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December 2018 Newsletter

December 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.


1.  There are no SENS events planned for December.  Enjoy your family and friends and ‘Down Time’ safely!

2. “Make It”: Recipes by presenters from our October 25th evening short demos should be on the SENS website now! A “Hands on Make-and-Take-Home” day is set for January 19, noon – 3 pm, Schubert Centre. Please sign up very soon with Julia at  so that we may ensure we have sufficient supplies for making laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, tooth oil, calendula cream, and more! All you need to bring are enough glass containers and small squirt bottles. Check out the Recipes on the website then tell us what your ‘make it’ interests are! Also, why not bring old T shirts and we’ll make a few “Boomerang” shopping bags to reduce single plastic bag use! 

3. Seeking “Old Coots”: Seedy Saturday in 2019 is set for March 16th.   If you're experienced with green-ish thumbs, willing to dress the part (!?), and want to have a fun day talking to other wanna-be gardeners and answering the weirdest questions, please contact Heather at   


1. Farmers’ Markets: 

            Vernon: Kal Tire Place, Fridays, 11 – 3 pm, indoors for the winter.   

            Lumby: Monashee Food Co-op, Shuswap Ave, year-round, GMO and pesticide free produce!  website.

            Armstrong: Saturdays, 9 – 1, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St. until March or later.

 2. The Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance contributed their recent salmonid results via the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Project (OCCP) newsletter: It was an exceptional year for Broodstock and the Sockeye Reintroduction Program! Results have been very promising; the program has been a success story, with this year’s returns one of the highest to date”. Keep Reading

 3. Green Economics: A Two-Day Training Intensive for Non Economists: The Sustainability Network is sponsoring the workshops at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings in Vancouver,  February 20-21, 2019, 10 – 5 each day. $150 (NGO’s) or $250 (private sector or government). Registrations:


1. Youtube Links: (a) Tiny Houseboat in Quebec, (b) DIY Off Grid Tiny House, (c) Yurt Life and Permaculture in High Sierras, (d) Earthship Home (using tires, cob,  sand, straw), and (e) Innovative Bike DesignsInnovative Bike Designs: , $13 K Tiny House:

2. Vegetarians Protect The Environment: Environmental research on the impact of farming on 2 different types of protein has shown that, per kilogram, kidney beans use 18 x less land, 10x less water, 9 x less fuel, 12x less fertilizer and 10x less pesticide than beef. (Jan/18 Alive mag).

 3. Rowing the Northwest Passage (2017): Kevin Vallely, the author of this book, inspired by the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and a lover of sculling, chose to do this ‘trip’ to see the impacts of Climate Change first hand. Check it out for a warm cozy indoors read!...Safely! 

 4. Just Do It! -  Avoid Xmas Wrapping Waste!:

 5. Extreme Weather Shrinking the Planet: a long read but well worth the effort ... note the description of large corporate and political inaction on climate disruption as 'predatory delay'

6.Climate Change: 

a)Check out the BCC’s 10 top actions… 

b) Guy Dauncey’s Offensive:  write as soon as possible to New Democrat and Green Party MLAs to impress upon her or him the urgency of Climate Change action, and to present a set of 12 climate policy requests (see below) that are appropriate to the scale of the crisis. The goal of the Offensive is that every NDP and Green MLA should receive 50 letters, urging rapid action.  The second goal is that people will step up to seek a meeting with their MLA, to impress the same urgency and solutions in person.

The IPCC  notes the need to reduce emissions globally by 45% by 2030 if we are to limit the warming to 1.5C.

 7. Via UBC Science -  Bye Bye Birdie: Researchers replicating a 1985 ornithology survey in the Peruvian Andes have discovered that the area’s bird populations have moved upslope due to global warming. Some populations have disappeared altogether.


1. Action - Disgusting Levels of Sea lice: Living Oceans' latest report details how lice counts on Clayoquot salmon farms during the summer of 2018 have soared to levels we have never seen before in B.C. Worse, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans knew this was coming and did not protect wild salmon from the impacts. Send a letter! Tell Fisheries Minister Wilkinson to get the salmon farm netpens out of the ocean NOW!   


1. Environmental Assessment Standards: Along with Sierra Club BC, Ecojustice is asking the B.C. government to follow its own environmental assessment standards. The Government recently exempted Progress Energy Town’s dam and their Lily Dam ( 5 and 7 storeys respectively) from having assessments done…after they’d already broken the rules in building them. Stored water would be used in fracking.  Height threatens safety and the environment….More here.


1. Palm OilCHANGE.ORG reports that a video on Palm Oil made in Iceland has been banned (too political). The video asked Kellogg’s to stop destroying rainforests for cheap palm oil… 

2. Unfair Tax Upheld: Unbelievably, the Canadian Revenue Agency lost, in its appeal in tax court, to a ruling which stated that billionaire mining company Cameco doesn’t have to pay its taxes! For the full, sordid story, go here. 

3. Time to Clean Up our Social Media: AVAAZ has major concerns with Facebook allowing hate messages and fake news to spread. There are hundreds of millions of active fake news accounts! One case in point is the hate spread by the new president of Brazil towards those who oppose his idea to bulldoze the Amazon… Click here to sign their petition to clean up our social media! 

4. Monsanto Papers: In a sumofus  report, Health Canada used fraudulent studies written by Monsanto employees to renew the registration for Monsanto’s carcinogenic pesticide, glyphosate, for 15 years. Health Canada needs to urgently re-open the regulation of this toxic herbicide and ensure that the information it uses to approve this cancerous chemical come from truly independent sources. Sign the petition asking Health Canada to re-open glyphosate registration and investigate the decision to renew this registration. Ecojustice is also working to change this decision.


1. Climate Solutions via Nobel Prize Economists: Having been recognized for the value of carbon pricing, one wonders how influential their research will be given the emphasis on well-being (not on ever increasing material wealth)? For the entire article, go here. 

2. Resident B.C. Orca Plight: Excerpt: “Just 74 remain, and none has successfully given birth in three years... Humans are the main threat to wildlife. We must take responsibility and change our destructive ways. If we want orcas and other species to survive, we should look in the mirror and change our own behaviour.“ More: go here. 

3. Check These Out: Queen of Green’s tips for a zero waste holiday seasonrecommendations of important books and films and David Suzuki’s words on how you power positive change.

 4. “Tackling climate change requires healing the divide”  This previous sentence starts an article (google it!) that looks at innovations by some large cities in Alberta despite climate change being politicized and thus not being discussed by all of us…

FROM IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development)

1. World Trade Organization: Excerpt: What with its “current timid leadership” and “hostility from the Trump administration”, “The World Trade Organization (WTO) faces its most critical test.” More about plight: go here!

 2. Alternative to the GDP as a Measure of Progress: Excerpt: “GDP measures income today. But what matters in the long run is wealth, the foundation of income in the future. More specifically, that country’s combined produced, natural, human, financial and social capital. Canada—and all countries—must begin ... to go beyond GDP and measure [its comprehensive wealth]! For a great read, go here.

 3. Biodiversity Threat: Excerpt: “Despite the rapidly developing base of knowledge on the threat that loss of biodiversity represents, despite the stream of reports that track the bleak trends, public debate has flat-lined over the past three decades as the situation continues to accelerate towards the abyss.” We need action! More: go here.

 4. Stop Hibernating Electronics: Excerpt: “We could all take a page out of the bear’s book when it comes to our old electronics. For the bear, spring offers the chance to refuel, re-energize and re-engage with the world around them. Our phones, laptops, and other electronics need to do the same. Getting these products out of hibernation and into action will be a key contribution to the sustainability of mineral supply chains and the circular economy. “More; go here.

 5. Zambia's Mining Solution: Excerpt: “There is an opportunity to create a system that rewards investments in efficiency and self-generation. This can solve two problems at the same time: it can incentive mines to reduce their electricity consumption and it can make an increase in electricity prices to cost recovery levels easier. “ More: go here.

 6. Biodiversity Conservation: Excerpt: “If we are going to move beyond [this depressing trend of accelerating species/ecosystem loss occurring presently, we need to] seriously question the [global] economic model, that has demonstrated its terminal inability to value social and natural capital, in order to avoid the headlong rush toward ecological destruction. “ For the entire article, go here. 

7. Citizen Science: Excerpt: “We must see more initiatives like [Atlantic DataStream] that bring scientists and citizen scientists together to address data deficiency in the name of environmental protection across Canada. If communities in Atlantic Canada can come together to flag environmental issues and then harness their collective power to address them, then the rest of us need to take note. “ For the entire article, go here.

Co-Edited with Egan Mandreck

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