Green Toolbox - News and Resources - December 2012

NEWS & RESOURCES

I’M DREAMING OF A GREEN HOLIDAY SEASON:  TIPS FOR GREENING YOUR WORKPLACE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

It’s estimated that Canadians exchange more than two billion Christmas cards each year and spend over $4 billion on wrapping, decorating and giving gifts. During this holiday season, remember to reduce, re-use, and recycle when possible. Here are a few borrowed tips to help make this holiday season a bit greener:

  • Send an e-card to wish your staff and constituents happy holidays:  it’s cost-effective, can be personalized and produces no waste.
  • Buy recycled wrapping paper and use natural materials such as raffia, string and dried flowers to decorate presents. You can even try wrapping gifts in old maps, comic pages or reusable items such as scarves or tea towels (for other creative ideas, click here).
  • Green your office party - choose a green venue, select organic and local food, send out e-invites, avoid using disposable crockery, cutlery and glassware, ask AV suppliers to use LED lighting only and/or create a Christmas tree by using recycled material (a great team challenge).
  • Consider buying fair-trade products, organic treats and other eco-friendly gifts for your co-workers, such as an iPhone solar recharging case or solar powered bike lights for getting back and forth to work safely (for more green gift ideas, visit Daily Green, and Living Green
  • Consider donating to a charity or environmental organization rather than exchanging gifts with co-workers.
  • Organize a recycling gift drive by inviting your co-workers to bring in any gifts they do not want or never use, or old toys their kids have grown and donate them to a local charity.Decorations
  • Use LED lights to decorate your office and municipal Christmas tree as they are 90% more energy efficient than incandescent lights.
  • Remember to turn off your holiday lights when you leave at night. This will save money on your energy bill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Regenerate over the holidays - make sure you take time with family and friends to reinvigorate and recharge over the holiday season.
  • Make a green New Year's resolution before returning to work in 2013.

WIND IS IN! – A NEW WIND RESOURCE FOR MUNICIPALITIES

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has developed a new brochure titled, The Secret is Out - Wind is In.  This resource provides up-to-date factual information and resources to answer the most commonly asked questions about wind energy.

To view the brochure, click here.

For more information on CanWEA’s resources and the services it provides, contact Shawna Eason (formerly with the Cumberland Energy Authority), Regional Director of Atlantic Canada for CanWEA by telephone (1-800-922-6932 ext. 245) or e-mail ().

CanWEA is a non-profit trade association that promotes the appropriate development and application of all aspects of wind energy in Canada, including the creation of a suitable policy environment.


CUPE NOVA SCOTIA ENCOURAGES “BUY LOCAL FIRST” WITH THE LAUNCH OF ITS 10% SHIFT WEBSITE


CUPE has launched a new website (www.novashift.ca) to encourage people to buy local products and services to help enhance our local economy. This initiative, titled 10% Shift, urges Nova Scotians to take a pledge to shift just ten percent of their weekly spending to locally-produced goods and services.  Shifting $50 dollars a week of your spending to support local businesses translates into $2,500 a year per person or a $1 billion annual boost into our local economy. 

By taking the 10% Shift pledge, you will be joining people from all over Nova Scotia who are supporting local businesses to create a vibrant, sustainable economy.  This could be as simple as buying bread from the local bakery, meat, eggs and vegetables from a Farmers' Market, coffee from the locally-owned café or Nova Scotian wine.  By taking the pledge and visiting the 10% Shift website, you will have access to over 160 businesses that offer locally-produced goods and services.

If your municipality would like a short presentation on this new initiative, please contact Danny Cavanagh, President of CUPE Nova Scotia at .

 

NEW REGULATIONS TO IMPROVE CONTAMINATED SITE MANAGEMENT
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS:  JANUARY 15

The Province is introducing new rules to provide a clearer and faster process for cleaning up contaminated sites.  The regulations address recommendations made by the auditor general in 2010 and meet another target in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act.

The regulations ensure that site professionals are qualified to do the work, allow property owners to get a release from further enforcement by the department once a site is cleaned to provincial standards, and support creating an online registry of contaminated properties.

The new rules will come into effect in July 2013.  For more information on the regulations, visit www.gov.ns.ca/nse/contaminatedsites/

The Nova Scotia Environment Contaminated Sites Project Team is pleased to present the following contaminated sites regulations draft protocol presentation.  Access to the presentation and related documents will be available through the above link until January 15, 2013.  The Province encourages your feedback on the draft protocols and requests comments be submitted on one, or both forms included in the link.  All submission forms should be e-mailed to , no later than January 15, 2013.

If you have any questions regarding this process or the proposed regulations, please direct them to .

 

RRFB NOVA SCOTIA INTRODUCES NEW COMPACTION TRAILER PILOT PROJECT

In late November, the Resource Recovery Fund Board Inc. (RRFB Nova Scotia) introduced a new compaction trailer pilot project to owners and operators of Enviro Depots from around the province.  This first-of-its-kind in North America compacts recyclable beverage containers at the depot site and then transports them directly to the end-market processor.  Under the current system, a regular trailer fits approximately 78 bulk containers of recyclables.  The new compaction trailer is expected to fit approximately 500 bulk containers of recyclables.  This will result in fewer trucks on Nova Scotia roads and substantial cost savings.  It is expected that these cost saving will assist RRFB Nova Scotia to continue supporting other mandates, such as research and development, value-added manufacturing, and municipal waste diversion programs. 

For more information about this initiative, please contact Carolyn Pierce, Communications Manager, RRFB Nova Scotia, at 902-897-3253.

 

A SNAPSHOT OF THE LATEST CLIMATE SCIENCE

A new report released by The World Bank titled, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided” examines the implications of a four degree Celsius increase in global mean temperatures by the end of the century. Predictions for a four degree warmer world include: unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious impacts on ecosystems and associated services.

The report is a snapshot of the latest climate science prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, and demonstrates that the world is on a path to a 4 degree Celsius warmer world by end of this century and current greenhouse gas emissions pledges will not reduce this by much.  It indicates that this scenario is potentially devastating and may lead to the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher under and malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased intensity of tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.

To view the report, visit:  www.worldbank.org/en/news/2012/11/18/new-report-examines-risks-of-degree-hotter-world-by-end-of-century

 

A NEW REPORT ON THE FEASIBILITY OF ATLANTIC OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY

The US National Wildlife Federation and more than 45 partner organizations have released a report titled “The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife, and Secure America’s Energy Future”. The publication reports on opportunities for offshore wind along the US Atlantic coast, including the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs while powering homes and business with local, clean energy.  

The report claims that some of the best offshore wind resources in the world are along the Atlantic coast, where over 1,300 GW of energy generation potential has been identified. Harnessing just a fraction of offshore wind resource — 52 GW — could power about 14 million U.S. homes with local, pollution-free energy while creating over $200 billion in new economic activity along the coast.

To view the report, visit:  www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/Reports/NWF_2012OffshoreWind_Final.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121119T1052437235