Greening With Gratitude

Sharing Sustainability


Musings regarding new findings and such.

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Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict

Posted by madayerf on January 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Check out the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict!  Below is an exerpt from a recent RenX article that gives the gist of the EcoDistrict and a recent presentation from one of the coordinators of Washington D.C.'s ecodistrict that kickstarted it's development:

National capitals must serve as environmental leaders, green real estate professionals were told at a recent Better Buildings Breakfast at Ottawa’s City Hall.

“I think one of the fundamental challenges and opportunities for places like Ottawa, for Washington, DC, for Canberra, Australia, for London, for Paris is really to set an example for the rest of the world and I think what we’re doing in terms of our ecodistrict initiatives in Washington, D.C., and what you’re proposing here in Ottawa are examples of how we can illustrate to the people of our countries about what’s possible for making our planet a more sustainable place.”

Elected officials endorse Ottawa ecodistrict

The effort has officially received the blessing of Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre.

“I strongly believe this effort will help to attract investment and create jobs in the downtown core while supporting our larger community vision for sustainability,” he said in a statement.

“I have been proud to be part of a government that has invested in Ontario’s future by investing in jobs, growth, and innovation. Economic development remains a top priority for our government and for me personally. I will continue work with you, the community and your steering committee to ensure that we find support for Ottawa Centre Eco-district.”

Ottawa City Councillor Marie McRae, who doubles as chair of the city’s environment committee, is also definitely on board.

“Ultimately, all of these initiatives (such as ecodistricts, Ottawa River Action Plan and the future LRT) are about exploring ways to keep our local economy and our environment vibrant and healthy and the message is one doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other. If you have an energy-efficient building, it costs a little more to build it, but at end of the day, you’re more green and it’s actually going to be cheaper to run.

“We’ve seen that lasting green initiatives such as green building practices also have increased employment opportunities and at the end of the day, the communities are healthier. So we know that by increasing green building practices, again it’s not only good for the environment, but it’s certainly good for business.”









First Concentrating Solar Thermal Power plant in Canada!

Posted by madayerf on December 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The City of Medicine Hat Alberta, having the best solar irradiation in Canada, is planning to install solar thermal collectors to an existing gas plant in 2013!  For more info see the city's website and check out some of the solar programs that Alberta is piloting as well.

Largest Solar Carport in Toronto has been built!

Posted by madayerf on November 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Baka Communications, Inc. is pleased to announce completion of its brand new solar carport. As part of this initiative, Baka has converted 60% of their fleet to GM Volt electric vehicles, reinforcing Baka's green commitment. Built at the Baka headquarters in Toronto, Canada, this unique eight-car public access charging station was developed by renewz® sustainable solutions Inc. and combines equipment from Eaton Corporation and Giulio Barbieri S.p.A. of Italy.

The isola™ solar 20 kilowatt (kW) solar carport project was managed and developed by renewz® and features solar and EV charging solutions from Eaton Corporation. The station includes a combination of Eaton's EV charging stations as well as a unique Eaton solution that enables the complete solar-power distribution system to be integrated into one structure. The modular structure also includes Heliene® Ontario-made solar panels, high-tech LED lighting and security equipment. It is 100-percent waterproof and fully wind, snow and seismic code compliant.

This innovative solar powered EV charging station will generate enough clean, renewable energy to recharge Baka's Volt fleet for 25 years. This will reduce Baka's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 460 tons and permit more than 1.5 million kilometres of clean driving.

see more here.

More EV charging stations in Ottawa!

Posted by madayerf on November 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

There are more and more public charging stations in the Ottawa Gatineau area.  Check out this blog to follow a Nissan Leaf Driver's experience in Ottawa and updates on this progress.  For now here are the locations (in order of installation):

1. Place D'Orleans

2. Algonquin College

3. Science and Tech Museum

4. Les Galeries De Hull

5. Mountain Equipment Coop

6. Ottawa City Hall

7. Carrefour du Versant

p.s. most of them are free to use!  The Electric Circuit chargers across Quebec are $2.50 to charge.

SwitchHop! The SLOWest Energy Conservation Competition

Posted by madayerf on October 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

An easier way to find out benchmarks and savings is to use the new SwitchHOP site at  It uses your electricity meter data to show easily real time savings compared to last year by the month, day and even hour.  Also you can start competitions with your friends and join neighbourhood competitions to see which neighbourhood can drop their usage the most.  For more see SLOWest's write up!

Largest Geothermal Heating Network in North America

Posted by madayerf on October 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The Ball State University is going geo with a Campus wide system of closed loop geothermal. 3,600 Boreholes, 10,000 tons of cooling, 152,000,000 BTU/hr heating load. To read about it see their website:

This is similar to the geothermal borefield system at the University of Ontario's Institute of Technology.  It has 384 boreholes and was built 6 years ago! For more see

Sustainable Transportation Week

Posted by madayerf on September 11, 2012 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Want to try the car free challenge?  Go one week (Sept 16th-22nd) without using a car once and be eligible to win one of four prizes: an annual bus pass, $500 VIA Rail voucher, a CAN-BIKE course, or an annual car-share membership!

There is also a Bike Bus Car Race, Community Walkability Seminar and an official Launch September 16th 2012.  

To register and find more see

Crude Oil Peak in 2008?

Posted by madayerf on September 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

It looks like peak oil has arrived.  The International Energy Agency announced that oil production has plateaued and will decline going into 2035:



"Crude oil supply increases marginally to a plateau of around 69 mb/d (just below the

historic high of 70 mb/d in 2008) and then declines slightly to around 68 mb/d by 2035."

The article also predicts a Golden Age of Natural Gas as Liquid Natural Gas will take a growing share of production levels.  For more see the IEA factsheet.  Looks like we have to rely on oilsands, gas fracking and offshore shenanigans until we curb our reliance!


How the North is leading the Way!

Posted by madayerf on June 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I found an article describing the various green projects going on in Canada's North.  From wind farms to greenhouses, to geothermal heating and power, they are leading the way (even solar power).  Many First Nations communities are finding their way off diesel and are going to be some of the first adopters of geothermal power!  Here it is!

Also, the CBC recently featured plans for a new geothermal power plant in the North West Territories at Fort Liard.  Here is the clip (go to the 35:00 mark to skip to it).

Anniversary of the SUV

Posted by madayerf on June 9, 2012 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I just realized that last year this time I sold my Toyota 4runner.  Since then I have discovered the joys of carsharing and am now able to use a shared electric car.  By driving electric and biking when I can, transit is now my dirtiest form of transportation.  I haven't flown in a while, but if I do I can always offset it with my carbonzero account.  Anyone know of any other cool transportation solutions?