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April 2018 Newsletter

APRIL 2018

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.
*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***
Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.
For the latest updates, check out the SENS Facebook Event Page!

1 Everything Fermented: April 26th, 7 pm, Vernon’s Schubert Centre. 7 – 7:20pm: taste and chat at demo tables, 7:20 – 7:30pm: 10 minute (!) Annual General Meeting, 7:30 – 9pm: ‘how-to’ demos, questions, and tastings of breads and crackers, beverages, soft cheese, pickles, veggies and more! Mmmmm!

2. SENS Events for 2018 – 2019: Please contact us with topics you’d like to hear more about in the coming year! (

3. National Volunteer Week: Get involved April 15th – 21st!!! Theme: ”Celebrate The Value of Volunteering”.

4. Let’s Make Boomerang Bags: These sewn cloth bags, that replace plastic shopping bags, are now a major fad. They're easy to make and are taking cities by storm! Heck, Vernon is now a registered Boomerang Bag City! So if you’d like to help with sewing cloth bags by donation to or if you are part of an organization that would like to get involved please contact us ( or Also, if you would like to show kids how to sew these shopping bags on April 25th and/or May 16th, to coincide with reduction in plastic bag use in Vernon shops, please contact Joel at Vernon Christian School.

5. Boomerang Bag Sewing Bee: SENS will also be hosting this event at the library in late Spring. Stay tuned for details in our newsletter or Facebook page. We will be looking for volunteers as well as supplies. If you've made some bags you would like to donate for use as Boomerang Bags please drop off at Pink Spotted Goat (3103 32 St, Vernon) for labelling as “Boomerang Bag”.  They are also accepting donations of fabric for volunteers to use to make more bags. 


1. Farmers’ Markets:
Vernon: Friday afternoons, inside, Kal Tire Place.
Armstrong: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St. Hopefully ‘til end of April!
Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave.
Organic or GMO- and pesticide-free produce! Information is on their website.

2. Support This Used Books Sale: April 7th – 13th, 9 – 6 pm + April 14th, 9 – 4 pm, Armstrong/Spallumcheen Museum & Arts Society, 3415 Pleasant Valley Road. Non profits - bring boxes, 4pm, April 14, if you’d like ‘left-overs’ that might be of use to you. Questions? – call 250 546-8318 Tuesday mornings or email Gail Salter.

3.North Okanagan Naturalist Club: April 4, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel. Prof. Lael Parrott from UBCO speaks on "Where the wild things walk."

4.Friendly” Environmental Product Options: Pink Spotted Goat, a local business, provides alternatives to plastics from refillable products to beeswax bags, and much more.... Check them out!

5. Sustainable-Green Housing: April 7th, 1:30 – 4:30 pm, Okanagan College Theatre, Vernon. Find out about the latest ideas, technologies, and costs in having eco-friendly homes. There are speakers on Tiny Houses, energy efficiency advice, Living Challenge Homes, and more! Details here: Tickets ($15) available at the door. All proceeds allow the Canadian Federation of University Women-Vernon to fund two $1500 scholarships every year for local college students.

6. Eco-Friendly Home Tour (May 5th): On April 1st, tickets ($25 each) will be available at Vernon’s Bean Scene. Thank-you to CFUW Vernon for supporting two $1500 scholarships for local college students through this venture. For more info, email

7. Kidston Permaculture Project: April 28th, Kidston Elementary School. The garden team at the school are staging a ‘build’ day with the expertise of Gord and Jana of Eco-element Design. Helpers will create an outdoor classroom, playground, and amphitheatre. You can follow this project here. And should you wish to donate your cash or time, use this contact!

8. Allan Brooks Nature Centre: Want to get involved? You can: (a) Join work bees to get the ABNC up and running on April 5th, 6th, 11th , 12th, and/or 13th ; (b) Help to update or create displays; (c) Build new trails; and/or (d) Help with grounds maintenance… If interested, email

9. Vernon Grows: Our Local Public Seed Library’re joining with OK College library to conserve and save local seeds – Please donate your extras, even if you don’t have many left-over seeds!

10. Hullcar Valley Water: This recommendations report represents the culmination of Brandes’ review as informed by the expert advisory committee. A summary of media coverage can be downloaded here too! POLIS Water Sustainability also submitted a formal response to B.C.'s AWCR Intentions Paper.


1.YouTube Links: Green Energy Potential of Algae:

Graphene (fairy accurate info on it):

Plastic Bags:

2. Ending the Single Family Home (and Conserving Farmland): It's time to move on from single family homes, says UBC sociologist Nathan Lauster in this CBC article. As a sociologist, much of Lauster's research has focused on how cultural attitudes toward housing are evolving.

3. Plastic-free Supermarket Aisles: After a major Dutch supermarket chain confirmed a new plastic-free aisle, a grassroots movement to combat millions of tons of packaging waste is finally gaining momentum across Europe. For the full story, go here!

3. Divestment from Oil/Gas Industry: It’s one powerful mechanism for pressure on climate action… Here's a guide on how to do this. You could also do research for the bank you use !here Another option is to start divesting right from the get go using either of these funds: Vantage One’s Northwest Ethical Fund or Vancity’s IA Clarington Fund.

4. Toxic stormwater: What doesn’t kill them could alter their genetic processes.  New research from the University of Washington shows that stormwater that finds its way into urban water bodies is impeding salmon’s ability to function in their environment. Fish exposed to stormwater--which often contains heavy metals, suspended particles, and a variety of chemical and organic contaminants--had damage to sensors that allow them to navigate their environment.


1. Australia’s People and Rights to Water: In her latest book, Dr. Marshall pushes for law reform to protect Australia’s indigenous water rights and interests that were taken away to benefit white landowners. To learn more about her book, go here. Given the similarities to Canada's past and present treatment of our indigenous people, it has some good ideas worth reading!



SUMOFUS.ORG **Action re: First Quantum Minerals’ Pebble Open Pit Mine Project: It Threatens the largest world sockeye salmon run, Bristol Bay. Alaska's Previously Defeated Pebble Mine Project Has a New Investor ...

CHANGE.ORG **Action Re: Plastic Coffee Lids: Ask ,, to reduce plastic pollution by providing recyclable cup lids and supporting a bring-your-own-mug program (lug-a-mug).

AVAAZ.ORG **Google Agnico Mines’ plan for a gold mine in the Amazon. Indigenous Peoples are fighting to prevent massive destruction. According to Amazon Watch, the company already has at least 4,000 violations of environmental laws and regulations…


1. B.C. Forestry: CCPA's latest report describes how our province has allowed the clear-cutting of countless valleys, record exports of raw logs, and yet a steady decline in forestry jobs. The report does have a silver lining though! It claims that B.C.’s forest industry could once again thrive if we empower rural communities and First Nations in forestry decisions. You can learn more about these and other recommendations here.

2. BC’s Budget and Our Environment: According to the CCPA, thanks to the NDP being in power, we are finally seeing investments in the progressive solutions the CCPA has long advocated—a universal affordable child care plan, bold housing initiatives, fair tax reform (including eliminating MSP premiums), support for seniors and health care, investments in education, and more. That said, welfare rates remain thousands of dollars below the poverty line, and there was little to address climate change..


1. Action on Killer Whales: Join Ecojustice in calling on Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna to recommend an emergency order to protect Southern Resident killer whales. For more, here's their related podcast!


1. Steel-like Wood: This paper outlines a simple and inexpensive process for taking any wood and turning it into a super-strong, durable structural material 1/6 the weight of steel. It holds out the promise of inexhaustible, biodegradable, environmentally-friendly structural materials that can replace much of the mined, excavated and highly (and expensively) processed materials we use today!

2. B.C.’s KM Pipeline: Given that Kinder Morgan will triple the volume of Tar Sands oil flowing through B.C. and destined for Vancouver Harbour, it would seem prudent to make sure it's safe. Instead the federal government rushed the approval, ignoring a report from a group of both Canadian and American scientists... It might be time for us to stiffen our resistance to our national government's plans to expand the Tar Sands!

3. Stronger Federal Methane Rules Needed: “Reducing methane pollution has important health, environmental and job benefits, which is why these regulations must be implemented quickly and be at least as ambitious as our neighbours in the U.S.” For the entire article go here.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck

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