“What to reuse, what to improve and what to tear down entirely are key questions for environmental thinkers in cities and towns across Canada and around the world.” And with these opening words from the editorial of the latest issue of Alternatives Journal, Tenille Bonoguoure sets the stage for the increasingly important issue of green buildings. Click the audio player above to hear the podcast, which is based on articles you’ll find in the magazine. You can also right click here to download. I have three interviews featured on this podcast:
- Steve Carpenter, President of Enermodal Engineering – Canada’s largest consulting firm exclusively dedicated to creating green buildings
- Andre Roy, Dean of Environment at the University of Waterloo on their new ENV3 building which is on track to become the most environmentally friendly building on all Canadian college and university campuses
- Stephen Svenson, author of the article ‘Those Brad Pitt Houses’ on green reconstruction efforts in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
Also included in the print issue of the magazine: Monte Paulson takes a look at the increasingly popularity of energy-efficient Passivhaus houses around the world and wonders why they’re not catching on in Canada; Deborah Curren makes the case for better government regulations to help foster the burgeoning green building movement in Canada; Peter Love looks at some of the barriers to improved energy efficiency and gives examples of major projects that have made substantial efficiency improvements through performance-based contracts; plus all the regular features you expect from Alternatives including reviews of the latest eco-books.
Think about it: how much time do we spend in buildings day in and day out? How much energy and material input is required to build and maintain these structures? As it turns out, it’s a lot actually. As Tenille writes, “Given how important and influential buildings are in both our practical daily existence and our broader societal understandings, it was no easy task to design, build and furnish this issue.” Check it out on newsstands now or subscribe here.
From forest management to conservation to celebrating the beauty of the world’s forests, the latest issue of Alternatives
Journal looks at the general theme of forestry. Author Jeff Gailus (The Grizzly Manifesto) takes a critical look at Parks Canada in their 100th year to peek behind the curtain to see how they really measure up. This issue also features Andrew Nikiforuk on the wake of the pine beetle, Margaret Atwood on the Greenbelt movement, and the best photos of 2011 from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
Click the audio player above to hear my podcast version of the magazine, in which I feature the following interviews:
Jeff Gailus on Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary (13:20)
Tenille Bonoguore discussing the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (10:40)
Will Turner on Conservation International’s 10 global forest hotspots (14:12)
Right click here to download the podcast.
My interviews with Laure Waridel and Jonathan Glencross in the current issue of Alternatives Journal
The current issue of Alternatives Journal includes my interviews with Laure Waridel, winner of the 2011 Earth Day Canada’s Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award, and Jonathan Glencross, one of the 2011 Earth Day Canada Hometown Heroes. Both are impressive individuals with inspiring stories about how one person working with a only small group of committed people can bring about significant positive changes at the local level. Here are the articles reprinted below.
Love your iPhone, iPod or some other MP3 player? Great. But what are you going to do when it comes time to get rid of it? Did you know many electronic gadgets such as MP3 players contain heavy metals and other toxic chemicals that are not safe to simply throw out in the trash?
The latest issue of Alternatives journal, on the theme of Music and the Environment, includes my article on digital waste in the music industry. There are some solutions emerging to help reduce the production of electronic waste and for the safe disposal of MP3 players. The problems is that many people simply don’t know about the options that exist. We still have a long way to go. I’ve posted the full article below and here is an excerpt:
The explosion of portable MP3 players over the last few years has created a host of new problems. Yes, CDs contain metals and petroleum-derived plastics, but MP3 players contain heavy metals and other toxic chemicals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants, which have been linked to health ailments including kidney damage and neurological impairment. When MP3 players are discarded in landfills, these chemicals can leach into groundwater. Adding to the problem is the short life span of most MP3 players. With 300 million iPods sold since 2002 and a virtual stranglehold on worldwide digital music sales thanks to iTunes, Apple has been singled out by green groups that have accused the company of encouraging the “planned obsolescence” of its ubiquitous gadgets.
The real cost of music, and how you can trim the bill.
I download almost all of my music these days from iTunes, and rarely visit a music retailer. It seems that I’m not alone. Compact disc sales in North America have dropped 52 per cent since 2000. Digital downloads, on the other hand, increased 13 per cent in 2010, and digital sales now represent more than a quarter of the music industry’s global income. The transition to digital music means less aluminum goes into CD production, paper liner notes disappear, and fewer environmentally damaging plastics are used to make discs, jewel cases, vinyl records and cassette tapes. What’s more, digital music has the potential to reduce the energy used to produce and deliver music to consumers, all of which must surely be good for the environment, right?