Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ontario Needs at Least One Billion More Trees

Trees Ontario urges a green New Year's Resolution: help plant a tree and address a serious tree planting gap in Southern Ontario

TORONTO, December 29, 2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - More than a billion trees need to be planted across southern Ontario to help restore natural cover and protect our watersheds, Trees Ontario has announced.

In a year end summary of tree planting results, Trees Ontario, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the "re-greening" of southern Ontario, reported that we are falling far short of the number of trees needed to help protect our environment.

"Even though more than 3 million trees were planted in the watersheds of southern Ontario in 2009, we are not doing nearly enough tree planting," states Michael Scott, Trees Ontario's President and CEO. "In the 1980's, we helped protect our ecosystem by planting between 20 to 30 million trees each year across our rural landscape."

"Experts tell us that to help restore the natural cover that protects the watersheds and creates woodlots and forested areas, we need at least 30% forest cover. Unfortunately current estimates indicate some areas in southern Ontario have as little as five per cent forest cover.

Southern Ontario has lost 99 per cent of its older growth forest, more than 94 per cent of its upland forests, and 70 per cent of its wetlands. Wildlife has paid a heavy price. There are now more species at risk in areas of southern Ontario than anywhere else in Canada.

To bring Ontario's forests back to minimum levels, at least a billion more trees should be planted across southern Ontario.

In the last few years, the Ontario government has begun to address this as part of its climate change policy. It has made a major commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2020, as its contribution to the United Nations' Billion Tree Campaign."

But we have long since passed the point where we can all sit back and expect our governments to solve these problems," says Michael Scott. "We cannot address this problem without public and corporate support and involvement."

For as little as $5 to cover the cost of planting one tree in 2010, and one seed for a tree to be planted in 2013, corporations, small businesses, individuals and rural landowners can help to solve a serious environmental problem, one tree at a time. Trees Ontario's immediate priority is to generate broad public support and increase annual tree planting levels to at least 10 million over the next five years.

Trees Ontario

Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest, not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities.

The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province's tree planting capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils, municipal governments and community volunteer groups.

As a charitable organization, Trees Ontario relies on the financial support of donors, organizations, foundation grants and government to support its tree planting programs and initiatives.

This year, with its partners, Trees Ontario planted close to 3 million trees. Its goal is to support the planting of 10 million trees per year by 2015. Help us save the environment. One tree at a time. To participate, donate and to learn more visit the Trees Ontario website at

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

So long, Retirement

MONTREAL, December 16, 2009 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - The mass exodus of Canadian baby boomers may not be as dramatic as originally expected. In fact, more than three in ten people (31%) between the ages of 53 and 62 who responded to Desjardins Financial Security's 8th annual Rethink Retirement(TM) survey said they were more than five years away from retirement, and only 23% hope to stop working completely once they retire.

A risky approach

Although it's true that today's retirees remain active longer than previous generations, gradual retirement may not be the answer for everyone. On the one hand, close to half (47%) of the Canadian workers surveyed in the 2009 study indicated they hope to transition to retirement by gradually reducing their hours. On the other hand, only one in five current retirees retired gradually, while close to three quarters of them (72%) made a clean break. Is this due to different expectations or the changing times? Only time will tell. Nevertheless, with the 414,000 job losses that have occurred in Canada since November 2008(1), the question may be whether employers will be able to retain all of these retirees interested in transitioning out of the workplace.

What about those who want to work but can't?

Another consideration is whether employees will actually be able to continue working. According to Statistics Canada, four in ten Canadians over the age of 65 (1.7 million people) suffer from some sort of disability(2) that makes performing daily activities difficult or reduces the quality or type of activities they can participate in because of an impaired physical or mental state, or from some other health problems.

"The unfortunate thing is that people who can't afford to retire at age 65 are unlikely to ever be financially ready, and that's not good news for employers. Older workers are generally better paid than their younger counterparts, so employers are fully justified in expecting their employees to come to work in full possession of their faculties and because they want to be there, not out of financial necessity," adds Karrina Dusablon, Director, Education Centre and Global Management at Desjardins Financial Security.

Do you want to find out more?

Visit the Rethink Retirement section in the newsroom or the Meet the Experts section for interviews with health and retirement experts.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Global Warming Not the Only Thing Threatening Polar Bears

by David DeFranza

Images of polar bears hopelessly adrift on ice rafts are compelling, but the species faces other more subtle threats as well. It has long been known that mercury, which finds its way into snow and water from such human sources as coal-burning power plants, incinerators, and chlorine-producing plants, can travel up the food chain. Now, new research is showing exactly where mercury enters the polar bear diet, with findings that suggest much more severe exposure in... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Help plant a tree and send us an email at our new Treehoo account:

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Who did the recession hurt more: workers or retirees?

MONTREAL, December 3, 2009 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Canadian workers and retirees experienced last year's recession very differently.

According to the results of Desjardins Financial Security's 2009 Rethink Retirement(TM) survey, two in five retirees say their financial situation deteriorated in 2009, compared to three in ten workers. Even more striking is the fact that more than one in four workers (26%) said that things improved, compared to one in ten retirees (8%).

What caused retirees' financial situation to deteriorate? More than one in four respondents cited stock market losses and a higher cost of living. When it came to workers, women were more likely to mention job losses than men (e.g., "the company closed and it took my husband a long time to find another job" or "My husband and I both lost our jobs").

Despite the recession, close to one in five workers surveyed reported that their income went up (raise, overtime, better job), while fewer than one in ten retirees could claim the same.

Is paying off debts the key to staying afloat? A significant number of workers aged 40 and over (26%) paid off their debts, while this number was 18% for all workers.

Seven in ten retirees stated that because of the deterioration in their financial situation, they are just barely covering their expenses.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Toronto Snow-Free in November For the First Time Since Medieval Warm Period

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

Of course weather has nothing to do with climate, and we in Toronto haven't got hockey sticks right since 1967, and everyone says it has been getting cooler for a decade. But we just went through the first November without a single snowflake since they started keeping records in 1847 and I am greasing my bicycle, not waxing my snowboard. But global warming isn't happening, right? Who is denying what? Just sayin'. More in the Toronto Star: First snow-free November in 162 years?... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Asian Carp Fever Grips Great Lakes, Monster Invasive Fish May Already Be Here

photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

from by Jeff Kart, Bay City, Michigan

The Asian carp, a monstrous, invasive fish, has been knocking at the door of the Great Lakes for decades. Now bad news is spreading that the fish may have breached an electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, entering Lake Michigan.... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Friday, 30 October 2009

Trails Open Ontario promotes year-round enjoyment of province's vast trail systems

TORONTO, October 30, 2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - With many of the province's trail systems open year-round to the public, visitors will have an opportunity to explore and enjoy Ontario's unique natural heritage throughout the fall and winter seasons.

Several programs and organizations participating in Trails Open Ontario 2009 are coordinating free public events and activities in the coming months. Recreational opportunities range from guided hikes to cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing and dog sledding.

For more information on this year's program, visit and click on Trails Open Ontario under the Spotlight on Heritage. Participating trail systems and organizations are also featured in a special eight-page section in the Doors Open Ontario 2009 Guide. To obtain a free copy, call 1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746).

Trails Open Ontario is designed to promote year-round trail use and education, support natural heritage conservation and stewardship, and encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

Trails Open Ontario is a program of the Ontario Heritage Trust, with funding support from the Government of Ontario. The program's media sponsor is The Globe and Mail.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for present and future generations.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to kick off spectacular opening weekend at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

- Free admission to attend The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair's Royal Opening Ceremony -

TORONTO, October 27, 2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - Looking for some pageantry and thrills? Be sure to book off the entire weekend of November 6th to 8th because you'll be down at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, where the most spectacular line-up of events will be taking place, from The Royal Visit to an action packed rodeo show.

As part of their Canadian tour, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will officially open this year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Friday, November 6th. Admission will be free to Royal spectators and fairgoers alike who want to welcome the famous couple at the grand opening ceremonies taking place in The Ricoh Coliseum.

For Royal watchers wishing to welcome Prince Charles and Camilla, The Royal will grant free admission between 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Before the famous couple's arrival, savvy spectators will be treated to equestrian entertainment, including performances by The Canadian Cowgirls Precision Riding Team, Pony Club members and hunter jumper competitors.

Rounding out The Royal Visit on opening weekend, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will keep guests entertained with the first-ever new country music concert series, produced by Bayfest Music Festival, featuring Emerson Drive on Friday, November 6th at 7:30 p.m. and the Road Hammers on Saturday, November 7th at 7:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights of opening weekend, The Royal will also feature the Canadian Show Jumping Championships, pitting the country's best riders against one another. Be sure to keep your spurs on until Sunday, November 8th for The Ontario Toyota Dealers Royal Rodeo taking place at 1:00 p.m. Barrel racing, rodeo clowns, bareback and bronco riding will thrill adults and children alike.

The excitement will continue at The Brew House, The Wine Tasting Bar and Vintners' Terrace restaurant where guest chef Corbin Tomaszeski of Holt's Café and Restaurant Makeover will be featured.

"This year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair opening weekend will be the most spectacular one we have ever had," said Bill Duron, chief executive, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. "Starting with free admission to see Prince Charles and Camilla, followed by the new country concert series, Canadian Show Jumping Championships and The Royal Rodeo, fairgoers will receive the royal treatment the entire weekend."

The largest of its kind in the world, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is an experiential event that takes place in Toronto every November at Exhibition Place. Now in its 87th year, The Royal offers urban adults and children alike a chance to see, smell, hear and taste authentic country life.

Running from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 15, 2009, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will showcase innovations in food and agriculture, thousands of livestock animals, and dozens of the world's top equestrian horses and riders.

For more information on The Royal, visit

Monday, 26 October 2009

ONTARIO: One call you ARE allowed to make

TORONTO, October 26, 2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - Calls to 9-1-1 are exempt from Ontario's new ban on using any hand-held electronic devices while driving. "Drunk, drugged and fatigued drivers put us all at risk on our roads", said Brian Mitchell, President of arrive alive DRIVE SOBER, "so calling 9-1-1 to report such a driver as a crime in progress is a call you should continue to make - and as always, please make the call safely".

Operation Lookout(R) intervenes to remove unsafe drivers from the roads, and also deters potential impaired drivers by communicating an increased likelihood of apprehension. Operation Lookout was recognized by Health Canada in 2005 as a valuable program to deal with persistent drunk drivers. Trade-marked in 1992 by Against Drunk Driving, Operation Lookout has been credited for increasing the number of suspected impaired drivers reported to police four-fold. About 65 communities in Canada currently run Operation Lookout.

Find out more about Operation Lookout by visiting

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony for Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

VANCOUVER, October 18,2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - The time-honoured Lighting Ceremony for the Olympic Flame will take place in Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece, on Thursday, October 22 to light the Olympic Flame for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

The first torchbearer for the Greek portion of the relay will depart from the historic grounds of Olympia's ancient stadium at the conclusion of the event for a relay through Greece that will conclude on October 29 at the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony in Athens, Greece. These events are hosted by and require media accreditation arrangements through the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC).

The longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history will start in Victoria, BC, on October 30 with the arrival of the Olympic Flame on Canadian soil. The 106-day Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is presented by Coca-Cola and RBC, and supported by the Government of Canada.

More details on events for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay that take place after October 22 will be released in the coming days. Information on the relay, including background on the Lighting Ceremony, Greek portion of the relay and Handover Ceremony is available at

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Don't Blow Your Leaves: Rake Instead

...seen at The Daily Green ... By Brian Clark Howard

Although leaf blowers may seem cool and convenient, they are extremely polluting, and much less green than simply raking fallen leaves the old-fashioned way.

In one year's time, that little leaf blower engine you hear buzzing up the street pumps out as much smog-forming pollution as 80 cars, each driven 12,500 miles, according to a California air quality agency. Fortunately, regulators have taken notice, and are encouraging manufacturers and the buying public to upgrade to newer, cleaner (as well as quieter) models. But it is still cleanest of all to hand out the rakes.

Raking leaves is a simple task that can be shared by the whole family, and it's a good way to get some exercise while enjoying the crisp autumn air. Why not reward your helpers with a steaming cup of fair trade cocoa or mulled local cider?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

How Google really does it

A huge appetite for takeovers is the main driver of tech's 'great innovator'

TORONTO, Oct. 13 /Canada NewsWire/ - Google: It allows us to cruise the streets of New York and Rome, scour the surfaces of the moon and email and phone our friends. We can track global flu trends, monitor our household energy usage or edit photos. Soon, we'll be able to do even more.

But while Google enjoys an almost unmatched reputation for innovation, many of the services that have generated the biggest buzz and made stock market values soar didn't originate from its engineers' brains. Rather, they came from Google's appetite for takeovers - and its gigantic bank account.

With Google set to embark on another round of acquisitions, there's no telling into which new directions it will expand. Canadian Business goes behind the hype and examines the strategies behind one of the most influential corporations on earth.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Ontario Will Launch a Wind Forecasting Service

Ontario Will Launch a Wind Forecasting Service in 2010 to Help Wind Power Producers
by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada from TreeHugger

It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but...
The more wind power you have hooked up to the grid, the more important it is to have a good wind forecasting mechanism in place. The government of Ontario has decided to give a hand to the various wind power producers in the province by taking that responsibility and creating a central forecasting service in 2010.

From Reuters:
"Ontario, Canada's most populous province and biggest energy consumer, already leads the other provinces in installed wind energy capacity, with 1,200 megawatts of power. [...] increasing capacity this year by more than 50 percent [this year]."

"Centralized wind forecasting helps to improve forecast accuracy and consistency to make the power system more reliable. It also helps to reduce the administrative burden on wind generators, [Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)] said."

IESO also has a cool real-time (almost) web track that shows how much electricity the province's wind farms are currently producing. For example, as of this writing, production is at 460 megawatts (out of a capacity of 1,200 megawatts).

Here's an embedded version of the Ontario wind power tracker:

The IESO writes: "In April 2009, the average wind output was 41 per cent of capacity, while in June it was 14 per cent, reflecting the fact that the summer months aren’t as windy. IESO centralized wind forecasting, due to begin in the summer of 2010, will help address the variable nature of this energy supply, as it will allow the IESO to understand the periods of time in which they can expect greater levels of wind generation. Equipped with this knowledge, the IESO will be better able to manage all the province’s electricity resources used to meet Ontario’s needs."

Via Reuters

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Valley of the 100-Mile Diet Bike Tour

by Roberta Cruger,

Come to the Fraser Valley, home of the 100-Mile Diet, where locavores can feast on artisanal cheeses, organic produce and hand-crafted wines, and get an insider’s peak into food production at local farms. A self-guided map shows the way through the Agassiz and Chilliwack Farm Cycle Tours with many stops open to the public only on these two days. The Slow Food Movement of Vancouver hosts th...Read the full story on TreeHugger

Monday, 10 August 2009

10 Woodstock-Era Bands Still Rocking the Green Movement

Canadian Superstar - Neil Young

Woodstock may have been a one-of-a-kind concert, but the artists and bands that performed there didn't let their commitment to global, political, and social change end with the departure of the last muddy audience member. In the 40 years since the concert, several original Woodstock performers--ranging from Joan Baez to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young have turned attention to the environmental issues facing the world today, joining other major voices of the era, including Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.

Learn more about these green enthusiast-performers and more in the 10 Woodstock-Era Bands Still Rocking the Green Movement slideshow.


Monday, 1 June 2009

The iHouse Smartfaucet with Face Recognition

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

Using facial screening application, the SmartFaucet recognizes the user and automatically turns on the water to you preferred temperature and flow. In addition the touch screen on top of the faucet can be used to access emails, check the outside temperature, check your calendar etc.

Around the water cooler, Jaymi said "Ahahaha! that's is so something the World should take on." But in fact a good automated tap could prevent scalding, reduce waste of water, control the spread of bacteria if it was handsfree, and more. The email access is a bit superfluous, but it has possibilities.....

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Walk On

The video below is an awesome inspiration. May we all find the strength to “run and not grow weary,” or to “walk and not faint.” but we just pick ourselves back up and keep going. Just like DJ Gregory did. Even though, he fell a few times during his goal of walking the whole PGA tour he picked himself up and kept going. He did not let ANYTHING get in his way of his goal.

If you play Golf you should watch this video......
If you don't play Golf, you should watch this video
If you ever had a dream please watch this video...........
If you have never had a dream, please watch.........


Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Car Style We Wish They'd Bring Back: The Delivery Wagon

Rambler American "Deliveryman Utility Wagon." Image credit:How Stuff Works

by John Laumer

How many step vans and service trucks do you see every day driving around with far less than a full load? How many tradesmen could do their business comfortably with something less than a Mega-Truck? Delivering food to the farmers market, say?

What the service business market needs is a high efficiency, mid-capacity, easy-to-park, inexpensive, and easily secured, delivery vehicle. Long-defunct American Motors, of Kenosha WI, offered one back in the late 1950's (as pictured). With a nice roof rack and a low-emission diesel, this old Rambler would make a good starting point for a new design. (A hot looking retro-version of this baby would probably find a domestic market.) The downside could be...

...that old folks kicked out of their homes by the repo man would be tempted to return to their Hippie roots and take to rambling.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Smart Car Door Could Help Protect Cyclists & Pedestrians


by Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada

Look Out!

Car doors can be pretty dangerous to cyclists (and sometimes pedestrians) in urban areas. In theory, the simplest solution would be to just have motorists pay attention when they open their doors, but human nature being what it is, it's doubtful that we'll ever get to that point (education can make things better, but 100% safe for cyclists? Probably not). Technology comes to the rescue: BMW is working on 'intelligent' car doors that will simply become harder to push open when they detect danger.

The current prototype looks like a normal car door, but an extra metal bar runs through its centre and connects to the car's frame between the hinges. In normal mode, the bar moves freely and doesn't affect the door's movement.

However, if sensors detect a nearby obstacle at the same time as an accelerometer detects an attempt to open the door, the door's swing is restricted by a linear motor attached to the bar.

To pass on more information to the user, the amount of door resistance is in proportion to the proximity of an object – for example, you might swing a door halfway open without problems before it gets stiffer as it nears a lamp post.

Now there's a technology that could save lives! People should still pay attention and look around when they open their doors - especially between now and the time when the 'smart' door is on all cars - but humans are forgetful and easily distracted, so having a backup plan is always a good idea.

BMW says the technology is mature and could be implemented in commercially available cars, but it hasn't made a decision on whether to move forward or not yet. I encourage them to do so.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Concept: CO2 Scrubber Wrist Watch

With discussion of using big-ass artificial trees to scrub-a-dub-dub CO2 from the atmosphere, here comes a little item for each of us to use: eCO2 is an athletic wrist watch, powered by kinetic energy, aiming to reduce individual carbon footprints by using CO2 scrubber technology. We know we need to bring down the level of atmospheric CO2 down to the acceptable level of 350 ppm to sustain life as we know it, but does this concept promise to be a key to individuals becoming responsible citizens of this planet or is it a hair-brained, resource-extraction and life-cycle intensive gizmo ultimately with a net-positive carbon wristprint?

Functioning as a regular watch, it also constantly pulls in air through the intake vents collecting CO2, and expels new clean air via the exhaust vents.

Say its designers James Kershaw & Chad Garn:

eCO2 would allow individuals keep track of their personal impact on cleaning up the environment. While one watch will reduce CO2, in mass use, the eCO2 watch would process large amounts of CO2.

With golf being a great user of kinetic energy and all that fresh air out on the course, this seems to be a natural fit. What do you think, is there any chance this thing could make any sense?

Let us know in the comment and thanks in advance!

Dead Malls: Tragedy or Opportunity?


by Kimberley D. Mok, Montreal, Canada

Is the era of the enclosed shopping mall over? With changing consumer habits (such as increased online shopping) and the advent of “big-box” specialty stores and discounters like Home Depot, Target and Wal-mart, the deepening recession is merely delivering the coup de grâce for hundreds of shopping malls across the U.S.

For some, the end is coming none too soon. As icons of excessive consumption and shortsighted urban planning, malls represent everything that has gone wrong with our car-based consumer culture. For others (especially in smaller towns), malls represent one of the last few sanctioned public spaces in our society where communities can gather. So what happens (or could happen) when a shopping mall dies? ... more story here


Thursday, 2 April 2009

More Greenwashing from Ontario's Liquor Store: "Cheerpacks"

from TreeHugger
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario was established in 1927 after Prohibition to do what its name says- control liquor consumption. 82 years later its mandate has evolved, and now its purpose is to make as much money as possible for the Government, turning it into one of the world's largest buyers of wine and liquor. It has been a big promoter of alternative packaging to reduce landfill waste and get more product on the shelves, and TreeHugger has whined about its Tetra-paks and bag-in-box wines before. Now they have a new item on the shelf, Australian wine in "Cheer packs", and it is possibly the most questionable yet.

read more here

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Mike Weir and Fred Couples headline 2009 TELUS World Skins Game

International event to raise funds for Operation Enfant Soleil and sick children throughout Quebec

QUEBEC CITY, March 30 /CNW/ - Mike Weir, one of the most successful, and beloved, golfers ever to hail from Canada, and Fred Couples, the American player aptly nicknamed 'Mr. Skins', will be headlining the famous international 'fivesome' competing in the 2009 TELUS World Skins at Levis' La Tempête Golf Club in June.

Weir, who authored one of Canada's proudest golfing moments when he won
the 2003 Masters, will be making his seventh appearance at the TELUS World Skins. Over the years, he has won 20 skins for a total of $400,000. He is also tied with George Knudson for the most career victories on the PGA TOUR by a Canadian.

"I couldn't be more excited about the chance to play in the TELUS World
Skins Game and visiting the Québec City region this summer," said Weir. "I'll always remember the support that the fans in Québec showed me during the 2007 President's Cup, and I'm looking forward to showing the other players one of our most beautiful and historic cities."

Couples, a fifteen-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 1992
Masters, is one of the most popular players in the history of professional golf and is certainly no stranger to the Canadian Skins Game. He has won 62 Skins for $1,110,000 in eight appearances, the most of any player in the event's history. To date, he has won more than $4 million in the U.S. Skins Game.

"We are thrilled Mike Weir and Fred Couples are returning to headline
this year's TELUS World Skins Game in June," said Joe Natale, president of TELUS Business Solutions. "TELUS is proud to be bringing the best in golf to its Canadian customers from coast-to-coast. Whether fans are on-site or watching from home, they will enjoy a truly unique experience by witnessing some of the world's finest golfers play for a worthy cause."

Funds raised at the 2009 event will improve the quality of life for
thousands of sick kids for years to come by supporting Operation Enfant
Soleil, an organization that invests in the development of quality pediatric care in Quebec. The charity will use the money to equip the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Quebec's Centre mere-enfant's surgical unit with the latest in multimedia technology to facilitate complex pediatric heart surgeries. The new system's extensive connectivity will enable real-time participation in surgeries from any location, thereby improving educational opportunities and providing quick access to specialists, all of which will increase the success
rate of the procedures.

The two-day TELUS World Skins Game will be held on June 22 and 23, 2009
at La Tempete Golf Club in Levis, the very first 18-hole golf course of
international caliber in the region.

The TELUS World Skins Game is also sponsored by Audi, Desjardins,
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, GREY GOOSE(R) Vodka, Québec City Tourism, Quebec Tourism and Samsung.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Ontarians Are Turning off Their Lights and More for Earth Hour 2009

TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Ontarians are enthusiastic about Earth Hour
2009, and are planning to mark the hour by turning out more than just their lights, said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in a survey released today.

The IESO's survey found that 55 per cent of all those who intended or
were willing to participate in this year's event will turn off TVs and
appliances, and 92 per cent will turn off at least three lights in their home. The online poll, conducted from March 3-5, showed that 51 per cent of survey participants intend to participate in the initiative this year. The survey results further indicate that those planning to participate in Earth Hour 2009 were more likely to already demonstrate better energy-saving habits at home.

"During last year's Earth Hour, the IESO observed a significant reduction in Ontario's electricity demand," said Paul Murphy, IESO President and CEO.

"The momentum for Earth Hour is building, and Ontarians are prepared to reduce their electricity use again this year. I am encouraged that Ontarians are finding ways to conserve electricity year-round, which will benefit consumers, the environment and the electricity system."

Earth Hour is an annual international "lights out" event led by WWF with the goal of having as many individuals and businesses as possible turn off their lights for one hour to support action on climate change. This year, the IESO is hosting a dedicated webpage at with tips, Earth Hour information, and a graph that will track Ontario's change in demand for the hour. On March 28, this site will show immediate results of the efforts of homeowners and businesses to reduce their electricity use between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

"Last year Earth Hour was a huge success! Millions of people in more than 30 countries participated. Here in Canada, almost half of all Canadians turned off the lights," said Christina Topp, VP Marketing and Communications, WWF-Canada. "This year we hope even more Canadians will participate and we're pleased to see that so many Ontarians plan to take part."

The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power
system and operating the wholesale market. For more information, please visit

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Number of the Day: More Than Half of All Vehicles' Trips to Work in US are 11 Miles or Less by Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada on March 5

11 Miles -- According to the 2001 US Nationwide Household Travel Survey (NHTS), 58% of all vehicle trips to work are less than 11 miles (17.7 kilometers).

37% -- Vehicle trips to work that are 5 miles (8 kilometers) and less represent 37%, according to the same survey.

21% -- Trips between 6 and 10 miles (9.6 to 16 kilometers) represent 21%.

10% -- Only 10% of vehicle trips to work are equal or more than 31 miles (50 kilometers). This is very promising since plug-in hybrids that are coming to market over the next few years, such as the GM Chevy Volt or the Fisker Karma, usually have an all-electric driving range of around 40-50 miles (65-80 kilometers). This would mean that most people could commute in these cars without burning fossil fuels (though the source of the electricity would need to be clean for the trips to really be green).

Monday, 2 March 2009

Green Roof Mashup: Golf Course, Filtration Plant, Park and Prison

The Bronx NIMBYs went nuts when it was proposed that a water filtration plant be built in a park. So the architects, Grimshaw, followed what is becoming a common strategy: put a green roof on it and show it from the air. Building? What building?

And in this case, it's BIG, nine acres big, and they are putting in putting.

“The distinction here is it’s not just a green roof, but a performative green roof that needs to provide all these functions,” [Landscape Architect] Smith said in an interview. “I think we’re pushing both the design of the green roof and the design of the golf course in new directions. We’re working to see how far we can push the diversity of the ecology and still adhere to the constraints of the golf course.”

The Architects Newspaper writes:

When this heavily secured compound is completed in 2012, it’s due to be topped by far more than just new turf. Grimshaw and landscape architect Ken Smith have designed one of the largest and most intensive green roofs to date, which is also a fully functioning driving range. And an irrigation system for the golf course. And an integrated security program for the facility below. Think Pebble Beach meets the Biosphere meets Rikers.

The engineering challenges are formidable. At nine acres, the $95 million driving range is the largest contiguous green roof in the country. So when it rains at the range, it pours, which creates a paradoxical hazard for the plant below. “It’s of paramount importance to the City of New York that this building stay dry, despite being full of water,” said David Burke, the project architect at Grimshaw. So to handle the millions of gallons that can accumulate on the green roof during a storm, the design team has devised a natural filtration system to collect, process, and store the runoff.


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Stuff: How Much Do You Really Need?

If faced with an impending cataclysmic event like a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, landslide, etc, that was going to wipe away your home, your accumulated possessions, what would you take with you, if you only had a handful of minutes to pack?

In the Australian bushfire catastrophe it seemed like the first things many folk thought of, after the people around them, was their pets and the family photo albums.

What's Important?

We work long hours and long years so we can afford ‘stuff.’ Stuff that uses up a world’s worth of materials, energy, land, water and creates enormous waste. But when the chips are down, and the brown whatsit is hitting the spinning thing, what is it that we really cling to as being important? It doesn’t appear to be the plasma television or coffee maker that spring to the frontal lobes. It is those things that connect us to one another. MasterCard had it right when it advertised that there are some things that money can’t buy. The ‘priceless’ in our lives.

And it is this that we gather to our bosom when loss is imminent. The irreplaceable. The photos of little Johnny or Janey playing in the packing box of the TV are worth so much more than the appliance itself.

It can be an enlightening exercise to list, say, only 10 things you would want with you, were you never to see your domicile again.

Your Money or Your Life

This sort of evaluating and prioritising is part and parcel of the book, Your Money or Your Life. A seminal publication, first published in 1992, but based on experiences road tested by Joe Dominguez as far back as 1969.

One of the exercises in the book is to “Go through every room of your house and inventory everything.” The authors say, don’t let embarrassment or guilt discourage you. Because as they point out, you simply come away with gratitude for the things you do own. A revelation, which may assuage that otherwise nagging need for yet more stuff. “So much dissatisfaction comes from focussing on what we don’t have that the simple exercise of acknowledging and valuing what we do have can transform our outlook.”

As the environmental educator Steve van Matre saw it, "The key to a good life is not having what you want, but wanting what you have."

Living with less (or not desiring more) can be the route to a simpler and happier life. And it sure makes it easier to decide what to take with you, when the carpet is suddenly pulled from beneath your life as you knew it.

from more

Monday, 23 February 2009

Are Gift Cards the New Bottled Water?

You can buy disposable, plastic gift cards at the corner store. Most supermarkets devote an entire end cap to the solicitation of gift cards. The logos and products of various chain stores grace the front of these cards: Starbucks, McDonalds, Target, iTunes, Chili’s, Pizza Hut, etc. You can buy gift cards in dozens of denominations to almost any corporate store.

Now there is a new gift card on the market. It’s made by the credit card companies. A citizen may buy a sixty dollar Visa/MasterCard/Discover/ETC Gift Card and give it to their cousin as a birthday gift. The cousin now has sixty dollars that he can spend like cash. But it’s not cash. It’s a disposable gift card that works like cash but is somehow different than cash. What? This is too stupid to catch on. Oh,really? They’ve already bottled up the water and sold it to us at a premium, proving nothing is too stupid to catch on. They’ll probably start bagging up the air and selling that. And we might buy more.


Sunday, 22 February 2009

"Kissing Bridges"

Last weekend, while watching the movie "The Bridges of Madison County", I decided to check out websites about covered bridges in North America.

This idea was reinforced this week while coming home from Elmira, Ontario, the centre of Mennonite country north of Kitchener. We bypassed the highway in West Montrose where one of the last covered bridges in Ontario crosses the Grand River. What a great event it was as we waited for a horse and democrat to cross the bridge towards us. We were transformed back to the last century right there on the approach to the bridge.

So my research began with a site called Madison County, Iowa - Home of the Bridges of Madison County that details not only the covered bridges but also the movie.

The next stop was a great site in New Brunswick with a pictuure tour of some of the 66 bridges left standing including the the world's longest (1282 ft built 1901) at Hartsland on the St. John river.

Finally at A Guide to Old Covered Bridges of Southeastern Pennsylvania I found the following explanation of just what covered bridges mean to all of us.

"Covered bridges symbolize small-town North America. Something from the nineteenth century, a little archaic and strange to nineteen-nineties eyes, picturesque and sentimental, "kissing bridges" recall a time when life was simpler and closer to the land -- if only in our dreams. Covered bridges complement autumn leaves and autumn emotions. Photogenic and often remote from the Interstate Highways and cities of the twentieth century, covered bridges lure the explorer to find the little streams and dirt roads that the twentieth century has almost passed by."

I couldn't have said it any better...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Speaking of Golf

GOLFER: "Think I'm going to drown myself in the lake."
CADDY: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"

GOLFER: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
CADDY: "Try heaven, you've already moved the earth."

GOLFER: "Do you think my game is improving?"
CADDY: "Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now."

GOLFER: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"
CADDY: "Eventually."

GOLFER: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world."
CADDY: "I don't think so sir. That would be too much of a coincidence."

GOLFER: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
CADDY: "It's not a watch it's a compass."

GOLFER: "How do you like my game?"
CADDY: "Very good sir, but personally, I prefer golf."

GOLFER: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?"
CADDY: "The way you play, sir, it's a sin on any day."

GOLFER: "This is the worst course I've ever played on."
CADDY: "This isn't the golf course. We left that an hour ago."

What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?

A Bad Golfer Goes Whack ... Dang! A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang ... Whack!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Repower America

An open letter from Al Gore

Today, I will be testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about repowering America and the need for us to resume global leadership on the climate crisis. As you know, it's a critical time in our country and we all have a role to play.

I've recorded a short video message to share my perspective on what's at stake right now. Take a moment and please watch it:

In Congress, our leaders are debating an economic recovery package. It includes unprecedented support for putting Americans back to work building a clean energy economy.

But entrenched interests in Washington will be working hard to weaken the legislation -- opposing funding for clean energy programs that support things like wind, solar, energy efficiency and a new national electric grid.

As members of Congress work out the details of a bill that can pass both the House and the Senate, it's important that you let each of your elected representatives know that you want the recovery to be about repowering America.

You and I know that continuing with the status quo will not revitalize the U.S. economy. Please make sure your elected officials know, too.

Watch the video and send a quick note to Congress:

Today, we can start to get America back on track.

Thanks for everything,

Al Gore

Monday, 26 January 2009

5 Green Habits That Matter More Than Recycling

You're a faithful recycler, now do even more with these tips.

So, like every person trying to do their part to reduce their personal carbon emissions and make the most of the natural resources we all consume you recycle right? If you're an average Planet Green reader you probably do a bit more than the average US citizen who recycles about one third of the waste they produce, preventing about 1600 pounds of carbon being released into the atmosphere. That's a good thing, but do you want to do even more? Here are five things you can do which reduce your emissions as much or more than recycling:

1... Drink Less Bottled Water = 2.6 Tons CO2
2... Skip One Mid-Range Flight = 1 Ton CO2
3... Go Vegetarian (or Vegan) = 1 to 2 Tons CO2
4... Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water & Air Dry Them = 1 Ton CO2
5... Sign Up For Green Power = 7 Tons CO2

Read the full article at Planet Green

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Kabi Organic Golf Course

From Australia...

Here are 18 holes worth of organic certification by the Biological Farmers Association (BFA). Meaning it’s free of “any synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and or any other chemicals that are traditional ones used on golf courses.”

What’s more, the clubhouse restaurant lists a menu of organic beef, chicken, and herbs. Or feast upon oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins and grapefruits from the courses’s organic orchard.

And if you need to take a load off your hind, then the compost toilets await your deposit, so they can feed any liquid nutrient back to the courses’s forests, via sand filters.

Aside from the prolific bird life that enjoys the 120 acres of such forests (covering over a third of the property) there is also abundant wildlife, such as wallabies and kangaroos (see below), who “have the right of way on the course at all times.”

To their knowledge, they are the only certified organic course in the southern hemisphere, and possibly the planet. Though, no doubt, one of our white ball bashing readers can hit us for four on that one. ::Kabi Golf

Friday, 23 January 2009

Drive Wise (the other kind of driver)

drive wise, originally uploaded by GWSA.

Constable Keith Robb with the OPP., at the Drive Wise program at the Evergreen Seniors Centre Guelph, Ontario CANADA ...for more information about the GWSA visit our website at

Grocery Shopping Tips For Husbands

... Because I am pretty well house bound because of severe health issues my wonderful husband goes to the store with his cell phone and I'm here at home with the landline. He does this on the weekend when we have free time that doesn't use up the paid minutes. If he's not sure on any item I wrote on the list he gives me a call to talk about what ever it is. Might be as simple as the brand I put down is out of stock but we still do our shopping together in a way that works for us. Hubby does a super good job shopping but he feels better when we use this method.

...My tip for making grocery shopping easier. I bring my wife and follow her around while she picks the groceries. I find it to be a lot easier than going by myself. - by Donald Cash

Editor's Note: It can be nice to have company while shopping, I just hope you help your wife carry the groceries to the car.

... There are a lot of us guys who are more than happy to help out with the chores, but as we all know we never get it right, despite the fact we mean well. I find that rather than waiting to be told i'm doing something wrong i'll ask. After all, the only dumb question is the one that wasn't asked. Eventually after enough practice we can be trusted to fly solo with the shopping list.
You go for it Don

Sunday, 18 January 2009

New Bike Technology

You Shall Have Bike Lanes Wherever You Go

Some cities are slow getting around to approving bike lanes; others don't bother. Here is a way to carry your bike lane with you wherever you go: project it onto the road with fricking lasers. Alex Tee and Evan Gant of Altitude write:

"Our system projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative."

more Bike Technology at

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Off the Wall

"When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." - Edward Teller

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ”Wow! What a ride!” - Unknown

"Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps." - Tiger Woods

Monday, 12 January 2009

Hole in One

Adam Hogg of Conestogo, Ontario, Canada scored a hole-in-one on 08/09/06. The ace occurred on Hole 17, a par 3, 185yd hole at Conestoga Golf and Country Club located in Conestogo, Ontario, Canada.

Adam scored the hole-in-one with a 6 Iron and had this to say about it:

"It was a Wednesday Men´s night and I was playing with the club superintendent, the assistant superintendent and one of the other guys I work with on the greens crew. Beer girl probably 30 yards away which made things very convenient....then I had to go to the club house....on Men´s night. There was a couple dollars spent that night."

Dirk Sjoberg LeBreton of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada scored a hole-in-one on 08/17/06. The ace occurred on Hole 6, a par 3, 172yd hole at Conestoga Golf & Country Club located in Conestogo, Ontario, Canada.

Dirk scored the hole-in-one with a 6 Iron and had this to say about it:

"It was pretty sweet. I mean, I was looking all over the place and finally checked the hole and it was there. I knew that I had struck it solid, and that it was probably tight, but I couldn´t see it, so I didn´t know at the time where it had ended up. It was pretty awesome. "

Peter Marzo of Guelph, Ontario, Canada scored a hole-in-one on 08/14/06. The ace occurred on Hole 5, a par 3, 137yd hole at Wildwinds Golf Course located in Rockwood, Ontario, Canada.

Peter scored the hole-in-one with a 8 Iron and had this to say about it:

"My playing partner and I saw it disappear on the green, but we both thought that it had gone off the back into a trap. When we got to the green and looked in the trap, then the rough and found no ball. It was then that I realized that the unimagineable could have happened. I sheepishly went to the cup and found the ball. Then there was the usual yelling and high fiving."

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Loud Golf Clubs

Study Finds Loud Golf Clubs Can Damage Hearing

Of all the mind numbing, ear drum bending, noise pollution that bombards us, who would have thought that the impact of a flattened composite on a one and half ounce sphere could hurt your hearing?

A British study has found that some golf clubs can cause hearing damage.

" That ping is high volume, that’s what hearing loss is about in 21st century America, " explained Kathlyn Maguire, an expert and an advocate on hearing loss.

She says the study on tinnitus and reduced hearing in golfers conducted at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in England, makes sense.

20 years ago impact of wood on ball generated a healthy click on the range. Now it is something akin to a small sonic boom

Recent tests at Florida’s North Palm Beach Country Club with director of golf Mike Gray measured decibel levels on impact.

"They design them to be louder, its more exciting. If it sounds louder, it feels like it will go father" said Gray.

Time and again the impact pinned the meter past 130 decibels.

80 decibels equals the noise level in close proximity to a jackhammer.

On the range the tiny sonic booms were swept away by the wind but the British study was food for thought.

"Its kind of annoying to hit a drive that loud," said one golfer.

"If I hit it in the fairway, I'll go with it regardless," chuckled another.

The study recommends wearing earplugs.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Did you know...

... that December 30 is the birthday of Tiger Woods (1975)? At the
mere age of 2, Tiger played with comedian and golfer Bob Hope
on the Mike Douglas Show. He was featured in Golf Digest at
age 5, after having already succeeded in shooting 48 for nine
holes while the same children his age were still playing with
building blocks. Happy birthday, Tiger!

"If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you
should always take it because you can influence a person's
life in a positive light, and that's what I want to do. That's
what it's all about." - Tiger Woods

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

"In Quotes"

"Never tell anyone that you're writing a book, going on a diet, exercising, taking a course, or quitting smoking. They'll encourage you to death." - Lynn Johnston

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that
money can't buy." - Unknown

"All of us every single year, we're a different person. I
don't think we're the same person all our lives." - Steven Spielberg

"Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what
happens." - Andy Rooney

"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"Always tell the truth, not only because it is the decent
thing to do, but because it gives you such an advantage over
the man who is trying to remember his lies!" - Sam Brookes

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Earthrise Photo Launched a Movement

Earthrise Photo Launched a Movement

It has been said that pictures taken on Christmas Eve forty years ago created the environmental movement, that for the first time people really could see that we really were all together on one little boat floating in space. These images, along with hundreds of other Apollo helped drive the momentum of a burgeoning green movement during the 70's, fuelling an awareness of vulnerability. "One thing was obvious to all, while the moon was 'dead as an old bone,' the Earth was 'the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos.' " More