A network of enthusiasts aims to keep a deadly infection from wiping out these legends of the dark night.

Little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus — photo by Jordi Segers, National White-Nose Syndrome Scientific Program Coordinator)

It’s the witching hour. As nearby Vancouver Island residents prepare to settle in for the summer night, Meaghan Cursons and I are on a cabin porch, watching the show begin.

The tiny microphone attached to Cursons’ iPad reveals the unseen, converting the echolocation calls that give bats their night vision into a graphic of sound waves. Most likely California myotis, she says, and lots of them. I look up to see bats swoop around us at speeds of up to 25 kilometers per hour, feasting their way through the twilight swarm of midges, mosquitoes, and moths. Judging from their acrobatic…

Seasoned with deforestation, toxic chemicals, and high water use, the story of avocado could leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Photo by Erin Flegg

If you’ve ever planned a Mexican-themed dinner only to find your avocados aren’t quite ripe, you know there’s no substitute for this rich, creamy fruit. A long list of dishes just aren’t the same without it — from poké bowl, to burger, to wrap.

So how did a semi-tropical fruit achieve the status of international staple? Fuelled by free trade and food trends, worldwide demand has grown at an average annual rate of 14% since 1990. In Canada, we now consume over 10 times as many avocados as we did in the early ’90s. …

Cloth. Disposable. Which system is actually better for the environment?

Photo by Erin Flegg

In the eco-mommy-blogosphere, one topic is most polarizing: diapers. The cloth and disposable camps come armed with decades of research into why any choice other than theirs is terrible for the planet. And no wonder: The average child wears around 4,000 diapers in its first two and a half years. Add in an aging population, and diapers are a $65-billion-dollar industry globally.

So who’s got it right? With impacts including carbon emissions, water usage, toxic chemicals, industrial waste, and disposal, this is a complex issue with no simple answers. Here’s the science you need to cut through the stench:

Cloth Diaper Revival


Lauren Kaljur

News-wrangler, decorative flora smuggler, lateral thinker. Words, photos + video in: @thediscourse @maisonneuvemagazine @CBC.

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