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Into the A dangerous overseas mission caught on film sets a course for a local couple determined to protect our oceans


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contents Volume 5 • Issue 3 • APRIl 2011




6 John Bishop recalls his early days as

a ‘green’ pioneer of the food industry, and shares some delectable recipes

2 6 Automotive writer Scott Sutherland features the latest in luxury hybrids that will turn you green with envy

14 Indulge visits the Bloedel Floral

2 8 A chance to see the country and save

19 Helping the environment starts with

24 Wine columnist John Schreiner

Conservatory to feature the spring’s hottest hippie-chic fashions

COVER STORY: Freedivers Mandy-Rae Cruickshank and husband Kirk Krack are using their familiarity with the ocean to raise awareness about its fragile state.


simple steps – our Enviro-Guide has some easy tips for a greener planet.

the planet – train travel is a preferred method for many Canadians highlights some of the province’s organic, sustainable wineries

From the editor Melissa Smalley


ith a name like Indulge, one might not think protecting the environment is high on our priority list, so with Earth Day coinciding with this edition’s distribution, what better time to celebrate all things eco-friendly? The first Earth Day was celebrated in the U.S. on April 22, 1970, spearheaded by a governor from Wisconson and a Harvard University student, as a way to raise support for environmental reform. It wasn’t until 1990 that Canada – and more than a hundred other countries around the world – joined in on the earth-loving fun. I can still remember my first brush with Earth Day – my elementary school class was given a douglas fir seedling to take home and plant. Some 13 years later, when it came time for my parents to sell our house, the tree my dad and I planted in our backyard was one of the toughest things to leave behind. The environmental movement has come a long way since the first celebration of Earth Day in Canada. For many people, things like recycling and energy conservation are almost second nature in our day-to-day lives. Many municipalities have banned the use 4 APRIL 2011 INDULGE

of pesticides – which can have negative effects on the environment and personal health – and are exploring organic waste-collection programs, to reduce the amount of solid waste going to our landfills. But there is still work to be done, so we’re taking a look at the latest in luxury hybrid vehicles, exploring the benefits of train travel and highlighting some of the province’s top organic and sustainable wineries. We also chat with Vancouver’s pioneer of ‘green cuisine’ John Bishop, who recalls the early days of the eat-seasonal movement. And we feature a Coquitlam-based couple whose freediving expertise earned them a pivitol role in the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, about the shocking slaughter of dolphins taking place in Japan. If you’re interested in some of the small steps you can take towards a ‘greener’ life, check out our Enviro-Guide for some tips. I hope you enjoy this issue, and remember to treat our planet with care – after all, it’s the only one we have.

Publisher Linda Klitch Managing Editor Lance Peverley Editor Melissa Smalley Advertising Manager Rita Walters Creative Services Manager Jim Chmelyk Contributors Erin Anderson • Lee Dorner • Jennifer Gauthier Robyn Jenkins • Grant McAvoy • Jason McRobbie John Schreiner • Scott Sutherland Indulge is published eight times annually by Black Press Suite 200 2411 160 Street Surrey, BC V3S 0C8 Tel: 604-575-5321 Fax: 604-531-7977 Distributed free to select households in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Paid subscriptions available. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.

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Bishop’s Castle

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Where Seasonal is Timeless by Jason McRobbie • photos by Grant McAvoy


or all the superlatives with which he has been described, John Bishop is nothing if not egoless. From the heart of his white-walled, art-adorned, Kitsilano enclave, he has held culinary court for more than a quarter century. Beginning with a relative pittance of investment and a lifetime of growing passion, in 1985 he opened the doors to Bishop’s. Shortly thereafter, a legend was born. Polite to a fault, gracious by nature and consumed by a vision both simple and complex, he is a man without paradox: guided by the changing season, unwavering principles and one very talented kitchen headed by executive chef Andrea Carlson. For Bishop, a father figure in the field, green is not so much a colour as an ethos that illuminates the broader spectrum of his life. “My passion goes back to my father and the backyard garden we kept in Shopshire, England,” he explains. “That garden was of so much value to us. We had chickens. We had eggs. We had fresh

vegetables and fruit when it was warm and preserves through the winter. I can’t say that I appreciated it fully at the time, but it was a part of me.” Moving forth, his first job was as a dishwasher for a hotel. Their fish was caught directly from the adjacent river. The culinary hook was set. Moving to North America after pursuing his chef’s papers, he quickly developed an admiration for Alice Waters and Jonathon Waxman. Both were putting the focus on local and seasonal; although any thoughts of opening his own restaurant were years away, his vision was set. He did not call it green. He called it good food, common sense and outstanding taste. It was elegant. It was simple. It was seasonal. More than anything, it made mealtime both a special celebration and a daily conversation. Countless awards and accolades later, Bishop remains undaunted by success, as entranced by his milieu as the day he opened. “People really do get it. More and more, people get the creativity and the message of what chef Andrea does. It is so sophisticated, but so subtle,” Bishop says, having long ago moved his attentions to the front of house. “I can’t anticipate what she will do with what our local suppliers have brought in, but it is always wonderful to see the reactions on people’s faces.” For Carlson, as locavore as they come, the inspiration is both ample and obvious. Her home garden burgeons come spring, and the suppliers who show up at the restaurant’s back door never fail to capture her imagination with their offerings. Case in point, the contributions of Running Squirrel, a First Nations harvester, who has just delivered a medley of wild garlic, spring onion, miner’s lettuce and clover: all will find their way into the night’s menu. As per du jour, the dishes will hit home. “I think people are tuned in to where their food comes from,” says Carlson. “It’s great to provide them with an eating journey and further that experience.” At Bishop’s, as perhaps within your own home, green is not so much a philosophy as a reflection: of where, when and how we choose to live. At no time is this understanding as evident as come spring. As summer beckons and winter lingers, local fields and waters offer a bounty both nourishing and sprightly, at once aspiring and elegant. What results are dishes that provide nourishment on many levels: none so green as what will come in due time, all feeding a deeper sense of what food really means. i

People are tuned in to where their food comes from...

Recipes, see pages 8-9 INDULGE • APRIL 2011 7

Yukon and Nettle Soup

Yukon and Nettle Soup Serves 2 2 cups nettle leaves (remove leaves using gloves to avoid stinging!) 2 Tbsp butter 2 shallots, diced 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled, sliced 1 sprig thyme, picked 1 fresh bay leaf 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken) 2 Tbsp 36% cream to taste salt 2 oysters (kusshis are divine, Fanny Bay just fine!) to garnish fresh fennel fronds Bring medium pot of salted water to boil and blanch nettles for one minute. Refresh in ice water. Set aside. Sweat shallots in butter over medium heat in a medium sized pot. Add potato, aromatics and stock. Bring to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender. Add cream, remove bay leaves and blend until smooth. Season with salt. Just before serving, blend warm soup with blanched nettle to maintain green color. Serve with poached oyster and fresh fennel fronds.

Poached Helmer Farm’s Egg on Toast Serves 2 2 local farm eggs (or from your back yard chicken) 2 slices brioche or other rich bread, cut 2”x2”, toasted 8 APRIL 2011 INDULGE

Poached Egg on Toast

1 large sunroot (Jerusalem artichoke), scrubbed and diced 1 Tbsp butter 4 oz wild mushrooms, (trumpets, chanterelles, hedgehogs), cleaned 10 leaves flat leaf parsley 1 leaf tarragon to taste salt & pepper to garnish onion flowers (or chive blossoms/garlic flowers) to garnish chicken stock reduction* (optional) Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Lower eggs gently with a slotted spoon into the water. Cook eggs for 5 - 6 minutes depending on size. Remove from water and peel. While eggs cook, toast bread in oven until golden. Heat butter in small saute pan until just golden and add the diced sunroot. Cook quickly until just tender (1.5 minutes) and add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are just cooked and toss in herbs. Spoon immediately onto plate and top with toast and egg. Finish with a chicken stock reduction sauce if desired and top with spring onion flowers.

Chicken Stock Reduction 5 2 2 2 2 2

lb. chicken backs and necks, roasted carrots, peeled and chopped onion, peeled and chopped celery stalks, sliced sprigs thyme bay leaf

Cover bones with cold water and bring to a simmer. Skim and add vegetables. Simmer for three hours. Strain and reduce to thick syrup consistency.

Roasted Sidney Island Venison

Roasted Sidney Island Venison 2 x 5 oz venison denver leg or loin, seasoned with salt & pepper 6 baby gold beets, roasted and peeled 12 fiddleheads, trimmed and blanched until tender 1/3 cup vegetable stock 1 Tbsp butter 6 pieces wood sorrel or oxalis venison reduction celeriac puree * Pre-heat oven to 425 F. For best flavour, venison needs to be kept rare to medium rare. Give the venison a rub down with kosher or sea salt and fresh pepper before pan searing venison for 1.5 minutes on each side and finishing in the oven for no more than 3 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. In the same pan, heat beets and fiddleheads with splash of vegetable stock and butter while meat rests. Serve sliced venison with beets, fiddleheads, jus and celeriac puree. Garnish with wood sorrel.

Celeriac Puree 2 celeriac (celery root), diced (about 1 cup) 2 shallots, sliced 2 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup cream to taste salt Sweat shallots in butter and add celeriac. Cook over low heat for a few minutes being careful not to get colour on the vegetables. Add a splash of cream and cover. Cook until tender. Season with salt and blend.

Pink Lady Apple Crostada Serves 6 6 pate brisee dough*, rolled out 8-inch round 8 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 cup flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or to taste) pinch salt 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, in pieces 2 Tbsp whipping cream 2 Tbsp turbinado or coarse sugar Line an 11x17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll each pastry around a rolling pin and unroll across the baking sheet. Set aside. Place apples, flour, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well. Carefully pile apples in the centre of each pastry, leaving a 3-inch border between the fruit and the edge of the pastry all the way around. Dot apples with butter. Fold and tuck the sides of the pastry around the fruit, leaving a 3-inch area exposed filling in the centre. Refrigerate

the crostadas, uncovered for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Brush pastry crust with cream, then sprinkle with turbinado (or coarse) sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F. Bake for another 40 minutes, or until juices are bubbling. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Top with whipped cream or yogurt as desired.

Patee Brisee 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp granulated sugar 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup cold butter 1/3 cup cold water 1 egg 1 Tbsp water Combine flour, granulated sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and work into the flour mixture with your fingers until the dough has the consistency of a coarse meal. Add the 1/2 cup of cold water and knead lightly until well combined.

Pink Lady Apple Crostada

Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes. This will relax the dough and make it easier to roll. Divide the dough into six pieces. Lightly dust a clean dry work surface with flour and roll each piece into an 8” round no more than 1/4” thick.

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The Depth of Freedom Freediving B.C. couple risk it all for Oscar-winning documentary by Melissa Smalley


t’s the middle of the night, as the halfdozen crew members creep away from their hotel rooms to the van waiting in the parking lot. The passenger in the front seat shoots nervous glances over his shoulder as the van pulls way, checking to see if the group is being followed. They arrive at their destination and begin their descent on foot down a rugged path they’ve never walked. It’s pitch black, and their only source of vision is a military-grade thermal camera, held by the leader of the pack.


At the end of the path is a sheer rock face. Two of the team members make their way down and slip into the cold saltwater below, disappearing underneath the surface. After a few moments of silence, the camera picks up the image of two mysterious figures approaching from the distance. Flashlights shine down the path and the group leader urgently calls to the others that it’s time to go. The two emerge from the black water and reunite with the group, with barely enough time to escape before the unexpected visitors arrive.

If this sounds like a scene from a movie, it is. But these aren’t actors, and their danger is all too real. The 2009 documentary, The Cove, directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos – now executive director of the U.S.-based Oceanic Preservation Society – highlights the mass killings of dolphins in a remote area of Taiji, Japan. The divers who were recruited to help with exposing the shocking and violent practice were Coquitlam residents Kirk Krack and his wife, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank.

It was the couple’s expertise in freediving – a sport similar to scuba diving, but with much less equipment, most notably an air tank – that caught the attention of the movie’s expedition leader. In 2007, Cruickshank set the women’s world record for deepest dive, when she reached a depth of 88 metres (289 feet) on one breath – one of several records she set when competing under the coaching of Krack, who coached six divers to 20 world records in his career. Though no longer competitive divers, the couple now teaches the sport to people with advanced scuba diving or basic freediving training, through their internationally known company, Performance Freediving. “Scuba diving is like jumping in your Hummer, rolling up the windows, turning on the air conditioning with music blasting, and driving through the forest to see all the wildlife,” Krack explains. “Whereas freediving is like throwing on your hiking boots and backpack and going on a real hike in the forest. You’re entering the water on its own terms.” Using a combination of relaxation and equalizing techniques – as well as the ability to hold your breath for great lengths (Krack’s longest-held breath is 6:47, while Cruickshank’s is 6:25) – provides an experience in the water the couple describes as “natural, sleek and fluid.” Their involvement with The Cove, however, wasn’t the typical peaceful and serene dive, and it presented challenges the experienced divers hadn’t encountered

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, swimming with dolphins Photo courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society during any previous excursions. In early production days, the film was meant to be a half-hour TV special on the pressure the world’s oceans were under, but it quickly evolved into a full-length documentary with the discovery of a topsecret dolphin slaughter that was taking place in a hidden cove on the coast of Japan. “I remembered back to a 1970-something National Geographic with a full page picture of just blood-red water and all these dolphins lined up, and I remember thinking ‘hadn’t we stopped this?’” Krack recalls, when the film’s director first showed

You’re entering the water on its own terms…

Aerial view of ‘the cove’ in Taiji, Japan. Photo courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society

the two rough footage of what was taking place. With fears of being followed by the Japanese mafia, and threats of arrest or even violence against the film’s team, Psihoyos gave the couple the option of backing out. “Basically, Louie said, ‘We understand if you can’t go any further with us, this is something we’re still going to do, but if you can’t join us on this part of it, we completely understand.’ And we said, ‘let’s go.’” Armed with underwater audio and video gear, Krack, Cruickshank and the rest of the film’s ‘black-ops’ team twice snuck into the heavily guarded cove in the dead of the night. In complete darkness and unfamiliar territory, the divers entered the frigid water – where dozens of dolphins were already trapped and destined to be killed the next day. The couple was tasked with placing the film and audio gear deep underwater, to capture the sounds and images of what was to take place the following morning. Cruickshank describes the dives as unlike any other she’s taken part in before. “You’ve got so many mixed feelings about what’s going on. You’re going in and not releasing the dolphins that are there, knowing what their fate is going to be. “Plus you’re in water that’s completely black and that you’ve never dove in before, and you kind of have to assume that there’s going to be predators around, because of the kill that happens there. And in our sport, you try to relax and slow everything down, but you can’t slow your heart rate down when people are coming down the path searching for you and you have all these thoughts going through your head.”



Members of The Cove’s ‘black ops’ mission. Photo courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society

Every day, you have the choice to do something that’s better for you and the environment The film’s crew managed to complete the movie, which went on to win an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2009. The movie has not only raised awareness around the globe about the horrors of where captive dolphins come from, it has also opened doors for Krack and Cruickshank, who are currently working with the creators of The Cove on a new movie about human-caused extinction, called Singing Planet. And for a couple whose lives revolve so closely around the ocean – their one-year-old daughter is named Kaila, meaning ‘ocean’ in Hawaiian – their involvement in these films has also made them more aware of the fragility of the planet. “Our success in The Cove has opened a lot of doors for us to meet a lot of knowledgeable, influential people who are in the know,” Krack says. “They’re trying to get the word out and we’re able to learn from them and get the word out, too. Ignorance isn’t bliss anymore.” Issues such as unsustainable and harmful fishing practices, pollution and a general disrespect for the ocean are at the forefront of the problems for the couple, who recall an incident while filming The Cove that hit home. “We came across this dolphin that wanted to play with us, and it had found a plastic bag,” Krack describes. “Eventually, it came up to Mandy with this plastic bag and she grabbed it and it was having a tug of war, like you would with a dog and a sock. Yet here it is, playing with garbage.” The couple encourages people to take simple steps – recycling, avoiding plastic bags and being careful where their fish and other meat comes from – to start to reduce the negative impacts on the 12 APRIL 2011 INDULGE

delicate environment. “Every day, you have a choice to do something that’s better for you and the environment, or not,” Krack says. They also encourage people who aren’t in touch with the wonders of the ocean to spend more time in the water and learn to appreciate both its allure and fragility. “We’re the type of creature that, if we don’t know something, we don’t respect it,” Cruickshank says. “A lot of people don’t see the water on a daily basis or have anything to do with it, so they just don’t respect it. We’ve got to start doing that, or it’s game over.” i

Jennifer Gauthier photo


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Indulge in...


La Vie Boheme Indulge springs into the latest in hippie-chic fashions


Top left, Animale blouse and grey pants, with Nikibiki tank and Kenneth Cole ‘Reaction’ sandals, from Dena’s Boutique, 604888-0029 Top right, olive sequin tunic by Bandolera with white Gerry Webber ankle pants, from Edward Chapman Woman Left, floral cream top by Language with Simpli green pants, Bauxo bracelet and FitFlops, from Dena’s Boutique Right, Zeb B brown dress with Anuschka purse and Tanis Designs necklace, matched with Kenneth Cole ‘Reaction’ sandals, all from Dena’s Boutique 16 APRIL 2011 INDULGE


Smart Styles Young Vancouverite has designs on making a difference by Melissa Smalley


or conscientious consumers, there’s no shortage of eco-friendly options on the market these days – from hybrid vehicles to solar-powered patio lights, it seems there’s a green alternative to almost everything. And lucky for Lower Mainlanders who strive to keep the environment in mind while staying fashionable and trendy, Canada’s top eco-fashion designer is right in our own backyard. Vancouver native Nicole Bridger has become a familiar name in the local fashion scene, since launching her eco-fashion line, Nicole Bridger Designs, in the spring of 2007. With pieces she describes as “effortless and luxurious,” Bridger is tapping into a niche market within the fashion industry and finding plenty of demand from eco-conscious fashionistas. Her penchant for sustainable design started when she was studying at Toronto’s Ryerson University. “In university, I was always using natural fibers, and that was long before there was even a term called ‘eco fashion,’” Bridger, 29, explains. “We just did it because we thought it was the right thing to do.” All of the pieces in Bridger’s line are made from sustainable fabrics – including organic cotton, linen and silk – and finished with lowimpact dyes. The majority of the clothes are manufactured in Vancouver, and whatever is made overseas is produced following fair-trade standards.


The approach of environmental and social consciousness is all a part of the company’s mantra – “do what’s right for the earth, its people and their spirit.” Each piece of clothing has a tag sewn to it with the affirmation “I am love.” “It’s a reminder to speak kindly to yourself and kindly to others, and to help spread positivity,” Bridger says, noting her fashions aren’t just about the environment. “You can’t have the environment without its people, and you can’t have people without their spirits,” she says. “There’s no point in making something sustainable if we’re making it in an unethical way.” While Bridger’s work has made an impact locally – she’s set to open her flagship store in Kitsilano May 7 – she has also made a big splash across the country and into the U.S. Last year, Bridger received the first-ever Canadian Eco-Designer of the Year award, celebrating her green approach to fashion design. In addition to being a huge honour, Bridger says the award also opened doors for her across the border. “It was really exciting that the award even Nicole Bridger exists – it’s a sign to me of the progression of things and where things are going,” she says. “I felt really proud to be Canada’s first and to get a chance to go to New York and show them what we can do.” To find out more about Bridger’s designs and philosophies, visit

You don’t have to be a long-haired, tree-hugging hippie to want to make a difference for the environment. But while we can’t all afford to buy brand new hybrid vehicles, or outfit our homes with solar panels, there are simple steps to take in our daily lives that can go a long way in helping our planet survive. Indulge has compiled this three-page ‘Enviro-Guide’ to help our readers navigate some easily adaptable changes for a greener tomorrow.

Want to save the world Reducing solid waste

While we’ve come a long way since the days of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the trash can, there is still a lot of work to be done to reduce the amount of solid waste heading to our landfills each year. Metro Vancouver produces 3.6 million tonnes of solid waste annually, with a goal to divert at least 70 per cent of that waste from our landfills by 2015. The simplest step that can be taken is to recycle. And that doesn’t just mean the obvious: newspapers, plastic containers and pop cans. There are plenty of other items around the house – toilet-paper rolls, shampoo bottles and vitamin containers, to start – that are too often forgotten when it

comes time to discard them. Composting food scraps is another great way to cut down on how much you’re sending to the landfill. Many municipalities – including Surrey – sell backyard composters for around $25. These devices have a capacity of around 80 gallons and are best used in flat, sunny areas that have good drainage. Helpful instructions can be found at the City of Surrey website, Perhaps an important first step is to be aware of the amount of packaging that products have when you purchase them. Whenever possible, try to avoid buying items that are packaged beyond their needs, sometimes shrouded in layers of plastic. Don’t miss a thing. Follow us on Facebook.

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Consuming responsibly In our hectic lives, it can be hard to find the time to go grocery shopping, let alone put forth the effort to read all the labels of everything we’re buying. However, being a responsible consumer can not only be beneficial for the environment, it can support more ethical purveyors of the products we buy. Coffee, for example, isn’t something most people put much thought into. However, it’s one of the biggest international businesses, with more than 25 million coffee farmers worldwide. When buying coffee, look for Fair Trade certification – this ensures that the coffee-bean farmers are receiving a fair price for coffee, which results in more economic stability and a higher standard of living. Right here in B.C., there are several organic, fair-trade coffee suppliers, including Salt Spring Coffee, Ethical Bean and Kicking Horse (which is roasted and distributed out of Invermere). Seafood is another important product to be aware of when shopping. Since the 1970s, global consumption of seafood has doubled, resulting in drastic overfishing of certain species. Some fishing practices can also cause habitat damage or ‘bycatch’ (when an estimated 25 per cent of what is caught is unintended or discarded). Look for the Ocean Wise symbol when buying seafood – this logo guarantees that the species you’re buying are abundant and resilient to fishing pressure, managed as a part of a comprehensive plan based on current research and harvested in a way that limits bycatch and damage to ocean habitats. Consumers even have the option to be responsible when shopping for things they won’t be eating or drinking.

Live Your S tyle

Kicking Horse Coffee roasting plant, Invermere, B.C. Purchasing furniture, artwork and other household items made by local artisans not only supports the local economy, but cuts down on the travel distance from manufacturing to your home. Briar Codesmith, owner of HouseWarmings in South Surrey, says customers are often surprised to find that many of the items in her store are made by people in their own backyard. “I find with stuff like this, it’s usually of a higher calibre. Plus there’s usually a story to go along with it, of how it was made,” Codesmith says. While it’s impossible to keep tabs on every little thing we buy, being aware of where things are coming from and how they’re made is a good first step to becoming a more responsible consumer.


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Avoiding harmful chemicals “We’ve narrowed it down to a list of 12. When it comes to environmental Many of these are harmful or toxic to both responsibility, shampoo, laundry detergent the person and the environment. We know and floor cleaner don’t immediately come that when we wash things down to mind as being potentially the drain, it doesn’t just go harmful to our planet’s health. away.” However, there are plenty of While Coulter acknowledges products we use in our day-to-day hunting down complex chemical lives that are not only potentially names on every personalharmful to our eco-system, but to care product we buy can be a our own health as well. daunting task, she recommends Lindsay Coulter – known as taking small steps towards the David Suzuki Foundation’s healthier consumer choices. Queen of Green – has been “My biggest tip, if you want focusing her work for the past Lindsay Coulter to simplify, is to avoid parfum several years on identifying or fragrance, which is in most harmful chemicals and finding of our personal-care products – shampoo, safer alternatives. deodorant, soap – and is often the last She lists 12 toxic chemicals commonly ingredient on the list,” she says, noting that found in personal-care products – dubbed parabens are red-flag chemicals that are “The Dirty Dozen” – as the main culprits to avoid when shopping for items such as soap, found in numerous beauty products. “These are used as a preservative that can interfere deodorant and moisturizer. with hormone function and has also been “One of the things that we’ve been looking associated with breast cancer.” into is how to get people to reduce their While scrutinizing the ingredients on exposure to products containing known personal-care products can give us a better or suspected carcinogens or toxins that are idea of which brands to avoid, determining known to cause liver damage.

which household products are a safe choice can be a little more tricky. “When it comes to household products, such as air fresheners, floor cleaner, laundry soap, companies and manufacturers are not required to label the ingredients,” Coulter says, adding that many companies using plant-based ingredients are opting to voluntarily label their products’ contents. “My motto is… if you don’t see an ingredient list on the laundry soap or floor cleaner, it’s probably best left on the shelf.” Coulter points out there are many safer alternatives on the market both for personal care and household cleaning products, but suggests that consumers try to decrease the variety of items they’re buying. “Take a look at what you’re using and see if you can tone it down,” she said. “Do you really need countertop cleaner, floor cleaner, kitchen cleaner, or can you simplify with one good, all-purpose cleaner that’s biodegradable and doesn’t have petroleum?” For a complete list of the Dirty Dozen and more tips on green household products, visit i

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a Frenz Winery in Penticton has a new Pinot Noir vineyard in which winery owner Jeff Martin will use an old-fashioned tillage tool: sheep. The sheep will graze on the grass and weeds between the vine rows. The conventional way of cultivating vineyards involves tractors and ploughs. In Jeff’s vineyard, that would cause serious erosion on the steep slopes. He could also spray chemicals on the weeds but he prefers to keep JOHN weed-control chemicals out of Schreiner the vineyard. The sheep will do it naturally as well as introducing natural fertilizer. This is not a gimmick. He is making an extra effort to farm his vineyards with sustainable practices that will keep them producing for generations to come. La Frenz, which makes some of the best wines in the Okanagan, is among the growing number of wineries in British Columbia that, quite commendably, have adopted green practices. It takes just a little bit of homework for consumers to identify these good citizens (start with their websites) and then to reward them by buying their wines. Some wineries identify themselves as organic producers. The current examples, found on the website of the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society, include SummerGate Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Rollingdale Winery, Kalala Estate Organic Winery,

Canvass winery websites for clues on their operations. Your support is the best reward for good behaviour.

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Jeff Martin of La Frenz Winery Chandra Estate Winery, Dunham & Froese, Robin Ridge Vineyards, The View Winery, Forbidden Fruit Winery, Rustic Roots Winery, Sea Cider Farm, Working Horse Vineyards, Okanagan Spirits and Pemberton Distillery. Several other organic producers such as Beaumont and Mistaken Identity are certified with other organizations. Organic wineries – the ones that grow grapes without the use of herbicides or pesticides – are organic for the right reasons. For example, Mike and Gillian Stohler, the owners of newly opened SummerGate, bought their vineyard near Summerland in 2007 and immediately began the transition to organic. “We have a young family of four little ones,” Mike says. “We did not want the chemicals around for practical reasons.” He has no quarrel with non-organic producers as long as their farming practices are sustainable. There are many practices that go into a winery being environmentally sustainable. Not eliminating all of the wildlife in the vineyards is an example. Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, one of the greenest of the major Okanagan wineries, makes a point of not killing rattlesnakes when they are encountered in the vineyard. Instead, the snakes are relocated. Similarly, when the vineyard workers come across meadowlark nests among the wines, they avoid that part of the vineyard until the eggs have hatched. Wineries like Tinhorn Creek, Orofino Vineyards, Road 13 and Stag’s Hollow Winery are all working to reduce the carbon footprint to a minimum through imaginative ways that curtail energy consumption, recycle bottles, reduce water consumption and generally use their corner of the earth responsibly. You might want to canvass winery web sites for clues on their operations. Your support is the best reward for good behaviour. i John Schreiner is one of Canada’s best-known wine writers with 15 books published since 1984. Contact John at

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A new generation of ‘hyper’ hybrids aims to electrify the senses BMW 2011 Active Hybrid

by Scott Sutherland


nce upon a time, there was a fear the automobile was destined for mediocrity. There was a constant uneasiness that the automotive world would be taken over by ‘efficient’ vehicles that are slow, serene and… well… pleasantly peaceful but less than exciting to drive. Thankfully, it was never to be. A new generation of environmentally responsible ‘hyper’ hybrid sedans, SUVs and crossovers are smashing barriers and forging a pathway to an exciting future ahead. Rise up and cheer – “Green power to the people!” Some of the latest and most significant applications of hybrid technology are making their way into luxury and performance vehicles. This is significant because consumers can have assertive expectations – and rightfully so – of higher calibre vehicles. A premium hybrid vehicle must be a captivating proposition when compared to its traditional ‘non-hybrid’ stable mates. It’s been more than a decade since the first hybrid vehicles came to market in Canada, with the introduction of the Toyota Prius in 2000, considered the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Lexus followed with the introduction of the RX400h SUV in 2005.


According to Lexus of Canada, it became “the world’s first luxury hybrid.” Today, the premium vehicle market in Canada is exploding with new hybrid technology. Manufacturers, such as BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Cadillac and Lincoln are all showcasing their newest hybrid masterpieces. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense. According to the global-marketing information company, J.D. Power and Associates, “Buyers of HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) and BEVs (battery electric vehicles) are generally older, more highly educated… highincome individuals who have a deep interest in technology” – a prime consumer group for premium vehicle manufacturers. No doubt, this consumer group will carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of a “hyper” hybrid Lexus HS25 Interior before making a purchasing decision. Fuel efficiency, pricing and performance statistics will certainly be considered. Taking a close look, the comparisons are interesting. For example, BMW’s 2011 Active Hybrid 7L (MSRP $132,300) commands a $15,700 upgrade over its non-hybrid variation – the 2011 750Li xDrive (MSRP $116,600).


The new generation of hyper hybrids has enough green power to pack a punch The hybrid version actually outperforms in acceleration (0-100 km/h) with an astounding time of 5.1 seconds (versus 5.4 seconds). Further, it has more total power (455 hp versus 400 hp) and better fuel efficiency (city: 12 L/100 km versus city: 15.4 L/100 km). The hybrid is actually faster and more powerful than the non-hybrid model. Another example is the 2011 MercedesBenz S 400 HYBRID (MSRP $105,900), which is actually lower priced than its non-hybrid sibling – the 2011 MercedesBenz S 450 4MATIC (MSRP $108,000). In this case, the hybrid accelerates at a milder pace of 7.2 seconds versus 5.9 seconds (0-100 km/h). The hybrid version also has less power (295 hp versus 335 hp). However, no surprise, fuel efficiency is better with a city rating of 11.0 L/100 km (versus 14.9 L/100 km). To be fair, while the hybrid version may not have the aggressive performance of its sibling, the hybrid is still an exceptional machine – placing more emphasis on efficiency rather than performance. The growth of hybrid applications will have an interesting effect on the auto industry. Premium hybrid vehicles will certainly raise the vogue factor of ‘going green,’ which could potentially influence consumer acceptance. It’s interesting to note that the world of auto racing is also embracing hybrid science. Porsche has drawn a line in the sand and boldly announced it is very serious about hybrid technology. At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Porsche unveiled

its wild 918 RSR racing car – which, according to Porsche, is a “racing laboratory for hybrid technology.” This is good news because racing technology often trickles down into consumer vehicles. Porsche is on a mission. In the racing world, all eyes are on Porsche. Progress is a beautiful thing. So, too, is the environment. Increasingly, consumers are adopting a viewpoint that the environment does not belong to our generation – but rather, is borrowed from future generations. This growing awareness of sustainability is a driving force behind the push for better, more efficient, more environmentally responsible automobiles. However, consumers are still human – they still crave desirable automobiles that electrify the senses. Thankfully, auto manufacturers appear to be listening. With a new generation of premium “hyper” hybrids, and even the arrival of hybrids on the race track, manufacturers are creating responsible vehicles that can indeed excite. CEOs of the auto world are acknowledging that “going green” needs to be sensible – and that consumers analyze multiple factors such as practicality, reliability, fuel efficiency, performance and cost when evaluating a hybrid. Hold on tight – the new generation of hyper hybrids has enough green power to pack a punch. Good times lay ahead with no guilt required. The future of personal transportation is looking bright … and very green. i

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A travel option with benefits beyond a reduced carbon footprint by Lee Dorner


ur big blue planet isn’t getting any smaller or greener on its own. And while airlines help to solve the problem of distance, the aviation industry is one of the fastest-growing sources of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This leads some experts to suggest trains are the future of sustainable transportation, pointing to the highly successful networks of high-speed rail in Europe and Japan as proof. But ask Canadians what comes to mind when they think of trains, and their response will likely have something to do with the Canadian Pacific Railway’s transcontinental railroad that linked the nation together some 125 years ago. Our rail infrastructure has fallen well behind the pace set by other parts of the world since then. In fact, given a choice of planes, trains or automobiles for a family of four to get from Vancouver to Toronto, our trains are actually the slowest and most environmentally damaging option. “A car is more efficient with four people because a car emits less greenhouse gases than a huge train,” says Cherise Burda, transportation director for the Pembina Institute, a non-profit sustainable energy think tank. “Interestingly, the plane is slightly more efficient, too, because flying can take a much more direct route than a train. A plane, on average, travels 25 per cent less distance than the train from Vancouver to Toronto.”


Burda found that a car of average fuelefficiency carrying four passengers would emit 540 kilograms of greenhouse gas per person round trip, while the number jumps to 1,175 kg on a direct flight and 1,350 kg on a train. Burda emphasizes that cars are only efficient when at capacity though, and the emissions data from the trip alone doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, the almost fourday train ride from Vancouver to Toronto could be considered part of the vacation for people who enjoy the sightseeing along the way. Flyers would reach their destination in mere hours, which could mean extra time spent driving around in a rented car at their destination, adding to their vacation’s carbon footprint. The spectacular views were certainly part of the attraction for

Mathew Lee, a 25-year-old corporal in the Canadian Forces Infantry Reserves, when he took advantage of a Via Rail promotion in 2008 for military personnel and rode the train from his hometown of Toronto to Vancouver. Having never taken a solo trip anywhere – much less a journey across the secondlargest country on Earth – Lee was nervous at the outset, but those nerves were calmed by the diverse cross-section of nature he observed along the way. “The scenery was amazing from start to finish,” he says, recalling countless lakes, rivers, forests and animals he spotted along the way. But none of it topped his first glimpse of the Rockies. “What was most memorable to me was seeing a mountain for the first time. I constantly had the urge to run off and climb one – but the urge to jump off a moving train to do so just wasn’t there.”


On a plane, it’s more about getting there fast. The train is more about the journey. Carolyn Heller, a Vancouver-based travel writer, agrees taking the train has some intangible benefits not measured in ticket prices or GHG emissions. “There’s something more sociable about a long train journey,” she says. “I’ve travelled quite a lot by train in China, and I’ve always enjoyed chatting with people on the way. On a plane, it’s more about getting there fast. The train is more about the journey.” And if hanging out on a train isn’t your idea of a great vacation, there are significant environmental benefits to riding the rails for shorter trips. Some of the world’s largest airlines have more than doubled their annual passenger numbers since 2005. However, total travel distance peaked in 2008 for most major airlines, and has been declining since, meaning that more people are flying shorter distances – a worst-case scenario for the environment. Most of a flight’s damage is done during takeoff and the climb to cruising altitude, when planes are burning the most fuel. This process takes up more of the total flight time for a short flight, and cruising altitude will be lower and less fuel-efficient, emitting more GHG per kilometre travelled than long flights. One-hour flights from Toronto to Ottawa might seem too convenient to pass up, as Via Rail lists the travel time between four and five hours each direction. But considering the added time for getting through airport security and boarding, and the similar plane and train ticket prices for such a trip, the green option might not be such a hassle after all. Burda found the GHG emissions from a plane on the Toronto-Ottawa route to be more than twice as high as a train’s. And that’s with our old-fashioned dieselpowered trains, which have higher emissions than electric or magneticlevitation trains used in other countries. Burda says it’s important to remember that electric vehicles still have to get their power from somewhere, and they won’t be too eco-friendly in areas where most power is generated with fossil fuels. But for hydro powerdominated B.C., electric

transportation would be easier on the environment. “It would really behoove B.C. to push forward with electric vehicles because of the clean power grid,” Burda said. “A lot of B.C.’s emissions are coming from their transportation sector as opposed to their power sector.” There is an obvious advantage that the Japanese and Europeans have over us when it comes to implementing major high-speed train routes – a larger population to serve with far less ground to cover. But that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration and the US High Speed Rail Association from proposing some ambitious high-speed rail projects for the U.S., some of which call for connections to Canada. “The government can choose to spend more money on highways, which is not the way to go because they will keep filling up, or they can spend the money on a better rail network,” says Burda But even if we don’t get nationwide high-speed rail any time soon, the truly green thing to do is simply cut back on vacations, and opt for local destinations when the travel bug does bite. “The more you can travel closer to home, the better. Whether you go by car, train or plane, your carbon footprint by travelling is going to be pretty big.” And if you do get the urge to get in touch with Canada’s roots and make the cross-country journey by train, do mother nature a favour and enjoy what she has to offer along the way. “Taking the train across Canada is something I feel every Canadian should try and do at least once in their lifetime,” says Lee. “It’s worth every penny.” i



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• White Rock Hospice Society’s ninth annual Hike for Hospice takes place May 1, from 9 a.m. to noon at Blackie Spit. Info at • Visit Bayview Park on Marine Drive or Fleetwood Park on 80 Avenue May 1 for the Scotiabank MS Walk. Visit www. for more info. • The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair returns May 20 to 23 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. Details at

Clockwise from top:

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April 2011 Indulge  

Complete April 2011 issue of Indulge Magazine as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, see

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