Archive for Environment

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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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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Edible Packaging: If the smoothie didn’t fill you up, the cup will!

I have recently heard of a new trend on the rise – edible packaging! So far in Vancouver, the only place to try it is the White Rabbit candies with their edible rice paper wrapping. But globally, edible packaging is becoming a real thing and being sold at some Whole Foods Stores and smaller businesses.

In the same vain as edible packaging is the new line of biodegradable packaging by Swedish design firm Tomorrow Machines. These containers are designed to decompose at the same rate as the food they hold!

Just think about how much plastic will be kept out of landfills! With edible packaging, these containers can either be eaten or harmlessly melted away on the grass! No chemicals, no harmful dyes – pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see this trend on the rise in Vancouver – sign me up!

Check out this article from The Guardian

A bottle made of wax-coated caramelized sugar, for example, is suitable for olive oil, since the material doesn’t react with the fatty liquids

A bottle made of wax-coated caramelized sugar, for example, is suitable for olive oil, since the material doesn’t react with the fatty liquids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A container made from agar seaweed gel is best for sugary drinks like fruit juices and smoothies.

A container made from agar seaweed gel is best for sugary drinks like fruit juices and smoothies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soft beeswax packaging labeled with soy-ink works for Basmati rice.

Soft beeswax packaging labeled with soy-ink works for Basmati rice.

 

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Refillable: Business is Booming in Vancouver

Reduce, reuse, recycle and REFILL! The refill phenomenon is taking Vancouver, and other major cities, by storm. From cleaning products, to personal care and even beer, shops all over the city are popping up to refill your containers.

The idea of reducing waste by creating refillable packages is not new. Method is a line of personal and household cleaning products sold in various major retail stores. They offer dispensers that are intended to be refilled with Methods refill products, which are sold in larger quantities and in reduced packing. Not everything they sell is refillable and not every store offers it. I know you can get your salon products refilled at some hair salons, but that is more about product type, not recycling. The fact is, until now, refillable was a nice thought, but offered little selection and still required packaging, and shipping to a store near you.

These new refill stores are offering an incredible selection of personal and household products, too many to list. Often made locally and/or in Canada, the products are generally cleaner, greener and safer. By requiring you to bring your own bottles, they are dramatically reducing the plastic waste that ends up in landfills or floating at sea.

While soap and shampoo refills are awesome, I have to say that the increased availability of Growlers is my favourite refill trend. What’s a growler? It’s a large bottle, similar to a milk jug, that’s made of glass and made to keep your fresh beer in your fridge for a few days. There are so many local breweries in Vancouver that offer these and who doesn’t want a fresh pitcher or Mocha Porter in the fridge?

For more information check out:

 

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Zero Waste Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up and with it comes the opportunity to celebrate your mother! She may have gone crazy sometimes, given up hobbies, even careers to raise you, but now you are a thoughtful, caring and environmental grown up, so her efforts were not in vain.

I know I wasn’t the only one who grew up listening to their mom constantly remind them not to be wasteful. Demands such as “don’t waste your food”, “close the front door”, “take the toaster to the repair shop” and even, “Don’t waste your breath” were frequent. It seems mother’s are natural conservationists. Considering my career choice and environmental leanings, I am going to go ahead and say mom had an impact.

So this year, what about celebrating your mom and her words of wisdom and natural environmental leanings by having a zero waste Mother’s Day!

If you really want to impress Mom call Fresh Start and book the Mother’s Day Ultimate Clean and Tidy! Fresh Start and Out of Chaos are teaming up to bring you the gift that is both zero waste AND sure to thrill!

Appointments can be booked between now and Sunday May 10th, 2015. For a little more information about Linda and Thomas, please read on!

Out of Chaos Professional Organizing Solutions

Need to reclaim that extra bedroom? Don’t know where to begin digging out?  Call in the professional organizers at Out of Chaos.  They will sort you out and clear your stuff so that you can enjoy your space again.

Check out their great reviews on Yelp

 Fresh Start Recycling and Disposal

Have you got clutter you don’t know what to do with? It’d be simple if it was all just trash, but it’s not! Fresh Start’s approach is simple: we show up on time, sort thoroughly, recycle conscientiously, and haul efficiently. We’re dedicated junk haulers who use our talent for cleaning up big messes to create opportunities for growth in our community – particularly Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES)!

Hear what out clients love about Fresh Start

 

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Cool Green Technology

Check out these top 15 strange (often very strange) green technology ideas. There is some cool stuff happening out there. So much of it seems to be about changing the way we see and do our everyday things… The Green Warrior shower curtain that grows spikes when you surpass your water limit! Now THAT is some encouragement to turn off the tap! The blood lamp that requires a drop of blood to activate the light would make me think twice about wasting electricity.

Then there are the outright paradigm shifting ideas like the Lilypads, self-sufficient floating cities that would each accommodate up to 50,000 people, 3D Food Printers and Lab Meat – check it out.

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