Any socially transformative movement gets to a point where it needs to be fully embraced by the people it impacts. The green power movement within Canada is at just such a point. The past decade has seen an increase in the number of options available to Canadians to support renewable energy -- often associated with a premium cost to the consumer.
Every UN nation -- 194 countries and the European Union -- is currently part to this agreement. Canada is setting a shocking precedent of climate ambivalence at a time when strong leadership is what is needed the most. All of us live in a world governed by a climate whose energy is becoming more dynamic and expressive by the year.
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.
The four founders of Idle No More didn't start out famous. Until flash-mob round dances, prayer circles, and blockades spread across Canada, few people knew Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson. But today, Idle No More is emerging as a powerful movement for the rights of native peoples to protect the lands and waters.
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.
Sustainable vacationing is about choosing a way to have a holiday that will fully support the local community, the environment and the health of both the staff and the guests. These are things we rarely think about when we book that all inclusive package to lay at the beach for a week sipping on daiquiris.
I feel strongly that as non-indigenous people living here in what we now call North America that we all have a lot to learn from those that were here long before we were. Working together, we need to find ways to heal from the history of colonialism and find new ways to work together to make healthy alternatives to dangerous tar sands oil, a reality. There are very real energy, housing and transportation solutions already readily available.
"Perhaps the most important part of our "Draft Management Plan For Humans In British Columbia" is to minimize the threat to wolf safety caused by humans. Whereas wolves pose a very limited threat to humans, the opposite is certainly not true. For instance, the B.C. government says that approximately 1,200 of us wolves were killed deliberately in 2010 by hunters and trappers for sport, trophy or profit."
Despite rhetoric about conservation, the main thrust of B.C.'s wolf management plan is clearly killing predators with the goal of reducing predator impacts on huntable species like moose, elk and deer, plus contributing to a presumed reduction in livestock conflicts on public lands. Any rational review of the impact of wolves on B.C.'s hunting opportunities, as well as livestock industry, would demonstrate that there is no "problem" in need of solving. Rationality, however, long ago ceased to be the currency of wildlife management policy in B.C.
Since going green no longer means having to forfeit beautiful packaging to sell a product in a way that is consistent with any brand's image, there is simply no longer any excuse for offering products in unsustainable packaging. In the new age of green packaging, sustainability and brand promise can now go hand in hand and beautiful packaging doesn't have to be ugly for the environment.
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.
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.
For all we do during the summer months to try to be more "green," hosting dinner for the holidays can really have the opposite effect, not to mention hike up your hydro bill. In case you're hoping to save on energy and be a little better to the environment this holiday season, we've compiled a list of a few easy tips on how to do so.
Walmart is certainly a retailer that evokes many emotions. At the same time, the numbers are undeniable. Worldwide, more than 100,000,000 shoppers per week choose to spend their dollars there. The company could have a major impact on sustainability. Some corporate sustainability efforts can be fairly easily thrown into the cynical greenwashing file. And Walmart has certainly suffered reputational slings and arrows for many reasons, but when the largest retailer in the world dedicates itself to a serious sustainability agenda we should probably sit up and notice.