Toronto Trees: $7B in health and environment

Toronto trees are worth an estimated $7 Billion, or about $700 per tree, according to a June 9, 2014, report from TD Economics. Toronto trees provide residents with over $80 million, or about $8 per tree, of environmental benefits and savings a year, as they are a critical factor in environmental conditions, human health and the overall quality of urban health.…

Climate change and gardens

As passionate gardeners, we keep wondering how the changing climate is affecting our gardens. (We last wrote about climate change in this space during the heat of summer in 2010.) We therefore noticed when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated its plant hardiness zone map on January 25, 2012.  Throughout much of the U.S.,…

Coal plant promises to be broken?

The Alberta Public Utilities Commission is holding hearings into Capital Power’s application to be freed of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its Genesee coal-fired electrical generation plant. When Capital Power’s Genesee Power plant was approved in 1999, the company agreed to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its proposed plant by…

Old coal to improve, slowly….

Canada’s electricity sector is responsible for 17 percent of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Most of that -13%- comes from 51 coal-burning electricity plants, along with mercury, particulates, NOx/ SOx and other health hazards. [i], [ii] Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice has promised new regulations for these coal-fired plants.

Phytoremediation of contaminated sites

There are an estimated 30,000 contaminated sites in Canada. These include properties like former gas stations, factories, or rail yards that are contaminated by heavy metals, organic compounds, or other toxins.  Redevelopment of these sites, which are often found in prime downtown areas, is important to provincial and local governments.