Cars, air travel, space exploration, television, nuclear power, high-speed computers, telephones, organ transplants, prosthetic body parts... At various times these were all deemed impossible. I've been around long enough to have witnessed many technological feats that were once unimaginable. Even 10 or 20 years ago, I would never have guessed people would carry supercomputers in their pockets — your smart phone is more powerful than all the computers NASA used to put astronauts on the moon in 1969 combined!Continue reading »
The City of Vancouver's goal of shifting to 100 per cent renewable energy sources is a positive step that sets an example for other cities and regions. Big problems require big solutions. The City of Vancouver has become a leader with its plan to phase out environmentally damaging carbon emissions. Recent reports by the world's leading scientific body on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, show that the climate change crisis is already having profound effects on communities around the world.Continue reading »
Many people think of Canada as a landscape of forests, mountains, water and ice, but the Canadian experience is fast becoming focused on glass and concrete. Our 2011 census revealed that 81 per cent of us now live in cities. And despite taking up less land space, our environmental impact continues to grow. As the UN notes, cities cover only two per cent of the world's land area but produce 60 per cent of CO2 emissions — including a significant proportion from urban transportation, as people commute to school and work on increasingly crowded roads and transit networks.Continue reading »
I don't eat meat. But I know people who do.
And my carnivorous friends and family have questions, concerns and mixed feelings about the animals they consume.
How can consumers know if an animal is raised with compassion and care?
Get to know your farmer. If you can't visit the farm or meet in-person, call. (Many farmers have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.)
Ask your local grocer what's behind any "sustainable" or "ethical" meat claims.
What should I ask my farmer?
- What do you feed your animals, where does it come from and does it change with the seasons?
- Can I visit your farm? (Note: Some decline farm visits to reduce stress on animals or for another good reason.)
- What are you most proud of?
- What do you wish you could do better or hope to improve?
Watching grizzly bears catch and eat salmon as they swim upstream to spawn is an unforgettable experience. Many people love to view the wild drama. Some record it with photos or video. But a few want to kill the iconic animals — not to eat, just to put their heads on a wall or coats on a floor.Continue reading »
By Kyle Empringham, Public Engagement Specialist
Shaun and Sonia Strobel work out of Fish Locker D, just west of Vancouver's Granville Island. Once or twice a week, they open up shop for members of Skipper Otto's to come in and collect their shares of seafood.Continue reading »
Recycling feels good. But some of us may be getting too much of this good thing...
Because "recycle" is the last "R" in "reduce, reuse and recycle." And, with some exceptions — cell phones, batteries, light bulbs, plastic bags, medications, for example — we've become too good at it.
If your blue bin is full to the brim each week, maybe you need another solution.
Learn how to recycle less! Here's why:
Perform this quick experiment at home:
- Step one: Inventory the blue bin. (It's full of plastic, right?)
- Step two: Search your home for goods made with 100 per cent post-consumer plastic. (I found a few Green Toys made from recycled plastic milk jugs — #2 or HDPE, recycled plastic planks (lumber) as our walkway and an Organic Girl tub of greens. That's it.)
I can't confirm where all the plastic you're diligently recycling goes (and I'm not into conspiracies). What's clear is that other "R's" deserve our attention — reduce, reuse, refuse, reclaim, renew, revitalize, refurbish, rethink and redesign, to name a few.Continue reading »