Sunday, September 27, 2009

The End of a Blog (for now)

Well, despite my good intentions, I haven't been able to keep up with the blog on any kind of regular basis since I started teaching. I have high hopes that as I get my classes under control, I'll be able to start up again, but for now I think it's more important that I focus on my lesson planning and on trying to keep in touch with some friends and family.

I'll still be living a green lifestyle (we walked to the grocery store today!) and I'll still be reading books looking for more ideas to incorporate. I may well post book reviews or cool ideas on here on a sporadic basis. If you'd like to keep up to date with any blog posts, I'd suggest subscribing using an RSS reader. I use Google Reader and I've found it to be very simple, and a great way to keep up with the blogs I read.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Food Waste Friday - on Sunday!

Sorry for the lateness of Food Waste Friday, it's been a busy weekend so far!

I'm not too disappointed in my waste this week. There's a bit of Chilean Dal, which might have still been ok, but frankly I've eaten a lot of it and it wasn't that great to start with. There's also some celery. We have a real problem using celery up before it goes bad. We do a bit better if we clean and chop it all at once, but even then we just end up with some cleaned and chopped celery going slimy in a pool of water.

I am going to be doing something to reduce waste tonight though. It's the start of the massive garbage nights in my area, when you can throw out as much and as large an item as you want to. Which means it's also time to see about a Landfill Rescue! I'll let you know if I find anything.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Green Birthday Presents

Yesterday was my birthday! Given that I now blog about being green, that could make gift-giving a little harder. Luckily my husband was up to the challenge. The most important part of being a green gift is that the recipient will actually use/want the gift. Frankly, that's fairly important for any successful gift. In my case, he went with a combination of practical and fun. For practical gifts, I needed a new pair of running shoes and I'd been putting it off for awhile (I don't really like shopping that much). So, since it was a birthday gift I had no choice but to go out and pick up a pair, and I'm glad that I have them now, my old ones were definitely used up!

My fun gift came from the liquor store. :) I'm a big fan of apple cider, and I've mostly always drunk Strongbow or Blackthorn. Both are imported from England, but they were the best choices available at the LCBO. However, it looks like cider is gaining in popularity, and the choices have expanded as well. Last month I discovered County Cider from Picton, ON and was very happy with the taste, and the fact that Picton is a lot closer than England. Proving that he pays attention, and that he reads my blog, my husband picked up four bottles. Another great thing about this cider is that it comes in refillable bottles, so there's never any waste. One's chilling in the fridge right now, getting ready for the weekend.

So, that's my advice for giving green gifts. 1. Make them useful gifts 2. Make them local products.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School!

This was my first day as a teacher and I'd like to have an ecological feel to my classroom(s). I've quickly realized that paper free is NOT possible in our school. The idea of doing a lot of work on the computers is great, but not when you have two computers and 27 students!

I think what I'm going to do to try and reduce paper usage is a) a lot of group work and b) a dedicated duotang for each student where they must place their papers as soon as they receive them. One thing I noticed in my practice teaching is that a class of 30 students can somehow go through 50 copies of the same handout! I'm hoping that by me keeping the duotangs at school for the most part, they'll stay organized and complete. It's horrible when you give a handout, and then find them all over the hallway! I'm also hoping that once the students know that there are no extra handouts, they'll be more careful of the ones they have. I figure the first time they have to copy a handout onto lined paper themselves will encourage them to keep their handouts!

I'd also like to find some articles/books that the students can read on their own that have an environmental theme. I'm sure I'll come up with a few more ideas as the year progresses, but if you have any, feel free to email me or leave a comment!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Food Waste Friday

Sigh. Another Friday, another day of food waste. This week I'm guilty of neglecting my produce.

The green pepper started liquefying when I picked it up, there's fuzzy green spots on the pears, and the apple is nasty. The only one I don't feel bad about is the apple...that batch was flavourless and mushy to start with, so I wasn't inspired to eat it. Unfortunately the green pepper and pears are victims of good intentions with no real plan. Since I hope to start menu planning this week, hopefully we'll be able to avoid that kind of waste next week!

You can check out the other participants in Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl. I see a number of them had better weeks than I did!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quality of Life...and Blog!

Now that I'm working as a teacher full time, I'm finding I don't have as much time in the evenings anymore, and I suspect it'll get worse when the students start next week! Since I'd like to avoid writing little posts without much value, I'm going to go from six posts a weeks on average, to three or four. Hopefully that will let me focus on my students, keep inspired for a green lifestyle, and still see my husband every once in a while!

One post that is definitely staying around will be the Food Waste Fridays. As a sneak peak, I can tell you that since I haven't been making a concerted effort with menu planning and food waste this week, it's going to show in the picture! I'm definitely going to need the accountability/embarrassment of the pictures to keep me on track.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Green Product: Glass Straws

I'm all about being green, but I'm not sure I'd go this far to eliminate my use of plastics. Introducing the GlassDharma, the green alternative to the plastic drinking straw. The idea of trading in plastic straws for a straw made of it really that much greener? Even though we'd be reducing by re-using a glass straw, the resources that go into making the glass straw, the specialized cleaning brush, and the protective case (hemp or bamboo) along with the fact that you have to clean the straw after every've got to remember that that all takes energy, even if it's not petroleum based.

I like to use a straw at least as much as the next person - some drinks just taste better through a straw, though I can never convince my husband of that fact! However, if I ever get concerned enough with the environmental impact of my straw usage, I think I'll just start cutting back instead of switching to a glass straw. :)