Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Canada (111)

Recent federal audit exposes Canadian climate failures

Huffington Post / David Suzuki / 09 April 2018

In Canada, despite hopeful rhetoric after the 2015 federal election and leading to the Paris climate summit, neither the federal nor provincial governments are doing enough to indicate they even understand the severity of the crisis.

Federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces conducted an audit of climate change planning and emissions-reduction programs between November 2016 and March 2018. They concluded that “most governments in Canada were not on track to meet their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and were not ready for the impacts of a changing climate.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Breaking the gas habit

Corporate Knights / John Lorinc / 03 April 2018

According to federal government data, fully two-thirds of all the energy Canadians use to heat their homes is supplied by natural gas and propane. For climate activists and building owners who want to decarbonize Canada’s building stock, that figure is, well, chilling. While natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, this statistic alone offers a bracing reminder that Canada remains a long way from the day when our housing stock is no longer responsible for a formidable share of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet federal and provincial policymakers these days are actively promoting so-called “net zero energy” homes, which use enough renewable and passive energy to cancel out the consumption of non-renewable sources.

So the question is, how should we go about weaning ourselves of our dependence on natural gas for space and water heating?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Many Canadians are recycling wrong, and it’s costing us millions

CBC News / Emily Chung / 06 April 2018

Canadians are throwing too much garbage into their blue bins, sometimes out of laziness or ignorance, but sometimes with the best of intentions. And it’s costing recycling programs millions of dollars a year.

Even a few spoonfuls of peanut butter left in a jar can contaminate a tonne of paper and make it unmarketable — destined for the dump. Same for that glob of yogurt left in the bottom of the container.

“It’s shameful, it’s awful. In some instances almost one in three pounds of what goes in a blue box shouldn’t be there,” says Mark Badger, executive vice-president of Canada Fibers, which runs 12 plants that sort about 60 per cent of the curbside recycling collected in Ontario.

Contamination is the technical name for non-recyclable material or garbage in the recycling system, from leftover food in containers to non-recyclable plastic packaging to more obvious garbage such as clothing and propane tanks.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Vancouver targets straws, bags to cut down on plastic garbage

Globe and Mail / Mark Yuen / 04 April 2018

Plastic straws are among the items in the crosshairs as the City of Vancouver develops a strategy to cut down on plastic and Styrofoam waste by placing restrictions on single-use disposable cups, bags, takeout containers and utensils.

The city says it costs about $2.5 million per year to collect single-use items from public green spaces and waste bins, and its strategy contains proposals to reduce, reuse or recycle the offending items.

In its strategy, the city says plastic straws and stir sticks make up about three per cent of shoreline litter in Vancouver, while Canadians throw out about 57 million straws every day.

Some Vancouver businesses, including the city’s aquarium, have already phased out the items, while Victoria is set to ban straws in July, following the lead of Montreal, which abolished them in January.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

New map shows just how hot hometowns could get this century

CBC News / Bryce Hoye / 4 April 2018

An ambitious new mapping project gives Canadians a chance to peer into the near future and visualize just how hot a warming climate could make their own backyards over the next 80 years.

“The impacts are startling,” said Ian Mauro, co-director of the University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre, which launched its Climate Atlas of Canada on Wednesday. “Part of this map is data, but part of it is storytelling.”

The atlas includes documentaries of how Canadians are trying to adjust to present-day effects of global warming and a robust interactive map that lets users zoom down on any one of 2,000 towns or cities across the country to see how climate change is likely to change local landscapes between now and the end of the century.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Your lifestyle is making blue box recycling unsustainable

CBC News / Emily Chung / 27 March 2018

Our changing lifestyles over the past few decades have dramatically altered the types of materials we put in blue bins.

And that’s led to flatlining recycling rates and ballooning costs for municipalities across Canada that are struggling to cope with the changes.

“It’s a really a perfect storm of crazy stuff going on that means that the blue box has huge challenges that it did not have 10 years ago,” says Maria Kelleher, principal of Toronto-based Kelleher Environmental, a consulting firm specializing in waste reduction and recycling research, strategy and program design.

The problem is that we’re now throwing out a huge variety of new types of packaging — mostly plastics, sometimes glued to other materials like metals — that recycling programs were never meant to deal with. Meanwhile, the materials that they were designed to collect, sort and resell make up a shrinking proportion of what comes in.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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