Saturday, 26 March 2011

Calorie Count to be on Menus at Fast Food Joints in the United Kingdom

by Bonnie Alter, London

If you live in the UK and treat yourself to a Big Mac at McDonald's, you will soon be able to see exactly how many calories you are consuming. Ugh: did that put you off the extra fries?

Ditto Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Wimpy and 165 other fast food restaurants. It's all part of an attempt by the government to fight obesity by giving people more information about the food that they are eating. Would that it was that simple.

Subway, which has overtaken McDonald's as the biggest fast food restaurant in the UK has refused. However they are happy to claim that McDonald's Big Mac contains up to five times more fat than Subway's sandwich rolls. But others say that a Big Mac has 490 kcal, and a Subway 6" double meat Italian BMT sandwich has a massive 630 kcals.

PIzza Express has refused because they say it's "not consumer friendly and would clutter up their menus." That is the least of their worries. Pizza is hugely fattening: an average 12" pizza has 1122 kcal - and few people realise it. So it's no wonder that Strada, a sit-down pizza restaurant has also refused, as has Bella Italia. Cafe Rouge (fake french cafe) has too.

The Public Health Responsibility Deal unveiled by the government will cover 5 different areas: food, alcohol, physical activity, health at work and behaviour change. Representatives from industry and government have been involved in the formation of the pledge.

Signing up is voluntary but over 170 companies have already. The food deal requires companies to "provide calorie information for food and non-alcoholic drink for customers in out of home settings from 1 September 2011", as well as cutting salt in products by a further 15 per cent by 2012 and removing artificial transfats by the end of this year... read more story at

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Cogeco Data Services disconnects from the grid for Earth Hour

Company calls on IT industry to go beyond the hour on Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:30 to 9:30 pm

TORONTO, March 24, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - In support of Earth Hour, Cogeco Data Services will disconnect from the electrical grid from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, relying instead on clean energy from its natural gas generator. In so doing, the company will reduce power consumption in the city of Toronto by approximately 750kW, the equivalent of turning off over 12,000 60-watt light bulbs. This is just one small step for the environment, and the company is calling on the IT industry to do more.

"Our unique ability to disconnect from the electrical grid and power our data centre using clean burning natural gas has a positive impact on the environment and we are looking forward to doing our part for Earth Hour. However, as the demand for cloud computing services grows and the need for colocation facilities increases, the IT industry must go above and beyond Earth Hour to create long term strategies and standards to reduce power consumption in data centres," said Tony Ciciretto, President, Cogeco Data Services.

IDC expects cloud computing to grow by 40 per cent over the next three years. According to Greenpeace International, electricity consumption for data centres will reach 1020 billion kWh by 2020, from 330 billion kWh in 2007. The IT industry must focus on solutions that will slow this increase and help to green the industry overall.

During Earth Hour, Cogeco Data Services will rely on its natural gas generator, which allows the company to power its entire data centre using clean burning natural gas, a power source that produces 30 per cent less carbon emissions than oil burning power generation and 45 per cent less than coal-burning power generation.

In an ongoing effort to reduce its power consumption, Cogeco Data was the first Canadian company to use raised interstitial floors in a data centre. Raised interstitial flooring reduces the amount of energy needed to cool a data centre. The company also installed motion-sensor lighting in the Cogeco Data offices to keep facilities dark outside of regular business hours and requests all employees unplug non-essential electronic equipment when leaving the office for the evening and weekend.

"We are pleased to support the Earth Hour initiative and will continue to look for innovative ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment", said Ciciretto.

About Cogeco Data Services

With its suite of Business Communication Solutions (Data Centre and Storage Services, Voice and Connectivity Services), Cogeco Data Services supplies its customers with the fast, reliable and secure ability to access, manage, move and store large amounts of data worldwide. The Company's wholly-owned, redundant network is all-optical and offers near limitless bandwidth with services that scale to meet the needs of some of Canada's largest companies and public sector organizations.

For more information about Cogeco Data Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogeco Cable Inc., visit

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Carwash Industry Advocates for Environmentally-Friendly Practices

New research highlights the lack of awareness about the environmental impacts of driveway carwashing

TORONTO, March 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The snow is melting, spring is in the air but the remnants of winter can be found on your car. Before you get out the hose and bucket, consider the environmental impact of driveway carwashing. The Canadian Carwash Association (CCA) enlisted the services of Leger Marketing to conduct a survey to determine Canadians' perception of carwashing and the effects on the environment. The survey reveals that most respondents mistakenly think that water goes to treatment plants when it enters storm drains on the street.

The CCA will release the full results of this research during CARWACS 2011 at the Toronto Congress Centre on Thursday, March 24, 2011. A panel of experts will be on hand to discuss the benefits of using a professional carwash and its impact on the environment.

"The survey findings reinforce what the Canadian carwash industry has been advocating for years: using a professional carwash is an environmentally friendly option for cleaning your vehicle," said Jorge de Mendonça, Executive Director, CCA. "A part of our industry's task is to educate the public that washing your car in the driveway sends soap and other harmful chemicals into the storm sewer system, which could go directly into lakes and rivers."

The survey highlights include:

...55 per cent of respondents believe there is no difference environmentally whether they wash their vehicle in their driveway or take it through a carwash

...48 per cent of respondents are unaware that most soapy water from driveway carwashing ends up untreated in nearby lakes or rivers when it goes down storm drains

...38 per cent of respondents wash their vehicles in their driveway

The CCA currently represents more than 1,000 carwash operations across Canada. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Profits Double For Business Selling Pre-Loved Products

by Warren McLaren, Bundanoon, Australia

Might it be the United State's fragile economy? Or maybe, just maybe, a slow awakening to the inherent fallacy in the myth that bright, shiny new products will make us happy? Whatever the root cause, Americans seem to be embracing pre-loved products over virginal, with a new fervour. At least, it seems so for the reuse businesses run by Winmark Corp. who recently announced that their profits had nearly doubled ($10.3 million for 2010), against the previous years trading.

Winmark's retail businesses are all based on the resale of secondhand goods. Play It Again Sports sell preloved sporting gear from tennis rackets to snow skis. Plato's Closet finds new homes for unwanted adult clothing, while Once Upon A Child does the same for kidswear. And Music Go Round is where'd you go if you wanted to purchase a much thrummed guitar or clanged cymbals.

At TreeHugger we often showcase new green products, materials and technologies because they create an important buzz about what is possible when we put our creative eco-thinking caps on, but at heart we just love examples of products having multiple lives... read more story at

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

ColonCancerCheck and OHL Clubs Team Up to Fight Colorectal Cancer

Get checked from behind

TORONTO, March 1, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) teams across the province have joined with Cancer Care Ontario and local cancer programs to take a slap shot at colorectal cancer.

During March - Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - OHL teams are urging fans to get their butts into the game by being screened for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death and the third most diagnosed cancer in Ontario.

Ten participating teams - the Barrie Colts, Belleville Bulls, Guelph Storm, Kingston Frontenacs, Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Owen Sound Attack, Sarnia Sting, Sudbury Wolves, and Windsor Spitfires - will host events at all home games in March. Select team jerseys will feature the ColonCancerCheck (CCC) patch, there will be CCC materials available, and some arena boards will carry cancer screening messaging.

"We are very pleased to be working with a number of OHL teams to raise awareness of colorectal cancer and get more people checked," says Michael Sherar, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. "Ontario has one of the highest colorectal cancer rates in the world with an estimated 8,300 persons diagnosed with the disease in 2010 and an estimated 3,400 dying from it."

ColonCancerCheck is Canada's first organized, provincial colorectal cancer screening program. For those aged 50 and older at average risk, effective screening - through a simple Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), combined with a colonoscopy for those with a positive FOBT - can reduce colorectal cancer deaths in Ontario by 16 per cent.

"Early screening is an effective way to prevent or even beat colorectal cancer," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Since the introduction of ColonCancerCheck, Ontario has funded nearly 1.3 million FOBTs and 115,000 colonoscopies for patients with positive FOBT results, or who are at higher risk. By teaming up with the country's favourite sport I'm confident that we can encourage even more Ontarians to get checked."

"Screening rates are at a low of 30 per cent, despite the fact that 90 per cent of persons with colorectal cancer can be cured if the disease is caught early through screening. Our goal is to raise screening rates to 40 per cent by 2012 as a step towards significantly reducing cancer mortality," said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice President of Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario.

FOBT kits can be obtained through family physicians or nurse practitioners. Those without a family physician or nurse practitioner can pick up a FOBT kit from a local pharmacy or by calling Telehealth at 1-866-828-9213.

Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency responsible for continually improving cancer services. As the government's cancer advisor, Cancer Care Ontario works to reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer, and make sure patients receive better care every step of the way.

For more information on cancer screening, go to: