CO OP Radio Interview 100.5fm

 

Interview Part One

Interview Part Two


I am very grateful to Co-op Radio and Sarvenaz Amanat, for the 1.5 hour interview on Monday April 15th, 2019.
We had the chance to discuss my current exhibition at Gallery 1515, the Earth Month events I’ve organized to coincide with the exhibition and of course we talked about my art practice and passion for environmental preservation.
Please have a listen to the links above.
This was my first radio experience, and I absolutely loved it! I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Vancouver’s Co-operative Radio Station (CFRO, 100.5FM) which is an innovative non-profit community radio station & podcast recording studio. Their mission is to provide a voice for those underrepresented in mainstream media. 
Each week, Co-op Radio provides access to community space, training and equipment for 300+ volunteers who produce 140 hours of original programming, in over 10 languages.
They are a mosaic of 90 unique Radio Show collectives, supported in partnership by some of the most respected non-profit organizations in the province. Their beautiful Radio Station is a jewel in the heart of the city, and since 1975 they have celebrated the GVRD’s rich cultural diversity through arts, music, and spoken word programming. Check them out for non-commerical, ‘real-talk’ radio!


EARTH MONTH

 
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Earth Month YVR, that has such a nice ring to it!?
It’s a concept I came up with, in attempts to start a local movement that focuses the month of April into ‘Earth Month,’ opposed to just a single Earth Day (April 22).
To get started on this concept, I decided to see what I could do for this April 2019, and then see where I could take it in following years.
I am pleased to say, and due to the tremendous support of Sarvenaz Amanat (Gallery 1515) and curator Allison Thompson (AT Art and Interiors), I’ve been able to coordinate a two part speaker series, as well as a month long exhibition; debuting my latest environmental series Anthropocene; The Present I.

The ultimate goal for this year is to try and generate awareness through visual artwork and empower community through events with resource sharing and inspiring speakers.

The art exhibition runs from April 5 - 25th | Monday to Friday from 9-5 and on weekends by appointment

And our public empowerment evenings, will be hosted at Gallery 1515 on April 11th and April 18th.

We are very grateful to have this inspiring line up of female activists speaking!

On our ‘
Evening for Climate Change’ (April 11 @ Gallery 1515 from 7-9pm) we have:
Izzy Czerveniak, Western Organizer of David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot Movement
Erzsi Institorisz, Co-Founder of GreenSeeds Music Society, Climate Reality Project Leader, Suzuki Speaks
and ButterflyWay Project Ranger with the David Suzuki Foundation

And on our ‘Evening for Ocean Conservation’ (April 18 @ Gallery 1515 from 7-9pm) we have:
Dr. Elaine Leung, Founder & Executive Director of Sea Smart
Marin Davidson, Events Director of Vancouver’s chapter of Surfrider Foundation

In addition, I will also be speaking each evening about how environmentalism has influenced my practise, my personal experiences with low carbon living and how I got started!

I’ve created a brief post below, that is a condensed review of my talk.
It’s comprised of the steps I took as an individual to reduce my environmental impacts, and I have linked some resources that I personally have found very useful during my transitions.

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STEP 1 - Awareness
The documentaries listed on the sheet are all linked at the bottom of this page. 
Most are available on Netflix and others can be downloaded. 
Again, my all time fav is MISSION BLUE.  I highly recommend this film and promise it will touch your heart!  (it's available on Netflix)

Step 2 - Alternatives
My go-to resources that have been key to finding 'GREEN' alternatives:

LIFESTYLE
This living Blue GUIDE
Ted Talk - Sustainability  
David Suzuki Foundation
Queen of Green  
City Of Vancouver - Green Living
Green Choices 
Wiki How - Eco Lifestyle
Plastic Free Living 
Global Stewards

Here are a few pdf links for DIY eco friendly recipes:
Home Care
Hair Care
Body Care
Baby Care
Reef safe Sunscreen List

FOOD
Ted Talk - Weekday Veg  
Amazing Vegetarian Recipes
Eating Sustainably
Carbon Foodprint
Sustainable Restaurants in Vancouver


CARBON OFFSETS

handy carbon footprint calculator.

portfolio of dozens of projects around the world 

ORGANIZATIONS TO FOLLOW/MAILING LISTS TO JOIN
The Ocean Clean Up
Surf Rider
Oceana
5 Minute Beach Clean Up
350.org
Al Gore's Climate Reality Project
Dogwood BC
WWF
Suzuki Foundation
Blue Dot Movement
Greenpeace
Sum Of US
Sea Legacy
Georgia Straight Alliance 
Care to Action

YOUTH PROGRAMS
WWF
Suzuki Foundation
Sea Smart
educational programs -the film BLUE


Step 3 - Action

As simple as it sounds - take action. Right here, right now, just start. Once you take this step, everything intuitively starts to fall into place; I promise. And the more you commit to in lessening your environmental impacts, the more benefits you’ll see in your health; both physical and mental!
I also encourage people to join the community of folks that are actively participating in environmental events, like shoreline clean ups, rallies and demonstrations, film screenings at local hubs like Patagonia!
The people that I’ve met through my attendance to these events, have been some of the kindest, most inspiring individuals, that are very inclusive and welcoming. The goal is genuinely to get as many people to come together as possible. That is where the power is, and it’s a great movement and community to be apart of. I am sure you’ll make some incredible friends!


I would love to read in the comments below if anyone has great resources  to share,  wants to discuss the triumphs or challenges from personal experiences with lifestyle changes or if anyone wants to reach out to me for support - please feel free to get in touch any time! 

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Climate Action

Ten Simple Ways to take action on Climate Change

An image I captured during a pipeline protest in February 2019

An image I captured during a pipeline protest in February 2019


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
Think of it—always”


Mahatma Gandhi


I heard this quote the other day, and I found it soothing to my soul. All through history the way of truth and love have always won.

HOPE is an incredible force and during our current times of environmental strife, I believe we all need to focus on optimism and individual/collective action!
But where do you start?
This is a question I often hear, and it is my goal to try my best to help people answer it for themselves.

I am fortunate to have a solo-exhibition this April 2019, and both the gallerist Sarvenaz Amanat and co-curator Allison Thompson, have been incredibly supportive of both my work and my mission to empower community.
I have coordinated a two part speaker series, which will be a free, public event that hosts fantastic speakers such as:

Izzy Czerveniak, Western Organizer of David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot Movement
Erzsi Institorisz, Co-Founder of GreenSeeds Music Society, Climate Reality Project Leader, Suzuki Speaks and ButterflyWay Project Ranger with the David Suzuki Foundation
Dr. Elaine Leung, Founder & Executive Director of Sea Smart
Marin Davidson, Events Director of Vancouver’s chapter of Surfrider Foundation

I will posting more on these events this week!

In addition to this inspiring line up of female activists, I will also be speaking about my personal experiences with low carbon living and how I got started.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been compiling data to make a list for sustainable lifestyle alternatives, and I came across this post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, who is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future.
I have looked at hundreds of documents, posts, etc. and this is the best compilation I’ve ever found.

I love how he briefly addresses the specific impact with each step and provides an accessible solution.
I had to share this brilliant post!

Please check out these simple steps.


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To mitigate climate change, the number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (Credit: Getty)

To mitigate climate change, the number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (Credit: Getty)

In a report published in September 2018, the world’s leading climate scientists made their starkest warning so far: our current actions are not enough for us to meet our target of 1.5C of warming. We need to do more.


It’s settled science that climate change is real, and we’re starting to see some of the ways that it affects us. It increases the likelihood of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, threatens the millions of people living along the Brahmaputra River in north-eastern India and disrupts the sex life of plants and animals.

So we don’t need to ask whether climate change is happening – or whether humans are causing it. Instead, we need to ask: “what can we do?”

What can you do that will have the biggest impact? Here’s our guide.


1. What is the single most important thing humanity has to do in the coming years – and what does that mean for me?

The number one goal? Limiting the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy, all while increasing energy efficiency. “We need to cut CO2 emissions almost in half (45%) by the end of the next decade,” says Kimberly Nicholas, associate professor of sustainability science at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), in Sweden.

The road towards that transition includes daily decisions within your reach – like driving and flying less, switching to a ‘green’ energy provider and changing what you eat and buy.

Of course, it’s true that climate change won’t be solved by your buying or driving habits alone – although many experts agree these are important, and can influence others to make changes too (more on that later). Other changes are needed that can only be made on a bigger, system-wide basis – like revamping our subsidy system for the energy and food industries, which continue to reward fossil fuels, or setting new rules and incentives for sectors like farming, deforestation and waste management.

One good example of the importance of this regards refrigerants. An advocacy group of researchers, business-people and NGOs called Drawdown found that getting rid of HFCs (chemicals used in fridges and air conditioning)  was the number-one most effective policy to reduce emissions.That’s because they are up to 9,000 more warming for the atmosphere than CO2. The good news is that we have made global progress on this, and two years ago 170 countries agreed to start phasing out HFCs in 2019

This is important because we need “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to deal with climate change, says the IPCC report. “Everyone is going to have to be involved," says Debra Robert, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group tasked with the report. 

2. Changing how industries are run or subsidized doesn’t sound like anything I can influence... can I?

You can. Individuals need to exercise their rights both as citizens and as consumers, Robert and other experts say, putting pressure on their governments and on companies to make the system-wide changes that are needed.

Another way, increasingly undertaken by universities, faith groups and recently even at a countrywide level, is to ‘divest’ funds out of polluting activities – such as avoiding stocks in fossil fuels, or banks that invest in high-emission industries. By getting rid of financial instruments related to the fossil fuel industry, organisations can both take climate action and reap economic benefits


3. Other than that, what’s the best daily action I can take?

One 2017 study co-authored by Lund University’s Nicholas ranked 148 individual actions on climate change according to their impact. Going car-free was the number-one most effective action an individual could take (except not having kids – but more on that on that later). Cars are more polluting compared to other means of transportation like walking, biking or using public transport.

One ranking found that going car-free is the most effective action one person can take (Credit: Getty)

One ranking found that going car-free is the most effective action one person can take (Credit: Getty)

In industrialized countries such as European nations, getting rid of your car can reduce 2.5 tonnes of CO2 – about one-fourth of the average yearly emissions (9.2 tonnes) contributed by each person in developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“We should choose more efficient vehicles and, whenever possible, switch directly to electric vehicles,” says Maria Virginia Vilarino, co-author of the mitigation chapter in the IPCC’s latest report.

4. But isn’t renewable energy extremely expensive?

Actually, renewables like wind and solar are becoming increasingly cheap across the world (although final costs are subject to local circumstances). The latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) found that several of the most commonly used renewables, like solar, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower and onshore wind, will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Some are already more cost-effective.

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty)

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty)

The cost of utility-scale solar panels has fallen 73% since 2010, for example, making solar energy the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  In the UK, onshore wind and solar are competitive with gas and by 2025 will be the cheapest source of electricity generation.

Some critics argue that these prices disregard the price of integrating renewables on the electricity system – but recent evidence suggests these costs are ‘modest’ and manageable for the grid.

5. Could I make a difference by changing my diet?

That’s a big one, too. In fact, after fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US.

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty)

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty)

The meat industry contributes to global warming in three major ways. Firstly, cows’ burping from processing food releases lots of methane, a greenhouse gas. Secondly, we feed them with other potential sources of food, like maize and soy, which makes for a very inefficient process. And finally, they also require lots of water, fertilisers that can release greenhouse gases, and plenty of land – some of which come from cleared forests, another source of carbon emissions.     

By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%

You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%. A larger-scale approach could be something like banning meat across an organisation, as office-sharing company WeWork did in 2018.

This explainer of sustainable diets by the World Resources Institute (WIR) and its longer associated report provides more answers to questions about food and carbon emissions.

6. How harmful are my flying habits?

Planes run on fossil fuels, and we haven’t figured out a scaleable alternative. Although some early efforts to use solar panels to fly around the world have had success, we are still decades away from commercial flights running on solar energy.

A normal transatlantic round-trip flight can release around 1.6 tonnes of CO2 – almost as much as the average yearly emissions of one person in India.

A normal transatlantic round-trip flight can release around 1.6 tonnes of CO2, according to Nicholas’s study – almost as much as the average yearly emissions of one person in India. This also highlights the inequality of climate change: while everyone will be affected, only a minority of humans fly and even fewer people take planes often.

There are groups of scientists and members of the public who have decided to give up flying or who fly less. Virtual meetings, holidaying in local destinations or using trains instead of planes all are ways to cut down.

Wondering how much your travel contributes to climate change? Measure your carbon emissions in this calculator by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

7. Should I be shopping differently?

Most likely. That’s because everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in the way it is produced or in how it is transported.

For instance, the clothing sector represents around 3% of the world’s global production emissions of CO2, mostly because of the use of energy to produce attire. The hectic pace of fast fashion contributes to this figure as clothes are discarded or fall apart after short periods.

The clothing sector makes up about 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions (Credit: Getty)

The clothing sector makes up about 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions (Credit: Getty)

International transport, including maritime and air shipping, also has an impact. Groceries shipped from Chile and Australia to Europe, or the other way around, have more ‘food miles’ and usually a higher footprint than local produce. But this is not always the case, as some countries grow out-of-season crops in energy-intensive greenhouses – so the best approach is to eat food that is both locally grown and seasonal. Even so, eating vegetarian still beats only purchasing local.

8. Should I think about how many children I have (or don’t have)?

Nicholas’s study concluded that having fewer children is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, with almost 60 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year. But this result has been contentious – and it leads to other questions.

One is whether you are responsible for children’s climate emissions, and the other is where are these babies born.  

If you are responsible for your kids’ emissions, are your parents responsible for yours? And if you are not, how should we consider the fact that more people will likely have more carbon emissions? We also could ask whether having offspring is a human right beyond questioning. And we could ask if having children is necessarily a bad thing for solving climate change: our challenges may mean we will need more problem-solvers in future generations, not fewer.

Those are hard, philosophical questions – and we’re not going to try to answer them here.

Children lead to more CO2 emissions – but they may also be future environmentally-minded problem-solvers (Credit: Getty)

Children lead to more CO2 emissions – but they may also be future environmentally-minded problem-solvers (Credit: Getty)

What we do know is that no two people have the same emissions. Although the average human releases around 5 tonnes of CO2 per year, each country has very different circumstances: developed nations like the US and South Korea have higher national averages (16.5 tonnes and 11.5 tonnes per person, respectively) than developing countries like Pakistan and Philippines (around 1 tonne each). Even within national borders, richer people have higher emissions than people with less access to goods and services. So if you choose to take this question into account, you have to remember that it’s not just about how many children you have – it’s where (and who) you are.

9. But if I eat less meat or take fewer flights, that’s just me – how much of a difference can that really make?

Actually, it’s not just you. Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too.

Here are four examples:

Social scientists believe this occurs because we constantly evaluate what our peers are doing and we adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly. When people see their neighbours taking environmental action, like conserving energy, they infer that people like them also value sustainability and feel more compelled to act.

10. What if I just can’t avoid that flight, or cut down on driving?

If you simply can’t make every change that’s needed, consider offsetting your emissions with a trusted green project – not a ‘get out of jail free card’, but another resource in your toolbox to compensate that unavoidable flight or car trip. The UN Climate Convention keeps a portfolio of dozens of projects around the world you can contribute to. To find out how many emissions you need to ‘buy’ back, you can use its handy carbon footprint calculator.

Whether you are a coffee farmer in Colombia or a homeowner in California, climate change will have an impact on your life. But the opposite is also true: your actions will influence the planet for the coming decades – for better or for worse.

Post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, who is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future.

BLUE

 

Last week I attended a screening for the film BLUE. This is hands down one of the most powerful films I have ever seen! I watch A LOT of documentaries, and they all touch your heart, but this film, literally grabs your heart!  I would encourage everyone to attend a local screening and bring friends and family with you!  Every human on the planet needs to be educated on the dire state of our oceans. We are in a critical situation, and I feel like people don’t realize just how close we are to the brink of global catastrophe; nor how imperative oceanic systems are to sustaining all forms of life.  I promise, if you dedicate an hour and a half to watching this film, you will be compelled to do your part. However big or small that is, we all need to act!

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I especially loved how the film ended with a direct call to action in the form of a typographic fish (pictured above), composed of actions that every individual can easily engage in; ones that will help in sustaining the world's oceans.

Check out the film's tailer below

 

The film also has a fantastic website ! It hosts incredible images,  educational programs for youth, comprehensive information regarding the challenges they present in the film, and a well prepared resource page for individuals and for communities wanting to take action. I would urge anyone that is passionate about the oceans, check out this site and commit to some of the lifestyle suggestions that will greatly impact the oceans in a positive way! 

I hope you enjoy this film as much as I did, and thank for your continued interest in this blog and for doing your part to protect the environment!