#playoutdoors – less screen time, more outdoor time

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

in the fall of 2016, thegreenrock.ca 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.

 

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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.

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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 thegreenrock.ca 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 thegreenrock.ca 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

 

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thegreenrock.ca 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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good to know gifts that give

somewhere in between those joyous, gauzy memories of perfect Christmas mornings, and the check-out wrought with anxious people there is a place of peace.  i am looking for it.

like the Grinch learned in Whoville, those things we exchange as tokens of love and friendship are not the main point.  but they are nice, and giving feels good.

i love local, and i love giving things that people will like, use, and hopefully will be a bit symbolic of our relationship.  and hopefully won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.

hits of Christmas past include stuff like wreaths, Clean Don’t Kill non-toxic cleaner, truffles, custom calendars, and boiled wool mitts. (here have been flops too.  unnecessary to detail.)

there is a lot out there.  every day the tiniest little poke around or walk downtown reveals something new.  for the next little while thegreenrock.ca will share Good To Know gifts that give (#g2kgtg), and places to get ’em.

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca

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thegreenrock.ca lessons from the woods – day 3

lesson 3 – be where you are.

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maybe its just me and everyone I know.  or maybe its human nature.   but I know that there are many times i’ve said or felt or smiled and sighed about when i am in indian cove.

and here we are.  we five are gone to the woods.  live, in paradise.  the sun is hot the shade is cool. the ocean is clear and very cold.

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simple. good. gorgeous.

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and stilll I have to pull my mind back to the here and now.

its innocent enough… watching the kids my thoughts wander to… o we should get a trampoline!  we could watch kijiji in botwood… or grand falls.  i should set up an account… and I’m off.  my mind is gone off with me.

but no.  I stop and feel the heat and hear the breeze and the loon. I am here.

thegreenrock.ca goes to the woods… day 2

lesson 2 – get on with it.  it’s not the thing, its the reaction that makes a fuss.

stuff happens all the time to and with everyone.  if reaction to stuff (screaming, annoyance, frustration…) takes priority and precedence over resulting action (fixing, picking up, stopping flow of blood)… stuff will fool you up.

the sun moves across the sky.   the tide comes in and goes out.  the stars appear.  and disappear.  reoest.

makes me feel silly for ever worrying. about anything.

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30 days: Day 30

the 30 day yoga challenge is complete.

the challenge was to attend 21 classes in 30 days.  i made 29.

the reward was to be:

  • You’ll feel amazing AND 25 Dharma Dollars will be credited to your account to use towards the purchase of a future Nova Yoga Class Pass!

big check mark there!

what i wanted was to feel:

– stronger, more focused, and clearer.  and be in a better position to make the dreams that have lived in me for a while reality.

there has been progress on those fronts.  i’ve told the kids i’m a ninja.  i’m working on taking things one at a time.  i’ve released a lot of mental clutter.

and the dreams that have lived in me for awhile – progressing thegreenrock.ca non-profit toward making a positive, sustainable difference, has a life.

and i’ve also got to know interesting, kind, inspiring people – the teachers, yogis, and sandy who accepted the same 30 day challenge.  she started to make a habit of daily yoga, and is ready to keep going.  i am too.

thank you for reading and encouraging me on this journey..  the blogging has amplified the experience by making it a conversation, and the ‘likes’ are so rewarding.  namaste.

shanti.

30 days: day 11 of mats and minds

9:00 am class with cheryl, and chloe the new the greenrock.ca intern.  yeah!

yin.  low and deep and slow.  one of the main yoga things is to keep your mind clear on the mat, be present, focus on breath and make space.   that usually happens (with the scattered ‘when will this be over’ thought coming to mind from the edges).

today my mind would not clear.   something was on it, had been for hours, and it would not go.

so, in yogic fashion, i stopped fighting and let the thought reside.  i meditated on it.   since it was a yin class with loooong poses, it worked.

and my meditative mind on the mat cleared way for the rest of the day.

thirty days – day 5

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balance

nine am saturday – a perfect time for a yoga class.

today was Classic Flow.  

A moderately-paced flow class to help you feel centered, focused, and restored. In this practice we will work to create cleansing heat in the body and increase strength and flexibility. 

and for me i saw how to let balance and pressure get me where i went.  not force or stress.    i landed in a stronger, more sustainable place.

what’s that buzzzzz? all balm and honey at paradise bee farm

during the summer of 2011 thegreenrock.ca green team visited paradise bee farm and met beekeeper aubrey goulding.   very cool guy and kind of a bee-whisperer.  the team says it was fascinating ~ and according to the way mike is looking at the bees, it was all that and more!

the bees do good things and good business, and it ain’t all about the honey.   paradise farms bee natural products help take care of important things like hands and lips and babies.

aubrey is all about the bees, and paradise farms offers workshops that teach others how to keep the bees.   there will be another workshop later in the spring.  call  (709) 782-1435 or email info@beenatural.ca get on the list! 

check it out, and check out the paradise farms site –www.beenatural.ca

pam pippy’s garden

pam pippy is one down-to-earth gardener.  her space is amazing – so much so that even the dog and cat play in it together.  her compost bin is in three parts.  her inspiration comes from those who came before her and she’s passing it on to those who are following.   thegreenrock.ca green team paid pam a visit in the summer of 2011, and found a feast for the eyes, and data on what to do with kitchen scraps!

 

the trash versus the recycling

i have been a green wanna-be for a long time.  one day three years ago i put out one bag of trash – great accomplishment for the family of five that we were then.   that was my last true green trash moment.

alas my success was not sustainable.  not even after curb-side recycling came into effect one year ago.  so i scraped for joy where i could get it.  my tuesday song was ‘hooray hooray it’s garbage day!’

the black cowers under a net next to the blue pyramid

the black cowers under a net next to the blue pyramid

today was a true great moment in the green.  today the volume of recycling more than quadrupled the volume of the the one black bag.

my trash triumph was the product of a much front-end effort and co-operation on the part of the house habitants.   we have three boxes in the kitchen for recycling – beverages, containers, and paper-ish things.  all six of us rinse (when necessary) and toss what’s been used in the appropriate box.  two of my three children are responsible for putting them in the appropriate larger boxes downstairs in the storage room.  my mother – a 72-year old consumer who essentially requires an environmental mitigation project of her own – puts her newspapers in a wicker basket.

it’s taken a long-time to get here, but not through lack of effort.  i was depressed for two days last summer when i was out of blue bags, and the collectors took all the bags that were out as garbage (despite the big R sign!).    i’ve driven miles and miles to bring the cardboard to someone who would use it.   and i’ve recognized the correlation between the the things that come into the house and the things that go out.

i’ve learned much.  like in the city of bradford, ON, you must pay if you want more than one bag of garbage collected per week.  you buy a tag for $2 and put it on the bag.   a friend told me that ten years ago, in BC,  trash had to be sorted eight ways.   i’ve also felt the shame of having my recycled beverage containers refused due to an unacceptable bottle (balsamic vinegar).  i know it’s best to put the big black bag in the big black wheelie bin before adding bags of non-composting kitchen waste rather than removing the smaller bags from the bin to a trash bag.  (ie, in the hot days of august i saw what maggots look like).  i know how much more efficient it is space-wise to ‘tear down’ the boxes.

most valuable, though, is that which we all know but forget to practice.  i’ve learned that making an easy front-end sorting situation for the recycling, and engaging the family to help makes recycling days holistically rewarding rather than an upward struggle that saw me sorting frantically on tuesday mornings, and viciously righteous about it all.

i’m happy to know that.  and very happy that the recycling has won.  so is the man who puts the black bags into the truck, and, most spectacularly, so is my mother.   the one black bag was tossed before i could shoot!

blue wins!

the one black bag was tossed before i could shoot