Month: December 2018

From grapes to wine – how to make an indulgence more eco sustainable

I love wine! Don’t you? It’s a delightful addition to many meals and social occasions, a medium to great conversation and flavor enhancement. Being eco-conscious, I wondered what is the carbon footprint of wine? Through the years I’ve done quite a lot of research and as a result I have changed my choices around my wine selections. The wine footprint story: grapes don’t require the copious amounts of fertilizers to grow that other crops such as corn do organic wines are grown without fertilizer or use of pesticides wine grown using biodynamic certified practices use organic practices and emphasizes biodiversity and ecosystem preservation the carbon dioxide released from the fermentation of wine grapes makes up an insignificant percentage of the total emissions associated with wine production the biggest source of greenhouse gases from wine is in transporting wine to the consumer transporting heavy glass bottles uses much more fuel, and therefore has a bigger impact, than lighter glass or other alternative packaging (box, tetrapack, plastic) transporting bulk wine (in kegs) has a smaller carbon footprint transporting …

Pine needles could be turned into paint and food sweeteners

How many Christmas trees do you think are used in the world at Christmas? According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are close to 350 million Christmas trees currently growing on Christmas tree farms in the United States alone and about 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees sold every year. There are about 8 million sold in the UK each year. That is a lot of trees just in these 2 countries. There are no statistics available for the number of trees purchased Canada but there are statistics for how many trees Canada exports each year. In 2013 this number is over 1.5 million. So what if these trees after the festive holidays are over could be used to make something useful for us? As reported on Science Daily: “Cynthia Kartey, a PhD student from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has found that useful products can be made from the chemicals extracted from pine needles when processed. The major component (up to 85 per cent) of pine needles is a …

PrAna – clothing & accessories

PrAna makes clothing & other product that are fair trade certified, sustainable and environmentally conscious. They have organic cotton, responsible down and recycled wool. These are clothes you can really feel good buying! You may notice PrAna clothing are a bit more expensive than the comparable regular cotton (non-organic and non-fair trade) however this really is a reflection of the company paying for fair wages and using zero waste and environmentally sustainable production processes. Clothing PrAna makes clothing with the environment and clothing manufactures in mind. They create clothing for hiking, climbing, yoga, swimming/ beach wear and casual street wear. and Here are the top 4 reasons how their clothes are stand out in the fashion industry: Organic cotton: What makes organic materials, like cotton, so much better than the conventional ones? Organic cotton is grown in a way that uses methods and materials that lessen the impact on our environment. A big effort in the organic movement is to use growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic …

Mrs Meyers Lavender Laundry Soap

Product description: Concentrated detergent formula Contains plant-derived cleaning ingredients with dirt and stain-fighting enzymes 64 loads of laundry per bottle Biodegradable, HE laundry detergent for use in high efficiency and conventional washing machines Garden-fresh lavender scented laundry soap with an original and clean floral fragrance Pros: Concentrated so only a small amount is needed per load of laundry (~1/4 cup), scent is very pleasant (if you enjoy scents in your laundry process), 100% biodegradable, inexpensive for amount of laundry loads per bottle. Cons: The lid/top is different than most laundry soaps and this new design is easy to spill if you’re not mindful when pouring. Where to buy in Calgary: Sobeys, Canadian Tire, London Drugs, City Market Sage HillBuy online on Amazon (affiliate link) Overall rating: 4.5/5

How to Recycle Biodegradable Take Out Containers

Although the take out containers are marked “biodegradable” there’s more to the story about how they should to be recycled. The City of Calgary reports the biodegradable containers do not biodegrade fast enough for their composting process. Where should you dispose of the containers? Your blue recycle bin Any city recycle bin areas (in the cardboard bin) Your own compost bin These containers are amazing and so much better than Styrofoam. Help city workers out by putting them in the right place so the composting project goes a lot smoother!

LEAF Certified Restaurants #YYC

There is a process restaurants can go through that is called “LEAF certification. LEAF certified restaurants have declared they are committed to the environment and providing a sustainable dining experience. Each restaurant must undergo an on-site review by a LEAF Accredited Consultant and meet minimum requirements in ten key areas of sustainability including: 1. Energy use2. Food purchasing and menu items3. Supplies4. Building and location5. Furnishing and decorative items6. Chemicals7. Waste and recycling8. Employees9. Policy and innovation10. Water use In Calgary the current LEAF certified restaurants include: Cafe Beano Calgary Zoo Community Natural Foods Craft Beer Market Fiasco Taiko Taco Mountain Mercato Odyssey Coffehouse River Cafe Sait School of Hospitality and Tourism Coup + Meet Una Pizza and Wine Heane House J.Webb Wine Merchant You can read more about the LEAF certification process on the LEAF website.

The Plastic Disaster

We know plastic is a huge issue in our world, it’s piling up so fast that there is not one country who really knows what the HECK to do with it. Well there might just be a solution, well not really. Read more in the Guardian this week read “The answer to plastic pollution…” Here is an direct quote from the article to get your excitement to read more started: “As holiday shopping ramps up, so do the dizzying varieties of plastic packaging tossed in recycling bins. And while we wish a Christmas miracle would transform this old garbage into something new, the reality is the waste left over from the holiday shopping frenzy is more likely than ever to end up in a landfill or incinerator. Until January of this year, the United States and other Western countries were foisting their low-value plastic waste on to China, with little concern for the environmental degradation this caused. To protect its citizens from the burden of foreign pollution, in the beginning of this year, China refused to …

Carbon Food Print

BBC News just released a stellar article. You can calculate your carbon foot print from food and be either happily surprised or dismally disappointed! This is a quote directly from the article to get you excited to read more: “Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by two-thirds, according to the Oxford study, published in the journal Science. “What we eat is one of the most powerful drivers behind most of the world’s major environmental issues, whether it’s climate change or biodiversity loss,” study researcher Joseph Poore told BBC News. “Changing your diet can make a big difference to your personal environmental footprint, from saving water to reducing pollution and the loss of forests, he said. It reduces the amount of land required to produce your food by about 75% – that’s a huge reduction, particularly if you scale that up globally,” Poore explained.” This chart is posted in the article: Will this change your eating habits? References: BBC Climate change food calculator: What’s your diet’s …

Vegan Leather Tote – Mat and Nat

Product description: Product bags using their signature vegan leather Use eco-friendly materials like recycled nylon, cork and rubber The bags are then produced in small factories they’ve had long-standing relationships with. Factories qualify for the SA8000 standard certification. Linings are made of 100% recycled bottles. Approximately 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag produced More about the vegan leather used: Various vegan leathers are used in production, the scientific terms are PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinylchloride). PU is less harmful for the environment than PVC and its use is definitely preferred, whenever possible. In addition to being vegan, sustainable materials are constantly sourced in design; these include recycled nylons, cork and rubber. Pros: Production uses vegan leathers and recycled materials, durable and long lasting, can use the product as a tote, laptop bag or travel bag, stands up on it’s own without tipping over even with contents inside. Cons: The end product is a bit stiff, if you are used to leather you might want to go to a store and handle the bag first before …

Ecover Zero Dish Soap

Product Description: Non-toxic, biodegradable formula 100% Natural fragrance Never tested on animals Bottle made with recycled plastic & Plantplastic® Made with renewable, plant-based ingredients Non toxic Pros: Unscented and scented options, only a small amount is needed and it goes a long ways, very good suds and long lasting. Cons:  low to medium cost for size of bottle Where to buy in Calgary: Canadian Tire, London Drugs, Walmart Where to buy online: Amazon (affiliate link) Overall rating: 4.5/5