Thursday, November 25, 2010

Whats In Your Stocking?

Its that time of year again where people pull out wads of cash, max out their credit cards and make purchases that aren't really necessary. Instead of buying the same old gifts like body lotions, purfume and clothes for your friends and family, that will just be thrown away or tossed in the basement to collect dust, why not lower your carbon footprint and help make a difference in the world with these unique ideas for this 2010 holiday season.

*Purchase Previously Viewed Movies*

1) Movies are always popular gifts for the holidays especially since the big Hollywood giants pump out their most popular movies this time of the year, however, all these DVD's and Blu-Rays create a lot of plastic waste plus these movies are sometimes only watched once!! Why not head over to Blockbuster and purchase a previously viewed video!? Not only are you saving money but its also a form of reducing and reusing. That one DVD might have already been watched by people many times, however, Blockbuster guarantees that the movies are in perfect condition and you are not contributing to that movie being manufactured, transported and the waste thrown out! Its a win-win situation!! I already have Disney's Oceans, Inception and Grown Ups on my list with a request that they be purchased as previously viewed movies from Blockbuster! :0)

*I'm hoping to have this pair under my tree come December 25th! :0)*

2) This next item is already on my wish list!! What is quickly becoming the hottest brand in North America, TOMS Shoes is changing the way we choose our brands! In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what their all about. The TOMS mission transforms their customers into benefactors, which allows them to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support. My best friend Kristina already owns a pair and absolutely LOVES them! Everyday she reminds her co-workers that they too can make a difference by making sustainable and intelligent choices when it comes to making purchases!

*"Ecoholic" by Canadian author Adria Vasil*

3) "Ecoholic" and "Ecoholic Home" by Adria Vasil is my go-to resource when it comes to wanting to learn more about making smart purchases and what I can do everyday in life to make my planet and future a little happier. It's hard being a TreeHugger. As Adria Vasil says in the introduction to her book Ecoholic: "The tough part is that figuring out what's green and what's greenwash, what's eco-friendly and what's ozone destoying can be downright dizzying." Thankfully I have Adria to turn to when I am confused, frustrated or completely lost when it comes to being environmentally friendly. I have purchased and lent out both "Ecoholic" and "Ecoholic Home" to countless friends and family members and each one of them had told me they would also be adding the resource to their home collection. Trust can't go wrong with these books!!

*My Cousin Michael With His Adoption Scrabook*

4) Animal Adoption certificates are my FAVOURITE gifts to GIVE and GET! Three years ago I made a scrapbook for myself and my three little cousins. Each year I adopt an animal for them which comes in certificate form along with tons of information, magnets and pictures explaining why their adopted animal is endangered. I also purchase stickers, glitter and markers for them to decorate around their certificate. I feel this is a great way to not only support a wonderful organization but it also educates my little cousins the importance of protecting our wildlife and giving back to the planet. In the past I have adopted Sea Turtles for them through the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Manatees from Florida through Save The Manatees and have planted a tree in Costa Rica in their honour through Kids Saving The Rainforest. This year I have sent out a donation to Save Our SeaTurtles which will adopt and protect three Leatherback nests in their honour. (Shhhhh don't tell) Nothing makes me more happier than to see their faces light up when they realize which animal they have "saved" and can decorate on Christmas Eve! For myself, last year I recieved an adopted Canadian Marmot and this year I have asked for an adopted orangutan through the Orangutan Foundation International

So before you go out and complete you Christmas shopping this year be creative and think of ways you can put a smile on the face of a loved one and our planet at the same time!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Great Month For Adoptions!

Last week was a busy week for adoptions! Not only was my rescue group extremely busy (we've had over 200 adoptions so far for the month of November) but three of my foster babies were also adopted into wonderful, loving homes!

Minnie & Harry were adopted together into an amazing home with no kids (yet) and lots of space to run and play. I had been helping this couple for three weeks trying to find their purr-fect cat. Originally they wanted an adult, declawed lap-cat because they knew it was harder for adults to get adopted unlike kittens, however, after much searching and talking to different foster homes they just couldn't find the right match. I then suggested they take a look at kittens whom they could help raise themselves and perhaps 'mold' into the lap cats they so desperately wanted. The super sweet couple came over to my house to meet my brood of babies and fell in love with Prince Harry and my feisty little calico Minnie! I was so happy that the two of them were going home together and the couple were ultra understanding regarding their kitten colds and vowed to nurse them back to health. Unfortunately all of my kittens had come down with an upper respiratory virus just like toddlers in a daycare but our adopters are so selfless and forgiving that they look past their watery eyes and sneezing and take them home anyways. I am happy to report that Minnie and Prince Harry, now renamed Daisy and Dash, are very happy, healthy and taking over their house!!!

*Prince Harry & William in the shelter before*

*Minnie before*

*Daisy and Dash in their new digs!!*

Prince Charlie also found his forever home with an amazing young couple who already had a 4 year old cat at home. They were looking for a fun, active and mischievious little boy for their home and Charlie definitely fit the bill! I warned the couple that their resident cat "Sydney" would not be too thrilled with this little brat taking over her territory and they laighed knowing it was the truth. Thankfully Sydney and Charlie, now re-named Jack, are slowly getting used to each other and Jack is having a great time playing with all his new toys!

*Charlie on death row*

*Now a happy, healthy and extremely lucky Jack!!*

I am so grateful to the adopters I had met last week and those that have come forward to rescue a stray, abandoned or home cat/kitten during this month. My co-workers/friends also adopted out their foster kittens which is just fantastic!! Over 200 for November is just incredible and has given so much room for more to be rescued and saved just in time for the holiday season! Lets hope my little Rocky will be next!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Preaching To The Choir

I know I am most likely preaching to the choir here, however, I do want to remind everyone to bring their reusable bags with them while shopping. It doesn't matter if you are purchasing many items while grocery shopping (as my dad is showing us here) or one thing at the your part and avoid plastic and throwaway bags! A little goes a long way! :0)


Now This Is Something I Can jam Too!

Thanks Jack Johnson!! We look forward to more mini-vids!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Tinkles (and a friend) Saved!

*Tinkles alive and safe!*

*So happy to be free!*

Last night I received the final "ok" that I was allowed to go to my local high-kill shelter and rescue the gorgeous little girl I saw being surrendered over a week ago. Thankfully the shelter staff knew I was trying to get her out so they didn't euthanize her the last three "vet days" and I am so thrilled to say she is now safe, warm and happy in a TCR foster home! Along with "Tinkles" I was able to rescue another little girl that has been on death row for the past two weeks. The shelter staff named her "Puggles" and she is such an affectionate kitten with the most stunning coat. Her markings are so unique and I know she will be adopted immediately once her two week quarantine period is up! I already received an update from her foster home tonight:

"Hi Nicole
Just wanted you to know that Puggles has settled in beautifully already. She is playful, affectionate, gentle and vocal. I think that she will do fine with my other cat and dogs as she is quite confideant. I can't wait until the two week quarantine is over! She has a wonderful temperment and I know fostering her will be so rewarding. I am thinking of a new name for her - something that is fitting for such a beautiful little girl with the auburn markings. I will let you know. Meeting her - I am astounded anyone could surrender such a loving kitten. Thanks for saving her - I will take wonderful care of her."


*I just LOVE her coat*

I am sorry I find it so amusing that foster homes thank ME when in reality I am forever indebted to THEM for saving these babies. Without foster homes there would be no rescue and no rescue means a lot more precious lives lost. I can sleep well tonight!!


Better Late Than Never!

This past August, while at downtown Toronto's annual CNE Exhibition, I came across a city sponsored "Water Bottle Refill Station". According to my friend, who works for the city of Toronto, almost every public event that takes place downtown has these stations set up to promote re-suable water bottles, our safe tap water and of course wean people off the plastic! I, amongst many others, took advantage of this 'station' and refilled my stainless steel water bottle, saved $4.00 (the cost of Dasani water at the CNE) and prevented yet another plastic water bottle from entering the landfill. I am very proud of my hometown for incorporating such a useful and future-forward idea in one of the greatest & greenest cities in the world! Thanks T.O!!!