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Friday , 18 April 2014

Category Archives: Green Living

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Environment-friendly stories, latest technologies, news, tips and how tos.

LED light is all it’s cracked up to be

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By the end of 2014, it will be difficult to find incandescent light bulbs in stores in Canada, except for certain specialty bulbs, like oven lights. The rest, including 40W, 60W, and 100W bulbs, will be gone. We shouldn’t lament their passing. While they were a great invention in their day more than a hundred years ago, they really hadn’t changed much. Their greatest drawback, the one that finally did them in, is their inefficiency: as much as 96 per cent of the power consumed by a bulb was lost as heat, not converted to light. One option for replacing the old incandescent bulbs is the LED. These lights can ... Read More »

Re-imagining the parking garage

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Public parking in Toronto, as in most cities, has always been a very utilitarian, boring affair. Most of the ugly open ground-level parking lots have disappeared in the last couple of decades, and parking today is either underground, as at City Hall and many other downtown buildings, or in above-ground structures, like the one next to the Eaton Centre. Whether above or below-ground, they all have one thing in common: they are dreary, even dangerous places, certainly not places where  anyone would want to spend a minute more than necessary. The best that one can say about the typical city parking garage is that it doesn’t interfere too much with ... Read More »

What to do about air pollution when it’s inside your home

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It’s been a while since we’ve been able to open the windows and give our homes a good airing. All that stale, dry winter air can lead to all kinds of problems, especially for allergy sufferers. There is more to the problem than just dryness, however. Indoor air can become quite polluted, with everything from lead in the dust to formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), to animal dander and mold, even if you don’t have a pet. Experts always say that children the elderly, and people with asthma are the most sensitive to indoor air pollution, but anyone can be affected. Tips for battling indoor pollution and staying comfortable ... Read More »

Environment group paints brighter picture of Ontario’s electricity costs

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Does anything make people madder in Ontario than their electricity bill? Every time consumers around the province open their latest hydro bill, curses, deprecations and expressions of disbelief and dismay are uttered, usually directed in equal parts against the government and the electric company. There is probably no other issue that generates, so to speak, so much ill will and discontent on a regular basis. It’s highly doubtful that anyone believes his hydro bill is fair. The costs just go up and up, and consumers have no choice but to pay, adding helplessness to anger and frustration. Widespread public perception of waste and bad policy from government does not make ... Read More »

Canada’s “greenest architect” honoured by RAIC

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An architect whose work, unfortunately, is not much to be seen in Toronto has been awarded the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Gold Medal for 2014. Peter Busby is the recipient, originally of Vancouver but now living in San Francisco, where he is managing director of the Perkins+Will office there. He was given the medal, the highest honour awarded by RAIC, for his “pioneer efforts” in sustainable design and architecture. Referred to by some as Canada’s greenest architect, Busby has built an international reputation. His work “embodies his philosophy of social responsibility and commitment to sustainable design.” His one Toronto project, done with architect Adrian DiCastri some years ago, is ... Read More »

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