April 22 was Earth Day. Earth Day draws needed attention to the environment, but sometimes it comes with a lot of hype, too–for example, by companies promoting yet more consumption of their stuff, or association with things that have very little to do with sustainability.
Reflecting on Earth Day this year made me want to think bigger–about the earth’s complexity, the way good writers or artists can express it. When I learned that April 23 is World Book Day, that clinched the idea of a post on books.
Of course, there’s a lot of great literature—fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction—on the environment, so here’s just a tiny sample:
The Lorax: The incomparable Dr. Seuss speaks for the trees, inspiring kids and adults alike to do their part, however big or small, for the environment.
Catch This Changes Everything again on Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016 at Carleton University with a screening hosted by Carleton Climate Commons Working Group, 350 Ottawa, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and Carleton Cinema Politica.
Also on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Impact Hub Ottawa hosts What’s next after Paris? Community action for a post-carbon future. Panelists Mitchell Beer (Smarter Shift/The Energy Mix), Mike De Souza (National Observer), Andrea Flowers (City of Ottawa), Graeme Cunningham (Bullfrog Power), Janice Ashworth (Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op) and EnviroCentre’s Carbon 613 will talk about getting involved in creating a sustainable world.
For inspiration on understanding and protecting nature and ourselves within it:
Local conservation biologist and author Robert Alvo launchesBeing a Bird in North America at Octopus Books (Glebe) on Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016. It’s a book that uses humour and science to provide a new perspective on birds.
Celebrated primatologist Jane Goodall will be speaking in Ottawa on Monday, Apr. 11, 2016 about her lifetime of research and her sustainability work with youth. (Proceeds from the event support the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada’s conservation, humanitarian and youth programs.)
The City of Ottawa is hosting Engaging Citizens in Science to showcase groups that are involving people in understanding and documenting nature. As well as speakers Dr. Jeremy Kerr (University of Ottawa, co-founder of Bumblebeewatch.org) and Andy Kenney (University of Toronto, Neighbourwoods Program), several groups will present their citizen science and research initiatives. It’s on Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016.
The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club has several upcoming birding and other events. Check details on their website.
For inspiration on making Ottawa a more sustainable city:
Janette Sadik-Khan led New York City’s program to create safer, more liveable streets, and wrote about the experience in Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. She’ll be speaking in Ottawa on Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2016 at Streetfight: NY’s Urban Revolution Comes to Ottawa, a discussion organized by Ecology Ottawa and other groups.
From Canada to Ireland and Tanzania, First Nations communities to the oil sands and rural Quebec, through the world wars, to the fight against ISIS, this week our festival is bringing stories from around the world to Ottawa.”
A few highlights:
First Peoples, First Stories with Lee Maracle, Bev Sellars and Joseph Boyden, hosted by Waubgeshig Rice, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m. (Important things to know, and new ways to think.)
Oil, Gas and Water with Marq de Villiers, Louis Helbig and Andrew Nikiforuk, hosted by Neil Wilson, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. (The politics of water, the “beautiful destruction” of the tar sands, and the fight against fracking.)
The Dorito Effect with Mark Schatzker, hosted by Sean Wilson, on Monday, Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m. (How food flavours have shifted from real and healthy to “craveable” but empty.)
The Reason You Walk with Wab Kinew, hosted by Waubgeshig Rice, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m. (A memoir and a reconnection.)
As well as food for thought, the festival has food—including local dishes from Dash Mobile Cookery, Bridgehead and local breweries served in the Festival Café (check the schedule for times). There’s also a Literary Luncheon with Margaret Atwood on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Hear interesting people and be inspired at these upcoming films and talks:
The Price We Payfilm and panel discussion will shed light on the extent to which offshore finance and tax avoidance deprive societies of revenues, hampering governments’ ability to provide services and contributing to inequality. Organized by Inter Pares as part of its Film Night series, in collaboration with Canadians for Tax Fairness, Publish What You Pay, MiningWatch Canada, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability and Oxfam Canada. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, 6:30 p.m. at the Mayfair Theatre.
How to influence the outcome of the 2015 federal election and the environmental and social issues we care about? The West End Well hosts a discussiononwhat political parties are saying about the environment, affordable housing and more. Brock Carlton (Federation of Canadian Municipalities), David Chernushenko (city councillor), Michael Bulthuis (Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness) and Dick Stewart (social and community advocate) will be on hand. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, 7-9 p.m.
Tree expert Diana Beresford-Kroeger and other tree advocates will be at Trees for Life, organized by Tree Fest Ottawa and Forests Without Borders, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park. Includes award-winning films Forest Man, The Man Who Planted Trees and Moving Forest. It’s also an opportunity to see PhotoSynthesis, a photography exhibit on trees (the exhibit runs until Oct. 12). Check out Tree Fest Ottawa’s other upcoming events.
The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.
Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action.”
A rare chance to hear David Suzuki in person is happening this Friday, June 19, 2015.
The renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster will be at Centretown United Church at 7 p.m. to present his newest book, Letters to My Grandchildren.
Check Octopus Books’ website for details and ticket information. (Tickets sold out early for his talk last year.)
The event is co-sponsored by Ecology Ottawa, Canadian Organic Growers-Ottawa St Lawrence Outaouais, National Union of Public and General Employees, and Public Service Alliance of Canada – National Capital Region.
Ecology Ottawa’s 8th Annual Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale | Saturday, May 23, 8am-4pm | 680 & 690 Bank Street (at Glebe Avenue, in the Rogers Plus and Kunstadt Sports parking lots)
It’s your favourite time of year again… Soon the entire Glebe will be abuzz with lawn-hawking like you’ve never seen. It’s this annual mecca of bargain-hunters from near and far that gave birth to Ecology Ottawa’s Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale!
Ecology Ottawa is working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, and the Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale has become one of the organization’s flagship annual events. What started as a humble fundraiser in 2008 has become a carnival unto itself that community members look forward to each year.
This isn’t your average garage sale – this massive event also features a vegetarian BBQ (join us for lunch), a bake sale (including hot coffee at the crack of dawn), and live musical performances. We will also have representatives from Ecology Ottawa on site to tell you more about the organization, as well as massage therapists (to help you relax after a long day of shopping), fun activities for kids of all ages, a water bottle refilling station on site, portable public washrooms for the community’s use (when nature calls), and much, much more!
In the past 7 years, this event has helped divert countless tonnes of potential waste from Ottawa landfills and raised nearly $50,000. All items sold at the event are collected from over 200 supporters from across the city, and all proceeds raised go to charity (90% to Ecology Ottawa, 10% to The Ottawa Food Bank). Best of all, everything is coordinated by an amazing team of over 100 volunteers each year, and we have had a blast doing it!
There are many ways to get involved in this fun community event – you can donate your unwanted items, volunteer and/or bake for the event, and of course, come and do some bargain shopping on May 23rd. For more information on how to get involved, please click on the links below:
For more information on how to get involved, click on the following links:
Environment and human rights advocate Sheila Watt-Cloutier talks about her book, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet on Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015. In the book she connects her life story to the survival of Inuit culture and the need to address climate change.