Earth Day is almost upon us. April 22nd is a day to think about the world we live in. There are many events going on around the country to get involved. Browse to earthday.ca to learn more. Use this as a reminder to focus on the environment around you and think of ways reduce your impact.
Javelin always strives to be an environmentally-conscience company by having energy-efficient offices, web-based services and training, and providing you with products that reduce waste and move towards a paper-less design experience. This Earth Day, we are planning some events to help out a bit more.
Garbage pickup event
Environmental documentary screening over lunch
Desk clean-out to recycle, reuse or donate those items buried under the mess
Consider starting an environmental team at your office to find new ways to reduce waste and save money. Encourage carpooling. Get energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Print on BOTH sides of the paper, or better yet don’t print that email at all.
Then take it personally by looking at home. Hang your laundry outside to dry. Walk to the grocery store for those small purchases. Bike to the exercise gym instead of driving (you may realize that you no longer need to jump on that stationary exercise bike!). Pick up some garbage around your neighbourhood. Reduce, reuse, recycle (in that order).
With the holidays fast approaching, don’t lose sight of your efforts to help the earth. Think about making the switch to LED lights for your house. Try avoiding the wasteful wrapping paper that goes directly into the garbage. How about doing away the stacks of paper greeting cards and move to e-cards or start a blog with pictures and stories that you can share with friends and family.
Everyone knows what forecasting means, but have you heard of the term “backcasting”? With forecasts we want to know what the future will be like. Backcasting is a different mindset. Rather than trying to predict what happens in the future, we decide upfront what we want our future to be. Then we can make decisions and steps to turn that future into a reality. We have the power to create a better future and this is greater than any prediction.
Backcasting is important for sustainable development. Without a solid plan in place, the future may look more like current “forecasts” and less like the vision from our “backcast”. Not all will agree upon the exact future we desire, but working together in taking steps forward will benefit the planet and promote innovation.
SolidWorks Sustainability allows designers to review their decisions on materials, manufacturing and transportation of products to pinpoint areas where the environmental impact can be minimized. Keeping this in mind during the design stage will not only promote innovative green designs, but also reduce waste and overall production costs.
Here is a short video on “Designing for the Planet” from Joseph Vera from inkavera:
We have now entered into Bike Month (http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/bikemonth/index.htm) and it’s time to start leaving those polluting cars at home. A few weeks ago I attended a Bike Lecture on building a cycling culture in Canada by learning from the Netherlands. The guest speaker was Hans Moor, a representative with the Netherlands Embassy. It was an interesting discussion so I’ll share some of the factoids.
84% of the Dutch population owns 1 or more bikes
With a total population of 16.5 million people in the Netherlands, there are 18 million bikes
26% commute to work by bike, 45% take cars (around 90% of Canadians are still taking cars)
Gas costs approximately $2.50CAD/L in the Netherlands
9% of Canadian incomes are now spent on gas; this used to be 4% a few decades ago
Lowfoot(www.lowfoot.com) is a website that will allow you to connect to your smart-meter and track to your energy consumption. The great art of this is if you drop your energy consumption you can claim monetary payouts!
The website actually synchronizes itself with your smart-meter. It will then present the information in an easy to understand fashion. The website will then give you advice on how to reduce your energy consumption based on your consumption habits. Read More »
“With a fuel-injected car (which means “every car being manufactured today”), in a “normal” climate, there is no reason to warm up a car after starting it. The fuel injection system will compensate for a cold engine. In fact, starting the engine and immediately driving down the road actually helps reduce a car’s emissions. The car’s Catalytic Converter can’t do its job until it gets hot, and it gets hot faster if you are driving the car rather than letting it idle.”
“The catalytic converter – the device that cleans pollutants from the vehicle exhaust – does not function at its peak until it reaches between 750° and 1500° F. The best way to warm the converter is to drive the vehicle. Idling emits more pollution if the catalytic converter is not working properly.
In winter conditions, emissions from idling vehicles are more than double the normal level immediately after a cold start. Warming up the engine means more than just the engine. The tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts also need to warm for the vehicle to perform well. Most of these parts do not warm until the vehicle is driven.”
Leaving the fridge door open while you decide what to graze on is not sustainable. Tips: Use your phone to take a photo inventory of the fridge contents so you can just grab what you know is in there easily, without wasting all the energy of your fridge trying to cool down your house while you decide what is available to eat.
- REDUCED HEATING BILL: Does your wife get cold easily during the winter? Pregnancy will fix that right up! Actually had to turn down the thermostat this winter due to the baby “furnace”. Now I’m the one cold…
- ZERO CAR IDLING in the morning: Park in the garage! Ensured doors seal well; car is always at least at 5°C even when -20° outside!
- ZERO-EMISSION WINTER ACTIVITY: grab a shovel and get to it! This winter has been accommodating my winter-sporting needs.
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