Newsletter 117, 18 July 2016

Building bike lanes slows climate change

Brockville Active Mobility Matters / Alan Medcalf / 07 July 2016
The causal linkage of cycling infrastructure with increased cycling modal share has been well researched and proven in several case studies. That linkage has now been extended to quantify the long-assumed reduction in GHG emissions that contribute to climate change.

The Canadian-based research examined over ten years of data from Montreal, reaffirmed the positive link between cycling infrastructure and modal share uptake, and went on to quantify the GHG reductions resulting from modal switch from autos to bikes.

Bottom line? Building bike infrastructure results in cycling uptake and a quantifiable reduction in motorized modal share, contributing (among other things) to slowing climate change.


Next up: Let's talk trash!

On a sunny summer Sunday afternoon, what could be more fun than cycling with the family down the new Brock Trail extension to St. Lawrence Park - for a swim, an ice cream cone and a good hands-on education in what's trash and what's recyclable among the stuff that clutters our homes and garages?

"Talking Trash," our next free public event, will help everyone figure out where they can dispose of items from batteries to cell phones, old clothes to old paint. Come with photos or electronic images of the items you need to recycle or dispose of and show them to the city's solid waste coordinator, Lyndsay Price.

Price is only one of the people who'll be on hand that day to inspire citizens to reduce, re-use, recycle and properly dispose of stuff. Talking Trash also features a display of Tasha Thorpe's "Steampunk" art from recycled items; Habitat for Humanity, which recycles household items and construction materials; Butler's Creek Community Garden, showing kids how to make seedling pots from recycled newsprint; and a line of tote bags made exclusively from retired sails, offered by the From Here to Infinity Gallery.

Price, Brockville's solid waste officer for the past year, grew up in Brockville and returns to her home town with many solid waste disposal ideas from her five years working in Yarmouth, N.S.'s, solid waste department. She'll have tips on recycling and reusing, data about the city's program, handouts and recyclable shopping bags. Best of all, she'll be featuring a free mobile app, My Waste, which can be downloaded to tablets, smart phones and the web to help Brockville area residents search for where to dispose of various categories of materials.

While recycling is great, says Price, "Waste reduction is even more important." She'll have tips on how families can do that as well.

WHEN: Sunday, July 24, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
WHERE: West Pavilion, St. Lawrence Park, Brockville

Upcoming Presentations

August 28: Community Garden Celebration
October 1: Brockville Culture Days

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

Transition Backgrounder: HertsWOW (Herts WithOut Waste)

Depending on community interest, Transition initiatives embark upon specific projects and programs. In Hertfordshire, UK, Transition initiatives have spear-headed a county-wide program called HertsWOW, described as a "social network across Hertfordshire to encourage our county council to use technologies such as increased re-usage, recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion for 'residual waste', i.e. surplus materials which have not been collected separately (rather than mass burn incineration)." A complete program description is available here.

Steering Committee

  • From June to September, our Steering Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month - at 7:00 pm at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 3. Our SC meetings are open and anyone may attend. (From October to May the SC meets on the first Monday of the month.)

  • 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


Two new EV charging stations coming to Brockville

Ministry of Transportation / 13 July 2016
Through the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) grant program, the province is working with 24 public and private sector partners to create a network of fast-charging electric vehicle stations in cities, along highways and at workplaces and public places across Ontario. [ TB: Brockville locations...

2016 FAB Nature Camp

Frontenac Arch Biosphere
The 2016 Frontenac Arch Nature Camp is now accepting registrations for your 6-11 year old children. There will be 8 one-week sessions covering a wide variety of exciting themes running from July 4 through August 26. Each session is only $140 for these great activities. For more information and registration forms, please visit www.fabnaturec...


Ontario seeking input on Intercommunity Transportation

Ministry of Transportation / 08 July 2016
As part of Ontario's commitment to facilitate new and innovative travel options, the province is seeking input on how to improve public transportation between communities. This summer, Ontario will be engaging with industry, stakeholders, communities and Indigenous peoples across the province about h...

Former Minister of Energy: close Pickering Nuclear Station

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 30 June 2016
Yesterday, George Smitherman, former Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy for Ontario, called for the closure of the Pickering Nuclear Station in a deputation to the City of Toronto's Executive Committee. (View Mr. Smitherman's remarks). Mr. Smitherman suggested that Ontario extend its "cash fo...

Ontario launches new Social Enterprise Strategy

Ministry of Economic Development and Growth / 21 June 2016
Ontario has launched a new five-year strategy that will help social enterprises grow their businesses, enter new markets and create jobs, while addressing complex social and environmental challenges. Ontario's Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2021 sets out significant commitments in th...


The European model: communities profit

National Observer / Christopher Adams / 11 July 2016
As Saskatchewan promises to accelerate renewable energy, one company has proposed the European community ownership model in a move that could change the way Canada funds clean energy. Most wind energy projects in North America are funded by private developers who foot the bill and reap all the profit. Saskatchewan-based wind and solar company, SaskWind says projects in Germany and other European countries have been highly successful because community members are often co-owners, sharing the profits. "Communities got to ...


Why a half-degree temperature rise is a big deal

NASA Global Climate Change / Bob Silberg / 30 June 2016
The European Geosciences Union published a study in April 2016 that examined the impact of a 1.5 degree Celsius vs. a 2.0 C temperature increase by the end of the century, given what we know so far about how climate works. It found that the jump from 1.5 to 2 degrees—a third more of an in...

It felt like 160 F (71 C) in India on June 13, 2016 / 21 June 2016
According to Earth Nullschool, it felt like 41 to 54 C [104 to 127 F] outside over Eastern India on June 12th and 13th of 2016 due to combined high levels of heat and humidity. Local reports from Bhubaneswar indicate that this Misery Index hit a stu...

High concentration of CO2 reduces man's intellectual abilities

Skeptical Science / Marcin Popkiewicz / 17 November 2014
Did you ever experience being at a lecture or a meeting in a room where you felt tired, your eyes were closing and no matter how hard you tried you could not concentrate? The reason did not have to be a boring subject or a mediocre lecturer – it is a common experience caused by high conc...

Vanishing act: Why insects are declining and why it matters

Yale E360 / Christian Schwägerl / 06 July 2016
A 2014 study in Science documented a steep drop in insect and invertebrate populations worldwide. By combining data from the few comprehensive studies that exist, lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, an ecologist at Stanford University, developed a global index for invertebrate abundance that showed a 45 per...


Is recycling worth it?

Mother Earth News / Joanna Poncavage / February/March 2015
So, is recycling worth it? In short, yes. But, to keep it effective, the way we think about waste must shift away from mindless consumption. Even as we're recycling more, we're creating more garbage — 4.38 pounds per person per day in 2012, up 63 percent from 2.68 pounds in 1960. A...

Cut cost, not quality: How to afford better food

Mother Earth News / Tabitha Alterman / December 2011/January 2012
There's growing evidence which shows that industrial food just ain't what it oughta be. Lucky for us, the path to super-nutritious food at affordable prices offers many entry points. Let us pilot you through the diverse options in this guide to shopping smart and eating better...

Edible flowers from the garden

Mother Earth News / Celeste Longacre / 14 June 2016
Nothing brightens up a salad or serves as a better garnish than edible flowers. Who can resist smiling when served a plate complete with the happy faces of some pansies or violas looking up at you? Many restaurants are taking advantage of this phenomenon and including chives, calendulas, clo...

In light of the growing urgency for, and national commitment to a de-carbonised economy combined with the need for local economic drivers and community resiliency, community energy offers a win-win-win solution. Community energy (CE), which broadly refers to community ownership of and participation in renewabl...


Apothecaries, apples, and armies: Exploring the careers of the Jones family

Heritage Ontario
WHEN: Friday, July 22, 12 noon - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Homewood Museum, 1372 County Rd 2 (north side between Maitland and Prescott)

Have you ever wondered what it was like to make a living in the 19th and 20th centuries? Through games, crafts, outdoor activities and more, kids will learn about careers of the past, including medicine, farming and the military. This engaging program is based on the true history of the Jones family, which lived at Homewood for six generations.

Advance registration is required; please call 613-348-1246.
Cost: $10. Ages 8 to 12.

Farm to Table Dinner

Burnt Hills Farm
WHEN: Saturday, July 23, 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm (rain date July 24th)
WHERE: Burnt Hills Farm, 3582 Burnt Hills Road, Seeleys Bay, ON

Foodies and Locavores delight! Farm to table, right ON the farm! Visit Burnt Hills Farm for a unique and intimate al fresco dining experience as you enjoy a farm tour and catered, sit-down dinner using produce and poultry right from the field you're next to! Dessert from a local chocolatier with live music to serenade you over dinner. Full, fixed menu incorporating local food and beer/wine (available at additional cost).

Tickets are $70 per person including all tax/tips.
For more information please contact

Town Hall on Prison Farms

Government of Canada
WHEN: Tuesday, August 16, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Memorial Hall, Kingston City Hall, Kingston, ON

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, along with officials from the Correctional Service of Canada, will host a town hall meeting to consult Canadians on the feasibility of re-establishing agribusiness operations at Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions. The public is invited to attend. The town hall meeting is part of a larger feasibility study, which includes an online forum where stakeholders from government, business and the community are invited to share their opinions. This online forum is open from June 2 to Aug. 2, 2016. Once the feasibility study is complete, the findings will be posted publicly.

Green Energy Doors Open - Ottawa Region

Ontario Sustainable Energy Association
WHEN: Friday, September 9 - Sunday, September 11
WHERE: Ottawa region

Green Energy Doors Open is a province-wide showcase of individual, community, and commercial sustainable energy projects. The initiative aims to showcase advancements in the sector, demonstrating that Ontario is already on the path to building a 100% clean, sustainable energy system.

The event is free to participate in as a host and to attend. In 2015, the initiative featured more than 150 events in Ontario and Alberta with more than 5,000 attendees.

More info:

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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