SPECtrum Newsletter - April 2016
What a journey it is to try to capture all the wonderful work that our volunteers and staff do in the community. The process of putting together our annual report is always a great reminder of this amazing work. So...drumroll.... here it is, our 2015 Annual Report. Check it out, and pay attention not only to the great projects, but also to the amount of volunteers, staff, donors and sponsors that come together to create solutions for sustainability. 
      I'm proud of this team, of the work done in 2015, and am sincerely excited about what has already begun to happen in 2016, at so many levels. Read on in this April SPECtrum newsletter and learn about our new Environmental Elders Engagement Initiative, our climate change workshop, a perspective on one of our early SPEC leaders, and world water day through the eyes of our international intern. And once you recover from the overwhelming joy, I invite you to take 12 (10+2) minutes to share that excitement by:
1) Liking us on Facebook by clicking here, and adding your comments about the annual report (2 minutes), and
2) Filling out this environmental survey developed by an SFU team; it will take you 10 minutes, and when done you can opt to donate the $10 you earned, to SPEC.

SPEC ED Oliver
Attention: Vendors and Artisans - Westside Community Food Market's New Season: 
     The market takes place outside of Kits House at 7th and Vine every Thursday, 3 –7 pm, from June 23 to Sept 15. See info below and please apply by Wednesday April 13.
     Priority is given to vendors who make an effort to be environmentally sustainable in their work. And, for the first time, we are piloting an initiative to showcase and sell local art work. Two spaces will be available every week fro artisans, with times that can be rotated throughout the summer.
     Interested in taking part in the Westside Community Food Market?
1. Read Vendor Guidelines    2. Fill out the online application
Spaces will be allocated starting from Wed, April 13. If spaces remain after this date, we will accept applications on a rolling basis. Questions? Contact Sarah Lone at or 604-736-3588 x 131.
      Warm regards — SPEC ED Oliver
Climate Change Workshop and GO SOLAR TOURS
I am pleased to share that our Climate Change Workshop has been given to over 200 secondary students at 4 different schools this academic year! 
     As a SPEC volunteer, I am always excited to involve the community in discussions about sustainability. SPEC’s Climate Change Workshop gets secondary school students talking about our current methods for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
     In groups, they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of many climate change solutions. Then they assess and prioritize them, as they see best. I’m always surprised by how creative they are. When given an opportunity to think of their own carbon mitigation strategies, the students come up with ideas I never would have thought of.
     As one of the facilitators, I always enjoy seeing what they choose and hearing their explanations for them. These students represent Canada’s future, and one day they may be making decisions about how we use our energy resources.
     Click here to learn more about this great free program. If you are interested in having this workshop at your school or your child’s school, email
     Jamie, a SPEC intern from Sweden, joined me on these workshops. You can read about her impressions here: An “Intern”ational Perspective on SPEC's Climate Change Workshop for Ninth Graders
     Another opportunity for students groups—as well as work teams and clubs—is to take part in our 1-hour guided Go Solar Tours of SPEC’s solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on top of the Mountain Equipment Co-op’s building on West Broadway in Vancouver. This is a great way to see real solar panels in use, ask questions about solar energy, and learn more about how Vancouver can utilize renewable energy sources. Check out the PV panels photo and how to register or arrange a private tour.

— SPEC Volunteer Amelia
An “Intern”ational Perspective on SPEC’s World Water Day Celebration
In the beautiful Botanical Garden at UBC, SPEC co-hosted a Water Day Event on March 22, in which everyone had the opportunity to hear more about water conservation.
     The evening started with Steve Litke from the Fraser Basin Council. He gave an interesting overview of the new BC Water Act. He talked about the progress made and the challenges that remain. He also shared some ideas on how we more here
How to communicate with our audience?
As many other charities and environmental organizations, we look for ways to communicate to the public the issues and solutions we think are important, for example this one on climate change and our dependency on fossil fuels. One of our supporters, Rick Pollay, who is an expert in marketing and advertising, brought this recent ad to our attention and shared more
Is Being an Elder an Environmental Matter?
SPEC just received a small, but significant grant, to start the Environmental Elders Engagement Initiative, or the SPEC Elders Project, for short.
     In a recent interview on CBC, David Suzuki, considered one of Canada’s most dedicated defenders of the environment, spoke about...continue on SPEC Blog
Profile of Gary Gallon
“Who’s the guy with the afro?” This iconic picture of SPEC’s early days often draws that question. His name is Gary Gallon. For us, his name stands for leadership and passion, and he’s remembered as a lively, intelligent, energetic, and dedicated young man with a huge capacity to motivate and lead. His sense of direction shaped several SPEC campaigns and had a long-lasting effect on more
Our Thank-Yous 
     ▪ To HSBC Canada for their Volunteer Fund donation to support our energy and zero waste initiatives. This donation was organized by board member Ivan Cheung.
     ▪ To Whole Foods Market for their support to our Food Program: From April 11 to July 3 in all 4 Whole Foods Market Stores in the Lower Mainland, for every reusable bag you bring you can donate 10 cents to SPEC!
     ▪ To the Vancouver Foundation for their generous grant to our new Climate Change Adaptation for Small Scale Farmers project. By working with urban farmers in metro Vancouver, we aim to help them share their expertise and skills and build their capacity to deal with climate change challenges.
     ▪ To the New Horizons Seniors program (Government of Canada) for a grant to launch the Environmental Elders Engagement Initiative.  For more details, see “Is Being an Elder an Environmental Matter?” .
     ▪ On Sunday, March 13, SPEC partnered with Theatre For Living, Sierra Club BC and Kits Neighbourhood House to host Reclaiming Hope, a series of live, interactive theatre events hosted by local legend David Diamond. David helped the audience to name and discuss some of the things that cause anxiety and prevent us from having hope for the future. At our event, community members raised many issues well known to Vancouverites, climate change, the high cost of living, and making moral choices in the face of stress. The evening focused in on the issue of “socially responsible investing” in the face of financial scarcity. Thank you all for making it a successful event.
Upcoming Events
▪ Earth Day: Friday, April 22, 2016 Check out this YouTube Video 
     ▪ The Zero Waste Committee will be at the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference on April 18 and at Laura Secord Elementary on April 20 to share their knowledge and passion with these community members.
     ▪ As part of Earth week, SPEC wants to say thank you to our volunteers and will be hosting a get together on Saturday April 23 from 11AM to 1PM at Maple St and the Arbutus Corridor. Come and share some food, good conversation and also check out some of the great material we have from the contest we hosted in 2004 on possible community uses for the Arbutus Corridor.
Thank You 
Photo/image credits: (phantom loads), (dine in for a cause), www.thefrogblog (valentines day). Other images and photos from SPEC.
Copyright © 2016 Society Promoting Environmental Conservation - SPEC, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list