Author: AnneD

Join the DECEMBER Food Eco‑Challenge

Enviro PageZero Waste Team  →  December Ecochallenge

It’s a beautiful idea to remind ourselves in December to feel gratitude for our food, and to be aware of food waste and the impact this has on our planet

Come join the Metro Vancouver Unitarian Food Ecochallenge in December by changing your habits and reducing food waste. Check-in to see how we’re lowering food waste during the challenge

*If you missed the start date, you can join any time. Just sign up below, or

eMail to connect with the Zero Waste Team

Food Waste in Canada

the facts

Graphic: Food Waste Facts in Canada, December Food Eco-Challenge

Sign up at → Drawdown Ecochallenge

Join anytime this December

The UCV Zero Waste team proposes December as a “love food / hate waste” month for Unitarians and friends, to set food-related goals and foster mutual support during a time of traditional feasting.

Our Zero Waste Team has for many years — indeed before “zero waste” was used as a term — coordinated an event to encourage people to resist the pull towards consumerism and waste during December.

We all need support when society pushes us towards purchases and activities that aren’t in alignment with our values.

Sunday, January 9, 2021, 1pm – Join Mary for the Ecochallenge Wrap‑Up on Zoom at

Sunday, November 28, 2020, 1pm – Join Mary on Zoom at to learn about setting goals related to food waste during December through the Drawdown Ecochallenge. The People’s Ecochallenge is a great platform to support us in setting goals and developing new habits.

Recommended links
Project Drawdown
Top 10 Vegan Holiday Recipes (Earthsave Canada)
Leftovers Recipes (National Zero Waste Council)
Youths Take Action Against Food Waste

Here are some of the food-related goals suggested in the Drawdown challenge

*The first three challenges are suggested for everyone who joins

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during Drawdown Ecochallenge because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food prep
I will enjoy _____ meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge
I will spend at least _____ minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates

I will use smaller plates and/or serve smaller portions when dishing out food

I will source _____ percent of my food from local producers each day. This could include signing up for a local CSA, buying from a farmers market, visiting a food co‑op, foraging with a local group, or growing my own ingredients

I will practice the 5 Rs — Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle — to reduce my waste more than I can with just recycling alone

I will visit or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean

I will tend to a garden, or prepare for one, each day using sustainable gardening practices

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding _____ cups of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day

Seth Klein on A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency

Poster: Seth Klein on climate emergency

UCV Dialogues
Mobilizing Faith and Spirit for the Climate Crisis

Seth Klein the author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency will be the featured guest speaker in the Sanctuary Thursday, Oct. 28th at 7pm.

This Special Event will be the first in a new UCV-organized series Mobilizing Faith and Spirit for the Climate Crisis.

This is one of our first events open for limited in-person seating in the Sanctuary. To attend in person, book your spot now.

All the events in this series, including the event on Oct. 28th with Seth Klein, will be livestreamed on Youtube.

About the Speaker

Seth Klein is the Team Lead and Director of Strategy of the Climate Emergency Unit (a 5-year project of the David Suzuki Institute that Seth launched in early 2021). Prior to that, he served for 22 years (1996-2018) as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is the author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (published in 2020) and writes a regular column for the National Observer.


UCV Enviro Team is Now a Member of the West Coast Climate Action Network

Enviro Page  →  Enviro Team now a member of …

Poster for Public Launch of the West Coast Climate Action Network

Join us at the Public Launch of the West Coast Climate Action Network Tuesday October 5th, at 7pm

Everyone Welcome

Register on eventbrite
Our Launch will be Live-streamed on YouTube
You can also watch our launch on Facebook
For more info click here

text image: A request. We would really value your help in promoting our launch. You can help us by doing the following

You can cut and paste this text

Guest Speakers, Musicians and Poets

Many thanks,

We need each other.

Come join us at our launch on Tuesday!

Guy Dauncey, Co-Chair

West Coast Climate Action Network

I am honoured to live on the traditional territory of the Stz’uminus and Snuneymuxw First Nations

Ladysmith, BC


Logo for West Coast Climate Action Network

Dialogue in Bee Time — May 20th is World Bee Day

Dialogue in Bee Time, photo of queen bumble bee

Bumble bee queen (Bombus sylvarum) on blueweed (Echium vulgare)
Photo Credit: Ivar Leidus
CC by SA 4.0

Dialogue in Bee Time

We revisit a talk given by Dr. Mark Winston on his book tentatively titled, Dialogue in Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive

Dialogue in Bee Time, photo of Mark Winston

Earth Day

April 22, 2012

Dr. Mark Winston

Guest speaker

Dr. Winston is recognized as the world’s leading expert on bees and pollination.

single quote

Bees are in trouble today. And bees have something to teach us. It’s about the resilience of nature, human hubris, and the limits to our human ability to manage climate change

According to Dr. Winston, there are over 20,000 species of wild bees, many hundred species of wild bees in Canada, and 57 species of wild bees in Vancouver. Wild bees nest in the ground, in twigs and in abandoned mouse dens. Honey bees (domesticated bees) were introduced to British Columbia in about 1857.

Dr. Winston says, honey bees are telling us we can only push things so far. Wild bees are telling us that diversity is good. Providing space for that diversity is to our human advantage. Bees are not the same as people. But like us bees are social and live in communities that interact with the nature around us. …

Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021

Friday Film Nights in May Asian Heritage Month 2021

Everyone Welcome from the Congregation and the Greater Community

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can watch the films below at your own convenience, just click on the video link. Then meet-up via Zoom on Fridays (7-8pm) for a lively discussion on:

May 7   — Chinese Cafe in Saskatchewan
May 14 — Chinese Musqueam Stories
May 21 — Ru-Tsu
May 28 — Asian Comedy Night

image of restaurant interior by Karen Tam

Above: Art Installation Gold Mountain Restaurant Montagne d’Or by Karen Tam

Chinese Restaurants: Episode 12

  New Outlook Cafe (26.47 MINS)

Jim Kook came to Canada as a “paper son” and ran a cafe in the Prairie town of Outlook Saskatchewan for 40 years. When he passed away 5,000 people came to his funeral.

Q&A via Zoom on May 7th (7-8pm)

Producer and director Cheuk Kwan will join us from Toronto

Trilogy: Chinese Musqueam Stories


Honouring Musqueam elder Larry Grant, his parents and the Grant family history. His mother Agnes Grant was the last fluent-speaker of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language in their community. His father Hong Tim Hing emigrated, in 1920, as a young teen from a village in southern China to Vancouver, BC, on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people, where he worked at a market garden on Musqueam Reserve #2 in Point Grey

  CBC Gem: All Our Father’s Relations

(43:39 MINS)
We follow three generations of the Chinese-Musqueam Grant family on their first visit to their ancestral village in southern China

  Larry Grant Intertwining Cultures

(11:22 MINS)
Elder Larry Grant was born premature on a hop field in Agassiz. In this film he discusses his premature birth, the Chinese market gardeners on the Musqueam Reserve dating back to the early 20th century, and his memories of their farms

  Larry Grant Not Belonging

(11:03 MINS)
Elder Larry Grant shares the story of his family and his experiences being of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry


Above: Hand drawn map of the historic Chinese market gardens on Musqueam Reserve #2. The Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club* is located on land immediately east of the former market gardens

*4300 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver BC

Q&A via Zoom May 14th 7-8pm

Guest Panelists

Howard Grant, Wade Grant and Sarah Ling


Asian Heritage Month Resource List

A list of resources for Asian Heritage Month suggested by the UCV BIPOC Caucus

UCV Friday Night Films during Asian Heritage Month

Friday Night Films 7-8pm, May 2021

Training workshop

hollaback! Bystander Intervention (free, one hour)

Books and Writers

Recommended by Meena:

Recommended by Cynthia:

  • The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A voice from Gold Mountain, the only known first person account by a Chinese worker on the construction of the CPR. Edited by David McIlwraith, diary translated by granddaughter Wanda Joy Hoe. 2020
  • Bird Tracks in the Air, 2021.By Profs Jan Walls and Yvonne Walls, renowned scholars of Chinese language and literature. The book is composed of the translated poems of revered poet and political reformer Wang Anshi, whose was committed to compassion and social justice ( a comparative study with Unitarian 7 principles). Virtual book launch with both authors

Recommended by Megumi:

Recommended by Glenn:

  • A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry. This is my favourite novel about India and one of my favourite novels by living writers
  • The God of Small Things and My Seditious Heart, Arundhati Roy. The second book is Roy’s recently published collection of nonfiction
  • Imaginary Homelands, Salman Rushdie. Though it is not exclusively about South Asia, I really enjoyed this collection of essays and journals
  • Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje. This is a memoir about O’s family’s life in Sri Lanka. I found it to contain his most charming writing


  • Keeping Love Close, The New York Times — Beautiful article and photographs of Asian love in a time of hate. Asian and Asian-American photographers show what love looks like

Video suggestions


Asian Canadian community organizations fighting for social justice and equality

Cultural and Historical societies

Arts and Culture resources

Asian Heritage Month: image of Vietnamese blue dragon

Vietnamese Blue Dragon by Goran tek-en
CC By SA 4.0

Demand the BC government implement a new approach to forest management

Above: Caycuse watershed, before and after clearcut by the Teal-Jones Group

Credits: All photos in this story by TJ Watt

In May, 2019, Andrea Inness from the Ancient Forest Alliance spoke at the First Sunday Forum. She talked about the critical need for legislation to protect BC’s remaining ancient forests.

The Enviro Team followed up with a letter writing campaign to save our ancient trees, urging the BC Forests Minister to work with First Nations to implement a science-based Old-Growth Protection Act.

March 2021, we bring an update from the frontlines of BC’s old‑growth forests.

Photo: Caycuse watershed before and after clearcut

Above: Before and after the clearcut in the Caycuse watershed

Three environmental NGOs give the Province’s “new” approach to old‑growth management a failing grade.

In the mean time, activists protecting ancient cedars at Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew, prepare for civil disobedience.

What You Can Do to Help

Hold the BC government to its promise to implement the recommendations set out in A New Future for Ancient Forests

Call Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Katrine Conroy. Demand they halt logging in at-risk ancient forests across the Province

250-387-1715      BC Premier John Horgan

250-387-6240      BC Forests Minister Katrine Conroy

1-800-663-7867    Toll-free Government of British Columbia


Above: Massive tree stump after a clearcut in the Caycuse watershed

Eulogy for Ancient Trees

single quote

It was truly an incredible and unique grove. I was stunned by the sheer number of monumental red cedars, one after another, on this gentle mountain slope — TJ Watt

In April 2020, photographer TJ Watt documented an ancient grove in the Caycuse watershed. He returned later that year to photograph the same area after it was clearcut.

The Caycuse watershed — located southwest of Cowichan Lake in the traditional territory of the Ditidaht First Nation — hosts some of the grandest forests on southern Vancouver Island.

“It was truly an incredible and unique grove. I was stunned by the sheer number of monumental red cedars, one after another, on this gentle mountain slope,” said Watt.

“Giant cedars like these have immense ecological value, particularly as wildlife habitat, and important tourism and First Nations cultural value,” he continued.

“Yet the BC government continues to allow irreplaceable, centuries-old trees to be high-graded for short-term gain.”


Above: Roads are being built into the old growth forest adjacent to the clearcut near Haddon Creek in the Caycuse watershed

Dateline: July 17, 2019

The BC Government appoints a panel of two independent foresters, Garry Merkel and Al Gorley, to conduct an Old Growth Strategic Review on the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old-growth trees and forests.

Dateline: April 2020

After extensive public engagement, Merkel and Gorley submit their report to the Province.

The report titled A New Future for Ancient Forests makes 14 recommendations to be phased in over three years.

Dateline: Hazelton BC, September 11, 2020

The BC government announces a “new approach” to ancient forests based on recommendations from the old-growth review panel.

Initial actions include:

  • engaging the full involvement of Indigenous leaders and organizations, and
  • deferring old forest harvesting in nine areas throughout the province totaling 352,739 hectares as a first step

Dateline: Victoria BC, on unceded Lekwungen territories, March 11, 2020

Three environmental NGOs issue a Report Card on the progress of the new forest strategy. The BC government gets a failing grade.

According to the Report Card: To date, the government has only deferred about 3,800 hectares from harvesting — less than 1% of the most at-risk old-growth.

Dateline: March 21, 2021, Update on Fairy Creek blockade near Port Renfrew BC

Teal-Jones Group is seeking a court injunction to end the seven-month blockade by activists in the Fairy Creek watershed on traditional Pacheedaht territory. Fairy Creek is one of the last intact old-growth valleys on southern Vancouver Island. According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, massive ancient yellow cedars trees appear to be within a proposed cutblock. A two-day injunction hearing is scheduled to start March 25.

Activists at the Fairy Creek blockade are preparing for civil disobedience.

Above: Recent old-growth logging by Teal-Jones adjacent to the Fairy Creek Valley

Sandpiper SOS

Shorebirds and Port Expansion. Don’t miss this video on the Western Sandpiper.
Learn to love river slime.

photo of Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper | Photo Credit: Alan D. Wilson CC BY-SA 3.0

The Vancouver Port Authority plans to build a second container ship terminal in the Fraser River estuary, right on top of a major stopover for birds migrating along the Pacific flyway from Central and South America to their breeding grounds in the western Arctic.

The loss of the mud flats in the Fraser River estuary could lead to the extinction of the Western Sandpiper and other migratory birds that depend on nutrient rich biofilm — also known as river slime — an essential food source on their journey north.

(For more info see: Slime, Shorebirds, and a Scientific Mystery by Daniel Wood)

Don’t miss this video. Learn to love river slime!

I am Atl’ka7tsem Howe Sound

Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem / Howe Sound

For your viewing enjoyment. A video by Bob Turner — documentary film maker and former mayor of Bowen Island.

The video was featured on the Action EveningWhales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem / Howe Sound.

Finding Our Story Within Eco‑Spirituality

finding our story within eco-spirituality: photo of Reverend Lara Cowtan

Roots and Wings
Finding Our Story Within

Presentation by Rev Lara Cowtan at the
UUE Eco‑Spirituality Conference in Prague,
September 15th, 2018
Čapek Hall, Anenská 5, Prague 1 (Old Town)

Ecology and Spirituality
A Vision for Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism
in the 21st Century!

Our spiritual response to the environmental crisis can bring us to understand ourselves as part of the divine wholeness of the natural world, finding our self intertwined with the web of life in a way that enriches all life

1. Prague

eco-spirituality: photo of old city of Prague

3. Robin Wall Kimmerer

2. Neytiri and Jake’s avatar


Photo: Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photo: Nobert Capek

5. Norbert Capek