Muskoka Drawdown: The Podcast

Airing once a month on the local community radio station Hunters Bay Radio, Muskoka Drawdown is a radio show and podcast about climate change solutions here at home in Muskoka. All #muskokadrawdown episodes are available as podcasts on Soundcloud. Click the links below to listen.

Episode 10: The Grid > SPEEDIER

It’s no secret that as we transition to a fossil-fuel-free society, The Grid is going to have to change. Motivated by necessity, Parry Sound is making an innovative start at it with a collection of conservation and alternative energy solutions called SPEEDIER. How innovative? This is the first demonstration project of this scope in Canada. Many thanks to our guests, Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey and Lakeland Holdings COO Vince Kulchycki for telling us about it. Find out about the project, how you can stay informed, and maybe even get involved. Premiere Air Date: March 20, 2021


Episode 9: Food Waste > Food Rescue

If food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet. About a third of food in high-income economies is thrown out by consumers. According to Project Drawdown, turning that around is the number three solution — out of 100 — to solving the climate crisis. Muskoka based volunteer and activist Amy Snow tells us about The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation’s food rescue program, which serves all of Muskoka. And a huge kudos to all of the volunteers and contributors [including the Hunters Bay Radio Food Crew!] who are feeding our community and taking climate action, all during a pandemic! 👏 You are heroes! 🥇. Premiere Air Date: January 23, 2021


Episode 8: Green Houses

What climate action enthusiast doesn’t fantasize about designing, building and living in an energy efficient, environmentally friendly house? In this episode we speak with Paul Ecclestone and Scott Young, two Muskoka residents who tell us about their innovative homes (each of which is a “mosaic of separate solutions”, built approximately 15 years ago); what they did, what they thought about doing but didn’t, what has worked out and what hasn’t. We’ll also get some tips, for those of you thinking of taking the plunge.
Premiere Air Date: December 26, 2020

Guests Scott Young and Paul Ecclestone in front of their straw bale houses.


Episode 7 : Road Salt

Imagine 1,000 salt trucks dumping their load into Lake Muskoka. It’s too scary for Halloween. Unfortunately, that much road salt really is in the lake. In this episode we explore the true cost of road salt with our guest, Dr. Norman Yan, one of the top experts in this field. He tells us about some ground-breaking research he has just published with the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. Their “Halt the Salt” program in Muskoka offers further evidence emphasizing the need to act quickly in reducing and, in some cases, eliminating the use of road salt on Muskoka’s roads and highways. Also includes some tips on how you can help. Premiere Air Date: October 31, 2020

Picture of salt truck on highway
Doesn’t this just make you cringe? It should. Research indicates that road salt has environmental costs that we urgently need to start taking into account.

Episode 6: Permaculture Gardening

Permaculture is the application of holistic, sustainable principles and practices. We’ll talk about how you can apply these to what we in Muskoka can grow in our own back yards, and how we grow it. Our guests are Bet Smith and Tricia Bilissis. Listen to the podcast. Follow-up resources for those who want to learn more include: Jeff Lowenfels’ Teaming with Microbes, Regeneration Canada, and Good Work Canada. | Air date: September 5, 2020

Picture of Tricia Bilissis and Bet Smith with a sign that says "Permaculture Garden for the Community."
Tricia Bilissis and Bet Smith in Tricia’s Permaculture Garden in Bracebridge. Bet’s tee says, “Introverted but willing to discuss plants”.

Episode 5: Forests

You probably already know that one of the best ways to combat deforestation & climate change is to plant more trees. But what about the trees that are already here? The fact is that Muskoka’s forests are struggling with the legacy of damage done decades ago. Healing them will greatly improve their ability to absorb greenhouse gas out of the air, among other positive things. Dr. Norman Yan, Chair of the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed, tells us about ASHMuskoka, a local program that promises to help them bounce back, with our help. | Air date: August 8, 2020

Picture of volunteer scattering wood ash in forest.

Episode 4: Electric Vehicles

Guest: Local engineer and electric vehicle enthusiast Mark Walker. | Air date: July 11, 2020

Electric Vehicle enthusiast Mark Walker with his wife Ellen, daugher Meredith and their Hyundai Kona.
Electric Vehicle enthusiast Mark Walker with his wife Ellen, daugher Meredith and their Hyundai Kona.

Episode 3: Food

Guests: Collin Sober-Williams of Eat Local Muskoka and Kelli Ebbs of Muskoka North Good Food Co-op. | Air date: May 16, 2020

American Gothic by Grant Wood, from the Art Institute of Chicago
American Gothic by Grant Wood, from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Episode 2: Renewable Energy

Guest: Melinda Zyaruk of Fourth Pig Building Cooperative | Premiere Air Date: March 21, 2020

Straw bale house with wood, earth plaster, LED lights and "truth window". Photos by Riley Snelling

Episode 1: Overcoming Eco-Anxiety, Household Recycling

Guests: Dr. Steve Stewart, Celine Mackay | Premiere Air date: February 22, 2020.

Dr. Steve Stewart, Celine Mackay and Tamsen Tillson
Steve Stewart, Celine Mackay and host Tamsen Tillson. Celine is showing the District of Muskoka’s recycling app on her phone and Tamsen’s got Drawdown, the show’s inspiration.

About the Show

We follow the framework of Project Drawdown, an international team of research gurus that reviews, analyses, and ranks 100 of the most viable climate solutions worldwide. Drawdown isn’t about stopping global warming. It’s about reversing it. Through innovations in energy, food, land use, and more.

Image of the cover of the book Drawdown over blue sky with clouds
The website and/or book is a must-read if you want to know more about climate solutions. Look for it at your public library.

You’re probably saying, it’s all very well to talk about what can be done in China, Africa, Europe, and what-not; but what about us, here in Muskoka? The fact is that many of these solutions are happening, right now, right here, in our own back yards. We talk to the innovators who are taking the lead. So you can jump in.

About host Tamsen Tillson

Tamsen Tillson is a Bracebridge resident and one of the founders of Climate Action Muskoka. A former journalist, she’s a communications and marketing consultant. You can find her waving her No Plan(et) B banner, (online now with the pandemic), Fridays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture #gogretago.

And a huge shout-out to the amazing Canadian musician Danny Michel, who is generously allowing us to use his catchy, wrenchingly sad and wonderful song Feather, Fur and Fin as our theme song. ??