Village Vancouver January 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the

Village Vancouver Newsletter

January 2015


This month offers lots of great ways to get involved with Village Vancouver, reduce your food waste, and learn new skills. 

In this issue, you’ll find over 20 ways to volunteer with Village Vancouver to help build healthy, happy neighbourhoods and cultivate community resilience. Help with a permaculture garden, volunteer at the Just Film Festival, join our Newsletter Team, start a new project…the possibilities are endless.

With zero waste high on our radar, and a new food waste ban in effect, we offer several ways to reduce your food waste, including where to buy a composting bin or vermi-composting system, find a Green Bin origami guide, or take advantage of Food Scrap Drop Spots in the West End. This month’s Global Transition also touches on waste reduction, with a link to the Rubbish Diet, in addition to A Brief History of Transition Towns.

As always, there are lots of workshops around town to choose from. Our 2015 Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community Series at Strathcona Community Centre kicks off on January 29 with Grow Your Own Sprouts and Grass, while Main St Village offers several different workshops over the course of several monthly potlucks, including Making Condiments and Relish on February 3. More great learning opportunities and other activities can be found in Upcoming Events.

Last, but not least, we encourage you to become a member of Village Vancouver Transition Society! We operate on a very small budget, and your membership contribution goes a looooong way!


Your January newsletter team,
Bonita Jo Magee, Simone Hoedel, and Ross Moster

Become a Society Member Today!

Join the Village Vancouver Transition Society! The membership fee is based on a sliding scale (suggested dues are $25) and it helps us develop this Village and its community. Your annual membership will make our movement even stronger! It's easy to join here.







Starting January 1, 2015, both the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver regional district have banned food scraps from regular garbage.

From the City’s website: “If every resident in Vancouver recycled food scraps for a whole year, we’d remove 5,500 trucks worth of food scraps from the landfill.” You can download a guide from their website to making a Green Bin origami liner in 5 easy steps for your compost container. Find more information here for City of Vancouver food scraps program.

Metro Vancouver’s website has even more information for restaurants, grocers, apartments and condos.

If you’d prefer to compost your food scraps onsite at your home, the City sells composters for $25, or you can purchase different styles from Lee Valley or other retailers. If you don't have outdoor space for a composter, consider a vermi-composting system (worms love your food scraps!) which you can purchase from the City (includes worms and a one-hour workshop) for $25. 

Village Vancouver partners with the West End Neighbourhood Food Network and Recycling Alternative to bring the volunteer-run Food Scrap Drop Spots to the West End 3 times each week at Gordon Neighbourhood House and the West End Community Centre. Current dates are posted on Village. Further information can be found on the West End Neighbourhood Food Network's website. If you're interested in volunteering at a drop spot, please contact

More information about the entire Drop Spot program (including the Winter Farmers Market Drop Spot at Nat Bailey Stadium) can be found on the Food Scraps Drop Spot website.

2015 Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community Series kicks off on January 29th

Join us for the Winter instalment of this popular Village Vancouver workshop series at Strathcona Community Centre. Come to one or come to all!

Thursday, January 29 Grow Your Own Sprouts and Grass (register by January 24)

Thursday, February 26 Peas and Greens

Thursday, March 12 Winter Kraut Making

Thursday, March 26 Introduction to Organic Food Growing

Fifty per cent subsidies are available to low income residents of Vancouver with a Leisure Access Card. 

We'll have a seed library present - if you come a little early, you can get some free seeds for your garden or swap or donate some seeds.

For further information and how to register, please check out this web page

Main St. Village Monthly Potlucks and Workshops


Join Main Street Village Vancouver for our monthly potlucks and sustainable workshops at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House (3981 Main Street) every first Tuesday of the month!
February 3 Making Condiments and Relishes

March 3 Seed Starting and Seed Swap

April 7 Bee Friendly Gardening

May 4 Bike Maintenance

June 2 Foraging for Urban Medicinal Plants

July 7 What do you want to learn? Let us know!

Like us on Facebook to receive our latest updates.

Spirit of the Land - Making Peace with the Land
Weekly Community Group Study Series
Dates: Starting mid-Feb 2015, going until mid-May

Location: Various 

Gather a group of community members, your neighbours, or your friends and join us to explore the topics of community-building, power structures in society, and new ways of making peace, while staying grateful and grounded in the spirit of the land.  The series will provide you with weekly material to guide you in your discussions and the opportunity to connect online with groups in other locations that are following the same material!


It takes a village…make 2015 the year you get active in the Village!  Look at all of the opportunities there are!  Meet new people. Learn new skills. Share your talents. Get involved in your local community. Visit the Volunteer Page (under "CONNECT") on Village Vancouver’s website for details and then contact us. 

We're happy to help you find a meaningful volunteer experience.

  • Monthly Newsletter Editors - Join our Committee
  • Staff a table at community outreach events
  • Event Promoter (listing events in community papers, etc.)
  • Videographer
  • Slideshow Artist
  • Mailing List Manager
  • Administrative Working Group Member
  • Group and Village Coordinators/Core Group Members
  • Join a Community or Collaborative Garden/Help w/other Urban Ag Initiatives
  • Help with a Permaculture Project – learn about Permaculture while you’re helping
  • VV's Permaculture Plot – Get involved
  • Seed Librarians
  • West End Food Scrap Drop Spots Volunteers
  • Kits Village Plastic Recycling Depot Volunteer
  • Host a Drop-in Spaghetti Night
  • Help staff the VV information table at the Just Film Festival (March 20-22, 2015)
  • Volunteer for Just Film Festival (March 20-22, 2015)
  • VV Car Free Day Demo Village Volunteers (April-June 2015)
  • Kitsilano Car Free Day Core Organizers (April-June 2015)
  • Neighbour Savour VI (October 2015)
  • Start a new project 


Does your New Year's Resolution include a Rubbish Diet? The Transition Network features an article on the Diet and how you can Learn to Love Your Bin as a New Year's Resolution.

“On average people slim their bins by 40 percent and the change is permanent. Slimming their bin saves people money as they reduce food waste and start reusing more,” says Bin Doctor Katy Anderson. This article is very timely of course because as of January 1st, Vancouver has banned food scraps from regular garbage.

A Brief History of Transition Towns

The Transition Town initiative got its start in Kinsale, Ireland in 2005 with the development of permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins's project the “Energy Descent Action Plan.” The plan's goals, responding and adapting to peak oil and energy scarcity, were further fleshed out and implemented the following year with great enthusiasm and success in Totnes, UK.

In 2006, the principles and methods of the Totnes social experiment became the foundation of the Transition Network, and this model spread quickly in the UK and around the world.

Employing a “head, heart, and hands” approach, the Transition Initiative model can be seen as a “community DIY” experiment on a worldwide scale. Fueled by hundreds of thousands of folks working together locally to create positive, community-led responses and solutions to the challenges of our times, Transition’s main principles, which are inspired by permaculture design, focus on building community resilience in the face of climate change, peaking natural resources, and economic instability and inequity. Hopkins produced The Transition Handbook in 2008 as a framework and guide for folks interested in forming a Transition “Town” in their community. The Transition Companion, in which Hopkins draws on lessons learned from several years of practical experience from hundreds of Transition Initiatives around the world, was published in 2011.

To date the Transition movement, an ongoing social experiment in which having fun and celebrating plays an important role, has spread to include almost 1200 registered initiatives (472 official and more than 700 “mullers”) worldwide in 45 countries. There are more than 85 initiatives in Canada, including 32 official initiatives. Village Vancouver is one of 10 official initiatives in BC, and is one of the largest and most active initiatives in the world.


Jan 24, 27, 31 - West End January Food Scrap Drop Spots
Gordon Neighbourhood House, West End Community Centre

Jan 24 - Deadline for February Newsletter

Jan 24 - South Vancouver Neighbourhood House Produce Market
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

Jan 25 - OS Permaculture : FreeSocial Permaculture Activation
Richmond, Sharing Farm

Jan 25 - West End Neighbourhood Food Network January Community Potluck
West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

Jan 25 - Kits Village Dinner Group #1 January Gathering

Jan 28 - Using the Whole Bird
Trout Lake Community Centre

Jan 29 - Growing Your Own Sprouts and Grass Workshop
Strathcona Community Centre

Jan 29  to Mar 26 - VV Winter 2015 Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community Series
Strathcona Community Centre

Jan 30 - VV Transition Society Board of Directors Meeting

Jan 31 - Ground Level Langara : Free Intro to Permaculture Day
Langara College, Vancouver

Jan 31 - The Feast Worldwide Vancouver
Groundswell Cafe & Learning Space

Feb 1 - Kits Village Dinner Group #2 February Gathering

Feb 3, 7, 10 - West End February Food Scrap Drop Spots
Gordon Neighbourhood House, West End Community Centre

Feb 3 - Main Street Village Monthly Potluck & Workshop
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

Feb 4 - Sauerkraut Fermentation
Britannia Community Centre

Feb 8 - Kits Village February Potluck + Neighbourhood Small Grants & Community Gardening Opportunities

Stay Updated on Upcoming Events

The most up-to-date calendar of upcoming events!