Week 37 – Lower Impact Vacations

A few years back, I participated in a survey called Project Neutral. It’s a cool initiative that maps your carbon footprint in hopes that you’ll make changes based on the information and strive to be more carbon neutral. The one aspect of the survey results that really shocked me was the transportation section. It’s amazing how much carbon vehicles produce. In a world where we focus on changing light bulbs, it almost feels ridiculous to focus on such minor activities when we all still drive everywhere. So we’ve talked about riding bikes and carpooling. But you know what produces way Read more…

Week 36 – Carpool

When you think about the time we spend in our car, the money we spend on fuel, and the types of driving we usually do, it’s strange that we don’t consider carpooling more often as a means of community transit. Often people in the same neighbourhood make the drive to work, school, extra curricular activities, or even weekend trips without thinking about carpooling. Do you know other kids in the neighbourhood that you could offer to drive or pickup from school (assuming they don’t walk, bike, or bus…)? Do you know any colleagues at work that live on your route to Read more…

Week 35 – Go Vegetarian

Ok, here we go – into controversial territory! I’m going to tell you something that you probably won’t want to hear, but I urge you to hear me through to the end.  Eating commercial meat is bad for the planet. There, I said it. I’ve done a lot of reading, a lot of research, and looking into sustainable animal farming for many years and I have yet to find an approach to eating meat that is better for our planet than just not eating commercially raised and slaughtered meat. Here’s why: “Recently Harwatt and a team of scientists from Oregon Read more…

Week 34 – Share Your Stories

Storytelling is one of the ways that we share our experiences. It can come in many shapes and sizes, but ultimately it can be part of the way that people change their behaviour – by learning from stories.  I’m not necessarily talking about story books – although a lot of those have great morals to share. I’m talking about the stories we share with each other every day; experiences that we tell our friends and family. Maybe you’re at the park with your kids and their friends talking to other parents, maybe you’re catching up with an old friend for Read more…

Week 33: Share Meals

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a saying: the potluck is the best representation of a healthy community. People from all walks of life coming together, sharing with each other, connecting, and enjoying food. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten has been at community potlucks. Everyone makes their best dish to share so the pickings are always amazing! Potlucks are an awesome, non-threatening way to connect with friends and neighbours; meet new people or see old friends when life gets too busy. We all make time to eat, so why not do so together! Another great way Read more…

Week 32 – Use Rain Barrels

When I started my journey to becoming more green, I knew that urban farming was going to be a priority for me. After planting my first garden, my partner got really excited about helping me with irrigation. He took on the planning, sourcing, and installation to make sure I had a sustainable way to water the garden. Our current backyard setup includes 2 rain barrels: one that collects from the house and another that collects from the garage. We actually don’t have a hose hook up outside to city water so we actually use the rain barrels for more than Read more…

Week 31 – DIY Toothpaste

Ok folks – another super simple DIY recipe that will blow your mind. I only started this one last month and I’m loving it so far – Toothpaste! Getting rid of the plastic packaging, plus the money you can save, plus how easy it is and how good it makes your teeth feel… convinced yet? Here’s the recipe: Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Optionally add essential oil of preference.  TADA! I make mine without essential oils (because I didn’t have any on hand) and it took a day or two to get used to the baking soda Read more…

Week 30 – Connect to your Community

So far, most of our weekly topics have covered ways to become more personally or individually resilient. But what about community resilience? What might it look like to become more environmentally friendly as a city or neighbourhood? Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of connecting to my community through my local neighbourhood group as well as the Transition Movement initiative in Guelph (Transition Guelph). The experience was been so wonderful that I feel the need to share some of the benefits that we have felt as a family: When in need: whether you need to borrow an Read more…

Week 29 – Ride a Bike

Some people are natural bike-riders. They learned when they were young children and never looked back, riding all the way through high school and/or college and into their adult lives. And there are those of us who are not natural bike-riders. We stopped riding bikes as we hit teenaged years. To be fair, I gave it a good try when I was in university but my overall health wasn’t the greatest and it never stuck. It wasn’t until I made the decision to learn to ride my bike again for health and environmental reasons that I actually fell in love Read more…

Week 28 – Choose Sustainable Businesses

Spending dollars is like voting for the kind of world that you want to live in. Everytime you give your money to a business, you’re telling that business that you like their products and that they should create more products like the one you’re buying. It’s important to make sure that you’re voting for the right products and the right businesses as often as possible. The good news is that more and more businesses are seeing the value in having a sustainable business model and are taking action whether it’s how the source their materials or giving back to their Read more…