Archive for the ‘green living’ Category

World-o-meters

I just found this site called Worldometers, made by the Real Time Statistics Project.

This site keeps a running total of many fascinating and frightening statistics! Ever-changing World Population, Government Economic, Social media, Environment, Water and Energy Use and types. The project is constantly recalculating data.

Find out how much money is spent on video games in the world today. Or how much energy was used and the source of that energy. Ever wonder how many news papers were circulated today?  It also keeps a running total of Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions this year, in tons.  You can even learn how much Desertification happened this year ( in hectares) and how many days to”end of oil!”

There is even a section with “statistics of the month” like these


The numbers are surprising and sobering.

Originally published December 2010

Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are bound together.

All things connect.

~Chief Seattle, 1855

One man’s trash. . .

When you live in a big city you often see people moving in and out of houses and apartment buildings. One casualty of many movers is furniture and electronics left abandoned near apartment building dumpsters at the end of the month. Luckily there is a huge network of people ready to rummage through castaway treasures on every other street corner too.

“Binners” or “dumpster divers” are recyclers roaming the city on bikes and pushing shopping carts. Although many of these people collect mainly bottles to take to the recycle depot, transfer stations, or Encorp Return it centres, these places  will also accept electronics. This helps in the reduction of hazardous toxins in landfills, and reduces the amount being shipped over seas to be processed by workers who’s health and very lives are put at risk  in the name of  “Ewaste recycling.

Toxins like Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Chromium, and Polyvinyl Chlorides (PVC) are found in many common electronic devices today. When they become obsolete the items are discarded, leading to  these toxic materials being released back into the environment during the process of reclaiming more valuable components.

People today are more aware of the issues and Extended Producer Responsibility or “Product Stewardship” is now becoming more commonplace in manufacturing.

What to do with unwanted furniture has been a solid waste issue for many property owners, landlords and householders alike. There are some places that will take furniture to resell, requiring the items be delivered there. When this is not an option people look to places like Big Brothers, The Salvation Army, and The Developmental Disabilities Association to take away the unwanted furniture.

Most places are so overwhelmed with unusable junk that it actually costs them money to dispose of these items causing them to no longer accept any furniture, good, bad or otherwise.These organisations will still pick up clothing, toys, books and small household items.

The Home Start Foundation now offers an environmentally friendly option to recycle your good used furniture. This foundation takes used items and helps furnish houses and create homes for some  needy and deserving people. Clients include  families, elderly or other people who are in need  and are refereed through social service agencies.  They help create a comfortable environment when it is most needed.

This is a great example of finding a way to reduce your waste and in turn into do a good dead for someone else.

Solar Bottle Light

 

A good use of plastic bottles, using water, bleach and sunlight  people are turning trash into a useful and necessary product – light!

This website gives more details.

Happy Birthday GREENPEACE

Greenpeace was started 40 years ago this week in a living room in Vancouver, BC.

On their website it proudly boasts 40 years of  Inspiring Action, Making Change, Bearing Witness, Solutions, Victories! And this is what I think of when I hear the name as well.

Activists had a simple message in 1971 and it remains vital today; TAKE ACTION! The founders of Greenpeace were regular Canadians. What began as protests against nuclear weapons testing / transporting/ now covers climate change, toxic pollutants, protection of forests, oceans, agriculture, and even PEACE and disarmament.

I am proud to live in the same province where such ideals could evolve into an international movement called Greenpeace.

 

Ethical Oil?

Relaunching his website Ethical Oil. org this week,  Alykhan Velshi, a Canadian born lawyer, argues the oil in Canada’s Tar Sands is “Ethical” while the majority of the other large oil suppliers around the world produce “Conflict Oil”.

Velshi, also a ministerial assistant and political policy analyst, expands on Ezra Levant‘s book Ethical Oil The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands. In the book Lavant questions the accountability the West has taken in it’s unquenchable desire for oil. By supporting nations with atrocious human rights violations we choose; Environmental Degradation, Forced Labour, Repression of Woman, Aboriginals and Gays.  The argument goes that here in Canada we have a superior record on these issues and therefore the oil that is being extracted here is somehow a better choice for us and the world.

It would be naive to believe that Canada is some kind of ideal Oasis of peace and equality for all. I can say for sure every Canadian believes Human rights are a necessity that must be met. We are free to disagree with the government, to protest and write blogs and books, and lobby for what we believe in (or whoever makes the highest bid).

While the choices millions of people make each day create the need, the financial toll continues to rise as does the Ethical burden.

The ads are smart. The images and juxtaposition of ideas speaks to all of us who  want to make fair choices and respect people and the land. The problem with it is the only choices offered are Ethical Oil or Conflict Oil, but not No Oil.

Still some people will maintain that the oil sands do not pollute, cause cancer, increase greenhouse gases and generally harm as many people as they help.

One thing is clear; big corporations control what is happening now and what will continue to happen. If people demand cleaner energy then it will have to be created. Instead of finding reasons to continue down a path of known destruction, we can choose a future with forward thinking innovation that is holistic and sustainable.

Food or Fuel ?

Is there a food crisis looming?

If you read the news online you can find numerous stories warning that the yes a real food crisis does exist and may in fact be worse then has been predicted.

Climate change leading to extreme weather events like flooding and droughts, and massive soil erosion have left farmers the world over scrambling to produce a stable food supply.

A few months back the USDA fully deregulated genetically engineered (GE) corn that is grown in the United States. This is considered to be an industrial crop and not for human consumption but grown to become Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol.

It is estimated that ONE THIRD of the corn grown in America today is not for FOOD but for FUEL

As world food prices continue to rise, even where yields are at record highs,  the worlds  poorest nations continue to suffer the most. A change in the worlds climate  has created a market of uncertainty and food insecurity.

Growing  food for fuel is controversial. Growing genetically engineered crops for fuel could be considered immoral and, at the least, is a dangerous guessing game when it comes to maintaining a diverse organic seed supply. The fear is that corn grown as biofuel will contaminate food crops with irreversible consequences. Can we really afford to take these kind of risks with our food supply?

There are alternatives like recycled biodiesel, and in fact most major cities,including Vancouver has a bioDiesel co-op!

Made from recycled vegetable oils collected from restaurants, this is true recycling.

There are no modifications needed for a diesel engine to run on this fuel.

So why is there even a need to grow new crops for oil?

These are the questions that we should be asking.

The decisions we make each day when it comes to the food we eat, and the fuel we deem necessary may become an even hotter topic to debate as the prices at the grocery store continue to rise.

350.org

Spring 2011

Crocuses on East Columbia Spring 2011

Crocuses on East Columbia Street New Westminster ~Spring 2011 ~ ♡ ॐ

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb

Water

Water water everywhere, at least here in North America.

Care Canada walk in her shoes is a fund-raiser and awareness campaign. In the poorest communities around the world woman and girls are forced to walk an average of 6 kilometres a day just to get water and fuel for cooking. The women must then carry the water back home, eliminating time for education or other paid work. Six kilometres or 8000 steps is a lot! Wearing a pedometer, and taking part in this campaign I realise just how much that is!

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, March 8th,  thousands of Canadians are joining in this challenge.

Here in Canada we have the luxury to challenge ourselves to walk a little extra, and to give our money and time to other women of the world. In solidarity we walk, so these woman may know that  a world away we acknowledge their plight.

I know I am blessed beyond measure, simple necessities like water, food, and personal safety are not a usual consideration for me, or most of the developed world’s women and girls.

Care Canada has a mission statement that includes strengthening the power of self help. Fostering dignity, providing economic opportunity and influencing policy that encourage people to empower themselves.

The United Nations has declared “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right.” What happens now is up to each country and individual. By simple campaigns like this one we can start a dialogue that will educate and illuminate this issue. Given that we share this planet with billions of people, many of whom will never be afforded the opportunities we take for granted everyday, the time has come for us to stand together with women and lift them up to a basic level of human dignity.

Give this matter some attention, your money or time. Until every person has the same access to basic human rights we can not move forward. There are steps you can take to raise awareness and lead the way to a better world for every woman, child and man alive today.

URBNgreen
URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
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delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at DailyLearners.com