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Sustainable Commuting: the Bicycle

Here’s my latest contribution to blogTO entitled Sustainable Commuting: the Bicycle, excerpt: “The bicycle is the most efficient means of human-powered transportation, meaning it can travel the most distance with the least amount of energy exerted. Invented in the 19th century, bikes take up very little space, they’re quiet, and they don’t pollute. In Toronto, ...

Clean Energy – Circa 1970

Sketch it! is a fun section on The Urban Country where we feature random napkin sketches from our resident sketch artist and writer, George Pechtol (Against his will). Today’s sketch features what we thought was clean energy in 1970.

Finding Mecca in the Toronto Islands 4

Birds are chirping and the water splashes as I look at the horizon to see the Toronto city skyline contrasting the nature that surrounds me. In the heart of the city, a mere harbour away from the CN Tower, the Toronto Islands provide a Mecca that feels a world away from the automobiles, pollution and ...

The Future of Online Advertising 2

Dictionary.com‘s new homepage layout captures what online advertisers have been struggling with since the beginning of the Internet: to advertise effectively without impeding users. Newspapers have been coping for years with the decline of print circulation. Most people get their news online and newspapers haven’t been able to generate the same level of revenue with ...

Fallen Leaves as Sustainable Food Packaging 3

McDonalds could learn a thing or two from the Chinese about sustainable food packaging. This delicious dim sum dish consists of steamed glutinous rice filled with chicken, mushrooms, sausage, scallions and shrimp. It’s called “Nuo mi ji” in Chinese (Mandarin) or “Lo mai gai” in Cantonese and it’s nicely packaged inside a lotus leaf wrapping. ...

Urban Motor Home 4

The Urban Motor Home challenges the conventional SUV to a duel Life in the city is easy without an automobile; it’s healthy and refreshing to commute to work by foot, and I can travel most places I need to on a daily basis fuelled on peanut butter and jelly. There are however special occasions when ...

Carpooling with Twitter 2

While driving on the highway yesterday I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be nice if there weren’t so many cars on the road with so many empty seats?   Wouldn’t it be cool if you could easily find someone heading to the same destination as you to carpool with? Well Twitter could be the tool ...

Medical Marijuana: Rights over Reason? 4

In May 2005, legal pot smoker Steve Gibson was asked to leave the premises of Gator Ted’s restaurant in Burlington Ontario. Since then, Gator Ted’s owner Ted Kindos has been battling Gibson; mounting tens of thousands of dollars in court legal bills with his business on the line. Gibson received a medical certificate to smoke ...

Cherry Blossoms & Unexpectedly Friendly Geese 1

Spring is in full swing, summer is nigh, and the cherry blossoms in Toronto’s beautiful High Park are a sight to see. We cycled to the 398 acre park along the Martin Goodman trail to see the beautiful Japanese trees blossoming. The sun came out periodically, though there was overcast most of the day. A ...

Sustainability and Loblaw’s Keiser Soze 1

Sustainitiatives is a section on The Urban Country where we highlight companies or individuals who are taking initiatives to help reduce our harm on the environment. Corporate Environmental Sustainability is something we hear a lot about recently; however it’s not something we should take at face value. Many companies are more pre-occupied with “greenwashing” or ...