SPECtrum Newsletter - April 2017 

Plenty of Opportunities to Get Involved!

From Earth Day Parade, to our first Go Solar Tour of the year, to the Elders Circle Isolation and Connection event. There are plenty of activities happening this month for you to get active in your community, meet new people and learn about urban sustainability topics. If you want to volunteer and don't know where to start, give us a call, or even better, come to our first Volunteer Orientation meeting of the year, on April 12 at 5PM.


Oliver, SPEC ED

Stay connected with SPEC and your community. Learn, Volunteer, Donate today!

"Be My Guest" Fundraising Campaign

Back in March, SPEC tested out a new way to raise funds for its work in the community. Instead of having you come to us, we had donors come to YOU!

On Saturday March 25, in honour of Earth Hour, we asked our followers to invite their friends, family members and SPEC supporters to their home (big or small) for a breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks party. Rather than having guests bring wine or flowers, we had them donate to SPEC. Other than that, it was up to the hosts for how to set up their evening and donation feast. 

Feedback from the hosts was resoundingly positive. Robin, SPEC's outreach intern, had a small party with friends where she served lasagna and played a new card game. Oliver, SPEC's Executive Director, had 12 people over for a drink and dessert party which lasted until late at night. And Kate, one of SPEC's board members, invited 11 people over for dinner by candlelight during Earth Hour. Guests and hosts reported having a fun evening, and we reached our fundraising goal of over $1,000

We would like to say thank you to everyone who participated and donated to help SPEC make a greater difference in local sustainability!

Let us know if you would like to host a dinner or event for SPEC -

Volunteer Orientations

Want to volunteer with SPEC but don't know where to start?

On the second Wednesday of every month, join us to learn about SPEC's work in the community and meet new, current and soon-to-be volunteers. 

If you are interested in getting involved, want to learn what volunteer opportunities exist, and would like to meet like-minded people, come and share some time with us!

If you are a current volunteer and would like to know more about other work we are doing, this is also the place for you!

Our first meeting is April 12, from 5pm to 6:15pm at Kitsilano Neighborhood House (2305 West 7th Ave, Vancouver). You can register here. Drop-ins are fine too.

Master Recycler 2017 Program

The Master Recycler program is off to a great start. Despite its name, the Master Recycler Program is about the deeper issue of how to prevent waste. This year, there are 35 participants who are being trained on waste prevention, recycling, and composting. The extensive eight week course features experts from the industry and field trips to local waste processing and recycling facilities, followed by 30 hours of community outreach to graduate as a Certified Master Recycler.

The 2017 program was made possible thanks to Recycle BC, Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Recycling Alternative and SPEC individual donorsThe Master Recycler Vancouver program began in 2015 with support from Vancity, the Gow-Jarrett and Millard Family, and SPEC individual donors.

School Gardens 10th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser

On Thursday June 22, SPEC will be celebrating 10 years of the School Gardens Program by hosting a FUN(draising) evening at John Norquay Elementary, one of our participating schools. Please save the date for this event. We will be sending out more information soon.

Go Solar Tours—Free! 

Take part in a guided tour of SPEC’s solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the rooftop of Mountain Equipment Co-op’s store on West Broadway in Vancouver.

We are offering 3 tours this Spring:
  • Sunday April 23, 11am - noon
  • Saturday May 27, 11am - noon
  • Saturday June 10, 3pm - 4pm
Meet at the roof top parking lot of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC at 130 W Broadway, Vancouver). Right by the store entrance, there is a staircase and elevator to get to the rooftop.

Thank yous
A big thank you to Hannah, Hailey, Sarah, Izzy, Jennifer and Saila from Argyle Secondary School in North Van. For a class project they decided to sell plants and donate all the proceeds to SPEC. Thank you!!!

Do you know businesses or community groups looking for team building opportunities in nature?

SPEC might have just what they are looking for. Help us make the connection!

Immerse your team in an environment that promotes teamwork, creativity and fun with an offsite experience that leaves the team feeling inspired, energized and connected at the beautiful UBC Botanical Garden. With opportunities for team-building throughout the day, the experience aims to build positive relationships within your team in an outdoor setting.

The Field School for Businesses, a partnership between SPEC and the UBC Botanical Garden, includes activities such as exploring a 300-metre aerial trail system perched in the canopy of the temperate rainforest and enjoying a long table lunch together. The program will help to tailor your experience around important themes such as interconnection, communication, collaboration, leadership, innovation and mindfulness.

If you or someone you know works for a company that would be interested in team building, boosting creativity, and learning more about our local environment, visit us here for more information, or contact Oliver at

Isolation and Connection:
 Elders Circle, April 19

Join us and other engaged elders as we explore the many qualities of Elder Wisdom. Why is this important? Our planet faces numerous crises. Seniors are a living reservoir of experience, knowledge and skills. However, that role has been minimized in society and relinquished by seniors. This is a huge loss for all.

Why should you come? The SPEC Elders Circle is offering a space and process that encourages deep reflection, personal connection and intimate discussion to foster the emergence of this wisdom.

Please join us at our April 19 event “Isolation and Connection” at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, 2305 West 7th Ave, Vancouver, between 5.30-8.30pm. Everyone is welcome. Light Supper will be provided.

Register here or contact us at:

Climate Change and Energy Education

Through our Climate Change and Energy Education program, SPEC offers workshops for grades 7 and 9 as well as field trips to our Solar Panel installation in Vancouver. If you are interested contact Frances at

Westside Community Food Market

Starting June 22, SPEC and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House will be co-hosting the Westside Community Food Market, on Thursdays, from 3 pm to 7 pm, at the corner of West 7th Ave and Vine.

The Market gives small local vendors an opportunity to sell their produce directly to customers, while offering residents access to fresh and sustainably grown/made food. The market also provides low-income families with a coupon program to help them access local and healthy foods.

If you are interested in being a food or arts and crafts vendor at the market, please contact

Earth Day Parade

Join the Earth Day Parade in East Vancouver on Saturday April 22 at 1PM, and meet our waste committee who will be hosting a SPEC booth at Grandview Park, on Commercial Drive, from 2 to 5PM.
The waste committee is looking for volunteers to help set up and take down tents, march in the parade at 1pm, and to be at the SPEC booth in the afternoon, answering the public's questions about recycling and zero waste.  Shifts are between 1 and 4 hours long from 11am-6pm. Please contact Jacquie at if you are interested in volunteering. 
If you haven't been, it's a fun event. We'll have the plastic bag monster out, and we reach a lot of people. Plus there's live music. Even if you can't volunteer, stop by our booth and say hi!
Come and check out what our teams are working on! 
SPEC Committee Meetings Dates (meetings are free and open to the public):
  • Food & Environment:
    • 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM, April 11: Kits House (2305 West 7th Ave)
    • The 2nd Tues of each month.
  • Zero Waste:
    • 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Wed, April 12: Kits House (2305 West 7th Ave)
    • 2nd Wed of the month
  • Energy & Transportation:
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Wed, April 19: Kits House (2305 West 7th Ave)
    • The 3rd Wed of each month
  • Volunteer orientation and social 
    • The 2nd Wednesday of the month between 5 PM and 6PM
Photo/image credits: www.thefrogblog (Thank-Yous). Other images and photos from SPEC.
Copyright © 2017 Society Promoting Environmental Conservation - SPEC, All rights reserved.

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