Dear Green Neighbours
April showers bring May flowers - and of course Earth Day and Earth Week. In addition to promoting big changes, try one of the many ways of connecting with the (small 'e') earth - Random Acts of Green's Mother Earth Emoji Challenge (one small thing each day make the Earth smile), sustainable gardening, or just a walk in nature.
Green 11 is a volunteer driven community group. If there is a green initiative that you are interested in starting and recruiting volunteers for, please get in touch with us and we will see how we can support you. If you are wondering if people in Ward 11 are working on a particular green project, get in touch with us and we might be able to point you in the right direction.
Green 11 Monthly Meeting
Saturday, April 23, 4-6 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Friday, April 23, 4-6 p.m. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Support a just recovery for public transit
Funding for the day-to-day operations of buses, light rail and subways is crucial if Canada is to address the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate. The Keep Transit Moving coalition is calling for a just recovery for public transit in the lead up to the federal budget, to address COVID and climate, and is looking for support at the organizational level.
Review the letter to Finance Minister Freeland asking her to include funds for transit operations in her upcoming federal budget and sign your organization on by April 5.
Call on the Federal Government to Invest in a Green and Just Recovery - Join the One Earth One Voice Campaign
The federal government is making significant investments to help the Canadian economy bounce back from the effects of COVID-19. Individual Canadians and organizations across the country are asking that these investments prioritize Canada’s shift towards a stronger, equitable, and more sustainable society – this means working to reverse climate change and species and habitat loss. Find out more about what a Green and Just Recovery looks like and join the One Earth One Voice Campaign here
The federal government is making significant investments to help the Canadian economy bounce back from the effects of COVID-19. Demand that these investments prioritize Canada’s shift towards a stronger, equitable, and more sustainable society – this means working to reverse climate change and species and habitat loss
Phase out bottled water permits
The Ontario government is currently finalizing its regulatory framework for issuing new bottled water-taking permits. Consider signing the Council of Canadians petition asking the Ontario government to make the four-year-long moratorium on issuing new permits permanent, and to phase out bottled water permits.
Put an end to long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations reserves
The federal government won't meet its goal to lift all boil-water advisories for several years, an audit report by the Auditor General of Canada finds. The federal government was never on track to meet its campaign promise to end all long-term on-reserve drinking water advisories by March 2021, the audit found. Drinking water advisories have remained a constant in many communities, with almost half outstanding for over 10 years. 60 remained in effect in 41 First Nations communities as of November 2020, and at the moment some communities won't be able to get clean water from their taps for many years. Ask the federal government to fulfill their promise made in 2015 to put an end to all long-term drinking water advisories in all First Nations: check out this petition by the Council of Canadians.
Don't Let The Plastics Lobby Stop Action On Plastic Pollution
Last fall, the government announced it will add plastics to the Toxic Substance List under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). It also released a list of six single-use plastic items it’s considering banning: grocery bags, straws, cutlery, six-pack rings, some takeout containers, and stir sticks. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. Already, the plastics industry is challenging the validity of the CEPA-listing and is lobbying to block the proposed ban on problematic single-use plastic items.
We can’t let our environment be controlled by special interests. Canada needs to transition to a circular economy, where reduce, reuse, and repair are prioritized, and problematic single-use plastics are banned. Consider signing the petition telling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Wilkinson there is no more time to waste. It's time to act on plastics now!
Green Online Events and Webinars
Massey Cities Summit: Constitutional Space for Cities
April 6 - 8
The Massey Cities Summit 2021 invites all of us to reimagine the municipal role in Canadian federalism, while also acknowledging the constitutional rights of First Nations. The full agenda is available here
The Wow (and How) of Shareholder Season: A Guide for Activists
Wednesday, April 7th 3:00 p.m.
Join Stop the Money Pipeline to learn how you can engage in shareholder season! Every Spring, huge corporations open their doors to their investors, especially their largest investors—huge asset managers like BlackRock and Vanguard. Their investors tell them what to do. And they must respond. Come learn how grassroots pressure can have an outsized impact on moving big corporations to protect human rights and to decarbonize meaningfully and rapidly. No need to “get finance” to participate. Speakers include:
- Ericka Taylor, Take on Wall Street
- Eli Kasargod-Staub, Majority Action
- Pat Tomino, Zevin Asset Management
- Moira Birss, Amazon Watch
- Gaurav Madan, Friends of the Earth
Creative Solutions for a New World Climate & Artists Series
alternating Wednesdays, April 7 - May 19, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Join Season 3 of this free Climate and the Arts webinar series continuing every second Wednesday until May 19th. Your one-time registration signs you up for the entire Season 3 webinar series and to receive free video replays of each presentation.Please visit www.CreativelyUnited.org to learn more about upcoming presentations. Register here
TRCA Offers Free Online Spring Activities
- Apr 13 How to Plan a Successful Garden
- Apr 14 Sustainable Balcony Gardening
- Apr 21 Composting at Home
- Apr 22 Gardening in a Changing Climate
- Apr 24 Planning Your Community Garden Plot
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations Training Series
Monday, April 12
ClimateFast is hosting the last two in a series of four training webcasts on their Kitchen Table Climate Conversation model. If you are considering hosting or facilitating a conversation with your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, faith or other group, attend this series to learn more! Join others to tackle the challenge of talking about the climate crisis and grow the movement! It is recommended that you attend the full series. Registration for each training session is done separately. Find more information at the Climate Conversations website.
Register for April 12 – Collective Courage
The fourth and final webcast in the series explores how to tailor a conversation and focuses a little more deeply on the last part of the KTCC agenda, ways of working together, actions and solutions and supporting one another.
Women Resisting Extractivism Film Club | Session 3
Monday, April 12 at 8 pm
Join KAIROS’ MERE Hub for the third installment of its virtual film club on the gendered impacts of resource extraction. Entitled Ground Zero, this third session will be hosted by Beverly Longid of the international Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination & Liberation. Learn more and register
Motivational Interviewing Workshops with Enviromentum
Enviromentum's Mission is to empower environmental and social justice change leaders with evidence-based communications practices for cultivating change in their communities and to grow the capacity for individual self determination from micro to macro scale. Motivational Interviewing, or "MI", is the leading known approach to help others find change.
Many Motivational Interviewing learning opportunities are now available at enviromentum.org/calendar
- Intro Sessions - April 14 & 17
- Intermediate Series 6-session weekly series starting on Wednesday April 21, 6-8:30 p.m.
- MITI Coding 4-session series weekly starting on Tuesday, April 6, 6-8 p.m.
Training Summit for Fair Fares
Thursday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Get involved in the movement for accessible public transit! Register now for this skill-building training summit. Questions? Contact info @ ttcriders.ca. Learn more about TTCriders' plan to speak with hundreds of transit riders about the future of fares: ttcriders.ca/fairfareproject. Trainings will be interactive in breakout rooms. Learn more and register here
EECOM 2021 Exploring the Nature of Cities: Urban Environmental Education
With most of the world’s population living in urban areas, helping citizens understand their impact on their environments is key to making cities more sustainable and livable. EECOM 2021’s theme is well-timed to address growing concerns about the climate crisis. EECOM 2021 is being chaired by EcoSchools Canada, the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Sustainability Office. It will be based out of the University of Toronto. Read more about the conference here.
Earth Day is April 22
Join thousands of organizations as they call on the world to come together for three days of climate action, April 20-22. Learn how we can restore our Earth. Can’t wait until Earth day? Here are 51 Actions you can take today. Stay tuned for details on local Earth Day events closer to the date!
Climate Music Icarus Concert – What Does Global Heating Feel Like?
Tuesday, April 27, 7 p.m.
Dianne Saxe will be hosting another fascinating event in the Massey College series to build public support for strong climate action, called Massey is Missing COP 26. ClimateMusic, a US NGO, has commissioned powerful original music to help us hear and experience in our bodies what the climate crisis will feel like. Join us on Zoom for a sample of the music and an interview with the composer. There will be an opportunity for questions afterwards. Learn more here.
Recordings of most of the previous sessions are also available on the Massey College YouTube channel, including the February 18 Black Voices in Climate Action, and the March 8 conversations between Massey junior fellows, Dianne Saxe and senior curators of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Lake Ontario Evening on Eco-health
Wednesday, April 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a walk in nature? Time in green spaces not only improves our mental well-being, it has also been linked to a decreased incidence of health issues such as respiratory and heart conditions. Join this webinar to learn about the growing evidence of the benefits of healthy ecosystems on human health and well-being. You will discover the basics of eco-health, the science behind it, and even get a chance to practice it. Register here. Lake Ontario Evenings are a speaker series hosted by the Toronto and Region Remedial Action Plan. Events are free and open to the public.
Community News, Events and Resources
SURJ-TO Event - Ontario Federation of Labour Webinar Group Watch: Defund The Police - What The Heck Does That Mean?
Tuesday, April 6, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Standing Up for Racial Justice Toronto (SURJ-TO) will meet to watch parts of an Ontario Federation of Labour webinar titled "Defund the Police: What the Heck Does that Mean?" with Robyn Maynard, El Jones, and Sarah Jama. They will use this opportunity to talk about our personal stakes in defunding and the implications of how to organize for defunding across Toronto. You are invited to register and share/invite anyone! Especially people in your life who are always saying things like "what the heck does defund the police mean"? Register Here
Green News and Resources
Mother Earth's Emoji Challenge
Random Acts of Green's Mother Earth’s Emoji Challenge has one objective: Make Mother Earth feel loved. We know there are MANY reasons why Mother Earth may feel sad or angry. From causing plant and animal species to go extinct, to polluting waters, to filling oceans with plastics … We need more reasons to make Mother Earth feel loved. We are encouraging you to work through 20 Green-Acts this April. Register here to participate and get great ideas!
Fossil Banks No Thanks!
Since the Paris Accord the Big 5 Canadian banks have pumped nearly $500 BILLION (USD) into fossil fuel companies, undermining all of our hard work. Climate Pledge’s BankSwitch Campaign asks Canadians to contact their branch manager and let them know they will be taking their money elsewhere by Earth Day on April 22. Read more here: Despite calls for change, Canada's RBC is one of world's top bankers to fossil fuel industry Also check out the Fossil Banks Day of Action tool kit from Fridays for Future TO for ways to put the pressure on Canadian banks who fund fossil fuel projects. Let’s continue to pressure our government to respect Indigenous sovereignty and commit to real climate action by cancelling these projects.
Circular Innovation City Challenge
Toronto has joined New York City, Amsterdam, Glasgow, and Copenhagen as a partner in the Circular Innovation City Challenge. The challenge is a global call to action for innovators with digital and data-driven solutions that can help cities reduce their carbon footprint and become more circular. The challenge prize is a potential pilot project with a participating city and/or a business/community group that the city may be able to foster a connection with. Do you have a solution that can help businesses and people make the most of our resources? Submit your digital solution by April 23
Every Day Advocates
GreenPAC has launched a new initiative called Every Day Advocates (EDA). They are building a national network of Canadians from all regions of the country and offering tools, resources and training to build the capacity of folks at the community level to advocate for environmental progress and hold elected leaders accountable. GreenPAC aims to hold 100+ town halls in ridings across the country in May and send a strong message to MPs that Canadians from coast-to-coast expect bold action. Get involved here
Help Grow the Greenbelt
The Greater Golden Horseshoe is the most rapidly developing region in Canada, making the Greenbelt’s role in providing clean air and fresh water, local food, and accessible greenspace more important than ever. The Province is currently considering growing the Greenbelt to enhance Urban River Valley protection, farmlands, forests, wetlands and watersheds. How can you help? Submit a comment to the province’s consultation on growing the Greenbelt before April 19. Apply for funding for your group’s efforts to help with the Grow the Greenbelt campaign.
Get involved in helping to protect your local urban river valley
Our urban river valleys cool us in extreme heat and protect our communities from flooding. But they need us to help keep them healthy. Learn more about Rivers for Resilience, a partnership between the Greenbelt Foundation and Park People aiming to promote stewardship and awareness of our urban river valleys.
Alarm to Action: Lessons from the GTHA Carbon Emissions Inventory
The Atmospheric Fund's recording of their March 18th webinar "Alarm to Action: Lessons from the GTHA Carbon Emissions Inventory" is available online, about their new report "Reality check: Latest data reveals 5.2% increase in carbon emissions in the GTHA".
CBC Radio Ideas – ENVIRONMENTALISTS, WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
Environmental problems are well-known and have been for decades, but we still appear to be edging towards ecological catastrophe. Why? Environmentalist Graham Saul believes that much of the problem is environmentalism itself. He believes it has a message problem — mainly because it doesn't have a single, coherent, unified message that people can grasp. Graham Saul has been on the forefront of environmental thought and activism for over 25 years. In this 2018 lecture re-aired on March 31st, 2021, Saul parses the problem and points towards a step with potential planet-saving implications.
Zero Waste News and Events
Mega Clean-Up Call for volunteers
Sunday April 11
Don’t Mess with the Don is a volunteer-led conservation group that focuses on stewardship and clean-up activities in the Don Valley. From weekly POPUPs to more significant monthly events, DMWTD is out almost every week working to protect our trails and ravines. For the April 11 clean up, volunteers will work in groups of max ten people, spread out over a wide area. For more information or to sign up, email email@example.com, follow their FB page on FB or visit their website.
World Circular Economy Forum + Climate
April 15 - 16
Join leaders worldwide to digitally meet up and discuss the crucial role of a #CircularEconomy in achieving #ClimateNeutrality. Learn more & sign up
Zero Waste Cafe: Carbon Neutrality Edition!
A panel discussion on "Individual Action for Collective Impact"
Mon. April 19, 6:30 p.m.
Organized by The Zero Waste Cafe. Hosted by Inwit. Co-hosted by Greenpeace Canada. Moderated by Brianna Aspinall of Carbon Conversations TO, featuring a conversation and Q&A with special guest panelists. Free! Register here.
Secondhand Sunday Returns April 25th!
Secondhand Sunday (SHS) has been approved by Toronto Public Health to happen this Spring! Sunday, April 25th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. is your chance to share any unwanted, reusable items. Simply leave them on your property next to the sidewalk or curb for your neighbours to take for free. Then, get in on the action. That thing your neighbour no longer wants could be exactly what you need. When participating on April 25th, please share photos and stories of your SHS items on social media or use the hashtag #secondhandsundayTO. Be sure to include the street name or neighbourhood (no exact addresses please!). SHS will re-share the photos/stories so that those following along can find the neighbourhoods that are participating.Visit secondhandsunday.ca to learn more.
If participating please stay safe and follow Toronto Public Health's guidelines:
Free Geek Toronto requests computers, especially laptops
Inventory is running low right now so anything you could do to help would be greatly appreciated. Free Geek Toronto accepts items for drop-off on Fridays and Saturdays at 180 Sudbury St between 1-5 PM. Please call 416-572-3737 when you arrive and they will come out to collect the items. Double-check what they accept here
Reusable containers in your neighbourhood!
FYI in Toronto: Bare Market, Karma CoOp, & UnBoxed Market allow reusable containers, as do some other businesses.
How one Toronto neighbourhood banded together to reduce food waste
More Zero Waste Events
For more zero waste related news and events taking place across Toronto check out Zero Waste Hub Toronto on Facebook and Twitter!
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
How Can We Garden in a Changing Climate?
Have you asked yourself this question lately? You're not alone. As we head into spring planting season, we're faced with the challenges of a changing climate, from early buds to flooding. Evergreen's Lead Hand of Urban Agriculture Isaac Crosby knows these struggles well and has developed a range of solutions. He shares some of his top tips for gardening in a changing climate here.
Resilience through Smart Farming
Food security is an ongoing challenge for northern communities. That's why the neighbouring communities of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, the town of The Pas, and the municipality of Kelsey Manitoba joined forces to establish an LED Smart Farm. It's also why in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, the Arctic Research Foundation worked with local Elders to establish a farm and research station out of two shipping containers. Listen to the latest episode of the Future Fix — a podcast created with Evergreen and Spacing for the Community Solutions Network — to learn more.
The Edible Community Garden Grant – Spring 2021
- Are you involved in a school, faith group, community garden, or non-profit organization helping to grow your community’s sustainability?
- Do you have a sunny patch of land where you can grow and nurture fruit trees, fruiting shrubs and other perennial crops?
- Are you committed to caring for these plants in the years to come?
If so, Tree Mobile invites you to apply for The Edible Community Garden Grant 2021. Grant Goals include:
- increase local food security by growing food everywhere
- promote and assist in the planting of community food
- increase the visibility and availability of seasonal fresh food
- strengthen community collaboration, knowledge and resilience skills
- ensure that donated plants will be healthy and productive
Free Trees from Arbor Day Foundation
The City is partnering with Arbor Day Foundation to give out free trees. The program isn't yet open, but homeowners can register to be notified when it does. Complete the form here .
How to Balcony Garden
Thursday, April 8, 7 p.m.
Miinikaan ('the SEED' in Ojibwe): consulting, garden design, Indigenous gardens. We cultivate relationships between people and plants. Tkaronto based. Register here.
The Importance of Growing Gardens
Saturday, April 24, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Kairos Blanket Exercise Teaching & Sharing Circle presented by Mary-Anne Kechego. In this session, The Importance of Growing Gardens, Mary-Anne Kechego will talk about the importance of growing gardens as a way to remind us that all the plants that we grow can help to “sustain us in life”. The presentation will explain the relationship between sowing seeds and the cycles of the moon and will help us all to “touch the earth, plant a seed, sing nurturing songs to it… and give healing to our spirit”. Register Here
Toronto Urban Growers
Grow Food Toronto
Toronto Seed Exchange
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Calls for Volunteers and Donations
Food Up Front's Emergency Call For Volunteer Help
Food Up Front is in desperate need of some committed volunteers, without which the Food Up Front project will fail this year. Last year Food Up Front delivered 3,000 garden-starter seed packages to start more food growing in Toronto. This year, during a pandemic in which seeds are in short supply, we have seeds to distribute but have lost the volunteer capacity to deliver them. We can't afford to waste the resources these seeds represent! Positions that need to be filled immediately from now until May include:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the team so we can continue the mission to get more food growing in our city.
- Communications Coordinator
- Logistics Coordinator
- Social media Coordinator
- Bicycle delivery person
Not Far from the Tree Pick Leader Volunteer Recruitment
Do you like the sound of unlimited picks of fresh local fruit? That's one of the perks of being a Pick Leader. These are the superstar volunteers who go the extra mile to pick up the equipment sets and deliver 1/3 of the harvest to a community partner. If you're interested in trying it out, register here to be notified of upcoming training dates later this Spring.
CycleTO University-Rosedale April meeting
Tuesday, April 6th at 6:30pm
CycleTO University-Rosedale is a volunteer group focusing on cycling issues in Ward 11. We work to make cycling more accessible, safe and equitable. We are inspired to share the joy we find in cycling and are motivated by its practicality as a low-cost and low-carbon mode of transportation.
There are some important cycling projects happening this year in Ward 11. In particular there's an initiative underway to change Yonge St., north of Bloor, in a similar way to Danforth's transformation last year. There's lots of work that needs to be done on this and we could use your help!
If you feel connected to these issues, we'd love to meet you. We meet monthly - our next meeting is April 6th at 6:30 p.m. (Google Meet link), or get in touch by email at email@example.com.
TTC Riders Transit Story Circles
The TTC is consulting people about a “5-Year Fare Plan” in 2021. That’s why TTCriders is organizing “Transit Story Circles” to hear from riders and develop proposals to share with TTC. They need your help to reach thousands of transit users! Click here to get involved and check out the tools we've created, including an online survey. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to get involved.
Read TTC Riders recent post on the Maytree Foundation blog, where they argue that "the fare policy review by the Toronto Transit Commission is a golden opportunity to reimagine the role of public transit as a human right and advance a pandemic recovery plan that addresses poverty, racism, and the digital divide."
As more and more people take up cycling Cycle Toronto wants to make sure they have the knowledge to stay happy, healthy, and safe when they’re riding a bike, whether it’s on a trail or on the road. StreetSmartsTO will help people by increasing their awareness of what’s expected of them and others, while giving them the skills they need to move forward on two (or three or four) wheels. Goals of StreetSmartsTO include:
Cycle Toronto is partnering with community organizations to deliver free StreetSmartsTO workshops. Interested organizations that want their community to know more about cycling can request a workshop online. The City of Toronto is a proud supporter of StreetSmartsTO and has put together a great set of educational resources that complement Cycle Toronto’s!
- At least one cycling education workshop or bike maintenance station in every ward of Toronto
- Cycling workshops delivered in multiple languages
- Free home delivery of a Toronto Cycling Handbook for online workshop attendees (1 of 14 languages or the Family Edition)
- New version of the Toronto Cycling Handbook in Farsi
Ottawa dedicates $400-million to first-ever federal fund for active transportation
Bicycles for Tomorrow
For those who are reluctant to trust themselves on two wheels, Google engineers in the Netherlands are working to perfect a self-driving bike to compete with the options now coming on line for motorists. Click here for a glimpse.
How Big Does the Corner Really Need to Be?
In the right context and with the right parameters, it is possible to design corners to be much more compact while still accommodating large trucks.
Are there green news or resources you'd like to see included in the Green 11 newsletters? Send your items and ideas to email@example.com.