Category Archives: govt

Hate your Low-Flow Toilet? Help is here.

Anyone who as watched a low-flow toilet balk at flushing one kleenex and wondered who approved its production will be happy to know that there are indeed good low-flow toilets and bad low-flow toilets.

Better yet: There is a list!

According to CBC’s consumer protection show Marketplace in 2003,

Roman Kaszczij runs the city of Toronto’s toilet replacement program. He says there are hundreds of CSA-approved six litre toilets on the Canadian market. He hasn’t tested all of them — but only 24 meet his standards.

“We did a test a couple of years ago. We just pulled toilets off the shelf and tested them. Over 50 per cent of them did not flush with six litres,” Kaszczij said.

Kaszczij needs to know which toilets do work. Toronto offers a $60 – $75 rebate for anyone who will replace a water waster with a low-flow toilet. But there is a catch: you have to buy one of the 24 toilets on Kaszczij’s list.

Well, that was 5 long years ago. Now there are more toilets on the City of Toronto’s Hit List:

List of actually effective Low-Flow toilets  (updated May 2011!)

By the way, CMHC/SCHL provides a list of some of the bad low-flow toilets in this article. That article also includes a list of good toilets. Here is a link to all of CMHC/SCHL’s toilet-related research to date. These researchers were involved in the study that forms the rationale for the Toronto list and their elaborate testing method is detailed here – complete with pictures and elaborate tables. I am happy to see that there was an effort to test them using some kind of actual shit substitute rather than relying on wishful greenness. A few other non-technical background articles relating to the study (including reactions by some manufacturers) are here and here. It seems that these researchers are actually the vanguard of toilet testing in North America. Now that we can put our plungers down, we can salute them for their valuable work!

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Coming Soon: A Post-Carbon Economy

Need some ammunition for your arguments about how to get from our fossil fuel economy to the post-carbon economy? A knock-your-socks-off interview with the New York Time’s Thomas Friedman on our current predicament and the role of government in developing a new Energy Technology economy. Will the American government create a financially viable climate for the development of alternatives to fossil fuels or will they wait for…something? Will the Chinese set out on a new course before them?

Video archived interview here

It’s an hour long and draws on his most recent book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America. A lucid and energetic look at the energy situation without the austerity and disaster forecast that tends to come with it!

To order the book go here if in Canada, here if in Britain, and here if in the US and many other countries.

Home renovation and available subsidies

Looking for info on rebates from different levels of government in Canada? The feds have made a nice new readable site:

http://www.ec.gc.ca/incitatifs-incentives/index_eng.asp

The info ranges from rebates for energy saving appliances to subsidies for composters and those fluorescent lightbulbs.

As you will notice (and as good Canadians, expect), programs and subsidies vary from province to province. People with time on their hands – semi-retired boomers with a bursting social conscience, that would be you – why not badger your province to match the programs you find interesting in another province?