Dear Green Neighbours
Toronto Council votes on the city budget for 2021-22 this Thursday, February 18. This week is the last opportunity to advocate for a 2021 City Budget that addresses the climate crisis, plus a number of other pressing issues, including homelessness and reducing the police budget. Read below for specific actions you can take right now!
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 email@example.com to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Support Climate Justice in Toronto’s Budget
The 2021 BUDGET VOTE IS THIS WEEK on Feb 18th. Environmental groups are calling for a restoration of full funding to the Environment and Energy Division, the city department that leads, coordinates and is accountable for the City's climate action outcomes, which the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee have so far failed to do. This funding is needed to catch up on urgent work delayed by the pandemic.
Last year’s 2020 budget included funding for numerous new staff positions to fulfil commitments made in the Climate Emergency Declaration in July of 2019. These were not filled due to the COVID-19 emergency meaning the Net Zero report has been pushed back and may not come out in time for consideration in the 2022 budget.
- You can send a letter to your Councillor and the Mayor letting them know that climate action is urgent. See the ClimateFast website for a sample letter here, and the contact information for all city councillors and the mayor.
- Additionally, you can call the Mayor and make sure he knows that you support climate justice in the budget. Mayor Tory: 416-397-2489 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Finally, you can sign this petition-letter from Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA).
SURJ-TO Defund the Police Campaign Email/Phone Zap - Today!
SURJ-TO (Standing Up For Racial Justice Toronto) is leading a Defund the Police campaign and is looking for organizations and individuals who want to support the campaign and/or get involved. Their campaign advances Black Lives Matter - Toronto's demand to defund the police. They are urging Toronto city councillors to reduce the police budget by 50%. You can learn more about the campaign and find out how to get involved before the budget vote on February 18th here
Today, February 16th from 12pm-1pm, join SURJ Toronto for a Phone/Email Zap push before City Council votes on the 2021 City Budget! You can help make sure councillors & Mayor Tory hear BLM-TO’s demands loud and clear: Defund the Toronto Police Service (TPS) by at least 50%, and invest in communities. Register here.
Show Support for an Economy of Well Being
You can sign this petition introduced by Paul Manly – deadline to sign is 2 pm Feb 27th
Call for Real Climate Accountability
Right now, Canada's path to net-zero emissions is being debated at the federal level and we have a small window of opportunity to have our say about it. Why does this matter? Because it's globally acknowledged by scientists and politicians alike that we need to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2050 in order to have any hope of keeping global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees. The sooner, the better.
Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, is the government's attempt to put this into law. It is open right now for amendments, and there are some key changes that would make the Bill much stronger, giving us a much better chance of meeting the target of net-zero by 2050. To learn more, here's some excellent background information from the For Our Kids Toronto team.
Talking to your MP is the most influential step you can take. Let them know you support the intent of the Bill but that it needs work. Here's a super-quick link to send an email to your MP. It will automatically be sent to all members of the Standing Committee as well. Want to do more? More actions here.
Tell major Canadian banks to stop funding fossil fuels
Every year, Canadian banks provide tens of billions of dollars to oil, gas and coal companies which are polluting the planet and disrupting the climate. Some of this money is actually yours — banks invest it when you trust them with your savings. The top 5 Canadian banks are a big part of the problem: RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC are all within the top 25 fossil fuel financiers in the world. Since the Paris agreement was signed, and despite the fact that we’re facing a global climate crisis, the “Big Five” not only continued funding fossil fuel corporations, they actually increased their support. If we want fossil fuels to stay in the ground, we urgently need to stop the flow of money. You can sign the Greenpeace petition here
Have your say in Canada’s budget
Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially directed Canada's finance minister to create a recovery plan from COVID that includes “actions to transition to a greener, more inclusive and more prosperous economy.” With the federal budget set to come out soon, it’s time for Canada to back its words with money. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The government is mapping out a $100 billion recovery plan and Finance Canada is inviting you to share your ideas and priorities for Budget 2021. You can fill out this quick government questionnaire to confirm that addressing the climate crisis and investing in nature and a low-carbon economy should be top priorities and at the foundation of the 2021 federal budget.
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.
Pathways to Zero Webinar Series
Thursdays, February 18 - March 25, 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
TRCA Offers Free Online Winter Activities
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
Join Forces To Overcome The Climate Crisis
Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
The first Science for Peace webinar focused on what needs to be done to avoid catastrophic climate change. This one explores how what needs to be done will get done. We only have a decade or so to make major economic, political, and cultural changes. Can we succeed in building a powerful movement to impel change? Activists, scholars, musicians and a slam poet will take part in this exhilarating event. Register here
Part of the Science for Peace, Overcoming the Climate Crisis Webinar Series. More info here https://scienceforpeace.ca/
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!
For the Love of Creation faith-in-action campaign
For the Love of Creation is a national initiative that brings together faith bodies and faith-based organizations in Canada under a unified banner to mobilize education, reflection, action and advocacy for climate justice. For the Love of Creation's faith-in-action campaign mobilizes people across Canada to reduce household GHG emissions and demonstrate support for increased federal climate action. The campaign will launch on February 17, 2021 (Ash Wednesday) and will run until October 4, 2021 (the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and the end of the Season of Creation). It will also include a public witness event on April 22, Earth Day.
Find out more, including how to register as a local organizer for this campaign! https://fortheloveofcreation.ca/advocacy/
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations Training Series
Mondays, March 1- April 12
Starting March 1st, ClimateFast is hosting a series of 4 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 and links to register below.
March 1st – Part 1 – Bringing People Together: Eventbrite
The first webcast in the series encompasses how to talk about the climate and facilitate climate conversations, including how to engage emotions. We’ll explore the importance of these conversations right now, the urgent need for climate justice and a just and green recovery.
Conversational Context: A discussion about Climate Justice, Health and the Climate and a Just, Green Recovery.
Conversation Facilitation: How to facilitate conversations, including making space for emotions.
Register for March 15 - A Model Conversation
Register for March 29 - Nuts and Bolts (and inspirational stories!)
Register for April 12 – Collective Courage
READ ABOUT THE SERIES at the Climate Conversations website:
Green News and Resources
Healthy Communities Initiative now open for applications
The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to support a broad range of organizations, including Indigenous governing bodies, local governments, charities, community groups, and nonprofits, to deliver projects, programming, and services that help communities create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health. Organizations can apply to the Healthy Communities Initiative starting February 9 through March 9.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will host a series of community mobilization sessions, where you can learn more about the program themes, get inspired by project examples, and ask for advice on starting your project. All sessions will take place with simultaneous interpretation in French and English. See here for details on each session and how to register.
Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions
One of the new initiatives from Transform TO, the City of Toronto's Climate Action plan, is to recruit 25 Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions (essentially 1 per ward) in order to start conversations and bring neighbourhood members together to lower community carbon footprints, both individually and as a group. The 25 Champions are midway through their 6-week online training, and have committed to this project for at least a year. You can find out who your Champion is by writing to email@example.com and you can find out more about the project HERE.
'Invisible killer': fossil fuels caused 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, research finds
Pollution from power plants, vehicles and other sources accounted for one in five of all deaths that year, more detailed analysis reveals. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/09/fossil-fuels-pollution-deaths-research
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
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.
- Promote environmental education
- Cultivate sustainable practices
- Support stewardship in Canada’s parks and green spaces.
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.
Zero Waste News and Events
Just Eat It Toronto! Food Waste Challenge - final weeks!
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:
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
- 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
Loblaws Supermarket introduces ‘milkman model’ delivery service to Toronto
Everyday essentials “will be available in refillable containers…and delivered in reusable totes” to your front door to reduce single-use plastic waste. https://globalnews.ca/news/7613123/loblaws-loop-reusable-containers/
"Follow the science. It's time for their reusable container program to reopen!"
Consider signing the petition from Ottawa Reduces to encourage Bulk Barn to reopen their Reusable Container Program. https://www.change.org/p/bulk-barn-follow-the-science-it-s-time-for-your-reusable-container-program-to-re-open
Free Second Harvest Food Rescue E-Learning Courses
Discover how to conduct food waste audits for your homes and businesses and understand how to read Canadian food date labels with interactive training. https://training.secondharvest.ca/
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
The Stop workers recognized as Community Champions
Frontline workers Nick Balch and Jermaine Robinson provide efficient, compassionate, and tireless service for The Stop’s Food Bank and Drop-in meal programs. To celebrate them for their contributions to our community during COVID (and long before!), they’ve been honoured as CBC Toronto “Community Champions,” alongside such vital groups as Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction and the OLMC Black Futures Club. Check out the video!
Toronto Urban Growers
Grow Food Toronto
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Calls for Volunteers and Donations
New ClimateFast Volunteers Welcome
ClimateFast is a grassroots volunteer organization with many teams including: webcast, climate conversations, outreach, anti-racism, retrofits, climate finance, and more. They are looking for ward coordinators – so if you can help in your ward let them know! email@example.com or fill in the form here. Organizing is all virtual for now, but it can still be a lot of fun!
Carbon Conversations TO Looking for Volunteers
Green Neighbours Network member Carbon Conversations TO is a volunteer-run group that aims to motivate individuals in Toronto communities to express their concerns about climate change while gaining tools and resources to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
They are currently looking for a Social Media & Newsletter Coordinator, and a Website & Digital Communications Coordinator. If you are interested in one of these positions, send a resume and short cover letter by February 26 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active Transportation News and Resources
What is design speed and how does it affect our streets?
We can all recognize a road that feels like it’s meant for fast or slow travel, but what are the actual design elements that create this environment? https://beyondtheautomobile.com/2021/02/08/what-is-design-speed-and-how-does-it-affect-our-streets/
Cycle Toronto Advocacy Forum recording available
The 2021 Cycle Toronto Advocacy Forum wrapped up and it was a resounding success! It featured a wide variety of speakers engaged in thought-provoking discussion fielding questions from moderators and the audience. Now, all of the sessions are available for viewing at your leisure. Selected presentation decks have been provided as well as all of the audience questions. Click here
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.