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nature challenge...my green thoughts
5/10/2007 5:34:00 PM
I signed up for David Suzuki's Nature Challenge a few years ago now, and it occurred to me that I haven't really told anyone about it. So here, please join. I got an email today to participate in a survey the foundation was conducting. One question discussed how a Canadian politician called the supporters of the Foundation "Suzuki Nation."

We were asked how we felt about being called such, my response was...

"David has devoted his life to communication, and I believe most Canadians like myself, have grown up watching the Nature of Things on CBC. He is a respected spokesperson who chooses to use his celebrity to impact powerful change. We need more people like David in the political arena, who's agenda is that of concern for the environment. I believe most in my generation support David and is proud to be seen as part of the solution rather than the problem. Suzuki Nation is a clear term that holds a very powerful visual."

Time will tell if this becomes a new marketing message or gets dropped.

I did notice one of the governments new initiatives recently in an ad in NOW magazine.
"FLICK OFF" It is pure genius. Kudos to the graphic designer who choose a typeface that closed the gap perfectly on the L and I creating with gestalt the letter U. I think this is a perfect example of how to reach a younger, more hip generation whom I believe is very passionate about the current mess of our environment.

The campaign was to remind consumers to turn off lights in their home that are unnecessary. I think I've said the word twice now, when turning off a light. The F word that is. Man, communication and messaging are very powerful.

Last week I dropped by The Centre for Social Innovation on Spadina. Maria was nice enough to give me a tour of the first and 4th floors. I was considering applying for an office in this building. Most of the members are non-profit organizations, so my commerce business might not be a fit. However, I'd still like to get involved somehow, so now I have a select target of non profits I can volunteer for.

Maria took me up to the 4th floor. A very strange feeling came over me like I'd been here in my mind already. We wandered into the section that was still being renovated, and she told me that the David Suzuki Foundation was taking the small but beautiful corner office with the floor to ceiling view of busy Spadina. Right across the street from my favorite Pho restaurant in the city.

I realized that in the past year I have made very substantial changes to my lifestyle in support of the nature challenge. I no longer drive my gas guzzling BMW (I still miss that car.) I bike or rollerblade to places in my neighborhood, and I take public transit when I go downtown. I almost only eat vegetarian, except for the weekly meals of Pho, and the odd steak on the bbq.

I recently purchased a green condo. Although it's still in pre-construction phase it's a move towards sustainability that I as an individual can take.

I've been thinking of purchasing a home in PEI for the past number of years. It never happened because the houses I looked at were not aligned with my beliefs. I wanted an off the grid or close to it, house that used wind and solar power for it's heating.

I congratulate my brother, for recently building a house with geo-thermal heating. He said it cost about 8000 dollars more than installing a traditional heating system, but this one doesn't burn oil! The water is heated in a series of pipes underground. On a consumer level the system will pay for itself in a short number of years, and then he'll gain huge savings. No more oil bill! Think of the impact on the environment he is making, all due to one choice.

I'm very proud of his advanced thinking to construct his new home with the environment in mind. Maybe Dad, and his windmills are rubbing off on more than one of his offspring.

In Toronto homes are heated with gas. Our gas bill was OTT for the winter months, and I realize a real need for landlords to have government supported initiatives to help them upgrade their outdated furnaces with newer energy saving models.

I'm also going to mention Canadian, Andy Thompson, who designed the minihome SOLO, an ingeniously designed, 32.5 square metre, fully furnished and completely winterized house that operates off the municipal power grid. The basic model starts at $112,000. Outfitted with solar panels, a green roof and a wind turbine. I stumbled on his project while researching prefabricated houses. The SOLO is the most modern looking trailer I've seen. Not exactly Trailer Park Boys variety. I am keeping this one in mind for my summer home in PEI.



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