You get to witness my first ever guest post. Jon
and I did a trade. I make a post for his blog
, and he makes one for mine. Jon is the resident Sustainability Guy where I work. I'm not sure if that's his official title but it may as well be.
Maybe this will be a regular feature for me. If you would like to make a guest post, or do a post swap, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you seen the piano stairs video? Really? Are you serious, cause it’s posted like everywhere. I even added a link from my Facebook account. Anyways you should take a look because it is pretty awesome and it reveals one of my big pet peeves; lazy stairs people.
Allow me to preface with my list of annoying lazy people things. First are people who take the elevator when they could easily take the stairs, next are people use the handicapped button to open doors, then it’s people who don’t turn off their computers at night, and finally people who stand still on the escalator.
Each is especially annoying in its own magic way (Seriously you can’t open the door with your hands? Cause the more you use the handicapped button for your own lazy purposes the more you increase the likelihood that it will break when a person who really needs it comes by – Or standing on the escalator? I know it isn’t the biggest crime in the world but if you don’t have a mobility issue what’s the point? I mean it is technically taking longer to just stand there than to walk up or down the stairs you realize). But what bugs me the most, more than the fact that it is a real sign of la-zi-ness, is the fact that it gobbles up energy.
Interlude - I want it to be known that I recognize the legitimate need to use an elevator. As I alluded to earlier, mobility issues, fatigue, travelling more than 3 stories, I get that; but using an elevator to go one or two floors (especially down) is simply too much. I was at a party a couple of weeks ago and this issue came up. A guest admitted that one of his great triumphs came from an elevator encounter. He was on his way up to something like the tenth floor when some people got off on the second floor. As the elevator doors closed he shouted out “Really sucks when the stairs are broken, eh?”. Classic.
Sorry, I really had to get that out. Anyways, I would love to calculate the amount of energy that is being consumed so that this ridiculously heavy metal box can carry up two flights of stairs. If ever there was a waste of resources, this is it. The sheer magnitude of environmental degradation that is inflicted on the planet to draw oil out from the ground just so that you avoid a little bit of cardio is mindboggling.
I would really love to have these piano stairs installed on the U of O campus. I know we don’t really have any escalators to speak of but getting people off the elevator is totally worth the installation cost of these stairs. I am just saying, people really need to start taking responsibility for the amount of energy they waste needlessly. And if we can also give people some much needed exercise during the day, I am all for it.
On this day:
In 2008 -
In 2007 -
In 2006 -
In 2005 -
The government is accepting comments on the proposed law to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides
If you are an Ontario resident, you have until May 22 to submit your comments
Here's what I wrote:I fully support a ban on pesticide use and sale for cosmetic purposes. I hope
that this extends to residences, public (parks) and private (golf courses)
spaces as well as spaces owned by the cities such as along highways.
I would encourage that cities be permitted to add more rigorous guidelines
should they choose to and that provisions be put in place to add new pesticides
and herbicides to the list of prohibited substances.
I encourage you to send in your comments and to have your voice heard.
Over the past few days I've noticed something fairly odd and mildly disturbing in various places across the city. there are many trees, shrubs and bushes - all different types - that have been stripped of their bark from approximately 24" off the ground.
Some of the ones I've walked closely by have a puddle of bark shards strewn about their bases. Maybe it's because there was so much snow piled around them for so long?
It creeps me out.
ANTM last night was RIDICULOUS! Tyra was on a rampage with
- refusing to even attempt to pronounce someone's name correctly
- making everything about her
- speaking in fake Italian or horrible renditions of an Italian accent
I could REALLY go for a nice cappuccino with a dash of cinnamon right now... In a real mug, not a take out one. I guess I could always order a decaf...
On this day:In 2007
- pain is from 100% pure ROCKING OUTIn 2006
- I'll only go if I'm specifically invitedIn 2005
- By big sprawling tattoo
I've decided to tackle the issue of junk mail at our house. It comes in 2 forms:
My first stop was to go on the Canada Post website and see if there is an option to not get it delivered (not all unaddressed junk mail is delivered by the postal service, but about a third of ours is) but there was no such option so I googled "no junk mail Canada".
So apparently, Canada Post will only not deliver unaddressed junk mail if you clearly label your mail box. Well Canada Post delivers my mail to one of these:
So how am I supposed to label that? I think they deliver from the back so maybe I'll super-tape a piece of paper that hangs down from the top so they see it as they put the mail in.
I'm also going to put labels on the mailbox by our front door so that no flyers or local businesses leave their junk there.
If I still get unaddressed junk I will do one of two things.
- Those that have a postage paid return envelope will be getting it back, full of other junk mail.
- I'll put it right back into the mail box. Canada post wants to give me junk? Fine. I'll give them the junk right back.
For addressed junk mail the first thing I did was fill out the Do Not Contact form here: CMA
It takes 6-8 weeks to be taken off the list and you need to do it again once a year.
Next I will make sure to contact whatever companies have targeted me and get them to stop (they legally have to in Canada, but it can take about 8 weeks to be taken off the list). I get a lot of pre-approved credit card stuff so I'll take the prepaid return envelope, detach the address label they used to send it to me and write"Do not solicit" along with the date and signature on it. If I send that back, they legally have to stop. I'll cancel any catalogues that come in using their 1-800 number or the website on the ordering page.
Do you have any more tips for reducing how much junk mail makes it to your recycle bin?
On this day:In 2006
- I recount the meat cleaver incident.In 2005
- I am obviously an ass-hole. I'm working on it.
I'm feeling kind of frantic.
Tomorrow, our real estate agent is coming over and our house is pretty much a disaster. There's so much to do to make it presentable!
I'd do it after work today but a coworker/friend is coming over for dinner then we are heading over to Brent's gig and I'm sure I won't be home before 11. I feel it is rather rude to clean while guests are over.
Things that I REALLY need to do:
- Lots of laundry. I'm wearing the last of my clean clothes today so that means I have a few loads of clothes as well as some blankets and towels that have been piling up in the basement.
- iron the duvet cover
- Before I can even put my laundry away, I need to sort out the dresser because nothing fits.
- Clean the cat box
- make dinner/clean up after
- put the chair pieces somewhere inconspicuous
- tidy the bathrooms
- make the bed in the guest room
- put the duvet cover on our bed
I figure I can do SOME of this stuff while she's over like, tidy up the bathroom while I'm peeing, or cleaning the kitchen WHILE I cook. Throw some laundry in while I go down to feed the cat
On another note, I got a new footrest at work today and I feel good about that.
I came across some nice non-toxic paint HERE
. There are some really great neutrals in there and this muted colours would kick ass in that house. VERILY
On this day:
- A million photos, don't believe me? Count them!In 2005
- Pie time
I'd like to start this post by quoting from another blog post I luckily came across today:
feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests — feminist n or adj — feministic adj Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Yes, you are....Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It's more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it's exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you've got a vagina. In the end, it's not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don't want anyone to think that you don't shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with "but not, you know, that kind of feminist" because you don't want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn't make you a "bad" feminist — that only "liking" the wage gap makes you a "bad" feminist, because "bad" does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can't grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for "feminism" doesn't say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it's their problem.
I urge you to read the whole thing HERE
Point the second: ANTM I watched it last night, as I am wont to do. I was struck by how most of it revolved around the contestant with Asperger's. I was discouraged that her housemates were pretty ignorant and made no effort to get to know her at all. Or at least it was edited that way.
This morning, I came across a post on this very topic which I found very interesting. Here's an excerpt:
...Later on, on America’s Next Top Model (guilty pleasure) one of the contestants, Heather, has Aspergers syndrome, and it was the topic of a lot of the show tonight (mostly the other contestants hating and whispering about her). This is very interesting to me. America’s Next Top Model has previously been the site of nuanced representations of individual experiences (among other things–there are a variety of things wrong with ANTM and various things Tyra has said that I’m not going into here). Where else on TV do you find a woman telling her own story about being half-Persian with a strict father, and feeling alienated from his side of the family? When have you ever seen a person candidly talk about feeling trapped by gender binaries on TV, but on ANTM? How often, on TV, does someone come out to their parents and recieve a sweet, supportive response? I have often been impressed by the expressions of specific individual experiences represented on ANTM; impressed because you just don’t see this on TV...
Read the rest HERE
This is something that I really hadn't considered before. That despite ANTM's shallowness and other fallacies, it brings attention to human differences in a realistic, relatable way. Previously, I thought of these contestants as tokens to somehow increase drama and ratings. Maybe I was being too cynical?
Point the third: I was reading one of those eco-friendly blogs I like and came across a company that sells organic dresses. Some of them are quite lovely and imagine my surprise when I realized who the model was...CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT...
On this day:In 2006
- Another 3 point post and a wonderful WONDERFUL quote from SuperheroIn 2005
- Some super-awesome rantiness. I LOVE IT.
Last night Brent and I went to the Bodyshop to check out their new home fragrances for summer. While we were there I decided to pick up some shampoo and a bar of soap since I needed them and it would save me a trip to the Natural Food Pantry
I chose the Olive Glossing Shampoo
and a bar of olive soap
. I used the soap for my face last night and it was wonderful. I didn't even need moisturizer for the typically dry spots.
I was a bit put off by the "Against Animal Testing" label on the shampoo because it seems that it should
read "Not tested on animals" but it is explained
on their site. I then went on to read the ingredients and was a bit weirded out. I didn't recognize most of the substances on the label. Although I've never bought a biodegradable/'green' shampoo before so I don't know how it compares.
Again I went to their website for clarification
. It seems they are trying to reduce manufacturing waste/emissions/pollution but they don't mention anything about making the products themselves sustainable. After this shampoo is used I'll definitely be heading over to NFP to compare their hair products.
On this day:In 2006
- A funny comic and a post about soda.In 2005
- I am capable of opening doors for myself and books I still don't have
This is where I will put the information I gather on the topic.Aveda Spas
- Products not tested on animals. Are "natural" but ingredients are not listed online. You must request the list for each product which seems shifty.Oresta Organics
- A small local spa using organic and synthetic-free products which is owned and run by one woman. Supports local business and healthy products (hat tip to ossobucco
for the link)
On this day:In 2006
- Tyrone steals my laptop and uploads photosIn 2005
- A rant
This Saturday my mom treated me to a pedicure at a nice spa downtown. We started with a warm foot bath, some kind of scrub product, another lotion. That was floowed by a base cat, 2 coats of OPI polish, another top coat and then some mink oil to accellerate the drying time.
The massage was wonderful, the women who did the work were great and my feet look real good.
A while ago I found a site that shows the toxicity of various brands of cosmetics and OPI was the most toxic of all the polishes I would link but I don't remember what community I found the link in). Learning that the aerosol sprayed on my feet was the essence of a dead rodent made me want to run away (and I did as it was the end of the treatment0. I don't have the faintest idea what was in the foot bath, the scrub or the lotion but I'm fairly certain that it wasn't biodegrable nor non-toxic.
Yesterday I was reading a news article which stated that people absorb approximately 5 pounds of chemicals into their bodies per year through cosmetics (lotions, make up, conditioner etc).
More and more lately I have been concerned about what was being applied to my body. The staff doesn't really know. They are given products to use through deals with companies and are trained to push sales on them.
Going to a spa or the salon isn't cheap and I don't do it often but how much of that $60 pedicure actually went to the woman doing the work? The only amount I can be sure of is the tip.
If it were available, I would love to go to a spa or salon that uses environmentally friendly products and paid it's staff a decent wage. I wonder if we even have such a thing in this city. I'll start looking.
Saturday we went over to some friend's place for dinner. They have a brightly painted house interior which is refreshing. Anyways, in their front door and window they had a sign stating their house uses green energy and Brent and I are currently looking into making the switch. I have to dig out our last bill and see what the cost difference would be and if we can afford it, which we probably can.
Here's the info. Bullfrog Power
It's an Ontario company so many of you are eligible for it.
Ater dinner we went out bowling as an 8-some and I sucked the most. My best score was 98 but I blame the fact that were were playing children's bowling (5 pin) as opposed to adult bowling (10 pin).
THEN, being St-Patrick's Day, someone decided we should try a pub that had opened that day, that happened to be in an industrial park. It was SO BAD. I won't even get in to how bad it was but let's just say that we left after 5 minutes and chilled at a house. We are all homeowners anyways, why bother going to a pub?
Brent has decided to revisit vegetarianism. That's col with me since I rarely cook with meat. I still haven't decided whether or not I'll order meat if we go out. I know the last time I stopped eating meat I felt so much better within my body than I ever had before. I honestly can't remember how/why I started eating it again. Probably because it tastes good.
Anyways, no more cooking meat for me (I have two plump chicken thighs in the freezer though...maybe I'll save those for the next time Brent goes out of town as it would be a shame to waste them). I'm always looking at cooking blogs but if you have a favorite vegetarian recipe, share it!
On this day -