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Natural capital innovation at the municipal level

Photo: Natural capital innovation at the municipal level

Cities and towns, like Gibsons, B.C., are putting a value on nature and placing it at the heart of their decision-making. (Credit: Bob Cotter via Flickr)

A growing number of municipal governments in Canada are becoming leaders in environmental innovation. One of those innovations involves a natural capital management approach where municipalities are making financial and risk management cases for preserving their natural capital assets. This is how cities and towns, like Gibsons, B.C., are putting a value on nature and placing it at the heart of their decision-making.

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How to be a backyard bird scientist

Queen of Green | February 9, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to be a backyard bird scientist

Meet the Cooper's Hawk. Often an unwelcome guest at backyard bird feeders. (Credit: Theresa Hannah)

Scientists asked themselves, "How can we create a real-time snapshot of bird populations around the world?"

The answer: You and me!

Once upon a time, I birded for a living. But this is great beginner fun. And like any hobby, you'll get better with practice.

Ten reasons not to miss The Great Backyard Bird Count (19th annual) from February 12 to 15, 2016:

  1. It's a great way to help teach kids to count
  2. You only need 15 minutes (but you can do it longer if you want)
  3. It's an opportunity to finally correctly identify that little brown bird
  4. El Nino means you might spot a rare species
  5. It's free
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Want to eat healthier? Sustainable seafood is a great choice

Healthy Oceans | February 4, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Want to eat healthier? Sustainable seafood is a great choice

By Theresa Beer, Senior Communications Specialist

Did you know that ounce for ounce, salmon delivers more omega-3 fatty acids than most types of fish?

Health Canada recommends eating fish — especially oily fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout — at least twice a week for its heart-protective benefits. Many of these fish are also good choices from a sustainability perspective, according to SeaChoice.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be destroyed by excessive heat when cooking. Baking, broiling, steaming and poaching is the best way to keep them. Smoked salmon is smoked at a low temperature and is usually higher in omega-3 fatty acids than cooked salmon.

Other oily fish that are in the most sustainable "green" category include: Arctic char, Atlantic mackerel, Pacific sardine and some species of farmed trout.

The revamped WildSalmonRecipes.com website highlights wild salmon recipes from some of the West Coast's most celebrated chefs.

Add some colour to your repertoire with three pepper wild salmon loaf. Add some spice by trying out chili grilled salmon with mango salsa.

Solar: A brilliant way to get energy

Science Matters | February 3, 2016 | 2 comments
Photo: Solar: A brilliant way to get energy
(Credit: NAIT via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

Except for nuclear and geothermal, all energy we use comes from the sun in one form or another. As sunlight reaches the Earth's surface, it powers heat transfers that move air and ocean currents, used for wind and tidal power. The sun evaporates water, contributing to the hydrologic cycle that fills reservoirs for hydroelectricity.

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Secrets to homemade hair care revealed

Queen of Green | January 31, 2016 | 8 comments
Photo: Secrets to homemade hair care revealed

Choose a natural conditioner that has the same pH as your body's acid mantle (pH 4 to 6), like an apple cider vinegar rinse. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

My store-bought shampoo contained Dirty Dozen ingredients, so I tried making my own and using less.

My attempts to avoid hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing ingredients AND protect fish and other wildlife from harmful toxics did a lot for my sanity... but not much for my hair.

What was I missing?

I quizzed shampoo-maker Bonnie of Zero Xeno (@Zero_Xeno).

Why worry about pH?

Hair care requires both alkaline (slightly higher pH) and acidic (lower pH) treatment. Formulating shampoo and conditioner is about balance. Hair needs to be cleaned without stripping its natural oils and acid mantle.

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Paris changed everything, so why are we still talking pipelines?

Science Matters | January 28, 2016 | 9 comments
Photo: Paris changed everything, so why are we still talking pipelines?
(Credit: Shannon Ramos via Flickr)

By David Suzuki

With the December Paris climate agreement, leaders and experts from around the world showed they overwhelmingly accept that human-caused climate change is real and, because the world has continued to increase fossil fuel use, the need to curb and reduce emissions is urgent.

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The money-saving food tip no one is talking about

Queen of Green | January 27, 2016 | 3 comments
Photo: The money-saving food tip no one is talking about

Add sad-looking produce and foods approaching their "best before" dates to your "Eat-me-first" bin. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

January, 2016 will go down as the "great Canadian cauliflower crisis" due to the cascading Canadian dollar, tumbling oil prices and California's drought.

Maybe you're immune to the hysteria because:

  1. You prefer local, seasonal produce
  2. Your household is already saving about $700 per year by not wasting food
  3. You willingly pay higher prices for organic, local and fair trade

High food prices are likely here to stay. In fact, Canadians should expect to spend $345 more this year on food. Where will that extra dough come from?

A hard-core solution: join the Bathurst family of New Brunswick — start homesteading. (They're so brave!)

A soft-core solution: Create an "Eat-me-first" bin or basket for the fridge.

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