Connect with Nature

To lower our electronic energy consumption (read “money”), our family has been spending time out in nature.  This past summer we decided to enjoy local vacations like camping and local cottage renting which meant swimming, fishing off the dock, roasting marshmallows and enjoying stories around the fire.  And the result has been a sense of togetherness and teamwork.

The challenge…how to keep up the good work during winter when the temptation to go somewhere warm is HUGE!  Perhaps we will succumb to a getaway in the sun but trade off and go meatless instead!  They say that the environmental impact of meat is very high – about 7 times more land required for a meat-based diet than a plant-based diet…

Baby Steps…

O-Blog-Di, O-Blog-Da

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  To me, they are simply looming responsibilities that inevitably set me up for self-loathing down the road. No, thanks. It’s like picking a Monday to start doing something, like exercising. Never do it. Mondays are like 52 January 1sts, spread throughout the year. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for bettering yourself, and this isn’t a cop-out. I just choose to go about it differently. Setting one or two really big goals that start with, “This year I am going to…” is intimidating, and psychologically challenging in a way that I don’t like. Instead, a few years ago, I decided to just focus on continually bettering myself whenever I can, when I think of it. If I don’t always follow through, I just get back on track when I think of it again. It’s a continual process for me, trying to be a better…

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Respect nature

As the New Year 2012 quickly approaches, there are many sources reviewing 2011.  I was amazed at the number of articles that refer to nature or the environment.  One image of a tiger attacking a human has been forever burned into my mind.

Check out

People to admire

Please visit

As quoted in his website:  “As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself.  In the “take action yourself” camp, a few individuals are leading the way. One such person in California is Ed Begley, Jr.”

It is always humbling to see someone in the public eye doing something for the rest of us.  Ed has been a true environmentalist for over 40 years.  And here are the secrets to his success:

1.  Born to an Irish family that lived through the depression

2. Being a boy scout

3. Being poor and looking for solutions to save money

I can relate to these points above.  My marketing undergrad degree taught me a few bad habits.  I am ready to kick them.

Thanks Ed.

We are not farmers

“The spirit was willing…but time is not on our side.”  I know that I’m not alone in this honest reflection.  And so our first gardening attempt  started like many of our other household projects:  shopping!  We bought a little seed greenhouse and seeds that promised to grow quickly to capture my young daughter’s imagination.  And at first, the process was miraculous.  Then came the hard work:

– Aphids attacked our little seedlings forcing us to regularly spray soapy water

– Some seedlings grew too quickly and the roots overtook the small containers

– And most importantly, our composting project did not get started, so off to the garden store I went to buy bags of topsoil.

I have to admit that my research last year was limited to the memories of luscious veggies from my parent’s backyard.  It didn’t take long for me to call them for help.  And soon, a row of freshly planted seedlings adorned our backyard!  It was quite late in the season, but our first crop of tomatoes made it all worth while.

The family of rabbits living under our shed loved all the free organic produce.  But that is another issue…

I am now reading the book “The city people’s guide to raising food”.  I will keep you posted on my plans for 2012…

It’s not easy being green

You have to really fight the system to go green.  So, I have often felt like an environmental hypocrite.  And just recently, I decided to cut myself some slack.  And here are some reasons why you should as well.

Until very recently, organic foods have received very little government support for marketing and research.  Meaning that only the elite understood why organic was important.

Home builders did not have the knowledge needed to provide Eco friendly alternatives.

Vehicle manufacturers were fueled by the wrong motivations.

Politics tried to distract from the real issues claiming that environmentalists don’t often practice what they preach.

So, join me and Kermit the frog and proudly declare that “it isn’t easy being green”…but I am willing to try.  There are many ways that society can move forward into a sustainable future.  I will explore those with you.  One little step at a time.  From a city dweller point of view.

Next blog will feature lessons learned from my 2011 backyard garden.  And the new inspiration in my life…the book “the city peoples book of raising  food”.