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Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

May 2014 Newsletter +  

MAY 2014

          The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

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


1.Electric Car Show: May 22, 7 pm, Schubert Centre’s east parking lot. At 7:30 pm we’re inside to discuss operation costs and use of electric cars in relation to global warming and air pollution.  Questions welcome. 

 2Repair Café: Saturday, May 3. 11 – 3pm, Okanagan Science Centre parking lot. Got items that need repair? Want to find out how to do a repair?  Bring your small appliances, computers, bikes, darning/knitting, glue-able ‘stuff’, musical instruments, books, clothes, plus knives and tools that need sharpening. Dine in style at the food vendor’s stall and even find out how to ‘up-cycle’!  Vernon in Transition is sponsoring this second event as a side-branch of SENS.

3. "Stop BC's War on Wolves" Petition: SENS director Huguette Allen has created a petition for MLA Thomson, BC’s forest land natural resources minister. Extinction of BC’s wolves is not the answer to achieving a healthy wildlife population and seeks at least 5000 signatures.  More, plus petition here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/BCs_Forest_Land_Natural_Resources_MinisterThomson_Stop_BCs_War_on_Wolves/?Day2Share

 4.Bike to Work Week (May 25th – 31st):

A) IF you’d like to take part this year, changes have been made to include individuals as well as teams. A team leader’s workshop is planned for April 30th at the Vernon Council Chambers , 4:45 - 6:45 pm. Register as a team leader at www.biketowork.ca and attend the workshop for information, pizza, a team leader prize, and ALL that you will require as a team leader! 

B) OR: Join the SENS ‘team’ and cycle/walk/skate to work/shop/meetings during BTWW… please contact me (jblissau@telus.net) and I’ll add your name to my list for our “SENSationals” team.


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Mondays & Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

·       Vernon: Starting May 2nd, Friday nights, 4 pm – 8 pm, 30th Avenue.

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

·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,

·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.

·       Cherryville: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm.

·       Caravan Farm: Sundays, 10 – 2pm, May 11, June 15, June 29. August 3.

·       Lumby: Is opening a food co-op and has a list price from Pro-Organics. 

o   Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved at info@barenature.ca.   

 2. Rail Trail Support: Please click on the link and fill out the simple form indicating your support before CN sells to private developers and we lose this corridor.www.okanaganrailtrail.ca


 3. Anti-Monsanto Actions: Countries all over the globe are taking a stand against this horrible company (maker of the cancer-causing Roundup)! France has banned Monsanto’s GM corn; Mayans have gotten rid of Monsanto’s GM soybeans; Mexico, following their ban of GM maize, won a major battle against Monsanto’s appeal; Chile derailed Monsanto’s seed controlling law; and In Canada, Roundup Ready alfalfa will not be selling this Spring thanks to strong public opposition. For more stories, check out the Bee S.A.F.E website.

4. Loon Study: If you spend at least one day a month from June to August on a Canadian lake where loons breed and would like to help monitor loon and lake health please sign up as a Bird Studies Canada member and opt into the loon survey. Active members can sign up by emailing Kathy Jones : volunteer@birdscanada.org

 5. Gleaners  Open House Tour: Everyone’s invited, May 2, 8 – noon, Tours at 9:30 and 10:30.

May 3, 10 – 2, Tours at 11 and 1pm. Come and help process veggies too! Coffee and goodies!

 6.Carpool.ca: About 30% of Greenhouse gas emissions are from personal transportation. Carpooling is one way to reduce. Are you signed on yet? Use of this system continues to increase in Vernon and Armstrong. 


1. Help Stop Bill C-18: Our federal government is hoping to pass an omnibus bill that would give multinationals control over seeds, making it too costly for farmers and seed producers to save and sell seeds. Read about this bill and take action to stop it.

 2. Farmed Salmon and Pregnancy: Go here for numerous articles from Norway that expose the dangers of pregnant mothers eating farmed salmon (that contain a cocktail of chemicals).

 3.Avaaz International Poll Results:     http://point4counterpoint.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/all-member-poll-final-results/

 4. Dogwood Initiative:

a)This non-profit (http://dogwoodbc.ca/) recently reported that our BC government secretly approved a permit amendment allowing Texada Quarries to expand its coal-handling operations by almost 20-fold, enabling it to become the final transfer point for up to 8 million tonnes of U.S. thermal coal via Fraser Surrey Dock without informing 1st nations or local authorities or residents who have repeatedly complained of coal (high in arsenic) being washed up on the beach… You may wish to call your ministers: Minister of Health Terry Lake – (250) 953-3547
          Minister of the Environment Mary Polak – (250) 387-1187

b)Let BC Vote!  Residents of Kitimat voted ‘no’ to Enbridge’s pipeline and oil tanker proposal! What if all BC’ers were allowed to vote? Reclaim decision-making power here: LetBCvote.ca.

5. Liquid Natural Gas: one citizen noted that if we ship and sell LNG offshore at a high price – 3times more than at present -  then those in BC who heat with natural gas will also have to pay that high price…

6.The Danger of Monetizing Nature: Monbiot shows through example how, if we put a price on nature, then as a commodity it becomes easier to destroy it…  www.monbiot.com/2014/04/22/reframing-the-planet/

7. New IPPC Report  (details via Guy Dauncey):

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now


IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable. Guardian


The 3 Most Sobering Graphics From The U.N.’s New Climate Report. Climate Progress


Leo Hickman, in the Guardian:

"The IPCC will publish an official synthesis of the three reports in Copenhagen in October, but here's my own in less than 140 characters


1.Rio Tinto proposes an open pit copper and gold ‘Pebble Mine” in Alaska.  Tell Rio Tinto to pull out of the mine that will destroy the largest wild sockeye salmon run (40 million) in the world.  The site – Bristol Bay -  supplies almost 50 % of the world’s commercial sockeye, supporting 14,000 jobs yearly.

 FROM LIVING OCEANS - LOS (www.livingoceans.org)

1.Humpback Whales: will soon be downgraded from ‘threatened’ to ‘species of concern’ unless you say otherwise. It might be easier to allow tanker traffic on our coastline with this change. The public has 30 days to comment. Click here to send an email to the government. Tell them to protect critical habitat for B.C.'s humpback whales. The whales are recovering but they still need our help.


1. Queen of Green Ideas: Want to lighten your footprint and adopt a green lifestyle? Check out the Queen of Green's do-it-yourself tips, eco-friendly cleaning recipes, answers to your green living questions, and how-to videos that will help you protect nature. You'll learn simple ways to make yourself — and the planet — healthier. And you'll save money, too! Source

 2. Windmills as Things of Beauty: Excerpt: “Our perception of beauty is shaped by our values and beliefs. Some people think wind turbines are ugly. I think smokestacks, smog, acid rain, and coal-fired power plants are ugly. I think windmills are beautiful. They harness the wind's power to supply us with heat and light. They provide local jobs. They help clean air and reduce climate change… “ (David Suzuki)    For the full article, go here.

3. Webinar –Review of Pesticides Banned In Europe: RSVP to health@davidsuzuki.org  to register for this May 7 English session at 1:30 – 2:30pm ES. Instructions will follow.

 4.War On Cars? Check out Seattle newsweekly :The Stranger”, which provides a manifesto for a real war on cars. "We demand that car drivers pay their own way, bearing the full cost of the automobile-petroleum-industrial complex that has depleted our environment, strangled our cities, and drawn our nation into foreign wars," it says. "Reinstate the progressive motor vehicle excise tax, hike the gas tax, and toll every freeway, bridge, and neighborhood street until the true cost of driving lies as heavy and noxious as our smog-laden air." 

FROM ECOJUSTICE (www.ecojustice.ca)

1. Enbridge Wins… for now: Unsurprisingly, the National Energy Board gave the green light for the Enbridge pipeline that will carry Alberta oilsands to the B.C. coast. There were many reasons to say "no", such as: it being too close to heavily populated areas; the many water crossings; the "high" likelihood of failure; and the lack of an emergency response (highlighted by the 2010 pipeline failure and massive spill in Michigan). But fear not, Harper may have won this battle but hardly the war! For the article, go here

2. Going to Court to Protect B.C.’s Water: In March, Ecojustice argued that the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission’s practice of repeatedly granting short-term water approvals to oil and gas companies is unlawful. Intended for short-term projects like roadwork or construction, these approvals grant them access to huge quantities of freshwater far long terms (i.e. five years) without getting a water licence. By doing so, they avoid a process that generally involves more oversight and public consultation. To read more about this case, go here. Here’s an update too. 

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Most Contaminated Nuclear Site in Earthquake Zone: This brief article highlights the major problem with nuclear energy, whether generated in bombs, or in power plants: highly radioactive waste. 

2. Opportunity for Better Health: According to this IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, climate change poses an urgent threat to human health. Here are a set of resources; a short film about climate change, health, and the benefits of sustainability; and a webinar with climate and health experts. Concerned? If so, sign up here for ideas on how to take action. One idea is to read and sign the Lancet’s manifesto for planetary health here. Of course, one simple way to show your support is to ‘like’ the Global Climate and Health Alliance facebook pagefollow them on twitter for updates, and share the links with friends.

 3. Good News #1: the Government of Manitoba has introduced a chemical pesticide ban for lawns, playing fields, hospitals, and schools – a first in Western Canada and a huge contribution to human health and environmental protection. Let’s hope it passes next week.

 4. Good News #2: Ontario has fully eliminated coal as a source of electricity due to strong efforts by CAPE and others.  It was once the largest single source of greenhouse gases in the province.

 5.Factory Farming Film: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=741072019271454

 6. Canadian Medical Association’s Health Concerns over Fracking: http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/15april14_new-legitimacy-to-concerns-about-fracking-and-health.xhtml

 7. Mothers Out Front: "...mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers who can no longer be silent and still about the very real danger that climate change poses to our children’s and grandchildren’s future." http://www.mothersoutfront.org/who_we_are     Start it in Canada too?

 8.Salmon Spawning Protection: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/cayoose-creek-band-refuses-cede-salmon-spawning-territory

 9. QR Code as a URLhttp://survey.cpccaucus.ca/eap14/3044/?qrcode=1  The Conservative Party would like people to use this to tell what a great job they’re doing of creating jobs etc (it’s from a recent flyer)…but feel free to use it to give your thoughts on environmental concerns too.

 10. Fishers and Oceans Canada: “Fisheries” is no longer for wild fish. One of their highest priorities now is to support ‘biotechnology’ – which means GMO…  Click here: DFO's Mandate is Not What We Thought.  Also, changes would allow DFO to grant blanket authorization to industry to pollute waterways without any science/evidence.  Action: https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/fisheriesact

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck



April 2014 Newsletter +  

APRIL 2014

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

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


1. Okanagan Rail Trail – Blending Business, Jobs and Tourism, April 24th: 7pm, Schubert Centre.  Brad Clements, an OK College Prof., will discuss the pros and cons and provide a visual tour of the trail. Discussion and questions welcome.

2. Earth Day, April 22nd: What will YOU do to show your appreciation for this wonderful land?


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Mondays & Thursdays, starting April 17,  8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,

·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.

·       Cherryville_ Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm,

·       Lumby: Is opening a food co-op and has a list price from Pro-Organics.

o   Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved    at    info@barenature.ca  

2. No Pipelines – No Tankers Public Forum:  April 2, 7 pm,  with Jim Cooperman of Shuswap Environmental Action Society, All Saints Anglican Church,Vernon. Video, power-point & discussion.

3.  White Nose Syndrome in Bats: Talk by Doug Burles of Kamloops at North Okanagan Naturalists meeting, April 2, 7:30 pm, Best Western Vernon Lodge.

4.Allan Brooks Annual Dinner Auction, Friday April 4th: Best Western Vernon Lodge. “Flights of Fancy” is the optional theme this year, so please come with something feathery (e.g. mask, hat, scarf, etc.) or buy one of our feathery brooches at the door.  Tickets will be $65 per person or $500 per 8 people. Available at WWW.TICKETSELLER.CA  All proceeds will help execute school programs, develop interpretive displays, and assist day-to-day operations of the Nature Centre. For more information or to donate an auction item, please contact Janice Buick at 250-306-7945.

5.”Saving the Ecosystem One Bee at a Time”: April 10, 7:30pm, OK College Theatre, Free Science in Society talk on importance of bees to our ecosystem with Dr Leonard Foster. www.okscience.ca 

6. BC Parks and Big Oil: According to ‘sumofus.org’ the BC Government has just passed a law that gives oil, gas and mining companies the power to open up our provincial parks for industrial activity.Take action now to keep Canada’s crown jewels protected for the use and enjoyment of all Canadians.  More here: http://www.desmog.ca/2014/03/25/bill-4-passes-b-c-parks-now-officially-o... Was ecosystem destruction on their election platform?

7. “Hands off’ Agricultural Land Commission: Legislation may be introduced that affects the ALC, allowing non-farming use of farm land. Write to the Premier, PO BOX 9041, STN PROV GOVT, VICTORIA, BC V8W 9E1   Tel: 250-387-1715      email premier@gov.bc.ca

As well, Integrity BC has a petition you can share: www.change.org/petitions/christy-clark-hands-off-bc-s-agricultural-land-...

8. Bike to Work Week (May 25th – 31st): IF you’d like to take part this year, changes have been made to include individuals as well as teams. A team leader’s registration/info session is planned for April 30th at the Vernon Council Chambers. Stay tuned!


1. Canada’s Water: Canada has 20% of the earth’s surface fresh water and 9% of Canada is covered in fresh water. Check out this short video featuring this resource!


1. Safeguarding Your Windows for Birds: Window strikes can kill birds and are totally preventable. Here are some ideas to make your dangerous windows safer: (1) Cover the outside glass with a one-way transparent film (for a list of products, go to Fatal Light Awareness Program website); (2) Put closely spaced (too narrow for birds to fly through) UV stickers on the outside surface of the window; and (3) Closing a window shade or a door between rooms can sometimes resolve the illusion of an open path a window might give. For even more ideas and caring instructions, go here.


1. Horn of Plenty: Russia, with its large family plots for agricultural gardening (35 million in 1999) “seems to be one of the few countries on the global stage moving so clearly in a sustainable and healthy direction.” For the article, go here.

2. More Farm Chemicals: Apparently, GM corn crops will now contain insecticides and a herbicide that contains 2,4-D (of Agent Orange fame) inside the plant. For more, go here.

3. Backcountry Protection: According to this report, the off Road Vehicle Act Bill has been given first reading in the legislature. The new law will protect our backcountry.

4. Fresh Water Issues Poll: A recent survey on attitudes towards freshwater issues in B.C. revealed that there is massive support for protecting freshwater resources (93%). This is regardless of one’s political leaning. Water matters to us all!  For the poll results and more, go here.

5. Solar Power: http://www.nationofchange.org/while-us-invests-wwiii-china-builds-larges...

6. Small Town Protects Real Food: Sedgwick, Maine legalized all food transactions – including the right to say ‘no’ to GM foods (opposing state/federal laws) . Why not here?!? Read here.

7. Okanagan Rail Trail Update: The group is still in negotiations with companies wishing to operate the railway.  If not feasible the government will then offer the railway and it could be sold to a private company. For info and to send e-mails of support: www.okanaganrailtrail.ca

8. Glad Not to be a Penguin?!?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmVWGvO8Yhk

9.Dig Your Neighbourhood (DYN): www.facebook.com/DYNRutland         Why not in Vernon?!?

10.Fukushima Plant’s Clean-up PBS Video: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#64497


1. Water Sustainability Act (WSA): The new WSA is looking into changing the way it prices water, which is currently ridiculously low or non-existent. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Government regarding this. The deadline is April 8th. If we set the “right” price, B.C. will be much closer to having a province-wide commitment to water sustainability that is equal and fair. It’s still not perfect (i.e. free for fracking?!?) but much better than the old act. For more, here are the views from West Coast Environmental Law, Environmental Law Centre, and One Cowichan.


Save Alberta’s Kids: Shockingly, public education authorities are consulting with Big Oil companies to help draft “Alberta’s future curriculum" from kindergarten to grade 12. This is a clear attempt by the oil companies to expand their influence over our public institutions. If we act quickly, we can kill the partnership and get Big Oil’s dirty hands off our children’s textbooks. Please tell Alberta Education to keep Big Oil out of our kids' classrooms now. For related news, check out these stories: 1 (from Mar. 2014) and 2 (from Nov. 2011).

FROM LIVING OCEANS - LOS (www.livingoceans.org)

1.Health (?) Canada: has approved manufacture and export of GE salmon without public notice. LOS needs your help as they are taking the government to court over this. The Aquabounty Co. was not required to produce evidence to show that this GM salmon could become invasive.

2. Learn more about LOS’ work at:  www.livingoceans.org/media/newsletters/


1. Fracking Crazy: A study by a non – profit (Ceres) shows that most areas that frack are water-stressed and are either experiencing drought right now or its coming. California’s drought may be the worst in 500 years… For the full article, go here.

2. GDP Doesn’t Measure Progress: As David Suzuki points out, “There’s more to life than the benefits that come from spending money … We deserve better indicators of societal well-being that extend beyond mere economic growth … Whatever we come up with, it has to be better than GDP with its absurd emphasis on endless growth on a finite planet.” Read the full piece here.

3. Action Plan for Our Killer Whales: Just recently, the federal government released a long-overdue draft Action Plan for resident killer whales, a significant step to protecting one of Canada’s most endangered species.  Strategies in it focus on maintaining food supplies, limiting pollution effects, reducing disturbance from human activities and protecting more critical habitat. Comments on the Action Plan are being accepted until April 16th. For the full article, go here.

4. Much Needed Infrastructure Investments: Excerpt: “Canada's federal government recently announced $14 billion in new funding to help municipalities repair and replace aging infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, sewer lines, energy production and distribution systems, and subways and other public transit … Ottawa's funding announcement … will ensure that our cities succeed in a global economy.” Read the full article here.

5. Geoengineering Isn’t the Answer: Excerpt: “Now that climate change has become undeniable, with consequences getting worse daily, many experts are eyeing solutions. Some are touting massive [geoengineering] fixes … BUT we run the risk of causing unintended consequences … Geoengineering shouldn’t be seen as the solution. And it's no excuse to go on wastefully burning
fossil fuels. We must conserve energy and find ways to quickly shift to cleaner sources.” For the full article, go here.

FROM ECOJUSTICE (www.ecojustice.ca)

1. Unstoppable Snowball and Climate Change: Check out the TED talk by Dan Dolderman, author of Everything You Love!

2. Fracking and Water Use in Northern B.C.: Dawson Creek residents say that industry got first dibs on fresh water lat year so they had minimal water to use for plants outside… Ecojustice is challenging this practice.  For more, go here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Safe Salmon: Cautionary research from Norway suggests pregnant mothers and children should completely avoid farmed salmon. The fat content is much higher, the fatty acids are much less healthy, and the lipid-soluble toxins are necessarily elevated. Here’s a helpful guide to safe salmon. Also check out this new website of information on the ills of salmon farming.

2. Coal Poll: a new poll out shows 80% of Albertans want to use wind energy to reduce reliance on coal.  The poll also found 3 out of 4 Albertans believe coal harms the health of senior citizens. Apparently even those in Canada's most carbon-intensive province want to reduce coal and ramp-up renewables! Click here for an Edmonton Journal article related to this.

3. Foundations Divest Their Fossil Fuels: According to this article, “Seventeen philanthropic foundations controlling nearly $2 billion in assets … put their money where their ethics are.... they will be divesting all… holdings in the fossil fuel industry and reinvesting in the clean energy sector.”

4. Planetary Manifesto: Please sign this manifesto for transforming public health calls for a social movement to support collective public health action at all levels of society. 

5. Northern Gateway – Concerns of Engineers: Here's a new graphics-rich website from the above group that raises serious and detailed questions about the Enbridge pipeline proposal, and concludes that it's hopeless as it now stands, from strictly an engineering point of view.

6. Flow Battery Break-through: Check out this story about a new breakthrough that will enhance wind and solar power generation.

7. Human Male Infertility: www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_Roundup_and_Human_Male_Infertility.php Glyphosate  in Round-up is involved! Do our politicians/spray companies know? Care? Recent research shows that even low levels in urine can promote growth of human breast cancer cells…

8. Enbridge Brainwashing Campaign: They’re hoping to cause Kitimat citizens to accept the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal using Matt Damon look-alike. Check out “popular stories” here: https://www.vancouverobserver.com/ Donate via this site: http://dcw.nationbuilder.com/

9. Deadly Waxes: New high fluoro waxes give extra speed, however traces have been found already in blood of racers and wax technicians who do not know to use them in high ventilation areas – there may be increased risk of cardiovascular disease, over damage, hormone disruption and cancer. Revelstoke Nordic Club is asking the Cross Country BC Board of Directors to prohibit their use in  all regional and provincial BC races. 

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

Mid-March 2014 Newsletter +  

1.  Deconstructing Dinner (and Reconstructing our Food System): March 25, 7pm, OK College, Kal Campus lecture theatre in Vernon. Join Jon Steinman, food journalist, as he talks about such foods as garlic and pork, and shows segments from his new TV series. Suggested donation $5 at the door to cover travel costs.  DVD's will be available at the door. SENS is sharing sponsorship with Food Action Society and other local groups.
2. War on Wolves: Wolves play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance. Come and learn about these key predators through a documentary "Lords of Nature", March 28, 7 pm, 3401 22nd Street. Please RSVP to mary.stockdale@gmail.com  as space is limited.
After viewing the 1 hour documentary, Jungyon, a North Okanagan resident, will be discussing the situation that wolves are now facing in BC, and in the Okanagan Valley particularly. As these beautiful and important animals move into our region, we need to be better educated about the valuable ecological role they play, the policies that the BC government has towards them, and what we can do to promote a better land management ethic.
3. BC Parks Alert:  Park Amendment bill paves the way for industrial exploration?
click here for more information
4. Ikea Contest: Are you working on any projects to improve your neighbourhood that could use some light? ...giving light to rooms at your rec center or a shelter you volunteer at, creating an art installation to inspire your neighbourhood ... helping a local startup to be more energy efficient, Ikea wants to know your bright idea. Just fill out a quick form and share it and they'll choose one idea to help bring to light! LED lights to be given away for bright ideas! Forms at http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/Contest/brightideas.html
Contest begins March 3, 2014 and concludes on March 17, 2014.
5. Free Workshop if...you promote these 2 workshops... With Doug McKenzie–Mohr, Ph.D.,  Environmental Psychologist  The cornerstone of sustainability is behaviour change. If we are to move toward a sustainable future we must encourage individuals and businesses to engage in a multitude of actions (e.g., waste reduction, water and energy efficiency, pollution prevention, etc.). To date, most programs to encourage such activities have relied upon disseminating information. Research demonstrates, however, that simply providing information has little or no effect on what people or businesses do. But if not ads, brochures or booklets, then what? Over the last decade a new approach—community–based social marketing—has emerged as an effective alternative for delivering programs to foster sustainable behaviour. 

Doug will be delivering introductory community-based social marketing workshops in Vancouver and Nanaimo this October.  These workshops will be of interest to those working to promote water efficiency, waste reduction, energy efficiency, conservation, modal transportation changes, watershed protection, and other sustainable behaviour changes. Those who work to promote behavioural changes that promote health, such as active lifestyles, will also benefit from attending. Community-based social marketing is a unique approach to fostering both environment and health related behavioural changes and is now being utilized in thousands of programs across the globe. Descriptions of the introductory workshop is provided below (early-bird pricing is in effect until April 30th).

Registration Site Vancouver: https://register.cbsm.com/workshops/vancouver-british-columbia-2014

Registration Site Nanaimo: https://register.cbsm.com/workshops/nanaimo-british-columbia-2014

Until September 30th you can win  a free registration to these workshops by promoting them within your networks.  In total, three prizes are available:  the three individuals who most extensively promote the workshops will win a free registration to either the Vancouver or Nanaimo workshop.  To be entered, let us know by September 30th what you have done to promote the workshops. 

Best, Doug

Doug McKenzie–Mohr, Ph.D. 
Environmental Psychologist 


About the Speaker

Dr Doug McKenzie-Mohr is the founder of community-based social marketing.  Recommended by Time magazine, his book "Fostering Sustainable Behaviour” has become requisite reading for those who deliver environmental programs.   The approaches that Dr McKenzie-Mohr advocates in these workshops are now being utilized globally.  For example, Queensland's "Home WaterWise Service” and "ClimateSmart Home Service,” which reached over 500,000 households across the state, made extensive use of community-based social marketing. Dr McKenzie-Mohr has delivered community-based social marketing workshops internationally for over 60,000 environmental program managers. Below is a small sample of recent anonymous evaluations:

-Fantastic, simply invaluable.

-This is hands-down the most valuable workshop/training I've ever attended.

-Speaker was wonderful.

-The best workshop/conference I have ever experienced.

-Outstanding presentation style. Expertise is obvious.

-Superb presentation skills.

-By far, the best workshop I have attended – on any topic! 

Who should Attend?

This workshop will be of interest to those working to promote waste reduction, water and energy efficiency, conservation, modal transportation changes, watershed protection, and other sustainable behaviour changes. Those who work to promote behavioural changes that promote health, such as active lifestyles, will also benefit from attending. A description of the workshops is provided below. 

Introduction (October 20-21, Vancouver; October 22-23, Nanaimo): The introductory workshop provides a comprehensive introduction to community-based social marketing and how it is being applied throughout the world to foster sustainable behaviours. Those who attend the workshop will learn the five steps of community-based social marketing (selecting behaviours, identifying barriers, developing strategies, conducting pilots, and broad scale implementation) and be exposed to numerous case studies illustrating its use.  Each participant will receive a copy of the new edition of "Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing." The introductory workshop is a mandatory prerequisite for attending advanced workshops with Dr. McKenzie-Mohr.

Group Bookings:

If you are interested in registering four or more people from the same agency, please contact us. We have two group rates: the first is for groups of 4 to 9, and the second is for groups of 10 or larger.


Vancouver: The workshop is being held at the Vancouver Public Library's Conference Centre (Alma VanDusen Room, lower level, 350 West Georgia Street, BC) and begins at 9:00 am on both days. We will finish at 4:30 pm on the first day and at 4:00 pm on the second day. We would ask that you arrive at 8:30 am on the first day so that we can deal with registrations prior to our start. Lunch is provided on both days.

Nanaimo: The workshop is being held in the Board Room at the Regional District of Nanaimo Administration Building, 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo and begins at 8:30 am on both days.  We will finish at 5:00 pm on the first day and at noon on the second day. We would ask that you arrive just before 8:30 am on the first day so that we can deal with registrations prior to our start. 

Additional Information and Registration: 

Registration Site Vancouver: https://register.cbsm.com/workshops/vancouver-british-columbia-2014

Registration Site Nanaimo: https://register.cbsm.com/workshops/

March 2014 Newsletter +  

MARCH 2014

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 year

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

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


1. Annual Seed & Plant Swap/Sale, March 27th: Schubert Centre. Come on down for the seed and plant swap/sale (6:30 pm), the short AGM (7:30 pm), then composting talks with several experts. Bring a carload plus envelopes or bags for seeds and plants!

 2. Winter Carnival Parade, February 8th: SENS won the 1st place trophy in the Service Category! Thank-you to SENS directors Terry and Keli, and to Wilde Imagination for all your work! Check out the Facebook picture page! Also, be sure to "like" it and tell your friends to do the same.

  3. Deconstructing Dinner, March 25th7 pm, OK College, Kal Campus lecture theatre. Several “short” videos on a variety of Deconstructing Dinner topics are being screened here at this time. Author Jon Steinman of Nelson will be present to talk. More details to come. For more, go here.


1. Indoor Winter Farmers’ Markets:

·       Mondays, 9 am – 1 pm, Schubert Centre (3505 30th Ave, Vernon). 

·       Fridays, 2:30 am – 6 pm, Coldstream Hall, 9909 Kal Rd.

·       Lumby is opening a food coop and has a list price from Pro-Organics. 

o   Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved.  

 2. Enderby Seed Swap, March 1. - See info here: http://beesafemonashees.us4.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=7ef2a73834a6cc6635a2223f7&id=64ff2c1cf4&e=2b91839fb6

 3. Invasive Species Talk, March 5th: 7:30 pm, Best Western Vernon Lodge. North Okanagan Naturalists bring in Lisa Scott of Okanagan and the Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) based in Summerland to speak on the topic of zebra mussels in our lakes.

 4. Energy Savings for Low Income Earners: Please be advised that there is a program out there to help low income home owners.  The program, administered by BC Hydro and Fortis, has a 6 months (at least) wait time. Please get the word out wherever possible about this program. By next winter, those exorbitant gas bills will hopefully disappear! To apply for the program, go here.

 5. Garden Friends Wanted: Are you a keen gardener who likes to learn and to share your knowledge and experience with a younger generation? Enjoy working with children?  We are seeking volunteer garden friends to work with grade 4 students in the Intergenerational Landed Learning program  in the school garden at St. James School. This involves 7 Tuesday afternoons between April 1 and June 17.  Garden Science programs will be delivered by the Okanagan Science Centre and you will help children plan, plant, care for, and harvest food crops. You will help prepare food crops for eating and learn about nutrition science. If you would like to be involved in this exciting garden program, please contact Linda Peterat at 250-545-6171. 

 6. Nanotechnology for Solutions to the Global Energy Crisis: Thursday March 6th,  7:30 pm, main theatre on Okanagan College’s Vernon campus. The Canadian Association of Physicists presents this talk, part of the Science in Society Speaker Series, given by award-winning nano-scientist Dr. Rosei. Here he discusses how advanced materials and nanotechnology can be used for energy saving, energy storage, and energy conversion in the future. To subscribe or to learn more, visit: okanagansisss.wordpress.com or www.okscience.ca

 7. March Match Madness Campaign – March 3  start-up. Register to carpool  at www.carpool.ca. share stories, photos and enter to win.

 8. Healthy Communities: March 12, 6:30 – 8pm, East Hill Community Church, 3605 12St.  All are invited to review best route cycling/walking maps and give feedback. RSVP  to csbreception@vernon.ca or call 250-550-3634 by March 10.

 9. The Buzz on HoneyBees: March 15, 2 – 3:30pm, Vernon Museum by donation. Pre-register at 250 542-3142 - space is limited. John Gates, owner-operator of Gates Bee Farms, Armstrong is speaker.

 10. Allan Brooks Annual Dinner Auction, Friday April 4thBest Western Vernon Lodge. “Flights of Fancy” is the optional theme this year, so please come with something feathery (e.g. mask, hat, scarf, etc.) or buy one of our feathery brooches at the door.  Tickets will be $65 per person or $500 per 8 people. Available at WWW.TICKETSELLER.CA  All proceeds will help execute school programs, develop interpretive displays, and assist day-to-day operations of the Nature Centre. For more information or to donate an auction item, please contact Janice Buick at 250-306-7945. 


1. Check out the New Website: Under RESOURCES on the Bee SAFE website you will now find important recent NEWS such as how the Coldstream Market is going NO GMO.

 2. Recent Bee SAFE Action: The “non-GM crops” presentation is available here. We stressed the urgency to not plant any new GM crops, such as GM corn (a little blood thinner in your corn anyone?), as contamination cannot be prevented! Please contact your city councillors.

 3. Roundup Linked To Groundwater Contamination: In a recent study, evidence surfaced that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto's patented herbicide Roundup, is flowing freely into the groundwater in areas where it is being applied. Apparently, despite the manufacturer's claims, glyphosate herbicide does not break down rapidly in the environment, and is accumulating there in concerning quantities.

 4. Working Together: The Kootenay Local Agriculture Society provides an excellent model for how organizations that work together can really help grow sustainable agriculture. Check out KLAS and let us know if you'd be interested in working with Bee SAFE and the Lumby co op in the future to build this type of society in our own communities.

 5. STOP the GM Apple!

A) Tell store managers everywhere you shop that they must not sell it.

B) Print petitions and put them in all local popular spots.

C) Call/write your MLA asking him/her to support a moratorium on the GM Apple.

All info and documents to print are here:     http://beesafemonashees.us4.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=7ef2a73834a6cc6635a2223f7&id=a8f278512d&e=2b91839fb6


1. Cashews and Harvesting: Check out this article!

 2. Evergreen CityWorks: Can you imagine a better future for our cities? How are you building your city for the next century? Watch this video to see how Evergreen CityWorks is working to answer these questions. Get inspired to join the movement by visiting the CityWorks website.

 3. SumOfUs Report: A Canadian mining company (Infinito Gold) is suing Costa Rica for $100 million in lost profits because the country would not let them pollute the rain forest with an open pit cyanide-leech gold mine. SumOfUs is asking for donation support to expose the problems with this Canada-Costa Rica free trade agreement. More on their work at www.sumofus.org
 FROM LIVING OCEANS - LOS (www.livingoceans.org)

1. Great Bear marine Plan: As the population of the coast increases, humans are putting a greater strain on the ocean. Less than three percent of Canada’s Pacific waters have some form of protection from over-use or unrestrained development. Recently, LOS presented a plan to protect the health of the North and Central Coastal region of the Great Bear Rainforest. Find out more about the Great Bear Sea planning process and how you can take part.

 2. Diver/Paddler Survey: Did you dive, kayak, or canoe in northern Vancouver Island (between Campbell River and the Scott Islands) in 2013? If so, please complete this brief survey. Your information will be used to inform LOS’ study on the local recreational economy and important natural areas where people dive and paddle. Your information is strictly confidential. If you have any questions, please contact LOS’ Ecosystem Services Analyst, Sharlene Shaikh.


1. 2014 Federal Budget Cuts: 1.5 billion in cuts to the environment by 2016; 5 oil spill response offices closed across Canada; 8.4% cut to rail transportation safety; 99% of rivers and lakes now exempt from federal regulations; $56 million in cuts to Canada's food inspection system; 35 government libraries closed; More than 5,000 job losses at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans and Agriculture Canada over the next three years; Over $298 million in government advertising since 2009-2010. All while federal fossil fuel subsidies add up to more than $1.38 billion. Ugh!

 2. Thorium as an Energy Alternative? In a word: no. Although this isotope produces less radioactive waste, is safer to shutdown, and is better than normal nuclear or coal-fired energy, it would take 30 – 50 years to see the benefits (too long!), weapons can still be made from it, and it is largely untested. Renewables like solar and wind are still the best options. Read the full article here.

FROM ECOJUSTICE (www.ecojustice.ca)

1. Delay No More: That’s the clear, strong message the Federal Court sent when it recently chastised the Canadian government for its chronic, unlawful delays in producing recovery strategies for four of our country’s vulnerable species. Read the entire article here.

 2. Review of Toxic Pesticides: For the first time in Canadian history, the Minister of Health has agreed to do special reviews of harmful pesticides banned in Europe but still used in Canada. Thanks to you, the Canadian government will hopefully cast a critical eye on these dangerous substances, which are known to pollute our waterways; kills bees, birds and fish; and trigger neurological disorders and cause cancer in humans.

FROM ALTERNATIVES JOURNAL (www.alternativesjournal.ca)

1. Out of Business: Remember Salad Towers? This large-scale farming business that uses dense urban roof tops in Vancouver has gone into receivership! More details to follow.

 2. Food Waste to be banned from Vancouver’s Landfills in 2015: The ban will apply to both residential and commercial waste. And with over 40% of all food waste in the Metro Vancouver region coming from businesses and institutions – amounting to over 100,000 tonnes every year – small businesses will likely want to get a head-start in planning how to redirect their share of this food waste. For more details and suggested tips, go here. Vernon ought to be doing this too!


1. Plastics from Carbon Pollution: One company, Newlight Technologies, is tackling this conversion! The company’s mission is to replace oil-based plastics with so-called “air-based plastics” on an unprecedented global scale. In doing so, the company hopes to “stabilize and end climate change.” For their website, go here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Green Light For ‘Salmon Feedlots”: The Harper government recently gave the Norwegian salmon feedlot industry the green light to expand in B.C. With a federal licence, fish farms can now freely use fish infected with salmon viruses in their farms. The only hurdle left for the fish farms is the required provincial licence. Please sign this petition urging our Premier to not grant them. For details, go here. Please share the petition with your friends and family too!

 2. Divestment from UBC and SFU: Students there voted for endowment funds that divest (don’t support) fossil fuels. For the full story, go here.

 3. The Tobacco Legacy: This sad legacy is to adopt a ‘deny, denigrate, deceive and delay’  strategy when faced with the truth. Major corporate players and political leaders with a dark side adopt the same strategy. Yet this self-serving approach doesn’t take their children or children’s children into account. This type of thinking needs to be changed! Read the full story here.

4. Short Tar Sands Video: This 6:46 minute video on the Tar Sands pretty much says it all…. rising cancer rates, dreadful changes in water quality and wildlife…pollution levels in fish…racism against the members of the local First Nations community for said pollution.

5. Transparent Talks with Bayer? The chemical corporation BAYER is offering to talk to its critics; a move never done before in 35 years. Given their track record for intimidating and silencing critics, the Coalition against BAYER Dangers (CBG) wants the meetings to be transparent for the general public and to be meaningful (I.e. they led to solving current problems). Read entire article here

6.. Coal-Fired Power: Check out this recent CBC radio program where  Dr. Joe Vipond explains why CAPE doctors support a complete coal phase-outhttp://www.cbc.ca/the180/excerpts/2014/02/17/who-backs-coal-and-who-is-backing-away-from-it/

7. Dementia and Alzheimers: This Scientific American review summarizes the evidence linking dementia with environmental toxins.


8. The Gandhi of Natural Farming:  92 year old Bhaskar Save has been regenerating land in India for decades and now his orchard farm is a new supplier of water, energy and fertility to the local eco-system, not a net consumer. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bhaskar_Save-Gandhi_of_Natural_Farming.php

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

February 2014 Newsletter +  


The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 year

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

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


1. Okanagan’s Ecovillages and Organic Farming, February 27th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre: Join organic farmers Nevin and Shauna Gavigan as they share their experiences with the Yarrow Ecovillage and provide some insight into development of the Okanagan Ecovillage by Lumby. Discussion and questions welcome.

2. Winter Carnival Parade, February 8th: SENS will be taking part to emphasize environmentally friendly means of transportation (e.g. walking, cycling, and electric cars). Watch for us! 


1. Indoor Winter Farmers’ Markets:

·       Mondays, 9 am – 1 pm, Schubert Centre (3505 30th Ave, Vernon). 

·       Saturdays, 9 am – 1pm, until end of Feb., Odd Fellows Hall, Armstrong.

o   Contact Art (250 546-3411) for more info.

·       Fridays, to 11 am – 1 pm, until end of Feb., Senior Citizen’s Complex, Enderby.

o   Email greencroftgardens@mybcdc.ca for more info.

·       Fridays, 2:30 am – 6 pm, Coldstream Hall, 9909 Kal Rd. 

2. Food Action Society Community Potluck: Feb. 3, 6 - 8 pm, Vernon Public Library. Everyone is welcome. There will be speakers on school and daycare gardens, talk of funding, and much more. Bring a food dish, plate, cup, and/or utensils to share and get inspired!

 3. Pollinator Pathways: Here’s a neat project to protect native pollinators. It’s been a success in Seattle; so why not Vernon?

 4. Green Drinks: Feb. 10, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Sir Winston’s Pub.

 5. Upcoming Workshops by Element Eco-Design:

a) Part-Time PDC: Learn the skills you need to design Permaculture Systems! Workshops are being held on the weekends of March 29, April 12, 26, May 10, 24, and June 7. Already 75% Full!

b) Hugelkultur with Javan BernackevitchThis 1 day hands-on workshop will give you the skills to create your own Hugelkultur Growing System! May 10, 9 am - 5 pm. Registration is opening soon.

cFood Forestry With Richard Walker: A workshop on design, species selection and maintenance of a productive Food Forest System. June 21 - 22, 9 am - 5 pm.   Registration will open soon.

 6. Old Plastic Film Canisters: Okanagan Science Centre needs them. Please drop ‘em off at OSC.


1. A Sense of Community: Here is a great article about the importance of attachment to community and to place – something Transition groups do a lot to foster. Check it out!

 2. Alive Magazine Health Studies Vignettes: Here are 7 tips to help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol: (1) walk fast (better than running), (2) keep your intestinal bacteria at normal numbers and diverse, (3) go on a low protein/fat diet, (4) exercise/move 90 minutes per day, (5) take more fibre to avoid having an initial stroke,(6) do 20 minutes of yoga (better than moderate and aerobic exercise for the brain), and (7) go on a Mediterranean diet (with #3). Two more highlights: Three  15 minute walks after meals are better for controlling glucose levels in older people at risk of diabetes than walking for 45 min in the morning or afternoon.   Texting while driving causes a 23 times higher risk of collision. Cellphone use causes a 4 – 6 times increase in risk.

 3. Valhalla Wilderness Society:   www.vws.org   Check their website for details on actions to protect the environment. One article is about the BC government-protected Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, threatened by a proposed Prince Rupert LNG (liquid natural gas) route. TransCanada Corp (illegally landing helicopters in the conservancies to study a route for a pipeline) was threatened with a lawsuit by the Valhalla Wilderness Society. They, and another company, Spectra Energy, withdrew their pipeline research.  Another deals with threats to the spirit bear population and to dryland BC Chilcotin grizzly bears due to, respectively, an oil spill and a gold-copper mine.

 4. Western Canada Wilderness Committee seeks your feedback on disclosure of chemicals used in fracking. Environment Canada proposes not to list such fluids despite toxicity.  Click here to take action now.

 5. Retirement Savings: Investment funds may expose investors to losses due to mismanagement … www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-change-threatens-retirement-savings


Rail v.s. Pipeline Is The Wrong Question: Instead, we should be looking for ways to reduce fuel use. Pipelines and fossil fuel development are not great long-term job creators, and pale in comparison to employment generated by the renewable energy sector. Many climate scientists, energy experts, and the International Energy Agency, agree that to avoid catastrophic climate change, we must leave at least two-thirds of our remaining fossil fuels in the ground. 

FROM ECOJUSTICE      www.ecojustice.ca

1. GM Salmon: Ecojustice is assisting Living Oceans and Ecology Action Centre with a lawsuit against the Federal government saying that it violated its own laws by failing to consider information regarding invasiveness of the genetically modified salmon, thereby putting wild salmon and the environment on which they depend at risk.

FROM ALTERNATIVES JOURNAL (www.alternativesjournal.ca)

1. Salad Towers: Local Garden provides large-scale farming on dense urban roof tops in Vancouver. Their greenhouse uses a specialized conveyor system to produce more crops (20x more than a conventional farm). With hydroponics and no soil they use 90% less water too. With so much leafy greens, they can provide up to 1,500lb per week to local restaurants with delivery every day! No more waiting for non-local greens. Check out these photos. Go here for more. 

 2. Greenest Industrial Economy: Germany fits the bill for town houses there that generate more energy (free of GHG) than they use. Tariffs are then paid to the owners based on the net amount of electricity it exports to the grid. For more, go here and here.

 3. No Land Needed: The U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab notes that only 7 % of existing rooftops are required to produce, from solar photo-voltaics, ALL the electricity in the U.S.!

 4. Mass Migration: According to this article, some species are moving to cooler grounds/waters thanks to climate change. Plankton are moving towards the poles at about 72 km/decade vs. terrestrial species at 6 km/decade.

 FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Roundup and health: “A new peer-reviewed scientific review paper has been released in the U.S. stating that glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are contributing to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.” Check it out!

 2. Toxic Reducing ToolkitToxin Toxout, the latest book written by Dr. Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie (both of Environmental Defense fame), gives practical and often surprising advice for removing toxic chemicals from your body, home and world. This sequel to the best seller, Slow Death by Rubber Duck, continues to hammer home the point that prevention is key. For more, go here.

 3. Phase-out of Coal-fired Power in Alberta: CAPE just kicked of their anti-coal campaign. Here are their talking points. And following the panel discussion hosted by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Edmonton Journal credited CAPE with building momentum for a coal phase-out. The full article is available here.

 4. The Capitulation of Biotech JournalismThis long article’s main point is that there are many examples of preliminary or doubtful research projects being inflated into positive global GMO news stories (e.g. protein-rich beans, disease-resistant sweet potatoes, edible vaccines, vitamin A-rich golden rice, etc.) by the media. The media also under report negative GMO stories (i.e. there was little mention of a highly critical U.N. report). This one-sided reporting demonstrates the extent to which biotech journalism has been captured by agribusiness interests. A good read with plenty of links! Farmers too, are ‘seeing the light’… http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/01/farmers-abandoning-gmo-seeds-reason-will-surprise/

 5. Electromagnetics Research:

a)Fielding a current idea: exploring the public health impact of electromagnetic radiation


b) Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Fact or fiction?


c) The chemical erosion of human health: adverse environmental exposure and in-utero pollution – determinants of congenital disorders and chronic disease



6. Where There’s A Will There’s A Way: Innovative energy production in New York City… http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/28/food-scrap-recycling-joins-wastewater-treatment-in-new-nyc-project/

7. Neil Young Interview:   http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/01/13/neil-young-oilsands-occupation/

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

January 2014 Newsletter +  


The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 year

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

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


1.  Innovative Building For The Future: January 23, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Local builder, Carl St Jean joins John Haller (Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships, Okanagan College) to talk about  “beyond LEED platinum” construction plus barriers and benefits to incorporating such construction in new buildings and renos. Carl will compare his local home building work to John's comments on upgrades and additions to the Kelowna Campus Trades Building.

2. The Benefits of Having a GMO Free Zone in Coldstream: Come see this presentation on January 24, 2014 at the District of Coldstream meeting. Bee Safe co-founder and SENS director Huguette Allen will speak. More details to follow. 

3. Winter Carnival Parade: SENS will be taking part to emphasize environmentally friendly means of transportation for walkers, cyclers, and electric cars. Could you help? –as a walker or cyclist, carrying a banner, doing art work, providing/wearing a super hero costume??  Contact terrydyck80@hotmail.com


1. Indoor Winter Farmers’ Markets:

·       Mondays, Jan 13 to April, 2014, 9 – 1 pm, Schubert Centre (3505 30th Ave, Vernon). 

·       Wednesdays at Kal Tire Place in Vernon cancelled – rent was too expensive.

·       Saturdays, 9 – 1pm, until Feb, 2014, Odd Fellows Hall, Armstrong. Contact Art, 250 546-3411.

·       Fridays, January 3 to end of February, 11 – 1 pm, Senior Citizen’s Complex, Enderby. Huge selection of veggies, baking, meat, cheese, arts,crafts etc. greencroftgardens@mybcdc.ca

2. Green New Year’s Resolutions: What’s yours? Are you set to minimize the use of water? Support your local farmers’ market? Get out and garden? Do it yourself gifts? Whatever it is, make it count! 

3. Improving Local Air Quality: Should you wish to provide support and/or look at ways to reduce air pollution using health data etc, contact Norm at jnf999@outlook.com

4. TWO Competitions for Students:

a)2014 International Schools Essay Competition: It’s for ages 7 – 17 with a grand prize of a trip for 3 to the UK. Deadline is Feb 10/14. Learn more here ...      Sponsor is www.livingforest.org

b) International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment: It’s for ages 6 – 14. Entries must arrive before March 15/14. Topic is “Wasting Our Food is Wasting Our Planet”. Details at www.thinkeatsave.org/   NOTE: Bayer is behind this, trying to look good despite flogging and aggressively defending neonicotinoid pesticides…so, complain to the UN Environmental Program about how inappropriate this is!   http://www.rona.unep.org/contacts.html   I’ve just sent a message. 

5. Free Styrofoam Collection: Until January 4/14 at Venture Training and Interior Freight & Bottle. 

6. Green Drinks: Monday, Jan.13, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Sir Winston’s Pub. On arrival ask “Are you green?” to get introductions started. 

7. Earth Day – April, 2014:  It’s some time away, but what would YOU like to organize locally for this event?  Earth Day Canada has numerous events planned.  Check out their website and join them on Facebook and Twitter to make connections with others who want to help our planet…and e-mail your ideas for a local group effort to jblissau@telus.net

8. ASET:  They meet again Wednesday, January 8, 7 pm.  Contact: dave.derbowka@asetbc.ca


1. Carpooling: The recent Okanagan promotion saw an increase locally of 7 ½ %!  - a great way to meet new people and share community! It also saves participants thousands a year, and reduces stress too!  For a potential carpool (Oliver to North Okanagan) register (FREE!) at www.carpool.ca

2. Be Safe; Be Seen; Be Smart: For the winter season, pedestrians and cyclists should aim to BE SEEN! …bright clothes, reflective material, walk or ride with lights, NO cell phones or headphones, make eye contact with drivers, cross at marked crosswalks or intersections and follow traffic signals. Cyclists, please cycle on the side of the road WITH TRAFFIC! Pedestrians, walk FACING TRAFFIC when there are no sidewalks!  Details at Vernon.ca - Moves and Vernon.ca - Transportation.  

3. Pace Car Program: Volunteer drivers are still welcome to join the Pace Car program at Okanagan Elementary and Silver Star Schools by signing up at their front office. By signing the Pace Car Pledge, you’re pledging to drive at respectable speeds (< 30 km/hr) when in school neighbourhoods. Pace Cars act as a traffic-calming device slowing speeding traffic behind them. Drivers also agree to be more aware of, and courteous to, other road users. 


1. Anti-GMO Talks Fill Halls: The Vernon, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke halls were filled to capacity for the talks given by Dr. Thierry Vrain. Check out the highlights of his talks at the BEE SAFE website. Another key note speaker is expected… here is one of Dr. Shiv Chopra's talks.  You can also hear of the corruption he speaks of here. Be sure to check out David Suzuki’s talk on GM crops too!

2. Okanagan Rail Trail: Good news! Thanks to many emails of support (2,400), this railway has another 6 months. Potential operators will be able to determine a business model to operate the railway within that time. There’s still a chance that the railway will continue to operate and support those businesses that rely on it. It also gives the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative and the various levels of government more time to determine how to best protect the corridor and create a community path. Please continue to spread the word and have others go to www.okanaganrailtrail.ca

3. GM Corn: GM crop farmers are returning to conventional crops as GM corn crops prove more expensive than conventional. 


1.  Cycling Makes Us Happier: Check out the science behind why this is so! 

2. 12 Days of Christmas – Canadian Version: Check out this merry YouTube video! And, for snowshoe enthusiasts – snowshoe art…  http://www.viralnova.com/simon-beck-snow-art/

3. Fewer Bees. Songbirds, and Butterflies: Industrial farming is creating extinction in every field, every rural community. This article makes it clear that GM crop farming should be illegal.  

4. Materialism = Unhappiness:  An impressive body of psychological research suggests that materialism is both socially and self destructive. It smashes the happiness and peace of mind of those who succumb to it. It’s associated with anxiety, depression and broken relationships. It’s visited upon us by government policy, corporate strategy, civic life, and our acquiescence to it. Worldly ambition, material aspiration, perpetual growth: these things make up a formula for mass unhappiness. To read the entire article, go here

5. Guy Dauncey’s Ideas:  Check out his slide shows on: (a) Farm Villages(b) Green Buildings for 2032, and (c) a Future City for 2032. For more information, go to his website

6. Stop That Bully: Infinito Gold, a Canadian mining company, just slapped Costa Rica with a $1 billion lawsuit because the nation decided to protect its rainforests rather than host an open-pit gold mine. If thousands of us stand together against this toxic mine, we can let Infinito know that we will not stand by while Costa Rica is silently bullied for defending their natural resources. Tell them to drop their lawsuit! Corporate profits cannot take precedence over the health of the people and the environment. 

7. Trans-Mountain Expansion Project: It looks like there’s approval for the pipeline as long as certain conditions are met. Should  you wish to raise issues, present evidence, provide input, you need to get permission from the National Energy Board to take part in hearings.  See: http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pblchrng/pblchrng-eng.html    As well, via BC Nature, a video presentation on its impact and corporation involvement: Link Here


Constitutional Rights Lacking in Canada: Our identity as Canadians is rooted in the landscape that surrounds us. But shockingly we Canadians don’t have a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, or eat clean food in our constitution. It’s time to finally make the image of Canada match the reality of Canada. Take action now! Add your name (here) to the list of thousands of Canadians who want to finally guarantee our right to a healthy environment. There’s also a great video in the link too. Please spread the word. 


1.Site C Dam and Peace-Athabasca Delta:  Its impact on Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park has not been considered. The area is already threatened by the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams. link here

2. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Video by Scott McKinley - YouTube Link

3. Fox Hunting under the snow Link Here to Video

4. Fishery Library:  ..’like a book-burning’ as a world class collection on freshwater science and protection is dismantled by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The government wishes to limit the role of environmental policy in decision making. Full article - Link Here


Battery Recycling Success: Canadian municipalities in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec have collected 625,000 kilograms of alkaline and rechargeable batteries so far this year (more than 328% over the same time period in 2012) via Call2Recycle®, North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program. Read more

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Retraction of Paper on GMO Toxicity: Sadly the controversial Seralini paper on the toxicological effects of Monsanto GM corn (it caused cancer in lab rats!) was retracted. Here are two links to postings containing (1) the back story behind the retraction, and (2) a detailed response and analysis of this situation by a group of scientists who oppose GMOs. Finally, here is an analysis of the retraction decision and the reasons why it took place. 

2. A Sharing Economy: Sharing is a very fast-growing economic trend that has some great implications for helping the environment. For instance, car sharing removes a good number of cars off the road (15 for every shared car). Shared gardening means more local and healthy food.

Co-housing and shared equipment means less urban sprawl and less material waste. This promises to be a very beneficial trend… For a similar article, go here

3. Your Tar Sands Stories: The Vancouver Observer, an independent online newspaper with regularly featured stories about the fossil fuel extraction industry and its impact on the ecosystem, the economy, and the health of local and distant communities, is asking for stories about the Tar Sands from everyday people. To contribute, go here

4. Economy – Ecosystem Link: Finally, an open discussion -- with numbers -- of leaving oil and gas in the ground. The economy and the ecosystem are finally linked directly. 

5. US’s Fracking Awareness: “… largely unaware of and undecided about this issue. Over half of those surveyed had heard nothing at all or only a little about it, and more than half didn't know or were undecided about whether to support or oppose it."  Hope it’s not the same in Canada! CAPE’s comment on a Chamber of Commerce poll: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/world/canada/chamber-commerce-enbridge-poll-got-positive-results-avoiding-questions-about-tankers#comment-253931

6. CAPE Pledge re: Gateway and ‘Holdthewall”:   Sign here: http://www.holdthewall.ca/

7. Monsanto in Argentina: 70% of area residents are opposed to a large plant that will engineer seeds. However their president is supportive. Sign the petition here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_in_argentina_global_/?bIzGxdb&v=32828

Also, here’s news on Argentina's GM soy disaster

8. Meat Safety: Read Urvashi Rangan's opinion piece in the January Consumer Reports on such details as these: 1 out of 6 people getting sick from foodborne illness, harm from antibiotic over-use...and chicken breasts (even organic mass produced) containing potentially harmful bacteria. Go vegetarian! Support local farmers! 

9. Breast Cancer, conflict of interest and Monsanto’s Legacy: Information on a scientist who, for over 20 years) wrote of safety in environmental contaminants while being paid by Monsanto…


10. Timelapse of Climate Change Since 1984: http://ultraculture.org/blog/2013/08/24/incredibly-detailed-timelapse-climate-change/

Happy New Year!

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck