Green Living Show 2008 — What did you miss?

Green Living Show logoGreat Show — even better than last year and last year was phenomenal. For those of you that missed it, here are a few things that tickled our fancy …

Light bulbs LED

Yes, screw in LEDS are finally here! I bought the most expensive highest output model available so far supposedly = to 120 watts. Somewhat disappointing as does not match even my dreaded CFL’s (yes the mercury laden ones we all got conned into). I was surprised here actually, as my camping headlamp is like putting a search light on my head so I was expecting a lot brighter. However, some new models with slightly larger LEDs in the array are literally blinding but not available in the higher output 360 degree screw in models yet. BUT they are on the way.

Some models ~ 90 watt equivalent are $35.00 or less. Remember, don’t throw away used CFL lightbulbs. Their mercury makes them toxic in landfills. Home Depot Canada accepts all used CFL bulbs for recycling.

For more info on LED bulbs see:

Green & Clean Energy Co. Ltd


Well folks cycling has finally gone high tech. A Canadian company called BionX makes an electric wheel that can be fitted to most bikes to give you and amazing turbo boost or simply power your bike up a hill when you are too winded. I call it the equalizer as we bought one for my wife so she can keep up with me. With the baby boomers slowing down this is the technology of the future today. You can still pedal for exercise but when our aging bodies give out the BionX wheel will kick in and do the work for you. This will keep us cycling and out of our cars for many years to come!

I am not sure if this is good news but BionX out of Quebec has just moved to Aurora because they were bought out by MAGNA (yes auto parts and Belinda). I think of this as a sign of the times Green tech is no longer fringe tech and is now becoming mainstream!)

Forewarned there are a lot of cheap Chinese electric assist models out there using Lead Acid batteries. You can tell these by the enormous batteries that weigh up to 50lbs!

Yes you need to recharge them and therefore need electricity to charge them up. If you are concerned here I suggest you simply switch a Green Power source such as Bull Frog (or others)


Also see for other makes:
Airstream Group [now Cyclepods]


Get it before they cancel it (like the Tories did to the Hybrid rebates) I never even knew this. Since Dec 7 2007 there has been no retail sales tax on bikes less than $1000, helmets, lights, bells, reflectors, mirrors and horns.

Green Washing

I should likely have removed my Green Party Button for this, but I nailed a few exhibitors for Green Washing some products that were clearly NOT. But the point is that 99.9% of the population does not know enough (nor do I expect them to even want to know) about every product on the market to know when they are being conned. However, several sites now have a list of criteria or questions we can use on any purchase to help decide what is truly green, sustainable, fair trade.


also see selection criteria at

for chemicals a good guide is at
nature clean living


GoodWork Canada is a jobsite that posts green related jobs.


All this new electric battery assisted technology (bikes, homes, cars, laptops etc. etc.) has one downside. Batteries what to do with them? Many of us drop them off at stores or other community events, but it turns out many of these still end up in landfill.

RMC actually does recycled them and they even deal with these nasty CFL light bulbs!

Inorganic Market – These folks recycle old electronics. Obviously it is not cost effective for them to come to your house or mine, BUT if there are community events they can help arrange drops offs and pick ups of all this stuff to keep it out of the landfills.

Ensol Waste Management – This is so cool. Apartment dwellers have typically been exempt from recycling green bin waste because of the smell. Ensol has a tiny unit that can be installed under the sink (or wherever) and dries the food out. This stops the rotting process that gives us that wonderful odor (sic) when we open our green bin. Once at the recycling centre it can be rehydrated and left to rot to make wonderful rich composted soil for balconies and terrace/rooftop gardens.


Dozens of wind, solar and geothermal companies there. In other words way too much to cover here.

Low hanging fruit here.

  • I will be switching to an on demand water heater. ROI should be a few years
  • Energy audit-we should all get one they can identify where your greatest costs are and where you can invest you limited funds to save. Here though there are EcoEnergy Grants and preferential bank loans for energy retrofits.

Food Selection

The 100 mile diet is an ideal to which we can all aim, but in reality it can be hard. That does not mean we cannot aim for a better diet that can be even more exiting than we now enjoy.

Eating local fruits and vegetables in season is the easiest way to do this as they are usually tastier, more nutritious and cheaper when in season. See for a seasonal listing and recipe ideas.

For seafood see Sea Choice to help you select fish to eat based on sustainability, and pollutants.

By all means set goals to buy local, organic and/or fair trade foods. If you know local products are available but not stocked ask local merchants to carry them

If you go to the grocer and they have tomatoes (as I saw recently) from Canada, US and Mexico all next to each other, all hothouse grown and all the same price, then ask them why. Even if there is a small difference I doubt a few $ on any grocery bill will hurt and as I said earlier by purchasing in season you can save money to offset this expense.

If you saw something at the Green Living Show that you would like to share, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

2 responses to “Green Living Show 2008 — What did you miss?”

  1. April Oliver writes:

    This website ( has a ton of useful information about recycling hazardous waste. Batteries and fluorescent light bulbs are huge polluters and we should all do what we can to eliminate them from the landfills. This website lists free drop off locations, as well as a lot of useful information on handling and packaging, etc.

  2. Tammara writes:

    In addition to Recycling, here are just a few local organizations that help make Reusing easy:

    • will take your old computers, refurbish and donate to charities
    • The ReStore (run by Habitat for Humanity) takes furniture, appliances, lighting, building materials, etc. (will pick up)
    • collects plastic bags and product wrap from individuals and businesses to make pillows (employs marginalized people in our community, gives partial donation from sales to forestry & freshwater conservation programs; will pick up)
    • Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association (TPOMBA) takes donations of baby-gear/clothes
    • U of T’s Trinity College needs books and magazines for fundraising (will pick-up)
    • Craigslist and Freecycle will accept (almost) anything – listings are free but so must be what your offering

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