Tuesday, 25 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 25, 2017

rabbit

Upcoming Events
How are Campuses Harnessing Renewable Energy?, July 26 (webinar)
According to a new report from the University of New Hampshire, campuses are becoming more energy-efficient, but their progress is insufficient to meet climate action goals. A free webinar, from 3-4 pm, July 26, will discuss strategies to get higher education on track to tackle climate change.

T. Rex Summer Gala, July 29 (Eastend)
Out-smart T.rex Discovery Centre’s paleontologists and scientists at the T. Rex Summer Gala fundraiser on July 29 in Eastend.

Insects: Friend or Foe, Aug. 8 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting two workshops on insects: friend or foe on Aug. 8 at the Garden Patch – for kids from 12-2 pm and for everyone from 3-5 pm.

Looking Ahead
Nature Grandparenting, Sept. 5-Oct. 10 (Saskatoon)
Wildernook Fresh Air Learning will be running a Nature Grandparenting program on Tuesday mornings from Sept. 5 to Oct. 10.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, providing an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada, is being offered in Saskatoon on Sept. 30.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

Aphrodite Fritillary butterfly

Help Wanted
Library of Things #yxe is looking for building supplies and builders to help set up a lending library.

In the News
All about crows - Cheetos, sunbathing, and funerals

"our destructive human era could be followed by an explosion of diversity – just as previous ages of extinction gave birth to new opportunities in the aftermath" [book review: Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction]

A new version of the California Academy of Sciences’ iNaturalist app uses artificial intelligence to offer immediate identifications for photos of any kind of wildlife

“A forward-looking approach to conservation could also involve finding ways for non-consumptive pastimes to fund state wildlife agencies, perhaps through a tax on camping gear, much in the way that taxes on hunting supplies now do. At present wildlife agencies ‘depend almost completely upon hunters and fishermen to fund their programs,’ says Elbroch. ‘This is not only short-sighted. It’s poor economics.”

UK households are applying more sustainable practices to their wardrobe, and it’s helping the environment

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 18, 2017

Cedar Waxwing parent feeding juvenile

Upcoming Events
Science in the Park, July 18 (Regina)
Harbour Landing and the Saskatchewan Science Centre are hosting Science in the Park for kids from 6-8 pm, July 18. There will be a Superheroes of Sustainability stage show at 7 pm.

Bee-Friendly Planting Bee, July 21 (Saskatoon) 
Help re-create habitat for indigenous pollinators in a planting bee at the Prairie Habitat Garden from 9 am-5 pm, July 21.

Prioritizing Conservation in Saskatchewan, July 24 (webinar)
Kylie Garchinski will discuss the Nature Conservancy of Canada: Prioritizing Conservation in Saskatchewan in a noon-hour webinar on July 24.

Northeast Swale Bioblitz, July 26 (Saskatoon)
Meewasin Valley Authority is hosting a bioblitz at the Northeast Swale from 5 am-9 pm, July 26. Activities will include grassland bird point counts, wetland macro-invertebrate sampling, insect traps and sweeps, small mammal traps, plant inventories, ecological health assessments.


Carbonless Concert Jam Night, July 29 (Sask)
Join Jay Maillet and friends for a Carbonless Concert Jam Night from 6:30-9 pm, July 29. Everyone is invited to participate.

Family-Friendly Summer EcoTour, Aug. 4-5 (Last Mountain Lake)
SaskOutdoors is planning a Family-Friendly Summer Ecotour at the north end of Last Mountain Lake, Aug. 4-5.

Looking Ahead
Nature Grandparenting, Sept. 5-Oct. 10 (Saskatoon)
Wildernook Fresh Air Learning will be running a Nature Grandparenting program on Tuesday mornings from Sept. 5 to Oct. 10.

An Evening with Jane Goodall, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Dr. Jane Goodall will describe her extraordinary scientific breakthroughs in animal behaviour and her journey to becoming one of the world’s most prominent and active conservationists from 7-10 pm, Sept. 30, in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
July 27, 8 am – The Quill Lakes
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagles field trips.
Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
July 23, 8 am-4:30 pm – Shorebird Trip
July 30, 2-4:30 pm – Botany Walk, Sutherland Beach
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details and updated information.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

House Wren nestlings

In the News
Nelson, BC, is home to Canada’s first municipally-owned solar farm.

The City of Calgary is looking for a new strategy to help residents better co-exist with coyotes. In most cases of human-coyote conflict, it’s the actions of humans that are the primary cause.

On a finite planet, endless economic growth is not an option.

Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children, sell your car, take fewer flights, and eat a vegetarian diet.

Coca Cola sells more than 100 billion single-use plastic bottles a year. Why aren’t they 100% recycled plastic?

Since we can’t make flying sustainable right now, we need to make the best possible use of the planes that we have, cutting emissions where we can. Limiting the number of luxury seats is one of the easiest things we can do.

To be efficient and fair, a transportation system must serve diverse demands, including the needs of people who for any reason cannot, should not, or prefer not to drive.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).



Thursday, 13 July 2017

Here Be Dragons - and Damsels!

Dragonfly


Darting over the water, resting on a rock – there is an abundance of dragonflies and damselflies at this time of year. But don’t take them for granted. These aerial acrobats are anything but commonplace. 

Dragonflies are insects with long bodies, big eyes, and transparent wings. They range in size from ½ an inch to 5 inches with wings from 2-5 inches across. Dragonflies were one of the first species to evolve over 300 million years ago. At that time, they were much larger with a wingspan of up to 2 feet.

Dragonflies are impressive fliers with two sets of wings that can operate independently or in unison. They can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, flying up and down, forward and backward, or hovering like a helicopter. They need warmth to fly, however, and will often land when the sun goes behind a cloud.

dragonfly


Compared to other insects, dragonflies have extraordinary vision, helping them to avoid in-flight collisions. Their large eyes take up most of their head and they can see in every direction except right behind them.

Dragonflies live near water where they can be sure to find plenty of mosquitoes and gnats. They capture their insect prey in their legs, extending a long, hinged lower lip to eat it while still in flight.

Dragonflies lay their eggs on the surface of the water. The eggs hatch into naiads that have gills and stay underwater for 2-3 years.

Dragon or Damsel?
Dragonflies and damselflies are closely related, but there are some slight differences:
     Dragonflies spread their wings apart when resting; damselflies keep their wings together.
     Damselflies are smaller with slimmer bodies than dragonflies.
     The eyes on a damselfly are separated; on most dragonflies they touch.

Damselflies mating

Live in Saskatoon? 
Join the Saskatoon Nature Society from 1:30-4:30 pm, July 16, to look for dragonflies and damselflies at a nearby wetland.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 11, 2017

flowers

Upcoming Events
LEED Building Tour & Networking Event, July 13 (Regina) 
Canada Green Building Council is offering a LEED building tour of the Mosaic Tower at Hill Centre III followed by a networking event from 5:15-6:15 pm, July 13.

Blue Gold: World Water Wars, July 19 (Regina) 
Cinema Politica is screening Blue Gold: World Water Wars at 7 pm, July 19, in Regina.

Operation Burrowing Owl 30th Anniversary Dinner, July 20 (Regina)
Join Operation Burrowing Owl as they celebrate their 30th anniversary with a dinner on July 20.

Rainwater Harvesting, July 22 (Regina) 
Learn how to install and maintain a rain barrel and use rainwater for all your gardening needs at Edible Landscapes' Rainwater Harvesting workshop from 1-4 pm, July 22, near Regina.

Bokashi Composting, July 22 (Saskatoon) 
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on bokashi composting from 12:30-2:30 pm, July 22, at the Garden Patch.

Walking Saskatoon, July 23 (Saskatoon) 
Walking Saskatoon is meeting from 1-2:30 pm, July 23, in the Brainsport Event Room. They’ll be talking with the Active Transportation Plan Coordinator about the state of the Plan.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

flowers

In the News
The Ecological Citizen is an online peer-reviewed journal. It aims to advance ecological knowledge, champion Earth-centred action, and inspire ecocentric citizenship. Articles in the first issue cover Why Ecocentrism? The Ethical and the Practical Imperative and Wild Democracy: A Grassroots Vision to Transcend Capitalism.

"one aspect of urban nature remains underappreciated: wildness. Places where nobody is telling nature what to do. Where it’s not landscaped or improved or turned to human ends"

Where do we draw the line in conservation intervention projects when we are in the midst of an ever-evolving nature? 

Will the next generation of tires be made from dandelions?

This is how climate scepticism becomes climate cynicism: doubts about the evidence are replaced by doubts about the motives of the people using it. [long read but informative]

"advances in technology and battery storage are making the grid ever-more capable of accommodating wind and solar power" 

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Leave No Trace Upon the Earth but Footprints and Echoes

White Pelicans taking off


“Leave no trace upon the earth but the footprints of your compassion and the echoes of your laughter.” Ann Oshiro-Kauwe 

Whether we’re hiking in the woods or along a river, it seems harmless to stick a pine cone in our pocket or throw an apple core into the bushes. And yet it’s not because if each and every person did the same thing, it would have a significant impact on our natural surroundings. Over 300,000 people visited Saskatchewan’s national parks in 2015/16. To ensure that our neighbours can also enjoy our wilderness areas, each of us needs to do our part to walk gently on the land and leave no trace.

Leave No Trace Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and respect for our wildlands, and EcoFriendly Sask is one of their partners.


Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare (plan meals that reduce waste, hike in small groups, avoid wilderness travel during spring snow melt)

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces (stick to the trails, use established campsites when available)

Dispose of Waste Properly (bury or pack out human waste)

Leave What You Find (don’t tie tent guy lines to trees or turn over lichen-covered rocks)

Minimize Campfire Impacts (use a camp stove or a fire pan)

Respect Wildlife (observe wildlife from afar, keep food and garbage away from animals)

Be Considerate of Others (keep noise down, choose earth-toned clothing and gear to lessen visual impact)

sun spangled creek

Leave No Trace Skills
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has some additional ideas that you may not have thought of – from sleeping under the stars to cleaning your bicycle.

Even Biodegradable Camp Soap Can Pollute

Hammock Camping

Feminine Hygiene

Invasive Species and Cleaning Gear

Are You a Considerate Mountain Biker?

There Are Birds on Those Cliffs

Additional Resources
Outdoor Explorations in Saskatchewan

Adventure Smart

Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers

SaskOutdoors

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 4, 2017

gull

Upcoming Events
Quill Lakes Public Info Session, July 11 (Fort Qu’Appelle)
WUQWATR is holding a public information session at 7 pm, July 11, to discuss the potential impact of the Quill Lakes on the Qu’Appelle Valley river system.

Garden Patch Bioblitz, July 12 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Nature Society and the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre are holding a bioblitz at the Garden Patch from 7-9 pm, July 12.

Plant Diseases, Illnesses & Solutions, July 15 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on plant diseases, illnesses & solutions from 2-4 pm, July 15, at the Garden Patch.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, July 15 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 9 am – 3:30 pm on July 15.

Family Day at the Zoo, July 16 (Saskatoon)
The Family Day at the Zoo fundraiser, including entertainment, animal talks, and activities for children, will be held from 9 am-4 pm, July 16.

NCC Conservation Volunteer Program (SK)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Conservation Volunteers program provides great opportunities to get outside and do your part to protect or repair damage to the environment. There are 3 volunteer opportunities in July.
July 12, 5:30-8:30 pmWest Parklands Open House (near Shellbrook)
July 14, 9 am-3 pmKick Up at Kettlehut (near Central Butte)
July 22, 9 am-3 pmMessy-EH? (near Alvena)

water strider

Nature Regina Field Trips
July 15, 8 am-4 pm – Buffalo Pound Wilderness Area
Check Nature Regina’s website for full details and updated information.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Aug. 1, 6-9 pm – Peregrine Falcon Field Trip
Sept. 23, 9:30 am-1:30 pm – Sandhill Crane Field Trip
Oct. 4, 7:30-9:30 pm – Saw-whet Owl Field Trip
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.
Golden Eagles
July 6, 7 am – Breeding Bird Atlas Square Bashing
July 13, 8 am – Search for Prairie Lilies
July 20, 8 am – MVA Trail Walk
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

In the News
I am the Saskatchewan River Delta covering 10,000 sq km and yet I receive little recognition and almost no protection

Vienna manages its residual waste entirely within city limits, using trash to keep thousands of citizens warm in winter

Indigenous Climate Action is working to bridge the gap between government strategies on climate change and Indigenous knowledge

We need to start treating climate change like a public health crisis

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

EcoSask News, June 27, 2017

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Upcoming Events
Prairie Agriculture Carbon Summit, July 13-14 (Saskatoon)
The Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan is hosting a Prairie Agriculture Carbon Summit, July 13-14, in Saskatoon. Topics will include carbon pricing, carbon sequestration, fertilizer management, genomics, and economics.

Looking Ahead
Summer Star Party, Aug. 23-27 (Cypress Hills)
Observe the sun and the stars during the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual Summer Star Party at Cypress Hills Provincial Park’s dark-sky campground and observatory from Aug. 23-27.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada, is being offered in Saskatoon on Sept. 30.

Flowing Waters Conference, Oct. 17-19 (Leduc)
Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance are hosting their annual conference in Leduc, AB, Oct. 17-19. The theme is Flowing Waters: Water Quality and Transboundary Issues in the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Renewables in Remote Communities, Oct. 24-27 (Whitehorse)
Pembina Institute is hosting a Renewables in Remote Microgrids / Communities conference from Oct. 24-27 in Whitehorse.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Aug. 24, 1-3 pm – Grasslands Hike
Sept. 23, 9:30 am-1:30 pm – Sandhill Crane Field Trip
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
July 8, 8:45 am-? – North American Buttefly Count
July 9, 1-4 pm – Botany Trip, Beaver Creek Conservation Area
July 15, 7am-5 pm – Douglas Park Sand Dunes Hike
July 16, 1:30-4:30 pm – Dragonfly & Damselfly Viewing
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details and updated information.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

Congratulations!
The SES Solar Co-operative now has 140 members and has installed 210 solar panels. “The Co-op’s latest solar install is at 615 Haskamp Street in Saskatoon. It involves an innovative partnership between SES Solar Co-operative, which owns the solar panels, local building owner Montgomery Agencies (who has provided a reinforced rooftop space for the installation), and 4 private businesses at the Haskamp Street site which will now receive the majority of their electricity from a near emissions-free solar energy source.”

butterfly

In the News
"The trucks picking up and delivering our goods make up nine per cent of Canada’s total emissions, and that number is projected to exceed passenger vehicle emissions by around 2030." Driving down freight emissions will require federal, provincial, and municipal cooperation.

The era of ownership is ending. "On-demand is about using things when we actually need them. It leads to the more effective use of resources."

Passive house construction is leaping from niche to mainstream. Here are 6 strategies for accelerating market transformation.

Managed collectively backyards could become more biodiverse landscapes. “What goes on in a yard is seen as a personal decision by homeowners. But all of those individual decisions add up. ‘We think it’s just our house, . . . But forty or fifty percent of a city is people’s yards. If you put us together and replicate it across the country, it’s a very large area.”

Rampant road building is having a shattering impact on wildlife. That’s why wildlife crossings are so important - watch 60 pronghorn navigate a road crossing for the first time.



Here’s why it’s time to stop punishing our soils with fertilizer.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).