Tip of the Week compendium

If you have suggestions, please send them to Yves at the address in the first paragraph.


The Lasqueti Climate Change Action Group, an LCA committee presents the tip of the week.  Every week we post a tip or suggestion about a concrete action you can take to help reduce our carbon emissions.  If you have a tip to share or would like to join our committee, please email Yves Parizeau at yparizeau [at] gmail [dot] com.  Thanks.


And now, here is tip #1!

Are your feet cold in the house these days? If so, the reason is likely “blowing in the wind.” Drafts under doors and cold coming up from uninsulated floors and/or crawl spaces that are not skirted are the biggest contributors to your cold feet. A series of easy fixes start with simply weather stripping those outside doors (and windows). You’ll be truly amazed at how much less firewood will be needed if the drafts are sealed up.  (submitted by Ezra)


Tip #2

If you turn off your electronics when you’re not using them, you can save considerable power. Turn off your computer, printer, and router and put the inverter on “search”. (submitted by Wendy S.)

November 20, 2021

Tip #3

Burn only seasoned wood. The burning of green and unseasoned wood releases moisture which creates more pollution. more smoke, more creosote as it burns and sticks to your chimney.  Softwoods take about 6 months to dry and hardwoods take about 12 months.  The moisture content of seasoned wood should be 20% or less.  Moisture meters will soon be available on the island for you to borrow if you are interested in checking the moisture level of your firewood.  Stay tuned!


November 27, 2021


Tip #4

Resist the urge to peek in the oven while you’re baking. Every time you open the door the oven temperature can drop 25’F.

Submitted by Wendy S


December 3, 2021

Tip #5

If you're looking to reduce your plastic consumption and to refill your empty bottles of cleansers and personal care products, no need to drive to Nanaimo. Shades of Green, just a few stores down from the Craig Street laundromat in Parksville, has an impressive selection: laundry, dish, all- purpose cleaners, hand soaps, etc. These are available from four companies, mostly Canadian and some as close to home as Ucluelet and Vancouver. There are two lines of body care products, as well as some bulk edibles like sea salt. Plus a selection of bar shampoo and conditioners, which don’t look very impressive but work really well. Lots of other cool stuff, too!


December 10, 2021

Tip #6

This is a friendly reminder that we got a handy little group set up way back pre-Covid for ridesharing both on and off Lasqueti using the Telegram app.  Remember?  Perhaps we could get back in to using it?  Handy for organizing grocery pick up from the ferry etc etc too......  See rideshare rideshare.lasqueti.ca for more info.  Please respect different people's comfort levels around covid precautions (ie be willing to wear a mask in shared vehicles).  An offer to contribute $$ for gas is always a good idea too....

Credit for the original setup goes to Joseph Fall, Tracey Loverock, Brigitte Dorner, and Finnerty Cunliffe, thanks!

(submitted by Hilary D)


December 17, 2021

Tip #7

Have you figured out how to bake on your woodstove yet?  Why burn propane when you've already got the heater going?  All you need is a metal rack, cast iron trivet, or a couple of chunks of firebrick to lift the baking dish off the heater top and then a larger roasting pan or metal bowl to go over top.  A cover that is large enough to overhang the edge of the heater top improves the air circulation.  It's a bit trickier to control the temperature, but works great for more forgiving dishes like apple crumble or roasted veggies.

(submitted by Marti and Hilary)


January, 7 2022

Tip #8

Happy New Year, dear Lasquetians.  After a short holiday break, we’re ready to resume the tip of the week column!

Thanks to all of those who walk the talk: even the smallest action counts.  As a community, we can certainly celebrate all the good things we are already doing to live as sustainably as possible.

Today, we offer not really a tip but an invitation for you to come up with some actions to go even further in decreasing your carbon footprint in 2022.  Talk to your family members and neighbours.  Can you come up with an action plan?  Can you share more, such as vehicles, tools, and skills?  Can you reduce your plastic use, do more weatherproofing in your house, or ensure the wood you burn is well seasoned?  Can you find some time to write to government officials and ask for more action because this is a climate emergency? 

Two books worth reading and a few websites to explore:

Seth Klein, A Good War – Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency

Naomi Klein, On Fire – The burning case for a green new deal




(Submitted by Yves P.)



January 15, 2022

Tip #9

You can check your home for leaks on a windy day. Light 2 or 3 sticks of incense and, holding them together in a bundle, pass them around potential leak areas like doors, electrical outlets, windows, plumbing entries, baseboards. Look for smoke moving into the house on the windward side and being pulled out of the house on the leeward side. Then weatherstrip, seal, caulk, or insulate as necessary. Retro gaskets are available for electrical outlets, for example. Air infiltration can make up about one quarter to one third of your home's need for heat.

(Submitted by Wendy S.)

January 21, 2022

Tip #10

Here is a short and sweet one: Are your hot water pipes insulated?

(submitted by Wendy S)

January 28, 2022

Tip #11

Do you know that you should burn only firewood that has a moisture content of between 15% and 20%? How on earth are you going to determine that? Well, we have just the right instrument for you! We have been given a bunch of moisture meters by the Regional District. To borrow one, please get in touch with the person from this list who lives the closest to you:

- Hilary D.

- Wendy S.

- Peter J.

- Annie C.

- Jodi A.

For more info about how to use the meter and why it is harmful to burn wood with a high moisture content:


(submitted by Yves P.)


February 4, 2022

Tip # 12

By David And Fin, False Bay School

Do you love your home? Yes? Do you use single use plastics? If you do, you hate your home. Do you know that on a daily basis the United states produces enough trash to fill 63000 garbage trucks. What can you do to help? Get off that chair and pick up some litter !!! It's good to have a grabber tool to help pick up the litter. Tell your friends about it! Just do it!


February 11   Tip #13

A "haybox cooker" can help you save on cooking fuel (or just space on the top of the woodstove!) when cooking long-simmering things like rice or beans. Just get things boiling, and then instead of leaving on the stove to simmer, pack the pot (with lid on) into an insulated box. A cardboard box or cooler with some blankets, pillows or other insulating material arranged under, around and over top of the pot works great. I've heard of folks on bike tours using this method to cook meals in their bike trailer while they pedal!

(submitted by Hilary D.)


February 18    Tip #14

Change Light Bulbs to LEDs

· Some reasons why we should change our normal light bulbs to LEDs (light emitting diodes) is because LEDs use less energy and put out more light. It is way more efficient, so you can save more on gas for your generator or grid power, and they last longer, they’re more durable, they help the environment they provide higher-quality light and they can improve Workplace Performance

· Don’t use light bulbs marked incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, or sodium.

· LEDs don’t waste any energy by producing heat that isn’t needed.

· LEDs are what are in the screens of almost all mobile devices, letting your iPhone or computer’s battery last longer and your screen will last longer

· Fun fact: did you know LEDs on your computer screen are made of just three different colours? Red, blue and green. These colours are the three primary colours of light and if you mix them they can make all of the colours of the rainbow and more! These colours are made by exiting the particles of three different metals. Gallium, gallium nitride and gallium arsenide.

· If you put an LED in a newborn baby’s room, that bulb would last them till they moved away to college, and then some!

By Kahlio, Orion & Sawyer, False Bay School


February 25    Tip # 15

Winter is a great time to cut firewood. When it's bucked and split, stack it on rails or sills so it's off the ground, split sides down. Cover the top with roofing or plastic, which you'll have to tie down, as you want your stacks to be in a windy place, so they'll dry more quickly. Make sure your plastic doesn't come down to the ground. You only need to keep the rain off the wood, and you don't want to trap the moisture under the cover.

(submitted by Peter J.)


March 4   Tip #16

Why you should donate your clothes
By Akili & Vida, False Bay School
While you may already donate your clothes here are a few tips on why you should keep doing that good deed. And if you don’t, there are many good reasons why you should start donating your clothes today. Did you know that Canadians generate approximately 31 million tonnes of garbage a year (and only recycle about 30 percent of that material)? Each Canadian generates approximately 2.7 kg of garbage each day! While it may seem harmless to throw out your old used, too small clothes, these fabrics are likely to then end up in landfills, where they pile up to produce toxic greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere! Greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming! These gases are very dangerous for our environment and hazardous for our health. According to the EPA, it costs $45 on average per ton in the USA to dispose of waste in a landfill. You can donate your old clothes to a charity for FREE!! Which one seems a better choice to you?
You can basically donate everything but please don't donate any of your used underwear. THE END
Here are a few charities that you can donate to today!!
- Free Store on Lasqueti
- Society of Organized Services District 69-Community Services Centre
- Inclusion Parksville Society

- Forward House Community Society


March 11    Tip #17

This is a repeat from an earlier tip in case some people missed it. It has to do with using a moisture meter to check if your firewood is ready to be burned or not.

Do you know that you should burn only firewood that has a moisture content of between 15% and 20%? How on earth are you going to determine that? Well, we have just the right instrument for you! We have been given a bunch of moisture meters by the Regional District. To borrow one, please get in touch with the person from the list below who lives the closest to you (a number of Lasquetians have already borrowed one in the recent past) :

- Hilary D.     - Wendy S.     - Peter J.     - Annie C.     - Jodi A.

For more info about how to use the meter and why it is harmful to burn wood with a high moisture content:


(submitted by Yves P.)


March 18    Tip #18

Why we should use drying racks

From Ari and Sylva, False Bay School

There are many reasons why we should use drying racks. Not just because of conserving energy but also many more advantages: if you use a drying rack in the city, you're looking at just over $100 in savings per year. It costs less, it’s easy and it saves the planet! It’s a win-win! So STOP contributing to global warming and START saving the planet and money! The time for discussion is past, the time for action is NOW! We don’t have the right to stand by and do nothing, the world will not be destroyed by those that do evil, but by those that stand by and do nothing! It’s time to save the world, one drying rack at a time!



March 25    Tip #19

Turn off your inverter at night or when not in use. Some pure sine inverters use 25 watts of power just to stay ON. In my case this is like having every light in my house on.

(submitted by Tolling)


April 1    Tip #20

Ride a bike, not a car

by Ilah & Salum’mia, False Bay School

Ride a bike instead of driving in a car. When you ride a bike to your destination, you can get more exercise, and it's so much funner for you and healthier for the environment. The less you drive a car the less potholes are in the road. Did you know that less than seven percent of commutes are made on a bike. If you drive in your car your exhaust will go into the environment and it will create bad greenhouse gases. It’s very bad for all the animals and plants on the planets. But, if you ride a bike, there is no exhaust, and therefore, it is healthy all around. So ride your bike , and if you don’t have a bike, there are lots of bike shops and bikes for sale all around the world. (A suggested one is Big Grin Bikes.)


April 8    Tip #21

If you've ever had to do any cleaning work up around your skylight, you'll know how much heat collects up there, in them. Years ago, Boris Kukolj inspired me to try this at my place, as he had.

I have several skylights in my home, and I've found it very helpful to place a piece of opaque chloroplast into the wells. It keeps the heat from going up into the wells. First, apply a trim around the inside opening of the well. This will keep the piece of chloroplast from falling out. It can be any size, but I use a strip of fir that is roughly the same size as cedar lathe. A bit thicker than lathe is preferable, it gives you more wiggle room with the chloroplast. The trim should be flush with your ceiling, as you may want to apply a facing piece of trim, afterwards. After carefully measuring the skylight well (the opening) cut a piece of chloroplast roughly one-eighth inch smaller overall than the inside, untrimmed opening, and put it up inside the well. This might be a bit goofy and awkward, but if the fit is good, it will float down and rest nicely, and without any gaps, on the top of the trim.-There ya go!

What I also like about these "floating" skylight covers is that they let the natural light in, but they hide the ugly mossy roof-stuff that sometimes collects outside of them. And, if somehow a pesky fly gets inside of them, you just gently raise one side with a broom and the fly flies away. Also, no more cobwebs up in the well. Best of all, the household heat stays down, rather than up in the wells.

" The time to prepare for winter is in the summer"

(submitted by Darlene O.)


April 15    Tip #22

Have you got an insulating blanket around your hot water tank? Makes a huge difference!

(submitted by Ezra)


April 23    Tip #23

Two tips for the price of one...

Some suggestions for vehicle owners and drivers:

—keep your tire pressures up. It’s posted on your door post and max is shown on the tire sidewall. Keep a gauge and pump in the vehicle. Topped up tires save fuel and pollute less.

—service spark plugs regularly. Consider using platinum or iridium plugs in all your gas engines. Perhaps twice as much to buy, but last more than twice as long and fail rarely because the electrode gaps remain more constant over time. So, less money in the long term with misfires reduced by more constant gaps. Resulting fewer misfires help to reduce air pollution.

(Submitted by Larri Woodrow Retired high school Auto Tech 11 & 12 teacher)


April 29     Tip #24

Did you know that on average vehicles we own are unused 95% of the time and that Canadians spend almost $5000 a year for fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance for a vehicle that mainly sits idle? In these days of uncertainty and upheaval, it seems that the time has come for drastic changes. Talk to your neighbours about car sharing. Imagine reducing by half the number of vehicles on Lasqueti! We can do it!

(submitted by Yves)


May 6   Tip #25

Two tips for the price of one...

-Dusty roads demand more attention to air filters and changes. Consider buying a K&N Filter plus their cleaner so you can clean and re-install instead of tossing into the garbage.

-Newer vehicles pollute less and less as required by law. So, try to purchase newer vehicles.

(Submitted by Larri Woodrow)


May 14   Tip # 26

Now is the time to start planning for the next cold season and to replace your old wood stove with a newer EPA-certified one. They are up to 50% more energy efficient and use 1/3 less wood fuel for the same heat. They also significantly reduce carbon emissions. Check the rebate program offered by the Qathet Regional District – you get receive $400 in rebate although there are some strings attached and the installation must be completed by November 30, 2022:


Submitted by Yves P.)


May 20   Tip #27

Two tips for the price of one for vehicle owners:

- Don’t ignore your dash engine light. It should go out when you start up. If not, who has a code reader? Ask for theirs to read your codes. Go online with your fault code number to learn more about the fault, and to YouTube “experts” online lined up with postings showing you how to fix the problem. I choose those, unlike me, who use few words.

- watch your engine temperature gauge. The gauge should rise to midrange soon after starting. It’s not okay for engine or environment if it fails to rise to midrange. Keep the cooling system serviced.

(Submitted by Larri Woodrow)


May 27, 2022  Tip #28

Environmental cost of food production

Did you know that food production contributes around 37 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? One reason is the fact that on average the food that ends up in our plates has traveled 2000 km. Let’s make the right choices, buying local, preferably organic and plant based. Better still, let’s grow our own food as much as possible. A big thank you from planet Earth to all those Lasquetians who already do!

For more info, go to https://www.theconsciouschallenge.org/ecologicalfootprintbibleoverview/food-transportation

(submitted by Yves P.)


June 3, 2022  Tip #29

An induction cooker can be a great way to reduce your propane use in the summer when you have excess solar power.  They are much more efficient than a regular electric stove element, heating the pot directly via induction rather than convection or radiation.  You will usually find countertop units with one burner available at places like Home Hardware or Canadian Tire for less than $100.  They only work with pots that have enough iron in them, but this is easily tested with a magnet.

(submitted by Hilary)


June 10, 2022  Tip #30

Replacing single pane windows with double panes didn’t seem feasible to me years ago so I made thin (1” or less) wood frames to fit over the outside of my windows and screwed on plexiglas or clear vinyl with tape and staples.

I estimate that this saved 20% on firewood. It also eliminated a bad condensation problem. I take them down in the Summer.

Plexiglas is durable, even roll vinyl is good for several years although you have to be careful not to scuff them up. I dislike buying new plastic though this definitely isn’t single use. If the COVID shields in stores ever come down, what a resource they would be!

(submitted by Jodi A.)


June 17, 2022  Tip #31

Adjusting the brightness of your computer monitor can save a considerable amount of power. I recently conducted an energy consumption test of my iMac using a Kill A Watt meter and found that at full brightness the computer used 44 Watts. At 50% it used only 13 Watts. More than 3 times the computer time available for the same amount of energy. ( submitted by Ezra)


June 24, 2022  Tip #32

I'd like to add a tip to the one posted last week. I have switched every app possible to 'Dark Mode' on my phone. Not only does it look a lot better to my eyes, it saves a lot of energy, and my phone battery lasts much longer. Hopefully one day there will be Dark Mode available for everything we need to do on our computers as well!

(In case you're wondering what Dark Mode is, Dark Mode means that the letters appear white, while the background is black).

(submitted by Laura)


June 24, 2022  Tip #32

I'd like to add a tip to the one posted last week. I have switched every app possible to 'Dark Mode' on my phone. Not only does it look a lot better to my eyes, it saves a lot of energy, and my phone battery lasts much longer. Hopefully one day there will be Dark Mode available for everything we need to do on our computers as well!

(In case you're wondering what Dark Mode is, Dark Mode means that the letters appear white, while the background is black).

(submitted by Laura)


July 2, 2022  Tip #33

Dare to let your lawns go wild. Lawns need not be the ecological evil they are sometimes made out to be if you manage them smartly. The root systems of grasses are excellent at storing carbon, especially if you pick long-lived drought tolerant native ones, and wildflowers, including ‘weeds’ such as dandelions, can provide an important source of food for pollinators, especially during early spring, when not much else is in flower. However, running a gas-powered lawn mower for an hour produces the same amount of CO2 and other pollutants as driving a car for 100 miles (160 km). Consider using an electric or hand-powered mower, and embrace that flowering meadow look for as long as you can in the spring.

(Submitted by Brigitte)


July 8, 2022  Tip #34

Dig less, mulch more. No-dig gardening builds soil and turns your garden into a carbon sink. It’s also easy on your back, grows healthier plants with fewer inputs, and reduces the amount of weeding and watering you will need to do.

(submitted by Brigitte)


July 15, 2022  Tip #35

With unreliable weather patterns, it is important to grow diverse crops and not just rely on the few varieties you prefer. One variety may do better one year than another. Also, try to have some perennial vegetable food plants in your gardens and/or greenhouses. Some of these may have smaller yields than annuals, but are more reliable and present a good back-up food in case some of your main annuals fail one year.

(submitted by Marie-Ange)


July 22, 2022  Tip #36

Given that deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, it's worth putting in the extra effort to maximize efficient use of the trees that are cut down for your benefit.  There is beginning to be a bit of a crunch with lumber and firewood resources here on island too, so rather than hoard those boards/beams/logs you don't actually have a specific, soon to be completed plan for, consider offering them up for sale so someone else can use them (and not have to cut down more trees).  Think ahead to minimize and make use of offcuts.  It is a good idea to leave some deadwood to support local ecology, but being a bit more thorough in cutting up the thicker branches and collecting more of the small chunks of bark can really add volume to your woodshed.  And now's the time to fix up or change your stove set up, add insulation and/or skirt your house to reduce your firewood usage!

(submitted by Hilary)


July 29, 2022  Tip #37

Save your own seeds if you can, or work with friends and neighbours. Varieties adapted to our island are more resilient. If you buy seeds, look for: open pollinated varieties, land races, varieties with large genetic diversities that can adapt to our local environment. Don't be afraid to be creative and try to adapt these new varieties to your garden.

(submitted by Marie-Ange)


August 5, 2022  Tip #38

Slow the Folk Down!  Don't forget that staying home, watching the trees dance in the wind, listening to the birds, swimming in the ocean, hanging out in the garden, having sex and playing music are all pretty much fossil fuel free activities!  Chill out for the planet!

(submitted by Hilary)


August 12, 2022  Tip #39

How much firewood did you use last winter? How much less can you burn this winter?

(submitted by Hilary)


August 19, 2022  Tip #40

As our growing season becomes less predictable, we need to consider some changes. If you feel you are waiting too long for ripe tomatoes, perhaps you should try a new early variety, and maybe it is no longer worth it to grow that delicious end-of-the-season tomato.

(submitted by Marti)


August 26, 2022  Tip # 41

Some vegetables have always been marginal here. At some point we need to cut our losses; I may reluctantly give up on melons. Consider each over-wintering brassica to calculate if you are getting back your effort most years.

(submitted by Marti)


September 2, 2022  Tip #42

Get involved at the political level: you can make a difference.  We have a unique opportunity to select our next premier this fall.  The person who will be elected as leader of the NDP to replace John Horgan will also automatically become the premier.  Only two candidates are running: David Eby and Anjali Appadurai.  Anjali is a committed human rights and climate change activist and could help bring about a major shift in BC politics by truly focusing on the climate change emergency and ending practices such as fracking and old growth logging.  If you think it is worth a try, become an NDP member by September 4 and you will be eligible to vote for the new leader and premier.  No time to waste, 2 more days to register if you are not a member already (before midnight on Sunday).  To qualify, you need to be at least 12 years old and be a permanent resident in BC (Canadian citizenship not required). For more info, go to https://www.anjaliforbc.ca/

(submitted by Yves P.)


September 9, 2022  Tip #43

Preserving a plot of forested land of 2.5 acres for 10 years rather than clearing it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 230 metric tons!

(submitted by Sho)


September 16, 2022  Tip #44

Eliminating red meat from your diet for 10 years will help reduce carbon emissions by 7.7 metric tons.

(submitted by Sho)


September 23, 2022  Tip #45

Did you know that cement is, after water, the second most used substance in the world and a significant contributor of carbon emissions? According to a study,1.46 gigatons of carbon dioxide was released from cement production in 2016 alone! Its production also uses an enormous amount of water, 10% of the total used in industry globally.  It requires sand as well, which is becoming critically scarce, amounting to one of the greatest sustainability challenges we face. Plan to use alternatives such as recycled plastic, bioplastic made from food waste, hempcrete, bamboo, strawbale and rammed earth.

For more info, check:




(submitted by Yves)


September 30, 2022   Tip #46

I would like to add to the list of cement alternatives presented in last week’s tip. An important building technology that has been developed locally, literally from the ground up, and is designed especially for off-grid housing is what I call Fast Cob! There's no waste (everything is reusable) and the real problems with the creation of cement (the use of enormous amounts of energy, which can inspire the incineration of toxics with the cement) are completely eliminated. Cob is much warmer to the touch than cement and acts like a thermal battery, which reduces firewood use. Rocket Mass Heaters, a cob-based technology, takes that to the next level, reducing firewood consumption by 80-90%! For more info, check out our website: cob.lasqueti.ca

(submitted by Dave O.)


October 7     Tip #47

On this Thanksgiving weekend, try 1) eating mindfully reducing the likelihood of eating excessively, 2) eating less or no meat, the major producer of methane gas and 3) using only reusable dinnerware and glasses. Bring joy to turkeys by planning a vegetarian meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

(submitted by Yves)


October 14, 2022   Tip #48

By all means drink water only from safe sources, but we cut emissions from diesel transport trucks used to transport our bottled water from far away sources when we drink properly filtered and treated water from local sources. If your supply is short, then draw safe, treated, potable drinking water from taps on French Creek dock instead of from a marketed retail source. These two practices end diesel truck emissions tied to the commercialized 2+ litres per day purchased as drinking water by too many , but not the emissions from the ferry’s exhaust stacks tied to those same litres. Consider too the benefit of plastics and exhaust emissions reduction tied to recycling. More can and should be done. Drink local! (submitted by Larri Woodrow)


October 21, 2022   Tip #49

There are hundreds of ways in which we can mitigate climate catastrophe, yet we are implementing them very slowly and reluctantly. One thing that can be lacking is motivation, especially when we are feeling hopeless and disempowered. For a dose of climate action motivation, how about watching some informative, inspiring and sometimes shocking films and videos? Here is a starter list of my own favourites. Think about gathering with family and/or friends to watch a movie or some short videos which could spark conversation and get your own creative juices flowing regarding solutions. Short videos on YouTube: -https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3+seconds https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+many+fossils+to+go+an+inch Movies on Netflix: Kiss the Ground A Life on Our Planet The Biggest Little Farm

(submitted by Amalia S.)


October 28, 2022   Tip #50

Here are a few things to remember as we have started to use our woodstoves:

Is your smoke alarm working?

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

Did you clean your chimney?

The feed store has the chimney brushes from the fire department. Please contact Silke, Kristos, Pachiel, Mikaila or Aigul to borrow them.

(submitted by Aigul)


November 4   Tip #51

Washboard gravel roads add to fuel consumption and thereby to our carbon footprint. Spinning wheels don’t result in full forward motion. Plus, constant up and down motion of the vehicle and load adds to fuel consumption too.

If you drive a 4x4 it helps to shift into 4wd. Both axles driving 0reduces slippage. Empty diesel pickups in 2wd are likely the worst, given their heavier up front engines and more extreme front to rear weight ratio. Big improvement in 4wd.

I’m sure many 4wd fans have long ago learned to make this shift. The jerk on the wheel at False Bay while turning on dry blacktop or planking is a reminder you’ve regained traction and to shift out of 4wd.

To express your concerns about road conditions, call Mainland: 1-877-215-6006. And maybe message BC Climate and Environment Minister George Heyman about the connection between poor road conditions and increased fuel consumption: 250 387-1187; env [dot] minister [at] gov [dot] bc [dot] ca

(submitted by Larri Woodrow)


Not a tip of the week: (November 4)

From Lasqueti Climate Change Action Group:

If you have been wanting to use your wood stove more efficiently, we encourage you to watch a recording of a webinar that was recently organized by the Transition Salt Spring Society. Aigul attended the session and she highly recommends watching the recording of it:


(submitted by Yves Parizeau)


November 12, 2022   Tip #52

Improve the efficiency of burning wood by using the log cabin or top-down method to build fires. Opposite to common practice, stack the pile with the larger pieces on the bottom and the smaller pieces at the top, forming a sort of square pyramid. It is easier to get the small pieces burning at the top and the wood burns hotter with less smoke, minimizing pollution. Keep the stove doors open until a draft is created. This method is most commonly used in masonry stoves, but works in any stove.

See demo on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch


(submitted by the heating subgroup of the Lasqueti Climate Action Committee)


November 18, 2022   Tip #53

If you are running a generator to charge your battery system, make sure your charger is set to the type of batteries you have.

Installing a battery monitor may help you to run your generator less by letting you know when your batteries are full, thereby preventing overcharging and the waste of gas. Daniel of Daring Sky Solar recommends the Trimetric, from We Go Solar.

Also, your charger’s default setting may turn the charger off after 1hr, so double check this shut-off setting to make sure you’re charging for as long as the generator is running.

Running your generator in eco-mode is better in almost all cases, unless your charger doesn’t work with eco-mode.  Starting the generator when the batteries are at 65-70% is nicer on the ears than the rock bottom 50% which might take 5-7hrs to charge fully. Obviously good maintenance (regular oil changes) will prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your generator. Being conscious and considerate of our objects of privilege will make them last longer thus costing the Earth less.

Submitted by Shoshanah with consultation of Daniel Ayers


November 25, 2022   Tip #54

Now that winter is here many of us that are not fortunate to have micro hydro are charging batteries with generators. Here is a totally counterintuitive tip for those that have lead acid batteries of any type (flooded, AGM or Lead Carbon). The most fuel efficient time to charge your batteries is in the morning of a sunny day. Turn the generator off when the batteries are about 80% charged. You’ll use your generator for the high current bulk charge. The sunshine later in the day will let your PV take care of the lower-current absorb charge part of the cycle.

If you have lithium batteries ignore this tip - they will charge at full bulk until they reach 90-95% of their rated capacity. It’s not worth using a generator to take them up to more than 90%"

Submitted by Ezra


December 2, 2022   Tip #55

Help address the impacts of invasive species by making more use of them as local food sources! American bullfrog legs are delicious (tastes like chicken!), as are our local feral (call them "heritage" if you must) sheep if you cook them right (do be sure to follow safe hunting practices and communicate with your neighbours so you don't murder their favourite pet). A bit of pruning work over the winter can help contain, promote berry production and maximize access to that blackberry patch that's taking over your fenced area.

This tip comes from "Lasqueti Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan" which was submitted as Jen Gobby's honours thesis many years ago now, a summary of which is available at https://lasqueti.ca/island-info/climate-change and is worth a perusal!

Submitted by Hilary


December 9, 2022   Tip #56

Conserving resources is a major factor in fighting climate change. Using what we have efficiently is one way to conserve. Use your wood fire to reduce the amount of propane you burn by:

-cooking on it (as I usually have a small fire I will bring my food to a boil on the propane stove and then transfer it to simmer on the wood stove)

-baking on it (create an oven by placing your baking dish on a firebrick then covering it with a larger upside down roasting pan that rests directly on the stove)

-keeping a pot of water on it for dishes or tea

Submitted by Shoshanah


December 16, 2022    Tip #57

Another way to save propane by cooking on your heater top, is to keep a supply of small, dry pieces handy to quickly raise the stove top temperature.

If your wood stove has an open bottom, you have a handy warming oven. Use it for preheating everything from teapots to frying pans to leftovers. I also use it for drying apples; well, maybe not this year.

(submitted by Marti)


December 24, 2022    Tip #58

Find Common Ground.

Many of our most pressing problems share common solutions. It is possible for a community as individualistic as Lasqueti to be united in best practices even while divided in perspective. For example, lessening dependence on fossil fuels can decrease carbon output, but even those who do not worry about climate change can agree that it can also improve health and protect biodiversity by reducing pollution, reduce threats from pipeline construction and tanker traffic, even contribute to world peace by eliminating the struggle for control of oil and gas resources.

(submitted by Amalia Schelhorn)


December 30, 2022    Tip #59

The dawn of a new year is an ideal time to implement an action you had in mind as part of your commitment to reduce your carbon footprint, be it switching to an electric chainsaw or to a more energy efficient wood stove, sharing a vehicle with your neighbour, planting trees, using only seasoned and dry wood, finding alternatives to flying, switching to a plant-based diet, joining an advocacy group or doing ecological restoration. Every action counts; we can all make a difference.

(submitted by Yves)


Tip #60    January 6, 2023

Traveling? Consider taking the train! Greenhouse gas emissions from air travel are amongst the most impactful because of where they are dispersed, so cut your emissions and enjoy a relaxing vacation on your way to or from your destination.

My research on https://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx?tab=3 shows 0.37 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per person for a one-way flight to Toronto (this estimate accounts for the larger impacts of greenhouse gases emitted in the lower troposphere and higher stratosphere) as opposed to 0.16 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for a one-way train journey of the same distance.

Check out VIA Rail’s discounted long trip fares to find a more affordable option: https://www.viarail.ca/en/offers/sleeper-plus-class-deals/vancouver-toronto

(Submitted by Shoshanah)


Tip #61    January 13, 2023

Eating less meat, especially red meat, is one of the most impactful things that an individual can do to reduce carbon emissions. Meat contributes about twice the emissions of other foods. According to Greenpeace, industrial meat is the single biggest cause of deforestation globally and is responsible for annual emissions roughly equivalent to those from every car, truck and plane in the world: (https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/11/10/war-big-oil-and-deforestation-...).

Fortunately, reducing your meat intake also reduces your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and bowel cancer. It is a win-win.

(submitted by Amalia Schelhorn)


Tip #62    January 20, 2023

Gas powered chainsaws produce a variety of pollutants including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. I found out that an average chainsaw with a 12” blade used for 30 minutes produces 0.071 kg of CO2 (https://www.yourfootprint.app/main/learn/chainsawMinA?frequency=once&qua...). It does not seem like a lot but if used regularly, several hours a day, it all adds up. So consider buying an electric chainsaw which produces zero emissions. If not used regularly, think about sharing one with your neighbours. If you must continue using a gas powered one, here are 2 ways to produce less emissions: Ensure it is properly maintained and use the proper fuel-air mixture. If it is too rich, it will produce more emissions. (https://justchainsaws.com/how-chainsaws-affect-environment/)

(submitted by Yves P.)


Tip #63    January 27, 2023

It’s time to get started on next year’s firewood if you haven’t already. Use windfall trees as long as they are not rotten, and if you are cutting new wood there are good reasons to cut trees now: before the sap begins to run the wood will contain less moisture. Also, cutting now gives plenty of time to buck, split and stack the wood early enough to give it the ultimate chance to season before going into the woodshed next fall. Please consider planting seedlings for every tree you fell.

(Submitted by Shoshana)


Tip #64    February 3, 2023 

Suggestions for seasoning your firewood and thus creating a cleaner burning fire:

-shorter pieces will dry faster; also splitting pieces smaller means more exposed surface area for water to evaporate out. The most efficient wood diameter for burning is 4” (10cm).

-split rounds as soon as possible after bucking to increase the surface area for drying. Unsplit rounds may never season even throughout a dry summer. Do not allow logs to lay unbucked for more than a month: the sap will cure and the wood will never fully dry: at the very least strip bark from a few sides.

(Submitted by Shoshana)


Tip #65    February 10, 2023

Help your firewood cure by getting your wood off the ground (onto pallets or dunnage) and stacked loosely in single rows in the open for air to circulate through (as much drying is done by the wind as the sun): a pile of wood left on the ground will rot rather than dry. -use a moisture meter to find out how your current system fares; there are several on island available for borrowing: aim for a moisture content between 14-17%. To borrow one contact Hilary/Jordan, Peter J, Aigul. (Submitted by Shoshana)


Tip #66     February 17, 2023

A very effective way to address climate change is to use your words, both in conversations with others and in written letters to the media or to authorities. Conversations can help to identify priorities, brainstorm solutions, and build community around actions. Writing can help to clarify thoughts and intentions and to give authorities leverage to effect change. If any of the other ideas that have been floated in the tips of the week interest you, talk about them, write about them, advocate for them. Using your words can get solutions out of the theoretical and into the practical zone. So use your words! (Submitted by Amalia)


Tip #67     February 24, 2023

Consider switching to 100% vegetable based oil as a chain lubricant for your chainsaw. The oil cools and lubricates the bar as the saw spins at very high speed which results in the oil being leaked to the ground or vaporized by the heat and released into the air. Using a vegetable based oil rather than one made from fossil fuel will ensure that what is released into the soil and the air is harmless. (submitted by Yves)


Tip #68    March 4, 2023

Trees are obviously an important tool in the fight against climate change, and one way you can help preserve forests is by changing your toilet paper habits. The average person in North America uses 23 kg of toilet paper a year as opposed to 16 kg in Western Europe and less than one kg in Africa and East Asia! Each roll of toilet paper made from recycled paper emits 450 g of CO2 whereas it goes up to 730 g if made from virgin paper (source: The Carbon Footprint of Everything, page 61). Either eliminate toilet paper altogether by washing and drying with a towel. I use a plastic squeeze bottle but you can also purchase a special portable bidet bottle; a hose works if you have an outhouse, and if you have the luxury of a flush toilet, there are hand held bidets you can install. I have a stash of small pee rags that I use and wash in a mesh bag. You could also begin purchasing 100% recycled or bamboo toilet paper. (Submitted by Shoshana)


Tip #69    March 12, 2023

Most Lasquetians are way ahead of the pack when it comes to renewable energy generation, local food production and frugality in consumption. Still, we are caught in systemic fossil fuel reliance for transportation and cooking. Staying warm involves CO2 and particulate emissions from burning wood. This wood would otherwise remain standing or decompose naturally, providing benefits to flora and fauna. These systemic problems can not be solved by individual initiative alone. They require collective imagination, community involvement and governmental support. How much autonomy are you willing to trade for the benefit of the greater community? Can you imagine a greener Lasqueti? How would that look? Brainstorming with others could be one of the most effective things you can do. No brighter future can emerge until we can envision it.  (Submitted by Amalia Schelhorn)


Tip #70   March 18, 2023

Did you get a plastic pot at the nursery you do not have a use for?  It can probably be recycled, but better to have it reused.  Bring it to the Climate Change Action table at this summer's market, or get it to Marti or any other gardener looking for pots.

(Submitted by Marti)

Important notice: We will be taking a temporary break as we are developing a new format. We remain committed to sharing with the community concrete ways to help reduce our carbon footprint. Please stay tuned! Thanks for the support we have received so far from so many people on the island. From the Lasqueti Climate Change Action Group, an LCA committee