Posts Tagged ‘good news’

world food day – October 16th

World Food Day may sound like just another day in a long list of campaigns. This day, however is one that affects millions of people around the world, in every country and in every neighbourhood. You can do something about it right now!

Raising awareness around issues related to food security and hunger are not glamorous. People know that there are starving children around the world and in their own neighbourhoods as well.

Sure you can donate to the World Food Program, or many other worthy causes that will try and help the most desperate people.

You can also help right in your own neighbourhood. Community gardens, farmers markets, community kitchen and food banks all exists to help people gain access to fresh and local foods.

Cooking for an after school program or for other marginalised people is one concrete way to help feed hungry people. Volunteer at a  food bank, deliver meals to people who can’t get out, shop for an elderly neighbour, grow vegetables and share then with a friend. By building a community around food security we will ensure that we are all taken care of.

The 100 mile diet, locavoure movements and  organic farming practices are not  just fads. Caring about what we eat and where it comes from will  lead to more shared knowledge. People can empower themselves through education and  supporting local initiatives that focus on the issues of hunger and  food security.

Things have to change. Donate your money or time and help to be that change.

The world remembers John Lennon

On this day, October 9th 1940 John Lennon was born.  He was an artist, an activist, a father and husband.

He changed the world.

Imagine all the people living life in peace”

World Animal Day October 4th

Celebrated annually since 1931, World Animal Day  began  as a gathering of ecologists in Florence Italy to raise awareness about endangered species.  It is now a diverse celebration the world over.

This year events have been confirmed to take place in 68 countries. This is a day to celebrate animals,  from beloved domestic pets , to caring about the well-being of farmed animals and species at risk.

PNE 2010

Why do we need a day for the animals? The biggest reason is because we have forgotten they are our brothers and sisters on this planet. Whether we keep pets, volunteer at the local animals shelter, or choose not to participate in the animals as food paradigm, the spectrum of people who love animals is varied.


A communion exists between people and animals, we  have all experienced it at one time or another.  Each day we can choose a path that honours  the earth, and therefore all the creatures on it.

Every decision we make has a ripple effect, you can choose to have a meat free meal,  support sustainable farming practices, volunteer with animals, stop driving, grow your own food, learn about local history and traditional food, native plants and animals.

Become the change you want to see and you will be amazed at the love that you will find.

The website‘s Mission Statement


  • To celebrate animal life in all its forms
  • To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
  • To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
  • To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
From the WWF website;

~call of the wild~



Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Random Acts of Kindness

We’ve all heard stories about Random Acts of Kindness, be it opening a door for someone, smiling at at stranger you passed on the street, or buying a coffee for the next person in line at the drive through. We can all find ways to show kindness to strangers.

Double rainbow

I was thinking about this recently when I joined a facebook page that was set up to honour a woman who died of cancer. Her name was Nicole, it would have been her 36th birthday this July. To celebrate her birthday week her mother set up the page in the hopes that people would preform Random Acts of Kindness, and then think about Nicole.  People then would write about what they did and how it changed their day. I think because I too will turn 36 this year (yikes!) I was really touched by this sentiment. Nicole’s mother knew Nicole saw a lot of suffering in the world and felt that people had become detached from each other, she wanted to set up something to promote RAK, but sadly she passed away before she could do it.

While thinking about kind deeds I came across another web site The Great Kindness Challenge this is one day, August 14 2010, when people will perform as many acts of kindness as they can! What an idea! The website and idea is really focused on things children can do, there is a check list you can download with 100 idea’s that are simple to do.

Another website I found was The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation! This site promotes the benefits of kindness. In addition to being on the receiving end of kindness, just performing them can improve your physical and psychological health.  Immune benefits, reduced stress and increased happiness show that good deeds can be good for you!

The site lists these special days as well;

Pay It Forward Day 2010: April 29

World Kindness Day 2010: November 13   ~  World Kindness Week 2010: November 8-14

Random Acts of Kindness Week 2011: February 14-20


Some of my favourite quotes on Kindness;

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blink can see” ~ Mark Twain

“Forget injuries, never forget kindness” ~ Confucius

“Spread love everywhere you go; First of all in your own house…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in our eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.”

~ Mother Teresa

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around “~ Leo R. Buscaglia

“This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, own own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama

Bike to Work Week

May 31- June 6th is known as Bike to Work Week, and Bike to School Week as well.

Metro Vancouver is quickly gaining an international reputation as being bike friendly. With bike coalitions and events that run year round.  The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition leads the way in getting the word out. The website is a plethora of information, activism and inspiration. Hosting dozens of outreach events, safe biking courses and workshops cyclist have a presence on our streets today more then ever.

Municipalities around Vancouver have been developing the Central Valley Greenway, a 25- Kilometre pathway that links to multiple destinations, communities and workplaces.  It is accessible by foot, bike, Rollerblades or wheelchair.

Map od the Central Valley Greenway

Map of the Central Valley Greenway

Commuters are finding innovative  ways to get to work, and relying more on self propulsion, non- polluting healthy alternatives are a step in the right direction.  With a rapidly growing population the streets are still packed with cars,  but bike lanes have become more common.  For millions of people around the world their bicycle is their main form of transportation, leading many nations to have healthier lives in general.

Why not leave the car at home and get on your bike, for this week, for the summer or for good. For your own health and that of the planet, this one change you can make that truly makes a difference.

Ethical Consumerism?

Your garbage for one year

Your garbage for one year

DSCN0986 I am volunteering again this year at EPIC the sustainable living expo that runs every year at the Vancouver Convention Centre. I have written about it each year I have been there (this is year four of the event and my involvement).

What is EPIC ? – the acronym stands for Ethical Progressive Intelligent Consumer. This is a trade fare after all, we are all still buying things, we need to eat and sleep,  and buy coffee , chocolate, clothing and transport ourselves around.

EPIC is a showcase for all consumables that are fairly traded, ethically produced, local and sustainable; for companies that plan events and sell solar panels, for fashion designers and chefs. There are speakers and representatives from all over Canada and the U.S. who believe, like I do; that our choices matter and we can talk with our dollars.

The fact is that we are all consumers of this earth, and we don’t just take, in return we create mountains of garbage like the one above.

Can we sustain this way of life? No, we need to enter a new paradigm where each purchase is considered in it’s entirety. Where was the product made / grown? What will happen to that packaging it comes in? Do I really need another (fill in the blank) ?

The fact is that we will not stop consuming, we have needs, but what they are and how much is enough is another question.

If you are looking for a way to spend a rainy afternoon, check out EPIC; you may just find out that you too are EPIC and you can make choices that help the earth.

on top of the world

As the tallest point on the planet, Mount Everest belongs to everybody. We all have a responsibiiity to it.- Apa Sherpa

As the tallest point on the planet, Mount Everest belongs to everybody. We all have a responsibiiity to it.- Apa Sherpa

Inspirational! That is really the only way to describe the news I read today.

World record holder Apa Sherpa has just summited Mount Everest for the 20th time. His website details the story of his life, working as a Sherpa; a guide to travelers.  Beginning at the age of  12 , after the untimely death of his father he worked as an expadition porter, to help makes ends meet. He had to carry packs more then his own body weight, and sometimes work in treacherous and dangerous situations. Apa Sherpa describes how this was not his intended vocation, but  opportunities were very limited  growing up in Thame, Nepal.  His team that reached the summit this Saturday included American teenager, 13 year old  Jordan Romero.

This climb to the peak of the tallest mountain in the world set many new world records. Not only was Romero the youngest climber to reach the peak on Mount Everest, his guide Apa Sherpa holds the world record for most assents in history. Apa Sherpa has climbed a number of times to raise awareness about Climate Change and environmental issues related to the mountain, and to strengthen commitments to improve the lives of the people of Nepal.

Apa Sherpa and Carin Raiha reveal the banners that they will carry to the top of Mount Everest in May as part of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate 4 Life campaign.

Apa Sherpa and Carin Raiha reveal the banners that they carried to the top of Mount Everest in May 2009, as part of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate 4 Life campaign.

“The Campaign has brought the issue of Climate Change to the forefront of people’s consciousness in Nepal and communicated on the global stage the seriousness, rapidity and scale of climate change impacts on the Himalayas, its people, communities and biodiversity. It is a vivid example of WWF working in partnership with the entire spectrum of Nepalese society including students, business people, concerned citizens, whole communities and political leaders.”
Jim Leape-Director General, WWF International

Romero, a teenager from Big Bear California has reached his goal of climbing the tallest mountain in the world today. He  previously climbed six other of the worlds tallest mountains, including Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, as well as mountains in Australia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceana.  In addition to Apa Sherpa there is no doubt the support of  Romero’s family, community and even corporate sponsors played a role in making this day a reality.

Jordan Romero’s story evokes feelings that  he is no ordinary teenager. He is a young man who is an awesome example of what can happen when you believe in your dreams and work hard. This feat commands every person to stop and take note.  We are all capable of amazing triumphs.

We were all 13 year old kids once, and whether our goal was to  climb a mountain, gain a new level on a video game, pass a math test, or just catch a pop fly in left field, we can take pride in knowing that people are capable of acheiveing great things and dreams really do come true.

CSA : community supported agriculture

earth dance 2009 photo credit: Katia Somerville

earth dance 2009 photo credit: Katia Somerville

Community Supported Agriculture is not a new concept. what began in North America in the 1960′s is now  flourishing 50 years later. It is one of the fastest growing forms of agriculture in North America!  Community members buy shares from a local farm, in some cases tending crops,  and collecting a weekly box of produce.  It is a popular way for people to get back to the earth and be a part of the food chain at a basic level.

CSAs help farmers by guaranteeing a market for their produce and supplying funds upfront which can be used to plant and establish a harvest. Community supported farms encourage local agriculture; in an ever growing population, where food security is questioned,  this alternative is very appealing and gaining momentum.

Across North America hundreds of local farming initiatives are taking root. The benefits of local, organic, seasonal fresh food can not be praised enough. Our landscape of food has changed dramatically in our lifetime. Positive steps are being made by farmers and consumers alike to create a food culture that is sustainable and accessible.

rooftop farm eagle street website

In New York City, an old warehouse roof top now contains  200 000 ponds of soil and 30 varieties of crops. It  has been transported into an urban oasis!  A working 6000 square foot roof top farm! Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is relatively new at only two years old. There is a farmer’s market each week, free workshops and potluck meals shared together.

Back here in British Columbia UBC Farm has been operating as a CSA for six growing seasons. UBC is unique in that it is the only university in Canada to have an organic farm running on a large school campus. Honey bee hives and fruit orchards also abound. Farm festivals, and social events gather the community together to celebrate the abundance and create a sustainable and innovative food system.

veggies from royal city farmers market fall 09

veggies from royal city farmers market fall 09

However people choose to grow their own food, one thing is certain; we all must be a part of the food revolution. These are just two examples of real, tangible change that is taking place.


To be of the Earth

Sunset 2005

To be of the Earth is to know
the restlessness of being a seed
the darkness of being planted
the struggle toward the light
the joy of bursting and bearing fruit
the loe of being food for someone
the scattering of your seeds
the decay of the seasons
the mystery of death
and the miracle of birth.

- John Soos, from Earth Prayers

This came through my homeschooling email list last week.


URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at