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Abbotsford Green Drinks




Abbotsford Green Drinks is providing the opportunity for ‘green minded’ folks to meet up on a regular basis in a casual and fun environment to share information, make friends,  network face-to-face, support outreach and undertake collaborative projects to make all things 'green' in our city. This includes event announcements, articles, job listings and more.

Our Mission

To facilitate an ongoing dialogue that builds awareness and inspires action toward a sustainable and profitable future through community engagement.

We depend on "YOU" to make it a success!          

Bring friends, bring co-workers, green or not, it will be a great evening ...so get ready...cash bar - ask for non-alcohol drink specials - alcohol [optional] .... Come early, stay late............... 

Green Drinks gives you the opportunity to meet other amazing like-minded people from backgrounds in design,  architecture, alternative energy, publishing, blogging, photography, non-profits, finance, film, golfing, gardening, consulting, business, real estate, farming and more... A night not to be missed!



Abbotsford Green Drinks/Green Links gathering
Make a difference for green living and greening the planet


TIME:  4:30 to 6:00 PM

WHERE: Legal Grounds Coffee House 33775 Essendene Ave. Abbotsford, BC [back room]

HOW: Walk, cycle, bus or drive. 

WHO: Anyone working on environmental issues or studying them

WHY: Fun, contacts, info, inspiration, business and pleasure

REMINDER: To get on this email circulation list, send message to:  dennis.shepit@gmail.com

PRIVACY: This email list is ONLY for Green Drinks reminders. We will not give your email address to anyone else

STATUS: Informal, self-organizing network.

Please forward this message to invite your friends and coworkers to come.

We are stronger together as a network.

Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Let's take action, communicate, learn, teach, debate, work together and give examples of how to turn sustainable ideas into actual practice.

What is sustainability?

“It is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The City of Abbotsford is undertaking a Community Sustainability Planning Initiative (CSPI). These plans and strategies are being developed through community consultation focusing on the these projects: 

For more information about the Community Sustainability Planning Initiative go to: 


Come network and share your skills and ideas in order to help people, animals, and the environment.

We all want a better future world; focus on that with your time, energy and money, in a positive way.

Share, debate or forward your viewpoints, opinions, and experiences o green issues at our gatherings or via email this website.

We want to hear what you have to say.

This includes event announcements, articles, job listings and more.


Green Comments from Patricia Ross - Abbotsford City Councillor

Hi Dennis,

I am no longer supportive of the carbon tax, mentioned favorably by some as one solution to addressing climate change. I used to support it, given the stated intent when it was first introduced. Unfortunately, the BC Provincial government collects the funding, forwarding it to the Pacific Carbon Trust who doles it out and why and what has happened is that pretty much all the money has gone to switch to dirtier fuels than before!

The greenhouse industry dominates the recipients and they used to use the cleaner natural gas but use the money from the carbon tax to switch to cheaper biomass fuel. I’m telling you, biomass is the new gold rush. It is cheap right now, but there is no way there is a sustainable supply and prices are already rising due to that. It is touted as low in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s) but that is not honestly talking about what comes out of the stack, but by using a flawed calculation assuming replanting off all the trees they are burning – which does not happen.

The dirty little secret that they don’t like to talk about is the other range of pollutants besides GHG’s - the by-products of burning biomass, including fine particulate matter which contribute to poor air quality and smog—these pollutants are a serious concern for residents of the Valley since the area is a confined airshed and biomass is much higher than the cleaner natural gas in those pollutants. 

Some of these pollutants also contribute to ozone and ozone can reduce crop production by up to 30%. This is a great economic hit to one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. Also, do we really want to be adding to the pollution on the food we eat?

In addition, we know that not all the greenhouses are burning strictly wood as they’d promised. Some are sneaking in construction waste and other garbage, making it even more polluting. Since there is virtually no monitoring or enforcement and the industry knows it, the potential for the pollution to be overwhelming is huge. Some of the carbon tax has also gone to the cement industry for equally polluting fuel.


The end result with the carbon tax is that the average person is paying for a more polluted airshed and the industry makes more money because they get cheaper fuel– such a shame. I no longer support it given the appalling distortion. Another point I’d like to make is that we’ve gone from strong legislation and consequences, good monitoring and enforcement, to allowing voluntary compliance, little or no monitoring and self reporting by industry. We’ve created this unleveled playing field where we actually help foster the polluters and make it more difficult for the more responsible businesses to thrive in this economy. Regarding recycling, some disturbing things happening there.

The incinerator industry has convinced some governments to allow incinerator ash to qualify as “recycling.” In California, because a landfill mixed incinerator ash with asphalt in the road through the landfill, it is allowed as recycling now - crazy. Especially since in other areas where they’ve tried to do that, they’ve found the toxins in the ash leach out and into the watercourses along the roads, so they’ve banned it. I’ve heard Metro Vancouver appears to be pushing provincial and federal governments to allow incinerating garbage to qualify as recycling.  

We found one business bragging about “recycling” their bags at the Burnaby incinerator, apparently convinced by Metro Vancouver staff it would qualify as recycling. We sat down with the owner to give him a reality check and scientific information. He felt really bad, completely duped and stopped the practice.

I guess the bottom line that I would encourage your students to research is that there is a lot of “greenwashing” going on. Many businesses are truly trying to do the right thing. But far too many are only repackaging and remarketing their product and practices to appear green and unfortunately, our government is not holding them accountable, so it seems its up to the consumer to become informed as to who is genuine and who is not.

We need to encourage the truly responsible businesses so I am very grateful for your efforts to encourage that.

Best regards,



The AirCare Program

The AirCare Program in the Fraser Valley is winding up in January 2015 according to a recent government announcement.



We may be rejoicing, but if it wasn’t for the AirCare Program that started in 1988, our smog problem caused by vehicular emissions would be unbearable.  


Last year (2012) about 39,000 vehicles failed inspection, but it is a considerable drop from 1998 when 150,000 vehicles were failing the inspection annually.


Today, most vehicles have an OBD (on-board diagnostics) engine sensor that illuminates on your dash to warn us that your engine needs to be checked where your service car depot can resolve the problem.

For more details, go to:




Health Canada procedures for dealing with “dead” light bulbs:


Cleaning Up Broken, Compact, Fluorescent Lamp Tubes:



Things You Can Do Now

 I believe in the ‘Upstream Approach’ that anticipates and avoids problems before they occur, rather than reacting to their downstream effects. www.naturalstep.ca

Albert Einstein said: "Intelectuals solve problems but it's the geniuses that prevent them" 

Which of these energy saving tips have you adopted as good habits? 

*    I switch off the light when I exit a room

*    I unplug most of my appliances when not in use

*    I use a water-efficient shower head

*    I take my own bags to the market

*    I buy my groceries and do other shopping "locally” most of the time

*    I compost and recycle nearly everything

*    I turn off computers and other non-essential electronics at night.


*    I replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that have low mercury content.


*    I installed low-flow aerators on faucets.


*    I ask for green cleaning products and services for my building.


*    I purchase recycled paper and other office products made out of recycled material, encourage employees to recycle, and recycle larger office items like electronics whenever possible.


*    I minimize paper waste by removing employee names from junk mail lists, using double-sided or two-page-per-sheet printing, and reusing scrap paper for note-taking and phone   messages. (We like to use old business cards because there are usually plenty of them lying around and they keep internal messages short and to the point!)


*    I encourage employees to walk or take public transportation or alternative transportation, such as hybrid cars and carpools, to work. I educate employees about the available options and offer incentives for alternative transportation if possible.


*    I have created a work-site management plan that minimizes landscape waste and chemical use and encourages the use of native species in plantings.



Earth Day Tips and Resources

Top 20 actions

Small actions make a big difference. Pick a couple below to get started.

1. Turn off lights each time you leave the room

2. Use energy efficient light bulbs at home, school and office

3. Take the bus 1 day per week or more instead of taking your car

4. Walk or ride your bike to school or work once per month or more.

5. Join or organize a carpool.

6. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle.

7. unplug appliances and electronic devices with standby features.

8. Eat 'meat free' meals once a week.

 9. Buy local and in season food whenever possible.

10.Ask for local, organic and fair trade food.

11. Use a portable coffee mug.

12. Bring your own cutlery/chopsticks/cup/tupperware.

13. Drink from the water fountain or tap to reduce plastic bottle waste.

14. Use a stainless steel water bottle.

15. Purchase used furniture, clothing, school supplies and books through Craig’s List Vancouver.

16. Print Double-Sided.

17. Buy 100% recycled paper.

18. Support local businesses and Canadian made products.

19. Buy 100% biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries.

20. Share what you learn with family and friends.

*      Warren Leon, co-author of The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, says that while those decisions are important, don't sweat the small stuff: "The biggest impact you can have is when you're making a big decision." Transportation, food and household operations make up 60 to 80% of our environmental impact. Knowing the areas where you contribute most to environmental damage will help you make good decisions that have major benefits.

Water Matters Inside The Home

The three largest sources of water use in your home are showers and baths, toilet flushing and washing machine use. See below for ideas to reduce your water consumption at home.

Water use in the home

Install efficient showerheads
Older, inefficient showerheads use an average of 15 litres of water per minute. By replacing your old showerhead with a new water efficient model (6.5 litres per minute or less), you can significantly reduce your water use.

Spend less time in the shower
Shortening the amount of time you spend in the shower can also significantly reduce the amount of water you and your family use on a daily basis. By reducing your shower time to 5 minutes, you can reduce your water usage to around 50 litres per shower.

Install efficient washing machines
Older, inefficient top-loading washing machines use an average of 125 litres per cycle, whereas newer hi-efficiency machines can use as little as 55 litres per wash cycle. Replacing your old inefficient top-loading washing machine with a new hi-efficiency model can save you water and energy. Maximize your laundry machine efficiency by washing only full loads of laundry or use the load size selector function to match the water level to the size of each load.

Install efficient kitchen and bathroom taps
A kitchen tap can flow as much as 12 litres of water per minute when fully open. By installing a tap aerator at a sink in your home, this amount can be reduced to as little as 3.8 litres per minute and save you an average of 69 litres per day.

A tap aerator limits the flow of water from the tap by adding air to the water supply to maintain the desired pressure coming out of your tap. Tap aerators can quickly pay for themselves through significant water savings.

Making small changes to your daily routine can also make a big difference on your water bill such as not letting the tap run while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Fix the leaks
A leak in your home that drips once a second may not sound like a very significant problem; However, it can easily add up to as much as 16 bathtubs worth of wasted water in just one month. Be sure to replace worn washers and valve seats in household taps to keep water waste to a minimum. Leaks are not always visible and obvious to homeowners. As toilets age, and toilet components begin to degrade, it is common for toilets to leak significant volumes of water without anyone noticing.

How to check if your toilet is leaking:

  1. carefully remove the toilet tank cover;
  2. pour a few drops of coloured food dye into the tank;
  3. wait a few minutes and then check the water in the toilet bowl (don’t flush the toilet during this time); and
  4. if the coloured dye has seeped into the water in the bowl, without having flushed the toilet, there is a leak.

Turn off the tap
Don't let the tap run unnecessarily. This includes turning off the tap when brushing teeth, shaving and washing hands.

Sweep driveways
Cleaning hard surfaces and driveways with a broom is the most water efficient method. Washing driveways in July and August is banned.


 © 2010 Abbotsford Mission Water & Sewer Services