Get some tips on living a zero-waste lifestyle, at our next presentation

Can you imagine reducing your household waste from one trash can to one 250 ml Mason jar every two weeks?

It can be done. Michelle Dunford, of Kemptville, will show how during her talk, "Practical Zero Waste Living," at the next Transition Brockville presentation, Sunday, June 23, 2 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library's program room.

Dunford, 32, her husband, 40, and their 2-year-old son have been using the 5 R's (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot) to achieve a 'zero waste' lifestyle this past year, while both work 8 a.m to 5 p.m. jobs. In the last 6 months, they have thrown out only one curbside can of garbage.

In her talk, she will explain simple, sustainable options for working families – options that are available locally and have the greatest impact in reducing waste. Examples are buying loose produce at the grocery store; buying pasta in a box instead of a plastic bag; bringing your own containers to Bulk Barn for dried goods.

She will also show how minimalism has helped them avoid unnecessary consumerism, and how adding more vegetarian options to their diet has saved them money and reduced their carbon footprint. 

Whether your desire is to slow global warming, reduce your plastic waste, minimize impact to wildlife habitats, or save money, Dunford's talk will help you make simple choices that lead to a more sustainable, less wasteful lifestyle.

This event is free and open to the public. Families are welcome. Refreshments are provided. Free parking is available in the public lot opposite the library, on Buell Street.


  • Last month's presentation

    Our second Green Drinks event drew about 20 people to the King's Lock Craft Distillery on May 26, the first warm and sunny Sunday afternoon of this cool, wet spring. After purchasing mixed drinks from the distillery or beer from the Windmill Brewery, located in the same building, everyone gathered at picnic tables in the distilling room to hear talks by Josh Biemond of Upper Canada Creamery, Rob Heuvel of King's Lock Craft Distillery, and Sean Lucey of Windmill Brewery.

    Biemond described his family's organic dairy farm, which produces organic milk pasteurized at the creamery and sold in glass bottles. Since the milk is not homogenized, the cream rises to the top, as in days long gone by. He says this milk is healthier for people and is especially good for those who can't easily digest homogenized milk. The milk is also used to make yogurt, frozen yogurt and cheese made with a special family recipe. Some of their products are available at Metro and Giant Tiger in Brockville, and in stores in Ottawa. Tours of the creamery can be arranged.

    Heuvel described how organic grains from the Biemond farm and other local farmers are used to make distilled spirits in their completely organic process. We learned that the spirits produced at King's Lock are winning awards in Canada and elsewhere. The fermented grains left over after the spirits are distilled can then be used by Biemond on his farm.

    Lucey's brewery makes brews with water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. There are no preservatives or additives. He explained that although his brewery is not producing organic beers, he benefits from being located on the distillery premises and helps share in the costs.

    Thanks to Rob Heuvel for hosting Green Drinks. Kudos to these three cooperating entrepreneurs for their environmentally responsible vision. We wish them continued success.

  • Dana Street Community Garden

    After more than a year of planning and preparation, the Dana Street Community Garden, located off Laurier Blvd. in the city's north end, is a reality on the ground. A group of volunteers and gardeners gathered the morning of May 25 to build ten raised beds with wood donated by Home Hardware and fill them with topsoil donated by Ken Miller Excavating and compost from the City. Children from St. John Bosco School, who will grow vegetables, herbs and flowers in four of the plots, sold tomato plants they'd started from seed to passersby. It was a great community effort. And now the planting has begun!

    Partners in establishing this second community garden in Brockville – the first is the Butler's Creek Community Garden, on North Augusta Rd. – are the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, St. John Bosco Catholic School, the City of Brockville, Transition Brockville, the Volunteer Centre, Gemmell's Garden Centre and community volunteers and gardeners.

    Two garden plots remain available at this time. Anyone interested in signing up for a 4'x8' plot ($15 per season) may call 613-345-5685 x2219 or write to

    Butler's Creek Community Garden: All plots at this community garden have been assigned for the 2019 growing season, but anyone wishing to be on the waiting list for a plot next year is invited to write to

  • Upcoming Transition events
    • Transition Brockville Steering Committee, Wednesday, July 3, 7:00 -9:00 pm, at the Royal Brock Retirement Living, 100 Stewart Blvd., Brockville. Anyone interested in becoming more involved with Transition initiatives is warmly invited to attend this meeting. Call 613-345-4020 for more information.
    • A Look at All-Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Cars, July 28, 2 pm, Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell St. Frank Ahern, owner of a Hyundai Ionic plug-in hybrid, will discuss the merits of each car type, followed by a look at five actual electric cars and an electric motorcycle in the parking lot across from the library. The vehicles' owners will be on hand to answer questions.
    • Culture Day in Brockville, Sat., Sept. 28, 10 am – 3 pm, King St. West. Transition Brockville will have a booth and will be signing people up for its next workshop (beeswax wraps and homemade laundry soap and other cleaning supplies) in partnership with the Brockville Public Library.
    • 100 Debates on the Environment, October 7. With an eye to ensuring environmental issues are in the forefront of the upcoming federal election, Transition Brockville, along with a number of local organizations and individuals in the riding, will be organizing an all-candidates debate focused solely on environmental policies and positions of the four major political parties. This initiative is part of the "100 Debates on the Environment" project, a non-partisan effort to organize all-candidate panels in 100 federal ridings across the country.
      If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity to help make this undertaking a success, or if you are a local organization, business or individual interested in joining the organizing committee, please contact Transition Brockville at


    Sustainable Kingston
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  • Revised environment motion passes
    Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 15 May 2019
    It's not a "right," exactly, but a "renewed commitment." Brockville council on Tuesday endorsed a "watered down" version of Coun. Cameron Wales's motion declaring the city's intention to consider the environment in its decision-making. Members of the planning and operations committee last week unanimously adopted a revised version of Wales's motion. City officials ran the motion by the city's solicitor before council voted on a final version Tuesday. Among the changes, the initial declaration …


  • Ottawa to ban single-use plastics as soon as 2021
    The Energy Mix / 09 June 2019
    The Trudeau government is planning to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, as part of a wider plastic pollution strategy set to be released today in coordinated announcements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, CBC revealed in an exclusive report late Sunday afternoon. The breaking news comes at a time when fossil companies are fretting about a mounting global backlash against plastic pollution, as public opinion coalesces into a …
  • Bank of Canada acknowledges climate-related risk
    National Observer / Carl Meyer / 16 May 2019
    The central bank listed climate change as one of six vulnerabilities in the Canadian financial system in a report released May 16. The report, called the Financial System Review, marks the first time the Bank of Canada has explored the issue in depth as part of its examination of risks to the nation’s financial stability. The Bank of Canada’s acknowledgement of climate-related risk in Thursday’s report is significant, given that it’s the institution that promotes …
  • Zeroing in on Emissions: Canada's Clean Power Pathways
    David Suzuki Foundation / Tom Green / May 2019
    This report undertakes an extensive review of global and Canadian decarbonization models and studies. It highlights ten technically feasible strategies, actions and considerations that a wide range of experts agree will be front and centre in any effective effort to zero out Canada's emissions by the middle of this century, as science on climate change says is required.


  • The Future is Rural on Go Green Radio
    Post Carbon Institute / Jason Bradford / 21 May 2019
    Dr. Jason Bradford, a farmer, biologist and board president of Post Carbon Institute, released a report earlier this spring called, The Future Is Rural: Food System Adaptations to the Great Simplification. In the report Dr. Bradford acknowledges that our modern food system is entirely unsustainable. But, he then takes the argument one step further and considers key, commonly overlooked factors that would logistically prevent simply replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy in order to …


  • Forget AC: Cool your home naturally
    Mother Earth News / Carol Venolia, Kelly Lerner / August/September 2007
    Space cooling and heating can account for up to 45 percent of your total home energy use every year, but there are numerous strategies you can employ to reduce cooling costs. For instance, a ceiling fan used in conjunction with air conditioning lets you raise the thermostat by as much as 4 degrees while maintaining the same comfort level in a room. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that each degree below 78 degrees on your thermostat will increase your air conditioning bill by 8 percent. …
  • Ready Set Rain Strategy
    Green Communities Canada / April 2019
    The Ready Set Rain Strategy was developed by Green Communities Canada with input from stakeholders from across the province. It maps out a vision for flood-resilient Ontario communities, along with ideas for moving more communities towards this vision. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting this project.…
  • Climate-savvy alternatives to lawns
    Mother Earth News / Sue Reed, Ginny Stoibolt / May 2019
    Churches, schools, businesses, municipalities, states, and other larger land-owners often possess huge swaths of unneeded and unused lawn. If home-owners can make a real difference by replacing most of the lawn on their own small properties, imagine the multiplied effect if land managers changed their status quo from large lawns to something else. We’d have less pollution, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, reduced stormwater overflow, and at the same time we’d have richer habitat, …

Composting Workshop

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
WHERE: REAL Deal Store and Environment Centre, 85 William Street West, Smiths Falls

Learn how to choose or build your own composter, collect your kitchen and garden waste, avoid problems, maintain your compost, use it in your garden, compost in winter ... and more! Instructor: David Hinks, Master Gardener, Gardening Programs Coordinator, Lanark County Food Bank.

Please preregister with Katie at or 613-983-3360. Cost: $5 payable on workshop day.

Pollinator Gardens

Brockville & District Horticultural Society
WHEN: June 24, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Wesleyan Church, 33 Central Avenue, Brockville

Learn about creating a pollinator garden from speaker Lise Bois, of Prince Edward County Horticultural Society. All welcome. $2.00 guest fee.

REAL Potluck supper and AGM

WHEN: Wednesday, June 26, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
WHERE: Smiths Falls Community Health Centre Kitchen, 2 Gould Street, Smiths Falls

6:00 Social
6:30 Potluck dinner provided by REAL
7:00 Guest speaker Nathaniel Giuffrida-Morris on Hemp vs Climate Change. Nathaniel will describe a plan for Smiths Falls to take a leading role in the fight against climate change, using a technology called hemp+BECCS.
7:30 AGM business. Financial report available in advance on request.

RSVP to Katie Hoffman at 613-983-3360 or

FAB Nature Camp

Frontenac Arch Biosphere
WHEN: Tuesday, July 2 - Friday, August 23
WHERE: Mac Johnson Wildlife Area and Lyn Valley Conservation Area

There will be a new nature camp for children aged five to 11 at the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area this summer, in addition to the camp at Lyn Valley Conservation Area. The first week of camp runs July 2-5 and the last week runs August 19-23. The camp will be at Mac Johnson on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at Lyn Valley on Tuesday and Thursday each week. The program incorporates science, geography, history, different cultural aspects, art and music. Each week is a different theme.

Campers can sign up for any number of weeks; each week is priced at $150, with the holiday-shortened four-day weeks priced at $120. Register online at

18th Annual Hidden Garden Tour

Yonge in Bloom
WHEN: Saturday, July 13, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Front of Yonge Township Falls

Rain or shine. A wide range of lovely gardens to explore between Rockport area and Mallorytown. Lunch at the Mallorytown Community Centre at 76 County Road 5 included in cost.

Tickets available at Purcell's Freshmart, the Brockville Tourism Office on Market Street, or by calling 613-923-5159. $15 in advance or $20 on the day.