Tag Archives: Orleans

Nature Canada Photo Contest still open

There’s still time for all you amateur, professional or youth photographers to enter your favorite wildlife photo in Nature Canada’s 2015 photo contest.  The deadline is August 14th this year. The contest categories are: Canadian Landscape, People in Nature, Nature in Action, Fauna & Flora, Nature Nearby and Favorite Memory in Nature.

1-NATURE CANADA PHOTO CONTEST

Get your cameras ready… Nature Canada is happy to announce the launch of its 2015 Photo Contest!

Early Bird draw winner, a photo from Cyndy JohnsonLast year’s 75th Anniversary Photo Contest was a huge hit. We received over 3,000 entries and the top photos were featured in our 75th Anniversary Calendar as well as at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

Starting May 19th and running until August 14th, we will be accepting photo entries which capture the beauty of Canadian nature all around us. Special prizes from our generous supporters are available for the winners who will be announced.

Our top prize, generously donated by Copper Cayuse Outfitters, is a trip for two on their Historic Li-lik-hel Mine Expedition. According to their website, you will get to ride on trails that were originally cut by the miners and have been pounded in by years of horses transporting the gold ore to the rail-head in the early 1900’s. You’ll spend three days and two nights in BC’s spectacular Coast Mountain Range, exploring  the beautiful mountain range between Birkenhead Lake and the Li-lik-hel mine. Recently, this expedition has been officially designated as a Canadian Signature Experience! Read about the experience here.

In case you were looking for inspiration, we’ve created a variety of categories into which you can submit your photo(s)!

  • Canadian Landscape
  • People in Nature
  • Nature in Action
  • Fauna & Flora
  • Nature Nearby
  • Favorite Memory in Nature

There will be Early Bird draws, so get your submissions in early! See our rules and regulations for more information. Congratulations to Cyndy Johnson, winner of the first Early Bird draw of the 2015 contest!

It is our hope that by spending time in nature you will experience and learn about the natural beauty our country has to offer. So get up, get outside, and enjoy the great outdoors!

How to Submit

Make sure to always include the category into which you would like to submit your photo! We would also love to hear the story behind the shot!

Make sure to always identify yourself as either an Amateur, Professional, or Youth photographer.

Link to website:

http://naturecanada.ca/2015-photo-contest/

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDWe wish you all good luck and look forward to viewing all the 2015 winning entries. 

Pouring Water From The Air – Award Winning Invention

This is a re-post of one of our popular blogs. 

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR OUR ‘TECHIE’ FOLLOWERS – AN AWARD WINNING INVENTION FOR COUNTRIES FACING

WATER SHORTAGES:

For those facing water shortages, there is much to be thankful for when it comes to the inventive spirit. Thanks to young Australian inventor Edward Linacre, there may one day be no such thing as a water shortage for Australian farmers.

He recently won the £10,000 international James Dyson Award for a “low-tech” device – the Airdrop – that can draw water from the air, besting the work of 500 other inventors.

Linacre, a graduate of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, says he wanted to solve the drought problem afflicting farmers in parts of Australia suffering from drought conditions. His solution, Airdrop, can harvest 11.5 milliliters of water for every cubic meter of air in the driest deserts such as the Negev in Israel, which has an average relative air humidity of 64 percent. A small-scale prototype Linacre installed at his parents’ house created about a liter of water a day. Linacre will use his prize money for further testing on increasing the yield.

As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, instead of using complex, energy-intensive methods such as desalination, Airdrop’s source of water is abundant – the air – and so it can be used anywhere in the world.

Linacre’s Airdrop delivers water to the roots of crops in dry areas by pushing air through a network of underground pipes, cooling it down to the point where water condenses. The water can then be pumped to the roots of plants using drip irrigation methods.

This video interview,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cXe-4XE2QVI

posted by gizmag, helps explain the invention and the sound reasoning behind it. Linacre say he was inspired by the Namib beetle, which survives in landscapes that get just half an inch of rain per year by consuming the dew it collects on the hydrophilic skin of its back. Similarly, the desert rhubarb can harvest 16 times the amount of water than other plants in its region by using deep water channeling cavities in its leaves.

James Dyson, whose charity sponsors the award, said that the device is a low-tech solution that could be installed and maintained by the farmers themselves; it powers itself using solar panels. Dyson offered this insight into the clever invention:

“Biomimicry is a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armory. We chose Edward’s project because it was a very good and original solution to what has become a real problem.”

In addition to Linacre’s cash prize, a further £10,000 has been awarded to Swinburne University. Linacre said without the university’s help he would never have got his idea off the ground.

The James Dyson Award is run by the James Dyson Foundation and each year students of product design, industrial design or design engineering from around the world are invited to enter.

 
Image: James Dyson Awards

Source: EcoLocalizer (http://s.tt/15ngo)

2nd Annual Float for Life Event

COUSTEAUThe day includes a float and a talk by Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the conservationist, filmmaker, photographer, and author who studied the sea. She will talk about her love of the oceans and growing up with her grandfather as her guide. Her father, Philippe, who co-produced numerous projects with Jacques, died when she was 3.
“Our oceans are in trouble,” Cousteau said. “Float for Life gives people an opportunity to reconnect with the ocean be reminded that we all have an important role to play in ocean conservation. After all, people protect what they love.”
SANIBELThe float promotes the environmental, economic, psychological and physical benefits of water as part of a fundraiser for the Sanibel Sea School. The school is a nonprofit focused on marine-based preservation and offers day camps, outings, and adult classes centered on wildlife and habitats in Sanibel.

“One of our favorite things to do with our campers is a soul float,” said Director of Operations Leah Biery.
A soul float is similar to a Float for Life. While being supported by life jackets or laying back on paddle and surf boards, the children float along the beach.
“We feel the water around us, catch the current,” she said. “They are feeling and connecting with the ocean and enjoying it.” And it’s done with the same goal as Float for Life.

Image result for float for lifeThe school is “in hopes that falling in love with the ocean will make them want to protect it,” Biery said.
In the inaugural Float year, 60 people participated, and Lynch is hoping for far more this year.
Participants will form groups of three; as one person floats, the others will support them gently for about 10 minutes. Then they will rotate.
“We believe the positive floating connection to the water will inspire individual calls to action to protect our oceans,” Lynch said. “It is pretty amazing how restorative it is. Some people feel like it’s an hour, others feel like it’s 2 minutes.”
She explained that the Gulf water is roughly the same salt content as human blood, creating a connective bond.
“When somebody is floating, they naturally feel at home because of the lightness,” she said. “When you lay in the water, you feel the quiet. The water is calming to your nervous system, and, along with the likeness of the salt content, the body lets go naturally. Muscles start to let go.”

By enforcing the body/nature connection, she said it leads to action, whether it’s “picking up plastic bags or straws on the beach or voting your conscience at the polls.”
Participants will receive an eco-friendly water bottle and samples of Earth-friendly sun screen.
Biery said the school is enjoying the partnership with Float for Life.
“We’re always amazed about how well the communities of Sanibel and Fort Myers come out to support us,” she said.
COUSTEAU2CROPAlexandra Cousteau
The granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, known for his ABC show “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” from 1966-76, will speak about her famous family and her conservation work at the second annual Float for Life at Pink Shell in Fort Myers Beach.
Image result for float for life“After our first year, we wanted someone to draw more people and bring awareness to ocean conservation,” said Float for Life founder Shelley Lynch, a mental health therapist from Orlando.
Image result for alexandra cousteau blue legacyAlexandra Cousteau founded Blue Legacy, a non-profit organization to empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time.
She has co-hosted “Blue August” on the Discovery Channel and was chief correspondent on water issues for Dicovery’s “Planet Green.”
She lives in Washington, D.C., and Berlin.

Connect with this reporter on Twitter @stacey_henson

Home Gadgets Part II

14. NARWHAL SKEWERS

NARWALS

Doing what narwhals do best, these skewers pay homage to one of the weirdest whales, which features a giant canine tooth sticking out of its head and a silly face. And now, these guys can hold your shish kebabs.

15. MOUSY CHEESE BOARD

CHEESE

This cheese board comes complete with a mouse-shaped knife that can be stored in a little hole underneath.

16. FLASK BANGLE

Flask bangle

Sometimes you know you’re going to need a quick drink, but it might be hard to hide a flask on your person when you’re wearing a summer dress. That’s where this hollow bangle bracelet steps in. It has a cork stopper and enough room for a decent swig. Just don’t be too obvious about sucking on your jewelry.

17. TREE MEASURING CUPS

Tree measuring cups

These stackable measuring cups form a lovely ceramic tree, each with its own branch handle. It includes a quarter, third, half, and full cup.

18. GEODE COASTERS

Geode coasters

These blue agate coasters are a nice departure from typical wood or ceramic. They add some sparkle to your home. They’re also fully lined on the back so they won’t scratch surfaces.

19. LABORATORY SHOT GLASSES

Laboratory shot glasses

Get your science on with these beaker-shaped shot glasses. They’re not just for drinking, since you can measure all sorts of things with them….but they’re mostly for drinking.

20. HEDGEHOG DRYER BALLS

Hedgehog dryer balls

Stop buying dryer sheets and snag some of these little guys instead. They tumble around in the dryer with your clothes, separating the fabric and leaving clothes soft and free of static. Plus, they cut down on the waste that dryer sheets produce.

21. SQUIRRELY STEEPER

Squirrely steeper

Fill this squirrel’s tail with loose leaf tea and set it on the rim of your cup. Perfect for when you just want a single cup of tea.

22. PANDA TEAPOT

Panda teapot

This is more than just a teapot; it’s a whole tea set for one. The head comes off, and when it’s inverted, it becomes a cup. There’s also a little infuser included for loose leaf tea, and a lid for the pot to keep the heat in when you’re enjoying a cup. Just look at it. This thing is adorable.

23. SHOWER SQUIDS

Shower squids

These dangly shower friends helpfully hold your bathing essentials. Their adjustable tentacles can hold bottles and bars of soap. They’re also great for storing bottles upside down to get the last few drops out.

24. TABLET-HOLDING CUTTING BOARD

Tablet-holding cutting board

If you’re using a new recipe you found online and you don’t want to take up counter space with your tablet (or put it in something gross), try this cutting board. It comes with a built-in tablet stand so you can check back on the instructions more easily. Just make sure you keep an eye on that knife.

25. MAGNETIC HOURGLASS

Magnetic hourglass

This hourglass functions like the ancient timer that it is, but with a twist. Instead of regular old sand, this one uses ferrous sand, which is black and magnetic. This causes it to form all kinds of spikes and stalactites as it counts down a minute.

Use the following link to shop for these items:

http://www.viralnova.com/awesomer-gadgets/?mb=vnnl&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Viralnova%20Daily&utm_campaign=ViralNova%20Daily%202015-06-12

To find out more about these gadgets, click the text below the photos, which will take you to each respective shop. These make perfect gifts for anyone in your life who likes all things cute and unusual — and that can totally include you.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDHave a great weekend everyone!

Plastic choking our oceans – Tragic

The following article, “10 Things We Learned About Tackling Plastic Ocean Waste”, by Hannah Gould was posted to theguardian.com June 23, 2015

Earlier this year an NGO warned we could end up with ‘as much plastic in our oceans as fish’. Here is what the experts said in an online debate on plastic pollution.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics1) We can’t keep up with waste management
More than 50% of ocean plastics are coming from rapidly developing geographies around the world, where population growth and increased plastics consumption is outpacing the capacity to manage waste. Even in the US, waste infrastructure is set up for a material mix that’s less relevant today.
“Plastic never dies, and that means every piece we ever produce will stay on this planet,” warns Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans.
A lot of areas don’t have the infrastructure to manage plastic, so even if consumers put their bottles in the right bins, it won’t necessarily end up being recycled.

  Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

Image result for Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies2) We need action from governments and businesses
Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies that drive manufacturer participation, combined with voluntary efforts by companies. Key to this will be global corporate leaders that recognise the scale of the problem and its local impact.

TURTLE3) It’s an economic as well as an environmental issue
We’re told of ocean plastic strangling seals and turtles swallowing it, but the mainstream media rarely frame the problem as an economic one.
Bridget Croke, head of investor and industry partnerships at the Closed Loop Fund, says some big consumer packaged goods companies are demanding more recycled content because they are concerned with the price volatility of raw materials. However, she says it’s early days and markets must be pushed pro-actively.
“We need to show [companies] that designing in a way that holds the value of the materials makes economic sense”.


4) Designers and recyclers often feel helpless

Just designing a product with its end-of-life in mind could have a big impact, says Jenna Jambeck, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia. She says that “so many issues [are] caused downstream from not considering this point in a product’s life cycle”.
But Sandy Roger from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMC) points out that there’s a “kind of helplessness pervading this space”.
RECYCLE END PRODUCTConsumer goods companies keen to design for recycling don’t know which system to design for because municipal recycling is so diverse, while municipalities and waste companies are overwhelmed by a growing and changing portfolio of plastics. “It’s a stalemate, and both sides end up with lowest common denominator solutions,” Roger says.
EMC is trying to bring together the two sides to allow more joined-up thinking, while Croke says the Closed Loop Fund is looking at packaging trends to make sure it builds appropriate infrastructure.

YOGURT SHAMPPOO5) There are global solutions to this global problem
One way to solve the end-of-life problem would be to make simple products, such as yogurt pots and shampoo bottles, from a single material that is recyclable around the world, suggests Alexis Haas, director of sustainability at Adidas. Currently, consumer goods are mostly made from mixed plastics, which are only suitable for down-cycling.

6) There are also local solutions
Ben Kneppers, co-founder of Bureo Skateboards, explains that an artisanal fishing village in Chile was left with no choice but to burn or discard its old fishing nets. In giving the community the resources and opportunity to return nets for recycling, the company says it has prevented waste, created jobs and captured a valuable material for its skateboards.
Its business model works with both large and small fisheries and, according to Kneppers, results in “an amount of material 100 times more than we can make direct use of at the moment”.

JEANS7) We have to eliminate the ‘ick factor’
Shubhankar Ray, global brand director at G-Star RAW, says: “People buy what they desire in fashion, so eco-clothing needs to be cool and sexy to drive desire.”
The company’s Raw for the Oceans jeans collection, fronted by singer Pharrell Williams, is made from 35% recycled ocean plastic and 65% cotton. Eliminating preconceptions around reusing waste can push the idea of recycling, which is one part of the solution.

8) Labelling plastic bags like tobacco is not helpful
Adding a warning sign to plastic bags about the damage they can cause may not be a great solution. While Kneppers agrees that a lack of education is part of the problem, he believes that we would better engage consumers with positivity, by highlighting how small actions can protect the places we love.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

9) A ban might not be best
“We need to be careful when proposing an all-out ban on any one material,” warns Nicholas Mallos, director of the Trash Free Seas programme. “If material substitutes are available to replace a given non-recyclable plastic, like cellophane, then it’s key to look at the entire life cycle and ensure we don’t replace one unintended environmental impact with another.”
Besides, a ban isn’t practical or actionable. Ray suggests that it would be better to lobby policy makers to put plastic reduction and suitable alternatives on serious agendas.

10) Together, we can take plastics off the market
“The problem we are facing is that plastic is simply the wrong material – it needs to be reinvented,” says Gutsch. “There is no need to use plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic bottles, plastic bags … We can take these products off the market right away. By doing so, we show there is a movement happening, which motivates the research and development labs for material development.”

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/23/10-things-we-learned-about-tackling-plastic-ocean-waste

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival ~ Paddles Up Everyone

PADDLES UP FOR THE 2015 TIM HORTONS’ 

OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

TIM HORTONS OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES                                  FREE CONCERT LINEUP 2015

HEADLINERS INCLUDE TOKYO POLICE CLUB, HEY ROSETTA!, DAN MANGAN + BLACKSMITH, THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE, YUKON BLONDE AND MORE – JUNE 25 TO 28

Now in it’s 22nd year, Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat is proud to announce their 2015 lineup. The festival, taking place at Mooney’s Bay Park in downtown Ottawa from June 25th-28th, will include performances from Canadian heavyweights Hey Rosetta!, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Tokyo Police Club, Yukon Blonde and many more.

The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is the largest festival of its kind in North America. It is a three day event held at Mooney’s Bay Park.

Admission is FREE and features non-stop racing, concerts, children’s area, cultural performances, local delicacies, artisans and fun shopping! It is a great destination in the heart of the Nations Capital and is an easy getaway for visitors from Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

THE 22nd ANNUAL OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL WILL TAKE PLACE ON JUNE 25-28, 2015

In partnership with the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation, paddlers raise funds through the Pledge Challenge for local charities. To join the Pledge Challenge, visit http://www.dragonboatfoundation.net.

The following is a YouTube video of the 2011 Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival –

I just had to include the following inspirational video I found on YouTube, “Must Watch Dragon Boat Clip!!!”, taken from various dragon boat events in Singapore.

This video was created to show that the sport, dragon boating, is not just about training hard to win, but to enjoy and embrace all the elements that it encompasses.

Three fun filled days for everyone –

Have a great time –

Best of luck to all participants

“WINNING PADDLES TAKE ALL!!!”

           MUSIC BULLLET 2 “…dip, dip and swing your paddles, 
                         splashing with silver,
                         follow the wild goose flight
                         dip, dip and swing…”

Rainsoft – Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

SALES & SERVICE for all your water treatment needs in Ottawa and surrounding areas in Ontario and Quebec.

 

 

 

 

Universal Water Access ~ “Muddled Policy…”

The following article, “Is Water A Right, Commodity, Or Service?”, Sara Jeromewritten by Sara Jerome, is taken from Water Online, posted June 12, 2015

faucet.reg

Is water a commodity, a service, or a right? Recently, the debate has raged.

Daniel Van Abs, a water policy professor at Rutgers University,raised that question in a recent editorial published in NJ Spotlight. Van Abs is a water policy professor at Rutgers University who served as senior director for planning and science with the New Jersey Highlands Council, a water-protection implementation body. He has since retired from state government.

VAN ABS TO CROPVan Abs posed this question in his post: “Is water, as the U.N. states, a fundamental human right? Or is it a commodity that must be purchased at the going rate? Or is it a public service, in which the focus is on satisfying a social goal for provision of general needs?”

WATER HUMAN RIGHT TO CROP“Our history shows us that water supply has aspects of all three, which makes for a muddled policy setting. What do we do when basic water services exceed a customer’s ability to pay? As water rates rise to address the costs of system rehabilitation, enhanced drinking-water treatment, and source-water protection, we need to make sense of this mess,” he continued.Image result for Detroit water service
DETROITDetroit officials sparked protests last year by shutting off water service for thousands of delinquent customers, a move that prompted questions about whether shutoffs violate human rights. “The city, which continues to close as many as 400 accounts a day, has been widely criticized for its actions,” CBS News reported. United Nations advisers have argued that Detroit violated human rights during a frenzy of water shutoffs.

Image result for Detroit water serviceCities other than Detroit have also used water shutoffs to handle ratepayer delinquency. “In Michigan, Hamtramck, Warren, Pontiac, Eastpointe, Romulus and other cities have shut off delinquent customers as a way to improve collections. Elsewhere, so have other big cities such as Baltimore and St. Louis,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Van Abs noted that New Jersey is no stranger to ratepayer delinquency. “New Jersey has areas of high poverty that have lost most of their industrial water customers. And much of the state’s water-supply infrastructure is old, if not decrepit,” he wrote.

Maude Barlow: “Water a right, not a commodity”, uploaded on Mar 18, 2009 – Canadian water activist Maude Barlow, leading protesters at the World Water Forum in Istanbul, says access to water is a fundamental human right.

To Van Abs, there are problems with calling water a guaranteed public service. “The costs could be handled like many other public services (such as police or courts), through the property tax, with local governments paying the water utility to provide the service. Doing so would remove incentives for efficient water use, unless provisions are made to limit the service by household to only what is necessary. Just imagine the problems with this approach. Government would have to track the number of people per household to ensure that a single-person household and a five-person household are provided for equitably,” he said.

There are also problems with calling water a commodity, since it means water shutoffs if customers cannot pay. “Clearly, this approach is not socially acceptable for those of limited means,” Van Abs writes.

Image result for water a guaranteed public serviceWhat if water were treated as a basic human right? For utilities to be empowered to treat service as such, policy changes would be needed in many places, including New Jersey.

“The problem is that New Jersey has no routine system for helping poor households afford water (and sewer) services. For residential energy, the NJ Board of Public Utilities regulates essentially all providers, and New Jersey has established several programs for temporary and long-term assistance. The same is not true of water supply utilities, since there are hundreds of government and privately owned water utilities in New Jersey. Establishing a unique household assistance program in each of these utilities would be an administrative nightmare, and some are too small or serve too poor an area to provide this aid,” Van Abs wrote.

“A broader approach is needed. New Jersey needs to take a hard look at how its poorest households will maintain access to water utility services as water and sewer rates increase. We shouldn’t allow the Detroit question to become the New Jersey problem,” Van Abs wrote.

Image credit: “running faucet,” Steve Johnson © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPED

This is a very serious universal topic – one that affects each and everyone of us.  Let’s make it a priority to be pro-active – do research, access local resources, attend meetings, lobby your Members of Parliament. There is a plethora of related videos on Youtube – well worth viewing!  

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/is-water-a-right-commodity-or-service-0001?