We’re in planning mode for Sustainability 2.010 (fall 2010) at the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA) where I vollunteer on their sustainability committee. Looking back at the last year I found this footage of the ‘Shades of Green’ panal I sat on talking about sustainable business practices in the Strathcona Green Zone in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It’s been exciting at the SBIA with the announcement of $50,000 in funding from the Vancity enviroFUND for the development of a materials exchange network so businesses in our community can easily utilize each other’s waste materials and save money on disposal and recycling services. An example of this can be seen in our use of off cut paper scraps produced by a local printer as packaging material in our corporate gift basket program. In the near future we’ll be looking to hire a full time sustainability coordinator for the SBIA to run with the program and hit the pavement to learn about amd engage all our neighbourhood businesses, helping to facilitate meaningful connections identifying opportunities to save money while reducing environmental impact. Besides materials exchange a community energy challenge is another area of interest, looking at how we as a community can work together to better use resources. Building on the recent success of the SOLE Food Urban Farm project, an initative by United We Can and Building Opportunities with Business, we’re finding lots of ways for local businesses, organizations and community members to find meaningful employment while addressing environmental and social justice issues.