Blog 1: The Start of the Zero Waste Project

“Zero waste—diverting waste from the landfill— is critical to solving today’s climate crisis”  — City of Vancouver 

Hello and welcome to our very first blog post!


We are Group 18 in the course LFS 350, working on the Zero Waste Project with CityStudio and City of Vancouver. Although we are a group of students in diverse areas of study in LFS, we have shared interests in sustainability and waste reduction/management.



Hello! I’m Emily Liu and I am studying Applied Biology, Food and Environment major in LFS. I am particularly interested in sustainability and the ways that we can manage it. Outside of academics, I enjoy exploring the outdoors and keeping active. Waste reduction is something that I want to work on and learn more about.This is because I think that it is an essential component in improving sustainable communities. I would like to learn about the methods in which I can decrease my own personal waste, as well as how it can contribute to increasing diversion rates away from landfills on a grand scheme. Furthermore, this relates to the goals of our project, where we are working on creating easier methods for the public in regards to sorting waste.


Hi I am Jun Kamimura and I am in Food Market Analysis major. As my major kind of speaks by itself, I am interested in marketing especially about food related marketing including digital marketing using social media such as twitter, facebook, and instagram etc. Also I recently became into data analysis (using all the data including sales volume, sales location, sales month, and/or item types) to find out trends and a potential of markets. Aside from academics, I love playing basketball, playing saxophone (beginner), and reading novels. Marketing is quite relevant to behavioral economics in which it tries to reveal psychological insights into human behaviors to explain their decision-making. I am looking forward to get some ideas of how people think and act in the context of waste disposal activities out of this project.


Hey everyone! I’m Karyssa Arnett and I study Marine Science and Conservation in the Global Resource Systems program (a mouthful I know). Although my major doesn’t tie directly into food systems other than fishing and seafood consumption, I am passionate about learning all-around sustainability, especially within the food system. I am passionate about all things ocean and I love to travel! In fact, I recently got back from a year study abroad in Sydney, Australia. I aim to minimize my environmental impact in my everyday actions and am excited to help make it easier for people within Vancouver to do the same by sorting their waste properly.


Hi, I’m Beixi Wang(the one in green jacket in the photo) and I am currently in the nutritional science program. As a member of the zero waste project, I am very interested in learning the world’s problems that we are facing right now and how we can connect what we learn in the school to the outside world to come up with solutions. I am very happy and excited to work with my group members and to discuss about sustainable ideas that can benefit our beautiful city.


Hi everyone! My name is Julia Chen ,and I am majoring in Food Nutrition and Health major. As a future prospective professional in nutrition field. I believe a clean environment is essential for our healthy well-being, and sorting our daily wastes is just as important as making healthy daily food choices. I really appreciate the chance to be a part of the Put Waste in its Place project along with City studio and the City of Vancouver and am able to put my efforts to make Vancouver, the world’s greenest city. As a foodie, I love to explore all kinds of delicious foods which also makes Vancouver, a city of yummy foods come from all over the world, my favourite city!


Hi I am Kaylee Zou and I am in the food science major. Like my group members, I am interested in sustainability and I am excited to be part of a project that increases public awareness in waste diversion. In UBC, I have taken a few courses related to environmental problems and I believe that everyone in our community can make a difference in achieving sustainability. My hobbies include dancing, hiking, and playing the piano. the Put Waste in its Place project. As a resident of Vancouver, I am confronted with waste stations everyday and at times I often find it confusing to sort some items properly. By participating in this project, I hope to incorporate my personal experience about waste sorting into designing decals that are more straightforward for the users. I’m amazed by the effort the City of Vancouver has devoted for urban sustainability and I truly believe that the implementation of the Greenest City Action Plan require the effort of not just decision makers but also residents and students like us. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing, hiking, and playing the piano.

Interests, Goals and Aspirations

We are interested in changing the public’s perspective on sorting waste. Our goal is to simplify the general public’s views and actions regarding waste sorting, and therefore generating higher diversion rates away from landfills. We chose to partake in this project because we are interested in creating a more sustainable city. In addition, we acknowledge that campaigns for zero waste at UBC campus are effective in the contribution of a more sustainable campus. Thus, we desire to follow in the steps of these campaigns and broaden it to a larger demographic. Throughout the course of the term, we hope to gain experience working with city members, making a real impact on waste management within Vancouver and being a part of the change to making Vancouver the world’s greenest city. Throughout the course of the term, we hope to gain the skills of transferring our passions into a real impact in the community. As we learn from “Sirolli’s talk” (2012), an e-lecture of this course, the key of approaching communities is “listening” and working with local people who want to grow to be a better person or build a better community for themselves. We believe the most efficient way for us to transfer our passion to make Vancouver the world’s greenest city to a real effect is cooperating with the city members and work in their interests. Our group prides itself on being motivated and engaged in living sustainably and with our prior experience of working within the community through various classes and volunteer work we believe this project will be both successful at meeting our goals and the goals of CityStudio.

Project Objectives and Community Organization

Organization: Vancouver City Studio


Our objective is to create and design decal ideas for zero waste stations located in the buildings of Vancouver. We will be focusing on Kerrisdale Community Center as our site for observations.

First Impressions

We met with our City Studio community members Jeanie Morton and Paul Gagnon on Monday afternoon and were delighted to meet the acquaintance of such inspiring and passionate people who would be guiding our projects over the next coming months. During our meeting with Jeanie and Paul they shared with us a student project called Keys To The Streets. This project provided pianos at various areas in Vancouver for the public to play. It began as a student project that lead to community inclusiveness and more pianos being installed by other individuals outside of the student organization. This is also a reflection of  Asset-Based Community Development, a different technique that steers away from the needs-based technique of community development (Mathie, 2003). Asset-Based Community Development focuses on social assets, such as a person’s achievements as well as relationships that function as essential community development qualities (Mathie, 2003). This exemplifies characteristics found in the Keys To The Streets project where it strengthens communities by highlighting social assets and communication among members of our community.

 After hearing this successful story, we are inspired to implement ABCD techniques to the Zero Waste project as a means to a more sustainable city. Jeanie and Paul shared their objectives for our input in their Zero Waste campaign which included creating three separate design themes/ideas for waste bin decals. One of which will be chosen to be placed on the waste sorting bins to promote better waste sorting within City owned buildings across Vancouver. Their goal is to keep waste diversion rates high while decreasing the cost of replacing broken back panels that give similar information by using small decals on the tops of the bins to indicate how to sort the waste. Our project will attempt to achieve these goals through creating appropriate decal designs for bins to keep waste sorting easy for the public and therefore diversion rates high even without the use of back panels for sorting information. We are excited to understand that our ideas will impact communities not just within Vancouver but shared to other communities around the world as well. 


Additionally, we would  like to thank Jeanie and Paul for taking the time to meet with us and sharing their expertise on the Zero Waste project. We are looking forward to working with both of you and the other Zero Waste LFS group this term.

Keep posted for blog updates on how our adventures in creating a zero waste city unfold!


Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based community development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474-486. doi:10.1080/0961452032000125857

Sirolli, E. (2012, November 26). Retrieved February 04, 2017, from

Vancouver, C. O. (n.d.). Zero Waste. Retrieved February 05, 2017, from

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