Tag Archives: Environment

Happy New Year 2015!


Hqppy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

May this year bring you the promise of the rising sun and the hopes realized of all with whom we share this beautiful planet. – Fay Meling

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Happy New Year 2014! A plan for the present moment


Happy New Year! My New Year’s started off on a great note. I fell asleep after putting the kids to bed, and didn’t wake up until this morning! Gah!!

So much for planning to celebrate with my hubby by the fireplace at the stroke of midnight!

Having children has taught me to really let go of set schedules and imperfections…even when events which disrupt my plans initially produce feelings of disappointment or discontent. Like any other major life change that requires our full attention (a birth, a death, a separation, an injury or illness, etc), raising young children requires a considerable amount of effort that we often neglect to acknowledge when we’re still in the midst of it all.

The last week brought many unexpected surprises that completely through our Christmas plans for a loop. First, most of our city suffered a power outage after the ice storm that hit just a few days before Christmas. We were so fortunate to have a gas stove and fireplace at least which we willingly shared with our neighbours. Then, a few days later and still in the dark, we braved another misadventure. Under a fantastic little headlamp, we cleaned up projectile vomit from our 4 year old and later our 6 year old that hit the blankets, beds and walls. Even our 1 year old was not immune to this virus, but thankfully she didn’t start until 36 hours later. The dinner we had planned for Christmas Eve? Pouff! Gone. Christmas Day dinner with family at a friend’s house? Also gone. We ended up eating cold pizzas under candlelight and wishing the holiday from $%^*& would just end. When not dealing with sick kids, the days were spent cleaning out the fridge, and cleaning up debris from all the branches that had fallen outside. There were nice moments as well that made the experience less trying….like friendly neighbours helping one another or coming into chat by the fire (before the kids got sick!); and also the beautiful yet tragic aftermath of the ice storm that left tree branches bent over or on the ground, coated in a thick clear, impenetrable ice.

And then, after 3 days without power, the electricity and heat returned, and a good 5 days after that, our children’s health finally returned. So things eventually turned out ok, after all! But it did made me realize how very dependent our plans are to our surrounding environment and situation. Pushing to achieve what you’d planned on a certain day, may be spinning your wheels needlessly. Sometimes you just have to accept the situation you’re placed in and get down to the real business at hand!

So this year, I still PLAN to:

a) get back in shape with a former workout routine involving qigong, running, cycling, swimming, and skiing

b) get back to healthier eating: eat less, drink more (and whenever possible choose whole, simple foods whose production is easy on the environment and our body)

c) be more fun around my kids (less work, more laughter and play!)

d) be a better partner (listen with a soft heart to my husband, and create a supportive and nurturing environment for us both to grow professionally as well as a  loving couple)

e) be present for my extended family (set aside time to help my mum and my siblings more)

f) create the practice of my dreams (this is a biggy, but I’m working on it!)

But if things don’t fall into neat little time slots or events, I will not spend more than is necessary to dwell on it. I will simply MOVE on 🙂

May this year bring you all that you could wish for and more and may the little things make you truly happy.

Love,
M.

 

 

 

What if we could save the planet? Eco-friendly pitfalls and pickups from one parent to another


Last night, I thought about how I’ve been respecting the earth lately. Truthfully, I was not impressed.

I have always had more eco-friendly ‘leanings’. Anyone who is remotely tuned in to the state of the environment is too. Here’s a debriefer, if you need to review: http://www.greenfacts.org/en/digests/state-of-the-environment.htm

Foodwise? I was a vegetarian bordering on a vegan in my university years, and a pescatarian up until the birth of my second child. And now? It’s a real mix I tell you!! No red meat for me, however.

For transportation? Rode my bike wherever I went, took the subway, carpooled my rowing crew (I sure do miss that crew!).

Clothing? Bought my clothes at Kensington Market in high school (the trendy place downtown to shop for used items). Reduced, reused, recycled when possible.

Fast forward to my child-bearing and child-rearing years and what has happened? Of course I’ve maintained my passion for eco-friendly living. But there have been really significant compromises. We’ve done the cloth diapers, the infant pottying, the hand-me down clothing, the eating local and organic. I’m currently doing my best to stick with non-toxic cleaning agents for the home and environmentally friendly moisturizers, cleansers, deodorants, and shampoos for us. The most eco-friendly of the ecoshampoos do leave some product residue, but all-in-all I’m willing to make a few sacrifices for the sake of the earth. David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green has these helpful tips on green cleaning products if you’re interested in adopting a few: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/

Of all this, I am pleased.

Now to the disheartening part. We’ve also done disposable wipes and diapers (for the times when we’ve run out of clean cloth diapers because we fell off the cleaning schedule), the school drop off and pick ups for the kids in a car that ‘resembles’ an SUV, the cool outings that you can only get to by burning that liquid gold to keep the kids entertained, or show them ‘nature’ not seen elsewhere. The countless dinners wasted on picky, picky eaters. More water consumption with additional laundry loads. Disposable cups, plates, utensils, at a park or big party venue with frosted cupcakes and instant pizza delivery. Over-packaged baby mum mums and granola bars. Over-processed foods for immediate consumption when the family is just plain hungry already, three kids are melting down, and there are mountains of chores still left to do before dinner.

The truth is, having kids makes being eco-friendly exponentially more challenging. Even if you are not a parent, the life we all live right now is a fast-paced and overburdened one. If I were going to be the person I need to be to really do my part, I would definitely need to do some prep work after the kids have gone to bed, in addition to what I already do to keep afloat for the next day. ‘Cause otherwise, we’ll just be heading to that terrible Golden Arches drive-through again on our mad rush to the next XYZ class. But the truth is, we are all just plain tired. Tired!! And cranky. Yesterday was especially an evening to forget. And that does not bode well for helping out our planet these days. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep trying.

Teaching the next generation to respect their environment is no longer enough. We really have to be part of the solution so that they can inherit a world full of promise. So today, I am challenging myself (and anyone else out there who thinks they’re up for it) to take on a day (or even two or more!) where you consider what you’ve done to help out your ‘mother’. Mother Earth that is. A day to walk rather than drive. A day to eat local, organic, a little less of the foods that burden our sacred lands. A day to use less water. Less electricity. Do we really need ALL this ‘power’? A day to pause on how we can teach our children to really love this planet we’ve been given and walk the talk. Will we one day rise up to the challenge and really be the stewards that the planet needs to survive? Here’s hoping.

-m.

 

For more on how your diet affects the earth, you can find some enlightening resources here:

http://www.ceeonline.org/greenGuide/food/upload/environmenthealth.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_meat_production

 

How transportation affects the environment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_transport

 

Another blog about eco-friendly parenting:

http://www.ecofriendlyparenting.net/

-m.

Kasama-Yaki (Made in Kasama)


Follow the life of two potters Katsuji and Shigeko Kokubo and how they and the people of Japan have been affected by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation disasters in this beautiful documentary filmed by their talented daughter, Yuki Kokubo. Please share with your friends and also consider making a donation by clicking on this link:

http://kck.st/wlFez3

by March 31, 2012 so that she can receive additional funding through www.kickstarter.com to complete her project. – Fay Meling

SYNOPSIS

The triple disasters of March 11, 2011, shook Japan to its core. It claimed over 18,000 lives, with 3,000 still missing. Many thousands were displaced by the tsunami, and those who lived near the Fukushima nuclear reactors will probably never return home. It has been a year since the disasters but the people of Japan are still coping with the emotional trauma of that day. The disasters brought forth many truths about the power of nature, the limitations of the government, and the unpredictable nature of life. “Kasama-Yaki” is an intimate portrait of two potters, Katsuji and Shigeko Kokubo, filmed by their daughter, Yuki. Heartfelt conversational interviews are woven throughout the film, as they reflect on life, death, family, and art. The film is a journey into the minds of two individuals whose outlooks were inevitably touched by the disasters, and a glimpse into the heart of Japan. 

http://kck.st/wlFez3