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Environment

Feature

March 2019

Food waste in Canada is finally being addressed by this new movement

By Diane Peters

Canadians throw out 35.5 million metric tonnes of food every year, according to one report

Feature

December 2018

Ontario church cares for creation by keeping bees

By Will Pearson

“As a faith community, if we don’t look after the planet, we’re missing something.”

Feature

October 2018

Canadians are taking advantage of our urban harvest

By Jonathan Forani

Look closely in cities across the country, and you’ll find alleyways, backyards and campus lawns brimming with fruit. Much of it used to simply rot, but that’s changing as more people discover the hidden treasures of the urban orchard.

Feature

September 2018

Chip lovers find hilarious way to protest packaging

By Emma Prestwich

And they've seriously annoyed the post office.

Feature

July 2018

86-year-old Hiroshima survivor is still fighting for a nuclear-free world

By Denise Davy

Setsuko Thurlow says that no one should ever endure the 'massive and grotesque scale of death and suffering' caused by an atomic bomb.

Special Feature

June 2018

How Cape Town citizens narrowly avoided running out of water

By Sydelle Willow Smith

The city's population was restricted to using just 50 litres of water per person per day. By comparison, Canadians use five times that amount. Here, we take a look at how they managed.

Feature

June 2018

5 countries taking the plastic problem seriously

By Pieta Woolley

These countries show us Canadians what actively fighting plastic pollution really looks like.

Feature

May 2018

The Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

By Kimiko Karpoff

A faith leader reflects on protesting the pipeline with the Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation.

Feature

April 2018

4 natural alternatives to plastics

By Susan Nerberg

Can we phase out petrochemicals when it comes to making plastic? These researchers think so.

Feature

April 2018

5 reasons we seriously need to protect our oceans from plastic

By Susan Nerberg

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050, the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish.

Feature

April 2018

Tea bags and other surprising places plastics lurk

By Susan Nerberg

Hidden plastics rarely get recycled and often can’t be reused. Here we make some of the invisibles visible.

Feature

April 2018

How Canadians became so addicted to plastic

By Susan Nerberg

First introduced as Bakelite in 1907, fully synthetic plastics weren’t mass produced until the mid-century.

Feature

April 2018

What that recycling logo actually means

By Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Feature

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

By Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Special Feature

September 2017

The race to save Canada's fragile bat population

By Elena Gritzan

One of nature’s least loved creatures is in crisis — and we could all end up paying the price

Feature

June 2017

Bug bites

By Kieran Delamont

Feature

April 2017

Ktunaxa First Nation fights a ski resort to protect sacred land

By Pieta Woolley

A Supreme Court of Canada case pits a resort developer against B.C.’s Ktunaxa First Nation. At issue: does the development infringe on religious freedom?

Feature

April 2017

‘Grizzlies not gondolas’

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

February 2017

The secret lives of cows, chickens and pigs

By Larry Krotz

What really happens on farms today? Many urbanites believe the worst. The writer heads into the countryside to see if the stereotypes are true.

Feature

January 2017

7 millennials who view agriculture as a career — and moral calling

By Lois Ross

In the next 15 years, almost half of Canadian farms will change hands. These millennials are ready to takeover — turning their passion for ecology and food security into their career.

Feature

September 2016

Waste not

By Elena Gritzan

This jar contains one year of the Johnson family’s garbage. A growing movement of ‘zero-wasters’ is urging the rest of us to start talking trash.

Special Feature

June 2016

Spirit bear

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

May 2016

Are vegans right?

By David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.

Special Feature

April 2016

Climate change is changing our ecosystems, this region is on the front lines

By Josiah Neufeld

The writer visits the shifting shorelines of Bangladesh and discovers tens of millions of people on the brink of disaster

Feature

April 2015

Why kicking carbon makes dollars and sense

By Alanna Mitchell

Giving up fossil fuels will not only save life on Earth — it will also save us money

Feature

March 2015

Extreme downsizing

By Anne Bokma

For tiny house enthusiasts, sometimes less is more

Feature

February 2015

Fair trade coffee might not be as beneficial as you think

By Pieta Woolley

Buying fair trade coffee doesn’t hurt. But it doesn’t help as much as we might imagine.

Feature

June 2014

The communitarians

By Anne Bokma

What happens when 100 people move out of the mainstream and attempt to create their own private utopia?

Feature

May 2014

Divestment strategy

By Christine Boyle

A healthy profit shouldn't come at the expense of a sick planet, say activists. They're encouraging schools, churches and other institutions to freeze out fossil fuels.

Feature

March 2014

Communes get a modern makeover

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets an update for grownups — cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters.

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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Video

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

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Society

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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