Environmental awareness in conflict zones; and why geothermal heat is the wisest investment to make during the credit crunch

February 5, 2009

Just a couple articles I’ve written recently for the Footprint page at the National Post (I promise to write an original post soon, but right now, I’m on deadline for two film reviews!):

First off, an article about Friends of the Earth Middle East, a fantastic organization that’s getting Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians to cooperate on water management and other environmental issues (yes, even during all the brutality in Gaza). This is the first in a three-part series I’m writing about sustainability in conflict zones. READ IT HERE!

treeplant

And secondly, a story about why the best place to invest your money during a crapola economy is in green home retrofits and especially geothermal heating (or ground-source heat pumps, as they’re more technically called). With the 90% reduction in energy cost, massive government rebates and increase in property value, it’s like the Boardwalk of the green Monopoly game, or as my environmental consultant friend says, “an infinite 20% bond”. READ THE STORY HERE!!

monopoly

Advertisements

Taxes less taxing on the environment (Day 326)…

January 20, 2008

green roof CSICSI interior

With tax season creeping up, I decided now was as good a time as any to look at how I might green my accounting. For the past few years, I’ve been using my dad’s accountant, who’s fine, but doesn’t make any special effort to work with my individual needs (like, you know, money) so I felt it was time to hire someone better acquainted with my lifestyle.

A few months ago, I wrote a story for the National Post on Base Nine, a local accounting firm that specializes in doing taxes for hipsters who hate doing taxes. Dimitris — who, full disclosure, is also a friend of mine — doesn’t cut any corners but knows how struggling artists, self-employed Gen-Y kids and new entrepreneurs can make the most of every buck.

Besides this, he’s more than willing to green the process in every way possible. For starters, he works out of the Centre for Social Innovation (it’s like CSI Toronto!), which is one of the most sustainable offices in the city. It’s got a green roof (top photo), a bio-wall, a fully stocked kitchen with a no-plastic-cutlery rule, energy-saving lights and something called an “alterna-boardroom”. Just a few of the organizations that share the space include Facilitators Without Borders, Eco Schools, [murmur], Spacing, Forest Ethics and, er, Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Base Nine will also make sure to file everything electronically, so as not to waste paper, and will let you know which forms must be submitted in hard copy and which ones you just need to have stored on your computer.

So from now on, I’m using an eco-friendly accountant come tax season. I won’t make another pun about how you can save this green (ie. money) and that green (ie. the environment), but simply suggest that others do the same — if not by switching accountants, by filing everything online.

Pics above, and more, can be found over here