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April 1 - April 30, 2021
Solveig Christina Voss's avatar

Solveig Christina Voss

ecoCaledon

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 697 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    540
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    3
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    5
    public officials or leaders
    contacted

Solveig Christina's Actions

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Smart Seafood Choices

Ocean Farming

I will visit seafoodwatch.org or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure

I will donate to Native American Rights Fund, which protects tribal natural resources and environmental rights and promotes Native American Human Rights.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Find a Local Climate-Friendly Supermarket

Refrigerant Management

I will explore the interactive map in the links below to find a supermarket that does not use HFC refrigerants near my home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Advocate for Forest Protection

Forest Protection

I will contact 3 congress people or representatives to advocate for public policy that protects forests and the enforcement of existing anti-logging laws, as well as the rights of local people to protect and restore the land in their communities.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

plawking for a greener outside space

"plawking" is the trend that brings together walking and litter picking.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Go Paperless

Recycled Paper

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by 0.11lbs (0.05kg) a day or 3.3lbs (1.6kg) a month by opting into paperless billing, ending unwanted subscriptions and opting out of junk mail.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will learn about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Land Sinks Advocate for Forest Protection
    Higher standards of living are very often dependent on moving our environmental costs elsewhere. What are some specific ways in which the environmental impacts of your own lifestyle might be shifted elsewhere?

    Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/30/2021 6:05 PM
    I am still buying jeans in fast fashion stores every other year or so because that's the only places I know so far where I can (without a lot of effort) find trousers my size. Knowing that someone and their environment suffered to sew some of my clothes sucks. The same goes for other products and foods we buy that have been manufactured or produced in countries that lack environmental standards. We usually always check where something was made and try to go either with local products or companies or products from countries we know to adhere to certain standards.
  • Reflection Question
    Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks Smart Seafood Choices
    Many states and countries have advisories on eating fish. Find out what is advised for your region. Do you think your diet choices fall within these guidelines? What steps do you need to take to make sure that they do?

    Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/30/2021 8:50 AM
    Looking into seafood consumption was my last goal, which I decided to add after watching Seaspiracy. I spent a couple of hours digging deeper into the possibility to source truly sustainable seafood and wrote a small summary on my blog: https://needleandnotion.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/%f0%9f%93%ba-movie-talk-seaspiracy/

    As for fish-eating advisories, Canada has quite some resources. There is a map for advisories in Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/eating-ontario-fish
    An Excel spreadsheet that provides information on contamination and lists "mercury" quite a few times:
    https://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/d4551ff4-be93-4d16-ad84-812e5ba0b1d5
    More information on Mercury in fishes with links to further guides: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/pollutants/mercury-environment/health-concerns/fish-consumption-advisories.html

    Bottom line: I will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to eat fish. Unless I am certain seafood is sourced sustainably and healthy, I'll pass.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Accelerating Solutions Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management
    Indigenous speaker and activist Winona LaDuke says that, "most indigenous ceremonies, if you look to their essence, are about the restoration of balance — they are a reaffirmation of our relationship to creation. That is our intent: to restore, and then to retain balance and honor our part in creation." Why is balance important to sustainability?

    Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/29/2021 9:30 AM
    It is inevitable that our daily being requires environmental resources of any kind. By reducing what we need and use, this impact can be limited to what is absolutely necessary and moved away from exploitation. There's a lot settler people can learn from indigenous people, who are traditionally guided by the principles of balance and sustainability.

  • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/29/2021 9:15 AM
    I called both MPP Sylvia Jones (RE: Bill 257 Schedule 3) and Minister Wilkinson (RE: Environmental Assessment for Highway 413) and left a message with my phone number. It was the first time for me to call officials' offices and I am curious if they will call back (and when). I used Environmental Defence's calling tool to make the calls:
    https://environmentaldefence.ca/newmode/stop-schedule-3/
    https://environmentaldefence.ca/newmode/federalea/

    • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
      Solveig Christina Voss 4/30/2021 6:13 PM
      Thanks for your kind words, Lu. I don't know if I have the guts now either... On the other hand, I guess it will very much depend on the topic. I figured talking about a bill is probably much more tricky than talking about the ecological impact of a highway. However, Minister Wilkinson's office didn't call back yet.

    • Lucrezia Chiappetta's avatar
      Lucrezia Chiappetta 4/29/2021 4:36 PM
      Hi Solveig, it is definitely inconvenient that they call back when you are no longer prepared :( Regardless, great job! I still haven't had the guts to call any of my officials. 

    • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
      Solveig Christina Voss 4/29/2021 2:10 PM
      Okay, so talking about the Bill 257 Schedule 3 didn't go so well. The person who called me back did a good job attempting to disperse any concerns and I found it challenging to adequately express my points, especially because I couldn't pull up the material I had prepared in a timely manner. I think it is quite a disadvantage that they call you back at their convenience as I was actually in the middle of a work project. I think I probably need some more training to properly conduct these kind of calls, but it was interesting to give this channel of communication a try. Given my hearing impairment, I usually wouldn't call anybody like this anyway, but I see it as the only way of real-time action left in a time we can't congregate on the streets to protest in union.

  • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/27/2021 2:53 PM
    My goal was to donate to an indigenous initiative to support indigenous people's land management. The Challenge makers suggested NARF, but I didn't find any links to Canada, so I did my own research. I eventually landed at a GoFundMe page that lists several ongoing indigenous Land Back projects that are in need of funds. I haven't found an indigenous organization I can give to on a monthly basis though, so I'd appreciate it if anybody has some info to share. Thank you!

    GoFundMe Land Back campaigns overview: 
    https://ca.gofundme.com/c/act/land-back

    Petitions open for signing: 
    https://davidsuzuki.org/action/stand-with-grassy-narrows/
    https://davidsuzuki.org/action/canadian-land-governance-must-respect-indigenous-rights/
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Find a Local Climate-Friendly Supermarket
    How close is the nearest climate-friendly supermarket to your home? How could you encourage local supermarket to reduce or phase out their use of HFC refrigerants?

    Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/24/2021 9:54 AM
    It looks like the search for a climate-friendly supermarket near our home will require more in-person research. Foodland Tottenham uses R404, R404A and R408A, which are all HFCs with a high GWP. Since it doesn't make any sense to travel far by car to buy at a climate-friendly supermarket, I will consider reaching out to the supermarkets and encourage to switch to greener coolants earlier than the required deadline of 2036, when HFC consumption has to be reduced by 85%. canada.ca has a section about the "Regulatory amendments on hydrofluorocarbons (HFC): frequently asked questions" with more info.

  • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/22/2021 5:07 PM
    I really wanted to do something today, so I looked up ways to advocate for forest protection. I have 0 experience contacting representatives, and I feel very unprepared for that (no forest expert here). I started small with signing a petition to protect an old-growth forest in BC, indigenous land rights and stop unsustainable logging: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3301 
    The petition closes for signatures on Sunday.

    I wonder if I should call Mr. Seeback's office tomorrow to express my anger about Schedule 3 of Bill 257. After I signed a petition against it, I learned that the Bill had already passed, but the confirmation e-mail said I should still call to keep up the pressure. Environmental Defence Canada actually has a calling tool, so why not? https://environmentaldefence.ca/newmode/stop-schedule-3/

    • Lucrezia Chiappetta's avatar
      Lucrezia Chiappetta 4/23/2021 5:04 AM
      Thanks for sharing this Solveig. This is one of the actions I've chosen as well and was wondering how to accomplish it :) 


  • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/21/2021 3:43 PM
    I decided I accomplished my goal of learning about fast fashion today. I focused on learning about thrifting. Youtube Vlogger Lily from Imperfect Idealist explains a lot about thrifting, which recently has been targeted as being unethical for several reasons. Spoiler: It is not. But we can thrift more ethically by supporting small, independent thrift stores rather than big chains that sometimes have outrageous working conditions.

    So, I started a map of independent thrift stores in the GTA on Open Street Maps: http://umap.openstreetmap.fr/en/map/independent-thrift-stores-in-the-gta_597706 I'd love to see it growing. If you want to add a store, please send me a message or comment here with the address (and website if available) and I will be happy to add it.

    • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
      Solveig Christina Voss 4/22/2021 11:24 AM
      RE: The ethics of thrifting; there's a concern about the gentrification of thrifting. If people who easily can afford first-hand clothes thrift, they take away from those who really need affordable clothing, drive up the prices, and put fashion industry workers out of business. Additionally, some thrift store chains have questionable work conditions. However, if you make some smart decisions, you can avoid being part of the problem. You can not go to thrift stores in low-income neighbourhoods where people rely on affordable clothing and focus on those stores that really give back to the community. Fashion workers will not be put out of business in a blink, because like all things, a transition to more sustainable fashion will happen over time. Furthermore, this argument seems a little bit weird given the horrendous conditions many fashion industry workers have to endure. Instead of simply buying fast fashion (which is highly problematic also for environmental reasons) we should promote better working conditions. Buying from sustainable brands can help here, but thrifting is still more environmental-friendly. And there is a whole big deal about whether a sustainable brand is truly sustainable; that would be a topic to look at on its own.

      This is a short summary of the videos I watched on Youtube (mostly Imperfect Idealist). I also researched thrift stores in our area and read about Value Village (Savers in the US) and Salvation Army. I was always a little bit surprised about VV selling new items and only giving back a little while making a big fuss out of it (more info and links: https://sustainablysavvy.ca/value-village-ethical-nightmare). It seems to be different for the Salvation Army though. Still, I started the map in order to promote those small stores that not necessarily pop up when you enter "thrift store" into Google because the results are pretty much dominated by VV and SA.

      I will definitely make a post out of this once I refined it a little bit more. :-)

      Happy Earth Day!

    • Lucrezia Chiappetta's avatar
      Lucrezia Chiappetta 4/22/2021 8:41 AM
      Sounds like a great idea for a blog post Solveig ;) 

    • Amy Darrell's avatar
      Amy Darrell 4/22/2021 5:51 AM
      Very cool Solveig. I had not heard about the claims that thrift shopping was unethical. What is that all about?
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/21/2021 3:34 PM
    Volunteering. I do lots of different stuff ranging from Sunday School teaching over website maintenance and blogging to environmental actions.

  • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
    Solveig Christina Voss 4/20/2021 1:09 PM
    I am working on my goal to find a climate-friendly supermarket in the Caledon area. I sneaked around Zehrs today trying to find the refrigerant stickers but didn't dare to take a picture with my phone (what the map on https://www.climatefriendlysupermarkets.org/add-your-store actually asks for). There were so few people, I was worried about being highly visible and staff pulling me aside and telling me taking pictures is not allowed. Now, I am trying to understand the impact of the refrigerants I have on record. 

    Apparently, there are two ways to measure the impact; the Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and the Global Warming Potential (GWP). So, commonly used HFCs will have a very low ODP, because they were introduced to replace gases that cause the ozone hole. However, the refrigerants I looked up have really high GWPs, which is the ability to absorb heat and trap it in the atmosphere in relation to the ability of CO2.  The larger the GWP, the more a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2 over a specified time period of 1000 years. So we want to see a low GWP value here. 

    Now, Zehrs uses the following refrigerants with these characteristics:
    R438A - ODP of 0 - GWP of  1,890 to 2,264
    R507A - ODP of 0 - GWP of  3,985 
    R502 - ODP of 0.334 - GWP of 4,657. R502 is supposed to be phased out as part of the Montreal Protocol (signed 1987, effective 1989) and replaced by  R402A, R404A, or R507 .
    To frame these data, here are some examples of environmentally-friendly refrigerants from the aforementioned website:
    R600A - ODP of 0 - GWP of 3
    R744 (CO2) - ODP of 0 - GWP of 1
    R717 - ODP N/A - GWP of 0

    I am afraid Zehrs does not live up to the criteria of a climate-friendly supermarket. Maybe we should put that on our agenda?

    • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
      Solveig Christina Voss 4/30/2021 6:14 PM
      No, thanks for pointing me to that resource! Will do!

    • Lucrezia Chiappetta's avatar
      Lucrezia Chiappetta 4/22/2021 8:42 AM
      Solveig, have you checked out the Drawdown Solution on Refrigerants? 

    • Solveig Christina Voss's avatar
      Solveig Christina Voss 4/20/2021 2:51 PM
      Oh, and here's an interesting fact:  Switzerland prohibits the use of R402A and R502. R404A and R507A have to be phased out until 2030. R438A does not appear on the Swiss list I have on hand, but it's a mixture of R32, R125, R134A, R600, and R601A which with the exception of R600/601A have all to be phased out until 2030.