Tag Archives: Sustainability

The Magic of Mushrooms

Via Euronews

The incredible properties of mushrooms are being unearthed by mycologists with wide-ranging benefits in various fields from packaging to antibiotics, biofuels to ecological pesticides.

In 2006, a patent was granted to mycologist, Paul Stamets. The patent is perhaps the biggest threat the chemical pesticide industry has ever encountered and this is only one of a string of patents Paul has to his name.

Continue reading The Magic of Mushrooms

Keep Pedalling – It’s only rain!

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, by Steven Vacher

This article was first posted on CatherineWiggins.com

It is difficult to find the words to describe the joys of the extended summer experienced on the West Coast of Canada. As we head towards November, it seems as though we have only just wrapped up those T-shirt and cotton dress days to find the Fall rains starting to visit our shores.

I chose the best summer to sell my car this past summer. I had owned a cute VW Cabrio for more than 10 years and she was a charmer. Along with my two-wheeled vehicles I felt that I had the best transportation fleet in town. Yet there had been a subdued desire within me to ‘go carless’ and challenge myself to rely on my sturdy steel-framed Brodie as my main form of transformation. In June I took the plunge and I sold my beloved convertible to friends. My new life without a motor vehicle was beginning.

Continue reading Keep Pedalling – It’s only rain!

Vertality4 Photos Are Up!

On February 20th, Vancouver enjoyed another successful Vertality event. Every year, Vertality  brings together top-changemakers to celebrate everything green.  Check out some photos of this year’s event, which had New Beginnings as the theme:


Continue reading Vertality4 Photos Are Up!

Place-Based Imaginative and Ecological Education in Maple Ridge, BC


Since August 2008, the project has been working to bring together the community of Maple Ridge to establish a public K-7 school and learning centre. The theory and practice of the project is supported by Place-Based, Imaginative and Ecological Education. Learning and teaching will be experiential, in context, and through activities that engage the mind, body, and heart. The project is based in principles of inquiry and inclusion.

Teaching and learning will involve reconnecting the natural and human worlds. The project is a partnership between several community groups, School District 42 Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, and Simon Fraser University. The university-based research is funded through an environmental Community-University Research Alliance grant (eCURA) from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

maple-ridge-nature-educationWe seek to grow relationships and nurture practices of learning and teaching that embody the following principles and values:

  • Place and Community
  • Nature, Ecology and Sustainability
  • Inquiry and Possibility
  • Interdependence and Flourishing
  • Imagination and Integration

Place and Community

We cultivate learning in, about, with and from local places. This includes spending extensive time immersed in the outdoors, dialoguing with a diversity of people connected to these places, and exploring the meaning of places in the context of the broader community, its past and future. Our hope is to nurture and develop an inclusive educational community deeply rooted in place. Related readings.

Nature, Ecology and Sustainability

We cultivate learning in natural settings, where we listen for what the more than human world has to teach us. Through the cycle of the seasons and the years, knowledge of ecosystems will be built gradually so that diversity, complexity and sustainability become part of our understanding of the world. How to live sustainability in this place is an ongoing question in everything we do. Related readings

Inquiry and Possibility

We cultivate a spirit of inquiry involving everyone – the natural world, students, parents, community members, teachers and researchers alike. We are committed to exploring multiple pathways of learning and teaching that engage many different ways of knowing and forms of knowledge. Meaningful, authentic, locally-inspired individual, group and community projects play an important part in this process. Related readings

Interdependence and Flourishing

We cultivate an appreciation of people both as unique individuals and as members of nested families, communities, and places.  We seek to understand the complex ways in which we can help each other flourish, and how to build relationships and systems that contribute to such flourishing. We aim to foster respect, care, and health in everything we do. Related readings

Imagination and Integration

We cultivate imagination in teaching and learning, as a key to deeper understanding, creativity, and responsiveness to place and community. We look for ways to integrate learning across the curriculum, bridging language arts, sciences, histories, geographies, mathematics, physical and social skills. We develop educational practices and materials that nurture a sense of wholeness in learning and teaching. Related readings

School Questionsenvironmentalschool@sd42.ca
Research Questionsecolearn@sfu.ca

Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Gathering

By Heather Balch

1) Buy local. Support local companies by purchasing local food, wine, and beer. Not only are you supporting your local community but local food usually has a smaller environmental impact.

2) Use ingredients that are in-season. If you are planning on cooking for your party, make sure to use ingredients that are in-season. They will be fresher, easier to get, and they are better for the environment.

3) Use Mother Nature to decorate. Collect sticks at your local park to put in vases or paint and use them as center pieces. You can also use pinecones, acorns, leaves and potted plants as beautiful decorations.

4) Reduce waste. Send out electronic invites instead of paper ones. Use reusable cloth napkins to reduce the amount of waste your party creates. Properly dispose of the waste your party does create by composting the food and recycling beverage containers.

5) Encourage Secret Santa. Instead of buying presents for everyone on your list, encourage your party to participate in Secret Santa and limit individuals to only bring one gift each.

6) Make a donation. Ask your guests to make a donation instead of purchasing a hostess gift or let them choose a charity they’d like you to make a donation to instead of offering party favours.

And be in the moment. Enjoy each and every moment of the holidays with your loved ones; be grateful for all you have; and cultivate generosity.

Happy Holidays!