My Work Articles
It is a privilege and honour to be promoted as a creative writer at my work at Busch Systems. The company has a focus on sustainability and the environment. These are 2 things I am very passionate about. This page will be ongoing starting with my 1st article November 29, 2017. The links for my articles will be added some time after they are published on the company website.
Article #1: What it Takes to be Sustainable in Coffee Cups. Originally Published November 27, 2017.
After over 40 years of physical work for a living, it was so strange to go into work and head to a desk and computer. And boy was I nervous. The 1st topic I was given was about all those throwaway coffee cups. What happens when we throw them out? Although I don’t any access to any of the blog traffic information on the web site dashboard, to my understanding, this has been one of the most read and shared articles to date. And for my 1st post, this makes me very happy.
Article #2: The Mo Bros and Mo Sistas of Movember. Originally Published December 1, 2017
This was such a fun post to put together. My work participates in a lot of charity fundraising initiatives throughout the year. One of them was for the Movember Foundation, raising funds and awareness for men’s prostate and testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
Article #3: Environmental Impact of a Fake Christmas Tree. Originally Published December 22, 2017
Writing has always been very therapeutic for me. This article brought out family Christmas tree memories buried for many decades that I had forgot were even there. A couple of times during writing this article the memories had me quietly weeping. It is a long post, and have so much respect for my editors who were sensitive with how deeply personal this article was to me…..and left it’s length virtually untouched.
Article #4: The Carbon Footprint of Christmas. Originally Published December 25, 2017
Anyone ever receive an orange in your stocking at Christmas? I did. Most people my age did, and the orange in our family has quite the significance. During the Great Depression my mom was a little girl and her Christmases were very meagre. But she received an orange and a few other modest luxuries in her stocking. She never forgot it and passed that tradition on to my generation.
Article #5: The Dirt on Diaper Waste. Originally Published January 1, 2018
Starting a family means big changes, and each family dynamic is different. My wife really wanted to be a Stay At Home Mom. I struggled with this, as I only had seasonal work during this period, and my hours were always hit and miss. But she was willing to do whatever it took to make it work. That included using cloth diapers to keep the diapering cost down. We managed fine. And I also discovered that doing so, we lessened our impact on the environment.
Article #6: What’s the Most Sustainable Method of Heating Your Home. Originally Published January 31, 2018
In Canada, home heating eats up quite a large percentage of a family household budget. There are several types of home heating available. But what is the most environmentally friendly? What is the most energy efficient? What is the most sustainable? Your questions should be answered with this article.
Article #7: The Importance of Wetlands. Originally Published February 2, 2018
It is only been these past few years that there has been an importance placed on our wetlands. For decades they were regarded as wasteland and were drained and filled in. Since 1900, half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared. They are some of most beautiful and tranquil places on earth, and offer so many tremendous benefits. A touching compliment came from Mandy, who ran the final edit of this post when she said, “Thank you Carl, I just want to go out now, and hug a wetland”.
Article #8: Are the Olympics Sustainable? Originally Published February 9, 2018
The 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games are now officially over. The cost of hosting these events often run into the billions of dollars. And after a few short weeks, the Olympic torch is extinguished, athletes return home and host countries are left with massive debts and the struggle of finding ongoing uses for the extensive venues. This article takes a look at the sustainability of the 2018 Olympics and how they measure up with a few previous events.
Article #9: The Evolution of Environmental Charities/Advocacy. Originally Published February 26, 2018
This was a very academic title I was given. But once I figured out the direction I wanted to take this article, I had so much fun writing it. It took me back to 1985 when I was backpacking and climbing in California’s magnificent Sierra Nevada. I walked in the very footsteps of environmental pioneer John Muir. The article was also important to me, because I was given the honour of introducing a new environmental initiative our company is pioneering called RISE. You can read all about RISE in the article.
Article #10: Hollow Legs and the Carbon Footprint of Eating. Originally Published March 12, 2018
If you have ever had teenage boys in your home, you likely understand the “Hollow legs” part? Where on earth do they pack away all that food? It must be a pair of hollow legs. And looking back in time I was the very same way when I was a teen. Everyone living leaves a carbon footprint on earth, and the food we eat (and don’t eat) is a big one. Up to half of all manmade emissions in Canada and the United States are from food.
Article #11: World Water Day-Everyone Has a Right to Safe Drinking Water. Originally Published March 22, 2018
I take water so much for granted here in Canada. I turn on the tap and there it is…clean and refreshing. Not so in many areas around the world. There are 844 million people in the world who lack a basic drinking water service. One of the areas I focused on in this article is the country of Ghana, Africa. Busch Systems has made a huge impact with the charity Dekpor School Development Organisation in Ghana. Their director Carol mentioned to me that women and children used to fetch contaminated water for up to 8 hours a day, balancing 20 kilograms on their head which caused head and neck problems. But no more. It is so exciting to be a part of making a difference through my work. Pictures within the post of the contaminated water and the clean pure water were provided by charity director Carol Sheardown.
Article #12: A Canary in a Coal Mine-How Chemicals Affect Us. Originally Published March 30, 2018
I have been asked from time to time what article am I most proud of. I am not sure which one, but if there is one which resonates most with me, it would be this one. In my lifetime I have been exposed to way more chemicals than I am comfortable with. Over the course of our lifetimes, each one of us has within ourselves a chemical body burden which is a bio-accumulation of our chemical exposures. In these last few years I have made lifestyle changes to hopefully ease that load.
Article #13: The Super Sizing of Homes. Originally Published April 6, 2018
In my area of Canada I have noticed that the size of homes being built are now much larger than those built when I was a kid. And at the same time, the number of people living in those homes are becoming less. And sadly, in many municipalities the building of larger homes is the mandate due to minimum building size requirements. In this article we will explore the cost to the environment of these larger homes. Not only in raw materials used to build them, but in ongoing maintenance and heating and cooling.
Article #14: A Hike Like No Other: International Plant Appreciation Day. Originally Published April 13, 2018
I am so appreciative of the opportunities I have had to experience some of the most spectacular places of natural wonder on our planet earth. A hike that stands out above all the others was in the pristine mountain rainforest of Kamakao Preserve on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Within this preserve were 219 plants found nowhere outside of the Hawaiian Islands, and a few varieties were endemic to this preserve only. In this article we discuss the value and great importance of plants. Sadly many plants are becoming extinct before they are identified and documented.
Article #15: Mother Earth Day: Thank a Hippie. Originally Published April 22, 2018
I was in Grade 6, and the tender age of 11 when the first Earth Day took place in 1970. Through the modern technology of the day our family was able to witness this first mass environmental movement on our black and white television using rabbit ears for reception. Earth Day has a fascinating history that revolves around the hippie movement. Their values of peace, harmony and the Mother Earth were opposite that of mainstream America, so they did not have a lot of credibility. It was through teach-ins on university and college campuses that their voices eventually were heard.
Article #16: The Carbon Footprint of Travelling. Originally Published April 25, 2018
It is hard to believe that in just over a century we have gone from the horse and buggy days to where is quite normal to jump on a plane and travel to the other side of the planet all on the same day. In this article I introduce Jean Beliveau. He is one of the most inspirational humans I have ever met. Jean spent a night in our home on the final leg of a 11 year, 75,000 kilometer walk across our planet. The carbon footprint from his travels was as low as you could get. In this article we will learn how much of a carbon footprint does each form of transportation have.
Article #17: How to Check for Organic Certified Companies. Originally Published April 30, 2018
I grew up on a farm before the word “organic” was barely used as a term, yet my dad practiced every bit of the word organic. Going organic is a major decision, and the higher cost is well justified when our own health and health for the planet is factored in. There are exceptionally high standards to be met to be certified as an organic farmer. This article shares what to look for to ensure what you are buying is indeed certified organic.
Article #18: A Millennial Heart in the Body of a Baby Boomer. Originally Published May 4, 2018
I turned 60 years old this past year, and as a writer in the marketing department I am older than everyone else by decades. The vast majority of my marketing peeps are millennials, and I love it. I love their energy and their drive. And through the proliferation of social media , I love how now companies now have a transparency nowadays that I have never seen before. Corporate Social Responsibility is a term I only heard about a couple years ago. This article talks all about it.
Article #19: The Psychology of Eating and the Supersizing of Food. Originally Published May 7th, 2018
As a child I never got to eat fast food very often, but a handful of times a year my dad would take our family to the A & W drive in restaurant. A lot of nostalgia as the servers would deliver your food to your car and the tray of food would hang on the outside of the window. There was one standard serving size for the hamburger, French fries and soda. It was more than sufficient. Nowadays with supersizing, you can buy a soda that is almost 6 times the size of the standard soft drinks of the early 1960’s. Food psychology, which entices us to buy bigger is very powerful.
Article #20: Checking the Quality of Our Most Valuable Resource. Originally Published May 11, 2018
You would think in a first world country such as Canada there would be no deaths from drinking water from a community water system, but that is not always the case. Taking lessons from the town of Walkerton, Ontario tragedy in the year 2,000 in which 7 people died and 2,300 people became sick, we look at the stricter water laws that came out of the Walkerton Inquiry. In many cases contaminated water is tasteless and odourless. if you have a private well it is imperative to have it checked on a regular basis.
Article #21: International Day for Biological Diversity. Originally Published May 22, 2018
It gives me so much joy to spend time in the local hardwood forests just outside my community. After a long Canadian winter, springtime is extremely enthralling for my soul. Within the forest there is so much more happening than leaves bursting out of their tight winter buds. When you go “beneath the surface” you will discover that the complexity of this hardwood forest eco-system and its biological diversity is mind-blowing. I encourage you to get outdoors and experience it first hand for yourself.
Article #22: The Crises of Deepening Ground Water Tables. Originally Published May 28, 2018
From when I was 19 until I was 40, I spent over 20 years in the water well drilling industry. During the months of April through to late November I was involved in the drilling process of an average of two or so water wells a week. Over the course of my well drilling career, that is a lot of wells. One of the reasons we would be contacted to drill a new well, is that the old well went dry. It is a fact that in many regions of the world the water tables are dropping sharply by pumping out more water than is being naturally replenished. The water we are depleting should be the birthright of future generations.
Article #23: Into the Deep: World Environment Day. Originally Published June 5, 2018
From my mountain climbing days, backpacking days and now that I have transitioned into ultrarunning, I must say how privileged it has been to visit some very spectacular places on our planet. Climbing routes and hiking and running trails all have the markings of human influence. There are very few places on earth that have not been impacted by humans and described as pristine. On World Environment Day, we look at human influence where garbage has been found on both the top of Mt. Everest and in the bottom of Mariana Trench, the deepest trough on our planet.
Article #24: Safeguarding Our Future Groundwater Supply. Originally Published June11, 2018
Another part of my twenty plus years in well drilling was involvement in environmental drilling from time to time. From landfills, to train wrecks to abandoned industrial yards the drilling was to check for contamination, and how far it had migrated. In my own village, gasoline storage tanks had rusted causing widespread contamination. One liter of spilled gasoline can contaminate one million liters of groundwater. Making lifestyle changes of fewer chemicals will not change the world. But it will change your world.
Article #25: Global Wind Day. Originally Published June 15, 2018
When it comes to electricity sourced from renewable resources, North America lags far behind countries such as Denmark. This country generates 140% of it’s electricity from renewable resources, and any excess is exported. Harnessing power from the wind is a natural and virtually inexhaustible source of power to produce electricity.
Article #26: Variety is the Spice of Life. Originally Published June 27, 2018
Having being raised on a farm where I knew exactly where the sources of most foods I consumed, it can be disheartening to walk in to a supermarket and not have a clue the background or the sources of the food I am about to purchase. Is the food laden with chemicals? Has it been genetically modified. Your best bet is to grow your own food, so you take back more control over the food you eat. But even then you cannot be certain. Finding seed companies that have taken the “Safe Seed Pledge” ensures that these companies promise that their seeds are tested and free of GMO’s.
Article #27: World Chocolate Day. Originally Published July 7, 2018
As a chocolate lover there could not have been a more fitting date chosen for World Chocolate day than July 7th. It falls right on my birthday. Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, a tree that only grows well in the tropics near the equator. Sadly the cacao industry has a dark side, with children being exploited and trafficked as slaves particularly in West Africa. Purchasing Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified and Fair Trade Certified chocolate ensures that your purchase does not involve the exploitation of children.
Article #28: World Population Day: Becoming a Difference Maker. Originally Published July 11, 2018
Two hundred years ago the cycle of life was much more compressed for the average person. Your working life might have started around 10, by 15 you were a parent, by 30 you were a grandparent and by 40 your body was broken, pain-filled and in final decline. With improved health care, sanitation, immunizations, access to clean running water, and better nutrition we are living much longer. At the same time the world’s population is growing exponentially. By living simpler lifestyles we can make a difference so future generations will have the resources to live, long, fulfilled lives.
Article #29: International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Originally Published September 16, 2018
For those of us who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, you might recall how serious the issue of the thinning ozone layer was, and the consequences if drastic measures were not taken. This led to the banning of CFC’s or chlorofluorocarbons. These chemicals will stay in the atmosphere for 50-100 years, but things are now beginning to improve. This has become a beacon of hope as the world tries to address the much more complicated, slow-moving problem of climate change. Once again it will require every one to be involved.
Article #30: Superfoods: Science or Hype? Originally Published October 16, 2018
The word “Superfood” was never spoken or in print when I was going through school several decades ago. But these past few years it has become mainstream as an elixir for longevity. But is there any scientific evidence, or is it more of a marketing tool to sell products?
Article #31: What’s With the Growing Food Allergy Epidemic? Originally Published October 26, 2018
There are not too many people who have not been impacted by food allergies nowadays. Whether it is a friend, co-worker, a family member or even yourself, most of us know someone who is affected by a severe food allergy. In my own situation it is my dear wife. This has led me to conduct a lot of research to determine what might be the causes. Although I do not have any concrete answers, this article gives some possibilities.
Article #32: Celebrating Year of the Bird. Originally Published November 16, 2018
Just over 100 years ago migratory birds were indiscriminately slaughtered to meet the insatiable consumer demands of the fashion industry. The feathers of the birds and sometimes even small stuffed birds were used to adorn women’s hats. Many conservation organizations tried to put an end to this abominable trend and led to the formation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The year 2018 marks 100 years since the signing of this important act and is celebrated as Year of the Bird.