Community-Owned Green Businesses Seeing Great Growth

Community-Owned sustainable energy companies aren’t new, but they are successful! One of the reasons Germany’s push to a sustainable energy grid has worked is that local community own and operate solar farms, wind farm, and so on. Now that citizen-empowering model is

According to a new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), there was a 31% jump in renewable energy sector investment across Canada in 2014 with $8 billion spent on developing green energy projects. Locally, community co-ops have developed over 75 projects in the Greater Toronto Area, including on rooftops in Toronto, Hamilton, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham and Mississauga, with many more to come.

“These are very exciting times for renewable energy. Costs have dropped significantly, technology has improved, and electricity system managers have made the leap on integrating these new energy sources. The result is a big upswing in jobs and investment in this sector, exactly what our country needs right now with our oil sector stalling out and the threat of climate change growing,” says Judith Lipp, President of the Federation of Community Power Cooperatives (FCPC).

Read more.

Painting Neighbourhoods

Artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn create community art by painting entire neighborhoods, and involving those who live there — from the favelas of Rio to the streets of North Philadelphia. What’s made their projects succeed? In this funny and inspiring talk, the artists explain their art-first approach — and the importance of a neighborhood barbecue.

Declaration of Internet Freedom

Around the world governments are trying to restrain the ability of people to freely share information across the internet. Bills like SOPA in the USA and Bill C-30 in Canada to the more recent TPP all focus on propping up old media monopolies and curtailing people’s privacy and communication rights. The most effective and extreme example of clamping down on the internet can be seen in the Great Firewall of China.

WIth the above in mind, it’s good to see that a group of people have taken up the challenge of creating a universal declaration of freedom for online access and participation!

The Preamble:

We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.

We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.

Let’s discuss these principles — agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community — as only the Internet can make possible.

Go to the Declaration of Internet Freedom.

Canadians please check out OpenMedia.

Fresh: A Movie About Good Farming

Last night I went to a screening of Fresh, hosted by the West End Food Co-op in a local park. Most movies made about food recently have dwelled on the fact that industrial farming is killing us – a bad thing no doubt about it. Here’s more on industrial farming.

The good thing about Fresh is that it establishes what’s wrong with farming quickly and succinctly then spends the rest of the film celebrating good farming that’s happening. It’s an inspiring film that will make you love fresh food, crop rotation, and help you see that we can escape the control of industrial farming operations.

Foodprint Toronto

On July 31st in Toronto a one day conference thing is happening and it’s all about food and you. The even is Foodprint Toronto and it’s all about all your relationship to food in your life – from what you eat to where the food is grown.

This looks like it’ll be lots of fun so if you’re in Toronto and you eat food, you should go!

Foodprint Toronto is the second in a series of international conversations about food and the city. The first, held in New York City earlier this year, was a packed-out success, with a stellar line-up of speakers jumping to their feet to share their opinions on topics as diverse as food deserts and food printing, as well as tell fascinating stories about the role of protein in the city’s farmers’ markets and oysters in the city’s history. (You can still download videos of the event for free on iTunes U.)

Read a whole lot more at Edible Geography.

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