ZERO IN 2023

The VSB Sustainability Connection’s annual conference in 2023.

About the Conference

ZERO IN was a day-long event featuring two workshops, a non-governmental organization (NGO) fair, a panel, and clothing swap. On April 24th, attendees got the opportunity to educate themselves on pressing issues surrounding climate change and focus on the solutions taken currently in hopes of generating new ideas. In the process, they gained new knowledge and learn its applications to create substantial change.

With the increased commonality of sustainable terminology, we wanted to narrow down the broadness and showcase specific examples of action in our community. In 2023, our conference, ZERO IN, aimed to celebrate the progress environmental leaders have had by zeroing-in on innovative solutions to the climate crisis. Learning the specifics can allow us to address these issues more effectively.

Changing the format from the previous years, this conference revamped its schedule to allow attendees to apply their knowledge. Moving workshops to the morning, we made room to introduce discussion circles. These are valuable opportunities for attendees to share their input about policies with local leaders.

In addition, VSBSC will also provided free lunch to all attendees.

Spheres and Workshops Descriptions

Atmosphere: mitigating carbon emissions


The involvement of youth these days is critical to combating climate change. Today, we at BEST (Better Environmental Sustainable Transportation) hope to inspire you to design your own initiative by sharing with you the impact we have had on the climate movement in Metro Vancouver via our various initiatives: Seniors on the Move, Bicycle Valet, and Living Streets. 

We want to then follow up with an ask for your help using your innovative ideas and skills to help forward our reach and cause. We will conclude with a 10-15 second video challenge where we invite you to showcase your actions to combat climate change these days through sustainable and alternative modes of transportation and what you love about it. The goal of the video is to highlight sustainable and alternative transportation choices being taken by youth through videos providing them with a platform to share their successes and inspire other youth and policy-makers. The top 3 videos selected will be included in a prize draw.


Fashion Takes Action (FTA) is a Canadian non-profit organization focused on advancing sustainability in the fashion industry through education, awareness, research, and collaboration. We achieve this through events like ReMode, our My Clothes My World education program, annual WEAR conferences, as well as speaking engagements and global awareness campaigns. Join FTA for our Greenwashing: How to Spot A Fake workshop as we take a deep dive into systems of waste, how they work, how companies hide them, and what we can do to get our waste closer to zero.

Hydrosphere: protecting our waterways


BC Metis Federation is a non-profit Indigenous organization operating in the province of British Columbia. Within BC Metis Federation is the department of Coastal Conservation, which is dedicated solely to the protection of British Columbian coastlines and aquatic ecosystems. In spring of 2021 the Coastal Water Protectors were formed – a team of environmentally passionate members residing throughout the province of British Columbia dedicated to making an impactful change on aquatic ecosystems. 

For the 1-hour session, the department of Coastal Conservation will issue a round of ‘kahoot’ trivia to break the ice and introduce conservation related questions to the group – the top three winners will receive gift cards. The department will then present a slideshow on the federation, the department and the Coastal Water Protectors. The group will then engage in a second round of trivia based on knowledge provided in the slideshow, with the top three winners receiving gift cards. Time will also be left for question and answer period and opportunity to sign up for some youth events taking place over summer.


Join us for an hour-long workshop where you will learn about Ocean Wise and how we are empowering youth across Canada to take action for our oceans. During this session you will also learn whale mapping skills and different ways you can get involved in ocean conservation!

Lithosphere: protecting our land


Fresh Roots is a local charity that grows farms on school grounds and leads programs to teach people about how food is grown and connect them to the land that grows it. We have farms at Van Tech and David Thompson Secondary Schools in Vancouver and Suwa’lkh School in Coquitlam. We work to build community with the schools and students by sharing food. We facilitate outdoor experiential learning with teachers and students; mentor youth leaders through garden clubs and summer programming; foster self-confidence, leadership, and employment skills; and provide space for folks in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver to grow food through our volunteer programs.

For the ZERO IN conference, Fresh Roots staff will lead a workshop on how food can be grown with less inputs. We will compare industrial agriculture to small-scale farming and explore how food can be grown in a way that is beneficial to the environment. Current agricultural practices such as pesticide and fertilizer use are harmful to the environment and humans. Sustainable and ecosystem-friendly alternatives exist and we will discuss some and how students can implement them in whatever growing space they have.


The Wilderness Committee is a registered charity that exists to preserve and protect wilderness. We’ll deliver a presentation that focuses primarily on fracking and LNG in BC. Our presentation will explain how fracking for LNG works in context of our province’s need to reduce GHG emissions to meet our climate change goals. We’ll also go over our plans for a people powered campaign calling on the provincial government to end fracking in BC. In addition to this, we’ll include some information about the Wilderness Committee’s history, structure and current campaigns. We will conclude our workshop with a jeopardy style trivia game about fracking, methane gas, so called “LNG” in BC, aimed at increasing participants’ level of knowledge about what LNG, Natural Gas and Methane Gas are and how they contribute to climate change in BC.

Biosphere: protecting biodiversity


Susgrainable rescues spent grains from craft brewers to create nutritious, delicious, and easy-to-make baking mixes, flours, and baked goods. Susgrainable is redefining what it means to have a sustainable business model by leveraging technology and partnerships to create Upcycled Barley Flour and Baking Mixes from what was previously considered waste in the beer industry. With our circular business model, Susgrainable is building a more resilient and sustainable food system that fights climate change. Our bold vision is to create a world where food waste and diabetes are a thing of the past. To do so, our recipe for success means staying true to our core values: Health, Collaboration, Empowerment, Accountability, and Fun. In doing so, we aim to strike the right balance to build healthier communities, healthier people, and a healthier planet! This workshop will include an interactive workshop discussion about “The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste,” providing eye-opening insight into the holes in our food systems.


CAM is a youth-led approach to collective action on the climate emergency. This initiative was created by the UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), whose mission is to provide students with community-engaged learning opportunities to bring meaningful change by co-developing projects in local communities. The UBC Climate Action Mobilizers seek to engage with communities across Vancouver to collaborate in the development of convening events, workshops, and climate conversations, to empower students and community members to take climate action.

During our workshop, participants will build their own microgreen growing kit using reused single-use takeout containers, and engage in a conversation about the benefits of zero-waste and sustainable food growing practices. Growing food at home is a circular practice that reduces waste from packaging and transport, and reduces the number of steps at which food loss and waste can occur on their way to the consumer. In addition to enabling individuals to start growing their own food, it teaches them valuable life-long practices and skills for self-sufficiency and fosters a connection with and appreciation of nature. We will provide growing materials and microgreen seeds for free, and participants are requested to bring their own container.