Green Venture and R.A. Riddell team up to Depave Paradise

December 2, 2015


Green Venture and R.A. Riddell team up to Depave Paradise

Hamilton, ON – This year, we’ve launched something special to help give back to our community project and address some of our most complex and overwhelming environmental challenges. We are excited to announce the launch of our 2015 crowdfunding campaign for ‘Depave Paradise’ on Small Change Fund!

We need your help!
Our goal is to raise $3600 to support creating a green space at R.A. Riddell Elementary School for kids to play, grow, learn and connect with the natural environment that will allow us to reconnect people and the urban landscape to nature.

What you can do…
1. Donate! To donate now, click here or visit Your donation of $50 or even $20 can make big a difference.
2. Share! Let your friends and family know about this campaign. Send them an email, post it on Facebook, Tweet it out, or share it on LinkedIn!

Our Impact
With your support we will be able to:

  • Plant native species trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ground covers;
  • Depave and create 1900 square feet of new green garden space for 750 students at R.A. Riddell Elementary School;
  • Reverse the proliferation of hard surfaces and the simplification of ecosystems present in many of our cities;
  • Reduce and filter stormwater runoff and flooding to lower its impacts on our sewers, help improve community’s water quality, and restore the natural hydrologic cycle;
  • Increase opportunities for the school and community to connect and engage in outdoor activities
  • Create a sense of community through community space renewal and beautification; and
  • Increase natural habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.

Our goal is to Depave Paradise all across Hamilton but we need your help to start today. Every gift makes a difference! Please donate today!


For further information, please contact:

Deirdre Connell

Program Manager

Green Venture

905-540-8787, ext 113


Green Venture is a community-based, non-profit organization committed to helping Hamilton-area residents live more sustainably where they live, work, and play.


Twitter: @Green_Venture

Facebook: GreenVentureHamilton



Go Green this Halloween with our EEK-O-Friendly Tips!

In just a week, the trick-or-treaters will be out but celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to be a bellyache (unless you eat all that candy!). This year, why not swap one of your traditions for something a little more eco-friendly, say making your own decorations or mixing up some homemade face paint? Here are 10 ways to green your Halloween:

  1. Buy local pumpkins! Find a local farm hereglowpumpkin.
  2. A trip to your yard or the farmers market will provide everything you need to dress up your house for Halloween: leaves and branches, hay bales, gourds, pumpkins, mums, dried flowers.
  3. Don’t dump those pumpkin seeds after carving! Clean, salt and roast them for a real treat.
  4. Have an old pair of stockings with runs in them? They make great spider webs!
  5. Organize a costume swap with friends, parents in your neighbourhood or at school
  6. Light your pumpkins with beeswax candles or soy waxes which last longer and come from renewable crops, or try using glow in the dark paint.
  7. Make face paints free from heavy metals at home. Here’s a great tutorial.
  8. Turn out the lights and save some green. Light candles instead and enjoy your jack-o-lanterns.
  9. Compost the gourd – Compost those old jack-o-lanterns, food scraps and fallen leaves for great soil next spring. If you don’t have your own compost pile, look for local pumpkin recycling.
  10. Next year try growing your own pumpkins in the backyard for an especially Green Halloween!

UpRoot Hamilton – Green Venture’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

uproot1Every now and again we need to be challenged and motivated to get out of our routines and try out new ideas and experiences, finding ourselves UpRooted! On October 3rd Green Venture hosted it’s first ever fundraiser, pulling up its own roots and trying new things to grow as an organization. What a success it was! Despite the strong winds, rain and unseasonably cool temperatures, people came out to help  celebrate 20 years of environmental outreach and education in the Hamilton community and donate  to help keep Green Venture going strong for the next 20 years!

It was a lively event with local food from Eat Industries Inc, Wild Thyme Catering, Ya Man Carribean Cuisine and Ramped Up Catering – all selected for their passion for local ingredients and the community. Conversations were buzzing amongst the selection of local wine and craft beer as uproot2Hamiltonians chatted with friends, old and new. Of course we couldn’t resist the urge to teach something, we are Green Venture after all! Patrons engaged in educational (and fun!) games on waste, water and living sustainably with our Education Coordinator Virginia. The heritage tour was extremely popular!  Attendee’s had the chance to learn what makes Ecohouse such a unique location for Green Venture, with stories of the building’s rich history and behind the scenes historical tidbits.

A HUGE thank you to all who attended UpRoot Hamilton on October 3rd!uproot3 The support from volunteers, staff, board members, and the community truly demonstrates what can be done when people come together. I am new to Hamilton myself and am constantly inspired by the engagement, energy and connectedness of this dynamic community. For those of you who missed it don’t worry, there are already plans in motion for our next fundraising event!

Cheers Green Venture; here’s to 20 more fantastic years!

Are Your Light Bulbs A Bright Idea?

Lighting in our homes counts for 1/4 of our energy bills. The type of light bulb we use at home can play a big role in just how much- or how little- we pay each month. So what kind do you use? What kind should you use? And what is the difference between them all?

An incandescent lightbulb.

An incandescent lightbulb.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent Light Bulbs are the most inefficient, and as a result, they’re also the ones that will cost you the most. At $0.10 per kilowatt hour, running for 8 hours a day, just one 100-watt incandescent bulb will cost over $22 more than a 25-watt CFL bulb per year. Incandescent bulbs also require more frequent replacing- so you’ll be spending more on light bulbs, too, as the average lifespan of an incandescent bulb is 600-700 hours.

With this information, it’s no surprise that incandescent bulbs are being phased out and quickly becoming a thing of the past!

A Compact Fluorescent Bulb, aka CFL.

A Compact Fluorescent Bulb, aka CFL.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) use 25% of the electricity of a comparable incandescent bulb; however, they aren’t as energy efficient as LEDs. Their lifespan also greatly exceeds those of incandescent bulbs; where an incandescent bulb will last 600-700 hours, CFL bulbs will last 7,000-10,000 hours, adding to a household’s savings.

The disadvantage of CFL lights is that they contain mercury inside the bulb, which can cause problems if the bulb breaks. As a result of this mercury, CFL lights are deemed to be Household Hazardous Waste, and need to be disposed of with other HHW products, like oil paint and batteries.

Look familiar? LEDs are gaining in popularity.

Look familiar? LEDs are gaining in popularity.

LED Lights

Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs (LED) last a lot longer than other lightbulbs; their average lifetime is 50,000- 100,000 hours! As a result, even though these are often more expensive at the time of purchase, fewer bulbs are needed over time. Fortunately, as manufacturing technology advances, the prices for these bulbs will likely start to lower.

LEDs use very little energy, and do not contain toxic chemicals, so they are not considered household hazardous waste. One 25W LED costs $30, but will last 15-20 years.

LEDs and CFLs are becoming more and more popular when individuals are looking to change their bulbs. Their impressive lifetime and their reduced environmental effects also play a major role in the switch from incandescents to CFLs and LEDs.

Vendor Profile – Eat Industries Inc.

As many of you know, Green Venture’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Eat IndustriesUpRoot Hamilton is rapidly approaching – this Saturday Oct 3rd at EcoHouse. UpRoot Hamilton is a platform to showcase local food and drink in a beautiful heritage setting while celebrating 20 years of community outreach, education and making the Hamilton region a more environmentally-friendly place to work, live and play.

When Fundraising and Events Coordinator Ashley Keenan came across Eat Industries Inc at the 2015 Hamilton Beer Festival she knew that they had to be a part of this vision. Earlier this year business partners Brandon Jackson and Matt Pigeon moved away freatind2om the Toronto food scene to start a business here in Hamilton based on local, fresh, seasonal and handcrafted items. “I love the Hamilton area” says co-owner Brandon Jackson, “The community here is embracing new things and really care about local start-ups.” Aside from their farm-to-table approach to business, Brandon also keeps ‘green’ at home with his family by biking and harvesting meals from his garden.

Eat Industries showcases local foods, butcher their own meat and take care to make all their items themselves or alternatively use products from other fresh and sustainable Hamilton establishments. It is truly amazing to see a vendor starting a food establishment, and hopefully soon to be a food chain, which is customer driven and environmentally responsible; showing us that ‘fast food’ doesn’t have to be cheap or sacrifice flavour.

Eat Industries Inc is currently operating ‘popuproot-up style’ in multiple locations around the city as well as having a perman
ent location in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. Be sure to try their tasty creations at UpRoot Hamilton this Saturday! Get your tickets here.

Celebrating 20 Years: A Look Back

Green Venture officially began operating in 1995, making 2015 our 20th anniversary. Although we’ll be marking this special occasion with an amazing event called UpRoot Hamilton (which you can read more about), we’ve also taken the time to think about our past 20 years, and the amazing journey we’ve been on as we try to make Hamilton and area the most environmentally friendly place to live, one day, and one action, at a time.

Here are some of our highlights.

1994- Green Venture is founded as part of a provincial “Green Communities Program” under the direction of the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth.

1995- Jackson square GV office

Green Venture’s Jackson Square Storefront location. Yes, we do still have that neon sign!

1995- A Jackson Square storefront becomes Green Venture’s first office space.

1996- Following the cancellation of the “Green Communities” program, Green Venture becomes an independent not-for-profit organization, hiring Heather Donison as its new Executive Director.

2000- In partnership with the Hamilton Air Quality Improvement Committee, Green Venture launches the Region’s first annual Commuter Challenge.

2003- Green Venture secures the use of the Veevers Estate in Hamilton’s East End and begins renovations to transform the space into an environmental education and demonstration centre.

The first welcome sign to the EcoHouse Community Garden.

The first welcome sign to the EcoHouse Community Garden.

2005- The EcoHouse Community Garden is established as a prototype garden for the region. Its popularity encourages over 70 other community gardens to be created city-wide over the next several years.

2007- After six years as a staff member, Pete Wobschall becomes Green Venture’s Executive Director. During his tenure, he guides the organization through the development of a revised mission, vision and values.

2008- Solar panels and a wind turbine are installed onsite at EcoHouse, allowing visitors to explore the pros and cons of installing alternative energy at their own home.

2009- The Enbridge Home Weatherization Retrofit Program is launched. With a goal of assisting residents in reducing their energy bills while improving the efficiency of their home, it quickly becomes one of Green Venture’s most in-demand programs.

2010- The first Seedy Saturday event is launched. Today, the event, co-hosted by Green Venture and the Hamilton Community Garden Network, attracts hundreds of eager gardeners each winter.

2011- With assistance from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Bay Area Restoration Council and Green Venture create an easy-to-access education centre focusing on Hamilton Harbour Watershed issues.

Kathryn Enders, Green Venture's current Executive Director, with one of our newest displays- an electric CarShare car!

Kathryn Enders, Green Venture’s current Executive Director, with one of our newest displays- a plug-in hybrid CarShare car!

2013- Kathryn Enders is hired as Green Venture’s Executive Director. In the same year, she travels to Mexico on behalf of Green Communities Canada to present at the Commission for Environmental Co-operation about the success of the Depave program.

2014- EcoHouse Educational Tours increase by 19% from the previous year, solidifying Green Venture’s place as the region’s premiere environmental demonstration and education facility.

2015- Green Venture completes their participation in the Good To Great program, leading to a renewed emphasis on revenue diversification, including the launch of special fundraising events and donor campaigns.

My Green Venture Internship: Lessons Learned

Hi! My name’s Areeba and I’ve just completed a seven week placement at Green Venture. I have learned many different things during the past seven weeks through my position as a green gardener where I assist with the maintenance of the many gardens and facilities present on the property.

During the weeks of my placement I can confidently say that I know how to successfully identify many plants and weeds, use various gardening tools (like a lawn mower), and paint skillfully. Sometimes, like many outdoor jobs, the weather turns on us. When I am indoors, I help keep the displays organized and up-to-date, organize materials, and assist with other tasks around the office. I also had the chance to participate in numerous road trips like a visit to a local farm with other staff.

Being a green gardener has provided me with extensive knowledge of environmental issues and initiatives, and the opportunity to take part in the solutions. For example, I helped to build the new green roof at EcoHouse. Green Roofs are a cost-efficient way to save energy, manage storm water, and insulate the building. This was an eye-opening experience that prompted me to think about the other green initiatives in the Hamilton community.

EcoHouse Green Roof

EcoHouse Green Roof

I have gained valuable experience and skills while working at Green Venture. Before working here I had no real understanding of the issues that are present in our city and in the community. By communicating with the talented and educated program staff and coworkers, I gained thorough insight about various environmental topics and going green together!

Written by: Areeba

%d bloggers like this: