Courtesy of ChopValue
“We’re creating something beautiful that is completely new...”
"It was an awful lot of fun."
Tom Merton via Getty Images
These 10 stories from Canada and around the world show how communities, governments and organizations are providing solutions that are reversing the loss of biodiversity and the ecological services that nature provides.
Be Brave Box/Facebook
You know the mesh bags of avocados, oranges, and lemons you see at the grocery store? Those are bagged to reduce how many times the fruit is touched by the consumer. All it takes is one sick person to sort through the lemon bin to spread germs and potentially transmit illness.
Steve Debenport via Getty Images
She used her own experiences to become an entrepreneur.
Paul Souders via Getty Images
With the new year upon us, everyone is busy making resolutions to change their lives for the better. While committing to exercise more, eat better, and quit smoking are all laudable goals, why not also set a goal to improve the lives of people in your community?
The ban means that the government cannot hand out any new offshore oil and gas licences in Arctic waters. And without a licence, a company cannot apply to drill for oil or gas. In essence, the ban protects both the sensitive Arctic environment and vulnerable communities by stopping risky projects before they start.
T. Nakamura Volvox Inc. via Getty Images
The brutal Syrian conflict has forced over 2.2 million children to flee to neighbouring countries and beyond. Basel Alrashdan, 11, and his family were the first Syrian family to be resettled on Canada's Prince Edward Island.
Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Proposing a research project under the guise of science to provide cover for an ongoing illegal slaughter of wildlife in a protected area and allow individuals to profit financially from it -- and then pretending that this has anything to do with "sustainable development" -- is a joke.
The longer we delay addressing environmental problems, the more difficult it will be to resolve them. Although we've known about climate change and its potential impacts for a long time, and we're seeing those impacts worsen daily, our political representatives are still approving and promoting fossil fuel infrastructure as if we had all the time in the world to slow global warming.
Uriel Sinai via Getty Images
Canadian indigenous people have been described as "ghosts of history," spectres lingering in the background, haunting our legacy. This refers to the fact that indigenous people have been ignored to a great extent in Canadian history, yet Canadians are fully aware that indigenous people were here long before the arrival of the Europeans.
Jupiterimages via Getty Images
The emerging legalization of marijuana is an opportunity for continued and new business success in First Nation communities. As parts of the U.S. have started legalizing the sale of marijuana (and Canada is on its way), cannabis capitalists are flocking to invest in dispensaries and other marijuana-related projects.
STRINGER via Getty Images
The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act passed its second reading on December 14th, 2016 with strong Senate support. If the act becomes law, it seeks to ban cosmetic animal testing in Canada and the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been newly tested on animals outside of the country.
Digital Vision. via Getty Images
We cannot allow ourselves to become content to remain what the Canadian minister of defence has called "an island of stability in an ocean of turmoil." The Canadian government must make the decision to go or not to go in Mali, or elsewhere in Africa, to provide assistance to peace-support operations.
littlehenrabi via Getty Images
As Canada enters its 150th year, it's a moment in which we can all resolve to invest in nation's greatest resource and asset -- our children. You may not think that our children need protection. As Canadians, we tend to expect that our kids fare quite well compared with their global peers. Yet this simply isn't true.
University of Alberta/Facebook
Travel is more than rest and relaxation for me. It's how I learn, grow, and find inspiration for my sometimes dull life at home in Toronto. Every trip I take has a profound impact on me, but I want it to have a profound impact on the people and places I visit too. These five simple ways I travel consciously -- both environmentally and socially -- are easy for any traveler to implement and are guaranteed to make every holiday more beneficial for you and your destinations.
Richard Waters via Getty Images
These good news stories prove 2016 wasn't a total bust.
CFHS took a look back through 2016 and pulled together the biggest stories of this year's Canadian animal welfare advances (The Good), setbacks (The Bad) and things that made our jaws drop (The Ugly). We've also included info on the top five international animal welfare wins from 2016. They appear in no particular order.
For half a century, a drug called metformin has been making life better for people suffering from Type II diabetes. Now, Canadian researchers are finding that it could also offer remarkable benefits for something completely different. There is evidence that metformin can help an injured brain repair itself.
Westside Refugee Response
"I was overwhelmed by the presence of the prime minister next to me."
Mint via Getty Images
It takes a community to help a Syrian family settle in for their first Canadian winter.
JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
"Now we have come out as fighters."
Carlos Osorio via Getty Images
In light of the massive amount of waste produced annually, we as a global community need to rethink our approach to consumption and increasingly shift our mindset from a linear "take, make, and dispose" school of thought to "reduce, reuse, and recycle," thus creating a circular, self-perpetuating economy.
Change is needed in the way we think about farm animals in Canada. Transportation is the most alien and stressful experience that a farm animal will have in its lifetime. The longer and harder this experience is, the more risk there is of stress-induced illness, injury and death.
John P Kelly via Getty Images
Visiting Tanzania in September changed my perception of what it's really like to go without. The people we met survive with the bare necessities. A roof over their heads, basic clothing and just enough food to survive. Yet, we witnessed such joy and hope in them, and for this, I fell in love with Tanzania.
Figula Photography via Getty Images
Thanks to the hard work of humane societies and SPCAs across Canada, we have a lot to celebrate this holiday season. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has just released our annual Animal Shelter Statistics Report, and it is full of great news for companion animals in Canada.
ABPPhotography via Getty Images
The Equatorian region had been regarded as the green belt of South Sudan. That's a big deal for a country teetering on the brink of a food crisis since its inception. Its staple crops such as sorghum and maize have helped local farmers earn a meagre living, helped by the fact that the area is home to major trading routes between Juba and neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
In the U.S. alone, over 17 billion pounds of office furniture and equipment is sent to landfill every year. This waste is typically a result of necessary changes like moving, branch closures or revitalization projects. The furniture needs to be removed or replaced but it is what's being done with the furniture or, "F", waste that is the problem.
Years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu counselled us not to get discouraged by disheartening news headlines. Instead, think of them as a to-do list for changing the world, he said. As we look to 2017, we're taking that advice, focusing on positive outcomes and galvanized communities instead of lamenting past events.
Maskot via Getty Images
It sounds like a pretend holiday. But what's real is that it helps our interfaith family celebrate ritual, tradition, family and, yes, many presents.
Too often, we wrongly equate isolation with some remote location and therefore the lack of interaction is based on geography. But for a growing number of elderly living in this country's largest city, there is little escape from solitude.
"We talk about the police but we don't talk about the judge, we don't talk about the [store] clerk. This is a comprehensive experience."