A Kenyan Factory Turns Plastic Waste into Bricks

Nzambi Matee got tired of waiting for a solution to all the plastic waste she saw, so she created a company to deal with it. The material engineer opened a factory in Kenya where they turn plastics which can’t be recycled (with traditional methods) into bricks. She designed a concoction of hard plastics and sand to create a solid brick which has a comparable price to stone bricks. This is a neat solution to a global problem, her one factory has processed 20 tones of plastics since 2017!

“Our product is almost five to seven times stronger than concrete,” said Matee, the founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers, which transforms plastic waste into durable building materials.

“There is that waste they cannot process anymore; they cannot recycle. That is what we get,” Matee said, strolling past sacks of plastic waste.

Matee gets the waste from packaging factories for free, although she pays for the plastic she gets from other recyclers.

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These 100 Debates Could Decide the Canadian Election

vote sign

Canadians are about to vote in the country’s 44th election and this election may finally be the moment when the nation votes thinking about a green future. From coast to coast to coast in the country there will be local debates about the environment and what the candidates will do to protect their ridings. These 100 debates are back after the very successful first run of the format last election. The debates are run by GreenPAC which is an organization that wants people to care about having a sustainable and healthy future.

Providing a forum for voters to make informed decisions and for candidates to clearly communicate their policy plans are key, he added.

Laurel Collins, another returning debate participant and the NDP’s environment and climate change critic, said hundreds of people attended the 2019 debate in Victoria, B.C.

“It was such an important conversation for community members to hear from candidates about this critically important issue,” said Collins. “It’s so critical that candidates hear from community members about the issues that are most important to them.”

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How To Make North American Homes Climate Friendly

the suburbs

Everyone is well aware that low density, sprawling, and energy inefficient is bad for the planet. Years of mindless development have left us with homes which are not well built for the current climate. It’s imperative that we get these homes to be climate friendly, here’s how. The Guardian has a nice article on the various ways people can convert their inefficient housing into a climate-friendly structure.

Deep reductions in emissions will involve revamping the major appliances in the home, such as the water heater, furnace and air conditioning unit. As these items become older, they become wasteful and they will need to be replaced by more efficient appliances that run off clean electricity.

Some of these replacements will be relatively innocuous, such as the installation of heat pumps, which will be in the basement or on the side of the house. Heat pumps work on principles similar to a refrigerator, shifting heat from outdoors indoors and vice versa. They can heat and cool your home and can also heat your water with an efficiency rate four times greater than a gas-powered version.

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Quebec Cancels Planned LNG Operation to Protect the Environment

Forest

The waters of the Saguenay and the St. Lawerence have avoided great harm thanks to the cancellation of a massive natural gas facility in the area. People had been protesting the development for years and the government finally listened. The project would have taken bitumen from the tar sands in Alberta across the country to be exported via ships in the Saguenay out to the Atlantic. It’s good to see a project that would have increased carbon output get cancelled in favour of protecting the planet. (Fun fact: I took the photo above along the Saguenay)

In March, the province’s independent environmental review agency issued a report that was critical of the plans to build a plant and marine terminal in the Saguenay.

The project was likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by eight million tonnes annually, the agency concluded.

Last month, federal environmental agencies determined the project, which would involve large tankers transiting along the Saguenay River, threatened beluga whales.

And last week, three Innu communities vowed to oppose the project because of the negative impact it would have on the environment.

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Given the IPCC Report, Let’s Ban Oil Propaganda

industry

Today the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released data that proves the world has rapidly warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, and is now careening toward 1.5 degrees. They are calling it a red alert for the planet. Obviously this isn’t good news.

The oil industry along with the oil-consuming automobile companies spend billions every year telling us to spend more to kill the planet. This should stop. Over at the National Obseror they ask a very simple question: “are we letting fossil fuel companies sell us our own demise?” They propose an all out ban on adversting oil and gas consumption like we did with tabacco.

Advertising works. That’s why it’s a multibillion-dollar business, and it’s why oil, gas, car and airline companies spend as much as they do seeking our favour. According to one study, over a recent 30-year period, the world’s five biggest oil companies spent US$3.6 billion on ads specifically aimed at shoring up their reputation as green-friendly. Ads are one reason why gas-guzzling pickup trucks are so popular, even among those with no genuine need for them. As Quebec environmental group Équiterre found in a study released earlier this year, aggressive advertising helps to explain why light-duty vehicles — SUVs, pickups and vans — now account for 80 per cent of new vehicle sales in Canada, which in turn is a big reason greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are still rising. 

Because advertising matters so much to the fossil fuel corporations, it ought to matter to the rest of us, too

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