Waste Reduction Week October 19-25th
Environmental Superhero Contest Hey kids ages 7-9 in Nova Scotia!
Tackling Cigarette butts
Draw your very own environmental superhero and tell us about its pollution reducing powers! Also include a few words about how you, the artist, are a ‘Super-Person’ working to reduce waste every day. One entry per child on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, use both sides if needed. Include your name, city/town and age.
Waste Reduction Week Highlights Entries due by October 31st. Send art work to Clean Nova Scotia, 126 Portland Street, Dartmouth NS, B2Y 1H8 Prizes include three professional drawings of the top three entries and seven superhero capes!
Water Programs Overview
An Educational Quest
Vol. 4 No. 1 November 2008
by Kari Riddell
ALL SUMMER LONG Words to live by: If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed, If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people. Kuan Tzu Chinese Poet, c. 500 B.C.
lean Nova Scotia worked with eight Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corp (NSYCC) this summer including four young women who dedicated their summer months to researching, studying and picking up cigarette butts in the Halifax Regional Municipality. It may not sound like a dream job and parts of their work were definitely not to be desired, however the entire process offered great work experience and a look into event planning and management. Litter comes in many forms and each type has its own consequences and sources. Cigarette litter has made its way to the top of the list as the number one form of litter in Nova Scotia, based on the data collected from Clean Nova Scotia’s Great NS Pick-Me-Up program (www. clean.ns.ca/pmu). With recent bylaws in place to push smokers outdoors and away from table top ashtrays, the problem has become increasingly noticeable. Clean Nova Scotia saw the opportunity to study the issue further with
the NSYCC, who set out to not only collect and count butts, but also to study their effects and educate the community on their harmfulness. The ultimate goal for the summer was to prepare and implement an event that would gain public recognition and get people thinking about the consequences of cigarette butts on our landscapes. Research into other events going on around the world got the team excited about the different possibilities. However, with a limited budget and storage/transportation issues, the team had to think creatively to try and come up with an event that would be small in scope, yet still have an impact on public awareness. Keeping this in mind, the NSYCC began their project with research. If they were going to educate the public, they needed to understand the full effects of cigarette litter. We often hear about the negative effects of cigarette smoking on human health, but little on how littered butts can negatively affect the health of our soil and CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA • 1
2 • CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA water. After researching similar projects from other corners of the Earth, the Youth Corp started to look at these tiny little filters as a rather large toxic problem. Lead, arsenic, tar, formaldehyde-- just some of the estimated 4000 chemicals leaching into our soil, water, and into our food chain. To bring awareness to these toxins, the Youth Corp prepared an educational brochure and four different posters to hand-out or hang-up in the HRM. Aaron Veinotte, Clean Nova Scotia’s in-house graphic designer, assisted the girls to bring their ideas to life. The posters had to be eye catching, clever and include at least one educational tip. The next step was to create a survey to examine the misconceptions about cigarette litter and the various reasons why smokers don’t take the time to dispose of their butts properly. While collecting this data, the girls were also able to hand each participant a brochure to help educate them on the hazards of littering cigarette waste. A total of 248 surveys were conducted in HRM to reveal some interesting statistics: • • • •
39% of respondents said they throw their butts on the ground “always” or “most of the time.” 95% of respondents indicated they know that cigarette butts are a form of litter. 37% of respondents either believed or did not know if cigarette butts are biodegradable. 85% of respondents indicated the reason they throw butts on the ground is because cigarette waste receptacles are not accessible. 90% of respondents said they would use cigarette waste receptacles if they were nearby. 22% of respondents indicated that knowing cigarette butts are harmful to the environment and are not biodegradeable would encourage them to stop throwing butts on the ground.
The Youth Corp were very interested in the surveyed smokers’ answers, particularly after having completed a series of cleanups in four locations where they collected close to 27,000 cigarette butts in a short period of time.
© 2008, Clean Nova Scotia
CLEANNOVA NOVASCOTIA SCOTIA 22••CLEAN
Imagine collecting this type of litter under the hot sun (some of it only feet away from a cigarette waste receptacle) and then taking a giant bag of butts with you on the bus to head back to the office. The odour was unbearable, which is why the girls wore masks and were sure to take much needed breaks. At the end of each day, their clothes were ready for the wash and even with gloves on they felt as though it was difficult to get the smell of cigarettes off of their hands. By the end of the summer, the girls were wellinformed and prepared to speak to the media and the public about cigarette-related litter. They organized a unique media event. With 27,000 cigarette butts came 27 large letters in a message that appeared on Citadel Hill for all to see. With a hope that the rain would hold off on the morning of August 26th, the NSYCC made their way to the hill at 6am to set up letters painted on large, white sheets to spell out the message: CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE LITTER TOO! The sheets, which were donated by the IWK (clean of course), were each nailed into the ground for passers-by to see on their way to work. Media gathered to photograph the display and interview the NSYCC. With only a day of media training back at the office, the Youth Corp did an excellent job delivering their message while representing Clean Nova Scotia in a positive light. Media coverage of the event appeared in newspapers, Metro and The Herald; on CTV and CBC Television; as well as on radio stations, Information Morning, News 95.7 and Radio Canada. Early morning commuters honked their horns in support and other Clean Nova Scotia staff stopped-by to hold up anti-litter signs. Youth Corp Robin Patterson even wore a cigarette butt costume to attract extra attention from passers-by. Clean Nova Scotia staff felt that this project was an overall success, having opened the doors to understanding the negative effects of cigarette litter on our coastal province.
Clean and Green is published quarterly by Clean Nova Scotia, Aaron Veinotte & Natasha Sider, editors. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, nor Clean Nova Scotia. Articles may not be reprinted without permission. Subscribe online for email delivery at www.clean.ns.ca/c&g. Call 1-800-665-5377 for print copy. Next deadline for content is December 19.
WASTE N T, WANT N T!
Clean Nova Scotia Celebrates Waste Reduction Week (October 19 - 25)
Clean Nova Scotia recently celebrated Waste Reduction Week (October 19 25), making the occasion in some very unique ways:
REDUCE, REUSE AND ROCK OUT! To kick-off the week, CNS teamed-up with another not-forprofit organization, The Songwave Society, to host a benefit concert, Reduce, Reuse and ROCK OUT! The event took place on October 18 at the Garrison Brewery in Halifax and featured five local musicians, MIR, Ian Sherwood, Chelsea Nisbett, Human and Remedy. These artists volunteered their time and talent to help promote awareness around waste reduction and other environmental concerns. The event was an overall success, with many attendees indicating they thoroughly enjoyed the music. All proceeds were donated to Clean Nova Scotia in support of its many environmental initiatives. ENVIRONMENTAL SUPERHEROES! On Tuesday, October 21, Mark Parent, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment, and his team of Environmental Superheroes from Clean Nova Scotia, arrived at Shannon Park Elementary School in Dartmouth to take-on Big Foot and his wasteful habits. The Minister, who played the part of Captain Litterless, along with CNS staff who played other superheroes, taught Big Foot, played by Jim King, Shannon Park Elementary School Principal, to reduce his waste. These colourful characters, complete with costumes, helped show the children that anyone can become an environmental superhero. Even Bigfoot can reduce
his environmental footprint! As the Minister said, “This event is meant to encourage children to think about ways they can reduce waste. We want the children to take home the message that when each person reduces waste; they become an environmental superhero, helping to build a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable Nova Scotia.” The media were invited to attend the assembly with grade one and two students. Global Television and Metro News provided coverage of the event, and CBC’s “The Hour” featured photographs of the event on their website. Following the presentation, the Minister, along with Clean Nova Scotia’s Executive Director, Judy McMullen, Waste Management’s Gilles Doucette, and Shannon Park Elementary School’s Green Team, handed and out cloth, reusable treat bags to participating children. The treat bags were sponsored by Waste Management.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUPERHERO CONTEST Clean Nova Scotia held an Environmental Superhero Contest in celebration of Waste Reduction Week. Children between the ages of seven and nine were invited to submit drawings of their imagined
Waste tion c ? “environmental Reduk e e W e superhero,” r e b Octo h telling Clean 19-25t e tal nmen Nova Scotia Envirouperhero S st about their how Conte s 7-9 in e g a s their superhero’s Hey kid ova Scotia! N powers help save the Earth from pollution. Children were also encouraged to indicate what they do to help reduce waste each day, making them ‘super people.’ Submissions were accepted until October 31 and the top 10 entries will each receive a prize in mid-November. Prizes will include professional drawings of the top three entries and one of seven ‘super-person’ capes! The top three entries will also have their drawings featured in the next issue of Clean and Green.
about d tell us out ero an s ab l superh a few word waste menta de environ Also inclu ing to reduce r, use n ow rs! rk pe ur very g powe e of pa son’ wo e. Draw yo tion reducin a ‘Super-Per 8.5 x 11 piec and ag its pollu the artist, are r child on an me, city/town ia, na u, pe va Scot how yo y. One entry . Include your ean No rk to Cl 1H8 every da es if needed wo t ar Y both sid st. Send outh NS, B2 ber 31 ree rtm by Octo d Street, Da e top th e th du of rtlan ings Entries 126 Po nal draw pes! ofessio perhero ca three pr n su include es and seve Prizes entri a/wrw
ONSO TING SP
BREAKFAST TELEVISION Clean Nova Scotia partnered with The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to provide waste reduction tips to Breakfast Television (BT) viewers. The college’s Waterfront Campus was very active during Waste Reduction Week, with students organizing a garbage sorting demo, a clothing and book swap, and quizzes with prizes for students who correctly answered questions around waste reduction. BT’s Cyril Lunney shot four segments around waste reduction which included interviews with both the students at the college and with Clean Nova Scotia’s Waste Reduction Program Coordinator, Kari Riddell. MINISTER’S BUSINESS BREAKFAST On Thursday, October 23, Clean Nova Scotia hosted their annual Business Breakfast in Halifax with Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment, Mark Parent, providing opening remarks. Over 150 people attended the breakfast which was sponsored by Nova Scotia Environment and the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. The event featured guest speaker, Dr. Joan McArthur Blair, President of the Nova Scotia Community College and Costas Halavrezos as host.
CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA • 3
It all comes down to water An overview of Clean Nova Scotia’s water programs
n May, Clean Nova Scotia hired water conservationist, Anna McCarron, a seasoned environmental program coordinator and recent Master of Urban and Rural Planning Graduate from Dalhousie University, to undertake the development and implementation of the water resource elements of Clean Nova Scotia’s Strategic Plan. The primary task for Ms. McCarron is to inspire Nova Scotians to conserve and protect water resources through programs that: • • • • • • •
conserve public water and private wells; reduce bottled water consumption; reduce the number of failing or illegal on-site septic systems; provide incentives for municipal units to protect harbours and waterways through proper treatment of sewage waste; generate stream restoration activity; promote water protection with respect to boats and ships; and undertake watershed management.
Since May, seven water conservation programs have run their course, or continue to engage Nova Scotians in water conservation and protection activities. CNS began its second season delivering the Environmental Home Assessment Program (EHAP) for Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) in the Central and Northern Regions of the Province to help protect well water quality and to reduce the number of failing or illegal onsite septic systems. The Northern Region’s program is being delivered in partnership with the Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Program. All together, two full time and 3 part-time staff have visited over 375 homes from Guysborough, to Windsor, to Hubbards, delivering water conservation, septic system and oil tank maintenance tips to homeowners. Of course, septic tank pumping rebate vouchers and grants to replace faulty septic systems for people who qualify help to provide incentives for participation. However, even without such incentives, participants are grateful for the program. For instance, Muriel Trider found “it made me more aware of what to look for before problems become more serious.” Her experience with Clean Nova Scotia was a positive 4 • CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA
one finding that the person she dealt with was Ms. Trider felt it “friendly, courteous and was good to know more than willing to “the Environmental help me get answers to my questions.” Ms. Trider felt Home Assessment it was good to know “the Program is available Environmental Home to people, especially Assessment Program in rural areas, to is available to people, especially in rural areas, provide assistance to provide assistance and and help improve the help improve the lives and lives and health of our health of our community.” Already, there is a wait list community.” to conduct assessments in the Northern Region in 2009. Promotion of this project on Breakfast Television and in local community newspapers contributed to the boosted interest in the program. In June, Clean Nova Scotia completed its piloted Adopt-aWatershed Program, sponsored by Halifax Water, targeted at public schools in the Lake Lamont and Lake Major watershed area. This included schools in the Dartmouth/ Woodlawn area consisting of nine elementary, five junior high and four high schools. All together, 12 classes totalling 248 students received the Adopt-A-Watershed presentation. This far exceeded the original pilot project requirements and demonstrates the demand that exists for such information in the public school system. Clean Nova Scotia plans to expand on this program in 2009. Two other classroom education projects with a focus on wetland conservation are Project Webfoot and Quagmire. Quagmire, funded by and available to educators from the Green Street website www.green-street.ca, engages students from grades 5-12 in a debate about whether wetland conservation should take precedence over a development in a simulated area. Conversely, Project Webfoot, a Ducks Unlimited program, provides a hands-on opportunity for elementary school children and teachers to learn about the value of wetlands and the creatures that depend on them for their survival. Staff from Clean Nova Scotia delivers the Quagmire simulation game (developed by Clean Nova Scotia in 1993) to educators across Canada, and Project Webfoot to elementary school classes in wetland parks in HRM.
This past summer, two stream restoration projects were carried out with the help of two Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps youth. Grassy Brook which runs through the new Dartmouth Crossing retail development was given a helping hand by Chris Smith and Amber Green and other Clean Nova Scotia staff, to ensure its waters continue to provide suitable habitat for aquatic species and a food source for other wildlife. This restoration work was supported by HADD compensation funds. Brook Trail Brook and Stinky Brook, which run through the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association (CHPTA)’s domain, were clogged with debris that resulted from Hurricane Juan until Chris and Amber and CHPTA came to the rescue. With support from Adopta-Stream funding these brooks now flow unobstructed into Cole Harbour. A pamphlet was also produced by the Youth Corps to help the Cole Harbour community understand the effects certain land use practices have on such brooks. Some of the impacts discussed in the pamphlet provide an introduction to the community about watershed management issues and ways landowners can help to protect and conserve water resources which can also affect the viability of shellfish industries.
and boating clubs. Included in our educational outreach tools were a display, a maritime boating pamphlet, a waste management handling booklet, and articles in Atlantic Boating News designed and/or written by Clean Nova Scotia staff. HRM waste management staff were very helpful in identifying the key waste management responsibilities expected of the clubs. Two of the five club general managers responded with plans to make changes as their budgets allowed. Two others were already aware of their responsibilities, were practicing them, and took steps to educate their members regarding the responsibilities. One who proved to be more difficult to get on board, began to comply toward the end of the season. Current development work includes Clean Nova Scotia’s involvement with the work being done on Lake Banook to install a pipeline and create infrastructure for next summer’s canoe races by moving mussels out to deeper water so they will survive the operation, and a clean up of the exposed shoreline of debris exposed after the water levels recede by over 1.5 metres. Also current is watershed conservation development work by Coop student, Lucy Tran, a geography student from Saint Mary’s University to help implement a watershed management plan developed by Clean Nova Scotia in partnership with the Dartmouth Area Watersheds Network (D.A.W.N.) Lucy is developing tools that community groups can use to share work they are doing with other groups including a website, a booklet and a Power Point presentation about how communities can manage water resources in their own backyard. Stay tuned for more exciting program developments as Clean Nova Scotia further engages Nova Scotians in water conservation and protection initiatives.
Also this past summer, Ship to Shore was sponsored by the Halifax Port Authority for a second season and delivered by Samantha Munroe, a Co-op student from Acadia University, who was partially sponsored by Nova Scotia Economic Development’s Cooperative Employment Program. This year’s program targeted the management of solid (plastic and other garbage), organic (sewage and food waste), and hazardous wastes. Boating and yacht clubs within the HRM were encouraged to incorporate more environmentally sustainable management practices and adhere to the waste management By-laws in HRM. Boaters were encouraged to handle their waste through reduction, followed by proper waste management practices (composting, recycling and proper disposal of hazardous waste) at shore. Boaters were educated primarily at The Ship to Shore display, designed by Clean Nova Scotia, at racing events; Oceans Day 2008 on the Halifax Waterfront. Note the bilge youth were sock – a popular giveaway item through Ship to Shore – leaning against the display. Adults and children alike were particularly educated interested in the plastic debris display consisting of bottle caps, through plastic bags, broken plastic chips, netting, and small pieces of plastic trash, which demonstrated the types of plastic often found Learn to Sail the stomachs of various marine organisms, contributing to camps at yacht in their malnutrition and premature death.
CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA • 5
t is sometimes said that the only place all roads lead to is the gas station. Meaning that no matter where or how much you drive, you’ll always need to stop and refill your gas tank sooner or later. As what may be the two most widely used manufactured products of all time, cars and gasoline have always been synonymous with one another. That, however, may not necessarily be the case for long. As concerns about climate change, poor air quality and perhaps most notably the costs of oil and gas continue to occupy the minds of people around the world, there has in recent years been an accelerated push toward increase fuel efficiency. Instead of the short, predicable road to the gas station, we may have to take a figurative detour toward something else.
Fuel efficiency standards have risen to where most new models use only a fraction of the gasoline that their ancestors did decades ago. While these accomplishments are commendable and continue to reduce each vehicle’s carbon footprint, gasoline is still a finite resource that will continue to release greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere when burned. While hydrogen, propane, ethanol and even water have been touted as potential alternative sources of fuel for automobiles, it is electricity that has become the most efficient and most realistic replacement for gasoline. Hybrid cars, trucks and SUVs are already prevalent on today’s highways. Combining a conventional gasoline engine propulsion system with a rechargeable energy storage system, hybrid cars allow for increases in fuel efficiency with features such as regenerative breaking, where the energy used to stop the car 6 • CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA
is recouped and stored in the battery for use in powering the car. The next step toward zeroemission electric automobiles is the plug-in electric car. Many would be surprise to know that the electric car was among some of the earliest automobiles created. Between 1832 and 1839 a Scottish businessman invented a carriage powered by electricity. There were several variations over the years until the internal combustion engine became the dominant form of automobile propulsion in the 1900s. Considering today’s concerns about the internal combustion engine, it’s somewhat ironic that the electric automobile industry had completely disappeared by the late 1930s. Through the years there were various types of electric vehicles created, although they were often produced in extremely limited numbers and suffered from a lack of speed and range due to poor battery life. One of the most notable electric vehicles was a car called the EV-1, which also produced in limited numbers and leased for a limited period of time before being recalled by GM. The life of the EV-1 is profiled in the documentary, “Who Killed The Electric Car?” With the success of Hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius, auto makers have seen an opening to begin production of several different models of plug-in hybrids. The first of these is set to be released in 2010 by General Motors. These vehicles will contain both an electric motor to provide power to the vehicle and a small gasoline generator. Owners will simply be able to plug in their cars overnight to
charge their battery for the next day’s drive. While battery life is still an issue, these vehicles will still contain gasolinedriven generators that do not actually more the car when the electric battery dies, but instead will charge the electric battery for further use. Clean Nova Scotia has itself made a strong commitment to fuel efficiency in its vehicle fleet. One of Clean Nova Scotia’s primary values is “showing by doing”, something that is reflected in the types of vehicles driven by staff members. Recently the organization acquired both a Smart Car and Honda Civic Hybrid. These vehicles are proudly branded with the CNS logo and are taken to and from events throughout the province as Clean Nova Scotia eagerly anticipates the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles.
By Nita Duguay
his past summer, I was fortunate to be enrolled in a course at Sackville High School called, Co-op. In the co-op program, students are able to explore careers in fields they are interested-in pursuing. I chose a field related to the environment because I wanted to learn about ways to help sustain and maintain our planet. My teacher, Dave Strickland, found me a placement at Clean Nova Scotia (CNS), which was a perfect fit. Throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to work with a number of CNS staff, dabbling in various projects and programs. The program in which I was most heavily involved was the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up (PMU). The PMU program presents opportunities for people of all ages to organize litter clean-ups in areas of their own choosing. Participants can decide to complete a clean-up as a group or individually. They also receive a litter clean-up kit and advice from CNS.
In my role at CNS, I not only entered data from previous clean-ups, but also took-on the challenge of organizing a couple clean-ups of my own. In order to do this, I had to seek out volunteers and find potential clean-up locations. The first location that I chose was a public path near my house. The second location was along the Sackville River on Glendale Drive in Lower Sackville. During the clean-up process, I felt slightly frustrated that I was picking up litter that really shouldn’t have been there in the first place. While the amount of litter was not extreme in the areas where my cleanups were held, the bits that were lying around made the areas look very unattractive. The worst part about litter is that it is a long process to clean it all up. This is very discouraging, especially when knowing that preventative measures against littering are actually quite simple. All we have to do to keep litter off the grounds is to not put it there in the first place!
If everyone threw their litter in a trash can, our communities would be much more aesthetically pleasing. I would like to encourage people to hold onto their waste and not throw it on the ground. We should respect our environment and be cognizant of the fact that protecting it is a shared responsibility. All it takes is one person’s litter to spoil the environment for everyone. Working at Clean Nova Scotia has been a valuable experience. I have been exposed to careers that are connected to the environment and gained valuable work experience in an interesting field. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
his past summer, Clean Nova Scotia sponsored an outdoor movie presentation during the alFresco filmFesto. The festival, which took place under the stars on the Halifax Waterfront, featured a different classic movie each Friday night for six weeks. The best film was saved for last; Clean Nova Scotia’s ‘Green Cult Classic,’ “Empire of the Ants.” The film was selected by festival goers through an online vote and was screened on Friday August 29. CNS staff Natasha Sider and Kari Riddell working The sponsorship, in celebration of Clean Nova Scotia’s 20th Anniversary, offered at the CNS booth during the alFresco filmFesto a unique opportunity for program staff to raise awareness about environmental issues. Clean Nova Scotia staff attended most of the Friday night screenings, promoting environmental stewardship before each movie presentation. Our public service announcement was also featured before each movie was shown and Waste Reduction Program Coordinator, Kari Riddell, spoke before the screening of Clean Nova Scotia’s sponsored film.
“Empire of the Ants,” a timely choice of film considering the existing fire ant situation in the Halifax Regional Municipality, was well-received by festival attendees. Clean Nova Scotia was pleased to support the Atlantic Film Festival Association and to have had the opportunity take part in this well-established, popular community event. CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA • 7
Promoting safe, green driving
n Saturday, October 25, Clean Nova Scotia’s DriveWiseR Program Officer, Kristy Williams, and Communications Coordinator, Natasha Sider, participated in the HalifaxDartmouth Bridge Commission’s Transportation Safety Day. The event, which took place in the MACPASS customer service parking lot, was meant to bring together various community groups and residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The event featured child car seat safety tips from the IWK Child Safety Link, general safety tips from Safety Services Nova Scotia, program information from HRM’s CarShare Program and driving safety tips from the Halifax Regional Police. Clean Nova Scotia was invited to set up a booth at the event to provide ‘green driving tips’ to attendees. CNS staff taught event participants how to properly check their tire pressure, spoke to attendees about ways to increase fuel efficiency and handed out bro-
chures containing information around Clean Nova Scotia’s many programs. Other highlights of the day included a children’s costume contest and the distribution of free treats by the HalifaxDartmouth Bridge Commission’s own Mr. MACPASS. During the event, organizers hosted a barbeque, accepting donations on behalf of Clean Nova Scotia. They also contributed funds to help Clean Nova Scotia with its many environmental initiatives.
Pesticide Wrap Up C
lean Nova Scotia is responsible for delivering the pesticide by-law program on behalf of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). With an intent to protect human health and the environment, the use of pesticides is regulated in HRM.Clean Nova Scotia recently completed another successful season of the program, operating out of the CNS “Annex” office on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Much of the work done over the course of the season revolved around managing the pesticide permitting process (assessing applications for pesticide use and either approving or rejecting them) and engaging in educational outreach.
Between July and October 2007, the program received 307 permit applications, a substantial decrease from previous years, indicating pesticide use is on the decline. This year, applications for pesticide use were approved approximately 45% of the time, allowing HRM residents to use the chemicals on their properties. 8 • CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA
Staff have been responsible for engaging the public in educational outreach around the potentially harmful effects of pesticides on human health and the environment. Staff have maintained an informative web site and a green line to answer homeowner inquiries, have held in-store displays and “lunch and learns,” given media interviews and prepared fact sheets containing sustainable landscaping and landscape pest information. Retailers in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) took centre stage in the education and awareness activities beginning in April with the delivery of a retailer workshop and the introduction of retail staff training sessions held throughout May and into June. Clean Nova Scotia continued to engage homeowners with the highly successful home visit-based sustainable landscaping education program called GreenYards.