• General

    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 just gardening; cleaning out coolers, rinsing kids toys, washing garden…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    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! Why toothpaste? Your usual store bought brands have a bunch of extra ingredients that some people say aren’t great for our health. I found one site that claimed that one tube of toothpaste has enough sodium fluoride to seriously harm a toddler.Yikes. Plus 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…

  • Community

    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 egg from your neighbour or need a couch to crash on…

  • Transportation

    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 with active transportation.   If you’re not a bike-rider, it’s…

  • Shopping

    Week 28: Choose Sustainable Businesses

    Spending dollars is like voting for the kind of world that you want to live in. Every time 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 community. The bad news is that it can be…

  • DIY,  Food,  Mason Jars

    Week 27: Learn to Can Food

    Now that you’ve got your backyard garden planned, the next thing you’ll definitely want to take up is canning. Canning food is a great way of preserving fresh food to last year round (or even many years). Once you get the basics down, it’s fairly simple. It’s a great way to eat sustainably even when fresh food isn’t in season. The most popular way to can food is the hot water bath method. Basically, you put your cooked food into a jar (making sure it’s hot!) and the place the jar in a big pot of boiling water for a specified time. You’ll need to make sure the recipe for…

  • Community,  Economy

    Week 26: Share Tools

    When I first approached by partner (who is a mechanic and has a natural tendency to hoard) about the idea of sharing tools, he was immediately resistant. How could he trust others to take the same care that he would and ensure that things wouldn’t get broken? What if someone was using a tool that he needed? Who would be responsible for replacing tools that were broken? These are all totally good questions. The art of sharing resources such as tools can be tricky to navigate. Lucky for you, others have done a lot of the heavy lifting! Libraries: We are so fortunate in my town to have an amazing public library…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic

    Week 25: DIY Deodorant

    This week I’m going to give you a challenge – try making and using your own deodorant. This is a zero waste strategy that I started about two years ago and I haven’t looked back. I was super skeptical at first but this recipe got me through the hottest days of summer better than most off- the-shelf deodorants. So why DIY deodorant? There a few reasons: Less waste. Plastic applicators are an example of single use products that accumulate in our landfills. The DIY approach means you can use one of those amazing mason jars you’ve been saving up! Save money. This recipe literally costs pennies a day. It’s so much cheaper…

  • DIY,  Food

    Week 24: Backyard Chickens

    My partner and I bought a house in 2013 and just happened to inherit some backyard chickens. It was such a wonderful experience. I had been wanting to get chickens for a year or two but didn’t quite know where to being. Being thrust into chicken ownership was honestly the easiest way to get started. The real truth? Chickens are easy pets. They are pretty self sufficient, require little attention, and give you fresh eggs every week. Once you get into the daily routine of feeding them and opening and closing the coop, the benefits definitely outweigh the chores. There are a lot of great reasons to keep chickens. The…

  • DIY,  Food

    Week 23: Grow Your Own Food

    Gardening! How I love you! I’ve had a long love for gardening but am still learning so much every year. Starting a backyard or balcony garden is easier than you’d think and the rewards are well worth the small effort! Reward #1: Let’s start with the obvious – you’ll have your own produce come harvest. Not only that, but I think you’ll find that the taste of your produce will surpass even market food. Don’t ask me why – homegrown food always tastes better. Reward #2: No GMOs, no pesticides, no big corporations. Just clean, honest, good food that came straight from the dirt. Reward #3: Connect with your land. You’ll learn about your…