Happy Earth Day!- living la vida local

last Sunday thegreenrock.ca, with support from Memorial University, Department of Forestry and Agrifoods, and some really cool local businesses launched the How do You Fit in? initiative during the Earth Day Fair at the Suncor Fluvarium.   It goes like this:  the earth is one big beautiful interconnected system, and we all have a role to play in caring for it.  When it comes to ‘thinking planet and living local’, we asked, “How do you fit in?”

how do you fit in

and guests to the Fluvarium answered!   the liked the sneak-peek preview of the Habits for Your Habitat ~ Guide to the Good site that we’ve been building on the past months; they lined up for the white spruce seedlings which we completely ran out of;  they wanted to win the excellent “Living Local” draw with some of St. John’s finest – goodies from St. John’s Soap Works, a ‘Shop Local’ poster, a gift certificate from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, as well as locally made fire-weed jam from Casey’s Crafts.  (congrats Nicole!)

But the biggest deal of the day was how people see themselves fitting in – and there are so  many ways.  Answers came in English, Spanish, Korean on paper, in voice, in video and in art.  Turns out there is great love on for the earth, and once our voices join in unison we will do a better job of caring for our planet.

Let’s keep going!  thegreenrock.ca is now moving into phase 2  which is the development of a creative ‘talking pictures’ and an some insight on living la vida local with Dr. Sean McGrath from For A New Earth. The responses we received were very inspiring !  We can’t wait to share it with you.

Stay tuned

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spring! into waste reduction

one year’s worth of waste – http://www.zerowastehome.com/

one weeks worth of waste. how much of this could go somewhere other than the landfill?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March is here (in like a lamb out like a lion maybe?) and as it always does it brings ideas of spring and spring cleaning.  we need to make space for fresh new energy. the best to do that long term is to think about what we bring in.

habits we practice at the household level have a huge impact on reducing waste.   believe it or not, it’s possible to leave very little on the curb – check out Bea of www.zerowaste.com and Lauren of trash is for tossers for leading edge examples.  these two mavericks have waste reduction down to a science and an art.   as well as being very dedicated, they live in centres where facilities exist that make their choices practical.   great ideas!  and although all the facilities don’t exist (ie, we can’t bring jars to the brewery to get filled with beer), there are many things we can do to reduce waste.

this is a mash-up of suggestions of living the waste-free lifestyle from Bea and Lauren, with a bit of local practical knowledge thrown in.

  • what’s in the trash? – have a look at what’s in the bin.  if you’re the greater St. John’s metro area, figure out what can be recycled (cans, cartons, bottles, etc, check the city of St John’s recycling program), what can be composted like organic waste – check out the Botanical Gardens,, what really shouldn’t be going to the trash at all (hazardous waste), check out Eastern Waste Management , what can be rehabilitated or donated (check out Habitat for Humanity ReStore – link updated and other donation-seeking organizations). For all of it, all over the province check out rethink waste. like their website says, “RethinkWasteNL.ca provides Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with easy access to everything we need to know about managing our waste – all on one website.”
  • when buying, buy package-free and/or bulk – sometimes the packaging is recyclable, but even if it still takes work to recycle it.  less is more! You can visit the Bulk Barn to buy in bulk or you can go to the Food for Thought store  as well, and shop the markets.  the St. John’s Farmers’ Market doesn’t run in winter, but the Winter Market and Some Good Market do!
  • the best way to avoid food waste is to prepare the right volume of food for your family, and eat it.  (easier said that done.)  cooking and baking at home (having minimized packaging at the purchase phase) leads to less waste!

 

all of these ideas can add up to a  huge difference to what hits the curb.  and when the demand is there to create more infrastructure to reduce even further.

 

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green is the new red: Valentine’s winter market

on Valentines day we celebrate our love and appreciation to the people we care about but we can do so while supporting our community and our planet !

check out some amazing local treats from creative hands and farmers cellars at the Valentines winter market from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion. there will be a variety of local vendors including  farmers bringing meat and eggs, artisan cheese, homemade bread and baked goods, spices, art, jewelry, t-shirts and apparel handmade soaps and much more!

local products typically have a smaller ecological footprint and they also help to build our community and local economy.

love ❤ xoxo

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thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

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the people have spoken ~ we want local!

it’s a day to talk about the importance of local business.  a while back thegreenrock.ca started a survey to find out how ‘local’ fits into consumer purchasing decisions.

it turns out that ‘local’ is an important consideration for people when they are buying, and, even more encouraging, people would buy more local goods if they knew local options where available and they knew how to access the goods.  the results of the poll will help us build Habits for Your Habitat – Guide to the Good, and that will make it easier for those of us in the Northeast Avalon to include more ‘local’ in our purchasing decisions.

here are couple of highlights –

  • it shows that buying ‘local’ is a significant factor for the majority the people Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 5.32.36 PM
  • and the poll also shows that there is a significant potential for local businesses to increase the market share for their goods and services.  when asked how they felt about the percentage of local spending,  86.6% of the respondents said they would spend more locally if they knew local options where available and they knew how to access the goods

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all good news!  thanks to all those who participated.

You can see the survey’s summary of response  in this link:
https://docs.google.com/a/mun.ca/forms/d/1l7y7RJCePhkzai8jfUV-rMgdWTnuwze1jeYTpjocSFM/viewanalytics

 

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Habits for Your Habitat ~ Guide to the Good

survey 1 shot

Since 2011, thegreenrock.ca has been sharing stories about great local, green and savvy initiatives.  Along the way we’ve been talking to loads of local business owners, environmental practitioners, and community organizations.  So good, so inspiring, and so needed!  We realized that there is more we can do to make our communities more sustainable and more resilient, and we are working on it!

Habits for Your Habitat ~ guide to the good is work in progress that will make it easier and more practical for people to make sustainable choices. It’s about what we do where we live.  The new platform will promote local businesses (kitchen-table operations as well as thriving storefronts), highlight organizations, profile cool people and translate complex science into practical tips for everyday habits.

Since things ‘local’ are key to project success, we are surveying consumers,local business owners and community organizations to identify how ‘local’ fits into purchasing decisions and marketing activities.

think planet.  live local.

 

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thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

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UNCOP21 101: basics of the Paris Conference

cop21-label_reduit_transparent

lots of buzz about UNCOP21 today.   I’ve been following, but needed to brush up on the basics to get the big picture.

For starters, UNCOP is United Nations Conference of Parties – the almost 200 ‘parties’ (countries) who are part of it.

the 21 is the 21st Conference.  (It was in Montreal in 2005.  Dates and overviews here.)

the big goal of the UNCOP21, is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on managing climate change.  the aim was to keeping global warming below 2°C, but Canada supports that the goal be updated to 1.5°C

this is the document they’re working on.

whether 1.5 is enough is a question from some countries, and how it’s going to happen is another.  this bit from grist.org gives some more insight to the goings-on.

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observations from the screen: the facebook feed and election 2015

thegreenrock.ca is about habits for your habitat.  things that we can do that maximize the quality of living where we live now and way beyond now. it’s not a political thing, but choosing government matters.

to that process, and mostly thanks to facebook I feel more knowledgeable about the federal election 2015 than any other federal election.  If that sounds trite, it isn’t.  most of my (600+) facebook friends are smart, and many have (differing) political views. they post and share mainstream media news, views, and opinions.  i also watched the four party leader debate and walk around my neighbourhood.

i have learned much.  some is clear, and some is confusing.  here are the high level observations:

the three Elections

one of the few locations in St. John's east where five parties have signage.

one of the few locations in St. John’s east where five parties have signage.

  • though it’s pretty under the facebook radar, there is a provincial election campaign underway.  there is space for confusion.  (this is almost as confusing as the Telephone Building/Fort William Building being renamed the Johnson Centre, which is right next to the Baine Johnston Centre, all on Factory Lane.) why did they do this?
  • there is also the American election.
  • also there is a Communist Party of Canada and a candidate in my riding.  see photo, right.  this was news to me.

I Vote/You Vote/Don’t Vote/Not Vote/Can’t Vote/Vote in Advance

  • over the past few weeks my newsfeed filled with images that say I AM VOTING OCTOBER 19 overlaying pictures of themselves.
  • people who don’t say much are coming out telling everyone to vote.  some, like Marg Delahunty are in full regalia and tell how to vote.
  • Rick Mercer is encouraging youth, particularly, to vote, any many are sharing his encouragement.
  • Danny Williams comments, which were don’t vote if and only if you can vote and not vote for Stephen Harper, got paraphrased to don’t vote at all.
  • David Cochrane, who interviewed Danny on that topic, clarified that Danny didn’t say not to vote outright, but opined that not voting is indeed a statement.
  • changes to the Citizenship Act mean a four-year rather than a three-year waiting period, resulting in reports that 200,000 people who thought they could vote, can’t.
  • a lot of people posted that they voted in Advance Polls.  these polls were open from noon to 8 pm on October 9, 10, 11, or 12.  advance polls aren’t new, but this year is one day longer than in 2011.  my facebook friends were made out.  3.6 million people voted early, 71% more than in 2011.  facebook also reports that the advance pollling took a really long time.  people lined up for hours.

Who is the 30%

  • facebook feeds refer to a 30% who will vote conservative no matter what.  that seems odd.

Strategic Voting

  • the fact that a political party can form the government even though the majority of people did not vote for it is in the facebook feed conversation, leading to
  • much facebook sharing about swing ridings, which call upon ridings to vote a particular way to achieve a goal, typically to not have a conservative government.
  • Voteswap..  voters swap votes in one party in one riding for another in another riding.

What are you going to do?

  • there is a lot of time and energy and money being invested in asking people who they are voting for.   Nine polling companies have called the electorate about eighty times since late August.  that seems like a lot of pre-asking to me.  who is paying for that?  and what is the purpose?

    Poll Tracker

    Poll Tracker

Drama of the details

as the graph shows (thanks to the polls) we are watching a 78-day dramatic mini-series.  the red and blue and orange have each had their ups and downs.

along with the economy and hair styles, topics like the niquab, barbaric practices of other cultures, and a tip-line for reporting same have factored large.

and it’s got more bizarre when  mummers were voting (in advance).   the thing not celebrated in the excellent mummers parade is that the cultural practice of mummering is that it is rooted in social justice vigilante-style. I learned about that in political science at Memorial (Newfoundland Society and Culture) though, not on facebook..

the mummer vote

the mummer vote

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thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

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