New Year’s, one of the oldest holidays celebrated ever, is kind of a funny thing. Back in ye olden Roman times, they decided to move New Year’s from March (a logical spot, what with springtime renewal) to January since the month was named for Continue reading
Special Throwback Thursday, just in time for Halloween (originally published Oct 31, 2012)
Halloween is one of the most spectacular nights for all kids, big and small. What other holiday encourages you run around your neighbourhood dressed in crazy costumes and go begging for sweets! For some (like my sugar-junkie child), this is the highlight of the year. And it looks like Sandy won’t totally washout the evening….more of a gentle rain.
We normally divide our time handing out candy and escorting our child house to house. Invariably, he comes back with a mixed bag…some great stuff, some meh, and some just gawdawful. For a few years, we didn’t know what to do with the reject candy and it just lay in our cupboard collecting dust. What a sad, sugary waste.
Enter the solution, the scourge of Halloween. That would be the big kids, often taller than me (which is not saying much) that still go trick or treating but don’t bother with a costume. It’s laziness with a side order of menace. Most of us still dole out our precious candy to keep them happy and our house facades egg and toilet-paper-free. Here’s where we finally learned to be creative.
We now go through our son’s bag of candy not only to inspect it (and lets be honest, eat some), but to create the Reject Pile of Ick . We save this pile to dish out to the costumeless teens. How’s that for recycling and reusing? And the timing couldn’t be more perfect since they tend to go out after we’ve already returned. In the end, everyone’s happy. They get candy, we don’t collect waste, AND we don’t get egged (at least, not yet). Such a good idea, it’s worth copying/recycling.
Happy Halloween everyone!
P.S. for extra safety while going trick or treating, attach your bike light to your child’s costume. It makes them more visible and their costumes even more spectacular…definitely worthy of the good candy 🙂.
On this wonderful week of Waste Reduction across Ontario, we here at UHN celebrated by challenging our staff, and especially our green team, to share actions and ideas that cut waste down to a teeny-tiny size. They could email us, facebook or tweet, like UHN Volunteer services did below.
We lured staff with nothing more than Continue reading
The Environomics of Garbage
Inflation is defined as a “sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services” (thanks investopedia.com). In other words, your money just don’t buy what it used to.
For example, back in the day, I could walk up to the soda counter of my favourite drug store, a dime burning a hole in my pocket, order a double tall extra skinny soypuccino (with two straws if I was with my sweetie, of course) and a couple of free range anchovy filets…and still have enough change to go to the pictures after.
These days, that dime barely covers the Continue reading
Confession time … amongst other things, I studied fine art at U of T. Normally this means my education and work life have precious little to do with one another, but not today. Today, I’ll show you the perfect marriage of art and the environment as they meet in hopeful, glorious, thought-provoking displays (how’s that for an intro?).
We’ll start with Kitty Chan in the Radiation Medicine Program at UHN. Kitty needed lots and lots of used coffee cups to do an environmental awareness art installation called “The Tree of Hope”. This tree will stand in all its glory at David Suzuki’s upcoming Blue Dot tour.
We spread the word to Continue reading
Whether you have little ones lining up for the yellow bus, are a student yourself, or haven’t been to a class in decades, September feels like teachers/pencils/books time. As a universal truth, you will be bombarded with back-to-school ads (just try to ignore dreaded ear-worm from a certain office supplies store: “it’s the Most, Wonderful Time of the Year“). These ads demand you get the latest, greatest, biggest, best of everything … even things that don’t seem remotely connected to school.
Say you want to be prepared, but don’t want to sacrifice a truckload of carbon to get Sophie, Ethan and Arya set up for straight A’s … what do you do? Continue reading
One person’s trash is another one’s treasure … a pretty fair comment if you pass any of the gazillion yard sales each summer weekend. Some things on offer are questionable at best (hello Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer), though I did score a snazzy backpack-style picnic basket. It brims with promises of bikerides and strolls followed by al fresco wine and cheese, all local/organic of course. The family that sold the picnic basket had those very same dreams, but after years of anticipation and neglect, they realized it needed a new home to be used and loved. With that, the picnic basket’s second chapter began.
All things deserve a second chapter (and people do too, but that’s a whole other article). There are the obvious environmental savings; not piling on the ol’ landfill (some predict Toronto’s will be full by 2026), not wasting fuel to haul it there in the first place, not having to mine/harvest/produce as many virgin materials to make new things … and you probably know a bunch more 3-R friendly reasons. There are pages and pinterest boards all dedicated to cleverly, creatively repurposing the old to become something new and exciting (loving this guitar bookcase, MUCH better than listening to me play an actual guitar).