Sustainability

In order to preserve our planet, we need to learn to live in harmony with nature. On both the national and the local level, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation is engaged in promoting ways to live in a sustainable fashion.

Welcome home blue whales!

I'm devastated to report that the licence for oil and gas drilling has been approved in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and there’s not one thing whales can do to stop it.

We're not giving up and neither are they.

At this very moment – mile by mile, heading north – they’re coming back.

Over the next few weeks, blue whales will be making their way back to Canadian waters.

Trump's lump of coal

Breathing is easier “beyond coal.”

In 2007, before the shut down of the coal-fired power generating plants in Ontario, there were 29 smog days and 11 smog advisories in Toronto.  It seemed that almost every hot day there was choking smog.  At that time, I couldn’t even escape to my cottage in the Kawarthas.  That same year, there were 21 smog days and 8 smog advisories in Peterborough County.

Can’t We Just Say No?

Joint US / Canada Sierra Club Meeting 2005

Thirteen years ago, I was hired as a consultant to provide expert advice on the impacts of the Digby Quarry. The local community had become alarmed about the quarry when they heard about plans to build a marine terminal at the site. Clearly, the quarry, which was originally 3.9 hectares –the size of quarry that eludes environmental assessment in Nova Scotia –was going to be much larger than they had thought. Turned out, a 120 hectare quarry was planned, located 50 metres from the shoreline.

Green Energy: Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility - UPDATE

(Photo by Charissa Val Straalen) Two years ago, over 49 non-governmental organizations across Canada and the USA signed on to a letter asking both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama to address issues pertaining to a series of shipments of liquid radioactive waste from Chalk River in Ontario to the US Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina. These shipments were along public roads and over bridges crossing the Great Lakes.

Urban Sustainability Blog #4: Minimizing Waste In and Out of the Home

Our last post in the urban sustainability series saw us giving advice on how to take advantage of alternative modes of transport to help reduce single-occupancy vehicle commutes in Ontario. Now, we are switching gears to focus on another growing problem in societies of all shapes and sizes: waste. Waste accumulation is leading to pollution on a massive scale, leading to severe consequences for wildlife and humans alike.

Greenbelt: The LPAT Appeal To Rescue Thundering Waters Forest

At 9:46 AM, August 13, 2018, in the Niagara Falls Clerk’s Department, Dr. John Bacher filed a letter of appeal against Amendment 128 to the Niagara Falls Official Plan. The amendment aims to pave over 120 of the 500 acre Thundering Waters Forest. Most of the forest is considered provincially protected wetland barred from development. At the same time, much of the amended lands is known as the Riverfront Community consisting of an unusual savanna complex dominated by a native shrub species, the Dotted Hawthorn. (Photo: Martin Munoz)

Urban Sustainability Blog #3: How to Reduce City Carbon Footprint

As we have discussed so far, human beings have a profound impact on the environment. Throughout history, in different capacities, we have affected our natural surroundings in changing ways as technology evolved. As the world continues to become more urbanized, city-specific issues are some of the hot-button topics of the moment. (Photo: Ryan Searle)

Urban Sustainability Blog #2: Human-Environment Interaction in Ontario

Human activities have a profound effect on the environment. It is no secret that climate change, airborne pollution, the melting of the ice caps, plastic waste in the oceans, and various other disasters are advancing at alarming rates due to human operations in natural environments. With that said, plenty is being done to mitigate and reverse this damage; people are finding ways to embrace renewable energy, employ a circular economy model to reduce waste, and preserve wildlife all over the world, to name a few.  (Photo: Berkay Gumustekin)

Urban Sustainability Blog #1: Introduction and History of Urbanization in Ontario

The words “city life” tend to paint a certain picture in people’s minds. We think of public transportation, crowded streets, touristy places, and overall concrete jungles. There’s an exciting way of life that comes with living in cities, but this excitement could come at a cost by taking a bigger toll on the environment than one would imagine. Today, approximately 80% of Canada’s population (approximately 29 million people) lives in urban areas. Some 10 million of these people live here in Ontario, and about 6.9 million live in the Greater Toronto Area alone.

Greenbelt: Celebrating Greenbelt Expansion in the Niagara Region

Despite enormous pressures from developers and municipalities in the Niagara Region, the provincial government denied all requests to shrink and dilute the Greenbelt. This was done in two locations. One was in Grimsby south of the Niagara Escarpment, in an area that is increasingly being used for tree fruit and grape crops. Another is in a corridor from Lake Ontario to Lake Gibson, along the Twelve Mile Creek.