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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Category Archives: Green Living

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

Solar energy good for investors, good for the environment: World Economic Forum

When home owners, businesses, and institutions of all kinds install solar panels on their roofs, they do so for two reasons: to save money on their electricity bills and to somehow “help” the environment by slowing global warming. These are the arguments usually put forward by advocates for the environment to appeal to people’s self-interest at the personal level (their money) and at the global level (the health of the planet). But are they valid arguments? Does solar power really save people money on electricity? Does its use make any difference to the climate change dilemma? Is the guy who sets up a small array of solar panels on his ... Read More »

Urban density reduces greenhouse emissions: study

Densification is one of those difficult concepts that can perplex people no matter where they stand on the issue of urban growth. There are plenty of pro-densification, anti-sprawl types who live in comfortable homes on older, tree-lined streets in central Toronto, and who would be appalled by the idea of building a high-rise condo building in their neighbourhood. This is nothing more than normal NIMBYism. Home builders, on the other hand, insist that their only goal is to give consumers what they want when they build those large, multi-bedroom, multi-car-garage homes in the suburbs. Densification, to them, is for those who want to live downtown in a condo, a matter ... Read More »

Greener data centres will make our digital lives more Earth friendly

In one of those “top five of the year” type stories that appear everywhere at this time of year, this one from Eco-Business, the greening of data centres is included as an important development. This seemed interesting, mainly because we hadn’t thought much about a) data centres or b) how green they currently are. As it turns out, the world’s data centres consume vast quantities of energy—30 billion watts of electricity, or enough to power thirty nuclear power plants by one estimate—and most of the data they store is essentially dead, consisting of our old emails and selfies and other digital junk sitting on some always-on server. Big energy users, ... Read More »

World’s mayors called on to stop climate change with urgent action by 2020

There has been a lot of hand-wringing among the environmentally aware since Donald Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement. Fortunately, if former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is right (he’s the billionaire who called Trump a “con” at the democratic convention in July), it won’t matter that much if Trump makes good on his promise. The reality is, says Bloomberg, it’s the cities of the world and their mayors that hold the solutions to the climate change problems we face, and mayors “have never waited for Washington to act here in the US, and have never waited for international treaties to protect their citizens and ... Read More »

Living green walls offer inexpensive solution for polluted, stressed out cities

As the people of Toronto know too well, there is not enough green space in the city’s core. The mayor’s proposal to build a huge park over several acres of railway land would go a long way to addressing that shortage, but there are other ways that could be considered. A new report from an international engineering firm recommends that buildings in cities around the world should be “retrofitted” not only with green roofs, but with green facades as well. The benefits would be similar: reducing urban heat island effects, filtering dust and pollution from the air, helping to reduce energy consumption, and improving people’s wellbeing. The report, titled Cities ... Read More »

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