Ottawa Hidden Treasures Giveaway Weekend October 24-25

Do you have tons of stuff in your house that isn’t broken or otherwise not usable, but that you’re just not using anymore? Old CDs, mismatched end tables, maybe some 4 year old magazines… who knows? Well, if you’re in Ottawa, take that stuff, clearly label it as “FREE”, and put it out to the curb on Saturday and Sunday for the Hidden Treasures Giveaway Weekend. It could be anything – just as long as it’s still usable for someone, it just might find a home. Check out the website for the official “rules” of the giveaway such as how to display your items, and which items might be best left un-given away. Happy hunting!

Air Miles My Planet: A new way of going green

Do you have an AirMiles card? Me too! And so does 70% of Canadian Households. And now, AirMiles is using their considerable clout with Canadians to help tout greener living, in their program called MyPlanet.

Now you can use your Air Miles to get great My Planet rewards, rewards have been identified, reviewed and assessed as products and services that contribute to a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. And it’s stuff you’ll use: Transit Passes. A credit towards a new Bullfrog Power account. Born Free BPA-free Baby Bottles. And plenty more. Or, if you’d rather support programs rather than products, you can donate your airmiles to the World Wildlife Fund Canada.

They also have a great section to learn about making more environmentally conscious choices, and a great section on how AirMiles Vendors are helping save the planet. Check it out – and don’t forget to take your AirMiles card with you next time you shop!

PositiviTee: Wear your Heart on your T-Shirt

An ecochick prediction: When you find these t-shirts, you will buy one for everyone on your Christmas list. Then when they get them, they will beg you to tell them where you found them. They’re that good.

PositiviTee makes gorgeous, 100% organic cotton tees which seize upon the power of communication between perfect strangers. Each tee sends a message with its artwork, artwork that represents something important that you can do to help another human being, another living creature, or help the planet.

What’s really amazing is that a portion of the selling price from each t-shirt goes to charity, depending on the specific cause the tee supports. For example, the Save Chimps tee gives to the Jane Goodall Institute. The Micro-loans for Women tee gives to the Grameen Foundation. And on and on it goes.

Even if you don’t need any t-shirts, the website is worth a browse simply to learn about the issues and causes that PositiviTees supports. Mind you, once you start browsing, you might buy anyway. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Eco-Libris!

Happy 1st Birthday to our friends at Eco-Libris!

This fantastic service helps booklovers offset the trees used to print their reading materials. You purchase stickers as shown here to put on your book cover. The proceeds from the stickers go towards planting trees in developing countries. Since their launch a year ago, they’ve sold 50,005 books, which results in 65,586 new trees being planted. They’ve done amazing things in just one year, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll have done by this time next year.

Interested in finding out more? You can read about the program and purchase your stickers at the Eco-Libris website.

Recycle your Crocs!

Finally come to your senses tired of your old Crocs? Free up the enormous amount of room in your closet by donating your shoes to the Soles United program. You donate your used footwear to a participating retailer (although they don’t have any listed for Canada as of yet – boo!) or mail them directly to the program. SolesUnited then takes the shoes to be cleaned, sorted, ground and repurposed into new footwear. They’ve partnered with aid organizations around the world to distribute the recycled shoes. The only downside? The ensuing worldwide epidemic of frightening footwear. Are we really doing impoverished countries a favour by giving them one of the greatest fashion scourges known to the western world? Tossup.

Recycle your plant pots at Loblaws stores

Have you been feverishly gardening, planting your perennials, annuals, baskets, bins, veggie gardens? And do you have a pile of leftover plant pots and flats to show for it?

Don’t pitch them – take them to a Loblaws chain store (so Loblaws, Independents, Great Canadian Superstore, etc.). Make sure it’s one that has a a garden center, because those ones have a recycling bin where you can drop off the pots. They’ll use them for next year’s plants. Which is awesome, because much of the plastic used in these pots isn’t easily recyclable, so if you put them in the streetside bins they might end up in the landfill. Booo! So bring ‘em back and get them reused. Your garden will thank you for it.

eco-Writers: Win a Chelsea Green Publishing Contract

Are you a budding eco-writer who just needs her or his big break? Well, here it is. Chelsea Green is offering up to 5 publishing contracts for folks who come up with the next best idea for one of their Green Guides. They’ve already got guides about great stuff like water conservation, composting, recycling and more. Have you got a great idea that can fit into a pocket-sized guide? Then email Chelsea Green and tell them about it. You’ll need to have a plan to research, write and illustrate the guide – and in return, the winners will get a publishing contract and a $1000 advance against royalties – sweet!

The deadline is July 4, and all the rules and regs for entering are here – so get your creative juices flowing, people, here’s your chance to write a book and maybe change the world.

Hot on the heels of my post about Green Work Canada comes a post about their partner site, WorkCabin – a green job listing site. At WorkCabin, you can create a profile, search for green job listings (both paid and volunteer spots), post a new green job, review the job seekers who’ve posted their public details, and more.
There are jobs available all across Canada and some in the US; there are also several work from home opportunities.

WorkCabin is genuinely green: they are run on Bullfrog Power and specifically target green jobs to green job seekers, aiming to service those for whom eco-friendliness is a priority in finding an employee or a career. They’re also a certified member of 1% for the Planet, a growing movement of companies that donates 1% of their sales to environmental organizations.

WorkCabin is an excellent resource for those looking for a new job in the environmental sector, or even just with an environmental slant – check it out, job seekers!

Get your old car off the road, and get paid for it!

From Grist: Are you still driving around your pre-1996 car? While it’s awesome that you haven’t consumed any new materials since then, unfortunately a pre-1996 car may be doing more harm than good. That’s because as of that year, tougher emissions standards were put in place on vehicles, so any car made after that year pollutes a whole lot less than one made before then. Add in to that the age of the car and the natural reduction of fuel efficiency over the life of a vehicle, and you end up with approximately 30% of the vehicles on the road (5 million out of 18 million) that account for nearly 66% of the smog-causing pollution emissions.

How will it work? The Federal government will give the Toronto-based Clean Air Foundation $92 million over four years to run a national vehicle “scrappage” program. The program will offer incentives including rebates on new vehicles, free transit passes, bicycles, membership in ride-sharing programs and $300 cash. The rusty clunkers will then be turned over to scrapyards to crush and recycle them according to provincial guidelines. Vehicles earlier than the 1996 model year will qualify for the Clean Air Foundation-run Car Heaven program.

While there are some political grumblings (some don’t like the association with GM and encouraging people to buy new cars, for example) it’s still a great initiative to help people get the clunkers off the road and get something more eco-friendly on the road.

Ottawa: Get a free tree!

I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree. – Joyce Kilmer. Having a beautiful, spreading tree on your property is one of the best ways to enjoy nature. There are plenty of practical benefits too – shading your house in the summer and helping keep it cool; capturing and sequestering carbon, and releasing oxygen; providing privacy; getting you out there to exercise when it’s time to rake the leaves. The City of Ottawa wants to help spread the word – and the trees – around the area by giving you a free tree to plant on your property. From the website:

The Trees, Reforestation and Environmental Enhancement (TREE) Program is a four year initiative that aims to enhance the City of Ottawa’s urban and rural forests through the planting of 100,000 trees between 2007 and 2010. The TREE Program empowers Ottawa residents, businesses, community groups and schools to participate in planting trees to enhance and maintain the city’s forest cover and combat climate change.

Trees at a tree farm can run into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars, so this is an excellent deal for you and for your environment. Go pick out your tree today!

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