Archive for Sustainability

Eradicating Ecocide

For Earth Day a group gave out 600-plus origami cranes with information about the Eradicating Eco-cide campaign. Click below to get the pattern and print your own.  The crane got its final design by Adam Cristobal.

CraneEradicatingEcocide

April 21, 2012: A 5th Avenue neighbour had me folding origami cranes with an important message on them. Her goal was 1000 for Earth Day. They fell short of that goal, I think by a couple of hundred, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s now a lot more knowledgeable about why she wanted us all to fold and hand out cranes.

Here’s a great video with Polly Higgins who wrote the book Eradicating Eco-cide.

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Micro-Neighbourhood

I’m part of the Kitsilano Transition Village which is part of Village Vancouver which is part of the international Transition Town movement. Let’s get even closer to home.

One of the focuses is learning about your own neighbourhood and connecting with neighbours so driving is less necessary.

So I have a lot of new connections with nearby neighbours, and it was already a pretty friendly neighbourhood.

So I propose a Micro Neighbourhood of Fifth Avenue between Arbutus and Macdonald. You in?

OK if you’re a block or so off that route, just bring chocolate to the first meeting and you’re in, too.

Ross thinks of it as “close enough to borrow a wheelbarrow.”

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Giving away plants

One of my pleasures as a gardener is giving plants away – They just spread and people are so grateful. Through freecycle.org I meet the nicest people, who are just so darned enthusiastic about getting red wriggler worms for their compost; strawberry plants that have shooted runners all over the place and an occasional hydrangea bush started from cuttings (sorry, folks, that one’s taken).

Today, I may have as many as 12 people coming for various plants, plastic pails and a few CDs I decided I was ready to let go of.

Time for spring cleaning – inside and out!

Some of my lambs ears have gone as far as Laskedi island (a mom and daughter walked by one day to tell me that.) My bet is that some don’t survive with the newbie gardeners who come by, but hopefully that just saved them some cost and helped them learn more about what plants need (um. that would be water and sun, that’s all.)

I still have some lavender and carex ice dance ornamental grass. So let me know if you’d like some.

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New Year

It’s a new year in our neighbourhood.

Sunny and Gary have sold the Cornerstone; Ash sold Wired Monk in the fall. Our ultra-local cafe’s are different but I’ll see you around there anyways I hope.

Right now there’s a “rainfall warning” in Vancouver and it makes me look forward to those bright sunny days we often get in February. Let the sun shine in!

I can’t believe the number of comments I’ve had about the community herb garden at the Traffic Circle at 6th & Trafalgar (trasixth!).  A neighbour recently told me she sometimes saw people just hanging out there.

Expect more herbs in the coming months – and if you’re going by and have some water to share, the chives in particular would really appreciate it.  I can’t really water on a regular basis, so hoping drought-resistant plants will do fine and some of you might adopt a plant or two and watch it for signs of thirst. (there are some good things about a rainfall warning, however, unfortunately the plants can’t store up the rainfall for the hot days of August :>))

A friend from villagevancouver.ca is starting a monthly plastics recycling “party” – bring your styrofoam, hard plastics, plastic bags etc and for a toonie or so know that Pacific Mobile Depots will recycle this.  I’m hosting the January one – on the 3rd Thursday, so contact me trafalgarmary@gmail.com if you want to participate and need more information.

See you round the ‘hood!

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Warm Day / Cool Planet

Bill at Centre of the Unitarian banner (made by Mary and others).

Bill at Centre of the Unitarian banner (made by Mary and others).

Bill and I went down to the Cambie Bridge today. Great day. Click on the photo to see more photos of the Unitarian contingent. My idea to buy 5 yards of plastic and paint it. Karl gets credit for figuring out how to put the bamboo poles onto it – and doing it – with a little help from his friends. My co-op, church & MP all endorsed this event.

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(Cambie) Bridge to a Cool Planet

I’ll be there – along with thousands.  How cool!

Bridge to a Cool Planet event expected to draw thousands ( http://ping.fm/oXVJK )

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Surfacants – Surface Active Agents

What’s wrong with them? Well, they’re not all toxic or even synthetic.

more than you wanted to know at:

http://www.ukmarinesac.org.uk/activities/water-quality/wq8_46.htm

http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/mama_resources/reading_room/periodicals/Mama%20U/How%20to%20Read%20a%20Label,%20Part%202:%20Soap%20vs.%20Detergent.php

Here’s an excerpt:

Are All Synthetic Surfactants Toxic?
No! But many of the synthetic surfactants found in detergent personal care products are under scrutiny for their toxicity to humans. These include common surfactants and emulsifiers like cocomidopropyl betaine, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamide DEA, TEA (Triethanolamine), and ethoxylated alcohols like ceteareth-12 alcohol, many of which are responsible for releasing carcinogenic formaldehyde and 1,4 Dioxane. On the other hand, decyl glucoside may sound scary, but is a gentle surfactant produced from a reaction between glucose from cornstarch and a fatty alcohol from coconuts. How can you not be confused?!

What Else is in Detergents?
Detergents usually also contain thickening agents like Polyethylene glycol (PEG) that make the detergent feel thick, even with the addition of up to 90% water. This group has some of the highest toxicity ratings and carry serious concerns about organ system toxicity and carcinogenic cell mutation. And to help detergent shampoos “moisturize” many contain humectants or additives such as propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a very common additive in personal care products and skin and respiratory irritant which can cause liver and kidney damage and is also found in paint, wallpaper removers and de-greasers. Yikes!

My goodness, there’s a lot to learn.

Sounds like I just need a reputable recommendation for products that are recommended and I can leave all this scientific polysallabic stuff behind. I don’t even mind socks that are grey on the bottom, so…

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