Come Visit my Online Store

Visit My Website

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Green Summer To-Do List

Green Summer To-Do List

Local Food Production

As a community we need to support our local farmers in the development of sustainable farming practices and support the development of food access programs such as community gardens, farmers’ markets and produce stands. As consumers we should seek out local farmers markets and/or buy locally grown seasonal food in order to cut down on the environmental costs associated with transporting produce to our community from a great distance.

Food security also includes being able to make a living by growing and producing food in ways that protect and support both the land, sea and the food producers, and that in turn will help ensure that there will be healthy food for our children’s children. The way that we now produce and process food cannot support a sustainable food system. We need to encourage a way of producing food that will last well into the future and ensure that our children’s children have all the food they need.

Gardens are of great benefit to both the gardener and helping develop sustainability. You can start with something small like planting a container garden. Or you can go for something bigger like preparing a spot in your backyard for a vegetable garden. Planting a small garden is good for you and for the earth. If you do not have a backyard (apartments) then perhaps taking part in the local community garden might benefit you.

A community Garden allows for the exchange of ideas, the sharing of gardening tips and provides varying levels of expertise. Growing your own food is a great method to build food security in our communities, promote active living and encouraging people of all ages and abiliities to work outdoors.

A community garden is an inexpensive way for people to work together to grow their own food. Community gardens are usually located in neighbourhoods where people can drop by and participate. The community garden in Amherst is located just off Veno Avenue across the street from Dickey Park. This land was donated by a community member.

The Amherst Community Garden can also be seen as poverty action at the local level. It produces fresh food and provides food security for those that grow their own food and for those that grow food and then share it with the local food bank.

If you are interested in becoming part of the Amherst Community Garden Project please feel free to contact me so I can arrange for you to have a garden plot to grow your own food.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Waterworld Leaders

Look what I stumbled upon. Found this on twitter. Will Jellyfish rule the oceans?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Green Go the Grads

As you get ready to celebrate High School Graduation 2010, why not add a little green to help make sure your graduation-related events are environmentally friendly? As it turns out showing eco-solidarity at graduation just may be a theme that will catch on this year or in the future.

One way to support this vision may be to party during the daytime. By doing this you are reducing your power consumption by celebrating in the sunshine. If the party continues into the night, use the event as an opportunity to bring out energy saving alternatives, such as; candles and rechargeable batteries for your flashlights and boom boxes.

Our graduates could pin green ribbons to their black gowns during the ceremony to show solidarity in the ongoing fight for a sustainable future. Wearing a green ribbon shows solidarity with your friends and family that are moving towards a greener future. If you show people you're thinking about this, then others might start thinking the same way.

With our high school students in the area set to graduate, I’m wondering how many might choose to get involved and make it a form of action. It could be one way in which students can stand together and let the nation know that they certainly do care about the environment, and that they are willing to take action to protect it.

Perhaps you can begin to think of ways you can make a difference to protect our planet. Think of the activities that take place during graduation and see if you can make them more environmentally friendly. How about hosting a “Green Graduation Party”? Some ideas for this could be:
• Send electronic invitations and request email RSVPs.
• Request that guests use greener forms of transportation to get to and from the party, like bicycles (with helmets) or carpooling. Please have a designated driver.
• Plan the menu with local foods that are in season.
• Freeze leftovers for later meals or arrange ahead of time to donate extra food to the local food bank.
• Be sure table settings and decorations will be reused, rather than throwing away disposables. And remember, reusing is even better than recycling!
• Use potted plants like herbs as centerpieces. Give them to your guests to take home as thank-you gifts or plant them in your own garden after the party.
• Sort out recyclables when the party is over and compost as appropriate.

We have been teaching our students the smaller things that matter, such as; recycling, not wasting water and turning out the lights when leaving a room with no other occupants. These graduates have the choice to conserve or to continue to use a lot of energy. We should be helping them to make the right choice.

Congratulations to all graduates in Cumberland County.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer is Coming!!

Yahoo, summer is coming!! June 21st is a very important day for our planet and its relationship with the sun. June 21st is one of two solstice days when the rays of the sun directly strike one of the two tropical latitude lines. June 21st marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and at the same time heralds the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. Around December 21 the solstices are reversed and winter begins in the northern hemisphere.

You know it is summer because the Sun reaches its farthest point north for the year. It is at its highest in the sky at noon and the solstice shadows are very short. The higher the Sun rises in the heavens the more distance it has to travel from one horizon to the other and hence, the longer daylight. Which makes this is the longest day of the year, or so they say!

When summer occurs in a hemisphere, it is due to that hemisphere receiving more direct rays of the sun than the opposite hemisphere where it is winter. In winter, the sun's energy hits the earth at oblique angles and is thus less concentrated.

The first days of summer are a time most favoured for weeding the garden (the sap has risen to its highest point, and there is very little sap in the roots of plants). Since Sap is a life force we can also use this time to “weed” out old emotional patterns within ourselves as well as tending to the weeds in our gardens.

On the summer solstice, for many centuries people have done ritual traditions like Leaping over bonfires symbolizing leaving behind outmoded emotional patterns, stuck ways of thinking, addictions, sorrow, and the fire symbolizes the flames of passion which we are entering the new season with.

Take some time this year between June 20th and June 24th, (midsummer’s day) to do some type of ritual to pledge you to a year of growth, and passion, and joy. Summer brings us an energy that is about shifting perceptions and doing the work required to create the needed changes in our minds. Looking at what we can do to make our lives better, be the best we can be and perhaps even share and teach others this.

How do you do this? Less bad news; having fewer grumpy people around us; less thinking of what should or could have been. More laughter, more service with a smile, more connections with those who make you feel better inside and out. And of course the most important work of all with this time in our lives is the personal transformation we must make within ourselves. Thinking negative thoughts is normal, and the second that thought comes into our minds instead of feeding it, lets weed it out.

Lisa Emery, B.A. is currently living in Amherst. Lisa invites comments to her column. You can contact Lisa at: Follow her on Twitter at:, or view her blog at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rivers to Oceans Week

Rivers to Oceans Week (June 8 - 13) is an opportunity to work together to create a better understanding of Canada's watersheds, our connection to fresh- and salt-water environments and what everyone can do to protect and keep watersheds healthy for people and wildlife.

As Canadians, we are blessed with a great abundance of water. Yet, how often do we think about the world living beneath the surface of our many lakes, rivers and oceans, which depends on an unspoiled supply of water?

Water is a precious resource that supports fish and wildlife populations; provides important ecological functions; is used in agriculture, industry and recreation; not to mention the main source of drinking water for both the human and animal populations. Also, fishing is not only a favourite pastime; it puts food on the table for millions of Canadians every day. Fishing for food means jobs for the people of the county which supports the local economy.

Our rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries and oceans are ecosystems that share energy, nutrients and inhabitants. This intricate ecosystem also connects, through the water’s thin surface, to our more familiar land-based ecosystems. That means we humans, too, are connected. Besides food connections, underwater ecosystems provide a number of other ecological “services,” such as producing life-giving oxygen and stabilizing our planet’s climate.

Lakes, rivers and oceans have, at the base of their food chain, very tiny but very plentiful free-floating plants called phytoplankton. Like the plants that grow on land, they give off oxygen. Since much of the planet’s surface is water-covered (about 70 per cent), their contribution is important.

Our rivers, oceans and lakes are becoming bombarded by threats: pollution from harmful chemicals like fertilizers, which encourages underwater plant growth that absorbs mass amounts of oxygen; acid rain can throw off the balance in watery ecosystems; and oil spills can be fatal to wildlife that rely on the water to survive.

Oil from ships can enter Canada’s oceans either accidentally or by deliberate dumping. The Seabirds face the greatest threats from oil, especially those that dive underwater to catch their food. In fact, approximately 300,000 seabirds die annually from oil pollution off the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland. Seabirds suffer from drowning, hypothermia, poisoning, and loss of flight from heavy amounts of oil on their wings.

Now think about what is happening South of our border in the Gulf of Mexico. Between the oil still gushing from the broken pipe and the chemical dispersants used – What chance do the fish, birds and wildlife in the Gulf have of surviving?