Posts Tagged ‘green living’

Sweater Day 2014 -for the environment!

This year February 6th  will be  “National Sweater Day”  supported by the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF)

In an effort to demonstrate the power of  individual actions equalling one big statement, dozens of retailers including grocery giant Loblaw have agreed to participate by lowering their stores temperatures by 3 degrees and wearing a sweater instead.

Wearing a sweater is a symbolic way people can participate in the ongoing dialogue about energy conservation and personal consumption.

Office workers, businesses and schools alike are encouraged to  book a call from granny to be reminded about the big event.

By wearing the ugly sweater from the back of your closet you can help too.  There are prizes to be won, so spread the word and  sign up!

Take action, its easy and fun,  and you really can make a difference!

national sweater day

Black Carbon

from Ecojustice Canada

Soot, also known as “Black Carbon” is a major contributor to pollution around the world. Soot is microscopic airborne particles that are redeposited reeking havoc on the ecosystem and  causes major problems in the Arctic.  Soot comes from diesel engines, industrial smokestacks and residential cooking and heating stoves.

When black carbon falls on snow and ice, it reduces reflectivity and speeds up melting, the absorption of sunlight by soot heats the atmosphere. In addition to faster melting ice, many respiratory problems have been directly linked to pollution caused by soot.

Tighter regulations on soot producing practices around the world are needed.  Visit StopSoot.Ca to find out more about what can be done to curb the amount of soot in the atmosphere.

July 3rd is International Plastic Bag Free Day!

Amazing news today, as of July 1st 2012 Seattle  has banned plastic bags!

This is a move that has caused great celebration as well as proven that we can move forward with sustainable ideas.

Check out this Great Video- The Majestic Plastic Bag Narrated by Jeremy Irons.

By now most people are aware of the side effects of plastic bags ending up in the oceans. I wrote this article four years ago when I first learned about the Garbage Patch that exists in the Pacific Ocean.

Last Fall I attended a talk by Sea Captain Charles Moore. He writes of his experience sampling and exploring the garbage patch. His book Plastic Ocean documents his findings. Refereed to as “The 21st century Silent Spring it is beyond a wake up call. It is a remarkable account of one mans experience with the Sea and the devastating effects of plastic on sea life.

We are all compelled to take action. To protect the ocean and animals of this planet, and to make sustainable choices in this new century for the future of  life on earth. It is the small everyday choices that make a difference.

Save Our Earth

 Earth Day 2012 –  Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.

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

Green washing

The “Greener Living” headline on the cover of the local Metro newspaper today caught my attention. It turned out to be an add sponsored by a bottled water company!

The paper included a four page insert that features tips about Zero Waste, stories about things like Extended  Producer responsibility and the environment.  I was bemused and a little annoyed to read that “Metro has partnered with Dasani to “teach Canadians about  Choices” Really?

Clever marketing schemes like this disguise the truth, and while I appreciate the fact that some information in this ad is actually factual, the bigger story is the  Green Washing of this product.

Most people are aware of the environmental catastrophe that has resulted from the bottled water industry. Companies like Dasani (owned by Coca-Cola) want to green their image and help ease consumer concerns by creating plastic bottles made out of plant materials instead of the traditional petroleum plastics. The fact is that we are facing a food crisis, we are also dealing with a global garbage disaster, with a major source of the this garbage being disposable water bottles.(plastic or otherwise)

1 second — that’s 90,000 bottles per minute

From the reuseit site;

Fast Facts on Disposable Bottles

  • 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in one year (2008).
  • Tap water is cleaner, cheaper and healthier than store-bought water.
  • 60 billion single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, and 3 out of 4 were thrown out directly after use.
  • Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.

Understandably  water bottle companies are now taking a new approach and turning to non petroleum based plastic for the bottles.  This does not stop consumers from throwing them away.

Bottled water has been proven to be less regulated then public drinking water, it is more expensive and  destructive to the environment, from the natural disruption in water flow at the source through the manufacturing and transporting of the water itself. It carries a large carbon footprint.

Single use items and products made to sooth our conscious, without long term thoughts about the impact these products have on our planet and sustainability are just a ploy to confuse matters.

Using Sugar cane Ethanol From Brazil is suppose to give us all a happy kumbaya feeling about this choice, but it leaves a bad taste behind.

When we choose to turn food into fuel, packaging, or anything other then nourishment, while millions of people around the world,(especially in places like Brazil) don’t have enough to eat each day it is not responsible. The production of sugar cane entails mono-cropping, the extensive use of pesticides, and perpetuates poverty.  We have to question the ethics here, and the reality of what choosing to support this product really means.

It is not just another choice. The reality of the matter is this;  if we  support products that harm the people and the planet we will all be forced to deal with the consequences.

 

 

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.

 

Old pallets get a second life!

This is a great short video that shows many uses for old pallets. The Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Association links to this video, showing old pallets that have been made into many beautiful and useful items; including furniture, decking, and even homes.