Blog

Member Update: WE SOLD OUT!

It’s time to celebrate! With your help, we have reached our goal of raising $2.2 million!

The demand for bonds was so strong that we sold out before the anticipated date of March 31st.

We already have a waiting list of individuals who want to invest if we decide to raise additional funds. Get yourself on the waiting list by clicking here then check the box “I’m a member”.

Here’s a toast to you:
Toast IMG_20150316_123758Thank you again to each of you, for your faith in our vision, for sharing our story with your friends and family, and for being a part of ZooShare.

Cheers!

Daniel, Frances & Blair

The ZooShare Team

PS Come celebrate with us at this Thursday at the Community Bond Showcase! Reserve a ticket or get on the waiting list by clicking here. VIP ZooShare tickets include a free drink! (If you reserved tickets for the Community Bond Showcase but can no longer attend, please release your tickets via these simple steps.) Your fellow members will thank you!

PPS Share the good news:

 

Member Update: March 2015

Well–after a bitter cold snap it seems like winter is coming to an end…Just like our bond sales! We have now raised over 1.8 MILLION and we expect to close the offering by March 31st. Here’s our most recent news:

Project Updates

– ZooShare now has 370 members and has raised $1.86 in Community Bonds!
– We are expecting to receive our Connection Impact Assessment from Toronto Hydro soon
– We hope to receive our Renewable Energy Approval from the Ministry of the Environment by May 25th
– We presented at the Toronto Zoo Board meeting in February regarding amending project milestone dates
– We applied for a $20,000 grant from the Co-operators through their CDP grant program.
– 2 Seneca College Non-profit Leadership students are expected to finish a ZooShare feasibility study in April
– We Continue to explore different technologies and methods for processing digestate into higher value products
– We made presentations to Monitor Deloitte, the SouthBrook Retirement Community, & Amica Balmoral Club
(If you know of other community groups who would appreciate learning more about ZooShare, email Frances.)

Did you get a T5?

All ZooShare members should have received their T5s. If you haven’t, please email Frances. (Unless you specified that you wanted your T5 mailed, you should have received an email from “trecservices” entitled “ZooShare 2014 Tax Information”. Please check your junk/spam folder before emailing us.)

Bullfrog Power

Bullfrog Power is Canada’s leading green energy provider, one of our initial Founders Club investors, our official Education Sponsor and recently invested an additional $125,000! Daniel said: “We are extremely pleased that Bullfrog Power continues to support our vision. Bullfrog Power’s leadership in the community power sector has been invaluable in getting our project and programs off the ground and we are grateful for this additional investment, which comes at a pivotal point in our fund raising process.” Read more here.

Toronto Hydro

ZooShare is pleased to announce that Toronto Hydro has come on board as our 1st Community Partner! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages, together we will be spreading the word about ZooShare and Toronto Hydro’s conservation programs and how they can benefit you. For now, check out this awesome Energy Conservation Handbook.

Blog: The smell of success – Ontario biogas tours show us how it’s done

Last week, the Biogas Association held its annual conference in Hamilton, Ontario, which included a full day of touring nearby biogas plants. The purpose of the tour was to continue the up-close and personal learning that has facilitated the growth in the industry we’ve experienced to date. The conference brings together people and companies from around Ontario, across Canada, and increasingly from the US and Europe as well. The tours are the highlight of the conference for me because they provide the opportunity to see different configurations and strategies for effectively and efficiently converting organic waste into energy and fertilizer. These are the biogas plants we toured:

Toronto's Disco Rd. green bin processing facility

Toronto’s Disco Rd. green bin processing facility

Eilers Farms - the first hog farm in Ontario with a biogas plant

Eilers Farms – the first hog farm in Ontario with a biogas plant

The Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant

Bio-En's commercial biogas plant in Elmira

Bio-En’s commercial biogas plant in Elmira

Municipal biogas projects have different priorities and constraints compared to farm-based projects, which are also different compared to commercial projects like ours. These factors drive design decisions. Everyone working in the sector has a different approach to creating as much energy as possible while keeping capital and operating costs low. This includes different ways of processing waste (dry vs. wet), as well as different mixing systems and tank configurations. Each approach has its merits of course, so it brings the plant owner back to assessing what the primary goal of the facility is.

It is also important to remember that biogas plants are living systems, and just as living things tend to get sick if not properly cared for, a biogas plant is no different. This doesn’t just mean keeping the machine well oiled, but maintaining a healthy diet that doesn’t change greatly from day to day or week to week. While the odd piece of cake doesn’t hurt, like us, biogas plants won’t be too productive after gorging on certain foods. Just like us, biogas plants have to watch their intake of junk food–actual junk–like plastic, metal, glass, bones and sand. These materials could break the pumps and mixers that keep the big stomach going, while the bone fragments and sand (collectively known as grit) can settle on the digester floor, slowly reducing the digestion capacity over time.

The light fraction of contaminants - plastic bags

The light fraction of contaminants – plastic bags

Grit and the heavy fraction of contaminants in Toronto's curbside organics

Grit and the heavy fraction of contaminants in Toronto’s curbside organics

The biogas tours continue to show me how important it is to design care right into the plant itself. Recipe planning is essential, but also being flexible enough to handle shifts in the recipe. Purchasing sufficient pre-processing equipment to remove as much junk as possible is essential, but having a maintenance plan aimed at minimizing digester downtime is just as important. Without this care and attention to detail, plant performance will suffer, which means more downtime and ultimately reduced profitability.

Just like our bodies, biogas plants work best when the health of their digestive system is at its peak. Should we get sick, a few days off typically resolves the issue. This is where the analogy of a human stomach versus a biogas plant tends to diverge –- a biogas plant cannot take a few days off: Waste management companies and municipalities need somewhere to drop off their waste, because the waste never stops…They would have to deliver it somewhere else–probably less sustainable and more expensive. The biogas plant needs to run with minimal down-time, and to ensure this, it is equipped with multiple redundancies and tested on an ongoing basis, allowing it to be fed 24/7. This satisfies the needs of waste producers, waste haulers and ultimately the people of Ontario consuming the green energy.

All of these lessons have permeated ZooShare’s plans and designs over the years – our focus from the start has been to learn from what is being done around us as the industry grows and evolves. Our biogas plant is essentially a hybrid of the smaller farm-based systems and the larger commercial ones, giving us plenty of examples to draw from to ensure that our gut is healthy and the feeding never needs to stop.

Bonus! Learn what happens to Toronto’s Green Bin Waste

One of the stops on the biogas tour was at Toronto’s Disco Road Green Bin Processing Facility. As many of our members live and work in Toronto, we wanted to share the journey of these organics:

Once the trucks empty the green bin at the curb each week, the waste stream is taken to a transfer station, where all of it is transferred from the smaller trucks making the pick-ups to larger transport trucks. These larger trucks bring the organics to one of two digester projects located within the City, either to Disco Road (near the airport), or the Dufferin Transfer Station (located near Dufferin and the 401).

Upon arrival, the mixture of organics, plastic bags, diapers and everything else that ends up there begins the process by getting tipped onto a big concrete floor in a sealed building.

Toronto's green bin waste begins its journey from waste to biogas

Toronto’s green bin waste begins its journey from waste to biogas

From here it is loaded onto conveyors by a front-end loader. It is then mixed into large receptacles known as hydro-pulpers, which are used to separate the organic portion from the plastics/metals/other portion. The light and heavy waste products, which collectively make up 19.5% of the total volume entering the facility, are separated here. The remaining mixture is then pumped into centrifuges, which are used to remove the grit (sand, broken glass, broken bones, etc) – collectively totalling another 1.5% of the total volume of material that enters the facility.

All the grit removed from the waste prior to digestion

All the grit removed from the waste prior to digestion

All together, Disco Rd receives 300 metric tonnes of material per day. After the contaminants have all been removed, the material is then pumped into the digestion tanks, of which there are 2 with capacity of 5,300 m3 each. Digestion occurs over a period of 17/18 days, at which point the facility is left with biogas and digestate. The liquid digestate is reused in the process, while the solid digestate is loaded onto trucks to be taken to a compost facility north of the City for ‘finishing’. Unfortunately, the biogas is currently being flared (burned to neutralize its impact, but not used for energy), however, there are plans to begin generating power in 2017 that will be used to run the facility and adjacent public works yard. All of this is controlled by a computer system, which is monitored 24/7 both onsite and remotely via cell phones.

Blog: Member Spotlight: Betty-Anne Howard

ZooShare investor Betty-Anne Howard is a “financial planner with a social conscience”, meaning she cares about the environment, the world, and how people make their money. While in school, Betty-Anne learned a new way to see the world, and now she passionately champions protecting that world through the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Investment.

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When did you become passionate about the environment?

I’ve always been passionate about the environment…Part of that was because I had to be: We grew up poor, we didn’t have a lot, so we had to reduce, reuse and recycle out of necessity! In the early 80s, when I was in my late 20s, I learned about and developed a feminist construct that allowed me to see the whole picture…What I learned through feminist theory was respect, power…and care for the community and other communities, and that strengthened my passion for the environment.

Why did you decide to invest in ZooShare?

ZooShare sent out a post to the members of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) asking impact investors to share their stories. As a result of [Frances] reaching out to me, I decided to take a closer look, and I thought “this is something I could really get into”. I’m a big believer of practicing what I preach, like my involvement with the RIA and micro-enterprise lending through KIVA…It just made sense to me, especially with the 7% return, I thought “I would like to get behind ZooShare”.

What are some projects you think other ZooShare supporters would be interested in?

There are many things that are happening out in the community, as well as some things that are unique to Kingston. For example, I’m part of a a group that’s associated with Wintergreen Co-op…and I’ve been a member of SWITCH for about 5 years…

Wherever I go and whatever I do, I look for opportunities to talk about the environment and to talk about issues related to being socially responsible…For example, in my work, I wanted to hear from money managers, to what extent–if at all–we were implementing the UN Principles for Sustainable Investment, because, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance issues (ESG) form the basis for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). I spoke with [one of my managers] about [implementing SRI principals and] he was completely behind it, he was prepared to send out a memo about it…and later that week, he received a memo from [the parent company] asking for the same type of transparency! I was excited and thrilled and so proud of [the parent company]…My ideal goal is to not have a separate group of funds called SRIs, I want these principals to be completely integrated in every part of every portfolio manager’s investment decisions…That’s my dream.

Blog: Community Bonds Factsheet

Looking to make the world a better place while growing your money?

According to a recent report from the Responsible Investment Association, more than $4 billion has been allocated in Canada to “investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return”. This definition speaks to the notion of a ‘blended’ return whereby investors are rewarded with both a financial return AND a social / environmental impact. It’s a clear win-win-win for the economy, society, and the planet.

Community bonds can enhance any portfolio by offering a strong return on investment, while hedging against systemic risks that could affect the entire stock and/or bond market. Since community bonds aren’t traded on any exchange, they will remain stable in the event of a crash. Community bonds do come with some unique risks, and investors need to do their homework before investing.

So how can everyday investors like you and me get in on this action? Thankfully, three leading organizations have teamed up to present a quick factsheet that outlines their community bonds:


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I love the content of this factsheet, and what excites me the most is the collaboration it represents. All too often in the investment industry, I’ve seen organizations competing against each other for your (or my) money. It’s refreshing to see that these nonprofits, instead of competing for a bigger piece of the pie, are collaborating to make the whole pie bigger! This speaks volumes about the culture in the social finance sector, and provides a stark contrast to the cut-throat nature of the old investment banks.

My hope is that investors will stop asking ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ around community bonds and start asking ‘what percentage of my portfolio should I invest?’. If Canadians allocated just 5% of their money into community bonds, it would activate more than $50 billion of capital to help the nonprofit sector grow and thrive. Now that’s a sustainable economy!

Want to learn more? Get your tickets to the Community Bond Showcase happening March 19 6-9pm at CSI Annex (720 Bathurst, just south of Bloor).

**DISCLOSURE – The author is a member of both SolarShare and CSI and is about to join ZooShare**

This post was written by Timothy Nash and was originally posted on The Sustainable Economist blog. It was re-posted here with permission.

Member Update: February 2015

Bond sales are going well, so well in fact, that we expect to close the bond offering by March 31st! If you’re thinking of reinvesting, better to do it sooner rather than later: The offer is closed when we reach $2.2M.

Project Progress

– This month we raised $176,000!
– In addition to the bonds raised in January, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation invested $100,000,
– Our Education Sponsor, Bullfrog Power invested $125,000.
– The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) selected ZooShare for their Catapult Loan.
– We are working together with the Ministry of the Environment and Parks Canada to address the questions raised in relation to our application for Renewable Energy Approval, which is required before construction can begin. We are hopeful that we will receive the approval by May 25th.

Bond Recall/Reissue

Thank you for your patience with our bond recall and reissue process. If you have not received your bond, please call us at 1-888-990-9095 or send us an email. (Please note: For people who lost their bond, we need you to sign the indemnity form that we mailed to you on behalf of our trustee before we can mail you your bond.)

T5 + Did you move?

Your ZooShare T5 will be sent to you in mid-February. Please make sure we have your updated contact information. Most T5s will be sent via a secure, password-protected email (unless you specified your preference for a physical copy of your T5, in which case it will be mailed to you). If you have a new email address or if you have moved since purchasing a ZooShare bond, please email us or call us at 1-888-990-9095 to let us know. Please keep in mind that because your bond started earning interest immediately, you will need to pay tax on the earnings even though we have not serviced your bond yet. This is in accordance with CRA Tax rules. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Blog: Member Spotlight: Don Ross

Don grew up in North Western Ontario where the outdoors was his playground; As a pilot, he witnessed the sky being used as a garbage dump; Last year, he and his wife Heather only threw out 3 bags of garbage.

Don Ross and Family at Lake Louise

When did you become passionate about the environment?

There isn’t a particular moment that I can say I became passionate about the environment, it’s been a part of my life since I was young. I grew up in North Western Ontario, the outdoors were my playground: Fly-fishing in the rivers, camping in the woods, playing in the snow…It gave me respect for the power of nature…And if anybody has ever gone winter camping in Canada…it certainly teaches you to respect the power of nature!

fly-fishing-snow

In high school one of the class projects was doing a documentary about what was important to you. Mine was an exposé about the pulp and paper mills that I grew up around in Fort William. I put it to music and tried to show how we were using the sky as a garbage dump, pumping all this pollution up into the sky. Not too long after I finished high school, I got my aviation licence: Flying around Thunder Bay, I saw a many factories and mills that reinforced my view that we were treating our air and atmosphere like a garbage dump. It made a very strong impact on me.

garbage-dump-sky

If I had to pick a particular moment when I became more involved as an adult, it would be around the turn of the century: Prince Edward County was going to be first County in Ontario to have wind-farms, and having lived there since 1980, we certainly knew we had a tremendous wind resource here! The people that were opposed to the wind farms were getting a lot more attention than those in favour, so I founded Citizens Advocating for Renewable Energy (CARE), which gave a voice to the silent majority who supported wind power.

Heather-&-Don-Christmas-2011-Better-Than-Coal-T-Shirts

In 2005 my wife Heather and I were some of the first in Ontario to receive the Renewable Energy Standard Offer [the predecessor to the Micro-fit program] in which people were given the opportunity to sell power to the grid. With Bullfrog Power we paid a small premium in order to source our energy from wind and small run-of-river (hydro) projects. We put solar panels on our roof and added more panels after the Micro-fit Program came in. Together, with the solar hot-water we added, it made us more conscious of the power we were consuming and how it was being produced.

Don-Ross-photo-for-CSG-column

Around that same time, An Inconvenient Truth came out, and that’s also when our 1st grandchild was born…That was my driving force from that point on…When you have grandchildren, that changes everything. I always visualize my grandchildren being my age, 60, what kind of world will we have for them? We have to do things that will make it a better world for them and for their parents.

Why did you decide to invest in ZooShare?

ZooShare fits with what we think is right. We feel like we have to set an example, and leading by example is the best way. I think it was Ghandi who said “be the change you want to see in the world”. If you want something to happen, it’s you who has to make it happen. Rather than just wishing things were different, make them different.

For us, ZooShare was a perfect way to get involved, we really love the idea of making use of waste products. Our society needs to manage our waste better, what better way than making clean electricity from it?

7% is a wonderful, very attractive return on our investment, so for people that are more focused on the financial benefits, you can make some green for yourself while producing green energy. For us it wasn’t as much about the return as much as it was about being a part of an innovative, creative and positive environmental project with high-visibility: We like that [the ZooShare biogas plant] will be in a public place (at the Zoo) where millions of people will see how energy is produced. It will trigger thoughts about how energy is made and consumed. Now, I don’t think energy production is something that most people think about, we all take it for granted.

We were also very attracted by the teaching element of ZooShare. I know we’ll be taking our grandkids to the Zoo again, and we’ll be able to point to the plant and say, “we helped to make that happen” and “we can make the world a better place”.

zooshare-fits-with-what-we-think-is-right

Finally, we were very impressed with the professionalism of the team and how our questions were answered. We had the good fortune of knowing Petra [who sits on the ZooShare board] and Daniel [ZooShare’s Executive Director] was wonderful in answering the questions we had. We would recommend to anybody that they get involved in ZooShare and buy bonds.

What are some conservation projects you think other ZooShare supporters would be interested in?

Water conservation is very important to us. I helped start County Sustainability Group. Every year we raise awareness about water conservation through the sale of rain barrels, which coincides with World Water Day. Rain barrels create an opportunity for people to think about where water comes from, and what an important, scarce, and rare resource water is and that we really need to treat it with respect. We use the proceeds from the sale of rain barrels towards a bursary for students in Prince Edward County who show an interest in studying environmental sustainability.

County-Sustainability-Group-Bursary-Winner-Graydon-VanDyke-with-CSG-member-Don-Ross

Heather and I have always been thrifty, not wasteful…One day, on garbage pick up day, we suddenly realized how many bags of garbage people were putting out…We couldn’t remember the last time we did that, so we decided to keep track…It was quite amazing: we only put out 6 bags for the whole year! So I wrote a column about that for the County Weekly News and challenged people to reduce their garbage by 50%. That year we reduced our own waste from 6 bags to 3. We do that by practicing ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink’. ‘Refuse’ and ‘Rethink’ are the ‘silent Rs’: ‘Refuse’ is to be a smarter consumer: consuming less is the very first step. You have to decide between wants and needs. ‘Rethink’ is to think about everything you’re doing and try to find a better way to do it. It’s never being satisfied that you’re doing the best you can, because there’s always a way to do it better.

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Another area that I think a lot of people could think about doing to take better care of the planet–and themselves– is gardening. When you think about our parents during the war, everybody had gardens, it was essential, there’s no reason why anybody who owns property could not have a garden of some size, shape or form. Since I’ve retired I’ve ben carving up my lawn and using more and more garden space and growing our own food. It’s better for you, and it’s an amazing way to keep yourself in good condition, you know where your food is coming from, and you reduce your carbon footprint (instead of buying food that is being transporting from everywhere around the world, you’re going out to your backyard). There’s instant gratification in having your own garden because you can pick it and cook it fresh right away. It also increases your own food security, knowing you can grow it and store it and have it there when you need it. You can also support your local organic growers and farmers, CSAs and community gardens, and advocate for bees and pollinators that are being devastated by neonics.

gardening

Gardening is also a great tool for the next generation. it’s a skill that kind of got lost after our grandparents, but when kids see it, they are amazingly interested in how things grow. There’s nothing better than taking my grandkids to the garden. In our generation, people have a consciousness of what we are leaving behind…it makes your decisions easier, it makes you think, “it’s not about me it’s the people who follow us”.

ZooSharePootential

About ZooShare

The ZooShare biogas plant will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. To build this project, we are selling bonds that earn a return of 7% each year for 7 years.

If you are a ZooShare member interested in being profiled for our Member Spotlight, please email Frances for details.

Member Update: January 2015

We’re proud to report that we have reached almost $1.5 million in bond sales. At the end of the year we held an intensive planning session and mapped out our internal strategy for the next 6 months (below). The holidays allowed for a much-needed break, and now we’re back, re-energized, and ready to go! Want up-to-the minute updates? Email us.

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Thank you to all the ZooShare members who referred their friends in 2014: With your help, we planted 69 trees! For every $1000 bond referred from a current member, our partner Tree Canada will plant a tree in the member’s name. Make sure that when you’re telling your friends about ZooShare that they record your name on our investment form. Our partner, Tree Canada, has planted 80 million trees since 1992.

Blog: Member Spotlight: Denice Wilkins

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Denice and John at ZooShare’s “Thanks A Million!” party October 2014.

ZooShare Investor Denice Wilkins is a lifelong environmentalist, protector of turtle eggs (ask her about Turtle ICUs) and even owns an organic blueberry farm in Tweed, Ontario. Denice and her husband, John Wilson, built and designed their passive-solar home.

When did you become passionate about the environment?

“You’d think Detroit would be a weird place to become so interested in nature, but you don’t have to live in the country to become passionate about the environment,” Denice points out. The Michigan-native founded a neighbourhood environmental club at the age of 10, in which duties included: alleyway trash pick-ups and stuffing neighbours’ mailboxes at dawn with messages like ‘Keep America Beautiful’, written in red and blue. She and her friends even wrote to the Governor of Michigan and told him about their environmental concerns “and he wrote back!” exclaims Denice. Meanwhile, in Quebec, Denice’s future husband (John Wilson, pictured above) was catching frogs and snakes and appreciating nature “the country-way”. While Denice went on to get a degree in Environmental Education, John became a wildlife photographer and cinematographer. “He shot his first wildlife film in The Galapagos, during an 8-month motorcycle trip through South America,” Denice reveals. The pair even made films together in Iceland and South Africa.

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Why did you decide to invest in ZooShare?

“We always wanted to invest in socially responsible investments, and so when I heard about ZooShare and the idea of ‘impact investing’, I really loved it because we didn’t want to profit from things we think are wrong: tobacco, nuclear missiles, etc…” laughs Denice. “And responsible investing is about the environment, social justice, gender equality…[Those concepts] are a part of our lives, our careers, our passions…and so ZooShare fits beautifully into that…It all weaves together…I’m very passionate and concerned about the state of the planet, from extinction to climate change to the myriad of problems that are impacting the planet right now…And I really believe in the power of one: The power of one person to make a difference, and the power that one idea can have to inspire a group of people to make a larger change…When you feel so powerless…It’s easy to become apathetic and say ‘there’s nothing we can do…we’re on the Titanic and it’s going down’, but investing in ZooShare is a way to do something, and that just helps me feel a little bit better about things.”

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What are some conservation projects you think other ZooShare supporters would be interested in?

Denice’s husband, John, was really ahead of the curve when he designed their passive-solar home 35 years ago: “He was an early adopter of energy efficiency,” explains Denice: “The house is oriented to the south, with lots of large windows to let the light in. The windows on the North side are smaller and fewer. We only have one level that is above ground and the rest of the house is below ground, which keeps the house insulated. On a sunny day we don’t need any heat source on at all…Until the sun goes down, then we start our wood stove…We’re not off the grid, but we have a solar hot-water heater, and our home is Bullfrog powered.

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(Flikr Photo Credit)

Denice and her husband also own Wilson’s Organic Blueberries, an acre and a half farm in Tweed, Ontario, where people can pick their own organic blueberries (July through August). “We also help pick blueberries for people who don’t want to pick their own,” mentions Denice.

In addition to being a member of ZooShare, Denice has another special connection to the Zoo: “One cool thing I didn’t mention is that I am on the board of the Quinte Field Naturalists, and one day we received a package from the Zoo about their turtle conservation efforts. We worked with the Toronto Zoo to put a turtle nesting beach on my property.” Denice learned about Turtle Nest Protectors, simple contraptions that prevent rapidly growing raccoon and skunk populations from devouring turtle eggs, which are in decline due to habitat loss. Although Turtle Nest Protectors are easy to make, Denice recognized that most people wouldn’t bother making them, “so we sell them inexpensively,” she adds: “Turtle Nest Protector is a boring name, I prefer ‘Turtle ICU: Incubation Care Unit.”

“Turtles are very site-loyal,” Denice explains, “if a turtle nested in your yard last year, it will probably come back. And please help a turtle across the road! The ones that are killed on the road are generally females going out in search of a place to nest. If it’s safe and you can pull off the road, help the turtle go in the direction it was heading.”

You can read more about Denice’s Turtle Initiatives here.

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About ZooShare

The ZooShare biogas plant will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. To build this project, we are selling bonds that earn a return of 7% each year for 7 years.

If you are a ZooShare member interested in being profiled for our Member Spotlight, please email Frances for details.

Blog: 3 ways to watch your “waste-line” in 2015

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What a way to start 2015! On January 1st, Metro Vancouver made it illegal to dump food waste in landfills. Vancouver is leading the country by example: “We encourage food scraps recycling because it’s the right thing to do, it takes waste out of our landfills, it reduces our methane contributions, and it creates compost and bioenergy.” says the City of Vancouver website.

We’re excited to hear that Toronto is currently undertaking a long term waste management strategy for the next 30-50 years: “Development of the strategy will consider options which support waste reduction, re-use, recycling and recovery before final disposal,” says Annette Synowiec, Manager of Waste Management at the City of Toronto. You can learn more, share your thoughts, and get involved by clicking here.

In the meantime, it’s important to make sure that we each watch our own “waste-line” in 2015…And just to be clear, we’re not talking about shedding pounds or body sculpting! CBC recently reported that “more than $31 billion worth of food is wasted every year, and as tempting as it might be to blame waste on farms, supermarkets and restaurants, the reality is that most food waste is produced by you and me. Canadian households are accountable for almost 50% of that food waste:

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Why? Well, you’re not the only one who buys fruits and veggies with the ‘best of intentions’ (which become mush at the back of your fridge). There is some “guilt relief” by putting that liquified spinach in the green bin, but let’s talk about ways we could prevent “veggie liquefaction” in the first place. Here are 3 ways to watch your “waste-line” in 2015:

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1. Buy Less!

In the average Canadian household, one in four produce items gets thrown out1. As the price of food continues to rise (35% in the last decade) wasted food starts to look more and more like wasted money–as it should. Are you part of a one or two person household? Do you have a Costco membership? Please don’t buy that 6-pack of romaine lettuce! Not only is fresh produce more expensive at Costco, but do you really need six heads of lettuce? Or a huge box or oranges? Yes, it might seem like a good deal, but it’s not if you’re throwing half of it away. “We didn’t renew our bulk shopping membership a couple of years ago,”says Annette Synowiec, Manager of Waste Management Planning at the City of Toronto. “I take stock of what I have in my pantry, and I’ve made a conscious effort to do small-scale grocery shopping…It saves me so much money.”

Be honest with yourself: Do I really have the time or appetite to eat all that food?

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2. Preserve!

So you’ve bought less food, but what do you do with it once it’s in your house? Yes, you eat it. But how do you make that food last longer? “By learning preserving techniques you can learn how to keep that food,” says Toronto’s Joel MacCharles, founder of wellpreserved.ca. In a compelling TED TALK about food preservation, Joel explains that “if you can boil water, you can preserve food.” An even easier technique includes using your fridge effectively. But if you’re not big on glass jars or fridge organization, perhaps paper sounds more appealing to you? Fenugreen FreshPaper helps your fruit and veggies last 2-4 times longer: Their paper is infused with a special blend of organic spices with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. ZooShare supporters get 20% off FreshPaper by using the discount code SHAREFRESH at checkout.

3. Watch This!

“Just Eat It” is a documentary about food waste by Vancouver filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin. We had the privilege of watching this film at Hot Docs last year. Now it’s streaming for FREE online thanks to B.C.’s Knowledge Network. Watch it now!
Just eat it

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About ZooShare:
The ZooShare biogas plant will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. To build this project, we are selling bonds that earn a return of 7% each year for 7 years.

REFERENCES

1. “Five Ways to End Food Waste” by David Suzuki’s Queen’s of Green
2. “27 Billion” Revisited: The Cost of Canada’s Annual Food Waste by Dr. Martin V. Gooch, Dr. Abdel Felfel and Caroline Glasbey. December 2014.