Thursday, 11 October 2012

Who is EcoFriendly Sask?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi 

Andrew McKinlay wanted to do something to help the environment. At first, he didn’t know what he could do, but then he realized that there was only limited information available about environmental news and issues in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, and it was scattered.

He teamed up with his sister, Penny McKinlay, to develop an online publication that took advantage of social media to spread the word about news stories and upcoming events as well as providing profiles of local people and places.

The Written Word
EcoFriendly Sask went live in July 2011. Every Tuesday, we publish EcoSask News, a round-up of locally relevant news and events. We also post profiles of people, places, and books (e.g. the Dark Sky Preserve at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, residential solar energy options, urban farming, and wildlife rehabilitation).

A Calendar page lists upcoming events, and we maintain the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

EcoFriendly Action Grants
In May 2012, we went one step further and started providing small grants of up to $500 to support local projects that will benefit the environment. In the past few months, we have offered over $9,000 to a wide variety of projects (e.g. Saskatoon Cycles’ Bike Valet, TRoutreach’s fisheries research, the Meadow Lake Junior Forest Wardens clean-up at Pagan Lake, the SEN Environmental Film Festival, the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan).

Moving Mountains 
At EcoFriendly Sask, we believe that the written word and visual images are powerful tools for inspiring change. Here are some useful resources:

Orion magazine — a bimonthly, advertising-free magazine devoted to creating a stronger bond between people and nature.

Trevor Herriot, author of Grass, Sky, Song — Saskatchewan’s award-winning naturalist blogs about the spirit and beauty of the Northern Great Plains, addressing political and environmental issues.

The Centre for Civic Governance —  The Centre works to support community leaders in addressing social and environmental challenges. They publish a Going for Green Leadership Handbook series.

International League of Conservation Photographers — working photographers with a demonstrable, sustained involvement in conservation.

Chris Helzer, a scientist for The Nature Conservancy, discusses how his love of photography and nature complement each other in a short video.

Ready, Fire, Aim 
EcoFriendly Sask strives to inform, encourage, and support local environmental initiatives. As a small, personal initiative, we have the flexibility to respond to changing needs and requests. We welcome your suggestions. (Ready, Fire, Aim)