July 14, 2008

Lotto Show Home Eco-Challenge

In this age of burgeoning fuel prices, water shortages, and rampant over-consumption, how about offering environmentally state-of-the-art show homes as prizes in hospital and other charity lotteries?

I'd much prefer a technological masterpiece, a well-crafted jewel, instead of the bloated, rambling, poorly finished, overdecorated monster houses that are par for the course for charity lotteries in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

I challenge these charities to take up the sustainability challenge!

Compete on the following features:

- Enviro-certified lumber and wood products
- Low/No-emission paint and carpets
- Low-flow water fixtures
- Dual-flush, low-flow toilets
- On-demand water heaters
- Passive solar water heating assist
- Supplemental active solar electricity generation
- The best in wall insulation and thermal windows
- Rain barrels
- Moisture-sensing drip irrigation
- Landscaping with no lawns
- Landscaping with native plants
- Vegetable gardens
- And on and on, the possibilities are endless

Any takers?

Posted by Paul at 09:18 PM

July 12, 2008

Lexmark Z816 Inkjet for $19

I picked up a Lexmark Z816 colour inkjet printer today at a second-hand shop for $19 -- the box had never been opened. I didn't know much about the printer, but I figured I couldn't go wrong for $19.

When I got home and checked the Web, I discovered the Z816 had originally been priced at $79, had already been discontinued, and had received middling reviews, but I tried a few test pages of colour text and photos, and was pleased with the results.

Heck, for $19, when the ink that came with the printer runs out, I could toss the whole thing in the trash anyway. Not that my anti-consumerism conscience would allow me to do so, but it's rather frightening to think of how easy it would be to do just that. What with the price of inkjet cartridges, it makes more personal economic sense to buy another $19 printer!

There's something wrong with this picture... What a wasteful society we live in. One that does not calculate the true economic costs of producing and trashing stuff like Lexmark Z816s...

Posted by Paul at 06:05 PM

July 08, 2008

Byrne Creek Walk

I was pleased to see many fish in the sediment pond in the Byrne Creek spawning habitat today. They ranged in size from a few centimeters to around 25 cm, and were likely this year's coho and cutthroat fry, along with larger cutthroat trout.

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A dragonfly on a blackberry.

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I love seeing bees, particularly as they seem to be on the decline.

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I've cropped the same shot very tight so you can see the pollen on its head.

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A waxwing -- they look so cute, like little punk-rocker Robin Hoods :-).

Posted by Paul at 08:03 PM

July 04, 2008

Deer Lake Sunset From Baldwin House

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The Stream of Dreams Murals Society rented the Baldwin House on Deer Lake to put up some out-of-town program teams that are attending a workshop this weekend.

We had a spectacular sunset from the Arthur Erickson-designed house overlooking the lake.

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Posted by Paul at 11:26 PM