VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Monday March 4, 2019, Green Trustee Estrellita Gonzalez will introduce a motion asking staff at the Vancouver Board of Education (VBE) to develop a transition plan for landscape equipment used in Vancouver schools. Her motion aims to replace gas-powered machines with emission-free alternatives.
Building from Green Commissioner Dave Demers’ motion, which passed unanimously at Park Board on January 28, 2019, Gonzalez’s motion asks the VBE to work with the Park Board to identify ways to collaborate and buy in volume as both transition to emission free equipment.
“Looking at the levels of pollution these machines emit is terrifying,” said Gonzalez. “Students and staff should not be exposed to that. The district could also potentially save a lot of money by switching to emission-free equipment.”
A recent UBC study estimated that if the Vancouver Park Board switched all of its 2-stroke engines to electric equivalents, it would save $300,000 - $450,000 per year starting from the second year.
“Unfortunately money is always a concern at the VBE because there is always more we could be doing for our students; if we save even a fraction of the amount that Park Board will it could go towards food or art programs that will make a real difference in kids’ lives,” said Gonzalez acknowledging Vancouver’s schools have significantly lower yard maintenance costs per year than parks.
“I’m grateful to Dave Demers for his expertise on this matter and I’m excited about the good work all elected Greens will accomplish working together over the next few years.”