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June 2016 Newsletter

JUNE 2016


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.

SENS NEWS              

1. NO SENS EVENTS for June, July and August. Stay safe this summer. Enjoy family friends and the great outdoors. We’ll see you September 22!

2. Blue Dot: June 13th,(1:30pm?) -  Mark your calendars and plan to attend! SENS director Terry Dyck will be asking Vernon Council to join the Blue Dot Movement. The Blue Dot Movement is the inherent right for everyone to have a healthy environment with clean water, fresh air and healthy food.

3. We Want To Hear From You! What topics/speakers/events would you like SENS to present in the next year? Let us know at  jblissau@telus.net.


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Mondays and Fridays, 8 – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

·       Vernon: Curbside Night Market and block party, 30th Ave, 6 – 9 pm, June 24, July 22, Aug 26.

·       Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm in the park.

·       Armstrong: Saturdays, 8 – noon, Fairgrounds.

2. Congratulations: North Okanagan Coalition for Active Transportation (NOCAT) is one of 25 organizations recognized by Green Communities Canada for endorsing the Canadian walking and walkability action strategy.

3. Green Drinks: Every 2nd Monday of the month, 5 – 7 pm. Meet and discuss with like-minded people in the environmental field! For specifics (i.e. the venue), contact Matt.  

4. Pesticide ‘No-Spray” Registry: Every summer, the city hires a contractor to spray sidewalk cracks, front edges of properties, and back lanes. If you do not want pesticides applied next to your property call, 250 549-6757, Get your address and phone number on this No Spray Registry!

5. Bike to Work and School Week: May 30th - June 5th.

-      Mid Week Celebration Station: Wednesday June 1st, 6:30 – 9:30 am, Sun Country Cycle. Prizes, coffee, continental breakfast, enter to win a free bike, get your bike checked.

-      Bike to School Celebration Stations:  May 31st, 7:45am, Harwood Elem. / June 2nd, 7:45 am, Alexis Park Elem. / June 3rd, 7:45 am, Ecole Beairsto,

-      Wrap-up BBQ Spirit Square: Friday, June 3rd, 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Prizes,free burgers, quality entertainment by Kiki the Eco Elf and Vernon Community Band.

-      ALSO; 2016 B.C.-Wide Grand Prize Trip: Register at biketowork.ca  for a chance to win a cycling adventure for 2 in Vietnam sponsored by Exodus Travel.

6. First Peoples Celebration: June 11, 11am – 3 pm Allan Brooks Nature Centre. Celebrate our neighbours’ culture and heritage. Presentations, hands-on-art, bannock – making and more!

7. Local Bee Bylaw: Great benefits accrue with presence of urban honeybees.  Check out this info and ask for a bylaw allowing them here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7LZe6XsV2k

FROM FASNO (Food Action Society of the North Okanagan)

1. 18th Annual Gathering of the B.C. Food Systems Network: July 15th -17th, In Syilx Territory, at the En'owkin Centre in Penticton, B.C. More details will follow soon. Interested in volunteering? Please get in touch with gathering@bcfsn.org. For more information, go here.


1.  Changing the World (via Guy Dauncey): The lower house of Parliament in Holland recently voted to ban the sale of non-electric cars by 2025. It still has to pass the Dutch Senate.


2. Site C Info: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZgDsJFJ4q0e-_AhgndZG0b3v8jE5cDUO

3. Fact-Resistant Humans: http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/scientists-earth-endanger...


1. Bike lanes on Bloor Street: Toronto benefited from the Foundation’s and Cycle Toronto’s push to get a bike lane here. It will make cycling safe, reduce air pollution, and protect climate.

2. Feeding Humanity: GHG emissions from farms (including deforestation for farmland) is about 24% of all global emissions…but we need food for the 9 billion inhabitants, so, what will do it best and keep GHG’s down?... 1/3 of all food is wasted and we have both obesity and starvation so distribution and waste reduction would help, as would reducing meat consumption … GMO crops won’t help since they have yet to increase yields…industrial agriculture has increased food volumes efficiently but there are too many consequences (pollution, soil loss/damage, antibiotic resistance, chemical damage).

The Rodale Institute, a research organization devoted to organic farming, concluded global adoption of agroecological practices such as “cover crops, compost, crop rotation and reduced tillage” could “sequester more carbon than is currently emitted.” Agroecology is a system with high species diversity and a biologically active soil, that promotes natural pest control, nutrient recycling and high soil cover to prevent resource losses.

UN reporter Olivier De Schutter said “… scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live — especially in unfavourable environments.” …and… “agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects.”


1. Net-Zero Buildings: While the newer National Building Code of Canada does embrace upgrading existing buildings to make them “climate change ready”, it misses the opportunity to introduce tougher building energy efficiency (a net-zero) target for new and, eventually, existing buildings. Tell your MLA and your Premier that Net zero energy building standards must be an expectation for all of Canada! For the entire article, go here.


1.  They won a federal court case that expected Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and fish companies to change practises so that no fish carrying disease could be transferred to open – net pens near wild fish in BC. DFO and those companies are filing an appeal….However, DFO scientists have diagnosed a potential case of Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in B.C. farmed salmon. HSMI causes severe lethargy and weakness, ultimately robbing fish of their ability to swim upstream to spawn and making them easy prey for their predators. Ask Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Hunter Tootoo to save our wild salmon before this disease can be transferred, as happened in Norway.


1.Sustainable Seafood:  Globally, certified seafood production grew 35% annually over the last decade. The sustainable seafood market is surging. According to this report, sustainable seafood now accounts for 14% of global production. This is good news for the environment and fish stocks, and is helping to address decades of mismanagement. The report concludes by saying that “targeted investment in developing country certification is needed [for even greater numbers].” For more information please go here.  

2.  Climate Change On Our Prairies: U. of Winnipeg - IISD research shows that the area will warm much more than the planet.  Read more here. 


1. Site C: What BC Residents Have and Have Not Been Told About Site C Dam and Electricity Prices. From Powell River - Great article

2. Geothermal Energy: Why aren't we using more of it - Read about it here


1. Halifax Project Wins Cancer Prevention Award: On Earth Day 2016, Prevent Cancer Now announced that the Halifax Project is to be the recipient of the Group Cancer Prevention Award – 2015. With extraordinary scientific leadership and wisdom, the Project is leading to a reframing of cancer. It considers environmental contributors to cancer, as well as beneficial exposures (primarily diet) that may prevent occurrence, progression, or even foster a cure.


1. Neoliberalism and Planet Destruction: Destruction of our own ecosystem/nest makes no sense....unless there is a nutty ideology out there that declares that it does. That systemic thinking is known as neoliberalism. The neo-liberal agenda is to allow systemic unfairness and make it seem "right". Neoliberalism also generates actual institutions (e.g. tax havens) that perpetuate the imbalances and approved destructiveness inherent in this belief system...Obviously, neoliberalism must go! Once the imbalances become more fair, the resources needed to transform the Planet into a safe and secure place for future generations would be readily available. For a related article, go here.

2. World Health Organization: The WHO is thinking of going corporate, so this means Monsanto, Pfizer and any other corporate entity could sit at the decision-making table and direct discussion towards their business goals. The conflict of interest safeguards they have in place that prevent data distortion would be greatly weakened.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck