VeloMetro electric pedal micro car created in Vancouver, is currently in a beta testing phase. Business opportunities include distribution, marketing and sales across Canada.
While oil revenue decreases, renewables will be stepping up, along with energy saving devices, home insulation, electric cars and new agricultural technology, If Canada is skillful, emissions targets can be met while creating jobs in new areas such as renewable energy, sustainable products, local food and best use of urban spaces.
China has cornered the market for cheap, disposable products leaving a wide open market for well-designed, quality, long lasting products. Canadian citizens are increasingly aware, and ashamed, of the environmental cost and landfill needs of high-turnover consumer products, such as toasters that often break after a year, yet still want their conveniences and comforts. This opens opportunities for products that have designed to last with replaceable components, reusable packaging and manufacturer take-back at the end of the product’s life. When manufactured using local materials and local labour, this manufacturing will help achieve government targets for increasing sustainable jobs while lowering emissions. These businesses will be ahead of the game when new environmental standards start to actively phase out planned obsolescence – an absolute must with a growing population all wanting convenience technologies.
With California in drought and a low exchange rate on the loonie, an increasing awareness of the need for local food resilience and fresher tastier food and a need to increase jobs, we have five market driven reasons to invest in local agriculture, especially urban agriculture. Ottawa is lucky to have Montreal’s Lufa farms to model on: 33,000 sq foot commercial greenhouse in Laval. Ottawa has acres of unused flat roofs downtown, ideal for providing Ottawa’s restaurants and stores with fresh picked produce. Investment is needed for greenhouse construction and aquaponic technology. Neighbourhoods might consider investing in a food growing cooperative to provide their needs.
Heating greenhouses gets expensive. When heat that builds up at the top of the greenhouse is sunk into water or earth, daytime excess heat carries over into the night. The heating is free, just needs a pump – and that pump could be solar powered. This set-up will radically reduce heating needs. Investment in solar greenhouses with subterranean heat sinks.
If your flat concrete roof is accessible, is sufficiently strong and is not at the maximum height for your neighbourhood zoning, you could make money renting your rooftop! In addition to rental, you gain free summer shade and winter insulation, reducing your utility bills.
If there is at least access to your rooftop, cedar growing boxes can placed over weight bearing walls, and could be rented to urban growers. If there is no railing around the rooftop, a railing can be bolted to the outside edge of a continuous ring of cedar boxes, creating an inexpensive barrier without disturbing the integrity of your concrete roof.
Just as the energy sector is currently switching from oil to renewable energy, the food sector needs to switch from high GHG, high land and water use cattle rearing to tasty, high protein vegetarian alternatives. For example, delicious burgers can be made out of nuts, seeds, and beans, and can be packaged and sold much like any meat product. When ingredients are sourced locally, and manufacturing uses renewable energy, local labour and makes maximum use of sunlight (solar dehydrators, passive solar south face for microgreens and sprouting) high quality food can be affordably made, creating jobs, decreasing emissions, and creating investment opportunities environmentally aware people can proudly support.
Lufa farm commercial green- house on Montreal office rooftop supplies 700 lb of fresh organic produce year round using up to 90% less water than conventional farming.