Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Rethinking sustainable products and services…

I must admit that I like new things. I like change too. But what I really like is new things that change things for the better. So I was quite intrigued when I read an article about new ways to look at sustainable product and service creation.

To summarize the article suggested that “We need more than sustainable versions of everyday products. We need new products and services based on behaviour change.”

The article also suggested that “freeing people from the need for energy is one of the most probable future businesses.”

The authors then introduce a business strategy called the Peleton Strategy. Like cyclists in  a race who ride in a group to conserve their energy the authors suggest that people operate in consumer groups to conserve energy..or create new groups of consumer behaviour that benefit the individual consumer, the new group and limit energy use thereby limiting the use of our natural resources and creating less emissions.

They use the example of Yellowtail wine to explain how the company decided to change consumer behaviour by targeting non-wine drinkers; their goal..get these people to drink wine.

“In a famous example Yellow Tail wine (launched in 2001, became the most popular wine imported to the United States and accounts for nearly half of all Australian wine purchased) was aimed at non-wine drinkers. Yellow Tail aimed to change the behaviour of non-wine drinkers.”

They then discuss how to apply the same thinking to car drivers.  Essentially, how do we get car drivers to drive less or switch their behaviour to a less emission intense form of transportation? Then how do we do the same thing across other industries?

“Similarly we should not ask how we can make our current products greener and therefore attract ecologically motivated consumers. Instead, we should be thinking of ways to replace the most resource-heavy forms of consumption.”

If this interests you I would suggest reading the entire article. If not , you can just wait for me to figure it out for you…but you might be waiting a long time.

Here is the link to the article.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Save yourself and the world by eating less beef?

Christian Science Monitor

In my search to be healthy and to find smarter and better ways to live I have been having conversations about eating beef and/or other meat as part of my diet. Personally, I have completely stopped eating fast food burgers and other beef products..well..primarily because they taste like cardboard and make me feel like  a beached whale afterwards…you know “trapped on a beach without enough energy or brain power to move myself back to where I won’t die”.

As well, I am athletic(and want to continue to be) and I need to eat foods that are healthy. I would like to think that most people know that eating burgers is not healthy but there is more to it than just that. If you don’t know that eating burgers and fries is not in the least bit good for you..well..turn off your tv and start reading books you moron. Where was I? Oh, ok so I eat less beef..and usually feel better for it too but as I have recently found out meat production, and primarily the production of beef is going to kill us all faster than driving cars that run on fossil fuels.

Here’s the deal:

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems,” -Henning Steinfeld, senior author of the report

“Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent, reports the FAO. This includes 9 percent of all CO2 emissions, 37 percent of methane, and 65 percent of nitrous oxide. Altogether, that’s more than the emissions caused by transportation.”

There you go, cow farts cause environmental damage worse than pollution from cars! Wow, not only is McDonald’s destroying your chance at being the next Arnold Shwarzenegger but they are also destroying the planet. Awesome. But then again who still eats at McDonald’s anyway.

And for all you people still relying on the protein excuse for eating burgers..hey, guess what..cheese has more protein than beef. Excuse me, I need to go eat a grill cheese and tomato sandwich..so good!

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

A good car and a bad landlord.

I drank too much coffee today.

How do I know this?

I know this because I am angry. Coffee makes me angry.

I also talked to my landlord today. My landlord makes me angry because she charges too much for rent. Yes, I should have known this. But how do you know you bought a crappy product until you try it..and in this case lived in it. I want to return my product because my landlord lied. Yes, omitting the crappy parts of a deal is lying in my books. Now, if you bought a car that was crap you should be able to return it too. But I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to return the car above because unlike my lying landlord Nissan is actually helping you save money. This would be called a good or smart purchase. Renting from my landlord would be called a dumb or fraudulent purchase.

So here’s the benefits:

90 m/hr(120 km/hr..I think) That’s fast for an electric.

100 miles per charge which is way beyond the average city and/suburban trip. Too bad the name is weak. So I’ve come up with a few new names. Let me know if you like any:

1) The Nissan Air-as in clean air…umm..no kidding right?

2) The Nissan Cancerbeater-better than any new Cancer fighting drug you can buy from your local multi-national pharmaceutical company.

3) The Nissan TFFY (Too Future For You-some people will just never get why this vehicle is important.)

4) The NIssan Breathe-you can breathe in and out freely when you are around it because it has no exhaust!

5) The NIssan Savior-because you are literally saving people’s lives by using it…maybe even your own.

6) The Nisssan SmartER-because it makes the Mercedes SMART car look really stupid.

7) The Nissan FUOB (F**k U Oil Barons) maybe a little too aggressive…?

8) And finally the Nissan INDY..because buying one of these cars means that you’ve just taken a step towards independence from oil and all of the bad things related to it. Congratulations!

Oh, and oops there’s a 20,000 person waiting list…because(and this is pure sarcasm)-The Toronto Star claims that electric/hybrid cars are not popular choices these days..you know in the post-Inconvenient Truth/We’re all going to die days/because we’ve decided we can’t do anything about it so we might as well eat burgers and buy hummers again.

Am I being too sarcastic? I blame my landlord.

Nissan Leaf

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Chinese oil spill not covered in mainstream news…

Epoch Times covered another oil spill story in China 5 days ago. Was it major? You decide…and check your fish before eating…?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Gotta love winter cycling…

I have recently realized that winter cycling is just plain fun! Having moved back from the west coast I traded in my snowboard for a cyclocross bike..well, my snowboard and all my gear was stolen but whatever. Anyway, I’ve recently been ripping the city in the snow on my bike and it sort of feels like snowboarding without all of the expense and drive time. It is a very serene experience to be quitely riding down the street during a snowfall, breathing in the fresh air, skidding around corners and watching people sloshing around down the sidewalks in their furry boots and down-filled jackets trying to stay warm. Staying warm isn’t usually an issue for me because the heat generated from riding makes you warmer faster than any heated seats.

Below is a good article about all of the intricacies of riding in the winter but I prefer the trial and error method of approaching the winter snow. Stay dry and keep an eye out for weather impaired drivers!

Treehugger article

Enjoy!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

H&M fined for organic cotton fraud.

This is going to start happening more often as the bigger companies try to add less toxic materials to their supply chains. There are always going to be cheaters on the supply side because there are always greedy, careless business owners. However, H&M admitted the mistakes and are trying to correct them. Am I letting them off the hook? Not really. But I’m not going to trash them today.  You can read the full story at treehugger.com.

It is interesting to note that third party certification agencies EcoCert and Control Union were fined. Why is this interesting? I’m not sure because I just realized I won’t remember these names come purchase time anyway..or will I?

Oh and I chose this picture because India is the largest producer of organic cotton.

Enjoy.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Sustainable Sushi: No farmed salmon please!

I recently found this interesting tidbit about sustainable sushi while browsing the internet trying to figure out how I would eat fish again after hearing that farmed fish was not such a healthy alternative to wild fish.

However, I was not satisfied with the tiny bit of information that was provided in this clip. I wanted to know more and figured that others would too.  So then I found this little guide to sustainable sushi by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

It gives you the straight up facts on the best choices, the best alternatives and the fish to avoid at all costs.

For example, it says quite point blank to avoid farmed salmon unless you like eating pesticides and PCBs. On the best choice board I found that I could still eat shrimp and prawn by the bucket load as long as it was from BC or Oregon.(sorry tiger shrimp but you are on the AVOID list.)

For a great in depth read on what fish are healthy and sustainable this is the guide.

enjoy.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The Renewable Energy Revolution is coming…but don’t trust your banker.

**photo courtesy of Treehugger

With all the economic bad news that the media is ramming into our brains these days it’s nice to hear that people are actually doing something about it; changing.  Investors are now happily dumping money into renewable energy projects(solar, wind and geothermal) because they have realized that you don’t have to go to war, kill hundreds of thousands of people, ruin entire regions and destroy your country’s economy just to get enough energy to drive your fat ass a block to the 7-Eleven to get a slurpee.(a little harsh maybe but you get my point?)

This is a great article from the people at Treehugger about all the new projects being started in the United States. It gives me hope..though I’m wondering where Canada is in comparison?

**this is the prime minister of Canada with his best friend Oily.

Is Canada going to become the newest lameduck country to blame for destroying the environment?  Where are all the alternative energy projects in Canada, or are there any? It is sad to think that Canadians pride themselves on being smarter and healthier than their American cousins and yet we can’t even contain the stink that eminates from our backyard.  With Bush leaving soon the Prime Minister of Canada is going to start looking like a weasel among the chickens. After all, Stephen Harper has the foresight of a goat and this new president in the US is going to make him look like the “nerd turned evil power mongering money whore” that he is. (way too harsh I know!)

Ok, how do I end this on a positive note?

This last quote from the article was somehow inspiring and hopeful. Enjoy.

“this energy transition is being driven by an intense excitement from the realization that people are now tapping energy sources that can last as long as the earth itself. Oil wells go dry and coal seams run out, but for the first time since the industrial revolution we are investing in energy sources that can last forever. This is the legacy we can leave for future generations.”

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

China bans plastic bags! Communists are working for David Suzuki!

plasticbagchina.jpg

ABC NEWS Photo

Yes, unbelievable to me too! China is taking the environment, or at least plastic bag pollution, seriously. The article in in Treehugger explains that the Chinese use over 3 billion bags every day!

The funniest part about the new law is that some people complained that it would hurt shop owners and consumers… but those people stopped complaining very quickly …or maybe they just disappeared? After all, in communism “there’s no saying NO to the State Council.”

Those of you wondering why we don’t have the same policies in Canada and the U.S. might want to ask yourselves how many of us would “whine and complain” about it being inconvenient. I am not calling all of us “spoiled consumers” but there are a good many that would feel it was “their right to have free plastic bags with their groceries.” I believe a good many of those people probably think it is also their right to own guns, smoke in public places and throw their trash in a local ditch.

Not to be too ridiculous, it is probably quite possible for us to pass a law that bans free plastic bags but it is not going to come from our government. In the case of Canada, Harper and the boys are too busy giving tax credits to the biggest polluters in the world, the companies pilfering the Alberta tar sands! No really they are..people in the US are even starting to complain about it and it’s ruining our good name as peacekeepers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Oops, there I go again being ridiculous?

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Uneducated people drink more bottled water?…

picture-3.png

CBC Report

Yes, it seems that the less educated are drinking more bottled water..well, it’s probably better than Coke!

On the other hand, the extra plastic bottles aren’t doing much for the environment.

So if you or any of your friends fall into the “stupid bottled water drinkers”(ha! sorry.) category then here’s some good information for you:

Tap water is safer! Why? According to this article tap water is tested every day and bottled water companies are tested every 3 years. WTF? That is a huge difference!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008