EcoHouse

Moving from Summer to Fall- School Tours at EcoHouse

Wow that felt like the fastest summer ever for me, how about you? So here we are trying to get back into the school routines. Packing lunches, getting to class on time and lots of sitting. How about a great school trip to get the students (and teachers) moving and excited about what they are learning about. We have great programming that is engaging for all grades – including High School!
I get to do the fun stuff and work outside with the kids and we play in the dirt. We mix up Seed bombs, help weed invasive plants or try to identify what food that might be growing in our Community Garden. Seed bombs are my favorite activity with the kids. When I tell them they have to use their hands to mix up seeds, clay and soil they reactions are loud and honest. There’s lots of “ewwwws” but also some “Yes!”. I normally ask them “Who lives on the Earth?” Everybody! “Who needs to take care of the Earth?” Everybody! “Who needs to get their hands dirty?” Everybody! I want them to have fun but still understand how important it is for every one of us to do our part.

Groups might be making paper, running the Waste Race, they might even get to be the Mayor in a town hall meeting! We know how much of a challenge it can be to find school trips that both meet the required curriculum and are engaging for the kids. At the Eco House we can help everyone meet their goals and have a great time.
To book a tour contact Virginia the Education Manager at education@greenventure.ca or 905 540 8787 x154  or click the teachers link on our greenventure.ca home page.

I look forward to meeting you all!!!

Kelly

Doors Open Hamilton 2017

Green Venture is pleased to invite the neighbours in as part of our annual open-house weekend. This year, the EcoHouse (Glen Manor) and its gardens (the Veevers Estate) are featured on the Doors Open Hamilton list of sites.

EcoHouse will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday May 6, 2017 and from 12 pm to 4 pm on Sunday May 7, 2017.  We will be running as an open house for most of that time, but there will also be two special 30- minute guided tours each day. There is no admission charge, although donations are always welcome.

Doors Open Hamilton is an architecture and heritage focused event, and so here will be a rare opportunity to visit the site with an eye not just to our many environmental demonstrations and sustainability ideas, but also to explore the past of the building and grounds. At 1 pm each day, Green Venture will be offering a guided tour of the house, focusing on its heritage architecture and occupants. At 2 pm each day there will be a matching tour of the grounds, again focusing on interesting heritage elements.

Glen Manor driveway, 1982

Come and see our newest additions: the water treatment display, our bike rack made out of recycled metal parts, and the seedling racks in the solarium. Inside, in addition to the sustainable living displays, there will also be a special opportunity to visit the 1850s basement section of the building and the historical “mud room”.  These areas of the building are not normally open to the public, but are a crucial part of the heritage of the site. In these areas of the basement, the Veevers family maintained their workshop, their first indoor bathroom, and a unique dog kennel. Today these areas are storage and the location of the inverter for the solar and wind energy generation equipment.

Finally, Green Venture will also be offering a selection of vegetable seedlings for sale as a fundraiser. Looking to get a head-start on spring gardening? Why not take home a heritage tomato or pepper seedling? Our plants have all been grown without pesticides in the EcoHouse solarium. Some are heirloom seeds from the Hamilton Seed Library, located on site.

 

 

Green Spring Cleaning

Are you looking for a way to clean your home from top to bottom, with items you already have in your kitchen?  We asked the staff for their top tips and tricks for Spring Cleaning, using no chemicals or toxic ingredients. Continue reading

Four Shades of Green

An update on our grass alternative beds

EcoHouse is getting greener — four shades greener to be exact!  Last summer we established four small test plots for different types of lawn alternatives, right in our own front yard.  We wanted to understand the benefits of each type firsthand, and be able to show visitors exactly how each would turn out.  This has been an exciting project right from the get-go.  There was much debate amongst staff and board as to which alternatives we should choose, and the four finalists that made it into the exhibit were: Continue reading

UpRoot Hamilton – Green Venture’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

Every now and again we need to be challenged and motivated to get out of our routines and try out new ideas and experiences, finding ourselves UpRooted! On October 3rd Green Venture hosted it’s first ever fundraiser, pulling up its own roots and trying new things to grow as an organization. What a success it was! Despite the strong winds, rain and unseasonably cool temperatures, people came out to help  celebrate 20 years of environmental outreach and education in the Hamilton community and donate  to help keep Green Venture going strong for the next 20 years! Continue reading

Celebrating 20 Years: A Look Back

Green Venture officially began operating in 1995, making 2015 our 20th anniversary. Although we’ll be marking this special occasion with an amazing event called UpRoot Hamilton (which you can read more about), we’ve also taken the time to think about our past 20 years, and the amazing journey we’ve been on as we try to make Hamilton and area the most environmentally friendly place to live, one day, and one action, at a time. Continue reading

Are you UpRooted?

Green eggs and ham may not be on the menu, but Hamilton’s first social food market will still be turning green this Fall.

UpRoot Hamilton, a fundraiser celebrating Green Venture’s 20th Anniversary will feature local chefs, local ingredients and the impact that eating local can have on the environment. Attendees to the October 3 event will be able to sample locally sourced and inspired food dishes that come from equally unique vendors, many of whom do not yet have an actual storefront location in the city. Continue reading

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

This week, we updated the green roof demo at EcoHouse with some Sedums! A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofs are a beautiful and cost-efficient way to conserve energy, manage storm water, and insulate a building. Continue reading

Power all with the Powerwall!

If you haven’t heard of the new Tesla battery, you may be living under a rock. Tesla’s new battery is the talk of the town and it’s everywhere in the media. Why? It aims to take homes and businesses off the grid. Continue reading

What one EcoTeam is doing to make their school more “Green”

IMG_0240Many schools are taking steps to become more sustainable in the classroom, so it wasn’t surprising when an educational assistant from Sacred Heart School came to Green Venture to ask about purchasing a vermicomposter. The part that surprised me was that she was contacting me on behalf of her Eco Team; it was her students who decided to get a composter.  They wanted to reduce the amount of waste they create, and they led the fundraising project so their school could achieve this goal.  Of course I had to meet with their Eco Team to see learn more about what they were up to.

The students were eager to tell me all about their hard work, achievements and future plans. The team is made up of 25 students between grades 2 and 8. Their latest project was raising funds for a vermicomposter. The idea to get a composter came from seeing all the waste from the breakfast program. The school started with recycling, but wanted to decrease their waste even further. Thus began their quest for a composter. The students came up with an action plan, which started in October. The first part of the plan was how to come up with the money for a composter. They decided to sell bracelets.  They made bracelets in their spare time at school and even on the weekends. Once they had enough bracelets they starting selling them, within 3 weeks they had raised enough money. Even they were surprised how fast they could raise the money at 25 cents to a dollar per bracelet.

Green Venture was delighted to hear the students gave so much of their time and efforts to raise money for the vermicomposter, and we gave them a discount to help with the costs. Green Venture also offers a Totally Transit Kids program where Green Venture partners with the HSR to educate students on the importance of sustainable transportation and gives them a free chartered bus ride to EcoHouse. The students came to pick up their worms in February and learned how to care for them by going on a tour of Green Venture.

They are also currently working on a battery drive, and have collected 2,183 batteries, with a target of 3,000 batteries. The best part of this drive is that once the target is reached they will celebrate by having a wear green day. They have also reclaimed areas from weeds and planted new plants. They have visions of more shade for their playground and a bigger teaching garden. They have created a garden space which is limited now but the Eco team has visions of creating container gardens.IMG_0246

The school has a recycling program, but what makes their program unique is that garbage gets monitored by the Eco Team upon collection. If the class makes it a week with proper recycling they get one letter of a word, and once all the letters in the word Recycle, are collected they get a pizza party. The Eco Team says this has helped with students making sure waste gets put in the right place.

Another great sustainable practice that the students promote is turning the lights off every day from 2 to 3. Each class is to turn off their lights during this time to help save energy and resources.IMG_0244

The EcoTeam charts how the students get to school, promoting sustainable transportation. Daily Eco tips and trivia are included in the morning announcements. The team has even put on an environmental themed play about how you can live more sustainably.

Future ideas for the team are bottled water versus tap water taste test, walk to school day, and raising money to get t- shirts for the Eco team.

As someone who has a passion for teaching and the environment, it so exciting to see schools promoting student led environmental initiatives in their schools.

For more information about Green Venture, vermicomposters and school tours, visit our website at www.greenventure.ca

Contact Virginia at education@greenventure.ca or 905 540 8787 x 154