Be ocean wise

The Ocean Wise logo on a restaurant menu, seafood-counter or seafood product is the trusted symbol of ocean-friendly seafood choices. With more than 360 partners and over 2,800 locations across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for years to come. Learn more at

The Invitation Global Work Party 10/10/10
Bill McKibben and the team

It’s been a tough year: in North America, oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico; in Asia, some of the highest temperatures ever recorded; in the Arctic, the fastest melting of sea ice ever seen; in Latin America, record rainfalls washing away whole mountainsides. So we’re having a party.

Circle 10/10/10 on your calendar. That’s the date. The place is wherever you live. And the point is to do something that will help deal with global warming in your city or community. We’re calling it a Global Work Party, with emphasis on both ‘work’ and ‘party.’ In Auckland, New Zealand, they’re having a giant bike fix-up day, to get every bicycle in the city back on the road. In the Maldives, they’re putting up solar panels on the president’s office. In Kampala, Uganda, they’re going to plant thousands of trees and in Bolivia they’re installing solar stoves for a massive carbon neutral picnic.

Since we’ve already worked hard to call, email, petition and protest to get politicians to move, and they haven’t moved fast enough, now it’s time to show that we really do have the tools we need to get serious about the climate crisis.

On 10/10/10 we’ll show that we the people can do this, but we need bold energy policies from our political leaders to do it on a scale that truly matters. The goal of the day is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a pointed political message: if we can get to work, you can get to work too – on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

You can sign up to host a local event at or search for an event to join at And don’t worry about being alone at this party; there are already 1,077 groups in 109 countries around the world scheduled to do something great that day. We’ll knit all these groups together with a powerful mosaic of photos, videos and stories from around the world. You wouldn’t want to miss it.

It’s been a tough year, but it can be a beautiful day on October 10 if we work together and party together. And if we do it right, we’ll take a big step towards the kind of political solutions we desperately need. Onwards!

Photos like these will soon be part of a travelling exhibition in North America and Europe. (Ian McAllister photo)

Proposed oil pipeline motivates Conservation Photographers

A selection of the world’s most celebrated and talented nature photographers will deploy to BC’s Great Bear Rainforest. Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests and stunning marine biodiversity, it is one of the planet’s most priceless treasures. Asian oil interests wanting access to western Canada’s tar sands, the second largest known oil reserves in the world, have prompted the International League of Conservation Photographers to focus on this region. Enbridge, Inc., the world’s largest pipeline construction company recently filed an application to the Canadian National Energy Board to build a 1,200-kilometre twin pipeline between Alberta’s tar sands and BC’s north Pacific coast. The unprecedented proposal, facilitating Asian access to Canadian oil, would be constructed over a thousand streams and rivers, while introducing super oil tankers to the pristine waters of the globally recognized Great Bear Rainforest. The indigenous First Nations who call this area home unanimously oppose this project.

Documentation by ILCP will showcase the immense ecological importance of western Canada’s threatened rainforest and marine environment. The images and stories from the expedition members will be shared with international media and partner organizations and will be featured in a travelling exhibition across North America and Europe. The ILCP will hold a press conference in Vancouver on September 14. (At press time, the location for the press conference has not been established.)

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

With over 650 cleanup sites registered across Canada, it isn’t too late to register for the 17th annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup as a site coordinator or cleanup participant. Most shoreline litter originates from land and land-based activities so by stepping up and signing up, we are all taking action to stop one of the most widespread pollution problems endangering our oceans and waterways. Plus, what crazy item do you think you’ll find along your shoreline?

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation in action program that began in 1994 with a handful of Vancouver Aquarium employees who wanted to participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

In 2009, nearly 57,000 Canadians registered to cleanup 1,568 sites across Canada. Over 160,900 kg of litter was removed from a cumulative distance of 2,500 km of shoreline, approximately equivalent to the driving distance from Vancouver to the Manitoba/Ontario border.

Some of the more unusual items found in the past include a message in a bottle (the message: “Please don’t litter”), false teeth, a living room set, a canoe made out of duct tape, a wedding dress, a disco ball, a safe from an hotel, a toboggan, a mini trampoline and a clothesline complete with poles and pins.

This year’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup takes place September 18-26. For more information or to register, please visit For more information on the program, check out or call 1-877-427-2422.

Take a pass on Chilean sea bass

In Canada, Chilean sea bass became the poster child for seafood unsustainability following a campaign led by the US National Environment Trust asking consumers and chefs to “Take a pass on Chilean sea bass.” More recently and under pressure from consumers and environmental organizations including Greenpeace, three major Canadian supermarkets (Overwaitea, Safeway and Loblaw) stopped selling it, with Metro planning to follow suit in September, leaving only Sobeys still carrying it. But it can still be found in high-end restaurants and fish shops.

Canada is currently one of nine leading toothfish importers. How about we become instead a leading toothfish conserver?

Greenpeace has released the report Defending the Last Ocean: How Seafood Markets Can Help Save Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Read it and be sure to keep passing up the Chilean sea bass.

tunning stone sculptures from Zimbabwe return to VanDusen Garden

VanDusen’s September offerings

Zimsculpt returns to VanDusen Garden for a second year bringing stunning stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. More than 200 pieces are artistically displayed throughout the Garden. Two artists from Zimbabwe, Passmore Mupindiko and Patrick Sephani, are in attendance throughout the exhibition and carving on site daily. All pieces are for sale with partial proceeds going to support the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association.


September 9

Cedar Series Lecture, “GMO and Terminator Seeds, The Old and New” with April Reeves in Floral Hall, 7:30 pm. April Reeves will be discussing the history and technology of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with a focus on terminator seeds. As we address the question, “Why should we be aware of terminator technology?” Ms. Reeves will also explore the long-term vision and dangers of this technology and what you can do about GE Terminator crops and trees. Bring your questions for answers about all types of GM technology. Tickets in advance from the Administration Office or, subject to availability, at the door on the night of the lecture. Individual tickets: Members $10, non-members $15. Trio Pack includes three tickets that can be used on any three lectures in 2010. Members: $25 for 3; non-members: $40 for 3.

September 11

Bird Walk, 10 am. Meet at the Garden entrance. Join Jeremy Gordon from Nature Vancouver for a guided birding exploration in the Garden. Rain or shine. Limited to the first 20 people. Free for members or included with Garden admission. For more information on Nature Vancouver, visit

September 18

Volunteer orientation, 10am-3pm. Orientation is a prerequisite for volunteer activities at VanDusen Garden. Bring your lunch; refreshments will be provided. Dress for the weather. Meet at the Totem Poles near the Garden Entrance at 10am. Learn about the many volunteer opportunities at VanDusen. Meet representatives from the VBGA staff and Board. Tour the Garden with experienced guides who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm. To register or for more information, call Judy Aird, 604-257-8674 or email

September 19

Medicine Wheel Ceremony, 12-3pm at the First Nations’ Medicine Wheel in the Canadian Heritage Garden. Join elders from the First Nations community in a spiritual ceremony to mark the changing of the season. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and bring a small stone to bless and leave at the wheel as well as a food item to share at the potluck meal at the conclusion of the ceremony. For information, contact VanDusen’s librarian Marina Princz at or call 604-257-8668.

September 19

HSBC VanDusen Family Program – Super Seeds for families with children ages 5 to 11 years. Seeds come in different sizes, shapes and colors. Some can be eaten and some can’t. Discover the ingenious ways that seeds travel, what they are composed of and how they grow. Two sessions: 10:30am-12pm or 1:30-3 pm. Member family $15; non-member family $25 (includes admission to the Garden). One-time bursaries are available for families with limited resources. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required. Call 604-718-5898 or email

September 25

VanDusen’s Annual Compost and Spring Bulb Sale in the parking lot, 10am-3pm. $5 for a 20kg bag of compost. While picking up your compost, why not add a few bulbs to your purchase? Wide selection available.

September 25-26

Dried Flower Sale in Entrance Pavilion, 10am-4pm. Sale of dried flower centrepieces for Thanksgiving and autumn wreaths of vibrant fall colors made from materials gathered in the Garden.

VanDusen Garden is located at 5251 Oak Street in Vancouver.

News from Burns Bog

September is all about Ray Zahab, fresh off the heels of his Siberian and Tunisia expeditions. He’s sure to have tons of exciting and inspiring stories to tell us. Start making plans to order your tickets and register for the run today. Both events are sure to sell out so don’t delay.

Ray Zahab with The Hour host George Stroumboulopoulos

September 24

Ray speaks at the Burns Bog Gala, Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course. $75/person; $750/table of 10; $1,000/table sponsorship. A silent auction, raffle tickets and 50/50 draw are all part of the evening’s fun. Auction items include an original painting by Delta Artist of the Year Linda Jones, a print from acclaimed Canadian photographer Graham Osborne and a Nintendo Wii. Register at

September 26

Ray leads the Jog for the Bog. Walk, jog or run with Ray. Spots are filling up quickly. Register online at or call 604-572-0373.

The Burns Bog Conservation Society is getting ready to launch a new website and we want to hear from you. Tell us what you like, dislike or anything new you would like to see. The new site includes a better resource library, a kid’s corner, interactive quizzes, improved maps and directions as well as video footage of trails inside the Delta Nature Reserve. Let us know what you want to see and keep your eyes peeled for the new coming soon.

4 easy ways to go green & save money

1. Build a clothesline.

Besides the obvious costs of electricity, a tumble dryer wears out clothes more quickly.

2. Skip the bottled water

Buy a reusable container. Fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet and your health. The EPA and other international governments’ standards for tap water are always stricter than the FDA’s standards for bottled water. Hard to believe, but water is more expensive that gasoline when you buy it by the litre.

3. Go digital

Saving energy means saving money by adjusting your thermostat a little cooler in the winter and a little warmer in the summer. Install a digital thermostat with timers. Drop the temperature of your house a few degrees while nobody is home then bring it back up right before everyone gets back.

4. Tofu Tuesdays

Going vegetarian once a week saves money and the planet. Staples such as rice, corn and beans can make trips to a grocery store less expensive. The biggest savings come in health-care costs years later as eating less meat lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. It’s better for the planet, reduces water usage and global-warming gases.

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