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Thursday , 18 September 2014

Category Archives: Green Living

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

New US standard requires greater energy efficiency in refrigerators

If you have been waiting to buy a new refrigerator, this could be a good time to act. The US Department of Energy has just implemented a new federal efficiency standard for refrigerators that will make them up to 25 per cent more energy efficient than the previous standard required. The new standard took effect on September 15. The year 2014 is the one hundredth anniversary of the first modern refrigerator. From the post-war period of the late 1940s until the energy crisis of the 1970s, the amount of energy consumed by refrigerators more than quadrupled, from 400 kilowatt hours to more than 1,800, according to the American Council for an ... Read More »

Food policy group wants city candidates accountable

Summer may be winding down for another year, but agriculture, including the urban kind, is still very much a going concern for many. Fall harvest goes on through October and into November for hardier fruits and vegetables like cabbages, squash, carrots, and apples. While it is too late to start a garden of one’s own for this year, it is definitely not too late to think about food and start planning for next spring. In fact, it is never not the right time to think about food, where it comes from, and how it is important on so many levels. Toronto is fortunate to have recognized the importance of food ... Read More »

Toronto 2030 District gearing up to meet carbon-neutral challenge

Can downtown Toronto become a carbon-neutral district in just fourteen years from now? Yes, if key building industry players get on board and work to meet that goal, according to the Toronto 2030 District initiative. Not only will they help solve one of the world’s biggest problems, they will realize that high-performing buildings are the most profitable buildings in Toronto. This is a term—Toronto 2030 District—we can expect to hear more about in coming months and years. It refers broadly to a set of greenhouse emission reduction targets originated by the non-profit organization Architecture 2030 in response to the climate change crisis. Acknowledging that buildings, or “the built environment,” are ... Read More »

Danes testing street lights as smart city infrastructure

If you were a city planner with a desire to maximize your ability to monitor your city’s consumption of resources as well as the movement of its population, what kind of infrastructure would you need to install to achieve these goals? None at all, if your city already has street lighting. The average city’s thousands of street lights and poles, lining every street and lane, are ready made for the job. A group called the Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab, or DOLL, is setting up experimental lighting areas in the city of Copenhagen to test future LED lighting that will focus on “smart city solutions.” More than two dozen companies are ... Read More »

Headache? Check your cosmetics and cleaning products labels

The sheer number of potentially harmful substances that surround us is staggering, and more and more are added regularly. Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan recently announced that it had gathered new information on 1,340 of 2,700 substances present in consumer products, including food, household cleaners and cosmetics, and children’s toys. The information will be used to update the existing inventory of substances as part of Environment Canada’s ongoing program. Ironically, one of the most dangerous sources of health-threatening chemicals is also the most glamorous: perfume. While the perfume industry plays up the glamour and the “natural” ingredients in various scents—florals, spices, aromatics, citrous—it’s the presence of harmful chemicals that is worrying ... Read More »

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