Category: Environment

Doctrine of Discovery & Terra Nullius Forum Recording

Thank you to everyone who came on Nov 20th to attend our first forum on the topic of the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.

Members of the IPA, Environment, Social Justice and Truth and Reconciliation teams joined together to organize and facilitate this forum. They were inspired by Bruce McIvor’s talk, and his book, Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It,  to educate themselves about The Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.

They discovered that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on all religious denominations and faith groups to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius, and that the UUA and many Canadian churches had repudiated this doctrine – including the Anglican Church of Canada and the Catholic Bishops.  They planned this forum to start the the important conversation as to whether UCV might want to  join in denouncing this doctrine.

 

Q&A transcript – Nov 20 Forum

Please contact any of these UCV members if you would like to be involved in future discussions: yvonnemarcus@gmail.com, lesliekemp76@gmail.com, emdunn3@gmail.com

Holiday Advice from Zero Waste Team

Zero Waste Forum November 27, 2022

Create Memories Not Garbage from Metro Vancouver

http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/solid-waste/reduction-reuse/create-memories/

Gift suggestions:

http://www.metrovancouver.org/christmas/memory-maker

 

Forum will be linked here.

The Christmas Pledge

Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to…
* Remember those people who truly need my gifts
* Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
* Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
* Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
* Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth

 

Free Study Guide
A study guide to use with the book (Copyright ©1991 by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli) is available for free online.

 

Contact zerowasteunitarian@gmail.com for more information

 

 

 

 

 

 

UnPlug the Christmas Machine

 

 

Tips for Reducing Food Waste this Festive Season

Enviro Page  →  Zero Waste Team  →  Reducing Food Waste

Laura Trotta: “Every time we throw food in the bin we’re not just wasting our money. We’re discarding the vast amounts of resources, energy and water that it took to produce, process, store, refrigerate, transport and cook the food.

Reducing food waste: photo of a vegan dish

Humous with veggies, orange segments and nigella seeds / Credit: Unsplash

Reducing food waste is one of the top five solutions to climate change listed in the New York Times bestseller “Drawdown…” While animal agriculture creates an estimated 18% of greenhouse gas emissions.

As we move through December and into the New Year, let’s remember to reduce food waste and to include vegan and vegetarian dishes in our Winter season feasting.

Suggested Links

Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes

Food and Climate Action

Foraging for Wild Mushrooms in Maple Ridge

photo

photo

reducing food waste: photo of mushroom hunters in a Maple Ridge forest

reducing food waste: photo of mushroom hunters in a Maple Ridge forest

Credit: Slow Food Vancouver

In the photos above, we find a group of friends engaging in an ancient (even timeless) human activity …foraging for mushrooms in a forest. They’re members of the Vancouver chapter of the Slow Food movement.

You might ask: What is Slow Food?

Slow Food is a global movement that pushes back against fast food and industrialized food systems. Its mission includes defending local food traditions, promoting artisanal foods and preserving food biodiversity.

The movement calls for tackling the climate crisis through the adoption of environmentally-friendly practices along all stages of the food supply chain, following a seed-to-landfill trajectory.

A brief foray into the shameful state of food waste in Canada today

At the intersection of food, conviviality, agriculture, social justice and everyday climate action … we conclude with a brief foray into the shameful state of food waste in Canada today.

According to Second Harvest: Each year, nearly 60% of all food produced in Canada is lost or wasted. That’s 35.5 tonnes of food, or nearly $50 billion, lost annually. Furthermore, organic material in landfills produces methane gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide emissions.

Nova Scotia farmer Richard Melvin reluctantly throws away enough cauliflower to feed a province. Despite being “perfectly good to eat,” up to 40 per cent of his 36 hectares of cauliflower gets plowed back into the ground each year. He’s looking for financial help to give surplus crops to food-insecure Canadians.

photo of a farmer in field holding heads of cauliflower in each hand

Credit: Jacqueline Melvin

photo of worker tossing produce into a huge pile of wasted fruits and vegetables

Credit: Ben Nelms/Reuters

In Langley BC, a worker dumps “pre-consumer food waste” which is fed to black soldier fly larvae to produce animal feed, at Enterra Feed Corporation.

(Edible insects are promoted as a solution to future global food shortages. But critics argue that black soldier fly farming is not an ideal solution for global food waste because it entrenches industrial animal agriculture and diverts attention from deeper food systems transformation.)

Simon Fraser University food researcher Tammara Soma says blame the system for food waste on BC farms and not the farmer. The main problems include shoppers who won’t buy imperfect fruits and veggies, a global food system that creates rock-bottom prices for produce, a decline in local food processors, and a lack of incentives to give away surplus food.

Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau would not answer the question when asked if Ottawa would consider funding to help farmers salvage crops that would otherwise go wasted.


Food Waste in Canada

The Facts

December food eco-challenge: graphic on food waste in Canada width=
December food eco-challenge: graphic on food waste in Canada

Top

Join the People’s EcoChallenge Oct 5—26, 2022

👫🌎 welcome

The People’s Ecochallenge is a 21-day challenge to take action for a better shared future. From October 5 – October 26, you commit to trying and doing new things. Fun actions encourage new habits. Small steps lead to big change. Together, we build a sustainable world and a healthy planet.

The People’s Ecochallenge gamifies behaviour change and makes your impacts measurable! Think about and act on proven soutions through 100+ actions across nine categories.

Ecochallenge is free to join and everyone is welcome. Join our BC Unitarians team.

Go to vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste for more posts and upcoming events

 

ZW Blog 1 – Recycling Masks and Making Compost

A quick audit check confirmed that only masks were in the box and not other garbage

ZW at UCV Blog Post 1 –
Recycling Masks and Creating Good Compost

If you  haven’t yet noticed, it but thanks to Karen Bartlett and Yvonne Marcus, we have a box where you can deposit used face masks. And yes, you can bring ones from home and add them. We’ve already filled one box and with congregational administrator, Casey’s, support, Karen is prepared to continue donating the cost and organizing getting a new box when one is full. It’s just inside Hewett Hall.

Karen says, “Thank you to Casey for being the point person to pass along the information when the box was ¾ full, giving us time to organize the new box.

Also thanks to everyone who is using the box. A quick audit check confirmed that only masks were in the box and not other garbage.”

You Can Do It! We Can Help!

Karen (and the ZW team) want to share this as a good example that anyone at UCV can take on a small project and “make it so.”

Here are some quotes found by googling “zero waste quotations” that were read at the start of our meeting. The theme is “just do it”! Or as Home Hardware says: You can do it. We can help

The world is changed by your example not by your opinion.

To do good you actually have to do something.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

Waste is a design flaw.

If you have an idea related to zero waste and want to know how to go about it and who you might need to check in with, we’d be *very* happy to lend support!

It looks a little gross, but I guarantee that the red wriggler worms will appreciate this soup!

Compost bins. We’re about to enter “peak dry leaves” season when our stalwart gardeners rake up the barrels and barrels full of leaves.  As well as the bins for organic waste that go to the city, we have 6 round black bins with some hardy red wriggler worms in them that can, with a little help, create “black gold” compost for our gardens.  Mary Bennett has been chief compost enthusiast and worker, but got behind during the time we weren’t regularly meeting in person. We need your help to get the red wrigglers healthy and working again, and the key thing is they need some food (vegetable and fruit scraps especially, although they seem to love their coffee!) and, even more importantly, water.

Our team are all going to take turns taking out the green counter top bin in Hewett Centre on Sundays. A quick way to add moisture, is to fill it 2/3 or so full with water before taking out. (Full might make it difficult to walk easily without spilling). As well, we’re going to make a concerted effort over next month or two (before the damp weather returns) to regularly fill one of the tall white containers near Hitschmanova entrance with water and add to the bins.

Right now it’s very dry, so if you can help, you’ll find you’ll need to pour in slowly or add 1/4 of a bucketful to each of 4 bins.  You can do this any time you’re on site.

No meat or bones, but the red wrigglers are ok with napkins, coffee filters, (most) tea bags.

(Speaking of which, let’s not use the silky ones, ok?)

The black round bins are on the Fremlin (east) side adjacent to the lane. There’s one right near the city waste bins as well.

 

 

 

Cathy and Rosemary added some water to all the bins. (But they still need more. Please help. The worms, and the earth, will thank you.)
Mary ready to dump the bin from the office, having added water to help provide a drink to our thirsty red wriggler worms.
Step 2 – just dump in. If you had some fruit and vegetable waste and are able to add some of the dried leaves around the bins to cover that will help keep rodent-activity down.

More information about our Zero Waste (part of Enviro Team) Circle can be found here.

vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste

Zero Waste

 

UU Wellspring–spiritual deepening for the UU soul

A group of twelve Vancouver Unitarian members and friends, new and old, formed our first UU Wellspring small group last year. It was a deep, transforming experience for many of us. We are forming new cohorts this fall with the intent to spread the joy of deep personal connection, search for meaning, and spiritual practice development.

Participants in UU Wellspring find spiritual transformation as they explore the historical and theological roots of Unitarian Universalism, reflect on their own spiritual understandings, and engage in spiritual practice. Participants often form deep and lasting connections with one another.

We are including an eight-session, less homework intense, program for young adults and a six-session program to launch the UU Wellspring Reads: Sacred Earth program, a series of sessions designed around the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, combined with the book The Sustainable Soul by Rebecca James Hecking, and additional readings and videos.

The five spokes of UU Wellspring small groups

  • Deep listening in a small group
  • Daily spiritual practice
  • Spiritual companionship
  • Deeper understanding of Unitarian and UU history and theology
  • Living your convictions

Sources: First Year UU Wellspring Program

UU Wellspring Sources is a unique 10-month small group program offered in a multi-platform setting. The twice a month, 2-hour sessions offer participants an opportunity for spiritual deepening that leads to more joyful living, increased confidence in Unitarian identity, and faithful justice making in their lives and in their communities.

Sources begins with a start-up retreat on October 5, 6-9 pm and meets 2 times a month October through the middle of June.

Wellspring Reads: Sacred Earth

person sitting alone on a large stone at the edge of a pool of water in the forest
photo: uuwellspring.org

Sacred Earth is the first program in “UU Wellspring Reads,” six-session programs that provide foundational experience that are dear to Unitarian Universalists’ hearts. Sacred Earth combines the wisdom of Indigenous understandings of reciprocity with the sacred earth, and with spiritual practices that connect our spirit to nature. The experiences, reflections and discussions strive to engage participants deeply in the web of life and your Unitarian Universalist faith.

Our Sacred Earth offering is facilitated by UCV member Martha Saunders. Martha is a retired university lecturer in Religious Studies with a long-time interest in eco-spirituality.

UU Wellspring for Young Adults (UUW-YAH!)

poster of the Earth from outerspace and the caption "The wide, wide world of Spiritual Practices
photo: uuwellspring.org

Connecting to Inner Beliefs

UU Wellspring for Young Adults is designed for a cohort close in age, 18-29 or 25-35 for example. It is a chance to ask the big questions in life and reflect on what is deeply important to you. Each 60 to 90-minute session begins with a check in and sharing of spiritual practices. The session source is introduced and explored through videos, short readings and sharing.

Connecting to the Great Beyond

As Unitarians and UUs we don’t always talk about spirituality and UUW-YAH! Gives you a chance to wonder how our souls are connected to the great beyond as we explore our six Unitarian Universalist Sources.

Connecting to Peaceful Practices

You’ll have a chance to try out spiritual practices, which can simply be choosing an intention, such as gratitude, and thinking about it as you carry out an activity. For example, you might choose to attend a class, a daily task, or work with gratitude.

Join In

This 8-session series can be offered as either a fall or spring session meeting bi-weekly or October to May meeting monthly. Online or in-person.

  • Read the overview of UUW-YAH! here
  • Sign-up for your preferred meeting style at: ucv.im/UUW-YAH
  • Email Kiersten with any questions: dre@vancouverunitarians.ca

Zero Waste Book Group

The BC Zero Waste Team has started a monthly one-hour zoom book club focused on books that relate to sustainability, zero waste etc.

join: https://groups.google.com/g/uu-zero-waste-books

Or send an email to uu-zero-waste-books+subscribe@googlegroups.com.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88090897070

Open group. Registration appreciated.

It is open to any Unitarians in BC or even beyond.

A reminder and link details will be sent to members of the googlegroup.

Go to vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste for more posts and upcoming events
Posted by Mary Bennett zerowasteunitarian@gmail.com for the Zero Waste Team

Past books have included

Saving Us by Katherine Hayhoe

The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis by Arno Kopecky

Zero Waste mini conference held at UCV: Plastic Free July – Ecochallenge

ZERO WASTE BLOG

by Vivian Davidson

On July 3, 2022, the UCV environment team (Zero Waste group) met at the Unitarian Centre of Vancouver where over 10 people met in person and took in a varied Zoom Eco mini-conference with the input of other Unitarian Congregations, Beacon, North Shore and South Fraser.

Vancouver Unitarian Mary Bennett was moderator and time-keeper and did a very eloquent Chalice lighting with reading from Joanna Macy’s book Active hope.

The theme was Plastic Free July – Ecochallenge.

From the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation Donelda Henderson spoke about vegetable gardening and community food sharing; Dianne Dilts discussed how she makes yogurt and avoids plastic yogurt containers by using her own glass containers.

From the North Shore Unitarians, Shelley Hrdlitschka discussed the use of laundry strips while Shelley discussed compostable containers used by farmers. Barbara Kroon gave a very informative chat about home cleaning products and information about cornstarch containers.

And of course, getting to the source of where we buy products, the grocery store is an area where a lot of lobbying has to take place. So, to lead that discussion Teresa Morton from Beacon Unitarian Church shared a success story about Canadian Plastics Pact and the UN Plastics Pollution Treaty.

Towards the end of the event Vivian entertained a few questions about Reusable, single-use containers and cups as her video (link) was shared to those who RSVP’d to the meeting so they could formulate ideas and any questions they had. Several people in person and on Zoom shared how they take actions every day to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic items like taking their reusable mugs to cafes and bags to the grocery store.

Mary Bennett rounded up the event by sharing her use of ‘pee wipes’ and how it is much easier and user-friendly once one gets over the ‘oddity’ of it. It was mentioned by an in-person attendee that toilet paper is used mostly in Western countries but Asia and other parts of the world do not rely on it.

Other issues were discussed in conversations  including eating insects as a sustainable protein source; reducing one’s transporting foot print by commuting, biking and ride-sharing; being involved with community gardening and more ‘connected to nature’ and very importantly, making sure to encourage friends and family as much as possible by sharing tips, updates and one’s own habits to remind others that change is not hard and often simple solution go a long way to making our world more sustainable.

Links and resources from the meeting:

More information from Plastic Free July here:

https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

One-minute video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByayHG5CscE

Zero Waste Unitarian group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/zerowasteunitarian/

David Suzuki Queen of Green diy: https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/queen-of-green-green-cleaning-recipes.pdf

Canada Plastics Pact: https://plasticspact.ca/

Go to vancouverunitarians.ca/zero-waste for more posts and upcoming events

 

Contact zerowasteucv@gmail.com if you have questions or want to get involved.

 

Wild Salmon Action Team – April updates

WSAT announcements Apr 2022

Fish Farm Removal Strategy Needed! *New*

Sponsored by the Wild Salmon Action Team

Our federal government has taken some actions to remove wild salmon-killing fish farms from the B.C. coast, but there is still no overall strategy for removing them all by 2025 as promised.  The deadline of June 2022 for relicensing the farms, or not, offers a golden opportunity to announce that overall removal strategy.

Send a letter to Minister Joyce Murray demanding they announce a strategy for fulfilling the promise to remove all floating, open-net fish farms from the B.C. coast by 2025.

https://wildsalmonaction.ca/strategy/

Check out the WSAT website for more information! 

April updates from the Wild Salmon Action Team

Fish Farm Removal Strategy Needed! *New*

Sponsored by the Wild Salmon Action Team

Our federal government has taken some actions to remove wild salmon-killing fish farms from the B.C. coast, but there is still no overall strategy for removing them all by 2025 as promised.  The deadline of June 2022 for relicensing the farms, or not, offers a golden opportunity to announce that overall removal strategy.

Send a letter to Minister Joyce Murray demanding they announce a strategy for fulfilling the promise to remove all floating, open-net fish farms from the B.C. coast by 2025.

https://wildsalmonaction.ca/strategy/

Your letter will make a difference!

 

Mass email letter to signers of CPPIB letter

Re: Help save B.C. wild salmon – remove all fish farms!

Dear ______,

Thank you for writing to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board asking them to sell all their shares in Mowi, the Norwegian multi-national salmon-farming corporation with extensive operations in B.C. and Atlantic Canada!  Yours was one of the almost 1100 letters received by the CPPIB, so far.  The Wild Salmon Action Team has briefly paused that campaign as we launch another.

Our federal government has taken some actions to remove wild salmon-killing fish farms from the B.C. coast, but there is still no overall strategy for removing them all by 2025 as promised.  The deadline of June 2022 for relicensing the farms, or not, offers a golden opportunity to announce that overall removal strategy.

Send a letter to Minister Joyce Murray demanding they announce a strategy for fulfilling the promise to remove all floating, open-net fish farms from the B.C. coast by 2025.

https://wildsalmonaction.ca/strategy/

Your letter will make a difference!

Best regards,

Wild Salmon Action Team

Visit the Wild Salmon Action Team website for more information about their work.