Newsletter 108, 17 October 2015

Sustainable North Grenville's candidate survey

Sustainable North Grenville / 13 October 2015
A couple of weeks ago Sustainable North Grenville sent out a questionnaire to the four federal candidates running in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes riding. The questions reflected environmental issues in the region and will give residents more information about the candidates as we head to the polls for the federal election.
See also:


Next up: “Tiny Home” option for affordable home ownership on display

In a time when house prices are often well beyond what first-time home buyers can pay without getting deeply into mortgage debt, the “tiny home” offers an affordable, energy-efficient and environmentally sound alternative.

Curious would-be tiny-home owners can get a look at such a home Sunday afternoon, October 25, in the public parking lot opposite the Brockville Public Library, where a mobile Green Terra Homes (GTH) 192-square-foot tiny home (the Park model) will be on display from early afternoon.

Transition Brockville has invited Max Broojerd, Green Terra Homes’ chief operations officer, to discuss the subject of tiny homes, including the type of tiny homes made by the GTH manufacturing plant in Trenton. Anyone wanting to learn more about tiny homes and the model on display is welcome to attend this free presentation.

In addition, Andrew McGinnis, a planner with the City of Brockville planning department, will be on hand to answer questions on zoning for such homes during the question and answer period following Broojerd’s presentation.

The tiny home movement has been growing in recent years. Tiny homes can be the solution for people seeking affordable options for seasonal living, guest houses, or just a simple, off-grid, sustainable lifestyle. Living in a tiny home forces the occupants to declutter their lives and reduces their costs for a mortgage, energy and insurance. Tiny home dwellers often experience a sense of freedom from the trappings of modern living. They speak of having more time for family and their community.

Green Terra Homes was established in June 2012. It has set up partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, a local hospital and other organizations in the Trenton/Belleville region. In addition to tiny homes, the company builds everything from mobile homes and traditional prefabricated multi-bedroom homes to sheds and barns. All are built to exceed the CSA certification standards and are framed with steel recycled from cars. Purchasers can choose to have the company build the whole structure or can opt for a kit that allows them to do much of the building themselves, saving on cost.

Following Broojerd’s presentation and the question and answer session, refreshments will be served, and then people can go out and have a good look at the tiny home on display.

WHEN: Sunday, October 25, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Upcoming Presentations

November 22: Dr. Adrien Djomo, Queen's University: An Update on Climate Science
January 24: Agata Bedynski, Earthship Homes

Please let us know what you'd like to hear about, or to hear more about, through this online form.


Strategic Planning completed

Through the past six months, the TB Steering Committee (SC) has been undertaking a Strategic Planning exercise. The work began with a review of our Vision and Mission statements. Based on these concepts, the SC proceeded with a review of our activities for 2015-2016. Along with ongoing programs such as our Presentation Series and the TB Sustainability Library, eight projects have been identified and scheduled for completion in this period. The SC will now turn to a review of TB's Governance Model.

TBSL shelves at Leeds County Books

Transition Brockville Sustainability Library

The TBSL is open and operating seven days a week at Leeds County Books, 73 King Street West in Brockville. This collection of over 80 books offers 'big picture' analyses of the science behind climate change and resource depletion, thoughtful discussions on civilization, economics and ecology, and manuals for on-the-ground building of personal and community resilience. A complete catalogue and borrowing procedures are available on our website.

Steering Committee

  • The Transition Brockville Steering Committee normally meets at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of the month at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. The next SC meeting will be on Monday, November 9, 2015. Our SC meetings are open. If you'd like to participate in some broad-ranging discussions on resilience and sustainability, please consider attending.

  • Members of the SC are available to speak to groups throughout the community, whether it be a lunch-and-learn at your place of business, a presentation to your board of directors or group members, or an informal neighbourhood discussion. Contact us at

SWITCH is happy to announce that yesterday's second annual Managing Energy Conference in downtown Kingston was a great success. Energy management stakeholders from businesses and organizations throughout Southeastern Ontario learned how they could: . Reduce energy consumption and lower costs . Identify new op...

Thanks to the City of Brockville Legacy Fund, you'll find two NEW bike racks at the YMCA of Brockville and Area. Ride your bike to the Y, reduce your carbon footprint - and get a great warm-up!! The City of Brockville Legacy Fund was established in 2009 with an allocation of $200,000 from the City of Brockville i...

Curbside collection of leaves

City of Brockville
Curbside collection of leaves will take place on your regular waste collection day during the following 2 weeks: October 19 to October 23 and then again on November 16 to November 20, 2015. PLEASE NOTE: PLASTIC BAGS ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED FOR LEAF COLLECTION. To ensure collection, residents MUST use re-usable containers...

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 15 October 2015
Someone needs to tell our provincial government that they can't have it both ways. They can't pay only a couple of cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for energy efficiency initiatives while agreeing to pay close to 9 cents a kWh for power from a rebuilt Darlington Nuclear Station and still say they are putting Conservation First. To really put Conservation First we...

Ontario investing $6 million to bring more local food to the table

Office of the Premier / News Release / 08 October 2015
Ontario is providing $6 million over three years to increase sales of local food by making it more widely available and building awareness of the variety of food grown and produced in Ontario. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this investment today, during Ontario Agriculture Week, while v...


TTIP to 'remove people's rights to access basic human needs'

The Independent / Lee Williams / 11 October 2015
People's access to basic rights such as water and energy could be at the mercy of multinational corporations, according to a new report into two controversial EU free trade deals. The report claims that the agreements could allow all public services to be locked into commercial deals that wou...

Climate change threatens Canada's north

Reuters / Chris Arsenault / 12 October 2015
The decline in the caribou population is exacerbated by high costs of trucking or flying food in the Northwest Territories, an area larger than Egypt but with less than 50,000 people. "People are nutritionally affected by the caribou (decline)," politician Bob Bromley told the Thomson Reuters Founda...

A new global tinderbox: The world's northern forests

Yale Environment 360 / Ed Struzik / 01 October 2015
Ted Schuur has spent the better part of his career making the connection between climate change and wildfires that are burning an increasing amount of land in Alaska and in sub-Arctic and Arctic forests around the world. So the Northern Arizona University scientist wasn’t all that surprised this summer to find his field stations in the interior of Alaska surrounded by fires on three sides. At the time, t...


It's not climate change - it's everything change

Matter / Margaret Atwood / 27 July 2015
Back in 2009, as fracking and the mining of the oil/tar sands in Alberta ramped up – when people were talking about Peak Oil and the dangers of the supply giving out – I wrote a piece for the German newspaper Die Zeit. In English it was called "The Future Without Oil." It went like this: ...

How our aversion to change leads us into danger

The Automatic Earth / Raúl Ilargi Meijer / 08 October 2015
It is nothing new that people's fears can be used to control them. Fear of the unknown, fear of what's different, fear of change. But also fear of communists, fear of muslims, fear of people who have different skin colors, customs, rituals and cultures. We possess a myriad of often ...

Waiting for collapse: USA debt bombs bursting

Counterpunch / William Edstrom / 23 September 2015
It's been so easy the past 15 years for local governments in the USA, state governments, government authorities, corporations, banks, hedge funds and the US Federal government to simply say how many millions, billions or trillions of dollars they wanted, pay some high priced call accountants t...

World's energy systems at risk from global warming

The Guardian / Fiona Harvey / 01 October 2015
The world's energy infrastructure is at risk from the extreme weather expected to result from climate change, a group of prominent energy companies has warned. Energy systems, including fossil fuel power stations, distribution grids, and the networks that reach to people's homes, are all at ri...

Trans-Pacific trade agreement is a disaster for climate change

Climate Progress / Samantha Page / 05 October 2015
If adopted, the TPP will eliminate or reduce tariffs between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. But while it specifically addresses some environmental concerns – such as trade of illegally harveste...

Marine food chains at risk of collapse

The Guardian / Oliver Milman / 12 October 2015
The food chains of the world's oceans are at risk of collapse due to the release of greenhouse gases, overfishing and localised pollution, a stark new analysis shows. A study of 632 published experiments of the world's oceans, from tropical to arctic waters, spanning coral reefs and the open ...

Record cold 'blob' in N. Atlantic: Sign of future climate woes?

Common Dreams / Sarah Lazare / 25 September 2015
Some scientists are saying that a record-setting area of cold water in the North Atlantic, revealed by recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, could be a sign that climate change is causing the ocean current to weaken. This trend could have dramatic consequences, including the alteration of temperatures on the European and North American continents...

Rising numbers of Americans believe climate science: poll

The Guardian / Emma Howard / 13 October 2015
Around 70% of Americans believe in the science behind global warming - the highest level of acceptance in the US since 2008 - according to a new survey. The level of belief has increased seven percentage points in the past six months, the polling by the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College...

Soaring numbers becoming obese or overweight

The Guardian / Sarah Boseley and Helen Davidson / 09 October 2015
UN goals on diet-related disease will fail to be met because of the soaring numbers of people becoming obese or overweight, with almost 1 billion of the world's adults projected to be obese by 2025, analysis shows. Experts warn that targets will not be met because of the spre...

This migrant crisis is only a warm-up for the main act

Yorkshire Post / Gwynne Dyer / 22 September 2015
The EU probably will sort it out eventually, because the numbers are not really all that huge. Around 500,000 migrants (most of whom will claim refugee status) have entered the European Union this year, which is only one percent of the EU's population. It is not beyond the wit of the EU's l...


Stop Googling. Let's talk.

New York Times / Sherry Turkle / 26 September 2015
Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the convers...

The best ways to get to work, according to science

Gizmodo / Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan / 30 September 2015
That driving is physically and mentally stressful may not come as a surprise. But this may: Driving seems to affect the social and economic health of your whole city by lessening your trust in other people and compelling you not to engage socially in your community. A recent study of mor...

8 steps to cut out wasted energy in the kitchen

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Tuohy / 23 December 2014
The kitchen is one of the largest consumers of energy in the home. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, the room where you cook is a great place to start. Of course you've probably already read all about buying Energy Star appliances and the money and energy savings those offer...

Outdoor root cellars

Mother Earth News / Steve Maxwell, Jennifer MacKenzie / October/November 2011
Five easy ways to store fresh food for winter right in your garden – it's as easy as tossing a bagful of leaves over a patch of carrots! You don't need an underground room to have an effective root cellar – you can easily use soil, mulch and a few other too...

For the past two months, Katelin Leblond has used a roasted red pepper jar as a garbage can for her family of four. It's part their journey toward a zero-waste lifestyle. "I tried to find the biggest jar I could find so it was less daunting," she told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "Mostly, it's produce sticker...


The Walking Revolution

Every Body Walk!
After 75 years of planning that produces a sedentary lifestyle, a radical redesign of our cities and open space has begun. Parks and paths are making a comeback to create truly walkable communities through partnerships between local residents, businesses, developers, municipalities, urban planners and health care providers. ...


Local Foods Harvest Dinner

REAL Smiths Falls
WHEN: Saturday, October 17, 5:30 pm
WHERE: Gallipeau Centre, 361 Queen Street, Smiths Falls

Our annual local foods harvest dinner is being prepared by Bruce Enloe of the Two Rivers Food Hub and served up just down the hall in the Gallipeau Centre. Come enjoy a delicious buffet meal featuring foods produced close to home in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, as well as some entertainment and silent auction. The bar will be open, and a nice selection of local beers and Ontario wines will be featured. Tickets will be $60, and available at the REAL Deal Store and Modern Thymes in Smiths Falls by September 1. This is REAL's major fundraiser for the year, so come support environmental action in your community!

Federal Election Day

WHEN: Monday, October 19, 9:30 am - 9:30 pm
WHERE: Refer to for your Poll location

Your vote is important!

Sustainable and Renewable Energy Options...the future in NOW!

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 6:45 pm
WHERE: Branch Restaurant, 15 Clothier Street East, Kemptville

Sustainable North Grenville is hosting an information evening that will include three guest speakers talking about sustainable and renewable energy options for you, your home and your future.
  • Kim Scott will be speaking on behalf of The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative. Until Oct 31 residents of Eastern Ontario are invited to join the co-op and invest in the current offering including RRSP and TFSA eligible securities.
  • Adam Cameron of etrilum Light Inc. will talk about LED lights for homes, explaining the common types of lights in homes and the replacement options, including how much money you can save every month.
  • Lynne Leblanc will be speaking about renewable energy options, explaining what they are, how you can implement them into your home and help you determine what might be best for your particular situation.
More info:

Fourth Annual Heritage Symposium "Revitalizing our Main Streets"

Heritage Smiths Falls
WHEN: Friday, October 23
WHERE: Station Theatre, 53 Victoria Avenue, Smiths Falls

Featuring six guest speakers: Adele Arbour, of Thorold, Ontario; Maire Hogan, of Elizabeth Interiors; Steve Maddock, of HyFund Studio; Andrew Edmondson, of the Heritage Institute at Algonquin College; Robin Pixar of Rhino Wood Repair; and Jan Hawley, creator of the "Win This Space" business recruitment initiative.

Register by contacting Niki McKernan at or call 613-283-4124, ext. 1116. The cost is $15, students $10.

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

WHEN: Wednesday, November 4 - Thursday, November 5
WHERE: Travelodge Belleville, Belleville

Excitement is mounting for the upcoming 5th Annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference! EOLFC15 is our region's annual conference bringing together stakeholders from all aspects of our local food system. This year's hosts, the Cities of Quinte West and Belleville, have worked creatively to develop a dynamic event that will be the best one yet!

The momentum building in the Eastern Ontario local food system is not an accident. It is the result of years of hard work, creative ideas, and local food champions working together to make strong connections.

This year's conference is the place to further cultivate that creative thinking, and to collaborate with others to learn, share, and network. Some new sessions will see not only our speakers, but our delegates sharing their knowledge and building solutions. Book time with mentors. Be swept away in a series of quick, idea-generating presentations that will be sure to spark creativity and energize. And, be a part of round-table discussions and conversations that will move the bar, motivate, and create lasting connections. In short, this year's conference will be a place of ACTION!

More info and registration: EOLFC15

It is not the strongest of the species that survives... nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Charles Darwin

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