Author: thegreengazette

By Erin Hitchcock – The devastation happening to our world is scary to say the least, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the darkness when so many others are working to illuminate it. People all over the world are pooling together to heal our planet, be it Greta Thunberg and the Fridays4Future movement that has led to millions of people calling for climate justice, or the individual seeking out ways to have a smaller footprint. Finding examples of hope in action helps propel us forward in creating the peaceful and healthy future we want for this world.…

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By Diandra Oliver – Growers and food producers from Vanderhoof to One Hundred Mile House are experiencing the exciting growth of the local foods industry with the development of Sprout Kitchen Regional Food Hub and Business Incubator. In July 2019, the City of Quesnel was awarded $500,000 from the Ministry of Agriculture to develop a small-scale food processing and innovation centre based in Quesnel. Launching in the fall of 2020, Sprout Kitchen will be a small-scale food processing and innovation hub that serves the area from Vanderhoof to One Hundred Mile House. While there is consumer demand to buy and…

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By Venta Rutkauskas – Definition of reprise 1[French, from Middle French] a: a musical repetition: (1): the repetition of the exposition preceding the development In the fall of 2017, I wrote “The Role of Art in Precarious Times” for The Green Gazette, motivated by a turbulent and fiery year. I sought guidance from artists in the past who had made art as an act of courage, to speak truth to power and expose oppression. Tanya Tagaq, James Baldwin, Banksy, and Nina Simone drove the piece, fierce symbols of art as action in response to injustice. In this reprise, there is…

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By Alejandro Frid New Society Publishing Book Review by Sage Birchwater – The latest book by Bowen Island marine ecologist Alejandro Frid carries a message of hope in a world fraught with worrying environmental uncertainty. Five years ago, Frid published his first book on a similar theme, A World For My Daughter: An Ecologist’s Search for Optimism (Caitlin Press 2015). There, the author’s brilliant analysis of the ecological stress facing the planet, measured from the relatively pristine environment of the Central Coast of British Columbia, suggested a dire future. David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants…

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By Ryan Elizabeth Cope – What makes for a great non-fiction read? Is it the way in which authors weave together story with fact, painting a picture that is equal parts thought-provoking and eye-opening? Or is it that the content so often strikes close to home, is so familiar? The below titles share these kinds of commonalities. Each is heaped full of information and is relevant in these changing times. From these titles, we are invited to imagine different ways of living, eating, and doing business. We’re given an opportunity to reconsider how battles are won and what the term…

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By David Suzuki – Island Scallops on Vancouver Island has relied on stable ocean conditions since 1989. But CEO Rob Saunders says those started changing a little over a decade ago. Measurements showed dropping pH levels, indicating increased acidity. “We started to notice our larvae weren’t swimming very well,” he said. They weren’t feeding. They were dying at a tremendous rate.” In 2013, acidity spiked near Qualicum Beach and wiped out 10 million scallops, forcing the company to rapidly adjust. Heightened acidity is a well-known consequence of CO2 dissolving into the ocean to form carbonic acid. “The focus for us…

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By Guy Dauncey – Many years ago, I lived in London, United Kingdom, in a house four us had bought together. Being self-employed, I was always on the look-out for work. My book The Unemployment Handbook had been published five years earlier, and I had acquired some skills, so I decided to set myself up as a Holistic Careers Counsellor, attracting clients by placing a brochure in a progressive church. By ‘holistic’ I meant work that would bring fulfilment and meaning. The phone started ringing, and I was in business. I would ask my client to write a two-or-three page…

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By Jim Cooperman – The arrival of the new decade that finally has a familiar ring provides an opportunity to reflect on the previous one, make predictions about the upcoming one, and compare it to its namesake: The Roaring Twenties. No doubt it will be as roaring as the last one, but more likely the roar will not be coming from the wild dance parties; instead it will emanate from wildfires, intense storms, rising social upheavals, and yet more wars. With so many countries now run by leaders seemingly populist—but increasingly authoritarian and in cahoots with the greedy elites—it is…

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By Dr. Chris R. Shepherd and Lalita Gomez – There are 13 species of otters, all belonging to the subfamily Lutrinae. These largely aquatic carnivores are found on all continents, with the exception of the Antarctic and Australia (there are no otter species found east of the Wallace Line that runs through Indonesia). Like many carnivores around the world, the future for many otter species is threatened due to direct and indirect anthropogenic activities. Otters are threatened by habitat degradation, water pollution, channelization of waterways, conflict with fish farmers, loss of prey species, and illegal and unsustainable exploitation for commercial…

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By Terri Smith – During my workshops I am often asked what the difference is between GM seed, hybrid seed, organic seed, heirloom or heritage seed, and open-pollinated seed. Here is my short answer. Genetically modified (or GM) seed has been altered in a lab so that the plant will have certain characteristics that misguided growers think they want (my bias is showing, I know). This seed is always patented. Crops from GM seeds may or may not produce food that is fit to eat; it seems the jury is still out on that one. There is an equal amount…

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By LeRae Haynes – Ranching with Heart and Vision from the Soil Up. Beautiful, nutrient-dense, healthy, and organically-fed meat is available from SW² Ranch, where owners Sherry and Shawn Wiebe practise regenerative agriculture, ensuring that the soil sustains the animals and the animals sustain the soil, contributing to a strong, diverse ecosystem. Located on Bells Lake Road near Horsefly, BC, the 220-acre ranch is surrounded by Crown land and produces organically-fed pasture pork and free-range chickens for both meat and eggs, as well as grass-fed-and-finished Highland cattle for meat and breeding stock. All the meat they sell is processed at…

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By Amy Quarry, Owner, Long Table Grocery — “The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is look underfoot You are always nearer to the divine and true sources of your power than you think The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive The great opportunity is where you are Do not despise your own place and hour Every place is under the stars Every place is the centre of the world.” —John Burroughs This winter marks 18 years since I returned to Quesnel after living away in the city, and every year I find myself reckoning with…

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By Al-Lisa McKay — I don’t know what you did for New Year’s eve, but I found myself cuddled up to a box of tissues and crying my eyes out watching displaced kangaroos, koalas, and bats get bandaged up from severe burns as wildfires raged across the beautiful gem of Australia. I felt so helpless and had a deep yearning to find a way to be of service. I sent out a message on the Australian Animal Rescue Facebook page, enquiring about the possibility of there being an existing Canadian page working on behalf of Australia’s aid, and to my…

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By Terri Smith – So much of Kate Patterson and Elliott Morton’s story of becoming farmers so closely mirrors my own that I’m afraid I kept interrupting my interview with them to exclaim and tell them bits of my own story. As with many of us millennials, Patterson’s awareness of the dire state of our planet was with her for as long as she can remember. As early as elementary school those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s saw how bleak our future would be if humankind continued its current path. We were all taught the…

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By Oliver Berger — We are slowly beginning to understand the value of treating the life under the surface of the ground we walk on with a bit more respect. In late January, the Young Agrarians along with the Cattlemen’s Association held a seminar at Thompson’s River University, Williams Lake Campus with this exact topic in mind: soil health. At a balmy -30 degrees C outside there was a great turnout. Farmers, ranchers, composters, and eager soil geeks from around the region gathered to soak up everything we could. Speakers came from across British Columbia, Manitoba, and even the United…

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By Jessica Kirby — Since 2004, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released an annual list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15—produce items that contain the highest and lowest concentrations of pesticides. The purpose is to promote the value of shopping organically with a specific focus on balance. “The Dirty Dozen is a list of products we recommend buying organically,” EWG says. “We believe the Clean 15 are the safest foods to buy conventionally. EWG recommends buying organic whenever possible—reducing your exposure to pesticides is a smart move and buying organic sends a message that you support environmentally friendly…

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By Jessica Kirby — “I don’t think we have the option of despair. Hope is a duty. It is something we cultivate with daily consciousness through our actions.” —Vandana Shiva, environmental activist There are more than 1,000 seed vaults around the world—places where natural and heirloom seeds are stored, saved, and studied in a global effort to preserve them. They are both a symbol of hope and of worry, but most importantly, they introduce tangible acknowledgement of the importance of biodiversity. Seeds vaults are as diverse as their regions. The Millennium Seed Bank Project, located at the Royal Botanical Gardens,…

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By Brianna van de Wijngaard, Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society — Every year, UN-Water promotes the international World Water Day campaign. World Water Day is like National Lima Bean Respect Day or National Ballpoint Pen Day, but a lot more important (no disrespect to lima beans). The theme this year is water and climate change: like so many initiatives in the last year, the focus on curbing or minimizing climate change impacts is top of mind for environmental and human rights organizations around the world. The policy brief posted on the UN-Water website summarizes the relationship between climate change mitigation measures…

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By Ron Young — “Don’t doubt it’s you.” These words from a recent soundtrack Elon Musk released seem like some really good advice for the beginning of this decade filled with uncertainty, doubt, transformation of our social norms, and mind-numbing onslaught of disinformation. It’s even more striking that these words of wisdom are coming from a man who is literally changing the world we live in by trusting his vibe and acting on his beliefs. Many of the companies he founded or co-founded are household names: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla. Musk’s stated goals are to change the world and humanity (including)…

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