December 17, 2009

I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas… gift, that is

handmade cardIf you’re reading this you might be as last-minute with your holiday shopping as I tend to be. Admittedly my post itself is last-minute. I’ve done half my shopping and, this year, with each item I’ve put more thought than ever into what effect each will have on this finite planet. If you’re the kind of giver that prefers to give an item rather than an experience, make it meaningful not just as a useful object but as one with the smallest environmental impact possible.

Before I tell you how easy it is to be eco-conscious at Christmas, you might want to know why you should:

* according to Statistics Canada, 900,000 tonnes of garbage is produced between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year

* transportion of gifts that are produced a great distance away, whether it’s Califonia or China, emits greenhouse gases that pollute our air and contribute to climate change

* logging of old-growth forests to produce “virgin” paper products releases CO2 into the atmosphere and threatens animal habitat (think of the caribou and the owls!)

* conventional plastic is a petroleum-based product, which carries a triple-threat carbon footprint

* it takes resources and produces waste to make something new and to recycle or dispose of it at the end of its life cycle (which, these days, is often pretty short!)

* that regiftable stuff is better off loved by someone else than being a guilt trip in your closet for you or your kids!

* buying local supports the local economy and friends of your friends

* and more environmental, ethical and health-related reasons…

h3. Ok, I get it. I’ll be good this year. How easy is it?

Got a bookstore nearby? A Choices/Capers/Whole Foods? MEC? Independent coffee shop? Granville Island? Main St or Commercial Drive? You can make smart choices anywhere — that includes IKEA. I did not have to go out of my way to get smart gifts for my family. A bit of thoughtfulness and planning is all it takes. And do I ever feel good about it!

Here are some suggestions and tips!

Continue reading I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas… gift, that is »

December 28, 2008

Have a Happy New Year!

Tree image in a leaf
December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays / I’ve never seen anything so magnificent

Snow in Belcarra

You may have noticed I really like adjectives. They’re useful, and today they’re piling up in abundance: magnificent, incredible, beautiful, bright, amazing, powerful, crunchy, quiet.

This is the most magnificent sight I’ve ever seen. In my twenty years of living here I’ve never witnessed such detail of the view across the water. Somehow the snow and sunlight bring out every branch, roofline and curve of the shore.

Sunlit snow in Belcarra

Continue reading Happy Holidays / I’ve never seen anything so magnificent »

December 19, 2008

Love in winter and the promise of snow

Before the snowfall

Sunset snow

This past week it has been snowing in Vancouver, which brings some joy and others frustration. I’m in the first camp. My dear colleague has escaped the harsh and unusual cold by escaping to Mexico; meanwhile I have no desire but to stay here and enjoy it! (I did not inherit my grandmother’s snowbird tendencies.) The wind chill is expected to be, well, bone-chilling and when the wind and cold sweep through and suck away all the warmth it is difficult to get it back. So, anyone want to go Christmas shopping with a (*dreadful gulp*) vehicle? I need some warm clothing! Vancouverites aren’t prepared for this!

Continue reading Love in winter and the promise of snow »

October 31, 2008

All Hallows Eve


It’s that time of year again, and just our luck — it’s on a Friday! That might explain why it seems crazier than years past. I am back at the old haunt, but didn’t decorate it for the first time… save a few candles in the kitchen as we kept all of the lights off! Hey it’s good for the planet. I was feeling unmotivated to carve a jack-o-lantern and had a battered one to deal with, so I thought, why don’t I make it a piece of art and that way I’ll enjoy it. And it was TOUGH. I need to invest in some pumpkin carving tools.


Continue reading All Hallows Eve »