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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Habits for Your Habitat ~ Guide to the Good

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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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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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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 thegreenrock.ca 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 thegreenrock.ca session is a good indication, critical thinking is part of the process.

thegreenrock.ca 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 thegreenrock.ca 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.

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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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Tree Tapping & Maple Sapping

Steve McBride, Backyard Maple Syrup, Pippy Parkfull crew on board at the Suncor Fluvarium Wednesday night for the Tapable Trees workshop!  all hands checking out how to tap the maple trees and make their own sweet maple syrup.

the session was held by Friends of Pippy Park and led by Steve and Lisa McBride, the homesteading duo with the goats, frequently found on the trail in Waterford Valley and on facebook’s Backyard Farming & Homesteading .

it’s all looking very very good because:

  • 51% of the tree population in St. John’s area are maple
  • maple trees with a diameter of greater than 10″ are tappable
  • tapping gear is low maintenance.  a drill to set the hole, a hammer to drive the tap in, a tap (not plastic says Steve), and a bucket.
  • sap starts running when the nights are freezing and the days are not.  usually around early march (steve & lisa will post when they start – a  bit into march most likely)
  • the season here is fairly long – 5-6 weeks

details, how-tos and more on Root Cellars Rock.

20150224_191757as well as a supply of home-made syrup, the thing with the tapping, according to Steve, is that it gets you in tune with the goings-on in natural environment.  like, right now, under the snow, the trees are coming to life and getting ready to send sap to the branches and leaves. (who knew?  St. John’s spring seemed to happen in two or three days in june!).

there were lots of questions, a couple of practice drills, and an exodus of people excited about hanging buckets from trees all over St. John’s this spring!

 

 

cropped-thegreenrock-1.pngthegreenrock.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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Common Ground – space

cool stuff on the go on Harvey Road in St. John’s!  Common Ground is a non-profit co-working space that’s affordable, friendly (there is even a common ground hound!), and creates an instant collaborative community.

http://youtu.be/aBhTKFqgfvE

Common Ground-ers love the experience, especially the collaborative-ness.  entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and others in need of space to create and build can use it.  thegreenrock.ca Conservation Corps green team 2014 paid a visit to Jennifer Smith on a quiet day in August (it was hot back then!), and she shared the big picture.  for this vid, David Maher was the  director/interviewer; Chris Ball on audio, and Jeff Smyth behind the camera.  the music – Acoustic Breeze – is composed and performed by Bensound.

in July and August 2014 thegreenrock.ca Conservation Corps Green Team – Tamara Segura, Chris Ball, David Maher and Team Lead Jeff Smyth talked and taped, walked in the sun, swung on the swings, got out there and got inspired by the great green good going on in the Northeast Avalon.  Over the coming months their work will be released on thegreenrock.ca.

thegreenrock.ca Conservation Corps Green Team 2014 was sponsored by Junior Forest Wardens NL.  (thank you!)

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