ecoCaledon

environmental citizens organization


The Great Gulp – caring for the environment at St John the Baptist School

Big gulp photo2On Tuesday April 5th, Eco team leader Betty de Groot and students from St John the Baptist School in Bolton participated in Big gulp photo1The Great Gulp! The school held an opening celebration of their newly installed Water Bottle Refilling Station, which they were able to acquire thanks to the Town of Caledon’s Green School Fund. The school has a long term goal of helping students and their families switch to using refillable bottles. To find out why this is so important, take a look at this you tube video:

http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-bottled-water/


Celebrate the International Year of the Pulse!

February 15/16

Those who follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) will get the standard American diseases and die the standard American death.

2016 has been designated as The International Year of the Pulse. Whenever I mention this fact, I get a blank look; or someone’s fingers will move to his wrist as if measuring the heartbeat. No, I smile, not that kind of pulse, rather, that broad genre of plant known as legumes that we eat as an edible seed from a pod: black beans, kidney beans, chick peas or lentils to name a few.

I was elated when I discovered that the United Nations had elevated the humble legume to food of the year, not only because the pulse is a staple of my vegan diet, but because it is one of the healthiest foods we can eat. It has twice as much protein as other whole grains and so becomes a perfect replacement for animal protein, limiting the saturated fat in our diet. Pulses/legumes are high in fibre, helping to decrease and control blood sugar levels and cholesterol. And they are high in B vitamins, as well as key minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.

All this in the lowly bean.

But there’s more, and this fact is every bit as critical. The pulse is super-healthy for the planet. Its carbon footprint is significantly lower than that of animal protein. 1 kg of legumes = 0.5 kg in CO2 equivalent vs. 1 kg of beef which produces 9.5 kg in CO2 equivalent.

And planting pulses leaves nitrogen behind in the soil – valuable nutrients for future crops. Growing them in rotation with other crops can disrupt disease and insect infestation cycles.

Speaking personally, I intend to extend my own expiry date, but more than that, to ensure that those last years will brim with vigor and glowing health. If you feel the same, ditch the SAD diet and get on board with healthy, plant based nutrition. For some great recipes check out: http://happygut.ca/vegan-winter-salads/.

To watch an inspiring TEDX Talk and get in the know about plant based eating, visit: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2015/06/16/tedx-talk-on-ditching-meat-one-of-the-most-watched/

Here’s to your good health!

Kathryn


The role of fish in the Northern BC rainforest

In Northern British Columbia, Canada’s coastal temperate rainforest stretches from above Vancouver all the way to Alaska. It houses immense amount of biodiversity and is the habitat for legendary large North American mammals, like wolves, wolverines and bears. Three types of bear, in fact, live here in the remote drizzly forest: The grizzly, the black bear and the illusive Kermode (spirit) bear. (The spirit bear is an all white black bear that is revered by locals). This forest is aptly called The Great Bear Rainforest. Bears are at its heart, and are a keystone species that help the forest function and grow.

Bear fish thousands salmon out of the rivers here each spawning season. Salmon carcasses are distributed, via the bears’ messy eating tactics, throughout the riparian zone of the forest and act as fertilizer for the ancient old-growth trees; delivering marine-derived nutrients like N15 into the soils. Some scientists theorize that the reason the trees in The Great Bear Rainforest grew to be so large and so old is because of the bears fertilizing the soil with their dinners each spawning season.

This is an example of the interconnectedness that exists in all ecosystems throughout Canada, and throughout the world. Species are integral pieces to a large puzzle of biodiversity, and removing a species can have catastrophic effects on an ecosystem. For example, if Grizzlies continue to be overhunted in British Columbia, or if the salmon population is prevented from spawning by an event such as an oil spill the vegetation of The Great Bear Rainforest will lose its nutrients and decline.

I encourage you to watch Spoil, a documentary that outlines the salmon-bear relationship in British Columbia, and let it inspire you to see the interconnectedness of all life in Canada.

spoil video image
SPOIL  A powerful award winning documentary on the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposed to stretch from the tar sands to the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast of British …
Haleigh Ryan

Citations:

Moola, F. (2015, October). What are B.C’s policies and laws? [Powerpoint].