Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reflecting on the Eco-Fashion Industry

If I were a fashion designer, and I was environmentally conscious, the question that would cross my mind is that if open up my own fashion business, should I make it sustainable? There would be a lot of pros and cons for me to open up my own business that would be sustainable.

First off, the cons would be that it would cost more money to be sustainable. Even though I promote environmental companies and issues on the blog, I still do have to give the facts. The second problem, which is tied to the first, is the overhead will cost more to have pay workers, and also my brand will be expensive as well. The third is finding the niche, which even in the eco-fashion industry, is incredibly difficult to do.

The pros are that my product will be less harmful to the environment, and I feel good about growing my business out of Vancouver. I will also be able to do good for the BC economy because most of  my products will be from BC , it will be good for the environment, and I could make a solid buck out of it as well. Finally, I would not have let go of my passion, and my empathy for the environment to make a profit.

Here is what some local eco-fashion companies said about regular fashion business vs. an eco fashion business, and why they made their business eco-fashion.

Melissa from Adhesif Clothing said that “Sustainability is the way of the future and the creative process is much less mundane”, and also that “I run my business with moralistic value and I practice sustainable solutions to the production process.”

Dandelion Kids  said that, “Sustainability is all around us, and we need to appreciate the environment a lot more than we currently do”, and also “I personally like to support local businesses, in order to give everyone a better life here in BC.”

Written By: Inderpal Brar

Monday, September 29, 2014

Interview with Adhesif Clothing- Melissa

We also recently spoke with Melissa from Adhesif Clothing. This is our interview with her.

Tell us about your company?
Adhesif Clothing is a Vancouver, BC clothing company that produces handmade memorable one-of-a-kind garments. Each up-cycled piece is made with up to 95% vintage & reclaimed materials & 100% heart, a truly well thought out process made by designer Melissa Ferreira. Every article of clothing has it's very own distinctive personality with a visual array of eclectic prints & color compositions. The result brings a striking presentation of polished yet playful pieces that are also Eco friendly.

How did you get started?
My mother worked in garment production factories in Montreal throughout my childhood. I grew up with her sewing at the kitchen table after work and doing alterations for extra money. Naturally I learned how to sew from her. I taught myself how to design from taking apart vintage garments and seeing how they were put together, after spending many years as a vintage clothing buyer out of high school . I love everything vintage and it remains to this day my main source of inspiration. Vintage clothing, music, buildings, cars, appliances...they have all withstood the test of time because things were built to last and because they’ve lasted the pieces leave behind a legacy with abundant stories to tell. I have been in and out of retail/fashion related jobs my whole life. I started Adhesif Clothing in 2003, opened my own boutique in 2010 and never looked back. Upward and onward...

What was your vision and drive to start this company?
Being from a Portuguese heritage has given me a huge appreciation for European traditions like homemade/handmade goods and the story that goes along with the process. I have always admired quality over quantity for this reason. I feel that the objects we surround ourselves with in life should be cherished for not just function but sentimentality also. With this same mentality, I strive to create pieces that tell stories and have a heartbeat and are made to withstand years of wear. I was raised to never waste what was given to me as a child for a lot of others in this world have much less. This has made me a resourceful person able to promote a waste not want not mentality with everything I do. In my opinion much of what transpires in the Western World is quite wasteful. I hope the underlying message behind my up cycled clothing line & zero waste process can inspire others to feel like there are alternatives for a healthier world.

Why did you get into eco-fashion vs regular fashion?
Sustainability is the way of the future and the creative process is much less mundane.

How is an eco-fashion business run vs regular fashion business?
I run my business with moralistic value and I practice sustainable solutions to the production process being that all of my reclaimed materials are sourced locally & most everything I create is handmade.
Because I am a small independent run business I have the ability to have a thought process in my decisions and over thought process. It really makes sense to support your local artisan/local business.
From what I can see with big box chains the only thought process is making billions off of the less fortunate and exploiting them with little pay and poor conditions so that people in the Western World can have the latest & greatest fashion trends. The worst part about creating poorly made items is that there is no longevity in the garments which makes them destined for the landfill almost as quickly as they were made.

What tips would you give to a fashion designer or someone who is
interested in a similar industry

You know what? I get asked this all the time and I've gone off on long rants in the past. As someone who's self taught the best advice I can give is this. There are no right or wrong answers. Be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices, and mostly you'll need to work your little behind off...constantly so you better be passionate about what you're doing! Get your work/yourself out there and create your own
opportunities. The rest will fall into place in time.

Do you advise individuals who are aspiring to go into this industry to
go to fashion school/get a degree in a related subject?

Not everyone is suited for being self taught. Some people need guidance. Knowledge is power so I guess it doesn't hurt. Above all schooling I definitely recommend anyone look to open their own business to take a small business course.

What direction do you think this industry is going in?
Over the last 10 years I've seen some major progression from businesses both fashion related and non which have been introducing “green” option which is a good sign. Everyone seems to jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak. I think it's even more important than ever for consumers to do their homework and find out the back end of businesses of who is really walking the walk and talking the talk. Supporting local in my mind is a win win usually for reasons already mentioned.

Are there any internships/positions available for college students?
 Not currently

Any other comments?
Please review my blog for previous posts on related topics http://adhesifclothing.blogspot.ca/

Special thanks to Melissa for taking part in this interview. Check out her blog as well! Also, here is a link to her website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Interview with Dandelion Kids- Eco-Fashion

Dandelion Kids is a company that specializes in eco-fashion for children. This is our interview with them

Tell us about your company?- 
Dandelion kids has been around for about 10 years. I have had the store for 5 years. We tend to focus on the little things, such as organic toys and clothing for kids. Our goal is to provide affordable organic and fair-trade clothing for kids

How did you get started?
This company started within conversation. Getting a store that sells decent stuff. There were lots of kids stores, with lower price items, but their quality was not great or environmentally-friendly.

What was your vision and drive to start this company?
No true goal in mind. To help with the environment as well as go with the flow!

Why did you get into eco-fashion vs regular fashion?
I think the environment is definitely important. Sustainability is all around us, and we need to appreciate the environment a lot more than we currently do.

How is an eco-fashion business run vs regular fashion business?-
The biggest problem is the price. Organic products are more expensive, but better quality. We get products that are locally and organic made. Producer to customer should be the way that business is conducted. I personally like to support local businesses, in order to give everyone a better life here in BC.

What tips would you give to a fashion designer or someone who is interested in a similar industry-
Get together with other designers and network! Make cheap, affordable clothing that is good for the environment!

Do you advise individuals who are aspiring to go into this industry to go to fashion school/get a degree in a related subject?-
It is necessary to go to school. You need to build the foundation first. After, then you can do it your own way.

What direction do you think this industry is going in?
It will be a big market down the road. After the country realizes the importance of the environment, it will have a big boost.

Are there any internships/positions available for college students?
Currently, we have no openings for internships or paid positions. We mainly like to hire people who knows how to deal with kids. 

Special thanks to Dandelion Kids for the Interview!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

How Eco-Fashion is on the Rise

Up until this point, we have discussed what Eco-Fashion is, the opportunities in British Columbia, and the differences between Eco-Fashion and regular fashion. Today, we’re going to discuss why Eco-Fashion is on the rise. As people become more aware of sustainable practices and issues involving the environment, the curtain towards how many companies operate has been revealed more and more. As shown in previous articles, the fashion industry has not been innocent in terms of damaging the environment. Eco-Fashion has allowed for more environmentally-conscious clothing, as well as clothing that is sustainable and potentially more durable in the long-run.

Innovation has been another by-product of a rising Eco-Fashion industry. As we speak, many new materials are being used to make clothing, in order to prevent damage to the environment. “CRAiLAR is an eco-friendly alternative to cotton that is just as soft and durable, but created using flax, which needs far fewer pesticides to grow” [1]. CRAiLAR has become more prominent as eco-fashion has grown and has become a more environmentally-friendly source. Another type of fabric is Milk Fabric. This type of fabric “...is breathable and is soft and smooth on the skin. The fibre is created by drying fermented milk, which is then combined with natural ingredients to make yarn.” [2]. There are many other fabrics that are being used which make this industry become more and more innovative, as Eco-Fashion continues to grow. This shows that industry trends are pointed upwards, and the opportunities for eco-fashion in the multi-billion dollar fashion industry are definitely prominent.

After reading these articles, I hope you have a greater understanding and appreciation of Eco-Fashion, and maybe to look into reading the labels on your clothes to see the potential harmful effects that can come from your own clothing. Eco-Fashion is on the rise, and it’s a great industry to jump into, especially while it's still a relatively new concept. If you are interested in entering the industry, there are many resources available to you as well, especially here in British Columbia.

Written by: Shaun Kular

[1] http://www.shopecofashion.ca/blogs/news/8487029-innovative-eco-fabrics-that-are-on-the-rise
[2] ibid.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How the Fashion Industry can damage the Environment

The fashion industry is one of the most harmful industries against the environment. I personally did not know, prior to my research, the things that I wear such as my shoes, my shirts and my jeans can have such a major effect on the Environment. The fashion industry has damaged the environment in many ways. As I type this blog and I look at my dad’s new dress shirt, I wonder the effects it has caused on the environment. I am assuming the cotton that my dad’s shirt has pesticides that will “substantially cause water pollution and land pollution.”[1] The colour of my dad’s shirt is a bright green, which could be because they used, “chemicals from toxic dyes”. Also , I want to mention the human effect from my dad’s shirt that has potentially been made by underpaid workers in toxic environments. When my dad paid for the shirt, he just helped that factory still get away with de-regulating the workplace, and underpaying the workers. Also, who knows the harm that my dad’s clothes have had on animals and species in those environments. One piece of clothing can have a major effect on the environment, and we need to be aware of that to help prevent the damage that occurs from it.

Written by: Inderpal Brar

[1] http://www.treehugger.com/style/green-fashion-7-reasons-why-you-should-care-about-sustainable-fashion.html

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Interview with Prof. Stephen Collis- Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Thank you to the BROKE group for inviting us to the Rally against the Kinder Morgan Expansion on September 13th, 2014. This event was a great launching pad for residents, activists, and political leaders who all opposed the Kinder Morgan pipeline. During the event, we were pleased to have interviewed MP Kennedy Stewart of Burnaby-Douglas, Mayor of Burnaby Derek Corrigan and Professor Stephen Collis. We are really excited to meet these three people. Here are the interviews.

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University

1) Why are you here today?
Stephen Collis: I’m the organizer and MC of this event. I am actively concerned about the future, and know about the reality of climate change. The pipeline is a massive issue, and I want to bring awareness to as many people as I possibly can.

2) What few words would you give to Burnaby residents regarding the pipeline?
Stephen Collis: It’s a local threat. All pipelines spill at one point or another. This will impact our community on a massive scale. We need to all be concerned about the future. In the next 50-60 years, a lot can change, especially in a negative manner. It’s time that we think about the children, instead of leaving the problems for them, because negative and irreversible changes will happen

3) What do you think of Renewable Energy?
Stephen Collis: Renewable energy is definitely feasible. We have no other option but to focus on it right now

Special thanks to Stephen Collis for taking part in this interview, and we hope to continue to collaborate with BROKE and members of the Burnaby Community for the foreseeable future!

Interview with Mayor Derek Corrigan- Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Thank you to the BROKE group for inviting us to the Rally against Kinder Morgan event on September 13th, 2014. This event was a great launching pad for residents, activists, and political leaders who all opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. During the event, we were pleased to have interviewed MP Kennedy Stewart of Burnaby-Douglas , Mayor of Burnaby Derek Corrigan and Professor Stephen Collis. We are really excited to meet these three people. Here are the interviews.

Derek Corrigan is the Mayor of Burnaby!

1) Why are you here today?
Derek Corrigan:
I’m here to support the BROKE anti-pipeline rally. Want to be sure that we all support them and explain our position. Also, we want to show the obstacles that are faced by politicians because of this ongoing dilemma

2) What few words would you give to Burnaby residents regarding the pipeline?
Derek Corrigan:
This simply isn’t just an issue as a pipeline. There are problems with the holding capacity of tank farms. If a fire occurs, it will spread to all of Burnaby Mountain, and nothing can stop it. We would have to let it burn out. Also, tankers in inlet could cause extreme devastation, and it will be only a matter of time before it happens.

3) What do you think of Renewable Energy?
Derek Corrigan:
It seems intentional, or even a conspiracy by companies to prevent renewable energy. There are lots of options. Not getting interest by the major companies. Renewable energy is viable now, but nobody will care until the oil runs out. We need to be concerned now!

Thanks to Mayor Corrigan for taking part in this interview!

Interview with MP Kennedy Stewart- Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Thank you to the BROKE group for inviting us to the Rally against Kinder Morgan event on September 13th, 2014. This event was a great launching pad for residents, activists, and political leaders who all opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. During the event, we were pleased to have interviewed MP Kennedy Stewart of Burnaby-Douglas , Mayor of Burnaby Derek Corrigan and Professor Stephen Collis. We are really excited to meet these three people. Here are the interviews.

Kennedy Stewart is the MP of Burnaby-Douglas

1) Why are you here today?

Kennedy Stewart: 

I’m sure to support my community! This is the number one issue that is going on in the community, and as an elected representative of this area, I need to support the best interests of this community, which isn’t the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

2) What few words would you give to Burnaby residents regarding the pipeline?

Kennedy Stewart:

I don’t think that the company has the best interests for Burnaby residents, and doesn't even put them into consideration, especially regarding this pipeline

3) What do you think of Renewable Energy?

Kennedy Stewart:
It is really the only way to go in the future. China has started to go into that direction, even though that may be surprising to many. They have begun investing more in renewable forms of energy. Renewables are the only way that we'll move forward. I ran for Jack Layton because he had a great vision of a more sustainable future.We should be having a debate on technology instead of pipelines, that is what’s disappointing.

Thanks to Kennedy Stewart for taking part in this interview!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What young fashion designers can learn from Eco-Fashion

There are many aspiring fashion designers in British Columbia who are learning the tricks of the trade within the industry. Many of them work as young designers, already starting companies on the fly. Others, work with designers at big fashion companies, while others are in schools such as the Kwantlen School of Design, to learn more about fashion. This industry is huge, and many people of different backgrounds try to break through within the industry. A big, yet under-reported section of this industry is Eco-Fashion.

We told you in earlier articles what Eco-Fashion was, and a brief overview of Eco-Fashion in British Columbia. Now, we want to show you what young fashion designers can potentially learn from eco-fashion. The first thing that they could learn is what makes Eco-Fashion, Eco-Fashion. This can be found here. The next step is to look at the economics of eco-fashion. People tend to stave away from eco-fashion because it is difficult to get into, the clothing is more expensive, and it may not seem as though it would be a lucrative industry. Industry trends tend to show otherwise though, since there are more and more Eco-Fashion clothing companies opening up in Vancouver, especially over the past ten years. There is a growing market in British Columbia, especially as attitudes towards organic products and sustainability continue to become more favourable. 

With organic clothing usually being longer lasting, more unique and strong against the market, there are major opportunities for young fashion designers to break through into the industry. Eco-fashion is the way of the future, and if young fashion designers are looking to make their mark in this ultra-competitive industry, then Eco-Fashion is the right way to go about it!

Written by: Shaun Kular

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eco-Fashion in British Columbia

Eco-fashion is a growing industry that wants to make profit, but also be able to lower the cost on the Environment. BC is in that growing industry, and there are a lot of ways a student or a customer can look great, help the environment, and be able to help local BC companies. Recently, in our blog, we had an interview with local BC company Twigg and Hottie. They talked about how they are a, “clothing and apparel company that primarily deals with professional women’s clothing while still maintaining a sustainable footprint”, and the passion they had for the environment was, to “focus on the environment [and] integrate several aspects and values within [their lives] into this field”. Next week, we will talk to many other Eco- Fashion companies, and also talk to Eco-Fashion week, which is a non-profit that host fashion events.

As for Students, one of the things Twigg and Hottie talked about for students was to “try to pursue the highest level of education that you possibly can”. Luckily for students, there are many schools that have fashion programs. There is Vancouver Community College, Kwantlen University, Blanche Macdonald Centre, The Art Institute of Vancouver, and Lasalle College Vancouver. If you want more information about these schools please contact the school, or Fame’D Fashion Magazine.

Written by: Inderpal Brar


Thursday, September 11, 2014

How is Eco-Fashion good for the environment?

The Eco-Fashion industry consists of environmentally-conscious clothing and other articles. But how is that actually done? How can clothes be dangerous to the environment? And how can this be alleviated? These topics will be discussed throughout this month, but I will first start off with a general base, which is “How is eco-clothing better for the environment?”.

Eco-Clothing generally consists of organic materials that are “non-toxic, and less polluting in their production, use and disposal”[1]. They use no synthetic or fake materials, and are 100% organic.

Eco-Clothing can also surprisingly be made from recycled plastics as well as recycled fibres[2], which obviously helps lower landfills and allow this glorious concept known as recycling to occur, even within an industry that it seems as though it would be impossible to do.

Also, there usually aren’t chemical dyes and synthetic pesticides[3] in these garments, which is obvious plus for the individual wearing the clothes. These dyes can lead to issues such as cancer[4], and organic materials tend to stay away from such issues. Organic clothing is comfortable, there are many designers who are jumping into it and it is becoming more mainstream as we become a more eco-friendly world[5].

Eco-clothing is also a lot better for animals as well. It’s important to have “cruelty-free clothes”[6], especially since there are better means to get high-quality clothing. Organic clothing is also more durable[7], and it lasts much longer. You definitely get a better bang for your buck when you invest in more sustainable forms of clothing!

In future articles, we will go into the types of fibres that can be considered organic, and the way that these clothes gain colour and texture, without the use of synthetic dyes and other materials. In the meantime, this is a quick overview for how eco-clothing is beneficial to the environment, and to you!

Written by: Shaun Kular


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Eco-Fashion Industry

What some people do not understand is climate change, deforestation, and pollution is not just caused at a macro level by big oil companies, and the government, but damages to the environment are also caused from other macro-industries as well. One of these industries is fashion. This industry makes billions of dollars selling clothes to women, men, and children, but they also destroy millions of trees and damage the environment in several different ways. However, there is always a solution to the problem, and green entrepreneurs are the catalyst to show people, fashion designers, and the fashion industry that this can still be a billion dollar industry, while remaining socially and environmentally conscious. This new wave in the fashion industry is called eco-fashion. This month we will talk about a variety of topics that will relate to the eco-fashion industry. We will also promote and interview local eco-fashion companies and entrepreneurs to hear their take on this industry. Finally, we will tell you some untold stories of the fashion industry that may surprise you. Stay tuned!

Written by: Inderpal Brar

Monday, September 8, 2014

Interview with Burnaby Pipeline Watch (Part Two)- Alan and Karl.

Part one of this interview can be found here.

5) What are the economic risks of oil spill?-
A variety of risks go with varying of degrees of oil spill. In 2007, there was an oil spill in Burnaby that released 220,000 litres of oil, which is considered a small spill in comparison to most general oil spills. The companies had to spend $20.5 million in mediation and still today, it has not been effectively cleaned. There is still heavy oil in the water. No compensation for the hassle and there are still long term economic costs. Even a small spill can be incredibly costly. Property values go along with health impacts. Word gets around that people are getting cancer and other health issues. Burnaby life expectancy is dropping because of the oil spills. In terms of the costs, taxpayers pay for it. Insurance package doesn’t cover major spills. Even with a minor spill, the city and emergency services have to respond immediately, which is a waste of time, resources and taxpayer money.

6) What are some facts about kinder morgan or the pipeline, that if the regular, everyday person were to come across them, would make them definitely consider opposing the pipeline?- Property values will go down, and there will be a major loss of revenue. Taxes would increase because of the pipeline,as well as the issues that will come from the pipeline. On a ridge, you have intensified shaking. Burnaby mountain is on a ridge, and the pipeline is going right through there. Google Tank Farms and see how many explosions there’s been. 5.4 million barrels will be in tanks, in an incredibly seismically active area in BC. The pipeline is going to go right through the mountain, with a school there as well as many apartments. Building a pipeline through Burnaby is one of the worst ideas in the history of British Columbia. Economically, environmentally, health-wise and safety-wise, it does not make any sense whatsoever.

7) What are the incidents that Kinder Morgan has cost British Columbia?- 
Over 72 incidents since 1950’s. In terms of the last 6-7 years, there have been many incidents as well. The 2007 oil spill is discussed in the previous question. There was a tank farm spill in 2009. Another rupture in 2011 and 2012 in Sumas. There have been tons of incidents. Recently, there has been issues in the Coquihalla as well. The problem is that when they built the pipeline in the Coquihalla, they realized that they are going from a plateau to a steep drop towards the lower mainland. In this case, they should have made an extra strength pipeline,. They did not do that. David Ellis said there should be some leakage, and low and behold, they found some. Nobody was reporting it though. Putting pipelines at weak points is a disaster in the making, and the proof of that has been shown through the many disasters that have occurred in this province alone.

Special thanks to Karl and Alan for taking part in this interview! A link to the Burnaby Pipeline Watch website can be found here. Here is a link to their Facebook page as well. 

Interview with Burnaby Pipeline Watch (Part One)- Alan and Karl

This past month, we have been discussing the Kinder Morgan pipeline, as well as alternative forms of energy. We recently spoke with Karl and Alan, who both work with Burnaby Pipeline Watch about the current issues of Kinder Morgan as well as potential alternatives to the pipeline. Here is the first of our two-part interview.

1) What is your proposed alternative to the Kinder Morgan pipeline?- 
Wind and/or solar power. Use natural products as much as possible. Focus on renewable energy and localizing production. Instead of oil and gas coming from abroad, make it localized (plastic products), which can be done maybe through 3D products and design. We previously had a manufacturing based economy, but the Mulroney and Reagan governments of the 80’s changed that. Those governments were major influences on the creation of the free market and globalization. This has created huge disparities in wealth in Canada. We need to use the free market to our advantage instead of a disadvantage. The alternative needs to be sustainable and for the benefit of the environment here in British Columbia. The problem is that companies are paying political groups to say there is no climate change, which puts us in a real mess of a situation. It shows how governments are not working in our interest. All of these issues have created a consumer culture instead of a sustainable culture. This needs to change with further knowledge, localized production and renewable energy sources.

We need to transform from a consumer- based society to a human, health and happiness society, although the issue is that this is not in line with modern corporate ideals.

2) What do you think of solar power?- 
In a one word answer, it’s good! The problem with solar power though is that the current form of energy is too cheap. Taxpayers are subsidizing it, that’s why it’s so cheap. That’s the reason why people want it as opposed to solar. We need to look at the long-term benefit of renewable energy.

3) Looking at the economic side of the pipeline, are there other feasible ways to replace the economic loss of the removal of the pipeline?-
There are many feasible alternatives, such as promoting Green jobs and localizing production. We do not see the pipeline through BC as being beneficial economically. If we have a spill, we lose far more than the benefit that we get. There has been a ridiculous amount of money lost because of those spills. Industrial model since 1750 is to move in, extract, send it back, manufacture, send it to colonies, trash environment, and move on. Look at what happened to cities like Detroit. Ultimately, that can happen in BC, if we strip resources and rely on these resources. The car killed Detroit, and this can kill British Columbia.

4) There has always been talk about why Kinder Morgan is bad, but we want to talk about the economics of it. Why do you think socially and economically that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is bad for BC?- 
It will destroy the green industries that already exist, such as eco-tourism. It will create a lower quality of life for seniors, including such health issues as respiratory illness from air pollution as well as diesel coming from trains, tankers, trucks, etc. This is what kills people. There is a major economic cost to health issues. That carbon sitting in Alberta isn’t going anywhere and it is not going to disappear. There is no rush to use it up. Only rush is so Richard Kinder can make an extra Billion dollars. Climate change is another economic and social cost. We have a worldwide responsibility to take care of our environment and the world around us. The Burrard Inlet now has tanker farms, which can destroy several different industries, can pollute the area and cause major economic and social difficulties.

Part two of this interview will be up shortly!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Renewable Energy in Japan

Japan has been well-known for being innovators in many industries, including industries such as technology. Even though they have had a vehement focus on fossil fuels and nuclear energy in the past, the rumblings of renewable energy seem to be on the horizon, especially after recent tragedies in the region.

The Fukushima crisis of 2011 brought forth many questions towards Japan’s usage of energy. This incident, coupled with other incidents in the past has created a major energy dilemma in Japan. The pure devastation of Fukushima has led to many leaders questioning nuclear power, and maybe even moving towards safer and more renewable sources of energy. Up to “80 percent of [Japanese people] are opposed to nuclear energy” and "five Japanese ex-Prime Ministers" are opposed as well[1]. The impact of this environmental crisis is still ongoing, and the repercussions of it are unlimited and truly devastating. Renewable sources of energy may no longer be an option, but a necessity, to prevent any such tragedy to happen again. The question is, will the leadership in Japan embrace this change, or will they continue to stay gun-shy and focus more upon nuclear power and fossil fuel.

Japan has had many interesting movements towards solar power. A few companies have come together and created 30 solar power islands in Japan[2]. This is an early test-run to see the effect of solar power in Japan, and how it can be utilized. Even though there is not a ton of solar power coming from these panels [3], it is still a small-scale prototype of the potential power that can come from these panels.

Even though the process has been slow, there has been a slight shift in attitudes in Japan towards renewable energy. The question is, how long will it take? The answer, as usual, is too long. Japan is still having difficulties moving away from older models of energy, even after the Fukushima crisis. They are still heavily reliant on nuclear power and fossil fuel [4], and it does not seem like the current militant government led by Shinzo Abe wants to actively campaign for renewable energy just yet [5], much to the chagrin of Japan. The change seems to be slowly occurring though, especially as the masses continue to warm up to the idea of solar energy. This is a change that must occur, and nearly all of Japan knows it, including citizens, organizations and former political leaders. It is now up to the current leaders of Japan to also address this issue, and begin to move towards more renewable sorts of energy.

Written by: Shaun Kular

[4] http://ecowatch.com/2014/03/15/renewable-energy-power-japan-fukushima/

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kinder Morgan Pipeline- Why it's bad for BC

In July 24,2007, there was a “major oil spill that forced residents of a Burnaby neighborhood from least 50 homes”[1] to leave. The construction crew that was working that day complained that the “pipeline wasn’t properly marked”[2]. As a rule, it says that it is “up to the company to mark the location of the oil pipeline before a construction crew starts working”[3], but Kinder Morgan blamed the spill on the city workers[4]. After researching, and studying Kinder Morgan for the past month, I am not surprised by their actions. For years, Kinder Morgan has stated that they are a company that will create jobs, and boost the local economy. But in reality, they do not really mean that.

In a relationship, you have to trust, and stick with your partner for better or worse. Kinder Morgan does not follow that code because as soon as they made a mistake, they were willing to put the city of Burnaby, and the workers under the bus by practically saying that it is their fault, just to save themselves from any backlash. I feel that Burnaby should not get into a relationship with Kinder Morgan because they are a partner that will never put the interest of the city, workers, and residents at the forefront.

[1] CBC News, “Cleanup Continues on B.C Oil Spill: Determining Effect On Marine Wildlife Could Take Days”.CBC.ca, July,24,2007.
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid

Written by: Inderpal Brar