[Green Communities News] GCNews #588 – 7 July 2008
Ontario is taking a close look at Germany’s
legislated commitment to green energy, thanks to meetings at the World Wind Energy Conference in
Kingston last week. Brent Kopperson, who co-chaired the conference,
reports that Ontario energy minister George
Smitherman and his staff met at length with German
parliamentarian and renewables champion Herman Scheer during the
conference. Four Ontario cabinet ministers attended the event, which
drew over 600 delegates world wide. The key message from the
conference: “One hundred per cent renewables is doable,” says Brent,
who also chairs Green Communities
Canada and manages Windfall Ecology Centre, a
GCC member based in Toronto and York Region.
BUILDING. Some 1200
delegates, 150 exhibitors, 40 speakers, 65 journalists, 80
volunteers, and more than 60 sponsors attended Canada Green Building Council
(CaGBC)’s Shifting into the
Mainstream conference. Nancy
Grenier, CaGBC manager of Marketing and Communications and GCC
Board member, has been labouring hard on this for months.
GM. Kathy Maggs is now the Elora Centre for Environmental
Excellence‘s new General Manager following Don Eaton’s
MONITORING. The Schoolyard Summer
Institute shows teachers how to do environmental monitoring on
their schoolyards. Cross-curricular and hands-on. Offered by the Association
for Canadian Educational Resources.
FUTURE. Universities, hospitals and civic
centres are excellent candidates for small-scale combined heat and
power (CHP) plants. Places of
Power, an Ontario Clean Air Alliance fact sheet, includes four
case studies which demonstrate the wide range of applications and
the many benefits of CHP systems.
WASTE. A new group intends to lobby the
government and educate the public about strategies that would see
municipal waste diversion rates climb to more than 90%. The Ontario
Zero Waste Coalition (no website yet) wants industry to pay 100% of
the net cost of blue box recycling, product stewardship programs,
and the disposal of non-recyclable, non-compostable items. It
advocates reducing packaging, enacting extended producer
responsibility laws, better design and enhanced take-back programs.
FOOD. The eco-gastronomic organization Slow Food USA has 16,000
members in 47 states. Programs and events include Slow Food in
Schools, Slow Food on Campus, Slow dinners, Taste workshops, Slow Food Nation
conference. Affiliated to the Italian University of Gastronomic
FISH. Canada’s Seafood
Guide is a two-pages brochure which ensures you are serving the
most environmentally friendly choice for our ocean’s and fisheries.
It classifies fish and seafood products into Best Choice, Some
Concerns and Avoid categories. Also useful to avoid serving PCBs for
Council of Ontario‘s Take Back the Light
program is North America’s first comprehensive fluorescent lamp
recycling program for the industrial, commercial and institutional
sector. In Ontario, 30 million mercury-containing fluorescent lamps
go to landfills every year.
FUTURE. “Imagine a world in twenty years, in
which no substantive progress has been made to provide basic
wastewater service in the Third World, or to force industry and
industrial agriculture production to stop polluting water systems,
or to curb the mass movement of water by pipeline, tanker and other
diversion, which will have created huge new swaths of desert.” From
Maude Barlow’s latest book, Blue
Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the
Right to Water.
LEGAL. On behalf of Friends of the Earth Canada,
pro-bono lawyers from Paliare Roland Barristers and Ecojustice are
the Government of Canada for violating the Kyoto
Protocol Implementation Act by allegedly failing to comply with
domestic law and meeting its international commitments to combat
BAG. Starch-based poop bags biodegrade without
leaving any traces when exposed to heat and water. See article Boston
LIGHT. Watch US Sierra Club’s videos, How many politicians
does it take to change a light bulb? and Lawmakers
in the dark.