Latest posts in Queen of Green

How not to squelch a kid's curiosity about nature

May 26, 2015 | Leave a comment
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To cultivate nature connectedness, fuel curiosity and keep plants and critters alive, we made rules.

Most children are curious explorers, so you don't need to do much to cultivate their nature connectedness — just take them outside! The challenge is more about how to get out of their way while keeping them AND the plants and critters safe.

Ick. Ew. Gross.

These are a few words adults say about nature — in front of kids. I don't think we even realize it.

Did I love finding a snail on my kitchen ceiling? Or an entire nest of baby spiders, on a stick, in my living room? Not exactly.

To cultivate nature connectedness, fuel my son's curiosity and keep plants and critters alive, we have rules:

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How to make the world a better place

May 5, 2015 | Leave a comment
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Authentic leaders know their higher purpose. Meet Marisa, a mover and shaker. (Credit: Rachael Stableford)

Finding authentic leaders to become volunteer Queen of Green Coaches this spring wasn't hard — more than 125 people applied! I accepted 40. (Please subscribe to my monthly digest to hear about fall 2015 applications.)

Authentic leaders:

  • Know their higher purpose — what they believe they're on this Earth to do
  • Are genuine (humble, grounded, empathetic and patient)
  • See good intentions
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Desire and have the ability to care for others
  • Can create optimal environments for others to flourish

Introducing...(most of) my sixth round of coaches:

Abby, Calgary Alta. is an urban homesteader with a passion for healthy, sustainable living through permaculture design and connected communities, spreading the word about these projects throughout her community.

Ali, Chilliwack B.C. (@alilovesbugs) lives in the forest with her partner and two cats, loves bugs, is passionate about people, optimistic about our planet's future and encouraged by others making a difference.

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How to get under the influence...of nature

April 29, 2015 | 12 comments
Photo: How to get under the influence...of nature

Did you know that low tide makes a great babysitter?

Some days it feels as though my city is yelling at me, particularly if I've skipped too many doses of "Vitamin N" (for "nature").

Recently my son asked, "Mommy need to go into nature?" Cute, right? He understands how much I need nature to be at my best. (He posed this question after pouring his expensive organic milk on the floor, running through it and tossing his lunch in the puddle.)

I'd much rather be under the influence...of nature. It cures my irritability and so much more — time spent outside reduces stress, makes people more generous and combats loneliness.

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How to test your home for radon

April 29, 2015 | 33 comments

You probably minimize your family's exposure to toxic chemicals by using paraben-free shampoo, living in a scent-free home, cleaning your tub with baking soda and gardening pesticide-free.

Here's another way to keep a healthy home: Test it for radon (Enter below to win a detector!)

Radon is a radioactive gas formed by the natural decay of uranium in soil and rock — which all our homes are built on. Radon can seep into buildings through foundation cracks, become trapped and accumulate. Without proper ventilation, concentrations in indoor air can reach dangerous levels.

Radon is a known carcinogen — responsible for 16 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in Canada and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

You can't smell it, see it or taste it.

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How to establish "green" house rules

April 18, 2015 | 47 comments
Photo: How to establish

Kids are never too young to contribute to "green" house rules. (Credit: Kelly Woods)

Are you the eco-friendliest person in your home? I am.

Family members can be the hardest to "green" — I know and I'm paid to do this!

Comment on this blog with how you successfully "greened" a family member. The entire Queen of Green community (and I) can try it, too.

You'll also be entered to win up to a $100 prize package of sustainable goodies (e.g., a recycled textile area rug, rechargeable batteries, a stainless steel coffee pot or LED nightlight) donated by IKEA Canada (@IKEACanada)! (Draw date: May 21, 2015.)

When the world needs us to recycle less, use hankies, cloth diapers and nontoxic deodorant, and get into nature, how do you get your loved ones to buy in?

Step one: Appreciate that most people are doing their best (and value the same things you do)!

Step two: Host a family meeting to create new house rules.

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