Give It Away

The Edmonton Earthcycle network is an unheralded success story. It's been around for years now, as a way to give and get free, unwanted things. With over 12,000 members and 200-250 messages (either offerings or request), it diverts an amazing amount of stuff from the landfill. And just imagine all of the great karma that it helps create!  read more... »

2008 Community League Green Challenge

Some of Edmonton's fine green leaders have a challenge for you all: green your community leagues! Community league buildings all around the city represent an opportunity for green improvement, because most of them were built some time ago, when words like "energy efficiency" and "low flow" were pretty foreign. 

Community leagues are being encouraged to:  read more... »

Hmmmm...fir

The old house at 9805 - 84th Avenue was built in 1910, so the property title says. Those were different and amazing times - I'm guessing that most houses had no indoor plumbing, and all heating was done by burning wood or coal in stoves.

As I deconstruct this house to make way for the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH), I've been encountering a lot of history. For example, when it was originally built, every square inch of the house was covered in 15-foot long, 3.25-inch wide planks of old-growth Douglas-fir.  read more... »

Keep Edmonton's Trolleys

This is the number 5 Westmount. It's a new trolley bus - one of those buses that's attached to the electrical grid and produces zero street-level emissions. City council is currently debating a report that advises scrapping the entire trolley bus system.

Myles Kitagawa, one of my favorite all-around people and one of Edmonton's green heroes, sent me an email a ways back suggesting that we (the Toxics Watch Society, of which he is the Associate Director and I am the President), should make a submission to city council about the issue. Our angle would probably be a novel one in the debate: Peak Oil.

If you're not turned on to Peak Oil yet, it's time to get going (see this movie, and read this book, for starters). I think that Peak Oil and climate change will be the drivers of the 21st century. I know, I know, I wish that Ipods and flat-screen TVs were going to be the big factors too, but that's just not in the cards.

Edmonton needs to begin thinking about what happens when transportation fuels hit $5/litre. Among the many things that we could do to prepare, having a transit system not totally dependent on diesel fuel would go a long way. Here is most of what Myles and I submitted to city council regarding the electric trolley issue:

   read more... »