Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tales of the Washi Tape Project

Hi Everyone,

Since the wedding I have not spent much time on Pinterest.  I have been afraid I would see something that 'I should have done' for the wedding. Today, I went back on and was inspired...

Before I get into it, here are some facts:

  • I am NOT crafty or creative
  • I have had a blank canvas in my house for more than a year
  • I have a long list of projects I would love to do but will likely never get around to

All in all, that meant today "I am going to do a project." Next came a Pinterest binge and before I knew it I was out buying WASHI TAPE (Side note - I used to read a blog where this woman did every project in her house with some form of washi tape and it drove me crazy). 

The outcome:

Yes... Washi Tape happened and I had fun. 

I am going to need your help though, if you see if a single other blog entry with washi tape projects... please make me stop! 

And as always, stay green,


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to say a big Happy Halloween from our family to yours.

Don't forget to use those pumpkins too. There are so many recipes out there, pumpkin doesn't just come in a can!

Check some out here.

Have a great day,

Saturday, October 4, 2014

We Day 2014

Hi Everyone,

Empowerment. Change is in your hands. Be the generation of greatness. Equality is freedom.

These were some of the amazing messages directed to the youth at We Day Toronto this week. Mike and I volunteered for the event and what a powerful room. 4.6 billion hours were volunteered in making it to We Day today as all the kids had to be nominated or apply to be in the audience. Each of them supports a local and a global cause for change. 

We Day is Free  the Children's way of saying a big THANK YOU to the youth, parents and teachers that help Free the Children carry out the great work they do both nationally and globally for children and communities big and small. 

Mike and I had the pleasure of going to Kenya this past summer with the organization to help out and see what they are accomplishing there. I must say after that trip, I am officially a Free the Children Ambassador. They aren't just going into these communities, building schools and leaving. They have adopted the village and put programs in place to help the community become self sustaining. What this means, in 10, 20, 30 years, the children of today will be living happy, healthy lifestyles without having to rely on 'handouts' from charitable organizations.

I will give you one of the simplest examples of what this means:
Teaching families to tie up their livestock (usually goats and dairy cows) so that children can have the time to go to school instead of herding livestock during the day. Some of the lessons they are teaching these communities are things we take for granted but they are the little things that can make such a difference in the community.

Another quick example is teaching them to use a clothes line or fence to dry their clothes on rather than laying them on the ground in the sun. This prevents bugs from getting into their clothing and irritating their skin causing more trips to the clinic.

These are just two small examples of what Free the Children has done in the Massai Mara community of Kenya, there are just too many for words.

Here is a small sample of the pictures from our trip.

Mike is journaling our trip in more detail so I will share a link once he has had a chance to finish that... I will start bugging him soon, progress has slowed in recent weeks on that project!

To be continued...

Have a great day,

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Big Change

Hi Friends!
Yes I am back. I know, I know.. I feel guilty enough already that my last blog post was Valentine’s Day but I am back in a big way.
I have recently made some changes in my lifestyle in an attempt to really reduce my eco footprint. You may remember my blog post from September, 2012 where I assessed my ecological footprint and was quite disappointed in my number!
My new number:

I am happy to report that is up from the 46 I calculated 2 years ago with room for improvement. What was my big change?

That’s right… I bought an electric car! The Chevrolet Volt to be exact. I have had it for one week officially now and I am in LOVE. Sorry Mike J. After one week, I drove to work at our St. Catharines office and back home for 4 days this week without using any gas. Driving to our Hamilton office was a bit more of a challenge. Luckily however, Hamilton is leading the ‘charge’ for its downtown core and I found a parking garage a 10 minute walk away from the office with a charging station. In addition to being able to fully charge my car while at work, the lot was only $6 for the day. Trust me, in downtown Hamilton that is a steal. Now I get to save money in two ways.

It is funny though the questions you get when you buy an electric car. I think people really forget what era we live in.
·       How long does one charge last? Approx. 69 KMs.
·       What do you do once the charge runs out? Are you just stranded? No, there is a gas generator that will continue to run the electric motor for over 400km with a full tank of gas.
·       Is it like driving a golf cart? You would be surprised how many times that one is asked. It is actually a very smooth ride with a lot of power. The car has an instant torque of 273 RPMs which is well above the other mid-sized vehicles in its class.
·       When the battery dies your car is dead right? How much is it to replace the battery when it dies? This question is a little harder to answer. For one, the volt batteries are single cell batteries so if one cell fails they can easily replace that one cell instead of the whole battery. With that being said, the battery is actually warrantied for 8 years so it would be no cost. If after 8 years the battery dies and needs to be replaced, General Motors buys back the old batteries and you can replace it for an estimated cost of about $3,000. Now, you can’t really believe that completely because it hasn’t been put into practice just yet but let’s just say I am not worried about my car becoming an expensive piece of useless metal.
·       I can’t believe you would buy an electric car, how much was it? Not cheap! MSRP starts at $34,170 but you get an $8,231 credit from the Canadian government for buying an electric car; compared to the rebate of $5,000 available to Toyota Prius owners. The maximum government credit is $8,500, meaning the Volt meets almost all of the specifications required. The fact that it has the option to run on gas puts it below the Tesla models that receive the full $8,500 credit. Now that does not mean the price drops to $26,000 because after some model upgrades and warranties, in the end you are paying the MSRP plus taxes and other fees.

Now for you, do you have any questions? Ask away.
And as always, keep thinking green.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cards, Flowers, Boxes of Chocolates, etc.. All are very common gifts you get on Valentine's Day. What did my husband do? A card and flowers, but more than that he put some thought into it. 

Check out the personalized e-card I received today:

A little thought goes a long way! 

Happy Valentine's Day from Captain Planet herself,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Challenge: Water Bottles

How many times when you are at someone's house do you ask for a glass of water and they hand you a water bottle? Why? Convenience.

What is so hard about pulling a jug of water out of the fridge and pouring a glass of water?

I know New Year's resolutions are behind us, but why not take the time to succeed a different mini challenges throughout the year (this way we aren't disappointed when we don't achieve our Resolution!).

I challenge you to not use a single water bottle in the next week.  

In our household, we do not buy water bottles; we use a Brita and tap water. If a guest needs to take a bottle with them we use one of those plastic promo bottles I get at every race I run. Most of the time I get it back but I don't expect to get it back nor do I need 30+ plastic water bottles with different company logos on them.

Good luck with the challenge. Let me know what you thought of it. Was it easy or difficult to achieve?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Green Memories

With all this cold winter weather we have been having, Mike and I have been taking full advantage of our Netflix membership. Which made me start thinking about movies I haven't seen in a long time.

One of my favourites as a kid... FernGully.

If you haven't seen this movie, you should definitely look it up. The movie is about a group of magical forest creatures working together to protect their home from the destructive Hexxus. The main plot also includes stories of friendship and love. Not to mention, it has to be a movie with the most direct message around the toxins and direct effects of clear cutting forests. It is a child-friendly cartoon with adult humor undertones especially from 'Batty' a witty bat that has seen the effects of human product testing voiced by Robin Williams.

This weekend if you need to cozy up on the couch and stay warm, consider FernGully as your movie of choice, it is already on my list. Have you seen it? What did you think?