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Ecoholic

Ecoholic

Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Introduction
You know, it’s funny: Canadians are surrounded with so much damn nature we think that automatically nominates us for outdoor MVP of the year. But when hundreds of trees fall in the boreal every minute, does anybody really care? Well, aside from a few folk singers and some ­placard-­bearing ­enviro-­groups, my answer just a few years ago was a reluctant no. Observers declared environmental consciousness dead. Earth Day marches had long been cancelled due to lack of attendance. Indeed, there was but a faint green pulse left in us as we dragged our recyclables out to the curb then hopped into our gas guzzlers with the a/c blasting. Memories of acid rain, dead lakes and the Exxon Valdez had faded to black, along with any recollection of feathered hair and shoulder ­pads.

Then, sometime in the last year or two, someone somewhere pulled out the defibrillators and called “clear.” Was it the spike in the price of oil, forcing us to reconsider the value of spending 80 bucks a tank just to drive ourselves to the corner store? Was it the increased ­alarm-­ringing of climate change scientists? The drowning polar bears? The breaking levies? The freak storms? The reports that DDT is still swimming in our children’s bloodstreams decades after it was banned or that ­non-­stick chemicals are sticking to bald eagles and floating in breast milk? Maybe, as my local souvlaki guy noted, it was the realization that ­ever-­climbing hydro bills could be tackled only with conservation and sharp questions about why our government isn’t more aggressively subsidizing solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. More realistically, it was all of the above: a perfect storm of factors that made us sit up and say, Holy Toledo, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas ­anymore.

But what’s exciting about this surge, this outpouring of interest in all things green, is that everyone, from the trucker up the street to the CEO of ­Wal-­Mart, is taking notice. And whether you’re expressing your concern for the planet by reaching for organic milk, turning off the taps as you brush, driving a little less or not driving at all, it all adds up to a movement.

Sure, sticking to a ­five-­minute shower rule may seem fruitless in the face of a melting planet and relentless emissions from the coal plant two towns down. But are we to throw our hands in the air and bury our heads in the sand as our federal government has? Every drop of water you conserve, each watt of power you save, every green pepper you purchase from a local organic grower sends a message. To paraphrase hockey dads everywhere, if you want to be on a winning team, you have to think like a winner. And sometimes, when that team is slacking, you’ve gotta step up and take the lead. You don’t have to start a march on Parliament Hill to make a statement (though, hey, if you’re itching to try out a megaphone, go ahead). Start small. Start by leading by example. Get your workplace to turn the lights off at night and the thermostat down. Tell your grocery manager you don’t need California mushrooms ­vacuum-­packed on polysterene when he should be pushing local ones, loose. Tell your brother idling is just burning up gas (not to mention the planet) and tell your minister of Parliament you want real action on greenhouse gas emissions for ­once.

The tough part is that figuring out what’s green and what’s greenwash, what’s ­eco-­friendly and what’s ­ozone-­deadly can be downright dizzying. This is where knowledge comes in to play. The more you know, the more effective your choices, actions and movements can be. And if GI Joe was right that knowing is half the battle, just buying this book (and reading it cover to cover, of course) should turn you a finely trained ­eco-­warrior, or at least make it easier for you to decide what cleaning products to buy. Don’t worry: you don’t have to give up shaving and chain yourself to a tree to be green. Just do what you can, one step at ­time–­until you’re a ­full-­blown ­ecoholic.

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Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit

Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit

Run a successful business renting your vacation home. A comprehensive guide to making your cottage work for you.
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Cottage Rules

Cottage Rules

Owner's Guide to Sharing Recreational Property
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Paperback
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