Transition Brockville archive

Category : How To (498)

Invest in the highest value asset: Personal skills

The Daily Bell / Joe Jarvis / 16 June 2017

That’s what this world needs: skills. Raw resources are useless without the skill to properly apply them.

There are skills for financial gain, skills for personal gain, and skills for a backup plan. Most of them overlap; something once a hobby can become a career, for instance becoming a tennis instructor. Or a skill that is a “backup plan” can become the bread and butter in an emergency, like keeping bees or growing a garden.

Tangible assets are a needed hedge when it seems everything–the stock market, real estate, bonds–are overvalued or in a bubble. A good useful skill is as tangible an asset as they get. And unlike resources, a skill cannot so easily be taken from you.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Zero Carbon Building Standard

Canada Green Building Council / May 2017

The Canadian green building sector has been active – for decades – in finding ways to limit harmful impacts from the built environment. While many of these efforts have been voluntary, an increasing number of governments across the country have recognized the potential of the building sector to fight climate change and have set more specific targets. To meet the COP21 goal of keeping global average temperature increases well below 2ºC, green building organizations around the world are supporting the objective of eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the operation of new buildings by 2030, and eliminating the GHG emissions from all buildings by 2050.

To meet those targets, bold new approaches are required to drive innovation. For its part, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has created a new zero carbon standard for assessing the carbon performance of commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings in Canada. The CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard is a unique, made-in-Canada solution to achieving our climate change commitments, providing a path for both new and existing buildings to reach zero carbon.

[ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ]

6 methods for harvesting rainwater

Mother Earth News / Kelly Coyne, Erik Knutzen / 30 April 2014

After conservation, the second step toward water independence is harvesting rainwater. The number of ways you can go about this might surprise you.

Rainwater harvesting is an easy and positive course of action for people in nearly every climate in the world. Living in a dry place such as the desert southwest may make it seem more urgent, but no matter where we live, rainwater harvesting is a positive step toward changing our attitude toward the water that falls for free from the sky. Rainwater can be sent to where nature intended it to go — to the soil.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Reporting invasive species

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

In Ontario, there are numerous agencies and monitoring programs in place that collect information and/or identify the distribution of invasive species. Monitoring programs generate large quantities of data, often covering a wide geographic area, multiple species, and lengthy time periods. Invasive species cross jurisdictional boundaries, so it is important to be able to share monitoring information with neighbouring provinces and states, and with the federal government. Effective data management improves our ability to detect and respond to invasive species, while avoiding duplication of effort.

EDDMapS documents the presence of invasive species. A simple, interactive Web interface enables participants to submit their observations or view results through interactive queries into the EDDMapS database. EDDMapS encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps.

Users simply enter information from their observations into the standardized on-line data form, which allows specific information about the infestation and images to be added. Information entered is immediately loaded to the EDDMapS website for verification.

[ EDDMapS ONTARIO ]

How to keep cool without air conditioning

Mother Earth News / Stan Cox / August/September 2015

At current usage rates, air conditioning U.S. homes, businesses, schools and vehicles releases fossil carbon and fluorocarbon refrigerants that have a total annual global-warming impact equivalent to a half-billion tons of carbon dioxide. Eliminating these emissions from air conditioning would benefit the atmosphere as much as shutting down 140 typical coal-fired power plants would.

Air conditioning also eats a sizable chunk of our budgets. In the United States, I estimate that our collective annual electric bill for cooling our homes is about $30 billion. The yearly cost per household ranges from about $200 in the Northeast to more than $450 in the sweltering South.

So, how do we wean ourselves off of this energy-intensive habit? The range of natural ways to cool your home depends on where you live: in the North or South, on a forested hillside or in an urban heat island, in an apartment or a house. But whatever your situation, you can find natural cooling methods to stay comfortable without air conditioning — starting by adjusting your internal dial.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

5 container gardening tips

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Poindexter / 28 April 2017

I look forward to spring every year. I start planning my small raised bed vegetable and herb garden about a month before I can actually put anything on the ground. I learned the hard way that I need to be patient lest I lose everything to an unexpected frost.

My yard is not very big so, I have always filled clay pots with brightly colored flowers to place around the outside of my home. Over the past couple of years, I have expanded my container gardening to include fruits, vegetables, and herbs, not just flowers. I have discovered that I can grow almost anything in a container. Here is what I have learned from my container gardening adventures.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and works collaboratively with a variety of organizations in their local areas. Transition differs in that it focuses specifically on preparing communities for the changes associated with unprecedented resource depletion and transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependency.

— Transition U.S.
TB Projects

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