A staggering 85 per cent of our collective apparel ends up in a landfill -- that's over 10.5 million tons of clothing, according to the popular second-hand store Value Village. In a single year, Canada produces enough textile waste -- clothing and other goods like upholstery -- to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto's Rogers Centre stadium. Reduce, reuse and recycle has become the mantra of socially conscious consumers. Now we need to extend that philosophy to our old accoutrements.
From Asia to South America, insects have long appeared on the menu in many cultures. But what's truly epic about the edible bug trend is its potential to not only provide a healthy source of food, but also boost incomes among people in developing countries who could never afford chicken or beef from a grocery store.
Shell Canada has relinquished 30 oil and gas exploration permits that were the subject of a lawsuit launched by WWF-Canada. Now, after decades of struggle, nothing stands in the way of finally creating a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound, with all the significant protection measures that includes.
Details of the Ontario government's Climate Action Plan are out and the reviews are mixed. While the business sector will no doubt grumble about the cap-and-trade system in place to keep the province's climate program on track, it seems that the big losers will inevitably be people living in poverty.
Our planet is a very different place today than when your grandparents were born. Despite the copious amount of conservation work occurring on a daily basis by citizens, volunteers and environmental groups, biodiversity is continuing to be lost in Canada. We need to restore Earth's "factory settings."
On June 6, much of the world will be celebrating World Environment Day, the annual United Nations day to raise awareness and action for the environment. As the UN puts it, World Environment Day is an "opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change."
As consumers get more savvy, they are increasingly demanding products that are organic, ethically sourced and produced in an environmentally responsible way. Consumers are increasingly aware of the negative effect chemicals have on their health and will buy organic iterations of their favourite products whenever they can.
Industrial agriculture has made it possible to produce large amounts of food efficiently, but comes with problems, including pollution, reduced biodiversity, pesticide resistance and consequent increased chemical use, destruction of forests and wetlands, and human health issues such as antibiotic resistance.
I can think of many times when I ignored what I saw in a person or a situation. Initially, it seems so much easier to see what we prefer to see, rather than face the unpleasant truth of what's actually there. Still, what I've realized is that no matter how difficult it is to acknowledge the signs of trouble in our relationships or environment, it's always better to do so.
Today known as Ozersk, City 40 is considered the founding place of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons program, where the first Soviet plutonium-based bomb, known as "First Lightning," was made. Since its founding, the city has been surrounded with double barbed-wire fences and monitored by armed guards.
The island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a unique case study that explains how the exploitation of natural resources can directly affect the fate of a nation. That the two countries have starkly different trajectories is largely related to how they have historically managed their natural environment.
Ontario is taking a comprehensive approach to cutting emissions, which is a good thing. While some folks may love to hate the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, the reality is that it's the reason Ontario is Canada's clean technology leader. And the coal phase out was the right move, too, which is why it's being emulated by Alberta, why Ontario hit its 2014 GHG emissions target, why our air is now smog-free, and why people like me, who care about the environment and our kids' future, can breathe more easily.
Whether included in an existing law such as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act or by way of a new statute, national and enforceable air pollution standards would be a step towards a more equitable society, in which disadvantaged communities aren't left bearing more than their fair share of the national environmental health burden.
It sometimes sounds as though pipeline proponents are the true environmentalists among us. Commentary in favour of the pipelines has followed suit with generous explanations of our current needs and the realities of energy consumption. They ask: are opponents of the pipelines in denial about our current reliance on fossil fuels? And if these bleeding hearts do admit that we do need fossil fuels to power our country, are they comfortable importing Saudi oil forever? I believe that such questions willfully miss the point.
By not telling Canadians the truth about the government's almost certain inability to control future carbon emissions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is guilty of downplaying the greatest issue ever to face the country and the world -- an issue that will have dire consequences for our children and grandchildren.
Sometimes, if not most of the time, a policy sounds really good on paper. But once implemented, it does not work as intended and produces poor results. Experts then say: "Politicians didn't enact it properly, it wasn't exactly what we recommended." But once a policy has been adopted, don't try to get rid of it even if its effect is not what was promised.