Latest posts in Queen of Green

How to establish "green" house rules

April 18, 2015 | Leave a comment
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Your kids are never to 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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How to make a difference

April 9, 2015 | Leave a comment
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Emily has decided to lead in her community within the province of Nova Scotia. (Credit: Lyndsay Doyle Photography)

Worrying about the planet can feel overwhelming.

Yet the more we repress information — oceans full of whale-killing plastic, consumer products full of toxics, dying bees, extreme drought, etc. — the worse it feels. Ignoring or holding back these feelings leads to despair, burnout, blaming, alienation and a sense of powerlessness.

Some people walk around feeling bad about their contribution to the problem, isolate themselves as a means of protection and then judge everyone else around them, assuming others just don't care.

Sound familiar?

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How to be a good neighbour

April 8, 2015 | 1 comment
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A neighbour can be so much more than the dictionary definition: “person living next door.” (Credit: Leah Villalobos Bartok)

My neighbours are better than your neighbours! It's a cheeky proposition, I know... But my neighbours are pretty amazing.

Here's why:

  • They babysit — even last minute and without pay
  • They help us with truck errands (they have a truck and we don't)
  • They close our garage door when we forget
  • They walk our dog when we're going to be home late
  • They look out for burglars and suspicious activities
  • They invite us over for supper
  • They loan tools
  • They let us (my son and I) play on their porch
  • They let me in when I lock myself out!

Now nobody would do any of these things for us if we weren't pretty fabulous neighbours, too.

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How to house swap

April 1, 2015 | 2 comments
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Last time we house swapped, we made chicken friends! (Credit: Brendon Purdy)

Last weekend, my family stayed in our friends' house when we visited their city. But they weren't home. We had the place to ourselves — except for the backyard chickens, a cat and a kitten to look after and fish to feed — complete with an outdoor hot tub adjacent to a park of Garry Oaks.

We also hosted friends during the winter break. They stayed in our home with their toddler while we were away for the holiday. We were more than happy to have them, as it significantly decreased the chance of our being burgled, the plants were watered and we got to share all our favorite haunts: coffee shop, beach walks, Thai restaurant and mom-and-pop grocery store!

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How to talk to your farmer

March 13, 2015 | 4 comments
Photo: How to talk to your farmer

If you eat meat, do it mindfully. (Credit: Brenda Barritt)

I don't eat meat. But I know people who do.

And my carnivorous friends and family have questions, concerns and mixed feelings about the animals they consume.

I quizzed Brenda of Earth Works Farm (@earthwrksfarmAB) from Alix, Alberta (also a great Queen of Green coach):

How can consumers know if an animal is raised with compassion and care?

Get to know your farmer. If you can't visit the farm or meet in-person, call. (Many farmers have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.)

Ask your local grocer what's behind any "sustainable" or "ethical" meat claims.

What should I ask my farmer?

  • What do you feed your animals, where does it come from and does it change with the seasons?
  • Can I visit your farm? (Note: Some decline farm visits to reduce stress on animals or for another good reason.)
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What do you wish you could do better or hope to improve?
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