great day – Earth Day 2017 !

thegreenrock-ers Amanda Russell and Perla Hernandez's booth on Earth Day

thegreenrock-ers Amanda Russell and Perla Hernandez at the Earth Day Fair

Saturday afternoon rain didn’t stop crowds of boisterous families from making it to the Earth Day Fair at the Suncor Fluvarium on April 22!  Over 250 people attended the event! Just about all of them stopped at’s booth to learn about ways to take action, take care of the planet, and how to live sustainably.

Each year, 1 billion people in more than 195 countries celebrate  Earth Day worldwide. The key purpose is to get people together, to celebrate mother nature, and think about ways in which they can take action.

In line with this message, was very pleased and excited to share our signature projects for this year:

  • #playoutdoors ~ Less screen time and more time outdoors! In collaboration with the Junior Forest Wardens-NL, #playoutdoors raises awareness about nature deficit disorder and challenges families to get outdoors, make new friends and learn new skills.
  • ReGeneration: The Plastic Bag Project (coming up!) ~ An intergenerational awareness and action program that brings seniors and students together to share strengths, and transfer skills toward a common purpose of recycling single-use plastic bags through crafting durable tote bags. This project is supported by The Co-operators IMPACT! Fund 2017.
  • Guide to the Good ~ A social enterprise that makes it easier for people to choose local for their purchasing and lifestyle choices. Local businesses bring economic, ethical and social benefits to our lives and our communities. Guide to the Good is currently being piloted in the Northeast Avalon, but the goal is for there to be a guide to the good in communities everywhere!

Visitors were asked to participate in the “how do you fit in?” campaign and to think about ways in which they can help protect the environment through their daily actions.

At the end of the day we had some local giveaways from businesses featured on the Guide to the Good. The draw was live-streamed via Facebook

Facebook Live of the guide to the good draw

  • Prize #1 Local Basket!
    Jumping Bean‘s low CO2 emission roasting coffee; hypoallergenic, artisan soaps and body products made locally from St. John’s Soap Works; and local hand-knitted hat by Casey’s Crafts.
  • Prize #2 Firewood and Coffee! 
    Bundles of local sustainable and licensed firewood from Firewood Factory; 2 gift-cards from  Jumping Bean .

Two winners were randomly selected out of 104 individual tickets. Congrats Olivia and Joan! is a not-for–profit company that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like us and share!

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#playoutdoors – less screen time, more outdoor time


spending time in nature has positive physical and mental health benefits for both adults and children

in the fall of 2016, in collaboration with the  Junior Forest Wardens NL launched a  #playoutdoors awareness campaign to get people outdoors and start new Junior Forest Warden NL Clubs.  Junior Forest Wardens, a family-based outdoor adventure group, has been active in NL since the 1940s.  numerous families have reaped the benefits of outdoor together time over the years, but numbers have been declining since the 1980s.

nature deficit disorder: kids are spending less time outdoors

kids these days are spending more time on screens than outdoors and that’s causing problems to their health. there’s extensive research about Nature Deficit Disorder. conversely, spending time in nature for adults, and especially for children brings the mental and physical health benefits. children experience positive social, psychological, and spiritual impacts on their personal and cognitive development.



JFW helps families and friends find time to hang out in the woods

as a side effect of modern, busy and sedentary lifestyles in recent years our exposure to nature has diminished. within a generation, Canada has transitioned from a rural to an urban nation, with 80% of Canadians now living in cities. as a result of this transition, it is estimated that Canadians today spend on average 90% of their time indoors, which has lead to a variety of chronic health issues as a result of sedentary lifestyles

aside from the mental and physical health benefits, getting kids in nature can also have positive impacts on our environment and our communities. a study by the University of British Columbia, suggests that providing positive childhood experiences in nature, can help to develop care and awareness of the environment as adults.

2013-09-28 11.22.43

children who play outside are more likely to protect nature as adults

#playoutdoors campaign

the Junior Forest Wardens NL is dedicated to bringing families with school-aged children together to enjoy and learn about the natural environment. together and JFW launched a successful campaign that delivered 10 community outreach events, reached out to 17 community organizations which engaged over 50 families in the St. John’s metro area and led to the start of two new JFW Clubs:  the Wild Wanderers and the Rollin’ Capelin.

up next
after all the success of the #playoutdoors is working with JFW and other community partners to look into ways to expand the project this year. stay tuned!

update! #playoutdoors won a 2017 Pinnacle Award by the International Association of Business Communicators Newfoundland and Labrador! read all about it here


cropped-thegreenrock-1.png is a not-for–profit company that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like us and share!

twitter: @thegreenrockca

the kids are alright! exploring and creating with the planet in mind

kids are growing well as Vanier Elementary!

kids are growing well as Vanier Elementary!

remember grade 6?  that magical time between little and teen.  all the goings-on!  in February was delighted to spend an afternoon with the crowd of grade sixes at Vanier Elementary in St. John’s.

born in 2003, these guys are digital natives. touching buttons, navigating screens, and using media is not technology advancing, it’s how it’s always been.  they are interested in lots of things – what their contemporaries are doing of course, and they love the smart phones and tablets and other devices, but they have an encouraging sense of the wider world around them.  this sense is due in no small part to the grade six curriculum brought to life by the inspiration and dedication of teachers (nods to Mme Daley, Ms Meehan and Mme Chafe).  these 11- and 12-year olds use technology as a tool to explore, create, learn, and take action.  if session is a good indication, critical thinking is part of the process. was there to talk about interactions with the planet, from climate change to the effects of natural and man-made changes in the environment.  it was a lively, thoughtful, and thought-provoking conversation!  these guys include a sixth R in the series of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot: they Respond.

on the day of visit, one class received accolades (and five ipads!) from Newfoundland Power for their award-winning video submission to the TakeChargeNL challenge.  the video is created in the style of Family Feud (en francais!), and teaches about habits that conserve energy.  the video was a hit, and it didn’t stop there.  a few days later, the intent of the group was broadcast throughout the province when a student called up the VOCM Open Line show and shared energy conservation tips on behalf of the class.

also on that day, the other grade six class harvested their first lettuce!   though the bell had rung,  the school day was over, and it was a Friday, a stream of kids were thrilled to offer a tour of the farm.  they are justly proud of their operation.    the growing equipment is neat, compact, and very productive. they like the light and warmth, and the scent of earth in the classroom.  but, as Emily said, the best part is the eating.  harvest time is coming for tomatoes, basil, beans, and peas in the classrom at Vanier.  that’s very encouraging because things are growing well.

cropped-thegreenrock-1.png 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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#g2kgtg – shanti shakti uganda

Shatki Salecheck out these tablet covers and hand-made necklaces and bracelets – #g2kgtg – beautiful unusual gifts that will brighten up the darkest of winter days, and brighten the future for Ugandan women!

hits #5H Giving because they’re handmade,  healthy and helpful!


the items are all handmade with Ugandan batik fabric and other materials. beads are made from a process of cutting recycled paper into very long triangular strips, rolling them into small bead shapes, painting and repeatedly shellacking each single bead before designing and stringing the beads.

the goods are bought, brought and sold by Bobby Bessey, friend to and yoga teacher.  100% of proceeds goes to Shanti Uganda, an organization that improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the wellbeing of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Bobby is leading a group to Uganda in May. visit for details.10665346_10152842766516253_1063480403265871519_n

inbox Bobby Bessey to purchase – items are going fast!






cropped-thegreenrock_small.pnggood to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share! 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!                   facebook, google+


Viki’s Cakes By Design – #g2kgtg


Viki’s Cakes By Design Poinsetta Log

yum. this good to know gift that gives #g2kgtg celebrates the season in a joy-mongering style!

Viki’s Cakes By Design are local and lovely for the eyes and the palate. and they melt into the 5H Giving philosophy – they are homemade and they are from here!

cake decor fits in everywhere – the middle of the Christmas table, as hostess gifts, teacher gifts, presents for the ones who have everything.  oooo the flavours – strawberry puree, vanilla bean, salted caramel, rocky road..

Viki makes ’em all special the way you want from her kitchen in the old east end of St. John’s. gluten-free and peanut-free are options. deliciously consumable, smile nurturing, and fun. she decorates to suit the taste (she’s even done a wedding cake for a Habs fan!)

it’s a three generation affair when need be!  at busy times Viki’s mom – who taught her to decorate – and son get involved. it makes the mix all the better.  two weeks notice needed!  call 764-2363, or inbox her.









good to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share! 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!                   facebook, google+


Community Threads ~ come together!

Community Threads are coming together!

Community Threads are coming together!

The Earth Day Fair at the Fluvarium saw a steady stream of people interested in things that are good for us all. volunteers rachel, meredith, lucy and kate were on deck as kids, parents, grandparents and others visited the displays, chatted, learned and shared.

The Community Threads project got going – see the pic!  Orange threads indicate food, green threads indicate outdoors, blue threads indicate water, yellow threads indicate wellness, and pinkish-brownish indicate recycling.

The organizations who are part of it to date include:  TEDxStJohns, the Food Security Network, Root Cellars Rock, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Educators, MUN BikeShare, Junior Forest Wardens, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Nature NL, the Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation, the Manuels River experience, and Whale Release and Strandings.

There are so many interesting things going on, and have been for while.  Nature NL has been active since 1910!  they know so much, and they share their knowledge regularly at Thursday sessions, and at The Rooms. will be posting more about Nature NL and other organizations.  keep an eye out!

And very cool things happened, like two women from different generations who made complex cat’s cradles with the threads, and the young man who won the Clean Don’t Kill cleaner for his mom, and found out that there is a with similar goals in Bermuda.  there are so many sustainable connections!


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Wellness logo-2 inch_300 ppi#E8FASupport from the Wellness Coalition Avalon East kickstarted Community Threads.  Groups with a focus on sustainability are invited to complete the form on this site under community threads – connections for sustainability.





cropped-thegreenrock-1.png 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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Tree Tapping at Pippy Park – April 6


maple trees are behind it all in St. John's

maple trees are behind it all in St. John’s

Here is home to maple trees.  Many maple trees.  So many maple trees that some people, sometimes, call them weeds.  They create canopies over gardens, in parks, and  between sidewalks and roads.  They are plentiful.

In a kind of parallel format, here is home to breakfasts, brunches, and sometimes even suppers where maple syrup pours over pancakes, waffles, toutons, french toast and other delights.   Most times, almost ALL the time, there is no direct relationship between the maple tree in the garden and the maple syrup on the table.

Can these worlds collide?   Yes!

Lisa and Steve McBride – the couple who walk the goats in coats – tap.  Root Cellars Rock shared their experience a few years back.  And now, thanks to the Friends of Pippy Park,  the rest of us can learn to tap too!

Friends of Pippy Park are running a free family workshop this Sunday April 6th 2014 from 1 to 3.  Meet at Pippy Park Headquarters, Mount Scio Road.

This is the skivvy on what you will learn:
• To identify tap-able trees in Pippy Park;
• When a tree is ready to tap;
• What materials you will need;
• How to tap a tree sustainably. (If you tap please cap!); and
• How to turn sap to syrup.

Bring your own mug for hot chocolate.   No charge for the workshop, but an annual family membership of $20 to Friends of Pippy Park will support initiatives like this!


cineplexthis 30 day challenge was a challenge today.  but on the mat and off, all things take you somewhere if you’re willing to go.

a busy early morning led me to choose a lunchtime class…  but today is the day there is no lunchtime class.   a busy evening – a once-every-eight-years or so early movie date with dave finn my husband – meant no evening yoga.  and it also created an unfortunate casualty of book club (the rosie project).

at 2 pm it all shook out – four o’clock happy hour was the flow for me to catch.  perfect.  although it made the afternoon hectic after 3 between plans with my 12 year old – staples, michael’s, downtown comics;  two girls dancing, a visit with my ma, and intern starting tomorrow.   i figured the hours would stretch and all fall into place for the movie date at the mall at 6.   go!

class was great.  susan rocked it, and my chaturanga elbow held firm.  big stretches for mind and body.  one woman was wearing a shirt that said ‘need less.  have more.’ which i liked. 

post-class quick visit with my ma and i headed off to empire cinemas to meet the guy at the theatre.  it was a bit of a phenomenon since it’s so rare that we make time to go.  

then phenomenon struck again.  empire cinemas, which is never closed, was closed.   empire theatres is open on christmas day.  i don’t think it even closes in snowstorms.  today it was closed.  

my phone rang just after i read the sign at the former empire theatre entrance, near top of escalator.   dave finn my husband calling.  from home.  he checked the movie time – something that we had talked about earlier – and found that the theatre was closed.

could have gone bad.  

no need.  

left the mall.  got home.  we got the office ready for the intern, and i went to book club.  

had more.


30 days. Day seven. Rain and shine.

2013-10-21 15.21.45yin yang today, 9:00 am.  rainy.

observation:  something is working.

the monday morning began with a ten-year old who didn’t want to get up.  getting to school on time is a daily objective around here.  at around 8:05 it became clear:   not going to happen.   typically a realization such as this leads to chaos.  not today.  she was late for school.  not ideal, but not a disaster.   acceptance.  heard about that on the mat.

i made it to yoga on time.  yin yang is…

The best of both worlds!  Enjoy the sweetness of your Yin practice followed by an energizing Yang flow to prepare you for your day.

when people say (when I say),  “up the ying yang”  they may not mean what they think they mean.   today I got it.  still on fire from  yesterday’s vinyasa, the class started out with drop pressure, let the earth hold you yin.   it was shift change, but i was able to get into it.   slow breaths, gravity-based practice where you sink into the pose, sink into the earth,  it felt in a good way.

ying zing bang – the yang.  the music changed – fast and strong.  holy mother – what’s next…. poses empowered, defy gravity.   go with it, and let fly.  wow.   it all soaked in with a savasana.  puddle-jumped out of the studio.

a little later, in a yin yang like balance, came the sunshine.

30 Days ~ day 3

20131017_115653third day in and still revving!  i feel my body stretching, my breath deepening.   next session is this evening:  Deep Chill Vinyasa – described as

A bit of Yin, a bit of Yang: the most delicious (and steathily challenging) of classes!   A 45 minute serving of sticky, sweaty Vinyasa Flow, lathered with 15 minutes of yin yoga (deep, intense stretching), and a 15 minute restorative asana topping.  YUM.

sounds balanced, and sustainable!  and like i should bring a towel.

on that note – the towels.  in this house they are regenerating piles of damp-used-once-on-a-clean-body beings that create work and waste.  five bodies, daily (almost) showers, left around, washed, dried (line where possible), folded, put away.  20 minutes of work for four minutes of use.  the madness has to stop!   in response i’ve allotted two towels per person for one week.  hid the rest (save one for my deep chill).   they can hang them up to dry.

may the force be with us.