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March 2017 Newsletter

MARCH 2017

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. Seedy Saturday: March 18th, 10 am – 3 pm, Vernon Recreation Centre. Suggested donation of $2 at the door. Children get in free. Gardening experts speak at 11 am, noon, and 1 pm. Many organic seed and plant sellers, garden support materials, great food, kids’ activities, and lots more!

2. SENS 8th Annual Seed/Plant Swap/Sale and AGM: March 23rd, 6:30 - 7:30pm: seed/plant swap/sales, 7:30 pm – 7:40pm: Annual General Meeting (short!), 7:40 pm – 8:30: Jocelyne Sewell and Juila Lissau share garden tips and tricks for hot, dry Okanagan gardening, 8:30 pm:: more seeding! Come with free seeds/plants, envelopes, and questions. Everyone is welcome!

3. February Winter Carnival Parade: Thank-you to Terry Dyck and Sheila (artwork) for again organizing a super educational presence for SENS at the parade with a large fleet of 10 no-noise, no-smell electric cars plus inspirational banners!


1. Farmers’ Markets:

Vernon: Fridays, noon – 4 pm, Indoors at Kal Tire Place.

Armstrong: Saturdays (until April), 9 am – 1 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St.

Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave.

- GMO and pesticide free produce! For more information, call 778-473-2230 or visit their website.

2. North Okanagan Naturalist Club: March 1st, 7 pm, Vernon’s Village Green Hotel. The speaker is Tanis Gieselman, Msc. The topic is 'The edge and beyond: conservation and the seeds of a solution'.

3. Permaculture Group: Last Wednesday of the month at 7 pm in the Vernon library meeting room. This open community group aims to share regenerative knowledge and hands on experiences with one another in order to build a stronger community and healthier local environment. Everyone is welcome! Check out their modern homesteaders blog.

4. Seedy Saturdays Elsewhere:

Enderby: March 4th, 10 – 4, Splatsin Community Centre

Westbank: March 11th, 10 am - 3 pm, Westbank Lions Community Centre, 2466 Main Street

5. Local Grower Support: Curlew Orchard seeks apple lovers via a CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription for their apples (about 20lbs per month for 5 winter months). They will be expanding into nuts and other foods in the coming years and certified organics too! For more, visit www.curleworchard.ca.

6. NOCAT Bike Swap: April 2nd, Science Centre. More to follow, mid- March…

7. #Canada150: To celebrate Canada’s 150 year as a country, Valley First is selecting one individual or team every week in 2017 "from B.C. communities who volunteer to make a positive difference. The chosen volunteer can then donate $1,500 to the non-profit of their choice." Nominate this person/team today!

8. Repair Café: Interested in helping to plan for a 2017 Repair Café in Vernon? If so, please contact Julia, 250 542-0892 or jblissau@telus.net. Also, check out this related site!

9. B.C. Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA): In the upcoming election, B.C.’s energy future will be on the table. BCSEA wants to make sure your interests and concerns are represented, and have as such developed a short survey to understand what you think is of greatest importance for B.C. Your answers will help BCSEA ensure your interests are brought to the attention of the next batch of B.C. Politicians...

10. The Impact of Toxic Chemicals on the Developing Brain: Thursday, Apr 6th, 7:30 pm, Okanagan College, Vernon Campus, Lecture Theatre. This Science In Society Series will be given by speaker Dr. Bruce Lanphear. Tickets are $7 in advance (Okanagan Science Centre 250-545-3644) or $10 at the door.

11. Eco-friendly Home Tour  - May 6th, 9:30 – 3:30. Only 100 tickets available ($25 each) at Bean Scene (no pre-sales) from 10am - 3pm on March 31 and April 1 until all tickets are taken. Check out net zero energy homes in Vernon and Lake Country, and a certified passive house - one of only 6 in the province - in SE Kelowna. Thank-you from Vernon’s Canadian Federation of University Women for helping to provide 2 scholarships each year for two local students. More information: franceswarner@shaw.ca.


1. The Okanagan’s Vulnerable Monarchs: Monarch butterflies in B.C. are of Special Concern, showing long-term declines of 50% - 70%. This decline is related to loss of milkweed, a plant that Monarchs lay their eggs on. Showy milkweed is the only native milkweed in B.C. and is threatened by development and weed control programs. However, the plight of the monarchs has inspired people to plant more milkweed in their neighbourhoods. You can watch the Monarch migration each spring at the Journey North website.

2. Owl Survey: The B.C.-Yukon Nocturnal Owl Survey monitors trends in owl populations through road-based methods similar to those used in the Breeding Bird Survey. Participants survey their route at least once per year in March (Southern Interior) and April (Central/Northern B.C. and the Yukon). Participants receive annual newsletters and tax relief for travel expenses incurred during the survey. If you are interested in taking part in this long term monitoring program, please contact Karen Devitt, BC Program Coordinator, Bird Studies Canada at bcvolunteer@birdscanada.org


1. Tiny Houses: Here's a great interview and interior tour of a cheap Cottage Camper! Here's a beautiful floating, 4 season tiny house!

2. Smartflower Solar: Check out the world's first all-in-one solar system!

3. Inexpensive Cob House: https://youtu.be/kC-7ZGe5cwA


1. March 1st Potluck and AGM: 6 – 6:45 pm: Potluck, 7 pm: AGM. Vernon Library. Membership is only $10, so join and support FASNO. Also, let them know you can come...

2. Organic Bulk Buying Group: Interested? Check this out!

3. Websites of Interest:

  • "Cut your grocery bill in half" with this site!

  • Go here to learn how "gene-editing marks the next generation of genetically altered foods"!

  • And go here to learn how "armed with caterpillars, an African entrepreneur dishes up a child hunger solution"!


1. Declining Fisheries: “Sea Around Us” (www.seaaroundus.org) has published a Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries using research which shows that fish catches have been declining since 1990. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has consistently underestimated, by half, the annual global fish catch due to the uncounted throw-aways that fishers don’t want, non-industrial fishing such as that around Greenland, ecosystem damage by industrial trawlers and illegal fishing. Global fish stocks are in trouble due to this overfishing in areas said to be stable . Self interest also stops us from investing in the future. When rewards for cooperation are long into the future, groups tend to cooperate less.

FROM SUMOFUS.ORG (Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1. Don't Let Them Off the Hook: Almost three years ago, Imperial Metals spilled 25 million cubic metres of toxic waste into pristine Quesnel Lake, one of the deepest lakes in the world. The 2014 Mount Polley Mine spill destroyed or damaged massive swaths of fish habitat. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to usher in a new era of protection for Canadian waterways. He needs to push forward with criminal charges against Imperial Metals. Tell Trudeau's government to enforce the Fisheries Act now!

2. Stevia Action: This sweetener comes from traditional knowledge of indigenous groups in South America. Coca-Cola is reaping billions by using stevia with nothing go to indigenous peoples despite rights enshrined in international treaties. Click here to watch the video and share it with your friends. Petition: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stevia-coca-cola/?source+fb

FROM LEADNOW.CA(non-profit media group)

1. Good News On Grassy Narrows: Premier Wynne has promised that Ontario would clean up the river system and the Dryden Mill and that this cleanup would be led by Grassy Narrows First Nation! This is a moment for cautious celebration, but our work is not done yet. No schedule has been announced, and the remediation has not begun. Pledge right now to continue to support grassy narrows until the river is truly clean and mercury justice is achieved! Also please share this on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. For more, visit



1. Action on Clean Water for All: It’s a human right but many First Nations still have boil water advisories. The federal government promised to end drinking water advisories in First Nations within five years of being elected. However, research shows the government is not on track for this promise. Ask the federal government to live up to its promise to end the drinking water crisis in First Nations communities by 2020.


2. Rich Diversity Ocean Conservation Plan: Canada ratified a long-awaited conservation plan recently for one of the world’s richest areas for biodiversity, Canada’s North Pacific coastal waters. It’s home to trillions of plankton, billions of fish, millions of seabirds and thousands of whales among forests of kelp and deep-sea canyons. Ancient glass sponge reefs in Hecate Strait near Haida Gwaii are also being protected.

3. Renewable Energy: Shifting from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy is the smart thing to do for the environment, climate, economy and jobs. The foundation has some ideas on how to do it... Read all about it here! Local action items are coming soon.


1. Environmental Studies Programs: If you're interested in environmental science and/or advocacy, then this website, which connects to thousands of study programs in the U.S., is for you. For Canadian students, the "Alternatives Journal" is the place to go. They have an annual issue on every environmental course in Canada. There is a small cost associated with it, but well worth it!!


1. Do No Harm: The proposed New Prosperity mine in central B.C. would put the Tŝilhqot’in peoples’ land and water at considerable risk. The federal government rejected the project outright. And yet it's being appealed... As such Ecojustice is headed to court to stand in support of the federal rejection.


1. Subsidies and Climate: In the latest report from the Global Subsidies Initiative, Zombie Energy, ISSD explains how ending fossil fuel subsidies will not only save billions of public dollars, but will also help reduce the GHG emissions driving climate change. Read more here.

2. Optimism, Pessimism, and Climate Change: When it comes to action on climate change, should we be feeling optimistic or pessimistic? Read this for both sides of the coin.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck