Saturday, November 21, 2009

Banana Avocado Toast with Cilantro

The end result of this recipe is exactly what it sounds like. Some of my favourite basic ingredients all in one! Not exactly an emphasis on local produce here but it is still a fantastical vegan treat. Apples and soy cheese are also a really great combo with avocado!

Whole Wheat Toast topped with:

Avocado slices
Banana slices

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Green Guide for an Eco-Education

Using David Suzuki’s Green Guide for an Eco-Education

David Suzuki's Green Guide is a publication that I am passionate about and consider worth recommending to anyone. To refresh from a previous post, the book addresses the Ecological Footprint which measures human impact upon the environment; how much space or productive land is needed to support an individual's lifestyle. The larger the footprint the more impact the individual has on the Earth. Embedded in this concept is how we all impact each other and everything by every choice we make, conscious of it or not. This is really at the heart of thinking of the ecological footprint simply as the consequences of our actions on the environment.

According to the Canadian Suzuki, one of the most environmentally sensible ways you can cut down on your ecological footprint is by being aware of what you eat. He goes into depth about them in Chapter 3 of his Green Guide which contain facts like “the amount of grain fed to livestock in the U.S. could feed about 840 million people on a plant-based diet". This book teaches that "eating is an agricultural act, a biological act, a social act, an economic act, and a political act. With every meal you can vote for the food system that you would like to see". In not shying away from social and political contexts, this text becomes an opportunity to open up minds to the realization that you have the power to directly influence the demand for eco-minded thought and action.

In attending teacher's college, I am engaging with various ways of implementing teaching environmental responsibility. The Green Guide for example states that "by eating a local, organic, and predominately plant-based diet you can reduce the ecological footprint of the food you eat by as much as 90%". By putting this information into the hands of the next generation we are effectively educating for the environment. Therefore we are educating for ourselves and futures where a more harmonious human existence within the natural world has the opportunity to blossom. The natural world has become removed from the hyper-industrialized and technological Western society that sets the climate for education atmospheres. It is imperative that we instil a sense of duty and urgency towards being aware of ecological conditions and their implications. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is being extremely conscious about how our daily habits manifest into environmental conundrums on a macro scale.

This publication is also a direct connection to the David Suzuki Nature Challenges which are available in the text, online, and are a fun and easy way to incorporate environmental issues into the classroom. Alternatively, a student or teacher reading this book may choose to implement an organized Nature Challenge group that participates in learning about, practicing and teaching others about ecological footprint reducing factors and information. David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge teacher guide is also available and contains 20 lessons that focus on our interconnectedness with nature!

This is an excellent read because it is not just a “how to” or a boring guilt-ridden summary of how one is personally killing the earth. Instead it is a comprehensive look into the current ecological conditions and how it is of our best interest as individuals and as a group to be invested in the thought-provoking information and wisdom that the text provides.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Modern Menstruation

When it comes to reducing our ecological footprints, we need to think about our day-to-day processes as humans. How we decide to manage the dynamics of our body's fuctions has a direct impact on the environment!

When my friend was asking me about my experiences using this environmentally friendly alternative to pads and tampons, I initially had mixed feelings. Like anything, it takes a while to get used to so about after 3 months of use I am finding it alot easier to use. So if you are not a pro at inserting and removing it then just keep practising! About the only downfall I can think of is that it is much easier to handle when using a private bathroom stall or washroom. For more info, visit You totally do not need the "diva wash" - any light, unscented soap will work. Be careful with anti-bacterial soaps because apparently it breaks down the silicon. Organic, unbleached panti-liners, pads and tampons are also available outthere so keep an eye open! For example, check out the line from Natracare.

Enjoying the Diva Cup and although its marketname still annoys me and feeds into negative stereotypes, I think it is important to remind each other about such alternatives. Below is a post I wrote for the CJAM Women's Radio Collective Blog (which has now been been renamed The Estrogen Collective).

"Hope all enjoyed the Jan. 28th edition of Genesis hosted by myself and also Rachel of the brand new CJAM Women's Radio Collective. If you missed it you can just download the show! Thanks very much again to Professor Nancy Gobatto from the Women's Studies department for contributing so many great ideas and comments in the interview which was broadcasted during the show. The interview or a link to it will be posted on this blog shortly. The quote about the rhythm method as being the only "non-sexist" form of birth control was taken from the book "A Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control" by Margaret Nofziger. We discussed alot of issues including the origin of the word "menstruation" as well as the language used in advertising and society to describe or refer to the process. Also, we talked about the menstrual cup of which more info can be found in the post about this alternative menstrual product on a blog called No Soap For Sale. There was also an interesting article we used concerning advertising methods for menstrual products called "A Candid Look At Menstrual Products - Advertising and Public Relations". Rachel and I really enjoyed putting a feminist perspective on these issues into the spotlight and with luck we got everyone thinking!"