In which I blatantly plagiarize my brother, who was imitating me

PLEASE go and read the articles my brother posted here. Quick! Do it now! I'll wait.

"Alarming" does not begin to describe how I felt as I learned that our ocean was a worse toxic waste dump than I had ever dreamed possible.

Then, I would like to remind you that there are websites dedicated to educating us about other, better ways of doing things.



Are there any sites that you recommend?

Classy and Green

I am teaching two classes this upcoming weekend at our local scrapbooking retreat. One is about Journaling, and one is called "Recycled Embellishments". I have just finished the class project demo layout for the Embellishment class, and am now displaying it for your viewing pleasure.

The pull-out tag behind the photo will eventually list all of the books that I read in 2008. So far, there is only one on there. Pretty sad, I know.

I was absolutely thrilled at my good fortune today when I rescued a beautiful old-edition encyclopedia from it's imminent fate of being thrown into a dumpster, which now has had at least one page immortalized on this scrapbook layout. This weekend, several more of its pages will be wending their way around town into people's photo albums.

I estimate that the total cost of this layout was $1.50. Compare this to an average layout utilizing all pre-purchased embellishments and accents, which can run anywhere from $4 to $10 a page. Yet another instance where being "green" actually saves you money--it even applies to scrapbooking!

Mini-contest: The first person to guess what the flower petals are made of will get a prize from moi. (Those people, like my husband, who already know the answer because I told them straight out, please refrain from responding.)

Following is the journaling from the page:

"Ever since I was a small child, I have been an avid reader. At one point, I usually had anywhere from 1-4 books 'on the go' at one time. Since becoming a busy homemaker and self-employed entrepreneur, I have had less and less time to indulge in hours-long reading sessions, so most of my reading time is in bits and pieces—a few snippets of a magazine article while using the bathroom (“Mommy needs a break,” Jason tells the kids when I head in there.) I end up saving up my “books-to-read” until the blissful, lazy days of summer arrive and I can afford the time indulged in reading. This photo is of a few books I plan to go through this summer. Also on the list: Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, The Missing Gospels by Bock, and perhaps re-read some old, long-abandoned favourites such as The Snow Queen, Braveheart, Pay It Forward, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I can hardly wait to immerse myself in words, words, words!

"How am I going to do this with all the other things I also want to accomplish this summer?

"Answer: One book at a time."

So Zenn

Rick Mercer has long been one of my favourite comedians. AND! He's Canadian. In fact, most of his humour is about Canada. Especially since he now has his own show called the Rick Mercer report.

This video, taken from his show, is one of the most exciting things I've seen in a while.

Want to learn more? Check out their website. ZENN.

I'm kinda speechless that we can only get these in B.C. Hopefully our government wakes up and smells the exhaust fumes soon!

Saving The World With Coffee Cups

A while back, I obtained permission from Holly Boxrud at Rocky Mountain Soap Co. to re-print this article from their monthly e-newsletter. I thought it was a great idea, and wanted to share it with you.

At RMSC, we feel it’s important to do our part to be “green.” We are always looking for the most environmentally sustainable option…and we want to be a part of the solution, and not another part of the problem. In an effort to demystify the term sustainability, we decided to dedicate a small section of our monthly e-newsletter to all things Green. As author Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better..." Each month we will do our best to pass on tips we have learned and hopefully step by step we will all begin to make positive changes.

This month’s topic is near and dear to my heart as it involves my favourite thing: COFFEE. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, or equivalent to 146,000,000,000 (146 Billion) cups of coffee per year; making the United States the LEADING CONSUMER of coffee in the world. Canada falls only slightly short of those numbers, coming in second place with Japan in third. A recent waste audit conducted at the University of Western Ontario revealed Tim Horton’s and Starbucks cups account for a mind-blowing seven per cent of building waste by weight on campus. (Some people estimate the national average to be as high as 30%) As a way to correct the problem, EnviroWestern has introduced the Travel Mug Campaign to encourage regular coffee drinkers to think about the impact their behavior has on the environment. In Toronto, city councilor Glenn De Baeremaeker is pursuing the idea of imposing a 25- or 30-cent tax on each disposable coffee cup in order to help reduce Toronto garbage sent to landfill sites, in an effort to force companies like these to find solutions. Locally, the communitea café has begun collecting a 50C donation to the Canmore Green Bike program for taking a paper cup. Owner, Marnie Dansereau, conceived of her policy with the intent to get people to be conscious and think about their environmental impact. Not too mention that good coffee like theirs is meant to be experienced and savored in a beautiful porcelain mug, while lounging in a comfy beanbag chair…

So what can we all do? Commit to buying a couple of good quality travel mugs, and keeping them where you use them most. The most important thing though, is to use them. My husband and I made a pledge to not buy coffee in a disposable mug. We take our travel mugs wherever we go. And should we be craving a coffee and not have our mugs? We made a pledge; so we skip the coffee or take a break, and enjoy our coffee in the cafe. Oh yes, it’s been “inconvenient” at times, but the cult of convenience is contributing to the damage we’re doing to our planet. One look into a municipal waste trash bin on a street corner downtown, full to the brim with used coffee cups, will convince you; the best way to solve this problem is to reduce your consumption. And the benefits are twofold; not only will you eliminate waste, but your daily cup(s) of organic, fair trade java will taste even better when they stay hot in your brand new travel mug. It’s good to be green!