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Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

Do You Know the New Eco Lexicon from Cramer-Krasselt’s Cultural Dictionary?

Posted by Digital Citizen on Friday, June 19, 2009

Cramer-Krasselt Cultural DictionarySo you’re green and hip, but is your language green and hip? How many of the environmental terms from ad agency Cramer-Krasselt‘s Cultural Dictionary (1 MB PDF) do you know?

Whatever you don’t know, impress your eco-friends by working these terms into your language. Or see how many you could use as often as you can. And, of course, use them with style! No term is hip unless used with a little style, and it’ll only be hip if used by hip people like you!

Bootleg trail (n)
A path that has been created by its users, such as mountain bikers or ATV riders, rather than by official designers.

Carborexic (n)
A person who has an unhealthy obsession with minimizing their carbon usage. Related: Energyexia.

Carbon trading (n)
A system which provides entities with permits for how much pollution they are allowed to create. These permits can then be bought and sold amongst other entities.

Chemical equator (n)
A chemical barrier in the atmosphere which separates the polluted air of the earth’s Northern Hemisphere from that of the relatively unpolluted Southern Hemisphere.

Dinosaur wine (n)
A term to refer to oil or its derivatives.

Eco-embedded (adj)
Not relying on consumers to make eco-friendly choices, but instead removing the decision from their hands with either government or business actions. Thus, eco-consciousness is embedded in daily life.

Ecoflation (n)
The increased cost of doing business due to the rising concerns over eco-consciousness.

Ecomodding (v)
Modifying, or modding, one’s car to make it more fuel efficient.

Ecosexual (n)
One who chooses their partner based upon a shared interest in eco-conscious causes.

Edible estates (n) Coined by U.S. campaigner Fritz Haeg, it refers to the practice of digging up front lawns and replacing them with edible plants and greens.

Energyexia (n)
The strict following of a regime to reduce one’s own carbon footprint. Related: Carborexic.

Freedomlawn (n)
Residential land set aside to cultivate natural plant life that grows without cultivation, chemicals or cutting.

Gashole (n)
A negative term to refer to a gas hog…usually associated with SUV drivers.

Gas sipper (n)
This 30-year-old term referring to a car that “sips lightly” found new relevance in 2008 with the rise in gas prices.

Green audit (n)
The act of assessing a business based upon its perceived adherence to environmentally
friendly practices.

Green-collar (v)
Workers employed in environmental and sustainability related fields. Think organic farmer.

Greenprint (n)
A government’s or community’s environmental plan. Also a verb to make such a plan.

Greyjing (n)
A nickname for Beijing that refers to its polluted skies.

Nano-solar (n) Small energy-absorbing panels that can fit on everything from windows to backpacks.

Natural capitalism (n)
An economic theory which seeks to combine the new found concern with eco-friendliness with business interests in order to maximize profit while minimizing environmental impact.

Negawatts (n)
The latest word for energy efficiency, coined by Amory Lovins.

Popcorn storm (n)
A term that refers to a short, unexpected rain shower that disappears as abruptly as it appeared.

Rewilding (v)
The process of returning an area to its original and natural vegetative state.

Ruralpolitan (n)
A professional who leaves the city for a rural area, but maintains their professional life.

Scuppie (n)
Socially conscious urban professional.

SRLI (n)
The Sampled Red List Index. An index that attempts to measure the threat of extinction to the various species of life on the planet.

Upcycle (v)
To give an object a better and more upscale existence.

Witches’ knickers (n)
Plastic bags caught in trees or bushes.

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Posted in Australia, Canada, Environment, Lifestyle, Nova Scotia, United Kingdom, United States | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Producing 1 kg or 2.2 lbs of veal releases the equivalent of 17 kg (37 lbs) of CO2 into the atmosphere, compared to 16 kg or 35 lbs for beef.

Posted by Digital Citizen on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Farting SheepThis data was from a British government-sponsored study, with media reference made by Jonathan Leake in the Sunday Times of London. The reason given for the higher CO2 footprint was that lambs burp (and probably farts to release methane and other greenhouse gases like you, me and the cows) a lot.

Problem was the study was advising to give up lamb roasts to save the planet, not beef. Sure, lamb roasts may be more popular in Britain than in North America, but I highly doubt it is more consumed than beef in either place. If anything, find a way to reduce cow farting and burping, possibly by altering their diets a little. Should be quite possible given you and I both know that if we don’t eat certain things, we don’t fart and burp nearly as much as other things we do eat.

Besides, even if sheep gave off more greenhouse gases than cows, I think most people would agree with me McDonald’s and other beef burgers generally make people fart more than with lamb roast, especially given what else you eat with fast food. We definitely make up for what the cows fart and burp less than the sheep.

Who does those studies and draws those kinds of conclusions???

Mary had a little lamb,
Which burped and farted lots,
Everywhere that Mary went,
She sure smelled like she rots!

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Posted in Biodiversity, Canada, Environment, Farming, Food, Global Warming, Lifestyle, Statistics, United Kingdom, United States, World, ZONE | 2 Comments »

Paper 1.0 vs Web 2.0 for Environmental NGOs?

Posted by envirostats on Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Ecology Action Centre (EAC), an environmental non-governmental organization (ENGO) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently put out a call for volunteers and paid personnel to help produce and sell ad space for its Between the Issues (BTI) paper magazine “to help BTI pay for itself”.

At a key point for the future of the magazine, EAC opted to seek replacements: paid editor, commissioned ad sales rep and volunteer distributors to continue producing the 32-48 page full colour magazine. I’m blogging to debate the economic, media, environmental and public perception merits for an ENGO to be staying on Paper 1.0 (or Web 1.0 with non-interactive PDF online) when the world is already on Web 2.0, where EAC could produce something as simple as a blog.

Here were arguments provided to continue the paper publication, by an EAC staff. I won’t identify my source beyond that because I consider him/her a friend, comments were through Facebook comments and my source did acknowledge he/she were not in the position to be having this debate so it was all informal by me.

EAC did have “a long complex discussion behind this that relates to the demographics of membership; the level of tech comfort in the green citizenry of NS, our mission / audience; the practicality of existing off web ads at this point in time in this constrained market; control of the message and quality of this, our primary high end communication tool with the majority of our membership; the ability to consider this a membership benefit. The time for the online blog / mag is coming.”

Furthermore, “…overestimating Nova Scotia. Our audience is Nova Scotia. There are still areas with no high speed. Yes, the world you and I inhabit is all about web 2.0, but I’d need some proof that there are people outside major media that are actually making money at online advertising in a NS environment. There are lots of online resources. BTI serves a very constrained purpose. We are not trying to be all things to all people. With all due respect, what you propose goes beyond a simple individually run blog… The reputation of EAC is tied up in BTI and a lot of people are invested in that. The choice to go paperfree is coming, but it can’t be rushed.

If that were really a fair representation of EAC’s stance, I would politely say I think that’s very reactionary in nature for what I know to be a proactive organization. My arguments included the following.

Audience reach
EAC’s great work deserves to be for more than Nova Scotians. Also, you can’t Google stories in a PDF as EAC shares them now. Then, add social bookmarks to help readers recommend quality stories, for which they have many. Record readership on views (including locally with widgets like Feedjit) and engagement on number of comments to “prove” blog value for ad sales. If EAC still wants to have some paper copies, email sources the files to print out laser copies or deliver similar printouts that will be less resource intensive than full colour publications.

Audience access
The young will read it online, and feeds should be supplied to notify of new posts. As for older generations, even grandparents are tech-savvy these days because it’s how they can best stay in touch with their grand kids (or photos of them by Parents on Facebook, Flickr, Myspace, etc.). Nova Scotia’s Premier Rodney MacDonald has also committed to providing broadband access to the entire province by the end of 2009 that is well under way. Even on dial-up, though, blogs are not bandwidth intensive to upload. Put a few paper copies in select places if still desired.

Audience engagement
This is the huge factor. Magazines just don’t bring the audience interaction a blog with comments could. It is also less convenient to ask questions than typing in comments reading it online. As well, published thrice annually, it is a long time between issues. A blog could spread the stories to one per week or more frequently, keeping the audience interested all year round. If EAC wants to build audience base, this is what they have to be doing. Reaching and losing readers because they weren’t effectively engaged due to one way information presented is so old skool.

Economics
On the cost side, a blog doesn’t cost much to run, even if done on house resources rather than freely like at WordPress.com, mapped to EAC’s domain. Money for paper design and print could be put towards guest writers, although I’m sure EAC has plenty of great volunteer contributors. On the revenue side, given enough readership, which I am confident EAC could attract, they could sell online ads the same way they sell paper ads. Better, they could sell ads at much smaller rates for shorter durations (monthly versus once every 4 months) that would likely bring in more clients who have smaller ad budgets in these tough economic times. They also wouldn’t need many ads to profit on a smaller cost budget, and could rotate ads to get more ads!

Public perception
EAC is continuing to produce a full colour paper magazine when it has a choice to go completely online, without loss of jobs as they are seeking replacements to people leaving, staying in a medium that does not engage nearly as big an audience as it could be, nor as well. As an environmentalist and Web 2.0 participant, I can only say I am frankly disappointed, both philosophically and in it not reaching its potential.

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I’d love to hear your views on this matter. Please leave a comment!

(I realize the print readers aren’t present much to reply so please include or be considerate of their views! Thank you.)

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947 words
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.8

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Posted in Canada, Demographics, Economics, Environment, Facebook, Internet, Moral Issues, Nova Scotia, Paper, Public Opinion, Social Issues, Sustainability | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Experience Breaking a National Story

Posted by envirostats on Thursday, December 18, 2008

10 PM Tuesday night, my friend D let me break news of her Cdn marathon record national story on my blog. Abbreviations are used to prevent conflict with the original story’s online search prominence.

Of course, my post wasn’t a national story of national media calibre, but it was important to communities like runners, Masters athletes, Nova Scotians, etc. and it was national because it involved a 17 year old national record. In breaking the story, I experienced the alternative media breaking news phenomenon I’ve only ever heard about… something many bloggers and journalists dream about but never get to do. For that, I am most grateful to D to indulge my idea I had while running, and enjoyed my experience immensely.

I was extremely happy to give D the attention she deserved. By that I mean early notice and story details, not audience because this blog’s audience comprise of users the world over searching for information available from past posts that were mostly related to the environment — not running, breaking news, local stories, etc. That said, word got around quickly with assistance of email and Facebook notifications through sharing it as a profile link. I also notified key media people and central people in relevant communities, as did D. Not a bad media strategy.

Using my blog, I was not constrained to story length. I was able to give more than race results and stories. D is a wonderful human being all around and I took time to convey that. I also had good pictures of D to use.

The story was immediately searchable and available to all online, not needing to wait for media’s working schedule. It was big news for D to share and I didn’t want to be subject to media’s timeline. I also made sure all the vital keywords were used, tagged and categorized so the story would be prominent in the blogosphere and to future searching fans of D. This was about now, but also hereafter!

Of course, in breaking a story, I had to provide proof, and this took me an unexpectedly long time. Not that I didn’t appreciate the work journalists have to do in their work to provide credibility before, but experiencing things first hand, walking a mile in one’s shoes as the saying goes, always gives true enlightenment. Like Confucius once said – I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.

For proof, I had a disclosed, non-public source a step away from confirming, which I was able to bridge in what could be called a media coup d’état! I had to find the current records, which, disappointingly, was not easy to find online given a prominent organization had them! I had public rankings of current performance. I had proof of age with D’s own admission, though I purposely left out her birthday to avoid leaving vital statistic information about people online for identity theft prevention best practices. I see some media stories did not do that and if you asked me, I’d say they should know better! Besides, since when was mass media publicizing a woman’s age to the day so socially acceptable? 🙂

The real surprise in my research, though, was the confusion with the terms Masters versus 40 and over to properly classify D’s record. There was a whole story behind that which I wrote in the Research Notes section at the end of my post. It was so silly and stupid I could not refrain from making an unprofessional comment for a joke, which the blog media can easily afford unlike more mainstream media articles.

The most fun I had, though, was notifying media outlets of D’s accomplishment, with supporting information in my post freely available, and some of their hesitation at my lack of credibility. That’s fine. I understand. I just found it amusing. I can’t claim with certain my potential influence on media proceedings after my post, and don’t pretend I had any, but it was fun to know D got an e-media scrum Wednesday, and to see stories where some notification was given. Some of these were hastily put together with bad formatting, spelling mistakes, impromptu content flow, etc. that were a little less than professional. Perhaps they were Net savvy enough to know time lost meant more hits and prominence to my post over theirs? I did not link to these poorly formatted stories as they may be fixed now.

So while my experience was nothing grandiose, it was definitely a little thrill for what might have been a once in a lifetime experience. You know, some people live for the moment, but I live for the moments. This was great, but it was even better because it was a good news story about someone wonderful and her great accomplishments.

Thanks D! I know you’ve got more records in you and I hope you’ll let me break a few more if circumstances permit.

852 words (not subject to my personal 500 word guideline for Personal Reflection posts)

Posted in Canada, Facebook, Internet, Lifestyle, Nova Scotia, Personal Reflection, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Denise Robson Breaks Canadian W40+ Marathon Record

Posted by envirostats on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Posted in Canada, Lifestyle, Nova Scotia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »