In summer 2016, TBG initiated a green team to guide actions towards greater sustainability. The team consists of staff members from all departments as well as a volunteer representative. Team members have been working on behaviours, practices and procedures for now, but will soon begin policy development. These will be especially important in the rapidly-changing garden.
Green Team Accomplishments
Greening our events
TBG offers and hosts many and varied events. Over the last two years we have implemented the following practices and procedures to reduce the ecological footprint of these events:
- Waste stations that consist of garbage, recycling and compost bins and signs explaining which discarded items belong in which bins
- Trained volunteers and staff members to assist at waste stations
- Guidance for market vendors in their switch to greener take-away containers and food disposal practices
- Craft stations at family celebrations that use recycled or natural items
- “Lug a mug and water bottle” communications to event participants
- Communications with event partners (caterers, rental clients) regarding waste diversion
- Caterers that offer local seasonal food in reusable or recyclable containers, to the extent possible
- Electronic event registration that does not require paper tickets
Greening floral design
We began composting discarded/leftover flowers and greenery, and hosting classes that use locally-produced, organically-grown flowers.
With guidance from FLAP, we treated two large windows with DIY Feather-friendly tape to make glass more visible to birds, thereby reducing the number of bird strikes.
Lunch and Learn sessions
Every year, we offer three information sessions for staff. 2017 sessions related to bird-friendly buildings, horticulture therapy, and municipal waste diversion efforts.
We worked with the City of Toronto to extend its green bin collection to the TBG. Participation rates are high; however some contamination still occurs, so education is ongoing.
We initiated recycling programs through Terracycle to further divert waste. Staff and volunteers can recycle coffee packaging and used writing instruments from home and the office.
We purchased additional ceramic mugs for rental clients to use, which reduces their use of single-use non-recyclable paper cups.
We installed “turn off the light” stickers in all offices and event spaces.
TBG’s green team is proud of its work so far and has grand plans for the next few years. If you would like additional information, please send a note to Colleen Cirillo, director of education.