YREA spring 2022 news & views
Support nature by rewilding urban spaces
There is a need to update municipal bylaws and educate the public so that uninformed residents stop complaining about the absence of cookie cutter lawns. Although municipalities encourage naturalization and call themselves Bee Cities and pledge to support Monarch butterflies there is still not enough information to get residents off lawns bereft of any benefits to nature and instead plant for birds, bees and butterflies. That municipalities actually respond to complaints about wild gardens and issue infraction notices is shameful. Scientists at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières found that intensively managed lawns have been shown to have clear negative ecological effects, especially in urban areas. Some of the paving over of our natural landscapes can be countered by joining the worldwide movement to create meadows. As Lorraine Johnson writes, habitat gardens are the way of the future. Let's make NO MOW MAY even bigger and better this year!
Don’t buy bottled water unless absolutely necessary – 700 different marine species regularly ingest over 20,000 tones of plastic each year. It takes 5 litres of water to make a 1 litre plastic bottle. 3 litres of water are polluted to make that one bottle.

Use less paper – 65% of trees cut in Canada’s Boreal forest are used to make paper. Across 27 clear-cuts in northern Ontario, 14% still remain barren after 2 decades. Look for 100% post-consumer recycled products were possible.

Batteries are made of many toxic materials. Use rechargeable batteries - 4 rechargeable AA batteries can replace 100 conventional batteries saving approximately $40 & 8 lbs of hazardous waste. Children working at or living near battery recycling facilities suffer from lead poisoning.

Divest yourself of fast fashion  –  If everyone bought 1 used item of clothing a year it would save 25 billion gallons of water & 449 million lbs of waste. It would reduce the carbon footprint of the item by 82%. Start thrifting today.

Want to learn more about the cradle to grave of some everyday items you buy? Join YREA April 22, 2pm for SHOP LIKE THE PLANET'S WATCHING, a free virtual presentation. Register today - Aurora Public Library.
Recent developments
Getting Ontario to a ZERO-CARBON Electricity Grid by 2030
An excellent report by Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) refutes the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) assertion that it would be impossible to meet all our needs from carbon-free resources. OCAA’s logical recommendations would see us making additional investments in wind and solar, expanding our transmission links with Quebec and/or Manitoba and harnessing EV batteries to provide power back to the electricity grid during peak demand hours. Perfectly sensible solutions without the need for small nuclear reactors. Read this important report

FEDERAL – YREA drew attention to the hazards of coal tar sealants in 2019 & submitted recent comments as the government looks to ban this toxic substance. Not a moment too soon as cities in the USA file lawsuits to recoup costs of environmental cleanups.

Right to repair laws went into effect in the EU a year ago. Canada is still deliberating. The consumption of materials has quadrupled since 1970 to 100bn tonnes while our population has only doubled. Can't just talk about a circular economy. We need laws now!

PESTICIDE REVIEW - YREA purchased & submitted a study to the federal government outlining scientific research misconduct of Monsanto glyphosate studies including bribery & ghost writing. As the number of countries banning glyphosate grows, Canada still dithers. The influence of pesticide lobbyists MUST stop, for the health of our water, soil, people & food.

ONTARIO - The blinkered thinking of the province continues with the latest outrage being their so called transit oriented communities (TOC) concrete wastelands centred around the subway extension at Hwy 7. No coordination with municipal plans in Richmond Hill and Markham and no public consultations. Read YREA's submitted concerns.

It was a busy 2021 for us. Read YREA's 2021 Annual Report.
Maple Syrup Festivals are here!
The sap has started running. A hint of spring is in the air. Time to get out to a Sugaring off festival in Ontario or Quebec - Les cabanes à sucre du Québec.
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