The students did their own research, they invited resource experts to give presentations and then a delegation of 10 students locked themselves in a room for a weekend with some graduate students from the University of Alberta to boil inputs from 3,000 students down into a sophisticated set of recommendations for change.
Informed insight and open minds are key to education, but there are forces in modern society that seek to create narrow, one-dimensional mindsets and thinking. And this affects us all, including educators. For example, extremely well-funded PR machines are working behind the scenes with agritech/chemical companies and food manufacturers to develop effective techniques, educational material and TV advertising to get kids hooked on harmful food and to misrepresent certain issues.
In May 2015, the French government did something incredible: the National Assembly unanimously passed a law forcing large supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities. That's how the #WhatAWaste campaign -- a grassroots effort to pressure Canada's political leaders to follow France's example -- was born.
Looking at the food system in Canada is a study in contrasts. On one hand, one in eight Canadian families struggle to put food on the table, and over 800,000 people visit a food bank each month. On the other hand, we waste $31 billion in food each year, or a third of what we produce. How can a country with so much abundance also have such great need? As with any problem that is so enormous in scale, the reasons are complex, the impacts are wide-ranging, and the solutions are far from easy.
Drought shaming became a popular pastime in California last summer after restrictions, campaigns and written notices failed to curb water usage among residents during a prolonged drought. Here are a few environmentally bad habits we've all observed (perhaps even been guilty of) and tips on how to step in.
This is not complicated, Leo, so keep up. Do you and your entourage really need an over-sized, gas-guzzling and polluting SUV to get you to your over-sized, jet-fuel-guzzling and polluting chopper to get you to your over-sized, jet-fuel-guzzling and polluting private jet? Not really. You know how I know that?
A staggering 85 per cent of our collective apparel ends up in a landfill -- that's over 10.5 million tons of clothing, according to the popular second-hand store Value Village. In a single year, Canada produces enough textile waste -- clothing and other goods like upholstery -- to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto's Rogers Centre stadium. Reduce, reuse and recycle has become the mantra of socially conscious consumers. Now we need to extend that philosophy to our old accoutrements.
From Asia to South America, insects have long appeared on the menu in many cultures. But what's truly epic about the edible bug trend is its potential to not only provide a healthy source of food, but also boost incomes among people in developing countries who could never afford chicken or beef from a grocery store.
Shell Canada has relinquished 30 oil and gas exploration permits that were the subject of a lawsuit launched by WWF-Canada. Now, after decades of struggle, nothing stands in the way of finally creating a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound, with all the significant protection measures that includes.
Details of the Ontario government's Climate Action Plan are out and the reviews are mixed. While the business sector will no doubt grumble about the cap-and-trade system in place to keep the province's climate program on track, it seems that the big losers will inevitably be people living in poverty.
Our planet is a very different place today than when your grandparents were born. Despite the copious amount of conservation work occurring on a daily basis by citizens, volunteers and environmental groups, biodiversity is continuing to be lost in Canada. We need to restore Earth's "factory settings."
On June 6, much of the world will be celebrating World Environment Day, the annual United Nations day to raise awareness and action for the environment. As the UN puts it, World Environment Day is an "opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change."
As consumers get more savvy, they are increasingly demanding products that are organic, ethically sourced and produced in an environmentally responsible way. Consumers are increasingly aware of the negative effect chemicals have on their health and will buy organic iterations of their favourite products whenever they can.
Industrial agriculture has made it possible to produce large amounts of food efficiently, but comes with problems, including pollution, reduced biodiversity, pesticide resistance and consequent increased chemical use, destruction of forests and wetlands, and human health issues such as antibiotic resistance.