Category Archives: inspiration

Home Grown Revolution

There’s a line in a Modest Mouse song that is something like ” I sound the same when I’m happy and I’m sad” that’s always really resonated with me. I just watched Home Grown Revolution and cried with joy. I would love to meet this family. The one thing I noticed was that they do wrap their veggies in plastic, but it’s not a criticism at all because they are doing so many amazing things. I can’t express my excitement. Just watch or go to the website. Oh I love these people! WHEEEEEEE!

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Filed under alternative housing, environmental news, gardening, groceries, inspiration

I really wanna go!!!!

I followed a link to Everdale Farms today, because they are having a produce sale and picnic that I would really like to go to, but I think it is too far to bike whilst pregnant. Not only do we not have a car, but we don’t really know many people who do! Anyhow Everdale looks amazing and they have an internship program for people wanting to learn about organic farming. I wonder if they will accept a couple with a new baby?

The reason I’m so excited about Everdale is that they seem to be living our dream. We still don’t have money saved up to by land, but some day soon before the (excuse my language) shit really hits the fan environmentally, we would like to have our own sustainable cobb home somewhere in the country. They offer sustainable living workshops at their farm. That’s something we could do too! We want a cobb house and they have straw bale, which is a bit different, but I think I would like to go to one of their workshops anyways. We don’t even know if either of us would like or be good at farming, but if we did the internship program we would find out. I wonder if we are too old to be interns.

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Filed under environmental news, inspiration

Anonymous Tip and my comments

I got the following email in my work mail. I have no idea who sent it to me, or how they got my work e-mail address, but it is worth passing on. My comments are in italics, and I’ve added links.

No time to waste, no time for waste

With glaciers melting, temperatures rising and cancers growing, consumers are desperately seeking
convenient everyday-product alternatives to help protect the planet and preserve their health


Toronto, ON – We are officially in the throws of a ‘green renaissance’ and with it has come a flood of new product, a deluge of information and a whole lot of consumer uncertainty.
 
What are the bad plastics?
Most plastics are “bad”. Corn plastic that’s biodegradable is slightly better, and PVC seems to be the worst of them all, which is probably why PVC clothing looks so bad ass. I guess you can’t be an environmentally friendly punk rocker or goth, although I sort of was. I never used airplane glue to make my Mohawk stand. I always used natural hair products. What are the good candles?Beeswax Candles are good and you can get them at Grass Roots. Dollar Store candles are bad.What’s the real deal with bottled water?Bottled water is a bad idea. Most of it is just tap water anyway and think of all that plastic! If you don’t like tap water, get a filter you can attach to your tap. How can I reduce my environmental footprint? I don’t think I can tackle this is one blog post, but here’s a shot, reduce your energy use, reduce your water use, ride a bicycle, be informed, buy green products or make your own, reduce your garbage. Reduce, reuse, recycle. (in that order)
What is an environmental footprint?
Can I green my house without breaking the bank?

Yes, most provinces have little guide books with cheap and easy tips to green your house. It can start with little things like reusing your bathwater to flush the toilet, hanging your clothes to dry, closing the curtains on hot days, planting tress for shade etc.

 Where can I get organic jeans?

Grass Roots, Hemp Stores like Roacharama, Greenloop.com, Rawganique


Eco-advocate and mother of all things fabulously green Lisa Borden can answer all these questions and more ( so can I, can I join the team?), while she and her team of eco-experts help consumers green their lives with the world’s best selection of environmentally brilliant products.
 
Decades of research and scouring the earth for the best in show has brought Borden to the forefront of the environmental revolution, in which weeding through the excess of new “green” product on the market is one of the biggest consumer challenges.
 
Check out Borden’s latest round of must-have items, uniquely designed to reduce waste, improve health and actively promote “better living.”  
 
Perfect for back-to-school, back-to-work and back-to-basics…

The waste-free, lead-free lunch box
Laptop Lunches
http://www.laptoplunches.com <http://www.laptoplunches.com/

I want one of these and have been coveting this site for some time
 
The healthiest alternative to plastic bottles
Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottles
http://www.kleankanteen.com <http://www.kleankanteen.com/>
 
Coffee, tea and carcinogen-free
Enviro coffee & tea presses and mugs
http://www.planetarydesign.us <http://www.planetarydesign.us/>
For taking the edge off naturally
Organic Aromatherapy Pleasure Pillows
http://www.mettevangso.com <http://www.mettevangso.com/>
  
All natural, all homemade
Make-your-own, chemical-free home, pet and body product kits
http://www.eco-me.com <http://www.eco-me.com/>
 
For truly clean clothes
Nellie’s natural laundry soda and dryer balls
http://www.nellieslaundry.com <http://www.nellieslaundry.com/ 

Or go to grass roots and get ingredients to make your own laundry detergents, or buy all natural detergents in bulk-don’t forget to bring your own container.
 
Note: Borden Communications promotes and stocks all above mentioned lines, plus dozens more.
 
For high res images, product samples and more information, please contact –
Lisa Borden at 416-484-6489 or lisa@bordencom.com


Facts that should not be wasted

Twenty-five recycled bottles can make one fleece jacket.
 
If every household in Canada changed one regular incandescent light bulb to an energy-efficient light bulb, Canadians would save over $73 million in energy costs every year. It would also reduce greenhouse gasses by 397,000 tonnes per year – the same as taking 66,000 cars off of the road.
 
By using a reusable mug every morning for your coffee or favourite beverage rather than a disposable one, you will personally save 23 pounds of garbage from going into landfill. [not to mention the potential toxic nature of the disposable cup]. Starbucks will even give you 10 cents off as an environmental discount per beverage.
 
One organic cotton t-shirt [over a conventionally grown cotton one] saves 744 gallons of water.

Canadians throw away 900 million plastic chemical bottles each year – enough to circle the earth five times.
 
Canadians take 55 million plastic shopping bags home from the grocery store every day.
 
Five billion drink boxes are thrown out in North America each year.
 
Every year, Canadians throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups. Five hundred years from now, those cups will still be sitting in the landfill site.


Each Canadian uses up to four trees per year in paper products.
 
One tree can filter 60 pounds of pollutants out of the air every year.
 
The average Canadian household spends over $600 on chemical cleaning products per year.
 
Backyards are three times more poisoned with pesticides (per acre) than farmland.
 
Watering your lawn uses 700 litres in half an hour, which is more than the average daily water consumption of an entire household.
 
Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 can contain carcinogenic substances and can be found in such everyday products as baby bottles and shower curtains. Numbers 1, 2 and 4 are acceptable if required…5 is the safest!
 
If everyone on earth lived like the average Canadian, we would need four earths to sustain our lifestyle.


Borden Communications + Design Inc.is a full-service design and marketing company based in Toronto. With expertise in marketing, promotional products, product management, design and print for companies of all shapes and sizes, it is equally committed to bettering the earth and the Canadian lifestyle though promoting and stocking the world’s healthiest and most innovative products and services. President Lisa Borden is a world-class eco-advocate and mother of two, whose business is a direct reflection of her commitment to better, more responsible living.

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.” – African Proverb

 

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Filed under cleaning, environmental news, groceries, inspiration, personal care, tips

Labels

I have been noticing lately that when ever I read an article about this project and it says “Sarah McGaughey, environmentalist”, I feel irritated. At first, I thought it was just because I don’t like labels period and I would rather just be called Sarah, but today I realized I don’t mind being called an artist. There is going to be an article in Glow magazine about Kyle and I, and this project, so today a fact checker e-mailed to make sure everything was correct. When I got to the part that said, “you are an environmentalist in Toronto”, I corrected it and said ” I am an artist in Toronto.” Then I got to thinking about why I would object to being called an environmentalist. I came up with this: it’s redundant. We live on this earth/ in the environment. If we don’t take care of the environment, we are not taking care of ourselves, as everything is connected. It’s really obvious and natural to me to be concerned for the environment. Saying I am an environmentalist is like saying, I am a breathist, I believe in breathing; I am a foodist, I believe in eating; I am a flatulentist, I believe in farting. These are all just natural things we to do, that don’t need a label.  Also it seems to me that the minority should get labels, and I feel that the majority of people do care about the environment. Yes, I am prepared to be called naive again.  So instead of calling everyone who cares an “environmentalist”, why don’t we just use name calling for the people who are doing harm. They can be “destructionists” or “Greedists”. I’m not sure why “artist” doesn’t seem like a lable to me, maybe because it’s something I chose, something I do, rather than something I am. Maybe it’s because I’m cranky and contrary. So, I suppose,  if you have to call me anything, call me an artist, or Sarah, or  a cranky pregnant person who is just trying to do her bit.

That’s all for now. I’ll post about cat litter tomorrow. Oooooo the suspense!

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Filed under art, inspiration, press, project rules

I have to get my butt in gear and write a book!

My friend Nathan sent me this link on noimpactman. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Basically, 43 year old author-man decides to try and make absolutely no eco-footprint for a year and write a book about it. It’s way more extreme than this project was and he was way less of a hippie than I when he started. Amazing, commendable stuff! Do check it out! For a little teaser, here’s a quote from the Star article:

“Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.”

And, they have a 2 year old daughter, oh, and a dog!!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!!! It’s so inspiring. It means, we can still be environmentally friendly when we have the baby! Every body seems to think it’s going to pop out wrapped in styrofoam and we are going to have to drop all our morals once we have the little sprout. This family proves to me that we can do it! They don’t just draw the line at garbage either-it’s everything.

He had no problem getting a publishing deal. Granted, he was already an established author, but hey I think I can do it. I’m going to write a “say no to trash” book. Yeee haw! “Inspiration, it’s what you are to me. Ih-inspiration look and see!”

On another topic, I added a few more pictures to the photos page so check it out again.

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Filed under inspiration, tips