Waste

EcoStars Summer Camp is finished for the year

Steam and Tech visit 1

With the summer coming to a close, it’s been a sad week here at the EcoHouse- we just don’t know what to do with ourselves! It’s been a tough time packing up all of our crafts and games, but we look forward for the next summer to come. The three sessions of campers that we had were equal parts enthusiastic and creative, and we’re so lucky to have had them as EcoStars! Be it an adventurous hike in the woods, or a quick dip in the pool. our campers were down for everything! They were especially brave when facing our scaly friends from the reptile man. More than that, our campers were kind to one another, and it was really fantastic to see some new friendships form over the week.

 

We really hope to see some returning (and new!) faces next year, but until then we’ll be preparing all of the fun games and activities to come! Enjoy the last little bit of summer, and good luck with the coming school year everyone! We really do hope you can make an Eco-impression on your classmates, friends, and family.

 

Bright Eyes and Dandy

 

 

Meet the EcoStar Summer Camp Staff

Green Venture is getting ready for their first EcoStar camp! With topics like Bugs & Blooms, H2Whoa that’s a lot of Water, and EcoExplorers, campers are sure to learn new skills and an appreciation for the environment around them.  As camp director I’m excited to introduce our two camp counsellors Bright Eyes and Dandy.

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R.A. Riddell School is going on a Green Venture

May 19, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

R.A. RIDDELL ELEMENTARY IS GOING ON A GREEN VENTURE

HAMILTON, ON – DEPAVE PARADISE (www.depaveparadise.ca) projects engage volunteers and neighbourhoods in communities across Canada, removing pavement and planting gardens filled with native species in its place. On May 28th and June 4th, Green Venture, R.A. Riddell Elementary School, partners and local residents will be hosting Hamilton’s 3rd Depave Paradise event to transform part of the school’s asphalt playground into a beautiful garden for the community to enjoy. Continue reading

Climate Change Action of the Month: Hamilton Conservation Authority and E-Waste

This year the Hamilton Conservation Authority held an e-waste recycling day that yielded 850lbs of electronics that could then be recycled sustainably. Think about all the waste that this one event diverted from the landfill!

What is E-Waste?

In simple terms e-waste is short for electronic waste and includes everything that has ever run on batteries or a plug – including the batteries and plugs themselves! E-waste is a fairly new environmental issue compared to some since the technologies are new themselves. One thing is for certain, every year we produce more and more e-waste as many aspects of our lives are digitized. Continue reading

Climate Change Action of the Month: The Green Cottage

Start Climate Change awareness at the home! That is what the Green Cottage in Hamilton has done, this house has many ecofriendly features, which helps eliminate its lasting effects on the climate. The house, located in the north end of Hamilton by the harbour, was originally built in 1885 with many similar houses surrounding it, but since then it has had some major renovations, and although the house does not look much different than the ones surrounding it the Green Cottage is unlike any home in Hamilton.

The Green Cottage

The Green Cottage

Starting on the outside the house is trimmed with salvaged wood, reclaimed wood helps eliminate the process of manufacturing and saves a few trees from being cut down in the process. The house is also insulated on the outside, this is called Exsulation, which provides more thermal heating for the house, eliminating most of the use of furnaces. The roof is also adorned with many solar panels and solar water heaters. Up to 30% of new greenhouse gases around the globe are contributed by non-renewable energy, and using solar energy as an alternative helps to decrease that number and the impacts of climate change.

On the inside the house is NOT equipped with a clothing dryer, air conditioner, stove, refrigerator or microwave! With the house lacking these amenities they are not sucking out energy for appliances that are not essential for everyday needs. The Green Cottage has significantly reduced its energy use, and has set a very high standard for energy conservation.

The house is also surround by a vigorous and beautiful garden. The garden creates green space in a mostly asphalt ridden area, and the plants not only look great but they are absorbing carbon dioxide and eliminating that from out atmosphere. The Green Cottage has gone above and beyond to eliminate their negative effects on climate change and the environment in general. This house is not only proof that you can take an old home and make environmental improvements, but it also demonstrates the many changes you can make a home level.

Written by: Brittney Massey

Get Involved with Green Venture

Green Venture is a non-profit organization and, like many non-profits, we rely on the help of community volunteers for many of our projects. Whether it’s weeding a garden, guiding a tour, promoting Green Venture at an event or taking part in a clean-up, our volunteers help in all kinds of ways.

Having fun after a volunteer cleanup event

Having fun after a volunteer cleanup event

Many of our volunteers get involved with Green Venture for various  reasons. Everyone is different but most volunteers have a few things in common and many volunteer because they want to help the environment, get experience, learn skills, meet new people and have fun. Some people also volunteer to add to a resume or earn volunteer hours for high school.

Green Venture has several ways you can get involved, including maintaining the grounds at our EcoHouse, joining us at special events or helping lead a tour (for more details on these opportunities, visit our website). These are not the only ways people volunteer with Green Venture though, we also have interns, co-op students and all of our board members are volunteers.

Making paper during an EcoHouse open house

Making paper during an EcoHouse open house

Getting involved is easy:

  • Sign up for our Green Post (online Volunteer Mailing List) to receive regular updates on volunteer opportunities
  • Email volunteer (@) greenventure.ca to receive a Volunteer Application and information about current opportunities to volunteer
  • Visit Green Venture’s EcoHouse or speak with us at an event to learn more about volunteering
  • If you have skills or experience you would like to share as a volunteer let us know!

We hope you will come out and volunteer with us soon!

NEW! EcoHouse Greywater System

At Green Venture we are very excited to say that we are in the process of installing a greywater system for our EcoHouse! A greywater system recycles wastewater from showers, baths, sinks, laundry machines or rainwater on-site. The system then reuses that same wastewater for either irrigation or toilet water. With greywater not only will you be diminishing the amount of water you take from the waterways, you will also be saving on your water bill, helping you while you help the environment. On average, a greywater system saves a residential home between 30-40% on their annual water bill.

Here at Green Venture we obtain our greywater from rainwater runoff from a portion of our roof. We then recycle that water through our greywater system and the same water is used for flushing our dual flush toilet. Before the greywater reaches the toilet bowl it is purified through a BARC tank, which eliminates any floating or sinking substances. After the filter gets rid of unwanted substances, the greywater is stored for future cn toweruse. The system will also automatically flush down the greywater if that water is stagnant for too long, or there is too much greywater to store. By using the rainwater runoff from just a section of the roof, Green Venture will be conserving over 20,000L of water per year. That means less fresh water being extracted from local waterways, saving on water bills and doing our part to live more sustainably.

The greywater system allows us to conserve a significant amount of water as the toilet is responsible for using up to 30% of a household’s water usage. On average a family of four who uses a dual-flush toilet will use around 28,000L of water per year for flushing alone. That amount of water could fill over 50,000 conventional sized water bottles. If you stack all of the water bottles on top of one another they would be over two and a half times taller than the CN tower building.

The greywater system can be installed on both a residential and commercial scale.

Although we are only collecting greywater from our rain runoff most locations incorporate wastewater from sinks, showers/baths and laundry machines. If you were to incorporate the wastewater from your sink and if while brushing your teeth you left the sink on for two minutes then you would have accumulated 32L of wastewater. Our dual flush toilet only uses 4L per flush, therefore, those 32L of wasted water from brushing your teeth could sustain up to 8 flushes of the toilet.

The greywater system is an innovative solution to recycling our water. Even the Mars Desert Research Station uses greywater, and experiments with having the greywater
system used for future potential trips to Mars. Not only is the greywater system helping us protect our environment, but it’s allowing us to bring and sustain water in place where we never could before.

Written by: Brittney Massey

Indoor Composting with Red Wiggler Worms

Do you live in an apartment or house with no backyard and still want to compost? The solution to your composting needs are worms, Red Wiggler Worms! These worms are the most common species of worm used for indoor composting. What’s so great about indoor composting? Indoor composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you produce and create nutrient-filled compost for your plants and garden when you have a limited amount of outdoor space. VermicompostingUsing Red Wiggler worms to compost is odour-free and a fast way to break down kitchen scraps with very little maintenance. Red wigglers can consume large amounts of organic material, digest it, extract its food value and expel the residue as worm castings, which are very rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Under ideal conditions each worm can consume its own body weight in one day. Pick of some of these worms from Green Venture in two litre quantities that include worms, bedding and some worm castings to start your indoor composter off right. Pick up a worm chalet or you can even make your own composter by drilling holes for aeration into two Rubbermaid containers with a lid (find out how here). Indoor worm composters use little space, produce high nutrient compost and reduce your garbage output, so why not start your own today!

Written By: Christine van Beest

Davis Creek Clean Up (My Green Adventures Part 1 of 5)

My Green Adventures is Green Venture’s open house event, taking place on Saturday October 13th from 10AM until 3PM, at our demonstration home, EcoHouse (22 Veevers Drive, Hamilton).  In the weeks leading up to My Green Adventures, we will feature blog posts highlighting some of the exciting activities taking place on October 13th.

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Come early on October 13th and help Green Venture and the local community to clean up the area around Davis Creek.  Roadside litter is a significant issue in our neighbourhood.  Some litter makes its way down to the side of Davis Creek as it winds its way towards the Red Hill Creek.  Green Venture, along with some great partners from Lowe’s, the Clean City Liaison Committee and the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) are organizing a community clean up for the morning of October 13th.

This project will achieve two major goals.  Firstly, the litter that is collected during the clean up will be audited by Green Venture staff to try and understand the most likely sources.  Then, Green Venture will propose strategies to prevent litter from accumulating at all.  Secondly, BARC will be conducting water quality sampling to assess the health of the creek.

No registration is required, just show up at 9AM willing to work for a couple of hours.  Volunteers taking part in the clean up will receive a voucher for lunch from one of the food trucks attending My Green Adventures (stay tuned for more on our food trucks!).

This project is generously funded by the Keep America Beautiful foundation through the Clean City Liaison Committee, and by Lowe’s.

For more information contact Matthew at matthew.sweet@greenventure.ca or at (905) 540-8787 x151.

Backyard Pet Waste Composting Allowed in Hamilton

City of Hamilton staff member Angela Storey (Manager of Business and Support Services in the Operations & Waste Management Division) confirms that “there is nothing in the solid waste or yard maintenance by-laws that would prevent composting of pet waste” in accordance with the bylaws listed below.

Municipal Law Enforcement has advised that what goes in the back yard composter is not regulated, just that they require that its use meets the standards listed below. The Yard Maintenance By-Law (10-118) includes information about waste that accumulates on private property:

4(5) Every owner or occupant of property shall ensure that all waste which accumulates on their property is:

(a) when not placed out for collection, in containers:

(i) made of rigid, watertight construction;

(ii) provided with a tight-fitting cover, which may be removed only when the container is empty or is being actively loaded;

(iii) maintained in good condition without holes or spillage; and

(iv) closed, or emptied, rinsed and cleaned when not in use, to prevent the escape of offensive odour or waste; and

(v) kept in a rear yard located against a building, structure, fence or retaining wall and arranged in an orderly manner.

A copy of by-law 10-118 can be found on the city of Hamilton website under 2010 by-laws (http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/CorporateServices/Clerks/By-Laws/By-laws+Passed+in+2010.htm ).

The Solid Waste Management By-law (09-067) does not address pet composting on private property, however, it does define the following:

(u) “Household Pet Waste” means animal excrement generated by a domesticated animal that is not living on a farm;

(00) “Unacceptable Organic Waste” means:

(xii) Household Pet Waste;

(nn) “Unacceptable Garbage” means:

(vii) human and animal excrement, except for Household Pet Waste and diapers;

A copy of by-law 09-067 can be found on the city of Hamilton website under 2009 by-laws (http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/CorporateServices/Clerks/By-Laws/By-laws+Passed+in+2009.htm).

This means that pet waste is not accepted in your Green bin. You may dispose of pet waste by flushing it down the toilet, or double bagging it and placing it in the trash.  More information here: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/57961F92-C75F-4870-8F47-1E6965F080A8/0/P2ResidentialPollutionPreventionPetWaste.pdf

Pet excrement contributes approximately 12,000-30,000 pounds of waste to Hamilton landfills every year. Composting the waste from one medium sized dog eliminates about 122 pounds of this each year.  Imagine the difference we could make if every pet owner used one of these….

Using a pet waste composter is a great way to manage your pet’s waste and save room in our landfills. Compost Away!