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May 2015 Newsletter


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 (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org.  *** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***

Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.


1. Free Movie Night: May 28th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. SENS director Terry Dyck brings us the documentary “The 11th Hour” on the state of our natural environment, narrated by Leonard Dicaprio. The movie provides information and solutions from over 50 scientists, environmentalists, and politicians on how to reverse or slow damage to our planet.

2. No SENS events until September!


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm.

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

·       Enderby: Friday, 8am to noon behind City Hall.

2. Repair Café: May 2nd, 11am – 3 pm. Okanagan Science Centre. Mark your calendars for another wildly successful session of gluing, clothing repair, darning socks and sweaters, sharpening tools, music instrument repairs, library book sign-outs, food, bike and skateboard repair, and much more! Sponsors: Vernon in Transition and RDNO.  OSC’s doing an ‘Unplug ’n Play’ Version!

3. Bike To School and Work Week: If you’re interested in taking a high quality bike skills and safety course at $20 (¼ the usual price!), phone 250 550-3634 or e-mail csbreception@vernon.ca. Pre-registration a must. Dates: May 2, 9 – 2 pm, OR May 5 & 12, 5:30 – 8pm OR May May 6 & 13, 5:30 – 8pm. Bike Buddy Hotline: 250 540-9397. https://youtu.be/t7CF1VH3XQU

Also… if you wish to be team leader for a business or non-profit (SENS?!?) locally, fill in the application and file data from those who cycle (even one way, one day!) during Bike to Work Week, May 24 - 31. Free T and prizes for those who sign up with you.www.biketowork.ca/north-okanagan  Cycle to the Mid week celebration station and Friday wrap-up BBQ, 4:30 – 6:30pm,  Spirit Square to enter your name in for that free bike or other prizes. Great live music!

4.Climate’s Changing…Why Should We Care? May 5, 7 pm, Schubert Centre, The Okanagan - Shuswap Green Party is sponsor. Local geoscientist Dr Brian Guy speaks for urgent action and will use climate variations through history to discuss implications for economies and societies. Admission by donation.

5.North Okanagan Naturalists Meeting: Wednesday, May 6th, 7:00 pm, Village Green Hotel, Sierra Room II. Mike Dunn will be speaking on rattlesnake research.

6. LUCI Inflatable Solar Lantern: The City of Vernon displayed this at their table during Seedy Saturday (March 21st). Great for backpacking and outdoor use!

7. Summer Water Shortages? California has only 4 % of their usual snow pack and the governor is already taking action. Should we be following suit? What are you doing to conserve water now?

8. Cool Roofs: It’s mandatory in California to have a white roof to reduce energy costs and protect roofs better from weather. If you’d like to find out about this ‘LEED certified acrylic ceramic top coat technology, ‘check www.alltops.ca or phone local servicer, John Laporte at 250 503-4745.

9. www.elementecodesign.com/ Check out their website for upcoming courses…how to S#it in a buck, designing a permaculture homestead, edible forest gardens and more!

10. Monashee  Community Coop, Lumby: A grocery store stocked by local vendors plus bulk ordering depot. Daily, 10 am – 5 pm, Arbour Mall, Hwy 6.  Organic produce, GMO/pesticide free. Contact: 250-547-7808.     New website: www.mccoop.ca

11. Long Term Farming Opportunity: Cooper Creek north of Kaslo, 5 acres of cleared, good soil. Phone Linda at 250 366-4450.

12. Green Croft Farm, Enderby: Workshops throughout the season at the farm (eg felting, gardening, seed saving, cooking, food preserving). They produce a super newsletter of recipes and info on farm animals and crops (U-pick Raspberries coming soon). Sign up for the mailing list by emailing to greencroftgardens@mybcdc.ca, check our website www.greencroftgardens.com or check updates on our facebook page www.facebook.com/green.c.gardens

13. RDNO’s Xerindipity Workshops: They’re at the back of the Okanagan Science Centre. Check their website for details. Saturday May 23, 1 – 2 pm it is on Composting. Composter rebate program information is available at www.rdno.ca/recycle


1. The Costs of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs): According to this paper (PDF), EDCs cause intellectual disabilities, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, childhood and adult obesity, adult diabetes, male infertility, and reduced testosterone. Treatment? - $209+ billion annually.

2. Artificial Den Boxes for Fishers: Check out this video on using artificial den boxes for fishers.

3. Songbird SOS: This BC Nature E-News episode tells story of the mass depletion of songbirds in the Americas. Watch it!

4. Farming Salmon on Land: The Kuterra land-based Closed Containment Salmon Farm near Port McNeill is raising salmon that Sea Choice gives a “best choice” rating. Their recirculating aquaculture system uses NO pesticides or other chemicals, keeps fish waste out of the ocean and uses 30% less feed compared to ocean penned stock. Salmon are not stressed. Feed comes from larvae of black soldier flies raised on waste food from restaurants.  www.kuterra.com.

5. Latest Musings By Guy Dauncey:  https://www.bcsea.org/premiers-green-dreams  Also, his latest slideshare presentation:-  http://www.slideshare.net/GuyDauncey/a-new-green-economy

Top 10 reasons why people LOVE the electric car:  https://www.bcsea.org/electric-car-ten-reasons-why-people-love-you

6. International Institute Of Sustainable Development: If you’re wishing some detailed reading, this is their latest on trade, environment and more… third edition of the Handbook.

7. Retreating Glaciers in Iceland and Greenland: https://www.knowledge.ca/program/chasing-ice


1. Save The Amazon: It could be the largest environmental reserve in the world but deforestation is threatening it. Laws and enforcement aren't enough to stop this! But by signing this petition, we might push the leaders of Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil to form a necessary reserve...

2.Phillip-Morris Suing Uruguay: This country has the best anti-smoking laws in the world so the Cig company will challenge and try to overturn their laws. Sign here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uruguay_vs_big_tobacco_loc_2/?bQynJab&v=56805


1. Drinking Water Standards – Bill C-664: Canadian standards lag behind international standards. Sign this letter asking all parties to take a stand for stronger drinking water standards!

2. Microbead Dangers: These tiny plastic beads, commonly used in personal care products, are a major concern to human and environmental health! When they get loosed into our rivers and lakes  (by going down the drain), they are ingested by organisms low on the food chain, and wind up contaminating the fish and wildlife we eat. Microbeads also easily pick up other dangerous particles, like PCBs. As such, Ecojustice has submitted a request to our Minister of the Environment asking that they be considered a toxic substance. Hopefully this request will put into motion the necessary steps to initiate a Canada-wide ban on microbeads. For more, go here.


1. Floating Solar on Okanagan Lake?: In Japan, a 13.5 MW floating solar PV plant is being built on a reservoir. When completed in March 2016, it will power nearly 5,000 Japanese households! The platform is 100% recyclable, can withstand UV rays and corrosion, and will be built as un-intrusively as possible for the local flora and fauna. Could B.C. do the same here? The answer- yes! It would generate even more summer power, create many installation and maintenance jobs, discourage algae growth, and reduce water evaporation. Check out www.ciel-et-terre.net for photos and videos of such a platform. And for even more, go here.


1. Vote for a Sustainable Canada: It’s a federal election year… time to address Canada's sustainability deficit and climate change? 13 key questions to ask  politicians wanting your vote…

2. Canada's Map to Sustainability:  Throughout this Map, leading Canadian scholars identify sustainable solutions in each of their specialized fields. They provide recommendations on climate change action, protecting biodiversity, urban planning, transportation, environmental policy and more. Read and share it!

3. Your Voice on GHG Emissions: Over 60 scholars have identified policy recommendations to help Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Read their position paper online, add your thoughts, and your comments will be considered for a white paper that will be shared with politicians.

4. A Crash Course on Vegetable Gardening: Spring has sprung, and now is the time to plan this year's vegetable garden. Check out AJ  tips to get you started, the three essentials for successful seedlings, and how to fix common problems.


1. 30 Minutes for 30 Days: The Foundation encourages everyone to get out and enjoy nature during the month of May to keep healthier and happier.  Sign up at 30x30.davidsuzuki.org

2.Background on Climate Change Denial Funding: www.davidsuzuki.org › Blogs › Science Matters

3. Microbeads: They’re used in your personal care products to scrub you, where oatmeal, salt or even baking sofa could be used harmlessly instead. They plug up digestive systems of fish and coral and kill them. The federal NDP has introduced a motion to ban them here.  Sign the 5 Gyres Institute petition here: 5gyres.org/how_to_get_involved/action/

4. Knitting For Butterflies: www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you.../love-monarch-butterflies-get-knitting/


1.Stock market Findings:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/10/fossil-fuel-free-fund...

2.Monsanto’s Discredit Bureau: http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2015-articles/16046-monsanto-s...

3. Carbon Emission Decrease and Coal: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/10/us-carbon-emissions-s...

4. Hmm – Glyphosate: Today Health Canada launched a public consultation process on its proposed re-evaluation decision of products containing glyphosate (known as Roundup™).

Please visit: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2015/52865a...

Adding to this, Avaaz asks you to sign a petition… World Health Org is warning that Glyphosate’s connected to cancer and Monsanto wants to muzzle them and other researching countries. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_dont_silence_science_loc_cn/?bQynJa...

5. AQ in Edmonton vs Toronto: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/Edmonton+dirtier+than+Toron...

6. GM Eggplant Disaster for Farmers in Bangladesh: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt_Brinjal_Fails_Two_Years_Running.php

7. Fracking’s Death Knell: Shale gas is only clean and beneficial if it displaces coal powered electricity generation world wide.  http://www.medact.org/climate-ecology/fracking/

8.SumOfUs.org: They wish support to tackle cruise ships that dump human sewage directly into the ocean, sometimes completely untreated….3.8 billion liters yearly, estimated.  I'll chip in $1 to demand that cruise ships clean up their act.

Co-edited with Egan Mandreck