Green and Environmental

Evoking kintsugi

Whitehorse artist Leslie Leong applied for a residency at the Ted Harrison Artists Retreat to work towards a large show at the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery in the fall of 2019. But she had lots of other ideas to work through first, both larger and smaller. At the artists’ retreat, on Crag Lake, she was …

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Inspired by Place

Kristin Link is a visual artist based in McCarthy, Alaska, who works in natural history and science art. She creates interpretive signs and educational material about nature.

Yukon Montessori School battles plastic pollution

When discussing the global plastic pollution, things can often seem bleak. That is not the case at Yukon Montessori School, where, in Kelly Scott’s Lower Elementary class, the future looks bright. Very bright.

From the California gold rush to the history of the Yukon

Josh Winkler combines traditional media with print media and sculpture. Reaching for the Sun is the title of his recent project. It references natural growth, but also the growth of humanity, the accumulation of products, and the fragility of the planet.

Stream of Dreams

A team of facilitators from the Stream of Dreams program was in Dawson this week to promote environmental stewardship and facilitate a community art project.

Garage Sales – Doing it for (the) community

In early April, 79-year-old Lorraine White did what lots of Yukoners do: she held a garage sale. White, who was moving to Vancouver Island, sold her furniture and old china at her Takhini senior’s residence, and gave away the rest. Moving on or moving out are two reasons for garage sales. Connecting with community is …

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Going green never looked so good

Fahrenheit Hair originally offered only hair services, but have recently expanded into further beauty services that include body sugaring, massage, threading, organic skincare and lash extensions.

Let’s end plastic pollution

To end plastic pollution, we need to shift our attitudes and behaviours. Plastic pollution affects our health and the health of the animals and plants we share our planet with.

Low impact on the land

The sites you choose look good to you or you wouldn’t set up there. Make your best effort to leave them as you found them. PHOTO: Pixabay   It really wasn’t too many years ago that campsites could be obvious almost forever due to the accepted practices of the day. Tents were different with straight …

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Canada’s first superheroine saved from obscurity

There’s no need to be a closet comic nerd anymore. The genre has exploded into accepted popularity over the last 10 years and it’s definitely something worth openly celebrating. If you’re like me, however, and relatively new to the scene, you might be surprised to find the roots of Canadian comic artists went mainstream more …

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Plastic, plastic, everywhere

It is 2017 and plastic is all around us — in our toothbrushes, phones, and children’s toys. We use it to store our food and bottle our water. We put our plastic purchases in plastic bags to bring home. Many plastic bags will get used only once. They might get recycled. They might get thrown …

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A friend indeed

Dorothy Bradley leaves her vehicle at Eagle Bay Park, where Whistle Bend Way and Range Road meet, and walks to the bench overlooking McIntyre Creek. It is a 10-minute walk along a path that is dappled with bright yellow aspen leaves. To the left is a boreal forest of jack pine, to her right is …

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TIAY Picks Dawson to Showcase Sustainable Tourism

Every few years the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon brings either its spring or fall conference to Dawson City. TIA Yukon Executive Director Blake Rogers says that it makes even more sense than usual this year. “This year is a special year, the Year of International Sustainable Tourism for Development, as declared by the …

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Cohousing Communities

Cohousing is a concept that has been around for a long time, but in the Yukon it’s starting to gain interest as an alternative living arrangement for people of all walks of life. Many groups of people are tired of living paycheque-to-paycheque just to cover rent; cohousing can provide a solution. To clarify, cohousing is …

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Jack ‘n Sack

Although I can’t absolutely verify the factual accuracy of the following “claim to fame,” if I’m not the only person who had the unique opportunity to caddy for Jack Nicklaus both before he won his first professional major (1962 U.S. Open) and after his last (1986 Masters), I’m certainly one of the very few fortunate …

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The Super Bowl of Ethics

It might be called a “bowl,” but in this competition, you won’t see any kickoffs, quarterbacks, punted balls or wide receivers. You will, however, see contestants huddled in tactical contemplation, quietly discussing obligations, responsibilities and best strategies on how to advance the play, and if the judges have anything to say about it, getting a …

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Benefits of Boxed Wine

If you drink wine in the Yukon, certainly you have had a glass of Copper Moon wine. Maybe out of a glass bottle, but probably out of a box. I personally love that the Yukon wine drinking community has embraced alternative packaging and the pile of benefits that come with it, but there is more …

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Hold Onto that Heat

Woodstoves are still a very traditional heat source for our homes and cabins. Firewood and stoves have always been messy with chips and bark in a trail from the woodpile to the stove, but it’s the way of the north. Sadly firewood isn’t as close to town now as 25 years ago and permits are …

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A Change in the Climate

Yukon College is expanding their offerings in one the hottest (pardon the pun) arenas today: climate change. Often described as one of the greatest challenges of our time, human-induced climate change is already having major impacts on northern communities and ecosystems. Many factors will determine how the trends we are witnessing now will play out …

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Slip-Sliding Away

Benkert is quick to underline this aspect of the project. “The Yukon Geological Survey has been really critical (to the project) all the way through,”  she says, and goes on to cite the important roles played by the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal as well as each of the seven communities that participated in the …

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Diggin’ It Old School

The first thing that people know about me is that I am a city girl. It’s not that I do not have an appreciation for country living, it’s just not something I could do on a daily basis. So, it should come to no surprise that when it comes to gardening I am quite the …

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Deep Ecology within Architecture and Design

The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certificate program to foster the conscious development and design of eco-friendly architecture.   It was launched 10 years ago, and pillars of performance include, site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.  Recently the Maori tribe Ngai Tûhoe completed the construction of New Zealand’s first living …

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Yes we wood!

The first biomass heating project to use waste wood in the North has been up and running for a month. The project was initiated by Chris Schmidt from ACS Mechanical. In the spring of 2015 he was asked to replace the boilers at Raven Recycling, and in November he presented the project to Cold Climate …

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Deep Ecology

The year was 1971. Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World” became RPM’s top chart hit alongside The Stampeders’ “Sweet City Woman”. Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister and James Smith was Commissioner of the Yukon. Smith was instrumental in creating the Kluane National Park and Reserves and designating the Chilkoot Trail as a National Historic …

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Discounting Trash

What would you consider to be valuable about Whitehorse? The nearby mountains? The vibrant community? Being able to fish and hunt close to town? Having the cleanest air in the world? How about the landfill? As weird as it seems, the Whitehorse landfill actually is a valuable resource that we need to think about more …

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What’s In This Library

Spring is approaching — it’s time for all those with a green thumb to enjoy the warm weather. The garden season in the Yukon poses challenges, but those who know seeds and soil manage to pull through and enjoy the bounty of the land. Common amongst the garden culture circle is the planting of vegetables …

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Potatoes Grow Anywhere

Formerly the Ramada, now the Days Inn, sits at the edge of the Whitehorse industrial area. It’s parking lot and big-box-store land, the concrete jungle of our Northern capital. It’s windy and dusty and, according to Francis van Kessel, general manager at Days Inn, the perfect place to grow potatoes, carrots, beets, and maybe kale. …

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Whitehorse Has Gas

If you’re unsure whether you consider Whitehorse a progressive city, here’s some fodder for the thought that it is: we’re one of a (growing) handful of municipalities across North America that is learning how to produce energy from our own waste. It’s called biogas, and if you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because it’s an …

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A New Market?

I was having dinner with a neighbour the other day and she asked me if I needed any dried greens. She was referring to turnip tops and kale. She had just come across a large, forgotten jar and with the onset of spring it was high time to use them up. I declined, because her …

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Bad News, Bears

If Carmen Smith has her way, there will no free lunch for bears or other critters in Whitehorse wheelie-bins. Smith is program co-ordinator for a non-profit society with the imposing moniker of Centre for Human-Wildlife-Human Conflict Solutions. “Try saying that ten times fast,” she jokes. Not surprisingly, the organization prefers to be known as WildWise …

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Hot Little Chompers

Municipal-scale composting is no small backyard operation The ancient Greeks had a word that helps explain the composting process. Well, actually they had two words: therme, meaning “heat” and philein, meaning “to love”. So while you watch the truck haul away those yucky coffee grounds and carrot peels from your green bin, tip your hat …

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Paying It Backward

Earn a rebate when you go energy-efficient Since 2008, the Green Rebate program offered by Yukon’s Energy Solutions has offered a monetary incentive to encourage consumers to trade their old appliances for new, energy-efficient ones. Shane Andre, director of the Energy branch, says that since its incarnation, the program has definitely grown. In the last …

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A Question of Sustainability

A past, present and future look into environmental issues affecting Yukon waters The Yukon is known for its sparkling rivers and clear lakes; however, this has not always been the case. Pollution and the effects of global warming have taken a toll on Yukon waters. It’s only been in the last decade that preventative measures …

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Homemade Seed Tapes

Winter can be frustrating for gardeners.  There are days when it feels like spring won’t get here soon enough. Combine this with the knowledge that when it does, there is only a small window of time available, and a gardener can become anxious. Last year, I tried to get a head start on planting the …

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Bound for Warsaw: Yukoner Scott Bradley serves as youth ambassador at United Nations Climate Summit

Dawson City resident Scott Bradley will be hooking up with 15,000 delegates from around the world next week to discuss climate change. Bradley has been invited to participate in the 19th annual Conference of Parties (COP19) in Warsaw, Poland from Nov. 11 to 22. It’s a conference hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on …

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Local Food, Local Politics

Food has been in the news. A lot of it has to do with the issue of food security, food safety and the costs of the food we eat. Locally, we’re working hard, literally, to make sure we have an adequate supply of good, wholesome, sustainably produced food for an increasing portion of the year. …

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Technology is Not Always Good

We tend to think of technology in terms of the newest laptop or slimmest, Internet-capable phone. What is the connection between technology and food? Technology so inundates our society that we overlook what technology has done in the food system. We shop for the least-cost fuel, consuming it mindlessly. Just what do the words “food …

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Mixing Business With Pleasure: Hiking, biking, and skiing in the Research Forest

Apparently forest bathing is big in Japan. It’s viewed as a way to reduce stress, and it has healing effects. We’re lucky to be encircled by forests, so we’ve got plenty of options of where to forest bathe – which, by the way, is not an activity performed naked. The idea is to leave the …

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Organic Gardens Live and Breathe Naturally

When it comes to organic gardening, many gardeners are not exactly sure of the definition. Beyond the avoidance of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on their plants, an organic gardener works to achieve a harmonious balance among natural systems, while leaving the environment with replenishment of its resources. There are many good reasons for going organic. …

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Fulfilling a Childhood Dream

As a young biologist and a newly married husband, the Yukon offered Dave Mossop a chance to combine these recent developments in his life. “[Grace and I] were looking for an adventurous place to have a honeymoon, and I had the chance to research ptarmigan up here,” says Mossop. It’s almost 40 years later and, …

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Growlers: Not Just For Pirates

Canoeing to the DCMF? You are probably already concerned about the rattling of beer bottles in your canoe (to be safely consumed, of course, by your campfire and not while out on the water). We hear your pain. If drinking from a can doesn’t float your boat (i.e., lack of a good inhale upon drinking …

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Green Eggs and Moose

I like to eat them by the lake, I like to eat them when I skate, I’d share them with a fox or goose, I do so love green eggs and moose. I have always admired Theodor Seuss Geisel, and his way of playing with language. In fact, I used to have a quilting studio …

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Passion for the Planet

Passion and excitement practically explode over the phone as I speak with Veronica Huggard. Huggard is one of five young people chosen to represent Yukon at the Northern Forum’s Youth Eco Forum in Anchorage, Alaska from May 1-8. “There is so much we can learn from each other and our different approaches to dealing with …

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A Consuming Challenge

Marsh Lake-area family is working hard to demonstrate how well Northerners can reduce their energy consumption. Along the way, they hope to show other Canadians a thing or two. Brian Kitchen and Marguerite Kuiack, along with their daughters, Simone and Marika, are taking part in Canadian Geographic’s Energy Diet Challenge. The three-month challenge involves six …

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Building the Next Standard

Kobayashi + Zedda Architects (KZA) are defining design in the Yukon with projects dotting the landscape. Their work embodies the meaning of adapting and developing solutions in northern conditions, and they lead a company of builders and policy makers toward a sustainable future. For Winnipeg-born and raised Antonio Zedda, one of KZA’s partners, a driving …

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