#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, 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.



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



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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Green Gift-Giving

Keeping it Green This Holiday is a series of posts about minimizing your environmental footprint in a season that can easily be excessive.   A beautiful holiday can be had by making things from scratch, spending time at home and outdoors, and less time worrying about to-do lists and ‘getting it done’.   Check out the rest of the series on thegreenrock.ca, and have a happy and green holiday!


Gift-giving is a central part of the holiday season. Giving is always best when the gift makes the giver and the receiver feel great during the exchange, and after.  Here are some tips on how to use your purchasing power with your environmental footprint in mind, as well as some ideas on how to be creative with gifts and decorations this holiday season.

One way to cut down on consumption this holiday is to have a secret Santa (where everyone picks names from a hat), rather than everyone giving gifts to one another individually.  It means one special person to focus on, and one great gift to source.


Things you love, things you love to do, and how to find them in the greater St. John’s area. Sometimes it’s made right here – other times it’s made by you!  Supporting local goes a long way.  Check it out!

Purchasing Power


Vintage: Quality vintage clothes last forever and it’s not hard to find something unique. If you have someone in your family with a penchant for retro, a gift certificate to Model Citizens wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Charlottestreet Fashion: Handmade clothing from recycled sweaters, right here in St. John’s.

Johnny Ruth/Living Planet: sourced ethically and they have an amazing selection.  Friendly staff – a very fun place to shop.

Knitted goods   

Check out Nonia, or the Craft Council shop for all your knitted goods needs. Craft fairs in St. John’s or around the bay are also great places to find hand-knitted goods. It’s also great to support local knitters, who work so hard at their craft.



 Locally made cutting boards, spoons and walking sticks, make beautiful and functional gifts.  Check out the Craft Council shop for some wooden wonders.

Food & Drink

If you’re visiting someone on the Mainland, a taste of your home is always appreciated. Newfoundland Chocolate Company is a great place to start, with delicious chocolates filled with local berries. Local wines are another option, Auk Island Winery makes a variety of berry wines, including “Funky Puffin.” If wine and chocolate aren’t your thing, how about some bottled moose or bakeappel jam?

Made By Me –


Nobody can turn down a tin of cookies or squares. Just be sure to be conscious of allergies/dietary restrictions!

Hot chocolate spoons look pretty and would be fun for a snowy evening.

Homemade pickles, chutney, jam. This can be a fairly inexpensive gift idea. Especially if you make your  jam from berries you’ve picked yourself. Also, you get to hone your canning skills (if you’re new to preserving, it’s always a good idea to try this with an experienced friend).

Check out this link, for more edible gifts that can be put in mason jars.

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KnittingRavelry is the mecca of free, inexpensive, and beautiful knitting/crocheting patterns.

Sewing: Make something crafty-clothing, quilt, bag, potholder and learn a new skill at the same time. Craftster is a great way to find cool projects with tutorials.

Mix Tape/CD

It’s always nice to receive a playlist mix tape/CD, a personalized playlist of music, selected just for you.  Always respect the artist – buy the music!

Eco-Friendly Cleaner

Here’s a super practical gift…and a new option for those looking to avoid chemical cleaning products, but don’t know where to start. Check out this page for some recipe ideas

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates, though sometimes considered an impersonal choice, are nice in terms of environmental footprint. Instead of buying a whole bunch of trinkets that may be thrown away, your recipient can carefully choose a gift that they will be sure to use and enjoy. A gift certificate for what? Restaurants! Bookstores! Music stores! Electronics! Movie tickets! A game of golf! Anything with options…

Time Well Spent

Instead of another material thing, a very nice thing is to give the gift of time spent together. Take your loved one(s) to a concert, play, horseback ride, or on a trip!

The Gift of Giving

Giving someone ‘the gift of giving’ is an idea well within the holiday spirit… Donating to a local charity in their name is one way to do this (spending the same amount you would have spent on their gift). Another great way to give this gift, is via a Global Giving gift card. You can put as much money as you want on the card, and your recipient gets to choose from a multitude of charities around the world.

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.

made right here beef, lettuce, cupcakes, upcycled clothes and more!

YES!  the farmers market!  carrots, pickles, handmade paper, books and so much more  at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market.   the people who grew it, made it/make it,  or farmed it sell it live and in person!

the Farmers’ Market is one of the best ways to buy close to home for food, gifts, and treats!

in the summer of 2011 thegreenrock.ca Green Team did a bit of hangin’, shoppin’ and talkin’ at the Market.  great stories of sustainable choices were easy to find ~  check it out!

and check out the site http://stjohnsfarmersmarket.org/. it opens in june at the Lion’s Club on Bonaventure Avenue, just behind the ReMax Centre (Curling Club)


Jimmy Hikes! – trails in and around St. John’s

it’s spring-ish ~ crocuses peeking up, snow unshoveled and gone, and the icebergs cometh! great time to hit the trails.  during the summer of 2011 thegreenrock.ca Conservation Corps Green Team took to the hills and found that there is much to be got from wandering, strolling and striding the hills of the East Coast Trails.

check it out – add colour to spring!   find out more at http://eastcoasttrail.ca/ 

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!


worn well – the sustainable shirt on your back!

why was kathy wearing a bag?

a few weeks into summer 2011, thegreenrock.ca green team felt the need to branch out from the very cool but worn-a-lot conservation corps t-shirts.  kathy, mike, and anna (devin stayed home) checked in with carol-ann at frenchy’s.  they got good gear!

summer is now long gone, but t’is the season, and frenchy’s has more great stuff – to give as well as to get!  check it out!

Frenchy’s Thrift Boutique ~ Best Dressed. For Less. ~ Torbay Road Mall
141 Torbay Road, St. John’s     579-7390    http://on.fb.me/Frenchys

my favourite things

the top three things that happened to me in the past seven days:

1.  today garbage day.  this is a disgrace because im a green wanna be.

2.  the perfect coffee.    after numerous, too numerous failures with the moka pot, after the gaggia pure gave up, i made a perfect cup.  made my day.  made my week.

3.  when they eat what i cook.  six people:  71-year old who eats bologna.  46 year old who does not want meat or anything white.  12 year old who likes white.  9 year old who likes white.  seven year old who likes not much.  but they all ate the  macaroni & cheese!