On Music and Remediation

Oyster mushrooms can be used in the remediations of pollutants such as petrolium and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Oyster mushrooms can be used in the remediation of pollutants such as petroleum and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

This week we talk to two remarkable people whose environmental concerns figure prominently in their work. First, we reconnect with Leila Darwish, the author of Earth Repair, for an explanation and illustration of bioremediation. Then, singer-songwriter Morgan MacDonald shares how environmental issues strike a chord in his music.

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Leila Darwish

In a time when spills, leaks, and environmental disasters are becoming more and more common, how do we clean up in a way that’s both reasonable and responsible? Prevention, of course, is always the best policy, but even the best laid plans go awry, and when they do, one answer is often overlooked: bioremediation. Tasmia Nishat speaks with Leila Darwish, author of Earth Repair, about the healing potential of sunflowers and oyster mushrooms backyard contamination, big spills, and everything in between.

Leila Darwish is also a founding member of Terra Informa and the Council of Canadians’ Pacific regional organizer. You can read her blog here

Morgan MacDonald

Morgan MacDonald is a folk singer who is unusually forward about the environmental issues behind his songs. Trevor Chow-Fraser brings us an interview with this East Coast singer-songwriter

If you want to hear more of Morgan MacDonald, unfortunately, you’ve already missed his 2014 cross-Canada tour. But if you’re in Nova Scotia, you can still catch him playing a few shows this summer. And with a new album in the works, you’ll want to watch his website for upcoming singles and more live show announcements.

Listen to Blood Will Rust and other songs by Morgan MacDonald on CBC Music.

What’s Happening

3rd Annual Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival

There’s something about a clear, starry night sky that’s good for the soul. If you’re in the Northwest Territories August 21 to 24, head out to Wood Buffalo National Park to celebrate our little view of the universe at the Dark Sky Festival. There’ll be a chance to join in night sky viewing with telescopes and binoculars, festival meals, camping, and keynote presentations. Head out to the daytime activities or night-time star gazing in the world’s largest dark sky preserve.

Growing Green Sustainability Festival

Over in Nova Scotia, check out the Growing Green Sustainability Festival in Bridgewater from August 21 to 24. It’s a colourful introduction to the idea that we can work together to ensure that all human and non-human communities have a home on our planet. There’s a Close to Home Dinner on August 21 with superb local food and drink, a film festival by the river on August 22, and a Sunday bus tour hopping around to environmentally friendly businesses and organizations working in Lunenburg County.

Edmonton Repairathon and Clothing Swap

In Edmonton, AB, the John Walter museum is hosting a repairathon and clothing swap!  On Sunday August 24th, bring your damaged clothing down to the museum to have it repaired by their volunteers. They can do buttons, hems, rips, tears and zippers if you bring your own. There is a 1 to 2 limit item per person and they ask you only bring clean clothes and (please!) no under garments. The event is free and takes place from 1-3 pm. There is limited parking so they recommend using transit.

More information: Facebook,  Twitter,  email

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