Green Venture's knowledgeable staff and volunteers supports the local and global community through:
- EcoHouse tours
- Information and brochures to EcoHouse visitors
- Green Venture's website
- Engaging residents at community events
- Conducting community presentations
- Hosting workshops
Community Stakeholder Initiatives
Green Venture also plays a role in many local initiatives aimed at improving or protecting the local environment:
- Vision 2020, a Region-sponsored public consultation, visioning, and planning process, describes the community as it should be in the year 2020 if well-defined, sustainable objectives are met by all community stakeholders.
- Clean Air Hamilton, an alliance of government (municipal, provincial, and federal) industry, community agencies, and citizens who facilitate efforts to improve air quality in the Hamilton area and document the impact of these efforts.
- Bay Area Restoration Council, which monitors the Remedial Action Plan for the Hamilton Harbour Watershed
- Hamilton Coalition on Pesticide Issues
- Hamilton Children's Water Festival
- Watershed Management activities with the Hamilton Conservation Authority
- ...and many others...
Liveable Cities (2007-2009)
Like the rest of the Golden Horseshoe, the population of Hamilton will continue to grow at an astounding rate over the next twenty five years. Development that encourages urban sprawl and its inherent inadequacies with respect to sustainable transportation, infrastructure drain, tax burden and natural spaces degradation needs to be re-thought. City planning and development that embraces infill and intensification is the smart way to grow our communities. The public often perceives intensification to be negative development. Through our Liveable Cities presentation series the public is exposed to the great things that intensification must include. Streets that are built or re-built with features that provide safe and equal access for all users are key. Audiences are engaged to recognize these 'Complete Streets' and provide input to the city urban planning process to make Hamilton more vibrant and liveable.
Partners: Clean Air Hamilton, Economic Development and Planning.
Idling Stinks (2006-2008)
The Idling Stinks campaign is a public education campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary vehicle idling in Hamilton. Idling lowers air quality, can trigger health conditions such as asthma, contributes to climate change and costs drivers in fuel and maintenance. Green Venture has organized four hands-on workshops for fleet operators in Hamilton and beyond. In addition, Green Venture has spoken one-on-one with hundreds of drivers, erected approximately 500 signs around Hamilton, delivered numerous presentations and attended popular community events. In May 2007, City Council approved a new idling control by-law meaning idling is now against the law.
Idling Stinks Update: Green Venture continues to trumpet the Turn it Off message through the EcoDriver program. Complaints about idling vehicles are accepted by Hamilton’s Parking and By-Law Services at 905-546-2782 and mle(at)hamilton.ca.
Car Share (2007-)
Access to a car or light duty vehicle is often a necessity for people that live in Hamilton. However, not every trip that Hamiltonians take requires a personal vehicle. The decision to drive or take sustainable and active transportation often comes down to one of convenience. That is, if the car is in the driveway then the car becomes the choice. Furthermore, owning a car is also very expensive. On average, a personal vehicle costs in excess of $9000/year to own and operate. Various car share models are in use in a growing number of jurisdictions. Car sharing programs provide their members access to a vehicle when necessary, without the expense of ownership or the allure of just going for a drive. Green Venture will convene a public presentation and gauge interest for a Hamilton Car Share program. Car share champions that surface from the community will be solicited to take on the leadership of a made in Hamilton program. Two workshops with visiting experts will provide these champions with the tools and help develop a framework for them to take their Hamilton Car Share program to the implementation phase.
Corporate Smog Commitment Program (2000-2001)
Businesses who participated in the project received a step-by-step support in the development of a customized smog response plan. Partners: Environment Canada, Clean Air Hamilton.
Participation: 4 businesses.
Clear the Air (1997-98)
Green Venture ran a successful program to improve the environment through a reduction in harmful emissions from vehicles. This program had three components:
- Vehicle Emission Testing: In 1997, 1566 vehicles were tested in free and voluntary vehicle emission clinics. Of the cars tested, 29 per cent failed B.C. standards. Clinic's technicians offered recommendations to all drivers on options to reduce vehicle emissions. Cars that failed were provided with discounts at local garages to improve their emissions.
- Carpool Registry: Green Venture provided support for local businesses and organizations who wished to implement a Carpool program for their employees. A complete implementation package was available and Green Venture staff provided advice and support for implementation.
- Safe Routes for Schools: This program was designed to reduce traffic and vehicle emissions around schools. Green Venture offered support for schools wishing to implement this program. The program consisted of three parts:
- Creating a "no-idling zone" around schools,
- Mapping the neighbourhood surrounding the school to determine the safest routes to and from school,
- Introducing Walking School Buses with set "bus" routes identified. Volunteer parents are "bus drivers," who walk groups to school to ensure they arrive safely.
Partners: Action 21.
Hamilton Commuter Challenge (2000-2008)
The Hamilton Commuter Challenge gives Hamiltonians a chance to try something different for their daily commute and challenge other cities in Canada. Most commutes in Hamilton are by private vehicle and these are the least efficient and most polluting trips per passenger kilometre. Participants agree to take public transit, walk, bike, carpool or telework during national Environment Week in June. Green Venture administers and promotes the Commuter Challenge and active and sustainable transportation through numerous events such as Bike to Work Day.
Partners: Public Works, Smart Commute Hamilton, Economic Development and Planning, Go for Green, HSR.
Participation: 1,505 individuals at 51 organizations in 2007.
Partnership Program with Environment Hamilton (2007-2009)
The objectives of this program were to:
1. Raise awareness about climate change among businesses, community organizations, schools and institutions in Hamilton-Wentworth.
2. Engage businesses, community organizations, schools and institutions in Hamilton-Wentworth in activities to reduce their GHG emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Climate Change Plan for Ontario includes a wide range of initiatives to meet its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reduction targets of six percent below 1990 levels by 2014, and to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
The plan is to help Ontario achieve its GHG reduction targets, through three objectives:
1. Providing outreach and education on climate change;
2. Promoting long-term behaviour change leading to carbon-reduced lifestyles; and
3. Taking direct action that results in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Program will benefit organizations in assessing the costs and benefits of action options to achieve GHG emission reductions.
Power Shift & Energy Roundtable (2006-2008)
Power Shift is an education and networking program that exposes citizens to innovative renewable energy and energy conservation products, services, and information to help lower green house gas emissions and reduce living expenses. A series of 25 presentations were delivered by the Power Shift coordination in collaboration with local experts and organization (Environment Hamilton, Hughson Street Baptist Church, Strathcona Neighborhood Association, etc.) individuals from communities across the city.
The Power Shift Energy Roundtable, a broadly based network that provides support to the Hamilton Wentworth energy sector and related initiatives. Partners include City of Hamilton, Horizon Utilities, Dofasco, greenTbiz, McMaster University, Mohawk College, contractors, concerned citizens, and others.
20 Per Cent Club (1999-2000)
Provided homeowners with practical advice on how to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Energy and water conservation, waste reduction and land use were addressed. Participants were encouraged to consider EnerGuide for Houses* as part of their action plan. Consumers were provided access to discounts on recommended products and installing water conservation kits. Following their home consultation, club members received a report card of accomplishments, and support in the form of Green Venture's seasonal newsletter.
Participation: 510 Households.
Draftproofing and Housewarming (1998-1999)
This is an energy conservation and draft-proofing service. During the first year of this program, 1998, Green Venture draftproofed low-income housing managed by Victoria Park Community Homes to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and increase home comfort.
Cost: varies according to amount of work to be done.
Participation to date: 39 units, (January 1999).
Target participation for 1999: 50 units.
Mercury Recovery (1999-2000)
Promoted public awareness of the dangers posed by mercury in the home and the need for its elimination. During home consultations, existing mercury thermostats were replaced with electronic programmable thermostats. Mercury thermostats were recycled or disposed of properly. Partners: Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators, Environment Canada, Honeywell.
Battery Round-Up (1998-2000)
Phase I of the school battery recycling program, supported by Environment Canada (Ontario Region), began in January and February 1999 in elementary schools in Hamilton-Wentworth Region. Included education on household hazardous waste, alternatives, batteries, and proper disposal, followed by a week-long student battery drive, with recycling of Ni-Cads. Phase II has been approved for 1999.
Partners: Environment Canada, area schools.
Batteries diverted: 865
Participation: 2 schools.
Wasteless (1998). Solid non-hazardous waste reduction programs for local small businesses and organizations. The service included:
- solid non-hazardous environmental waste audits
- identification of methods of elimination, reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting
- cost-benefit and feasibility analysis
- design and implementation of waste reduction plans
- evaluation and follow-up
Partners: Human Resources and Development Canada.
Participation: 30 audits performed.
Green Venture and the City of Hamilton offered truck-load composter sales in the mid to late 1990s. This helped to facilitate backyard composting and reduce the costs of waste handling and disposal.
Composters remain available by contacting Green Venture or the City of Hamilton. Green Venture provides advice to residents to help them compost effectively and solve any barriers they may encounter. Green Venture offers Red Wiggler worms and vermicomposting systems.
Partners: City of Hamilton.
Composters distributed to date: 2340.
Catch the Rain (2007-2008)
This project, initiated by Public Works and implemented through Green Venture, encourages Hamilton residents to disconnect their downspouts and install rain barrels in order to dually prevent stormwater run-off and conserve water. This pilot project will help the City to measure residents’ water conservation and the advantages of continuing an on-going program, in addition to measuring the benefits and results of rain barrels towards watershed protection. Due to tremendous response to this pilot project, the limited supply of rain barrels sold out in a matter of days. Partner: City of Hamilton
Estimated Participation Rates: 620 residents.
Wise Water Use (2000-2007)
Green Venture and the City of Hamilton are partnered in an initiative called the Wise Water Use program. Established in October 2000, the goal of this program is to help residents use water wisely in order to preserve our most precious natural resource. This partnership is designed to educate Hamilton water users on the importance of our local water resources and various methods of using water wisely.
Partner: City of Hamilton Public Works Department.
Multi-Unit Water Retrofit Program (1996-97)
Service provided installation of Water Saver kits in small multi-residential buildings, beginning with a pilot phase in a public housing complex, expanding to other non-profit and co-operative housing developments. Cost: $40.
Participation: 140 units.
Lawn & Garden
Naturally Hamilton (2001-2008)
(Formally Pesticide Free Campaign, and Green Lawns, Healthy Kids)
Naturally Hamilton is an education program created out of collaboration between the City of Hamilton and Green Venture that offers citizens practical information and resources to help them reduce or eliminate the cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns and gardens.
Through workshops, presentations, community events and the Yard Improvement Helpline, Naturally Hamilton directly engaged over 1000 citizens in 2007.
Funder: Hamilton Public Health.
Healthy Plants for Healthy People (1996-98)
This project was designed to reduce pesticide and chemical fertilizer use, increase composter use and increase plant diversity by providing homeowners with custom action plans and incentives to use a natural approach to gardening. Shade trees were supplied by the Regional Environment Department (continuing in 1999). The service was provided through Home Check-Ups.
Partners: Action 21, Region of Hamilton-Wentworth.
Participation: 600 households, 140 shade trees.
Pesticide Free Naturally (2000-2004)
Participating in GCA joint project promoting healthy lawn and garden care practices.
Partners: GCC. Distribution: 2000 kits. Green Lawns, Healthy Kids (2002-2004). Member of the Hamilton Coalition on Pesticide Issues since 2001.
Native Tree Planting (1999-2005).
Residents of Hamilton-Wentworth were able to purchase up to two native trees at the subsidized price. Delivery and planting services were available. Partners: City of Hamilton, Clean Air Hamilton, Connon Nurseries.
Tree Distribution: 3,000.
Waterdown Pollution Prevention Project (1996).
Provided information on reducing waste and preventing pollution (dumping of hazardous waste into drains and sewers) in the Municipality of Flamborough.
Partners: Region of Hamilton-Wentworth.
Greening Your School (1995-96).
Practical, hands-on programs to reduce waste, conserve water, cut energy use, avoid harsh chemicals and bring natural habitats back into the schoolyard. The multi-faceted program offered a comprehensive approach to ensure that schools have the information, motivation and tools needed to begin and sustain a greening program. The goal of the program was to ensure that all members of the school community (students, teachers, administrators, custodians, secretarial staff, and parent volunteers) have the attitude and values to support the wise use of resources.
Partner: Ministry of the Environment.
Participation: 15 schools.
Educational Service (1995-96).
A series of hands-on workshops and seminars for the public. Spring-summer workshops focus on gardening, composting and water conservation. Fall-winter focus on energy efficiency, winterizing and environmentally-responsible shopping.