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Top 10 things to lessen your ecological footprint

I have a hard time with environmental and ecological footprint. I always feel that my family could be doing more. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the more is educating those people who actually could be doing a lot more. Hopefully this blog post will reach some of those people and I’ll have done my part.

Now some of these things I don’t practice myself due to my lifestyle but I’ll mention those in context. These are in no particular order just some of the most important items. Feel free to add your own ideas below in the comments. Read more →

Grow – The Movie, Coming to Calgary

Straight from the Grow Website:

It’s not just ‘Old MacDonald’ on the farm anymore. All across the U.S. there is a growing movement of educated young people who are leaving the cities to take up an agrarian life. Armed with college degrees, some are unable to find jobs in the current economic slump. Fed up with corporate America and its influence on a broken food system, they aim to solve some of the current system’s inequities by growing clean, fair food. Mostly landless, they borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams of doing something meaningful with their lives. Read more →

Are carbon offsets worth it?

There has been quite a few articles on carbon offsets lately. What are they and are they just a money grab? I thought I would look into carbon offsets and some of the companies that are claiming to provide them. A lot of people ask “Why would you want to pay more money for a flight, on top of your already overpriced tickets?” To balance your highly polluting lifestyle. Read more →

How to get started in Composting – Build a Compost Bin!

You’re probably here because you want to know how to compost but for those of you not sold on the reason to compost lets ask a few questions.

  1. Do you care about the environment?
  2. Do you want your garden to thrive?
  3. Do you want to stay away from pesticides and herbicides?
  4. Do you want to decrease the amount of household waste your house creates?

Composting is the answer to all of the above. Read more →

Collecting and Saving Vegetable Seeds – Tips and Lessons learned in Seed Saving

In my never ending quest to be more gentle to the earth I’m looking for new things to do. And if I am going to change careers into permaculture and garden design I am going to find ways to make money. Enter vegetable seed saving. My wife has even joined in this year. Now this is really the first year that we’ve started saving seeds. And I’ll follow up in the spring and let you know how they all worked out. I wanted to do a test run before we ever start selling seeds. They have to work.

Obviously the logic behind this is saving money and resources. I probably spend somewhere around $50 on seeds in the spring. I don’t think we’ll ever get away from not buying any though. In our neighborhood we have something called Seedy Saturday in the spring where locals sell their seeds and other early spring wares. It’s wonderful and so crazy all in the same. And if you think about getting $3 for 20 seeds that really cost you nothing to collect, it’s a great deal. People are getting local produce seeds at a reasonable price and I am making a bit of a living. So not only do we save money, but we can make money at this if seed saving is done right too. Read more →

Living a Car-less Lifestyle – Could you imagine live without a car?

I have a coworker that has recently totalled his car, sadly by bumping into a curb and releasing the airbags. The car was in fantastic shape with low mileage and kept indoors most of the time, but the deployment of the airbags is a $8000 cost. Anyway, he’s been trying to make a decision on whether or not to get a new car. They live inner city and hardly use their car except to go up to Edmonton or to the mountains. We gave him the idea on not getting a car and just renting whenever they wanted to go on their weekend trips. Yes, imagine living without a car.

The question: Could you live without owning at least one vehicle? Read more →

Where are the ethics? Swallowed up by corporate greed!

I went to an Eco-Living Fair this weekend and was quite excited about it. I knew there would be the worm composters, solar experts, bike enthusiasts, plumbing specialists selling their low flow everything and on demand hot water. But this year they had some cool workshops that my family signed up for. The first was how to build bat houses. Did you know that a little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitos in one hour?  And that these little guys can live up to 40 years? Well, as you’ve probably guessed, they are in decline and the best thing you can do for them is provide them a home. We learned how to make a simple bat house. We made two in the class and were given a third by a condo dweller, who wasn’t allowed to put it up. Read more →

How to Build raised garden beds

I was asked to teach some volunteers how to build some raised garden beds for the SHARP Foundation, a non-profit that provides support and housing for people with Aids and HIV. I jumped at the opportunity and pointed the team of about 20 people in a direction of completion. The raised garden beds were very easy to make. We made use of nice cedar as well to prevent rotting without having to use paint or finish. The volunteers came from the University of Calgary and sure made the work easy. Read more →

Evolution of a Wine… Evolution White Wine

My wife and I are quite avid wine drinkers. Actually, we like pretty much anything alcoholic. We have been drinking pretty much exclusively red wines for the last number of years with the odd white wine thrown in.

Janna discovered Evolution White Wine a while back and we just can’t seem to get enough of this wonderful white wine blend. Yup, a white blend and it’s from the Sokol Blosser vineyards in Oregon. The blend consists of Pinot gris, Riesling, Muscat, Gewurtztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Semillion, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Chardonnay. Quite a crap shoot for everything that’s white. It’s a beautifully crisp wine that really works well. Read more →

Apple’s iTunes Music Match isn’t so hot on the iPhone

As you know, I’m a huge Apple fan but there are some things that just don’t cut it with the company. We all know that Apple revolutionized the music industry, both in the way that music was purchased as well as the way it was consumed. Now, I have a huge music collection so I thought I would attempt their new iTunes Music Match, basically your whole music library in the cloud. Sounds good on paper but its proving to be not near as great in practice.
Read more →