"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Tuesday
Oct162018

Profile of Dr. Martin Entz

.When I asked Dr. Martin Entz, professor in the Plant Science department at the University of Manitoba how he had arrived at his current position and what had influenced him to do what he does, he immediately said, “I remember my grandfather taking me for walks in our pasture at Ste. Elizabeth. He showed me all the different plants and pointed out the birds and the bugs.” Martin went on to explain that he was fascinated by the diversity he saw in a simple pasture field.

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Tuesday
Oct092018

Don't Park Your Bike Now

Rickshaw in Central Park WinterIt's that time of year again, the time when folks who have enjoyed cycling in summer, park their bikes. I say, whoa, not so fast! True outside mobility, whether it's walking, jogging or cycling is different in winter than it is in summertime, however that is not reason enough to eliminate it. I have noticed this summer, that there is a spike in bike traffic mornings and evenings when folks are coming and going to work. These folks will need to decide how they get to work, but in this column I want to address folks in my situation: retired but active.

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Tuesday
Oct022018

Embodied Energy – What is It?

Halmhus straw bale house Hurdal ecovillageIn last week's column, Wade Wiebe described some of his experience in building his strawbale garage. But why build strawbale? One reason for Wade's choice was the low embodied energy in the building materials used in strawbale construction. In this column I want to explore low embodied energy.

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Tuesday
Sep252018

The Straw Bale Garage Experiment

Since my early 20’s I’ve dreamt of building a straw bale house. I love the deep windows and the smooth, warm aesthetic of the walls. Building with bales creates extremely energy-efficient homes using materials which themselves have very low embodied energy.

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Tuesday
Sep182018

Spirit of the Buffalo

Most of us have been following the controversy surrounding the proposed Trans-Mountain Pipeline which is to carry crude oil and dibit from the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta to ocean ports in Burnaby and Vancouver. Did you know that at the same time Enbridge Energy has been quietly expanding its own Line 3 pipeline from the Athabasca region through Saskatchewan and western Manitoba into North Dakota near Gretna? I did not, until last week when I responded to an invitation to join others on a visit to the Spirit of the Buffalo Camp near Gretna.

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