Raising Environmentally Conscious Kids

I was tagged by Late Bloomer to share my “Top Three” ideas  on how to raise environmentally conscious children. Little E is still…well little! These ideas are pretty general but appropriate for the preschooler set.

Set an Example & Get them Involved – This one is pretty obvious but so crucial it is worth repeating. To raise environmentally conscious children we have to be environmentally conscious parents. We have to make environmental choices in our day to day lives and model these choices. We don’t have to be perfect…because nobody is. We need to involved our children and talk about why we do things (or don’t do things) and how our actions impact our environment.

Know Your Neighbours! – easy for me to say living in a cohousing complex and all but I really feel that knowing the people around you and creating a community allows you so many ways to share resources. Be it a borrowing a cup of sugar from the people next door, carpooling or passing on children’s clothing – sharing resources has many environmental benefits and knowing your neighbours opens the door to these opportunities.

Get Out in Nature – To raise children that want to protect the environment and make environmentally conscious decisions they need to know intimately what they are protecting. It seems that children are not getting as much free time to play in and learn about the natural world. This is even more important for those living in cities. We live in a very urban community and try to get out a few times a week to “the forest.” It may be a patch of undeveloped land between a local park and the inlet below or the North Shore mountains. We dress for the occasion in all our rain gear and the walk is not so much about the destination but rather the journey. At this time of year the goal is to get muddy, to roam freely and explore nature.  If this resonates with you I highly recommend Last Child in the Woods…a great read.

Since I was tagged with this post I thought I would pass this exercise onto a few other bloggers, hoping they will share their ideas own ideas. I’m tagging Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly and Jane at Little Seedlings.

February 17, 2008 at 4:45 am 5 comments

Thrifty LOVE

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Yesturday was a beautiful sunny day. Cool and crisp but the sun…oh the sun…it was so nice to see you. The sun called me outside and I ventured  down the hill to the local thrift store to see what was in store.

I love thrifting. I love looking through all of the items that people have decided to pass on and wondering what the story is. I love that this is recycling…the whole someone elses trash is my treasure type of idea. I love finding just the right item. I have a running list of items that I’m on the look for. I tend to only buy things that I have an immediate use for (and a place for) in my home. Today was such as day.

I remember when I was younger my mom had a pasta maker and we would make pasta together. It was magical to watch the dough transform into noodles and then to cook an eat our delicious creations. Today I found a barely used Atlas Pasta Maker very similar to the one my family had. It was also on for 50% off and cost a whopping $7.

I know what I’m going to be making my sweetie for Valentines!

February 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm 2 comments

2º of Fear and Desire

For those local readers this sounds like a very interesting event happening throughout Metro Vancouver during February and March.

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2 degrees of Fear and Desire is theatre without a play – just us and our fears, desires, and challenges facing global warming. Facilitated, or joked,  by Headlines Theatre’s David Diamond, the audience is invited to use theatre techniques to delve deep into their community’s and their own experiences, to turn the spotlight away from the spectacle of environmental devastation and shine it in the mirror.

2 degrees of Fear and Desire events will happen at intimate venues across Vancouver, plus dates in Richmond and North Vancouver. Each evening, the stories onstage will come from the audience, and together we will grapple with our daily choices in the face of global warming. It’s theatre without a net: exhilarating, engaging, and fun.

For more information on this event, specific dates and locations near you click here.

February 5, 2008 at 5:42 pm 1 comment

Things I LOVE – Home Grocery Delivery

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I have a confession…I like to buy my groceries in my pajamas while sipping a hot cup of tea generally well after the little one has gone to bed. I do my grocery shopping online and have it delivered right to my door. Well most of it…less in the summer months when the farmer’s market is in full swing.

I’m able to buy fresh organic produce as well as my favourite items from local bakeries and local dairy items. This saves me a lot of time and gas running around the city and a side benefit I’ve noticed is it really reduces impulse purchases as I can see the total and adjust it before I pay. I can also login to my account and add/remove from my order until the cut off. I love that each item I order is clearly marked with how far it has travelled allowing me to easily select local items whenever possible.

I also love that I don’t have to worry about doing a big grocery shop with my little one. We still go to the local grocery store every once in a while but it’s usually for a few items and takes very little time. I was talking with a group of mamma friends about the stress that is grocery shopping with their little ones in tow and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done it….and I definitely don’t miss it!

January 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm 1 comment

A New Year

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Is it already half way through Janury? Really? 15 days into the new year? I feel like we’ve been on holiday forever. The Holidays themselves were busy – filled with travel, family, celebrations and lots of yummy food. We played in the snow, decorated, made gifts for family and friends, warmed up by the fire, drank egg nog latte, stayed up too late, watched too much TV, snowshoed in the mountains, went skating, read many books and started more knitting projects.

2008 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Focusing on taking time for me to recharge and find balance in my life. So important when you are living life with a little one and thinking about adding to the family. A big trip is in the works…I will talk more about this when it’s solidified but I am busy filling in passport forms, reading travel books, planning and hopefully very soon booking flights.

Highlights from the past month:

New handmade play kitchen. An amazing gift from Grandma & Grandpa.

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Annual trip with friends to Brackendale to watch the eagles.

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Little E’s first time on skates:

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Getting inspired by:

January 15, 2008 at 7:04 am Leave a comment

Buy Handmade this Holiday Season

Handmade gifts are just better so why wouldn’t I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season. I will be making a few handmade gifts myself and purchasing others from local craft fairs and Esty. Where the gifts are not handmade they will be eco-conscious (I stocked up on some of my favorite reuseable bags ) and/or gifts of time or design services.

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Speaking of Esty. I just love it. The above are two recent purchases. The necklace was a treat for myself from Green Leaf & Owl while the sweet little kitty from Little Bird Designs will be a christmas suprise for my little one.

I’m planning on selecting a few of the beautifully handcrafted animals from Jalu Toys at the Waldorf Christmas Fair on November 24th.

If I can fit it in I would love to visit the Maternal Creations Art & Craft Fair at Pomegranet Community Midwives. It will feature 35 of Vancouver’s own talented Mama’s. Mark your calendar for this Friday, November 23rd (4:00 – 8:00 pm) and Saturday, November 24th and Sunday November 25th (12:00 – 5:00 pm).

I took the pledge to buy handmade for the holidays. Have you?

November 21, 2007 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

I’m Still Here…

On Thursday, November 8th I had my first appointment with my midwives for the first check-up of a pregnancy that was in its 9th week.  A few days later (Little E’s birthday party nonetheless) I started spotting. I was very worried as nothing like this had happened when I was pregnant with little E. I wasn’t bleeding heavily or much at all. I didn’t have any cramping. Things just didn’t feel right.

The next day the color of the spotting changed from light brown to red. I called my midwife who was very reassuring saying that many women experience bleeding during pregnancy without miscarrying. It was a holiday Monday so she said she would try and get me the first available ultrasound appointment the following day. I really needed that reassurance that everything looked good.

In many ways I had been worried about this pregnancy from the moment I got a positive pregnancy test. I was crazy tired all the time and really bloated…but never experienced any morning sickness. Things just seemed different that my last pregnancy. This wasn’t necessarily worrisome as all pregnancies are different…right? I was really trying to remain hopeful.

I never got the ultrasound as the next day I started to bleed much more heavily. I stayed home from work; my hubby worked from home and little E went to childcare. I had the space to rest and allow whatever was going to happen to happen. It finally happened and it was…unsettling, shocking and awful all rolled into one.  I did, however, immediately start to feel my energy return and it did feel better knowing what was happening even if it wasn’t at all what I wanted.

Having a miscarriage has helped me to realize just how much I want to add a new little one to this family. One of the hardest things for me to do in the past week was to find the words to tell Little E. I did and in her own way she understood and offered support. So here I sit with a beautiful, fun, loving little girl in my life and very much ready to do it all over again.

November 20, 2007 at 6:45 pm 1 comment

Things I LOVE – Our Local Library

Imagine if you will a place close enough to walk to where you can go in select anything off the shelves you want and take it home without playing a dime. You can even go online and request an item from this great place (or others close by) and the wounderful staff will put it aside for you.

I LOVE our local library. I love that whenever I hear about a great book I simply log onto the library website and request it. I get a phone call on my cell to let me know when it arrives and go pick it up. The little one and I make a weekly trek to the library to fill her library tote with new books to cuddle up with on the couch and read…and read…and read.

What I have out right now:
The Kite Runner
Prodigal Summer
Hollyhock Cooks: Food to Nurish Body, Mind and Soil

Oneskein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder


Waiting On:

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Stuff : The Secret Lives of Everyday Things
Playful Parenting

Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Well as the evenings get cooler I look forward to snuggling up on the couch and reading a few good books…well, when I’m not knitting!  Any good book recommendations…???

September 25, 2007 at 5:20 pm 3 comments

The Knitting Season

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My first sweater off the needles – a baby cardigan (Daisy a free pattern from knitty) for a close friends first little one…and onto the new a felted bowl from this great book I have on lone from the library. 

Autumn, my favorite season, has so many sights, smells, sounds and tastes associated with it. I’m thinking of the leaves crunching underfoot, the beautiful abundance at the farmer’s market, pumpkin pie with whipped cream or the crisp cool air in the morning that gives way to our last few glorious sunny days. One thing I was recently reminded of is the touch of autumn. To me it is that of the knitting in my hands. The cool air brings with it the start of knitting season and has me reaching for my knitting bag and casting on a project or two.

I’ve started to take inventory of our hats and scarves and mittens. Who needs what? What can we pass on to friends and family? What have friends passed onto us? Where are the gaps? My project list quickly gowns as we all need a new hat and perhaps some warm wool socks. The little one has requested a sweater for herself in her favorite color (purple of course) and I will hopefully have enough yarn for a matching hat. 

Handmade gifts for family and friends are being planned as I think to the colder days of winter and look forward to the rhythmic clicking of needles and the feel of the wool in my hands. 

September 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

And They’re Off…

Live Lightly Tour

At the same time as the Janssen’s hit the road for their exciting adventure living sustainable in an RV powered by veggie oil, a new website has been launched for the Live Lightly Tour. Love it! The logos and graphic elements I designed for them are very much complemented by the T-shirts and stickers Sara designed and the blog and RV wrap design by What Cheer. The new website offers you a number of ways to get involved, Spread the Love and help support the Live Lightly Tour.

Bookmark the site and join me in following along on this families sustainable journey.

September 17, 2007 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

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I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
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