Hey kind krafters!
It has been over a month since I made my pledge through Parley to give up plastic bags for 30 days. There were a few times where I forgot to bring my bags, but then I either bought enough to hold without a bag, or I just bought a new reusable one to add to my collection! I honestly found it super easy to do, and I know that by refusing plastic bags in front of my friends, I have been able to make an influence on how they shop now too! I was never pushy or told anyone to use reusable bags, but by just sharing this action with them, I have heard that several friends are now also refusing to use plastic and will bring their own bags to the store. I have also found through this last month that reusable bags hold SO MUCH MORE than your regular plastic bag!!! AND they don’t rip like plastic bags do! So many bonuses to shopping sustainably.
Because the last month went so incredibly easily, I am now going to try to eliminate another plastic item from my life. I have been doing pretty well so far with this, but I want to take it to the next step. I have been taking mason jars and other reusable containers to the grocery stores and using them to stock up on pasta, rice, oats, and nuts. But I recently found out that if you ask the store clerks to put other items in your reusable containers instead of the plastic containers that they provide, they will do it! I feel awkward asking to do this but ya gotta be the change to see the change!
Now on to some exciting news!! On September 8th the Ocean Cleanup was launched and set off to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The founder and creator of the Ocean Cleanup is Boyan Slat, a 24 year old college dropout from the Netherlands. There are over 70 members of staff that come from many occupational backgrounds like engineers, researchers, scientists, and computational modelers who all work together to get of the plastic pollution in our oceans. Over 5 years of researching, engineering, and testing, they have raised over thirty-million dollars to build the machine that will hopefully save our oceans. Despite not having much press time about this incredibly important experiment taking place right now, he was recognized by the United Nations and was awarded a top environment award for his invention.
I am not going to try and explain how this cleanup works when there is a perfectly clear video to show you ten times better than I ever could. Basically, there are 3 main factors to the cleanup:
The Ocean Cleanup has also taken preventative measure to ensure the safety of sea life, the machine during any storms, and to make sure that other vessels know where they are at all times so that they are not disturbed during their work. There has been both negative and positive feedback for Boyan Slat’s ideas, but many are hopeful that it will work! To find out more information about his invention and the cleanup, visit this website - https://www.theoceancleanup.com.
Best wishes kind krafters!! I hope your eco-journeys are going well!!
Lots of love,
Hey kind krafters!
Things have been so so busy! As I spoke about in my last blog I am back in wolfville attending Acadia University Bachelor of Music Education. I thought I would tell you guys a little about what exactly I do here!
I am in my 3rd year here at Acadia and hope to become a music educator in my future. In my third year here I really get to focus in on the education side of things within my courses. I am taking a intro to high school education course, conducting, jazz education and more! It feels really good to be able to focus my academic energies into something I am super passionate about!
Along with course work I am also a Saxophone major! I take principal applied saxophone here with my wonderful instructor Tristan De Borba. We work on all things technique to performance. This year I will be performing my very first recital (yikes). I am in the process right now of choosing my repertoire for my recital which will be in March. Another awesome thing about having the opportunity to do a recital is that I will be splitting it with my fellow saxophone major and great friend Abby! Lots off work to be done but I am extremely looking forward to it!
I also play saxophone in the Acadia University Wind Ensemble lead by Dr. Hopkins. As well as being the Wind Ensemble assistant. I am super lucky to have the opportunity to have this position with the ensemble! The ensemble is one of the most established ensembles on campus and we play great music. Our first concert is Sunday October 21st at 3pm!
Aside from academics I am also part of the SAMS council here at Acadia School of music. SAMS is the Society of Acadia Music Students. The SAMS takes care of all things school of music events, fundraisers, and information from our faculty to the students. I am the Education Representative so my role is to communicate all education related events to the students. I really enjoy being on council and being involved with the music students at acadia.
Every Saturday I will be volunteering with Acadias SMILE program! SMILE stands for Sensory, Motor, Instructional, Leadership, Experience. SMILE is such an amazing program that uses the buddy system and offer opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities. It is one of my favorite things here at Acadia! I hope so speak more about SMILE in an upcoming blog :)
Myself and kind krafts other youth ambassador Rhian are also planning a open mic night for kind krafts here in Wolfville! This is an opportunity for music students to showcase talents, students to enjoy some live entertainment and most importantly to help with kind krafts most recent cause! We are both so excited for this and hope to see lots of faces!
SO thats what has been keeping me busy! Staying busy with volunteering and music are the best ways to keep busy (in my opinion)
Hey kind krafters!
It's that time of year again! For me I am packing up all my belongings and headed back to the lovely town of Wolfville. Getting ready to go back to school can be stressful but here are some things that seem to help me stay on track!
Well kind krafters, back to school is stressful for everyone! I hope you all put your best foot forward and have the best school year yet!
Hey kind krafters!!
We all know how hard it is to keep up with the business of everyday life and on top of that, try and keep ourselves healthy. Staying fit and staying with a well balanced diet feels impossible.
I will admit, I am certainly not perfect (just like everyone) when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle but here are some tips that help me stay on track and feel happier and healthier!
I know it sounds obvious but, exercise can really make a difference in your everyday life. Trying out a local gym and getting into a simple workout routine is a small step to a much healthier life. The gym can seem super intimidating but trust me, the employees are there to help and make you feel confident! If you are confused on how or what to workout, look online, ask a gym employee or start the gym with a friend, it will make it much less intimidating and you will feel great!
If it's work, school or even if you are just at home, meal planning can really make a difference in your health! It makes you think about the food you will be eating and get you more confident with cooking as well! Something as simple as taking a lunch to work or school rather than eating out can make a huge difference!
Fresh air and nature is always the answer! One of my favorite things after a long day to de-stress as well as get some exercise is to take a walk to my favorite places, if it be my community or local beach. A walk and getting outside is great for your mental and physical health.
Yoga has so many benefits! While it can be so relaxing it also improves blood flow, increases your heart rate, helps you focus and boosts your immune system! Yoga is a super great way to improve your health and make you happier.
Eating from local food producers is always a great choice. It allows you to be able to support your community all while being able to eat non-processed and healthier options!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not all about eating and exercise, taking time to relax and refresh your mental health. Do something for you! Nap, hang out with friends, take a bath. Adding that self-care is huge to staying healthy at stressful times.
Come on, eat that ice cream. Everyone deserves a treat once and awhile! Do not deprive yourself from all the yummy things in life, its all about balance :)
Thanks kind krafters, Until we chat again!
Hey kind krafters!
I have had an awesome couple of weeks enjoying the hot weather and I hope you all have too! As much as this summer has been great for beach days and nights on the patio, I can’t help but think about why Canada has been hit with this unreal heatwave. I have always thought that by recycling, carpooling or walking when I’m able to, having reusable straws, etc. I was doing my part for the environment. But after doing extra research, I have found that there is SO much more I could be doing for our earth.
According to NASA’s website, there are some major signs of rapid climate change that we can’t chose to ignore anymore. Global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, sea level rise, declining Arctic sea ice, extreme events, and ocean acidification are all large indicators of negative global change. Visit https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ for more information on all of the factors mentioned above. With this summer’s natural disasters such as flooding and mudslides in Japan, wildfires across California, as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the globe, I got to thinking of what more I can do to help our planet.
One of the most important issues right now is our oceans. Due to several human-made factors, scientists have predicted the loss of commercial fish and seafood species to happen by 2048 if we continue the way we are going. A study conducted by the United Nations has also shown that coral reefs could be gone in 30 years due to the heat stress caused by global warming. Since 2016, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. That’s just two years of harm.
If you’re social media feeds are similar to mine, I’m sure you have seen several videos circulating of mass piles of garbage floating in our oceans. Recently a State of Emergency was declared in Santa Domingo due to waves upon waves of garbage lapping up along the shoreline. A little under a month ago, over 1000 tons of plastic and other debris had been removed from the hardest hit areas. Sadly, Santa Domingo isn’t the only place that is suffering from plastic in our oceans.
It’s easy to feel disheartened when reading about all of the current environmental issues in our world, but letting it get you down will get us nowhere. Take the information and change your actions because of what you now know! I am learning new ways to help the planet every day, and though my small changes may not seem as though they’re doing much, you never know how your actions can ripple out to affect the big picture. Here are some of the lifestyle changes I plan on making to help
1. Refuse plastic bags – There are plenty of reusable options to carry your items in. Take your own reusable bags, or if you go to the store and realize that you forgot a bag, buy one for an extra dollar! Instead of using plastic bags to put your produce in, use the brown paper bags (which are often placed by the mushrooms), or don’t bag them!
2. Don’t buy single-use cups and cutlery when you’re on the go – Instead of using wax-lined cups from Tims, bring your own mug or water bottle. If you know you go out to lunch once a week, bring some cutlery with you so that you don’t have to continue to throw out plastic knives and forks. Or slow down!! If you’re not in a rush, take the time to sit down and dine in which ends up not needing to use the plastic products!
3. Cooler washing cycles - Wash your clothes in cold water, and don’t machine dry! The majority of laundry detergents that are used today don’t need warm water to activate their cleaning solution and so cold water is the way to go. Roughly 75% of the energy that is used in a wash cycle comes from heating up the water! By switching to cold water washes, you won’t only be helping to save the planet, you’ll also be spending less money in your energy bill each month! After your cool wash, hang your clothes outside to dry or on a drying rack in the winter. This way they are less likely to shrink and will last longer.
4. DIVA CUP – For all you folks out there who have visits from Mother Nature herself, this is an amazing investment to make. I have heard nothing but good reviews about the Diva Cup and have been wanting to buy one for ages. To do your own research, visit www.divacup.com/eco-divas/ .
5. Switch up your cleaning habits - Instead of using cleaning wipes around your home that can’t be recycled, use old clothes that you might have thrown away, or other rags and towels that are lying around. I was recently looking through a blog that teaches you how to make your own cleaning liquids and reusable ways to store them, check it out - https://thetareshop.com/zero-waste-cleaning-tips-and-tricks/ .
6. Use your Garbage Goggles - Pick up one piece of garbage when you walk to work or your next class. Someone might see you and do the same thing and then we have a whole butterfly effect going!!! It’s not hard to do and takes no time at all to pick something up and throw it in the correct waste bin.
One last thing before I sign off! I dare you to join the #PARLEYAIR Challenge (http://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic/#parley-air-strategy-1). The challenge is very simple, all you have to do is pledge to ban one plastic item from your life. For me, I plan to stop using plastic bags. Parley is a “space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction”. They have several projects underway across our oceans and have partnered with several brands in the fashion industry to create sustainable clothing out of ocean plastic. Browse their website for interesting research, information about their projects, and to become a part of the movement!
Good luck with the challenge kind krafters!! And keep in mind our planet as you go through the day-to-day motions! <3
“We must treat the natural world differently, with respect, literally as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. I would recommend lining your baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper (if you use tin foil lightly spread the oil along the bottom to make sure the cauliflower doesn't get stuck.
2. Put the cauliflower florets into a bowl and pour the oil and lime juice over them. Shake it like a polaroid picture until the florets are nicely covered. The mix the spices in and shake again!
3. Place the cauliflower onto the baking sheet and cook them for 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 15.
4. While the cauliflower is baking, mix the ingredients for the curry mayo. Make sure to taste as you mix so that you know if you have enough spice – I went overboard the first time I made this recipe!!
5. Once the cauliflower is looking a little crispy, you're ready to serve!!!!
Maple Sweet Potato Soup
Ingredients – serves 6/8
1. Once all of the vegetables are chopped up, sauté them in a large pot at a medium-high heat. Add the vegetable stock and rice, and bring to a boil. Put a cover on the pot and cook until the potatoes and rice are soft.
2. Put in the spices and maple syrup and let the soup continue to boil.
3. If you have access to a blender, feel free to blend and make the soup into a bisque or leave it chunky and have it as a nice fall vegetable soup.
4. After around 20-30 minutes of boiling, you should be ready to go.
Peanut Butter Pad Thai
Ingredients – Serves 4
1. Cook vegetables in a large wok with the oil and garlic on a medium-high heat. Wait until they are close to tender before putting the noodles in another pot of boiling water.
2. The noodles should take 5-7 minutes on a high heat. Once they are done, strain the noodles and add in a cracked egg. Add the noodles to the large wok and add the peanut butter, soy sauce, and spices.
3. Cook for another 5 minutes and really mix all of the elements together before serving :)
All of these recipes are easy to prepare and don’t take long to cook. I like to find my fresh produce from local markets in HRM and try to make my own sauces instead of buying pre-packaged stuff. I find it so much fun to cook and a great creative outlet. Feel free to comment your favourite recipes so that I can give them a whirl at home!!!
It's been a while since I last wrote a blog as I have been away in Newfoundland for the last three weeks touring with the National Youth Choir! I had an amazing trip (minus the snow in Gander) and I am sad to leave all of the music and new friends on "The Rock".
Firstly, I want to say how thankful I am to be able to participate in the National Youth Choir. This was my third year representing Nova Scotia and I'm always amazed at how each year is as good as the last. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my fellow choristers from across Canada as well as Jeff Joudrey, Gabrielle Gaudreault, and Phil Roberts. It is such an honour to be able to work with these talented musicians and to tour beautiful provinces for the purpose of sharing music.
(The choir rehearsing before a concert)
(Laycie, Olivia, Connor, and I)
(Kristian and I – The choir at Kristian’s house)
(Nova Scotia gets screeched in)
When we were in St. John's we had a mental health workshop with Dr. Jan Buley. At first the choir was barely awake and probably not in the best shape, but we quickly snapped out of it as Jan got to work. We did an emotional exercise which definitely brought the choir closer. It was so important for us to have this workshop and to have that time to be with each other in a non-musical setting. Later on that day, we met with the Stella's Circle Inclusion Choir and listened to them sing an original song for us. The Inclusion Choir is based in St. John's and most of the members have experienced homelessness or have gone through a period of struggle. Stella's Circle is a local organization that provide services to adults who face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in their community. These barriers include mental health challenges, addictions, trauma, poverty, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, low literacy, and long periods of unemployment. The organization has several ways for people to be involved including the choir. It was beautiful to hear the song they wrote and to have the opportunity to meet such lovely people. Visit http://stellascircle.ca/ to learn more about the organization and all of the ways they are helping their community.
(Me and Connor with our matching scarves)
Hey kind krafters!
With our new cause for the season being Community Gardens, I have been thinking about ways that I can contribute to building sustainable local food systems when I head back to university in the fall. I volunteer regularly with the Wolfville Farmer's Market where I have access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious food and am wondering how I can use this to my advantage when helping others.
https://www.feednovascotia.ca/find-food - Feed Nova Scotia's website is probably one of the most up-to-date resources online. If you click on the link provided you will be able to find all the necessary information to find any program near you! Feed Nova Scotia is a charitable organization that collects and distributes food to more than 150 food banks and meal programs around the province.
http://adsumcourt.weebly.com/drop-in-centres-soup-kitchens--food-banks.html - The Adsum Court in Dartmouth is one of the locations for Adsum for Women & Children. This super helpful link provides a list of drop-in centres, food banks, and soup kitchens around HRM. The locations are also written on the website along with days and times that their services are in use!
- The Market has a program called Food Bucks which provides market dollars to those in need so that they are able to buy wholesome produce at the Market. This program is sustained through donations and volunteers!
- https://www.facebook.com/pg/SharingOurUnappreciatedProduce/posts/ - SOUP or Save Our Ugly Produce is a local organization that takes food from farms and turns it into soup for those in need. Check out their Facebook page for more information!!
- http://foundns.com/ - FOUND Forgotten Food is an organization in Nova Scotia that strives to reduce food waste by gathering and sharing forgotten fruits and vegetables. The group sources the food that wouldn't usually end up on our plates from local producers, farmers' markets, and even the trees around them.
The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is a project of the Dartmouth Family Centre. They believes in creating a welcoming space for people to come together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food! They pride themselves in providing people with access to high-quality food in a dignified setting that doesn't compromise their self-worth. Skills for cooking and gardening are taught and kids are encouraged to participate to expand their taste buds and help them to make healthier food choices. Community members find their voices on the issues that matter to them, and people find friends and support. CFCs offer multifaceted, integrated, responsive and prevention-focused programming in a shared space where food builds health, hope, skills and community.
Since we are free of the stresses and school that the year brings it is time to start that refreshed and summer feeling! While enjoying the sunshine, what's a better way to spend the summer than taking advantage of the community and environment around you?
Here are seven tips and ideas to kick off your summer taking in the outdoors and the pleasures of local establishments!
1. Eat Local.
Who doesn’t love a good lunch date? Eating local is such a great (and delicious) way to support local restaurants around you! By eating local you are supporting local economy, benefiting the environment and not to mention enjoying food full of flavor right in your community.
The Dancing Goat - Cape Breton
For myself, Cape Breton and Wolfville NS is full of the most beautiful hiking trails. Not only is hiking a great way to take advantage of the environment around you it's also a great workout!
3) Enjoy live entertainment.
If it be a band, a singer/songwriter or local theatre, getting out to watch local performers is my favorite way to spend my summer! Most of these performers practice and rehearse so hard to hard to bring you the happiness and entertainment that music and theatre brings! It's a great way to take in some talent this summer while you are supporting someone's passion.
Working for the summer can sometime be a drag, as we all know. But keeping a positive attitude can make it a little less painful. Some advice I would give would be to try to find summer work you are passionate about! If you are working a job you love you won’t feel like you are working at all! So many local establishments are usually looking for students, don’t be afraid to reach out if your interested, more than not they would love to have you.
5) Shop local.
Summer is a great time for wandering around local shops. (also who doesn’t love a few nice new pick-me ups for summer?) If it's art, clothing, or craft, buying local is supportive and a great way to shop!
6) Get involved in local workshops
Learning something new is a great way to keep yourself involved and keep creative! Local photography, theatres, yoga studios and art centres often have camps and workshops! This is an awesome way to learn something new and also support a local business
Creatives Loft - Cape Breton
Summer is the perfect time to volunteer and find out some more information on charitable organizations around you that create a positive impact on your community! Volunteering is the best feeling (trust me) you wouldn’t want to spend your summer any other way.
Until next time, Amy Cameron.
This week marks my first six months as a member of the kind krafts team! I have learnt so much in my short time here and can’t wait for what is still to come for this organization. Because of this milestone in my kind krafts timeline, I thought that I might write about why I think it is important to volunteer and be a part of an organization.
Throughout my years in junior high, high school, and university, I have volunteered in numerous ways and places. From Sunday Suppers at St. Andrew’s United Church, to random sporting and musical events, to Saturday mornings at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. Here are some of the main reasons for why I like to volunteer:
- Learning new skills – Through volunteering you can constantly be gaining new experiences. You could be figuring out how point systems work at karate competitions, how to handle cash at a vendor booth, or starting to master a new language to better communicate with others at your placement.
- Making a difference – Volunteering allows you the chance to give back to a cause you believe in. There are always opportunities to volunteer if you ask – just because it isn’t advertised doesn’t mean people wouldn’t appreciate any help you might be able to provide. What might seem to you like another day greeting people as they walk into an event, might actually be the highlight of someone else’s week. You never know the impact you have on someone’s life, no matter how small.
(Great pals Baylee and Ryan volunteering outside the Farmers’ Market)
(Volunteering at the Spatz theatre for “Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas”)
I have been a part of several organizations over the past eight years ranging from school councils and committees, to non-profits such as kind krafts! Being involved with all of these groups has taught me lots and helped me in lots of ways. Here are some of my favourite reasons for joining an organization:
- Having a break from studying/work – Sometimes participating in something outside of your day-to-day life is super helpful for distracting you from stressful situations and allows you to focus all of that energy into something positive. It gives you a great study break and is productive at the same time!!
3. Experiences – Through your time in an organization you will be exposed to countless new experience like workshops, AGMs, new courses, etc. This is an incredible opportunity for students as these chances may not come up too often through schooling depending on class sizes and course material. Take advantage of attending as many as you possibly can, or use your position to ask to create your own events for the company’s development.