Ben Knight

Green tech in from the cold

If you’re reading this story, there’s a good chance you’re riding public transit. If you’re not in a bus shelter this instant, you may have been just moments ago.It’s as simple as structure as you can imagine. Yet, even here, innovative greener ideas are being developed — and deployed.The City of...

Monday, January 30, 2012, 4:01 AM

Cleaner, greener vacuum

The standard household vacuum cleaner: Very clean, but is it green?Vacuums capture and dispose of far more dust than brooms, but they also consume power, produce noise, and most models leave behind an endless series of dust-filled bags that need to be thrown out.Is there a way to do this better?“It...

Monday, January 23, 2012, 3:26 AM

Lighten up on roofing repair

Want a simple, effective way to make the world green? Turn your roof white.White roofs reflect sunlight. Traditional dark roofing absorbs it, creating seething, inhumanly hot surface conditions. This wastes phenomenal amounts of energy, as most office building air conditioners are cooling taken...

Monday, January 16, 2012, 2:52 AM

Endless hot water, no tank

Canadians love hot water. Having a tank ready to fire up a hot bath or shower after you come in from the winter cold is essential.But in this modern, eco-conscious world, almost everything is being re-imagined. One of the latest energy-saving, cost-cutting breakthroughs is the tankless water heater...

Monday, January 9, 2012, 3:16 AM

A waning in the greening?

Canada is getting greener.But the rate at which Canadian consumers are making green decisions for their homes appears to be in decline.The 2011 Home Depot Canadian Green Home Index gives Canadians a rating of 54.7 out of 100 on a range of actions. The survey covers everything from buying efficient...

Monday, November 28, 2011, 4:40 AM

Fifty fine ideas for a cleaner world

Imagine a gala awards ceremony where the best and brightest minds in the Canadian clean-tech field are brought together to celebrate progress and achievement.But, there’s a twist. The winners are swept away to an exclusive island yacht club – and told they can’t leave until they create a list of 50...

Monday, November 21, 2011, 6:35 PM

Soy-stainable furniture

Soy beans. Food, fuel … furniture?This past weekend, at the International Home Show in Toronto, the Grain Farmers of Ontario presented a special display of furniture and other home decor items — the key ingredient of which is leftover grains.“We have furniture made from soy-based foam,” says Meghan...

Monday, October 31, 2011, 2:13 AM

Video: Green glass equals big biz

Glass recycling is simple, right? You put your bottles in the bin, and set the bin out on the curb.But did you know that if the glass breaks, and different colours of glass mingle, your bottles cannot be recycled — and millions end up in a landfill?Sustain It Inc., a clever company from Aurora, Ont...

Monday, October 24, 2011, 2:27 AM

Turn your humble rain barrel into a cash saving device

Drip by drip, drop by drop, water is getting more expensive. It’s tempting to wonder, sometimes, why we are paying so much for something that regularly falls out of the sky for free.Not that purification, pumps and infrastructure aren’t hugely important. But aren’t there ways to use all that water...

Monday, October 17, 2011, 3:44 AM

This autumn, go ahead and try leaving the leaves

Welcome to autumn. The leaves are changing, and soon lawns and yards across Canada will be covered with an eye-catching tapestry of orange, red and yellow – that will have to be raked up.Or will it? Leaves are organic. They degrade into rich, useful compost and fertilizer. What happens if we all...

Monday, September 26, 2011, 5:56 PM

Shoring up our resources

Have you ever strolled along a lovely shore, and had the wind taken somewhat out of your sails by the sight of even a single piece of litter?You’re not alone. In many urban environments, shorelines offer the closest, most convenient bit of nature most Canadians see on a daily basis. That’s why...

Monday, September 12, 2011, 1:56 AM

The Waterkeepers get musical

“It’s a partnership, really, between artists and activists — sharing great music.”That’s Mark Mattson, president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper organization, describing the Swim Drink Fish Music Club. For a $10 annual fee, music lovers concerned about the environment get to download new and...

Monday, August 22, 2011, 9:47 PM

Making it easier to buy sustainable seafood

For many Canadians, the biggest environmental shock in recent decades came with the collapse of the Atlantic fishery. And while seafood remains plentiful across the country, a lot of consumers still worry they’re contributing to making a bad situation worse.A recent World Wildlife Fund-Canada study...

Sunday, August 14, 2011, 10:17 PM

Canadian firm building a greener book

Books are made of paper. Paper comes from trees. So how can a major book publishing company become environmentally friendly?Scholastic Canada is one of this country’s largest publishers — and distributors — of children’s books and educational materials. The company has recently undertaken a broad...

Sunday, August 7, 2011, 9:12 PM

The next phase of recycling at a landfill near you

The hottest buzzword in natural gas right now is “renewable.” At first, that seems impossible. The natural gas that heats our homes and fires our stoves is a finite, fossil fuel like oil — only renewable over millions and millions of years. Ah, but there are other ways of generating gas — and these...

Monday, July 18, 2011, 8:16 PM

Make your Canadian park dreams come true with Facebook

Imagine if 50 words on Facebook could turn into the Canadian wilderness trip of a lifetime.Imagine no more. In honour of Parks Canada’s 100th birthday, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has launched the Parks Dream Contest: What’s on your Bucket List?“We launched the contest to help...

Sunday, July 10, 2011, 9:58 PM

Educational environment

So you know your workplace could easily reduce its environmental footprint and you’re eager to help make a difference. The problem? Knowing exactly what to do — and where to start.A year ago, WWF-Canada launched its Living Planet @ Work program, helping some of Canada’s largest companies take firm...

Sunday, July 3, 2011, 11:20 PM

Moving day gets a little greener

Packing everything you own into boxes and moving from one home to another is one of the most chaotic, disruptive times in anybody’s life. If ever there’s a day to forget all about the environment, it’s the day you move. Intriguingly, Canada’s biggest and oldest moving companies don’t agree....

Monday, May 9, 2011, 7:41 PM

Canadian companies make bank by going green

With each Earth Day that passes, our world becomes more ecologically aware. New, emerging technologies are greener, and vast profits are out there for innovators with the right product, in the right place, at the right time.Canadian companies are beginning to do very well in the clean-tech field –...

Monday, April 25, 2011, 9:16 PM

Is time running out on Earth Hour?

The fourth annual Earth Hour was observed across Canada last Saturday evening. From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., lights dimmed in hundreds of communities as Canadians lent their efforts to a global initiative to reduce power use. But in Canada at least, the savings were fairly negligible. Toronto saved only...

Monday, April 4, 2011, 8:57 PM