As you head into the wild or to your designated campground for your weekend camping trip, the Green Coast team would like you to take a moment to think about reducing your eco footprint. In this blog, we provide 4 sustainable camping tips to get you started on your eco camping journey!
With global warming on the rise, companies offering clean energy and biochemical solutions are leading the way in both innovation and sustainability. Green Coast Rubbish would like to highlight one such company to watch – S2G BioChem – in this week’s blog.
What they do: S2G BioChem produces glycols for the industrial chemical industry without using petroleum products.
Glycols are used to produce many common household products such as liquid detergents, lotions, personal care products, car antifreeze, plastics, packaging material and many other common household products. This is a $30 billion dollar industry.
Environmental benefits: Glycols are typically made from petroleum products (ethylene, propylene, naptha) which are associated with rising GHG emissions and global warming.
In contrast, S2Gs bio-glycols are made from low cost, sustainable, non-food based agriculture and forestry waste products which reduces green house gas emissions by an estimated 1.8 tonne of C02 equivalent per tonne of glycol produced. According to S2G’s website, converting even just 5% of the current glycol market to bio-glycols would take the equivalent of 330,000 cars off the road or about 1,800 kilotonnes each year.
We work with them: In 2014, Green Coast Rubbish helped S2G remove and treat over 26,000 litres of waste water from their Vancouver based pilot plant (all of which is derived from plants and biological feedstock) and also recycled much of their construction waste.
Why we like them: “We are a big fan of S2G because of their use of renewable plant based sources in place of conventional fossil fuel feedstocks, and more importantly they are a great group of individuals to work with,” says Green Coast Rubbish President Eamonn Duignan.
Learn more: To find out more information about S2G BioChem, visit their website.
In the grand scheme of things, Vancouver is a comparatively new city—particularly when it comes to architecture. But what we lack in history, we make up in stride in the design and development of Green Building technologies.
Building projects contribute to a huge amount of waste and pollution in Canada, and generate a large percentage of total greenhouse gas emissions in North America. The accumulation of construction and demolition of buildings can add up to nearly 35% of total landfill waste. They also consume a significant amount of our water and energy resources. But good news! It doesn’t need to be this way. By designing buildings in more sustainable ways, these numbers can be greatly reduced across the board. That’s why the LEED rating system was introduced.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a reputable and internationally recognized ‘green’ rating system for both new and existing building development projects. Here is the breakdown of the different levels of certification, which are ranked based on 110 points, over 7 areas of criteria:
- Water Efficiency: Reduce water consumption, treat or minimize wastewater, eliminate site irrigation.
- Energy Efficiency: Use renewable energy resources, reduce energy consumption, eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals.
- Regional Priority: Keeping in mind geographical factors, designing architecture & targeting environmental issues based on that region.
- Innovation in Design: Vastly exceed the environmental requirements and incorporate innovative features and technologies not covered in other areas.
- Material Selection: Re-use existing building facades, utilize locally salvaged or recycled construction materials, minimize waste during construction, use of renewable materials.
- Site Development: Increase urban density, maximize green space, minimize storm water run-off, access and encouragement of transportation modes such a bicycling, easy access to transit, car-pooling.
- Indoor Environmental Quality: Providing operational windows, improving ventilation systems, incorporating natural lighting sources.
40-49 points = Certified
50-59 points = Silver
60-79 points = Gold
80+ points = Platinum
By using these guidelines, architects can effectively design smarter, greener buildings. By establishing an international and industry recognized standard, it can also help convey information to interested individuals and clients. The Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) has adapted the system initially developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), to address environmental concerns and issues specifically within the Canadian market.
A good example of a LEED Platinum Certified building project in Vancouver is the Olympic Village — which incorporates technology such as solar energy, rainwater irrigation and conservation systems, and green rooftops.
By changing the way buildings are constructed and utilizing the latest advancements in technology, we can conserve our precious energy and environmental resources — while making our neighborhoods more livable, walkable, and sustainable.
Green Coast just got bigger, better and a little more green. We are extremely fortunate to have recently hit a milestone, our 7th birthday, and to be experiencing a very busy 2013 to-date. In order to keep up with the demand for a greener and cleaner future we have expanded our carrying capabilities with an addition to our fleet-a GMC W4500 truck which will be 100% fueled by Biodiesel.
What is Biodiesel? Biodiesel is a non-toxic, biodegradable bio-fuel derived from high free fatty acid feedstock (aka. restaurant grease, vegetable oil, cooking oil, animal fats) that are put through a process called Transesterification; combining the oil with an alcohol (typically Methanol, sometimes Ethanol), and a catalyst (usually sodium hydroxide). The result of this exchange is a chemical reaction which produces glycerin and an ‘ester’ or organic compound called Biodiesel.
Thanks to the Vancouver Biodiesel Co-op, which is the Lower Mainland’s ONLY consumer source of 100% pure recycled, ASTM certified and locally sourced Biodiesel we continue to strive towards sustainability and the reduction of our Green House Gas (GHG) footprint.
Since 2010, we have been involved in the Climate Smart Program for businesses, and we have been able to measure our carbon footprint. As such have been able to plan and action ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Running our vehicles on alternate fuel sources is one of our key reduction strategies and we are ecstatic to be a member of the Vancouver Biodiesel Co-op!
Green Coast is committed and passionate about reducing our GHG Footprint, and by fueling our new carrier with Biodiesel, we are ensuring a lower vehicle emissions, therefore reducing our overall GHS footprint as we continually work towards a smaller impact on our planet and resources.