Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

This Site has Moved to SonOfFiveRivers.com

Click Here to Vist NEW Site: www.SonOfFiveRivers.com

I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out: www.SONofFIVErivers.com

Cheers

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January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Sheltering the Urban Homeless

Here’s an Idea, an inflatable igloo-looking shelter, the ParaSITE is meant to attach to the exhaust points of urban buildings’ heating and cooling systems – in a sense, making a parasitic relationship to the air needed to inflate the shelter.

Though the creation of permanent housing must always be of first priority Parasite propose a possible temporary solution. The paraSITE units in their idle state exist as small, collapsible packages with handles for transport by hand or on one’s back. In employing this device, the user must locate the outtake ducts of a building’s HVAC system. The intake tube of the collapsed structure is then attached to the vent. The warm air leaving the building then inflates and heats the double membrane structure.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Creativity, Earth, Family, Government, Great Ideas, Not for Profit, Packaging, Products, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development | , , | Leave a comment

Chulha (Traditional Stove in India)

Research cited by the World Health Organization indicates that nearly half the world continues today to cook with solid fuels including dung, wood, agricultural residues and coal. Such “bio-mass” fuels are blamed for diseases that result in deaths numbered in more than one million per year.

The Chulha is a stove designed to limit the dangerous health conditions caused by traditions of indoor cooking in many rural areas of the developing world.

BIO-MASS BREAKTHROUGH

The way the design teams behind the Chulha stove design like to put it, they’re “helping 400 million people give up smoking.”

What at INDEX: is called Design to Improve Life is termed, at Philips Design, “Philanthropy by Design.” And Philips’ teams in India and the Netherlands have worked together to create this smokeless response to a vast health problem.

Initially intended for rural and semi-urban parts of India, the design is intended to take the dangers of indoor cooking with bio-mass fuels out of an equation that health officials say affects the health of millions of people each year.

Bio-mass fuels include wood, dung and other substances which, when burned give off an array of particles dangerous to human respiratory systems. Adequately ventilated in an outdoor setting, there usually is no problem with such cooking. But by one estimate, as many as half the people of the world may still be cooking indoors with bio-mass fuels. And trapped inside, the smoke involved can become a lethal mix of indoor pollutants.

As the Philips design teams have noted, once they began to study the problem, the range of application was a huge issue. “The stove would have to accept different bio-mass fuels,” the teams wrote, “be widely available in different seasons and locations, adapt to people’s needs when cooking chapatti (bread), steaming rice, boiling water, and be able to accept different non-standard cooking vessels.”

The improved stove directs the smoke out of the house through a chimney. Philips went on to make its intellectual property on the design available free of charge – even working to develop molds that would allow NGOs (non-governmental organizations as identified by the UN) to make the stoves for people who need them the most.

One of the NGOs Philips has identified as a partner in the development of the Chulha is the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute of India.

Chulha

Chulha1

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Creativity, Education, Family, Government, Great Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Not for Profit, Packaging, Philanthropy, Products, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development | , , , | Leave a comment

Lights without Light Pollution

I consider my self an amateur astronomer,  so I was pleseantly surprised when I read this in a newsletter from my local electricty supplier, BC Hydro.  (and Yes I’m susbscribed to the online newsletters of my Gas & Electricty suppliers, doesn’t it just make sense?)  Enjoy the article & some pictures I found:

Light Polution

Light Polution STreet Lights

Astronomers big on Power Smart’s battle against light pollution

Rob Klovance
bchydro.com

Detail of a photo of the Pelican Nebula taken by John McDonald through a telescope at Astronomy Hill near Victoria in 2007. (W.J. McDonald photo)

It took a trip to Saltspring Island for amateur astronomer John McDonald’s grandkids from Vancouver to see the milky way for the first time. But for McDonald, it’s the story of a group of visiting Tokyo schoolkids that hammers home the allure of the elusive dark sky.

“These kids were staying at a fairly dark place up island,” says McDonald, a retiree who lives in Victoria. “Someone took them out at night to show them the milky way… and they couldn’t’ get them to go back in.

“These kids had never seen a star except the sun.”

McDonald and other B.C. star-gazers couldn’t be happier to hear that BC Hydro Power Smart has launched a campaign to fight light pollution that includes rebates on flat lens streetlight products. To them, the need is significant and the timing is perfect – the United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy, an initiative that coincides with the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of the telescope.

It’s not just about dark skies

And if you’re thinking that an astronomer’s battle against light pollution is just a tad self-serving, think again. Before we start talking about the stars, McDonald has already dealt with a laundry list of light pollution costs – wasted energy, wasted money, dangerous glare for drivers and detrimental effects on wildlife, including birds and fish.

“I think most of us are very keenly aware of the fact we’re using up energy, and that there’s a cost to it,” says McDonald, fresh off a trip to Costa Rica in which he shot a mind-blowing time-lapse video of the sky throughout the night. “And the amount of energy that is wasted in lighting up the bottoms of clouds and sending light off into space to do nothing is a considerable expense. It’s billions of dollars in North America.”

Our ‘addiction’  to light

Most of us think that the brighter the outdoor lighting, the better. McDonald thinks that attitude is a byproduct of growing up in an age here in B.C. where “hydro power has been basically a free service”. He speaks of us being addicted to light while largely ignoring the costs of that addiction.

In 1996, at the request of the US Congress, the National Institute of Justice conducted a landmark assessment of crime and violence in the United States. The study found little research to support the idea of “brighter-is-safer”, and even suggested that in some circumstances poorly designed illumination might actually increase personal vulnerability.

“There’s nothing worse than having somebody with motion security lighting,” says another astronomer, Paul Greenhalgh of Abbotsford. “To me it’s not security at all, it’s illumination. The day that a streetlight walks into court and testifies that this guy did what he did – that he stole that car – is the day I’ll eat my telescope.”

A billion bucks in wasted energy

Inefficient and excessive night lighting causes significant loss of energy globally. In North America, the energy wasted in illuminating the sky is estimated at a billion dollars. Good, clean outdoor lighting improves visibility, safety, and a sense of security, while minimizing energy use, operating costs, and ugly, dazzling glare.

There are three types of light pollution:

  • Light trespass, which occurs when light crosses property lines. Poor outdoor lighting shines onto neighbours’ properties and into bedroom windows, reducing privacy, hindering sleep, and giving the area an unattractive look.
  • Glare, which comes from an overly bright source of light compared to background lighting levels. Glare  is light that beams directly from a lamp into your eye. It serves no purpose and hampers the vision of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. If you can see the bright lamp from a distance, it’s a bad light. With a good light, you see lit ground instead of the dazzling lamp.
  • Sky glow, which spills upward from urbanized areas and blocks the view of the stars

If we were to think of lamps as taps and leaking light rays as drops of water, we would never tolerate it. But, we seldom think about the impact of light pollution.

Reducing light pollution has a variety of benefits, including energy savings and helping eliminate light exposure that disrupts sleep cycles, causes fatigue and strains the immune system.

What we can do to helpIllustration shows full cutoff streetlamp

Greenhalgh’s Fraser Valley Astronomers Society has successfully lobbied the City of Abbotsford to apply a new policy to streetlighting. All new streetlamps in the city will be fitted with full cutoff lighting, which all but eliminates light not central to the task of lighting the street. And all existing lamps will be retrofitted with full cutoffs as part of their ongoing maintainence cycle.

Power Smart is out to remind people that we all have the power to help reduce light pollution and save energy and money, both with the lighting choices we make at home and the choices we make at our businesses.

Here’s a short list of things we can do:

  • Assess your requirements. Ask yourself if the lighting is really needed. If so, determine what area has to be lit, how much illumination is needed, and when is the lighting required.
  • Adopt “part-night lighting” by turning off non-essential lights after midnight. You save energy and money.
  • Install timers or motion sensors to turn your security lighting on only when needed. You save energy and money.
  • Adjust your security and outdoor lights so that they do not trespass into your neighbours’ house. Casting light onto adjacent areas is a waste of energy
  • Direct light where it is needed. Use lights that shield the lamp and direct the light down rather than out and away.
  • Avoid glare. A luminaire that emits a concentrated beam of light offers better visibility than one that shines light in all directions. In certain cases, glare can compromise safety.
  • Choose the most efficient lamps. Certain types of lamps consume less energy than others with the same light output. Choose lamps with a high lamp efficacy such as CFLs.
  • Choose the right luminaire. Light directed towards the sky does not improve night vision.
  • Choose luminaires that have a flat lens and a shield that completely shades the upper surface of the lamp or are classified as cut off and full cutoff by IESNA (Illumination Engineering Society of North America). The lamps sit back further in these luminaires causing the light to be cast down rather than out to the side. Therefore light cannot escape above 90 degrees horizontal plane. You can even install the lights under balconies and eaves.

How BC Hydro is fighting light pollution

BC Hydro is doing its part to reduce light pollution and help its customers save energy and money. Some of BC Hydro’s initiatives that help customers reduce light pollution and save energy include:

  • In-store instant discounts on ENERGY STAR light fixtures and ENERGY STAR Specialty CFL lamps. These lamps use up to 75% less energy than regular incandescent lamps.
    Mail in rebates for the purchase of ENERGY STAR CFL lamps.
  • Funding for studies to determine how municipalities can use adaptive street lighting to reduce street lighting levels without impacting safety. This will help municipalities dim their street lights by up to 50% during low traffic periods.
  • Incentives for business customers to install lighting controls such as timers and occupancy sensors to turn of lights when lighting is not required.
  • Incentives for municipalities and businesses to install ornamental streetlights with high efficiency lamps with flat lenses. The fully-shielded flat-lens lamps do an equally good job of illuminating the road by directing the light to where it is needed without sending light up into the sky or out into your eyes. The ground and roadway will be well illuminated. And, because no light is wasted, a lower wattage lamp can be used to illuminate the desired area.
  • Technical and financial assistance to customers who plan to reduce their lighting energy consumption by re-designing their lighting and de-lamping to reduce over illumination.
  • Lighting design tools and financial incentives for developers and builders of new buildings.
  • Funding for energy managers who target energy efficiency measures at customers’ facilities.
  • Training and development opportunities on energy conservation for businesses and their employees.

Source: BC Hydro

Other Cool Links:

Our Vanishing Night (National Geographic article)

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Vancouver)

International Astronomy Day, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver

The Sky Tonight (Diagram of constellations in current evening sky, Vancouver)

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Art, Business, Business Development, Clean Energy, Community Economic Development (CED), Construction, Creativity, Earth, Education, Family, Geothermal, Government, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Inspiration, LEED, Life, Philanthropy, Products, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If the World were a Village of 100

Logo Miniature EarthThe idea of reducing the world’s population to a community of only 100 people is very useful and important. It makes us easily understand the differences in the world.
There are many types of reports that use the Earth’s population reduced to 100 people, especially in the Internet. Ideas like this should be more often shared, especially nowadays when the world seems to be in need of dialogue and understanding among different cultures, in a way that it has never been before.

The text that originated this webmovie was published on May 29, 1990 with the title “State of the Village Report”, and it was written by Donella Meadows, who passed away in February 2000. Nowadays Sustainability Institute, through Donella’s Foundation, carries on her ideas and projects.

IF THE WORLD WERE A VILLAGE OF 100 PEOPLE

In the world today, more than 6 billion people live.
If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?

59 would be Asian
14 would be American (North, Central and South)
14 would be African
12 would be European
1 would be from the South Pacific

50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults.
70 would be nonwhite, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual

33 would be Christians
21 would be Moslems
15 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhists
5 would be Animists
6 would believe in other religions
14 would be without any religion or atheist.

15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin
7 English
6 Hindi
6 Spanish
5 Russian
4 Arabic
3 Bengali
3 Portuguese
The other would speak Indonesian, Japanese,
German, French, or some other language.

In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are. Of the 100 people in this village:

20 are underonurished
1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.
Of the energy of this village, 20 people consume 80%, and 80 people share the remaining 20%.
20 have no clean, safe water to drink.
56 have access to sanitation
15 adults are illiterate.
1 has an university degree.
7 have computers.

In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year’s end the number of villagers will be 101.

If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.

If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.

If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.

If you can read this message, that means you are probably lucky!

(The statistics were derived from Donella Meadows “State of the Village Report” first published in 1990)

The Original Report

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Agriculture, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Earth, Economics, Education, Family, Inspiration, Life, Not for Profit, Open Source, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Videos, Waste, Water | , , | Leave a comment

So what is the Secret?

Here’s the snapshot:

Its in part the Law of Attraction, what you think about is what you bring about.  Your life is a manifestation of the thoughts in your head.

Previous Quote: I think; therfore I am

We have to rethink the way we perceive not only things but ourselves! We have to develop a deeper and more basic understanding of our minds.

The only sticky thing is that you have to do is understand (“Believe”) that affirmative  actions and thoughts are stronger then our negative thoughts.

Think of it in this context: Your the Artist and the Master Piece.

Your mind is creating the thoughts through your feelings, emotions and vibes your giving off… Try to monitor these thoughts in a more positive direction.  The reality is you can’t monitor 100% of all your thoughts because so many are instinctive and embedded into us.  But we can influence the aura around us and perhaps retrain our instinctive habits, because they are just that; Habits!

Okay…. I never thought I would have Oprah on my blog! But I’m putting this interview on to give credibility to the Secret.   (Here’s a Larry King Interview with Oprah Winfrey on the Secret)

Will Smith on the Laws of Attractions

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Art, Education, Family, Inspiration, Life, Quotes | , , , | 2 Comments

Culture of Business

If people don’t like you, you won’t be successful in business!

Even if you are a person with the almighty go getter attitude and have an abundance of intelligence, if your not liked you wont’ be successful.  Your putting up walls and not providing the nourishment your soul will need at some point.

Be someone who be haves proper, who’s non judgmental, respectful, objective and not critical.

You don’t have to be an Einstein or a Genius to be Successful

We’ve all met people and said, how in the world has he made that much money, or how is he better off the men.   The reality is being Nice and having Perseverance can take you to the top.

Almost No Successful Business People are Happy!

If your a person who considers having lots of money as being successful.  The types of  successful people are DRIVEN until they die.  Very focused on making making money.  Very few have  real friends, but they can have more money then most people can contemplate.

When you succeed, everyone is your friend.

How many of those people will be your “friends” after you sell your business and are sitting at home on your deck sipping on lemonade? (I gave a best case example)

Take more Risk in your Personal Life

Make sure you focus on your personal life… work life balance is so important for executives, manager and business owners.  Make money isn’t so important!  Think about it 99.9% of the things that have lived on this earth are no longer here today! Remember that!

Make a small and simple commitment to your family.  Start with spending 5-10 minutes with each member every day, asking how there day went, or ensuring your always home for dinner with your family.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Family, Inspiration, Life | , , , | Leave a comment