Friday, 20 March 2015

Teaching Happiness: A Picture Book Review

As a teacher one of the first ways I teach something is through reading a picture book. There's something about compelling illustrations to draw us into the author's message. I believe that picture books can be used with all ages, be they young children or fully grown adults.

Teaching about the importance of the Earth and environmentalism is a tough topic for children, as the Climate Crusader has found, and I have found one of the best ways to engage children with difficult topics like the environment and social responsibility, is through reading books.

One area of my life that I am trying to work on is being satisfied with what I have and not desiring more stuff, like my own Making Do Movement, so I was drawn to a book in my school library,  The Short And Incredibly Happy Life Of Riley by Colin Thompson and Amy Lissiat.

Friday, 6 March 2015

In Defence of Making Do

I will begin by saying that I have very little fashion and design sense, and I cannot walk into a room and see how I can transform it into a vision of my own style. I cannot just slap a coat of paint on something and magically transform a room for under $700. Anyone who comes into my home or sees how I dress can see that right away.

The downside is that I am sometimes embarrassed by the mismatched nature of my home furnishings. The upside is that I am not spending thousands and thousands of dollars updating my home to the latest and greatest style.
My mismatched floors after an old dishwasher broke, leaked,
and damaged the flooring. Thank goodness for kind neighbours
who help source replacement boards and install for me.

One of my pet peeves is watching home decorations and real estate shows that have people saying how the house is not move in ready because the perfectly serviceable countertops are not granite and the appliances are not stainless steel, and how they want to rip everything out of the kitchen to make it more their style. When we moved into our home we were thrilled, despite the fact that the original 80s kitchen cabinets have not been updated (just painted) and the countertops have a faux treatment to look like granite (and they aren't fooling anyone, I assure you!). It was move-in ready because everything worked.

Recently I moved some furnishings from my grandmother's home to mine.


Continue reading at The Green Phone Booth>>>


Friday, 16 January 2015

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Amanda Soule at SouleMama
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments."







Guilt Free Coffee

I have a love/hate relationship with my morning cup of coffee. I have kicked the habit, or at least taken a break from the habit, for years at a time, but I always seem to return to my beloved cup of joe.

I've never gone the espresso machine route (always out of my price range) but over the years I've tried several coffee makers. Some I've loved more than others, but each one of them has lost its lustre in my eyes. After my latest round of caffeine detox I took a long hard look at my coffee machine. The carafe was glass, but all the other parts, including the basket where the hot water would drain through, was plastic, and this did not wash with me.

Time to find a new coffee making system.

Needless to say I would not purchase a K Cup system. I won't bother going into the reasons; they do not need to be spoken, and EcoYogini has already done a great job.
Don't judge me. Yes, I am a nerd.
Continue reading at The Green Phone Booth>>>



Friday, 2 January 2015

Reverse Green Resolutions



It's the new year and my Facebook feed is full of inspirational quotes and resolutions for starting the year well. But like Neil deGrasse Tyson, I won't be making any resolutions.

We have all had to make resolutions in January when we were in school, which we know almost immediately that we wouldn't keep. Then we feel bad about ourselves for not keeping the resolutions. 

Unless there has been a genuine shift in thinking and attitude, and we are able to make a change in behaviour a habit, we do not follow through on our goals. 

Instead, I think we should be focussing on all the positive actions we have done for the environment over the previous year, like a reverse resolution. Most likely we are doing more than we realize, and this is important because we can get bogged down in all the things we should be doing. 

I've brainstormed as many actions that I can think of that we may have done in 2014, and if you have made even five items on the list a habit give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Keep up the good work for 2015!


Continue reading at The Green Phone Booth>>>



Friday, 19 December 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Amanda Soule at SouleMama
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments."



Connecting With Nature: Winter Solstice

This time of year in our society many people (ok, most) are focussed on the holiday season of peace, joy and gift giving. It is not a time when people look to spend time outdoors. In the northern hemisphere it is either too cold, too wet or too dark to do much at all outdoors.

But it is important to remain connected to the cycles of the Earth and seasons year round. As the season darkens and the natural world goes to sleep, we, too, turn inward and slow down.

The solstice, the longest night of the year, and a turning point for the return of the sun, is a time of inner reflection, but should also be a time to connect with the natural world.

Many of our seasonal traditions and images stem from natural winter elements, such as holly, pine boughs, pinecones, mistletoe and evergreen trees.


Here are some suggestions for connecting with nature in the darkest days of winter: