Microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

The Guardian / Graham Readfearn / 15 March 2018

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.

In the new study, analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every litre of water being sold.

Concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces for every litre of water. Of the 259 bottles tested, only 17 were free of plastics, according to the study.


Global warming will trigger steep decline in ocean fisheries

Digital Journal / Karen Graham / 09 March 2018

The effects of climate change on the world’s oceans will trigger a dramatic decline in global fisheries output if the current warming trend is left unchecked, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine are projecting increases in greenhouse gas emissions could suppress marine biological productivity for a thousand years or more in a study published in the journal Science on May 9, 2018.

The study points out that most studies on climate change risks focus on what will happen by 2100, and overlook extra “catastrophic effects” such as the effect global warming will have on ocean life for hundreds of years to come.


First Climate Change Action Plan progress report

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change of Ontario / March 2018

The Minister’s Progress Report provides a description and update on progress and outcomes for CCAP initiatives which have authorized funding commitments as of December 31, 2017. The Progress Report details progress on a total of 63 initiatives, which range from our Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF), which is helping researchers, entrepreneurs and companies create and commercialize new, globally competitive, low-carbon technologies, to the Green Ontario Fund (GreenON), which helps consumers and businesses identify low-carbon technologies to manage energy costs and reduce GHG emissions, and offers support in making those options affordable.


Western Canada’s risk of water shortages rising

CBC News / Erin Collins / 14 March 2018

It’s a situation that, if prolonged, could lead to the kind of water shortages being seen in Cape Town and parts of California in recent years.

“That kind of extreme water shortage hasn’t happened here, but it’s not impossible that it can,” he says, noting that the shortages facing Cape Town today were once unimaginable.

Glaciers are also an important part of the equation, and receding ice sheets are affecting annual water cycles in the West.


Ontario building owners: How does your building stack up?

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency / Volume 5, Issue 2 (February 2018)

Energy and water reporting for large buildings

In Ontario, if you own a building that is 250,000 square feet or larger, you may need to report its energy and water use once a year. The first deadline to submit your report, using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, is July 1, 2018.

Reporting how much energy and water your building uses can help you identify ways to reduce costs and greenhouse gases. You can also use the benchmarking information about your building’s energy and water use to see how your building stacks up against similar buildings.

In the coming years, this requirement will be phased in to include more buildings, eventually reaching those 50,000 square feet and larger.

Visit ontario.ca/energyreporting or call 1-844-274-0689 to find resources and information to help, including how and when to report.


Transforming lawns

West Coast Seeds / Mark Macdonald / 05 April 2017

While recreational field turf has its uses, most urban and suburban lawn leaves the Earth with a net loss. Space that could be used for growing food or feeding pollinators is dedicated instead to demanding, non-native grasses. Lawn grass is challenged by animals that prey on European chafer (and other) beetle larvae in the winter and spring, and then it dries out and turns brown in the summer due to watering restrictions. We think it’s time to consider transforming lawns to more sustainable uses. We’re asking you to Commit to Grow something more useful than grass.


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The Transition Framework

Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and work 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.
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