November 2017 Newsletter
Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4th Thursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer. Mailing address: SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org
1. 6th Annual Handmade Holiday Gifting: Saturday, November 18th, Noon to 3 pm, Schubert Centre. Come, bring the kids, and experience short, easy, but cost effective demos for foods, toys, knitting, candles, soaps and more! Let’s get away from consumerism and put the heart back into the holidays! Schubert Centre’s Thrift Store and cafe will also be open. Bring any unwanted craft items/magazines etc for the free table! SENS director Heather Miller has even organized for sourdough crackers to be shown this year as a possible gifting idea!
2. Connecting Non-Profits – A Pecha Kucha Night: November 23rd, 7 - 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Here, with the aims to connect with others and improve SENS' positive community work, local groups will present briefly about what they do, provide a short future-wish-list, then discuss positive actions in break-out sessions. Join us to help move Vernon towards a sustainable, regenerative region. Your ideas are welcome!
3. Action Inspiration: During our SENS October 26 Pro-Action meeting, it became evident that although the City of Vernon and our Regional District have signed on to the Blue Dot movement declaring that we have the "inherent right to a healthy environment which includes clean water, fresh air and healthy food” it is not preventing toxic chemicals from contaminating our sources of drinking water, as well as the soil and the air we breathe. 160 communities in Canada that have already signed on as Blue Dot Communities!
Many people spoke eloquently and emotionally about their struggles against destructive developments and of how laws designed to protect us are failing us. It became clear that every person or group working to protect our communities and environment is in need of help and support. It also became evident that no person or community is immune to environmental destruction.
It was proposed that SENS coordinate an Action Network. The way this would work is that people who subscribe to it would receive an email when local action to protect our environment is being planned and would know who to contact if they want to get involved. No one would have to take action, but all subscribers would be informed that an action or petition is taking place and what they can do to help it succeed should they choose. Thank-you to Huguette for organizing this powerful evening!
If you wish to have your e-mail on this Action Network List, please reply to Huguette (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that your e-mail can be added to this list.
Our first action: Nov 27, 1:30pm Vernon City Council Chambers. Wear a blue shirt and attend to show your support. SENS director, Terry Dyck, will present numerous pages of a petition to ban cosmetic pesticides and ask Council to honour their recent vote to become a “Blue Dot” community by implementing a ban. Far too much valid proof is already ‘out there’ to dispute the major damage to us and our environment from cosmetic pesticides. Mark your calendars for November 27!
4. Repair Café, May 2018: SENS organizes one per year – but in Kelowna it’s 2 times a year with RDCO staff running it and sourcing many volunteer repairers… here’s a link for the latest one in Kelowna: https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-2092...
5. Healthy Bee Fly “Lanes”: SENS Director Sheila Campbell is working with local bee experts and interested citizens to plan interconnected Pollinator Pathways all over our community. Plantings would be pollinator, native, and xeriscape in nature. Should you wish to be contacted for the next meeting e-mail Sheila at email@example.com
1. Farmers’ Markets:
Vernon: Monday and Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.
3. Green Drinks: Monday, November 6th, 5 – 7 pm, Marten Brew Pub, 2933 30th Ave in Vernon. These are informal gatherings of those in the environmental field but open to all. Attend and enjoy the flow of ideas and make new contacts. Contact Matt for more information.
4. Finding Green Jobs: November 6th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Vernon’s Okanagan College. Interactive seminar on what green jobs are, the skills and knowledge needed, and what to expect; All of which will assist us in transitioning to a green economy. For more information, phone 250 545 7291 ext 2850 .
5. BX Ranchland’s Future: November 21st, 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre. As our community grows we need park-like space to ‘re-create’ ourselves and give us quality of life. The BX/Swan Lake Community Association wishes to share a vision with you for this large open green space! Please attend this public presentation. For more, check out their blog.
6. Innovation Through Collaboration: November 21st – 24th, Delta Grand Hotel, Kelowna. This Fresh Outlook Foundation Conference talks about climate action, water stewardship, food systems/security, community capital/infrastructure, and much more. For registration details, go to their website.
7. Permaculture Design Certificate Workshop: Every 2nd weekend, February 24th - 25th , March 10th -11th, 2018 etc to May5th-6th, Vernon. Gord and Jana of Element Ecodesign will be presenting this workshop. For more info, go here! Also be sure to check out these related food gardening sites: The Hip Homestead blog, Home for the Harvest, and an article on Planting and Growing Organic Garlic!
8. Shuswap Clean-up: This is an annual event, with SENS director Huguette Allen assisting in much of the promotion, organizing, and feeding of volunteers. It’s a great way to ‘pay back’ for being able to live in such a wonderful environment. http://mlccrc.ca/node/80
SENT BY MEMBERS OR READERS
1. Off-the-Grid Tiny House: Check out this intriguing video!
Electric Car with Very Thin Batteries: Here's one of the most eco-friendly cars yet!
Arctic Glass Dome Eco-House: Here's a neat home deign for cold regions...
Insects are Dying Out Quickly: Here's a very troubling piece from the Guardian!
Vegetable Injections and Dyeing in India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfKSUTIQcI
2. Volunteering Works: According to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, volunteers helped at habitat protection events this year so that another 10 species were protected. See the 10 species here >
1. Dollar Costs of Climate Change: This piece, from the National Geographic, has a graphic partway through that really lays out in clear terms what the growing economic costs of dealing with climate change really are. And these are probably underestimates...
2. Hydro One Investing in Coal: It’s mind-boggling that in their first move as a private company, Ontario's Hydro One became a shareholder in an American coal-fired generating station?!? It’s simply wrong for them to buy shares in coal, especially when Ontario banned it there. As taxpayers, we still own 40% of Hydro One. We have a right to oppose this deal, and should have a voice in other decisions moving forward.
1. Advocacy at Work: After the mobilization of almost 2 million Avaazers worldwide, appeals from activists, celebrities, ally MPs in Brazil, and a major media push, Brazil’s President Temer gave in and vowed to protect the Amazon reserve! The fight is far from over, but this victory reaffirms that every voice matters!
1. Toxic ISDS Rules in NAFTA: Apparently, Canada is being sued by an American mining company after Quebec put a temporary ban on fracking under the St Lawrence River. Their\\y’re claiming they have a “right to mine for oil and gas” under some toxic ISDS rules in NAFTA! Cases like Lone Pine vs Canada are exactly why we’re fighting together to scrap these rules from NAFTA. For the entire story, go here.
1. A Garden of Opportunity in Peru: With the support of CUSO International donors, guardians of traditional plant knowledge (often women) in the Peruvian Amazon will have a chance to build a solid foundation of savings that helps them achieve bigger dreams, like sending their children to university. Please help support Cuso International to aid marginalized communities and let them thrive.
1. Kinder Morgan: In early October, Ecojustice appeared in court to show that our federal government broke the law because it abandoned legal responsibilities to protect endangered species when it approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. If approved, the increased tanker traffic, underwater noise, pollution, and spill risk could wipe out our 76 killer whales still remaining. For the whole story, go here.
2. Energy East Pipeline: Success! Ecojustice exposed the bias of the former National Energy Board review panel, and thus caused new panel members to be appointed. These members considered the pipeline’s full climate change impacts and determined that TransCanada’s project should not go ahead. It's dead!
1. Environmental Leaders: Three David Suzuki Fellowships are available for 50,000 each (plus $5,000 for travel and professional development) in the following categories: Climate change communications, Indigenous knowledge and climate change, climate change adaptation and cities. If you know someone who wants to make a world of difference, please help spread the word.
1. Atrazine: Atrazine is used commonly to kill weeds in corn fields, and is commonly found in Canadian water. It was banned in Europe in 2003 due to widespread groundwater contamination, which should've triggered a special review in Canada. But with planting season looming, on March 31, 2017 atrazine was instead re-registered. This means yet another year of atrazine in Canada’s fields, food and water. Doh!
2. IBD and Cancer: In 2017, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Canadian youth below sixteen years of age increased, driven by a horrifying 7% increased incidence in children younger than five. Here's a related article.., Likely with common causes as IBD, colorectal cancer increased in 15 to 29 year old Canadians.
FROM SIERRA CLUB OF CANADA
1. Watch For Wildlife: Both people and wildlife suffer significantly when struck by vehicles, so Watch for Wildlife has developed a brochure with tips to educate drivers about wildlife on the roads, how best to avoid hitting them, and what to do if a collision occurs. Check out their website! The site also has bumper stickers available for anyone who wants to put them on their vehicles to help raise awareness of wildlife on our roads.
Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck