By on August 26th, 2008

As an environmentally conscious person, I’m flawed.  I admit it.  I’m no “No Impact Man.”  He’s the guy who is trying, while living in Manhattan, to have absolutely no negative impact on the environment.  No air-conditioning, no purchasing new things, no washing machine.  I’ve even heard they don’t use toilet paper. (!)

I use toilet paper.  And I use A/C, although I keep my thermostat at 78.

There are some things, however, that I think I ought to be able to give up, but I just haven’t.

Number one on the list: soda cans.  My wife, my 14-year-old stepson and I all like to drink soda out of cans.  Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, and even Tropicana Lite Lemonade.  We tried buying the soda in bottles, but it tends to go flat before we use it up.  The cans alleviate this problem.

Of course, we recycle the cans.  And we’re not alone: according to The Aluminum Association, Americans recycled 54 billion aluminum cans last year, 2 billion more than in 2006.  Aluminum cans are recycled at a 53.6% rate, which sadly is thought to be a good percentage.  The aluminum can is 100% recyclable into new cans and the aluminum can be re-used indefinitely.

Still, recycling takes energy.  It must be more efficient to buy larger containers of liquids, right?  So we continue to feel that we are using lots more of this resource — aluminum — than we should. 

Maybe, after writing this little blurb, I will feel guilty enough to at least buy bigger bottles of the Lite Lemonade.  That doesn’t go flat.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody else want to reveal a guilty secret about some wasteful part of their lives they’re not willing to forego?

By on August 26th, 2008

As an environmentally conscious person, I’m flawed.  I admit it.  I’m no “No Impact Man.”  He’s the guy who is trying, while living in Manhattan, to have absolutely no negative impact on the environment.  No air-conditioning, no purchasing new things, no washing machine.  I’ve even heard they don’t use toilet paper. (!)

I use toilet paper.  And I use A/C, although I keep my thermostat at 78.

There are some things, however, that I think I ought to be able to give up, but I just haven’t.

Number one on the list: soda cans.  My wife, my 14-year-old stepson and I all like to drink soda out of cans.  Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, and even Tropicana Lite Lemonade.  We tried buying the soda in bottles, but it tends to go flat before we use it up.  The cans alleviate this problem.

Of course, we recycle the cans.  And we’re not alone: according to The Aluminum Association, Americans recycled 54 billion aluminum cans last year, 2 billion more than in 2006.  Aluminum cans are recycled at a 53.6% rate, which sadly is thought to be a good percentage.  The aluminum can is 100% recyclable into new cans and the aluminum can be re-used indefinitely.

Still, recycling takes energy.  It must be more efficient to buy larger containers of liquids, right?  So we continue to feel that we are using lots more of this resource — aluminum — than we should. 

Maybe, after writing this little blurb, I will feel guilty enough to at least buy bigger bottles of the Lite Lemonade.  That doesn’t go flat.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody else want to reveal a guilty secret about some wasteful part of their lives they’re not willing to forego?

By on August 16th, 2008

I took a walk in beautiful downtown Ottawa this afternoon and came across this container that separates garbage, plastic bottles, and recyclables. It’s really nice to see that somehow

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they do try to recycle but what’s wrong with this is there’s maybe only one of those per building block.

I also took a look inside the thing and garbage was in with the recyclables and vice versa. Good try Ottawa but not good enough.

Maybe they could change the containers to clear ones so that people can see what’s in them instead of trying to figure out what’s written on the scratched up stickers. I guess the only way to make that happen would be to write a complaint to the city of Ottawa. I’ll send them an email and see what they reply. Stay tuned to see the results.

By on August 12th, 2008

The Osisko Festival held in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada this weekend was a great success with its best attendance ever. Featuring one of the 70’s biggest band “CCR” and Canadian Pop Rock Artist David Usher the crowd was going crazy.

We recently wrote about the Ottawa Bluesfest going green and I’m very happy to once again be able to talk to you about another green festival. Ok this festival may not be as big as the Ottawa Bluesfest but the organizers of these events sure are doing a great job at keeping an environmentally friendly aspect. Every few meters on the site you could find a container separating cans and bottles, recyclables and garbage. Also, volunteers were doing a very good job at keeping these containers usable by regularly emptying them.

These photos show volunteers sorting out the empty cans and loading them into the Pepsi truck.

Keep up the good work Osisko!



By on August 12th, 2008

The Osisko Festival held in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada this weekend was a great success with its best attendance ever. Featuring one of the 70’s biggest band “CCR” and Canadian Pop Rock Artist David Usher the crowd was going crazy.

We recently wrote about the Ottawa Bluesfest going green and I’m very happy to once again be able to talk to you about another green festival. Ok this festival may not be as big as the Ottawa Bluesfest but the organizers of these events sure are doing a great job at keeping an environmentally friendly aspect. Every few meters on the site you could find a container separating cans and bottles, recyclables and garbage. Also, volunteers were doing a very good job at keeping these containers usable by regularly emptying them.

These photos show volunteers sorting out the empty cans and loading them into the Pepsi truck.

Keep up the good work Osisko!



By on May 31st, 2008

We just returned from a trip to Ontario, where I”m proud to report that recycling is in much fuller swing than it is here in the Okanagan. With a house full of B.C. guests, my father was constantly pointing to various containers for this and that type of garbage. One for paper products, one for food waste, one for plastics and one for

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regular garbage. I was impressed how little “garbage” there actually was (and also that it only gets picked up every other week). One of the main items that filled up the actual garbage container (especially while we were there with small kids) was packaging from foods.

I”m not sure about other families, but in our household, breakfast is the main event. We go through a lot of cereal, and while the cardboard boxes are recyclable, the inner best casino bonuses bags generally end up in the trash. To get around this problem I have stopped buying freezer bags and started reusing the bags that hold our kids” favourite cereals. These inner bags are sturdy and large and work well for holding baking and other portioned food for the freezer. And, even though the cardboard is recyclable, I”m trying to teach my kids that it is a good idea to reuse before we recycle. After all, the recycling process from start to finish still requires some major energy sucking. My four year old loves to cut things out, so instead of always buying plastic or stuffed toys of her favourite characters or animals (speaking of excess packaging) we draw the latest Backyardigan or My Little Pony and she colours it, cuts it out, and adds it to her cardboard collection. While this may sound too good to be true, she often takes these lovable friends to Show and Tell with her.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month, and my family will be observing Earth Hour again. In case you”re new to Talk Green, please take a moment to read our monthly plan. We”d love if you would join us in encouraging kids to care for the earth by designating a no power hour in your household at the end of each month. If you”re planning on having an Earth Hour with your kids, ask them to go on a tour of the house with you while you unplug all of the power suckers for the night before putting them to bed.

Next month we will be suggesting some Earth Friendly storybooks for kids.