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David Dodge

Producer/Host, Green Energy Futures.ca

David is the host and producer of GreenEnergyFutures.ca, a multi media project that tells the stories of Canadians engaged with green energy solutions in their homes, businesses and communities.
David is the former communications director of the Pembina Institute, he produced the EcoFile radio series for CKUA, was editor of Borealis magazine, the Alberta executive director of CPAWS and the production manager of Lone Pine Publishing. In his spare time David has coached soccer and basketball and has served as the president of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.
Alamy

Net-Zero Homes Are Getting Simpler and Cheaper

When it comes to net-zero homes it too is an idea that seems more science fiction than anything, especially in the cold climes of Edmonton, Alberta. A home that produces as much energy as it consumes -- well that's just crazy.
05/21/2013 05:23 EDT

Lawrence Grassi Blazes a Low-Key but Effective Energy Conservation Trail

Lawrence Grassi was a trailblazer. An immigrant from Italy he was a respected mountaineer and guide who built and maintained many of the original trails throughout the mountains around Canmore, Alberta. Short of stature and eschewing alpine guide stereotypes for suspenders and hobnail boots Grassi was one of the key personalities in Canmore's early history. And the school that bears his name, Lawrence Grassi middle school, has blazed a trail much in its namesake's fashion. Nothing too fancy, but a lot of hard work and common sense can go a long way.
05/13/2013 02:35 EDT
Shutterstock

Waste-to-Energy: How Nanaimo, Vancouver Is Revolutionizing Garbage Management

Ecologist Peter Marshall put it best: "Waste itself is a human concept; everything in nature is eventually used." Head to a forest and see if you can spot any waste. Fungi are breaking down the dead trees, the leaf litter on the forest floor retains moisture and protects the soil from the sun. As a species, we're cottoning on the fact that what we consider waste is often a valuable resource.
05/06/2013 05:10 EDT
AP

The Sunny T'Sou-ke First Nation Loves Solar Power

The T'Sou-ke First Nation developed a community plan that led them to build the largest solar photovoltaic project in B.C. and cut their energy use by 75 per cent. With this vision in place the T'Sou-ke tackled the challenge of energy self-sufficiency with gusto. A few years ago they installed 75-kilowatts of solar PV on several buildings.
04/29/2013 05:15 EDT
Getty Images

Treating Biodiesel Like a Microbrew

As you walk into the Cowichan Biodiesel Cooperative's processing facility in Duncan B.C., it really does look like a microbrewery. Tanks, pumps, hoses and other assorted machinery are all reminiscent of the brew master's trade. But unlike the yeasty, worty smell that you get at a brewery, the biodiesel processing facility has the faint hint of French fries.
04/15/2013 05:42 EDT
Getty Images

If Your Office Is Too Hot or Too Cold, You're Not Alone

What are the two most common complaints from office workers? It's too hot, and it's too cold. These dichotomous complaints are symptoms of a wider problem. Not only do aging, poorly-designed office buildings do a terrible job at keeping the people within them comfortable, they are energy sieves that are expensive to operate and maintain.
04/09/2013 08:12 EDT
Getty Images

How Your Thermostat Can Save Energy and Money

While programmable thermostats have been around for quite awhile, the product category has seen a lot of upheaval and innovation in the past few years. Internet connectivity and mobile apps meant people could turn down the heat from across town and keep reliable data on their heating habits.
03/18/2013 05:24 EDT

Tapping (Mountains of) Trash for Landfill Gas

Apple cores, pumpkins, Christmas trees and the crusts your mom cut off your sandwich 27 years ago. They all ended up at Cloverbar landfill in Edmonton and as that material breaks down it releases meth...
03/11/2013 03:59 EDT

UBC Is Heating Up and Getting Green

The creaking, turn of the century steam pipes at the University of British Columbia are transforming into a modern, modular low-carbon Lego style hot water system. The new hot water style heating system at UBC can now integrate renewable energy systems like biomass, geoexchange, solar thermal and waste heat into this natural gas system all because the barrier for entry is lower.
03/05/2013 05:22 EST

Farming for Biogas: Closing the Loop on Cow Poop

French fry oil, molasses, donuts and cow manure. No, it's not the grossest Tim Horton's ever, it's called biogas and Canadian farmers are starting to wrap their heads around this farm diversification idea.
02/26/2013 03:31 EST

Run-of-River 101: Human Scale Hydro

When I first heard of "run-of-river" I had it way wrong, I imagined a thousand little micro-turbines in a mountain creek turning like pinwheels as the water flows by. It's more of a kinder, gentler version of bigger hydro power projects -- none of the flooding of massive tracts of land.
02/20/2013 07:45 EST
PA

Is This the Greenest Building in Canada?

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, or CIRS, building on the University of British Columbia campus is a building that nearly lives and breathes. Determining what the greenest building in Canada is a bit of a fool's errand. But if green is a journey to architecture that regenerates and repairs the environment around it then the CIRS building is something to aspire to.
02/11/2013 05:36 EST

How Sewage Is Heating Vancouver Homes

This sewage heat recovery system in Vancouver is the first in North America, with the other systems in Oslo, Norway and Tokyo, Japan. It goes deep underground and it feels a bit like an ultra-modern cave troll lair from the future. The process has a couple of steps.
02/05/2013 12:21 EST

The Most Efficient Transportation On the Planet

Ever since the 1950s the car has been the accidental architect of our cities. Billions of dollars have been dedicated to roads, overpasses, tunnels and other car infrastructure. Enter the bicycle. It is the most efficient form of transportation on the planet.
01/29/2013 08:06 EST
AP

What Canada Must Do to Become a Clean Energy Superpower

For Canada to become an active participant in the global low carbon economy there are several key things Canada needs to do. With ideas like these Canada can access the budding clean energy economy and not get left sucking on a tailpipe.
01/22/2013 05:23 EST
Flickr: Bruce Guenter

Turning Human Waste Into Energy Savings

Sewage, biosolids, wastewater, effluent, human waste and night soil -- these are all euphemisms for poo. But instead of looking at it as something to be disposed of, why not use it to grow a crop that can heat our buildings, produce electricity or be used for compost? Camrose County in rural Alberta is doing just that.
01/15/2013 12:16 EST
PA

A Year of Uplifting Green Energy Stories

While the pace of our transition to a lower carbon world can be frustrating, we have learned in a short time at Green Energy Futures there are some pretty inspiring and innovative people building a green energy future right now.
12/18/2012 05:41 EST
shutterstock

A Renewable Version of the Oil Sands -- in Nova Scotia

On an average day, about 160-billion tonnes of seawater flows into the Bay of Fundy. This is where an ocean research centre decided to put their tidal energy test site. According to recent models, there is roughly 7,000 megawatts of potentially extractable tidal energy in the Minas Basin. Of that number, researchers say about 2,500 megawatts can be tapped safely. That's more than enough electricity for all of Nova Scotia.
12/12/2012 05:38 EST
Alamy

Is This the Greenest Campus in Canada?

Church Point, a little-known dot on the map in rural southern Nova Scotia, isn't exactly a tourist hotspot. But for sustainability nerds it's an unexpected haven. It's home to St. Anne University, or Université Sante Anne as it's called in French and it may be the greenest little university in Canada.
12/04/2012 12:19 EST