Green News

Water reduction starts at home

Posted by TheGreen on 12/21 at 04:35 AM

This Christmas we decided to do something a little different. As part of becoming a little bit greener, we decided to get rid of our two 13 litre flush toilets and install new TOTO Aquia Dual Flush Toilet CST414M. The cost to purchase the toilets was a little high ($350 Canadian), but we feel the water savings were more important. Since we had to replace the floors in the two bathrooms, it was an ideal time to upgrade.

For those that are not familiar with the dual flush toilets, our research shows there are two main brands that people talk about the most. The Toto 6l / 3.2l flush (1.6G / .9G), and the Caroma 6l / 3l flush (1.6G / .8G). There are a lot of positive and a lot of negatives reviews on both of these toilets, so I think it comes down to what you the consumer wants. Note the Caroma uses a smidgen less water than the Caroma Dual flush toilet.

If like us, you are not sure where to begin, here are the two main sites we used to help make a decision. The Terry Love website has a great forum that has a lot of reviews and straight up talk about the pros and cons of both the Toto and Caroma toilets, and about Dual flush toilets in general. You can find a lot of consumer reviews at the Toto that we bought, keeping in mind that it is a Toto specialist site. At you will find a lot of reviews on the Toto toilets, but again, nothing on the Caroma. It is worth taking the time to read through the bulk of the reviews to get a good grasp on the issues people had.

Most of the sites have reviews that rate the installation of the Toto Aquia Dual Flush Toilet as being quite difficult. Our experience though was one of ease. Yes, you need to drill 6 extra holes in the floor to install all the mounting hardware, but with the right tools, this was quite simple. As the reviews state, you will need a 5/16” carbide tip drill if you are mounting the toilet on a tile floor. The 1/4” drill will not suffice. The only real difficulty we experienced was getting the water supply line installed on the toilet after we had the toilet installed. Although it was possible to get the supply line installed, if I had to do it again, I would install the supply line onto the toilet before sliding the toilet onto the base PVC flange. Then hook the supply line to the supply feed. Note that you will possibly require a longer supply line due to where the hookup on the toilet is. Apart from that we are set.

Another complaint from people about the Dual Flush toilets in general is that it gets dirty very quickly. One of the ways these toilets use so little water is how little water they keep in the bowl. As a result, number two can easily mark up the sides of the toilet. Well, so be it. Just keep your toilet cleaning arsenal handy, oh, and the fan turned on!

In the summer time we often have four five kids using the main toilet throughout the day. This can result in 15 or more flushes a day, which was about 195 litres of water used each day just on flushing the pee away. The new Toto Dual Flush will use only 45 litres, or save us 140 litres a day, on those higher use days. That alone is great to see.

Bottom line, the Dual Flush toilets are not for everyone, but if we are redoing your bathroom, it is well worth considering getting a toilet that has a small water footprint.

If you found this article useful, or if you have questions, feel free to post some comments. I will do my best to answer the questions that I can.

About the author: TheGreen

Can the warnings get any more serious??

Posted by Strawberry on 12/12 at 04:53 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

If you’re reading this, chances are you are concerned about the environment. So this is a bit like preaching to the choir. But if anyone you know questions what’s happening to this planet of ours, have them read this:

Humanity faces oblivion if it fails to reach agreement on global warming, Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, said yesterday as the US and the European Union continued to scuffle over a successor to the ten-year-old Kyoto treaty on climate change.

“The world’s scientists have spoken with one voice: the situation is grim and urgent action is needed,” Mr Ban said at a gathering of 190 countries on the Indonesian island of Bali. “The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically. We are at a crossroads: one path leads to a comprehensive climate change agreement, the other one to oblivion.”

Click on the link and read on.

About the author: Strawberry

The greatest environmental crime in history

Posted by Strawberry on 12/11 at 03:32 PM

I hadn’t given much thought to Alberta’s oil sands projects, other than that yes, they produce more oil and that adds to the problems facing the world. But getting the oil out of there in the first place has some pretty horrific effects on the environment - before it ever makes its way to your car. Check out this story from The Independent about BP’s decision to get in on the oil sands game. Think about it the next time you buy a car, crank on your oil furnace or think of moving to Alberta for one of those high-paying jobs.

About the author: Strawberry

Fewer speed bumps, better city planning, please

Posted by Strawberry on 11/01 at 03:07 PM

Speed bumps - a Band-Aid solution for bad street planning - not only fuel drivers’ tempers and create noise pollution, they add greenhouse gases to the air we breathe, says a new federal housing agency report.

About the author: Strawberry

Google looking into alternative energies

Posted by Strawberry on 10/30 at 02:57 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

Google is participating in a number of initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Included are a 1.6 megawatt solar installation at its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. With solar panels on building roofs, Google has also constructed a car port with solar panels on the roof. Employees are encouraged to charge up plug-in hybrids. “Google’s solar carports are just the beginning,” a company spokesperson says. A very interesting read for all those interested in what the big corporations are doing to help curb global warming.

About the author: Strawberry

Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home

Posted by Strawberry on 10/29 at 07:36 PM

Filmmaker Employs Unique Social Marketing Campaign to Distribute New Feature Length Documentary that Literally Brings Home the Threat to Our Environment

(TORONTO, ON, Monday, October 29, 2007) - On November 19, 2007 independent filmmaker and concerned father Andrew Nisker invites audiences everywhere to be a part of the World premiere of the documentary Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home and to help launch a global grassroots movement to combat the heavy toll household waste is exacting on the environment.  Nisker is challenging the public to start a global garbage revolution!

Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home, the new feature length documentary by filmmaker Andrew Nisker candidly portrays the threat to our environment as the Mcdonald family of Toronto tracks their waste output for three months. As they discover where their garbage goes and at what cost to the environment, the Mcdonald household engages the audience with an ‘open-door reality-check.’ Meticulous tracking of consumption and waste, right down to the children’s lunchboxes result in not only candid comments, but also some rather enlightening and even humorous moments.

“Household waste is a huge factor in the degradation of our environment. There is an unspoken and ongoing acceptance of extraneous packaging, for instance, mostly in the name of branding, resulting in tons and tons of garbage that we really can do without and this is visually portrayed in the film,” Nisker points out.

Nisker’s distribution model is tied into creating a movement for social change, starting at the local level and taking it global through the online community at where viewers are asked to share videos, pictures and blogs of their own advice,  ideas, solutions and initiatives to make eco-friendly living a reality in every home.

“Society is tired of waiting for slow moving politicians and corporations to implement change, but the truth is we don’t need to wait. From the bottom up, the time has come to change our own worlds starting at home and to send a message to the polluters that we have all chosen a green path. Viewing Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home empowers audiences to make those changes, now, by making simple lifestyle choices,” says Nisker.

More than a viral marketing campaign, the unique distribution model acts as a global call to action, utilizing social media to build and foster a sense of community in an effort to effect positive social change one-family-at-a-time.  By hosting a screening of the film, discussing solutions and sharing their own initiatives viewers can be part of a larger movement to change the way household garbage is produced, reduced and disposed of.

Already families and communities around the world have confirmed their plans to screen Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home on November 19th in places such as in Calgary, New York, Los Angeles, London, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and Chicago, with the list growing daily. In Toronto, the World Premiere is set for November 19th at 9pm at Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave Toronto (University Of Toronto).

The documentary has already inspired a movement in North America to stop buying bottled water. Tappening which will be launched next month by best selling author and President of Ericho Communications, Eric Yaverbaum ( in partnership with Mark DiMassimo, Chairman and Founder of highly acclaimed advertising agency DIGO (  Their combined 50 years of experience will not only support Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home with social marketing initiatives, but a portion of profits from sales of their water bottles will also go toward fostering the Garbage! Revolution.

In Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home, filmmaker Andrew Nisker succinctly puts a vast amount of about past, current and ongoing environmental damage and the growing catastrophe we are all contributing to into one remarkably enjoyable film.  Nisker skillfully shifts focus from melting glaciers and oil slicks to ‘any neighborhood,’ ‘any town;’ and essentially, right into your own home, so that citizens can connect the dots between their actions and the environment and be inspired to change their polluting ways.

Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home is for sale on DVD at Any individual, family, business or corporation can host a screening of the film. Those interested are asked to purchase a film, download a screening package - complete with action items - and are encouraged to record their reactions and thoughts. This feedback can then be shared with a global online community at


For more information, to arrange an interview or request a screener, please contact:

Nadia Sandhu                         Lowell Hall
Executive Account Manager       Director Operations
LH Metropolis Communications   LH Metropolis Communications   
(P) 416-519-9045                     (P) 416-519-9045
(C) 416-839-8508                     (C) 416-887-1636

Fern Marcya Edison
Ericho Communications
(P) 845-679-631

About the author: Strawberry

James Lovelock - Apocalypse soon

Posted by TheGreen on 10/24 at 01:08 PM
Global WarmingPermalink

This morning my sister sent me a link to this story. Until now I had not heard of James Lovelock. His ideas look intersting if not a wee bit radical. I supposed to obtain a full rounded view of things, we should keep an open mind to all ideas. His book The Revenge of Gaia looks interesting too.

“A couple of times in the course of my lunch with Professor James Lovelock, I catch our waitress cocking an eyebrow at me in mild surprise. As instructed by Lovelock’s publisher, I asked for the quietest table in the restaurant. But, between us, my guest and I manage to make enough noise - mainly hoots of laughter - to attract the attention of other diners.
If they could hear the rest of our conversation, they would be even more surprised. “Humanity will be reduced to a few breeding pairs.” “An enormous food shortage will kill off most people.” “Watch the Dutch. Half of northern Europe will be under water, and there’s Holland behind a 10ft surrounding wall carrying on business as usual.” More laughter. Lovelock is a very jolly prophet of the apocalypse.”

About the author: TheGreen

Not the most terrifying video ever: None-the-less, A good argument about Global warming

Posted by TheGreen on 10/17 at 06:26 PM
ThoughtsGlobal WarmingPermalink

A friend sent me a link to a Video called “Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See”. If you watch nothing else this week, perhaps you will watch this. Skeptics out there might say, “No thanks, I know what this fellow is going to say.” I dare you, the skeptic to watch this video. Go on skeptic, watch it. Are you afraid of an opinion?

All in all, this is a compelling argument that shows the extremes of two different lines of thinking when it comes to Global Warming. The fellow in the video is not saying one line of thinking is right, and one is wrong. He is simply putting out there a different way of looking at the issue of Global Warming.

So over a beer with friends, or a glass of wine on your own, however you do it, take 9 minutes and watch this…today.

About the author: TheGreen