Welcome to EcoWest News, a weekly round-up of news and resources that you can put to use in addressing environmental issues and protecting the wild in your community.

Across the West

Environmental groups are speaking out against a proposed coal mine north of Sparwood, BC. The mine would interrupt an important wildlife corridor and elk wintering range and could block and contaminate local water supplies. [Rossland News]

The 2024 BC budget has money for climate rebates and fighting wildfires but no new funding for wildlife, old-growth forests, or protected areas. [The Narwhal]

A new plan to protect Alberta’s ferruginous hawks “will work to support and protect habitats, nest structures and the prey needed for the birds to survive.” [Lethbridge Herald]

A recent report from the Alberta Utilities Commission “implies that Alberta’s current electricity market design is not able to provide Alberta with reliable, affordable and decarbonized electricity.” Alberta Wilderness Association analyzes the report’s assumptions and conclusions, pointing out alternative points of view. [AWA]

Across Canada

A district heating system in Ottawa-Gatineau is capturing waste heat from a nearby paper mill to heat homes and offices in winter and cooling them down in summer with water from the Ottawa River. [The Energy Mix]

Around the World

During a heat wave, large green spaces have a significant cooling effect. Botanical gardens top the list, reducing temperatures by an average of 5 degrees. [The Guardian]

Biorecycling, taking plastic back to its original elements, opens up new possibilities for the long-term sustainability of plastics. [Earthbound Report]

Facebook Marketplace and other online platforms are doing nothing to curb the sale of illegal animal parts. Platforms need to be held accountable and should proactively cooperate with law enforcement to dismantle criminal networks. [Hakai]


Global consumption of raw materials has quadrupled since 1970 and is expected to rise by a further 60% by 2060. We can counter mining’s environmental impact on land and energy by recovering minerals from waste goods. In addition, “reducing luxury and wasteful sectors such as SUVs, aviation and fast fashion would free up critical materials for the green transition.” [The Conversation]

There is a demand for minerals for cellphones and car batteries, but mining companies must set aside enough money for clean-up and reclamation once production is ended. [The Narwhal]

Making a Difference

Los Angeles is replacing concrete with dirt and plants to capture rainfall and slowly return it to the metropolis’ aquifers rather than sending it out to sea. During a recent 3-day storm, the city captured 8.6 billion gallons of stormwater, enough to provide water to 106,000 households for a year. [Wired]

Lightweight wine bottles reduce the amount of sand required to make the bottles, decrease freight and transportation charges, and reduce risk of injury to employees handling the cases of wine. [Le Vieux Pin]

A solar module recycling company in Georgia is expanding its operations to produce glass for new panels. [The Energy Mix]

A small number of golf courses are being transformed into public green spaces. [Planetizen]


69% of people worldwide are willing to contribute 1% of their income to fight climate change, but they underestimate how many of their fellow citizens would be willing to do the same by 26%. [Anthropocene]

Some organizations choose to address environmental problems through collaboration rather than confrontation. By assembling strong data and visual images, they can attract allies who may take more direct approaches. [The Conversation]

Nature’s Wonders

The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in Vancouver is home to half the province’s population of double-crested cormorants. [The Tyee]

Snakes adapt and evolve faster than other reptiles, enabling them to change their body shape and diet very quickly. [Live Science]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/23635890179

EcoFriendly West informs and encourages initiatives that support Western Canada’s natural environment through its online publication and the Nature Companion website/app. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Mastodon, or subscribe by email.