Solar thermal advocates are fond of reminding us that homes, especially those in Canada use about 70 per cent of their energy for heating. As solar photovoltaic prices continue to plummet, some net-zero home builders have started pairing solar PV with air-source heat pumps for space heating and electric resistance water heaters to produce hot water.
A carbon neutral home and net-zero home are similar in that both produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year. The difference is a net-zero home produces its own energy right on the home, whereas a carbon neutral home can produce its energy elsewhere in the community.
An earthship is an off-grid home that produces its own energy, captures its own water, treats its own wastewater, grows its own food and passively collects the sun's energy for heat. That's the idea, anyways. But ever since the Kinney Earthship was built in the summer of 2014, Duncan Kinney has received many emails about one particular subject: how does it hold up so far north?
This article was written by Green Energy Futures editor and production manager, Duncan Kinney. When you tell people you're
Canada's economy has lost its balance. Trouble looms. Those are not words you will hear from Prime Minister Stephen Harper but it is the grim reality of the unsustainable economic ethos of his Conservative government. Instead of the telling us the truth, the government is spending unprecedented gobs of our money to mislead us about the health of the country with the Canada Action Plan advertising campaign saturating the airwaves. In reality, our petro premier has transformed a balanced country into a petro-state that is "hollowing out" the economy.
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I witnessed a "revolution," though thankfully not the kind that culminates in a coup d'état. What I saw was the so-called "micro-mill revolution" -- a new way in which coffee is processed and sold, that could help transform the way specialty coffee is traded, to the betterment of all involved.
Earlier this fall I participated in a panel at the Toronto Board of Trade about "Achieving a sustainable and responsible global sourcing policy." Given their supply chain power, companies must continually advance more sustainable practices and must be reinforced by benchmarking transparency standards. In practice, what does this mean?
Many of us grew up in a time when we finished with a piece of paper, crumpled it up and tossed it into a waste paper basket. Then recycling bins came along. And with it a message of reduce, reuse and recycle. Flash forward to 2013. It's time to revisit the three Rs and add a fourth -- renewable.
One of the hottest topics today for business and consumers is environmental sustainability...but what does that really mean? For a time, green arrows and leaf logos were the signal to customers that they were getting a sustainable product. But it wasn't long before customers got more sophisticated and began to recognize that "green" logos alone do not guarantee an environmentally sound, responsible and sustainable global sourcing model.
Ask anyone with a shred of a conscience, and they'll tell you that they want a cleaner and more equitable world. With the rise of social media, consumers are becoming increasingly more intelligent and aware of the implications of their purchases. We are shopping not only for value, but with values. That's a major culture shift.