Archive for December, 2010

Beer. Environmentally, and tax friendly.

Last night I made beer. At home. In my kitchen. And holy smokes is it ever EASY!

I put on an hour-long podcast and had everything cleaned up and put away before it was over. I followed the instructions you can find here http://www.beermaking.ca/

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If I’d realized how easy it was (it’s been about 5 years since the last time I made beer); it’s fairly safe to assume that everyone I know would have been getting beer this Christmas.

Not only is making beer at home EASY, but it’s environmentally lower impact and, wallet friendly. The beer I made cost me $20 and will yield about 23L when all is said and done. 23L should work out to about 65 bottles of beer. What would you pay for those same 65 bottles at the liquour store? Around $100, about $80 of it is profit and tax. Also, when you make beer at home, the ingredients are really only “food”. Malt, barley, different grains, yeast. All “food”, so no HST. No HST, no liquor tax, and no profit to big breweries like Molson and Labatt’s (not that there’s anything wrong with them). Hmmm, I think I’m on to something here…

Why is it good for the environment? Because what’s better than putting beer bottles in the blue box? Using them again! And again, and again. When I started making beer YEARS ago, my dad gave me all his old including a whole bunch of seed bottles. I have used some of those bottles 10 to 15 times and maybe more, I don’t count. The thing with glass is that it’s heavy, and it costs more in fuel to move heavy things. You can move and recycle a lot more pop cans per unit of fuel burnt than beer bottles so the best way to recycle glass is to reuse it. Beer making is my favourite way to recycle glass.

So, in summary, making beer is good for your wallet, it’s fun to do with your family (I’m making apple cider with my Dad for his Christmas Present (I can mention that on the web because he wouldn’t be able to find my blog if you walked him over to the computer)), and it’s great for the environment.

If you have any beer questions of your own, don’t be shy to ask. Beer making (and recycling) is/are some of my favourite things to talk about!!!! 🙂

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Opt out of the Yellow Pages

Want to opt out of the Yellow Pages? Courtesy of @cleanbinproject today I learned that you can opt out of the Yellow Pages. Here’s the link she gave her twitter following http://delivery.ypg.com/delivery/

Not only does the Yellow Pages use a whole heck of a lot of paper to be created, it’s basically unnecessary. Umm Google? It’s a wonderful thing. Want a Pizza? Go to google maps, type in “Pizza near ‘my address'” and presto, there’s your answer.

Also, the Yellow Pages and Canpages, are expensive to advertise in. If you want an ad that makes an impact, you need to spend around $1000 each and every month (even the slow ones!!) otherwise you’ll blend in with all the other ads in your category. Now, what’s the point of that?

Thirdly, they weigh a lot (I don’t have one handy to weigh but I did ask the greater twitter community via @startrecycling. If I were to guess, I’d say around 2 KG.) And what do we burn all that fuel for in our vehicles? To move the 150lb driver? No! That fuel is burnt to move the 1500 KG steel cage that surrounds the 75KG driver. (If you just want to move a body, a 50cc scooter engine will work handily at 60kmph)

So, not only does printing all those Yellow Pages impact the environment (I wasn’t able to find the number that are delivered in Vancouver but I expect it to be 100’s of thousands in the Metro Vancouver area) just in terms of ink, paper, etc. But think of the fuel burnt necessary to move them to their delivery locations and then pick them up when they’ve sat unread for a year holding doors open etc. Then they go across sorting lines, sorted by people that drove to work, in heated buildings and they have to be kept out of the cardboard and then shipped to a mill to be turned into pulp and so on. That’s a heck of a footprint vs. Googling “Pizza”, or “Fresh Start Recycling”.

Fresh Start will NEVER pay to advertise in the paper version of the Yellow Pages. It’s not right. It’s bad for the environment and we shouldn’t accept this from our citizens.

Check out Miss 604’s article on this from last year: http://www.miss604.com/2009/10/yellow-pages-custom-delivery.html I also borrowed her picture below.

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2010 Google Zeitgeist

A year in review according to Google. I didn’t realize all that had happened this year! I just emailed an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a few years and it occured to me as I was writing her that the last time we spoke, only birds “tweeted”, there was no such thing as the “iPhone”, and if you wanted to play video games, you had to slouch on your couch.

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