June 4th to 10th is Environment Week! Canadians see the very real impacts of climate change in our country and we understand the need to take action to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations.
Vancouver South has shown leadership in taking climate action. Here are just a few of the initiatives we should be proud of:
Sunset Community Centre uses geothermal energy supplies for 40 percent of the heating and cooling needs of the building. This is in accordance with LEED Gold building standards – the highest in North America. Through high-efficiency glazing to prevent heat loss, radiant floor heating, movement-activated light sources, and dual-flush toilets, Sunset Community Centre is doing its part for the environment.
Langara College’s new Science and Technology building is also LEED Gold Certified. This building includes features such as reflective and green roofs, an energy-efficient building envelope, and hot water generation via solar thermal panels. Construction used local, sustainable building materials. The building was completed and opened for students in September 2016.
The Hon. Harjit Sajjan tours Langara’s new Science and Technology building.
David Thompson Secondary and John Henderson Elementary were past recipients of Greenest City Generation Green grants from the Vancouver Foundation and City of Vancouver. David Thompson, for example, used the grant to develop the Dream Green Peer Mentoring Program with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.
Sustainable, Local Food
Urban agriculture is a great way to connect with neighbours and local natural spaces. Community gardens provide an area’s residents with healthier and more accessible food options, and in Vancouver, there are over 110 sites across the city. In Vancouver South these include:
- East Fraserlands – Riverview Park
- Sherbrooke Mennonite Church
- Langara College
Community orchards in our riding are another source of local food, with locations at:
- Fraserview Golf Course
- Ross Park
- Sunset Park
Fresh Roots is a non-profit organization that also prioritizes local, sustainable food. Through partnership with David Thompson Secondary, Fresh Roots facilitates programs that promote healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration. Since 2013, the David Thompson Schoolyard Market Garden has continued to improve residents’ food literacy and deliver freshly-grown food into schools and local community organizations.
River District Renewable Energy
River District Energy is the only publicly-regulated, developer-owned District Energy Utility (DEU) in BC. As part of the City of Vancouver’s neighbourhood renewable energy systems plan, River District Energy provides long-term, affordable, and sustainable energy to local homeowners. It has operated since 2012.
The River District DEU is a centralized utility system that uses high-efficiency boilers located on-site to create thermal energy that is delivered through insulated pipes in a closed system. Unused thermal energy is then returned to the central boiler for re-heating and re-circulation.
Have your say on ways we can develop more renewable energy systems like the one at River District by participating in the #GenerationEnergy consultation.
To find out how you can get involved with your local environment, visit the Canadian Environment Week website. Engage your workplace, bring your school outside, participate in your neighbourhood or municipality’s activities, or join in the fun with your family!