Best green activist group
317 Adelaide West, 416-323-9521, www.environmentaldefence.ca
This gutsy T.O.-based national org tests the blood of Canadian children, adults, painters and politicians (they even got Rona Ambrose to sign up), revealing that we're a shockingly toxic nation with veins full of environmental pollutants. It also acts as our sprawl and endangered species watchdog and does a smash-up job of bringing enviro concerns to a personal, interactive level through its oh-so-handy PollutionWatch website and pesticide-tracking FoodWatch URL. Keep an eye out for its cordblood chem tests, coming soon.
Best green business
Screw Kermit -- GreenShift makes being green easy for businesses looking to embark on a sustainable path. These are the people who made sure the Hip concert at Fort York this summer was run on renewable energy and that beer swillers were sipping from biodegradable cups. They also helped the Fringe Fest to shift to green cleaners and take on energy saving initiatives. FYI, these eco consultants extraordinaire are also T-dot's main pushers of biodegradable cups to get us off plastic.
Best green initiative
Time for a little dancing on the ceiling. Toronto's the very first municipality in North America to take on a comprehensive green roof plan. After discovering that blanketing just 8 per cent of our rooftops with greenery would save the city a cool $300 mil in energy costs and storm water overflows as well as a 2 degree drop in the steamy urban heat island effect, council signed on to the plan last February. A city pilot project is now subsidizing private roof greening.
Best green store
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RESTORE
29 Bermondsey, 416-755-8023 ext 33; 1120 Caledonia, 416-783-0686, www.torontohabitat.on.ca
Talk about hammering out the eco principles of reuse and recycle. These building-supply thrift shops take a bite out of landfill waste by taking in old windows, doors, lumber, even tools, as well new scratch 'n' dent fixtures or mis-tinted paint from manufacturers and retailers. You can feel extra special about redoing your kitchen with this stuff or donating your old drill to them, knowing that profits fund the construction of Habitat houses for those most in need.