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Change the World

Buying an EV: It Ain’t Easy Buying Green

In the spring of 2013, I made a big promise to myself.  I would own an electric vehicle (EV) by the time I turned 50.  Since I was the New Year’s baby in Wiliams Lake in 1964, that left me approximately 8 months to accomplish the feat.  Easy peasy, right?

Turns out I was being overly optimistic.  

What was the hitch, you ask?  Can’t you just pop down to a dealer, pick your favourite colour, sign the credit card slip, and drive away (silently)?

The world conspires against EV owners, I’ve learned -- at least this part of the world (I live in Kamloops, BC).  

A New Tool for Electricity Savings

It’s now possible to log into your online account with BC Hydro and see on the screen how much electricity you’re using on a daily and hourly basis. I live in a 2-bedroom condo apartment with electric baseboard heaters and an electric hot water tank. Heating the home in the winter always adds up to a higher electricity bill, of course. But now that I can see the hourly electricity consumption, it’s clear that hot water is one of our big electricity hogs too.

Celebrating a Greener Holiday

By Kate Wilczac

The winter holidays are truly a wonderful time, when we stop our busy lives to celebrate with family and friends and bring light and green things into our homes during the darkest days of the year.  Our spirit of giving can sometimes lead to excess, however, when faced with the post-Christmas morning mess of heaps of wrapping paper, discarded plastic toys and junky ornaments ready to be tossed in the trash. Here are some tips to help keep your Christmas less wasteful and more sustainable.

A Simpler Holiday

Are you looking for ways to celebrate the holidays and be kind to the earth at the same time? It’s really not hard to do. In fact, it’s easy: just focus on experiences, not things.

 

Small Actions Add Up

The Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) is thrilled with the outcome of BC Hydro’s recent “Power Down the Cube” promotion at the Kamloops Home Show. As a result of all the folks who pressed the button on the Cube, the local group will be receiving a $5000 donation in support of their community energy outreach programs.

Living in a Passive House

Four months ago my family and I moved into our new Passive home in Victoria, BC. It is always exciting moving into a new house, but with it being a Passive House, we really didn't know what to expect. We were told many great things about it, but there are fewer than ten of these houses in BC at the moment, so we didn't know anyone who actually knew what it was like to live in one.

The Power of Partnerships in Community Engagement

As the lead organizer of The Solar Laundry Project (SLP) here in Kamloops, I’ve been on a steep learning curve. The SLP is an initiative of the Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association which encourages people to reduce their electrical consumption by hanging clothes to dry instead of using the dryer. For the past two years, we’ve organized an awareness campaign based on weekly draws for high-quality clotheslines during the summer months.

I’ve learned that a focus on fun goes a long way, great promotional photos are like gold, simple messaging is best, and good relationships with media are key to coverage. But perhaps the biggest single eye-opener has been the importance of partnerships.

Keeping Cool with Shade

With the heat wave we just experienced, I’m sure all of us would have appreciated a big shade tree sheltering our homes from the blazing sun! The smart use of shade is one of those techniques and skills that made sense in earlier times and are coming back into use now. Many of us are trying to live more simply, avoiding waste and over-consumption of resources. Along with drying laundry on a clothesline, growing food in the garden, canning and preserving, we can keep our homes cool with shade and save on energy costs too.

Stories from the Showdown: BC Students Explore The Future They Want.

“That could have been really dangerous! The scientists could have made a mistake and sent you back to Jurassic times, and you could have been eaten by a dinosaur!”