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Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

February 2016 Newsletter +  

Sustainable Environment NetworkSociety February 2016 Nwsletter 

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.

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations *** 

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


SENS will NOT be providing a speaker at Schubert Centre this month. Instead, on Feb  25 our venue is at the Vernon library for the film fest. See below.... 

1. Sustainability Film Fest: Thursdays, 6:30 – 9 pm, Vernon Library.  SENS is working with the library, City of Vernon and RDNO to present a month of Thursday evening documentaries free for everyone. Each film will be followed by a short but stimulating discussion with locals ‘in the know’. Bring a carload and join the rest of us to share ideas! 

February 4th: Aina: That which Feeds Us - environmental and health problems faced by the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, complete with suggestions for solutions

February 11th: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story - a look at the $ billions in food waste from farms, food stores and home fridges. See how 2 film makers lived waste free by surviving on discarded food (NO grocery shopping or eating in restaurants!)…

February 18th: How To Change The World - how Greenpeace and the modern ‘green’ movement started, complete with scary action video from early ventures, Greenpeace’s growing pains, and balancing political vs personal problems.

February 25th: Living Small: A Tiny House Documentary - Experience the challenges and rewards faced by Anderson Page as he constructs his first tiny living space. Could YOU live more with less? 

2. Fractured Land: March 2, 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre, The director will attend this premier showing!  We follow Dene lawyer Caleb Behn over a 4 year period as he tries to balance his people’s need for fracking jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory. Will he become a great leader and transform history as he works on fractures within himself, his community and the world around him? $10 each, $5 students, at the door. 

3. Seedy Saturday: March 12th, 10 am – 3 pm, Trinity United Church, Vernon. If you would like a table ($20) to sell seeds, plant starts, and food and garden products, please contact Heather for information and application form. 


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Vernon: Fridays, 12 – 4 pm, inside Kal Tire Place.
  • Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm.
  • Armstrong Winter Market: Thursdays, 12 – 3 pm, Odd Fellows Hall on Bridge St. 

2. North Okanagan Naturalists Club Meeting: February 3rd, 7 pm, Sierra Room, Village Green Hotel.  Pat McAllister presents slides on ‘Natural History of Southern Utah’. *** A third co-leader for kids’ stuff via NatureKids of BC is needed. Email Marnie

3. Forests In Flux: February 3rd, 7 pm, Armstrong Centennial Theatre. Dr. Greg O’Neill, Kal  Forestry Research Centre speaks on building resilient plantations in the era of climate change:. Admission is by donation. Sponsored by the Armstrong Spallumcheen Environmental Trust. 

4. Volunteer Opportunities: Allan Brooks Nature Centre:  250-260-4227 or email: events@abnc.ca

5. “Buttered”: This episode featuring Fieldstone & Country Bakery of Armstrong is on February 11th, 7:30 pm. It will also air Feb. 12th online at AMI-TV's Four-Senses.

6. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate: February 18th, 7 pm, Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. Naomi Klein speaks on our economic model’s war against life on earth and her ideas on what we MUST do. Free, but please register hereUBCO Distinguished speaker series.

7. Traffic Calming: Write a letter of support for a low cost idea to decrease speeding through traffic on 25th Street in Vernon. Details:  http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story--2-.htm

8. Sugar Lake and Shuswap River; The Sugar Lake And Middle Shuswap Stewards (SLAMSS), in collaboration with the Cherryville Water Stewards, are active once again to protect this last clean watercourse. There is concern with a new development in the planning stages that could impact the waters due to increased motorboat access and use. They ask that you Sign the online petition at Change.Org asking the North Okanagan R.D. to apply to Transport Canada to implement motor boat restrictions on Sugar Lake, as well as on the Upper and Middle Shuswap River. The 2 RDNO Area directors named in the petition represent residents of this watershed upstream of Mabel Lake. 

9. Element Eco-design: Registration is open for their Permaculture Design Certificate. Contact them for details via their website.

10..Climate Change and BC Forests: March 7, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, Workshop #1,   1pm – 4:30pm or Workshop #2, 6 – 9:30 pm  Purpose is to generate recommendations for  climate change mitigation for this area. Confirm your attendance by contacting Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent at peterson.guil@gmail.com.

11.  DIY Solar Seminar: with John Barling, March 26th, ,10am – 3:15 pm at Schubert Centre.  He'll cover over 25 projects you can do. Tickets available in March at Bean Scene. Details to follow in March. Read short articles John has written, on the SENS website www.sensociety.org  soon. 


1. ‘Not so Black and White’: Here's a great editorial where the author, Monbiot, admits that eating properly farmed meat ain't so bad! 

2. Digital Cycling Magazine: Check out Momentum Mags free for its first newsletter!!

3. Guy Dauncey News: Guy is now putting out a newsletter “A Better World Is Possible”! It will share big ideas from his new Amazon book “Journey To the Future” as well as progress on related ideas. His first newsletter talks about the Solar Revolution, the Fifth Great Energy Revolution, as solar PV investment continues to rise... A great read! For the newsletter, go here.

4. The E-18 Group of Nations: Excerpt:”What the world needs now is a new alliance of nations whose leaders will pledge to work together to heal the planet, build a new economy that will restore nature, and set their sights on 100% renewable energy and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The members of the E-18 would agree to share new ideas and initiatives; to support each other in developing new policies and advancing them on the global stage; and give the world fresh hope.” For the rest of Guy's 2nd newsletter article, go here

5. Down the DrainIt turns out that too many ‘other’ items (wipes, floss, tampons, fats ,grease etc.) are getting flushed and it's costing us millions when our aging sewer pipe systems plug up with them. Toilet paper and your body wastes only, please! 

6. Solar Bike “ELF”: 30 mph, $4,000  US, safe…, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3INj_7WVDQ8

7. Aviation Pollution: they get massive subsidies from government (your taxes), breach pollution laws, and information regulating them was dropped from the December’s Paris Climate Talk agreements….More:  http://www.monbiot.com/2016/01/20/mumbo-jumbo-jets/


1.Prevention Is The Cure: The reality is that many common exposures that are beyond an individual’s control may contribute to pathways leading to cancers. In 2015, a major series of scientific publications highlighted many common chemicals that are considered to trigger “hallmarks of cancer” in everyday, low doses. For example, there are some personal care product ingredients; some foods;  bad air; bad water, radiation from wireless devices and medical imaging, etc. For more, read this BBC News article

2. Temporary approvals of pesticides: yes or no? Health Canada is asking you! They propose to stop granting temporary new registrations for pesticides, however they do not comment on 76 other pesticide products that include ‘bee-killing’ neonicotinoids. Of the 76, 18 still await testing data. Google Health Minister Announces Consultation to Halt Temporary Pesticide Approvals, Prevent Cancer Now for details. You can have your say on the consultation by email to pmra.publications@hc-sc.gc.ca by March 19th, 2016. 

PreventCancerNow also provides this: You may wish to copy and build upon the following text:

Re: NOI2016-01
Notice of Intent Regarding Conditional Registrations under the Pest Control Products Regulations

I support discontinuing granting of temporary, conditional registrations of pesticides, as currently proposed, and as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee (2015).

Temporary registrations put pesticides on the Canadian market, in our environment and in our food, with neither full assessment nor public consultation.

I also support nullifying current temporary registrations, as they include pesticides that are not permitted elsewhere, as well as mixtures that require thorough assessment because of interactions between multiple active ingredients.

The Parliamentary Committee also recommended improving openness and transparency, to ensure that Canadians are able to provide meaningful and informed input into the decision-making process and to clearly understand decisions made. For this, we need comprehensive, rigorous, systematic scientific reviews, and access to relevant data during consultations.


Your full name
(Organization, if applicable)
Phone number
Complete mailing address, or email address


1. Green Ribbons: They will be creating a green ribbon advisory committee to provide input to the National Capital Commission which is working to do retrofits for 24 Sussex Drive. Hopefully the retrofits will be net zero energy and also will be a model for all builders in Canada to look up to. The future demands it! For the source of this info, go here.

2.Energy East In Quebec: Sierra opposes the pipeline because of severe damage to wildlife and causing a major increase in GHGs (32million tonnes/year). For the report, click here!


1. TransCanada Pipeline Arbitration: TransCanada Corporation's newly initiated arbitration against the U.S. is a troubling use of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) to challenge public policy decisions. IISD believes that these disputes are best settled by domestic courts and processes. Read more here.


1. Site C: The Foundation recognizes that Site C is not necessary (we can reduce electricity use via conservation and efficiency and even support and use energy alternatives) and that it will cost taxpayers greatly. They ask you to tell the B.C. government to stop work on Site C until First Nations’ court cases are determined. 


1.The Trans Pacific Partnership: The TPP is a 12 nation trade agreement spanning countries as diverse as Vietnam and Malaysia to Japan and the United States. BUT The TPP would also mean a system of secret courts where big corporations would overturn the decisions of elected governments. And some of those same corporations are responsible for the environmental loss and human suffering Conflict palm oil has brought! So please say no to the TPP! 

2.Monsanto (again!): They’ve just filed a lawsuit against California to stop the state from adding Glyphosate (in roundup) to a list of chemical s that cause cancer. 


1. Neonics Campaign: In 2016, CAPE will be working with others to educate the Quebec public about the health and environmental impacts associated with neonics, support the banning of these high risk agricultural pesticides, and advocate for regulations that create healthy crops, healthy bees, and healthy people. Currently, Quebec has banned 20 lawn/garden pesticides; but a new proposal will bump the list up to 60 banned pesticides. 


1.Manitoba:  has become Canada’s first province to sign on to the Blue Dot Movement  and install an Environmental Bill of Rights. The Bill would recognize their right to a healthy environment. 

2. Trans Mountain Pipeline: Ecojustice still has concerns that the 5 principles announced by the Feds do not address the following: 2012 “efficiency” changes to the National Energy Board Act so there are no oral hearings and lawyers cannot cross-examine the Company on statements made. A ‘go-ahead‘ means that tar sand development is accelerated, which increases GHG emissions. Tanker traffic would go from 60 to over 400 per year in the Vancouver harbour - Gulf Islands area. For even more details  check out Ecojustice’s newsletter. 

3. Pesticide management: Learn more here about what Ecojustice is doing to advocate for a precautionary approach that ensures Canadians have a full understanding of how these substances may impact our health and our environment. 

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck


January 2016 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. Pioneering a Resilient Community for Today: January 28th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Join us and see how Gord’s permaculture design, Steven’s backyard solar greenhouses and Roland’s aquaponics work together to help us live more healthily and happily within a strong community. 

2. Middle Shuswap and Lower Lumby Water Sampling: Results from water sampling of Middle Shuswap and Lower Lumby water this year are posted on the SENS website now. You can find the E. coli count AND dissolved oxygen content on the list.

 3. Coldstream Creek Water Quality Land Use Assessment:  Phase I of the Coldstream Creek Water Quality Land Use Study, a study of over 150 surface and groundwater locations, is also now available on the SPrKL website. This project will assist regional governments in identifying areas along the creek that are vulnerable to land use impacts. 

 4. Seedy Saturday: March 12, 10 - 3, Trinity United Church, Vernon. If you would like a table ($20) to sell seeds, plant starts, and food and garden products, please contact Heather at: idiggoodfood@gmail.com for information and application form.


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Fridays, noon – 4 pm, inside Kal Tire Place.

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

·       Armstrong Winter Market: Thursdays, 12 – 3 pm, Odd Fellows Hall on Bridge St.

 2. North Okanagan Naturalists Club Meeting: Jan 6, 7 pm, Sierra Room, Village Green Hotel. A member and photographer will show pictures from a recent visit along the Oregon Coast.

 3.Vernon Village Co-Housing: The idea here is that you would live with caring neighbours (for you and the environment), share skills, resources and facilities, but you would own your own home! There's an INFORMATION SESSION on Saturday, January 16th, 10:15 -12:00 noon at the Vernon Library. Contact Barbara Van Sickle (778-475-3453) for more information. Here's an article too!

4. Neighbourhood Cycling Corridors: A delegation will present to Vernon council on January 25 to ask for traffic calming on 25th street to reduce traffic speed of ‘short-cutting’ drivers, instead of having 4 times more money spent on sidewalks. They ask for your support for their safety. 

5. Science And Democracy,  The E4D Experiment: Jan 19, 7:30pm, OK College lecture theatre. Vernon, Dr Katie Gibbs of the non-profit “Science For Democracy’ speaks on history and successes of this group. $7 in advance from OSC, 545 3644, or $10 at door. This is a Science in Society event. 

6.Allan Brooks Nature Centre: There are many volunteer positions available here, from display builders, nature interpreters, event positions, to groundskeepers, and more. If interested, call 250-260-4227 or email: events@abnc.ca. Also, The new Brooks Nature Trailer is available now until March 2016 for class visits (contact: education@abnc.ca). 

6. N.O. Naturalists Club and NatureKids of BC: A co-leader for this wonderful program, which introduces children to nature in the North Okanagan, is stepping down. They need a third co-leader now! There are about eight outings per year, plus a few planning meetings, so the time commitment is not great. If you have a passion for nature and enjoy working with children, please contact/email Marnie


1. Car Alternative Comparisons: Here's some fun facts about Nissan's lithium powered EV called “Leaf” versus a gas guzzler. Guess who won? 

2. Biking In New Zealand: This video imagines a community wishing to reclaim streets for residents… 

3. Bike Videos with Humour: For the 10 best bike advocacy videos of 2015 using comedy, go here!

4. Geothermal Energy For Homes: These cost-saving, popular, and efficient systems can be used in both summer and winter, providing air- conditioning and home heating. Heck they can even tackle hot tub heating! Geothermal systems typically reduce heating costs by a quarter to a third and cuts cooling costs in half. The in-home system requires minimal attention. If your family anticipates living in a house for a number of years, geothermal is an excellent addition! Read a related article here.

 5. Prevent Cancer Now: Check out Prevent Cancer Now’s newsletter (Hot Off The Press), and extensive selection of Cancer Prevention Tips!

6. Green vs Conventional Office Air Quality and Effect on Workers; Efficient functioning determined by volatile organics, CO2 and ventilation…  http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10037/Functioning

 7. Soils:  The Soil Health Institute, http://soilhealthinstitute.org  , is a new organization that works to promote soil health and research, and ensure that soil is considered during land-use management decisions. Check out details through this free report: Erosion and Sediment Control: Navigating NPDES Regulations, SWPPP Requirements, and Techniques for Compliance

8. Problems With Vegetarianism: "In the time it takes to read this entire article, an area of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed, much of it for soybean cultivation"     http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/why-soy-is-bad-for-you-and-the-planet

9. Sea Wolves: Pacific Wild is a non-profit which has been researching sea wolves (genetically distinct from BC’s other wolves and globally unique) for decades. They fish for salmon, hunt seals and sea lions and scour the beaches for other sea food. The BC government doesn’t protect them or their habitat.  More details and support for ‘Pacific Wild’ at www.pacificwild.org/wolves . 


1. Open Net Pen Salmon Farm: The government has just approved this type of farm in Clio Channel, an active prawn and shrimp trawling area, over objections of fishermen... And no wonder: ALL other such farms have out of control sea lice levels (20 per fish)! Drugs aren't working any more, and shrimp and prawns are turning up dead. But with your help, we can keep up the battle to protect the wild salmon, healthy oceans, and healthy communities.


1. Check out Prevent Cancer Now’s newsletter (Hot Off The Press), and extensive selection of Cancer Prevention Tips

2. Baking Without Sugar:  Sugar depletes nutrients from our bodies, raises insulin levels and affects gut flora. Read the Article »


1. Healthy Environment:  Toronto is Canada’s 100th community to declare a healthy environment as a right for all its citizens. Now, 8 million Canadians live in such communities.  Let’s get Vernon added to the list! 


1. Obstructing Transition to a A Low Carbon Future: Almost all of the fossil fuel industry , the chemical industry, the investment sector, and some very powerful individual corporate figures are fighting hard to obstruct the transition to a low-carbon future. Read the full story here

2. The Paris Climate Accord: Paris played host to the biggest UN talks on tackling global warming and curbing emissions this December. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries struck the first legally binding accord (albeit weak) to limit planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to a 1.5 Co global temperature rise (2 Co at most). The accord also calls for a mechanism to review the targets every five years that is mandatory. Many companies applaud this, saying it sends investors clear, long term policy signals. For more on this in depth, go here. Now comes the hard part: implementation! 

3. Alberta Will Be Coal Free by 2030: Sweet! For more about Alberta’s coal-phase out click here.  

4. Partial Bans Don’t Work: A partial ban by the European Union did not change the level of neonictinoid pesticides sold. They’re still used on potatoes and sugar beets in Germany... And Bayer is even exporting more than before from Germany!  http://cbgnetwork.de/3035.html


1. Darkwoods' Conservation Area Mountain Caribou: Check out this blog for a slide-show of this magnificent landscape 

2. Congratulations! This non-profit has, for the 6th consecutive year, been ranked as the top environmental charity in Canada (Money Sense magazine). Read on >  for their many conservation successes! 

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck


December 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. No SENS Events this Month! Enjoy your Christmas holidays and New Yea Celebs and safe travels!

2. Vernon in Transition and “The Secret of Change”: Check out this site www.crowdfunder.co.uk for a few excerpts from the film's cross Canada and beyond tour. Can you spot at least 2 shots of Vernon? They’re asking for crowd source funding to assist with documentary completion...

3. Vandana Shiva, Feb 27, 7 pm, Schubert Centre : Tickets for the Vernon event available at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/vandana-shiva-in-vernon-tickets-19677249182


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  •    Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm.
  • Vernon: Fridays, noon – 4 pm, inside, Kal Tire Place
  • Armstrong Winter Market: Thursdays, 12 – 3 pm, Odd Fellows Hall on Bridge St.
  • Armstrong Christmas Market: December 12th, 9 – 2 pm, St. Joseph’s Parish on Patterson.

2. Allan Brooks Nature Centre: There are many volunteer positions available here, from Display Builders, Nature Interpreters, Event Positions, to Groundskeepers, and more. If interested, call 250-260-4227 or email: events@abnc.ca. Also, The new Brooks Nature Trailer is available now until March 2016 for class visits (contact: education@abnc.ca).

3. End The Bikes vs. Cars ‘War’: Learn from this Urban Systems presentation and let council know what we all need for long into the future! Let’s be proactive, not reactive!

4. People-Powered Transportation: Safe cycling offers great (business) benefits such as increased cycling infrastructure. But first we need a local cycling coalition to help City Council move forward for all our futures. If you’re interested in helping set one up, contact Kim (coach5@notthatfar.ca) or meet December 2, 7 pm, upstairs meeting room Alexander’s Pub.

5. A Billion For Bikes: The BC Cycling Coalition is asking the B.C. Government to commit a billion dollars over 10 years towards actions that will allow everyone in B.C. to walk or bike for their daily needs. This investment would upgrade and build new trails, routes, cycling facilities and networks, with safety, cycling tourism, and inclusion all in mind. Please sign this petition to encourage the government to take this bold action! Also, spread the word via Facebook and Twitter.

6. B.C.'s Water: Watersheds across B.C. are showing signs of stress, and unprecedented droughts. Water quality degradation and water use conflict are only a few of the problems. The POLIS Water Sustainability Project is concerned that we could experience the same crises as happened in California and Washington State if we don’t ensure that sustainability is included in the new water act. The POLIS’ report Awash with Opportunity offers clear recommendations.

7. N.O. Naturalists Club and NatureKids of BC: One of co-leaders for this wonderful program, which introduces children to nature in the North Okanagan, is stepping down. They need a new co-leader now! There are about eight outings per year, plus a few planning meetings, so the time commitment is not great. If you have a passion for nature and enjoy working with children, please contact Marnie, mpw660@telus.net.


1. 1 Million Acres By 2020: The Nature Conservancy of Canada has set this as a goal and would like your help via donation, fund-raising, or spreading the word!

2. G20 Prop Up Fossil Fuels: According to the Overseas Development Institute they’re still spending 4 times more (an average $462 billion) on fossil fuel subsidies and related stuff than they do on alternative renewable energy, calling into question their commitment to halting climate change.

These same governments are falling short on their promises to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change...

3. Green Party Wish List: In short, their list basically REPEALS/REPAIRS/REFUNDS almost everything Harper broke or jammed through parliament! For the entire list, go here.

4. Bottled vs. Tap Water: About 500 times more energy is used to provide bottled water (for materials and distribution) than tap water (for piping from source to home) and 25% of that bottled water is from City water anyway! In blind tests, more tasters favor tap water…If you’re a bottled water user will you switch to tap water to reduce the environmental impact? Article here.

5. Tiny Houses: If you’re interested in living with a small footprint (low energy and minimal resources) but can’t build a Tiny House on your own, there are 2 Vancouver companies, NOMADmicrohomes and CameraBuildings that have designed pre-fabricated homes. Some can even be built and towed by car to new sites... For a ‘walk-through’ of a tiny house, check out this video!

6. Gut Bacteria and Asthma Risk: According to new research by scientists at UBC and BC Children’s Hospital, infants can be protected from developing asthma if they are exposed to four types of gut bacteria by the age of three months,... Obviously, we’re making our environment too clean!

7. Freshwater Alliance News: In September, the B.C. government took back a water license it had granted to Nexen Inc., shale gas fracking company, after much scrutiny and legal pressure. Apparently, the license had permitted the company to drain billions of litres of lake and river water from First Nation lands. So, are we likely to see other First Nation governments challenging water licenses in the future? Is this the (much needed) first step to the end of fracking in Canada?


1. Science in Government: Kristy Duncan is our new Minister of Science! Kristy has a PhD in geography, and has taught and conducted research in the fields of climate change, global flu epidemics, and medical geography. As well, scientists can now talk openly to media and can even lecture to the public on their research without government/departmental approval.


1. Ouch! Science Magazine recently named Monsanto as one of the best places to work in the industry. Hmm….what happened to social responsibility? Sign this petition to ask Science magazine to retract the honor in light of Monsanto's devastating GMO regime.

2. Trans-Pacific Partnership: According to SumOfUs, this secret deal will drive up drug costs, weaken workers' rights, and put corporations on the same level as sovereign nations, able to sue in special TPP courts to overturn protections for consumers and the environment. They’re asking for donations to educate about the deal and change/defeat it. Here's a petition to sign!

3. Nestle’s Water Extraction In Oregon: SumOfUs’ recent petition caused Oregon’s governor to put the Nestle deal under review. Now the Local Water Alliance is setting up a ballot to block Nestle from corporate privatization of what should be a local resource. And here's a related story...


1. Mushrooms: According to this article, 90 % of land-based plants have a mutually beneficial relationship with these fungi that include communicating, sharing nutrients, and defense against disease/pests. Mushrooms could even help us clean up oil spills, defend against weaponized smallpox, break down toxic chemicals such as PCB’s, and decontaminate nuclear sites!

2.Urban trees: They’re a key infrastructure asset for resilient communities. Governments should fund these trees as well as such aging infrastructure as roads and bridges. Benefits? … stormwater management, clean/cool air, filter/regulate water, reduced energy use, protect buildings during storms, shade roads/walkways to reduce effects of weathering…10 trees added to one city block produce health benefits equal to a $10,000 salary raise or being 7 years younger.

3.Oceans: Nature Climate Change magazine reports that many shellfish such as our west coast scallops are very vulnerable to ocean acidification (unable to make hard shells) due to excess CO2 absorbed by those ocean waters. Oceans supply half our oxygen, absorb ¼ of global emissions, produce food, regulate climate and weather, give us medicine, renewable energy and much more but human actions threaten them. Let your government know that you want stronger protections so that our oceans are more resilient in the face of so many human-caused challenges. Check out a recent peer-reviewed paper: “Canada at the Crossroads: The imperative for realigning ocean policy with ocean science.”


1. Alberta’s Coal Phase-Out: Coal-fired power plants are a significant source of mercury pollution and have a health impact of $300 million in Alberta annually. When Ontario phased out their coal plants, air pollution levels decreased greatly to reduce air-pollution-related premature deaths by 23% and hospital admissions by 41 % just in Toronto.

2. Economic Literacy: Check out this fun and simple PowerPoint presentation: “Getting Beyond Supply and Demand”!


1. The Fine Print of the TPP: The recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement was made public last week, and IISD experts have been pouring over the text. Here's their analysis of the agreement's chapters on environment and investment.

Co-edited with Egan Mandreck

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


October 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. Year-Round Greenhouses for Job Creation: October 22, 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Join entrepreneur John Tuttle as he explains use of renewable fuels to run greenhouses that are sustainable and produce a green crop a month.


1. Farmers’ Markets:

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

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

2. Water, Wetlands, Soils, Fungi: A Professional Development Day of Academic Presentations and the 3rd Annual UBCO Beer & Burger Social Networking. Oct. 8, 2015, 11:00am-7:30pm, Kelowna, UBCO Campus Ballroom UNC 200 Registration Form or office admin@bcia.com 1-877-855-9291.

3. Adapting To A Changing Planet: October 13, Vernon’s OK College Campus Theatre, 7:30pm. Dr Hebda, a Science In Society Speaker, will use research on plant fossils to look at history and evolution of BC’s climate. $7 in advance from OSC (250 545-3644),$10 at door.

4.New Directions in UBC Forestry:, Oct 14th, 6:30 – 9pm, Hotel 540, Terrace Room 540, Victoria Street, Kamloops. Learn how they’re adapting to modern challenges and taking advantage of state-of-the art technology to improve the sustainable management of forests. Free, but RSVP today! - before October 12.

5.Play Like A Kid – without ‘em! October 17, 6 – 10pm Okanagan Science Centre in Vernon. An adult evening of experiments, explosions(by Kevin!), appies, alcohol tastings, DJ, cash bar and science-themed activities. Meet Bob McDonald of Quirks and Quarks! A Mini Science Camp for your kids will be next door. Tickets, in advance: $25 each (19+ years) and $10 per child from 250-545-3644, info@okscience.ca, or at Okanagan Science Centre, 2704 Hwy 6.

6.Vision To Action (Fresh Outlook Foundation): For AGM, workshop, retreat, or other event, speakers are available to show how sustainability thinking/action can accelerate your organization, industry, community toward prosperity and legacy Sustainability Support Services Inc.

7. Sugar Lake: It’s under threat of destructive "recreation". The Province received an application for a 30-slip commercial marina to be built at the old Kokanee Lodge on Sugar Lake. Sugar Lake would become a motor boat heaven... jet boats and skiers, killing aquatic life with gasoline pollution, shoreline erosion, degrading water quality... ACT NOW. Send comments to http://www.arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=49900.


8.Here Comes The Sun Workshop: Oct. 31, 10am – 2 pm, Schubert Centre, 3505 30th Ave, Vernon. Join local creator and author John Barling for a 4 hour presentation designed for do-it-yourselfers, on practical, everyday ways to use solar energy. Sessions will include Understanding Solar Energy, Photovoltaic Systems, and Projects Galore!

Cost: $50. Tickets available at the 'Bean Scene' 2923, 30th Ave. Vernon, or by sending a cheque to John Barling at 293, Inverness Drive, Coldstream BC V1B3W1

John Barling is the author of BC Hydro's 'Sources: Solar Energy', 'John Barling's Solar Fun Book' and is the former Head of Science at the International School of Monaco.

9. Bike Lanes Cheaply: ...and no traffic slowing from it...Check out 4 ways to cut traffic congestion, boost store revenues along the route and get more people healthy via cycling! read more!

10. Spadefoot Toad Wetland: Oct 3, 4:30 pm, 664 Black Rock Rd. RSVP to info@osstewardship.ca if you plan to attend and help build this pond.


1.Science in Election Debates: This tidbit that was aired on CBC Radio. Check it out!

2. Non-Partisan Call To Action: This project of Our Living Waters (OLW) calls on the next federal government to play an active role in everything from research and monitoring to drinking water standards and fisheries protection, and set a national target to have Canada’s waters all in good health by 2025. See call to action document

3.UBC Research:

Climate change is forcing fish out of their current habitats and into cooler waters...

4. Water Sustainability Project: On Sept. 8th, a B.C. Environmental Appeal Board decision ruled in favour of Fort Nelson First Nation, dismissing the Nexen water licence for a fracking operation on FNFN territory. POLIS, UVic’s Environmental Law Centre, and others contributed research and advice to FNFN’s case. This National Post article provides details on the ruling.

5. Science Integrity Project: Their Statement of Principles for Sound Decision-making in Canada is available and says:* best evidence should be transparent, rigorous and inform decision-making, *information should be open to all, *research results must be preserved, protected and shared so it’s understandable, *decision-making processes should be transparent and routinely evaluated.


1. Help Stop The Northern Gateway Project: BC Nature has started a crowdfunding campaign to fight rising legal costs, related to their case against Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project. Any funds raised over and above what is required to support their participation in this historic case will be used for other worthwhile BC Nature projects. Please help out in whatever way you can (donate and/or spread the word), to help keep our Coast healthy and safe!


1. Northern Gateway Battle Lands In Court: The 6 day session will ask the Federal Court of Appeal to revoke the federal government’s approval re: risk for in-land pipeline ruptures, tanker spills at sea, and devastating long term impacts on communities and ecosystems along the route.



1. English Bay Report: Coast Guard officials now have a better idea of what went wrong during the April oil spill in English Bay, and how to make the response to another potential spill more successful. For a Global News video on this, go here.


1.GMO in Mexico: Mexico had a ban on planting GMO corn until Monsanto got it overturned. So now Sumofus.org is asking for funds to help Mexican farmers fight this. Chip in CA$1 to help tell Monsanto: Keep your genetically engineered corn out of Mexico.

2. Canadian Wheat Board Privatized: We no longer have public ownership - it is now handed over to a US agri-business + the Saudi government...farmers have yet to learn repercussions...

3.Glyphosate: California has labelled this chemical in Roundup as a chemical ‘known to cause cancer’. Start a local petition today to put pressure on your government and make sure we are louder than Monsanto’s lobbyists.


1. Election 2015: This election is an incredible opportunity to find out more about the people who want to represent us and a chance to get out there in your community and help shape the debate. Here's some great questions to ask your candidates or consider before voting!


1. New Ontario Law: This law, which protects butterflies, bees, and us from neonic pesticides, is a first in North America. It calls for an 80% reduction in the number of acres planted with neonic-treated corn and soya seeds in Ontario by 2017. For Toronto Star article on this, go here.


1. Sustainable Water Management: Here are some lessons from drought-ridden California and India we ought to learn before it's too late...

2. Paying For Infrastructure: As people migrate to urban areas and population increases, there needs to be changes to provision of energy, water and transportation. One estimate is a need, by 2030 for over $57 trillion! For the full article, go here.


1. Ask your Candidates: “If elected, what will you/your party do to prevent cancer?” Will their answer find them deserving of your vote?,


1.How to Tackle The Climate Crisis If PM: Check out Guy’s latest article that uses green building, transportation, forests, farming and ranching, and much more! -very detailed and makes sense.

2. More Green Jobs If Fossil Fuels Phased Out: No need for more pipelines,... Denmark to be 100 % renewable by 2030... full 48-page report, click here


*Co-edited with Egan Mandreck


September 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. Environmental All Candidates Forum: September 24th, 7 – 9:30 pm, Vernon Schubert Centre. What questions do you have fo the 4 candidates? Answers to 5 queestions that SENS sent to candidates in August will be posted at the back for all to read and will soon be on the SENS website.

2.Pesticide pamphlet: This SENS-produced pamphlet is now available under ‘projects’.


1. Farmers’ Markets:

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

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

  3. Enderby: Friday, 11 am to 1pm behind City Hall.

  4. Armstrong: Saturdays, 8am – noon, Armstrong fairgrounds.

2. Separated Bike Paths: According to new stats from Vancouver, cycling is up 30% due to the presence of these paths. Have YOU tried the paths at the side of 20th Street and 29th Street yet? Glorious shade and front yard flowers… Let your council know how great they are! Here's a CBC article too!

The Copenhagenize Index 2015 is a comprehensive inventory and ranking of the world’s 20 most bicycle-friendly cities. Vernon has a long way to go but with rising urbanization we need modern mobility solutions that look more at bicycles as opportunity and not as a problem to be dealt with.

From their website: Copenhagen is top bike friendly city in the whole world. Their modal share (numbers cycling) leaped from 36 to 45 % between 2012 and 2014. Infrastructure and political will is very important. Bike share programs have not worked but innovation, investment and improvement do work.

Plenty of research shows the social, economic, environmental, and health benefits of urban cycling. Studies from Denmark tell us that for every kilometer cycled, society enjoys a net profit of 23 cents, whereas for every kilometer driven by car we suffer a net loss of 16 cents.

The Copenhagenize Index is based on serious advocacy, bike facilities, social acceptance, and a general perception that cycling is safe. A city gets extra points for a higher modal percentage—the share of residents who get around by bike as opposed to car or public transit—and for a 50-50 gender split among cyclists.

Infrastructure is key. In Denmark and the Netherlands, a set of rules has evolved over a century. Tried and tested and proven to work, this established best practice is the model for cities everywhere. It includes making protected, one-way bike lanes that aren’t shared by cars, buses, or pedestrians. It means designing streets to limit the number and speed of cars in city centers, making public spaces safe and welcoming for everyone, not just drivers.

Vernon, let’s do it!

3. Kamloops Pesticide Ban Passed: Next year, residents of Kamloops will no longer be able spray their lawns or ornamental shrubs with cosmetic pesticides, thanks to the city's new and highly praised ban. The proposed ban, which will see a complete ban on all cosmetic pesticide use, applies to residential spaces and hopefully will include municipal or city spaces as well (to be voted on at a later date). For a full account, read this.

4. Keeping Nature In Our Future: The Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP) has a set of interactive displays about habitats, nature, and the importance in protecting it, that will start travelling to community events and farmers markets throughout the Okanagan Region this fall and throughout next spring, summer, and fall. When not on travel, the displays will be housed in the Allan Brooks Nature Centre's Mobile Nature Trailer.  The OCCP is looking for volunteers to staff the display at events. If you are interested in volunteering, go here. The first event will be the IPE in Armstrong (Sept. 2 - 6, 2015). Please drop by if you’re attending the fair.

5. New B.C. Mine? According to this article, a proposed new mine near the Alaska boundary was recently given a permit to operate by the B.C. government. The operator will be the company that owns the Mount Polley mine that had the tailings pond disaster last year...

6. Community Invasive Plant Weeding Day, Lumby: Thursday, September 3, 9:30am at Faulkner and Bessette St access to Salmon Path. Bring gloves, pruners. 250 809 1980 or info@osstewardship.ca

7. Shuswap River Power Boat Restrictions: Check out SENS’ facebook page for details on this issue and what you can do.

8. Visioning Vernon at our Library: Interested in being a panelist, or attending and providing input? Contact Kristy, 250-542-7610 ext. 6822.

September 19th    Community Building: Coming together in the age of (dis)connection How would YOU would like to see the community grow?

October 17th    Sustainable Development: Growing resilience

November 21st    Food: Local, sustainable, attainable Would YOU talk about the emergency food side of things, about growing in your backyard or about farmers’ markets (year round?)?

9. BC Climate Change Action Survey: Despite BC’s endorsement of LNG(fracking) and signed contract with Petronas (Malasian oil/gas Co) They are asking for your comments on what’s to be done about climate change. Survey is here: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership/

10. Final Tally For Bike to School and Work Week: Despite storms at Community Bike Fest and Wrap-up Barbeque, a total of 678 riders registered (up 143% from 2014) who logged 2,098 individual trips (up 193%) travelling 14,034 Km saving 3,045 Kg GHG’s. 153 riders were new to cycling.


1. Orcas and Family: Here's a thoughtful TED talk on ending whale captivity. Check it out!

2. Call to Stop New Oil Sands: Over 100 leading scientists have called for a moratorium on new oil sands development. Consensus statement says the science is clear: there can be no more oil sands development if we are to solve the global climate crisis! The document’s authors launched a website (www.OilSandsMoratorium.org) and they also discussed how a transition to low-emission energy production is possible for Canada without a dramatic reduction in economic growth. In order to see such action though, we must first kick Harper out of office...

3. Science Under Siege: All three parts of this great CBC Ideas documentary are available here.

4. Graphene Breakthrough: Here's a must-watch video on this miracle material!

5. Help Stop Nuclear Dumping: A federal review panel has just approved a ludicrous plan to dump nuclear waste just 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron, key to the great lakes system supplying drinking water to 40 million people. Dumping nuclear waste next to the largest freshwater system on Earth is a short-sighted gamble! We need to be protecting our invaluable natural resources like the Great Lakes, not letting corporations contaminate them. Please sign this petition telling our Environment Minister not to approve this horrid plan!

6. Climate Scientist’s Warning: Leading climate scientist James Hansen recently gave an alarming warning that limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius may not prevent a catastrophic sea level rise that would leave major cities from Miami to Mumbai at risk of drowning. The only way to avoid catastrophic flooding of global areas is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least three per cent each year and make fossil fuels more expensive by imposing a global carbon tax.

For the full article, go here.

7. Habitat For Bats: "[GM] has found a unique use for the discarded cases of its Volt batteries ... turning them into shelters for bats—and [other critters]." For the full story, go here.

8. Plants to Help Save Bees: Here's a handy illustration of Bee-saving plants you should have in your garden!

9. Seed Bombs: Nature Conservancy has a short u-tube on how make ‘em.

10. Nitrates and Groundwater Uranium: This study makes the connection between nitrates and naturally occurring uranium in groundwater.

11. Forest Diversity Benefits: Government law makes it illegal for forest companies to allow mixed stands of trees and thus requires elimination of aspen trees with herbicides. When a fire occurred in May of this year near Prince George (Little Bobtail Lake) the older stands that still had aspen were much less damaged because aspen doesn’t burn as readily as conifers.


1. Loblaws Bans Microbeads: Loblaws is pledging to eliminate microbeads and two harmful chemicals known as phthalates and triclosan from its cosmetic and household products by 2018. For more information, go here.

2. Corals are Already Adapting to Global Warming: Here's a bit of good news! Researchers at the University of Austin have found that some coral populations already have genetic variants necessary to tolerate warm ocean waters, and humans can help to spread these genes.

3. The U.K.'s First Wild Beaver Birth in 400 years! A female from the first wild beaver colony in England has given birth to at least two young. Beavers were hunted to extinction in England and Wales for their valuable fur and oil during the 12th Century. Check out the adorable video of the kits (Baby Beavers) here!

4. The Ron Mayo Collection: BC Nature is pleased to announce the Ron Mayo videography collection is now available online. In honour of him and the legacy he leaves behind, BC Nature is featuring the incredible collection of natural videos that he captured of the Bella Coola region during his lifetime.


1. Inconvenient Indians: The U.S. government is about to let a giant international mining company dig up a beautiful stretch of national forest held sacred by the Apache tribe. But if we stand with Apache leaders, we can help block this disgraceful deal and send a message to governments around the world: "indigenous lands and culture are not for sale". Please sign

2. Pledge to Save Elephants: We are literally killing them to extinction. 100 elephants a day are dying -- just to produce ivory trinkets. But now there’s reason to hope: China just announced it will phase out its ivory industry and eleven U.S. states are calling for a ban on ivory trading. In light of this, Avaaz hopes a flood of campaigns in the U.S., Thailand and Vietnam will help kill this practice for good. Please click here to help fund this species-saving work!


1. Microbeads Ban? According to this press release, the feds are poised to ban them…


1. Vote for a Sustainable Canada: It’s a federal election year… Time to address Canada's sustainability deficit and climate change? Here's 13 key questions to ask  politician hopefuls.


Healthy Environment: Nature does benefit human health. A Toronto study indicated that adding 10 or more trees to a city block offered benefits equivalent to earning $10,000 more per year, being 7 years younger (!) or moving to a neighbourhood with $10,000 higher median income. There were also reduced rates of heart conditions, cancer, mental health problems and diabetes.


1. Ecological Determinants of Health: Here's an interesting paper on the topic of the ecological determinants of health. Hopefully it will begin a conversation, stimulate debate and ultimately motivate the public health community to action. Here it is in brief too.

2. Corporate Forces; Anyone who wonders why Barack Obama hasn't done more to address environmental issues just has to read a few lines in the article at the URL below to understand how powerful the forces in the largest corporate bastion in the world have been working overtime to stop any erosion of their profitable status quo. ALEC is one giant piece of the background puzzle.

ALEC is funded by the Koch brothers who have large stakes in Albert oil and gas ( BC too?) ALEC give yearly to the Fraser Institute.

3. Corporation Bribery In Saskatchewan: This article is about a couple of giant companies, Cameco and Areva, who have divided a small community by showering it with legal (and probably illegal) bribes. Only in the Canada of Stephen Harper and Brad Wall -- and following on many decades of abusive exploitation of First Nations and Métis -- would this be acceptable.

4. Make Cameco Pay Up: Here's a petition to pressure Cameco, one of the largest uranium mining companies in the world, to pay the $1.5 billion in back taxes that it owes, and to pressure the Canadian government - the CRA - to collect it! Please sign it.

5. Where Fish Spend Their Time: Using acoustic telemetry, IISD scientists have found a remote method of figuring out where fish spend their time. Watch this video to learn how they implant specialized tags in fish to understand their movements.


1.Climate Talks: Here are 4 videos to help you understand the background of Climate Talks. The next one is December, 2015 in Paris.

* History of Climate Governance: Watch video here.

* Pillars (mitigation, adaptation, implementation) of Climate Governance. Watch video here.

* Science and Economics of Climate Governance: Watch video here.

* State of Play at Paris Negotiations. Watch video here.

2. Canadian Lakes: The International Institute for Sustainable Development has had to take over monitoring of our Canadian lakes after the previous team (ELA) was dumped by the government (mostly for being critical of Tar Sands pollution). They're tackling a wide range of topics, from investigating mercury and nanosilver additions, studying algae and the potential impacts of climate change, to testing the ability of manmade “floating wetland” platforms. Check out the IISD-ELA website, their 2014/2015 annual report, and subscribe to the Headwaters newsletter for more!

Co-edited with Egan Mandreck