Saturday, September 30, 2006

Volunteering at the Green Energy Home Show

Today I got up at 6am and biked over to a woman's house by 7am to volunteer at the Green Energy Home Show at the Kortright Centre (www.kortright.org). She couldn't pick me up because her 18-year old car that rattles like crazy when going 45 mph (yes, miles per hour, it's an American car) was loaded to the brim with boxes of books. The woman, Jillian, is the organizer for the Sustainable Living Network, which runs Sustainable Living Books. It's a volunteer-run not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote sustainability by getting these books out to the public at eco events and shows. Jillian was happy to have me along to help, and I was happy to have a ride to the event as it's not easy to get to by mass transit (an environmental center that you have to drive to!).

I got to see a few presentations and green tours, but missed most of them as I was volunteering at the book table. So many great books! And she actually only brought a small sampling of the 4,000 titles currently stored in her basement (the organization is run out of her house, as many grassroots orgs do!)

Some of the interesting random things I learned today:
-Some wealthy Canadians living in the suburbs have electrically-heated driveways so they dont' have to shovel snow in the winter
-The world is projected to have 600 million cars by 2040, more than double what we have now
-For every gallon of new oil we discover, we consume two
-The average 50-year home loses 1/3 of its energy to poor construction/insulation
-The Mercedes Smart Car (which is not available in the US to my knowledge) is safer than the safest other Mercedes' cars - Canadian police supposedly want to nominate it for the safest car on the road! (interesting article here: http://www.mcuniverse.com/The_Smart_Car_Comes_to_Canada.1325.0.html)

I toured a LEED Gold facility at the Kortright Centre - the Earth Rangers building. Saw all kinds of cool technology including "Zee Weed," a 'hollow fibre membrane' water filtration unit - the company is now owned by GE, and the Discovery Channel will feature a tour of this facility.

I'm exhausted now and will be going out early again tomorrow morning for another full day - I'll write more soon!

1 comment:

Gail said...

Hey Melissa,

just started getting updated with your blog -- sounds like you're keeping yourself busy and really impressed with all of the environmental things going on in Toronto - good choice for a directory ;-) Will definitely be talking to you soon!

Gail