The UNA is committed to providing leadership, education and support services to promote a sustainable community life.
People: Community is strengthened. Connectivity within a society increases at a local scale, while social conditions are improved, globally.
Planet: The natural environment is protected and enhanced. Environmental effects are considered within all decisions.
Profit: Economic prosperity increases. Financial success is not compromised, but supports and is bolstered by environmental and social priorities.
We are continuously working to advance our practices and services to reduce our environmental impact, while increasing the economic and social wellness of our community members. We strive to make it easier and more accessible for community members to incorporate sustainable practices into their own lives.
Although sustainability is most often considered as environmental, the UNA knows that sustainability must be approached from social, economic, as well as environmental perspectives. Sustainability does not come at a compromise – it simply requires a balance of these three pieces.
The Green Depot offers an easy and accessible way for UNA and UBC Community members to responsibly dispose of a wide-variety of waste not accepted by residential waste recycling services.
All UNA residents are provided with household compost bins, as well as educational materials to encourage responsible behaviour and reduce the amount of food waste that goes into landfills.
UHUBOR is a sharing app designed specifically for the UBC campus community. This easy-to-use app allows users to share and sell marketplace goods and services with all community members. This app extends the life of products and provides an accessible way for UNA residents, and other UBC community members to pass on their useable goods before hitting the recycling or the landfill.
The Annual Yard Sale
The UNA’s annual yard sale encourages community members to reduce unnecessary production and waste, by reusing and extending the life of material goods. The Yard Sale is one way in which the UNA builds community and reduces environmental and economic waste. The more hands an item passes through, the more environmental and economic value it provides. Reusing items keeps materials out of the landfills and oceans, and decreases costs associated with purchasing and disposing of multiple, new items.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Free charging is available to all Electric Vehicle (EV) users, through the UNA’s collaboration with BC Hydro’s Electric Vehicle Charging Initiative. By providing this service, the UNA is making it practical to own an EV or hybrid vehicle, significantly reducing the production of carbon emissions.
The UNA has designated parking stalls for car share vehicles throughout its neighbourhoods. This priority parking encourages community members to participate in car share programs. This reduction in the number vehicles on the road reduces the community’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
UBC, in partnership with Dropbike, is executing a 1-year pilot program, which places shared bikes across UBC campus and UNA neighbourhoods. Dropbike has successfully implemented similar programs throughout Canada and will provide the community with a fun and flexible way to get around. Much like car share programs, everything is done through the program app. All you need to get riding is your phone and your helmet!
The bikes cost only $1/hour, with monthly packages available for more regular riders.
Walk n’ Roll
Every year, the UNA and UTown@UBC team up to bring Walk’n Roll School Celebration week. Community volunteers lead a ‘walking-school-bus’ and a ‘bike train’ from each of the UNA neighbourhoods to the local elementary schools. These events encourage biking and walking to school and provide kids and parents with the education and the confidence to do so.
The UNA has four community gardens, providing families and community members with the opportunity to produce their own food (as local as it gets!). Our gardens are 100% organic, which reduces harmful effects on the surrounding environment.
Mason Bee Project
The UNA Children’s Garden at Old Barn Community Centre, is now home to Mason bee nests! These nests were built by families who participated in the UNA’s Mason bee nest-building workshop, run by UNA community members. With these nests, we are supporting the native pollinators and the local plant populations!
Collaboration with the UBC Seeds Lending Library
The Seeds Lending Library is a free resource that eliminates the need for gardeners to purchase new seeds. The Lending Library also provides opportunities to learn about gardening, seed saving, and agricultural research and teaching at UBC. The Lending Library has participated in UNA community events, offering its services and expertise to UNA gardeners.
Research and Education
The UNA has partnered with UBC Sustainability’s SEEDS program to advance UBC’s strategic plans and priorities. We incorporate this research into ours practices to continue to make improvements and further the sustainability of our operations and services.
The UNA’s collaboration with Strata Energy Advisory Program provides strata buildings the opportunity to receive a free building energy assessment and recommendations on how to reduce their energy use and associated costs.