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Top five reasons to vote Yes in the transit referendum... even if you hate TransLink

Photo: Top five reasons to vote Yes in the transit referendum... even if you hate TransLink

Credit: Difei Li via Flickr

By Steve Kux, David Suzuki Foundation Communications & Research Specialist

1. Your Yes vote means 20 fewer minutes commuting each day.

With increased bus service, new rapid bus routes, expanded night service and a Broadway subway fewer people will get passed by full buses, helping transit users get to their destinations on time. Increased service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, West Coast Express, SeaBus and HandyDART will also shorten commutes. Light rail transit for Surrey and Langley would help move people in those communities as well. If you do drive your car, you'll be able to get around faster because fewer cars will be on the road.

Shorter commutes, reduced road rage and more time with family are just of few of the benefits. Better transit also means better air quality, as cars spend more time parked and less time burning fossil fuels. Easier movement to and from work also means we can all spend less time on the road and more time in nature. Research has shown that spending 20 minutes outdoors every day improves energy, mood and well-being.

2. You are voting for specific transportation improvement projects, not for TransLink.

All of the funds generated through the new tax will be spent on the specific projects outlined in the plan (Broadway subway, light rail in Surrey and Langley, 400 new buses across the region, a new Pattullo Bridge, bike lanes, etc.). Third-party auditors will ensure that the money goes to these improvements, not into TransLink general revenue.

A small group of people wants you to believe the referendum is your opportunity to voice concerns over how TransLink is governed. That is not accurate. The time to vote on changes to TransLink is during provincial elections when we elect the government that will have control over the transit authority's organization.

If the Yes vote wins, everything raised through the PST surcharge for transportation will be subject to independent oversight and audit. Third-party auditors will ensure that the money raised is spent on the improvements voters have agreed upon.

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How to find guilt-free chocolate, coffee and more

Queen of Green | March 3, 2015 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to find guilt-free chocolate, coffee and more

Look for the green frog seal the next time you purchase coffee, tea, chocolate, paper and so much more. (Credit: Laura Milne)

Nutella lovers, avert your eyes, or prepare for bad news...

Palm oil (second ingredient) and cocoa both made this list of forest-unfriendly foods (and coffee, too). And, if you hadn't noticed, palm oil is in everything — at least in most pre-packed and processed foods and soap, which is one reason I make my own.

But wait! What if there was a superhero that could save us from a life without chocolate and coffee? (And let's not forget bananas. I don't know how people raised toddlers before bananas were readily available in North America.)

Well, I have seen it and it is green. Tree frog green!

rainforest-alliance-certified-seal-280.png

The Rainforest Alliance (@Rnfrstalliance) certifies food and beverages so you can:

  1. Feel less guilty about your non-local diet choices
  2. Make a positive impact on faraway places, people and cultures we may not know much about AND some of the most biodiverse places on Earth
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Good things happen when nature is part of the equation

Photo: Good things happen when nature is part of the equation

Gibsons, B.C. looks out over Howe Sound. (Credit: Bob Cotter via Flickr )

By Michelle Molnar, Environmental Economist

The small town of Gibsons, B.C., has a big distinction. Last summer it became the first municipality in North America, and possibly in the world, to consider nature as an asset and give natural assets the same consideration as traditional capital assets. The town of Gibsons has committed to operate, maintain and replace its natural assets, such as wetlands and forests, just as it does traditional capital assets, such as roads and sidewalks. Nature, for the first time, is its own distinct asset class central to the town's municipal asset management policy.

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It's miles matching week!

Photo: It's miles matching week!

Do you collect Aeroplan Miles? Now you can use them to support the David Suzuki Foundation! Donate your Aeroplan Miles through the Aeroplan Beyond Miles program.

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Hitting the streets for the Chinese New Year's parade

Photo: Hitting the streets for the Chinese New Year's parade

(Credit: SOULdiers dance group via Flickr)

By Kim Sato, dancer, choreographer and dance producer

On February 22, I had the pleasure of joining David Suzuki Foundation staff and volunteers for a second year in a row to march in the Chinese New Year's parade. My name is Kim Sato and I'm a dance artist, choreographer, director, dance advocate and producer of a variety of street dance events in Vancouver.

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We have to stop filling and killing the oceans with plastic

Science Matters | February 26, 2015 | 7 comments
Photo: We have to stop filling and killing the oceans with plastic

(Credit: Kevin Krejci via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation's Senior Editor Ian Hanington

Eight million tonnes. That's how much plastic we're tossing into the oceans every year! University of Georgia environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck says it's enough to line up five grocery bags of trash on every foot of coastline in the world.

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Top 10 list for a successful Blue Dot campaign

Photo: Top 10 list for a successful Blue Dot campaign

Grant Linney holds up a Blue Dot banner and stands with his successful team, Hamilton, Ontario

By Grant Linney, Lead Blue Dot Community Volunteer, Hamilton, Ontario

Thanks to Grant Linney's leadership, his hometown of Hamilton became the first Ontario municipality — and the 23rd in Canada — to sign a declaration recognizing environmental rights for its citizens. Here are Grant's inspiring insights:

1. It's personal. I had a free-range boyhood, exploring local woodlots, creeks and meadows, and working at summer camps. I still go on wilderness canoe trips. My connection to nature leaves me in a permanent state of awe. I feel compelled to protect what I deeply love.

2. It's community. We have a core group of 12 to 18 like-minded volunteers, with others pitching in, as needed. We share the Blue Dot mission, but we bring diverse talents to our common cause.

3. It's leadership — someone who calls the first meeting and sets an agenda; who readily seeks advice and asks questions; who regularly listens, offers support and encouragement; and who does initial legwork. Someone like you.

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