The same old energy mix — The Japan Times editorial. I follow the folks that write Japan Safety: Nuclear Energy Updates and they just posted an article from the Japan Times where they look at the current government’s plans for energy sustainability over the next few decades. The picture is disturbing in light of the […]
Have you ever heard of the concept of an “Earthship“? I was introduced to the concept by my brother-in-law about 14 years ago and was blown away. What is an Earthship then? In a nutshell, an Earthship is an Eco-friendly home, made predominantly from recycled materials, designed to be as close to “off-grid” as possible.
The concept of Earthships arose in the halcyon flower-power days of the 1970s in various states in the southern USA. The concept seems to have developed by Michael Reynolds, an architect from New Mexico. As you can see in the linked Wikipedia article, his idea was not without problems, but it was, none-the-less revolutionary. Michael has a website where he educates about, demonstrates and promotes the Earthship technology. The site has designs for a number of systems that an Earthship needs if it is to meet code (see figure 2, below). Continue reading “What the heck is an Earthship? … maybe an idea whose time has come!”
One of my colleagues at work sent me this list of ten interesting environmentally-related web-pages. He recommended them to me and suggested I take a look at them. You may wish to take a look at them too. Thanks Phil!
Marine Conservation Institute is a leader in the global movement to protect and recover the integrity of vast ocean areas.
We use the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems around the world, and then advocate for their protection, for us and future generations.
For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature.
The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature Continue reading “Some links to interesting environmental sites”
One of my colleagues showed me this site today and it looks really good. This is a link to their blog page. This group has some pretty high priced help on their roster. From Harrison Ford to Hillary Clinton, they seem to have the bases covered. One of the environmental movement needs more of is […]
Regardless of what anyone tells you, if you live in North America your pool should not be losing more than about an eighth of an inch of water (3 mm) each day in the summer. If it is losing more that that…don’t ignore it and don’t let people tell you that the larger amount of water loss is to be expected. An inch of pool water is a huge amount and the western world is just beginning to understand that water is our most precious resource. Don’t waste it like I did!
My family has had an in-ground swimming pool since the kids were little. Generally, we have only had to fill up the pool in the early spring and we are more-or-less good for the rest of the season. There is a bit of evaporation, but it is usually replaced by rainfall. This year, unfortunately, was “off the charts” as far as water consumption goes and that is an environmental disaster. Continue reading “Pool leaks are an environmental disaster!”
One of my colleagues passed me a link to the trailer for a really interesting movie entitled “A Chemical Reaction”. The documentary was produced by Paul Tukey, an award winning writer about lawn care. He is the founder of the safelawns.org, which is an organization that has as its mission to “To create a broad-based […]
The other day at work, one of my colleagues passed a link on to me because she knew that I am interested in waste management. I really have to thank her because the link she provided was to an excellent 3 part article entitled “Trash Troubles – grappling with our garbage” (Metroland.com – Trash Troubles) […]
First, I am not rabidly anti-plastic. I think that plastic has made many parts of our life better, but I am against plastic waste (plastic for which there is no after market recycling program) and I am against over packaging, and your industry is implicated in both. From an energy perspective, I am aware that […]
I spent 6 months living in Kathmandu back in the 90s. It was commonplace for the power to go off each evening for 2 or more hours and to cope with the outages everyone had battery backups and gas-powered generators.
But over here in Canada we have never needed battery backups or generators to keep things running. The electrical system is far more reliable here than it was in Nepal in the 90s. That being said, we do still get the occasional power outages but for the most part they are little more than an inconvenience. The same cannot be said for solar thermal systems when the power goes out. Continue reading “Solar Thermal – What to do when the power goes out!”
Want an interesting way to explain to kids how consumer demand is created? Want to get some interesting facts about bottled water? What to know what cap-and-trade really means and whether it is a good thing or not? Want to know what all our electronic toys cost the planet? Why not mosey over to the […]
I just ran across this interesting post about a small (1000 gallon per day) and smaller (80 gallon per day) solar-powered desalinization unit that could be deployed quickly and cheaply in disaster zones where potable water is hard to come by and electrical power even harder to come by. You can read more about it here: […]
Solar system components
When you start to think about a solar system, you have to remember that the industry is relatively new in Canada. It has been used in Europe for decades, but its penetration on this side of the Atlantic has been marginal until recently. That means that you have to be conscious that some of the product on the market may not have been certified for use in Canada. The components that were installed in our house and that I will be speaking about below were all CSA approved and the “non-packaged” installation proposal that prepared was certified as compliant with the Ontario Building Code by a professional engineer.
This is a bit of a departure from my past two posts, but I just saw this film and wanted to share the experience…
Ever wondered what makes the planet tick? Ever wonder whether humanity is really having an effect on the planet and how it works? Do you have children or grand children? Want to see some amazing photography and hear some thoughtful commentary on these subjects? Got a spare 90 minute?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, treat yourself to a breathtaking, if at times depressing experience and watch the film “Home (the movie)“. Continue reading “What are we doing to the planet? Watch the film “Home” to find out!”