10 Facts about Canada – True North Strong and Free

  1. The average low for the month of January in Ottawa, Ont. is -14.4 C. That’s pretty cold. However, a temperature recorded in 1947 in Snag, Yukon makes the rest of Canada’s winter weather seem like a beach vacation. A temperature of -63 C was recorded in the small village of Snag on Feb. 3, 1947. That’s roughly the same temperature as the surface of Mars!
  2. Canada’s really big! Bigger than the European Union, more than 30 per cent larger than Australia, five times as big as Mexico and three times as big as India.
  3. Canada has lots of trees! Canada actually has 30 per cent of the world’s boreal forest and 10 per cent of the world’s total forest cover? An incredible 396.9 million hectares of forest and other wooded land can be found across the country — about 68 per cent of Canada’s forests are coniferous.
  4. We have national parks BIGGER than countries! Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories is an incredible 30,050 square kilometres — bigger than Albania and Israel.
  5. The Big Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario is the world’s largest coin. It is a huge reproduction of a 1951 Canadian nickel and measures 9 meters in diameter.
  6. Actor Leslie Nielsen is Canadian and his brother Erik was the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada for two years, from 1984 to 1986.
Canada Blog Image July 2015

Leslie and Erik Nielson, even when you become deputy Prime Minister you can still be upstaged by your brother wearing a dress.

  1. Canada basically got its name by mistake. When Jaques Cartier, a French explorer, came to the new world, he met with local Natives who invited them to their ‘kanata’ (the word for ‘village’. The party mistakenly thought the name of the country was “Kanata” or Canada.
  2. The Hotel de Glace in Quebec is built every year using 400 tons of ice and 12 000 tons of snow. Every summer it melts away and every winter it is rebuilt.
image ice for July 2015

This ice hotel in Quebec is rebuilt every year to open for three months. It takes 50 workers a month and a half to construct.

  1. Canada’s only desert in British Columbia is only 15 miles long and is the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk on.
  2. Famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Avril Lavigne, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey.

    Canada Dat

    OH Canada

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Killer Waste

Bottle caps, pen lids, twist ties, that little piece that snapped off your kid’s toy the other day.  Individually these items and others like them may seem small and harmless, and individually, for the most part, they are.  Sadly if they are not disposed of properly and recycled these small pieces of plastic will become lethal for sea birds and other forms of marine life.

A study of albatross chicks on Midway Atoll, a tiny island in the center of the pacific ocean, found that forty percent died before fledging: their stomachs packed with plastic debris that their parents had mistaken for food.  If this is happening thousands of kilometers from any major population centers, imagine what the waters off the coasts of our cities must look like.

Please reduce the use of disposable plastic products and recycle what you can to divert all these little, lethal pieces of plastic from our landfills and oceans. If you need a little inspiration scroll down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog for July 2015 Killer Waste

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A River Run Through Us: Facts about the Mighty Fraser

You may camp beside it, maybe you fish it. You may white water raft it or face it alone in a kayak with nothing but a wet suit and courage – and not to little upper body strength. The Fraser River is many things to many people, for some, the beautiful view they see from their porch in the morning, to others a source of food and life. Here are a few facts you may not have known about the Fraser.

  • The Fraser River /ˈfreɪzər/ is the longest river within British Columbia, Canada, rising at Fraser Pass near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1,375 kilometres (854 mi), into the Strait of Georgia at the city of Vancouver.
  • It is the tenth longest river in Canada.
  • The river’s annual discharge at its mouth is 112 km3 (27 cubic miles or 3550 m3/s), and it discharges 20 million tons of sediment into the ocean.
  • The river is named for Simon Fraser, who led an expedition on behalf of the North West Company from the site of present-day Prince George almost to the mouth of the river.
  • The river’s name in the Halqemeylem (Upriver Halkomelem) language is Sto:lo, often seen archaically as Staulo, and has been adopted by the Halkomelem-speaking peoples of the Lower Mainland as their collective name, Sto:lo.
  • The river’s name in the Dakelh language is Lhtakoh.
  • The Tsilhqot’in name for the river, not dissimilar to the Dakelh name, is ʔElhdaqox, meaning Sturgeon (ʔElhda) River (Qox).
  • About 600 freighters use the Fraser River each year. These boats come from Korea, Japan, Australia, China, USA, South America and Europe!
  • There are more than 65 kinds of fish in the Fraser.
  • The Fraser River is home to six kinds of SALMON – it is one of the greatest salmon producing rivers in the WORLD!
  • All of Great Britain would fit into the Fraser River Watershed.

For more environmental information about the Fraser visit Davidsuzuki.org

Check out some beautiful photographs of the Fraser at http://photoblog.mrussellphotography.com/tag/fraser-river/

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Clean Wood Disposal Ban – either sort it, or pay up!

The City of Vancouver has a had a program in place to divert clean wood from the city’s landfill since the start of the year, but up until now they have just been identifying loads containing more than 10% clean wood.  As of the first of July the clean wood disposal ban goes into full effect and any load with more than that 10% clean wood will have a 50% surcharge added so it’s in your best interests to make sure clean wood is separated out.

Just what is clean wood?  It is any is solid wood, lumber, and pallets that are unpainted, unstained, untreated, and free of glue.  Nails and staples are still OK.  Clean wood can be dropped off at any of Metro Vancouver’s transfer stations and disposal facilities.

 

Clean Wood Recycling and Disposal Ban

Metro Vancouver Transfer Stations

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Have a Beer!

Working outside in the hot sun, sitting inside breathing recycled air listening to soft rock or just celebrating a great night with friends, whatever your reason is, having a beer is better for your than you think!

  1. Beer keeps your kidneys healthy A Finnish study singled out beer among other alcoholic beverages, finding that it was better for your kidneys. In fact, each bottle of beer you drink reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%.
  2. Beer, and especially dark beer, contains soluble fibre – unlike wine, which doesn’t contain any fibre at all
  3. The fibre in beer can also help reduce your levels of LDL cholesterol, i.e. the “bad” type of cholesterol.
  4. Beer is full of B vitamins from the yeast. Unfiltered beer is especially high in B3, B6 and folic acid (B9). B3 aids in cell repair and B6 eases PMS. Folic acid aids in colon cancer prevention. Beer is also a generous source of vitamin B12, an anti-anaemic factor not found in many foods.
  5. Multiple studies have shown that beer drinkers had an approximately 30 percent lower risk of type-2 diabetes than test subjects who abstained.
  6. Beer as a cure for insomnia Lactoflavin and nicotinic acid, which are both present in beer, can promote sleep!
  7. Beer reduces your risk of a heart attack Beer drinkers have a 40 to 60 percent reduced risk of suffering a heart attack compared with non-beer drinkers.
  8. According to studies, beer drinkers are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The research suggests a high intake of silicon limits aluminum absorption in the brain.
  9. Beer helps combat stress Researchers at the University of Montreal found that two glasses of beer a day can reduce work-related stress or anxiety.
  10. Beer makes skin more beautiful Good news for women! Certain vitamins in beer can regenerate the skin and have a positive impact on pigmentation. Your skin becomes smoother and suppler.
  11. Beer could keep bones strong. Researchers at Tufts University found a positive link between beer or wine consumption and hip-bone density. Heavy drinking, however, led to bone loss, according to the same study, so be conservative.

So on that note, here is a list of some local microbreweries and brewpubs in Vancouver

Yaletown Brewing Company Brewpub
Granville Island Brewing Microbrewery
Horseshoe Bay Brewing Microbrewery
R&B Brewing Co. Microbrewery
Storm Brewing Microbrewery
Steamworks Brewing Brewpub
Dockside Brewing Company Brewpub
Pat’s Pub Brewpub
Coal Harbour Brewing Company Microbrewery
33 Acres Brewing Co. Microbrewery
Parallel 49 Brewing Company Microbrewery
Brassneck Brewery Microbrewery
Powell Street Craft Brewery Microbrewery
Bomber Brewing Microbrewery
Strange Fellows Brewing Microbrewery

aug30beer

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DIY Vertical Garden

What a great way to add a little green to your outdoor space. No matter how small your outdoor space, this vertical garden is a simple way to add some colour, or maybe even some strawberries to your patio. This DIY project is super simple and inexpensive. In fact, some twine, a few nails and your leftover 2L plastic pop bottles are all you need! Of course, it’ll be a lot nicer if you add some dirt, seed or seedlings and water.

I think this would be a great way to start a beginner herb garden – keep each one in their own bottle, label them with a permanent marker and you have fresh herbs all summer long. Enjoy.

Tools:

  • 2L bottles
  • Strings or Wire
  • For those using wire, you need 2 washers per bottle
  • Scissors
  • Dirt
  • Seeds or small plants

For a step by step tutorial check out this link: bit.ly/1AkU8a8

Bottle Garden

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Winnipeg Recycler Hailed as a “Rock Star”

The Star reported a short story about a man in Winnipeg who sent 41,767 cigarette butts to a company to recycle. In turn they have called him a hero. A nice, inspirational story to remind us all that there are good people out there making a difference and we could be one of them – assuming we are willing to go that EXTRA mile.

The cool thing I took away from this article was the company itself and what they are doing! TerraCycle takes previously un-recyclable or hard to recycle items, like the dreaded coffee pods and snack pouches, and recycles them into useable goods. They run various programs, called Brigades, and you can check them out online, collect your waste, order a shipping label from them and then post your waste – Voilà!

Take a couple of minutes and check out their site and then tell a friend! They are a great example of next step thinking – some municipalities are still struggling to offer standard recycling, TerraCycle brings recycling to the door of those who want and can do it!

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