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Meeting Summary: Dec 4, 2019 - Neighbours for the Planet Climate Action Meeting

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

16 people attended the meeting.

The meeting was started with Slack Training provided by Reuben!

We then got updates from each group:

1. Reducing Food Waste

Some of the members visited stores and asked a list of questions about how food waste was dealt with in the stores. The store managers were happy to discuss and the good news is that stores are already doing a good job minimizing their food waste. Some things that were learned:

  • Some stores donate food to Second Harvest

  • All stores seem to use food nearing their end of shelf life in their kitchen to prepare take away meals that they can then sell.

  • Some waste goes to feeding farm animals.

  • All seemed to do a good job at minimizing their food waste!

Discussed the FlashFood app. Flashfood is a company that has teamed up with grocery stores to minimize food waste. Foods that are usually thrown out due to their impending best before date are now being discounted. Flashfood has created an app that alerts shoppers of these discounts. Unfortunately, Flashfood keeps credit card information on file. An email has been sent to see if they can remove that restriction. Currently, Flashfood seems to be limited to Loblaws and has few items available.

Food waste from farm to fork is actually highest at the household level. Stores represent about 10% of food wasted compared to almost 50% by households. “Food: Too Good to Waste” Implementation Guide and Toolkit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was discussed. The document provides detailed information on how to design a small-scale campaign to engage the community to reduce their household avoidable food waste. Below are the strategies that would be used in this campaign.

And finally, the increased carbon footprint of the holidays was discussed. See our article on some suggested steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying the holidays!

2. Transportation

All the information from the brainstorming session has been collected and structured. The group will now have to figure out which ones to focus on. The good news is that there are some new members that have joined this group!

  • Bike lanes

  • Car pooling

  • Electric vehicles

  • Public transport

  • Lobbying and policy

  • Walking

3. Plant Based Diet

The biggest impact to reducing our carbon footprint can be made in the home. Everyone in the group has an interest in a vegan or vegetarian diet. Need to reach out to the community.

The group is also looking at community garden and seed exchange.

There is also interest in indoor farming.

Hillcrest Mall has a green roof and has installed beehives. Group will reach out to see if they would be interested in adding a garden to their roof top.

As a way to promote plant-based diet, one of the members of the group baked a vegan Shepherd’s Pie, and some delicious desserts for us to sample! The recipe was also provided with nutritional information. It will be posted on our website. They were absolutely delicious!

New Items Discussed

#Global Climate Strikes – we missed Nov 29.

  • These are important to put pressure on the government.

  • We discussed joining local schools to give them support. That way nice & simple – just show up with signs and support students and help them grow their numbers.

  • Currently Maple High School in Vaughan strikes every Friday. We can start with joining them and when another school starts to strike, then we can switch to that school. We can continue to rotate schools.

We had a quick discussion on how to promote Martin Bush's new book " Climate Change and Renewable Energy – How to End the Climate Crisis”

  • This book presents a comprehensive overview of the global climate change impacts caused by widespread and continuing use of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas.

  • Reviews the key renewable energy technologies; solar photovoltaics, wind power, hydropower, and geothermal energy

  • Introduces a theory-of-change approach to substantially reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.

Possible suggestions for future meetings:

  • Bring in someone who could talk about how to best use democracy to help make change

  • Bring in someone who could talk about how to change behaviours in people

Upcoming Events - check here for more details

Sat Dec 7 – Targeting Climate Change (these are held every 2 months)

  • NftP, XR-RH, Drawdown RH and Blue Dot will all have a table. I will hand out our initiative handouts and also my article on reducing food waste.

  • Martin will be giving a 15 minute presentation on his book

Sun Dec 15 – Intersection Action by XR-RH

  • This is the first XR-RH only climate action. It will be a peaceful event to get more attention on Climate Change and to let the community know that XR has started a hub in Richmond Hill.

  • You can also find their bi-weekly meetings on our website

Agenda items for next meeting

  • Climate moment

  • Updates by each group leader on status of action item

  • Group work session

  • Wrap Up

Meetings are held twice a month.

Next meeting will be Friday January 10th at the York Regional Police community room.

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