great day – Earth Day 2017 !

thegreenrock-ers Amanda Russell and Perla Hernandez thegreenrock.ca'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 thegreenrock.ca’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, thegreenrock.ca 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!

 

 

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Earth Day Fair – Suncor Fluvarium TODAY!

Community Threads - connections are coming!

the winter has been long, but there is hope!  the snirt (snow and dirt) piles are reducing with the sun, and community groups who care about sustainability are going to the Suncor Fluvarium for the Earth Day Fair this afternoon from noon to 4:30.  admission is free.

thegreenrock.ca will be there revealing the start of Community Threads, an evolving canvas of logos and threads that shows the connections between local groups that focus on sustainability.   the project is supported by the Wellness Coalition Avalon East and the Fluvarium.

find out what Friends of Pippy Park, the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice, Bike Share, the Public Library, St. John’s Clean and Beautiful and others are up to!

Community Threads – connections are coming!

 

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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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.

thegreenrock.ca 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..

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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Holiday Wrap-Up

The turkey has been roasted, the presents opened, joy has been shared and the new year is peeking around the corner.  In the meantime, you’re left with a gigantic pile of cards, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, decorations and an a few more days, a blasty Christmas tree. What to do?

1. Salvage!

Here in St. John’s, our recycling program does not accept wrapping paper, gift bags or cards. Check out this video for more information on holiday recycling from CurbIt! St.john’s.

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Try to salvage as much wrapping paper as you can and re-use it for next year. Gift bags are an easily re-usable item, because they always look good as new. Ribbons and bows are also easy to save, once you have a collection of them, you’ll never have to buy them new again!

2. Recycle your tree!

Here is the information on where and when to drop off your Christmas tree in St. John’s once the season is over, so that it can be turned to mulch for the city’s gardening projects.

Deck the Halls…

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!

When it grows colder outside, we retreat indoors with mugs of hot tea and quilted blankets. Holiday decorations are a way to bring warmth, colour and a festive feeling into your home. Candles, oranges, holly, ribbons, wreaths, and boughs bring a sense of coziness and joy. Decorating your home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a mad buying rush. Instead, using what you already have stored in Christmas boxes or gathering bits and pieces from nature can set the perfect note.

Here are a few tips on how to decorate your home, and be green for Christmas.

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LIGHTS

LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights, are a much more efficient, long-lasting, and thus, eco-friendly choice than incandescent lights. New lights in stores are often LED, but check the label to be sure. Your friends or neighbours might have a surplus of strings of lights, or used lights can be found on freecycle.org or kijiji.ca.

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CHRISTMAS TREE

Real or artificial? The old Christmas tree debate… but apparently there is a verdict! Generally, real trees win, because artificial trees are typically thrown away after a few seasons of use. With a real tree, you can recycle it into organic waste, and if you buy a tree that is grown on a Christmas tree farm, you’re not depleting trees from the forest. Read more on the David Suzuki web site.

Traditional Tree

Traditional decorations can give your tree a beautiful, natural appearance and are a way to avoid buying more baubles. Stringing popcorn and cranberries is a fun way to spend time with the kids, all you need is a needle and thread, popcorn and cranberries. Dried orange slices make fantastic ornaments, are easy to make, and they resemble little stained glass windows.

Christmas Tree Disposal

Here is the information on where and when to drop off your Christmas tree in St. John’s once the season is over, so that it can be turned to mulch for the city’s gardening projects.

DECORATIONS

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Deck the halls with boughs of holly! If you go for a walk in the woods, it’s likely you’ll find a wealth of natural materials to use for holiday decorations. Keep an eye out for fallen items– pine cones, dog berries, leaves…Then at home, the trimmings from your Christmas tree, oranges. Poke some cloves into an orange, and you have a pretty and wonderful smelling pomander. Natural items are great for wreaths, centerpieces, window decorations and ornaments and using them helps to avoid over-consumption of holiday trinkets.

There are lots of ways to get creative and reduce your environmental footprint this holiday season, from gifts, to trees, to decorations.

Have a happy and eco-friendly holiday!

the future of green – children say

no green to be seen today – st. john’s is white with snow, but these kids show that there is green in the future!   in the summer of 2011, thegreenrock.ca Green Team chatted with the 12 and under set to learn what they see as sustainable practice.  check out what they have to say!

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

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

On the one hand, some families in and around St. John’s are packed to the house rafters with too much great stuff.  On the other hand, some working families can’t qualify for a conventional mortgage.  The Habitat for Humanity ReStore helps both!  The ReStore is a place to donate good quality building materials, home decor and other goods (avoiding the landfill), and the proceeds from their sale supports Habitat for Humanity builds.  Habitat partner families contribute 500 hours of sweat equity, and pay back an interest-free mortgage at fair market value.  Good all the way around!

(This vid was created in  July just when the ReStore opened.  It’s changed since then!  Christmas stuff just in!)

the DOOMMATE! – baddest habits for your habitat

do you know this guy?  some people’s not-green habits might make you cry!   the greenRock Green Team did some seriously creative bad thinking to make this story but note please that the environmental footprint of this video is minimal (no toxic waste in river!)

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