Latest posts in Queen of Green

Secrets to homemade hair care revealed

January 31, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Secrets to homemade hair care revealed

Choose a natural conditioner that has the same pH as your body's acid mantle (pH 4 to 6), like an apple cider vinegar rinse. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

My store-bought shampoo contained Dirty Dozen ingredients, so I tried making my own and using less.

My attempts to avoid hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing ingredients AND protect fish and other wildlife from harmful toxics did a lot for my sanity... but not much for my hair.

What was I missing?

I quizzed shampoo-maker Bonnie of Zero Xeno (@Zero_Xeno).

Why worry about pH?

Hair care requires both alkaline (slightly higher pH) and acidic (lower pH) treatment. Formulating shampoo and conditioner is about balance. Hair needs to be cleaned without stripping its natural oils and acid mantle.

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The money-saving food tip no one is talking about

January 27, 2016 | 2 comments
Photo: The money-saving food tip no one is talking about

Add sad-looking produce and foods approaching their "best before" dates to your "Eat-me-first" bin. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

January, 2016 will go down as the "great Canadian cauliflower crisis" due to the cascading Canadian dollar, tumbling oil prices and California's drought.

Maybe you're immune to the hysteria because:

  1. You prefer local, seasonal produce
  2. Your household is already saving about $700 per year by not wasting food
  3. You willingly pay higher prices for organic, local and fair trade

High food prices are likely here to stay. In fact, Canadians should expect to spend $345 more this year on food. Where will that extra dough come from?

A hard-core solution: join the Bathurst family of New Brunswick — start homesteading. (They're so brave!)

A soft-core solution: Create an "Eat-me-first" bin or basket for the fridge.

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What is the Queen of Green Coaches initiative?

January 18, 2016 | 1 comment

Learn how to reuse silica gel packs, create a bee bath and make an "eat-me-first" bin.

In 2012, I "greened" The Smiths.

Not only was it successful — they composted, cooked more vegetarian meals, made their own home cleaners, rid their home of the Dirty Dozen, planted trees, etc. — it felt good!

So I designed a distributed leadership initiative to share that good feeling and support more Canadians to embrace small steps (and so I don't have to go house to house). I had a hunch there were many Queens of Green out there from coast to coast to coast!

My hunch was right.

Four years later, 130 Queen of Green Coaches have learned about trust theory, self-compassion, personal ecology, how do deal with apathy AND helped some 700 families find out things like where to get a rain barrel in their cities.

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How to plant seeds of change

December 27, 2015 | 4 comments
Photo: How to plant seeds of change

"I am feeling empowered, rejuvenated, and more confident to talk about environmental issues with others." Coach Emma (Credit: After an Afternoon Photography)

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely." Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This fall, my seventh round of Queen of Green Coaches bravely chose to counter feelings of being overwhelmed and impulses to withdraw with commitments to step forward and act. Each recruited five families to "green"! (Sign up for my monthly digest for future recruitment call-outs.)

Veteran Coach Ali, Chilliwack B.C. (@alilovesbugs) loves bugs, is passionate about people and lives in the forest with her partner and two cats.

Stay-at-home mom Becky, Ladysmith B.C. is "fumbling" her way towards a zero-waste lifestyle!

Blair, Saskatoon Sask. (@blairvmiller) caught the "green bug" early and encourages her family and friends to recycle, compost and ditch toxic chemicals.

Catherine F., Victoria B.C. (@Wilde_Cam) is driven to reduce her consumption by the interconnectedness between people and the environment.

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How to plant your Christmas tree

December 21, 2015 | 1 comment
Photo: How to plant your Christmas tree

A live tree will only last inside for a week to 10 days. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

One day I'll plant a Christmas tree.

Until then, I'll keep decorating my trusty Norfolk Island pine that gives my family the gift of clean air all year round.

But if you have the space, you can start your Christmas tree forest this season. NOTE: Try this if you plan to keep your live tree inside only for a week to 10 days AND you're diligent at watering plants.

Four reasons most replanted holiday trees don't survive or thrive:

  1. The tree species isn't adapted to the local climate (moisture, elevation, etc.)
  2. Tree size — big trees suffer more transplant shock
  3. Tree thirst — while inside, it dried out too many times
  4. Trees on display inside too long lose winter hardiness

Prepare your tree for indoor festivities AND a life outside!

What should I look for in a tree?

  • Fir, pine and spruce are best (ask your local nursery)
  • Long, full branches
  • A large root ball that's not frozen
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