Sustainability centre proposed for Brockville

Transition Brockville / 25 March 2017

Transition Brockville’s Feb. 26 presentation featured Dr. Ellie Bennett, speaking on the International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, whose aims are to inspire creative, innovative, and effective ways for people and nature to thrive together in rural communities.

In future, that could mean Brockville and area residents will benefit from ICSRC initiatives ranging from hosting a freshwater institute, restoring wetlands and offering sustainability training for farmers, to sponsoring citizen science (such as a 24-hour bioblitz to do a species count in the area) and promoting setting up bee boxes in backyards.

Still in the formative stages, this not-for-profit centre (with charitable status) will be located in Downtown Brockville. It will be North America and Europe’s virtual and physical hub for achieving the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program’s strategic objectives, focusing on building sustainable rural communities. Project proponents for the ICSRC are the Canadian Biosphere Reserves, Queen’s University, and the Aquatarium.

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OREC targets $2 M with fifth securities offering

OREC / 16 January 2017

The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op launches its fifth securities offering and is seeking to raise up to $2 million to invest in four local solar power projects. The Co-op’s latest projects include a rooftop project at both the Twin Elm Rugby Park and KIN Vineyard in Carp along with a ground mount system in Alfred, Ontario, and a rooftop system on a private building. These projects will start to produce power for the grid starting in June, 2017.

OREC’s previous four securities offerings raised $5.1 million, financing 13 solar rooftop projects in Ottawa – four of which are found on local French language schools.

“Working with the French school boards to install these solar projects has been such a pleasure. We are accomplishing our environmental and educational goals, while also providing a profitable, socially-responsible investment option for our members,” says Janice Ashworth, OREC’s General Manager.

Investments can be made by purchasing Preference Shares or Member Investment Notes and is open to all residents of Eastern Ontario who become members of the co-op. OREC’s preference shares have 20-year terms, are RRSP & TFSA-eligible, and average a 4% annual dividend plus return of capital over time. Member Investment Notes have five year terms and provide a fixed 3% annual return with the capital returned at the end of year five.

As opposed to a mutual fund where individual investors have little control, with a co-op, every investor becomes a member and has a vote in decisions that affect operations and investments.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Unconventional gardening methods: Pros and cons

Mother Earth News / Shelley Stonebrook / February/March 2017

Novel gardening methods go through phases of prominence on the gardening scene. Perhaps made popular by a new book or a reinvigoration of an old method, there’s always some “hot” technique, product, or way to garden. But what’s just hype, and what really works? Which gardening methods have noted advantages? And which methods make sense for small-scale backyard gardeners versus serious homesteaders or market gardeners? Let’s dig into the benefits and potential hang-ups of six gardening styles you’ve likely heard about lately.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Climate change pushing world into ‘uncharted territory’

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 21 March 2017

2016 saw the hottest global average among thermometer measurements stretching back to 1880. But scientific research indicates the world was last this warm about 115,000 years ago and that the planet has not experienced such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for 4m years.

2017 has seen temperature records continue to tumble, in the US where February was exceptionally warm, and in Australia, where prolonged and extreme heat struck many states. The consequences have been particularly stark at the poles.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Make your life less oily in 2017: Part I, Taking stock

Musings / Karen Lynn Allen / 14 December 2016

We’ve got oily transport, oily heating, oily beverages, oily food, we drive on oily roads, and our homes are full of oily stuff. How do we get some or all of that oil out of our lives?

Most of our consumption of oil is so deeply embedded in our way of life that we’re unconscious of it or believe there’s no alternative. The antidote is to first make that consumption conscious and then get creative with alternatives, tailoring them to our specific situations. Here’s the good news: most of the steps you can take to purge oil from your life will make you healthier, happier, and your household more resilient! If you have kids, many of the steps will make them healthier, happier and perform better in school! Many of the steps will also make your community healthier, more prosperous, and more resilient. And if your prosperity is linked to your community’s prosperity, it will make you more prosperous as well.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The devastating impact of flying on the environment

The Conversation / Roger Tyers / 11 January 2017

Ready to get over your post-festive comedown by booking an escape to the sun? For many of you, that will involve flying. And while I’m sorry to put a downer on your holiday plans, there are several problems with this from a climate perspective.

The first is that aviation is essentially a fossil fuel industry, one which guzzles an eye-watering 5m barrels of oil every day. Burning that fuel currently contributes around 2.5% to total carbon emissions, a proportion which could rise to 22% by 2050 as other sectors emit less.

The second problem is, as Air Asia puts it, “Now everyone can fly”. And in “generation easyJet”, those who already fly, fly more than ever. This increasing demand from new and existing travellers means the number of passenger aircraft in our skies is set to double by 2035.

The third problem is that unlike other sectors where there might be a greener alternative (solar not coal, LEDs not lightbulbs etc), there is currently no way to fly 8m people every day without burning lots of dirty kerosene.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
TB Projects

 

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