Tuesday, April 28th, 2021

To our workshop presenters, attendees, YHDs, and sponsors:

Thank you for making our first-ever online day conference such a success! This year, we have faced some unexpected hurdles, and as we recover from the fallout of the pandemic, it is important to consider our impact on sustainability. We’re so glad you could join us and share in the spirit of sustainability with Vancouver youth.

Some highlights from the UNITY conference:

  • Vancouver Humane Society: “What is the biggest single personal choice you can make to reduce your impact on the environment, including the climate?”
    • Canada overproduces in terms of meat production and consumption – we consume 90kg per capita annually, among the highest in the world, where most eat only 40kg a year. To meet this high demand, industrial production of animals is used – cramped, squalid, and dark, known colloquially as “factory farming”. Factory farming has extremely detrimental effects on the environment and cutting back on your meat consumption can help reduce your carbon footprint, as well as your impact on the environment as a whole.
  • Fashion Takes Action: “What is the impact of the fashion industry on our environment?”
    • A garbage truck of textiles is burned every second of every day. For every 100,000 people who wash polyester clothes every day, 100kg of plastics are released, equal to 15K plastic bags. As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy. We can have a greater impact than we think just by making a few small adjustments.

Featured Organizations

The Vancouver Humane Society:

The Vancouver Humane Society is a registered charity dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. Since 1984, we have been encouraging individuals, organizations, and governments to take responsibility for the welfare and rights of domestic animals and wildlife influenced by human activities. Funding comes primarily from donations, and many of our activities are made possible through the generous assistance of volunteers.

Fashion Takes Action:

Fashion Takes Action is a non-profit organization established in 2007 to advance sustainability in the fashion industry through education, awareness, research, and collaboration. We achieve this through various initiatives such as the WEAR Conference, our Sustainable Fashion Toolkit, our youth education program, through various research projects related to circularity in fashion, as well as meet-ups, speaking engagements, and global awareness campaigns. Collaboratively, we are helping move the needle on sustainability.


Dogwood is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization working in the unceded Indigenous territories known as British Columbia. Dogwood brings people together to transform our democracy, uphold Indigenous rights and defend the climate, land, and water that sustain life in B.C. Our supporters, volunteers, donors, and staff value people, the environment, justice, and democracy.

Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver is a federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area, and one Treaty First Nation that collaboratively plans for and delivers regional-scale services. Its core services are drinking water, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management. Metro Vancouver also regulates air quality, plans for urban growth, manages a regional parks system, and provides affordable housing. Metro Vancouver’s Youth4Action programs support high school youth to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to inspire sustainability and livability.

Meet the Workshop Facilitators!

Julia McCann

Vancouver Humane Society 

Julia is the Program Coordinator for the Farmed Animal (Go Veg and Plant-Based Plates) programs at Vancouver Humane Society. She has completed a Masters of Environmental Studies from Queen’s University and one of her main passions is developing sustainable food systems. Her background includes various work and volunteering with non-profits in food security/justice, emergency food distribution, community gardens, sustainable and local agriculture and community development.

Sarah Perkoning

Fashion Takes Action

Sarah is our Vancouver-based education coordinator and facilitator. She had always loved making her own clothes, but didn’t know how to link fashion to her deep concern for workers’ rights and the planet. After finally settling into Vancouver, she spent two years with Eco Fashion Week coordinating the 81lbs Challenge and Upcycling Stylist Challenges with VCAD students, local stylists, and Value Village, and initiated a Fair Trade designer challenge for Canada’s 6th National Fair Trade Conference. In her spare time, she interviews small eco-brands and leaders like Poeme, Fab Cycle, and Jessica Redditt on her blog www.thelove.ca .”

David Mills


David has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Victoria and has worked across natural resource management and public sector fields. Outside of work David is a children’s program coach with the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club.

Bruce Ford, B.Ed., M. Ed.


Bruce is a proud husband, father and teacher. He lives, works, plays and learns on the shared traditional territories of the Coast Salish First Nations. Bruce grew up in Metro Vancouver, Ethiopia and Malaysia. He recognized at an early age the privilege and quality of life enjoyed in our region and how it is often taken for granted. Bruce brings his passion for sustainability, education, collaboration and leadership to his ongoing work with Metro Vancouver School and Youth Leadership Programs.  These programs inspire and equip K-12 teachers, students and high school youth leaders to make sustainability personal, local, action-oriented and fun through engaging and curriculum-connected field trips and facility tours, teaching and learning resources, teacher professional development and youth leadership programs. 

Cecilia Jaques, BA, MSc.


Cecilia believes that the voices of youth are fundamental to creating a climate future where people and planet can thrive and is committed to leveraging her knowledge and passion for sustainability to advocate for climate justice through her work with Metro Vancouver School and Youth Leadership Programs. Cecilia is grateful to be situated within the traditional ancestral territories of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations where she spends her free time hiking, cycling, climbing, and exploring the abundance of nature at our doorstep.