February 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 ***


February 23, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Sustainable Transportation: Road congestion and Planning For 2030. Whether walking, biking, carpooling, or bussing this concerns all of us in the community from children to seniors. Learn of successes, locally and around the world, that make for happier, healthier communities. Join us. Provide your input!

In Memorium – Rita Campbell: Rita, a life-long member and valued director of SENS, was actively involved in its inception in the early 70’s first with paper and glass recycling, then with running the local recycling depot, which SENS operated under its previous name (North Okanagan Recycling Society). Rita was a powerful advocate for recycling and for the environment. We will miss her.

Food As An Economic Motor: This January 26 event, initiated and facilitated by SENS director Huguette Allen (it attracted over 100 locals), was reported in both the Lumby Times and Vernon’s Morning Star. http://www.lumbyvalleytimes.ca/ **If you attended and left your e-mail address but did not receive any e-mails after, either your security is too high, or you did not print your e-mail clearly enough, so please contact me (jblissau@telus.net)!


1. Winter Markets: The Green Croft Market will be held every Wednesday, 2 - 6 pm, at Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall across from the school. The Enderby Market will be on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month (Feb 10, 24, Mar 9, 23), 2 pm - 5.30 pm, at the Enderby Senior Citizen Complex. The Armstrong Market is every Thursday, 1 – 5 pm, at Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St.

2. Fresh Outlook Foundation: More than 250 speakers and industry experts will be present for their 5th annual conference, Monday, February 27 to Thursday, March 1 in Kelowna. Details in this PDF.

3. BEE S.A.F.E Movement: This new and local (Lumby) initiative aims to promote a secure local food economy that is safe for bees, people, and the environment. The group hopes to educate and inform through films, workshops, and networking. BEE S.A.F.E. is looking for donations to help fill its bare office and also is seeking volunteers to assist at their new offices. Email Carla or call 250-547-6292. Also be sure to check out the My Valley Sun (MVS) story about BEE S.A.F.E.

4. Local Food Website: Check out the new Zcom Eco-village site and read the MVS feature on it. 

5. Cosmetic Pesticides Consultation: An all-party committee looking into cosmetic pesticides in the province received over 8,700 submissions, the most a B.C. parliamentary committee has ever received. From this and stakeholder feedback, the committee expects to table its report of recommendations during the spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly. For more information, please visit the Committee's website

6. Stop Vernon from Using Lethal Traps: There are humane ways to deal with wildlife that are more effective, safer, and less expensive. A ban would avoid needless suffering to animals and avoid killing non-target animals like pet dogs and cats. Council will only pass a ban if enough people show up for support for the Feb 13, 1:30pm presentation to Vernon council on this issue.  

7. School Travel Plans: Vernon City Staff are currently working with Silver Star Elementary and Hillview Elementary as well as Beairsto parents to plan safe routes for their students. Past improvements to school routes have seen sidewalks and pedestrian lights, widening of road shoulders, and a pedestrian bridge added to various roads.

8. Getting Back to Gaia-Anticipating the Growing Seasons: Feb9, 5 pm, Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard, Kelowna. Reserve ahead at www.okanaganinstitute.com/register.php $2 at door.

9. Information Technology- Hot Topic For a Warming Planet: Science In Society speaker series featuring Bill St. Arnaud, Green IT specialist, Wed., February 15, 7:30pm, Vernon’s Okanagan College Lecture Theatre. Tickets: $5 from the Okanagan Science Centre in advance or $7 at door.


1. Speaker at 100 Mile House, Feb. 7: World renowned author, educator and speaker, Richard Heinberg will be giving a public presentation at 7 pm. In it, expect to hear his “wry, unflinching approach based on facts and realism [as] Richard exposes the tenuousness of our current way of life and offers a vision for a truly sustainable future.” Also be sure to check out this recommended u-tube clip: 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds.  

2. ISA Virus: The Cohen ISA virus hearing made it clear that the salmon farming industry has grown beyond the control of government. In order to keep the fish markets open, the industry (in collusion with the DFO) lied to its buyers by claiming all ISA tests were negative, smeared the scientists who did get positive results, and gate-kept negative data. Apparently, our governments can't afford to protect wild salmon in the face of global fish farm market pressures! To read more, check out this blog and this wild salmon website.

3. Misleading Cell Phone Study: According to this article, a Danish Cohort study into cell phone radiation exposure was highly flawed, “not supportable by the obtained flawed data, and the study’s conclusions are misleading. They are leading the public to believe that the cell phones are safe, when no such claim can be made.”

3. Enbridge Oil Spills: According to this eye-opening article, Enbridge, the proposer of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, readily admits that they can’t stop spills; only try to minimize the consequences. The only question before us is how bad will it be when the inevitable happens. “In [B.C.’s] case, by the nature of the location the resultant spills will create appalling, ongoing and long-term consequences. We simply cannot let this happen.” Check it out!

4. Obesogens: The new theory into obesity (overeating is still not advised though) is that everyday chemicals are making us fat. For more, read this article. More details below, too.

5. Free Online Book on Smart Meters: This book comprises 265 pages of research and current knowledge of health & environmental effects from the smart meters. It’s highly recommended!

8. Gutting The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: This 1995 act was intended to engage the public and to promote sustainable development by forcing federal authorities to ensure that environmental assessments were done. There is a move by our federal government to reduce the scope and effectiveness of the CEAA. Please write to Environment Minister Peter Kent, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 or Peter.Kent@parl.gc.ca to express your concerns about the government’s intention to weaken the assessment laws and undermine sustainable development in Canada. Also cc to Prime Minister Harper, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, and the opposition parties’ environment critics, as well as your own MP. Engage your MP in discussion on this issue too, as most of them know little about it and don’t realize its importance. More, plus a raging grannies video at www.miningwatch.ca

9.Protection of Bendor and Cayoosh Mountains: This pristine, natural area, west of Lillooet and north of Pemberton, is of vital importance as a connecting link for wildlife, and contains many of the 2000 BC species of plants and animals that are at risk – especially grizzlies. There are plans for logging, mining, and an all season destination resort. Click on ‘wildlands’ at this site: www.wildernesscommittee.org or view www.statimc.net for maps, then write Premier Christy Clark, Box 9041, Station Prov Govt, Victoria BC, V8W 9E1 premier@gov.bc.ca to ask that these 2 mountains be protected within St’at’imc Tribal Parks.

10. Smart Meters: informational presentation, February 6, 7 pm, 2913 29th Avenue.


1. Resolutions that Help Save the Environment: Here is a list of the top New Year resolutions that you can pledge, and be proud of your commitment next year! Also check out www.cereplast.com.

2. Recycling Survey in B.C.: A study is underway into what happens to recycled materials province-wide. It will get a sense of the current state of the recycling infrastructure in B.C., including how much it costs to recycle all of the material that currently goes through the system. See full story.

3. E-Waste Décor; A Chilean recycling company, Recycla, donates pieces of old tech so that Alonso, a graphic designer, can create stools by pouring epoxy resin into a mold filled with the e-waste. Legs are made from cast aluminum. Each piece is original and dyes can also be added to the resin to add color. See Full Story.

4. Innovative composting in Kitsilano, Vancouver: Kitsilano’s Trafalgars Bistro and adjacent bakery Sweet Obsession are able to prevent 100 percent of their organic waste and about 98 percent of their remaining waste from making its way to the dump using a new composting machine in action. See Full Story.





1. Help Stop the Northern Gateway: Tell B.C. Premier Christy Clark to keep our coast tanker-free. Please e-mail Premier Clark and ask her to oppose the Northern Gateway tanker-pipeline project. Our coastal economies, ecosystems and cultures are not worth risking for the benefit of Big Oil.


1.Obesogens (chemicals that cause obesity): Globally, more than 1 in 10 of the adult population is obese and 33% of the world’s children are overweight. See www.hivehealthmedia.com/world-obesity-stats-2010. The Harvard School of Public Health found that the prevalence of obesity among babies had risen by 73% since 1980. This points to chemicals that have appeared over the past 40 years. Such chemicals (eg Bisphenol A) program the bodies of these babies to produce more fat cells. A recent CBC The Nature of Things program on this: https://bitly.com/A2E3m.

2.Natural Gas – Worse Than Coal? Shale gas, which is released by fracking – injecting water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground and hoping it doesn’t re-emerge in the groundwater – is worse than coal as a cause of global warming. The extraction and distribution of natural gas also releases raw methane, and molecule for molecule, over 100 years, methane traps 33 times more heat than CO2. Methane’s life in the atmosphere is ten years so, over 20 years, it traps 105 times more heat. Also, new research shows that shale gas operations may be releasing as much as 5.9% of their volume as methane. See: www.bcsea.org/past-webinars

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck