• Education

    Week 51: Do something, anything.

    I’ve been struggling with how to wrap up this year of tips for living a more eco-friendly existence. I’m still learning so much about environmentalism everyday, about how to not aim for perfection, about how to be patient and understanding of others who live in a different perspective. So this week, rather than telling you what your next step should be, I’m leaving it in your hands. But please, do something – anything you want. There are so many different approaches to environmentalism and there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for everyone out there. To borrow an amazing quote from a very inspirational woman, “We don’t need a handful…

  • DIY,  Education

    Week 46: Plant Trees

    This week won’t be for everyone but it’s something everyone should consider if you have the space. Trees do some pretty amazing things and planting them on your property around your home can have some seriously awesome consequences. Trees are beautiful: everytime I catch my 2 year old gazing out the window, I ask him what he’s looking at. He always says trees. And it’s true, I also often find myself staring at the branches and leaves and the beauty they provide. Aside from random adoration, the beauty factor also increases your property value.  Trees provide shade: In the summer, trees can help cool your house and give you a…

  • Economy,  Education,  Energy

    Week 45: Live Tiny (or Smaller!)

    You’d have to live under a rock if you haven’t heard of the tiny home movement. But tiny homes might not be for everyone. Even if you have a family with kids, you might consider moving to a smaller home to lower your carbon footprint and I think you’d find some other amazing side effects from being in a smaller space! My family downsized to a smaller home about 5 years ago. The main floor is about 900 square feet and really just one big room. Here are the changes that we’ve enjoyed: Lower heating and cooling costs: It’s easier to change the temperature in a smaller space! In the winter…

  • Education

    Week 43: Live Intentionally

    Ahhh, the daily grind. We all have our own “grind” – the routine and habits that become daily occurrences, where you don’t have to think so much about the actions for them to happen. Often these daily occurrences become such habit that we don’t actively think about them while they are happening. It might be the cereal you eat for breakfast, your commute to work, the Tim’s coffee drive-thru, going out for lunch at work, time on your smartphone… you get the picture. Every day, we go through so many actions and sometimes we forget that we actually have control over these actions – we can make choices about how…

  • Education

    Week 41: Connect with Nature

    We humans sometimes have a habit of forgetting that we are connected to that natural world. We think that we have power over our environment that we can wield without any consequences. We forget that our existence was forged over billions of years, in alignment with evolutionary changes that responded to the environment. For better or worse, we live on this planet in accordance with a very specific set of rules that make us our ecosystem. When we make changes to that ecosystem (ie. climate change, mass extinction), we put ourselves in jeopardy. This didn’t hit home for me until a few years back when I was watching a nature…

  • Education

    Week 22: Connect the Dots

    So we’ve talked about food; we’ve talked about consumerism; we’ve talked about environmental impact and carbon footprint; we’ve talked about supporting local economies by buying locally. It’s time to connect these issues and understand how they are all a part of the bigger issue. Author Anup Shah pulls a lengthy quote from Richard Robbins in the article The Effects of Consumerism on the Global Issues. It’s a bit heavy but I think it does a great job of summarizing how these issues we’ve talked about are all connected. Stick with it and we’ll talk about some of the solutions afterwards: “William Rees, an urban planner at the University of British Columbia,…

  • Education

    Week 12: Change Your Perspective

    Now that you are a several weeks into the process, you may be thinking more about environmental issues, small scale positive action, and how collective action might be a big part of the solution. You may be feeling really good about the actions you’ve taken so far. You may be struggling with a few – and that’s okay too. As I said in Week 1, learning is half the battle. This means that just thinking about and exploring these issues is an amazing way to change your perspective. For me, the biggest change has been learning to not buy things. And I’m not talking about important things, I’m talking about…

  • Education

    Week 1: Learn About The Problems We Face

    They say that learning is half the battle and that saying rings true when exploring how our actions affect the planet. Environmental struggles like climate change and peak oil can seem huge and disconnected from changes we can make in our day-to-day activities. I like the term “being green” because it’s a light-hearted and positive way to talk about some really, really serious problems that we are facing as a human race. Sometimes it can get downright frustrating when you start looking at the big picture. I’ve found that small scale positive actions are one way to fight the bigger battles. For me, “being green” is about taking ownership of…