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This is Mr. Darcy who lives in Barbados with his owner Sydney. This is a helpful tip from such a warm place. Thanks! 

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Eco Friendly Shower


*Picture by Alex France

With summer almost upon us we will be sweating more and will be spending more time showering. But it’s no secret that showers can be a huge water waster. Here are some tips on making your shower a little more eco friendly.

The 5 Minute Shower
You can start by cutting down the time you spend in the shower. Preferably down to 5 minutes. That should be enough time to get what you want done, done.

I personally know the joys of long showers, the time to think, pampering yourself, but it’s definitely not worth all that wasted water! Use the extra time out of the shower meditating or pampering yourself in other ways.

Shower with a Bucket
When you take a shower consider taking a bucket in with you.
With the water that falls into the bucket able to do double duty!
This water can be used to flush the toilet or even water your garden.
Make sure you aren’t using chemical laden soap products which is a good idea even if you aren’t using the bucket.

Shower Less
Okay I know this one may seem a little gross but you can still stay fresh without jumping in the shower. Consider using dry shampoo or baking soda (surprise) to prevent your hair from getting too oily. If you are sweating too much consider using baby wipes, and then a spritz of essential oil to keep you smelling and feeling great.

Pilot knows everything about the environment

Pilot knows everything about the environment

House Hunting is No “Small” Feat

For the past several weeks I’ve been occupied with finding a new place to stay; my lease is up and it’s time to move to the city – exciting, I know.  My roommates and I aren’t looking for anything too fancy, although it’s got to be near a subway station, it needs to be clean, and on-site laundry is a must.  So far, the hunt for housing has been promising, but recently I stumbled across the perfect home: the M-CH.

The M-CH stands for Micro Compact Home – it is an ergonomically designed, 2.2 tonne, solar paneled cube.  It measures 2.6m x 2.6m x 2.6m, and comes with everything I need – shower, toilet, microwave, fridge, stove top, sink, and bed.  With space set aside for a flatscreen TV, and a slide-out table, the M-CH is the perfect bachelor pad.  Check it out for yourself at microcompacthome.com!

In all seriousness, I won’t be moving into a micro compact home anytime soon, although I won’t rule it out for the future – it would especially make a great lakeside pad for summer weekends.  However, I don’t just think the M-CH is cool because of the novelty of the idea, but for several other reasons as well.  I really dig the idea of efficiency, and the compact home is definitely that.  Its solar panels are especially handy in that regard, but imagine how little heating or air conditioning it would require for a space so small? Not very much, as you can imagine.  There are even models of the home that are made to have even lower carbon emissions than the current model.

The environmental friendliness factors aside, the M-CH also forces the inhabitant to do something that is becoming less and less common – take a hike, literally. In a decent sized apartment, condo, or house, it’s harder to feel cramped up – especially with our iPads, laptops, and video games easily at hand.  With such a small space, however, we’re forced to consider: Hmmm, I could probably go for some fresh air right now…   I don’t know about you, but anything that forces me to get some fresh air can not be a bad thing.

So the apartment hunting continues for now, and I cross my fingers I’ll come across a place I even get half as excited for as the micro compact home. Come to think of it though, I’m sure my roommates will be happy about the extra space a normal apartment provides.

-Phil

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Kaitlyn’s adorable new puppy Arial from Toronto knows all about wasting-not! Image

Kids Parties: Loot Bags


*Photo Credit: Ayla87

If you’re a parent no doubt at some point or another you’ve received or given a loot bag for a kids party. Loot bags can easily become the biggest form of after party waste along with some concerning toxins in cheap toys.

A typical loot bag will contain tons of little candies as well as small plastic toys. When it comes to small candies you are often left with a pile of wrappers. Sometimes unwanted candies end up in the garbage as well.

On top of the garbage left behind by candy, the toys that come in the loot bags often become clutter and the garbage. Usually they are so cheap they break within an hour. If they don’t break, the toys are so simple your child may abandon it after two hours. Even worse still, cheap toys made of plastic often run the risk of being filled with chemicals from dye and plastic.

So what are you to do when your kids next birthday roles around? It’s so customary to give a loot bag it’s not only disappointing for the kids, some parents even fear judgment from other parents. While you want to make it as waste free you probably also want to keep the cost down.

Working at a party store I have heard many suggestions for loot bags and have seen many choices.
Some parents are opting to give small gift cards of $5 to Malls or even local toy shops like Mastermind.
You could even consider giving one good quality toy.

If you are at the party store and can’t be bothered with shopping around and don’t like the 1 gift idea here are some other tips:
-Skip the candy. With chocolate there are peanut scares, and what kid needs even more candy?
-Consider the usefulness of the toys. Pencils, pencil crayons, notebooks, and pencil sharpeners are all things for school.
-Instead of filling plastic bags, consider using sand pails or lunch boxes which make great gifts on their own.