Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be safe. Be green. Advanced Happy Happy Halloween!

Hi Everyone,

How was everyone's weekend? Wonderful I hope!

I've got a crazy busy week ahead of me hence my absence yesterday, and my decision to be absent for the rest of the week. I'll be back next week to announce the winner of my October Ecojot Treat Giveaway, in the meantime, be sure to enter if you haven't yet already ;)

And just because I happen to be going to NYC for a few days at the end of the week... A fun video, because you know how much I love them!

Be safe. Be green. Have a Happy Happy Halloween!

See you next week!


PS-- In fact, just for good measure, here's a link to InHabitat's Top 5 Green Halloween Treats and Tips by Yuka Yoneda!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Halloween Contest...

As many of you have mentioned reusing old Halloween costumes, or shopping at Value Village for my October Ecojot Treat Giveaway... It only seemed appropriate to let you know about the Inhabitat Green Halloween Contest...

You can enter the Inhabitat Greeen Halloween Costume Contest any time before the deadline of 11:59pm EST on November 1st. To enter, upload up to 3 photos (as jpegs) of your awesome green halloween costume. They are looking for creative examples of DIY Halloween costumes – so you’ll get extra points for craft and creativity.

I've been battling a cold, so I haven't yet gotten a chance to check out any of the films at the Planet In Focus Film Festival but I'll be at the Eco-Exchange all day tomorrow. So if you're in the 'hood please come by and say hello. As I love to do, I will have a special raffle. And on this rare, occasion I will be selling some ecojot products!

If Toronto isn't home, not to worry, you can still enter my October Ecojot Treat Giveaway. All you have to do is tell me your favourite ecojot design/pattern!

Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to load up on vitamin C to keep those unfriendly colds 'n flus away!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

October Ecojot Treat Giveaway!

That's right it's time for a giveaway! Whenever I see ecojot rough stripes or bumps patterns I think of candy. And being that Halloween is coming up, and Halloween is a lot about candy... I was thinking, I don't believe I've done a giveaway yet asking what your favourite ecojot designs/patterns are.

So... Trick or treat? Which ecojot is your sweet?

Okay, not my best rhyme. However, I honestly can't pick... But if you absolutely had to what ecojot would you pick? Visit the styles section at ecojot.com and tell me as a comment. An extra entry to those who include in a separate comment how you intend to be eco-savvy this Halloween.

Giveaway will run until Halloween. Winners to be announced Monday, November 2nd. My apologies contest only open to residents of Canada and the US. Please remember to include a way for me to contact you ;)

Good luck!


PS - What's the prize? That's a surprise! In the spirit of Halloween, winner will receive a special mystery ecojot prize to be revealed on November 2nd!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A thoughtful handmade thank you.

Was at ecojot headquarters for my weekly visit this afternoon, and imagine my delight when I discovered we'd received a lovely handmade card from Anna Jordan of Albuquerque, NM. Not sure you can tell, but ecojot is delicately written with cut leaves!

Anna was thanking us for the ecoki prize pack that she won. Well Anna, once again, you're very welcome! Thank you for the lovely card! It was such a thoughtful creative thing to do :)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fun Theory Tuesday

Have you heard of the fun theory? What's the fun theory, you ask... Simple!

"The thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."

I couldn't agree more. Check these ideas out... The third one, the Bottle Bank Arcade is my favourite, likely for obvious reasons ;)

Do you have a simple clever idea that exemplifies the fun theory? You could win the fun theory award and 2500 Euros! But you must act fast, the deadline is November 15, 2009. Full details available here.

Here's hoping the fun theory and the three examples above provided some fun inspiration!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Can you tell what this lamp is made from?

Can you tell what this lamp is made from? Old keyboard parts!

Nifty, huh? "The keyboard is one such essential computer accessory which is extremely affordable and easy to replace with than repaired."

"Designer Nolan Herbut has meticulously removed and rearranged all the keys and wrapped the whole thing up to create this awesome Keyboard Parts Lamp. The light permeating through the gaps between keys creates an awesome surreal effect and it almost deceives one to believe that lamp is made of sophisticated cut glass, and unless specifically told no one will believe that good old humble boring keyboard has been transformed into an aesthetically beautiful lamp." -walyou.com

If only more designers could reuse material like that!

Here's hoping you had a terrific weekend. I sure did... Had loads of fun on a mini road trip to Stratford with my brother G, friends Aaron and Ana to meet up with my sister Pat, her host mum Lori, host sister Eleanor and friends Daniel and Adarsh. Good times coupled with lovely weather.

Macbeth turned out to be a contemporary production. I forgot how dark this play by the Bard of Avon is. All in all, I was impressed, especially considering it turns out actor Colm Feore is currently playing the leads in Macbeth and Cyrano.

Happy Monday!


Friday, October 16, 2009

ecoFashion Design Friday

Happy Friday! It's crisp outside here in Toronto, but it is beautiful out... The sun is shining and skies are blue.

I was up relatively early for my yearly full medical check-up. Is it just me? Or no matter how early you arrive to your appointment, even when you're appointment is first thing in the morning, one manages to spend over two hours at the clinic? Waiting most of the time. I suppose all the lab work takes time, but I just had to get my rant in. Thank goodness it's only once a year! Plus I have an awesome family doc :)

So any big plans for the weekend? I am off to Stratford, a gorgeous town about two hours from Toronto that is famous for its theatre productions. Especially its Shakespearean ones. It just so happens my lil sis Pat will be there with her host mom and sis seeing shows, and so my big brother G and I decided to take a trip to meet up with them and see Macbeth!

I remember reading Macbeth in tenth grade, it suddenly seems so long ago.. Should be fun, my friends Aaron and Ana are coming too... Good times!

If I didn't have plans already, I'd totally be checking out this party... How can one go wrong at a Clothing Swap Party? Especially as the weather gets colder and that old sweater that's still great but just doesn't fit you right any more could score you a new-to-you sweater?

Save money and get new wardrobe... Better than a sample sale... The only cost is the entrance fee. I just don't see why they're charging women more... Hardly seems fair... But supposedly there are snacks, so hopefully that's included in the price!

Plus there will be a seamstress there to help you with any alterations you need. The seamstress happens to be a friend, AnotherWordforPink fashion designer Breeyn McCarney.

Speaking of AnotherWordforPink... Want a chance to win one of their dresses? In fact the one above to be exact? Visit DesignforMankind.com here, Erin will be posting this Friday's Giveaway alert soon.

The awesome thing about AnotherWordforPink other than the talented designer being a friend of mine? Their effort to be green...

"We make everything locally and ethically, and as environmentally-minded as possible. We aren’t perfect - we do our best to keep our price points low enough that you can afford our fabulous services - but it gets easier all the time as more and more stores and companies get on the green band-wagon. You can rest assured that whenever the option to make an environmentally healthy choice is before us, we will take it. Our goal is to become 100% sustainable and zero impact. Our designer is obsessed with caring for the Earth."

So check out the Clothing Swap Party if you're in Toronto tomorrow. Visit DesignforMankind.com for a chance to win the gorgeous dress above. I certainly will be entering... Besides I need something gorgeous and green to wear to the upcoming 30th Anniversary Flare Gala! Oh and be sure to check out AnotherWordforPink.com --each week a limited edition dress is posted, and "all dresses are made to order, just for you, to your specific measurements."

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Countdown to Copenhagen... Ways to be a Climate Ally!

So I'm sitting at café in the Annex in Toronto... And as it happens I am sitting next to a blog interview! It's a little loud in the café so I can't successfully eavesdrop, but clearly it's about the growing popularity of blogs, how that there is just an over-concentration of blogs now and how it is effecting the journalism profession.

"Technorati currently states it is tracking over 112.8 million blogs, a number which obviously does not include all the 72.82 million Chinese blogs as counted by The China Internet Network Information Center" - Blog Herald - How Many Blogs Are There?

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? All I know is that I believe this Blog Action Day phenomenon is such a fantastic idea! As of the moment I write this and when I wrote earlier today... There are 853 more bloggers and two more countries dedicating today to "Climate Change!"

How amazing is that? After I write this post I shall check out all the different participants out there!

So what is Climate Change? Versus Global Warming? Well if you click on the hyperlinks you'll go to the wiki definitions. Bottom line...

"Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average weather or a change in the distribution of weather events around an average (for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region, or may occur across the whole Earth."

So I suppose you could say global warming is a type of climate change.

So what's the deal? How do we make a difference? Well I thought I'd take the time to break things down for you...

2) Join the fight for climate justice, add your "tck" here. I plan to video myself adding my "tck!"

3) Read up on what the deal is and "Why we need to 'Seal the Deal' in Copenhagen" in December.

What to know is this...

"On 7 December 2009, representatives from 193 Parties will convene in Copenhagen seeking to seal the deal on a fair, comprehensive and scientifically rigorous climate agreement for the post-2012 period.

This year, we have the opportunity to choose a new path. Copenhagen offers the chance to retool our global economy – to invest in clean energy, boost prosperity and lift millions out of poverty. By sealing the deal in Copenhagen, we can provide a more livable planet for our children and generations to come."

So what I'm thinking is we have 52 days, less than two months to make sure our voice is heard. Buying ecofriendly products such as ecojot is one thing, and I am very proud of doing my part by using such green products whenever I can, but there is more we can do! So think about it. Visit some of the links I've shared with you. I haven't come up with a giveaway yet this month, and I really want it to count, so I'm thinking I may do another rolling giveaway specific to Climate Change so stay tuned.

At 27 years old, I think it is so important to do our part. I want future generations to be able to love their planet. To take care of it, but it all starts with ourselves!

Again, Happy Blog Action Day '09! If you've got a special rolling giveaway idea that I can do leading up to December 7, 2009 share it with me ;)


Happy Blog Action '09 Day!

When I discovered yesterday it was "Blog Action Day 09" today I had to sign up! I want to contribute a more comprehensive blog post on "Climate Change" than just posting a couple YouTube videos... But as you know I love visuals, and as it happens I went to a concert last night, so coming across this powerful song asking us "how can we dance when are beds are burning..." seemed very appropriate to post today. In fact, if you want to be a "Climate Ally" and download the song for free you can at TimeforClimateJustice.org.

Here is the video. Definitely some excellent music for thought.

I am off to ecojot headquarters. I'll be blogging again later today/evening. It's so cool thinking 8,939 blogs (148 countries / 12,592,373 readers) will be dedicating today to "Climate Change!" Wow! If you've got a blog consider joining too!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thankful for poutine, pie, and most of all young people who are making the world a better place.

How was your weekend? Mine was filled with lots of food. Sunday was a full turkey dinner with many sides. And then on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Monday, a twist on the Canadian part. Jamie made a pumpkin pie and I had poutine.... That's right... Pie + Poutine = Canadian Thanksgiving, at least for Jamie, Simon and I. Ok, we had zucchini-blue cheese quiche too... Yeah can you say clogged arteries for Thanksgiving? Lol 0;D

For those of you who don't know what poutine is... It's my favourite 100% French Canadian delicacy... French fries topped with brown gravy and fresh cheese curds. It originated from Quebec, and I was very happy to discover that my local grocery store sells cheese curds!

I don't have any pics, as we rather gluttonous and so we didn't take any, but there's a shot of our more traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I love that I am fortunate enough to celebrate two Thanksgivings again this year... Canadian and American :) I'll be in Connecticut again this year with my family!

So I have no way of seamlessly segueing in to this, so I will just dive right into it... My brother G told me about this awesome story on BBC yesterday, that I can't not share... "The 'youngest'headmaster in the world..."

"Around the world millions of children are not getting a proper education because their families are too poor to afford to send them to school. In India, one schoolboy is trying to change that. In the first report in the BBC's Hunger to Learn series, Damian Grammaticas meets Babar Ali, whose remarkable education project is transforming the lives of hundreds of poor children.

At 16 years old, Babar Ali must be the youngest headmaster in the world. He's a teenager who is in charge of teaching hundreds of students in his family's backyard, where he runs classes for poor children from his village. "

There are a couple videos, and the full article here. The story is just so inspiring! It reminds us where there is a will, there is a way.

And it makes me so excited about the ways in which together with ecojot, we are working towards encouraging education and helping others all the time... And as I said in a project we're doing in 2010! So be sure to stay tuned ;)

Meanwhile, check out some photos I received from Lisa, the Development and Program Director of Teens Turning Green, one of the many awesome causes ecojot supports...

"Students are working diligently on projects greening their schools and planning some terrific events and more students are joining us weekly." - Lisa

I am thankful there are young people out there close to home and abroad, who have a desire to make a difference! Kudos.


Friday, October 9, 2009

A Perfect Flush Friday... Plus a SUPERCRAWL in Hamilton!

When I lived in France last year all the toilets I came across always had two flushing options... I've noticed since coming back to Canada that newer toilets have the dual-flush option. But how about those who rent an apartment (like myself) or who just can't afford to buy a new toilet?

Well I just came across this terrific eco-invention on ecofriend called the Brondell Perfect Flush

Did you know...?
  • 55 billion gallons of drinkable water are flushed everyday.
  • 8 out of 10 bathroom visits don't require a full flush.
See their brief less than two-minute video on how it works. In a nutshell, "The system installs in less than 30 minutes and cuts water use by 30 to 50%, which the company claims will save an average home up to $100 annually in water use, thereby recouping its cost of $99 in just one year."

I'm certainly going to try and convince my landlady to give it a try for all the toilets in the building, and consider it as a Christmas present to my homeowner friends and family.

Every little bit counts, right? Oh and if you live in Toronto and are considering purchasing a new toilet, and didn't know... "The City of Toronto offers residents a $60 or $75 cash incentive to replace a water-guzzling toilet with a City-selected water-efficient model!" Full details available here.

Here's to being truly green. And in case I hadn't mentioned it, if you live in the Hamilton area... ecojot is making an appearance at Mixed Media at 154 James Street North.

If you need help getting to the exact location, see below. Have you tested out Google Street View, yet? It's so much fun, not to mention a super convenient way to know where you're going!

View Larger Map

But I digress, Mark of ecojot, unfortunately not along with me this time around, will be checking out the James Street North Supercrawl tomorrow night... Lot's of music, plus the usual ecojot Fan appreciation fair... dollar-off coupons, gourmet jellybeans and of course a free raffle to win some of your favourite 100% recycled stationery! Please check it out if you're nearby!

Have a fabulous weekend... Oh and advanced Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians out there! Gobble gobble!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Romantic Shorts Thursday... Plus keeping the "Planet in Focus!"

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a hopeless romantic... I rarely like admitting it but I really enjoy romantic comedies... I recently saw "The Proposal" starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and totally enjoyed it 0;)

But I also enjoy shorts, and so of course I have a particular fondness for sweet, cute, mushy shorts... Signs below was a short sent to me by my friend Johnson a while back, and I hadn't realized until today when I went searching for it here on my blog that I haven't shared it... The characters aren't exactly environmentally friendly with their paper-use, but it's still super cute and worth the share...

Signs from Kevin Ferguson on Vimeo.

Then there's "Struck" which my brother G posted on his Facebook profile recently... Another great short by Director Taron Lexton, Screenplay by Milena Ferreira and produced by her husband Nathan Lorch. Full info on their website StrucktheFilm.com. Turns out it has done a full film festival circuit and one many accolades!

Struck from weian zhou on Vimeo.

Clearly both male characters are "struck!" I hope you enjoy!

Speaking of films, I gotta make a plug for "Planet in Focus," Canada's preeminent international environmental film and video festival! It start's Wednesday, October 21st and goes on until Sunday, October 25th. Venues include Royal Cinema, Innis College, Bata Shoe Museum, Festival Box Office, the ROM, and the Gardiner Museum.

And I am excited to say that Ecojot will be attending the Eco Exchange, on the last two days of the film fest, Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25! So mark your calendars, watch some ecoFILMS and stop by and say hello at the Eco Exchange... I'll have jellybellies, buttons and a free Ecojot raffle... Plus some Ecojot journals for purchase!

Tickets are $10 each, $8 for students and seniors and a pass for the whole festival is only $100... That's cheaper than seeing a movie on a regular night out ;)

Happy Thursday! Hope you enjoyed the shorts!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've gotta feeling... that I love giving!

I love helping great causes, especially ones that encourage reading and writing, and most of all creativity and expression, so it was so wonderful to hear back from one of the events that I personally helped donate ecojot workbooks to!

Check out the lovely thank you email I received the other day....

Dear Ecojotter,

On behalf of the Spencertown Academy, I would like to send my deepest gratitude for Ecojot's generous contribution of 50 notepads to the Festival of Books event last September 4th - 13th. The Festival was well-attended by visitors and locals alike. The notepads were a topical addition to the 2nd weekend of the event, when we showcased a New York State Poet Laureate, who read from her latest collection, thus inspiring would-be poets to start jotting down thoughts and feelings. How handy the notepads proved to be!

The Ecojot notepads were a hit among the school-age children; they especially liked the "cool" and "fun" designs and the fact that they were made from recycled materials.

Thank you again for your support and generosity.

Volunteer, Spencertown Academy

It was my pleasure, Marie! Am so pleased to hear the little ecoWorkbooks were such a hit!

Want to know a little secret? Well I'm at ecojot headquarters this afternoon and I am currently working on something huge for 2010 with Mark, one of the owners of ecojot. Something very inspiring and very philanthropic. Something that will make you feel warm and fuzzy every time you purchase and use an ecojot notebook, and not just because it's 100% recycled! Something I can't wait to tell you more about... But can't (sorry!) until it's all finalized. But I promise you'll hear it here first on blog ;)

But in the meantime, I just want to share this great video clip that you've probably already seen floating around the interweb, but if you haven't, you gotta check out... Watching it each time just makes me smile and want to get up and dance, it reminds me how everyone can do their little part and end up getting together to do something huge, fun and exciting!

Happy Hump Day!


Friday, October 2, 2009

I spy with my little eye... ecojot!

A few weeks ago I'd heard that Inhabitat New York was launching. Being the big Inhabitat and of course NYC fan that I am, while I couldn't be there in person... I thought why not try and send some Ecojot goodies. As luck would have it my offer arrived in time, and I managed to send some Ecojot gift-in-kind donations for a the "NYC Inhabitat Party Goodie Giveaway."

Inhabitat sent out word they'd posted pics of the launch party on Flickr, and so I of course had to check 'em out!

Speaking of giveaways, SliceofLemon.com is hosting a giveaway for five Ecojot jumbo journals, or as Sabrina, the blogger refers to them "jumbo-jots...." "The Greatest Notebooks on Earth!"

The contest is going on until 9 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009. So hurry, one entry per person, all you have to do is share "your fondest childhood memory!"

It's very wet and gray here in Toronto., which is unfortunate since well it's a tad depressing, plus not only is it Nuit Blanche tomorrow in Paris and Toronto, but I am riding my first tall-ship sail boat tomorrow for a ride on Lake Ontario and a delicious dinner... But brrrr, it sure is going to be cold. I may have to bring my parka!

Bon weekend however you spend it!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

2 ECOfashionably awesome ideas: ThredUp and The Uniform Project.

Wow, my 176th post... And I have 50 Google followers... This is reason to celebrate! I am celebrating with a cup of hot tea. It's a bit on the cool side in my apartment. It's definitely autumn here in Toronto.

Thank you to all those who've opened their pocketbooks to donate to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. Mother Nature continues to hit Southeast Asia hard, most recently with an earthquake in Indonesia. *Sigh* just yet another reminder why we need to take good care of our Mother Earth, she's clearly hurting and we need to take note.

So speaking of being ECOconscious I came across two very clever fashionably sustainable ideas...

One called ThredUp "Like Netflix for Clothes" according to the online newsletter UrbanDaddy. The concept is simple...

People change.

You grow. And before you know it, things just don't fit anymore.

Yes, we're talking about that relationship of utmost importance: the one you have with your clothes. And when that relationship goes sour (as it sometimes does), you'll need a mess-free way to breakup.

As usual, look to the Internet…

ThredUp.com, a first-of-its-kind service devoted to helping you get rid of the clothes you don't want anymore, and just maybe, getting some new threads to replace them, in beta now.

In a nutshell: Think webwide clothing swap. From what I gathered it's only available in the US. But being a big fan of clothing swaps, I think this is one ECOfabulous way of exchanging your threads for gently used ones with the very slim chance of running into the previous owner. What do you think?

The second fashionably clever idea that is not only sustainable but philanthropic! The Uniform Project. This one was passed on to me courtesy of my brother G. Thanks for forwarding this along G!

I love this idea. I grew up attending a few schools requiring uniforms, and I quite frankly preferred it. I love clothes, but I also love sleeping in, and deciding what to wear can be such a drag in the morning.

So here's the scoop, starting May 2009, Sheena the author of the year long blog will "wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion."

Here’s how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies. Think of it as wearing a daily uniform with enough creative license to make it look like I just crawled out of the Marquis de Sade's boudoir.

The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums.

I think this is an awesome idea. Plus, I've already found myself scrolling back to May 2009 to see all the very clever ways Sheena has worm this adorable dress. I love how you can visit every day and rate what she's wearing. In fact, the Uniform Project is at their sixth-month mark... And they have raised over $27,000! I will definitely be contributing to this somehow... I wonder if she'll take paper donations?

Speaking of philanthropy... I am currently in the midst of working with Mark of Ecojot on an amazing cause starting 2010, that I cannot wait to tell you more about. All I can say is... It'll be one more awesome reason to feel good about owning an Ecojot!

Here's a peek of Day 1 to today, Day 154 of The Uniform Project...

Kudos, Sheena for this awesome project! I look forward to staying tuned on all the awesome ways you wear your year-long uniform. Is it just me, or do you want to own this dress too?



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