Archive for ◊ March, 2012 ◊

• Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Potato RevolutionGreece offers a potential view of the future for North America. Their solutions to difficult problems can be implemented now, without economic crisis. Sign up for a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food basket and buy fresh, local food directly from farmers. More information about CSA’s in Montreal.

Source: Waking Times

As incomes fall and retail prices rise, Greeks have found an ingenious way to pay three times less than they usually would for potatoes.

The craze, which some are already starting to call the “Potato Revolution,” began in the northern town of Katerini two weeks ago. A group of local activists set up a website to allow people to order potatoes directly from local farmers, and then pick them up in a parking lot on the weekends. Their project was an instant hit. In the past two weeks, they’ve already sold 100 tons of potatoes, and inspired agricultural students in Thessaloniki to launch a similar program. Dozens more cities across Greece are planning to follow suit.

Since the farmers sell the potatoes for a higher price than they would be able to sell them to distributors – but for less than what supermarkets charge customers – both the farmers and their customers win.

Every little bit helps for crisis-hit Greeks. Austerity measures have led to pensions and salaries being repeatedly slashed, as well as to a steep rise in unemployment – one in five Greeks are now jobless. On top of this, the government has raised taxes in a bid to curb its debt.

“We thought, why not cut out the middleman?”

• Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Spring of SustainabilityUpdate 3/29/12: The series has been disappointing so far, but I’ll stick with it for a few more days.

This is a FREE online series of events you may want to consider. These events can inspire you to live a greener, healthier, more spacious life and transform any frustration you may feel about the state of our planet.

It’s called the Spring of Sustainability, and it features more than 100 pioneers of sustainability – Jane Goodall, Ed Begley Jr., Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Vandana Shiva, John Robbins, Hazel Henderson, to name a few – who will share the most cutting-edge insights and tools for creating a sustainable and thriving world.

Learn more at this link:

This 3-month series of virtual and live events starts on March 26th. Each weekday, you’ll have the chance to listen in and learn from an inspiring sustainability leader via your phone line or computer, or access the replays at a time more convenient for you.

The Spring of Sustainability is the season for you to:

  • Transform fear and frustration into hope and actions you can contribute directly to creating a sustainable world for all beings
  • Learn fun, inspiring ways you can engage your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers in creating a healthy and sustainable community
  • Discover why new systems rooted in justice and sustainability principles are the only viable solution for our planet
  • Network and collaborate with other passionate people and organizations on sustainable initiatives – and help create a thriving planet
  • Get the latest cutting-edge insights into green building, green business, green living, renewable energy sources, wildlife preservation and climate change
  • Understand the role of culture and social will in creating a paradigm shift in economic, political, and social systems that are destroying the planet
Research Credit: John Lumiere-Wins
• Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

This is smart policy to plan for the obsolescence of individual fossil fueled vehicles in cities.

My question is: where is the money or planning for bike paths? Also, why will only 40% of new housing be built near public transit? Why not 60% or 80%?

STM Montreal BusSource: Montreal Gazette

The Quebec government has given the green light to a plan that will change the way the Montreal region develops over the next 20 years…

The plan calls for nearly half of all new housing to be built close to transit stations, boosting public transit use to 35 per cent by 2031, up from 25 per cent in 2008, as well as the protection of 17 per cent of the region as natural spaces…

The [plan]  requires 40 per cent of new housing to be built within a kilometre of métro or train stations and 500 metres of a rapid-bus station. To boost transit use, the CMM estimates $23 billion will be needed to create new tramways, rapid-bus lines and métro stations, and improve existing service. The government has already announced $12 billion in public-transit investment, and a CMM committee will study how to finance the other $11 billion…
• Monday, March 05th, 2012

Another entrepreneurial opportunity to seize upon. This idea comes from Zurich, Switzerland.

Source: Doors of Perception

pedals and soup

One of the green gems in the Zurich ecology scene, Suppen und Pedale (Soup and Pedals) have grown their soup delivery business from 10 litres to a 1000 litres a day.

The two-man enterprise supplies 23 organic shops and bars in the city with 40 different delicious homemade soups with bikes. All green, all local, no additives, no premade in use!

• Friday, March 02nd, 2012

This animated film is extremely well done and entertaining. If you have any friends who don’t understand the dangers posed by Peak oil or the paradigm of infinite growth, this film will do the trick.

If you want to help translate the film, please join the Universal Subtitles group. Or go to the Hubbert’s Arms Forum, where you can collaborate with others.

• Thursday, March 01st, 2012

This may not work for deliveries up the mountain on the Plateau or in Outremont, but it certainly looks like a good idea for the downtown core and Sherbrooke corridor. This could be a great entrepreneurial opportunity.

Electric assisted tricycles that carry cargo…

B-line delivery companySource: B-line

B-Line specializes in sustainable delivery to the urban core. We partner with businesses large and small to take care of their downtown and close-in delivery needs so that they don’t have to deal with the challenges of conventional trucks and vans. This, in turn, creates a more sustainable, livable community for all.

Founded in Portland, OR in February of 2009, B-line has begun to make our mark. Over 10,000 deliveries and 12,000 miles later we have reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 54,000 pounds, delivered approximately 400,000 pounds of organic produce, provided hours of sustainable, eye-catching advertising for our partners, promoted the greenest beverage launch event to date, and put a smile on thousands of faces who suddenly realize what a tricycle can do.