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Insight into the green heart of Canada

It’s rare when an automaker launches a car so in tune with the market’s demand for cleaner rides.

It’s rare when an automaker launches a car so in tune with the market’s demand for cleaner rides. It’s rarer still when the automaker’s official launch pays little attention to the product itself, especially in these tough economic times, and more on Canadians and their bid to live greener and healthier. That’s the case for Honda and its reincarnated gasoline-electric hybrid, the 2010 Insight.

The Japanese carmaker recently organized a cross-Canada tour, called Insight Into Canada, with the first new model to hit our shores. The unique road trip from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Nfld. drew attention to not only Insight’s excellent fuel-efficiency and small carbon footprint, but also on eco-friendly projects, large and small, that corporations and everyday Canadians are working on today — a green car connecting with green communities.

In Ontario, the Insight entourage explored environmentally conscious building solutions at the Earth Rangers’ headquarters in Woodbridge, Ont. The group is dedicated to not only educating children about energy and water conservation, but also make them understand the importance of local ecology.

“We want to be Terry Fox for the environment,” said Peter Kendall, Earth Rangers’ executive director. “We’re trying to teach the kids that it’s not just about planting trees. It’s about full habitat restoration.”

It’s fitting that the Rangers’ ultra-efficient headquarters, which uses off-the-grid technologies like flushless toilets, solar power and geothermal heating, also houses the Canada Green Building Council, which helps shape future building efficiency standards using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

In fact, Honda Canada is incorporating many LEED initiatives into its upcoming corporate headquarters in Markham.

In Sackville N.B., the hybrid group met up with Choleena DiTullio, an artist who has created over 500 pieces using recycled jewelry, staples and hardware, and who is also tackling the tremendous concept of green living one day at a time.

“I was so overwhelmed by all the choices and tasks required to be completely carbon-footprint free, that I almost gave up on the whole thing.”

Then she issued herself a challenge. Every day she does one small thing to improve her place in the environment, everything from reusing dehumidifier water in the washing machine to buying unbleached coffee filters is fair game.

DiTullio’s efforts show just how simple it is to incorporate small changes into our everyday habits.

2010 Honda Insight

• PRICE: $23,900-$27,500
• TYPE: Hybrid sedan, 5 doors, 4 seats
• ENGINE: 1.3-litre four-cylinder with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA)
• FUEL ECONOMY: 4.8 city/4.5 highway/4.7 combined L/100 km (estimated)

 
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