Posted: June 16th, 2009 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Compost, Death, top, Zero Waste | Tags: Death, greenburial, promession | 1 Comment »
My first piece for The Walrus is up on the magazine’s site. Here’s an excerpt:
Squirrels, it turns out, compost quite nicely. Small birds? Sure. Happens in the woods every day, after all. But stuff a human body into a backyard bin, and within a day or so the neighbours will start to complain.
Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, a Swedish biologist specializing in soil production, explains: “When you die, you start smelling, because the oxygen does not reach inside the body.” More specifically, an abundance of anaerobic bacteria quickly takes hold in such a large mass of tissue, resulting in the rank gases CSI techs use to sniff out “decomp.” But after a decade spent investigating green options for dealing with dead bodies, Wiigh-Mäsak has finally figured out how to discreetly turn our earthly remains back into, well, earth.
How did she do it? Read “Decomposting Bodies” and find out.
Posted: June 9th, 2009 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Renewable Energy, top | Tags: Green Energy, Plutonic Power, Renewable Energy, Run-of-River Hydro | No Comments »
Last week, Plutonic Power–one of Western Canada’s largest green-power developers–invited me and a few other journalists to tour a 123-megawatt run-of-river project that the company is building at the top end of the Toba Valley, about 110 miles due northwest of Vancouver.
In essence, these projects capture the kinetic energy of falling water without the massive negative impacts associated with dam construction, and they’re causing quite a stir out here on Canada’s West Coast, where geography and hydrology combine to create tremendous green-power potential.
When it is completed by the middle of next year, this will be the largest green-power project of its kind in the province. I went on the trip to try and see first-hand what many run-of-river opponents say are extensive negative environmental impacts.
For my on-the-ground and in-the-air report, including video clips, check out Backstage Tour at a Run-of-River Power Plant, over at the Huffington Post.