Globe Climate: Bringing the climate change fight to the kitchen (and your stomach)

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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

For Canadians who want to reduce their carbon footprint, there are now, as the saying goes, apps for that.

Here are a couple apps that you can integrate into your life to help you understand how you might be able to make changes to track and reduce your carbon footprint, which has been difficult for people to grasp. Let us know how it goes!

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Hunting: The volunteer-run BC Wildlife Federation’s training offers a number of beginner-level courses in trapping, game care, marksmanship, fly tying, wilderness survival and first aid. In recent years, there’s been a steady increase in interest.
  2. Energy: Alberta, energy sector press Ottawa to clarify how climate targets will be reached; Canada’s 2030 climate targets for oil and gas industry are not feasible, government analysis says.
  3. Flooding: Who’s in charge of fixing BC’s flood defences? In communities near ‘orphan dikes,’ no one’s really sure. Also: BC siblings’ home wiped out by failed orphan dike
  4. From The Narwhal: Breathtaking pictures. Adventurous boat trips. A mission to save the planet. Young people were drawn to Pacific Wild, but many describe a work culture of bullying and harassment
  5. Wildlife: Wild pigs are invasive, destructive and dangerous, and their populations in Canada are exploding out of control. How can we fight back?

Illustration by Steven P Hughes


A deeper dive

Where does food fit into climate change?

Sierra Bein is the Globe Climate author. For this week’s deeper dive, she talks about sustainable food and making your kitchen more environment friendly

The food industry is embracing sustainability. What does that mean? That’s what Food reporter Ann Hui tried to answer this week. But it’s a challenging task, since there is no consensus on a definition for sustainability, even among farmers, let alone unanimity across the entire food system.

In the urgent race to combat climate change, it’s a challenge that experts say is imperative to overcome. In order to move onto the pressing work of tracking and implementing sustainability across the food chain, there must be agreement on a definition.

In fact, this is a question that a group of more than 80 Canadian organizations have spent the past several years grappling with. The group released a proposal last week, called the National Index on Agri-Food Performance. But can an industry-led group can be relied on to hold itself to account? Ann explores all this and more, read her full story here.

Meanwhile, in your own kitchen, we have more ways you can change your home habits

Making eco-friendly choices can happen on any number of fronts: taking reusable totes to the grocery store, cleaning with green products, cooking with induction, throwing as little as possible out, becoming a locavore and adhering to the 100-mile diet, and expanding your cooking repertoire so you know how to make delicious meals out of lowly food scraps. Here are a few places to start:

  • Step 1: Shake up your shopping clothes. Some love that big, bulk Costco run, while others shop every day. To mitigate waste from your eyes being bigger than your stomach, do a “pre-shop” in your own kitchen. Look in your fridge and and in your pantry before heading to the store.
  • Step 2: Try a flexitarian menu. The biggest impact we can make is buying more plants and less meat. trying to adopt a more flexitarian way of eating where meat might play second or third fiddle to fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
  • Step 3: Respect your budget. There is a downside to eating sustainably today: A recent study found plant-based products are on average 38-per-cent more expensive than animal-based equivalents, despite ever-rising meat prices. To mitigate this, try using a simple food rotation system. Eat perishables first, and reuse every part you possibly can.
  • Step 4: Shop locally and eat seasonally. One of the most important things you can do is minimize food miles, and part of that is teaching people how to cook simple recipes with everyday ingredients.

Read the full kitchen guide here, plus seven ways to make a big impact and on how to be an eco-friendlier shopper and home cook.


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

Kathleen McDonnell: Forget swimming pools – give me a cold lake any day of the week

JP Gladu and Ken Coates: Indigenous resource management guarantees cultural survival, with the benefits passed on to everyone

Jan Gorsky: Why Canada can meet its oil and gas emissions targets

Marcus Gee: Toronto needs to get the little things – like opening water fountains in a heat wave – right

The Editorial Board: Why is cutting carbon emissions so hard? Consider the 5,000 pound hunk of metal in your driveway


Green Investing

Canada’s accounting and auditing bodies are establishing a homegrown standards board for sustainability measures as investors and regulators call for better transparency and comparability of key environmental and social data from companies.

The new group, the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB), will work with the new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). It’s part of a wider, international effort to standardize a range of climate-related reporting metrics. Once that framework is created, the CSSB will review them to make sure they are appropriate for the Canadian market, then endorse them for use.

The CSSB is being formed in response to recommendations from the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada (IRCSS), which is studying the processes for establishing accounting, auditing and assurance standards. Its final report is due this summer, but the group decided to fast-track the formation of the CSSB given the topic’s momentum.


Making waves

We will be taking a break from publishing profiles this summer! But we’re still looking for great people to feature. Get in touch with us to have someone included in our “making waves” section for after Labor Day.

Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com to tell us about them.


Photo of the week

A cougar licks frozen mackerel, as zookeepers monitor the animals during heatwave conditions sweeping across France, in the Vincennes Zoo, on the outskirts of Paris, on June 18, 2022. Spain, France and other western European nations braced for a sweltering June weekend that is set to break records, with forest fires and warnings over the effects of climate change. The weather on June 18, 2022 will represent a peak of a June heatwave that is in line with scientists’ predictions that such phenomena will now strike earlier in the year thanks to global warming.GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images


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