Meeting Summary: Feb 4, 2020 - Neighbours for the Planet Climate Action Meeting

Updated: Feb 8


We had a few new people join us. A lot of regular members were not able to make it today – only one person from each group came out. But they sure were ready with a lot of great updates!


General Updates


Student Action Climate Group

  • First meeting will be in Feb.

  • There is an opportunity for students to be in a Climate Change Documentary – looking for students from 8-22 years of age. Carrie will send out details tomorrow.

Student Climate Strikes - Maple H.S.

  • Fri Jan 24th – Carrie went. There were 4 students.

  • Fri Jan 31 – Alan, Andy & Robin, Joane and Carrie went. Good thing as it was only Mbabazi this time. We need to keep coming out and support her.

  • Glenn suggested getting a few people to go each Friday on a rotating basis so that everyone only goes once every 4-6 weeks as this would be more manageable.

  • Cardboard boxes needed to make new climate strike signs. Please bring to next meeting.

Flyers

  • Carrie will post our 3 new flyers on our website so people can download and print themselves or even email them to friends and family.

Climate Change School presentations:

  • Martin would like to continue giving climate change presentations at schools.

  • Carrie’s daughter, Aimee had to do a slideshow for Gr 10 science. Maybe high schools are already doing a lot of learning on climate change and Martin should be going to elementary schools? Will see what other students say at the Student get together.

  • Andy’s sister is a teacher and has booked Martin to speak at her school in April.


Composting in Multi-level buildings:

  • Carrie went to a meeting with Blue Dot regarding recycling with RH staff which included Sara Shams, Waste Management Analyst. Carrie asked about composting in multi-level buildings. RH has the GoingUp program which allows residents in buildings to participate in the same organic waste program as residents living in houses. Richmond Hill offers this service to existing buildings, if they are interested. The GoingUp program is mandatory for new buildings.

  • Sara Shams and Anika Cole, also from Waste Management provided some information which Carrie forwarded to the Food Waste group and will add links to resources to our website.

  • Glenn mentioned has a green bin in his condo, but no one uses it. What can we do to get people to use green bins.

Community Cooking

  • Carrie talked with Kathryn Scharf from Community Food Centres at the U. of T. Sustainability to see if we could learn from them about getting Community Cooking classes. Kathryn was interested in our approach of cooking for climate. Carrie will connect with her.

Website updates

  • Now have new tab “What Can You Do?" where will add all initiatives.

  • Carrie created Plant Based Diet page “A Healthy Diet” but need better title to connect climate and eating. Have added a bit of info as well as Recipes.

  • We also have a new Documentaries page – thanks to Brian for all his input

  • The Resource page now 4 sections – for each of our initiatives and general one. Lots of new links as well.

  • Carrie will also add the new flyers so that can be printed or downloaded and passed on to other people.


Group Updates


1. Reducing Food Waste:

Update provided by Stuart:

  1. Stuart is continuing to audit his food waste at home.

  2. Audra Scott, community program support co-ordinator – environmental promotion and protection, has run food waste reduction programs in York Region. Audra will provide resources that could help and also pointed Stuart to their website:

  3. The Milan Urban Food Policy pact has been signed by 270+ cities globally, including the city of Toronto. Reducing food waste is one commitment agreed to in this pact. Diana Johnson, Health Research Specialist, Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Public Health has provided the following information:

4. National Zero Food Waste Council document shows there is little liability risk for businesses donating food.


6. The Flashfoods app, that sells nearly expired food, at reduced prices, is being explored.

  • Current concerns about the limited range of goods available and the need for online storage of credit card information (security; not everyone has a credit card issues), were most recently expressed to company management, by Marilyn and Carrie at the recent U. of T. Sustainability Conference.

  • Some stores do not want to use the app because it exposes their food waste. Instead they are reviewing their food waste to see what they can do.


7. Earth Rangers Food Waste Mission for children is being explored.

  • One component of this environmental group’s program is children try to go a week without generating any food waste.

8. Carrie attended a recent Blue Dot meeting with Richmond Hill Waste Management city staff. She passed along the following link to the 2018 Solid Waste Diversion Report

9. Best Buy dates - these dates that indicate freshness, rather than expiry, of food. Carrie has included this in the Food Waste pamphlet.


2. Transportation:

Update provided by Andy:

1. Andy visited the Plug n Drive Educational Centre at 1126 Finch Ave W (1-800-375-8446)

  • The Center is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles.

  • All are welcomed to visit the Center at no cost and test drive a multitude of makes and models.

  • The Center is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to get non-biased information on EVs.

  • Ron Groves will be attending our meeting on March 3rd to further discuss EVs in more detail.

  • Andy and Robin will be attending a free seminar on Saturday to learn more about purchasing a used EV and reporting back to the group.

2. Martin contacted Chris Ford, the chair of the Markham Environmental Advisory Committee (MEAC) – we need council approval.

3. Martin has provided links to EV resources which has been posted on our website.


3. Promoting a Plant Based Diet: Robin

Update provided by Robin:

  1. Dinah has had no luck in finding a free location where we can offer plant based cooking instruction. Update: Joan will check to see if these cooking classes could be held at St. Mary’s Anglican church.

  2. Dinah is exploring a community garden lot and she will continue to follow up on this to report at the next meeting

  3. Brian has compiled a list of sources of info on plant based eating and documentaries.

  4. Wing is gathering information on growing micro greens and vertical farming. No update.

  5. Robin has compiled a list of resources for adding plant based food to your grocery cart. Forwarded to Carrie to post on the NFTP website.

  6. Robin will continue to introduce plant based recipes to the group. This week we got to taste “cashew cheese” recipe which we all agreed was delicious!

  7. Robin is currently compiling a list of specific plant based food items that can be found locally.

  8. The group also discussed writing a personal description of how each became vegan or vegetarian or how each member is reducing or eliminating animals from their diet. Robin and Brian are the only vegans in the group. Robin has completed her story of becoming vegan, but have not presented this yet.


4. Announcements

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