Support for the Environment and Sustainable Energy

Some upcoming events to check out:

Parliament Hill Rally for Nuclear Safety, Monday, Apr. 23, 2018 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. (meet at the flame). Hosted by Concerned Citizens, this event to protect the Ottawa River against a planned nuclear waste dump at Chalk River includes statements by First Nations and citizens groups, songs and drumming, and a walk to the Ottawa River. A Ceremony for the Ottawa River, led by Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont South Wind, will follow.

Minister Carr: climate + Indigenous rights > Kinder Morgan takes place on Monday, Apr. 23, 2018 from 4:30-6 p.m. at Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa. It’s a response to an address by Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources on energy.

Emergency Rally: Separate Oil and State #StopKM will take place on a day to be confirmed after April 24, after the federal government announces legislation to be tabled on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Organized by the Council of Canadians, in solidarity with Indigenous-led opposition to the pipeline.

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Earth Day 2018 Climate Change Films

To mark Earth Day, Green Screen Ottawa is presenting a series of films on the theme of climate change. The event includes 3 showings of Bill Nye’s Global Meltdown (45 min.) as well as screenings of other short films (The Story of Stuff, tvebiomovies Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change winners, A Sea Turtle Story).

The screening takes place at Carlingwood Shopping Centre (2121 Carling Ave.) on Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. It’s a free event (donations for Green Screen welcome). See the Facebook page for the schedule and further information.

Green Screen is a city-wide grassroots initiative organized by local Ottawa residents, with support from Ecology Ottawa, to engage our communities on climate change action. Through a series of film screenings in wards throughout the city, Green Screen strives to inspire local action on global issues, and show that by working on climate change in our own backyard we can have an impact on one of the world’s most pressing issues.”

Thanks to Green Screen Ottawa for the information.

Update: Also in Ottawa on Earth Day, Sunday Apr. 22, 2018:

And on Monday, Apr. 23, there’s a Ceremony for the Ottawa River at 1 p.m. by the Ottawa River below Parliament Hill.

Old Home Earth Day Event 2018

Here’s an opportunity to celebrate Earth Day while discovering more ways to green your home and energy use: the Old Home Earth Day Event on Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018 brings organizations, businesses and the public together for a free fair on reducing your carbon footprint and living more sustainably.

Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op, the Ottawa Tool Library, Nugrocery and EnviroCentre are among the groups on hand. The day includes free workshops, exhibits and a DIY space. Topics include improving home energy efficiency, renovations, sustainability through transportation and food choices, and more.

This second annual Old Home Earth Day Event is organized by the Glebe Community Association’s Environment Committee along with SMARTNet Alliance, the Peace and Environment Resource Centre, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and Bullfrog Power. OHEDE takes place at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.) on Saturday, Apr. 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Thanks to the Glebe Environment Committee for the information and images.

Green Spaces/Espaces Verts

If you’re an organization, business, government, post-secondary, or Indigenous organization employer looking to hire someone to work on environment-related initiatives, or a student (aged 15-30) looking for an environment-related summer job, you’ll want to check out the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada)’s Green Spaces/Espaces Verts initiative.

Green Spaces/Espaces Verts connects youth with employers for summer work placements that take place mainly in parks and natural settings. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and community engagement around carbon reduction. UNA-Canada subsidizes about 50 per cent of the wages, and employers can become part of a national Green Spaces/Espaces Verts network to showcase and support their green efforts.

You’ll need to act quickly: the application deadline is April 19, 2018 for jobs taking place between May 1 and August 31, 2018. See further details and links for students and employers to apply on the Green Spaces/Espaces Verts website.

Thanks to UNA-Canada for the information.

Extreme Weather, Climate Change and Envisioning a Bigger “Backyard”

Ottawa River at Parkdale: Image by Shanta Rohse on Flickr CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic https://www.flickr.com/photos/shanta/2220012922/in/set-72157603793833860/

I was once part of a conversation in which someone insisted that a person could do anything they wanted in their own backyard—contaminate the soil, cut down the trees—because it was theirs.

Of course, the fact is that no “backyard” is separate from what’s around it, despite fences and concepts like private property. The soil, water, air, flora and fauna extend and connect beyond those physical and psychological barriers, integrating us ecologically and socially.

What’s happening in the world is not separate from us here in Ottawa. News about hurricanes, flooding and related catastrophes, drought and wildfires hits hard, whether or not we are directly connected with people and land affected. Climate change affects the intensity and severity of these events. Our response can’t be more of the same, old ways of thinking and (in)action.

George Monbiot writes that powerful narratives, rather than powerful politicians, shape the way we view the world and our understanding of the solutions needed. What we need now, he contends, is a more compelling, positive story—one based on our strengths of community, empathy and diversity.

With a different, positive story that acknowledges how we—humans, environment, climate, economy—are connected and interdependent, my local school might have focused on creating child-friendly, green, active spaces rather than paving much of the field for parking. The City of Ottawa might prioritize the development and resourcing of a clean energy strategy. The federal government might rethink its investments in unsustainable fossil fuel production and distribution. I might ride my bike even more often than I do, and grow more native wildflowers in my backyard—fully mindful of how my choices are affecting those around me.

Along with and as part of taking action at all levels to mitigate and adapt to climate change, let’s advance a new story.

Written by Denise Deby.

 

Flooding in Ottawa-Gatineau

Thoughts go out to everyone affected by the flooding.

The City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau have posted information about the flooding, how to stay safe in flood conditions (around the water, near electricity and with drinking water), and where to obtain assistance.

Other information available:

How to volunteer to help with flooding recovery over the next few weeks: https://ottawa.ca/en/register-volunteer-flooding-efforts

Where to donate to support recovery efforts through the Salvation Army or Canadian Red Cross: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/older-adults/safety/emergency-preparedness/emergency-notifications-flooding-information#-donations

Where to get help for coping with stress, worry and other mental health needs (links for the Distress Centre, Tel-Aide Outaouais, Walk-In Counselling Clinics and other supports): http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/older-adults/safety/emergency-preparedness/emergency-notifications-flooding-information#responding-stressful-events

The Ottawa Riverkeeper also has information and links on what to do and where to get help.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by Denise Deby.

 

 

Earth Day Every Day

Earth_Day_Flag by John McConnell (flag designer) NASA (Earth photograph) SiBr4 (flag image) – FileEarth flag PD.jpg The Earth seen from Apollo 17 with transparent background

Written by Denise Deby.

Earth Day 2017 has come and gone, but if you’re looking to make good on any “Earth Day resolutions,” or keep up focus on the environment, here are some suggestions:

Get involved with an environmental organization

Katherine Forster over at Wild. Here. has launched a new resource on her website: a listing of volunteer opportunities at nature organizations. It contains an impressive number of ways to get involved, such as helping maintain or advocate for our city’s wild and natural spaces. Katherine explains, “There are so many local organizations doing such great work to help nature and our environment and it’s also fun for locals to get outdoors and lend a hand!” Do check out this great site.

Re-energize for living sustainably

Spring is a good time to reconnect with the earth, renew a commitment to living lightly and re-energize for the journey. Sign up for Bike to Work Month and the 30×30 Nature Challenge, both in May, or take a walk in one of the above-mentioned natural areas.

Keep showing your support for the environment

The People’s Climate March is happening on Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017 in Ottawa and other cities. Here in Ottawa, it’s from 12:30-3 p.m. starting at Confederation Park. Details here.

Please let us know of other suggestions you have.