Green Energy

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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.

The Blessing of (Energy) Density

When I talk about energy density, I tend to use cups as a comparison: how much energy is in a cup of wood chips, compared to a cup of ground up coal, compared to a cup of gasoline, or napalm. How much energy is there in a cup of wind, or a cup of sunlight?

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.

What Makes Food Truly Convenient?

Convenience stores are ubiquitous, somehow always accessible near us. The products they sell are generally always available, often worldwide, 24/7, and year-round. In contrast, off-grid organic food growth and consumption seem so inconvenient to be downright unbearable: foods are only available at specific times of the year, their growth demands patience and involvement.

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.
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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.

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.
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What Non-Indigenous People Can Learn From Chiefs' Anti-Oil Sands Efforts

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.