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March 20, 2011 / The Green Scene

What Does Green Mean to You?

Great misconception #1: Going “green” may sound like the latest trend to you. It seems as though in today’s day and age everyone is doing environmentally friendly things because it’s the “in” thing to do, as if it’s a fad.

Great misconception #2:  That having a 0 carbon footprint = not driving, using electricity only in the most crucial of times, and tree hugging?

The definition of being environmentally friendly is “to minimize harmful impact on the natural world”.  So, it’s not a fad, its here to stay! Our environment has gotten substantially worse over the years, and it’s up to us to slowly bring it back to what it was! Nowhere in this definition does it state that being an environmentally friendly person means tree hugging with no electricity and protesting (phew!).

Whatever small amount each person can do, can mean making our world a slightly more pleasant place to live. Each person, depending on their lifestyle, will have their own definition. For some that may mean car-pooling to work, recycling, & using biodegradable ingredients. For others, that may mean only taking public transportation, and having geo-thermal heating. Whatever you choose to do, is completely up to you.

With that said…what does green mean to you?


Tiffany A.

March 19, 2011 / The Green Scene

Is ‘Green’ Just a Trend?


Photo by Andy Singer

Have you been wondering if sustainability is just a fad? We have all seen a dramatic increase in the use of eco-friendly buzzwords and popularity of keeping everything ‘green’. But will sustainability become just another meaningless word used in our everyday lives?

Some might say that people are just following along in the ‘eco-friendly’ movement. Andrew Winston founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and author of “Green to Gold” thinks otherwise.

He feels that consumers and retailers alike are demanding sustainable practices from the products they buy and from the methods used in manufacturing.

The greatest demand Mr. Winston says comes from the consumers themselves. These types of conscious consumers “want it all, they want price and quality.” He believes that consumers want to know where the product came from, what its energy use is, and if it is non-toxic.

Mr. Winston feels that companies must gives consumers what they want at the same price and quality but they have to give them the sustainable attributes.

It is very clear that sustainability is not just a trend that will fade away like the colors of the season. Sustainability will become a new way of living, and this transformation starts with us; the consumers.

Continue to follow the Westmount EcoSquad throughout our movement towards a sustainable lifestyle. You’ll be able live ‘greener’ in no time!


Melissa I.


March 14, 2011 / The Green Scene

Share the Earth, Share a Bike!

Are you buying a car this spring? Save on gas and pump up the tires on your bicycle to use it as your new means of transportation. You will be exercising as well as lowering the pollution in your local area.

Take a look at the BIXI bicycles in Montreal! Take it to work, to school or even to shop around downtown Montreal. Bicycling around the city is a healthy, cost effective and eco-friendly alternative mode of transportation. Make the obvious choice this spring, when the BIXI will be installed for use in May.

How does it work?

  • Go to the BIXI station nearest you.
  • Put your credit card in the machine to pay – click here for rates.
  • Take your assigned bike out by unlocking the stand.
  • And enjoy the ride!

When your done, just bring the BIXI to the nearest station around the city. If you need to run a quick errand, the first 30 minutes on the bike is free.

By having more BIXI users around the city, the overall air pollution from car’s exhausts will be diminished. Now it’s your turn, Westmount, to think of something as innovative, creative and ecologically friendly as the BIXI.

Here is a video of what NOT to do with a BIXI.

Have you tried the Bixis in Montreal? What do you think of them?

Have fun, keep the air clean, and don’t forget your helmet!

-Melissa O.

March 14, 2011 / The Green Scene

Saving $3,000 Has Never Cost So Little!

Sure an organic grocery bill will ring up a large tab at the cashier (hopefully you get your air-miles worth!), but what if you were able to save 40% with a coupon?You may love that organic coffee place on the corner because of the free trade coffee they serve, but cant afford a 6$ cup every morning. Wouldn’t you be happy to know you can get it for 3$ every morning instead?

So how can we support costly free-trade or green initiatives consistently if we dont have the budget to do so? The answer is simple……COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS!

Think of the widely popular Entertainment coupon book, paint it green, and fill it with deals to green products and services availably locally or online and BOOM!, you have MONTREAL’S FIRST AND ONLY GREEN COUPON BOOK! The “Green Consciousness Guide” gives buyers the opportunity to save more than $3,000 on green or fair trade initiatives, all for the low cost of 20$! Save big on massages, foods, art etc!

The “Green Consciousness Guide” is available in many bookstores such as Chapters and Indigo and online. Get your hands on it today! I know I’m going to grab one!

-Lorne S

March 13, 2011 / The Green Scene

Hybrid Cars . . . Are They Worth It?

Since the ongoing trend is to be eco-friendly, many car companies have decided to launch hybrid models of their vehicles. Will you sacrifice power, speed and design to be eco-friendly? If so, do you believe hybrid cars are TRULY eco-friendly as advertised? There is quite a bit of controversy about whether hybrid cars are in fact green.

So let’s lay out the facts.

Hybrid cars are the most gasoline efficient car out there however, they do cost more up front.

On the other hand, I bet you did not know that the amount of carbon dioxide released to generate electricity to power a hybrid vehicle and the emissions released to fabricate the vehicle is just as great if not greater than the amount of emissions released with a normal gasoline vehicle!

So what car should you drive? Do you think that hybrid car manufacturers will soon be able to TRULY make hybrid cars eco-friendly, from the fabrication to the car being on the road?

Out of the list provided rank which cars you think are the most eco-friendly?

(1 being the most fuel efficient with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions)

1. Smart for Two

2. Volkswagen Jetta TDI mit Clean Diesel

3. Rolls-Royce Coupe

4. Ford Fusion Hybrid

5. BMW 335i Coupe

6. Toyota Prius Hybrid

7. Lexus CT 200h

8. Maserati GrandTurismo

To find out how fuel efficient your car is visit

Fuel Consumption Rating


March 8, 2011 / The Green Scene

An Hour with No Power…For a Lifetime of Change with Miranda Kerr!

Mark your calendars…March 26th, 2011 is Earth Hour!

Join the largest grassroots movement in history by simply flipping the switch!!

The Ad campaign for Earth Hour

Grab a book, have a candle lit dinner or play an old fashioned board game with friends. Whatever you decide to do make sure on March 26th, 2011 to turn off your lights for one hour starting at 8:30 pm (local time)

  • 128 Countries
  • 4616 Towns and Cities
  • 1.3 Billion People ….be part of the largest voluntary action ever witnessed!

Not yet convinced?!? Did I mention Miranda Kerr would be there?  She is this year’s global ambassador.

Miranda Kerr- Global Ambassador for Earth Hour

Go beyond Earth Hour by checking out to share with the world what you can do in your daily life to make a difference!

If you’re looking for how you can participate in Montreal, Westmount is hosting an Earth Hour Event. Get more information at

Earth Hour, don’t you be left out in the light!

Will you be part of the movement? If not, why? What are your comments/opinions of Earth Hour?

-Samantha F.

March 8, 2011 / The Green Scene


HEY WESTMOUNT! We all know people are afraid of “change” sometime, especially when it comes to your home…But have no fear, the Westmount Eco Squad is here to bust all those nasty myths you may have heard from going green!

Myth #1: Green homes cost more than other homes.

Sustainable buildings often requires more expensive building materials, smarter technology and complicated systems than conventional buildings. But when thinking long-term, green building actually saves money because the materials won’t have to be replaced as often. So while initial costs may seem like a lot, green building offers better value when you consider the life-cycle costs.

Myth #2: You need solar panels to be truly green.

Solar panels were once the universal symbol for green building. But the reality is that sustainable building means integrating a variety of energy efficient solutions that work together — from heating systems to interior finishes. When building green, focus on the house as a whole, not just particular green features like solar panels.

Myth #3: Mansions cannot be green.

We know this is one of your main concern, Westmounters.Whether or not a big house is green depends on how the building’s materials and resources are being allocated. For instance, a 10,000-square-foot house built for a family of four can’t be considered green, no matter how many sustainable features it has. But it would be green if 20 people lived in that same house. Lowering consumption is an important benchmark in sustainable building, and that thinking extends to the materials that go into a house as well as the energy that’s required to heat and cool it.


Myth #4: You can’t make an existing home green.

Altering your home’s structure and operating systems — foundation, framing, wiring, plumbing — can be very expensive. But “greening” an existing home doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. Upgrading windows, putting more insulation into the walls or attic, sealing air leaks, and installing energy-recovery ventilation equipment are all examples of upgrades that will make a house more energy efficient.

Find the rest of the myth-busting click here.

-Lorne S.