Butterflies are Back Thanks to Small Gardens

pollinator

If you planted native species in your garden then you deserve a pat on the shoulder. Your efforts have helped the butterflies return from dangerously low population levels. In Toronto we’ve seen the mass return of butterflies and it’s thanks to efforts by people and educational groups ensuring that pollinators get the food they need. It also helps hold back invasive species by helping native ones and therefore ensuring we don’t lose our biodiversity. If you haven’t planted native species – don’t worry the year isn’t over yet!

Monarch butterflies are flying all over the city, and many people are wondering how that’s possible after the species’ population reached an all-time low in 2010.

“Best guess is that the push in gardening for planting butterfly friendly plants and leaving milkweed alone has been successful. People are becoming more conscious of what they plant in their gardens and it’s a really fantastic positive change,” one user wrote.

Read more.
Thanks to Greg!

Toronto’s Bloor Bike Lanes Boost Local Businesses

Bicycle

Despite being only 2.4 kilometres long the bike lane on Bloor street in Toronto was heavily contested. It was debated in local politics for decades and was only declared permanent recently. During the debate car drivers demanded the “right” to occupy land at the expense of others while maintaining an unhealthy and dangerous urban design. Thankfully, city councillors chose the safer bike-friendly design. Businesses argued that their customers drive to their stores and that due to the bike lane their business will fail. Thankfully this was incorrect. A study released last week revealed that, like everywhere else, bike lanes actually bring more money to small businesses.

Problem, research strategy, and findings:
Bike lane projects on retail streets have proved contentious among merchant associations in North America, especially when they reduce on-street parking. A limited but growing number of studies, however, detect neutral to positive consequences for merchants following bike lane implementation. In 2016, the City of Toronto (Canada) removed 136 on-street parking spots and installed a pilot bike lane on a stretch of Bloor Street, a downtown retail corridor. Using a case–control and pre–post design, we surveyed merchants and shoppers to understand the impacts of the bike lanes on economic activities. We find no negative economic impacts associated with the bike lanes: Monthly cus- tomer spending and number of customers served by merchants both increased on Bloor Street during
the pilot.
Takeaway for practice: Our findings are consistent with an improving economic environment at the inter- vention site. Downtown retail strips may therefore be suited to tolerate bike lanes and even benefit from increased retail activity. Pre and post surveys can provide valuable insights into local economic impacts of streetscape changes affecting merchants along city streets, especially where access to sales data
is limited.

Read more.

Ethiopia Planted 350 Million Trees in One Day

Forest

Earlier this year a group of scientists released a report that planting 1 trillion trees will essentially undo a decade of human carbon output. Ethiopia is doing its part by planting 350 million trees in just one year. The country is experiencing direct harms from the climate crisis (from deforestation to wildlife loss) and as chosen to plant trees to address those harms. They hope to ultimately plant 4 billion trees by the end of there rainy season!

Monday’s challenge had encouraged citizens in Africa’s second most populous nation to plant 200 million trees in one day. In 2017, India set the world record when around 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million in 12 hours.
Ethiopia’s goal for the whole season is even bigger than that; the national tree planting campaign aims to plant 4 billion trees during “the rainy season” — between May and October — according to a May tweet by Ahmed.

Read more.

Canada set to ban Single-Use Plastics by 2021

Water

The Canadian government announced plans this week to ban all single-use plastics by 2021. This is a great step in protecting the environment from the wastefulness of stars and plastic bags. The Canadian federal plan is to try to get manufactures of the plastic items to foot the bill and not consumers, this way it’s the companies causing the problem paying for the damages. Let’s hope even more countries join in on the ban on wasteful plastics.

Canada’s move follows one by the European Parliament, which voted earlier this year to ban several single-use plastic products, and recent disputes with the Philippines and Malaysia over Canadian waste shipped to them.

Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and Canadians will throw away an estimated C$11 billion ($8.3 billion) worth of plastic materials each year by 2030 without a change in course, the government said in a statement.

Canada may require manufacturers to use a set amount of recycled content, the government said. Also, federal and provincial authorities will work together so that companies, rather than just municipalities, take more responsibility for the recycling process.

Read more.

Examples of Ways People Already Live a Low Carbon Lifestyle

Berlin

As the climate crisis continues there are many ways that we all can try to slow it down. The biggest changes need to happen at the political level enforcing sustainable practices, in the meantime there are things you can do as an individual. The easiest thing to do is buy less and switch to low-carbon transit; however, there is even more options ahead of you. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration then the Guardian has you covered! They recently ran an article looking at some peopel who have already converted to a low-carbon lifestyle.

All our vegetables are seasonal, grown either in our garden or on a local organic farm. My meals are 80% vegan, and 20% vegetarian. Vegan food is delicious – it’s a cuisine.

I try to reuse and repair my belongings. I use the money I save to spend more on products I do buy. My clothes are either secondhand or organic. I have a Fairphone – it’s designed so that the individual parts can be easily replaced when they break. I don’t buy wrapping paper, I reuse an old duvet cover I cut up into squares.

In total, we’ve reduced our home’s carbon emissions by 93%. I’ve enjoyed making all these changes – they’ve been fun – and I feel part of a big movement. I want to be able to say to the next generation: I tried to prevent runaway climate change. If I didn’t, I would feel I was committing a wrong.”

Read more.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: