Best of Vancouver: Greening Your Life

 Got a list of things you need to fix, change, upgrade? But don’t know where to start, or how to sort the experts from the charlatans? We’ve done the dirty work for you. We looked far and wide, asked customers and competitors, and tried out many of these enterprises ourselves. Here’s the inside track to the city’s miracle workers.


Donate your first-generation iPhone, DVD player, or any other workable technology that no longer makes your personal cut to Ifny Lachance at Free Geek Vancouver. It’ll reach someone in need-her local chapter is part of a network flung as far as Florida. Free Geek Vancouver, 1820 Pandora St., 604-879-4335.

Just can’t deal with one more cardboard box? Plucky local FrogBox will drop off a set of modular, stackable, eco-friendly plastic boxes, totes, and wardrobes at your old place and pick ’em again at your new place (forcing you to unload the goods in a timely manner). They’re cheap (from $79 per week for 25 boxes and a dolly) and easy on the environment. FrogBox, 877-376-4269.

Tired of the dirty looks you get when you, say, hoist an old bucket of paint into someone else’s dumpster? There’s a Recycle Everything Day (third Saturday of the month) at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre and Vancouver’s Britannia Centre. The folks at Pacific Mobile Depot will take CD cases, plastic plant pots, toothbrushes, garbage cans, shopping bags, and polystyrene foam cups. For a small fee, you can also rid yourself of batteries, DVD players, video game consoles, cellphones, computers, and even foam peanuts. Pacific Mobile Depot, 250-893-8383.

Sticker shock can prevent even the most well-intentioned consumer from choosing the nontoxic over an “I hope I don’t get cancer” option.Greenworks Building Supply is ground zero for envirofriendly products that run the gamut from paper-based countertops to home insulation made from blue jeans. In-house designer Caede Pungente can help you find “lighter green” options like the 100-percent wool rugs from Nature’s Carpet (from $3 per square foot) or recycled low-VOC paint from Boomerang ($25 a gallon)-and ease your guilty conscience. Greenworks Building Supply, 386 W. Eighth Ave., 604-685-3611.

Other Rolodex-worthy experts who specialize in:

Home Entertaining
Getting Fit 
Fashionable Alterations
Who Ya Gonna Call?