Archive for the ‘Air’ Category

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Written by: Jessie Golem

This week, we updated the green roof demo at EcoHouse with some Sedums! A green roof or living roof is a roof of a

Sedums

Sedums

building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofs are a beautiful and cost-efficient way to conserve energy, manage storm water, and insulate a building.

Sedums are a shallow-rooted ground cover plant. They have thick leaves that retain a lot of water, making it drought resistant, and they require at least eight hours of sunlight per day, which makes it a perfect plant to install on a green roof.

The benefits of green roofs have been undisputed for several decades. Here

EcoHouse Green Roof

EcoHouse Green Roof

are just some of the benefits they can bring to our cities:

Green roofs are environmentally friendly

Green roofs create oxygen and combat pollutants. Filling a city with green roofs would go a long way to combating the pollution caused by cities, as well as beautify the space. In fact, some large corporations, including Rolls-Royce, and Nintendo of America, have over 75,000 square feet of Sedums covering their rooftops! It’s a great way to use a space that was otherwise not being used, in a way that helps the environment.

Green roofs conserve energy

One of the biggest benefits to having a green roof is that they help to regulate temperatures within a building. They are well insulated, which helps to keep buildings warm in the winter, and also absorb heat and cool down buildings naturally in the summer. In the long run it is a low cost way to reduce energy consumption and save money on your utility

bills.

Green roofs are excellent at managing storm water

A Sedum roof will absorb a lot of water in a rainfall, and in doing so, will significantly reduce the surface run off of a rainfall. Green roofs also naturally filter the water which will improve the water quality, to the point where the run-off rainwater could be used for other purposes (i.e. a flushing toilet)

The list of benefits to having a green roof is a lengthy one. We hope the next time you visit EcoHouse, you will take some time to check out our green roof demo, and dream of the ways green roofs beautify cities, save energy, and help the environment.

Green Wall Tokyo

Green Wall Tokyo

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Climate Change Action of the Month: The Green Cottage

Start Climate Change awareness at the home! That is what the Green Cottage in Hamilton has done, this house has many ecofriendly features, which helps eliminate its lasting effects on the climate. The house, located in the north end of Hamilton by the harbour, was originally built in 1885 with many similar houses surrounding it, but since then it has had some major renovations, and although the house does not look much different than the ones surrounding it the Green Cottage is unlike any home in Hamilton.

The Green Cottage

The Green Cottage

Starting on the outside the house is trimmed with salvaged wood, reclaimed wood helps eliminate the process of manufacturing and saves a few trees from being cut down in the process. The house is also insulated on the outside, this is called Exsulation, which provides more thermal heating for the house, eliminating most of the use of furnaces. The roof is also adorned with many solar panels and solar water heaters. Up to 30% of new greenhouse gases around the globe are contributed by non-renewable energy, and using solar energy as an alternative helps to decrease that number and the impacts of climate change.

On the inside the house is NOT equipped with a clothing dryer, air conditioner, stove, refrigerator or microwave! With the house lacking these amenities they are not sucking out energy for appliances that are not essential for everyday needs. The Green Cottage has significantly reduced its energy use, and has set a very high standard for energy conservation.

The house is also surround by a vigorous and beautiful garden. The garden creates green space in a mostly asphalt ridden area, and the plants not only look great but they are absorbing carbon dioxide and eliminating that from out atmosphere. The Green Cottage has gone above and beyond to eliminate their negative effects on climate change and the environment in general. This house is not only proof that you can take an old home and make environmental improvements, but it also demonstrates the many changes you can make a home level.

Written by: Brittney Massey

Climate Change Action of the Month: Smart Commute Hamilton

One of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases are car emissions so it doesn’t take Einstein to realize that eliminating car emissions would have a significant affect on climate change. A few commercial buildings within Hamilton have begun to include secure bike parking on their premises to help promote alternative, and in this case active, transportation. Within five years of the Smart Commute Hamilton program starting up, over 24,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented from entering into the atmosphere.

The secure bike parking allows Hamiltonians to bike rather than drive and have a safe place they can store their bikes while at work or play. Here are just some of the locations you can find secure bike parking in Hamilton:

One of the many secure bike parking facilities in Hamilton

One of the many secure bike parking facilities in Hamilton

  • St. Joes Hospital
  • Hamilton General
  • Mohawk College
  • The Convention Centre
  • York Parkdale
  • Horizon Utility Office
  • Jackson Square AND OVER 50 MORE!

Secure bike parking gives you piece of mind after locking up your bike, offering superior protection on your bike over the conventional rack. How you ask? Secure bike parking is located within limited access facilities and can only be reached by secure bike members who have been granted access. The bikes are then hung vertically and with one U-lock you are able to lock up both tires and your bike frame. The facilities are monitored by security dramatically decreasing your risk of theft or damage to your bike.

With the development of secure bike parking, commuters are encouraged to ditch their cars and grab their bikes. Biking is a healthy and environmentally-friendly alternative to driving your car. Now you can do your part and bike to work, a friends, or the store, reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you contribute to the atmosphere, and have peace of mind.

Written By: Brittney Massey

Totally Transit – Connecting Older Adults with Public Transit

hsrGreen Venture has been offering bus education programs for several years through the Totally Transit program.  This program introduces people to the HSR, and provides them with the information needed to take the bus.  This is the second year that Green Venture has expanded this program to cater to older adults.

Taking the bus is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around our city.  The HSR carries millions of passengers per year and operates comprehensive bus routes throughout Hamilton.  These workshops will discuss HSR bus services and focus on the neighbourhood around the workshop location.

Lets ride the bus oct 24 _121024 vs 007

Through a series of free workshops offered at ten locations across Hamilton, older adults will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently navigate public transit.  Topics such as local bus routes, bus fare and passes, seniors’ discounts, and trip planning will be covered.

After a 45 minute presentation on taking the bus, an optional 15 minute presentation will be offered on how to use Google maps to plan your trip, for those who use the internet.  All workshop participants will have the opportunity to fill out a form requesting bus trip planning to two destinations.  Green Venture will mail participants step by step instructions explaining how to take the bus to their destinations.

Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a guided bus trip, where they will travel in small groups of 2-4 on the bus with a trained bus travel guide.  Free bus tickets will be provided, and the travel guide will orient them on how to use the bus while they ride to a fun location for an outing, before travelling back to their starting point on the bus together.

Workshops will be offered at:

Wednesday September 10, 10:30 to 12:00pm- Concession Street Library, 565 Concession St, Hamilton

Tuesday September 23, 2:00 to 3:30pm -Westdale Library 955 King St W, Hamilton,

Monday September 29, 2:00 to 3:30pm Turner Park Library 352 Rymal Rd E, Hamilton

Wednesday October 1, 2:00 to 3:30pm Red Hill Library 695 Queenston Road Hamilton

Monday October 20, 10 to 11:30am – North End Community Health Centre, 438 Hughson Street North, Hamilton

Thursday October 23, 10 to 11:30am – Sackville Hill Senior Center, 780 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton

Wednesday October 29, 10 to 11:30am – Dundas Library, 18 Ogilvie St, Dundas

 

Registration is required to attend a workshop.

To sign up for a guided bus trip, please call 905-540-8787 ext. 151

 

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Media contact-

Michael Albanese

Green Venture

905-540-8787 ext 151

gvcoordinator2@gmail.com

www.greenventure.ca

Climate Change Action of the Month: HIEA

Trees Please!

There’s been a lot of concern and interest in climate change in the City of Hamilton lately with the development of  a Community Climate Change Action Plan. Increasing the amount of green space and the number of trees in a dense city area helps to mitigate climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and use this in the process of photosynthesis to grow big and tall! Trees absorbing carbon dioxide is beneficial and planting trees is a very practical approach to combating climate change.

HIEA in the process of planting all of their new trees.

HIEA in the process of planting all of their new trees.

The Andrew Warburton Memorial Park, which is now the home of 32 new trees.

The Andrew Warburton Memorial Park, which is now the home of 32 new trees.

Around the north east end, the Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association (HIEA) has been committed to planting over 120 trees including Maple, Serviceberry, Kentucky Coffeetree, Katsura and more in various locations including:

  • St. Christopher’s Park
  • RT Steele Park
  • Andrew Warburton Memorial Park
  • Lake Avenue Park

HIEA is dedicated to improving our local environment. The actions of HIEA will help to lessen the effects of climate change as the trees continue to absorb the carbon dioxide, which they then convert and store in the form of wood. Planting younger trees is also beneficial as they begin to absorb the carbon dioxide at an exponential rate while they begin to grow. Planting trees is a great way to mitigate climate change as they absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and having less greenhouse gases in the atmosphere slows down climate change. This is why it is important not only to plant new trees but to also protect the trees we already have.

Written by: Brittney Massey

Community CarShare comes to the East End!

Green Venture has decided to do the green thing and trade in our two company vehicles for a Community CarShare membership. Community CarShare is a local non-profit co-operative organization. They were the first car sharing organization within Ontario starting in 1998 and have been a part of the Hamilton community since 2009.

How does it work?

The Community CarShare program is really simple. First, you sign up for a membership plan that is based on your needs. Once you are signed up and have received a safe driving orientation you are able to book any of the 53 CarShare vehicles (with 13 in Hamilton), and you are able to book up to 30 minutes in advance. The car is then charged on a pay-per-use basis. You are able to pick the type of car you need and then head to the closest available location to pick up your car, it’s as simple as that. You don’t even have to pay for gas, maintenance, or insurance, they are all included in your membership fee.

We used our Community CarShare membership to book the Toyota Tacoma to help us get everything for our booth from the EcoHouse to the Open Streets festival in Hamilton.

We used our Community CarShare membership to book the Toyota Tacoma to help us get everything for our booth from the EcoHouse to the Open Streets festival in Hamilton.

CarShare_Truck2[1]

Our helper with the CarShare!

There are many benefits for anyone to change from using a personal vehicle to joining the Community CarShare. Some of the benefits are,

  • Financial: For a newer vehicle you will be cutting out those hefty monthly payments, or for an older car the growing maintenance costs. You do not pay for gas, which is constantly increasing, or insurance, as this is included in the membership fee. Additionally you are not paying for a place to park your car, and if you have an extra par
    king space you can potentially rent it out and make a profit! At Green Venture we did the math and we will be saving over $5000.00 dollars a year by switching to CarShare!
  • Social: You are contributing to a local co-operative organization within your community. You are also avoiding the stress of managing and maintaining a vehicle and lastly Community CarShare has made picking up and booking a car convenient and hassle free.
  • Environmental: By ditching your ride and joining CarShare you are diminishing the amount of cars on the road. This helps reduce CO2 emissions, while also reducing the amount of traffic and consequently the amount of idling on the streets, bettering our air quality within the city. Lastly if you do not have your own vehicle for transportation traveling becomes more of a conscious decision. This allows people to become more aware of their transportation choices and consider more environmentally friendly decisions such as CarShare, biking or walking.
SONY DSC

The Toyota Prius PHV plugged-in and recharging its batteries.

Green Venture is taking the environmental benefits one step further by introducing an electric vehicle into the Community CarShare organization. At Green Venture’s office building, called the EcoHouse, we have an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station, which was donated by EATON. The EV charging station is a place for plug-in cars to recharge and collect electric energy for their vehicles. The EV charging station will soon be the new location for the Toyota Prius Hybrid Plug-in (or Prius PHV), for Community CarShare. This hybrid utilises rechargeable batteries while in all-electric running mode, that only take two to three hours to charge and the vehicle can maintain high speeds and last a long distance. When using the Prius PHV compared to other gas guzzling cars of the same size you will be reducing your fuel consumption by 1650 litres and even better lowering your CO2 emissions by nearly 4000 kg per year! By Green Venture using not only CarShare but an electric vehicle we will be significantly reducing our carbon footprint and continuing our goal to live more sustainably.

Written by: Brittney Massey

Ditch the Drive & Bring the Bike!

On May 26th, we celebrated Bike to Work Day at Gore Park to kick off the beginning of Bike Month in June. That morning we saw residents learn more about cycling and active travel, and the unveiling of the new Hamilton bike share program called Sobi Hamilton. Sobi Hamilton will start early this summer (it’s coming soon!) and making 750 bikes available at 105 stations throughout Hamilton. At any time you can reserve and rent the bike for a period of time and a small fee. Check out Sobi Hamilton here.

Biking is a great form of active travel, helping you get to where you are going, and in a healthy and lively way. Physically inactive lifestyles are very harmful to our health and contribute to a lot of the most common diseases in Canada such as stroke, diabetes, heart diseases and more. Including active travel into your routine is a great way to get in your daily dose of exercise while reducing your environmental impact too. Many Canadian individuals depend on their car for transportation, but the pollution created by cars increases our greenhouse gas emissions which affects our climate and our air quality. Active travel doesn’t just apply to biking it works for any physical active mode of transportation, such as rollerblading, walking, running, or skateboarding. Next time you plan to go to the grocery store, work, or anywhere try to walk, ride or roll as active alternatives to driving your car.

Here are our top ten reasons to ditch the drive and ride a bike:

  1. Save money on gas
  2. Don’t have to worry about finding parking
  3. Get to be active and healthy
  4. You won’t have to sit in traffic
  5. You get a better view of the city
  6. Bicycles take a lot less materials and energy to make then cars
  7. Bikes have a lot less maintenance
  8. Bikes don’t burn gasoline, keeping our air clean
  9. Storing a bike is easy
  10.  IT’S FUN!

Missed Bike to Work Day? Don’t miss us at Open Streets Hamilton! Open Streets Hamilton re-purposes streets for fun, active, and creative activities by temporarily transforming streets into a shared space for everyone to experience. Sunday, July 13 2014 on James Street North from 10AM – 5PM will mark the 8th car-free Sunday in Hamilton since June 2010.

Written By:

Brittney Massey

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