January 2012 Newsletter



The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***


January 26 – Shaping Our Future Through Food. 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Panel discussion and audience participation on how our towns and rural areas can be resilient and flourish when we make local food the economic motor for future growth.

Guinea Pig” Homes Wanted: SENS director Huguette Allen is researching ecological sanitation (greywater recycling, composting toilets and more) for RDNO and hopes to see a pilot project initiated soon in Vernon. If you would like your home to be a “guinea pig”, contact her at huguette@imagine-ere.ca. For more, visit www.sensociety.org and click on Ecological Sanitation.

Liquid Waste Management: Click here for the latest short report on the Liquid Waste Management Plan - click on report #2.

AND, More About Local Water Use: The Regional District of the North Okanagan is asking for input, until January 20, into their new Water Use Restrictions. Chart is available at www.rdno.ca/water , at RDNO, City Hall, Vernon Library, and Coldstream Municipal Hall. Please comment!

We may not get a lot of snow to provide our melt water for summer and early fall use from now on. Would you prefer to have more severe restrictions NOW on non-essential water use so that there’s lots for our food producers in the summer? Should Stage 1 be our “Normal”? Do we really need to water lawns in spring or summer (other countries ban it!)? Would you prefer to abide by the minimal restrictions of ‘normal’ or ‘stage 1’ of the chart and possibly be at level 3 or 4 restrictions later that impact everyone severely because we did not conserve early in the year? We are moving towards more drought due to climate change…and we are said to be the water hogs of the world…


1. Winter Markets: The Green Croft Market will be held every Wednesday, 2 pm - 6 pm, at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall across from the school. The Enderby Market will be held on the Fridays of January, 2 pm - 5.30 pm, at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

2. The 2012 Walmart–Evergreen Green Grants: Supporting community development, environmental stewardship, and urban agriculture with projects across Canada (funds of up to $10,000) this greening program is now open to applicants. The deadline is January 31, 2012. For more information on how to enter, please visit the Evergreen’s Green Grants page.

3. The Occupy Movement: "Occupy Wall Street" occupied Vernon recently as a group including Greens gathered by the Library with signs & music. The message being that the root cause of inequality and environmental destruction is the unregulated acts of greedy corporations, while governments promote private advantage over the public interest. For others’ views on the movement, visit www.naomiklein.org, www.chrishedges.net, and www.chomsky.info.

4. Naturalist Observations Wanted: Environmental assessments are being carried out on the aquatic, wetland, and riparian ecosystems and habitats along the Swan Lake foreshore and BX Creek to identify the impact proposed works will have. Compiling data on these habitats and the wildlife (plants, birds, etc.) is essential! If you have any wildlife observations as it relates to Swan Lake and BX Creek, please contact Kyle Hawes (khawes@ecoscapeltd.com).

5. Save the Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve: Please watch this video on how you can help save this reserve! Contact Randy Schellenberg (250 308-7969) of www.savesilverstarpark.org for more information.

6. “Salmon Hero” Workshop: Near the close of this workshop, two awards (that included cheques for $2,500) were presented to Tom Minor and Gay Jewitt of the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre and Neil Brookes of the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre for exceptional leadership in the field of salmon habitat stewardship. For more on their projects, go to www.thinksalmon.com.


1. Rust Decontaminates Soil: Superfine iron dust releases electrons as it rusts. It has just been shown that these electrons will break down pollutants such as dioxins, PCB’s and many pesticides at minimal cost and with no environmental harm. For more on this incredible find, go here.

2. Your Brain’s Environment:  Exercising your brain causes a jump in your IQ. It is suspected that the training makes the brain become more efficient, using less energy and more oxygen. So how did you fare at work after this last holiday?!? For the article, go here.

4. GHG’s, Arctic Ice and Thawing Tundra: Methane, which is 40 times more damaging than carbon dioxide for climate change, is being released in large quantities as more and more ice melts. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html

5. Veganism Anyone? Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines (actually don’t). As a recent report from the World Preservation Foundation shows, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change. A global vegan diet (of conventional crops) would reduce dietary emissions by 87 percent. In addition, going vegan would reduce the costs of fighting climate change by 80%. So why is everyone so against this simple measure? Read why in this article.

6. Smart Meters – Not So Dangerous?: The fact is that the cell phone is a lot more dangerous than the Smart Meter. According to this article, “a 1-watt cell phone 1 inch from your brain is 1,296 times stronger than a 1 watt smart meter 3 feet away … So far, the claims I’ve seen that the radiation from a smart meter is somehow “special” do not pass [the] test.” Reassuring to know!

Compare the science in the article above with this video! In it, Magda Havas demonstrates how WiFi connects your laptop, iPhone and iPad to the internet via microwave radiation. You will also learn how WiFi base stations, portable phones and baby monitors constantly radiate microwave radiation. Her website is well worth visiting too.

7. Breath Taking Video: Here’s an excellent video on our beautiful world.

8. Pesticides Report: This report tells it like it is! Here’s a quote: "Toxic pesticides are poisonous, and they are making us sick. The diseases that we are exposed to everyday are not random, and they are caused by the spraying of these pesticides." It goes on to show us the destructive impacts they have on DNA, birth defects on newborns, and the increases in cancers.

9. Demise of the CWB: Here’s a good article on how abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board will affect family farms in Canada. The consequences are numerous and far-reaching, negatively affecting: local food processing, transportation, global warming, food security, and energy efficiency. It also paves the way for more genetically modified crops.

10.Bicycle Trivia: A British Medical Journal report says 2/3 of their doctors feel helmet laws make people give up cycling despite the health benefits. However, a recent Canadian study showed that over the last 10 years serious head injuries are down 30% due to helmet use(mostly in children). In Vilnius, Lithuania their frustrated mayor used a tank to crush cars parked illegally in bike lanes...

11.Leadership and Mental Illness: Google “Brian Bethune, Maclean’s, mental illness” for an intriguing interview on why normal “sane” leaders, biased towards optimism, are not capable of being good political and military leaders in a crisis. Those with mental illnesses are much more capable because they are realistic, creative, and empathetic.


1. 12 Days of Cancer Prevention: Visit their website at http://tinyurl.com/7r9d49b for the 12 tips.


1. Recycling for Revenue: In the Victoria region, recycling diverts almost 20,000 tonnes of material a year — more than a third of the waste generated in the region. A good chunk of this “garbage” is broken down to its parts, from wood waste to old mattresses, allowing a local growing industry to mine society’s waste for tomorrow’s new products.  Read full story.


1. Parks Canada; Boreal Forests; Holiday Deals: Having just celebrated its 40th Anniversary, Alternatives is proud of its latest issue: Inside Forestry (Vol. 38, No. 1). In it, author Jeff Gailus (The Grizzly Manifesto) looks at Parks Canada. The issue also features Andrew Nikiforuk on the wake of the pine beetle, Margaret Atwood on the strength of the Greenbelt, and CPAWS' best photos of 2011. Visit www.alternativesjournal.ca for more.


1.Organic Farming Is More Profitable:…and restores healthy soil and wildlife, requires much less energy, stores carbon in the soil, provides vital nutrients for our health, ends nitrogen-run-off pollution, and removes the cancer dangers linked to farmland chemicals. It also provides equal or better yields than traditional farming. Iowa State University’s Long-Term Agro-ecological Research Experiment showed this. Organic crops earned $200 an acre a year more than the conventional crops. In drought years, organic yields are 31% higher than from conventional farming. Rodale’s research: http://organicalberta.org/news/study-debunks-myths-on-organic-farms shows an average net return of $558 per acre per year for organic farming, compared to $190 for conventional - 300% higher income! A UN study shows that organic farms create 30% more jobs per acre. The organic farmer’s money is creating jobs, rather than buying chemicals.

2. ACTION On Climate Change: Write to Premier Christy Clark, and urge her to make action on climate solutions a top priority. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts note that 2012 will bring more extreme storms, floods, droughts and wildfires. It’s 99% certain that hot days have become more common; 66% likely that climate change has caused more heatwaves, intense rainstorms and extreme high tides; 90% certain that heatwaves will get worse; and 66% likely that hurricanes, intense rain and landslides will increase. Premier of British Columbia, Box 9041, Station Prov Gov, Victoria V8W 9E1 tel: 250-387-1715

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck