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Landscape and Nature Fine Art Photography by Canadian artist, Tricia McLellan.

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Get Out And Vote – May 2nd, 2011

02 05.11


It is May 2nd and it is your last chance to vote in the Canadian Federal Election. I went out the first day to vote. I wanted to be sure that nothing stopped me from doing my part to stand up for Canada. The turn out for advanced voting is about 35% higher than the last election. I believe that alone speaks volumes about the necessity of this election. Check the facts, not the political advertising and mud slinging. Vote for the Canada we all deserve and believe in.

 

This isn’t a vote for a political party. This is a vote for the future of Canada.

Eden Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic?

02 04.11

Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens — and the environment.

Eben Bayer co-invented MycoBond, a technology that uses a filamentous fungi to transform agricultural waste products into strong composite materials. Or, as CNN put it: “In non-scientific terms, they grind up seed husks and glue the small pieces together with mushroom root.” Their products include packaging and styrofoam substitute and the now-in-development Greensulate rigid insulation board for builders. Both products require less energy to create than synthetics like foam, because they’re quite literally grown. Equally compelling, at the end of their useful life, they can be home-composted or even used as garden mulch.

“There are three principles that should govern better materials. Firstly, they should be able to be created almost anywhere on the planet. Secondly, they should require considerably less energy to produce than current materials. Lastly, they should be able to be disposed of by nature’s wonderful open-source recycling system.”
Eben Bayer,

http://www.ecovativedesign.com/

Dianna Cohen: Tough truths about plastic pollution

30 03.11

Artist Dianna Cohen shares some tough truths about plastic pollution in the ocean and in our lives — and some thoughts on how to free ourselves from the plastic gyre.

Dianna Cohen is the co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a group that addresses the pervasive problem of plastic pollution. She was inspired to co-found the group by her work as an artist — because her chosen material is the ubiquitous plastic bag. She writes: “Having worked with the plastic bag as my primary material for the past fifteen years, all of the obvious references to recycling, first-world culture, class, high and low art give way to an almost formal process which reflects the unique flexibility of the medium.”
With the Plastic Pollution Coalition, she helps to raise awareness of ocean waste — the majority of which is nondegradable plastic — and everyday strategies to cut down the amount of plastic we use and throw away.

http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

A New Farming Perspective: The Vertical Farm

26 10.10

“The world would be a much better place if we had vertical farming.”
Dr. Dickson Despommier

The idea of vertical farming isn’t new. If you do a search for it at Amazon.com you’ll find a book written back in the 1950’s
but back then it was merely a theoretical concept. As we all know, technology has come a long way in the past 60 years, and the need for more sustainable agricultural has never been greater. Of course with all the benefits related to the this type of farming, there are always going to be negative aspects and possible drawbacks but at this stage it is important to explore all solutions.

Some Possible Advantages:

  • Supplement current agricultural programs without requiring more large plots of land to be converted to farmland – this would decrease deforestation
  • Produce crops year-round and thereby increasing crop production
  • Protect crops from weather-related problems and infestations
  • Crops could be grown closer to consumers, decreasing transportation costs and related spoilage
  • Decreased of pesticides due to the controlled environment

Current Criticisms:

  • Economics – currently no proven business plan for large scale use
  • Land – may only supplement current and future agricultural needs
  • Use of Energy – current greenhouses and hydroponic facilities have high energy needs and often have to close down during the colder months due to heating costs.

I believe that we do need to start looking for solutions to our current and future global environmental issues. Whether vertical farming is one of them, I don’t know. I do know that from only one idea springs several others and that’s a step in the right direction.

What do you think?

Resources:

A Twist On The Plastic Bag

27 09.10

This nature “mockumentary” is narrated by Jeremy Irons and features the plastic bag from a very different perspective. It talks about its life, its migration and its ‘struggles’. Although humorous on the surface, the underlying realities of the pervasiveness of plastic is highlighted.

California’s “Heal The Bay” is one of many localized attempts to keep the water clean and safe for the future. Each one of us can make a difference and it can start right now.

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