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September 2013 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. The Wonder of Wolves: September 26, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Meet Tundra and Gary Allan, wolf educator and advocate, and learn about pups, pack dynamics, and their valuable role in our ecosystems. Go here to learn more about them. SENS is co-sponsoring with North Okanagan Naturalists (www.nonc.ca)

2. Free Movie Showing of “Fuel”: Thursday, October 10, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. This documentary shows how the oil industry controls, deceives and damages people and the environment - a must see movie! It has played at numerous film festivals and won 6 major awards.

3. Repair Café: Saturday, October 5, 11 am – 4pm, Okanagan Science Centre and Xerindipity Gardens. If you have something that needs repair or repurposing, come down to find out how or have it done by local volunteers and small, local businesses. Doing so prevents landfill fill-up. Bring it in, from bikes, blade for sharpening, item to sew, furniture, to small appliances!


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Vernon, Mondays and Thursdays, 8am – 1pm, Kal Tire Place.

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

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

  • 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. Green Drinks: September 9, 5:30pm, Sir Winston’s Pub. Call Matthew at 250 307-7364 for details.

3. Beyond Oil: Tuesday, September 10, 7 pm, Okanagan College, Kelowna, S 104 Lecture Theatre. (student services building next to KLO’s main entrance). Guy Dauncey, founder of BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) and well known author, speaks on the world wide energy revolution that will build a sustainable resilient community. Annual General Meeting for BCSEA will follow. Admission is by donation for non-members.

4. Allan Brooks Nature Centre Garage Sale: Sept. 14, 8am – 4pm and Sept 14, 9am – 3pm. Donations appreciated. Phone 250- 260-4227 for details.

5. Permablitz: On Saturday, September 7 in Kelowna. Come see the rapid transformation of an under-utilized space into organic food production. Suitable clothes, water etc required. RSVP immediately in case they’re already filled up to info@elementecodesign.com.

6. Patchwork Farms Needs Helpers: This demonstration garden and community farm, located at OK College campus, lower parking lot may need help with picking beans on Sept 2 and will for sure need help later in the month. Contact Wendy: 250 542-6920. www.patchworkfarms.ca

7. B.C. Rivers Day – Sept. 29, 2013: Look for events in your community - or plan one!

8. Aviva Community Fund: The 2013 competition starts Sept 23. If you have a green idea for your community and could use their funds, check ‘em out!

9. The City of Vernon is hosting community workshops to receive further input on the Pedestrian Cycling Master Plan and to help design best walking and cycling routes. This project is funded by the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund. Please get involved to help create a healthier community. For more information, please contact Wendy Majewski wmajewskI@vernon.ca

  • Seniors’ Input Wed. Sept. 25 11:00 a.m. -12 noon, Senior’s/Community Workshop 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Schubert Centre
  • East Hill Community Workshop; Wed. Sept. 25 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at East Hill Community Church
  • Stakeholder’s Workshop; Thurs. Sept. 26, 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at Vernon City Hall
  • Seniors’ Input: Sat. Sept. 28, 8am – 11am, Halina Centre.

10. Astronaut Chris Hadfield speaks in Kelowna: October 7, 7 pm, Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water Street. Go here to register!

11. Park and Trike in Vernon: Local resident and SENS member Daniel Stark envisions this service, using “reverse tricycles” to commute, being offered to the downtown core. If you’re interested in helping him out, please contact him at 250-503-0223 or starkd@telus.net. You can also ask to see his trike and see what it is like to park and ride one!


1. Public Bike Sharing: The City of Vancouver has confirmed that public bike sharing will be launched in 2014. Public bike sharing will provide convenient, spontaneous, one-way trips in the busiest areas of the city and encourage others to switch to bikes. This is great news! Is Vernon next?


1. Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory's Blog: http://tatlayokobirds.wordpress.com/ Follow this blog to find out what’s happening along the Pacific flyway!


1. Invasive Species Talk: Sept. 4th, 7:30 pm at the Best Western Vernon Lodge - Evan Rafuse of the Invasives Species Council will talk on the 'Plant Wise' program and cover the 26 worst invasives that can still be purchased in stores and nurseries for transplanting in your home garden!


1. Toning It Down to Win: “We’ve heard all the complaints: We green-minded people are annoying. We’re self-righteous. We nag. We judge. And we don’t always practice what we preach. … So what’s the best way to get other people on board with acting sustainably? Here’s a research-backed tip: Act nicely, and don’t make people feel like hypocrites.” Read more. 

2. Dumping on the Artists: Recology San Francisco, a waste management company, has an artist-in-residence program: The company picks artists who use recycled materials in their art, gives them a monthly stipend, a studio space, and recycling/scavenging related perks. Read More.

3. Nanaimo Says No to Vancouver’s Waste Incinerator: Good news! The Regional District of Nanaimo and other Island districts have said “no” to Metro Vancouver’s plans to build a waste-to-energy facility. Read more.  

4. China's Green Fence Strategy is Working: According to the UK Recycling Association Export Group the strategy has had a profound impact on the industry over the past few months, with most mill buyers and brokers reporting difficulties in supplying anything other than top grade materials into China. This has led to improved recycling standards in most cases. Read more

5. Recycling Disposable Coffee Cups: The British company James Cropper has developed the world's first technology to recycle disposable coffee cups into high quality paper products and will use a reclaimed fibre plant for production. Until now, the 5% plastic content of cups made them unsuitable for use in papermaking. In the UK alone, an estimated 2.5bn paper cups go to landfill every year. Read more.

6. Collecting Waste Plastics before They Hit the Pacific: David Katz, a Vancouver businessman who travels a lot and concerned scuba diver, recently founded Plastic Bank, a social enterprise project that will reward people in developing countries with credits or micro-financing for collecting waste plastics, which are then recycled using advanced sorting technology. Read more.  


1. Ocean Exposures Photo Contest: Every summer LO runs their Oceans Exposure Photo Contest. Join LO this year and send them your favourite pictures taken on, in, or near any of Canada’s three oceans. You can see the contest prizes, submit a photo, and get more info on the categories, rules, and judging by visiting their new, tablet/phone capable, bilingual website. The contest closes on September 30, 2013. The winner will be announced on October 24, 2013.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Earth Overshoot Day: “August 20 [was] Earth Overshoot Day, the approximate date humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can renew in a year. For the rest of the year, we are operating in overshoot. We will continue to add to our mounting ecological debt by depleting stocks of fish, trees and other resources, and accumulating waste. [As a result], forests will continue to shrink, more biodiversity will be lost, fisheries will collapse”, and the devastating climate change ­we’re seeing will worsen. For more, go here.

2. The Eco-denial of the Harper Government: Apparently there is a Norwegian salmon virus in B.C. waters. We’re learning more about it as it spreads (check out the paper and film on this blog), and it’s not good! And through it all, there has been zero response by the DFO. Worried? Then check out this newsletter to help you keep up to date with the blog author’s work and how you can help.

3. Unregulated Oil Fracking: The by-products of fracking are lethal and long-term (e.g. hydrocarbons, radioactive heavy metals, etc.) and the ease with which they leak or are dumped is of big concern. Read the article concerning this in North Dakota here.

4. Shale Gas Geopolitics: With the Shale Gas Revolution already here, the world's power arrangements are about to be rearranged. Here’s a short article that details this coming change.

5. Britain’s Nuclear Power Stance: According to this report, the U.K. government needs to abandon nuclear power, like the Germans ­and others, and invest in renewables. It was always hazardous, and now it’s not even better on short term economic grounds (see Death Camp Fukushima). If they don’t change course, the British children and grandchildren will be paying the cost for the next 40 or more years.

6. Fukushima Disaster Revelations: Here are a number of articles (1, 2, 3, and 4) that explain what led to the disaster (one word: incompetence) and what’s happening in its aftermath. Here too is a report (PDF) on Japan’s energy and economic recovery.

7. World Solar Power: Solar photovoltaics (PV) power production globally topped 100 Gigawatts in 2012! PV production is growing rapidly in many countries (e.g. China, Japan, the U.S., etc.) and with (1) solar power installations growing annually, (2) government incentives spurring huge investment in PV, and (3) falling PV prices and climbing grid power prices making solar power more affordable, this number is expected to triple by 2018. To read this encouraging story, go here.

8. Oil Spilled into Ecuador's Rivers: This spill was1.6 million litres and was caused by a mudslide that knocked out 300 feet of pipeline. And as this article attests, the response to it was horrible! Even worse, there’s been no word on how it was handled, no public inquiry, and no sanctions.

9. Climate Change Slideshow: Check out Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)’s newest slideshow, “Heat’s Deadly Effects”! It shows the ill effects of climatic temperature rises on human and ecosystem health. Feel free to use it if you need such info for a presentation. www.psr.org/resources/heats-deadly-effects.html


1. Toxic Pesticides: They’re banned (over 26 of them) in Europe but still in use in Canada. Our government refuses to even review such chemicals so Ecojustice, on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation and you, the public, will now take the federal government to court…

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck