Archives For December 2012

It’s a common misconception that herbivores don’t get enough protein or calcium. This article outlines that “Through extensive long-term studies on human and animal populations, like the 20-year long China-Cornell-Oxford project, the researchers and doctors highlighted in the film have proven that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet can not only cure heart-related diseases, cancers and diabetes, but it also reverses the effects that those illnesses have had on the body.” Right on!

Utopian Dreaming

We are told time and time again, from a number of different sources in our society: eat your protein, you need calcium for strong bones.  Unfortunately, protein has become synonymous with meat in Western thought and diets, and calcium has become synonymous with dairy.  This makes animal products essential in the minds of most North Americans, and makes a healthy, responsible plant-based diet seem unnatural and extreme.


Forks Over Knives, a recent documentary directed by Lee Fuklerson, explains that in fact, it is the consumption of animal and dairy products (over­-consumption for most North Americans) that causes all heart and respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes in humans.  Through extensive long-term studies on human and animal populations, like the 20-year long China-Cornell-Oxford project, the researchers and doctors highlighted in the film have proven that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet can not only cure…

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How do you cope with the guilt from all those crumpled wrappings scattered around the floor that were once nicely dressed packages? Choose to use DIY handmade gift wrap, that’s how! There are so many great environmental, economical and personal reasons to embrace upcycling. If you’re like me, space is a common issue in our house so we try not to keep extra clutter (like gift wrap) around. Upcycling is great solution that allows us to recycle items we already have around the house for use as gift wrap all the while we’re saving money and the environment through consuming less.

There are tons of creative ideas for making your own gift wrap and gift tags. Giving new life to used paper bags from any grocery or retail store is my personal favorite. The basics of converting used bags into wrapping paper is to remove the handles and cut at the seams. Once that has been done, you can easily wrap your treasure and decorate with an unlimited amount of items such as ribbon, stamps, markers, twine, doilies, stickers, lace, or glitter.

Alternatively, wrapping paper can be made out of old magazine pages or maps that are no longer being used. Simply secure the pages together by taping the back side to form a sheet that is large enough for your gift. The idea is the same here in that you can use any of the decorative material mentioned for the paper bags to dress the package up the with the finishing touches.

Finally, if none of these other methods work for your gift then print paper according to your specific needs with the templates at this site ( This will at least eliminate all of that extra wrapping paper in the closet that either gets ruined from storage or thrown out with the spring cleaning.

Here are a couple of my favorite DIY tutorial sites:

Happy gifting!


12.12.12, it’s the beginning of the end…very well said Read.Write.Dream.

The industry proclaims, genetically engineered organisms are “substantially equivalent” to their non-engineered counterparts. Okay, but what does that mean for consumers?

via The Genetic Engineering Debate: “Substantial equivalence” – A tricky, misleading term!.

“President Obama needs to talk about climate change and help the American public connect the dots between extreme weather, climate change, our energy policy and the progress we are already making on reducing emissions,” Markey said in an e- mailed response to questions. “The public will be more accepting of an international climate deal if they understand what we are already doing” to fight global warming.

Climate Treaty Hinges on Obama Making Case, Ex-Aides Say – Bloomberg.


Over the weekend, we went to one of the large hardware stores to explore the idea of buying our very first real Christmas Tree. I was met with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and moved to the verge of tears by the sight of the number of trees that were cut off at the stump and piled up along the walls. What was even more upsetting to me was the line of families wrapped around the lot with their tree choice in tow who were seemingly unaffected by the surroundings. Thankfully, my husband agreed to leave with me immediately. For me, the fake tree we’ve used for years stirs the very same amount of Christmas spirit as having a real one (perhaps even more since the fake one satisfies my desire to live sustainably). But since marriage is built on compromise, I have agreed to explore the idea of sustainable real tree options. This is what I’ve found:

Of course, deforestation is no longer an issue because most trees are grown on farms but they must still be shipped, are often treated with pesticides and ultimately take up landfill space. Trees that are treated with pesticides will expose your home to chemicals that can linger and create potential hazards to the health of your family. Not to worry there are alternatives to finding a “Green” Christmas Tree, you can choose a tree that is locally and organically grown without pesticides through the Tree Locating Tool at the National Christmas Tree Association, Or better yet, buy a living tree that can be replanted in your yard or donated to a local charity!

Tree disposal is a biggie so have a plan in place for recycling your tree after the Holidays are done. There are many creative alternatives to sending your tree to the landfill such as converting it to mulch, disposing in your yard waste container if available, donating it to a goat farm where they will feast on the needles, sinking it in a private lake or pond for fish food, checking with your city for curb-side pick-up, or making a small donation to the Boy Scouts who will offer their pick-up services.

Make the environmentally responsible choice this Holiday Season to reduce your global footprint by choosing organic or living trees and finding a recycling option that works best for your local community.

Wow! Who knew that making a homemade jar of peanut butter could be so simple an affordable. Goodbye GMO, over-processed, sometimes salmonella infused peanut butter…hello wholesome, healthy, real peanut butter!


peanut butter, frugal living, thrifty, healthy meals,

Making food, this peanut butter for instance, from scratch has advantages that are numerous and varied compared with purchasing their commercially produced counterparts. Clearly, the advantage my blog is most keenly interested in is the fact that making one’s own food is cheaper 99 per cent of the time. However, there is one only slightly less obvious argument for doing so – it makes it far easier to control exactly what goes into your recipes and diet.

For instance, even the most expensive supermarket brands of peanut butter contain palm oil, an ingredient both unnecessary and environmentally immoral – it has caused the destruction of the natural habitat of thousands of species of animals worldwide. The less said about cheaper products the better, for their recipes also contain brown sugar and peanut oil, in addition to palm oil. All of this unnecessary, environmentally damaging and unhealthy produce in a spread…

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eXtinction Film

December 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

Sustainability Hub

About This Video: eXtinction is an environmental art short that brings together powerful storytelling and stirring imagery.

It reveals that the most pressing environmental issues are not happening thousands of years from now, but are in fact happening within our lifetime — and specifically, on the timeline of one young woman’s life, from birth to death.

CLAYTON HASKELL (director) takes viewers on a visually stunning journey through space and time, while SUMMER RAYNE OAKES (Producer/Writer/Actress) breathes fervent passion and emotion to the piece through her own personal story and life.

eXtinction highlights ten of the most pressing environmental issues in the world and it’s up to all of us to take action. Visit the website to find out how you can make a difference.


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I found this to be a very useful analysis about buying eggs. The article even documents a taste study and provides a summary of the findings. Check it out:

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying Eggs | In Your Pantry – Yahoo! Shine.

This method of supplying our country with energy is clearly not a sustainable source. If frack fluids are so harmless, why do they hold onto these trade secrets so strongly? Is it going to take another major catastrophe for politicians and businesses to make the necessary changes to our infrastructure….

Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells – Bloomberg.