Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do you know what you are bringing in to your home?

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I bring in to my house and the effect that it has on my enbironment, my health, my pets, my friends and family and the world around me. Everything that we purchase and bring in to our homes has an effect. It is up to us to decide whether it has a good or bad effect.

Lately my focus has been on air quality in my home, specifically air fresheners. According to countless studies done by reputable groups ( air fresheners are not only ineffective but they produce volatile organic compounds that are harmful to life. I considered researching every product that is available and determine what is not harmful and what I can make on my own to produce safe products (on a side note, a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and water can eliminate odors, even the odors from the litter box!!) But then I discovered that someone had done the research for me!! Makes my life a lot easier!

GoodGuide is an organization that has been researching products and items since 2007 and ranking. The research is based on life cycle assessment, environmental engineering, chemistry, nutrition and sociology and ranks products for health, environmental and societal effects. Seems pretty reliable and is a great resource for my purchasing needs!

Have fun researching and making informed decisions for a better world!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This is my ideal life, a quiet, simple life of mutual respect and the upmost goal of the common good. Maybe I should move...

Aropa- an attitude of giving and sharing, a lifestyle

In the heart of Polynesia, in the middle of the Solomon Sea, lies the isolated yet highly populated Anuta Island. The small volcanic island is a barely more than 800 feet across with one of the highest population densities in the world comparable to Bangladesh. The people of Anuta Island have a simple lifestyle consisting mainly of fishing and farming. At the heart of the Anuta culture is the idea of Aropa, an attitude of mutual giving and sharing. The idea of aropa is most closely translated to our english word compassion. The 300 member community manages its minimal resources responsibily, ensuring that everything is shared equally, no one goes out and no one takes more than their share. The concept of preserving the economy and the future for generations to come is highly evident in the way that they live.
This idea of aropa is one that I hope to incorporate in my own life and I encourage and implore my fellow mankind to consider what we are doing, how we are living and what we are leaving behind.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Me and My Green Thumb

For those who were interested in the reusable mop pads that I ordered from an Etsy shop here is the link:
Sorry it took so long to reply to that, I am somewhat technologically inept...

I am patiently waiting for them to arrive in the mail now that the strike is over. My poor floors are waiting a little less patiently motting just isn't cutting it! I can hardly wait to mop my floors again! (never thought that I would actually say that...!)

In the meantime, I have been working quite a bit (which is part of the reason why I haven't responded to the inquiry or written a new blog!). I have also spent a fair amount of time in my front and backyard. Who knew having my own yard would be so much fun and so much work! Having a well established and well taken care of yard is great, there are very little actual weeds, its mainly just grasses in the middle of the flowers. I have always wanted a flower garden that requires little work and has natural Alberta plants that grow well in our climate, are hardy, require no fertilzer or pesticides, are very natural and still look great! At first look in the flower beds, I thought that I had my work cut out for me with a lot of weeding and a lot of time. But after spending some time out there contemplating, which is what I call it when I stand around doing a whole lot of nothing, I decided that now was my chance for my "natural" flower garden. I have decided to nickname it my jungle! Its really not that crazy but I think it looks great and very natural. I have done some weeding in it, removed some saplings from the tree and planted two new plants, a rose bush and a rhododendron. Honestly, I didn't do my research in advance to find out if they were naturally growing in Alberta (should have picked an Alberta rose!!) I chose them because they were on sale at Canadian Tire, super cheap! But I can justify some of the work that I have done in that all the yard waste I have produced has been collected and composted by the City of Red Deer going towards flowers and gardens around the city.
And for those who have not seen my new place, here are some pics. Now to do something with the inside...

The front yard

The side of the house and front door

My overgrown stump which I happen to love. Makes me think of a tree spirit

The side door with its overgrown plants (I don't even know what they are)

The back door with its immense ferns

The back yard (notice the compost bin!)

My jungle

My jungle and future fire pit