Spring Gillard

Scary Rats

“This grosses me right out. Aaaahhhhh help me!!!” My friend emailed me in a panic this week. She found rats in her compost, one of the plastic models. This is what I wrote in response. More or less.

Oh boy, no fun. Okay, first thing to do is set some rat traps near the […]

Traffic Stoppers

I had lunch with my friend Terry Dixon last week. She and I both have birthdays this month, so we were celebrating together. I first met Terry when I was at City Farmer and she was the Green Streets coordinator for the City of Vancouver. We became friends when we both attended […]

Shifting to Curiosity

One of the big challenges I’ve had in my first couple months of school is my own resistance. I’ve been around the block a few times, so when someone tells me I have to do something and in a specific way, I feel myself bracing, a great big NO rising from my toes, with an […]

LEDs, Good Idea!

Did you know that October is power smart month? I only know because of the little flyers I get with my BC Hydro statement each month. I also learned that if every BC homeowner changed one 60 watt incandescent bulb to a 12.5 watt Energy Star® LED and left that light on for only 3 […]

Knapsack on My Back

The first thing I noticed when we drove into the parking lot at the new Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) store in North Vancouver was that it was on the edge of a park. Lynnmouth Park to be exact. Presumably, because you could buy your new gear and then wander right out into the wilderness. […]

Electronic Toy Recycling

It’s a good time of year to clear out all those old toys, to prepare for new ones that might appear under the Christmas tree. And this year, instead of throwing them away, you can take them to a depot so that all their various parts will be recycled! The Canadian Brandowners Residual Stewardship Corporation […]

Minority Report

The moment I stepped onto the UBC campus this fall, I knew I was in the minority. No cell phone. Of course, everywhere you go you see people on their phone or dialing their phone, checking emails and texts, it’s just more concentrated on campus. Today I went for a run along the […]

Education Goes Off Track

I was at Hastings Park on the weekend when a building with two green roofs caught my eye. Turns out it’s the Hastings Park Childcare Centre opened in April 2011 and operated by Kiwassa Neighbourhood House. The 7,100 square foot facility has 44 full-time spaces for children up to five years old. […]

I Got Wheels

A couple weeks ago, I loaded all my recyclables into a large duffle bag and strapped it to my bike with bungy cords. I don’t have panniers. In fact, my bike is so old, panniers won’t fit onto it. The duffle bag stuck out both sides of my bike – I probably should have […]

To CIRS With Love

In early 2006, I was attending monthly Metro Vancouver breakfast meetings focused on the United Nations World Urban Forum that would take place in June that year. I was planning Green Scenes with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University and would be premiering some of the tours at […]