Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What A Month!

Holy Moly!!! I have been sooooo busy these last few weeks due to mostly Earth Day related events! There have been so many great activities taking place at my school and in and around Toronto!

On Tuesday April 21st, as a part of Earth Week, we had a guest speaker trained by Al Gore to come over to my high school and talk to our Grade 9 & 10 students about Climate Change. Even though it was full of charts and pie graphs I really hope the simple message that we can make a difference but we don't have much time left!

*Climate Change Presentation*

The following day my Green Team had the opportunity to go to our local park and plant trees as a part of the Credit Valley Youth Corps Spring Planting. While at the park we planted over 100 trees and played games regarding global warming. The students all had a wonderful time and even earned volunteer hours for their time! We had so much fun and look forward to doing it again this coming Fall.

*One Tree At A Time!*

*Hard At Work!*

*The Hill We Planted On*

After a very good nights sleep we were all back at school to celebrate Earth Day! April 22nd was wonderful for all of us! We played Michael Jacksons "Earth Song" over the morning announcements and during all three lunch periods the Green Team had a bake sale which was very successful! We all baked cupcakes, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon buns and brownies! By the end of the day we had raised $140.00CAD which we will be sending to Rwanda's Art of Conservation - a wonderful organization that educates children who live around Volcanos National Park about why the gorillas are so important and why they need to protect them through painting, drawing and just having fun!!

I love them all soooooo much! How cute are they!?!? I am so happy we were able to raise money for the children and support gorilla conservation at the same time!!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Wal-Mart Helping The Planet?

Wal-Mart is hopping on the Green Bus and lets hope it never gets off! I just got the Wal-Mart flyer this weekend at my house and while flipping through I noticed a little blurb in the corner of its eco-friendly friendly pages (where it advertises products that don't harm or help the environment) and it said that as of April 22nd they will begin charging 5 cents per plastic bag! On top of that great news whatever proceeds they make from the sales of the bags will be used by Wal-Mart Canada to fund future Rollbacks on their "Green" products. I know many of you are saying that Wal-Mart is already a huge environmental disaster in terms their "Superstores", the products they do sell and the fact that they take away from much smaller family run businesses, however, I do feel like they are an industry leader and this will lead way for other large companies to follow in their direction. I would have loved to see the proceeds donated to environmental and conservation charities however I do feel that this may make more expensive "Green" products as competitive as the toxic and very well-known brands such as "TIDE", "Mr. Clean" and "Sunlight". This new edge will gives families a better option at choosing green rather than just purchasing a product based on price!




It is 3:40 in the afternoon and the sun is shining and its HOT today!! Ughhh I know I know it's most likely because of climate change but does it make me a bad person that I am enjoying every minute of the humidity when it's the only the beginning of April??

Well the day did start off crappy! I had to wake up early on my day off (its Easter Monday) and run over to the doctors for my annual physical. I was only expecting one needle (for a vaccine) and turns out I needed that PLUS a tetanus shot AND do blood work!! Ugghh my arms are pull of bandages from all of the pokes I got all BEFORE 10am!! To brighten up my day I decided to drive over 40 minutes to Hamilton so I could drop off some donated blankets and pillows to the animal shelter and walk through cage after cage of death row cats & kittens. I knew I wouldn't be leaving empty handed but of course its a hard decision on who to save. After a few minutes of debating a decided this would be the first time to rescue a mama and her babies. There were three cages that had moms and newborn babies and after meeting all three I decided on a young tortie and her four itsy bitsy babies. She graciously let me pick her up and place her in my crate alongside her little munchkins. They are now sleeping soundly in my quiet AND most importantly safe basement away from all harm. My two cousins Michael and Nicholas came over to greet them into our family and decided on some names; Shawna, Nikki, Spiderman and Whiskers for the kittens and ZIA (which means aunt in Italian) for the mommy. I warned them names might have to change because I don't know the sexes right now however it will be fine for the time being.

*Zia & her babies*

After getting the new family members settled I turned on my laptop to check my email. To my great surprise there was this video posted on my Facebook page!!!!!!!

OMGosh let me tell you I was crying my eyes out! To receive this message all the way from Rwanda and it was made for ME and the school I work at is just incredible!! I am just ecstatic and still in awe. Art Of Conservation is an incredible organization based just outside Virunga Nation Park - home to the great mountain gorillas! AOC is run by a wonderful lady named Julie Ghrist who now lives in Rwanda and teaches the local school children about their health, conservation and the importance of gorillas through mask making, painting and drawing. In my eyes she is an angel and I financially try to support her organization whenever I possibly can. This video is in response to me telling her that my ESS Green Team and I will be doing a bakesale on Earth Day with all funds going directly to Art Of Conservation! What a treat this was and I can't wait to show all of my students when I go back to school tomorrow! What a wonderful end to a wonderful weekend! If you would like to find out more about Julie's organization please click here: AOC



Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Story Of Bottled Water! Watch It Now!

Fur Is Green?

*Lady Gaga showing how ridiculous people look when wearing fur coats*

Yes of course it's very environmentally friendly, totally humane and looks beautiful! YAY RIGHT!!! Some sickos have started a website trying to convince people that real fur is much better for the planet than faux..........maybe they are right in terms of the chemicals that are put into faux however there is no denying the fact that real fur causes pain, suffering and utter cruelty not to mention the environmental costs it takes to raise, capture and ultimately murder these innocent animals. If you are interested in taking a look at the site and having a good laugh click HERE


Friday, April 2, 2010

Italian Bliss

This past March I had the opportunity to visit Rome and Venice while off work for March Break. Throughout my travels I took some pictures of eco-friendly things that I have yet to see in North America! Check them out.........

Energy Conservation - In order to turn on any lights and the TV in our hotel room we were required to place the key in a special slot to activate the electricity. We were only given one key, therefore no lights could be left on when we left the room and/or the hotel! Smart thinking!!

Water Conservation - When going to the washroom you had the option of pushing one of two buttons! One side to push was for little messes and the other side to push was for big messes!! HAHAHAH very very cool!

Public Transportation - While touring both Rome and Venice we opted to take public transportation and walk rather than use expensive and polluting taxis! We had so much fun seeing all the sights via tram, double-decker buses and the Venice Vaporetto! (Public water taxi) We also kept our consumption to a minimum by filling our stainless steel water bottles from the hotel taps and only purchased souvenirs that were made locally by Italian residents (NO CHINA!) hahahah We had so much fun, the people were great and the scenery bella! Viva Italia - I can't wait to go back!
*On the Venetian Vaporetto!*


I Met Emily Hunter!!

*Jen, Bob, Emily and Paul Watsons brother Stephen*

Last week I attended Bob Timmons (Artist For The Oceans) third movie screening featuring the life of Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson. It was a great Bio Documentary featuring Paul's life and what he and his organization have been able to accomplish so far! Paul was great friends with fellow environmentalist (and Canadian!) Robert Hunter. These two friends were actually the original co-founders of Greenpeace International. As young men, these individuals were the first to bring awareness to the horrible Seal Hunt that still occurs each year on the East Coast of Canada (makes me sick!)

As a young girl, I always watched Robert Hunter on our local Toronto news - City Pulse. A few times a week he would talk about various environmental issues and why it was so important to save our planet. He campaigned against nuclear testing, whale hunting and eventually climate change. I will never forget one news report he did regarding Canadians and how much waste we produce. I must have only been about 11 years old but it is still so clear in my mind when he said (standing in the middle of a street downtown Toronto) that Canadians were not filthy pigs BUT filthy mammoths due to the amount of our mass consumption and how we throw everything away.

Unfortunately Robert was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and passed away in May 2005 after a long fight. Thankfully his environmental passion is now carried on through his children. His daughter Emily is an active member with Sea Shepherd (she has been on many missions in the arctic and Galapagos Islands). She has also hosted an informative documentary on MTV Canada featuring the Alberta Tar Sands and is finishing up her studies at the University of Toronto for journalism. I was so honoured to meet Emily at the movie screening and share my stories with her. My Green Team students at work the next day were so excited and envious that I had the opportunity to meet her! They all look forward to her future documentaries that might be featured again on MTV Canada!

*Emily & I!*


Best Quote Ever!!

*Earth Day Hamilton Tree Planting 2009*
Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking.

-Wangari Muta Maathai, activist and Nobel laureate (b. 1940)

Happy Easter = Happy Story!

Happy Easter everyone! Today is Good Friday and I wanted to share an uplifting story that would put everyone in a good mood for the Easter weekend. I received this email from my good friend Dianne of Tails From Greece Rescue and wanted to share it with you all...........

Most of the news I send out is upsetting so I thought it would be nice to share this good news one with you. I've known Elizabeth for many years and she's an amazing individual who has helped out in many bad situations, including getting some monkeys shipped from a wildlife sanctuary where she lives in Greece to another country where they'll be properly cared for as they were living in deplorable conditions at the sanctuary (due to lack of volunteers mainly). She's been a SPAZ member/rescuer for many years and she and her husband do as much as they can to help the animals.
Dianne Aldan

And a beautiful picture to go with it...........