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How much food can cities produce?

Science Matters | August 25, 2016 | 2 comments
Photo: How much food can cities produce?

(Credit: SPUR via Flickr)

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

Humans are fast becoming city dwellers. According to the United Nations, “The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014.” Sixty-six per cent of us will likely live in urban environments by 2050. The number of mega-cities (more than 10 million inhabitants) is also skyrocketing, from 10 in 1990 to 28 in 2014 — home to more than 453 million people — and is expected to grow to 41 by 2030.

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Ontario's Oxford County a renewable energy pioneer

Photo: Ontario's Oxford County a renewable energy pioneer

(Credit: Eric Malette via Flickr)

By Gideon Foreman,

Jay Heaman is passionate about renewable energy. An electrician by training, he worked for the local electricity distributor in Woodstock, Ontario, for 27 years. The job he now holds — manager of strategic initiatives for the County of Oxford — allows his passion free range.

In June 2015, Oxford (which is between Hamilton and London) passed a motion committing itself to 100 per cent renewable energy for electricity, heating and transportation by 2050. It's the first municipality in Ontario to make this promise. (Oxford won't ban fossil fuels but any used will be offset by renewables, resulting in net-zero carbon emissions.)

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How to make non-toxic dog shampoo

Queen of Green | August 22, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to make non-toxic dog shampoo

Store bought pet products are loaded with toxic ingredients like parabens, SLS/SLES, and fragrance. (Credit: Laura Milne)

You read ingredient lists on personal care products to avoid the Dirty Dozen. But parabens, SLS/SLES and fragrance also lurk in pet products — from shampoo to ear wash and tooth gel.

Shop smarter. Avoid ingredients which may cause cancer, interfere with hormone function and harm fish and other wildlife.

Next time your dog rolls in it make dog shampoo:

Dog shampoo recipe

Time needed: five minutes
Shelf life: approximately one month

177 ml (¾ cup) water
60 ml (¼ cup) liquid castile soap
15 ml (1 tbsp) aloe gel (optional)
5 to 10 drops essential oil (optional) Try any combination of anti-flea essential oils including rosemary, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, spearmint and citronella.

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Clyde River Inuit fight to protect territory and livelihoods from big oil

Science Matters | August 18, 2016 | 3 comments
Photo: Clyde River Inuit fight to protect territory and livelihoods from big oil

Clyde River community (Credit: Greenpeace).

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Ontario and Northern Canada Director Faisal Moola.

The Arctic's Baffin Bay and Davis Strait region is home to seals, bowhead whales, polar bears and up to 90 per cent of the world's narwhals. The area's marine waters also provide habitat for 116 species of fish, such as Arctic char, an important dietary staple for Nunavut's Inuit communities.

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David Suzuki Foundation's Olympics campaign lives on in Rio

Photo: David Suzuki Foundation's Olympics campaign lives on in Rio

Credit: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

By Paul Lingl

Last night, while watching the Rio 2016 Olympics, I was reminded that the David Suzuki Foundation's work can sometimes have unexpected ripple effects. A case in point: DSF's 2010 Olympics campaign, and how it's influenced subsequent Olympics, large companies and even governments.

Our goal in 2010 was to not only make the Vancouver Winter Olympics carbon-neutral (i.e., no net climate impact), but to use the unparalleled platform of the games to inspire Canadians — as well as a global audience numbering in the billions — with climate solutions.

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How messy yards help bees

Queen of Green | August 15, 2016 | 1 comment
Photo: How messy yards help bees

Place found materials — twigs, plant stalks and old sunflower heads — inside a reclaimed or repurposed box in your garden. (Credit: Garry Knight via Flickr)

Protecting pollinators means not using harmful pesticides. It also means providing welcoming habitat, even in your own backyard. And that's easier than you think!

Be a bee hugger

You can make your backyard a bee sanctuary. (Kids can help!) The secret? Keep it untidy! Chances are you're already doing at least one of these:

  1. Let veggies bolt and flower. Besides being a great way to witness a plant's full life cycle, you can sit back and watch pollinators at work!
  2. Collect twigs, bundle them up and leave them outside for bee nesting habitat.
  3. Leave a patch of ground bare. About 70 per cent of Canada's native bees nest underground.
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Let's push the prime minister to get moving on climate

Science Matters | August 11, 2016 | 6 comments
Photo: Let's push the prime minister to get moving on climate

By David Suzuki

Canadians of all political persuasions care about climate action. Watching Canada fall behind the rest of the world over the past 10 years has been deeply disturbing to many. We became climate laggards. We yearn to be leaders.

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