Green Tip # 3: Eco-friendly wood and paper products

An old growth cedar in Avatar Grove, Vancouver Island. Probably older than the Magna Carta.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to visit the annual fall fair in my hometown of Langley, British Columbia- Canada. The event, Country Celebration has been happening as long [if not longer than I have been alive] in one of Langleys’ most well-known and loved parks Campbell Valley; which is only spitting distance from the US-Canada border.

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Green Tip # 2: Freeganism

It's simply amazing the amount of edible things that we dispose of in our culture.

The war generation had a saying- waste not, want not. We can stand to learn a few things from our parents and grandparents when it comes to sensible consumption. With the economy being the way it is these days, thrift and frugality are undeniably coming back into vogue. So perhaps we should re-evaluate these old ideas, a good jumping off point is the Story of Stuff a series of fun and informative animated TEDD-talk style lectures that were created by Annie Leonard to challenge our North-American wide obsession with consumption.

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Green Tip # 1: PVCs the hidden menace in your shower curtains

Could Norman Bates be lurking in your shower curtain?

Hello readers,

I know what your probably thinking; TTL packed it in and gave up on blogging, as the website has been dormant for almost a month now. Not so, I was just taking an extend break, as I am apt to do over the summertime.

Also, complicating matters was the really hectic move my partner and I made from Victoria; she went on the road Jack Kerouac style and I ‘boomeranged’ back home with my parents, as many millennials have been inclined to do in these uncertain economic times.

Coincidently, on the issue of the economy- which I am sure you haven’t heard enough about lately, as I was taking a bathroom break during the process of writing this post, I picked up Thursdays’ copy of the Vancouver Sun and read the front page on the John.

Columnist Pete McMartin has a great op-ed piece entitled Does a rising tide sink all boats? discussing the rising income inequality in Canada, which is a cause for concern because the gap between the rich and the poor in Canada is quickly coming to mirror that of our neighbours to the south in the United States. McMartin writes that the trickle down effect may not save us, as vast and seemingly insurmountable gaps between the rich and the poor ferment social strife, he writes:

“Concentrations of great wealth..are harbingers of economic regression. They [ he is referring to a report written by the Conference Board of Canada] point out, for example, that the share of wealth of the top one per cent of earners in the U.S. just before the Great Depression was identical to that of the top one per cent of earners in 2007, just prior to the market collapse.”

Food for thought eh? If you are more interested on this front he recommends reading a book by economists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett entitled The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. Lets segue back into the matter at hand, shall we?

So I did not forget about the blog but to be honest with you, it did not register very high up on the ol’ to do list. While I was away, I still gave it some thought though. I have some pretty interesting stories that go live within the very near future, so stay tuned.

Anyway in the meantime, I want to start sharing with you a daily green tip- I think I have about forty of these archived, so make sure to save the blog in your browser bookmarks tab and hit that page refresh button frequently. First though, a big shout out is due to green gurus Ed Begley Jr. and Gillian Deacon for their inspiration, I gleaned a lot of these tips from their green-living books. So to kick things off for the fall, lets talk about the dangers of PVC. Continue reading

Composting Part 2

The best home compost bin for non-meat and animal fats available on the market and also at the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre.

Collison has always been very community-minded, a purveyor of the idea that when you act locally you will impact change globally. With previous stints at other local charity organizations such as the: Inter-Cultural Association, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Silver Threads’ Meal on Wheels program, it is evident, that her greatest strength lies in her ability to work collaboratively with others. This is reflected within her educational background, she received a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto where her research specialization was in Nonprofit Management and Community Involvement.

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Composting Part 1

Jason standing beside one of his bio-diesel powered fleet trucks, soon to be powered by used cooking oil collected by reFUSE and processed by the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op.

If one person’s waste is another’s treasure, then there is a revolution happening under-foot. The resurgence and continued uptake of composting at home and in the workplace, has been pushed to the forefront of daily conversation on much of Southern Vancouver Island due to the continued Herculean efforts of social business entrepreneurs like Jason Adams, founder and owner-operator of reFUSE Resource Recovery and Nadine Collison, executive director of the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Both are influential members within the burgeoning environmental community, with a common vision and love for what gardeners affectionately call Black Gold.

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Mining for Gold

If someone’s trash is another person’s treasure than the Pacific Mobile Depot [PMD]  is literally a gold mine just waited to be panned! This exciting new business  venture was started by  Jose Simas and Zeb Pereira eleven years ago with humble origins.  This unique business has blossomed into a great small business success story by establishing, “10 mobile recycling depots in Greater Victoria and 3 depots in Metro Vancouver, as well as having a commercial & residential pick-up division.”

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Vegetable Gardening

I have been meaning to write on vegetable gardening for sometime. This is a story that has sat on the back-burner for far too long; as I like to keep a laundry list of potential story ideas it kept getting pushed down the list, that is until this morning.  While I was scrolling through my disorganized hard-drive looking for another article that I am working on for this blog, I stumbled upon this planting guide, that I put together a few years ago for a class project and presentation in an Environmental Studies class that I was enrolled in at the University of Victoria.

While this guide is being posted late in the summer growing season, this list of planting suggestions is something to re-consider next spring. Or alternatively you can even use some of the suggestions in this story for planting your winter vegetable varieties this month or in early August, depending upon your planting schedule. Right about now, is the ideal time to start planting many winter vegetables seed varieties as it will allow for a full maturation period, so that you can harvest your vegetables come: November, December and or in January. I hope this list of planting tips helps you out whether you are a seasoned green thumb or a newbie.

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