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Wolfe Island Sustainable Energy Haven

Photo courtesy of Julep67 / Flickr  On June 26th, 2009, 86 high capacity wind turbines began operation on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. Each turbine is capable of 2,300 kilowatts and the expected capacity is more than 593,500 megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy each year. I first stumbled across Canada’s second largest wind farm on ...

Mountain Equipment Co-op Takes Home Gold 3

Mountain Equipment Co-op is known for its commitment to sustainability, but its new Burlington, Ontario store sets the bar high for retail store energy-efficiency. For a company that diverts 92% of its waste generated at its stores and offices by recycling, composting and donating, it’s difficult to raise the bar even higher. But MEC – ...

Eco-Living Tip: Dog Poop Bags 5

Eco-Living Tips is a special section on The Urban Country where we provide tips for our readers on how we can live a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. If you’re at all like myself, you become irked when people dispose of non bio-degradable materials into our trash bins. Plastic bags are one such item that frequently ...

BIXI: Montreal’s Bicycle Sharing System 13

What do you get when you combine ‘bicycle’ with ‘taxi’? In Montreal they call it ‘BIXI’ and aside from a few technical glitches, the program has been a smashing success since it launched on May 12th, 2009. I arrived in Montreal on Wednesday after paddling for 11 days from Toronto. I spent the next 4 ...

Living Off the Grid

Image ‘Wired-II’ courtesy of Buck Lewis on Flickr  What do a solar backpack, a wind up lantern, a pedal-pump generator, and a rollable water-proof solar panel have in common? Firstly, they all provide sustainable energy “off the grid”, and secondly, they can all be purchased from a really neat website called Modern Outpost that I ...

Adventures of the Past, Present and Future

It’s 30 degrees Celsius – the wind is blowing in my face, and bugs are splattered across my goggles as I cruise along the Trans Canada Highway. It’s September 2004 and I’m on a solo motorcycle epic adventure that took me 4,712.5KM on my Yamaha XT 225cc enduro motorcycle to explore 5 provinces in just ...

NASCAR’s Environment 4

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country – Jeff Gordon’s long-lost brother If rush-hour traffic levels are an indicator of economic prosperity, then Detroit is in very poor shape. I traveled through the Motor City on Friday at 5:30PM expecting a flood of cars leaving the city at the end of the work day ...

Google’s Commitment to Sustainability 1

Photo “The Googleplex” courtesy of jpstanley on Flickr  What do the David Suzuki Foundation and Google Inc. have in common? Not much at first glance, but when you look beyond the surface you’ll see many similarities.  Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has been using “science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature and ...

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, ...

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. ...