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February 2019 Newsletter


Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4thThursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer. 
Mailing address: SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37thAve., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website:
*** 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. February Sustainability Film Fest (in place of a single SENS event on the 28th):
SENS & the Vernon library present these Free documentaries, with discussion to follow. Start time 6:30 pm. All are welcome!

Feb 7 - A River Film: Discusses management and protection of Okanagan water and how different groups compete for our water.

Feb 14 - Theater of Life: What if Food Waste Could Feed the Hungry? An Italian chef creates a gourmet kitchen by transforming food destined for the dumpster…. See how this impacts our environment.

Feb 21 - Us & Them: Filmed in Victoria; looks at city environment and life changes that cause homelessness and examines the repercussions for all of us.

Feb 28 - A Plastic Ocean: Discusses environmental impacts of oceans that are brimming with plastic waste from our global disposable culture. It also looks at solutions.


1. Farmers’ Markets: 

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

Lumby: Monashee Food Co-op, Shuswap Ave, year-round,

GMO and pesticide free produce!

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

2PLEASE ATTEND (if possible!): The cannabis industry company Green Amberfrom Ontario will make a presentation at a public meeting Thursday Jan. 31st, 4 - 5:30 PM at the Lumby Whitevalley centre, near the library. You may ask questions and comment verbally and in writing.Green Amberwish to pave a large amount of land (107,000 sq feet) in the Agricultural Land Reserve, erect an industrial complex and grow and process cannabis for profit rather than this rural land - within 600’ of the Shuswap River - being preserved for local food and farming. Local people feel that a cannabis industry belongs in Lumby’s industrial park with other industries and where services such as security, police and fire are available nearby. Please attend and show RDNO that the regional district should notsupport Green Amber in their non-farm use application.

3. North Okanagan Naturalists:Feb 6th, 7:00 pmVillage Green Hotel. Don Cecile speaks on the birds of East China and Yunan province.

4. Action - Greater Vernon Cultural Centre:This construction was OK’d via referendum in November. RDNO is expecting to build to LEED gold standard, however, why not ask them to go for LEED platinum, and to also consider the most up-to-date sustainability ideas available – such as solar chimneys, net zero energy, water conservation, green roofs, use of waste water to generate electricity and much more! RDNO expects to set up a public meeting soon to ask the public for suggestions as they are in the planning stage now.

5.Incineration? RDNO will soon discuss using this quick and (air)dirty solution for plastics (and other ‘garbage’?) rather than landfilling them. Instead, why not convert plastics of various types back into oil? Check this and ask RDNO directors not to consider incineration Also, tell them you are in favour of a plastics ban. This idea could recycle plastics: 

6.Biochar:Local Armstrong resident Dave Derbowka has created a videofor the International Biochar Initiative engineers at Ithaca College in New York. Check this for some great ideas for a new circular economy:


1. YouTube:a) Cars Converted to Electric:And they win races too... Checkitout!

b) Small Off-Grid Earthship:Checkitout!

c) Tiny Living in an $1800 Trailer:Checkitout!

d) Yurt Home, Off-grid, in Canada:

e)Tiny House With Greenhouse:

2.Green Economics: Feb 20th– 21th, 10 am – 5 pm each day, SFU Harbour Centre,515 W Hastings St., Vancouver.The Sustainability Network is giving a 2 day workshop for non-economists! Tickets cost$150 for NGOs and $250 for private sector/Govtemployees. To find out more, gohere.


1.Harbour Clean-up:There has been much remediation since 1985 when Toronto’s harbour was labelled as one of the Great Lakes’ ‘most polluted’ sites. Learn more about the significant ecological and economic benefits here: Cleanup of Toronto Harbour Leads to Waterfront Revitalization.

2. P.E.I.’s New Water Act: The new lawbans fracking and includes provisions to limit bulk water removal due to concerns about depleting groundwater reserves and concerns about drought.

3. Water Project Fund in BC:  Outdoor outfitter Mustang Survival and Freshwater Alliance have launched a new fund for action-oriented water projects in BC. Apply by Feb 28th!

4. Online Green Infrastructure Course:Sign upfor community groups+ concerned citizens who wish to learn more.

FROM SOCIAL MEDIA Connectivity is very important globally, so even if something is not in our back yard, it is still important for human health to protect a distant environment. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is lobbying to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to polar bears, caribou, and the Gwich'in Athabascan Native Americans. It’s the last untouched slice of nature in the US.Environmental surveys have already been watered down due to extensive lobbying so lease sales could start soon. Contact them: Arctic Slope Regional Corporation,P.O. Box 129Barrow, Alaska 99723,Fax:907-852-5733 ,Toll Free: 800-770-2772



1. Methane Pollution: Because so many citizens (via the Suzuki Foundation) asked the BC government to eliminate methane pollution from the oil and gas sector, the province is developing a modified version of the federal methane regulation for methane reduction. Methane is many times worse that carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. For the entire article,gohere.

2. Action - Goodbye Caribou:The species is threatened – 81 % of boreal herds in Canada are in decline. Please contact provincial and federal reps and ask them to honour their responsibility under the Species At Risk Act. ECOJUSTICE is now going to court to protect 5 herds of boreal caribou in Alberta because industrial development has destroyed/fragmented much of their habitat. They ask for monetary support for this endeavour.

3. False Claims: Google this: Canadian pipeline push promotes false and misleading claims for details on false claims, carbon pricing benefits, and lack of 'demand' for our bitumen.


1. The Wet'suwet'en Stance:Dr. Warren Bell, past founding president of CAPE, has written a thoughtful piece on the long term issues involved in this… Here's a small excerpt: “Today's political leaders, fearful of bold action, and tied to out-dated vested interests, are acting as if there will be no tomorrow.” For a similar piece, gohere. And for even more on the Site C dam and its impacts on the First Nations people, check out his book, “Damming the Peace", which is available from the library. It is also listed by Amazon. 

2. Canadians Doctors Back The Carbon Tax:Canadian doctors have thrown their weight behind carbon pricing, calling it the best “treatment” for the country. The recommendation is also being backed by the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Public Health Association. Alongside broad implementation of carbon pricing, a 2015 Lancet report calls for standardized surveillance of heat-related illness and deaths; the inclusion of climate change in medical and health sciences curriculum; more ambitious greenhouse gas emission and air pollution reduction targets; and more. For the full article, go here.


1. Staff Book Recommendations: 

2. Yellow Vests Protest: Fuel tax revisions without riots and what we can learn from Paris.

3. Sustainability Standards: Value of voluntary standards and a lookattheir hits and misses. Check it out!

4. Companies Must Disclose Climate Change Risks: A new report from the IISD sets out a three-year policy road map for Canada to adjust its financial ecosystem to support meaningful climate change action. Central to this policy map is mandatory transparency around climate change risks held by business. The report also sets out recommended steps to encourage private sector investment in climate action and the kind of changes necessary for Canada to meet its Paris Agreement targets. By doing so,sustainability becomes the newstatus quo!

5. Food Security: IISD has taken a stepto enhance the impact of their work. Check it out!

6. Harmful Fisheries Subsidies: A fundamental truth to humanity’s existence is that the Ocean sustains life on planet Earth. Be it by way of the effects of climate change, pollution, or over-fishing, there’s little doubt 2019 will be a critical year for protective action on behalf of the Ocean. One such action is prohibiting certain forms of fisheries subsidies, which contribute to overcapacity and over-fishing! Regardless of status, every nation, indeed every person in the world, has a stake in ensuring the resilience of the Ocean. To read the entire article, go here.


1.Building Sustainability in B.C.: In the lead-up to the provincial budget’s release, CCPA is publishinga series of blog postshighlighting their prioritiesand recommendations—mapping out the investments needed to tackle poverty and climate change, make life more affordable, ensure access to the public services people need, and build a strong, sustainable economy that works for all British Columbians. Be sure to check out the series! Also, please follow them onTwitter,Instagram,andFacebook.

2. B.C. Forestry:A recent report describes howTimberWest’s operations are threatening Vancouver Island communitiesand coastal forests, as the company exports unprocessed raw, old-growth logs to be milled in other jurisdictions, and sells stripped forest lands off to developers!


1. Health Canada is Not Protecting Us from Glyphosate: Health Canada recently responded to objections to re-registration of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide) by dismissing the key science and standing by their lack of transparency. They say that there won't be an independent review of roundup herbicide.Prevent Cancer Nowand other health and environmental groups, university professor and researchers, are disappointed that an independent panel will not scrutinize Canada’s primary pesticide.To read this entire article, along with some great quotes from objectors and experts, gohere.

1. Drilling Towards Disaster:A recently released analysis shows that the oil and gas industry in the United States is expanding further and faster than in any other country. Thiscompanion videoservesas a major wake-up call, especially for those elected officials that consider themselves climate leaders. Business as usual is just not going to cut it. We need to stop fossil fuel expansion and start a rapid and just phase-out of existing production in the U.S.! 


56 years ago, several Canadians launched a program to protect natural spaces and promote conservation. Their current push is to raise $740 million via donations to ‘do’ 500 new land conservation projects. The Conservancy is teaming up with Lowe’s Canada (includes Rona and Reno-Depot) to encourage customers to stop using plastic bags in their stores. The Conservancy will benefit from a small cost placed on standard bags (5cents) and thicker bags(10cents).

Co-Edited with Egan Mandreck



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