Few public figures have managed to divide Canadians in quite the way Greta was able to when she sailed across the Atlantic in an election year.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Happy Birthday to Greta, who has now joined the ranks of eligible voters in her home country of Sweden! Keep on fighting!

Greta Thunberg started her now-famous “School Strike for Climate” in August of 2018. Every Friday for more than two years, Greta has gone on strike to demand climate action from lawmakers and leadership around the globe. She has even persisted in hosting virtual strikes throughout the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. However, no one had heard of Greta in 2018. Or at the very least, no one in Canada seemed to know of her in 2018. …


Looking at the issue of hormones in wastewater systems and the environmental impact of estrogen

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Photo by Simone van der Koelen on Unsplash

When I typed into Ecosia “birth control and the environment” in the first three pages I encountered six articles about how hormonal birth control was polluting waterways or bad for the environment. In that same search, I found three articles with helpful recommendations about how to choose an eco-friendly or “green” birth control.

When I tried typing into Ecosia “industrial farming estrogen and the environment” the first three pages gave me seven articles that drew no direct connection between hormones from industrial farming practices to negative environmental impacts. …


While we would all have enjoyed the opportunity to see these good boys and girls in person, moving the event online opens the door for global participation.

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Photo by Treddy Chen on Unsplash

Five months into global restrictions on travel the city of Helsinki is taking one of its most popular outdoor events and bringing it online. Held twice a year the Helsinki Puppy Parade is an event designed by dog-lovers for dog-lovers to share their enthusiasm for pups of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

To accommodate the safety protocols in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, this September the Helsinki Puppy Parade will be held entirely online. Participants are encouraged on the weekend of September 19 to 20, 2020 to upload photos and videos of their very good doggos and puppers using the hashtag #helsinkipuppyparade. …


Education

Analyzing popular bat-related concerns

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Photo by Peter Neumann on Unsplash

A tawny rabbit scampers through a grassy field, sniffing the ground as the camera zooms out to reveal a massive St. Bernard. The dog wags its tail in anticipation. A chase begins and the rabbit leads the dog to the shrubby edge of a field before diving into a burrow. The dog buries its head inside the burrow and barks in frustration. The ceiling of this cavernous warren is littered with bats. They take flight, screaming and one chomps down on the dog’s nose with short and sharp teeth.

Horror fans may recognize what I have just described as the opening sequence to Lewis Teague’s 1983 adaptation of Cujo by Stephen King (1). A rabid bat bites a large but docile domestic dog and transforms him into a ferocious beast. It is a pet owner’s worst nightmare and one of many reasons why humans feel animosity to these tiny nocturnal mammals. But have you ever wondered, are bats really at a higher risk of transmitting diseases than other wild mammals? …


Animal Anecdote

You can choose to support retailers who have signed No Dirty Gold’s pledge

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Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Our plane set down in Puerto Maldonado, Peru on a sultry August day in 2019. Our tour guide began singing Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” to the amusement and applause of all on board. After the marvel of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, we had finally arrived in the Amazon Rainforest.

There were two transfers that we needed to do between that humble landing strip and our final destination and my excitement was building. First, we boarded a bus that brought us to our guide company’s local office for a brief introduction to the area and to repack our bags so we would only be bringing our essentials into the Amazon for the next two nights. …


Education

One of the most misunderstood training strategies

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Photo by author

If you read my first article then you may be wondering, isn’t Tucker a bit young for you to be spouting puppy training tips?

Yes, (we are still grappling with puppy biting) however, there is one aspect of training Tucker which already stands out as remarkably improved from our adventure training Maggie fifteen years ago.

The following is a series of lessons that I have learned about crate training after having tried twice with two different dogs.

1. Do the Research

When we “crate trained" our first dog, Maggie, we didn’t do any research. My parents viewed the crate as a tool for protecting unattended furniture and did not think that its use should be complicated. They put a nice soft bed inside, a water dish, and some rawhide bones. …


Education

Urban environments and protecting biodiversity

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Photo by Jenna Lee on Unsplash

Playing in a backyard blanketed in soft, thick, green grass (or in some cases thirsty, prickly, brown grass) is a staple of many suburban childhoods. Many Westerners allow our eyes to pass over manicured lawns with nothing but thoughts of cleanliness and normalcy in our minds. The truth is that what we survey is a biodiversity desert with harsh implications for insects and birds.

A history of green lawns

In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari gives an in-depth analysis of the origins of green lawns and their spread from a wealthy man’s luxury to a middle-class nessecity. According to Harari lawns originated as a status symbol in Western Europe during the middle ages. There was nothing more indicative of wealth at the time than to show off expanses of this crop which humans could not eat, animals could not graze, and could only be kept tidy if you had enough servants (or slaves) to put in the manhours (1). …


Animal Anecdote

We feel incredibly lucky to have him… If we’d called just a little later, he would have slipped through our fingers.

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Tucker | 3-months-old | July 2, 2020 (Photo by author)

On April 22, 2020, I spent 4 hours on the phone trying to get through to a breeder selling cockapoo puppies. I hit redial a total of 400 times and I had hit refresh on the breeder’s website about 100 times. At last, the final cockapoo puppy with bright and shiny black eyes popping out of a curly apricot face was sold. I phoned my mom and confirmed she too had failed to make it past the “number out of service” message. We had the correct phone number. Between four of us we had reached the breeder’s voicemail box three times, but due to the sheer volume of calls, none of us got through to speak to a person. A quick scroll through the breeder’s Facebook feed shows their average posting of cute pictures, videos, or training tips typically only received between 5 and 20 comments. …

About

Jenna McMahon

Jenna has a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen's University and works full time in environmental consulting. She is passionate about travel and writing.

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