climate Smart – a very cool social enterprise that gives businesses the tools to run their businesses more efficiently and also reduce their footprint.

A big thanks to Clare Matheson and City Change the BCIT student group who helped to develop this resource. Check it out and pass it on.

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Bill C-38 Sucks But There’s Still Hope

Bill C-38 – the omnibus bill that contains changes to retirement age requirements and numerous changes to environmental protection is upsetting for a number of reasons. Green Party leader Elizabeth May provides a summary of the changes of the proposed legislation in this excellent piece and how it will impact the environment.The Burnaby Now also wrote about the impact of this legislation  on fish habitat. Richard Poplar in this weekend’s Globe wrote a guest editorial piece called “Forget Hockey and tuition: If anything calls for a riot, it’s Harper’s stealth governance.” that outlines why we should really be angry.

In spite of this there is a lot cool stuff happening that gives reason for hope and optimism. Through my work I encounter numerous individuals, businesses and organizations who are committed to mitigating their environmental impact.

Simon Fraser University, Pacific Blue Cross, VanCity, Hemlock Printers, Ritchie Brothers, Earls Restaurants, the folks at SeaChoice  to name just a few and of course the amazing people at Climate Smart. Climate Smart works with municipalities to match funding for companies wanting to take a workshop that uses software, and coaching to help SME’s measure and reduce  their carbon footprint.  Cut Carbon Cut Costs is their tag line and it underscores the positive message that sustainability is also money-saving and cost effective. When I see organizations on a local level doing this kind of thing it gives me hope. I love it.

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