Author Archives: transitionmeaford

Friends of Waste Reduction (FOWR)

Moving Towards Zero Waste Statement of Purpose:

We are Friends of Waste Reduction (FOWR), a volunteer group connected with the Development & Environmental Services Department of the Municipality of Meaford.

Our aims are twofold:

  1. To work in harmony with the municipality on waste reduction, and
  2. To create, test and implement inspiring & practical initiatives that support waste redirection & reduction; initiatives that may be voluntarily embraced by local groups, event organizers, churches & businesses.

We are a non-political, non-confrontational grass-roots team, focused on the benefits of taking action to help turn our waste stream into a resource stream. Everyone is welcome to join in & support our aims.

This is a journey of working towards zero waste; we do not know when we will get there.

Municipal Staff Contact: Emily Howard ehoward@meaford.ca

Volunteers: Jaden Calvert, Cathy Miller, Lynda Stephens, Lindy Iversen, Heather Bukazias

Streetbank – things and skills share for neighbours

Streetbank logo

We have launched a new spark which is things and skills share for Meaford. We are utilizing the Streetbank.com platform for this. Anyone is welcome to join Streetbank.com.

Instructions: It is free to become a member and all you need to do to be able to view what your neighbours are sharing is to go to streetbank.com, create an account and share at least one item.

Main goals:

  1. Building community, getting to know your neighbours
  2. Reuse items, waste diversion from landfill
  3. Economic growth of the area and wealth of local families

Tools:

  1. Main platform for items and skills sharing is the website streetbank.com
  2. Promotional tools are on the page Spread the Word. For example, here is a page you can print out and hand out to your neighbours (add your name and address), here is the poster.

Celebrate the Spring Equinox at Meaford’s barn

(Meaford Express)
Come celebrate the Spring Equinox on Saturday March 21 and become a Co-Operative member to health, a co-creator of Meaford’s newest destination spot.

Enjoy a Saturday Music Night in The Barn, with the Rhythmic Vibrations of The Et Rhino band: Jay Stiles, Kyle Haight and Jayden Grahlman, while making change happen.

Spend an evening tasting Wild Food sampling, organic foods from the Market, a cash bar, live music and more, all while learning more about foods as medicine.

Be a part of this vision, with the mission: “To supply a clean and secure food source, education and wellness to our community.”

Help The Barn Co-Operative Network realize its vision in the co-operative spirit of creating together because: “we are stronger together.”

Proceeds will help transition the Market into The Barn Co-operative Network: a health hub of organic foods, workshops, yoga, education, café, gallery, gardens and more. The Barn will become a destination go to place for Meaford’s cultural mapping.

All inside an ecologically rebuilt historical barn, making organic foods more affordable for all.

Tickets are just $40 per person. There are many ways to support and get involved to make this vision a reality. More information online at: www.themarketmeaford.com. For tickets call: 519-538-1522 or visit The Barn at 121 Old Hwy. 26.

The NEW Barn ECO-Co-op is having an RRSP investment drive!

It’s the first eco co-op of its kind in Ontario! We need you to make it happen! Join us and use your Self Directed RRSPs to invest locally in our community!

Continue reading

Community, Small Scale & Urban Agriculture

As part of the update to the Municipality’s Official Plan, new policies were included to support local residents in efforts towards food sovereignty and the creation of a local food economy. In 2014 the Zoning By-law was updated to implement these policy directions, creating new permissions for Community & Urban Agricultural Uses such as Community Gardens, Urban and Rural Backyard Poultry, Hobby Beekeeping as well as the keeping of Accessory Livestock on Rural Residential lots.

By-law 077-2014 Community and Urban Agriculture By-law (78.93 kB) was passed by Council along-side the Zoning By-law Update to regulate the keeping of Backyard Poultry and the creation of Community Gardens. These two uses are broadly permitted but are subject to registration/permits before you begin. Continue reading

Volunteers Remove Downed Tree at Community Garden

The recent ice storm that saw Meaford and the surrounding area lose power for several hours, and left tree branches scattered across lawns, parks, and local roads, also downed a 30 year old Pussy Willow tree living in the Georgian Bay Secondary School (GBSS) Community Garden.

Eight volunteers put it’s remains to rest on Saturday April 27.

On the day that marked the end of National Volunteer Week, April 21st-27th, citizens demonstrated once again just how much they care about our community.

“A simple call went out for help; a man with a chainsaw, a farmer willing to lend his utility trailer and eight individuals showed up ready to work,” says local volunteer Lindy Iversen, “Even the threat of rain didn’t keep people away.”

Environmental students and community gardeners are waiting anxiously to get their hands in the soil.

The GBSS greenhouse is filled with young plants; seeded in late February and growing under the watchful care of the students.

In exchange for personal plots, gardeners from the community tend the food bank garden during the summer months.

“Since Pussy Willow trees with their furry little buds are the harbingers of spring; it is fair to say that it won’t be long before we’re planting,” said Iversen, “To the eight people, who worked on the tree removal, a sincere thank you on behalf of Transition Meaford, the Golden Town Outreach Food Bank and the Environmental class at GBSS. We count ourselves lucky to be the recipients of your goodwill in action.”

Two citizen plots are still available at the Community Garden, those interested can contact Mary 538-2558 or Lindy 538-0167.

© http://www.themeafordindependent.ca/news/community-news/3007-volunteers-remove-downed-tree-at-community-garden

Diversion of plastic waste has been launched in Meaford

IMG_1316_2A six-month pilot project to study the potential for diversion of plastic waste from Meaford’s landfill was officially launched on Sunday March 10th. With strong support  from municipal staff and the active participation of a number of council members, the initiative will involve a group of families and small businesses who will collect plastic film that is currently not picked up in the Blue Box program. This includes plastics such as: bubble wrap, shopping bags, newspaper sleeves, product packaging, soil and fertilizer bags and cling wrap, which compose an ever-increasing proportion of our landfill, and which are to be found in islands that now measure hundreds of square kilometers, floating in our oceans.

The pilot study will allow the municipality to project the possibilities for waste collection and diversion on a larger scale, and will allow time to explore efficiencies such as compaction and baling of the plastic waste for recycling. Switch Energy, ofClinton Ontario, will be collecting the film at no charge, and the waste will be recycled by washing, drying, chopping into powder, and mixing with corn-based resins to create environmentally friendly resin for manufacturing ‘green’ MDF panels and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). These products have typically used toxic urea-formaldehyde resins in their manufacture, and green alternatives are increasingly sought after to contribute to LEED accreditation in new building projects.

This initiative has caught the attention of Waste Diversion Ontario, who recently presented Meaford with the award for the highest rate of waste diversion among Ontario municipalities (2011). WDO executives met with Thomas Dean, who helped develop the pilot program, on March 11th, and they will be closely following progress and considering ways to assist directly as the larger scale potential becomes clearer.

Greg Brown, one of the project participants, points out that diversion and purposeful recycling of plastic waste is another important step towards a zero-waste ideal, as outlined in the vision of Zero Waste Canada.

Contact information:www.transitionmeaford.org  or thom@thomasdean.ca

Georgian Bay Secondary School community garden news

comm_garden3Spring is almost here and for the third year in a row, tenants of the Georgian Bay Secondary School (GBSS) community garden are planning for the new season.

The GBSS community garden came into being as a result of a cooperative effort between interested students, the Meaford Golden Town Outreach and Transition Meaford. Individual plots are tended by community members who also donate time and effort to the maintenance of the Meaford Outreach plot.

The focus this year will be to establish a communal rhubarb patch, berry bushes, tomato plot, a tree nursery which will eventually be to the benefit of Memorial Park, and the creation of raised garden beds.

In keeping with the spirit of the document “Sustainability Meaford, Engagement Summary and Policy Recommendations”, plans are in the making to establish another two community gardens.

“I believe that we can create a more resilient, self-sufficient food production and consumption system that does not depend on far-off lands to sustain us and that surely meets the needs of all our community members” says Jaden Calvert.
Jaden is an enthusiastic proponent of sustainable living and consumption of locally grown food. He organized last year’s GBSS community garden plant sale, an event where gardeners can buy plants adapted to local conditions with the aim of growing high quality food in an environmentally friendly manner. The sale was successful for all concerned and Jaden will provide quality plants for sale again this year.

Anyone interested in learning more about community gardening?
Please call Lindy (519.538.0167) or Mary (519.538.2558)

Contact Names Promised at the Addicted to Plastic film, Grey Cup Sunday.

BSI Biodegradable Solutions 6826 Adera Street Vancouver, BC
This company manufactures food packaging products such as biodegradable cellulose bags that are well suited to food packaging. They are made from non-rain forest tree farm trees.

GreenShift…Toronto
info@greenshift.ca
Non-toxic, biodegradable houshold items ….’Profit with Principle’…

Lindy Iversen

Reflections on Addicted to Plastic

Four tweens sat in the front row of Addicted to Plastic; the film that was on screen at Meaford Hall, Grey Cup Sunday.
The movie was a well presented documentary on the global environmental damage of plastic. It went well beyond our common knowledge that plastic isn’t biodegradable and therefore lasts forever.

Professor Frederick vom Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri says that in parts per trillion a certain chemical that is in plastic can disrupt the exquisitely sensitive gift that is life. This disruption leaves us and other mammals with reduced potential to procreate and increased potential for breast or prostate cancer.

It was no Disney movie.

The film Free Willy seems benign in comparison to the plight of plankton eating fish and whales. While feeding, they eat massively more little balls of plastic than plankton, their source of food and life.

How do parents talk to their kids after a film like this? How do they explain that so much damaging environmental degradation goes on because of greed and convenience?

The purpose of the Film for Thought series presented by Transition Meaford isn’t to give children nightmares or paralyze adults. The goal is to spark collective action that will remove road blocks to a healthier community and planet.

The film documented other people and communities around the globe taking action.

Arising out of the ‘open mike’ session at the end of the film was the suggestion to create a plastic film collection & recycling pilot project. Several movie goers stepped up to be part of an ad hoc team to move this idea forward.

Watch for future invitations to participate.

If we all do our part maybe when the children of these tweens go to the movies they won’t have to watch a horror show!

Lindy Iversen

Films for Thought – Winter 2012-2013

FILMS FOR THOUGHT
Brought to you by Transition Meaford. Same time same place:
Sundays at Meaford Hall at 1pm.
Price: $7 adults, $2 students.
Dates: October 28th, November 25th, January 20th, February 24th, March 24th, May 5th

Films for Thought environmental movie series in Meaford

Films for Thought in Meaford Hall

Contact: 1-877-538-0463 www.meafordhall.ca

UPDATE: The movie Biophilic Design will be shown on Sunday, May 5th at 1pm.