Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign Wants You to Vote

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Canada’s most populous province goes to the polls in a few weeks, and climate should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Politicians are talking about the increased costs of living, but they aren’t connecting that to the ruling Conservative Party’s anti-climate actions. Energy costs are up because they ended renewable power contracts early, revenue is down because they left the carbon market (and paid a billion to do so), so the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign wants to change that.

If you live in Ontario then check out what you can do to get politicians talking about the biggest issue of our time.

As you may know, the latest IPCC report in April said we must peak emissions by 2025 and nearly halve emissions by 2030 to have a chance at a 1.5 degree world. You may also know that we play an outsized role here in Canada–we are among the top three global emitters per capita and among the top ten emitters in absolute terms, which doesn’t even count the emissions from the fossil fuels we export. That means this next Ontario government is going to play a critical role in doing our part to limit climate destruction. And the good news is that climate action is good for health! We will reduce air pollution related illness, increase access to green space and nature, and increase access to public transit and active transportation.

Our campaign’s first action is out and ready to go, and I would so appreciate your participation. Go to this page to send a message to all your local candidates about this critical emergency, and tell your family and friends to do the same.

Take action now!

Thanks to Samantha!

No Mow May 2022

It’s now may and many of you want to get outside to start making your lawn the most beautiful in the neighbourhood. Relax. Go easy with everything and you will find that your lawn will be better than ever. This spring, being lazy with your lawn is the best thing you can do.

The No Mow May campaign aims to get people to stop harming their lawns by mowing in May. Even Bob Vila supports it and lists eight reasons why you should participate.

5. Your lawn will be healthier.

No Mow May doesn’t just help pollinators, it can help your lawn for the better. By reducing the frequency in which you mow, your lawn can become more resilient to drought. Plus, it won’t require as much watering.

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1/3 of all residential water use goes to landscape irrigation. That translates to nearly 9 billion gallons each day! You can help reduce that number by taking part in the No Mow May campaign.

Read more.

How Smalls Won Big Against Amazon

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Chris Smalls took on one of the richest people on the planet and won. Smalls worked at an Amazon warehouse where he led a walkout due to the poor working conditions and treatment from the company, he was fired the day he led the walkout. This only gave Smalls the push he needed to rally the rest of the Amazon workers to unionize. Despite Amazon spending millions and forcing workers to attend anti-union meetings the workers won and became the first Amazon warehouse to unionize.

Smalls had zero \union background, nor did he rely on any established labor groups for funding and organizing power. 

Instead he raised money for the operation through GoFundMe. Smalls and his co-founder Derrick Palmer — who’s still working at the warehouse — reached out to their coworkers. 

The bus stop used by workers became their gathering place. They’d wait there to talk to workers who were heading home from their shifts. They’d have a bonfire going, with s’mores, and get people talking. They invited workers to cookouts.

“We had over 20 some barbecues, giving out food every single week, every single day, whether it was pizza, chicken, pasta,” Smalls said. He even brought home-cooked food from his aunt to some of these gatherings.

Read more.

Instead of Pesticides, Use Plants

This is the year nobody should use pesticides, if you’re on the fence about using pesticides I’ll remind you that they do more harm than good. They negatively impact human health, kill unintended species, and even taint groundwater. Many smart gardeners already avoid using the killer chemicals and you too can be a smart gardener. Why use dangerous chemicals when you can use plants?

Over at PopSci they’ve complied a list of what plants in North America you should plant to protect your garden from pests.

You can find examples of pesticide plants stretching back thousands of years. Native Americans, for example, may have developed companion planting as early as 10,000 years ago, long before home gardening became a pastime. Although synthetic chemical-based pesticides have become common, you don’t need to follow that trend.

When you use plants to keep pests away, you’re employing a proven gardening technique backed by scientific research. Installing the right plants in your garden is fast, easy, and (the best part) extremely fun. If you’re not sure where to start, we have some suggestions for every planting zone in the US.

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Insulation is Better Than Oil

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Insulation is a boring solution to the deadly consumption of oil inside your home. If you have a gas furnace or other fossil fuel heater then you can start reducing your consumption of the dead dino juice by better insulating your home. You can also go a step further and replace planet-killing heating solutions with a heat pump.

In the United Kingdom a simple policy change to encourage homeowners improve their insulation and/or install heat pumps can eliminate the need for Russian gas. The time to this is right now so it cuts off the market desire for oil from a state waging war on its neighbour.

If you’re a homeowner then improve your insulation and get off of gas.

An analysis by the think tank notes concludes that the deployment of insulation and electric heat pumps in 6.5 million homes by 2027 could reduce UK gas demand by four per cent, which is roughly equivalent to UK imports of Russian gas.

By enabling citizens to use less gas to heat their homes, a policy focused on heat pumps and insulation could also curb energy bills and protect millions of households from volatile international gas prices, it said.

Read more.

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