Green News

Stop Junk Mail in your mail box - SVP. Pas de Circlulaires!

Posted by TheGreen on 05/16 at 01:39 PM

You are as tired of ALL the junk mail you get from publisac and from Canada Post? You can stop that junk mail... did you know that? We did but are only getting around to taking action now. My wife at first didn't much like the idea as she wanted to still get the flyers for stores we frequent. The solution to that was easy, download the flyer from the stores websites. See a fairly complete list below of flyers to download or view online. Oh hey, if you have more flyers online you would like me to add to the list, please email me or leave a comment below. Thanks.

Step one to reducing junk mailing and helping to save our planet:

Put a no Junk Mail sticker on your mailbox. This will help to eliminate the amount of non-addressed ad-mail you get in your mail box. Here in Quebec you might want to do that in french, or both french and english. Your choice, but I doubt just putting an english sign up will get you too far. If, like me, you don't know where to get a sticker, I have made a PDF you can print on your own colour printer and put on your mail box yourself. You can either get Avery type sticker paper at your local stationary store, or you can use clear packing tape to tape the stickers printed on plain paper, to your mail box. If you keep getting non-addressed ad-mail then take a quick minute to call this number 1-866-607-6301 or visit Canada Post's website contact page.

Download the No Junk Mail stickers now:

Step two:

Sign up on the Canadian Marketing Agencies (CMA) website for their no-call list. This will help eliminate new companies from sending you addressed ad mail.

I would love to hear other peoples success on eliminating their junk mail they get. Now if only we can get rid of all that spam smile Actually we can, but that is a different story all together.

List of circulars that you can view online or download in PDF format:

Food - Alimentation

Other - Autres

About the author: TheGreen

Apple announces new environmentally friendlier laptop

Posted by TheGreen on 01/15 at 08:38 PM

Today Apple announced a new laptop, claiming it the worlds thinnest machine. Apart from this amazing technological feat, Apple has also taken to making an environmentally friendlier machine. Steve Jobs today touted the new MacBook Air as having a fully aluminum case which is good for recycling, the first completely mercury and lead free displays. The circuit boards are BFR free also. Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) replaced PCB as the major chemical flame retardant. Typically they are applied to prevent electronics from catching fire. Last but not least, what every retailer should be focusing on, Apple, has reduced retail packaging by 56% over the MacBook.

This is an exciting machine for those that can afford and hopefully Apple will start to put their environment savings into their other machines.

About the author: TheGreen

Montreal Plastic bag tax, just another excuse

Posted by TheGreen on 08/13 at 01:25 PM

The Quebec government feels that we use too many plastic bags. Wow, you think? Quebec, and Montreal seem to continually tell us they want to help the environment and help make our planet greener. Like most politicians, they are afraid to upset anyone, and in doing so only come up with partial measures for improvement. At a recent town meeting my wife and I attended we were told that the City Montreal had put into place a mandate to have the average amount of recycled material for residences at 60%. That is 60% of all output from residential homes would need to be recycled by the year 2008. The chair of the meeting told us it was quite a goal for us to reach. A few truly concerned citizens asked the question, why 60%? Why not 90%, or 95%. 60% seems almost laughable in todays age.

Now, the government wants to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. Those bags that people love to complain about in spring, blowing around the streets. Those bags the city complains about on recycling day, when the wind blows. Their idea of a solution is a 20 cent tax on each bag. If you go to the store to shop you will need to basically buy the bags for 20 cents a-piece. “Hey, I just spent $150 on groceries, and now I need to pay an additional $2 on bags to get my groceries home?” Most people I think will become overly complacant about this little tax, and the result will be little reduction.

Jacques Lalonde, founder of EcoContribution, an environmental advocacy group says “A ban would require lots of consultations and preparation. A tax has shown it can work from one day to the next.” Perhaps I am naive, but why so much consultation and preparation. People need to adjust and make a difference, and sometimes we need a radical change to make it happen. If I rememeber correctly, the introduction of taxes in the past has been quite expensive to set up. We need to follow the countries that have made the cut, those countries that banned plastic bags, some of them years ago. Heck, Manitoba has banned the plastic bag in grocery stores! Quebec, and Quebecers, wake up! Let’s get ahead of the game and show people how this is done. Let’s show the rest of the world that Canada can make a difference.

Where are the politicians with back bone? Where are the politicians that are not afraid to get a little bad press for doing something they believe in? Perhaps today’s politicians don’t believe in anythine? It makes me so angry that our current politicians are so worried about the polls that they never really bring in any measures of note anymore, or they simply flip flop until election day and then try to tell us that, “next term we will make a difference.”

If we care, then we need to stand up and say “No more plastic bags in Canada!” We outlawed incadenscent bulbs—which is a discussion entirely unto itself—so let’s outlaw the plastic bag. Let’s set the example, and not be the example, from now on. One day, maybe, just maybe, we can be proud to say that we have reduced our waste to a point comparible to some of those countries in Europe.

Taken from the Gazette article, here is how a few other places around the world are putting the curb on plastic bag use:

  • 2002: Ireland introduces its “plastax,” a 15-cent levy on plastic bags given by retailers.
  • 2002: Bangladesh bans polyethylene bags after drains and sewage lines clogged by bags are blamed for health hazards and flooding.
  • March: San Francisco bans petrol-based plastic bags in large supermarkets and pharmacy chains, a U.S. first.
  • April: Leaf Rapids, [Manitoba], becomes Canada’s first plastic shopping bag-free zone: retailers can no longer give away or sell plastic bags for single use.
  • By 2009: Australia plans to phase out plastic bags.

A lot of you reading this article, including my cousin in the townships, will say, “Hey Jim, we can’t rely on the government to do everything for us.” You are absolutely correct. We as individuals need to set the example too, perhaps first, and stop using these bags. There is no reason whatsoever, except shear laziness that we use these plastic bags. As for our family, we rely on reusable shopping bags, similar to the ones that Provigo now sells only much better (we have a couple of the provigo bags too). We were fortunate to have bought some excellent bags from Regal before they stopped selling them. Bags that stand open on their own making them easy to fill. Bags that are super strong so you can really pack them up with groceries. My wife is constantly being asked “where can I get bags like that,” to which she has no answer. If you are bag manufacturer, there is a market for quality shopping bags that are made to last. Even the provigo bags are not really made to last, meaning they too will start to get tossed into the land fills.

Can we ever get away from our throw-away society? Perhaps that is a topic for another day.

I invite you to comment on my thoughts here. Tell me how wrong I am, or how right I am. Tell me what ‘you’ are doing to help reduce the disposal of recycled bags.

About the author: TheGreen

Recycling in the country side

Posted by TheGreen on 07/05 at 08:14 PM

Out here in the country our recycling is picked up every 2 weeks, and by that time our 320 litre bin is full. It doesn’t have to be.

A generation ago you went to the butcher and got a piece of steak and it was wrapped in brown paper. Today that same steak would have a styrofoam backing and one, if not two layers of clear plastic wrapping.

Then there is the sheer amount of packaging that comes with almost any consumer goods these days. Anyone with kids knows the joys of spending Christmas day trying to extricate toys from layers of plastic and carboard, cutting wire ties, plastic tie wraps and rearranging the skin on your fingers in the process.

We all feel better when we throw stuff into the recycle bin. But that’s still stuff being used for no good purpose. Consumers have to start demanding less packaging. Less packaging means less use, less energy used, and a real benefit to the environment. Stop it at the source.

About the author: TheGreen

Recycle this

Posted by TheGreen on 07/05 at 07:11 PM

In a letter to the editor in todays The Chronicle, Warren M. from Beaconsfield QC wrote in a rather depressing siting from the Canada Day celebration at Centennial Park. Apparently much to his delight, blue recycling boxes were placed beside most of the trash bins, which in itself should make people a little happier about what our cities are doing for us. That delight then turned to disbelief after the days festivities ended. After a group went around and removed all the aluminum cans so they could most likely be recycled, “I watched the cleanup staff emptying the recycling boxes into the gargabe bags”, wrote Warren.

It would appear that there was no intention of the city of Beaconsfield ever actually recycling the days waste, or was there? Perhaps the city had god intentions and the staff just could care about our cities and our planet? Quite frankly, this makes me question any recycling boxes that city now puts out. What sort of guarantee do we have that the city is not just putting out the blue bins for show?

About the author: TheGreen