6 must-read posts about environmentalism in 2013.

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 We've had a great year at The Starfish Canada! Thanks to your generous contributions, we'll be going nonprofit in 2014 and working to expand all of our current programming. In the meantime, let's take a look at some of the best articles of 2013, all done by volunteer writers. 

Peace Out: The story behind the film (Part 1).
Mandy McDougall

Photo by RobertCiavarro | flickr.com

Photo by RobertCiavarro | flickr.com

Meet Charles Wilkinson, director of the award-winning documentary Peace Out, a globally recognized, high-impact film that investigates the lengths the human race will go to in search of more energy.  I had the privilege of speaking to Charles recently about his experiences with environmental issues and his hopes for Canada’s environmental future.  Our conversation left me not only incredibly inspired, but also eager to apply my skills as an environmental scientist, a resource manager (in progress), and a Peace Out viewer to improve the way we currently go about energy production and consumption.  Here, Charles talks about his journey towards becoming directing Peace Out, the motivation behind the film, and how the global energy crisis affects everyday Canadians just like you and I. 

Dissecting a North American staple: can the hamburger survive the local food challenge?
Manuel Arias

Photo by powerplantop | flickr.com

Photo by powerplantop | flickr.com

Many of us choose to buy our food from grocery stores rather than markets supplying local foods because of the perceived convenience, selection, and apparent price advantage that it provides. But what if our preconceptions are ill advised? What if eating local was easy, convenient and did not leave a gaping hole in our wallets? As part of a class project, a few friends and I sought out to investigate this possibility through analyzing a delicious staple of our Western diets—the hamburger—fully equipped with warm bun, sliced tomatoes, crispy lettuce, succulent beef patty and decadent mayonnaise. Our research included independent investigation, interviews with local Hamiltonian vendors, Ontario farmers, and restaurant owners. What we found was surprising, and we hope it will inspire you to rethink some of your everyday food dilemmas.

Am I an Eco-terrorist? Convince me Mr. Harper...
Steve Watts

Photo by public herald | flickr.com

Photo by public herald | flickr.com

Political rhetoric is often laced with ambiguity, hidden intentions, and governmental motives. The authoritative tone of political statements can create a significant shift in public opinion. The government is responsible for keeping citizens safe via laws and precautionary action; however, at what point does social protection overlap with government motives?

Climate advocate Leehi Yona is our Top Environmentalist Under 25!
Steve Kux

Photo from Leehi Yona.

Photo from Leehi Yona.

Whoever said one person can’t change the world obviously forgot to send the memo to Leehi Yona. Since being named The Starfish’s number 13 Environmentalist Under 25 in 2012, Leehi has taken her message of sustainability to four countries on three continents. The work she has done in the past year alone has not only made a significant contribution to the global dialogue on environmental issues, it has also catapulted her to the number one stop on this year’s Top 25 countdown.

A grizzly reality: Trophy hunting in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest.
Shanna Killen

Photo from Heather and Mike | flickr.com

Photo from Heather and Mike | flickr.com

In British Columbia, this awe-inspiring beast is a grizzly bear, and according to a poll, 87% of British Columbians believe these beasts should be admired from afar and not on a wall or floor as a trophy of domination. This poll represents a growing push for British Columbia to replace its anarchistic bear hunting laws for rules and regulations that support a more symbiotic relationship between grizzly bears and humans.

Making a Difference: a profile of an environmentalist.
Sneha Bernard

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Perhaps due to my immersion in an engineering culture that is only recently starting to focus on sustainable solutions, I tend to be quite cynical of corporate culture and quick to pinpoint their largely irresponsible (and often dangerous) approach to environmental and social protection. It’s a rare occasion that I stop to applaud the efforts of people that are fighting the same fight I am - and often making very real and tangible impacts in the community.