Members’ Corner – June Edition

Members’ Corner is a new, monthly list of recommendations on our favourite sustainability-related resources.

You Should Read: How To Have a Zero Waste Kitchen, by Tony Naylor at The Guardian

Ruth Briggs, member of SPEC’s Board and Energy and Transportation Committee

Are you sure you can’t eat that? Food waste is a huge problem globally, and while most of us have compost bins here in Vancouver, some of the things we’re putting in them could end up feeding us instead. Canadians are among the biggest food-wasters in the world, with an estimated $31-billion worth of food thrown out in Canada every year. And 47 per cent of that waste happens at home! Here are some diverse tips from top chefs about how you can reduce food waste at home, including ways to use vegetable peelings for flavour and what to do with stale bread.

You should visit: Our Social Fabric at #340, 1275 Venables

 St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2C9

Magali Vander Vorst, SPEC Board member

It’s a non-profit that gathers unused fabrics from brands – some brands are so big they can’t even disclose them – the movie industry, and more. If you are crafty or need a project for the summer, this is a great place to start. They are awfully cheap and the passionate staff is always willing to give you tips for your project. I went there and bought a 4-meter long fleece fabric from MEC that I used to make a case for my large foam pad and, voilà, now I have a guest mattress! As they say on their site, textiles represent “a staggering proportion of the solid waste stream: approximately 16kg per person, or a total of 33,600 tonnes in Metro Vancouver in 2006.” What better reason than that?

You should watch: The Peel Project by Calder Cheverie 

Richa Chuttani, member of SPEC’s Energy and Transportation Committee

The Peel is a project, and subsequently a film, about one of the last “untouched” watersheds in Canada. It is not your typical documentary full of dry information. It is a raw, but beautiful, story of six “Canadian” artists, who are sent on a twenty-day journey through an arctic river’s eco-system to look for inspiration. With little experience in portage or with wilderness, they try to interpret and narrate their experience in their own way and in their own artistic media.

The film delicately taps into the ever-unanswered question of what it means to be Canadian and what it means to be Indigenous in a commodified natural landscape. It is a good roundabout around the politically-centered discussions about the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

You should read: I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, by James Hoggan 

Magali Vander Vorst, SPEC Board member

It is about the wrong ways the public, politics, and scientist are communicating our severe environmental issues and how to improve these communications between the two extremes. It’s especially interesting because it’s not just about the environment but about how some stakeholders manipulate messages to polarize society – and I found myself victim to that too! The book makes you realize we are not as opposed as we think, we have just been manipulated. These teachings can be in your everyday life – even during your elevator conversations. It’s a must read if you want to convince your uncle to recycle his plastic cupcakes boxes at the next birthday dinner.