The Things You Can COMPOST!

You might compost your:

  • egg shells
  • vegetable or fruit  peels
  • stems and leaves
  • cores and seeds
  • coffee grinds
  • paper bags or newspaper
  • egg cartons
  • et al

BUT, did you ever think to buy or compost your TOOTH BRUSH???

Didn’t think so!

We only recently looked into this great idea after reading Military Zero Waste written by Jennifer Ward-Pelar.  This led us to look into WHERE we could get our hands on such a wonderful creation, this is what came up: Lavish and Lime

 

 

How many tooth brushes do you use every year? 2? 3? More?

Imagine how many tooth brushes you could have saved your entire life if they all went into your compost bin and back to the Earth. That’s a LOT of tooth brushes!

The great thing for us Vancouverites is that Lavish and Lime is local! It’s a business in North Vancouver, which means no extra carbon footprint trying to ship it from some far off country. Don’t go out and buy a compostable tooth brush from anywhere though, always look into what a product is made of, where and how; you want to make sure that you’re supporting a good company and that the product is as good as it claims to be. Be a conscious consumer!

Respect yourself, respect others, respect this place – Lou’s elementary school motto

Lou & Liz

Stories From Some Friends

Word of mouth, who knew it was so powerful!

We could do all the advertising that’s available, but we still need friends, family, and people that are passionate about the cause to talk to their friends and family and for all of them to do the same.  Just the other day we had friends over for dinner and got talking about reusable coffee mugs and how they’re just like a reusable bag-you can keep a spare in your car, in your bike bag, or in your purse depending on its size and it’s such a small simple action that makes such a difference.

Several of our friends that have been great supporters from the beginning, and are doing a great job of spreading the word about Lou & Liz.  A couple of friends shared stories about themselves not being able to walk into a coffee shop without a coffee mug in-hand, even friends of friends have started to develop a greater consciousness of disposable coffee cups!

Ever since we started our campaign, every time we see a disposable coffee cup we notice it right away.  Whether it’s in the recycling shelf of Vancouver street garbage cans, or held by a satisfied coffee drinker, somehow they seem to catch our eye more now.  It’s actually pretty cool to walk around anywhere and notice these things that we just accept into our everyday lives usually; what’s even cooler though is when other people tell us that they experience the same thing!

How have you been doing with trying to use a coffee mug? Take both of our surveys to let us know!

Lou & Liz

 

From the Makers of “Who Killed the Electric Car”

Ever seen the film “Who Killed the Electric Car”?

If not, it’s worth a watch.

 

Coming soon is “Revenge of The Electric Vehicle”  Keep an eye out for this film in your area, and alternative forms of transportation that are less carbon intensive.  There’s a lot to know about electric cars and their implementation, and the first film was great in terms of information for those of us ( including Lou & Liz) that don’t necessarily pay a lot of attention to the automobile industry.

The first film also took a look at the impact that large companies (oil) have in pressuring industry (electric cars).  We thought it was quite fascinating to know that it has taken so long for electric cars to become a larger part of this market, watch the film to understand more of the why and how of it all.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Lou & Liz

YES! Use a coffee mug, but WHICH ONE?

      This morning I (Lou) found myself washing my coffee mug from last night.

Don’t worry, the story isn’t going to be about how to wash a mug although I’m sure there are proper ways. While washing it, I glanced at the bottom and began looking for that little triangle for recycling (I have a plastic mug).

What I found in disappointment, was the number 7, or “other” as it is categorized.

You might be asking yourself “What does 7 or other mean?” That’s a good question, and a good idea for another post!

This one, however, is going to be about my coffee mug and how silly I was when I (a.k.a. my mom) bought it.

My Mug

Lou & Liz is all about knowing what you buy, where it comes from and where it goes when you’re done with it.  Unfortunately, at the time of purchase I wasn’t as observant or concerned about knowing these things and didn’t think to look for a stainless steel mug instead of plastic (or even a recyclable plastic). Stainless steel is very easily recycled and won’t break down as fast as plastic mug of any sort,  you can also only recycle a very limited amount of plastics in Vancouver (1, 2, 4, 5). Allied Salvage is a local company that serves Metro Vancouver in recycling metals.

Another note I should make is that recycling is not the answer to our waste problems, in fact, recycling is still waste.  When I attended a Youth Sustainability Symposium, I sat down at a table for youth interested in “Waste”; I was surprised to find out that most of them were more geared towards finding more ways to recycle more things rather than simply reducing our overall consumption. Remember Reduce Reuse Recycle? ONE, TWO and THREE are ordered BEST! to okay… because reducing is the best way to stop our GROSS habit of throwing things away all the time.

Baby steps though, right? Recycling is just okay, but we can do SOOOOO much better. Vancouver is practically in adolescence  in terms of  “greenness”; we recycle tons, our compost can go into our yard waste bins, bike lanes, rapid transit, there’s still so much more to do and recycling isn’t going to cut it anymore. 

Where ever you are as a individual in your journey to being green in our soon to be greenest city, KEEP GOING! Big steps, small steps, fast paced, or slow, you’re moving and that’s what counts. Look back on your decisions, whether they were good or not (note to self: don’t buy plastic coffee mugs) and learn from them because To Err is Human, and to Arr is Pirate.

Have a great week and thanks for reading!

Lou & Liz

Inspiration –> Motivation

Who is this? This is Ta’Kaiya Blaney. A talented and passionate girl. Here’s an article that mentions details about her reached goals and ambitions for the future:

http://www.prliving.ca/content/1103/03.html

 

And now that you’ve been filled in on the accomplishments of this incredible girl, take  a moment to enjoy this video of her talking about her passions and expressing them through song:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9dBrlDXVsk

 

Lou & Liz tries to motivate and inspire people to be aware of their surroundings because the cycle in which we influence things around us and the things around us influence us becomes more and more prominent every day with acceleration of  consumption. Sometimes when we get caught up in what some of us call “life”, we don’t realize the details that we consider small because they don’t noticeably influence until later on.

This example of a girl trying to make a difference is just another way of raising awareness and showing that all kinds of people are capable of making change. Whether what you’re doing is considered socially popular or not doesn’t matter because in the end the environment is gonna be thankful for any positive contribution.

Inspiration creates motivation and this example of how someone is trying to create positive change for the environment just might be yours.

 

Lou & Liz

How Many Homo-Sapiens Does it Take…

Question: 

How many Homo-Sapiens does it take to make a difference?

Answer: 1

It’s TRUE!  It only takes one of us to make a difference, make an effort, and a change.  Most of our  change comes our own will and not necessarily our ability. Here’s a story from Lou:

I was babysitting the other day and had been left some money to take the kids to the corner store for dessert after dinner.  You might be thinking “Waste reduction? Candy filled corner stores? Those two don’t really go together…” We walked in and the kids got slurpees and a candy each, and I walked around through the isles.  Plastics, paper cups, individually wrapped food, small medium and large bags of chips, candy in small bags, candy in large cups, ready made sandwiches wrapped in plastic, I could go on but you get the point.  Everything in there was so tempting, so easily accessible and convenient to take on the go.

A large part of the reason why it’s difficult for many people to change their habits is because companies do a great job at making their products easy to use and get a hold of.  When my family puts the food scraps in the compost instead of the garbage, that adds another step and effort that we have to make instead of forgetting about it until the garbage gets full and has to be taken outside.  What our choices come down to are short term and long term advantages; I know that when I throw my garbage away I rarely think about it afterwards. Vancouver, do you remember our garbage strike a couple years ago?

We couldn’t ignore how much waste we were producing then, so why should we continue to? In class, we brought this topic up and one of my classmates said “Yeah that was gross”, people don’t like seeing mess and trash around their living areas, but how many people have stopped to think about how to reduce consumption rather than how to get the garbage out of their sight and into a landfill? Odds are not many.

But don’t be overwhelmed! Lou & Liz are here to empower you to make the change for you, your family and your Earth.  It only takes one thought before you take a coffee cup to go, sit down and relax if you have the time.

Here’s a challenge:

Every time you see a disposable coffee cup think of Lou & Liz, think of the mug that could save hundreds and even thousand of disposable cups from going into the garbage. THINK OF ALL THE MONEY YOU COULD SAVE! Think of the future that you want, and do it for you.

Lou & Liz

Greenest City Action Plan… what is it exactly?

A large percentage of the population of the world knows about the Vancouver Greenest City Action Plan, but have you ever thought about what is the exact vision that it is trying to portray in the future? Here (below) is a video that talks about that goals that the plan has devised to meet the vision they have set for the future.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juuLGxJlUt0 

 

According to talkgreenvancouver.ca these are the goals, targets and strategies of the greenest city action plan:

 

 LONG TERM GOAL:
–>Gain international recognition as a mecca of green enterprise
TARGETS:

-Double the number of green jobs in the City by 2020, over 2010 levels.

-There will be a greening existing businesses target, but that is still in development.

 

STRATEGIES:

1) Establish Vancouver’s Green Enterprise Zone

A green job space providing a range of diverse employment opportunities.

2)  Advance Key Green Industry Sectors

Focusing the development strategy on the 5 sectors that provide the best opportunity for growth as well as a variety of jobs for Vancouver residents.

Encouraging Vancouver businesses to emphasize the local market.

Preparing Vancouver’s workforce for new job opportunities through research, education and training.

 

For more information on the Greenest City Action Plan please visit http://talkgreenvancouver.ca/ 

 

The Greenest City Action Plan is also an absolutely concrete example for those of you who have visions that aren’t just to benefit the environment but other aspects of life on our planet too! If you have an idea, don’t hesitate to set it in motion, just devise a plan and be sure that your plan is exactly the way it should be before you announce it.

Don’t let your ideas fly our your ears, keep them and share them.

 

Lou & Liz

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