Well, the topic for this week’s ‘Being Green’ post is ‘Celebrations’, and there’s a lot to celebrate this weekend. If you live in Canada or are an expat Canadian living elsewhere in the world, Happy Canada Day, +1!
Canada is now 143 years old. Marcia and I took part of our day and went down to Victoria’s waterfront area where different venues were being promoted by both the city of Victoria and the Victoria Downtown Business Association, and we also wandered over to the legislative grounds where we saw several people being sworn in as new citizens. The previous day we joined in the celebration at the Oak Bay Municipal Hall – there was a small plastic pool filled with soap bubble solution and making bubbles with kids is my idea of good clean fun! Last night’s fireworks display was very good; rather than going downtown and joining the crowds we walked over to (and up) Christmas Hill where we joined a number of other people on the overlook of the city below us to the south. After the fireworks were over and everyone left I took a quick look around the area. I was very pleased to note that there was not a single scrap of litter left behind. While Canadians are generally pretty quiet about it, I think overall we’re proud of our country. There’s an excellent article by Tom Hawthorn in the current issue of Boulevard Victoria magazine (page 20) that explains why to him Thanksgiving falls on July 1. It’s well worth reading.
Tomorrow, wherever you happen to live, is International Free Hugs Day. I do respect that there are certain spiritual or social customs that don’t allow that level of personal contact, especially in public, but hugging is free, it’s good for you, non-toxic, non-fattening, sugar free and doesn’t cause cavities. So if you can, go out and hug someone!
Sunday is Independence Day for our neighbours to the south. On July 4 the US will be 234 years old, and that’s definitely worth celebrating! For some ideas, try: Red, White & Green- Make Your Celebration Eco-Fun! In my travels through the US I’ve met and continue to maintain friendships with some truly wonderful people. Sunday is also our son’s birthday, a more personal cause for celebration for us.
Speaking of celebrations, what do you do with the proceeds of returning 400,000 aluminum cans? Well, if you’re Pete and Andrea, you use the money to plan your wedding. They’re still accepting donations of cans and/or cash, and the proceeds will be used with 40% going to their honeymoon, and 60% to charity.
A recent article titled, “Ancient Waters of Gwaii Haanas Protected!” outlines that the Pacific waters for roughly 10 km around the Gwaii Haanas park reserve will now also be protected as the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and a Haida Heritage Site.
And, “Canadian Timber Companies in Landmark Environmental Deal” oulines that Canadian forest companies and environmental groups have reached a deal to protect 72 million hectares (180 million acres) of Canada’s boreal forest. This includes stopping logging in sensitive areas, and allowing sustainable harvesting on the rest under terms that are yet to be worked out. Canada contains some 290 million hectares of boreal forest and there are those who want that
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Okay, that’s it for now. Have a great week!
P.S. I seem to have devoted many of these ‘last word spots’ to green cars lately. Here are a couple more. The first is a 3-wheeled vehicle being developed in California by a company called ‘Aptera’. It’s still in development, but it’s definitely aerodynamic! Speaking of aerodynamic, the ‘Terrafugia Transition’ has recently received FAA certification under a special exemption. Going on a business trip? Drive it to the airport, unfold the wings, take off down the runway and reverse the procedure when you land. I wonder if it runs on biodiesel? I don’t know if it qualifies as ‘green’ under any standard, but it certainly is intriguing. And finally, the 2011 Licoln MKZ Hybrid has been named the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in North America, beating out its nearest competitor, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h. It remains to be seen what the 2011 Lexus will bring to the table. Is ‘green luxury’ an oxymoron? In some cases perhaps it is. At the same time, I can think of two reasons why that need not be so. For one, people with the means will continue to purchase luxury items, and if they’re willing to make ‘green’ choices, it benefits us all. Why not a solar yacht, like the Volitan (YouTube video) for example? Second, many new technologies come with a high price point at first, and investment in those technologies invariably leads to further development that improves the technology and lowers the cost.