EPIC Vancouver: Sustaining the Eco LifestyleMay 14th, 2012 by Michael Kwan
Yes, many of these have turned into marketing buzzwords in recent years as we have become more conscious of the impact we have on the environment, on the planet, and on one another. And these concerns were addressed with EPIC Vancouver this past weekend, highlighting the many ways that we can live a little greener and a little more sustainable.
Many of the vendors from last year’s EPIC Expo returned, like Steam Whistle Brewing and U.S.E.D. fashion bags, but there were several new products and eco-friendly innovations on display too. The Canterbury Coffee booth, for instance, was using pasta stir sticks for their coffee samples.
What about greener transportation? The Tesla Roadster and the Nissan Leaf certainly aren’t the only game in town. What you see here is the Chico, a fully-electric light utility vehicle. It uses twin parallel 48v AC motors for an output of 46kW at 4000rpm. Prices start from $37,999.
You may remember Go Clean Waterless from their appearance on Dragons Den. The waterless car wash system can’t handle caked-on dirt and grime, but it should be adequate for most conventional purposes. Available through Canadian Tire, one $15 bottle is enough to wash about ten cars.
I’ve seen other stone cooking pots before, but this kitchenware from Rosetta is the first I’ve seen made of Soapstone. It’s meant to stay hot (or cold) longer than conventional cookware, possibly making it great for Korean bibimbap. The smaller 800mL sauce pan was selling for $130, with prices going all the way up to $270 for a 5L sauce pan.
Most of the world’s soccer balls are manufactured in Pakistan, but the labor practices may not exactly be ideal. Social Conscience is trying to change that with its Fair Trade Certified soccer balls. Made to FIFA standards, these balls are professionally hand-stitched with fair wages for employees, fair work conditions, premiums for social programs, and no child labour. They’ve also partnered up with OA Projects for a buy one, give one program. With every ball sold (around $30-$40), one ball is given to youth soccer camps in Uganda.
When they say you should “go green” for all aspects of your sustainable lifestyle, they mean it. Lunapads is one such example, offering washable pads for women that replace the disposable variety. Given the recent resurgence in washable cloth diapers for babies, Lunapads makes a lot of sense.
Marketed as the “future of laundry,” SmartKlean replaces conventional laundry detergent altogether. The plastic ball contains ceramic pellets with special properties. They raise the pH, remove chlorine, and radiate negative ions “to weaken the surface tension in the water so that dirt can be removed easily without the use of detergent.” Because of the chemical-free nature, SmartKlean also promises to preserve the color of fabrics better too. One $40 ball is good for about 700 loads in a high-efficiency front-loading washing machine.
Ever since selling my car last year (a major eco and economical decision!), I’ve thought about buying an electric bike. While I don’t foresee anyone using it in the Giro di Burnaby, the $2,000 Epik Bike could be great for commuting around town. The electric motor is there to assist your pedaling, offering the boost you desire for uphill sections for example. It’s powered by Dr. Battery’s pedElec battery packs, offering 1000+ recharge cycles.
While expos like EPIC can be a little ironic — how eco-friendly is it to have so many individually-packaged samples? — it does a great job of increasing awareness around the types of “green” products that are out there. What are you doing to be more sustainable?
Filed under Marketplace.