Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earth Hour is This Weekend!

It's that time again!  Time to turn off the lights, turn off the electricity for an hour on Saturday, March 31st starting at 8:30pm to support what is called "the largest environmental event in history."


Last year was my first Earth Hour, and my kids really got into it.  First I showed them the video of the cities and world monuments going dark, which was very powerful and helped them get the message.  We talked about climate change and things people can do to take action.  I believe that each and every one of us can help make a difference.  This year's video looks like this:



They say that over 135 countries participated last year, which I find very impressive.  Someone recently asked me what the 60+ means on the logo.  It refers to the 60 minutes of Earth Hour AND BEYOND.  As in, what will you do beyond Earth Hour to make a difference.  I've read that a lot of International celebrities have committed to certain environmental actions such as planting trees for each person who pledges to plant trees themselves.  That's one of the cool things about the Earth Hour website - you can pledge and share what you plan to do, and read what others are doing.  I think it's a great way to bring the focus back to being GREEN if you've slipped a little since making GREEN New Year's Resolutions!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today I Ate a (mostly organic) Rainbow

As a general rule, we eat pretty healthy in my house.  We always made the kids eat what we eat so they're less picky eaters.  Eating healthy is easy to do in the months when we're producing in the garden, but the rest of the time it does take a little more effort to keep the fridge stocked with fresh goodness.  A few days ago I realized I had gotten to that point where there wasn't much in fridge that qualified as green, leafy, orange, red or even yellow.  Other than bags of organic apples, kiwis & lemons of course - 'cause those are pretty much always there and we could use a little variety.

After an early meeting this morning I hit up the produce aisle - hard!  My plan of attack was to bring home at least a few days worth of rainbow foods, which yes, was inspired by Today I Ate A Rainbow!  The idea is that kids probably aren't getting 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day, so this serves as a reminder (they sell magnetic charts and such that you track each day - the goal being to fill the rainbow.)  They consider the color groups to be red, orange, yellow, green & blue/purple.  The others don't seem to hard, but finding a lot of blue/purple food is like a challenge!  Blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, purple grapes & raisins, prunes...


Here's one of the rainbow combinations I brought home.  All organic but the bananas, which is ok, because that's one of the safer foods to buy conventionally grown.  (Oh, and I only buy Chiquita after reading years ago that they were making huge efforts to protect the rainforest and using responsible farming practices.  I wish my local grocery store carried them.)  You can't see much of the blackberries, but they look yummy and the kids will wolf them down as an after school snack.  They also love them in their lunches. 

I'm looking forward to showing you my own food rainbows from my garden in a few months.  It's so much GREENER that way!  My seeds are ready and I'm itching to get some in the dirt!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pallets!

About a week ago I noticed that my friends had begun amassing wood pallets in their driveway.  It's not an unusual sight in my town... I know people who've told me they get them for free to burn as firewood to heat their homes.  It's so common that I just assume that's why people have them in quantities.

Then it occurred to me.  These friends are pretty extraordinary & creative people.  I'll bet they have bigger plans for these pallets.  I'll bet they're going to be upcycled!  If I were to guess, I'd say they're going to become a chicken coop.  That made me think of this video I'd seen from the Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association:


This video showcases so many great ways to put to good use what so many see as scrap wood.

I love a good upcycling project!  My little project this week involved trying to transform a pair of "boyish" slippers of very good quality to something my "it has to be pink" daughter would wear.  Enter my craft box and sewing box and between scheduling showings and making new international real estate contacts the past 2 days, we have this:


Turns out a little embellishing will change her attitude about her brother's hand-me-down jeans, khakis & most shorts too.

Happy March 1st my friends!  Just about 2 weeks until St. Patrick's Day - THE day for planting my first cold-weather crops - Peas!