Tag Archives: Environment

Canada, I’m not impressed.

I’m a pretty patriotic gal (no more so than last month 🙂 ), but when it comes to Canada on the world stage – particularly in the case of sustainable development, I just get more and more angry with Harper’s government.

For the vast land up north, Harper has cut funding for the climate change research and seems to be only focused on  “drill, baby, drill!” and commercializing the Northwest Passage. For owning all of this land, we have a responsibility to the world to understand it and protect it.

And aside from the fact that we don’t really have a plan and have disgraced ourselves at international conferences, we go ahead and continue cutting funding for renewables. (Make note: I’m not all for an internationally binding treaty on climate change , but I’m all for action – something we’re not doing.)

In that article, our Finance Minister insists that they’ll improve our energy system based on regulations, rather than subsidies – but I actually agree with Bjorn Lomborg (the sceptical environmentalist) on this one, we need a hell of a lot of investment into research and development to spur the kind of innovative technologies to get us moving.

All in all, not impressed with our government.

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Eat your veggies

As the old saying goes… you should “walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk”.

The more you know, the more likely you’ll start paying attention to your “walk”.

I can’t say that I’m a perfect green consumer though. (Umm..who is?) I love clothes and yes, I still shop at H&M… I don’t always buy organic and I still love to travel. So, feel free call me a hypocrite now;)

But I am starting to change some of my old patterns… slowly, but its coming.

Starting with the new year, I gave up buying meat.

For anyone that knows me, you’d probably know that I love a good thick med-rare bbq steak, and bacon is a staple for any good breakfast.

Although there are plenty of reasons for people going vegetarian (animal rights etc.), the clincher for me was reading about its environmental impact (big surprise eh?)

Fast facts:

· the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport.

· A meat-based diet requires 7 times more land than a plant-based diet.

· Food scarcity: cost of grains are soaring and we feed that to animals so that we can eat meat

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Google it and you’ll be amazed at the toll it has on society and the environment.

But, notice that I said I only gave up buying it.

I can’t do it. There’s no way I can go home this summer and not enjoy my Dad’s fabulously bbq’d steak.

So, it’s a slow start but it’s a start. I’ll still eat meat at restaurants or at people’s houses, but I just gave up cooking it myself. I’m surprised at how easy it is too. It’s not cold turkey (haha, no pun intended) and it makes grocery shopping easier.

Something small… but still has a positive impact – on this world and for my health🙂


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A post on toilets.

Yep, a full post on the can;)

I was just skimming through my feeds and noticed Guy Kawasaki’s post on the a green building at Stanford. Interesting indeed, until I read this:

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Guy: “Here’s something I’ve never seen before: Depending on what you put in the toilet, you select the power of the flushing action. What will people think of next?”

Ummm… hate to break it to you Guy… but Europe (and I’m sure other countries) have been doing the two flush system for a while now. I’m sure they come to N. America and just gasp at our consume-all behaviour and appliances.

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(This is a normal flusher – although it varies. But always a large button for more water and a little button for less water)

So, since this ‘two flush’ system was such a shocker; even for a guy (no pun intended) who I’m sure has traveled a bit. I thought I’d do some research on the actual water consumption of toilets.

Interesting…

Here’s another cool thing that we COULD be doing yet are too dense to realize the savings…

WE CAN RECYCLE WATER TO FLUSH TOILETS.

Think, why are we using clean drinking water to flush our waste? Duh duh.. I don’t know. Seems ridiculous when you stop and think that people are living through droughts yet still haven’t connected the dots on this one…

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(Well, at least it’s being done in the Stanford Building)

Recycling “greywater” (wastewater from laundry, sinks, bathing etc. that isn’t contaminated with feces/toxic materials, which is called blackwater) is a smart and sustainable idea. This recycled water takes up about 50-80% of residential wastewater. It obviously isn’t for drinking but it can be reused for things like lawn watering (soil acts like a natural filtration system) and aha… FLUSHING TOILETS!

There are obvious obstacles in putting this into practice (first off, need two pipe systems to make sure you don’t mix the two types) but I think it’s most definitely worth trying.

What’s worse?

Wasting a precious resource down the drain, flooding sewage plants and polluting effluents to to the natural environment…

OR

Figuring out a way to do this right.

In the mean time… we can always follow the camp rule (note: when I say “camp” – that would be the Northwestern Ontario way of saying cottage;)

“If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down”

haha.. can’t believe I just added that saying to my blog;)

Anyways, enjoy the bright (at least here) sunny Sunday afternoon!

 

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