Know Logo helps you navigate today’s greenwashed marketplace, one logo at a time. Next up: LEED.

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The Vancouver Convention Centre is LEED-certified platinum. (Photo by Faruk Ateş via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is a comprehensive and complex certification program for green building. Developed in the 1990s by the non-profit US Green Building Council (USGBC), it now guides sustainable construction in more than 160 countries. LEED looks at every component of a building — from site selection and construction techniques to appliances and furnishings — with the goal of making buildings safe, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient.

Sustainability Begins at Home

Although LEED is often associated with prestige buildings like Vancouver’s grass-roofed convention centre or Facebook’s water-efficient headquarters in California, LEED also certifies apartment, condo, and single family home construction. Projects earn points for meeting requirements like careful construction-waste disposal and optional features like rainwater management. …


We need to know what’s happening in our community.

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Regardless of what’s happening on the global COVID front there’s really only one thing that people want to know: what’s happening near me. What is the risk if I’m shopping, or riding the bus, or sending my kids to school?

The British Columbia health authorities have this information — or at least they should have it — so why are they keeping it secret?

Our local community newspaper spent months trying to convince the Province to give them COVID statistics for North Vancouver instead of lumping us into the province-wide total. …


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Who needs Bluetooth when you’ve got paper and pen?

Whether because of COVID, or just techno-fatigue after two decades of email, Facebook, and Twitter, or because of the overwhelming sense that we’re all becoming too disconnected from each other, I decided to return to writing letters.

Paper, pen, envelope, stamps, letters. Such a simple technology, and so tangible and tactile. It felt like a nice easy way to reconnect with old friends and just slow down a little bit.

The actual writing part is nice. My penmanship has always been atrocious, even back to elementary school when report cards would note sadly that my scrawl left much to be desired. …


For several years now I’ve used nothing but Mint Linux on my computers. The journey to that point was long and winding, but included a Timex Sinclair, a Commodore 64 that did yeoman service, and a series of white box DOS, then Windows PCs, from 3.1 onwards. With WordPerfect 5.1.

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I finally felt that the hassles of dealing with Windows was more than I wanted, so on coming into some money I bought a shiny new Apple G4 Powerbook. It was, as they say, one sleek and lovely bit of equipment.

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Ultimately though, after about three years, I had to admit that the Apple was not really intuitive, nor did it “just work.” Unless you defined “intuitive” as “I’ve only ever used Apple computers, and have never tried to do things in any way other than the officially approved way that I’m told.” …


Pandemic-induced shortages inspired our family to go paperless in the bathroom, and we’re not alone.

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The newest addition to the author’s bathroom routine: a handheld bidet, connected to the toilet’s water supply. (Photo by Susan Evans)

Three weeks into the coronavirus crisis, we were down to our last roll of toilet paper. My British-born wife Susan said, “We’re not going to see paper in the stores. Let’s buy a bidet.” I guess I must have made a face, because her next comment was, “You are so Canadian. Afraid to try anything new!”

I grew up in the ’70s in Kelowna, BC. In those days the area was dominated by fruit orchards, not big box retailers, and I honestly don’t believe there was a single bidet in the entire town. Fifty years later, the sum total of my knowledge was that a bidet resembled a seatless toilet with hot and cold taps, which somehow sprayed your nether regions. …


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How I am surviving #coronavirus and #COVIDー19.

1) I ignore ANYTHING from a politician. They are not experts, are sometimes idiots, frequently lie, and seldom say anything clear and coherent.

2) I ignore any “expert”who lacks actual credentials in epidemiology or medicine, or for whom my spidey-sense says “nut-job.”

3) Nothing is changing fast enough to merit more frequent news, so I listen to ONE newscast each day, from a reputable, non-sensational outlet. For me that’s BBC News but it could be NPR or another public broadcaster. Avoid news sources with commercials.

4) I check ONE statistical site daily to see where global, national, and local numbers are at. All that I want is a general idea whether my town is about get hammered. …


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Sometime in the next year we’re planning a move from Vancouver BC to France. This story is crossposted from our blog documenting that move
Échapper de North Vancouver.

It is now the end of February and Britain is diving headlong into Brexit. It’s still anyone’s guess just what that will mean, but at a minimum we’re assuming that the transition period will end on December 31st. The question becomes whether we should go full speed ahead and establish a home in France while Susan can still take advantage of easy EU rules, or wait until next year and deal with a somewhat more complex immigration regime. …


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The District of North Vancouver (DNV) is nestled against the mountains that are the backdrop of the Lower Mainland. It is a town that faces some significant problems, including massive traffic jams, a severe lack of affordable housing, and the hopeless task of trying to figure out how to deal with the climate emergency without actually doing anything.

In the face of these challenges the DNV council has done what no other government in the region has dared to do: they have outlawed the keeping of pigeons in the District. …


Why I won’t be voting in this election.

Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau’s 2001 “brownface” photos won’t change the outcome of this election. Too many of the voting population have joined either the Liberal or Conservative camps, and “campaigning” has already turned into an endless stream of insults, dubious promises, and personal attacks. This will be one more, and is unlikely to change anyone’s voting intentions.

I may be the exception. Until last week I was resigned to marking my ballot for the Liberal candidate in our riding. Even though I’ve been appalled by Trudeau’s actions during the ongoing SNC-Lavalin controversy, and by the Liberals’ failure to deliver on some of their most important promises, I still can’t bring myself to vote for Andrew Scheer’s brand of right wing politics. …


A PR crisis led volunteers to build some of North America’s best trails.

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All photos courtesy NSMBA

On a Saturday in early March — when sunny weather drew hundreds of people to the mountains in suburban North Vancouver — I made a contribution to the trails I hike every week. I joined seven volunteers from the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) to spend a day rebuilding a forest trail on Mount Seymour. We shouldered shovels, pickaxes, and plastic buckets as we hiked to the snowline partway up Bridle Path, a popular local trail.

Our leader, Penny Deck, wore sturdy work pants and steel-toed boots. Once we’d unloaded our tools, she knelt down and knocked aside hard-packed snow to uncover a cedar ladder bridge. The bridge once kept riders out of rain and stream water flowing around the trail, but years of erosion had left it nearly buried under black mud. …

About

Barry Rueger

North Vancouver based writer. Seeking: honest politicians; justice and honour; intelligence and humour; corporate integrity. Planning to move to France.

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