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EXPLORE/CONNECT. Ecology and sustainability in your daily life. Food, transportation, recreation and other daily choices Practical tips and resources to explore Revisiting the Ecological Footprint and ecology principles/concepts to date

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Ecology and sustainability in your daily life

  • Food, transportation, recreation and other daily choices

  • Practical tips and resources to explore

  • Revisiting the Ecological Footprint and ecology principles/concepts to date

    What is happening at UBC, in the local community and beyond to help us make informed decisions and/or get involved?


Local community

In Canada

In the world

Generally, or more specific to something in your life:

1 example for each ‘level’

Start with your list


Local community

In Canada

In the world

Bike kitchen

Volunteer for Green Thumb Theatre

Learn more about the Green Party

Coral reefs of the world - enjoying while reducing impact

My example:

Fleming Beach, Maui

  • Rated America’s ‘best beach’ in a recent top ten poll (June 2006)

  • According to Stephen Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research

After you have made your list…

  • Add one more item to each level and add resources or actions based on the knowledge in the room and material we will look at in slides and handouts

  • You may add a comment, question or criticism to one resource or proposed action

In an upcoming class….

Recent announcements at the civic, provincial and federal govt. levels about programs to address sustainability, climate change and related ecological issues:

Good, bad, other? Why? How?

UBC in relation to the world…..

Sustainable Endowments Institute

  • Compiled the College Sustainability Report Card (January 2007)

  • UBC rated B- for ‘greenness’

  • A in administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling and green buildings

  • F in endowment transparency and shareholder management

How could we have done better?

  • Used UBC’s endowments to change corporate governance practices

  • Made public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loans

But the good news…

  • UBC was described as a ‘campus sustainability leader’, along with 26 schools in the US, including Harvard and MIT


What is happening at UBC?

ECOTrek: water and energy retrofit

(cost $35 million, will save $2.6 million in energy costs each year)

Low-flush toilets

Upgraded lights and heating systems

Steam plant burner replacement (reduced greenhouse gases by 80%)

Local examples?

1. Green Cities Project: $40 million fund from province to advance municipal projects….such as:

Bike paths, greenways, disabled access, children’s parks and playgrounds

Local examples?

2. 100-mile diet: Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon

For 365 days, eat only foods/beverages produced within a 100-mile radius of their Kits apt.


Local examples?

Recycling on several fronts:

  • Computers for Schools

  • Product Care - paint + other hazardous

  • Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp.

  • GVRD: ‘101 things to do with all your old stuff’

Look at your phone book

  • Super Pages

  • Home pages section includes ‘Choices for Wiser Living’

  • Many examples here of ‘ecology in your daily life’

Wackernagel, M. and W. Rees. 1996. Our ecological footprint. Reducing human impact on Earth. New Society Publishers. Gabriola Island.

Ecological Footprint defined:

Accounts for the flow of energy and matter from/to a defined ‘economy’ (e.g. your life) and converts it to land/water area required from nature to support these flows

Examples from other parts of Canada

Cross-Canada studies:

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

  • Measured EF of 20 major urban regions (Dec., 2005)

  • Avg. Canadian was 7.25 ha/person

  • 1.9 ha/person of productive land/sea is available (on the planet)

  • Energy demands = 55%

    (38% by industry)

  • Transportation = 35%

    (12% commercial,business)


  • Drive less; increase walking/cycling/carpooling/using public transit

  • Eat locally grown food

  • Retrofit buildings to save energy

  • Use renewable energy and energy-efficient vehicles

2. Other organizations

Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers

  • Presents at an annual trade show

  • Examples include Ethical Bean Coffee Company - to expand into mainstream supermarkets

3. Local groups in specific areas

Sunshine Coast Conservation Association

  • Brochure on living toxin free


4. Canada-wide initiatives

Bird Studies Canada, in partnership with

Bird Life International

Christmas Bird Count, Breeding Bird Survey, etc.

10,000 volunteers in Canada each year

Around the world

1. Global Footprint Network http://www.footprintnetwork.org/

Mission: to support a sustainable economy by advancing the EF, that makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers throughout the world

Around the world

2. Imaginative Travelers’ Volunteer Program


Work with local people on various projects, such as Habitat for Humanity, improving schools or protecting local water supply with composting toilets

3rd World Urban Forum (established by the UN)

  • Held in Vancouver June, 2006

  • Addressed rapid urbanization and its impacts on communities, cities, economics and policies


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