Ontario craft breweries are serious about resource management

NRCAN / Heads Up CIPEC / Vol 21 No 4

“We know breweries are increasingly aware that water is the most important ingredient in their business operations,” says Kevin Jones, President of the BLOOM Centre for Sustainability. “They are starting to recognize the opportunities to save money in the beer-making process by reusing water, capturing free energy and diverting spent yeast and other materials to beneficial end-use applications.”

A 2016 survey of Ontario craft breweries, conducted by BLOOM, supports Jones’ statement indicating that 97 percent of respondents understand the importance of improving their water and resource management not only to address their bottom line but to protect the environment and be proactive community partners.

The survey indicates that respondents are either in the midst of or are planning numerous measures to address resource conservation. Key features include implementing more water efficient practices to reduce water use, diverging materials before they enter the drain, using dry cleaning techniques, monitoring water use in different parts of operations, implementing better wastewater management design, and installing technology to treat wastewater on-site.

To help craft breweries in their efforts to manage water sustainably, BLOOM launched an online platform, Water & Beer that provides them with detailed information on best practices in water management.

As the BLOOM survey has shown, awareness of resource conservation is increasing and there are a myriad of opportunities. Taking action on these opportunities will benefit their business, their local community and the environment.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

An IGA in Montreal is growing its own vegetables on the roof

Montreal Gazette / Jacob Serebrin / 20 July 2017

Tim Murphy bends down and pulls a healthy-looking bulb of garlic out of the ground.

Nearby, heirloom tomatoes grow next to several varieties of lettuce. It’s a large, well-maintained garden, but what really sets this garden apart is where it’s located. Murphy is a project manager and urban gardener for The Green Line: Green Roof, a Montreal-based company that installs green roofs, the garden he tends is on the roof of a grocery store.

IGA Extra Famille Duchemin, in the St-Laurent borough, says it’s the first grocery store in Canada to sell produce grown on its own roof.

More than 30 different kinds of produce are being grown on the 25,000-square-foot roof, and all of it is certified organic. In addition to tomatoes and lettuce, eggplant, radish, kale and basil are among the products growing here.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Weather pushes Ontario farmers to brink of disaster

Global News / Jeanne Pengelly / 13 July 2017

After last year’s dry, hot summer — one of the driest and hottest on record — farmers were hoping for a reprieve. The stunted crops last year led to a shortage of feed. Many local farmers, [beef farmer David] Whittington included, had to cull up to half their herds of cattle because they couldn’t feed them.

Now this year, the weather is dealing up the opposite — so much rain that the hay is soggy.

“No matter how old you are, we haven’t seen weather like this,” Whittington added. “Last year, we had the driest summer in a hundred years and now we have the wettest in 150 years.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 July 2017

The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that identifies the most effective ways people can cut their carbon emissions.

The next best actions are selling your car, avoiding long flights, and eating a vegetarian diet. These reduce emissions many times more than common green activities, such as recycling, using low energy light bulbs or drying washing on a line. However, the high impact actions are rarely mentioned in government advice and school textbooks, researchers found.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Freaked out by the New York magazine climate story? Good.

Vox / David Roberts / 11 July 2017

David Wallace-Wells has a cover story on climate change in New York magazine that has kicked up quite a discussion.

It’s about worst-case scenarios, i.e., what is likely to happen if we do nothing to change our current greenhouse-gas emissions trajectory. It answers the question: How bad could it get?

Turns out, it could get pretty bad. The dystopian future the piece describes is much worse, and forecast to happen much sooner, than most people — even people fairly well-versed in climate change — understand.

I won’t rehearse the parade of horribles, which range from exotic new (or old) diseases to starvation, dehydration, forced migration, and armed conflict. Instead, I want to address some of the critical reaction to the piece, which I have found … irksome.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Cut and come again edibles

The Edible Garden / Edythe Falconer / July 2017

If we want to get the best out of our plants harvesting them a bit at a time is a good idea and doesn’t leave gaps in rows of healthy homegrown goodies. There are several plants that lend themselves readily to this procedure.

Even those of us who don’t grow rhubarb will know that this plant will keep on regenerating throughout the growing season. You in turn as the prospective cook will always have fresh stems near at hand. Top dressing around the plant once or twice per year will ensure good production over time.

There are other plants that are similarly obliging and at least two of them belong to the cabbage family. These are broccoli and broccolini. In the case of broccoli once the main stem has been harvested the plant will keep on producing smaller heads that are just as tasty as the larger first one.

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
TB Projects

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