Happy Earth Day!!

Earth Day coincides with Day 7 of the Conservation Challenge, and also Good Friday!

I’ve been off-line for the past few nights in order to earn my “electronics-free night” points.  It’s been quite nice, having some extra motivation to avoid wasting time flipping through channels or absently surfing sites.

Yesterday I arrived at school at the same time as one of my students, who rolled in on her bike, together with her dad.  So nice to see!  I commended her and told her I hoped the bike-riding would continue once the “points” are gone.  We have so many bike racks in front of our school, and sadly they are so rarely used.

I attended another “green event” last night at the Evergreen Brick Works.  I’d been meaning to visit this market for years and somehow never managed to get myself there. Walking in I again felt that “coming home” feeling similar to how I feel every year at the Green Living Show. I’m looking forward to returning to visit the Farmer’s Market which takes place on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

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Green Living Show

Ahhh the Green Living Show! I look forward to this every year … There’s just something about it that always inspires me, from finding a new product to listening to a great speaker.  So here are some of my favourite things from this year’s show.  I think I will need a few posts for this one, so we will start with “Food and Drink:”

1. Liberte Organic Greek Yogourt – Liberte
I’ve been buying Liberte’s regular yogourt for years, and had recently seen the new Greek-style variety in stores, but was reluctant to buy a whole tub just to try it out.  So luckily I was able to sample some at the store, and mmmmm I think it’s safe to say that once you go Greek you’ll never go back!  It is so incredibly creamy and rich yet fat-free.  Another big nutritional selling feature is the high protein content.  My favourite was the vanilla which charted in at 140 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 16 grams of sugar per 75 gram serving.  There was another yogourt vendor close by … I’m pretty sure theirs had more sugar per serving.

2. botl filter – Portable Water Filter System – botl filter
I loved how small and waste-minimal this gadget was.  It consisted of a stainless steel tube into which one would insert a tea-bag sized filter bag.  Drop it into water, shake and voila, filtering is done!

3. Farm Fresh Fare – literally everything I tried was amazing, but in particular I will focus on two vendors, both of whom also presented their creations at the cooking stage:  Marben restaurant and Mill Street Brewery.  Mill Street I’ve been familiar with for years — one of my favourite beers is their organic lager.  They also have an excellent coffee beer.  Between now and Earth Day, Mill Street is donating 50 cents from every beer sold at participating restaurants to Earth Day Canada.  See their site for details.

As for Marben  I was really won over by chef Carl Heinrich and his colleague.  I loved how they presented their approach to their business:  find the best ingredients first, and then build the menu around them.  Carl was supposed to make a chilled vegan soup but apparently forgot his blender, so made a beef burger instead.  I found Carl’s honest admission quite hilarious and I wonder if the vegans in the crowd did as well. Funnier yet is the fact that I’ve been almost entirely avoiding beef for years (details later) but when I watched Carl prepare this burger … oh my … I did eat one tiny juicy unbelievably wonderful piece.  I can’t wait to visit their restaurant.

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Every year I engage my grade four students in a two week challenge to do as many “green” tasks as they can.  The idea being that after the two weeks are over, they will have established some new habits that they will carry forwards with them.  Or so I hope!  The suggested tasks range from the relatively easy and obvious like turning off lights when not needed, and using a reusable water bottle to more challenging activities such as attending community events and writing letters to businesses or politicians with suggestions or questions.  For each task I assign “points” – for example, five points for bringing your bottle to school or packing a litter-less lunch, or 15 points for attending a “green” event.

I do the challenge along with them, and although “creating a blog” wasn’t technically one of the tasks I offered up to the kids, it’s one I thought would be appropriate for my own challenge.  Hmm … how many points should I give myself? 🙂  Perhaps just a glass of (organic) wine!

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