Electric Vehicles Gaining Traction in Canada

WWF-Canada wants to get car drivers off their addiction to oil by getting consumers to buy electric cars instead of gas-powered ones. To encourage this switch in car-depender living they have former Toronto mayor David Miller going on ‘dates’ with people in EV cars to discuss what they are doing to improve the environment.

Forty-two percent of Canadians believe electric vehicles are, or will be shortly, a real and practical alternative to gas-powered cars, according to WWF-Canada’s newly released EV National Status Update 2014 report.

EVs are much more efficient than conventional cars and if the electricity that powers them comes from renewable sources—as it does across much of the country—the benefits are even greater. For example, we can curb climate change since cars are the biggest culprit to emitting greenhouse gases.

In these three light-hearted and comedic videos, David is shown driving around Toronto in a BMW EV with different notables – comedian Mark McKinney, celebrity chef SuSur Lee and television host Jessi Cruikshank. While driving, David educates both his co-star and viewers about the environmental benefits of EVs and why they are a great transportation option for Canadians.

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So Many Blogs About Sustainability!

Site like Things Are Good which cover good news about the environment, people, and politics aren’t that rare. When we started this site nearly 10 years ago there were few options to find places that cover good news. That has since changed.

Recently the folks over at AHAALiving did a round up of just Canadian blogs covering sustainability issues.

So we get our thrift shop-sourced knickers all knotted up in the best possible way when we find a good sustainability read online. We’re always looking out for the next David Suzuki (we need so many of them), and we truly feel that one of the most important ways to contribute to a more sustainable earth is to spread the word.

In light of this month’s giving theme, we present to you AHAALiving.com’s top 10 sustainability bloggers from across the Canadian blogosphere. Enjoy!

And they featured the very blog you’re reading right now!

This blog takes a refreshing approach to sustainability and eco-issues by focusing specifically on the good things that are happening around us and the progress we’re making towards a more sustainable earth. While part of being AHAA is, of course, possessing an awareness of what needs to change, sometimes eco-issues focus primarily on the negative. Things Are Good is a breath of fresh air.

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TreeCanada Maps Its Impact

TreeCanada has planted around 80 million trees! They do this because trees make the world a better, healthier place for everybody. They also plant trees to rejuvenate school yards (ones that got paved over at some point) and to bring back areas damaged by industrial uses to their . This past month they launched an interactive map of their plantings.

The map displays a satellite image of Canada with interactive buttons that allow you to explore its tree planting initiatives. By clicking on an icon, visitors can learn about the location and number of trees planted, as well as the program and sponsor associated with that project. Below the map, further details are available, including the species of the trees planted and the environmental benefit expected. The map is currently populated with trees planted in 2013, however, over time the map will grow to include planting sites from past and present years.

“At Tree Canada, we believe that investing in trees will benefit both human and environmental health,” Mr. Rosen said. “Trees help communities by providing shade, absorbing excess water, producing oxygen and providing habitat for wildlife. As our many sponsors can attest to, when you invest in trees, you invest in a legacy that will benefit communities for decades to come.”

See the map.
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Support The Experimental Lakes Area

The Experimental Lakes Area has suffered greatly from the Canadian government’s anti-science funding policies and has luckily been saved by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. To ensure that further damage can’t come from the ideologically-driven and anti-environment Conservative Party the ELA has turned to crowd funding to survive.

Last year, The Walrus magazine had a great article on the ELA and how beneficial it is to science and the planet.

You might have heard that the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) took it over the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) on April 1st. We are reaching out to the public to help make people feel is it “theirs” (and reduce reliance on government funding so it can’t be closed again due to changes in departmental policy)

From their Indiegogo page:

The ELA features a collection of 58 small lakes, as well as a facility with accommodations and laboratories. Since its establishment in 1968, ELA has become one of the world’s most influential freshwater research facilities. In part, this is because of the globally unique ability at ELA to undertake whole-ecosystem experiments.

There is nowhere else in the world that has the same potential to conduct this type of research and make such a positive impact on our world’s freshwater supplies.

Support the campaign!

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The Lancet Calls on Canada to be a Good Global Citizen

The Lancet is a medical journal that is known for its direct and terse reports, the are perhaps best known for their detailed account of the death toll in Iraq (as a result of the American invasion in 2003). Now they are calling the Canadian government to task. PM Stephen Harper is known for his ideological drive to destroy Canada (and the global environment) and now it’s having a very adverse impact on global health. This is where the Lancet calls on Canada to step up and account for its horrible behaviour.

It’s good to see that there are organizations that exist which try to bring attention to ongoing institutionalized negative behaviour brought to bear from the powers that be.

Previously a leader in freedom of information, Canada is frequently cited for its decline in openness, most recently by the Center for Law and Democracy, in co-operation with the Madrid-based Access Info Europe, which ranked it 55th of 93 countries, down from 40th in 2011.

Harper defends withdrawal of federal funding for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are critical of governmental policy, a reversal of a 50 year tradition of non-partisan support for civil society, saying: “if it’s the case that we’re spending on organisations that are doing things contrary to government policy, I think that is an inappropriate use of taxpayer’s money and we’ll look to eliminate it.” Consistent with this logic, the Government was able to continue funding NGOs skeptical of global warming and supportive of the asbestos industries.

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