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Street Lights Contribute To Climate Change

The photo is a stunning portrait of Earth, as the light sparkles like scattered jewels. The creation of a network of fine webs that glow like embers across the night sky. These street lights are a beautiful sight and create the street climate we know today. They’re lighting empty parking lots, near-empty office towers, streets, highways, and commercial parks. These are humans shining their equivocal lanterns of life.

The idea to create an after-dark street climate originated in the fourth century from the city of Antioch. This city used torches to guide nightwalkers through the darkness and kept robbers at bay. Still, we assume street lights are necessary to keep us safe. Even though we’ve created revolutionary technology. We have cars to take us safely and security systems to keep us safer. Yet, people instinctively use the front porch light for peace of mind.


Street Climate 2020

The population has increased and we’re lighting the night skies more than ever! Our antiquated street climate is misdirected, inefficient and not necessary. For instance, we light up parking lots in the middle of the night for security reasons. Yet, there are night vision security systems that can scan the scene. Motion-activated sensors will light up corridors, parking lots, or office spaces. Office towers have security measures such as card locks, elevator fobs, and concierge security. Yet street lights still remain on all night long.

What do you do when you have money to burn? Most would rather buy anything other than a utility bill! The majority of burglars look for alarms and many of them won’t break into a house with signs of one present. The chances of an intruder burglarizing a home increases three hundred percent.

Burglaries also happen more often in the daytime than they do at night. The light signals someone maybe home. Yet if there’s a Burglar who wants inside there is no light outside that will protect you. A “>home security system is in every family’s best interest and please turn off your lights before you go to bed… Lights give us a false sense of security.


The cost to taxpayers

In Vancouver alone over fifty thousand street lamps are lit yet we have headlights to guide our way. Large stretches of main Highways do not use street lights. Yet the main streets of cities and towns are lit up like a pumpkin till dawn.  We’ve created a street climate which burns taxpayers dollars throughout the night.

Vancouver taxpayers pay  $6,530,000 to burn street lights each year. This expenditure is a fixed expense and if public funds are low we could see the sell-off of this public system. It happened in Toronto when out of desperation, the government sold its street lights in 2005. They sold their street lights to the Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association. So, for the next thirty years, they’re on the hook for a whopping 420 million dollars.

This works out to double what Vancouver pays on an annual basis. But Vancouver has 1/6th the landmass as Toronto so we generally will pay less. But, it’s easy to see how quickly our tax dollars are spent!

street climate

The cost to our planet’s climate

Moreover, Canadians produce eighty-one percent of Green House Gas Emissions  (GHG) from economic activity. We use gasoline for transportation and produce non-renewable electricity. This includes lighting buildings and street lights.

The good news? Over eighty percent of British Columbia’s electricity comes from non-GHG emitting sources. These sources come from Hydro dams, biomass, wind, and solar energy.

However, as of 2017, the majority of the world is still getting its energy from burning fossil fuels. Unfortunately, at this moment, the world’s dependence on fossil fuels is causing CO2 levels to skyrocket! Even though countries are having trouble transitioning away from fossil fuels. Cities can change the amount we depend on them by turning off street lights.

A plan to offset emissions

As of 2009 the Copenhagen accord composed guidelines for Canadians. Canada agreed to create a GHG emissions reduction plan to 30% below 2005 levels. The deadline? 2030! The mission is to keep the global temperature from rising less than two degrees Celsius. Can we do it?…

It won’t be easy. Between 2005 and 2018 over 5, 200, 000 Canadian babies were born. Canada is also a desirable place to live. Therefore, many people from around the world want to live here. In fact 700, 000 people have immigrated to Canada in 2019. For the sake of curiosity, I calculated the amount we’ve grown in thirteen years. I combined births and immigration and subtracted deaths. This number totalled 2, 129, 363 more people since 2005. Our population will most likely continue to rise. We are a stable country with resources and wide open spaces.

We’re growing in number and our economy has also grown significantly! A study conducted by the Canadian Government found that even though we’ve grown the GHG output per GDP has declined by 16.4%.

The implementation of new technology is the largest factor in this statistic. It’s wonderful to see that advancements have made a difference in creating a sustainable future. Canada is on track to help make an impact on the world’s temperatures.

Canadian Graph Of GHG Emissions

canadian carbon reduction from 2005-2015

Implementing Change

However, there is always room for improvement! The Copenhagen accord is a good initiative, but it falls short in effectiveness. It’s based on cooperation from every developing country. Leaders won’t guarantee that countries are going to do their part.

Therefore, cities must reduce consumption and reliance on energy in a different way. The biggest way for any city to contribute is by turning off useless street lights. In conclusion, reduce the light from the street lights and put money back into the taxpayer’s pockets.

Researchers have found that the city of Tucson had developed smart lighting technology. The city adjusts the illumination of the street light depending on the time of night. When dusk starts the lights are turned on up to 90%. Once midnight scones around they’re reduced down to 60%.

Check out the email address below which is dedicated to the City of Vancouver’s street light program. If you also believe this is a good idea please feel free to send them an email in support.

Sample letter:

To whom it may concern,

As a concerned taxpayer, I am writing to tell city officials it`s time for a change. City officials should analyze the street light systems further. It is our responsibility as concerned taxpayers to reduce Green House Gases. Moreover, by limiting the use of street lights between the time frame of 1 am and 5 am will make a difference. Also, the city should limit the lighting used throughout the city during nonpeak hours. Turn off lights that are serving empty parking lots, streets, and public spaces. We`re currently using Fifty thousand street lights on Greater Vancouver Streets. Therefore, the consumption and frequency of these street lights are very high. We must take action and reduce reliance for the sake of the future.



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Save Money And Don’t Buy Wet Wipes

I’ll admit it. I’m that person who flushed one too many poopy papers down the toilet. How many new Moms have flushed a few of these gooey little-wet wipes down the drain? In this article, I will show you that by undoing this one deed will save you money.

A brief history of napkins

A New Yorker first produced sanitary napkins in 1963. The first sales were from Colonel Sanders. These napkins helped to clean greasy fingers while dining at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The napkins didn`t begin to take off as baby wipes until 1990 when Proctor and Gamble picked them up as pamper wipes. Since their invention city workers have cursed them. They’re clogging the pits of the local pump station. Plus, the massive globs of tissue are clogging pipes across Canada.

Why taxpayers will save money

The report from the Vancouver Sun states it’s costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year to clean up! The combined costs are massive and adding up across the country. In Ontario alone, the Canadian Taxpayer spent 250 million dollars a year to clean up the sewers.

The waste authorities have asked us to throw them in the garbage! But, this advice is still not a responsible way to handle an epidemic!

These handy wipes consist of plastic fibers which last longer than the lives of our children. Take this statement to heart. We have to stop using them.

They’re man-made material and the reason it’s not biodegradable. Material such as cotton. rayon, plastic resins like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene. What is the responsible way to deal with wet wipes? It’s best to use an alternative because it cannot be recycled and will save you money.

The effects of production

The problems of plastic run deeper then baby wipes. The creation has cost taxpayers massive amounts of money to cope. But can we clean up a worldwide environmental disaster?

Annual world production of Polyethylene is approximately 80 million metric tonnes. Since 1950 the world has made the weight equal to one billion Elephants!

Many Polyethylene products such as wet wipes are floating in our oceans. Washing up on beaches and there’s a guarantee they’ve only used They’re washing up on beaches around the world and only used once!

The solution

They’re super handy and there’s no way demand for them will slow down.
In the future governments must address the issue by banning these kinds of products. Forcing manufacturers to come up with a biodegradable solution. Babo Botanicals 3-in-1 Calming Wipes, French Lavender & Meadowsweet, shouldn’t be a product that’s an alternative to a wet wipe. It should be the only available wet wipe!!

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Why Canadian waste is now an international problem

The world’s recycling statistics show recycling is not effective enough. So, let’s dive into the trash management system that exists today. Recycling household plastic makes us feel like we’re doing the environment justice! Besides, we’re told it’s helpful to do what we can to sort our trash. It reduces the amount of plastic pollution limiting the strain on the natural environment. It also gives the government the ability to sell raw material. Moreover, the recycling program`s purpose is to keep the invasion of material out of landfills… Or does it?

Even though, Canadians recyclers are contributing to a solution. According to National Geographic, we also produce twice as much garbage then Japan. Plus, ten times more than half a dozen countries in Africa! Yet, garbage swamps the lives of the poorest people around the world! In fact, it’s because only nine percent of the world’s garbage is recycled! It shows that as a global community we are not doing enough to do justice to the environment!

The Faulty System

Here at home, the Canadian recycling system sorts plastic at recycling process centers. Next, they turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets, melt it or press it into sheets.

Then, re-manufacturing plants or end markets take these items.
End markets like the Philippines and China receive shipments to re-manufacturing post-consumer waste. The system works to reduce the squeeze on the natural environment and limit plastic pollution.

However, the truth is ninety-one percent of trash is not recycled. So, billions of tonnes of Global garbage is either incinerated or left in landfills. This releases even more Green House Gas.(GHG) further stimulating the world’s Green House Effect.

If fresh water evaporates from global warming we will wither and die. Yet, in the meantime, we’re arguing over what to do with mismanaged garbage. The plastic pollution should be a good enough reason to change our spending habits.  Yet, it hasn’t. So the potential of trash wars is a dilemma that we face today and in the future!

The Conflict

Hence, there’s a standoff between the Philippines and Canada today. The partnership between these two countries has soured. Why would Canada a developed country try to take advantage of them?

Comparatively, Canadians hold a reputation and an International image of peace and prosperity. We have much more space than those in the Philippines. Our land mass is almost 10,000,000 square kilometers. They’re a developing country with a land mass of just 300,000 sq. kilometers.

Canada has 34,000,000 people with an annual GDP of forty thousand (American) dollars per capita. Yet, Philipino’s have over 96,000,000 people in their population. The annual GDP is only just over four thousand dollars per capita. Consequently, the Philippines struggles to keep its population above the standard threshold of human development.

In 2013 a Canadian company shipped one hundred containers of “recycling” overseas. Thus, upon arrival, the Filipino Port Authority deemed the shipment unfit to process. They asked the Canadian government to return our containers back to Canada. Regardless, the Canadian government told the authorities “No thanks” and asked them to dispose of it.

Foreign Recyclables Banned

Six years later the trash still remains at the Port. Filipinos have rallied and their government threatens war! The Canadian supply chain sent unfit products and the Filipinos don’t want to be the junkyard. Therefore, we should set an example for the rest of the world. It’s our responsibility as Canadians to control the distribution and take back the trash!

But, suddenly, it’s not getting any easier. Canada finds it harder to source end markets now because China has banned our products. China told the World Health Organization they will no longer accept foreign recyclables. They no longer want to accept our plastic pollution.

There`s too much product and they now want the highest quality material. Thus, Canadian recycling processors now struggle to cope with the volume of plastic. There is more supply than demand. Therefore, the recycling program of British Columbia states it will restrict materials in our blue bins.

The newest technology to manage Plastic Pollution

For this reason, we’re losing the battle and more must be done through new technological advancements. After all, Corporations need packaging to sell their products. We would rather die than see the world not able to produce household products. Consequently, without packaging the economy would falter.

Fortunately, there are two Zennials making a difference in the war on trash! They’ve developed a process to produces a post-consumer product with dirty plastic. This company is called Biocellection Inc . and it’s ready to take on the challenge of the future. Together both Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao have come up with a solution to deal with the plastic pollution!

The Founder Miranda Wang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She believes there is a lack of waste management. This is the main reason our garbage is ending up in Rivers and Oceans.

Co-founder Jeanny Yao gained a degree in Environmental science from the University of Toronto. Together their business plan is to change the way how to deal with contaminated trash. They believe it should be managed in a more circular sense.

So, they’ve moved away from the approach of breaking down plastics, washing then melting it. Instead, they take the molecules and break them down into a complex method.

The chemical method cuts the polyethylene (plastic) chemical chain into small pieces. These small chemical pieces transform into precursors of higher value materials. Materials found in such things as car parts, electronics, and textiles!

This technology offers one solution for the other ninety-one percent of contaminated waste. In conclusion, this innovation also has the ability to replace fossil fuels. It will use plastic waste for an industry’s energy needs and reduce the amount of plastic pollution around the world.

Our Responsibility

Consumers have the responsibility to make conscious decisions when they’re purchasing items. Make different choice such as buy glass containers instead of plastic. Avoid anything wrapped in plastic, and reuse whenever possible.

The waste management system of British Columbia states its goal is zero-waste. But, what it does is turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets or sheets. Thus, reducing the pressure of mining, deforestation, and chemical manufacturing in the environment.

The population is rising and there will forever be a need for natural resources. Therefore, continuing to recycle helps manufacturers source post-consumer material. It’s also important to change our buying habits each day by not spending money on over-packaging. Make conscious choices, lobby for change with petitions and join shoreline cleanups. Don’t let trash define us as a Nation!!

For additional Information on this topic see the links below:

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A Plan To Clean Up Our World Faster Than You Think.

If five hundred and fifty people pick up just five pieces of plastic each day. Together they can pick up one million pieces in a year. Sounds easy enough plus, it’s the decent thing to do! I wonder how I’d fit that simple task into the day. A simple task that is one deed in a plan to help clean up the world quickly.

Clean up our world??

I rise at 7 am, and begin the day with breakfast. Afterward, I chase my son around get him ready for school. After work, I make dinner, put my son to bed and then finally rest at 9 pm. This schedule actually feels like picking up five pieces of plastic would be a huge achievement!

If most people have a day like mine then I understand. I get why we’re not working too hard to make a difference. I must admit cleaning up at home is a big job and I don’t often look for garbage to pick up anywhere else. If you’re anything like myself I’ve created this sense of entitlement, if it’s not in the vicinity of home or work, forget it!

Government Intervention

Luckily, the government plays an integral part in keeping beaches, streets, parks, and rivers clean. Our American neighbors just had an issue with government shutdowns and it effectively crippled the municipal services for a record period of time. Essential services stopped like the collection of garbage in local parks and garbage began to pile up quickly!

Without the government getting involved our garbage would be out of control. Everywhere we turn items are over-packaged and products are manufactured with single-use packaging. Therefore, in an effort to fight the tsunami of trash the government created a system to deal with it.

The Plan

Recycling statistics show that Vancouver can clean up our world pretty well in comparison to other cities in Canada. We’re washing out containers and sorting our plastics from paper to cardboard! However, there’s always room for improvement! The government takes these items and sorts them further so they can sell paper fiber to companies that handle post-consumer packaging. 

The recycling plant works through some crippling problem from material contamination. If there is so much as a coffee stain on a piece of paper, food residue in a plastic bag, blood, grease or juice left inside a container it will cross contaminate tonnes of perfectly recycled recyclables. When this happens what could’ve been sold is sent to the garbage dump forever.

Canadian Products are not recycled properly. One in three pounds, of material, is dirty and this dampens the recycling efforts. Our intentions are costing Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars a year. It’s expensive to manage garbage in the recycling program. Canadians need to follow the guidelines and they’re found in a Wizard link. This link is located on my Twitter account or Facebook page Ridetheecowave.

Recycling is not enough

The world is dumping 8,300 million metric tonnes of garbage into the Ocean each year. This is equal to one truckload of garbage dumped every minute! This problem of dumping, littering, exploiting our environment is not going to go away. If we`re to continue on living, in the same way, we will regret it!. Recycling is not enough. We have to take our inner environmental steward to the next level and clean up our world.

Firstly, the Ocean cleanup needs our help and they’re accepting donations. There’s a huge set back in the attempt to clean up trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The buoy and skirt design nicknamed Wilson has broken from the force of the Ocean and unfortunately. They may have to go back to the drawing board and analyze the problem associated with their design.

Donate today for tomorrow

Furthermore, this critical development in their concerted effort to clean up our Oceans is important to support. We get caught up in our day to day activities and time is not something we can afford to give. Money is the best opportunity to make up the difference in our collective goal to help clean up our environment.

The hard part is keeping this in the forefront of our thoughts. We spend our days trying so hard to get through the day with just our sanity! This is a good start in awakening the spirit of an inner steward. The single act of doing one good deed a day creates a vision. One person can make a difference. If we plan a change in our lives or donate to a worthy cause our efforts will be rewarded. The environmental movement will continue to grow.

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How To Stop Using Plastic Bags Effectively

I’m standing in the line up at the checkout in the grocery store and it dawns on me. I better put everything down and go home. Why?…I’d just forgotten my reusable shopping bags… again!  Annoyed I ask myself why do I keep forgetting these seemingly simple things?

The shopping bags were in the car at one point. I’d used them to pack the hoard of toys accumulated over time and they’re now tucked away at home. Even if they were in the car it’s too late because I’d completely forgot to bring them inside.

Consequently, I realize it’s an uphill battle to get them to where they need to be at the right time. Going to the grocery store can often be a spontaneous event. Most people besides those that make lists prefer to keep it that way.

The government must play a role to stop using plastic

Canadians use three billion plastic bags a year and the bags are used a grand total of twenty minutes. A truly troubling statistic considering it takes about a thousand years for one to break down. Yet, the Canadian Government has been slow to change the laws surrounding this controversial topic.

Furthermore, there are 161 cities in Canada and only two have adopted a law to reduce plastic bags. The Montreal Government banned single-use plastic bags from retailers with thousands of dollars in fines if they refused to comply. The Government of Victoria has also passed legislation to ban plastic bags. They will not allow retailers to hand out a paper bag unless the customer pays for it. This is a good start to stop using plastic bags but more needs to be done.

What can you do about it?

The Provincial or Federal Governments of Canada aren’t willing to enact legislation. So, we’ll need to act on our own accord to make changes sooner rather than later. There are two things a consumer can do now to stop using plastic bags now.

The first step to change and one of the best ways to stop using plastic bags is to not use them at all! Why bundle fruits and vegetables in a bag to separate them? Throw them in the cart and let them roll around together! Seriously for some people, this is the complete opposite of what they’re used to doing and change is good. Produce bags aren’t necessary because when we get home we just throw them all in the crisper together anyway.

Secondly, contact your local MLA today. Contact Us: British Columbia MLA Guide  These folks have their seats because of you! Let them hear consumer complaints, they work for us and we are their constituents. Pass on consumer sentiment to their office using the link above, copy and paste this template into an email and hit send. Easy Peasy

Sample Letter

Dear  (First name) (Last name)

As a proud B.C. resident and your constituent, one of my greatest concerns is the excessive use of non-biodegradable plastic in local grocery stores.  Controlling how plastic is disposed of is a problem and the government has taken strides to remedy trash through an extensive recycling program.

However, the global issue of plastics has increasingly become an extreme environmental issue and the government has the responsibility to take people’s efforts to the next level. Sorting plastics does not reduce the amount of plastic that is used unnecessarily on a daily basis.

If there is one place the government can make a change it is by banning single-use plastic in grocery stores. Over packaging and single-use plastics can be found in the following:

  • Roles of Plastic bags in the produce section
  • Cashier Plastic bags
  • Plastic packaging used for fruit and vegetables

Moreover, the Provincial Government has the ability to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in local grocery stores faster than muncipal governments. It’s time we take a stand against companies that use plastics to bag or cover produce. There are biodegradable options that should be used to implement current packaging practices.

Finally, guidelines must be established to limit plastic and encourage alternatives in mainstream packing and packaging. I strongly encourage you to remind Premier John Horgan the BC government has an obligation to be an environmental steward.

I look forward to your response.


(Insert name), (City/Town)


All grocery store retailers must make it easier by adopting a program that brings in attractive reusable bags. Some retailers already place them next to their check out stands making our decision to buy them simpler.

For instance, while doing some Shopping at the dollar store the cashier asked if I needed a bag… I glanced behind me and saw a nicely printed cotton bag and told the cashier, “No thanks I’ll take one of these.” I paid $6.00 for a trendy bag I don’t mind carrying around town.

Lastly, If grocery stores would give us an option at the check out counter it could make a difference. I’m sure the reason retailers don’t willingly change their policy on plastic shopping bags is because they’re afraid the consumers would shop at the competitor across the street because they’re handing out plastic bags…