To find better

Why is it that were bought into thinking that we can’t take action to protect our environment, our health and wellbeing?

Maybe our urban cities have been so far removed from a non-wasteful lifestyle that it seems almost impossible to step away from a fast paced culture. That is, we’re speeding on the highway and there’s no sense in hitting the brakes when there’s nobody up ahead.

There’s no help in following everyone else when it doesn’t make sense for you.

On the other hand, there are just over a million things that can help us be more conscious of taking better care of ourselves, our health, and our futures. It just takes a deeper look to find, but there is the alternative.

The alternative is out there, and it’s better, more sustainable, and necessary for all of us.

Trinity park cleanup

What can a small community do to take action when climate change and government policy is slow to progress?

We can choose to do things that don’t require permission, and something that we can realistically achieve in our own incremental steps.

With that said, Magali Lafleur (blogger from Find Your Alternative) is partnering up with Double Cow to host our own community clean-up at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

It starts with a pickup, and you can tell us you’ll come by responding to our event page here.

Thursday, July 25th at 6:30PM.

Litter is everybody’s problem and this is our chance to make our contribution. See you there.

Recycling is out

Our global recycling crisis is getting out of hand. Unfortunately, nobody wants to accept our recyclables, and it’s proving itself to be increasingly and ironically unsustainable from nation to nation.

In action, recycling is confusing and people don’t get clear information as to which material belongs to which bin.

Luckily we have alternatives, which is to reduce and reuse. Not as fashionable, not as convenient, but it works!

Reducing and reusing requires:

  1. More love to take care of our personal belongings
  2. More consciousness of our own lifestyles

Recycling is a system that makes people feel less guilty when we over-consume. It’s a system that needs drastic improvement, or a complete makeover, but we can’t waste our time and wait for it to happen—we’re too impatient for that.

We start with a question

Sustainability is such a general term that it can be paralyzing when it comes to tackling its issues. Here are some questions we want answers to:

  • What might be the reason why there is such large controversy in proving/disproving climate change?
  • Families have been using the recycling bin and bringing it out to the curb since the 1980’s. If the program has existed for so long, why is there so much confusion and contamination in recycling now?
  • Exactly how dependent is the average Canadian on oil?
  • On a human level, what would it take for us to get the ball rolling to correct the current global climate problem?
  • If the world produces more food than people can consume, where does it all go, and why can’t we simply produce less of one third of it goes to waste?
  • If people already know the environment is important, what holds most of us back from acting on what we preach?

The goal of Double Cow is to open up dialogue and awareness to the everyday person about sustainability, and that starts with asking both big and small questions.

If you have questions, articles, references, or people you want featured and shared, leave a comment or email hellodoublecow@gmail.com and let us know!

Part 2: passive house design

Continuing from Part 1: Foundations of a Healthy Building, Joel Anderson talks about Passive House Design—a building standard that originated from Saskatchewan, and is now being debated as one of many environmental solutions for energy-efficient housing. Also, the pros and cons of Net Zero buildings.  

Give it a listen below. Better yet, share it with others who might be interested as well.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Part 1 from yesterday, head over to The Farm where all the upcoming interviews on sustainability will be.

See you tomorrow for Part 3: Our Current Sustainable Landscape!

Part 1: Foundations of a healthy building

Joel Anderson, architectural designer from Sustainable, discusses how buildings can reduce overall energy demand, be built with environmentally sensitive and responsible materials, and above all be healthy.

From the material sourcing, toxicity, safety, to disposal, Joel shares his architecture industry knowledge on how we can build healthier buildings for the long run.

This is part one of a three part series. Stay tuned for the next one, tomorrow!

Healthy building materials: Joel Anderson, architectural designer

Here’s why the smaller things matter

Bringing your own coffee cup, refusing a disposable bag, and opting for reusable cutlery (just to name a few things we could actively do) could reduce our personal landfill rates by 40%, 60%, 70%, or even 100% if you’re fully committed.

Nothing that you aren’t able to do right now if you wanted to.

And way faster than any large organization or country can spell out “global ocean plastics crisis”.

Even if some of us can be 30% committed to being more environmentally responsible, that’s more action than if we were to remain complacent.

Aesthetics and integrity

We tend to place a lot of value on the aesthetics of stuff.

Your new granite countertop looks great and I love how it matches the backsplash.

I love how your outfit looks on you.

The look of a new BMW Cabriolet looks a lot better than an 8 year old Toyota Corolla.

No doubt, looks serve an important role when it comes to presenting anything to anyone.

Recently I had a conversation with architectural designer, Joel Anderson from Sustainable, where they focus on building healthy architecture. What he revealed was that a big (and under appreciated) topic they bring up to clients is about insulation. Most houses use foam insulation in between our walls.

The thing about foam insulation is that it does not serve to be building blocks for a healthy home. What they prefer to use instead is insulation spun from rock called mineral foam. It’s much more energy efficient in use, healthier to install for workers involved, and it’s also more environmentally responsible than foam.

While it sounds great and all, many of us wouldn’t want to spend our working dollars on quality insulation. We’d rather spend it on a great looking countertop because it’s something everyone can visually appreciate.

Albeit not as loud and glamorous, integrity and health play the more soft spoken voice in our everyday lives.