Change Buildings, Save the World

A study has been released (2mb PDF) by Commission for Environmental Cooperation; and Celsias has put up a nice summery for us. They note that a simple way for us to lower our impact on the environment is to change how we construct buildings in North America.

Existing building techniques can be used to improve efficiency of our buildings.

In Canada, buildings are responsible for:

  • 33 % of all energy used;
  • 50 % of natural resources consumed;
  • 12 % of non-industrial water used;
  • 25 % of landfill waste generated;
  • 10 % of airborne particulates produced; and
  • 35 % of greenhouse gases emitted.

In Mexico, buildings are responsible for:

  • 17 % of all energy used;
  • 25 % of all electricity used;
  • 20 % of all carbon dioxide emissions;
  • 5 % of potable water consumption; and
  • 20 % of the waste generated.

Into the Future by Using the Past

To most people it looks like leaders in North America keep forgetting about global warming, well this isn’t all true. Brush the Bush and Harper conservative agendas aside and you’ll find other political leaders trying to save the planet. In Mexico, aboriginal leaders are looking into the ways of that their ancestors lived to help us slow global warming today.

More than 200 leaders from 71 American Indian nations in Mexico, the United States and Canada came together in this Mexican jungle to find indigenous solutions to pollution and ecological problems threatening the planet.

“Our Mother Earth is being polluted at an alarming rate, and our elders say that she is dying,” said Raymond Sensmeier, a Tlingit leader from Yakutat, Alaska. “The way the weather is around the world … a cleansing is needed.”

The conference began with a pre-dawn ceremony that included fire, copal incense, chants in Lacandon Maya and blasts from a conch shell.

International Volleyball

from Along the increasingly militarized USA-Mexico border some people are having fun. They play an volleyball using the wall that defines the border as the net! It attracts spectators and a good time is had by all.

All this activity finally brings down the hammer of the border patrol, and a jeep shows up to separate us. The officer is friendly but firm. He’s just come on shift and has no idea we’ve been playing volleyball over the fence for the past hour.


He tells us that a daredevil launched himself across the border in a cannon a while back, but that ours was, in fact, the first-ever game of international border volleyball.

“And it worked over that tall fence?”

“Yup,” we say. “We’re up for one more round if you want to play.”

“No, man,” the officer says. “I’m on duty.”

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