Worms in the Kitchen

We’re about to restart out affair with worms. Sadly, on leaving Australia we had to say goodbye to our Red Tiger worms and their lovely black box home. Now, after some prompting form the local worm lady, Betty, Eden’s Girl Guide’s group, and the fact that our outdoor compost pile is under about 2 feet […]

Yard Fresh Eggs

We had a discussion at work about fresh local eggs. One comment made was that some people prefer not knowing “where the eggs come from”. My attitude is that eggs are so much better from free range, (sure they eat bugs and stuff), and they are so much better for you too… Image by Dystopos […]

Leftovers for Mr Obama

Few people realize the magnitude of change that is being heralded with the new presidency – but most of the change has nothing to do with Barack Obama’s ability to lead, it’s outside of even his sphere of control. The world as we know it is changing – will the leadership of our nations choose […]

Poverty and Global Priorities – Blog Action Day 2008

UrbanWorkbench tackles many topics related to Civil Engineering, Urban Planning and Sustainability, and as part of Blog Action Day 2008, I’d like to take a step away from the construction and development side of things, and focus on the issues of poverty and the collision of climate change and peak oil. This is just a […]

The Mystery of Supermarket Fruit

At this time of year, it’s good to consider where our food comes from, typically in most areas of North America, we are entering or are already in a period of harvest – when the corn is fresh and sweet, and the fruit is thick on the trees. And this is the case in most parts of the continent, that some form of fruit and vegetable has a pretty good chance of being harvested in reasonable quantities almost anywhere. So why is it that we buy perfect looking but crappy cardboard-tasting fruit from the local chain supermarket? We are so accustomed to getting exactly what the recipe calls for, or the fruit that the kids will actually eat from the supermarket at any time of the year, that we rarely consider what types of produce could be grown in our backyards, or on local farms.

Newmarket Goes Pesticide Free

The Town of Newmarket, Ontario has passed a bylaw prohibiting the use of cosmetic pesticides. York region – Newmarket’s pesticide free bylaw in effect The bylaw includes all applications of cosmetic pesticides on residential, commercial and industrial lands. There are exceptions for infestation, noxious weeds, agricultural process and an integrated pest management process for golf […]

Greener Coffee

How do you feel about your morning java after reading this…

There are lots of problems with disposable cups. Up to 90 per cent of flavour comes from the aroma you inhale, so the non-recyclable styrene lids make your morning jolt about one-tenth as delicious.

Paper cups are all lined with plastic to prevent sogginess and, if you want to keep your reproductive organs functioning, plastic is seldom considered a good marriage with hot or acidic liquids.

The 50-Million-Tree Slurp :: Views :: thetyee.ca


Might be a good idea to ditch the disposable cups and bring along your own mug – or drink only at establishments like the Clean Bean Cafe in Nelson…

Deconstructing Dinner – Coffee, The Earth, and the Future of Civilization – 05/03/07

The Clean Bean Café exclusively sells Capulin Coffee. Located alongside the main highway running through the city, the coffee is sold out of the back of a trailer and is essentially a drive-thru coffee shop. But while Capulin Coffee presents a real opportunnity for social and environmental change, Benji Hansen is encouraging yet another level of change by NOT offering ANY take-out cups. Instead, Hansen maintains a ‘mug orphanage’ whereby customers are free to take their ceramic mug with them!

I love my morning coffee – that’s why I always carry my travel mug.

Snow Causes Environmental and Social Disaster in China

While we worry about foreclosures and the price of gas, it seems like there is a disaster unfolding in China that is almost un-reported in the West.

Snow disaster leaves 1.6 mln people frostbitten in NW China province _English_Xinhua

Severe snow disasters have left 1.65 million people snowblind and frostbitten, 500,000 livestock and wildlife dead and 3.1 million others on verge of starvation in Tibetan prefectures of northwestern Qinghai Province. Since October last year, consecutive low temperature had gripped the province. The temperature plunged to minus 36.3 degrees centigrade, the record lowest in January in the province, said the provincial meteorological bureau.

I’m sceptical of anything published in China, but this one is troubling. Check out some of the photos and video on this page. Sure it’s propaganda, but the scale of effort required is huge.

To me this sounds far worse than the New Orleans disaster of a few years ago, but being in China… well it doesn’t make the news unless it’s a nuclear test right?

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