October 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 ***


1. October 25, 7 pm, Schubert Centre: Eco-sanitation (environmentally safe/clean way of handling human waste that saves taxpayers $$$ millions!) How do we get local government to endorse it?

2. Carpool Week (October 22 – 26): Start arranging your carpool buddies! Go here for more info.

3. A New Beginning for Bee SAFE: The Bee SAFE office opened in March 2012 with the objective of supporting healthy agriculture. Six months later, they’ve largely succeeded, found hundreds of supporters, helped many to grow food organically, and spread the word about nasty GMO and pesticides. As such, the Bee SAFE office will close at the end of October. Fear not though, they’ll still be active via their website, emails, columns, and events held in various places. 


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Armstrong – every Saturday, 8 am – 12 noon, IPE Fairgrounds (BC’s oldest, started in 1973!)

  • Lavington – every Sunday, 9 am – 1 pm, at Jeffer’s Park on School Road

  • Cherryville – every Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm, by the Highway

  • Vernon – every Monday and Thursday, 8 am – 1 pm, behind Westbilt Centre ’til Oct ends.

ALSO: Fridays, 3 – 7 pm, north of Sport Chek, Village Green Mall

* Vernon Winter Market- 2913 29th Ave, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8am – 6 pm coming soon. $25 per table per day for crafts, baking and much more. Call 250 549-4399 (Dale). Grand opening Nov 6 & 7.

  • Coldstream Winter Market - Wednesdays, 2:30–6 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall.

2. Green Drinks: Second Monday of every month at Sir Winston’s Pub. Find out more at http://greendrinks.org/vernon and on this Facebook page.

3. Lacto-fermentation: These "functional foods" are now considered to be "probiotics", increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding digestion and supporting immune function. For more details, check out the websites here and here.

4. Waste Reduction Week, October 15 – 21: Can you live without generating garbage for the entire week? How can you ensure that everything you ‘use’ is recyclable?


1. Electromagnetic Radiation: Here is an excellent summary of the REAL dangers of Electro Magnetic Radiation! 

2. ‘Lead Now’ Non-Profit: They’d like you to sign their petition to end billion dollar hand-outs to fossil fuel companies: http://www.leadnow.ca/end-big-polluter-handouts

3. Flooding In Venice: 3 inches of water in St Marks Square recently … experts agree it’s NOT the usual historical flooding but due to climate change and sea level rise.


1. Bottle Deposit Increase in Quebec: Quebec is doubling the deposit on beer cans, soft drinks, energy drinks and PET plastic containers and glass soft drink containers to $.10 effective January 2013. The increase will allow the government to free up more money to support retailers which collect the returned containers. Why not for RDNO? Read more here.

2. Abolishing Food from Landfills: A huge piece of the achieving zero waste equation is food scraps, which typically make up 25 to 45 percent of residential waste in western countries. One idea being floated around is to ban all food scraps from landfills. Enforcement wouldn’t really be hard since it makes sense! Read more here.

3. Worldwide Waste to Double by 2025: According to a new report, global solid waste levels will double by 2025. Continuing urbanization in developing countries will be the main driver behind this alarming news. Read more here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Infectious Diseases: A developing model of infectious disease shows that most epidemics (e.g. AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, etc.)­ are a result of things people do to nature. For more, go here.

2. Ecocide: Did you know that "any large-scale destruction of the natural environment or over-consumption of critical non-renewable resources" used to be considered an international crime by the U.N.? Apparently, the idea of ecocide first started in 1972, but was later shelved. A new report out, The Ecocide Project, hopes to unravel why. Hopefully the law can be revived… Go here and here for more information. 

3. Dental Amalgam: Finally, the use of mercury, considered highly toxic in every other context besides dental use, appears to be coming to an end. The problem now lies in finding a suitable replacement. Composite resin fillings are toxic too whereas gold fillings are expensive. Prevention is obviously the preferred route, but many Canadians have limited access to preventive dental care. We therefore need to promote access to oral health care (i.e. pushing for dentistry to be included in the Canada Health Act) and watch what we eat.

4. Think About This: “Every person born since the mid 1980's has come into a world where humans are using up more than the Earth can replenish and the rate of consumption is increasing to the point of estimated global overshoot of 50%. Never in all the time humans have been on this planet has this happened. If we don't address this, along with the mass extinction of species that we're perpetrating, we're missing the point entirely.” (Sent to the listserv by a PhD reader)

5. Climate and Global Weather: Check out this reasonably detailed article written by the experienced and well informed environmentalist Bill McKibben.

 6. Solar and Electric Roadways: Very cool! Check out this short 4 min video to find out what they are. For the really gung-ho, here is a TED lecture (Part 1 and 2) on electric roadways.

7. The Visible Ills of Pesticides: Go here and read about how in other parts of the world, the effects of pesticides are quite visible!

8. Ethical Politics: Here are Elizabeth May’s comments on Arctic development, Stephen Harper style. A great read!

9. Denmark Cuts Energy Footprint: This little 5 ½ minute video shows how Denmark has cut its energy footprint dramatically, by (1) taxing high carbon/GHG sources and by (2) subsidizing renewable energy sources and energy saving technologies (e.g. rainwater collection, bicycle use, better insulation in homes. In comparison, Canada’s policy under Harper is a joke.

10. Medical Basis for the Health Effects of Fracking: http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/

11. Flawed Stanford University Study: Their analysis said that organic foods were not superior in quality to conventionally produced varieties and that the risk of exposure to pesticides was only negligibly higher in conventional foods. Others pointed out that the study ignored “traces on organic food vs many pesticides on one food” that would mean that one is 5 times more likely to ingest pesticides from non-organic produce. Frances Moore Lappe pointed out that short term studies were inadequate for determining health impacts over time (cancers take decades to develop). Also ignored was that organic food contributes to increased biodiversity in the field (more birds and beneficial insects, better soil biota) and to decreased pollution associated with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Farm workers (49 year lifespan) should also benefit.


1. Saving the Arctic: All of the fossil fuel bigwigs and others are mobilizing to get their ships up there, and get their hands on the potential 90 billion barrels of oil that lies at the bottom of the ocean. That represents three more years of energy bingeing, for which the oil companies would risk the ecological integrity of the Arctic marine ecosystem. Support Greenpeace and sign the petition to save the Arctic!

2. The Terrifying Math: This summer, Bill McKibben wrote a very powerful piece for Rolling Stone Magazine on Global Warming with some terrifying numbers. Bill reckons we need to really ramp-up the activism, including a fossil fuel company divestment campaign similar to the one that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa in order to avoid his math. There are scenarios out there that show it’s possible; we just need to turn it into reality! For ideas, check out www.350.org.

3. The BC NDP Election Platform: On current indications the NDP will form the government next May. What policies would you like the NDP to adopt on climate action, farmland preservation, green job creation, cycling, transit, proportional voting, affordable housing, poverty and homelessness? And how would you like to see them pay for them? What new taxes or sources of government income would you recommend? Send your thoughts to Carole James

4. Loss Of Arctic ice: We could be seeing a totally ice-free summer Arctic by 2015, and even an ice-free winter by 2040. www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews. As the ice melts the reflectivity (albedo) of the surface falls dramatically and the sun’s heat is absorbed by the water instead of reflected away. Methane is released from under the ice and permafrost – and each molecule of methane traps 72 times more heat than CO2. www.arcticclimateemergency.com With no Arctic ice the jet stream would be compromised, leading to climate instability, drought and heat waves, and therefore difficulty growing food (already happening!).


Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck