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What the Flup? Bee-ware of new pesticide flupyradifurone

Photo: What the Flup? Bee-ware of new pesticide flupyradifurone

By Lisa Gue, Researcher and Analyst

While dithering over neonicotinoids — bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe — Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word.

Take action! Tell the government to reconsider its "kill bees first, ask questions later" approach to regulating pesticides.

Like neonics, flupyradifurone attacks the nervous system of insect pests. Both are systemic pesticides that are taken up by plants and move through their tissues into pollen, fruits and seeds. Both are also persistent, sticking around in the environment and, with repeated applications, building up over time.

Health Canada says flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, birds, worms, spiders, small mammals and aquatic bugs — familiar words to anyone following Canada's slow-motion review of neonics. When first introduced, neonics were touted as safer for humans than other insecticides. Treating seeds with systemic pesticides instead of spraying crops should be better for the environment, too, right? Wrong. We now know that dust from corn seed treated with neonics is implicated in large-scale bee die-offs during planting season in Ontario and Quebec. Not only is this is alarming in its own right, the dead bees are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signalling broader ecological consequences.

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Add low-cost, high-class shellfish to your weekday meals

Healthy Oceans | October 22, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Add low-cost, high-class shellfish to your weekday meals

Old-fashioned Manhattan clam chowder is a great option for a cold day. (Credit: Karianne Blank)

Many people think shellfish are high-priced, high-class items served only at dress-up events. But they can actually be cost-effective, healthy additions to your everyday food repertoire.

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How to take your first step

Queen of Green | October 20, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to take your first step

Maude has made a commitment to reducing the waste she makes. Will you do the same? (Credit: Nadia Doiron)

As you read this, 50 families across the nation are taking steps to reach their "green" goals, impressing and inspiring their Queen of Green Coaches (and me).

They've completed the first, three-week module on waste. It's a huge category, with a wide spectrum of challenges and solutions — from curbing consumption, to implementing the three R's and reducing energy waste.

Want to play along and reinvigorate your commitment to your "green" journey?

First meet Maude of Montreal, who's come up with her own set of goals. She's five. (Her parents explained what the program is all about.)

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Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

Science Matters | October 16, 2014 | 1 comment
Photo: Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

(Credit: Prayitno via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

Canadians expect to have our environment protected, and to know how it's being protected. A report from Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development shows we're being short-changed.

"In many key areas that we looked at, it is not clear how the government intends to address the significant environmental challenges that future growth and development will likely bring about," commissioner Julie Gelfand said of the report, which used government data, or lack thereof, to assess the government's success or failure to implement its own regulations and policies.

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Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

Photo: Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

(Credit: Francis Lynn)

By Sophika Kostyniuk, National Organizing Manager

People power, passion and perseverance. These are the key ingredients that helped convince Richmond city council to make environmental rights a top priority for the B.C. municipality, now and into the future.

A mere four months have passed since a small group of committed citizens gathered together for two days of community organizing training in Richmond. Over the course of those two days, they mapped out the Richmond Blue Dot 1 campaign — a campaign designed to bring together motivated and concerned citizens and galvanize them to work toward positive change in their community. It was the first of its kind in Canada.

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Eat, drink, parade! The Homegrown Park Crawl

(Video: Greg Francis)

By Jode Roberts, Homegrown National Park Project

Food, music, art, parades and smiles — all key ingredients at the second annual Homegrown Park Crawl in Toronto October 5.

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Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

Science Matters | October 9, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

Films of tropical forests don't accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems. They're skillfully edited shots acquired over many months. Our media-nurtured impatience and urgent sense of time often prevent us from seeing how life truly unfolds. (Credit: Floyd Stewart via Flickr)

By David Suzuki

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we're amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you'll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

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