Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Susan Elsdon and St. Mark School Council for the information.

St. Mark eWaste Recycling Event Flyer

Not sure what to do with those old computers, cell phones and other electronic stuff?

St. Mark High School and Ontario Electronic Stewardship are hosting an Electronics Recycling Depot on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

You can bring used equipment (check here for a list of accepted items) to the school at 1040 Dozois Rd. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Drop-off is free.

(If you can’t make the Depot, you can find other e-waste drop-off locations here.)

(Update: has some tips here for recycling electronic devices.)

Written by Denise Deby.

Water footprint by Tom Magliery on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Water footprint by Tom Magliery on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Today is World Water Day, a reminder that water is central to life.

The choices we humans make—the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we consume, even the way we vote—all have consequences for water and the earth.

Here are some ways to make a difference, starting today:

1. Get to know the water around you. Visit one of the city’s rivers. (Did you know that the Ottawa River, the city’s main drinking water source and an important recreation site, is home to more than 300 bird and hundreds of other species?) Learn more about Ottawa’s water and sewage systems and how you can help reduce run-off and sewage overflows (at home, and through the Ottawa River Action Plan).

2. Use environmentally friendly household products.  (Did you know that you can make your own cleaning solutions using vinegar or baking soda?) Avoid household and personal care items that contain toxic components such as triclosan, found in some cosmetics and toothpastes, for example. Keep harmful substances from going down the drain and getting into the water system.

3. Check the “water footprint” of commonly-used household items with the help of Ecoholic Adria Vasil and journalist Stephen Leahy’s Your Water Footprint. (Did you know that it takes 400,000 litres of water to make a car, and more than 15,000 litres to produce 1 kg of beef?) Buy secondhand and recycle whenever possible.

4. Speak up about how water is managed, and how industry is allowed to use water:

5. Learn more about the right to water and how to ensure that everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

(Here’s more about World Water Day and Canadian Water Week.)

300X250 CWW-URL_com

Written by Denise Deby. Thanks to Kathleen Wilker and the CfSC Spring. Bike. Ottawa team for information.


Spring is in the air, and that means (more) cycling!

Citizens for Safe Cycling is hosting Spring. Bike. Ottawa on Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015. It’s an opportunity to get together with other cyclists, and find out what’s happening locally and provincially that affects biking.

The event includes a panel discussion with Schuyler Playford, CfSC director, on CfSC’s work and recommended cycling priorities; Jamie Stuckless, Share the Road Cycling Coalition, on Ontario’s cycling strategy; and Nicole LaViolette, lawyer and author, about laws in Canada that affect cycling. Other speakers include Glenn Gobuyan of PIXO design, on wayfinding, and Trevor Hache on the Healthy Transportation Coalition in Ottawa.

RightBikeOttawa Bicycle Lanes ProjectEnviroCentre and Ottawa Centre Eco-District will also be on hand. There’ll be refreshments from Bridgehead Coffee and Branch Out Bakery, too. Lots of good reasons to come out!

Bring your unused bikes for Cycle Salvation to refurbish for RightBike’s bike share.

Spring. Bike. Ottawa happens at McNabb Community Centre (180 Percy St.), 1-4 p.m. See for details and to register.



Written by Denise Deby.

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Government decisions that affect the environment, health and resources need to be informed by sound science–that’s obvious.

In Canada, science has been adversely affected by government cuts, weakened legislation and limits on communication of publicly-funded scientific findings. These constraints have also undermined citizens’ ability to participate in decision-making.

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Carleton University’s Graduate Students’ Association and Evidence for Democracy are hosting The State of Public Science in Canada.

There’s an impressive list of panelists: Mike De Souza, investigative reporter on resources and the environment; Emily Norgang, senior researcher at the Canadian Labour Congress; Jake Rice, national senior ecosystem advisor at Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and moderator Katie Gibbs, executive director of Evidence for Democracy. The discussion is at 7 p.m. in the MacOdrum Library at Carleton.

If you haven’t already, check out the work that Evidence for Democracy has been doing to promote the use of science in public decision-making and citizen engagement in public debate. (Check their links here for more information on what’s happening with science in the public interest.)



Written by Denise Deby.

Here’s something I don’t say often enough: thank you for being a part of Green Living Ottawa.

I’m thinking of giving the blog a bit of a “spring cleaning.” No big changes, just an updated look to make the blog more readable and accessible from a range of devices. The content will remain. Do let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to Green Living Ottawa under “Follow Blog via Email” at the top of the right hand side of the Home page.

If you’re a long-time subscriber, you might want to update your subscription under “Follow Blog via Email.” (If you subscribed using the old feedburner link, the subject line of the posts you receive by email is always “Green Living Ottawa,” but when you use the “Follow” link on the right, you’ll receive messages that show each post title in the subject line, so you’ll know at a glance what the topic is. You’ll receive posts without any delay, too.)

You can also connect with Green Living Ottawa on Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. I’m looking forward to (re)connecting with you!




Written by Denise Deby. Thanks to Lise Guevremont, City of Ottawa, for information.


Image via City of Ottawa

“Wildlife” isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Ottawa, but our city is home to hundreds of species.

The City of Ottawa is hosting Wildlife and a Liveable City on Monday, Mar. 2, 2015 at City Hall. There’s an “environment trade show” starting at 6 p.m., and a panel discussion on cities and wildlife conservation and co-existence at 7:30 p.m.

Speakers include David Chernushenko, city councillor and environment committee chair; Janet Mason, Ottawa Stewardship Council; and Brenda Van Sleeuwen, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Register here.

The event coincides with World Wildlife Day, celebrated on March 3.



Written by Denise Deby.

There’s a cool new initiative to foster healthy, sustainable, prosperous and liveable cities. It’s called We Are Cities.

We Are Cities is gathering ideas on how to improve and support cities, given the significance of urban centres to Canada. The campaign invites people to get involved in identifying what’s needed, and will bring the diverse perspectives and creative ideas together into a national action plan for cities.

Everyone is invited to participate, by submitting ideas online, voting for ideas online, and/or participating in local roundtables. There’s a roundtable in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at the NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab, facilitated by Citizens Academy.

So far, ideas range from building bike-friendly neighbourhoods, making cities physically accessible and expanding urban agriculture, to supporting inclusive decision-making, increasing investment in municipal infrastructure and establishing a national water strategy. Have a look at the ideas posted so far, and think about what an inclusive, resilient and sustainable Ottawa would look like to you.

We Are Cities is led by Evergreen CityWorks and Cities for People. A number of other organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, are also involved.


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