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June 2019

Welcome to the GNN newsletter! GNN is a grassroots network of people and groups working to make Toronto greener, healthier, and more sustainable. Find out more, join us, or volunteer on our website and visit our calendar for upcoming green events.

Start the summer off on a green note by diving into our June newsletter! This issue includes:

GNN News Update

Welcoming GNN's Newest Neighbourhood Member Group
We are happy to announce that Roncy Reduces is the newest Neighbourhood Group to join our network! Launched by twenty local parents at the beginning of this year, Roncy Reduces is a community waste reduction initiative in the Roncesvalles area. Their goal is to reduce single-use plastics and packaging in the neighbourhood by encouraging both consumers and businesses to practice waste reduction together.
The initiative invites neighbourhood businesses to participate by displaying their Roncy Reduces/BYO sticker (image above) at the door and accepting customers’ reusable containers, cups, bags, etc. whenever possible. They have already placed close to 70 stickers on Roncesvalles, which is more than half of all relevant businesses. Apart from grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops, they also ask shops that sell ‘zero waste tools’ such as produce bags, travel mugs, and mason jars to participate. Other stores can participate by showing support and offering ways for customers to reduces waste.

To learn more about the amazing waste reduction work that Roncy Reduces is doing, visit their Facebook or Twitter page.
GNN Volunteer Workshop
Saturday, June 15
2:30pm - 5:30pm
Friends House,
60 Lowther Avenue
This month, Green Neighbours Network of Toronto will be hosting the GNN Volunteer Workshop related to finding and mobilizing the volunteers you need.

This free workshop is being presented by Green Neighbours Network and the Community Futures – Sustainable Neighbourhoods Project (CF-SN). You will learn from two highly experienced volunteer coordinators, Vinyse Barber and Xilonem Lopez, who together have almost 20 years of experience on how to find and mobilize volunteers. This will be a fabulous opportunity to learn from these two pros, ask questions, and get personal tips to address different volunteer challenges!

Register HERE. Space is limited.
GNN Joins GreenPAC 100 Debates Project – you can join in too!
The Federal election this fall will be a pivotal one for Canada’s policies on climate change and other important environmental issues. Now more than ever, it is critical that these issues get the attention and thoughtful discussion they deserve. That’s why GNN has joined the 100 Debates Project, organized by GreenPAC, a nonpartisan NGO working to promote Canadian environmental leadership. Very simply, the idea is to hold environmentally focused all-candidates debates in 100 ridings across Canada on a single day (October 7, 2019) shortly before the fall’s Federal election.
We hope you will be as excited about this initiative as we are. GNN’s role is to help GreenPAC find local organizers for pre-election debates in each riding across the city of Toronto. That’s where you come in.
  • Would you like to see an environmentally-focused pre-election debate in your riding? Can you spare some time to help set it up? Please let us know and we will link you up with other interested folks in your riding. Our partners in Green PAC will provide guidelines, tips and other resources so no experience is necessary.  
  • Is your group already planning to host a debate in your riding? Please let us know about that as well.
  • Finally, GNN’s 100 Debates Coordinating Team also needs volunteers. Are you interested? Want to find out more? Let us know. We’d love to have you on our team!
GreenPAC’s 100 Debates Project is a new and exciting opportunity to ensure all parties have clear environmental policies and to give those policies the importance they deserve in the upcoming Federal Election. Volunteer now to join in and help make it happen!

Zero Waste Team News

The next GNN Zero Waste Team meeting and volunteer orientation session is Thursday, July 25th at 7pm. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by emailing Colin at
Zero Waste Fair
Members of GNN's Zero Waste Team and Toronto's zero waste community had a great time at Toronto's 2nd Annual Zero Waste Fair at the Spring into Parkdale Festival on May 11. We are already looking forward to next year's event!
Thank you to everyone for stopping by and learning more about zero waste in Toronto, including Parkdale - High Park MPP Bhutila Karpoche! Special thanks for support this year goes to Greenest City, Creative Reuse Toronto, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Repair Café Toronto, Peach Berserk, The Upcyclery, and Green Parkdale & Roncesvalles. And a big thank you to organizer Zero Waste Hub Toronto, who you can follow on Twitter and Facebook @0wasteTO.
Proposed City Regulations on Single-Use Items and Next Steps
City of Toronto waste staff recently completed the Reducing Single-Use & Takeaway Items - Phase 1 Consultation - report. The report revealed a staggering number for public participation, with more than 20,000 people taking action through online engagement and in-person events. This is on top of the people who directly engaged with their Councillors. However, what is most telling is that over 90% of those who participated stated they want the City of Toronto to take bold actions to reduce single-use plastics and packaging.
Phase 2 consultation will begin later this year. It will present the proposed approaches and timelines to reduce specific single-use items in Toronto, and stakeholders will receive notification in advance regarding ways to get involved and provide feedback. The City's proposed Single-Use and Takeaway Item Reduction Strategy and Phase 2 consultation results will be brought forward to Committee and City Council consideration in 2020.

If you want to learn more about the consultation results, and what actions Toronto is considering, be sure to read Toronto Environmental Alliance's update on single-use plastics.
Repair Café Events
There are a number of helpful Repair Café events taking place across the city this month! For a list of upcoming events, visit the Repair Café calendar or the GNN website.
Right to Repair Update
With manufacturers making it increasingly difficult to repair products in recent years, the Right to Repair initiative is pushing for people to have the resources they need to repair their own devices at a reasonable price. If you or anyone you know is interested or curious to help move the Right to Repair initiative forward, please get in touch with Repair Café Toronto at You can also help by signing the right to repair federal petition.
While the right to repair is part of the Ontario government's proposed draft regulations on the recycling of electronics, lighting and batteries, the draft suggests that it would be entirely up to the companies to decide if they want to provide information and tools, not a right. The draft is open for public comment until June 23. So if you are opposed to a voluntary approach and leaving it up to companies to decide, make this clear to the government when having your say.

Political Engagement Update

ClimateFast Action in June
Many cities across Canada have already declared a climate emergency. If you are in support of the Canadian government doing the same, simply say that you agree and follow the link to the campaign!
I Agree
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations - Training Day
Saturday, June 22
10am - 4pm (9:30am registration and refreshments)
60 Lowther Avenue
This is a training day for a campaign we want to roll out across the province to encourage conversation and action on the climate crisis. Our goal is to see dozens, hundreds, even thousands of conversations spread across the province this summer and fall. Working together we can make this happen! This will be an inter-generational initiative and we would love for you to be involved.

Join the training if you would like to be a facilitator, resource person, or organizer, for kitchen table conversations in the GTA or across the province. Before attending the training event, be sure to purchase your tickets, and email us at so we can provide you with additional information. A donation of $20 or pay what you can is requested for registration.
Invitation for Volunteers!
Would you like to be a part of ClimateFast planning meetings? We have a group working on planning for a Toronto Climate Film Festival - a series of films this summer; we have a planning group for the Kitchen Table Climate Conversations - we need volunteers for data entry, and we have core planning meetings; and we are working with an initiative to offer workshops in Etobicoke and Scarborough. You are welcome to join us! Please email with your interest, and check out our calendar on to view our listed planning meetings.
Toronto Climate Film Festival
Throughout June and July, as part of the Toronto Climate Film Festival, we will be bringing you important films that highlight the climate crisis and provide Torontonians with tangible steps to take local, effective action. For a full list of films, click HERE.

This month's screenings include:

Plastics Movie Screening - A condensed version of "A Plastic Ocean" followed by "The Clean Bin Project"
Tuesday, June 18
7pm - 9:30pm
CSI Spadina, 3rd Floor
192 Spadina Avenue
Get your free ticket here

Award-winning documentary "Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai"
Thursday, June 27
6:30pm - 9pm
Noor Cultural Centre
123 Wynford Drive
Get your free ticket here

Outreach & Member News

Bike with Mike
On May 24, our Zero Waste Team had a great time with GNN members Green Wave Garrison Grove and Green 11 at the Bike with Mike event at Christie Pits Park! We want to thank everyone for stopping by our table and learning more about what we do, including Councillor Mike Layton!

GNN Member Events

Drawdown Toronto Summit on Climate Action & Gender Equality
June 27
6:30pm - 9pm
60 Lowther Avenue
Learn about the pivotal role women and girls play in tackling the climate crisis. Join the last of seven Drawdown sector summits organized by GNN partner member, Unify Toronto! Find more information and purchase your ticket HERE.
Leslieville Tree Festival
June 15
12pm - 4pm
Leslie Grove Park
1158 Queen Street E.
Organized by GNN partner member LEAF, this family-friendly event is a celebration of our urban forest! It will include displays from environmental groups and local green vendors, performances from local musicians and performers, exhibits, face-painting and other children's activities.
Find out more
Are there any other green events taking place around the city? Let us know by sending event details to:

Green Events

Visit our calendar anytime to see upcoming green events!
It's Bike Month!
May 27 - June 30
With Bike Month upon us, cycling trips in Toronto are eligible for awesome rewards! Until June 30, cycling trips can earn you points redeemable for digital gift cards and raffle entries. Register HERE
Growing Where We Are: Sharing Histories and Futures of Urban Agriculture
June 18
9:30am - 5:30pm
New College & University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
This FREE one-day event gives individuals and communities interested in urban farming and agriculture the opportunity to hear from leading practitioners in Toronto. You will also get the chance to visit UTSC's rooftop garden and urban farm. Click here for more details, and email Dr. Jo Sharma to register-

Action Alerts

Join the Global Climate Strike
All over the world we have seen youth strike for climate action. On September 20, school strikers are calling on young people, parents, workers, and all concerned citizens to join climate strikes and a week of actions. GNN is inviting all members and member groups to mark your calendars and get involved! Bring family and friends! Pledge to join the Sept 20th global climate action strike. Together let's help youth everywhere achieve a sustainable future.

Green Links

Not sure what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint? The Climate Pledge Collective can help! Click HERE to find a list of things you can do, in a way that works for you. You can print a pledge sheet or make your pledge online.
HEAT Program
If you are interested in promoting home energy efficiency and climate action in your neighbourhood, this free, two-day training program is for you! Applications for the Home Efficiency Animator Training (HEAT) program close on Monday, June 10 at 11:59pm.
Could Squid Protein be the key to our Plastic Problem?
According to a recent report, proteins found in squid could be used to create sustainable alternatives to plastics. And no actual squids need to be used!
Invasion of the Microplastics
Sticking with the plastic problem, read how microplastics have found their way into the deepest depths of the ocean, and their consequences on food chains.
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Do you have something for the GNN newsletter? Please email us at
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Green Neighbours Network · 218 Winona Drive · Toronto, ON M6C 3S2 · Canada

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