World Water Day – March 22

I have been away for a bit and it seems like we are getting into the environmental season – spring.  Tomorrow is World Water Day, which I just found out existed today.  I will consciously try to conserve every drop of water tomorrow.  If you are looking for activities in your area or things you can do, the Council of Canadians has an extensive website. 

Another special day coming up is Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 pm.  I am ahead of the game on this one and World Wildlife Fund – Canada has set up a website for people to get involved.  I have signed up for the event, but I realized that I will be out that evening.  So I will need to heavily co-ordinate my family.  I wonder if the girls will go for no night light in order to help the planet?

The other thing I found out about is a new search engine called Forestle that helps save the rain forest while you search.  I have switched over from google, and now do rain forest searches.  So fun!

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Published in: on March 22, 2009 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Organic Foods

On a week by week basis, I have been trying to incorporate more organic food into our household.  Yes, it is more expensive, but I think it is an important way to vote with my dollars for helping create a larger organic market.

Organic farming builds healthier, more fertile soil without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, as well as through incorporating crop rotation.  It prevents the erosion of topsoil.  It lowers greenhouse gas emissions and conserves energy.  It keeps toxic substances out of nearby water sources.  (The excess nitrogen that makes its way to the ocean has created “dead zones“.  These are low oxygen areas of coastal waters where marine life is literally suffocated.  There are 150 of these zones in the world’s oceans.)  It ensures that no antibiotics, genetic engineering, cloning, sewage sludge or irridation (using x-rays to sterilize food) are used in the production of the food.  It avoids the use of intense feedlots or factory farms for raising animals.  It can protect us from the adverse health effects of pesticides, as well as farmers and farm workers.

Should we be concerned about the pesticides and fertilizers?  Here is a list of a few of the ingredients found in some of them: nitrates, arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and dioxin.  The dangers become the fact that most of these are persistent (don’t disappear), bioaccumulative (stored in the fatty tissues), and are toxic.  Not all produce absorbs the chemicals to the same degree.  To see what fruits and vegetables we should be wary of check out the dirty dozen list done by the Environmental Working Group.  I live in peach country, and that is NUMBER ONE on the list!!  What am I going to do this summer?

I think I need to find the local organic farmers and the Canadian Organic Growers has a website that can help locate farms, restaurants, and producers.   Another place to look for local farms is the Local Harvest website.  It looks like a site specific to the States, but you can find Canadian farms or producers on there as well.  Another place to find local food suppliers is on the Eat Well Guide website or you can locate local grass-fed food on the Eat Wild website.

Before I finish off with the organics, I just wanted to touch on seafood.  Remember my dilemma about what to eat at The Keg?  Well, I have found a website to help us navigate our seafood choices.  They even have a printable seafood guide that you can keep in your wallet.

Happy shopping and eating!  The beautiful thing about eating organic food is that they taste soooo good!

Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 3:31 am  Comments (3)