Industrial activity has profoundly affected the Blueberry River First Nations in northern B.C. A recent Atlas of Cumulative Landscape Disturbance, by the First Nations, the David Suzuki Foundation and Ecotrust, found 73 per cent of the area inside its traditional territory is within 250 metres of an industrial disturbance and 85 per cent is within 500 metres.
In other words, in much of the territory, which once supported healthy moose and caribou populations, it's difficult if not impossible to walk half a kilometre before hitting a road, seismic line or other industrial infrastructure. Local caribou populations are threatened with extinction mainly because of habitat disturbance caused by industrial activity and ensuing changes to predator-prey dynamics.Continue reading »
I'm mostly a walker and runner, not a bicycle rider, but I find myself drawn to cycling nevertheless. Why is that?
I like what it does to Toronto, my city, and appreciate the cyclist's physical presence. The steady pumping of thighs as the rider progresses up Beverley Street, up St. George, at human speed, human scale.Continue reading »
Plants for DIY recipes:
- Lavender — an exfoliant in cold-process soap
- Rosemary — for shampoo (for people and pets), foot soak and mouthwash
- Peppermint — also for shampoo
If you could grow only one herb, what would it be?
Peppermint! It aids digestion and treats nausea and headaches. You can use it in teas, tinctures, compresses, poultices, salves, syrups and in water.
For example, combine peppermint with elder and yarrow to treat fevers. Or use as a cold tea for a compress to relive puffy or swollen eyes. (Lindsay: I've used it to treat sunburn!)
People have harnessed energy from moving water for thousands of years. Greeks used various types of water wheels to grind grain in mills more than 2,000 years ago. In the late 1800s, people figured out how to harness the power to produce electricity. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, hydropower has expanded, producing about 17 per cent of the world's electricity by 2014 and about 85 per cent of renewable energy — and it shows no signs of slowing.Continue reading »
I've been making laundry soap for a decade. It's cheaper than store-bought eco-friendly options and works just as well. I make this recipe once a month:
Liquid laundry soap recipe
Preparation time: 10 minutes or less
Yield: seven litres
Shelf life: six months
7 L (28 cups) hot water
250 ml (1 cup) baking soda
250 ml (1 cup) liquid castile soap
80 ml (1/3 cup) salt
Feeding more than seven billion people with minimal environmental and climate impacts is no small feat. That parts of the world are plagued by obesity while starvation is rampant elsewhere shows part of the problem revolves around distribution and social equity. But agricultural methods pose some of the biggest challenges.Continue reading »
To prevent being "treeprived," you grab yourself some Vitamin "N" and end up with a mosquito bite. (Living in Canada, we're fortunate an annoying itch is likely all we'll get...)
- You need to brush up on mosquito bite prevention techniques.
- You taste better. (One study shows skeeters find blood type O more enticing than A.)
- You're an animal.
I brush up on mosquito bite remedies every spring or summer I travel to Alberta to visit family and friends. (In Vancouver many people don't even have screens on windows!)
Get quick itch relief from a few familiar ingredients you have in your pantry:Continue reading »