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

The toxicology detectives at the University of Saskatchewan are interested in what is put into our water systems and how it impacts them. They’re also looking for solutions. [USask]

Mayors of Calgary, Canmore, and Banff met with planners and developers to discuss how they can provide housing that is both low cost and environmentally friendly. [CBC]

Pikas live above the treeline and are vulnerable to climate change. By tracking the pikas’ DNA, researchers will be able to observe individual animals and monitor the interconnectedness of different populations, providing an overview of how a warmer climate is affecting their habitat. [CBC]

“In Kananaskis, provincial parks are knitted together with public lands and recreation areas … some are off limits to most activities while others are open to industry. It’s a mix that ultimately leads to conflicts — logging versus hiking, hiking versus wildlife protection, off-road-vehicles versus just about everything.” [The Narwhal]

Clean energy experts question Manitoba’s enthusiasm for green hydrogen. Hydrogen is unlikely to play a major role in home heating but could prove useful as a transportation fuel or in industrial processes. [CBC]

Across Canada

Progress is being made federally and in Quebec on introducing right-to-repair legislation. [CBC] However, companies such as Apple continue to create roadblocks. [The Verge]

The Green Budget Coalition is highlighting federal investment opportunities including financing nature protection and restoration, renovation for climate-resilient homes and affordable home energy, a zero-emissions electricity grid based on renewables, sustainable jobs, and sustainable agriculture. [Nature Canada]

The Canada Greener Homes Grant program successfully stimulated retrofits, but average energy savings were modest and building envelope improvements were neglected. [Green Communities Canada, report PDF]

Ontario’s experimental lakes area offers real-world experiments into issues ranging from pipeline spills and algal growth to testing the impacts of microplastics and pharmaceuticals. [The Narwhal]

Around the World

We can prevent birds and bats from crashing into wind turbines by shutting off turbines at lower wind speeds, tweaking the distance between ground and blades, and using ultrasonic deterrents and video surveillance. [Knowable]

There is overwhelming evidence that fracking threatens human health and imperils climate stability. [DeSmog]

An Our Lives, Our Planet podcast considers what luxury would look like if it was accessible to everyone and good for both people and the planet. [Global Action Plan]

A new office building in London, UK, uses heat pumps and passive cooling, harvests rainwater and greywater, maximizes natural light, and has a materials passport to facilitate disassembling the building when it’s no longer needed. [Earthbound Report]

Sewage waste is now being seen as a reliable heat source for millions of homes in the Netherlands. “Warm sewage water flows 24 hours a day and we should capture it. This can happen wherever there is a big sewage pipe.” [The Guardian]

“Even as other countries look to Norway for inspiration on boosting electric vehicle adoption, its cities are looking to mass transit and walkable communities—not cars—for the stable climate and greater equity that the energy transition promises.” [The Energy Mix]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/51103885901

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.