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November 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.Handmade Holiday Gifting - our 4th annual event! Saturday, November 14, Schubert Centre, noon to 3  pm. Come, bring the kids and some cash, and experience (with ‘take-home’ instructions) short, easy, but cost effective demos for foods, sachets, toys, knitting, kids’ toys, candles, soaps and more! Let’s get away from consumerism and put the heart back in the holidays!  Schubert Centre’s Thrift Store and cafe will be open!  Sponsors: Vernon in Transition VernonInTransition@gmail.com and SENS  www.sensociety.org

***If you are a handy/crafty/artsy/foodie person who would be willing to demonstrate your handmade gift idea, contact Heather ASAP at idiggoodfood@gmail.com

2. VIT Sustainable Housing Marketplace/Open Space: A big thank-you from the organizing committee to all those who took part! Here’s info on the event and follow-up plans: http://eepurl.com/bCLZof

3. Dr Vandana Shiva: This scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author will speak, Saturday, Feb 27, in Vernon. Ticket sale and venue information coming soon! www.vandanashiva.com/

 4. Blue Dot Campaign: The idea is taking off (Manitoba has just signed on to be a Blue Dot province!) and SENS director Terry Dyck will soon be asking our Vernon Council to become a Blue Dot community, joining 94 in BC and around Canada.  As an individual, you can sign on and support the Blue Dot idea to support protection for environmental rights and the right to a healthy environment by goggling “blue dot movement”. 


1. Farmers’ Winter Markets:

Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm all winter!

Vernon Christmas market: Rec Centre: November 11 market, 9am – 5pm .

Armstrong Market Thursdays, 12 - 3pm, Odd Fellows Hal on Bridge St.

Caravan Christmas Market: Nov 22,  11am – 4 pm

Armstrong Christmas Market: Dec 12, 9 - 2 pm, St Joseph’s Parish Hall on Patterson. 

2. Cycling In Your City: November 4th, 7 pm, Vernon Library meeting room. Bruce Mol, cycling advocate/educator, speaks on workshops available for family cycling safety around town and rurally. Wendy Majewski (City of Vernon Transportation) joins him to talk about how increased bicycle use around the world has shown major business and community benefits. A discussion will follow to look at a newly proposed design concept for 30th Ave.  and to consider creating a new cycling coalition for Greater Vernon. Your input welcome! 

3.  North Okanagan Naturalists Club (NONC) Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, November 4th 7:00 pm, Sierra II Room, Village Green Hotel, 27th St. at 48th Ave. This meeting is also the club’s Annual General Meeting. After the AGM Claude Rioux will show pictures of shore birds and wildlife along the Oregon Coast. 

4. Allan Brooks Nature Centre: Work Bees are coming up to organize, tidy, move stuff, and put the Centre to bed on…  Tuesday, November 3rd 10am-2pm
  Wednesday, November 4th 1-4 pm 
Thursday, November 5th 1pm-4pmContact Janice Buick at events@abnc.ca to volunteer. 

5.Green Drinks: November 9th, 5 – 7 pm at Sir Winston’s Pub. Join others working in the environmental field (NGO’s, government, business, academia) for these informal sessions! Also, if you wish to host one of these evens, please contact Matt of Valhalla Consulting.

6.Community Environment: It should include all ages, but if young adults are squeezed out (lower earnings, more student debt, housing prices double…) what kind of society/community do we have? UBC prof Pau Kershaw discusses this “Generation Squeeze”  Nov 11, Checker’s Bar and Grill, Best Western Lodge, 6:30 – 9pm. It’s free!  www.gensqueeze.ca  

7. Partners in Flight and Species At Risk: Nov 12, 10:30 – 5:30pm. UBCO UNC200 ballroom sponsored by BC Institute of Agrologists. $20 for non-members, $5 students. Register by email to admin@bcia.com or  BC toll free at 1-877-855-9291.

8. Science In Society Presents:

a).“Great Bear Rainforest With Ian McAllister”: November 9th, 7:30 pm, OK College lecture theatre in Vernon. Armchair travel with this conservationist, photographer and co-founder of Pacific Wild! Tickets from the O.S.C. (250 545-3644) are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. 

b). “Are Humans Really Smarter Than Insects?”: November 24th, 7:30 pm, Vernon’s OK College lecture theatre. Dr. Jeremy McNeill of Western University presents. For more, see ‘go here’ above. 

9. Wetland Restored in Vernon: A make-shift wetlands (a compacted clay liner) was recently established using clay from OSSS' Black Rock Road property and is already holding water! 700 potted plants have been planted. This project aims to provide more valuable habitat for local wildlife...

10. The Secret of Change: Owl Positive Broadcasting came to Vernon from Great Britain in the summer to video what is happening with Transition Towns here. They even incorporated a scene of SENS/VIT members repairing a transit stop pole & seat on PV Road in a teaser video. Google ‘secret of change'.

 11. EcoFriendly Home Tour: CFUW Vernon is planning a tour for May 6/7, 2016 to raise scholarship funds for our local college. If you have such a home or know of a home that would be great for the tour, please contact Frances at: franceswarner@shaw.ca


1. 1. Fight for Our National Parks: Recent private commercial development projects (a glacier skywalk, cabins in Jasper National Park, a ski lodge at Lake Louise, etc.) are threatening these beloved areas.  The list of inappropriate development proposals in our national parks is growing and it needs to stop! Visit www.cpaws.org and www.fightforyourparks.ca for ideas on how to get involved. 

2. Websites to Check:

a)Moose Decline:    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/moose-documentary-1.3268868

b.Round-up Sprayed on 50,000 acres of BC forest yearly: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/weed+killer+used+possibly+carcinogenic/10911032/story.html

c).Genetically Engineered Trees - a threat to our public forests:  http://cfuv.uvic.ca/cms/?p=19288   and   http://cfuv.uvic.ca/cms/?p=19288

d).Wolf Awareness:  https://www.straight.com/news/553831/marc-bekoff-and-sadie-parr-saving-wolves-compassionate-conservation  &  http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2015/10/24/caribou/

e) Wolf/Forest/Caribou Protection: Forest industry asked for a wolf cull in 2014 to avoid having loggable areas set aside for caribou:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/documents-indicate-bc-wolf-cull-linked-to-forest-industry-concerns/article26968437/

e). Solar Boat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWi9FyjZC4Y

3. Ocean Protection: Just 4% of the world’s oceans are protected. The international community hopes to hit a target of 10% by 2020. The next step should be that 30% of oceans be “no take” areas. Researcher Lisa Boonzaier was reporting about progress in meeting the UN’s Aichi targets. 

4. Indonesia Is Burning (but there’s minimal media coverage?): It takes up the full 5,000 km length of Indonesia and has already created more CO2 emissions than the US economy. Guardian link:



1. Grizzly Bear Initiative: All of the Sea-to-Sky communities have now voted in support of recovery

planning for the threatened grizzly bear populations of southwest BC. These resolutions mirror those of the St'at'imc and Squamish Council Chiefs, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. 

2. Bats: A successful treatment for the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) has come from a bacterium (R. rhodochrous). It releases a gas that inhibits a fungus that causes fruit to ripen. This bacterium also killed the WNS-causing fungus! WNS has killed almost 6 million bats in the past 10 years. 

FROM IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development)

Research indicates that a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies would provide a significant 13% cut in greenhouse gas emissions within 5 years – and even more cuts (to 18%) if those subsidies were put into renewable energy and efficiency. 


1.Rainforest protection: Their palm oil campaign was successful. Parent company Astra Agro Lestari has agreed to no longer destroy rain forests to provide palm oil at Pizza Hut.

2.Cancer Gene Patent: Myriad  Genetics, a biotech Co., tried to patent a gene linked to breast & ovarian cancer but lost their wish to make money on it and slow life-saving medical research due to one grandmother. 


1. The Costs of Food Waste: Every year 1/3 (1.3 billion tonnes) of the world’s food is wasted after harvest. It ends up in landfills, creating more methane (30 times more potent than CO2 for causing climate change) and costing us hundreds of billions. Yet at the same time, 1 in 9 people don’t get enough to eat – most of them children who die early. Check out the “Love Food Hate Waste” website for ideas on how you can help stop this!


1. Solar In The Tar Sands: Google this topic of a First Nations' community building a spirited solar project in the heart of Canada’s oil sands! 

2. Albertans Want Change: A recent poll found that a majority of Albertans want stronger climate change policies, and 70% support investment in renewables to reduce reliance on coal. Half of all Albertans wished for the introduction of a carbon tax on air polluters. Here's hoping the new federal government or current provincial government take heed of these encouraging findings!  

3.Support For CAPE: is a partner of Doctors for Climate Action, a global campaign highlighting the health impacts of climate change. You are encouraged (don’t have to be a doctor!) to sign this document to call for real action on climate change at COP21 in Paris. Go to www.doctorsforclimateaction.org


1.Clean The World: Google ‘dizolve’! It’s an environmentally friendly laundry strip invented by a Moncton company. Sierra receives 20% of profits from the company if you buy, which it will put towards                   their ’Save the Bees project’. You can use code SIERRA2015 at a checkout before Dec 31/15 to get 25% off your purchase price. Some stats Sierra provided: Laundry detergent puts more than 100 million plastic jugs into Canada’s landfills/incinerators yearly and uses over 8 million litres of fuel to get it to supermarkets….and it’s 90 % water. The laundry strips are much smaller and lighter…

Alternatively, buy soap powder and bake baking soda (to get washing soda), mix, and make your own detergent free of environmentally damaging chemicals! 

2. 24 Sussex Drive Repairs: Ask our new PM to renovate this heritage building as a net-zero retrofit! It would reduce capital costs and be a symbol for our country’s low-carbon future. Write to our Prime Minister-Designate at justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca. Tell him what it would mean to you if the Prime Minister’s official residence became a symbol of a low-carbon Canada. 


1.Ecological Integrity: Lawyers are in to court to challenge Canada’s approval for cabins at Maligne Lake. Allowing it to go ahead would set a precedent for commercial development in all parks that would trump needs of nature and disturb natural space that we are supposed to protect. Google Ecojustice for details.  They also ask for donations to assist them in protecting our national parks…              

Edited with Egan Mandreck