The manner in which we deal with our ''waste" is a key part of the foundation of a sustainable world. Isn't sustainability another word for balance? We must learn how to use the world's resources such as wood, rocks, metals and oil in a more balanced manner.
Waste diversion is critical to mitigating climate change. In Canada we use more energy in producing products and packaging (45%) than we use for driving (10%), heating, cooling and lighting our homes (20%), combined! Significantly, more than 60% of the solid waste stream is organic material: wood, paper, foodscraps and leaf and yard material. Degrading in a landfill with little/no oxygen, this organic material produces methane and other GHGs -- now thought to be 70 times more potent than CO2 over it's shorter lifetime in the atmosphere (12-20 yrs vs. 100 yrs for CO2).
The major focuses of the Waste Diversion Campaign involve; increasing recycling diversion rates, implementing foodscrap collection programs and reducing, reusing and recycling, electronic waste, household furnishings, clothing, household hazardous waste and renovation debris.
The campaign works thoughout Ontario. If you want to volunteer or have recommendations for the campaign, please contact the chair, Rod Muir at (rodmuir <at> sympatico.ca).
By Denna Berg. Photo of Yangtze River pollution from Vagabondjourney.com
I was partaking in the Sustainable Fashion movement before I even knew what it was. In fact, I hadn’t heard of the term until a couple months after completing my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. Prior to this, like many others, I mistakenly dismissed eco-clothes as itchy and ugly hemp ponchos (the misconceptions of hemp as a fabric could be a full blog article within itself!).
I think many, environmentalist or not, would be willing to support clothing that’s good for the environment if it was accessible, fashionable and most importantly affordable. What people don’t realize is that Sustainable Fashion is probably one of the most manageable green lifestyle changes. ... Read more »
From our friends at Toronto Environmental Alliance:
Starting this fall, clear food containers, the ubiquitous 'clamshells' used for egg cartons, fruit and vegetables, and baked goods, will be recyclable in the Toronto's Blue Box. This will divert 2000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill!... Read more »
All the fanfare and vitriol1 surrounding Apple's using glue vs screws2 in their Macbooks (and other products) having fallen from the spotlight, an interesting bit of news hit my browser today: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't entirely full of glue.
Not so interesting on its own (and I'm certainly not trying to sell you a Samsung Note), but interesting because it is actually thinner and lighter than an iPad 3. It's also just barely thicker than an iPad 2.3... Read more »
This starts off with a recipe for a coffee ground body scrub and careens off into using tea leaves to get pet odors out of your carpet. Great down-home advice on re-use of a waste product most of us create daily. ... Read more »
Voice Your Concern regarding the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Proposal to Exempt Transportation of Hazardous Waste from Licensing RequirementsSubmitted by Kristina Jackson on Fri, 2012-04-20 12:22
From our friends at CELA & Ecojustice:... Read more »
From one of our friends in Richmond Green comes this bright idea you can join in or start in your own neighborhood:
First Annual Earth Day
Mom to Mom Sale
Sunday, April 22, 2012, 1pm to 4pm
Join us at the Richmond Green Poultry Barn (Ag#2)
Just north of the Elgin Mills parking lot towards Leslie. Across the path from the Beading Artists Show (rhbeadart.com) at the Boynton House from 10am to 6:30pm
At our sale, Costco will be selling new memberships. New members get a $10 gift card and a $10 gift card goes to charity.
Celebrate Earth Day by buying new or previously loved baby & kid's items - clothing, toys, books & gear! What an easy way to reduce, reuse & save money!... Read more »
Plastics! You move from city to city in Ontario and all the regulations you thought you knew about plastic suddenly change. It can definitely get complicated, so we have provided city/region specific plastic recycling rules for Ontario. We hope this helps!
It is also good to remember, that simply because some plastics are recyclable, this does not mean it is environmentally friendly to consume them. It is always better to go with an "unpackaged" option. For example, if your local grocer has raspberries in a green carton, that would be a better choice than the plastic clam shell provided at a larger grocer chain. The less plastic we consume, the more the market will be forced to head in another direction!
... Read more »
Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, has announced today that Canada will be joining the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and will pledge 3 million dollars over a course of 2 years. Run by UNEP, this Alliance is an effort to reduce global emissions from short-lived climate pollutants (soot, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, etc), which are responsible for 30-40% of Global Warming.
Link to Environment Canada announcement (Feb 16, 2012):
Link to NY Times article regarding the US led meeting for the program (Feb 15, 2012):... Read more »
Sierra Club Ontario is a member group of Toronto Environmental Alliance. They are doing a great job on provincial and local waste reduction/ management issues.
Ontario's waste diversion strategy is getting back on track!
Early February, the Premier announced plans to improve waste diversion in Ontario.... Read more »
By Jeff Alan
Over the holidays I dismantled another misbehaving giant LCD. The problem was that periodically, the screen would garble, and if you waited a couple hours it might fix itself. Or it wouldn't. Either way, it wasn't behaving and it was being replaced. The only indicator that it might be an easy fix was that bashing the top right of the frame would correct the error, if only temporarily. Other investigation aside...
Reducing the device to the point where we had access to (what was probably) the data feeds in the top of the TV, my accomplice and I found that there were flat ribbon cables attached along the top of the LCD panel from long, thin boards (each half had its own board and set of four). We fiddled with these while the TV ran, unable to trigger the dysfunction. So, we waited and hoped and... sure enough, the problem started.... Read more »
Ever noticed some people get by with much smaller fridges? It's not always because they go out to dinner every night. I stayed with a family in Shanghai who ate almost entirely home-cooked, healthy food and had a tiny fridge. You may be surprised how alternate handling of a lot of your food makes it last longer - and uses less space in your fridge.
According to Lloyd Alter with Treehugger.com, too many of us use our fridge as "an expensive air conditioned parking lots for what Shay Salomon called "compost and condiments."
Smaller fridge = less electricity. ... Read more »
More ways you can 'monitor' your computer's energy use (part 2 of 2)
By Jeff Alan
Computer power consumption, while receiving increasing attention, is still a confusing beast. One of the biggest potential power drains in a system could be the video card. This is easiest to explain with this fantastic writeup and chart:
So, you use a computer - how else would you be looking at this website? Here are some tips from an engineer on how you can lessen your impact without missing out. (part 1 of 2)
Less Power to the People
by Jeff Alan
If you've purchased a computer power supply any time in recent years, you may have noticed a smattering of logos and numbers on the box. What's good to know?
80PLUS1– This is a rating system for power supplies (PSUs) based on efficiency. In order to meet basic 80+, a power supply must be able to provide greater than 80% efficiency at a number of power loads. However, this does not say anything about efficiency when the system is idling. There are different levels, too (standard, bronze, silver, gold, platinum). Leading to...... Read more »
A recent report by the Toronto Environmental Alliance highlights the main issues in solving our waste problems in Toronto. The report looks at why city taxes and waste fees are covering the cost of waste created by companies. The report also shows there's a better way to manage waste, and there are great examples from right here in Ontario of businesses that are doing their part to cut waste.
Highlights from the report are:
... Read more »
A Pickering firm run by a former minor hockey league goalie has emerged as the recommended winning bidder on the city’s controversial garbage out-sourcing deal, city hall sources have confirmed. An announcement is expected at a news conference scheduled for noon.... Read more »
Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.
Peter Gabriel has found a fantastically funky solution to all those CD, VHS and tape cassettes when he created a DJ Booth at WOMAD (world of music, art, and dance).