Friday 31 August 2012

Westboro Farmers Market

Just a quick note if you hadn't heard the news, there is now a Farmers Market open in Westboro! The market is being held in the green space of Byron Linear Park bordered by Richmond Road, Byron, Broadview and Golden avenues, and will be open on Saturdays from 9:30 to 3:00 until the end of October. It's great to have another opportunity in Ottawa to support local food production, and the location is easily accessible for pedestrians and bikes!  There's some more information in this news article

Monday 27 August 2012

Solar Power Update - Ontario's Program Rules Announced

I posted earlier in the summer on our experience with home solar power. This week we celebrate one year of home solar power production! 

The Ontario Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program review has been completed and the new program rules are now available. Since the program was created in 2009, more than 4,700 megawatts of renewable energy capacity have been contracted to be built. To learn more, click on the Ontario Power Authority - Feed-in-Tariff Program webpage. 

Monday 20 August 2012

Summer Energy Savings at Home and Work

It's been one of the hottest summers in Ottawa in recent memory, but fortunately there are many small actions we can take to help save energy and money, and reduce our personal and home impact on the environment. 

If you work in an office environment, there are many things you can do to help conserve energy. Try:
  • shutting off lights, computers and office equipment when not in use;
  • reducing or avoiding large photocopying and print jobs;
  • keeping outside doors closed as much as possible to keep cool air inside;
  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator;
  • closing the blinds in your workspace when your windows receive direct sunlight.

At home, you can energy by following these tips:
  • turn up your air conditioning a few degrees (24° - 25°C) to cool people, not the house; 
  • make sure you turn your A/C up or off when you leave your house;
  • turn off all lights when you leave the room, even if it is only for a couple of minutes. Lights produce a lot of heat which works against the AC;
  • install dimmer switches;
  • set your refrigerator’s temperature only as cold as you need (check your manufacturer’s guidelines);
  • use smaller appliances for cooking whenever you can e.g. use your toaster oven or microwave instead of your oven;
  • run appliances such as dishwashers after peak hours and only when full;
  • prepare cold dinners such as salads on hot days;
  • use fans in the summer to help cool your home.  Make sure that they blow downwards.

Monday 13 August 2012

Water quality app for Ottawa's swimming spots

In these hot summer days, many of us think about cooling down at local spots. The latest issue of my neighbourhood paper, the Kitchissippi Times, shares information on a new app for up-to-date information on water quality at popular swimming spots. The Ottawa Riverkeeper's Swim Guide can be used by smartphones or tablets to check water quality at Ottawa's beaches. The information is the same as what you can find on the City of Ottawa's Daily Water Quality Results and will tell you whether the city has posted a no-swim advisory because bacteria levels are high. The swim guide is on-line at where you can download the app at no cost.