Yes, you read that correctly. 5 trillion pieces of plastic. After 24 expeditions occurring from 2007 to 2013, 5 Gyres Institute has recently concluded and published a report that states that there are a total of 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently circulating in our oceans. These pieces, which equal 296,000 tons, can be found throughout the entire ocean, including many ecosystems; this contradicts the common assumptions that most of the plastic pieces are found mainly in gyres, which are large systems of rotating ocean currents.
But where does all of this trash come from? According to Anastasia Pantsios’ article, the plastic is “swept into the ocean from rivers, coastal activity and shipping lanes.” The plastic then becomes degraded into microplastics and travels throughout the ocean. It becomes very easy for marine animals to then accidentally ingest these pieces. With this report, 5 Gyres Institute hopes to spark companies into taking action to create better, more eco-friendly packaging that will eliminate many –single use packages. Fortunately, according to Michael Eriksen, 5 Gyres Institute’s director of research, “if we stop adding to the problem, the oceans will clean themselves.”
Read the full story here.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a facility that was chosen for the 2014 list of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and for good reason. The Toronto-based hospital has implemented and continues to implement green initiatives in five key areas, including: environmental programs; energy conservation; waste management; sustainable transportation; procurement; and an education and awareness campaign.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has implemented exemplary sustainable transportation initiatives such as using hybrid vehicles for its security personnel and Smart cars for its parking and transportation staff. The hospital has also introduced the ZIP Car shared use program (for patients and visitors) and secure bicycle parking cages. In partnership with Smart Commute and Curbside Cycle, Sunnybrook hosted the “Most Unlikely Cyclist” contest to demonstrate that cycling to work is truly an option. Last year’s winner received a new bike and hosted a blog to share her experiences as she transitioned into a two-wheeled commuter.
The hospital also implemented a water conservation program and waste management programs as a part of its green environment initiatives. Its water conservation program consisted of the installation of over 1,100 low-flush toilets. This one change allowed the hospital to save over 185 million litres of water annually. In addition, its waste management initiatives have included an enhanced recycling and reuse program (including a reusable meal container program); composting programs; use of environmentally friendly cleaning products; and the introduction of a unique florescent bulb “eater” machine that breaks down bulbs into recyclable material while capturing 99.99% of the potentially harmful vapors. Also, in response to feedback from anesthesiologists in 2004, Sunnybrook installed a unique Canadian-made anesthetic gas absorption technology to reduce (by 95 percent) the amount of waste gas released into the environment. This new gas absorption technology will prevent the release of over 470 tonnes of C02-equivalent gases into the atmosphere (which is about the equivalent of removing 150 cars from the road). Overall, Sunnybrook’s current energy improvements are estimated to save $2.6M and reduce C02 emissions by 8,965 tonnes annually; that is the equivalent of taking 1,410 cars from the road.
To visit the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre website, click here.
To learn more about Sunnybrook’s green energy initiatives and why it was chosen for the 2014 list of Canada’s Greenest Employers, click here.
In addition to being one of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies, Corus Entertainment has received accolades such as being among the 2013 list of Canada’s Greenest Employers and the 2013 list of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. The company owns 39 radio stations and delivers numerous television services, and it does so in a sustainable way.
Corus Quay, the new Toronto headquarters for Corus Entertainment, has implemented a number of eco-friendly initiatives. The building is accessible by public transportation, and the company encourages sustainable forms of transportation by offering 75 tenant-exclusive bicycle racks. Moreover, Corus Entertainment has taken steps toward water and energy conservation. The company has installed low-flow water fixtures throughout the building and a rooftop cistern that collects rainwater, initiatives that have resulted in Corus Entertainment reducing water consumption by upwards of 30%. A Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) system has been installed throughout the interior of the building, which consists of occupancy sensors that provide light only when someone is present and a daylight harvesting technique that dims the ballasts when natural light is abundant. These system features have reduced the amount of energy required by the lighting system by upwards of 30%. Energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment that is programmed based on solar exposure, location, occupancy, and space utilization has also been installed in the building. Also, carbon dioxide sensors have been installed to measure the approximate number of occupants in a particular area at any given time—information that is used to determine the exact amount of ventilated air required in a specific area, thereby reducing the amount of energy required for the HVAC system.
During the Corus Quay construction process, more than 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills by salvaging materials for reuse and recycling. In addition, upwards of 20% of the materials used in the construction of Corus Quay’s interiors were made from recycled content, reducing the amount of energy required in the production of the materials. Upwards of 10% of the materials used were both extracted and manufactured locally. The wood wall treatment in the Orientation and Atrium space is reclaimed hemlock from a 1910 ferry terminal wharf in Toronto Harbour. The use of local goods and materials promotes the growth of local businesses and reduces the energy required to transport materials and products to the construction site.
Corus Quay features green rooftops that help reduce the heat-island effect. It also features a five story biowall in the Atrium. The plants that compose the biowall naturally clean the air and reduce energy consumption, improving air quality in the building.
To visit the Corus Entertainment website, click here.
To learn more about Corus Entertainment’s sustainability initiatives, click here.
Symcor, Inc., one of Canada’s largest outsourcers of financial processing, is on the 2013 list for Canada’s Greenest Employers. This list is compiled annually with four core criteria in mind: (1) the unique environmental initiatives and programs the organization has developed; (2) the extent to which the organization has been successful in reducing its own environmental footprint; (3) the degree to which the organization’s employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and (4) the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.
Symcor has received the honor of appearing on the Canada’s Greenest Employers list previously in 2011 and 2012. Symcor’s print facility has won awards at the Canadian Printing Awards for Canada’s Most Environmentally Progressive Printer in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Symcor has made a notable contribution to the environment by partnering with Acres for the Atmosphere. Acres for the Atmosphere is a global initiative led by the American Association of Zookeepers and Polar Bears International and focused on reducing carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere. The main areas of activity for Acres for the Atmosphere are reforestation, energy conservation, stewardship, and utilization of recycled goods. Symcor has been involved with the Acres for Atmosphere project since 2010, and the financial processing company has helped to plant in total 1,681 trees on three acres. Symcor’s impressive contribution is equivalent to removing twelve passenger vehicles from the road per year.
Beyond its participation in the annual Acres for Atmosphere tree planting project, Symcor has implemented energy reduction initiatives and subsequently reduced its carbon footprint by offsetting about 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Symcor has engaged in projects to reduce heating, cooling, and water consumption through the use of motion sensors, timers, and efficient temperature control units. Moreover, Symcor is committed to the mantra of Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! In conjunction with the Lions Clubs of Canada, Symcor participates in the RECYCLE for Sight program, which sends used eyeglasses to developing countries to help those in need and reduce waste in landfills. In addition, Symcor can assure its customers that certified paper procured and processed through its operations is from certified designated forests that promote responsible forest management practices. All of these environmentally friendly projects and practices have helped Symcor continually meet the criteria for the Canada’s Greenest Employers list.
To visit Symcor’s website and learn more about their contributions to the environment, click here.
To read an article about Symcor’s most recent appointment to the 2013 list of Canada’s Greenest Employers, click here.
Help Create a Less Wasteful Future: Take the Waste Out of Takeout!
We are on a quest to make the world a better, cleaner, less wasteful place, and we’re starting with takeout containers. BizeeBoxTM drastically reduces the need for disposable takeout containers by offering the easiest-to-use, most technologically advanced reusable takeout container service in the United States.
What is a “reusable takeout container service,” you ask? Well, after you sign up for BizeeBox for free, it basically works like this:
- You ask for a BizeeBox container when you order takeout food or take leftovers home from a restaurant
- You check out the container (just like you would a library book) using our super-cool smartphone application
- You enjoy your food when and where you want, then return the container to one of BizeeBox’s convenient drop-off locations
- BizeeBox collects used containers from the drop-off locations, checks them in for you, cleans and sanitizes so they are good as new, and redistributes clean containers to restaurants to start the cycle again!
To view this Indiegogo campaign, click here: Bizeebox: Taking the Waste Out of Takeout
Author and creator of MTV’s Trippin’ Elizabeth Rogers collaborates with sustainability consultant Colleen Howell on “Shift Your Habit”, a blog dedicated to eco- and budget-conscious choices from vintage diamonds to LED holiday lights; discover the greener option between trash or garbage disposal and how ordinary folks and celebs like Owen Wilson are shifting habits.
If you’re a bath-taker, plug the drain before turning on the water. You could save up to 3,650 gallons of water per year—more than $15 worth—if the tub faucet runs down the drain for two minutes less per day.
To check out this blog, click here:
This blog contains various categories relating to a green home, beauty, birth & baby, book reviews, children & crafts, eco fashion & tips, nature, environment, parenting tips, fitness, green cars, green cleaning, health & healing, home school, natural product reviews, natural toys, organic bites, photography, political action, recycling and more!
I am a green, paleo, crossfit mom of three. I am concerned about health, wellness, and sustainability issues. This is my life. This what I am passionate about.
All over the country you will see businesses surrounded by huge parking lots, many of the spaces sitting empty unless it is during peak shopping hours. I have always thought it seemed like an incredible waste of land but what are retailers to do? They want to make sure every potential customer has a place to park to encourage shopping. If they don’t do this then they lose sales right? Consumerism drives our economy so we do have to be concerned with the economics of parking.
We also need to be concerned with the environmental impact of parking. There IS an environmental impact. Remember the Joni Mitchell song… “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. It is not just an issue of aesthetics. We lose land to build these huge, wasteful structures and they are not eco friendly in the least. Think about the unsustainable building materials being used and all the land being used inefficiently. According to a new report, there are an estimated 3 to 8 parking spaces available for every car on the road. That is a lot of unused space!
We have looked at every aspect of how The World’s Greenest Business Cards are manufactured and tried to engineer them to be the most socially and environmentally responsible as possible. All aspects of the cards are as ‘green’ as we can make them, including:
• Printing on a waterless press so no effluent goes down the drain with vegetable-based inks
• 100% Post Consumer Waste recycled paper (means no new trees harvested)
• Paper manufactured in Canada (small carbon footprint)
• FSC and EcoLogo certified stock means you can have the FSC logo printed on your card if you would like
The way we run the company is also as sustainable as possible
We are bullfrogpowered and support a wide range of Associations and groups like Green Enterprise Ontario that share the same environmental ethos and that fit with our beliefs.
We are a member of 1% For The Planet, and donate 1% of all sales to Canadian environmental charities. We are also a member of Green Enterprise Toronto, the Think Green Alliance and we are bullfrogpowered.
When you place your business card order we will plant a tree on your behalf. Tree donations are made through Trees Ontario, a not-for-profit organization committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas.
An ANIMATED FILM with a difference!
Tricia Kelly is here to ask for your support and help. I know people care about our oceans and this why she wants to convert her book into a short animated film to promote this awareness to a bigger audience.
Our children are growing up in a world of disposable plastic that we, the adults, have created which has caused our trash to float around in our oceans.
Like all Indiegogo creators she would love to exceed the amount that you pledge by, thousands, even a million. With this money, she could then turn my short film into a feature length film. Not only will this project create awareness, it will give animators the opportunity to work on a project that’s worthwhile. I will also be upgrading the soft cover book to a new limited edition hard cover. I would love for them to be placed in school libraries for all the children to read. It will document the journey of this project with everyone… lots will be students, or students still in colleges. They will get to show off their talents too.
So with your help, I promise to share this animated films about change, love, and positive attitudes with an enlightened message. It will inspire our children so we can reverse the direction that our planet it heading to. Our future generation are so close to missing out on our ocean, to swim amongst all the wonderful creatures that they call their home.. this BLUE PLANET is out earth and if we love her then we should protect her.
Share the INDIEGOGO link would pass on this great message.
Your contribution will be from your heart and that is extremely powerful too. We are on the path of change more than blaming another … Mirror who you are and recycle with LOVE. Help change and make a difference.
In 2007, they successfully launched our Planet Green Recycle Educational Tours. They invite local organizations within the Los Angeles Area to tour the facility and explain the importance of recycling. The groups are shown the entire recycling process. A detailed look at the inspection process is followed by an examination of the cleaning, re-building and filling steps. Then it is on to packaging and shipping. The entire cycle which brings trash back to life as a new U.S. remanufactured product is explored. This is all capped off with a great lunch party. They even throw in a little foosball and ping pong to make sure everyone has fun and remembers the importance of recycling.
This blog features everything related to recycling – fundraising events & challenges, DIY recyclable crafting, etc.