the National Post is Canada's right-wing fishwrap founded by Conrad Black that politically makes the Wall Street Journal look like the Village Voice. (Don't even think about reading what it says about Kyoto!) It is also beautifully designed, mostly wonderfully written and edited, and often full of surprises. A recent surprise was the Home section, normally filled with monster homes and zillion dollar estates, but this week, green from top to bottom- "It is often said that we haven't inherited the Earth from our fathers, we're borrowing it from our children. Today, with a heightened awareness of environmental concerns, homebuilders are making a commitment to create cleaner, more energy-efficient homes. With today's issue, Post Homes is making a similar commitment to weekly coverage of the greening of the home-building industry." Knowing the industry well, we suspect the commitments are superficial but nonetheless there is some good reading here. Home, Green Home: the introductory article to the section. In the discussion about Minto's green condos, they mention the special "all-off" switch at the entry- one switch that shuts off every light and fan in the house when you leave- what a cheap, simple and effective idea. +1 hug.
Mainstream design: Energy efficient on inside, no change outside let's start with the stuff we hate- two articles about a suburban housebuilder doing luxury tract housing where they throw money at insulation, heat pumps, heat recovery ventilators and all of the energy bells and whistles, saving up to 40% on the energy bill. Every bell and whistle is marked up, just another extra and upgrade that doesn't change the fact that the suburban house on a big lot miles from anywhere is not sustainable. We think the phrase is putting lipstick on a pig. -2 hugs.
A drop here, a drip there- wireservice pickup of article about saving water. 0 hugs
Shouting it from the rooftop gardens School chum Kelvin Browne writes (well) about the benefits of green roofs. They need popularization like this. +2 hugs.
New Web site aims to educate urbanites on rainwater We have written about rainwater harvesting in Toronto before; Now they have set up a website to promote it at www.rainguide.org but we cannot get the URL to work. "The most important fact is that people don't understand the impact that rain can have in a city environment," says Jennifer Hounsell, program director for RiverSides Stewardship Alliance, the organization behind the Web site. "We are trying to get people to make the connection between what happens once the rain falls, and where it ends up." +2 Hugs
Who's building high-rises with enviro-friendly features more on who is building what. +0 hug
Concrete evidence of cost savings Yet another article about how building monster homes out of styrofoam forms and concrete (ICF) is a good thing. It isn't. If you are going to build monster homes in the suburbs, make'em flimsy so that we can have the land back in 50 years. -5 hugs
On the whole, a brave start! Congratulations to the Post on this venture.