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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Meals on (Bicycle) Wheels: One part of a smart sustainable community system

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 27th, 2012

Source: Nourishing the Planet: Worldwatch Institute

From “Santropol Roulant: A Leaner, Greener Meals on Wheels” by Phillip Newell:

Santropol Roulant (Santropol is community, roulant means rolling in French) is an [intergenerational] organization providing healthy, sustainable meals to homebound Montreal citizens. Instead of relying on fossil-fuel powered cars like traditional Meals-on-Wheels, this group delivers with a more carbon-friendly option—bicycles.

But eliminating petrochemicals from their delivery routes wasn’t enough for the organization, so the group hired Natural Step (a non-profit sustainability research and education group) to help them further reduce their environmental impact. This is accomplished through Eco-Challenge, which is an action plan designed by Natural Step to help Santropol Roulant become even more sustainable.

Taking their organization’s sustainability two steps further than biking to deliver meals to the disadvantaged, Santropol Roulant grows a variety of fruits and vegetables on an organic rooftop garden, and recycle their food waste in the basement through vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is using worms to help decompose food waste for compost. That compost can be distributed to urban farmers who are starting their own backyard or roof-top gardens.

In addition to using a low-emission transportation source, Santropol Roulant also sponsors a community bike shop, where it educates local residents about maintenance and repairs.

[...]

Read the original article by Phillip Newell for Nourishing the Planet.

 


Connecting Urban Agriculture with Schoolyards and Backyards

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 17th, 2011

Source: Springwise

From Urban farming expands onto school grounds:

Community-supported agriculture is not an unfamiliar concept for regular Springwise readers, nor are the often-associated add-ons of bicycle-based produce delivery and compost services. Canadian Fresh Roots Urban Farm offers all of these; what sets it apart, however, is a series of partnerships it’s formed with local schools in the Vancouver area to create urban farms on school land.

Fresh Roots produces and distributes organically grown food through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program as well as pocket markets and restaurant sales in the Vancouver area. Much of the produce for that program is grown by local urban farmers and in participating neighborhood gardens, but of particular interest are the organization’s new partnerships with local schools to use school land. At Queen Alexandra Elementary, for example, the relationship began last year when the Vancouver School Board bought a share from Fresh Roots’ CSA for its cafeteria salad bar program. Since then, however, the partnership has expanded to include a model urban farm on school land, thereby adding to Fresh Roots’ production capabilities while creating an outdoor, hands-on, experiential classroom for the school community. Similar partnerships have since been forged with two other local schools, and Fresh Roots invites the participation of others as well.

Read the full article on Springwise for related projects.


Locally Grown Cultural Food: Guides

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on April 15th, 2010

Source: SustainWeb

Interested in buying cultural food that is locally grown? Now, you have a way to find it!  In Fall 2009, Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) made it easier for Torontonians who are looking for fresh cultural foods ‘from back home’ to find retailers selling locally grown cultural food.  How? By developing the first-ever locally-grown cultural food guides that identify the location of farmers, farmers’ markets and food retailers selling cultural food grown in the Greenbelt and surrounding area. We’ve started with four guides that help Torontonians buy locally grown food used for African/Caribbean, Chinese, Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine.

When you have a choice, cooking with cultural foods grown locally helps the environment, helps local farmers and is more nutritious than buying imported food. And it helps preserve our precious agricultural land, much of it in the Greenbelt.

Read the rest of this entry »


Traditional Techniques, Modern Issues: Water Purification

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on April 8th, 2010

Source: The Ecologist

From “Ancient tradition of water purification could save lives”

Indian tree seeds that purify water could dramatically reduce disease in the less-industrialised world, say researchers. The technique of crushing seeds from the Moringa Oleifera tree and adding them to water has been used in its native India for thousands of years. Now researchers from Canada say it is time to publicise the technique more widely in order to reduce water born diseases across the world.

One billion people in Asia, Africa and Latin America rely on untreated surface water to survive. The NGO Water Aid estimates that 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. The researchers at Clearinghouse, an organisation that promotes low-cost water treatment technologies, are pointing to the ancient method of water purification as a possible solution. As well as reducing bacteria by over 90 per cent, the use of Moringa Oleifera seeds reduces ‘turbidity’, making water less cloudy. Furthermore, say the researchers, the Moringa tree is suited to growing in areas afflicted by drought and has other benefits besides water purification.  ‘Not only is it drought resistant, it also yields cooking and lighting oil, soil fertiliser, as well as highly nutritious food in the form of its pods, leaves, seeds and flowers,’ said Michael Lea of Clearinghouse.

Despite its life-saving potential, the benefits of the tree are little known, even in areas where it is cultivated. Lea hopes that by making his report freely available will allow communities most at need to benefit from it.  ‘This technique does not represent a total solution to the threat of waterborne disease [...] But given the cultivation and use of the Moringa tree can bring benefits in the shape of nutrition and income as well as of far purer water, there is the possibility that thousands of 21st century families could find themselves liberated from what should now be universally seen as 19th century causes of death and disease,’ he said.

From “Ancient tradition of water purification could save lives” on the Ecologist.