Dear Green Neighbours
How was your #PlasticFreeJuly? We hope you found some way to adopt and promote zero-waste options. Read on for some environmental victories at the local level, due to readers like you who put pressure on decision makers.
Please note: We will be taking a bit of a summer break from the full newsletter, but will continue to send out timely calls to action as they arise. Our next Green 11 public meeting will be in September - watch for further information re: date and time.
Enjoy a safe and healthy summer!
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.
Calls to Action
Stop construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline
As of July 15, 97 per cent of the detailed route of the TMX has been approved, but construction of the project can only proceed when applicable conditions have been met. Two corporate-indigenous partnerships have submitted proposals to purchase the TMX, but several First Nations remain deeply opposed to it due to environmental risks. This new TMX petition calls upon the House of Commons to immediately stop the construction of the TMX pipeline and instead invest in a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. The petition will close on November 4, 2021.
Make ActiveTO Permanent
Some Toronto councillors are trying to cancel ActiveTO, just when we need more open spaces available to the public. The weekend ActiveTO road openings introduced space for people, relieving perpetually crowded multi-use trails, and scrapping the program means going back to packed, uncomfortable trails, increasing conflicts between users.
ActiveTO has enabled tens of thousands of people to be freer, healthier, and happier. Thousands of people started or re-started cycling again because of ActiveTO, and, compared to people who were already cycling, more of those new cyclists were comprised of women and BIPOC folks. And it showed us what a comfortable and enjoyable waterfront could be.
ActiveTO makes space for people on the occasional weekend, but the trails are crowded every day. Cycle Toronto wants this space made permanent. Email City Council now to let them know how ActiveTO has positively affected you and that you want permanent space for people.
Ban the sale of ivory in Canada
Ivory-Free Canada Coalition has put forth a petition and letter template on Change.org to ban the sale of elephant ivory in Canada. On July 23rd the federal government launched a public consultation (open until September 22) to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade.
Support a Prosperous Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuel industry workers are ready to make the jump to a net-zero economy. Iron and Earth has released a Prosperous Transition Plan that outlines how government can reach net-zero targets by 2050 - and how fossil fuel workers are essential to creating a successful Just Transition. You can sign the petition of support here.
Green Online Events and Webinars
Groundwork: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide
Monday, August 9, 7:00 - 8:30
Food systems have a huge impact on climate and climate has a huge influence on food. Research has shown that the global food system produces almost a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is the third of three programs on food and farming through a climate lens. Speakers include:
- Sally Miller, Fair Finance Fund
- Sunday Harrison, Green Thumbs Growing Kids
- Michelle Delaney, Thorncliffe Park Urban Farm
- Lily Phan, National Farmers Union (farmer)
- Josephine Grey, EcoJust Food Network and OASIS
You can view Parts 1 and 2 of Groundwork for Change here:
ClimateFast Book Club Meeting - The New Climate War
Monday, August 23rd, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Trying to keep up with climate literature but feel like it is getting away from you? Join ClimateFast for their second Book Club meeting! ClimateFast volunteers will be reading and then hosting a moderated public discussion of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, by Michael E Mann, followed by an open discussion with the audience. Whether you have read it or not, all are welcome! REGISTER HERE
Green News and Resources
Toronto City Council Endorses Call for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
On July 15th Toronto City Council voted in an overwhelming majority to pass the motion made by Ward 11 Councillor Mike Layton to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Climatefast, Mobilize TO and Fridays for Future Toronto led the Toronto campaign, with hundreds of individuals and organizations writing to the City Council to urge them to support the treaty. Read the ClimateFast media release for more details.
Lower Duffins Creek saved!
As of July 9 the Lower Duffins Creek wetland complex in Ontario is no longer at risk of being destroyed by developers. The Ontario government revoked the controversial Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) that threatened the area, following an injunction motion brought by Ecojustice to stop work at the site. This reversal was due largely to environmental groups, community organizations, Indigenous groups, and concerned people donating, signing petitions and making phone calls to protect the wetlands. Read the Environmental Defence press release.
City Council to move ahead with consultation on stormwater charge
In July Toronto city council recognized the need for fair stormwater charges to address flooding issues, with Toronto Environmental Alliance leading the charge to get the city on board. Toronto is facing more frequent storms and flooding and urgently needs new tools to reduce the amount of stormwater in our streets, our homes, our businesses, and our basements as we experience worsening climate impacts. Right now, many parking lot owners pay nothing at all to address flooding, while the rest of us pay their share. A fair stormwater charge can help reduce flooding and make the owners of large paved areas pay the true cost of managing the stormwater runoff they generate.
Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy Approved by City Council
On July 14, City Council approved the Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy to decarbonize all existing residential, commercial and institutional buildings within the next 30 years. The Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy recommends nine key policy actions that the City can implement to enable and accelerate the uptake of retrofits by home and building owners, while maximizing potential co-benefits and minimizing potential harms to owners and tenants.
New: Urban Climate Alliance’s Accountability Framework Handbook
Toronto Environmental Alliance has released a new Accountability Framework Handbook with the Urban Climate Alliance (UCA), a coalition of organizations advocating for climate action at the municipal level. This handbook aims to help local climate groups advocate for climate action and hold their municipalities accountable for their commitments. Check out the handbook.
Empowering Cities for a Net Zero Future
Cities are key to a net-zero emissions future where affordable and sustainable energy is accessible to all. Cities today account for 70% of global CO2 emissions and 75% of global energy use. This report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) illustrates, through more than 100 examples and case studies, the wide range of opportunities, challenges and policy solutions that can help city-level governments capture the significant value of efficient and smart digital energy systems.
Zero Waste Events, News and Resources
Growing a movement of Zero Waste High-Rises: An online celebration of action in 2021 (Recording)
The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has been working with and studying residential high-rise buildings as they reduce waste, increase recycling and increase composting. They hosted an online celebration for the buildings who participated in the Zero Waste High-Rise Project Online Program and took action in 2021.
Watch the video to learn about the leadership in high-rise buildings and how each building community approached waste reduction in their own way by identifying barriers and opportunities. Buildings featured include condos and co-ops, as well as privately owned apartment buildings with cooperative landlords. Be inspired to act!
Zero Waste News and Events
For more zero waste related news and events taking place across Toronto check out Zero Waste Hub Toronto on Twitter and Facebook !
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
How to tackle food insecurity in Canada
As FoodShare reports, prior to COVID, there were 4.4 million food insecure individuals living in Canada, with Black, Indigenous and racialized communities most impacted; yet only 25% of these folks accessed food banks. The pandemic has only exacerbated this issue. There are many reasons why so many households do not make use of food banks, such as:
The experience of accessing food charity inherently undermines individual dignity. This video, produced by PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research group, gives a great overview of the issue and complexities facing folks who are living with low income.
- Limited operating hours
- Long line-ups
- Lack of transportation
Rewilding Rice: Indigenous Connections to Ravines
Toronto’s ravines play a vital role in city life. They offer residents a chance to connect with nature, while supporting their physical and mental well-being. In June, Evergreen hosted Rewilding Rice: Indigenous Connections to Ravines, an exploratory discussion focused on Indigenous storytelling and practices centred on wild rice as ceremony, food and social interaction. Watch the video here
Annual Guide to Organics: Farmgate sales, Pick Your Own (PYO), Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s), and more: partial list
Community Fridges TO
Farmers Markets Ontario
Grow Food Toronto
Not Far From the Tree (volunteer picks and harvest share from participants’ fruit bearing trees)
Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC)
Toronto Little Free Pantries Project
Toronto Seed Exchange
Toronto Seedy Saturday (webinar recordings, list of seed vendors, and more!)
Toronto Urban Growers (central events listing, news, resources, and more!)
Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC)
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Active Transportation / Public Transit
Minimum Parking Requirements Review
The City of Toronto is undertaking a Parking review. Car parking induces more driving trips and makes the cityscape more challenging for people cycling, walking, and taking transit. Oversupply of car parking is making the effects of climate change more severe in Toronto through flooding and heating.
Businesses, residents, and developers are reconsidering whether car parking is the best use of limited space and money. This is not about removing all parking; it’s about giving people the choice to have less car parking while improving parking standards for sustainable modes of transportation. Share your input on car parking minimums, bike parking standards for new developments, and your priorities for high-quality, secure bicycle parking. Take the survey here Due date: Sunday, August 8.
Calls for Donations and Volunteers
LEAF Volunteer Orientation
Monday, August 23, 6:30pm to 7:30pm
LEAF volunteers play a critical role in helping improve the urban forest. During the orientation, participants will learn about the LEAF mission and programs and the different volunteer roles that LEAF offers. There are opportunities in Toronto, York Region and Durham Region to suit any volunteer, from hands–on planting to virtual community outreach. Learn how you can help the urban forest in 2021 and beyond! Please note that volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
Grants & Opportunities
Apply for Green Committee Initiatives Grant
Toronto Green Committee Connection wants to fund your zero-waste projects in multi-residential buildings in the GTA. Apply today for grants worth up to $500!
Having an issue keeping motivated and want some guidance on where to go next or to be held accountable? Looking for monthly challenges to engage tenants? Want to share a success story you’ve had in your building? The Toronto Green Committee Connection Facebook group will provide all of that and more! This is a student-led group for green committees in condos and high-rise buildings in Toronto. They have partnered with Youth Challenge International and Toronto Environmental Alliance. The purpose of this group is to connect with and support each other in our journeys to engage tenants in lowering their waste and creating a greener Toronto.
Use your art for climate justice
The Suzuki Foundation is looking for a group of creatives who can help reflect the breadth, depth and diversity of the climate movement and humanize and empower the collective call for bold climate ambition. They are hosting a collaborative art project to bring the climate ambitions of many diverse people together.
With the help of facilitator Nadia Chaney, participants in this two-hour workshop on Sunday August 29 will work together to hone their stories and create compelling artwork to call for bold climate ambition. Participants will receive a $100 honorarium; the David Suzuki Foundation will have the rights to use and mix the artwork and text created in the workshop for non-commercial advocacy. Apply here
Applications are due by midnight Sunday, August 15. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, August 20.
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