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

#g2kgtg – Downtown Comics

Downtown Comics

Downtown Comics St. John’s collector #g2Kgtg


drop in to Downtown Comics for the pop culture collector you love!  DTC has a huge array of stuff, from comic books to Game of Thrones mugs, superhero collectibles to board games, t-shirts and way more.  if you don’t see it you may want to ask.  owner Jason Conway is usually behind the counter – he knows what’s there and if he doesn’t have it, he’ll see if he can get it.

Downtown Comics has been on the go for 15 years.  it is local, and it supports local.  the pic is of a DTC t-shirt, which is made not far away by Living Planet.  the store is also an entry point for the world of comic book art.  local artist Wallace Ryan offers a course in Cartoons and Comic Books through the Anna Templeton Centre, and he is often found in the shop.

DTC is located at 141 Duckworth Street, and is open 11-6 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 11-9 on Thursday, and 12-5 on Sunday.  call 738-2933 or email




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+


NLEE – getting the kids outside

Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Educators (NLEE)Common sense tells us that the natural environment is good for kids.  More and more research is showing that kids not being outdoors is bad.

With that in mind, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Educators (NLEE) is striving to help educators (teachers, youth group leaders, parents…) get the kids keyed up on the great outdoors, and all the good things that go with it. joinedNLEE Conference 2014 - in the field representatives from the Brother Brennan Environmental Centre, Botanical Gardens, Salmonier Nature Park, Food Security Network, Junior Forest Wardens NL, parents and others in Traytown for the Annual Conference in April.  ‘Educational Edibles’ brought together a  diverse group who talked, listened, hiked, set fire to milk cartons, learned much about school and community gardens, practiced making a raised bed garden plot and more, all toward sharing great outdoor activities with educators.

NLEE is responding to a need.  Parents in this province join the discussion about how much screen time is too much, debate and sometimes despair about what kids eat, and share stories about acceptance.  Through the year NLEE holds activities and events that share information and make it easy (or easier) for educators to integrate smart, sound, sustainable practices into our children’s lives.

Lots to talk about.   Lots to do.  Join NLEE and get in on the conversation.

In the meantime, check out these 10 tips to grow outdoor-loving kids.. 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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Play Again – NLEE film screening

They don’t mean minecraft!   Join NLEE and other local people who want the kids to get outdoors at Cowan Heights Elementary on Wednesday for the Play Again film screening.

lucy and the sky.  one diamond.

lucy and the sky. one diamond.

The Play Again film synopsis website says “Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki, PLAY AGAIN investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.”

needs must ~ notes of hope from #NLDark

‘Needs must’ is an old phrase is not heard so often any more, but it fits perfectly with the #NLDark situation, and sustainability.

Puzzle completed by the glow of the snow

Puzzle completed by the glow of the snow

On those days early in 2014 there was not enough electricity being generated in Newfoundland to meet the demand.  Everyone was affected.  The house was heated by the fireplace and my family was entertained by a Yellow Submarine puzzle, completed by snowglow.

The environmentalists, the green people, the Al Gores and David Suzukis and so many more have been talking about conservation for decades.  #NLDark proved that we can conserve when ‘needs must’.  

Our power grid is a closed system.   The planet is a closed system.  We can change what we’re doing so that it – the power and the planet – keeps going along.  We saw that in action through #NLDark.  Yes yes yes there were challenges, but this is not about that.  This is about the hope that came out of it.  Co-operation, support, and conservation.  (There was also a very hearty showing of innovation and consideration, but that can be a different post.)

I  know where I was when the rotating power outages started – heading up Torbay Road to pick up a pizza for a Christmas holidays sleepover party.  No power on one side of Torbay Road, full blast on the other.  Eerie.   I didn’t know what was going on. 

Then Good Thing #1:  People co-operated.  At the Torbay Road Newfoundland Drive intersection (six lanes heading toward Torbay), the collective ‘we’ figured out the 24-lane-stop-intersection fast, and got it going with grace.  If someone went astray (not waiting for their right turn), the collective we picked it up and resumed the accepted pattern.  Nice eye contacts between drivers in parallel lanes.  Ten points for us!

Then Good Thing #2:  People supported.  Just a little further up the road Peter’s Pizza pick-up was like a kitchen party.  The guy behind the counter seemed new, but was very friendly and upfront:  there is a backlog.  When he came out with a pizza he’d kind of announce it.  One man was reading out the twitter feed to the rest.  Another came in to pick-up a pizza ordered pre-outage.  We welcomed him.  He went to pay and was walking away from the counter when the Peter’s Pizza guy called him back and asked quietly (but we could all hear)…. “Did you mean to leave a $20 tip?”.  “Yes.” said the late-comer.  We all looked up!  “It’s going to be awhile.”  said Peter’s Pizza guy.  “Maybe I’ll get mine first,”  said the new-comer.  All laughed (and he did not get his pizza first.).  Gold stars!

Then Good Thing #3:  People conserved.   Arrived home to a powered-house, but little was on in the way of electricity.  Our kids – the same kids who are unable to turn off a screen or a light – were on it.  Turn off the Christmas Lights, don’t run the dishwasher, conserve conserve conserve was all over facebook.  And it went on from there.  People conserved.  Hallelujah!

What we waste is the difference between what we need and what we use.  #NLDark showed that we have what it takes to do better when needs must.   And that can be cozy.

the cat wasn't worried

the cat wasn’t worried

30 Days – Day 28. Peace.


the studio was closed on november 11 for remembrance day.  so for me, so i took a non-asana practice off the mat.

my grandfather, art smith was in the royal newfoundland regiment.  his brother jack was in the navy.

i am not sure that my grandfather would have thought of yoga.  he was gentle and kind, but i was nine when he died and had not started my yoga journey.  i think he would like how yoga helps cultivate peace.  i know he would like how being mindful, seeing yourself as part of something larger that is compassionate, kind, respectful of self and others is good.

as a boy he, and countless others, saw joining the war effort as a means to achieving that.  many did not come back.  both art and jack made it home to baine harbour, nl and life went on.

three of art’s grandchildren spent remembrance day afternoon totally screen-free in the kitchen. talking about the galaxy, baking and making – banana bread and pretzels, jam and candy – and saying ‘we should do this every week’.  it was a good way to remember.  and a good way to look ahead.

30 days: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

never missed a day of class – but missed a week (+) of blogs.  could be worse/could be reversed.  one of the things i am learning is acceptance.

full roster of different classes.  all wondrous.  did restorative and the jam for the first times.  restorative was mind-altering.  on saturday afternoon helena led us through a series of poses with bolsters and blankets and pillows to open pathways and relax the status quo.  i think i fell asleep three times.  but i was restored. the jam with robyn on sunday was great too.  got a couple of tips to help get me where i wanted to go, and it was rewarding to learn that i could lead myself through over a hour of yoga action.

i’ve accepted an invitation from a yogi friend to join her in early-morning running.   not too far and not too fast, but a really good way to breathe deep outdoors when the world is still.  i love the smell of fall and cool fresh air in my lungs.  it’s worth getting up for.

the yoga is feeding me, and i’m finding stamina to face things it is easy to avoid.  (potholes on the road to bliss?)  my family is getting annoyed with my mantra of “go outdoors, eat well, sleep enough, leave the screen, attend to responsibilities”.    i forge on.  maybe in the last ten days i’ll see the way.

30 days – the 12th day.

approaching the mid-way mark, and feeling open.  a 9:oo am classic flow with helena was preceeded with short interesting conversation about ‘busy’. i’m paraphrasing, but i read that she said it was a choice.  new view for me.  

class was smooth and steady and full, with a few new nimble moves that elevated my grace in the practice.

then came the rest of the day.  there wasn’t a to-do list, but there were the typical things that need doing:  swimming lessons.   groceries.  birthday parties.  visits with ma.   catching-up phone calls.  saturday night arrangements.  throw in a few things that happened – a pleasant encounter with jake doyle/allan hawco at jumping bean, sourcing a few good books, thoughtful conversations…  

but, as it turned out, an afternoon sleep.   didn’t know that was available.  it hit the right spot. and it changed my view of saturday from ‘busy’ to smooth and steady and full.


Thirty Days: Day 8

day 1 of week two started early.  sunrise flow, 6 a.m.  it was very dark.  full complement of early-rising yogis.  susan, the instructor, inspired all with great tunes, poses and moves that grew more fluid as the sun came up.

i’m feeling lithe and limber overall, but left arm is getting fed up with chaturangae.   i will adjust.

home at 7:15 to get ’em up and make the lunches.  they got up.  the lunches got made.  however my eldest texted me a picture of hers with the quote ‘please explain”.    i thought turkey in a little white container, an apple, juice and special cupcake were self-explanatory.

it made me laugh.  but perhaps i should adjust.