Latest posts in Queen of Green

How to stop walking past garbage

August 25, 2015 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to stop walking past garbage

Gail knows that sometimes you have to clean up other people's messes. (Credit: Manuel Sousa)

I can't bring myself to walk past trash. And it turns out, neither can my friend, colleague and Queen of Green Coach, Gail.

I saw her on my walk to work last week — grabber and bag of garbage in hand. Not only was I happy to see the positive impact she was making, but I knew I wasn't alone AND I could see how proud she was to follow through on a pet peeve.

Gail shares why and how she stopped walking past garbage:

I'm grateful to live in Canada. Unlike in other places in the world, our rivers aren't choked with plastic, our city dwellers don't have to wear gas masks.

Not yet.

But lately I've noticed my beautiful city (Vancouver) falling victim to a creeping scourge: street litter.

It's not my trash. Thanks to recycling and composting, my life is practically garbage-free. But I live in a human community. And sometimes that means cleaning up other people's messes.

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Why be a Queen of Green Coach

August 14, 2015 | 1 comment
Photo: Why be a Queen of Green Coach

Are you ready to have a transformational experience? Or, to start a "butterfly effect"? (Credit: Jode Roberts)

In my nine years at the David Suzuki Foundation, I've crossed paths with some really cool people. I toured twice across the country with David Suzuki, and met Canadian celebs like Rick Mercer, Jim Cuddy, Sam Roberts (and his band), the Barenaked Ladies, Gord Downie (of the Tragically Hip), Andrew Ferrence (NHLer) and more.

Celebrity encounters are worth a Facebook status update but they're not what inspires me and brings me into work each day with a hopeful attitude.

That special status goes to real people, like you and Becky of Winnipeg, Man. (one of my 120 Queen of Green Coaches)! Below, Becky shares why you might consider becoming a Queen of Green Coach this fall. Apply now for my fall session, which runs September 21 to December 21.

We've all heard of the butterfly effect (e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in South America can affect the weather in Central Park), right?

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How to go green in Winnipeg

August 11, 2015 | 3 comments
Photo: How to go green in Winnipeg

Find an Eco-depot and drop off electronic waste, leftover paint, light bulbs, car batteries, pharmaceuticals and more. (Credit: Glen Clark)

I learn so much from each new cohort of Queen of Green Coaches. Thanks to the collective wisdom of Winnipeg Coaches — Becky, Kerri, Leanne and Michele for making this blog possible!

Don't live in Winnipeg? Comb through "green" resource lists for Edmonton and Calgary or search out — even copy — the best ideas for your city.


Find an Eco-depot and drop off electronic waste, leftover paint, light bulbs, car batteries, pharmaceuticals and more. Try the app!

Phoenix Recycling does larger shredding jobs and hosts an annual community shred event.

Stop junk mail. Purchase a $2 "No Flyers Please!" sticker for your mailbox.

Drop off art supplies and more to Art City or Arts Junktion.

Moving? Try Frogbox for your next home or office move.

Purchase a compost bin or rain barrel from Fort Whyte Alive.

Become a Master Composter with Green Action Centre and receive 30 hours of training in waste and organic composting!

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How to help bumblebees

July 28, 2015 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to help bumblebees

Learn how to make a bumblebee nest! (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

Did you know that there are about 250 species of bumblebees and they all need our help? To identify one, just look at the colour of its tail — and a few other details!

There are three kinds of bumblebees, those that nest:

  1. Underground
  2. At ground level
  3. Above ground

In addition to pollinating wild plants and food plants like tomatoes and blueberries, bumblebees that nest in the ground benefit your garden by:

  • Improving soil quality
  • Increasing water movement around plant roots
  • Mixing up soil nutrients
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How to get your yard off grass

July 21, 2015 | 10 comments
Photo: How to get your yard off grass

Bumblebees, native bees and butterflies love lavender. And it's deer resistant! (Credit: David Zeni)

Lawn history is rooted in wealth and status.

In 17th century England, only rich landowners had lawns (a monoculture of short, manicured grass). Work once done by sheep increasingly shifted to human labour, especially closer to the house. Before lawnmowers, only a few could afford to hire people to scythe and weed their grass.

Lawn's purpose? Purely decorative.

Given today's reality...

  • Water shortages
  • The health benefits of digging in dirt
  • Our passion for clean, local food
  • A desire to waste less
  • How busy we say we are
  • No need to show how much money you make

...I think society is ready to question, even ditch, the lawn habit. (Carole Rubin even wrote the book on it, How to Get Your Lawn Off Grass.)

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