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Dear Green Neighbours

February is Black History Month.  As we begin to emerge from the darkness of winter, take some time to learn more and take action.  A great place to start is neighbourhood gem A Different Booklist, an independent, African-Canadian owned bookstore showcasing the African and Carribean diaspora and the global South. Located at Bloor and Bathurst, they are happy to give you suggestions to suit your needs. Think global, support local!

Toronto Public Library also offers programs and classes for Black History Month featured here

Also check out SURJ Toronto. SURJ moves white people to action through community organizing, mobilizing, and education that is accountable to and in service of Black-, Indigenous-, and People of Colour-led justice movements. Find out more at surjtoronto.com.
 

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, February 20, 2-4 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Saturday, February 20, 2-4 p.m.  Contact Paul Overy at paul.greenward11@gmail.com to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.



Calls to Action

Ask Amazon to invest in reusable packaging solutions
Amazon generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019 alone -enough plastic packaging to — if represented as plastic air pillows — circle the Earth more than 500 times. But despite the company’s efforts to greenwash its way out of its environmental responsibilities by investing millions of dollars in recycling initiatives, the fact is that most recycling facilities in North America do not accept the types of plastics it uses.

Plastic pollutes at every stage of its lifecycle. It threatens our health, kills hundreds of thousands of sea creatures every year and fuels the climate crisis. With lockdown-driven online sales on the rise, there’s never been a more urgent moment for the multi-billion dollar retail giant to do its fair share to tackle the plastic crisis. You can sign this GreenPeace petition to ask Amazon to take responsibility.



Demand Paid Sick Leave
This pandemic has shone a light on the critical importance of paid sick days in keeping our communities safe. Seventy per cent of low wage workers in Canada don’t have paid sick leave. Join the Decent Work and Health Network’s call for paid sick days - Sign the petition here  Find out more ways to advocate here


 Green Online Events and Webinars

Fridays for Future Weekly Climate Strikes
Fridays, 11 a.m. – noon
Live Streamed webinars with different speakers led by youth.
youtube.com/channel/UCJ1nFFdZbUo6cAr2jV3X0_g  



2021 Cycle Toronto Advocacy Forum
February 3-5
Join engaged residents from across the city to share best practices in how to engage with the community, other residents, elected officials, and city staff so that you can affect meaningful change at the 2021 Advocacy Forum. The Advocacy Forum is spread out across three days with both lunchtime and evening sessions. Please register for each session that you wish to attend.



Davenport Road Public Consultation
Thursday, February 4th,6:30 - 8:30 pm
This is your opportunity to participate in a public consultation concerning the planned re-design of Davenport. The City of Toronto is proposing a number of cycling and pedestrian safety upgrades on Davenport Road between Dupont Street and Yonge Street in support of the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Davenport Road has become a key link in the City’s bikeway network, providing connections to existing routes on Bay Street, and Avenue Road / University Avenue. The way bike lanes are designed has changed over time, and the bike lanes on Davenport Road can be improved.The project’s goals are to:
  • Improve safety for people walking, cycling, and driving
  • Encourage cycling by connecting and improving bikeways
  • Maintain City services and access to driveways
  • Minimize impact to on-street parking
Details of the proposal are available by clicking here. And if you want to register for the meeting, just click on this link.    


Pathways to Zero Webinar Series
Thursdays, January 21- March 18, 1 p.m.
Starting January 21, Climate Action Network’s Pathways to Zero  series will stretch over nine weeks, and will feature 10 webinars. Each week, as part of a themed conversation, hear from the experts, leaders, movers and shakers who work every day to put us on the path towards decarbonization. Week by week, learn together about the initiatives and journeys communities are already embarking upon to ensure we reach zero emissions, while prioritizing wellbeing and dignity for all. Upcoming events include:
More info and full schedule here


Next Economy Conversations: Paul Taylor of FoodShare
Thursday, February 4, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
As we look to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that now, more than ever, we cannot go back to the way things were. Next Economy Conversations is your chance to hear from incredible leaders helping to build the Next Economy. Learn about their work as well as their personal journeys, lessons along the way, and visions for the future. Meet Paul Taylor: lifelong anti-poverty activist, food justice advocate, and Executive Director of FoodShare. Register here



TRCA Offers Free Online Winter Activities Register here.


Book Study Group on the Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice
Saturday, February 6 and March 6, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Join a study group on the book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, by Dina Gilio-Whitaker. The study group meets on two Saturdays, February 6 and March 6, from 2-4 pm, by Zoom.  The first meeting will cover Chapters 1-4 and the second meeting Chapters 5-8. Sponsored by the Racial Justice and Decolonization Working Group and the Climate and Peace Working Group of Massachusetts Peace ActionRegister to attend.




Growing the Future - Online Cooking Classes for Kids
Growing the Future is a weekly cooking class for kids by Greenest City. These classes strive to not only teach about food, nutrition and cooking techniques, but also larger conversations about where our food comes from, how different cooking methods work and why we do certain things while cooking. Greenest City wants to teach usable skills while trying to instill a sense of curiosity about food that will extend beyond the class. If you would like to know more about the classes or sign up for one of the sessions, CLICK HERE! Programs run Tuesdays:
  • February 9 - March 2
  • March 9 - March 30

Why We Organize: Future Ground Network Launch Webinar
Wednesday, February 10,  7:00 PM
Last year was characterized by a sense of loneliness and disconnection for many of us, but it also demonstrated the power of what is possible when people take collective action. This is as true for the pandemic and social justice as it is for the climate crisis. Future Ground Network is a new David Suzuki Foundation initiative designed to support your grassroots groups and initiatives by providing training, resources and connections to help you strengthen your impact. Join the Future Ground Network launch webinar to learn more about what the network has to offer. Register here.



Climate Ventures Conversations - Seth Green
Thursday, February 11, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
The Centre for Social Innovation's Climate Ventures Conversations are a chance to get to know the innovators and leaders working on climate solutions and climate justice during this live interview series. In February, they’re sitting down with Seth Klein, author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency and a public policy expert. Save your spot and get your questions ready as Seth will be taking questions from the audience. Register here



KAIROS Blanket Exercise Teaching and Sharing Circles: We Are All Treaty People
Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
In this session, We Are All Treaty People, Mary-Anne Kechego will talk about the Two-Row Wampum Belt and Dish with One Spoon to illustrate what treaties mean to Indigenous Nations because “it is important to educate our allies about what treaties represent and their responsibilities to uphold those treaties”. Register Here



Come Together: Coalitions for a New Green Deal
Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Governments have only about a decade to make fundamental changes if we are to avoid a catastrophic increase in global temperatures. They need to treat climate change as an emergency, akin to the mobilization we saw in World War II. A broad-based movement that unites the disparate voices of single-issue social movements into a single chorus demanding a just, green transition would impel such emergency action. Coalitions are now emerging among economic justice organizations, racial justice movements, indigenous rights groups, peace associations, and climate and environmental groups behind some version of a green new deal. What are the chances of success? Register here Part of the Science for Peace, Overcoming the Climate Crisis Webinar Series.



YCI and Evergreen Present : Youth Action Summit
Thursday, February 25, 4:00 - 7:00 PM
Youth Challenge International and Evergreen Brickworks are hosting a Youth Action Summit, bringing together almost 200 Climate Action Catalysts, Climate Leaders, and Future City Builders. These 16-25 year olds across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have been working on projects tackling city building and climate issues.
Youth Action Summit will convene to celebrate their impact, showcase their initiatives to partners and the general public, and inspire continued civic engagement - whether through community building or climate action. This event includes:
  • A digital showcase featuring the work of YCI's Climate Action Catalysts.
  • Panel - A Just and Green Recovery. A green and inclusive recovery is crucial to the future well-being of our communities, our environment and our planet. What does this look like, who needs to be involved, and how can we make sure it's done right? How are youth involved in shaping and playing a leading role in this recovery?
  • Networking, games, and more!
Register here



Green News and Resources

TD Park People Grants Help Build Vital Connections Between People and Parks
The 2021 TD Park People Grants program is back and you can apply for a $2,000 grant today!  If your community group is in Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Greater Toronto Area, National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau), Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax Regional Municipality apply for support for your in-person or online activities that
  • Promote environmental education
  • Cultivate sustainable practices
  • Support stewardship in Canada’s parks and green spaces.
More than half the TD Park People Grants are focused on supporting the work of under-served community groups -  equity-seeking groups are encouraged to apply. More info and apply here. Applications are due by March 1st, 2021.


The green cleaner: 15 natural ways to spruce up your home – from nettles to rainwater
Former Great British Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle says we have been ‘brainwashed’ into believing we need harsh chemicals to clean our homes. Here’s how to take a more environmentally friendly approach


Climate and the 2021 City Budget
Last week, the City of Toronto released its proposed 2021 City Budget. The stated priorities for the budget - equity, health and well-being, and climate action - are laudable. However, action and investments to further these goals are lacking. Read Toronto Environmental Alliance’s analysis of the proposed budget. There is still time to write to Mayor Tory, Mayor_Tory@toronto.ca, and copy Councillor Layton, councillor_layton@toronto.ca to ask for the 6 things TEA identifies should be included in the budget. Final City Budget vote is on February 18.


Youth Climate Leadership Program - applications open
YCI is now accepting Climate Leaders’ applications for our Youth Climate Leadership Program. This six-month leadership program supports passionate youth in becoming Climate Leaders in their communities. Climate Leaders will:
●    Grow skills through leadership training on youth mobilization, project design, community development, climate science, and climate communications.
●    Design and implement new climate solutions with exclusive resources, including customized coaching, mentorship, peer-to-peer, and funding support.
●    Join a climate action network of 200+ youth and change-makers across the GTHA to learn with and support each other to make an impact in their communities.

YCI is recruiting 40 Climate Leaders for the next session, starting in March. These small cohorts allow for collaborative peer-learning and one-on-one coaching and mentorship to support climate leaders to reach their goals. Here is the application form
 
YCI is also looking to grow its network of mentors. For more details on the mentorship program please check out this link .

For inspiration, read these stories from the Innovate My Future program! YCI’s Climate Action Catalyst teams worked hard to tackle climate issues amid COVID-19 - shaping more resilient communities through their innovation and creativity. Check out their innovative new video sharing how they are inspired to take climate action.



Six Big Ideas for the Next Economy
If we’re going to make the world better, we need to design an economic system that puts people and the planet first. Luckily, many people and organizations from around the world have the same idea. They’ve been innovating new solutions, championing community-based, circular, participatory, equitable models that prove a Next Economy is possible.  Meet six of these leaders in CSI’s Next Economy Conversations and hear about the solutions they have built and implemented.


Researchers pick up 1,300 pieces of discarded PPE in west-end Toronto in a month
When it comes to disinfectant and masks, the researchers suggest there needs to be some educational outreach about how to use and dispose of them.


Local acts can have global impacts on climate
Grassroots campaigns like Butterflyway Project are having far-reaching impacts on climate disruption


Iron & Earth is hiring
Iron & Earth is a worker-led not-for-profit with a mission to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to build and implement climate solutions. Their team is currently leading the development of regional chapters, running advocacy campaigns, developing and delivering training programs and climate mitigation projects, among many other initiatives.
  • They need a new Executive Director that can take the reins and scale the organization into a major force in each of the niche areas they have begun to develop expertise.
  • They plan to be at the forefront of a new wave of training for workers to power the new economy. They need a CEO, to lead social enterprise to scale up the ability to deliver rapid upskilling programs and complementary career support.
  • They also require a National Chapter Director to help strengthen and scale their chapter model, while ensuring a strong and active voice in the development of net-zero policy.


Zero Waste News and Events

Deadline Extended! Waste Reduction Micro-grant Applications Open Until Feb 15
Until February 15th, TEA is offering micro-grants of up to $500 to help Toronto multi-residential buildings take action to reduce waste in winter 2021. Review the micro-grant details and complete an application form on TEA's website here

The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA)'s Zero Waste High-Rise Project is supporting multi-residential buildings to reduce waste. Join a community of residents and staff from buildings across Toronto, and participate in a free online program with guides and tools to walk you through implementing a zero waste action plan for your building. Sign up here to join the Zero Waste High-Rise Project!  



Zero waste meal kit delivery subscription launched in Toronto
The reviews are great! It's a $5 return deposit for reusables. Say goodbye to single use plastic! Follow @CrisperKits and subscribe to their enews to stay in the loop!


Buy nothing groups in Toronto are bringing neighbours together during the pandemic
The global movement, which now has eight different groups in Toronto, is essentially about forming hyper-local gifting economies where members can give away to or receive free stuff from their neighbours.


Returnable reusable takeout containers are available in Toronto
Check out the resources at @DreamZeroTO, @inwit_app and @MySUPPLI programs and their participating members. Also see @BirdsBeansCafe, @CraquedeCreme, @farmrCA, @GoldengeckoJake, RoncyPickup.ca, and @UnboxedMarketCA


Just Eat It Toronto! Food Waste Challenge
January 18 – February 28
Explore the opportunities we all have to engage in behaviour change for sustainability. Over six weeks, we offer a practical challenge for participants to achieve a measurable reduction in their household food waste by:
  • Helping participants acquire new skills, tools and knowledge to go further, step by step
  • Building community among participants for mutual encouragement and support
  • Creating the foundations for more sustainable habits around food and food waste
The challenge will provide information, tips and resources so all participants can engage in being part of one of Drawdown’s top solutions – #3 Reduced Food Waste.  Register here


Cut food waste at home by sniffing and tasting, urges new UK campaign
UK government-backed initiative will replace ‘use by’ with ‘best before’ and urge people to judge for themselves. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/23/cut-food-waste-at-home-by-sniffing-and-tasting-urges-new-campaign


Repair Cafe Toronto continues during lockdown
Creative Reuse Toronto will continue hosting Repair Cafe Toronto during lockdown. You can drop-off and pick-up your items at the front door on Wednesdays from 3-7 PM by appointment   Masks required. Please clean your items and check them for pests before bringing them in. PWYC to support this initiative via cash drop-box on-site or e-transfer to creative.reuse.toronto@gmail.com

Repair Cafe Toronto has also been posting more videos on their Youtube channel this past year. Have you seen them?



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

Edible Gardening/Urban Farming Virtual Workshops
Crop Planning
Saturday, February 6, 11am

Craft a crop plan for a beginner garden or farm!

Seeds & Seedlings
Sunday, February 7, 11am

Caring for your seedlings is the foundation of a healthy farm or garden.

Presented by Sundance Harvest. Register here



Seedy Saturday, Virtually!
Saturday, February 27, 10 am - 2 pm
This year, Seedy Saturday is going virtual! Join audiences online for engaging workshops and talks to explore the world of plants and urban agriculture in our city. Learn about kickstarting your plants early, ideas for growing plants in spaces of all sizes, where to access seeds and how to keep your plants healthy. Tune in to workshops throughout the day to get your garden started early. Register here



Food Rx program launches
The Food Rx program is a project run in collaboration between FoodShare and the University Health Network (UHN), supported by the McConnell Foundation, aimed at addressing food needs that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting folks with a ‘prescription’ for regular home delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Who can participate? This project seeks English-speaking participants living in the City of Toronto who are:
  • living in Toronto Community Housing
  • currently receiving social assistance
  • facing financial barriers to food access
  • impacted by, or at elevated risk of COVID-19 (this includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in higher risk groups due to other health issues like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc.)
What does participation look like?
Participants receive a Good Food Box full of fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables, every other week! Folks will be expected to participate in bi-weekly check-ins and phone surveys over the course of the program (approximately 3 – 12 months) designed to measure the impacts of receiving a Good Food Box on participant wellbeing.

More info and application here.



Evergreen's Saturday Farmers Market Continues Indoors for Winter
Evergreen's Saturday Farmers Market runs year-round, connecting people in Toronto to local Ontario farmers and producers. The Saturday Farmers Market at Evergreen Brick Works operates during COVID-19 as an essential service. Evergreen has adopted a range of measures to ensure that we can make access to local food a safe and enjoyable experience. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate how resilient local food systems can continue to play an integral role in the food models of cities.


Five radical visions for a 2050 food system
Last month the Rockefeller Foundation announced the 10 winning proposals of their Food System Vision Prize. They cover a dizzying range of locations and issues — but there is an emerging consensus on the critical ingredients for food system reform, regardless where it takes place. Food and Carbon Analyst Jim Giles looked at these five radical visions for a 2050 food system.


Food banks don’t reduce food insecurity, so why did the federal government give them $200 million in emergency aid?
“It is outrageous that our government seems to be doing everything they can to convince Canadians that food insecurity is something that we need to respond to through charity. This is not an issue for charities,” says Food Share’s ED Paul Taylor.


Meet some of Toronto's food justice advocates championing Black food sovereignty
While the COVID-19 pandemic has painted a grim picture of just how fragile our food systems are and how hard-hit racialized communities have been, food justice advocates in Toronto's Black community are pushing for long-term solutions to tackle inequities in Canada's food system. They are pushing for food sovereignty - the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food.


Community remembers writer, food policy analyst and activist Wayne Roberts
Wayne Roberts, writer, food policy analyst and activist has died at the age of 76. Wayne was the manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) from 2000-2010. Watch this video of community members remembering the contributions Wayne Roberts made to food security in Toronto and Canada and the positivity he injected into the food movement.


Food Resources
Toronto Urban Growers
Foodshare
Grow Food Toronto
Get GrowingToronto
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more



Calls for Volunteers and ODnations

Daily Bread Volunteers Needed to Conduct Research
Daily Bread Food Bank is seeking volunteers to help conduct our annual survey of food bank clients, to measure trends in food insecurity and poverty in Toronto. This is an excellent opportunity to gain research skills and a deeper understanding about hunger in our city.They are looking for volunteers to remotely conduct surveys via telephone during the day and/or evening throughout April and May. Training provided.  Learn more here.

Become a Butt Blitz Coordinator
The Butt Blitz is back and Greener Future is recruiting volunteer Butt Blitz Coordinators in locations across Canada. Coordinators will be responsible for:
  • Completing virtual coordinator training
  • Being the point of contact for volunteers in your area
  • Being the pickup and drop off point for equipment & butts
  • Attending meetings and supporting your team throughout April
  • Sending all butts collected to Terracycle to be recycled
To see the full volunteer description or to sign up, click here


Active Transportation News and Resources

Winter Bike to Work Day - February 12
Calling all bike lovers! Help Toronto catch up on the international @WinterBike2Work
leaderboard. The city with the most loops and riders “wins”.

Riding a loop means making the most of every corner of a city. It means you might stand a better chance of passing someone you know while you are out there. Explore your neighbourhood. Find somewhere new on your way to work. Take this chance to share your love for riding a bicycle with as many people as you can. Share your love for winter. Be kind and encouraging to others. More people on bicycles is good for everyone and people need bicycles more than ever.

Sign up here to bike any distance on Friday, February 12.



Are there green news or resources you'd like to see included in the Green 11 newsletters?  Send your items and ideas to greenward11@gmail.com.
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