• How to Identify and Remove Carcinogens from Your Home

    Did you know that many common household products contain known or suspected carcinogens? The regulatory environment in Canada is based on the premise that a product is safe unless proven otherwise. Consequently, new chemicals are introduced into products without truly understanding the implications on our health. The good news is, there are readily available alternatives that don’t contain potentially harmful ingredients. Here are…


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  • What Are Natural Cosmetics, Anyways?

    There are several campaigns out there that make it sound like our shampoos, lotions, soaps, and make-up are single-handedly giving us cancer and making us infertile. While I am suspect of many ingredients used in conventional cosmetics, and I greatly appreciate the work consumer interest groups are doing, the scare tactic approach goes against my goal for this blog…


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  • How to Declutter Responsibly

    Products are being designed to fail, meaning we have to keep buying more. We’re told that having the latest and the greatest will make us happy and feel more fulfilled, but research shows this isn’t true. Instead, we’re spending more money, have less spare time, and are generating waste at a staggering rate. Here are some positive changes you can make throughout…


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  • How Resilient Is Your Home?

    We have what I facetiously refer to as a “Zombie Apocalypse Kit” in our house. With climate change throwing all sorts of weather curve-balls at us, having a few days’ worth of food and water isn’t just for preppers any more. But do you know how your home fares during power outages and flooding? If you live in Toronto like I…


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  • Conscious Consumption Part 3: How to Get Rid of Stuff

    Even the most minimalist of minimalists will eventually have to get rid of stuff – clothes that no longer fit, outdated electronics, broken plates… you get the picture. Landfills should be the very last resort. They take up precious land, emit methane (a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change), and can leach toxic sludge into the ground water. In the 3rd…


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    Conscious Consumption Part 2: Buy Better

    Part 1 of my Conscious Consumption Series talked about taking better care of your stuff so it lasts longer. Which is all well and good, until you need something new, or something breaks beyond repair.  With the increasing amount of stuff we’re told we need, stuff being designed to fail sooner, technology becoming obsolete faster than…


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  • Conscious Consumption Part 1: Take Care of Your Stuff

    There’s a tiny storefront in my neighbourhood with a simple sign propped up in the window reading “Rocco Shoe Repair”. I’ve gone past it a hundred times over the past 7 years, thinking how handy it was to have so close to my house, but only went in for the first time this spring. I took my comfy but well-worn black…


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  • “Stuff” Doesn’t Have to be a Bad Word

    You won’t find many green living advocates admit this, but I like shopping and I like new things – clothes, shoes, accessories, kitchen gadgets, you name it. Even though it goes against most environmentalist teachings, I find it therapeutic and rewarding. And really, I don’t buy all that much that is frivolous. But I’ve realized I could make…


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  • How to Save Money And Energy this Summer

    Did you know that space heating and cooling, followed by hot water are the main energy users in Canadian homes? Here are 6 simple ways you can reduce your energy bills this summer, without breaking into a sweat. (more…)


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  • What’s the Deal with DEET?

              With our short summers, not even mosquitos, black flies, deer flies, and ticks can keep me from enjoying warm evenings by the campfire. I’ve been avoiding DEET, but only based on a general understanding that it’s toxic. How bad is it? Here’s my breakdown on DEET and some alternatives, looking at findings from regulators and environmental groups. What is…


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