Friday, September 20, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Climate Reality Leadership Training, part 1

From July 30th to August 1st, I was one of 1500 people from 70 different countries in Chicago for Climate Reality Leadership training.  I was there being trained to raise awareness of climate change, its impacts, and what we can do about it.

Climate change is happening, it’s by us, it’s serious, but there are tons of solutions, and there is enormous hope.

Every major scientific society in the world in the fields related to the study of global warming, the National Academies, and 97% of climate researchers endorse the scientific consensus: the need for urgent action to address human-induced climate change is now indisputable.

We have to adapt, but we also have to prevent changes that are impossible to adapt to.

What compelled me to go to put my job and family aside for three days to go to Chicago?

The climate crisis resonates with me.  It is too important to ignore, and I think I can use my skills and passion to help.  I cannot imagine losing what is so precious about this earth.  I want to protect the things I love, but we are making the world more dangerous every day, and these things are at risk.

At the training, when asked what inspires him, Al Gore said: “it is a rare privilege to be alive when the future health of this beautiful planet is in the balance.”

The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle.
But he will not make friends with any of these creatures and when his heart aches with longing, he will curse me.
Have I done all to keep the air fresh?
Have I cared enough about the water?
Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom?
Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild's fondness?
- Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh (1899 - 1981)

It's been a while since I posted, but I plan to blog more regularly about my journey on my renewed purpose of the climate crisis.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cycling in Prince Edward County

Last weekend I went for a joyride through one of Ontario's best cycling areas - Prince Edward County. I covered 86km starting from Prinyer's Cove in the northeast, passing through the towns of Waupoos, South Bay, Milford, and Picton. The roads were very quite--I encountered more cyclists than motorists--and there were many points of interest along what they call they Arts Trail and Taste Trail. Cycling is a great way to discover the lay of the land, and a peaceful and beautiful land it is!

Some of the highlights for me was sampling cider at the County Cider House, wine at Del-Gado's winery, Mariner's museum, Lake on the Mountain conservation area, Black River cheese company, and fresh local strawberries. I hope to go back to discover more of the area!

An excellent cycling map is available from the Bloomfield Cycling Company.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thanks busy bees for a job well done!

I recently re-discovered my new favourite food--honey! It started with a visit to Pioneer Brand honey at the Hillcrest Mall Farmers Market. There are so many varieties, from buckwheat honey to blueberry honey to creamed honey, and so many ways to use it. And it's a great sugar substitute in recipes.

"But what really sweetens the pot is knowing the honey in my tea is at work even if I’m not. In this liquid gold, I find a cache of antioxidants, a digestive aid, a detoxifier and even a soothing balm for wounds, all rolled into one delightful concoction.

Honey is the ultimate in products derived from herbs. Fashioned through an ingenious alliance between animal and plant kingdoms, honey delivers a diverse array of phytochemicals in one package. This bounty arrives courtesy of the industrious honeybee, who visits some 2 million flowers to manufacture just one pound of honey." -Gina Mohammed

I also take a teaspoon of bee pollen every day. It's a superfood! There are 22 basic elements in the human body. Enzymes, Hormones, Vitamins, Amino Acids, and others - Which must be renewed by nutrient intake, no one food contains them all, except Bee Pollen!

I also learned about beeswax candles.
Beeswax is very different: all natural, non-toxic, non-polluting, non-allergenic, and with a delicious honey-sweet aroma. It burns cleaner, brighter, hotter, and longer than candles made from other substances. A perfect, renewable resource, beeswax is made by the female worker bee for honeycomb, which safely contains their honey and the Queen's baby bees. To produce one pound of beeswax, the worker bees eat about ten pounds of honey, fly 150,000 miles, and visit 33 million flower blossom! Beeswax is precious stuff. It's also healthy. Beeswax produces negative ions that actually clean your air of odors, pollen, smoke, dust, dust mites, viruses, and other allergens and hazards - the only known fuel to do so. As does a rainstorm, beeswax candles leave your air fresher and cleaner - they are a true air purifier. They are the only candle for anyone with chemical sensitivities or allergies.

Paraffin, on the other hand, is petroleum industry waste that is bleached (adding dioxin and other poisonous chemicals) and texturized with acrolyn. Stearic acid, a by-product of the meat packing industry, is added as a hardener. Often, candles are highly scented with artificial, synthetic oils and marketed to "freshen" our air. They are known to release carcinogens like benzene and toluene.

An excerpt from the children's book Buzz, Buzz, Busy Bees by Dawn Bentley sums up my sentiments nicely:
Mmmm, mmmm. Honey golden as the sun.
Thanks busy bees, for a job well done!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Greener Side Celebration and Mill Pond Splash

With May bringing spring bird migration, blooming flowers, and pleasant temperatures, it's no wonder that nature festivals abound. I took my kids to Our Greener Side Celebration at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan on May 28th, and the Mill Pond Splash on May 29th in Richmond Hill.

Highlights from the Mill Pond Splash included seeing some animals up close (including red tailed hawk, kestrel, and great horned owl), mural painting, walking along the pond, and getting a "grow your own butterfly" kit.

At Our Greener Side Celebration (the 3rd annual), my son discovered many creatures in the pond (the volunteers were fantastic!), we attended a Ontario wildlife show by Earth Rangers (see barn owl in photo), the pizza was incredible (local organic ingredients), sat in some electric vehicles, watched some entertaining musicians on stage. There was something for everyone, from crafts from reused materials to expert speakers to tours to a plethora of exhibitors. I hope even more people visit next year.

Nature festivals are a great way to enjoy our natural wonders with family and friends, come together as a community, and learn a thing or two about going greener. Another event coming up is the Carden Nature Festival from June 3 - 5, 2011.