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June 2013 Newsletter

JUNE 2013

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. Our next SENS evening is in September. Next newsletter - September? Enjoy your summer!


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Vernon , Mondays and Thursdays, 8 – noon, Westbilt (soon to be Kal Tire) Centre.

    • Fridays, 3 – 7 pm, Village Green Mall, North End.

  • Armstrong, Saturdays, 8 – noon, IPE fairgrounds. 3371 Pleasant Valley Rd.

  • Caravan Farm, June 16 & 30, 10 am – 2 pm, 4886 Salmon River Rd, Armstrong-Spall.

  • Lumby, Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm at the Oval.

  • Enderby, Fridays, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, corner of Cliff Ave. and Maud St.

  • Cherryville, Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm.

2. Dry Land Water Harvesting Workshop: June 3 (Mon.) & June 5 (Wed.), 6 pm – 9 pm in Vernon. Learn to use water to the best of your ability! Further details and registration can be found here.

3. Environment Week - June 1 (Sat.) – 7 (Fri.): Celebrate this week by attending an event. There’s something for everyone! All events are free. For more information (e.g. times), go here.

  • June 1 - International Trails Day: Learn about local trails! For event details, go here.

  • June 2 - Gardening without pesticides, 1pm, Xerindipity Garden, Polson Park, Vernon.

  • June 3 - Awards presentation and film screening at the Powerhouse Theatre, 7pm.

  • June 4 - Installing a rain barrel drip irrigation system, 7 pm and 8 pm, Xerindipity garden.

  • June 5 - Free transit! + Free breakfast,6:30 – 9am, Vernon’s downtown transit exchange. 

  • June 6 - Free Styrofoam drop-off, 10 – 2, Lumby Super A & Vernon Wholesale Club. 

  • June 7 - Learn about tree planting and maintenance, noon-1pm, Xerindipity Garden.

4. Regional Quality of Life Survey: This survey launched by RDNO on May 10, 2013 is designed to track changes in public perception about the quality of life within the communities of the North Okanagan. The survey is confidential and will take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. Residents who complete the survey BY JUNE 7 could win an iPod Nano, a $200.00 gift card, or a $25 gift cards for the store of their choice. Call 250 550-3750 for more information.

5. WonderCafe.live! will show Salmon Confidential (about the work of Dr Alexandra Morton to protect our wild salmon) June 1, Lumby United Church Hall, 7 – 9:30pm. Look for more information on upcoming documentaries/movies and throughout the summer.

6. Homemade Weed Killer: 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, any Liquid dish soap. Put salt in an empty spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap. This solution works best on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work. Make up a small batch to try first?

7.Recycling Your Mugs: The Gateway Shelter for Women and Men is in need of donated coffee mugs. Please drop them off at 2800 33 St, Vernon.

6. Green Drinks: Monday, June 10, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Sir Winston’s Pub (2705 32nd St., Vernon). Drop in to talk “green”. If your organization wishes to sponsor one of these get-togethers contact Matt at 250 307-7364 or matt@valhallaconsulting.ca.


1. Volunteerism: 80% of Canada’s volunteer commitment is coming from only 20% of the population… but most of this 80% demographic is aging. Check out www.getvolunteering.ca and help boost this percentage! The site matches you to organizations based on your preferences and personal attitudes.

2. Take Action for Bees: The Green Party of Canada urges Harper’s Conservatives to ban the neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee populations. Please sign this petition to protect bees and ban neonicotinoids in Canada!

AND: Good News For Bees: Avaaz reports that Europe has just banned pesticides that kill bees.


3. Down the Drain: Car washing that directs water to the storm drains, be it by non-professional service stations, individual driveway washers, or fundraising group events are a huge drain on our dwindling water supply and also pollute our waters. Thankfully there are alternatives and evidence suggests that the public water-saving message is finally getting through. Read the full article here.

4. TED Talk by an 11 year old: http://samuel-warde.com/2013/02/the-11-year-old-kid-that-monsanto-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

ALSO, Avaaz supports this petition by a 12 year old from Great Britain. She asks for your support:

Combat Global Warming: Soon our planet will become un-inhabitable, we need to re-think the relationship that we have with our planet. Every single person who joins strengthens our call for action. Send the email below to friends and family, and post this link on facebook!”


5.Ecosanitation: Sechelt is using an ‘Urban Systems’ design to construct a $21.3 million state-of-the- art reclaimed water system NOT hidden away but exposed as a community gathering place providing educational and aesthetic value to the community. http://www.urbansystems.ca/news/sechelt_raises_the_bar_for_water_facilities.htm

To find out the problems with discharging sewage into water or land, check this: http://garychandler.com/recycling-sewage-water-biosolids-a-bad-idea/

6. Extended Producer Responsibility: California hoped to ensure that 95% of plastic pollution would NOT get into waterways and then into the ocean. Assembly Bill 521 meant manufacturers either changed to non-plastic packaging, or paid for this packaging to be recycled. It was held back by one committee so did not come up for a vote.


1. Right to a Healthy Environment: Read David’s answers to your excellent questions, learn about the Foundation’s goal, and more from this recent town hall meeting.

2. Taking Learning Outdoors: Connecting With Nature, a free curriculum guide for teachers, is filled with fun, interactive activities exploring important green issues – and every lesson gets kids outside! It’s currently for grades four through six but is expanding to cover other grades.

3. Protecting Grizzlies: Thanks to the work of spatial ecologist Lisa Rockwell, the B.C. government released historical grizzly data never made available for any other species. Her maps (PDF) help communicate urgent information about species-at-risk better than mere words ever could.

4. Using Healthier Renewables: Canada has enough renewable energy sources (e.g. hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) to achieve the deep GHG reductions we need to help stop global climate change. We just need to be more efficient in their use. Check out here and here for more.

5. Defending Our Oceans: Check out the ecological wonders of the Pacific North Coast profiled at 100 amazing Pacific Ocean Stories. They’re well worth your time! Also read about SeaChoice, the Foundation’s sustainable seafood program, and Ocean Keepers, their new campaign to protect our coastal waters. Healthy oceans are good for everyone!


1. Paint That Powers Homes: Check out this link to learn about solar absorbing paint!

2. Nuclear Hot spots In Eastern Canada: Here is the Great Lakes Nuclear Hot Spots Map (pdf), providing a detailed regional, bi-national view of nuclear facilities in the Great Lakes Region.

3. B.C.’s Shot Climate Action Plan: The natural gas industry has drastically underestimated and grossly distorted the numbers on natural gas. These two articles (1, 2) clearly show that claims about the relatively "clean" nature of natural gas production are flatly wrong and blows B.C.’s climate targets out of the water!

4. B.C.’s Position on Pipelines ‘n Tankers: For anyone who lives in B.C, the revelations in this short video are quite astonishing…and instructive.

5. GM Food and

a) Ag Canada: Read the unsettling account of a former pro-GMO scientist who worked as a regulatory operative working with Ag Canada.

b) Results of increased use of pesticides over 16 years: http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/24

6. Election Outcome Opinion: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/opinion/it-really-time-change-%E2%80%93-no-matter-what-happened-election

7. Enbridge’s Dealings With First Nations: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/environment/gitga%E2%80%99-first-nation-asks-enbridge-leave-territory-following-botched-consultation

8. Cell Phone - Cress Seed Experiment Results: NO germination for the WiFi seeds…


9. Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA): Should you wish to sign up for their e-bulletin, go here: http://www.cela.ca/signup

10. Fukushima Reactor Problems: They’re still having to cool the reactor, but the water they use is then radioactive and there are storage and safety issues. Details at: http://tinyurl.com/qyz6472


1. Congratulations! RCBC has awarded the 2013 Non-Profit Achievement Award to Vernon and District Association for Community Living for excellence in environmental stewardship.

2. Push to Reach Zero Waste: With China’s “Green Fence” initiative enacted, undesirable materials, such as secondary plastics, are harder to import. The waste we once passed off to China is now starting to stockpile here. As such, domestic solutions that go beyond simple recycling are being pushed. For instance, one option, using the leftovers from post-production of consumer goods, is already bearing fruit (e.g. the Stomp Stone). We still need more solutions, but it’s a good first step! B.C. Recycler Whines over China’s “Green Fence”: Despite China’s wise move, there are critics. Read one critic’s story here.

3. Going Green Pays: For its overall environmental efforts, Staples Canada awarded Saanich’s Campus View Elementary $25,000 worth of computer equipment. The school’s “Green Team” also launched their second annual EarthFest and was granted $400 from Friends Uniting for Nature (FUN) for the initial 2012 event and another $500 this year. For the full story, go here.

4. Recycled B.C. Tires for Playgrounds: The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) has installed a recycled rubber surface that provides a safe and stable surface for all kinds of therapeutic outdoor play from jumping to riding. Children will now experience better landings for the inevitable bumps and falls that are part of the learning process. Read more here.

5. True Cost of All Your Gadgets: From environmental destruction and contamination caused by extraction, exploitative working conditions during production, to the mountains of e-waste being shipped abroad, this report follows the birth, life and death of everyday gadgets and reveals their true cost to the planet and to future generations. Read more about the report here.

6. Pesticide Drop-Off: Delta's new Pesticide Use Control bylaw No. 6788 prohibits the use of chemical herbicides, insecticides and fungicides for cosmetic purposes. This means that pesticides may only be used for agricultural and commercial purposes and to manage pests that transmit human diseases. They held a free drop-off early in May to collect such chemicals. Vernon needs such a bylaw…

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck