Time to speak up

Well, after venting most of the frustrations I might have put on my blog through twitter, I finally have something else to say that needs more than 140 characters. I sent this letter to our premier and MLA tonight:

Dear Mr. Dexter and Mr. MacDonell,

My husband and I want to live in Nova Scotia. This is where we grew up and this is where our family lives. We both moved away at one point, but we made a conscious decision to move back. This is where we want our kids to grow up too.

But Nova Scotia is not making this easy. We had moved back for 11 months before I found a job in my field. I have a masters degree and I had to work at a department store to pay the rent. Then the province raised the GST, so I had less money in my pocket with every transaction I made. Then I hear power rates are going to go up, at a much higher rate than my yearly pay increases. But we tolerate and adjust because we love Nova Scotia.

And now I am terrified that our beautiful province is going to allow shale gas fracking. To me, as someone who loves Nova Scotia, someone who is making financial sacrifices to live here, this could put the nail in the coffin that drives us to another province. The risks just seem too high. Not only is this system water intensive, it could potentially ruin our drinking water supply. Nova Scotia’s fresh water is a blessing, and water resources are not something to be taking lightly. As a family looking to really settle into Nova Scotia life, we have to look at the long term. Allowing fracking seems short-sighted to me. How can we invest ourselves long term in this province if we fear one day we won’t be able to turn on the tap and have safe drinking water?

We want to do our part to help Nova Scotia be a better province. Protesting shale gas exploration is part of that. Even if it can’t be claimed that fracking will or won’t contaminate our water, it is not a risk you should place on the shoulders of Nova Scotians. Preserve this province’s natural splendor for future generations.

Help us make our lives in Nova Scotia.

Thank you,

Carolyn Marshall

Milford Station, NS

A Shout Out to Halifax – Urban Gardens

I like to take this post to highlight one of the great things going on in Halifax. A lot of Canadians outside of the Maritimes (*cough* Vancouverites *cough*) see us as a little behind the times, a little old fashioned, a little backward. Those people have never been here. We have great minds here and they’re doing great things.

The Urban Garden Project is happening through the Ecology Action Centre. This project supports local community gardens in Halifax. They give advice, help provide equipment and connect volunteers with gardens in need.

This project is great as it creates a source of local food while at the same time raising awareness of why local food is important.

Thanks to the Urban Garden Project for making Halifax a little more forward-thinking, a little more environmentally friendly, and a little cooler!

“It’s not usually this warm, I don’t understand”

Really? You don’t understand? Have you been living under a rock?

The title of this post was overheard by me on the bus, spoken by a local to a tourist, as the local tried to explain it wasn’t always this warm/humid here.

But she claimed to not know why.

Climate change.

We hear about it all the time and now we’re living it. There’s tornados and floods in Central Canada, longer, drier droughts in Australia, heat waves in Europe, wetter wet seasons in Asia resulting in massive flooding. That’s climate change. It’s not happening 10-15 years from now, it’s happening now and people are doing the ostrich and sticking their heads in the sand. They see and feel climate change first hand but refuse to acknowledge what it is.

I think they’re afraid. Afraid of admitting that our lifestyles are and have been damaging for a long time. Afraid of admitting we’ve gone too far and there’s nothing we can do to stop it from getting even warmer, drier, wetter and windier. I’m afraid.

But we can’t just stick our heads in the sand. The governments should be the ones dealing with this. They need to step up to protect their people when they need it most and are too scared to deal with it themselves. They should be funding local food operations for when droughts and floods decimate our overseas suppliers. They need to be encouraging wind farms for when oil runs out. But they’re not. They’re sticking their heads in the sand too! WTF! Help us! You’re the ones in charge!


I guess we’ll just have to look out for ourselves.

So it’s up to you to support local food ventures. Maybe you should look into joining a local CSA. Buy local at your grocery store. The apples from New Zealand are not tastier than the apples from Nova Scotia (unless you live in New Zealand, then go for it).

It’s up to you to promote sustainable energy. Write your local officials and tell them you want to see solar panels on town hall. If a wind farm is proposed in your neighbourhood, support it instead of worrying about it ruining your view. A drought will also ruin your view.

Sadly, it’s up to you to worry about climate change. I know it’s scary, but we can adapt and survive. We’re really very resourceful when we need to be. It’s just a matter of recognizing that we need to be right now.

The Ultimate Cleaning Tool

Time for another greenie product I love!

The Ultimate Cloth is awesome. It cleans using just water. And it works just as well, actually probably better, than my old sponge and cleaner. I use it on everything. Windows, wood, stainless steel, countertops, cupboard doors and even the floor (I just use it like a swiffer cloth). It’s simplified cleaning, since I only need one thing, the cloth! No more harsh cleaners! This is a great item if you have any sensitivities to chemicals. Although, really we could all handle a few less chemicals.

If you happen to be in NS, you can get them from Betty Touesnard in Cape Breton. There only $7 a piece, way cheaper than I would expect! It’s a great way to green-up your home with minimal effort and no compromise.

Fav Greenie Product!

I wanted to take the time to sing the praises of one of my favourite green products. The Green Beaver Company’s Make-Up Remover.

I’ve tried a few different make-up removers over the years, and this one really works the best. It has no problem getting mascara and eyeliner off where the other ones I’ve tried have always left some behind that ends up staining my towels. Plus, it has no fragrance or freaky chemicals, which is nice when you’re smearing something around your eyes. And it’s a Canadian Company that started as a green company, and who’s philosophy is green to the core. No green-washing here!

As an added bonus, I’ve been using the same tube for over a year and there’s still some left. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to keep beauty products that long, but I can’t bring myself to throw something away that works perfectly fine. Plus I haven’t gotten any freaky eye infections, so it seems to be OK. I can’t remember what I paid for it at the time, but it’s listed on Well.ca for $15. That’s more than some products you can find at the drug store, but if it lasts this long and works this good, it works out money-wise in the end.