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Sustainability in Classrooms and Constitutions

apples

That bite in the September autumn air is a tell-tale sign of back to school. This week, we dug into our archives and uncovered a 2016 piece about sustainability in Alberta schools, as well as another archive that helps us consider the pros and cons of including the environment in national constitutions.

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Sustainability in Alberta Classrooms

Right now, sustainability education is becoming more and more prevalent in schools, but we still have a long way to go. In 2016, Nicole Richard and Paula Daza spoke with the teachers of Brightview Elementary School and the students of the Sustainability Club from Cochrane High School about how students can be inspired by sustainability and environment-focused education. Nicole and Paula, students from the University of Alberta, incorporated this type of community engagement into their degrees through their project called We the Future.

Good Living

When we think of a constitution we think of basic “human” rights. We, as humans, have the right to vote, the right to practice religion, the right to own property. But what about nature? Ecuador was the first country in the world to establish the rights of nature at a national level, including it in the 2008 constitution. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing of the Tiputini biodiversity station in Ecuador about how this constitutional change is great in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of hurdles to still overcome. Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing.

This Week’s Headlines

St. Albert to Destroy Invasive Koi (CBC) – Click here

Meetings between Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Over the Trans Mountain Pipeline (CBC) – Click here

Smart Traffic Lights in Ottawa (National Observer) – Click here

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Building Greener

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This week on Terra Informa we take a visit to the Primed Mosaic Centre, Alberta’s first net-zero and LEED Platinum-certified building. This one-of-a-kind commercial building is located in Edmonton, Alberta and has won awards for building engineering and Innovation. Now formally known as the Primed Mosaic centre due to its recent change in ownership. The Primed company is a local medical products company that put there values to actions when they decided to invest in the LEED building. We hope this story will inspire any and all businesses to look at more sustainable work sites – if not for the solar panels, than for the live plant walls!

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Download program log here.

Infrastructure for the People

ibke path

This week on Terra Informa we are talking about cycling! In this archive episode, Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Amanda Rooney speak with Vice Chair from Paths for People, Conrad Norbert, an Edmonton non-profit organization advocating for the creation of infrastructure with pedestrians and cyclists in mind.

In June of 2017, Paths for People released multi-use trail policy recommendations. We discuss re-imagining the use of public space, hopes and ideas for the future, and the policy recommendations recommendations.

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Download the episode here

Life in Plastic

Plastic Cup Rubbish July 17

Did you know that July is Plastic-Free Month? This week, we’re bringing back two stories from our archives centred around plastic. One about a BC woman, Taina Uitto, who lived plastic-free for a whole year, and another in which we interview Laura Bamsey and Marnie Olsen from the Elements Society on a school pilot project that focused on reducing single-use plastics. Then, Terra Informers Amanda Rooney and Sofia Osborne will give their hot take on the current debate taking place around plastic straws.

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Plastic in the Classroom

Our first archive features the Elements Society and the Lonely Whale Foundation, who created a classroom pilot project to address the issues surrounding single-use plastics. Back in September 2017, I spoke with Laura Bamsey and Marnie Olsen from the Elements Society about this pilot project, and how  students not only learned about plastic waste, but also how to build communication and project management skills.

A Year Without Plastic

Try to make it sixty seconds without using anything made out of plastic. Think about objects that you use day to day. Every minute even. The clothes on your back even. Short of moving into the woods, it’s virtually impossible to live a 100% plastic free year, let alone a lifetime. Hamdi Issawi spoke to Taina Uitto who is trying just such a challenge. He reached her by phone in Denman Island, BC to talk about her plastic-free life. A documentary chronicling Taina’s challenge was released in 2014; it’s called From The Waste Up.

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Photo by: weegeebored (www.flickr.com/photos/kenningtonfox/2768449017)

Native Plants and Living Bridges

 

Living Bridge on Edmonton's 97st

(photo credit: Nicole Wiart)

This week on Terra Informa, we’re bringing you stories about urban greenery. First join Amanda and Shelley on their bike tour of the native plants in Edmonton’s river valley then revist an archive with us as we say goodbye to downtown Edmonton’s living bridge which was reported on by Terra Informers when the project was first started.

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Edmonton River Valley Bike Tour

Last month Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Amanda Rooney embarked on a rather lengthy bike tour along with other cyclists interested in learning more about the native species found in the iconic Edmonton river valley. The Edmonton Native Plant River Valley Bike Tour, was a collaboration between the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society and the Edmonton Native Plants Society and riders were taken to various locations to learn about the plants and ecosystems specific to Edmonton.

Amanda and Shelley had the opportunity to chat with Edmonton Native Plant Society representatives Liz Deleeuw and Cherry Dood at the John Janzen Nature center.  They explain the importance of native plants and gave us the low down on the native plant situation in the prairies surrounding Edmonton and area. The terra informers also had the chance to reflect on their bike ride whilst splashing in the north saskatchewan.

Saying Goodbye to the Downtown Living Bridge

In 2013, Terra Informers Nicole Wiart spoke with Erin and Carmen to get the details on how the transformation of one unused space revitalized a downtown community. They found out what happens when you put three creatives together, give them an abandoned bridge and seven weeks: in the case of Edmonton locals Carmen Douville, Erin Ross, and Chelsea Boos, you emerge with a “Living Bridge.”

Over the past five years, the Living Bridge has become a fixture and gathering place of downtown Edmonton. Sadly, it’s time has come to an end and in June 2013 an event was held to transplant the perennial plants from the garden on the bridge to other locations. The time of the living bridge has come to a close but hopefully reflecting on the roots of this project will inspire others to take on similar projects, making green spaces accessible and more numerous!

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The Deal with Data

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Photo by Taras Shypka on Unsplash

Here comes more discussion from the conference on Cities and Climate Change that was held in Edmonton by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) from March 5th to 7th, 2018!

Terra informer Sydney Karbonik interviews three panelists from the conference about the key role that data aggregation and big data play in mitigating climate change. Comprehensive and standardized data holds huge potential to help cities fight against climate change.

Sydney spoke with Richard Dawson of Newcastle university, Shannon Mcdaniel from the Global covenant of mayors for climate and energy, and Alex Kovac from the World resources Institute. Lately, there have been a few scandals about how data aggregation companies use our own data to influence us, particularly in politics. However, when companies legally and responsibly collect data, there can many positives. Tune in to discover why big data isn’t necessarily something to be feared and how we can use data aggregation in the fight against climate change!

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Living Outside the Box

Brett Whaley - The Path

Photo by Brett Whaley

The recent IPCC Cities and Climate Conference in Edmonton gave David Draper the opportunity to finally answer his burning questions. Curious about urban development and the future of urban design, this show talks to Julian Daly (Executive Director of Boyle Street Community Services), David Miller (North American Regional Director, C40 Cities), and Don Iveson (Mayor of Edmonton). This show attempts to challenge your conception of why our cities exist as they do and get you to think, and live outside the box.

David Draper produced this documentary as part of a Community Service Learning project at the University of Alberta.

 

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Download program log here.

 

Youth Voices on Climate Change

In this week’s radio documentary, reporter Andrea Wiebe follows the experiences of youth from around the world as they collaboratively prepare and present a paper on climate change at the International Panel on Climate Change conference held in Edmonton in March.

The group of students collaborated via video chat in the months leading up to the conference in the hopes of bringing youth voices to the conference and influencing policy on climate change internationally. The topic they focused on was reflected the theme of the conference: cities and climate change.

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Download program log here.