Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
oh, and i have another excuse: my roommate Jasmine is out west for the summer, and this is a way of relaying the images to her.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I am not familiar with the way the underground city in Shanghai is organised, but in Montreal the underground city (except for certain passageways) are private spaces. It would be very interesting to see the insertion of a lavish public space in an area that is normally the domain of private development.
It is no secret that Montreal's downtown is seriously lacking some public space. Save for Dorchester Square and the adjacent Place du Canada, the downtown has no public parks. An underground park, if considered by the city, would not only help create a much needed park but help balance the private-space dominance of Montreal's underground and allow some warmth-deprived Montrealers some greenery in the dead of winter.
Write to your local representatives!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Sustainability has become a sort of buzz word, companies and organisations (and even governments) throw the word around in hopes of capturing consumers' attention. People are attempting to seek a more sustainable lifestyle even if they are a little unsure of what it means. In what i hope will become many more posts, i will recommend several alternatives to everyday consumer items. They won't necessarily make much difference, but it will make you feel a hell of a lot better about consuming.
The first 'sustainable option' is grapeseed oil as an alternative to olive oil. Because the olives used in olive oil are grown uniquely for the oil, the footprint in olive oil production is quite large. According to this document [pdf] commissioned by the European Union, most olive oil is now produced using intensified production methods that require a lot of energy input in terms of chemical fertilisers. As well, there are problems of soil erosion and water shortages as a result of these plantations. Even the low-input, more traditional olive groves have been increasingly reliant of these fertilisers.
Though i am sure that grape production has a considerable footprint, they are grown for wine
, oil and leaves. This efficiency makes the impact of grapeseed oil considerably less than that of olive oil which is grown uniquely for oil. Grapeseed oil also has a lighter taste and a higher smoking point, which makes it better for cooking.
Of course one needs to consider transportation in making a choice. Why would we want olive or grapeseed oil if we can have canola oil grown right here in Canada? Well... that's your call i guess. Fields and fields of canola (aka rapeseed) are grown in Western Canada for oil production, and about 80% of all canola seed is genetically modified. Unless you buy your canola oil organic (which is expensive), there is no way to know if it is GM or not.
The best option, i believe, is to have a bottle of grapeseed oil and organic canola oil on hand. So, ditch the inefficient olive tree for the versatile grape, and use organic canola oil whenever you really feel you need it (and you won't be wasting precious money).