Recycling Electronics and Other Hard-to-recycle Items

Do What You Can is a great website to find out where in your area you can drop off all those items that don’t go in the green, blue, or black bins. Look by postal code, municipality, or item.

This website is designed to help you find places to drop-off household hazardous and special wastes and unwanted electronics that can’t be put in your Blue Box and should not go in the garbage. You can search for places by municipality, postal code or material.

To get started, select household hazardous and special waste, (such as leftover paint, non-rechargeable batteries and empty propane cylinders), or electronics, (such as televisions, computers and fax machines). And thanks for doing what you can to deal with waste responsibly.

Ottawa and Green Bins Will Meet this Fall

I was wondering when this might happen, and it looks as though this is year.

The City of Ottawa is going to start distributing green bins to 22,000 households this fall and winter. They will start Green Bin pick ups next January (2010) — bi-weekly pickups in winter with weekly pickups the rest of the year. According to the City, there is a “state-of-the-art indoor composting facility” where the waste will be turned into compost. More information on the City’s Green Bin program is at ottawa.ca/greenbin.

(Post and links updated November 2013)

Sustainable Living and other resources

If you haven’t yet discovered PlanetFriendly.net, you may want to heck them out. They have all kinds of links and resources in areas of environment, sustainability, conservation, and other similar areas.

One such resource is the Sustainable Living Guide, which “is all about sustainable living  – activities and choices that can help sustain your health, your spirit, and the planet. The focus is on positive, constructive things you can do in your home, at work, at school, and at play. From bicycling to organic gardening… from non-toxic home and garden products, to strawbale homes… from co-ops to ecovillages… there’s an amazing variety to explore and experience. You will find how to’s, tips & ideas, products & services, organizations, education, employment and more.”

Just check out this sample of links from the first section of the guide, How To Be Green:

The guide also includes: Home & Garden, Food & Gardening, Construction &  Renovation, Health, Products & Services, Books,  Magazines, Travel & Recreation, Transportation, Energy, Technology, Community, Ecovillages, Events & Courses, Education, Groups & Organizations, Jobs & Volunteering, Business & Industry, Faith & Spirituality, Simplicity, Activism, and Directories, Portals &  Networks.

(Post and links updated November 2013)

Briarpatch wants to save the planet, one writer, artist, and thinker at a time

Big kudos to Briarpatch for tackling this issue! The global economy is weighing heavy on everyone, and it’s hard for many to see how to turn this into something positive. But Briarpatch is calling on the folks with the ideas. This worldwide recession can be a chance to think “about reorganizing our society and economy around conservation and community well-being rather than economic growth and short-term profit.”

From their call for submissions:

Call for submissions: Briarpatch unplugged, or, How I learned to stop destroying the planet and love the global recession (November 2013: post no longer available on their website)

“If you’ve got something to contribute to this discussion, then we want to hear from you. We are looking for articles, essays, investigative reportage, news briefs, project profiles, interviews with luminary thinkers, reviews, poetry, humour, artwork & photography that explore how we can unplug from the growth machine and cope with the global recession.

“We seek to cast a broad net in our approach, profiling initiatives in energy alternatives, housing and urban planning, transportation, job (re)training, ecological economics and much more — this is not an exhaustive list!

“Queries are due by March 23, 2009. If your query is accepted, first drafts are due by May 1, 2009. Your query should outline what ground your contribution will cover and include an estimated word count and a short writing sample.”

“On the cutting edge of Canada’s alternative media movement, Briarpatch Magazine embraces complexity, controversy, and debate, exploring political, social and environmental issues from a radical, grassroots perspective. Fiercely independent, often irreverent and never irrelevant, Briarpatch shines a light on oppressive power structures and gives voice to those working for a sustainable society built on social justice and mutual aid.”

Earth Hour – March 28

Earth Hour is an interesting notion to me. On one hand I think it is a great initiative. Right now, more than 500 cities around the world have signed up to turn their lights out for one hour. And that kind of project usually has lasting impact, as it gets everyone thinking about the issue. On the other hand, what is the impact of turning all that power back on at once? *I could insert a smilie here, if you like*

In any case, I will be one of the Ottawa people to participate. From the City: The City of Ottawa is proud to be a supporting city of Earth Hour and will be asking all residents to participate in the campaign scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 28th from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

(Links updated November 2013)