E-waste, which includes all computers, newer TVs, smart phones, some higher tech fridges, and so much more, has become a global ecological issue. It is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. In 2018, an estimated 50 million tones of e-waste was created. Only 15-20% of it was recycled, the rest went to landfills and incinerators.
Increasingly, electronics are manufactured with built in planned obsolescence. This, coupled with consumer demand for faster, better, cooler products, means most devices are not handled for more than a couple of years by their original owner. Add to that the difficulty, inconvenience and high cost of repairs, and the consumer finds it cheaper to buy something new. The economics of gadgetry encourages disposal!
Maybe you’re like me and have a stash of broken phones and computers in your house. Maybe you’re keeping them because they might be repairable or useful. You might not know what to do with them but you probably don’t want them to end up in a landfill.
If your old cell phone ends up in a formal (First World) electronic recycling facility, it will be shredded and sorted into its constituent parts by industrial machines that take lots of energy to power and money to run (add that to the overall footprint of your device). The expense of such e-recycling makes it cheaper to export e-waste to the developing world where it’s processed in unlicensed and unregulated situations which don’t consider human and environmental health hazards.
Most e-waste ends up in Asia where thousands of men, women and children are employed by informal recycling businesses. Discarded devices are sorted and disassembled with bare hands. Plastic is openly burned from wiring and casing to get at the valuable and complex mix of materials that make the devices work. They can contain lead, silver, gold, copper, titanium, platinum, palladium, lithium and cobalt. So, one benefit of recycling e-waste is that these valuable elements are reclaimed less mining for raw materials is needed. E-waste, however, also includes heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, and beryllium, as well as polluting PVC plastics and other chemicals like brominated flame retardants that have proven to be harmful to human health.
The regions where e-waste is hand recycled have contaminated air, soil and groundwater. People who work at informally recycling e-waste are more likely to have spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, premature births, increased lead levels in their blood, decreased lung function and increased neurobehavioral disturbances.
Imagine if manufacturers were required to design better products that were built to last (or at least had to label them with the average time before breakdown). Imagine if they had to offer replacement parts and other resources at reasonable prices. Imagine if the producers had to be responsible for recycling the devices they sold. Imagine if the consumers of these products had the right to repair them.
Currently, Canadians do not have a right to repair. Companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and John Deere keep lobbying to ensure that the laws that benefit their corporations don’t change. These manufacturers use “authorized shops” that charge more to repair a device than to buy a new one. They restrict access to spare parts and manuals and they even use software to render devices unusable if they’ve undergone “unauthorized repair”. Sometimes the software is designed to be deliberately slow on older models so users upgrade to newer models. These companies argue that intellectual property rights as well as security and safety concerns should limit consumers rights to fix their own devices.
Thankfully, there are organizations advocating for the Right to Repair as a necessary principle in this technologically connected world. In the consumers bill of rights we should be able to open everything we own, to be able to modify and repair it, to unlock and jailbreak software in the electronics. There should be easy access to repair information and software tools for diagnostics. Products should be able to be repaired at reasonable cost and independent repair shops should be allowed to exist. The end goal should be to reduce waste, allow for repairs to be made locally and to encourage innovation. If you agree, join the right to repair movement!
Most cities now have Repair Cafe’s where a consumer can take broken electronics and have them fixed for free. Local expertise, tools, repair manuals, and materials are made available. The idea is to combine education with social inclusivity and to teach “sharing economy” practices and sustainable actions. Here on Lasqueti, WMM will have a go at repairing “dumb devices’ that don’t depend on computer chips to operate. Anyone else out there want to join the revolution and help fix the electronics we already own?
Where repair proves impossible, there are local stores that are happy to receive used electronics to use for parts. Some smaller computer stores, for instance, fall into this category. If recycling is your only option, here is a list of programs available in BC. It is especially important to properly dispose of batteries.
Notes from WMMark: Covid-19 protocol for the Depot from the qRD: one person at a time doing recycling, depot worker keeps distance and supervises. This will be slower, but no one is in a rush anymore, right?
Trash Removal System: first Thursday of the month, 11 am - 1 pm, at the Weldon Road Boat Ramp. If the weather is unfavourable, they’ll try the following Monday, same time and place. WMM will inspect Lasqueti Island residential waste destined for the Nanaimo Landfill before its loaded onto a bin on Keith’s barge. No construction materials, renovation or demolition waste, prohibited waste, organics, recyclable material or stewardship materials. $5 per bag, $25 per truckload. Mattresses and boxsprings $15 each.
Recycling Depot: Fall/Winter Hours October 1st- March 31st
- Mondays 10 am - 2 pm
- Thursdays 1- 5 pm
- Closed on Statutory Holidays.
All recycling is monitored. Please bring it CLEAN and DRY.
Free Store: Fall/Winter Hours October 1st -March 31st
-Thursdays 1 - 5 pm
Ginja requests you drop off outstanding items only i.e. clean, usable clothing and household items. Please, NO food, garbage, recycling, TV’s, soft foam, batteries, electrical devices, mattresses or hazardous materials ie: chemicals, fluorescent light tubes, prescription/non-prescription drugs, or pills in general.
Also, check out the BUY, SELL, and TRADE bulletin board beside the front door of the Free Store. Lot’s of people are using it!
Return-It Beverage Depot open 24/7
Front left of Free Store. Accepts refundable beverage containers: beer, cider, pop, coconut water cans, boxed wine cartons (leave them intact), water jugs and tetra juice packs. No, milk containers and any kind of glass - please take these to the recycling depot.
Recycle BC Website: www.recyclebc.ca/what-can-i-recycle
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions for me and the qRd Let’s Talk Trash team please get in touch! email@example.com or 8601.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM LASQUETI ORGANIZATIONS REGARDING COVID-19
MARCH 23, 2020
This joint statement is from the following Lasqueti individuals and organizations:
WE THEREFORE ASK:
1. EVERYONE TO FOLLOW PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS AND SAFETY GUIDELINES, including proper hand washing, respectful social/physical distancing with everyone except immediate family, and self-isolation when returning from foreign travel.
2. EVERYONE TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF RISKS TO CONTINUITY OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES, given our limited resources, isolation and response capacity.
3. POSTPONEMENT OF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO AND FROM LASQUETI. We look forward to welcoming visitors when it is safe to do so. "Now is not the time to be visiting the islands” (Islands Trust News Release, Mar. 22, 2020).
4. RESIDENTS PLANNING TO STAY ON LASQUETI DURING THE OUTBREAK TO:
LASQUETI ISLAND FOOD SECURITY UPDATE:
A small group has been formed in cooperation with our local emergency coordinator, Darcy Pascall to come up with a plan to improve island food security in these crazy times. We're still working on a good name, let us know if you have any ideas (Lasqueti Food Producers Alliance? Lasqueti Food Growers? Island Food Collective? ......)
How can we grow and distribute more food locally? To start with, everyone is encouraged to step up food production at home. There are plenty of seasoned gardeners to reach out to for advice and JennyV will be keeping us all on track with regular garden advice posts. Talk to your neighbours about how to make best use of all the garden space available in your neighbourhood, maybe someone has more space than they can handle while someone else is short on sun or water or fencing but would love to provide some garden labour in exchange for some produce. You may also want to grow more of what grows well in your garden and trade with neighbours or friends for things that don't do as well for you.
Jenny V and Mary Ange are both stepping up production of veggie starts and have catalogs listing what they will have available that can be emailed or sent to you via post. The PAC Plant Sale has been cancelled and the Mother's Day Plant Sale will not happen as it usually does either, so at this point, it's best to pre-order and work out pick-up/delivery with them directly. There are several other growers who will have extra starts too, such as Gordon will sell his extra starts from his stand as usual. Reach out on the email list or call around if you have extra starts to offer or are in search of something. A facebook group has also been started for seed and start swapping called Lasqueti Seed Trade.
It seems unlikely the Saturday market will happen, so distribution of extra produce is the big question. Some kind of box program (sometimes called CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) seems to be the best solution, where extra food is bought from folks for set prices and then boxes are put together so all members get a share. There are still lots of questions to answer about how to set things up to be efficient and keep everyone safe and virus-free. Stay tuned for more details as plans develop. If you have any good ideas or want to help with organizing, please contact us.
We're also aiming to get unused garden space into production to grow staples on a larger scale for the community - ie. root veggies, winter squash, dry beans etc. for consumption over the winter. Carly R and Willy are developing a list of available land as well as folks willing to help out with farm labour, so if you know of available land (especially if it's already fenced and has irrigation water available), or are willing to help with planting, weeding, watering etc, get in touch with either of them so you get added to the list.
--Lasqueti Food Growers (?? sheesh, we really need to sort out a good name......)
JennyV - firstname.lastname@example.org / 8601
Marie-Ange - email@example.com / 8595
Wendy S - firstname.lastname@example.org / 8632
Hilary - email@example.com / 8674
ART CENTRE NEWS:
Interesting times; we don't know what the future will look like but can only hope there will always be art! The events currently unfolding on the planet certainly have the potential to elicit a creative response. Creative expression is a healthy way to process fear, confusion, anxiety, grief, etc. The art supplies you have been hoarding can finally be put to use, the useless ancient things you uncover during isolation - inspired house cleaning will reveal their creative potential if you open your ears, eyes, mind. Not to mention the songs, poems, stories, dances, theatre...that could emerge from this experience.
Let's make art Now (all forms of art) to be shared when the time is right: in the gallery, community hall, in the woods, or perhaps in some way we have yet to imagine.
It is difficult at this point in time to make any plans for the future but we do have a fabulous lineup of summer art shows to look forwards to if and when circumstances allow... dates are all uncertain at this point of course.
*June 10th - 22nd, opening June12th:
Morgan Maher presents Speaking in Leaves and The Alternate Reality Navigation Association, a collection of new and recent images, paintings and words reflecting the forest, spirits, and birds.
June 26th - July 7th, opening June 26 - Chaka and Jake present: 'You Inspire Me' - an illustrated journey.
Wishing a healthy and creative spring to all. Valeria
LINC is so grateful to the wonderful volunteers who helped us with the Spurge purging in January! A big thank you to: Wendy and Bruce, Hilary and Jordan, Duane and Tejomaya, Betsy, Jodi, Rosalind, Aigul, Richard B., Wayne, Suzie R., Sheila R., Peter J., Gordon and Izzy and Karl D. We are grateful for the super yummy lunch provided by Mikyla. If you can help with any more work parties for removing this toxic, invasive plant, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In February we said goodbye to the cold winter with two Sunday night film showings. Thanks to all who came out and watched the films with us and supported Violet with her awesome culinary skills. Feedback on the film fest event would be welcome. Let us know how you liked the films, the dinner, the set up, and anything else. Please reply to email@example.com.
Spring is showing its beautiful face, and along with the flowers, LINC is continuing to schedule spring-like events.
Upcoming, April 25th we have an amphibian walk with Barb Beasley. Barb is a coastal ecologist from Ucluelet and founder of the Association of Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds, a non-profit organization that promotes habitat stewardship for amphibians. She is an author of COSEWIC status reports and management plans for the Northern Red-legged Frog and Wandering Salamander. Learn about the diversity of amphibians in coastal B.C., why they are important for ourselves and the planet & what’s being done to help them survive.
May 17th we have our Annual General Meeting and hike. Further details will follow. Your donations are needed to support our work. Annual Membership ($10 – 20, min. $5) Happy Spring!
A telling report from another coast - It’s different there . . . and it’s better
By Bob Exell
Anxious islanders turned out en-masse last December when the deputy minister of transportation visited to consult with them on improvements to ferry service. Big changes were in the works, he reported. A new vessel would be built locally at a cost of more than $9,000,000, and the provincial government had the funds available.
This was not, of course, in British Columbia. This was on the tiny island of Tancook, in Mahone Bay off Nova Scotia’s south shore. I found it while searching for an island ferry service elsewhere in Canada that might reasonably be compared to that of Lasqueti.
As in British Columbia, ferries are important to Nova Scotia. But unlike the government of British Columbia, which abrogated responsibility for coastal marine transportation in 2003, the government of Nova Scotia remains hands-on, rejecting privatization.
A private but publicly-supported company, Bay Ferries Ltd., operates two routes across the Bay of Fundy to New Brunswick and Maine, but the province itself maintains a fleet of smaller ferries servicing two little Atlantic islands and creating highway links and shortcuts across waterways on the mainland and Cape Breton Island. These cable ferries and motor vessels not only provide communities with everyday service but stay on-call 24/7 for emergencies.
MV William G. Ernst is one of the self-propelled vessels, taking passengers and freight to the historic fishing villages of Tancook and Little Tancook.
Big Tancook is small––at 550 acres not even the size of Jedediah––and lightly populated compared to Lasqueti. Off-season its population is estimated to be 135 persons max. During the summer it swells to perhaps 250. Residents are primarily lobster fishers, as are the 25-or-so residents of Little Tancook.
William G. Ernst, like Centurion VII, is an older twin-diesel, built in 1982. Like Centurion, it cruises at nine to 10 knots. The passage to Tancook from Chester on the mainland––just over seven nautical miles and about 50 minutes––is comparable to the Lasqueti route or 10 nautical miles and an hour or more. The Ernst carries up to 95 persons, the Centurion, 60. Both vessels experience weather cancellations from time to time.
But there the parallels end. In every other way, service to Lasqueti is comparably inferior. The difference seems to be that in Nova Scotia the provincial government takes islanders needs seriously.
First, the role of the Ernst, unlike Centurion, is more than just about moving passengers from Point A to Point B. It’s uniquely a multi-purpose vessel for the community––passenger ferry, school bus, container ship and barge. It makes 26 round-trips a seven-day week. Winter or summer a round-trip costs $7.00 but most users buy an annual pass for $162.00. Kids 12 and under are free. Lasqueti has 14 round-trips a five-day week at a peak-season cost of $23.50. There are no annual passes. Kids under six are free.
Unlike Centurion, on the Ernst there is no charge for bicycles, pets or freight whatever its size. Aluminum containers made available by the crew for the stowage of larger freight are hoisted onto the ship by its on-board crane. Passengers carry their personal belongings into the cabin.
At Chester and Tancook the vessel departs from true wharves, not floats like those at False Bay and French Creek. It has a vehicle ramp and enough space for a car or small truck which can be loaded when the tide permits. The cost is $20.00 for a vehicle and $10.00 for an ATV or motorcycle. Beyond that passengers never pay anything extra.
In Nova Scotia there will be no fare increase this year or in the foreseeable future on any of the routes the province operates. The standard fare of $7.00 prevails throughout the province. Our fares go up April 1.
Weekdays the Ernst makes four round-trips, serving both Big and Little Tancook. The four-man crew overnights on Big Tancook and embarks on the day’s first sailing at 6 a.m. On the 7 a.m. return the ferry picks up school kids at Little Tancook. Others join the boat at Big Tancook for the 8 a.m. sailing. That puts students in Chester for school before 9 a.m. The school on Tancook teaches students only up to grade six.
From the Halifax/Dartmouth metropolitan area it’s about a 45-minute drive to Chester. Yet on
Friday evenings there are two additional sailings from Chester, at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.––late sailings for weekenders and locals wanting to get home for the weekend.
As Lasqueti weekenders know so well, sailings from French Creek, the first at 9:45 a.m. and the last at 5:30 p.m., are the same Fridays as on three of the other four days the ferry operates.
To update its fleet the Nova Scotia government last year issued tenders for two new ferries. A third is pending. It’s likely all of the vessels will be built in the Maritimes. Nova Scotia has an active shipyard,
A.F. Theriault & Sons, between Digby and Yarmouth, which boasts that since 1938 it’s built more than 500 boats, some as large as 48 metres long.
As I write this B.C. Ferries (its recent vessels were built in Romania and Poland) has entered into a contract with Western Pacific Marine to continue its long-standing service to Lasqueti. The new contract takes effect April 1 and, as before, is expected to be for four years, with a four-year extension. Except for minor housekeeping the new contract will mirror the old; just more of the humdrum same.
When the Nova Scotia transportation deputy, Paul LaFleche, attended the town-hall meeting in December he brought with him three of his top officials. Here, the B.C. ministry of transportation and Infrastructure proposes an annual ferry consultation meeting be held with Lasqueti residents. OK. But as Mark Collins, president of B.C. Ferries, wrote to me almost two years ago, “All authority over service levels, round trips, and service provision rest with the provincial government . . . it is important that everyone understands BCF does not control this. The ministry is where the authority to make changes rests.”
Do government officials plan to attend the consultation meetings? They do not.
Or would B.C. Ferries’ vice-president of community engagement, Brian Anderson, make the trip to hear-out with the locals? Not necessarily, for the ministry proposes only that the meeting be arranged directly by Western Pacific Marine, “in cooperation with B.C Ferries.”
Could it then just be us and Allan Knapp?
The government of Nova Scotia, with financial help from the federal government, is spending many millions of dollars upgrading its vessels and improving its ferry services on its seven routes residents but for the health and growth of its tourism industry as well as for residents. It’s engaged.
The government of British Columbia, which receives financial help from the federal government for marine transportation throughout coastal B.C., annually writes a cheque for $3,000,000-plus to B.C. Ferries to contract out ferry services on Lasqueti and six minor northern routes. There its interest ends.
No senior official of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has ever been to Lasqueti.
Neither the president of B.C. Ferries nor any of his eight vice-presidents have ever been to Lasqueti.
Yet, in their collective wisdom, these two parties have ensured that the service shortcomings Lasqueti has experienced since 1979 will endure until 2028.
That’s one-year shy of a half-century.
WINTER SESSION AT DENISE’S STUDIO
Welcome 2020 with Dance, Yoga, and Conditioning. Classes commence Monday, January 13th. Newcomers are encouraged and welcomed. Treat yourself to the many benefits movement offers. Movement is medicine!
Intermediate Modern - Mondays 9:30-11:30 am
January 13th - March 30th
Yoga Dance - Monday’s 6:00-7:30 pm
This class blends the mindfulness of Yoga, and the dynamics of Modern, Jazz, Latin dance and Ballet. We will focus on flexibility, core strength, balance, lengthening and toning muscles, increasing awareness, the use of breath and improving range of motion. Come try out this class and have fun! All levels welcome. February 3rd - March 23rd. Cost $120
Vinyasa Yoga - Tuesdays 9:30-11:00 am
This energetic flow yoga class offers a choreographed series of postures designed to still the mind, invigorate and cleanse the body while drawing awareness to the breath. This practice is designed to increase muscle tone, strength, flexibility, balance and concentration. All levels welcome. January 28th - March 31st. Cost $150
Bartenieff Dance Class – Tuesday 12:30 -2:00 p.m.
Are you constantly achy and stiff, and suffer from soreness or fatigue? Try this introductory Somatics class and learn some basic developmental movement patterns and Bartenieff Fundamentals that will help alleviate stress in joints and fatigue, offer ease in movement, increase balance, breath and body-mind awareness. Be prepared to feel grounded, connected, reintegrated and rejuvenated from this work. Jan.29th - March 25th. Cost $ 150
Conditioning: Wednesdays 9:30-11:00
This class blends floor barre, ballet, yoga, core work and Bartenieff Fundamentals. It is designed to build up your stamina, improve placement, strength, flexibility, focusing on moving more efficiently, alleviating stress in joints, preparing the body to move in a more healthful and vibrant way. Everyone welcome. Jan.29 - March 25th. Cost $150
Tango Classes: Tuesday’s 6:30-8:15 pm
Tango is a vibrant, playful dance between two people. It has very rich potential for expression, improvisation, connection and musical interpretation. Come check it out and have some fun! Jan.21st - March 31st. Cost $165
Dance Theatre Ages 9-12 - Wednesday’s 4:00-5:15
This fun filled class blends dance, physical theatre, voice, rhythm and French. The class encourages spontaneity, improvisation, full creative expression and play. February 5th - March 25th. Cost $120
Creative Dance Ages 3-5 - Thursday’s 11- Noon
Dancers will explore full expression through dance rhythm, song and French. This class will unleash your child’s creativity! March 12th-26th. Cost $45
All classes will be taught by Artistic Director Denise Lieutaghi, BA (Human and Social Development), certified teacher of the Bill Evans Method of Teaching Modern Dance, and certified Radiant Health Yoga teacher.
For more information and for registration please call Denise at 250 240-0457 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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