Category Archives: Green

“Earth Hour” – The Illusion of Eco-Salvation

Today (March 29, 2014) millions of people around the world will pretend to reduce their energy usage by turning off the lights and living in darkness for one hour. All in an effort to feel good about the wasteful consumer focused lifestyle they live the other 8759 hours of the year. Oh and also as a token effort to increase awareness of global warming.

The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then, more than 120 countries have participated in this cathartic display for the  purging of our eco-sins.

Now I know I run the risk of being  jumped by the truly green few that read these pages so I will do this disclaimer: I went to university to study environmental issues and environmental policy. My honors thesis was on Energy use, and Sustainable Energy Sources. I am a card carrying Green Party member. I just find eco-tokenism to be an hindrance to real change.

The noble ideal behind Earth Hour is that by consciously living in a more more eco-friendly way – even if only for those 60 minutes – it may change the way we live the other 8759 hours.

If you did participate by turning off all those things you didn’t really need during that hour – how much could it hurt to only turn things on when you actually need them!

If you think Earth Hour actually saves energy or reduces carbon emissions, well I have bad news for you. The power grid is designed to meet peak projected demands. Electricity is constantly being created and fed into the grid in the expectation that it MAY be needed. Power generation plants do not turn on/off based on current consumption. In fact in Ontario, Canada the local power system had to dump electricity during an unexpected warm-spell in January – by paying others to take it!

If you want to reduce overall energy generation (and our total carbon footprint) then you need to reduce your energy use all the time.  This changes the peak energy expectation – and then our energy generation stations will reduce their output based on averaging.

Earth Hour does start the conversation and is an opportunity for us all to look at our lifestyles and make real changes.

Below are some suggestions from WWF Canada on how to make a real change:

  • Leave the car at home. Consider walking instead of driving. You’ll get more exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Eat local. Your food will be fresher and will save harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Fly less. Enjoy a local vacation close to your home.
  • Be energy efficient. Opt for home appliance with a high energy efficiency. It’s better for the planet and will help you save money.
  • Use Green Power. Research if there are green energy providers in your area thatb provide your home with power generated from renewable energy sources.
  • Get a Home Energy Audit. It will show you how your home uses energy and where you can make improvements. It could result in hundreds of dollars in energy savings each year.
  • Hang Dry your clothes. Instead of using your energy-guzzling dryer, hang your clothes outside or in your laundry room.
  • Unplug unused appliances and electronics. Electrical devices draw energy even when they’re not switched on.
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June 16th: Happy National Fudge Day (USA)

After discovering it was International Fresh Veggies Day I remembered that the United States of America has many unique holidays and observances. I did a quick search for USA Observances and discovered that while the rest of the world celebrates Fresh Veggies today (along with Fathers Day) in the USA it is National Fudge Day.

I think I have nothing more to say – really you can draw your own conclusions on that one!

Veggies or Fudge? Which one to choose?

June 16th: Happy International Fresh Veggies Day

So you know how the internet is just made for random browsing of clicking from this that and the other thing? I know you don’t do that – ever. However, in my boredom this morning I did just that and guess what today is not just Fathers Day!

NO – it is more than that. It is International Fresh Veggies Day. A day to honour fresh food from the garden. It is spring here in the Northern Hemisphere of the world – and autumn down in the lands of the south. So all farming parts of the world are enjoying the bounty of Mother Earth while celebrating Fathers Day. It is like a mom and pop event today – so nice.

So all you kids in honour of your Dad – today be nice and eat your vegetables! It is good for you. Really it is. I’m a Dad and I just said so is why…

How are you celebrating today?

Ides of March

The ides of March have come,
bringing us rebirth
yet to be reborn
first one must die
and so Julius Caesar
birthed an empire
with his spilled blood
brightly flowing
down the cold steps

The ides of March have come,
warming us into life
moving us from ice
melting into renewal
and so Jesus Christ
birthed a religion
with his spilled blood
brightly flowing
down the cold stones

The ides of March have come,
bringing constant chaos
to lions and lambs
hoping for summer
and slow gentle breezes
sparking new dreams
without spilling blood
brightly living
in golden sunshine.

 

Caught Between Lovers

spring winked yesterday
making the sun blush
with unexpected heat
sending winter reeling

today winter returned
cool crisp and pure
soft white flakes dancing
across eager ripe buds

leaving me torn between
the beauty of two seasons
winter in powerful elegance
spring wild unexpected passion

both take my breath away
fill me with happy desire
the beauty of march means
for now I can enjoy both