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Green Guide 2009

What has changed since last year? Answer: lots.

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What has changed since last year?

That was the main question when we began planning this second edition of Green Halifax, a guide to sustainable and environmental living. The answer: lots.

We're in a recession. The good work local businesses are doing to exercise their ecological conscience is now so much harder. But the need to reduce---the first and most important part of the "reduce, reuse and recycle" axiom---should be easier when money is tight. Right?

Another change is what we like to call The New Normal. By this we mean the mainstreaming of environmental concerns. We're no longer including businesses or organizations solely by their example of energy efficiency. Conserving energy, reducing emissions and saving money---everyone should be doing it. See page 52 for our New Normal shortlist.

An adjunct to the mainstreaming of the environmental movement is the awareness of greenwashing---that is, appearing environmental to look good or make sales. We've been as diligent as possible in assembling this guide, but in the end, it's up to you to ask questions: Was this food grown nearby? Was this product manufactured fairly? How far has it travelled?

The 2009 edition also includes businesses, events and organizations that have cropped up in the year since the last one, or that we missed the first time around: They're easily spotted by the "New" button. If you think we've missed others who are doing good green work, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be updating Green Halifax's online component through the year.

We hope we can point you in the right direction, and help preserve our planet for future generations.

Carsten Knox, carstenk@thecoast.ca

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