Reality TV that’s actually meaningful… really

There’s a new BBC program in the U.K. that I hope catches on in North America — or Canada, at least. It’s called “No Waste Like Home” and each show helps a certain wasteful family reduce their energy consumption and waste production. It’s kind of like Debbie Travis’ Facelift or one of those other fix-it-up, organize it, or dress-to-sell shows on Home and Garden Television. Why not have a show dedicated to reducing waste? I think it’s a great idea, particularly as jurisdictions like Ontario move toward smart meters and differential power pricing, and municipalities like Toronto require more aggressive recycling habits in the home, not to mention possible restrictions on regular garbage pickup.

I’m a firm believer that our rather wasteful consumer culture has created a psychological condition for the 21 century. I call this condition “consumption guilt,” and I think at some level it creates an anxiety in some people who don’t want to be wasteful but have no choice because of the way society is set up to make it so easy to consume but so hard to, well… not consume. I wonder what Freud would say?

Anyway, I’ll be the first to sign a petition to get a “No Waste Like Home” show in Canada. It’s a hell of a lot better than watching Tommy Lee go to college.

Reality TV that’s actually meaningful… really

There’s a new BBC program in the U.K. that I hope catches on in North America — or Canada, at least. It’s called “No Waste Like Home” and each show helps a certain wasteful family reduce their energy consumption and waste production. It’s kind of like Debbie Travis’ Facelift or one of those other fix-it-up, organize it, or dress-to-sell shows on Home and Garden Television. Why not have a show dedicated to reducing waste? I think it’s a great idea, particularly as jurisdictions like Ontario move toward smart meters and differential power pricing, and municipalities like Toronto require more aggressive recycling habits in the home, not to mention possible restrictions on regular garbage pickup.

I’m a firm believer that our rather wasteful consumer culture has created a psychological condition for the 21 century. I call this condition “consumption guilt,” and I think at some level it creates an anxiety in some people who don’t want to be wasteful but have no choice because of the way society is set up to make it so easy to consume but so hard to, well… not consume. I wonder what Freud would say?

Anyway, I’ll be the first to sign a petition to get a “No Waste Like Home” show in Canada. It’s a hell of a lot better than watching Tommy Lee go to college.

It floats, but will solar “Loon” fly?

I’ve got a Clean Break column in today’s Toronto Star about a local “technoenvironmentalist” who has designed a solar-electric pontoon boat from scratch and hopes to sell it commercially by next spring’s boating season in Ontario. I’ve taken a ride on “The Loon” and she’s a smooth, steady ride. Not very fast, but when all you want to do is bop about on a quiet lake, you can’t beat the cheap source of power — a combination of grid and sun.

Considering oil just surged past $70 a barrel — translating to more than $1.25 per litre of gas at marina pumps — and considering many lakes in Ontario and other jurisdictions now forbid gas-powered boats, the Loon may appeal to many.

It floats, but will solar “Loon” fly?

I’ve got a Clean Break column in today’s Toronto Star about a local “technoenvironmentalist” who has designed a solar-electric pontoon boat from scratch and hopes to sell it commercially by next spring’s boating season in Ontario. I’ve taken a ride on “The Loon” and she’s a smooth, steady ride. Not very fast, but when all you want to do is bop about on a quiet lake, you can’t beat the cheap source of power — a combination of grid and sun.

Considering oil just surged past $70 a barrel — translating to more than $1.25 per litre of gas at marina pumps — and considering many lakes in Ontario and other jurisdictions now forbid gas-powered boats, the Loon may appeal to many.