Latest posts in Queen of Green

How to get under the influence...of nature

April 29, 2015 | 5 comments
Photo: How to get under the influence...of nature

Did you know that low tide makes a great babysitter?

Some days it feels as though my city is yelling at me, particularly if I've skipped too many doses of "Vitamin N" (for "nature").

Recently my son asked, "Mommy need to go into nature?" Cute, right? He understands how much I need nature to be at my best. (He posed this question after pouring his expensive organic milk on the floor, running through it and tossing his lunch in the puddle.)

I'd much rather be under the influence...of nature. It cures my irritability and so much more — time spent outside reduces stress, makes people more generous and combats loneliness.

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How to test your home for radon

April 29, 2015 | 28 comments

You probably minimize your family's exposure to toxic chemicals by using paraben-free shampoo, living in a scent-free home, cleaning your tub with baking soda and gardening pesticide-free.

Here's another way to keep a healthy home: Test it for radon (Enter below to win a detector!)

Radon is a radioactive gas formed by the natural decay of uranium in soil and rock — which all our homes are built on. Radon can seep into buildings through foundation cracks, become trapped and accumulate. Without proper ventilation, concentrations in indoor air can reach dangerous levels.

Radon is a known carcinogen — responsible for 16 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in Canada and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

You can't smell it, see it or taste it.

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How to establish "green" house rules

April 18, 2015 | 16 comments
Photo: How to establish

Kids are never too young to contribute to "green" house rules. (Credit: Kelly Woods)

Are you the eco-friendliest person in your home? I am.

Family members can be the hardest to "green" — I know and I'm paid to do this!

Comment on this blog with how you successfully "greened" a family member. The entire Queen of Green community (and I) can try it, too.

You'll also be entered to win up to a $100 prize package of sustainable goodies (e.g., a recycled textile area rug, rechargeable batteries, a stainless steel coffee pot or LED nightlight) donated by IKEA Canada (@IKEACanada)! (Draw date: May 21, 2015.)

When the world needs us to recycle less, use hankies, cloth diapers and nontoxic deodorant, and get into nature, how do you get your loved ones to buy in?

Step one: Appreciate that most people are doing their best (and value the same things you do)!

Step two: Host a family meeting to create new house rules.

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How to make a difference

April 9, 2015 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to make a difference

Emily has decided to lead in her community within the province of Nova Scotia. (Credit: Lyndsay Doyle Photography)

Worrying about the planet can feel overwhelming.

Yet the more we repress information — oceans full of whale-killing plastic, consumer products full of toxics, dying bees, extreme drought, etc. — the worse it feels. Ignoring or holding back these feelings leads to despair, burnout, blaming, alienation and a sense of powerlessness.

Some people walk around feeling bad about their contribution to the problem, isolate themselves as a means of protection and then judge everyone else around them, assuming others just don't care.

Sound familiar?

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How to be a good neighbour

April 8, 2015 | 1 comment
Photo: How to be a good neighbour

A neighbour can be so much more than the dictionary definition: “person living next door.” (Credit: Leah Villalobos Bartok)

My neighbours are better than your neighbours! It's a cheeky proposition, I know... But my neighbours are pretty amazing.

Here's why:

  • They babysit — even last minute and without pay
  • They help us with truck errands (they have a truck and we don't)
  • They close our garage door when we forget
  • They walk our dog when we're going to be home late
  • They look out for burglars and suspicious activities
  • They invite us over for supper
  • They loan tools
  • They let us (my son and I) play on their porch
  • They let me in when I lock myself out!

Now nobody would do any of these things for us if we weren't pretty fabulous neighbours, too.

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