Latest posts in Queen of Green

People just like you are building a better future for us all

May 23, 2017 | Leave a comment
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Tsimka Martin guiding a traditional Tla-o-qui-aht canoe tour for T'ashii Paddle School.

"In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket." ~ David Suzuki

Across the nation, innovative people from every walk of life are promoting biodiversity, climate solutions and the right to a healthy environment where they live. Each month, Queen of Green will feature someone using their unique gifts to build a greener future for everyone.

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Four edible "weeds"

May 15, 2017 | 1 comment
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Nutritious and delicious Miner's lettuce salad (Photo Credit: Brendan Harris)

As spring blooms, people often rid their yards and gardens of "weeds" in preparation for a fresh start. But a "weed" is a valueless or undesirable plant. And that's a matter of perspective!

Enrich your diet with these four edibles that are as delicious as they are common. (You'll also avoid harmful herbicides and support beneficial insects.)

Chickweed
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This spade-leafed plant has small white flowers. Tastes like spinach. High in beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Look for it at the edges of pavement, garden beds and gravel areas. At night, it "sleeps" by folding its leaves over the buds and new shoots. Use it to make delicious chickweed pakoras!

Dandelion
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Find these bright yellow flowers in fields, lawns and garden edges. They're high in Vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as iron, potassium and zinc. Every part of the plant is edible, from the roots to the blossom! Add blossoms to brighten up any salad. Try this recipe for dandy tempura.

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Meet Nikki, your new "reigning" Queen of Green

May 1, 2017 | 1 comment
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Nikki will lead you on a year of inspiration! (Credit: Breanna Carey)

Welcome Nikki Sanchez, the reigning Queen of Green during Lindsay Coulter's one-year maternity leave! Here's Lindsay's interview with Nikki, so you can get to know her:

Where's your favourite place in nature?

What comes to mind is the ancient Ahousaht Wild Side heritage trail on Flores Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island. It covers 22 kilometres of old-growth temperate rainforest and white sand beaches. I was privileged to learn about the many sacred and food harvesting sites along the trail from Elder Stanley Sam. Stanley passed away last summer and now every time I return to the trail I feel his joyful spirit dwelling there. It was a place he loved dearly. I'm so grateful to him for sharing that love of place with me.

What's the best "green living" advice you ever received?

My mentor, Qaamina Sam, taught me about the Nuu-chah-nulth worldview encompassed in the saying "hishuk'ish tsawalk" meaning "everything is one and all is interconnected." I carry that concept into everything I do. I exist in relationship to all other things and must consider the ways in which my thoughts, words and actions affect others and the landscape.

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Adria Vasil helps you choose non-toxic cosmetics

April 24, 2017 | 42 comments
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You can avoid harmful chemicals in cosmetics when you shop smarter! (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

I posed your questions about safer cosmetics to Adria Vasil, bestselling author of the Ecoholic book series and NOW Magazine column.

What's the least toxic deodorant (that works)?

Ones that work don't try to mimic conventional deodorants. Instead, they contain simple ingredients you'd use to make your own — baking soda, coconut oil, cornstarch or arrowroot powder. (Lindsay's recipe.)

Top brands include Consonant Skincare's Dealkalizing Deodorant, KL Skin Naturals (unscented), Purely Great, and Penny Lane. Some leave a white residue. If baking soda irritates your skin, KL Naturals and Sudsatorium (no plastic package, leaves no white residue) make great baking-soda free options.

What's your favourite natural shampoo or conditioner?

It depends on your hair type. I've tried dozens that didn't agree with me, even though other people raved about them. I love John Masters Organics (tough for tighter budgets) and Acure (makes my new favourite face scrub, too).

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How to identify different kinds of bees

April 12, 2017 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to identify different kinds of bees

Can you spy the pollen sacs on the bumble bee? (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

Recently, I had the privilege of attending bee school. Well, not exactly but I met bee lovers/experts—Dr. Elizabeth Elle with Simon Fraser University and Dr. Cameron Cartiere with Border Free Bees.

I learned how to tell a bee from a wasp from a fly, AND defining characteristics of different types of bees.

Here are some tricks and tips to tell bees apart:

Bumble bees

  • Striped abdomen
  • Large, fuzzy body
  • Pollen sacs on thighs
  • Cute, males even have moustaches
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