Alternatives Journal Spells Out Canada’s Map to Sustainability

Canada has a horrible international reputation when it comes to the environment. The federal government even has climate change deniers and actively supports the shameful tar sands. At Alternatives Journal they have worked with some of the smartest people in Canada to show Canadians there’s no reason to continue down the self-destructive path we are on.

Within the issue they look at many aspects of Canadian life from cities to mining.

THIS IS THE most important issue that A\J has ever published. It will land in the hands and mailboxes of more Canadians than any issue in A\J’s 44-year existence. What’s so important? We as a nation are on the cusp of embracing and implementing the sustainability that Gro Harlem Brundtland envisioned almost 30 years ago in her pivotal book, Our Common Future.

To help map our sustainable future, A\J has teamed with a group of Canadian scholars called Sustainable Canada Dialogues/Dialogues pour un Canada vert (SCD). Every scholar in this 60-person-plus group puts sustainability central to his or her area of research, whether it is species diversity, resource extraction or how we manage the land that feeds us. All SCD participants have identified what is needed for their specialized science or social science field to become more sustainable – and thus for Canada to become more sustainable. These pages contain articles by more than 20 of those scholars

Check out their map to sustainability issue.

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In France New Buildings Need Green Roofs

Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer

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Greenlid: An Easy Solution for Your Green Bin

The “dragons” on CBC’s show Dragons’ Den the investors funded a new product called Greenlid. Greenlid is a contraption that makes it easier to deal with household composting and waste diversion projects. In parts of Canada it is known as a “green bin” program.

With most waste diversion programs it’s hard to get 100% success so hopefully the Greenlid will make it easier for people to be a part of the earth-saving green bin programs (or similar )

Constructed from end-of-life recycled cardboard and newsprint, The Greenlid is scientifically designed to make composting easier and cleaner by using a proprietary leak resistant formula that mimics natural water-repelling structures found in nature. As a result, The Greenlid can hold four litres of the wettest organics and remain leak resistant for up to 10 days while remaining an attractive addition to your kitchen. A re-useable, dishwasher safe lids keeps smells locked away while The Greenlid is in use. When placed in municipal compost facilities or home compost, The Greenlid quickly breaks down, adding to the overall eco-friendly nature of the product and quality of the compost, which eventually becomes useable soil.

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@the_greenlid

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Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

The Chinese documentary Under the Dome (I can’t find english subtitles, sorry) has taken China by storm. The documentary was released on last week and is already changing the conversation about pollution in the country. This could mark a massive change in how China enforces their pollution laws and improves how they treat nature.

Chai Jing’s documentary was released on 28 February, less than a week before China’s annual parliamentary session begins. China’s central government is expected to pass an ambitious new law that hopes to impose tough new regulations on China’s coal-burning polluters.
But in China, passing a law is one thing. Enforcing it is another.
Beijing could certainly use public pressure in its bid to carry out the new rules. Laws from the central government are commonly ignored by lower level officials, particularly when they might affect economic growth.
China named its new Environment Minister, Chen Jining, one day before the documentary was released. In his first press conference the day after his appointment, he noted he had already watched the documentary and had phoned Chai Jing to thank her for contribution.

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We Are in the Anthropocene Epoch

Human civilization has undoubtedly changed the surface of the planet on a massive scale. There will be evidence of our civilization’s impact for millions of years to come. This may not strike you as good news considering it implies we’ve altered the planet in a way only nature itself could have done.

The good news comes from the fact that the Anthropocene Working Group has reached the conclusion that we are indeed in this epoch. This means that geological research and theory has a new intellectual framework to better our understanding of the world and how we as a species interact with it.

“Like any geological boundary, it is not a perfect marker – levels of global radiation really rose in the early 1950s, as salvoes of bomb tests took place,” said Dr Jan Zalasiewicz, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology and chair of the Anthropocene Working Group.

“But it may be the optimal way to resolve the multiple lines of evidence on human-driven planetary change. Time – and much more discussion – will tell.”

The term ‘Anthropocene’ was first coined by Nobel Prize winning chemist Paul Crutzen who in 2000 suggested that man’s impact on the world was so substantial that we were no longer in the Holocene – the era which began at the end of the last Ice Age around 11,700 years ago and saw unprecedented human expansion and the emrgency of towns and cities.

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