Your Daily Greens: A Little Vino, Behind the Scenes, and That Should Do It!
Photo: VQA Ontario
Daily happenings around the GreenSphere (People, Companies & Communities):
A Little Vino: Eating, or drinking, local may seem easy enough, requiring a simple perusal of labels or packaging. Recently, however, there have been some sour grapes over wines sold in Canada and how the fine print represents (or misrepresents) the fruit of the vine. “Cellared in Canada” labels appear on certain wines produced by Canadian vintners – however, the grapes used can be as much as 70 per cent imported from a host of other countries, blending in as little as 30 per cent domestic grapes. One notable vintner known for the practice is Peller Estates, claiming that this method makes the wine more affordable for the general public. Others say the obscure lack of domestic content is misleading and tarnishes the entire Canadian wine industry, with many purchasers erroneously believing that they are supporting local produce and vineyards. Only a VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) label guarantees 100 per cent local content.
That Should Do It!: While Canadians are getting accustomed to spending five cents per plastic bag in an attempt by policy makers and stores to reduce plastic bag waste, Ireland is hiking the price for the infamous item to ensure ‘sufficient deterrent’ to people who have yet to catch on and employ reusable bags. Ireland was the first nation to tax plastic bags – now they will cost 69 cents (CAN), double what they were previously. Since 2002, when the tax began, over $170 million has been generated, some of which has been used by government services aimed at protecting the environment.
Domestic Dividends: Yesterday’s announcement by the Ontario government introduced regulations that will lead to 50,000 new jobs over the next three years in renewable energy projects. Legislation will now require that large solar projects use at least 50 per cent Ontario goods and labour, increasing to 60 per cent by January 2011. Wind projects must now include 25 per cent domestic content, increasing to 50 per cent as of January 2012.
Behind the Scenes: Environmentalists say they’ve pinpointed the real culprit in the saga of sustainability vs. needless excess: Ultra Plush Toilet Paper. With packaging using an endless stream of synonyms guaranteed to bring comfort to your behind, manufacturers say consumers want the luxurious, 3-ply soft stuff – so they’ll give it to them. Some toilet paper makers have tried to be a little more eco-friendly, but green groups want the bathroom necessity to be made completely from recycled paper goods instead of at the expense of old-growth forests. Even with facial tissue included, however, these frivolous human customs account for only five per cent of the U.S. forest-product industry.