Archive for December, 2009

Eco-Tidings of joy

At our house this is our favourite time of year.  Baking cookies, decorating the tree, making gifts and sending out cards for the holidays are all fun activities. One other thing my kids look forward to is checking the mailbox each morning for cards from our family on the other side of the country.  This is the one time when we are most looking forward to getting the mail!

Since moving this summer we noticed an increase in the amount of mail and newspapers that get delivered to our house. It is not that we didn’t get all the flyers and junk mail at our last address, I had forgotten to put the red dot on our new mail box.

The Red Dot Campaign was an initiative started in Canada to curb advertisers wasteful use of paper in advertising. The idea is simple, put a red dot on your mail box and the mail carrier will not leave flyers and advertisements in your mailbox. You can also simply put a note on your mailbox that says no junk mail, no ad-mail or no flyers and they will get the message.

tree in Stanley Park

Some companies even go further and sell Postal Junk Mail Reduction Kits and U.S. residents can sign the petition to stop junk mail!  at the Forest Ethics site.

There are many ways we can all stop wasteful practices, stopping junk mail, using things like e-post in Canada to get your bills on-line. You can also pay your bills on-line reducing even more need for paper products and trips to the post office.

Most companies now have their weekly flyers available at your fingertips with a simple search you can find what you need.

By stopping junk mail from entering your house you will be sending a message and helping to curb climate change, deforestation and reduce consumption.

You can even send e-cards for the holidays and cut out the paper habit completely. Our family often re-uses the cards received from previous years to make new ones for family and friends. If you are not so crafty there are many Eco-friendly options in greeting cards.  Look for cards made of 100% post consumer paper, printed with soy or vegetable inks and printed in Canada. This year I bought some from Pistachio, a Canadian company that cares about all these things and more.

Whatever your choice, think of the environment when you go to the mail box and the planet will thank you.

Winter Wonderland

Winter in B.C. A winters day

“All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

lennon love

Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.
John Lennon

Copenhagen- Will it make any difference?


Today, hundreds of world leaders, media outlets, scientists and environmentalists descend on Copenhagen, Denmark, for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

It is not clear is what will be accomplished in Copenhagen over the next few weeks. In the news and media recently there have been raging debates over leaked emails by scientists,  speculation from climate deniers,  fear mongering in articles in the Wall Street Journal, and a proliferation of confusion experienced by most common observers.

Is climate change man made? Do humans have an effect on the environment or not? Is the rate of deforestation and Green House Gas emissions (GHG)  in the environment a problem? And if so, who should be responsible to fix this problem? How will this impact the global economic system?

Summits, protocols and declarations have been forged in the past, all of them leading to the conference in Copenhagen. Previous accords have been The Bali Action Plan, The Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, The Framework Convention -Earth Summit Rio (1992) and The Kyoto Protocol(1997).

The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:

The Stockholm declaration -(1972):

6. A point has been reached in history when we must shape our actions throughout the world with a more prudent care for their environmental consequences. Through ignorance or indifference we can do massive and irreversible harm to the earthly environment on which our life and well being depend…..To defend and improve the human environment for present and future generations has become an imperative goal for mankind-a goal to be pursued together with, and in harmony with,  the established and fundamental goals of peace and of worldwide economic and social development.

7. To achieve this environmental goal will demand the acceptance of responsibility by citizens and communities and by enterprises and institutions at every level, all sharing equitably in common efforts. Individuals in all walks of life as well as organisations in many fields, by their values and the sum of their actions, will shape
the world environment of the future.

One thing is clear, the industrial revolution has had an impact on the environment.  Industry is responsible for pollution ( chemical, biological and nuclear), soil erosion, deforestation, desertification, food dependence from further reaching sources,  all the while creating a culture of mass consumerism with no end in sight.

Does this mean a New World Order?   The economy is global, there is a need for the nations of the world, especially the developed nations, to take responsibility for our history and  lead in forging new paths to sustainability.  Our success in the world markets through exploitation and disregard for consequences must end here.

There is a lot at stake in Denmark this month. There is an expectation and a need for the “leaders” of  this century to ratify an agreement that holds the appropriate people responsible (corporations, governments) while imploring citizens of the world to take action in their everyday lives.

Developing nations deserve an equal share of the economic cake, and need to sustain meaningful participation in global economics. All citizens deserve a chance for a prosperous, healthy future, and that is the only result that is acceptable.

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.
delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at