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How to take your first step

Queen of Green | October 20, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to take your first step

Maude has made a commitment to reducing the waste she makes. Will you do the same?

As you read this, 50 families across the nation are taking steps to reach their "green" goals, impressing and inspiring their Queen of Green Coaches (and me).

They've completed the first, three-week module on waste. It's a huge category, with a wide spectrum of challenges and solutions — from curbing consumption, to implementing the three R's and reducing energy waste.

Want to play along and reinvigorate your commitment to your "green" journey?

First meet Maude of Montreal, who's come up with her own set of goals. She's five. (Her parents explained what the program is all about.)

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Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

Science Matters | October 16, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

(Credit: Prayitno via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

Canadians expect to have our environment protected, and to know how it's being protected. A report from Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development shows we're being short-changed.

"In many key areas that we looked at, it is not clear how the government intends to address the significant environmental challenges that future growth and development will likely bring about," commissioner Julie Gelfand said of the report, which used government data, or lack thereof, to assess the government's success or failure to implement its own regulations and policies.

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Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

Photo: Richmond blazes trail on environmental rights

(Credit: Francis Lynn)

By Sophika Kostyniuk, National Organizing Manager

People power, passion and perseverance. These are the key ingredients that helped convince Richmond city council to make environmental rights a top priority for the B.C. municipality, now and into the future.

A mere four months have passed since a small group of committed citizens gathered together for two days of community organizing training in Richmond. Over the course of those two days, they mapped out the Richmond Blue Dot 1 campaign — a campaign designed to bring together motivated and concerned citizens and galvanize them to work toward positive change in their community. It was the first of its kind in Canada.

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Eat, drink, parade! The Homegrown Park Crawl

(Video: Greg Francis)

By Jode Roberts, Homegrown National Park Project

Food, music, art, parades and smiles — all key ingredients at the second annual Homegrown Park Crawl in Toronto October 5.

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Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

Science Matters | October 9, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

Films of tropical forests don't accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems. They're skillfully edited shots acquired over many months. Our media-nurtured impatience and urgent sense of time often prevent us from seeing how life truly unfolds. (Credit: Floyd Stewart via Flickr)

By David Suzuki

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we're amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you'll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

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Chinese-Canadian elders and youth support Blue Dot Tour and Right to a Healthy Environment

Photo: Chinese-Canadian elders and youth support Blue Dot Tour and Right to a Healthy Environment

Adelaide Wong may only be a couple of months old. But her grandfather is not taking any chances.

Adelaide is the granddaughter of physician Joseph Wong, founder of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in the Greater Toronto Area and a well-known community and human-rights activist with numerous awards, including the Toronto Star's 1986 Man of the Year, Order of Canada in 1993 and the Red Cross Power of Humanity Award in 2005.

Today, Dr. Wong is all grandpa!

Dr. Wong was one of many friends and guests of the David Suzuki Foundation who joined David at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.

Drwong.jpg

Dr. Joseph Wong speaking at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.

"Two months ago, Adelaide, my first grandchild was born," Dr. Wong told the Blue Dot audience last Thursday. "I looked at her face and thought, what could I do to better her life? There is something I have to do within my lifetime to make sure she lives as comfortable a life as I do. Then I thought, what is more important than a healthy enivronment: fresh air, clean drinking water, healthy food, sunshine and blue sky without the shadow of pollution?"

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How to get the stink out of towels

Queen of Green | October 6, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to get the stink out of towels

Follow these tips to care for bamboo and organic cotton towels to reduce musty odors. (Credit: Coyuchi)

Ever get out of the shower or bath squeaky clean (thanks to a brown sugar body scrub or apple cider vinegar shine rinse) and the minute the towel hits your skin you think "What's that stench? I just washed this!"

I've tweaked my laundry soap recipe, bought eco-friendlier store-bought options, used vinegar in the rinse cycle, soaked them in oxygen bleach but nothing seems to get the skunky mildew stink out.

So I begged Dihan Chandra of Organic Lifestyle to help me solve my bath towel woes.

Turns out the secret is in the drying, not the washing! AIR CIRCULATION!

Tip #1: Hang towels

Whether they're organic cotton, bamboo or a blend, it's crucial that towels "breathe" immediately after use, to allow air flow through fibers and speed drying time. A towel balled up on the floor encourages bacterial growth, which increases funky smells.

Solution: Hang towels to dry! (In the sun, weather permitting, also helps.)

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