• Transportation

    Week 42: Carsharing

    This week we are going to back to transportation and look at another great way to lower your carbon footprint, but also save a lot of money: carsharing. Carsharing is an idea that goes beyond carpooling and actually shares the car between two or more families. In doing so, you also share all the expenses that come with owning a vehicle like initial cost, repairs, insurance, and even gas. If you’re interested in carsharing but don’t know where to start, a great idea is to talk to friends and neighbours to see if there are any others around you that might be interested in exploring the idea together. Obviously it’s…

  • 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…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic

    Week 40: DIY Body Care Products

    I’ll be 100% truthful here: when it comes to things like makeup and face creams, I’m no expert. In fact, I haven’t worn any makeup in over 2 years. I will go so far as to advocate that less is best for me and my skin, and if you are feeling bold and want to stop using makeup, moisturizer, or other specialty products, you might just find out that you love it. That being said, you are your own boss and whatever makes you feel like a million bucks is what you should do! But how about ditching all the extra plastic, harmful chemicals, animal tested products, and cheap extras…

  • Economy,  Transportation

    Week 39: Work Where You Live

    A few years ago, I started tracking my carbon footprint with a cool web application called Project Neutral. There weren’t many surprises when I did my first run through the survey but one that really shocked me was the percentage of carbon output that came from driving my car. It shouldn’t really have been a surprise – everyone knows that cars are bad for the environment. But I think we tend not to think about how bad they are because they feel like a necessary evil. I can’t remember the exact percentage, but I remember that at least half of my family’s carbon output was on transportation. So when I had…

  • Reduce Plastic,  Shopping,  Zero Waste

    Week 38: Avoid Single Use Items

    It’s no surprise to anyone that our culture has become one of convenience. But it’s time to take a serious look at the cost of that convenience. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve made is the almost constant overuse of plastic and disposable single use items. Coffee cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags are the first few things that come to mind but once you start to take notice, you’ll start to see single use plastics everywhere in your day to day life. The bad news is that this is a global epidemic that is going to be costly and painful to clean up. The good news is that you…

  • Transportation

    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 more carbon emissions than a car? A plane. It’s pretty…

  • Transportation

    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 the office? For my family, we try and schedule…

  • Food

    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 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 meat. Here’s why: “Recently Harwatt and a team of scientists from Oregon State University, Bard College, and Loma Linda University calculated just what would happen if every American…

  • Community

    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 coffee, maybe you’re even just sharing what happened during your…

  • General

    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 to share meals with friends and neighbours is a meal…