Thursday, 19 April 2018

Taught by Nature: The Importance of Outdoor Education

“Lead your child into nature, teach him on the hilltop and in the valleys. There he will listen better, and the sense of freedom will give him more strength to overcome difficulties. But in these hours of freedom, let him be taught by nature rather than by you. Let him fully realize that she is the real teacher and that you, with your art, do nothing more than walk quietly at her side. Should a bird sing or an insect hum on a leaf, at once stop your walk. Bird and insect are teaching him; you may be silent.” Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827) 

As a child, Melanie Elliott spent a month every summer at Long Point Provincial Park in Ontario. “All there was to do was catch tadpoles, turtles, and snakes,” she says. “I remember saying to my Mum, ‘This clam followed me home – can I keep it?’”

Children nowadays have far less opportunity to roam outdoors, collecting insects, rodents, or snakes. There’s more fear and less time. Melanie, a long-time outdoor educator who has only recently retired from the University of Saskatchewan and a founding member of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan, is passionate about reversing that trend: “Kids need to know nature is safe,” she says. “So many kids are scared of bees and wasps. I like to give them a chance to hold a beetle or a caterpillar. Salamanders and snakes aren’t pretty or cute, but they have their own charm if you take the time to observe.”

And time is just what Melanie provided when she took Grade 2 classes to spend a day at Saskatoon Natural Grasslands. She’d have the kids lie down in the grass and “bond to the prairies.” Using all five senses, they could see the wind pulling the grass, listen for birds and insects, feel the sun and know when a cloud passed over it.

Melanie coordinated Ecology Camps for Kids, offered by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) during summer holidays and Easter breaks, for many years. Bird banding was a favorite activity as the participants could actually hold a baby bird. Other kids held out for the wetland camp. They’d visit a different wetland every day, walking barefoot and feeling the mud squish between their toes. The dinosaur camp went to Herschel where the students would dig in the sand for bones.

Instructors were encouraged to get involved and to look for the teachable moments. “Kids can understand complex concepts if they can see it and feel it,” Melanie says. “If you’re standing on a hill in Saskatoon Natural Grasslands and you see buildings all around you, you understand that the area is an island.”

Ecology Camps for Kids were the only U of S camps that took kids off campus. The University was concerned about safety, but Melanie knew how important it was for kids to be outside. Every day they would go somewhere different – Wanuskewin, Beaver Creek, Pike Lake.

A quote from Helen Keller underpins Melanie’s beliefs:

"Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." 

And, in closing, another one of the quotes that Melanie has collected over the years:

“If you keep this wide-open feeling of always being on the brink of new discoveries, then you will be on the way to becoming a real naturalist, for no one can claim to be a naturalist who does not continually have a seeking, exploring, and thrilling mind.” Vinson Brown, Investigating Nature through Outdoor Projects 

See Also
Outdoor Activities for Children and Youth 
Outdoor Learning: “The Absolute Best” 
Education for Sustainability: A Conversation with Janet McVittie

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

EcoSask News, April 17, 2018

nest building

Upcoming Events
Mad Scientists, Apr. 21 (Moose Jaw) 
Kids are invited to experiment with food, electricity, building supplies, and more at the Moose Jaw Public Library, 10:30-11:30 am, Apr. 21.

A E Wilson Park Walk, Apr. 21 (Regina) 
Nature Regina is hosting a bird walk at A E Wilson Park from 9 am – 12 pm, Apr. 21.

Earth Day @ Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Apr. 22 (Regina) 
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is hosting Earth Day celebrations on Apr. 22.

Red Squirrels, Apr. 22 (Preeceville) 
Andrea Wishart will talk about red squirrels at the Kelsey Ecological Society meeting at 2 pm, Apr. 22, Club 60, Preeceville.

A Waste-Conscious Life, Apr. 22 (Saskatoon) 
Find out how to lead a waste-conscious life at 11 am, Apr. 22, at Bulk Basket in Saskatoon.

Prairie Falcon, Apr. 23 (Moose Jaw) 
Larry Going will bring his Prairie Falcon to the Apr. 23 meeting of the Moose Jaw Nature Society.

Intro Bicycle Tune-Up Workshop, Apr. 23 (Saskatoon) 
Bridge City Bicycle Co-op is offering an introductory workshop on how to fix your bike from 6:30-8:30 pm, Apr. 23.

Trans Am Bike Race Talk, Apr. 23 (Saskatoon) 
Meaghan Hackinen will talk about her experiences as the first Canadian woman to complete the Trans Am Bike Race at 7 pm, Apr. 23.

Disruption, Apr. 25 (Regina) 
Join Cinema Politica Regina for a screening of Disruption about why we do so little when we know so much about climate change at 7 pm, Apr. 25.

Waste Reduction & Composting, Apr. 25 (Regina) 
Celebrate Earth Day by learning how to reduce waste and compost from 7-8:30 pm, Apr. 25, Central Adult Library.

Indian Elephant Conservation, Apr. 25 (Saskatoon)
Find out about Indian elephant wildlife conservation efforts at 1:30 pm, Apr. 25. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

Help Find Hawks, Apr. 30 (Avonlea) 
Join Nature Conservancy of Canada on a ferruginous hawk survey the week of Apr. 30-May 4. Previous experience isn’t necessary.

International Dark Sky Week, April 15-21

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
Apr. 20, 7-9 pm – members-only Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek Evening Visit
Apr. 26, 8 am – Meacham Artists & Sloughs (Golden Eagles)
May 3, 8:30 am – Chorney Acreage (Golden Eagles)
May 5, 9 am-12 pm – Waterfowl trip to Porter Lake
May 6, 7-9:30 am – MVA Trail Bird Walk
May 10, 7:30 am – Goose Lake (Golden Eagles)
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 

In the News
City of Saskatoon's 2018 environmental grants support some great projects, including NatureCity Festival, waste reduction and composting, clean water, and bats

Wellington, NZ, hopes to become the first predator-free capital city in the world. But how can that be? We are all both predator and prey; altering the food chain is sure to have unintended consequences.

Restoration ecology - let nature do its work and don’t rely on biodiversity offset programs - they don’t work

What will we do with all those solar panels when their useful life is over?

Wildlife is adapting rapidly to an urban environment raising questions about the value of wildlife corridors and the use of native plants

Books on urban wildlife - New York Public Library recommendations

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, 12 April 2018

Cathy Watts, Cycling Advocate

“I spent my working life getting one person who’d had a stroke to move,” Cathy Watts, Saskatoon Cycles, says. “Now I’m trying to get the whole city moving!”

As a physiotherapist working in the neurological and geriatric field and an avid cyclist since she was 8 years old, Cathy Watts has always advocated for health promotion and an active lifestyle: “I rode to university. I took my kids around town on my bike. My husband and I even go on cycling holidays.”

“I love Saskatoon,” Cathy says. “It’s the perfect city for fabulous bike lanes and we’ve already accomplished so much. But there’s so much more that can be done. I want to make Saskatoon a safe place for my grandchildren, who are already proficient cyclists, to ride their bikes.”

Cathy’s underlying optimism is a key ingredient in her success as a cycling advocate. Saskatoon Cycles’ progress in less than 10 years is phenomenal.

Saskatoon Cycles
In 2009, Sean Shaw initiated monthly cycling discussions. As the group grew, the organizers decided to formalize the arrangement and Saskatoon Cycles was incorporated in 2010. Cathy Watts has been chair or co-chair ever since.

Maintaining an advocacy organization is never an easy task. Cathy underlines the importance of establishing your purpose and direction through vision and mission statements. “Then you can see a path,” she says.

Another challenge is building your membership and maintaining a strong, stable board with both time and skills. The group’s fundraising efforts have paid off and they have recently hired a part-time operations manager who will focus on communications, fundraising, and event planning, and Cathy believes that will make a big difference.

Saskatoon Cycles’ principal focus is on advocacy; however, they also hold events as a way to draw in new members. Long before the City of Saskatoon was promoting the winter city concept, Saskatoon Cycles was drawing crowds to winter cycling events, including a moveable feast, speakers, and rides.

The organization also operates the Bike Valet, parking 6300 bikes at 8 festivals last summer. In addition to providing a service and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Bike Valet builds community. Volunteers include new Canadians, people with mental health issues, and individuals who take holiday time in order to help out. “It’s become a small family unit,” Cathy says.

Four Steps to Successful Advocacy
Cathy believes successful advocacy has four key ingredients.

1. Encourage, Be Patient, Stay Positive. Cathy believes that the most effective approach to lobbying on a municipal level is to encourage, be patient, and remain positive. She recognizes that the downtown bike lanes aren’t perfect and the choice of 23rd Street, which passes through the bus terminal, was a compromise, but believes that if you do nothing but complain, you won’t get anything. “We have to support the City planners for what they’ve done with a very small budget.”

The approach has paid off as Saskatoon Cycles has also invested the time to develop strong relationships with local administrators and officials. In recent years, they’ve partnered with Saskatoon Police Service to hand out bicycle lights and to encourage people to register their bikes as a theft prevention measure. In addition, Cathy isn’t afraid to speak out strongly – but she does it in private, not in public.

2. Provide Expertise. One of the first major events organized by Saskatoon Cycles was a Cycling Summit. The organization pulled together 24 experienced cyclists and invited Kay Teschke of Vancouver to talk about the need for safe cycling infrastructure. The group spent a day designing safe routes to downtown Saskatoon from all parts of the city. A City Councillor and administrator attended the meeting and the maps were taken into consideration in preparing the City’s Active Transportation Plan. More recently, Saskatoon Cycles provided City Council with a review of the City’s cycling bylaw prepared by a pro bono lawyer and law student.

3. Establish a Plan. A recent workshop provided Cathy with a template for planning an effective advocacy campaign. The template recognizes that organizations have limited capacity and must use it efficiently to maximize impact, guiding them through the process of identifying their goal, capacity, and allies.

4. Work Together. Saskatoon Cycles was an active partner in Livable YXE prior to the last municipal election. The group engaged candidates in a discussion about the factors that ensure a positive quality of life for city residents, publishing the results of a survey that included questions about everything from housing and climate change to active transportation.

Active Transportation
Cathy and Saskatoon Cycles are key players in advocating for municipal policies that incorporate active transportation into all municipal decisions, addressing the underlying issues of poor road design and car-focussed transportation planning. Their efforts reduce the number of unnecessary deaths and injuries on our streets and promote a healthy lifestyle for all our citizens.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

EcoSask News, April 10, 2018

White pelican

Wild child adventures, a Fairy Hill marsh walk, and poplar potions - spring magic!

Upcoming Events
Poplar Potion, Apr. 12 (Saskatoon)
Walk through Poplar Bluffs and learn about the harvest and preparation of poplar buds from 5:30-7:30 pm, Apr. 12.

Leave No Trace, Apr. 12 (Saskatoon) 
Andrea Nelson, SaskOutdoors, will talk about how to care for the wildlands at 11:45 am, Apr. 12, Innovation Place Saskatoon.

Islands of Grass, Apr. 13 (Saskatoon)
Branimir Gjetvaj will present Islands of Grass at 2 pm, Apr. 13, at the Frances Morrison Library.

Saskatchewan Living Green Expo, Apr. 13-15 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatchewan Living Green Expo festival and trade-show is Apr. 13-15 in Saskatoon.

Birding Field Trip, Apr. 14 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina to look for mountain bluebirds and waterfowl on Apr. 14 along Route 99 and at Fairy Hills Marsh.

March for Science, Apr. 14 (Saskatoon)
March for Science Saskatoon is hosting March for Science on Apr. 14.

Climate Crisis Implications & Solutions, Apr. 16 (Regina)
Jared Clarke will discuss the climate crisis: implications and solutions for Saskatchewan at the 7:30 pm, Apr. 16 meeting of Nature Regina.

Environmental Society AGM, Apr. 18 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society will hold their annual general meeting on Apr. 18 starting with a wine and cheese at 6:30 pm and a presentation by Christopher Spence, Global Institute for Water Security, at 7 pm.

Life in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Apr. 19 (Saskatoon)
Dr. Patricia Thomas will discuss Life in the Exclusion Zone: Chernobyl, Swallows, Wild Horses, Fungi, and Cesium-137 at the Apr. 19 meeting of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

Permaculture Saskatchewan AGM, Apr. 19 (Saskatoon)
Permaculture Saskatchewan will be holding their annual general meeting and showing the permaculture film Inhabit on Apr. 19.

SK Breeding Bird Atlas Workshop, Apr. 21 (Saskatoon)
The SK Breeding Bird Atlas is offering an introductory workshop on bird identification and using your birding skills to contribute sightings to the Atlas from 9 am-noon, Apr. 21.

white pelicans

Looking Ahead
Chaplin & Reed Lake Shorebird Survey, May 1-June 14 (Chaplin Lake)
The 4th annual Chaplin & Reed Lake Shorebird Survey is looking for volunteers to help them track the migratory shorebirds that travel through Chaplin Lake.

Nature Grandparenting, May 1-June 18 (Saskatoon)
Witness seasonal changes in nature with your grandchild during the spring session of Nature Grandparenting hosted by Wildernook Fresh Air Learning and SaskOutdoors on Tuesdays (2 sessions/day) from May 1-June 18 in Saskatoon.

Would You Like an Upcycled Art Workshop?, Sept. 23-30 (Saskatoon)
Medha Batt, an artist from India, will be travelling through Saskatoon from Sept. 23-30 and is interested in offering workshops or presentations emphasizing local environmental issues and using household discards to create art. Medha can be reached on her professional Facebook page.

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

Reading & Listening
Take a look at the new, Saskatchewan-based SLIP Channel, Canada’s weekly green living news magazine.

Happiness by Aminatta Forna is about the unseen residents of our cities: the foxes, coyotes, and parakeets but also the street sweepers, doormen, and dishwashers. Do we welcome these immigrants to our cities or do we reject them? Who is part of our community? (highly recommended by Penny)

Listen to a Defender Radio webinar on protecting coyotes and other wildlife and keeping human park users safe.

In the News
A Wild Child Adventure School for 3-12 year olds is being set up at Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary. The school will offer mini adventures for 3-5 year olds, after-school adventures for 5-12 year olds, and homeschooling Fridays.

The Lower Qu’Appelle Watershed has issued a Quality and Quantity Review providing a useful overview of the factors affecting our water supply.

"There’s a stark choice to be made: stick with GDP growth as our Prime Directive and continue to unpick the web of life, or evolve beyond it and create new possibilities for human and planetary flourishing."

The gigantic data centers that power the internet consume vast amounts of electricity and emit as much CO2 as the airline industry.

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, 5 April 2018

2018 Natural Areas Clean-Up Grants


Raising money for your club, sports team, or voluntary organization? EcoFriendly Sask is offering a limited number of $500 grants to clubs and voluntary organizations for cleaning up a natural area in or around their community.

Apply by sending us an email telling us about your group and your clean-up plans. We’ll let you know whether or not your grant application is approved. Groups that are approved for a grant will be sent a cheque once we’ve received a photograph of your clean-up crew and the garbage you’ve collected.

Saskatoon residents can participate in the Meewasin Annual Clean-up Campaign. City of Prince Albert is hosting a Pitch-in Week from May 7-13. Pitch-In Week campaigns are being held in various other Saskatchewan locations from April 22-29. You can also join or lead a clean-up as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up.

EcoFriendly Sask informs, encourages, and supports Saskatchewan environmental initiatives through an online publication and EcoFriendly Action Grants. You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

EcoSask News, April 3, 2018

gopher (Richardsons ground squirrel)

This week’s news stories range from moose in the city and boxelder bugs to the importance of reclaiming the land when a coal mine closes. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events
Repair Café, Apr. 7 (Prince Albert)
Get help repairing household appliances, electronics, clothing, and furniture at Repair Café Prince Albert from 1-4 pm, Apr. 7.

Public Pastures Public Interest AGM, Apr. 7 (Regina)
Public Pastures Public Interest is holding their annual general meeting from 1-5 pm, Apr. 7. Join the discussion on current issues and future options for Community Pastures and other Crown grasslands.

Animal Sanctuary Tour, Apr. 8 (Moose Jaw)
Contact the Moose Jaw Nature Society if you want to join them on a tour of the Free To Be Me Animal Sanctuary from 11 am-1 pm, Apr. 8.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, Apr. 8 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 9 am – 3:30 pm, Apr. 8.

Town Hall on Climate Change, Apr. 9 (Saskatoon)
Climate Justice Saskatoon is hosting a town hall meeting from 6-9 pm, Apr. 9, to discuss meaningful climate solutions in Saskatchewan.

Looking Ahead
Saskatoon’s Wild Side, Apr. 22 (Saskatoon)
Wild About Saskatoon is inviting individuals and community groups to help show off the wild side of Saskatoon by hosting an event during the 2018 NatureCity Festival, May 22-27. Submit your applications before Apr. 22.

Nature Saskatchewan Spring Meet, June 8-10 (Coronach)
Join Nature Saskatchewan June 8-10 for their spring meet in Coronach. There will be a bus tour of the Big Muddy Valley and Naomi and Jon Gerrard will give a presentation entitled “Learning from 50 Years with the Bald Eagles of Saskatchewan's Boreal Forest”.

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

In the News
University of Regina journalism students, in partnership with the National Observer, Toronto Star, and Global News have won an award for a documentary about the money and influence of Saskatchewan’s oil industry.

Boxelder Bugs - "there's a lot more to these little critters than you might think."

Saskatchewan's climate change strategy sets its sights on reducing emissions from large industrial emitters but doesn't tackle emissions from smaller industries according to Brett Dolter, University of Regina ecological economist.

Better food sources and lack of predators means moose are migrating to the prairies - and even the cities.

Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area is at the heart of North America’s central flyway, attracting hundreds of thousands of migrating birds each spring and fall.

Land reclamation is a key element of restoring communities when coal mines shut down.

Upgrades to Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital almost doubled the expected savings from energy, water, and operational improvements.

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 March 2018

EcoSask News, March 27, 2018

Canada Goose showing off

From light pollution to first aid and from Waskesiu to Fort Qu’Appelle and Stockholm - find out what’s happening in your community. Plus a handful of news stories you might not have seen. 

Upcoming Events
Waterfowl Monitoring Programs, Mar. 28 (Saskatoon) 
Blake Bartzen, Canadian Wildlife Service, will discuss waterfowl monitoring programs, at 3:30 pm, Mar. 28, at the final WildEcol seminar this season.

Cycling Speaker Series, Mar. 29 (Saskatoon)
Cathy Watts, co-chair of Saskatoon Cycles, is the first speaker in a Cycling Speaker Series hosted by Bridge City Bicycle Co-op and the Bike Doctor at 7 pm, Mar. 29.

Ferruginous Hawk Research, Mar. 31 (Fort Qu’Appelle) 
Ryan Fisher, University of Regina, will discuss ferruginous hawk research at the 7 pm, Mar. 31, meeting of the Fort Qu’Appelle Nature Society (Fort Qu’Appelle Train Station).

Spring Forest Safety, Mar. 31 (Waskesiu) 
Friends of Prince Albert National Park is hosting a spring forest safety workshop from 1-3 pm, Mar. 31, in Waskesiu. Topics will include survival equipment, cattails, and air to ground signals.

Our Common Future, Apr. 3-5 (Saskatoon) 
The Apr. 3-5 symposium showcases research projects completed by undergraduate students in the environmental programs and those participating in the Office of Sustainability’s Living Lab at the U of S.

Seed Swap & Gardening Talk, Apr. 4 (Stockholm) 
Stockholm Public Library is hosting a seed swap and prairie gardening talk from 6-8 pm, Apr. 4.

Regina Food Bank Greenhouse Tour, Apr. 4 (Regina) 
The Regina Permaculture Book Club has organized a tour of the Regina Food Bank Greenhouse at 1:30 pm, Apr. 4.

Urban Energy Systems: Lessons from Lulea, Sweden, Apr. 4 (Saskatoon) 
Martin Boucher, University of Saskatchewan, will discuss urban energy systems: lessons from Lulea, Sweden at the Apr. 4 meeting of the Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force.

Design the Nightscape – Shaping Darkness, Apr. 4 (Saskatoon) 
Sabine de Schutter, Berlin, will discuss the potential and risks of light, highlighting projects taking the well-being of humans and animals into account as well as safety at 6:30 pm, Apr. 4

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Natural Resource Management, Apr. 4 (webinar) 
Leila Benmerrouche, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will discuss the development of UAV technology in combination with GIS and landscape modeling applications in a PCAP-SK webinar at noon, Apr. 4.

Common Goldeneye

Looking Ahead
Wilderness First Aid, Apr. 13-15 (Saskatoon)
SaskOutdoors is hosting a 20-hour Wilderness & Remote First Aid course, Apr. 13-15, close to Saskatoon.

Waste Reforum 2018, Apr. 18-20 (Regina) 
The annual Waste Reforum will be held from Apr. 18-20 in Regina.

First Aid for Paddlers, Apr. 28 (Saskatoon)
Back 40 Wilderness First Aid Training and Coldspring Paddling are offering a one-day first aid clinic geared specifically for paddlers from 9 am-4 pm, Apr. 28.

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

In the News 
Agricultural drainage in Saskatchewan is threatening our ecosystem and changing the natural landscape

Compensating, supporting and retraining workers is an important part of the transition to renewable energy

Freight contributes 10% of Canada's GHG emissions - here are 5 ideas for achieving a low-carbon freight industry

China's ban on international waste is forcing Canadian municipalities to rethink their recycling strategies

What will happen if, in our car-centric environment, we accept that a certain number of pedestrian deaths are an inevitable part of adopting autonomous vehicles?

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).

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Repair Café Prince Albert

At a Repair Café, people who know how to fix things help people who have something that is broken (furniture, electrical appliances, electronics, clothes). They work together, sharing knowledge, so that hopefully the owners will feel more comfortable doing their own repairs in future. 

“I’ve always been interested in environmental sustainability,” says Lillis Lawrence of Prince Albert. “When I spotted a bicycle repair shop in Montreal and then heard mention of repair cafés at a waste reduction conference hosted by the City of Prince Albert, it sparked my imagination. Could this be another way of getting people interested in sustainability, maintaining things rather than throwing them out?”

Lillis decided to probe a little deeper and met with Nisar Ghani, the City’s Sanitation Manager. Nisar had seen a repair café in Toronto and thought it could work in Prince Albert. Habitat for Humanity also stepped on board to provide some equipment and supplies.

Most successful repair cafés are located in a municipal facility so the group approached Prince Albert’s Executive Council and City Council to ask for their support for the concept of a repair café and to recommend a site that they could use.

At the January 22, 2018, Council meeting, the City agreed to provide free use of space at the Margo Fournier Centre once a month and asked the group to report back on the Repair Café’s progress in about 8 months. Lillis was pleased that the recreational facility was in a central downtown location.

The First Repair Cafe 
Repair Café Prince Albert registered with Repair Café International and received a digital package containing posters, logo, registration and feedback forms, and suggestions on how to get started. This streamlined the set-up process for their first Repair Café on March 3.

Lillis also set about looking for volunteer fixers. She signed up her husband Steve first of all as he is a prime fixer – “It’s something I’ve always done, and over the year[s], I’ve probably saved thousands of dollars just from not replacing stuff,” he says. Steve, who works at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, handed out notices looking for possible fixers and so did Habitat for Humanity. A couple of other people stepped forward thanks to local media coverage.

There were four repair tables at the first Repair Café for sewing and mending, furniture repair, electrical, and electronics. As people dropped in, they signed up at reception and were directed to the appropriate table. In the end, the Café handled 24 items although not all of them could be fixed on the spot. Some, such as a turntable, will be coming back in April once the owners have ordered the necessary parts.

Most of the fixers provided their own tools, but Habitat for Humanity provided some through their ReStore. Other essential items proved to be extension cords and task lighting.

Future Plans 
Prince Albert’s next Repair Café is on April 7 and there will be a fixer on hand to help with bicycle repairs, but the real focus on bicycle repairs will be at the May 5 Café when they hope to be able to work outdoors with 4 fixers and a short session on bicycle maintenance.

The City is considering donating a few bicycles from the police compound and Lillis has suggested the Repair Café as a possible outing for Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as an opportunity for some of the youth to help repair and then own one of the donated bicycles.

Electronics proved very popular at the first Café so Lillis and her team are looking for more fixers in this area. Lillis is also looking for volunteers to help with planning and organization to ensure the activity isn’t dropped if some volunteers take holidays or are unavailable. “Several people have expressed their support but said that they weren’t fixers,” Lillis says. “Hopefully they can become involved in coordination, promotion and communications, and providing snacks.”

If you’re interested in helping out, contact Lillis at You can follow Repair Café Prince Albert on Facebook.

Elsewhere in Saskatchewan 
There will be a Repair Café in Regina from 1-4 pm, May 27, at the Central Adult Library. 

Saskatoon’s Library of Things held a Mending Meet-Up in February and may sponsor similar future events.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Here Comes the Sun!

Students in a University of Saskatchewan class asked themselves how they could green their university campus. Their solution? Turn a 10-acre plot on the University’s Endowment Lands into a solar farm generating enough green power for 200 homes.

Farm the Sun with US, 28 students in the School of Environment and Sustainability’s 401 class, believe their proposal for a solar farm on university land could serve a number of different purposes:
  • Incorporate agriculture by growing low-light-requiring plants underneath the solar panels 
  • Expand the University’s research program 
  • Share knowledge about establishing a solar farm with First Nations communities considering community energy projects 
  • Provide a setting to teach school classes about renewable energy 
  • Offset the University’s carbon footprint 
  • Decrease Saskatchewan’s dependency on fossil fuels 
  • Enhance the University's sustainability rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program 
  • Produce revenue – bonus! 
The proposal doesn’t rely on government grants or university funding. Instead, the students are proposing a $20/student/year add-on to tuition fees. Their goal would be to start collecting funds, procure a site in 2019 and break ground in 2021, adding 100 KW of power every year until the farm reaches 1 MW, with an eventual goal of 2 MW.

Bullfrog Power has suggested the group submit a grant proposal for seed funding to kickstart the project.

The students plan to turn their project over to another university body as they’ve completed their course and will be moving on to other assignments.

Kudos to Farm the Sun with US for putting together such a well-thought-out proposal and for doing an excellent job presenting it. We hope that your dream soon becomes reality.

EcoFriendly Sask provided Farm the Sun with US with a $500 EcoFriendly Action Grant.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

EcoSask News, March 20, 2018


First day of Spring and World Sparrow Day - now there's cause for celebration! And there are so many interesting events to look forward to - starting tonight in Prince Albert.

Upcoming Events
Tarantulas, Mar. 20 (Prince Albert)
Scott Manly will talk about tarantulas at the 7 pm, Mar. 20, meeting of Nature Prince Albert.

Pesticides & Migratory Songbirds, Mar. 22 (Saskatoon) 
Dr. Christie Morrissey will speak on understanding pesticide threats to migratory songbirds at Wild Birds Unlimited at 7 pm, Mar. 22.

SK Science Centre @ Spring Home Show, Mar. 22-25 (Regina) 
Don’t miss the Saskatchewan Science Centre’s kids’ activities and stage shows at Regina’s Spring Home Show, Mar. 22-25.

Birds, Trees, Gardens, Compost, Mar. 23-25 (Saskatoon)
Presentations during Gardenscape will include urban trees, pesticide-free gardening, composting, and bird-safe yards.

ReVamp Upcycled Art Show, Mar. 24 (Saskatoon)
The theme of ReVamp, Alchemy’s 7th Annual Upcycled Art Show, from 7-11 pm, Mar. 24, is A Hoarder’s Paradise.

Islands of Grass, Mar. 24 (Yorkton)
Branimir Gjetvaj and Trevor Herriott will present Islands of Grass at 2 pm, Mar. 24, at Yorkton Public Library. The event is co-sponsored by the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association.

Walking Saskatoon, Mar. 25 (Saskatoon) 
Walking Saskatoon is holding a public meeting at 1 pm, Mar. 25. Topics include 22nd Street, Idylwyld Bridge, and Jane’s Walks.

Moose Jaw Nature Society, Mar. 26 (Moose Jaw)
Branimir Gjetvaj will present Islands of Grass at 7 pm, March 26, at the monthly meeting of the Moose Jaw Nature Society.

WUQWATR AGM, Mar. 27 (Lumsden)
Wascana & Upper Qu’Appelle Watersheds Association Taking Responsibility Inc. is holding its annual general meeting from 6-9 pm, Mar. 27, in Lumsden.

Enhancing Bird Habitat in a Semi-Urban Setting, Mar. 28 (webinar)
Join Renny Grilz, Meewasin Valley Authority, as he discusses enhancing bird habitat in a semi-urban setting in a Mar. 28 webinar sponsored by PCAP-SK.

Cycling Speaker Series, Mar. 29 (Saskatoon)
Cathy Watts, co-chair of Saskatoon Cycles, is the first speaker in a Cycling Speaker Series hosted by Bridge City Bicycle Co-op and the Bike Doctor at 7 pm, Mar. 29.

Wildlife Rehab Volunteer Orientation, Mar. 31 (Saskatoon) 
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan will be hosting a volunteer orientation from 1-2:30 pm, Mar. 31, at Cabela’s in Saskatoon.

sparrow bath

Looking Ahead
Canoe Certification Course, May 19-21 (Saskatoon) 
SaskOutdoors is offering a Paddle Canada Lake Canoe Skills (flat water) Certification Course from May 19-21 in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
Apr. 5, 8 am – Bluebirds in the Merrill Hills
Apr. 12, 8 am – Crocuses & Bluebirds in the NE Swale
Apr. 19, 8 am – Brightwater Marsh
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
Mar. 29, 7-10 pm – Saw-whet Owling near Pike Lake
Apr. 7, 9 am-2 pm – Bluebird Hike to Langham Area
Apr. 11, 6:30-8 pm – Gull Identification
Apr. 14-15 – Prince Albert National Park Owling Weekend (members only)
Apr. 18, 6:30-8 pm – Crocus Evening Hike to Cranberry Flats
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

In the News 
Preliminary results indicate that Swift Current Creek’s watershed and water are in good health

Reports of hormonal disruption in birds and humans subject to artificial light at night are cause for concern

Fracked natural gas isn't a clean alternative to other fossil fuels

Do your kids love toy cars and books about trucks? Why not provide a little variety with some bike-friendly books?

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).

Sunday, 18 March 2018

8 Cool Facts about Bats - and What to Do if You Find One in Your Home

Big brown bat

Have you ever looked out over your garden at dusk and seen a fast-moving shadow? If you’re lucky, that’s a bat eating mosquitoes and other pesky insects. There are 8 different kinds of bats in Saskatchewan and they all eat insects – up to 1,000 an hour!

Bats are the only mammal that can fly (humans try, but we have to rely on airplanes and paraglider wings!) and they fly really, really well. Imagine shouting out loud as you walk around your house in the dark. You’ll hear an echo as you approach a wall – but will you figure it out in time to avoid bumping into the wall? Now imagine you’re tracking a tiny flying insect – bats are such experts that they can tell exactly what is in front of them, decide whether it’s good to eat, and plan a route to intercept the bug in just fractions of a second.

Bats can fly faster and with a wider range of movement than birds. Their wings are a thin, flexible membrane stretched between elongated “fingers” that can bend in all directions. Bird wings are thicker and have a more rigid bone structure.

 A baby bat weighs up to 25% of its mother’s body weight when it’s born. That’s like a human mother giving birth to a 14 kg baby. Many bats set up cooperative nurseries where 20-300 mothers raise their young together – with no help from the males. In some maternity colonies, the mothers will nurse other mothers’ babies. The babies are born blind and without fur but grow quickly and can fly within 4-6 weeks.

Bats hang upside down by their toes to sleep, making it easy for them to take flight rapidly.

Red Bats hibernate over winter in trees or under leaf litter, using their thickly-furred tail as a blanket to keep them warm. Little Brown Bats hibernate in caves or abandoned mines. Hoary Bats raise their young in Canada and the northern United States but spend the winter in the southern United States or Mexico.

Big Brown Bats, often seen in cities as they like to roost in buildings, fly very fast and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They have such strong jaws that they can eat hard-shelled beetles. 

Bats are cute. They have pixie ears and soft fur. Red Bats are showy with fur ranging from bright orange to rusty brown. Hoary Bats have dark brown fur with white tips – a useful camouflage as they roost in trees and blend in well with the lichen and dead leaves.

Batrick takes a nap outdoors

What to Do if There’s a Bat in Your Home
Even if you like bats, you may not want to share your house with them. They don’t chew things like rodents, but they do make a lot of noise and they’re not toilet trained (although the bat poop makes great garden fertilizer and doesn’t carry diseases).

Bats start to come out of hibernation when there are big changes in temperature – really cold at night but above zero in the afternoon. However, it’s still way too cold for them to survive outdoors full-time and there are no insects for them to eat. If you spot a bat in your garage or attic in early spring, don’t shoo them outside as they’ll just die. The same thing applies if you come across bats holed up ready for the winter when you’re renovating in the fall.

Here’s what you should do. First of all, don’t panic. Bats are shy, gentle creatures. However, they may bite if frightened so don’t touch them with your bare hands. (Bats, like every other mammal, can catch rabies, but you’re far more likely to get rabies from a dog bite than a bat.)

Ask for help. Call the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan’s hotline at 306-242-7177 from 9 am to 9 pm. Wildlife rehab. experts are on hand who will rehouse and over-winter your bats. 

12 bats hibernating Chez Melanie

Melanie Elliott in Saskatoon currently has 100 bats hibernating in Rubbermaid file boxes in her basement. She segregates the males from the females as the females tend to sleep very soundly over the winter whereas the males are more active. The bats like an enclosed space and will tuck themselves up near the drape covering the box.

Megan Lawrence of Salthaven West Rehabilitation Centre in Regina is over-wintering 20 bats this year. She doesn’t have a cold space where they can hibernate, so they’re awake and active in soft-sided enclosures that are big enough for them to stretch their wings and fly a little. They have access to food (mealworms) and water as well as safe spaces like knitted “caves” and roosting pouches. 

Once the weather has warmed up sufficiently and there are lots of insects for them to eat, Melanie and Megan will release the bats where they were found.

Bat Cave at Salthaven West

Would You Like to Meet a Bat?
Batrick and Elizabat are two Big Brown Bats that Melanie Elliott was unable to release due to injuries. She obtained a permit from Saskatchewan Environment to keep them for educational purposes. They live in her home and accompany her when she meets with school or community groups to talk about bats.

“If you’re calm, they’re calm,” Melanie says. “They know it’s their job to sit on children and demonstrate what beautiful, useful animals they really are.”

If you would like to invite Melanie, Batrick, and Elizabat to visit your classroom or community group, call Melanie at 306-227-2506. Funds raised will be donated to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon.

Want more information? Bat Conservation International

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

EcoSask News, March 13, 2018

sunrise across the park

Upcoming Events
MiEnergy Solar Information Night, Mar. 13 (Saskatoon)
Learn more about solar energy and how it could work for you at MiEnergy’s Solar Information Night from 7-9 pm, Mar. 13.

Climate Change Policy in Canadian Cities, Mar. 15 (Saskatoon/Regina)
Elizabeth Schwartz will discuss what Canadian cities are doing to combat climate change and how to make their actions more effective at a video conference from 3-4 pm, Mar. 15, in Saskatoon and Regina.

Wascana Park Field Trip, Mar. 17 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina and Nature Saskatchewan for a Wascana Park winter field trip from 9 am-12 pm, Mar. 17.

Prairies Got the Goods! Ecological Goods and Services, Mar. 18-24 (SK)
Sign up for webinars sponsored by PCAP-SK to learn more about the ecological goods and services provided by native prairie (carbon storage, habitat for species at risk, etc.) from Mar. 18-24.

Tick Talk, Mar. 19 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina at 7:30 pm, Mar. 19. Phil Curry will discuss the ecology and distribution of ticks while Denise Werker will discuss Lyme disease.

Trevor Herriot, Mar. 20 (Saskatoon)
Trevor Herriot will read and show slides from his latest book, Islands of Grass, featuring the photography of Branimir Gjetvaj, from 7-8:30 pm, Mar. 20, at the Frances Morrison Library.

U of S Sustainability, Mar. 21 (Saskatoon)
Matt Wolsfeld, U of S Office of Sustainability, will talk about university sustainability initiatives at Innovation Place Saskatoon, 11:45 am, Mar. 21.

Cinema Politica, Mar. 21 (Regina)
Cinema Politica is showing the film The Garden, chronicling the struggle of the South Central Farmers in Los Angeles, at 7 pm, Mar. 21.

UR Change Makers, Mar. 22 (Regina)
Kelly Husack will talk about the right to a healthy environment at the U of R Alumni Change Makers’ Forum at 6:30 pm, Mar. 22, in Regina.

World Water Day, Mar. 22 (Prince Albert, Regina)
Watch the film Water Warriors with the Prince Albert chapter of the Council of Canadians at 7 pm at the John M. Cuelenaere Library. Regina is holding an event, including a talk on humanure, at 7 pm at the mâmawêyatitân centre.

Farm the Sun with US, Mar. 22 (Saskatoon)
Join Farm the Sun with US for live music and their ideas about solar panels on University of Saskatchewan land from 11:30-1 pm, Mar. 22.

Environment & Sustainability Careers, Mar. 23 (Saskatoon)
Join alumni working in various parts of the Environment and Sustainability sectors for a panel discussion and mixer from 3:30-7 pm, Mar. 23, at the U of S.

EcoBash, Mar. 24 (Saskatoon) 
The U of S Environmental Studies Students’ Association is hosting an Eco Bash at 8 pm, Mar. 24.

Wildlife Rehab Volunteer Orientation, Mar. 24 (Regina)
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is hosting a volunteer orientation in Regina from 10 am-12 pm, Mar. 24.

foggy sunrise across the river

Looking Ahead
Transition Training, Mar. 29 (webinar)
An 8-week webinar series starting Mar. 29 will provide you with everything you need to set up and run a community resilience-building initiative.

Protecting Mother Earth Conference, June 28-July 1 (Washington)
The Indigenous Environmental Network is hosting an international gathering on how Indigenous Knowledge can foster climate justice from June 28 to July 1 in Washington state.

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

In the News
The Regina Horticultural Society offers grants for gardening and education projects that enhance the local environment. Deadline for applications is Apr. 1.

“Measuring the energy efficiency of cars and tumble driers, but not of bicycles and clotheslines, makes fast but energy-intensive ways of travel or clothes drying non-negotiable, and marginalises much more sustainable alternatives.”

Under a proposed California law, " tech companies would have to provide consumers with repair guides and access to repair parts. Independent companies would also have access to diagnostic software and tools previously available only to authorized and first-party repair technicians."

Barn owls do a better job of controlling pests than rodenticides.

Walkers benefit from bike lanes.

Bike helmets don’t solve the problem of cars hitting cyclists. 

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, 8 March 2018

Let's Watch a Movie: Nature & Environmental Films


Films are powerful. Combining images and sound to convey a message, they can inform and inspire. We’ve put together a list of films, many of which have won awards at environmental film festivals. We guarantee you’ll find at least one, if not several, that you will enjoy.

Available for Download
Most of these films can be downloaded or watched online free of charge. Some require a purchase.

Bernd Heinrich: Winter World How Animals Survive: Heinrich explores the amazing ways in which animals ranging from chickadees to chipmunks and bats to bees make it through the harsh conditions of winter (1h4m)

Death by Design: What is the cost of our digital dependency? A global story of damaged lives, environmental destruction, and devices that are designed to die (1h13m)

Edward Abbey: A Voice in the Wilderness: A look back at Abbey's life as remembered by sixteen of his closest friends and family members (56m)

Elk River: Travel with elk herds as they migrate from Wyoming to Elk River (27m50s)

Fix and Release: Every year the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre fixes injured turtles - with zip ties, duct tape, crazy glue, and modern veterinary science (15m42s)

In Transition 2.0: Stories of transition communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies, and setting up community power stations (1h7m)

Lost in Light II: A look at how light pollution affects our view of the night skies using one of the most prominent constellations - The Orion (2m14s)

Microsculpture: Photographic study of insects in magnification (5m24s)

Our Last Refuge: A film about the Blackfeet Nation’s fight to protect the wild and sacred Badger-Two Medicine from industrial development (25m)

River Blue: How dirty are your jeans? The impact of fashion on the world’s rivers (full-length documentary)

Running Wild: Citizen scientists undertake a massive project to determine if wolverines have returned to Utah’s Uinta mountains (7m8s)

Sustainable Me: Young Edmontonians have developed a series of films and podcasts to show how the changes we make can save the environment - from a geothermal community to trading, swapping, and repurposing

Saving Ash Trees from an Invasive Killer: Two scientists from different disciplines collaborate to save the American ash tree population with a high-tech electrified decoy (4m33s)

Sea of Life: Follow Canadian filmmaker Julia Barnes on an underwater adventure to discover the truth about the biggest threats facing our oceans today (1h28m)

Seasons: By the directors of Winged Migration, Seasons explores life in Europe’s lush forests, recounting the shared history that binds humans with the natural world (1h36m)

Temple of the Ghost Owl: A great gray owl is caught in the middle of a political controversy over logging burnt habitat (21m16s)

The Corridor: Exploring the conflict between our desire to hold on to natural areas and the push for development, concentrating on one location, and one road, in Australia (22m)

Unbroken Grounds: Four areas of agriculture aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans through regenerative agriculture and grazing, diversified crop development, and restorative fishing (26m)

Valve Turners: A team of activists shuts down five pipelines carrying tar sands crude oil into the United States from Alberta (9m)


Host a Screening
These films need to be ordered and/or purchased.

Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees: Follow scientist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she explores our biological and spiritual connections to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere (1h)

Complicit: Young Asian workers are dying making our smartphones (88m)

Demain [Tomorrow]: What could be tomorrow’s world? Meet the pioneers who are re-inventing agriculture, energy, economy, democracy, and education in 10 countries around the world (full-length documentary)

How We Grow: Land access, income inequality, and a short growing season turn from barriers into levers as these ambitious young farmers discover ways to get healthy, sustainably produced, locally grown, nutrient dense food onto the tables of everyone in the community (1h5m)

Evolution of Organic: The story of organic agriculture and its future (87m)

Fixed!: A light-hearted look at the folks behind Repair Café Toronto (14m)

Kokota: The Islet of Hope: A small island successfully reforests its land and adapts to climate change

Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future: From forest gardens to composting toilets, community-supported agriculture to timebanking, solutions from New Zealand to the global crises (full-length documentary)

Plastic China: Meet the workers who transform the world’s plastic waste into new products and the toll it takes on their lives (1h22m)

Super Hummingbirds: Watch hummingbirds mate, lay eggs, fight, and raise families in intimate detail (60m)

An Uncommon Curiosity: At Home & in Nature with Bernd Heinrich: Follows Bernd Heinrich over the course of a year as he reflects on his past and shares his ideas about nature, science, art, beauty, and writing (60m)

Unfractured: An intimate look at one activist’s convictions, hopes, and sacrifices as Sandra Steingraber speaks out against fracking (full-length documentary)

Water Warriors: the story of a New Brunswick community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry (22m)

Women Bending the Curve on Climate Change: The stories of climate change leaders from Canada’s West Coast working in renewable energy, city government, energy conservation, community engagement, sustainable food, finance,and indigenous land stewardship

 Yorkton Film Festival on Tour (free): DVDs of the award-winning films from Yorkton Film Festival can be screened free of charge by libraries, schools, and community groups. The Environmental DVD includes Fix and Release, Sustainable Me, and others

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

EcoSask News, March 6, 2018

frosty morning walking to work

Upcoming Events
LEED Green Associate Training, Mar. 10/11 (Regina, Saskatoon)
Participate in a LEED Green Associate Training at the University of Saskatchewan on Mar. 10 and the University of Regina on Mar. 11.

Winter Photography, Mar. 13 (Saskatoon)
Join the Saskatoon Camera Club for a live photo shoot of winter at 7 pm, Mar. 13.

Fight Garden Pests Naturally, Mar. 14 (Regina)
Learn natural and non-toxic solutions to common garden pests from a certified organic gardener from 7-8 pm, Mar. 14, Regina Central Adult Library.

SK Breeding Bird Atlas, Mar. 14 (Saskatoon)
Kiel Drake will discuss the SK Breeding Bird Atlas at 3:30 pm, Mar. 14, at the University of Saskatchewan as part of the Wild Ecol Seminar series.

Saskatoon Nature Society AGM, Mar. 15 (Saskatoon)
Join the Saskatoon Nature Society at their annual general meeting and members’ slide show at 7:30 pm, Mar. 15.

Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden, Mar. 15 & 28 (Regina)
Find out how you can use plants to attract bees to your garden from 7-8 pm, Mar. 15, Regent Place Branch Library, and from 7-9 pm, Mar. 28, at Central Adult Library.

Looking Ahead
Saskatchewan Living Green Expo, Apr. 13-15 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatchewan Living Green Expo festival and trade-show focused on sustainable products, services, and speakers is scheduled for Apr. 13-15 in Saskatoon.

March for Science, Apr. 14 (Saskatoon)
March for Science Saskatoon is looking for volunteer marshalls to help shepherds people along the march route on Apr. 14. Email Cat at if you’re interested.

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

In the News
Climate Justice Saskatoon is launching a research project into the possibilities and barriers to transitioning to renewable energy in Saskatchewan

"Saskatchewan currently has some of the weakest laws for endangered species and habitat protection in the country": a report on 20 yrs of very poor wildlife protection in Saskatchewan

The new Line 3 crude-oil pipeline will cut across southern Saskatchewan and represents a major expansion, and yet no one is talking about it. "It isn't a question of pipelines versus trains, but a choice between a short-sighted investment in a dated energy source and a commitment to more viable alternatives for the future."

Economic growth is environmentally unsustainable: “Imagining a world without growth is among the most vital and urgent tasks for society to engage in”

50% of plastic packaging could be recycled if it was better designed, and 20% could be tackled by reuse schemes. However about 30% of plastics need a fundamental rethink to prevent them ending up in landfill

8 tips for reducing the environmental impact of your online purchases

Grade 5/6 students at Englefeld School are welcoming birds to their community with birdhouses they built and decorated. #EcoFriendlyActionGrant 

Two children’s books celebrating nature: Thank You, Earth and Earth Verse

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).