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#1194 Buy a carpet; save a child

By Cathryn Wellner / January 26, 2015

Children are perfect for the job of weaving rugs. Their small hands can tie the tiniest of knots. In one 8’ x 10’ rug, a million of those knots form the exquisite design. Of course, young children do not have the years of experience of a skilled, trained adult, but for unethical factory owners, they […]


#1171 We can build cities on a human scale

By Cathryn Wellner / December 1, 2014

Whenever a high rise is proposed for my small city of Kelowna, British Columbia, residents who fear densification’s worst impacts come to public meetings to oppose it. And although I live in a condo building myself, I understand where they are coming from. Take a look at the high rise neighbourhoods that clog cities around […]


#1164 Paper or plastic? The environment wants more from us

By Cathryn Wellner / November 14, 2014

“Paper or plastic?” That was the mantra a few years back, when people were arguing over whether tree- or petroleum-based products were the better environmental sacrifice. In her TED2013 talk, Leyla Acaroglu addresses the environmental complexity of a seemingly simple decision. What we are facing, when we opt for an electric car or choose paper […]


#1159 Print-and-plug solar panels coming soon

By Cathryn Wellner / November 3, 2014

While governments and energy companies have dragged their feet on alternative forms of energy, others have quietly gone about developing solutions. A team of Australian scientists have come up with printable solar panels. The flexible sheets can power our devices, and they can power our skyscrapers. The researchers are part of the Victorian Organic Solar […]


#1149 Renewable energy Davids are challenging the Goliaths

By Cathryn Wellner / October 13, 2014

With governments, corporations and fossil-fuel companies still pretending we have time to futz around with business-as-usual energy schemes, innovators are doing an end run and coming up with alternatives. One place to check out some American ideas is on the Center for Social Inclusion’s site, Energy Democracy for All. Instead of ignoring the climate-change train […]


#1117 Sometimes even a bank gets storytelling right. Grab a tissue.

By Cathryn Wellner / September 11, 2014

Toronto Dominion’s #TDThanksYou (#TDVousDitMerci) campaign was launched in late July and quickly strummed millions of heart strings. In the same spirit as those wonderful, random-acts-of-kindness projects, TD decided to say thank you to some of its loyal customers by surprising them with gifts from a special ATM (Automated Thanking Machine). One young boy was thrilled […]


#1116 Restaurant flips reviewer’s sexist remark into a fundraiser

By Cathryn Wellner / September 10, 2014

The old saying about any publicity being good publicity proved true when a reviewer on UrbanSpoon said servers at the Morgantown, West Virginia Atomic Grill should “show more skin”. The restaurant is owned by Daniel McCawley, a family man with five sisters, a wife and a 12-year-old daughter. He found the reviewer’s attitude “sort of […]

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