Tuesday 25 June 2013

EcoSask News, June 25, 2013

Baby canada geese

Kinsmen Day at the Zoo, June 28
On June 28, enjoy a day at the Zoo sponsored by the Kinsmen Club. Admission is free with donation of a non-perishable food item to the Saskatoon Food Bank. There will be fun activities for the kids and the Saskatoon Zoo Society interpreters will be on hand.

Butterflies & Orchids
Join the Saskatoon Nature Society on their frequent field trips. Additional information is available on their website.
July 1 - Orchid field trip
July 6 - North American Butterfly Count

Outdoor Education Opportunities
The Saskatchewan Outdoor and Environmental Education Association is offering a variety of courses over the next few months:
Leave No Trace Master Educator Course, August 13-18, Forest House
Wilderness First Aid Certification, September 20-22, Ness Creek
Nature Retreat, October 18-20, Ness Creek

Key issues to watch for in federal oil and gas regulation

Developing our capacity for renewable energy – learning from Germany’s experience

Red Deer’s Mobility Playbook is designed to encourage the shift towards a balanced mix of public transit, walking, cycling, and driving

Be a super hero – think twice before getting on an airplane

Urban Issues
Municipal funding supports property improvements to reduce neighbourhood flooding

More nitrogen fertilizer is used in cities than for agriculture and gas mowers represent 5% of US air pollution

Making energy efficiency more attractive for owners of older buildings through collaboration (owners, energy provider, municipality)

Alberta floods have changed the Rockies forever

Canada’s best-known scientists say “love of nature comes from getting mud on our clothes and dirt under our fingernails when we’re young.”

Countries across the Americas unite to save grassland birds

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 18 June 2013

EcoSask News, June 18, 2013


Film Night, June 18/20
The Saskatchewan Eco Network hosts a monthly film night in both Saskatoon and Regina:

Saskatoon, June 18: Shattered Ground, a movie by a Saskatchewan filmmaker about hydraulic fracturing, will be shown at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 18, at PAVED Arts. Peter Prebble will be on hand to answer questions about fracking in Saskatchewan.

Regina, June 20: The World According to Monsanto will be shown at 6 pm on Thursday, June 20, at the Creative City Centre.

Urban Agriculture, June 20 
Join Rachel Engler-Stringer and Denise Kouri for an interactive session on the topic of urban agriculture on Thursday, June 20, from 4 - 5:30 pm at Station 20 West.

Permaculture Potluck, June 20
Kjelti Anderson will talk about the Allan Sapp Gallery Healing Garden at the Permaculture Research Institute’s monthly potluck.

Memories of a Naturalist, until June 21
The Memories of a Naturalist exhibit at PAVED Arts features 3 video installations and an array of photographic works that are provocative and critical around constructions of knowledge concerning “Natural History.” The exhibition continues until June 21.

Regina’s Solar Tour, June 22
Take a bus tour of homes and businesses powered by solar energy in Regina on June 22.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course, July 14-28
Rene Michaluk of Phoenix Fire Permaculture will be leading a permaculture design certificate course at Craik Eco-Village from July 14-28.

Northeast Swale
The RBC Blue Water Project has contributed $30,000 to support a program called Nature by Design. The program includes wetland restoration and raising awareness of the issues surrounding preservation of the Northeast Swale. Other contributing partners are Eco Action (Environment Canada), Meewasin Valley Authority, and the City of Saskatoon.


Smart Meters
Saskatoon Light and Power wants to switch over to smart meters. The meters would electronically transmit actual readings as well as other information, such as power outages.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy studied more than 36 residential smart metering programs and concluded that, “To realise potential feedback-induced savings, advanced meters [smart meters] must be used in conjunction with in-home (or on-line) displays and well-designed programmes that successfully inform, engage, empower and motivate people."

Be Water Wise
The City of Saskatoon is asking us to be aware of how much water we use. Check out their tips for using less water when you water your lawn or wash your car.

Greening LEDs
LED lights are more energy-efficient than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, but they are made from rare-earth elements that are expensive and hazardous to extract and process. Researchers have come up with an alternative that more closely mimics natural sunlight at a fraction of the cost.

Interesting Reading
Climate change is happening, but we can take a stand to stop further damage

Check out the birding blog from Shelley Banks, Regina

Does media content mirror or move society? Should the sector actively seek to shape public debate on sustainability?

Fostering wildlife in the city requires an understanding of the benefits and risks

Distributed energy generation will lead to greater efficiency and lower costs

Can mass consumption be green? Ikea is trying

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 11 June 2013

EcoSask News, June 11, 2013

Dandelion Seeds

Global Warming: Crisis, Solutions, Opportunities, June 13
The Green Party of Canada is hosting an evening discussion on global warming at 7 pm on June 13 at the Frances Morrison Library. Speakers include Dianne Rhodes, Mark Bigland-Pritchard and Patricia Farnese.

Summer Solstice Supper, June 22 
Weczeria is hosting a local dinner on June 22 with proceeds going to the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. Chef Dan Walker will purchase the ingredients in the morning at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and serve a four-course meal with wine pairings in the evening.

Prairie Passages Fundraising Dinner, June 27 
Join Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson on June 27 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Regina for a fundraising dinner for Prairie Pastures.

Birds & Butterflies 
Join the Saskatoon Nature Society on one of their frequent field trips:

June 22 - Mark Thompson Naturalized Park walk (discuss future management plans with the park supervisor)

June 23 - Learn how to identify local butterflies (event will be cancelled if weather is poor)

Additional information is available on Saskatoon Nature Society's website.


Lake Diefenbaker
Phosphorus discharge from Alberta, along with other effluents, is causing severe pollution problems for Lake Diefenbaker.

The Saskatchewan River system sustains 3 million people and has been labelled “Canada’s most threatened river” by the World Wildlife Fund.

The Economic Value of the Prairie Pastures 
The sale of the community pastures continues to generate media attention. An article in The Western Producer recommends looking beyond “mere price” in order to “protect ongoing value.”

Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
Do you spend time at a lake? The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey needs your help to count the number of loon pairs on your lake and track the number of chicks that are raised to adult size by surveying your lake at least three times per year.

Meeting Global Needs for Clean Water
This article provides a different perspective on the problems caused by bottled water. It says, “We cannot seriously talk about consumers not understanding or caring about sustainability and not consider the millions of consumers in the developing world without piped water, who are given no choice but to buy bottled alternatives at up to 10 times the price. That is what unsustainable consumption looks like.”

The article goes on to say that sustainability is about meeting consumer needs, not creating consumer wants.

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).

Thursday 6 June 2013

CISV Back to Basics Mini Camp

CISV is an international non-profit that “educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.” CISV Saskatoon is one of 11 chapters across Canada. They hold four different weekend camps every year for youth ages 8-25.

In May, they held a Back to Basics Mini Camp at St. Volodymyr near Pike Lake. The Back to Basics Camp had an environmental theme, encouraging participants to learn how to live the green life and “Think, Choose and Do” things the eco-friendly way.

An EcoFriendly Action Grant made it possible for the group to lower the camp fees, making it more affordable so that more people were able to attend.

Some of the camp activities are illustrated below:

Making Bat Houses

Building Self-Watering Planters

Nature Hike

Tuesday 4 June 2013

EcoSask News, June 4, 2013

Canada geese and babies

Over 70 organizations participated in Wild About Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival, putting on a wide variety of different activities that were enjoyed by many, many residents of Saskatoon. Congratulations to all the organizers – and we hope there will be a festival again next year!

Regina Benefit Concert, June 21
A benefit concert for Public Pastures-Public Interests is being held on June 21 at the Artesian in Regina. Tickets can be purchased in Regina at Fresh Air Experience and Mysteria Gallery.

Native Seeds and Seedlings, June
Blazing Star Wildflower Seed Company will be selling native prairie seeds and seedlings at the River Landing Market around the corner from the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market until the end of June.

Student Video Contest, July 31
K-12 students are invited to create a short video showing why they think Canada has the best ‘backyard’ in the world. Prizes are from Mountain Equipment Co-op and finalists will have their video screened at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Deadline is July 31.

Saskatchewan Park Trails
Our provincial parks offer a multitude of different trails and paths. There’s the Marean Lake Birding Interpretive Trail in Greenwater Provincial Park, sand dunes in Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park, and barrier-free trails for people with limited mobility in Duck Mountain and Pike Lake Provincial Parks. The Boreal Trail stretches for 120 km.

Interesting Reading
Adventures in sustainability – the biggest collective challenge we’ve ever faced

Don’t overestimate the potential of energy efficiency; we need to move towards cleaner sources of energy

Health care is one of the top consumers of energy in the US, but that picture is beginning to change

There are some surprising sources of BPA, including thermal paper receipts and plastic kettles

Humane approaches to co-existing with urban wildlife

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).