Living The Good Life

As time goes on, more of us are thinking about recycling and how to be more eco-friendly. Unfortunately, in the past, the aesthetic appeal let it down slightly. But, now as we are all much more aware of our environment we want to protect it. And now there are many designers who have created so many beautiful things for you to bring into your own home. One of these designers is Oliver Heath who helps with lighting, colour and structural changes to make a home more sustainable. He is a trusted expert, and has appeared on TV and as well as being the author of some fantastic design books such as ‘Urban Eco Chic’ and 'Home Book’.

There is also a brilliant site called EcoCentric that offers many different home decoration, accessories and homewares that are all organic and at an affordable price. 

There are so many novel and unique items that are available now: 

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Some really sweet place matts and coasters from Nestify Online designed by Rani Deshpande. They are made from paper, and once they have been used they can be planted to produce some beautiful wildflowers in your garden!

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These are the wonderful Liqui Baglights with different prints on them that lets a warm light glow through. They also use energy saving bulbs. These bags are also on sale at Lluster (yet another link to their fab site!). Grab one while you can!

I’ve also found a brilliant site, E-side that sell all sorts of furniture and homewares that have been recycled and are eco-friendly. They are all made to a high standard and are lovely and would look great in any home. I hope these new interior design wants will become musts for every newly built home, and we will all live a much cleaner life style!

Behind The Scene - L'écocentre!

Dans ma capsule 07, je ne vous avais pas menti! J'ai bel et bien commencé ma journée avec un café…vous aurez deviné, Starbuck! Délicieux comme café! Un classique.

Ensuite, direction l'écocentre! Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas, c'est un endroit où tu peux aller te débarrasser de tes vieux meubles, appareils électroniques, ordinateurs, etc. C'est VRAIMENT pratique comme endroit puis mes amis Mitch et Sarah étaient absolument contents d'avoir enfin plus de place dans leur petit nid d'amours! Raison de plus, tu as l'air vraiment mâle au volant d'un camion.

Il y en a plusieurs au Québec, alors selon votre région, vous pourrez vous aussi avoir l'air d'un mâle ou si vous êtes une fille, prendre les photos des mâles.

C'est comme un 2 dans 1 en même temps. Tu n'as pas le temps de t'entrainer. Tu es vraiment frustré de la vie? Ton chat a grafigné ton divan? Garoche le au bout de tes bras!

Je vous encourage à visiter l'écocentre le plus près de chez vous pour votre grand plaisir et également celui de l'espace que vous allez gagner chez vous! J'ai bien trop de fun moi là. Un peu de repos s'est mérité!

Different Lenses

I have often heard the term Conceptual Framework, but never realized that it meant changing the way we see things by what we are told to focus on. I personally have viewed nature in a non-anthropocentric way with a biocentric and ecocentric integrity. I realize now after reading Steward Pickett I understand that I had a classical paradigm of viewing nature. Where he talks about Equilibrium as a point which is balanced , Hull argues the balanced ecological web where nature is not in balance but it strives to be (p.38). It is easy to fall into the misconception of the classical paradigm because it is an ideal way we want nature to be. Environmentalists want succession to be fixed, and humans to be excluded because that would be easy. The “New Paradigm” suggests that everything is interconnnected in the ecological systems and “ are open, regulated by outside events affected by natural disturbance and incorporate humans,” (Pickett, p.275)

In “Discordant Harmonies,” Botkins focuses on the organic and mechanistic viewpoints. He begins with the living earth theory of religious merit,  where after the fall of eden an oganismic or organic idea of earth as a physical entity created an ecocentric conceptual framework (p.94). Before Copernicus, the anthropocentric world personified the Earth giving it the name of mother, with “fields like wombs,” (P.95). The world was held together by universal rules from a religious view point “interpreted by the wisdom and power of God,” (p.97) The organic viewpoint put this to rest when scientists started studying patterns in plant associations. There was a “super-organism of plants,” that unified the Earth (Clements, p.98). Species were considered holistic and could not be independent. However, it was still believed that nature was an accidental occurrence with no sharp boundaries. Hull explains this further with “Dynamic Nature,” (p.24) where he explains that nature is influx and change is normal. Botkin focused on two viewpoints; nature as a machine and an organic super-organism. Hull explained the different ways nature is like a machine.

It was interesting for me to read Hull’s explanation of nature being like a machine (p.42). The use of technology and seed manufacturing on farms is an evident way that supports his claim. However, comparing “woods” to “forests” elevated my awareness of his dissection of the mechanistic framework. Hull explains that woods are sprayed with pesticides and genetically raised trees brought by trucks (filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide) created a frail ecosystem. Where as the mechanics of a forest which had large Fir trees used by loggers, suffered insect infestations, thus fires were used for re-growth(p.44). Now  seen, after some years, the once struggling pines are now thriving with gained resilience. I am still confused in whether he means that machines are like the farms and woods because humans are in control of them or because technology plays a major role in the effect on nature. Either way, this interesting excerpt displayed the woods and forest like children. For example, the woods would be like a child raised by an over protective mother in the west (where everything must be done with immediate results). When the child is sick , he is fed antibiotics, washed with sanitizers in an antiseptic environment (everything must die in order to kill the virus). Where as a forest would be a mother following Eastern principles such as holistic living with the child getting their hands dirty and not bleaching the sheets every night. This child would get nourishment from soups and natural remedies, and even though sick , allowed to play outside in the sun. The mother would focus on rebuilding the immune system by assisting the growth of natural bacteria that the human body makes autonomously. Rather then trying to control the situation (woods), patience and integrity of the future (forests) creates a more resilient immune system (regrowth of trees) creating antibodies which make the child stronger then before.


Botkin, Daniel B. Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century. New York: Oxford UP, 1990. Print.

Hull, R. Bruce. Infinite Nature. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2006. Print.  Pickett, Stewart, and Richard Ostfeld. “The Shifting Paradigm in Ecology.” A New Century for Natural Resources Management. Washington, D.C.: Island, 1995. Print. 713 words

MUHC to meet with snow removal company over possible contract 'violations'

A company hired to carry out snow removal for Montreal’s MUHC superhospital is accused of using salt purchased by the hospital for its other contracts.

Montreal newspaper Le Journal de Montréal says some of its reporters spent three days watching Canbec trucks. They said they witnessed the workers picking up salt at the old Royal Victoria Hospital site and using it on a variety of other sites, including a Home Depot in St-Henri.

Two of the other sites where Le Journal de Montréal says the MUHC-purchased salt was used include the LaSalle Ecocentre and the Shriners Hospital.

Both locations confirmed to CBC that their contracts with Canbec specifically stipulate that Canbec provides the salt.

“The contract states that Canbec provides salt and does the snow removal…That’s the extent of what I, as a client, know,” said Shriners Hospital spokeswoman Emmanuelle Rondeau.

Hired since 2011

The MUHC has hired Canbec for snow removal every year since 2011. This past year, the hospital bought 3,500 tons of salt for Canbec to use, at a cost of more than $320,000.

MUHC officials said they are planning to meet with Canbec as soon as possible to “address any violations that may have occurred with the snow removal contract.”

Meanwhile, City of Montreal officials said they are taking the allegations from the Journal de Montréal report very seriously.

The city hired Canbec in 2013 to carry out snow removal for its ecocentres in LaSalle, Côte-des-Neiges and Acadie. The contracts expire April 15, 2016.

“If the contractor is found guilty of fraud, the company would be excluded from bidding on any contracts with the City of Montreal for five years,” a city spokesman told CBC News in a statement.

CBC put in calls to Canbec president Rick Andreoli. They were not returned.