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January 2018 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:

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***
Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.

1. ‘Solar John’ Night: January 25th, 7pm. SENS director John Barling provides lots of solar ‘you can build’ ideas and plans this evening. All are welcome!

2. Cosmetic Pesticide Decision on Hold: According to this, “Vernon city staff say they won’t be able to prepare a report on the issue for council until late April.” …the topic is on the agenda again, January 8, City Hall….

3. SENS’ Local Action Network: The goal of this network is explained here. Join our network and make a difference. Just click on the Join us link to send an email


1. Farmers’ Markets:

Vernon: Monday and Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

Armstrong: Saturdays, 9 am– 1 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St until March.

Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave.

GMO and pesticide free produce! For more information, call 778-473-2230 or visit their website.

2. EE's New Partnership: Having now partnered, Element EcoDesign (EE) now officially provides sustainable home and land solutions, including lane-way design and energy efficient renovation services. The new company will still provide the same ecologically sound and highly productive garden and landscape designs.

3. EE's Permaculture Design Course is Still a Go: February 24th to May 6th, 2018, every second weekend for 6, two-day sessions. Details are here: Element EcoDesign (EE)

4. Naturalist Club: Jan 3, 7 pm, Village Green Hotei, Margaret Mackenzie speaks on Birds of Costa Rica.

5. Primeval - Enter the Incomappleux: January 18th, 6:30 pm at Kelowna’s Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre of the Arts. UBCO and Valhalla Wilderness Society discuss a Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park proposal and show this 20 min. documentary by Damien Gillis on B.C.'s Selkirk Mountains, one of the world’s last truly intact temperate rain forests.


1. U.B.C. News Video to Share: Here’s a short video that highlights some of U.B.C.'s accomplishments in 2017!

2. Self Repairing Roads: This new type of concrete is more resistant to cracking and more able to heal itself of cracks in months… Check it out!

3. Organics For Orphans: This Canadian non-profit teaches villagers in 5 countries in Africa to grow healthier organic food which then reduces malnutrition, and feeds many orphanages. Soil and water quality are improved, expensive pesticides are avoided, and indigenous fruit and vegetables are re-introduced. For more, visit

4. Tree Messaging: Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllebn offers a fascinating look at such things as how trees warn others (downwind!) of danger, or even how ‘mother trees’ give nutrients only to their own young saplings. Check it out! Also check out this TED talk on tree communication and food/chemical transfers.

5. Air Quality: The American College of Cardiology has shown that when polluted air is breathed in, the small particles can pass into the bloodstream and harm the heart and blood vessels directly. There are a few house plants that can clean the air (e.g. peace lily, bamboo palm, etc.). Here's the article!

6. Greenhouse Growing: Here's a cool (without added heat) video!

Sustainable Dome Home: Check it out again!

Cob Tiny House: From start to finish!

9. Grizzly Hunt Ban: Trophy hunting is no longer permitted in BC. With BC being one of only 2 provinces without endangered species legislation, more still needs to be done…especially with human- wildlife conflict, poaching, habitat loss with connections to wildlife food supply, and climate change threats.



1. Happy Activism: People become active in movements for various reason... To build friendships, prove that engagement works, and/or give our lives meaning! To read more, go here.



1. Action on Plastic Straws: In the U.S., 1.6 straws are used per person per day.. And a good chunk of that ends up as ocean waste! Ecosystems are being completely destroyed and various marine species are endangered as these straws are mistakenly as food. Royal Caribbean, as one of the largest cruise lines in the world, is being asked to ban the use of plastic straws on their cruise ships. Please sign this petition.


1. Action re:Levis Pollution: Levi’s invented blue jeans more than 160 years ago, trailblazing a new industry. But the clothing brand is a major polluter. Manufacturing a single pair of Levi’s 501 jeans produces the equivalent of burning 21 pounds of coal! Tell Levi’s to be an industry leader and drive the apparel industry towards sustainability!


1. Financing Big Oil to Stop: The World Bank announced it will end all financing of oil and gas extraction after 2019. For the full article, go here.


1. New Approach to Heating and Cooling Buildings: Evergreen is building a system that will create one of Canada’s first carbon-neutral buildings. This geo/solar thermal heating system that uses boreholes as its groundwork, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95% and reduce the building’s energy consumption by up to 75%. For more details on this, go here.


1. Good News: The Federal Court has ruled that a review panel was right to conclude that Taseko’s bid to build the “New Prosperity Mine” would have significant adverse effects on the area (central B.C.) For the full story, go here.

2. Fight to Protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence: A coalition of local groups launched a lawsuit in May over the unlawful replacement of an exploration license for the Old Harry oil and gas prospect in the Gulf. A potential spill at Old Harry - which is 7 times smaller than the Gulf of Mexico - could mar the coastlines of five provinces, threaten local fisheries, and endanger thousands of species. Currently a judge is considering whether the collation has the right to have their case heard... For more, go here.


1. Escaped Salmon: In August, over 300,000 fish escaped from a Cooke Aquaculture facility in Washington State and have been reported as far away as northern Vancouver Island. Will these farmed fish add too much competition to our already-strained wild Pacific salmon? Winter testing has to happen now to determine this. LOS needs to raise over $33,000 for lab tests, kits, snorkels, etc. To make a donation, please click here.

2. Ocean Plastics: 8 million tonnes of plastics end up in the oceans every year with a cost of over $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. By 2050 oceans will have more plastics than fish! Click here to send a letter to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, asking him for immediate action to develop a national strategy to deal with ocean plastics.

Click here to read LOS's latest newsletter. Or here, to send a donation to help their work along!


1. Shoreline Destruction and NAFTA: Back in 2002 an American company set its sights on our shoreline. Their plan to tear up our shore to harvest basalt was wisely rejected in 2007, as it would have significantly harmed the environment. In retaliation, the company sued the government for $443 million as “compensation” for its failed investment... and mind-bogglingly won! So now, with NAFTA re-negotiations under way, please Tell the PM that the new deal must benefit the environment, not corporate polluters!


1. Renewable Energy: Costa Rica used only renewables for more than 300 days in 2017. In 2016, China installed solar panels equal in area to about three football fields every hour. Scotland is on target for 100 per cent renewable energy in three years. Canada? Not nearly enough. We can do MUCH better!mindbogglingly


1. Learning to Phase Out Coal: On the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Bonn two months ago, Canada and the United Kingdom spearheaded the launch of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA).

Taking the world “beyond coal” will require more than the PPCA in its present form. Fortunately, international governance has a useful precedent: coal phase-out champions should learn from the global action against tobacco. Why? Because “coal is the tobacco of our time: a deathly addiction. Coal kills about the same number of people as passive smoking: 800,000 per year.”

2. To Check Out? (tens of billions!)


1. Nuclear Costs Report is Flawed: The Financial Accountability Officer of Ontario (FAO) has issued a report on the costs of nuclear power that relies on outdated and incorrect information to draw a highly misleading picture of the risks of continuing to pursue high-cost nuclear projects in Ontario. So please sign CAPE's petition requesting Premier Wynne to say “Yes” to Hydro Quebec’s offer to sell us clean, safe water power. Also be sure to listen to this 5 min. radio interview with Jack Gibbons.


1. Hullcar Aquifer: After years of advocating for a solution, there is hope on the horizon. Last month, an independent report was released about the contamination of the aquifer in Spallumcheen, B.C., which provides drinking water to hundreds of residents. The report outlines recommendations for the government to take action to address the root causes of the problem and to prevent similar issues from happening elsewhere in the province. In response, the Ministry of Environment released an intentions paper that commits to do just that. This is an important first step in addressing threats to our shared waters. Let’s make sure the government knows there is strong support for action to protect freshwater in B.C. Please sign this card.

Co-Edited with Egan Mandreck

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