EcoUrbia Network

a sustainability network

 
 
 
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food & waste

 

food

EcoUrbia advocates for food sovereignty, urban agriculture, organic farming, and the policies and programs that support them, now and into the future.  The work we have undertaken includes consultation and development of projects and strategies, locally, regionally & provincially. We believe the role of local government is to enable rather than to invest in urban agriculture projects, and to support community development through by-laws, zoning and policies that will allow for these activities. 

eecolibrium = healthy food + healthy people + healthy planet

 As advocates and proponets of sustainable food systems, EcoUrbia has participated, and consulted on the following:   

  • initiated Loutet Farm project in the City of North Vancouver
  • launched the first community-based sustainability portal in our region
  • received support for urban farming projects in City & District North Vancouver (in development)
  • launched Rethink Food & Waste film & speaker series as a public outreach program
  • initiated request for City-sponsored resolution to Union of BC Municipalities
    • that "encourages all cities & towns in province to undertake public land inventories" for UA activities
    • adopted by UBCM at their 2011 annual convention (ref: B101 Urban Farms)
  • consultation & input into District of North Vancouver OCP to include urban agriculture
  • contributed to West Vancouver's Parks Working Group on urban agriculture for inclusion in Parks Master Plan
  • organized & moderated All Candidates Meetings in City & District North Vancouver on UA & sustainable food systems
  • member of North Shore Table Matters Network (reference group)
  • input into Metro Vancouver's Regional Food System Strategy
  • participated in City of Vancouver's Lighter Footprint workshop
  • participated in Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Challenge & Sustainability Congress
  • led food advocacy inspiration & opportuntiies dialogue at 2011 North Shore Table Matters Forum
  • sustainable agriculture dialogue with Professor Michael Hamm (C.S. Mott Group, MSU), hosted by U.S. Consulate
  • hosted University of Texas delegation for a sustainability tour in our region
  • public input & support for a GE Free zone in the City of Richmond
  • public input & support for a food charter in the City of North Vancouver 
  • unanimous support for a GE Free Zone in the City of North Vancouver (62nd in province)
  • proposal for West Vancouver EcoCenter submitted for staff review
  • West Vancouver Garden Club guest speaker on The Urban Agriculture Movement: from there to here

We support the following practices, principles & strategies:

 

waste

EcoUrbia supports the disposition and recycling of all forms of waste, and electronics (e-waste) in particular, by those who practice sincere environmental ethics. Informing ourselves, and supporting appropriate practices, is one way that we can demonstrate true environmental stewardship & a genuine desire to live our values. Specifically, the hazardous waste contained within electronics is considered to be amongst the most heavily-traded toxic waste in the world, and is known to cause serious health and environmental damage when managed inappropriately. It is especially important for everyone to understand the nature of the toxic waste within electronic equipment, the difference between ethical and unethical e-waste recycling practices, and how we can all contribute to human health and our ecosystems by mitigating the damage it causes.

We advocate for the following practices, principles & strategies:

  • Basel Action Network
  • Basel Convention
  • Cradle to Cradle® Manifesto
  • Electronics Takeback Coalition
  • Extended Producer Responsibility  
  • Green Engineering Principles
  • Product Policy Institute
  • Zero Waste
  • EcoUrbia will not support recyclers who are known or found to practice the following:

    Export or Donation to Developing Countries... E-waste is routinely exported to developing countries often in violation of international laws. The inappropriate disposal of e-waste not only harms the environment in the countries that it's dumped into, it also creates human rights violations when children are co-opted into the process of dismantling e-waste in China, India, Africa, Vietnam and Mexico, creating a dual-harm system.

    Prison Labour... In U.S. prisons, inmates “recycle” e-waste, and in practice, they have been found to smash computer monitors apart without adequate protection from the glass, nor provided with respirators to keep the toxic dust from their lungs. In 2006, a Toxic Sweatshop report was published by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, detailing these health and safety conditions within recycling factories run by UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries.

    Landfills & Incineration... All landfills leak. Even state of the art facilities are not completely safe and will leach chemicals and metals. About 70% of heavy metals (including mercury & cadmium) found in landfills comes from e-waste. These and other hazardous substances can contaminate groundwater. Municipal incinerators are some of the largest point sources for dioxins in the U.S. and Canadian environments for heavy metal contamination of the atmosphere.

    Waste=Energy Incineration...Touted as green energy, it simply isn’t. This technology contributes to environmental degradation and climate change at levels far beyond the short-term benefits gained from producing secondary fuel, wastes valuable resources by exacerbating raw material shortages and intensifies the loss of CO2 capturing topsoil. There is also a growing conflict between recyclers & waste=energy facilities for “waste flows & public funds”. Alternatives, such as recycling, repair, reuse & composting, creates 10 times more (green) jobs and small business opportunities that will benefit local communities.

    Lack of Transparency... There is no good reason to hide responsible recycling. If a recycler fails to practice transparency in declaring their recycling practices or disposition of the waste, it demonstrates to us a degree of improper management, and lack of care in doing business in North America or elsewhere in the world.

     

    advocacy

    waste in stream

    "...if we are to solve the problems that plague us, our thinking must evolve beyond the level we were using when we created those problems in the first place." (Albert Einstein)

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