Wednesday 31 October 2012

Communications Workshop for Non-Profit Organizations

EcoFriendly Sask presents 
Telling Our Story: Helping non-profit organizations to get their message across 
Penny McKinlay, Communications Consultant 
9 am – 3 pm, Wednesday, November 28, 2012 
Room 403, Galleria Building, Innovation Place, Saskatoon 

You want to touch the hearts and change the behaviours of your public. That’s not easy, but effective communications can help you to get your message across.

As part of its mission to inform, support, and encourage environmental initiatives in Saskatchewan, EcoFriendly Sask invites you to attend Telling Our Story: Helping Non-Profit Organizations to Get Their Message Across.

Telling Our Story is a hands-on, interactive workshop. Small group discussions and activities will help you learn new skills and integrate them into your professional life.

The sessions will be coordinated by Penny McKinlay, a freelance communications consultant, who believes that words are powerful tools for sharing information and emotions.

Workshop Schedule
1. Storytelling: Delight your readers with heroes, action, and emotion 
“The structure and significance of stories transforms information 
from static and flat to dynamic and alive.” 
Purpose: Every organization has a story to tell. Far too often, we bury it in technical language and jargon.
Hands-on Activity: Storyboarding: turn your report into a story.

2. Elegant Simplicity: Bridging the gap between the writer and the reader 
"Effective writing is simple and elegant. 
 It invites readers to enter, to follow the story, to explore the ideas." 
Purpose: Learn how to start a conversation, eliminate clutter, and highlight the important information.
Hands-on Activity: Identify and provide examples of effective communications.

3. Wading into Complexity: Who are we, and what is our message? 
“Products that are remarkable get talked about.”
Purpose: How we frame the question and how people view us has a major impact on our effectiveness.
Hands-on Activity: Find a beautiful solution for one of your gnarliest problems.

4. Switch: How to change things when change is hard 
"Logic, emotions, environment: three paths to change" 
Purpose: Pick up some concrete, practical tips for changing behaviours and practices.
Hands-on Activity: Identify communications practices that you want to start/stop/continue.

Workshop Fees 
$125 (includes morning snack, lunch, and a resource booklet)
Payable to: EcoFriendly Sask c/o Penny McKinlay, 106 – 1223 7th Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 2W1 (Cheques should be made out to Penny McKinlay)          306.978.2939

Let us know if you have any particular dietary requirements.

Volunteers and employees of environmental organizations are encouraged to apply for a $75 bursary from EcoFriendly Sask. 

 Maximum participants: 25          Register by November 20, 2012

"The workshop was amazing. It surpassed my expectations. We shared, we laughed, we learned from each other and from our excellent presenter. Penny pulled us together and facilitated the networking masterfully." Vince Hill, Credenda School (LEADS Communications Accreditation Module, 2011)

Tuesday 30 October 2012

EcoSask News, October 30, 2012

A Kenyan Adventure, Nov. 14
Greg Paterson will discuss his motivation to choose a socially responsible alternative to traditional travel and the impact Kenya had on his life at 7 pm, November 14, at the Cliff Wright Library. (sponsored by the SK Environmental Society and Saskatoon Public Library)

Redberry Lake AGM, Nov. 28 
Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve will be holding its annual general meeting at 7:30 pm, November 28 in the Ukrainian National Hall in Hafford. The AGM is being held in conjunction with the Biosphere Reserve’s Regional Planning Meeting.

Saskatoon Nature Society
The Saskatoon Nature Society’s website provides additional information about the following events:
November 10 – Blackstrap Waterfowl Rarities
November 18 – Pike Lake Birding
November 25 – Pre-Grey Cup Celebration in President Murray Park
December 1 – Gardiner Dam Birding

John Giesy
John Giesy, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan, has been awarded the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Paris-based Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and China’s Zhongyu Environmental Technologies Corporation. Professor Giesy studies the accumulation and effects of toxic substances in the field of ecological risk assessment.

Intentional Oil Spill
According to an article in The Western Producer, a Manitoba farmer detected an intentional oil spill beside the road last winter. The spill was never cleaned up and was washed into a neighbouring creek. The farmer believes that, “the spill and the lack of government action represents a larger issue in southwestern Manitoba’s oil patch. Provincial officials are reluctant to crack down on oil companies because the government needs the investment, jobs and tax revenue. . . . As well, landowners in the region are reluctant to complain because they don’t want to lose a tidy income from surface and property rights.”

The Nature of Cities
The Nature of Cities is a collective blog about cities as ecological spaces. Recent articles have discussed everything from a new species of frogs in NYC to wildlife in Anchorage, Alaska (230 species of birds, 48 different mammals).

Old Man on His Back Ranch
The Old Man on His Back Ranch and Heritage Conservation Area continues to develop. 170 acres near the Visitor’s Centre have been reseeded to native grass, providing important habitat for grassland birds. The bison herd had 41 healthy calves, and a burrowing owl has been sighted on the property, the first in several years.

Free Transit - It Pays
Traffic jams and oil dependency are the price we pay in our carcentric world, but public transit isn’t popular. Some cities are experimenting with free public transit in order to increase usage. Aubagne, a metro area of 100,000 spread around 12 towns west of Marseille, France, has had a free transit system since 2009. Ridership has increased 170%. A transport tax on large businesses funds the system.

The Free Public Transport website provides a list of all the cities that provide free public transit, including Calgary that has a fare-free zone downtown.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. Additional upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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

Tuesday 23 October 2012

EcoSask News, October 23, 2012

Protect the Prairies 
Protect the Prairies is a campaign by those who value the natural beauty of our native grasslands and want to protect the PFRA community pastures. You can show your support by signing the petition and spreading the word.

Lunch and LEED, Oct. 29 & 30
The Canadian Green Building Council is offering two lunch-time workshops regarding LEED certification in Saskatoon. The first is on October 29 at St. Andrew’s College, university campus, while the second is on October 30 at Cliff Wright Library.

Integrating Agriculture, Environment & Economics at a Watershed Scale, Nov. 27-28
Register now to attend the Saskatchewan Branch Fall Workshop of the Canadian Water Resources Association.

Artists Respond to Petroleum Industry
Beneath a Petroliferous Moon is on display at the Mendel Art Gallery until January 6. It consists of 11 artists' responses to the petroleum industry, ranging from oil tanks and drums carved into lace to represent “sweet” crude to masks made out of discarded jerry cans from Africa and large-scale photographs by Edward Burtynsky. (Images are from the Mendel Art Gallery website.)

The title of the exhibit is from a poem by Pablo Neruda about the oil industry in South America.

Navigable Waters Protection Act
Amendments to the Navigable Water Protection Act will limit its application to less than 200 bodies of water. Environmentalists say that changes to the act are part of a move by the federal government to weaken environmental oversight.

WasteLess Denim
The new WasteLess Levi’s jeans will each include at least 20% post-consumer waste, equating to eight 300-500 ml plastic bottles per pair. The plastic will be sorted by colour, crushed into flakes and made into a polyester fibre, which will then be mixed with cotton fibre to create yarn. The resulting fabric will have an undertone of the colour of the bottles used.

Water Issues
1. Starting next year, treated wastewater from showers and sinks could be used to flush toilets in the University of Colorado’s green-certified dorm.

2. Antibacterial hand soaps and cleaners are polluting our water. When exposed to chlorine and sunlight, triclosan breaks down into several dioxins that threaten all forms of aquatic life.

Paper Products 
According to Greenpeace, if every household in Canada replaced just one roll of toilet paper made from virgin fibres with one made from recycled paper, we could save 47,962 trees. Green Living provides a list of 13 paper products that receive their environmental stamp of approval.

Kids and Nature Project 
1. Project Noah is a software app to explore and document wildlife and share your information. Join a mission with other people around the world to record what you see, whether it’s urban biodiversity, birds, butterflies, or dragonflies.

2. October 25 is Take Me Outside Day. How much time do you or your kids spend outdoors every day?

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. A complete listing of all upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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

Tuesday 16 October 2012

EcoSask News, October 16, 2012

The Clean Bin Project, Oct. 18
Is it possible to live without producing garbage? One couple competes to see who can produce the least garbage in The Clean Bin Project, an award-winning documentary that will be screened at The Two Twenty at 6:30 pm, October 18. Obtain a free ticket from Picatic.

Kids Gone Wild for Wildlife, Oct. 27
The Kids Gone Wild for Wildlife family fun event planned by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan sounds like it will be great fun. There will be opportunities to touch a falcon or a porcupine; speakers on bats, burrowing owls, raptors and reptile rescue; a wild animal costume contest; games and a bouncy castle; and family portraits with live wild animals. It's an all-day event (9 am to 5 pm), so be sure to drop by and enjoy the ever-changing program.

Saskatoon Nature Society
The Saskatoon Nature Society’s website provides additional information about the following events:
October 9-23 – Saw-whet owl banding with Marten Stoffel
October 20 – Northeast Lakes and Vonda Fall Supper
October 28 – Blackstrap Waterbirds and Dundurn Fall Supper

Youth Eco Tour, Nov. 2-4
Andrea Nelson will be coordinating an SOEEA EcoTour for youth ages 16-19 near Regina, November 2-4.

Harvest and Hunger, Nov. 9 & 10
The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation is holding Harvest and Hunger, a provincial forum on local and global food issues at Mayfair United Church. There will be a keynote address by Frances Moore Lappe on November 9 and a panel discussion and skill-building workshops on how to create a sustainable food system on November 10.

Saskatchewan Birds Calendar
Nick Saunders’ Saskatchewan Birds Calendar for 2013 is now available.

Prairie Conservation Award
Nominate someone who has made significant long-term contributions to native habitat or species at risk conservation for a Prairie Conservation Award. Saskatchewan nominations should be sent to Natasha Wilkie and must be received by January 11, 2013.

Wind Power
Mention wind power and people immediately think of vast fields of whirling turbines. But a new manufacturer has designed a wind power system that is “quiet and powerful, bird safe, and scalable” for personal, business, and urban locations.

It’s Hard to be Green
Making environmentally-friendly choices requires a great deal of thought – from buying kitchen supplies to planning one’s burial.

Steep Hill Food Co-op is selling 100% recycled aluminum foil, petroleum-free wax paper and unbleached parchment paper baking cups. They have parchment paper that’s been coated with silicone rather than quilon, a heavy metal that is toxic when incinerated. Silicone-coated paper can be used several times as well.

Dust to Dust: Going Green at the Cemetery is a thought-provoking article from the latest issue of the Saskatoon Wellbeing Magazine.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. A listing of upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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

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)