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There is No Planet B
I am conscious of my actions as a 21-year-old for many reasons, but my main one has become the environment. Our Earth. Our beautiful planet that is trying so hard to sustain us while we all act so recklessly. When I talk to people older than me about what they were thinking of at my age, I get answers like “buying a car”, “finishing a degree”, or “getting ready to start a family”. At my age I am thinking about how the nine-year-old car I drive is bad for the environment. I think about how I am selfish for doing a degree in music when I could be learning about environmental sustainability and helping our planet. I think about if I really want to bring another human into a world that is already overusing its resources. What life would I be leaving behind for my child?
I can’t get mad at anyone for their actions before I was born because no one knew any better. But today in 2019, I am mad. We have known better for at least thirty-years and very little people have cared to make a difference or change their ways. So many people understand the implications of their actions on the earth but think it’s too much of a hardship to switch them up. Because of that, we now have the younger generations trying to fight a battle on behalf of all ages. Youth activists like Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and Timoci Naulusala are trying to influence the population to listen to them and the earth and not enough people are listening. I always say that I agree with saying that we don’t need 10 people doing zero waste perfectly, we need 1000000 people attempting it. But how do we get people acting on it with governments and authoritative figures not setting good examples?
Xiuhtezcatl says that we (the younger generations) are the generations with the most to lose. And that’s true. We haven’t even lived yet! We will be losing our earth, but also our opportunities. It is estimated that we have just another 31 years before 90% of mankind is annihilated by climate change (Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration). This will happen due to climate catastrophes like floods due to rising sea levels, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. I will be 52.
Living in Nova Scotia makes it easy to ignore these warnings and global disasters. I can go to any beach and swim without having to navigate around plastic in the water. I can drink as much clean water as I like and not worry about droughts. One of the easiest things to notice for me are the rising gas prices. It’s easy to remain oblivious to the bigger issues facing our Earth when they’re not right on your doorstep.
I can’t stress enough that we need to change how we are acting! It’s time to try and be perfect with how you treat the earth! If you forget your reusable mug try and seek an alternative but if there isn’t one, don’t buy a coffee! If you can walk to work, then do it even when it’s raining! If you have businesses like Farmers’ Markets or zero-waste grocery stores, buy there instead of at a chain grocery store. Find the small ways that you can improve your life as well as your environmental impact and do them! This is not a drill and it never has been. We need to become more responsible and accountable for how we treat the planet. Think of your future, your family’s future, and the earth’s future!
“The analogy that I would draw is someone looking at their bank account and week after week, they’re withdrawing money and they’re enjoying the good life. If they would bother to read the statements, they would see that the bank account is dropping $900, $800, $700, $600. And at that rate you know that another six months of the good life, is not going to be the good life anymore.”
Tw: Mental Health
Hi kind krafters,
I recently shared a post on facebook about how I celebrating (sounds strange but I think it’s fitting) my seven year anniversary of being hospitalized. At this time seven years ago, my mental health was at an all-time low. I was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts and was in a very dark place. I had no regard for my future and very little hope. Tuesday May 22nd I was admitted to 4 South in the IWK after talking to health professionals for hours throughout the day. I was involved in therapy leading up to the day and lots of therapy sessions after. There was lots to overcome and I am proud to say that I am now a stronger woman because of my struggles with mental health.
In my post, I talked about how being able to reflect at the seven-year mark is such a gift. I never thought that I would be here seven years later, and definitely not living the life that I am now!! I am about to head into my final year of a Bachelor of Music degree, I have a black belt in karate, I have an amazing job at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, I am a Youth Ambassador for this lovely non-profit, I am going to the President of the School of Music student society, I have friends and family who I love with all my heart and that - I can now say and believe – love me back! I have been able to figure out who I am, as well as learn how to recognize and acknowledge my strengths, and work on my weaknesses.
A main message that I want to try and communicate to anyone reading this, not to be cliché, is that it does get better! The hospital wasn’t a magic fix for me. I tried different anti-depressants that caused some issues for me and it definitely wasn’t a fun time. I had years of therapy and my road of recovery was NOT smooth sailing. I thought when I first entered university I was all good again, but my first year was actually a complete mess! I am not trying to make anyone nervous or upset, I just want to enforce that it will take time and a lot of hard work. Lean on your support systems! You may feel like a burden – you’re not- but you will appreciate everything in the end.
Another key thing for me, was getting involved with groups that made me feel happy. School was okay for me, but definitely not my happy place. My favourite spots were the dojo and choir rooms. These two activities helped me more than I can explain. Music speaks when words can’t and was an outlet for me to express my emotions through singing. Karate was a place I could release stress and calm my mind while practicing the 5 parts of the Dojo Kun. I think it is essential for people to find these outlets in their lives. I encourage people to try these new skills and take the risk of finding something that you love to do!
Thank you for reading this personal blog kind krafters! Please also know that you can always reach out to me to just talk or ask questions!! Sending lots of love xoxo
Hey kind krafters,
I recently started a student summer intern position in Wolfville where I am constantly learning about food production within Canada/Nova Scotia and ways that I can do better when purchasing food, creating food waste, and producing food. I thought I might share a few of my new findings with any of you reading this today in hopes that all of us can try to be a little bit better ☺
So first off, I thought I’d share a few facts that I’ve learnt about food waste in Canada
Resources used :
Some ways that I try to have less food waste are …
Another thing to think about when purchasing food is where does it come from? I have spoken to so many people recently both producers and consumers who have said that they are trying hard to only purchase food from within Nova Scotia. I’ve known some people who try to purchase from just within the Valley region too! I think this is a totally awesome idea and it forces you to support local and eat seasonally too! When you eat seasonally you have an awesome variety of food all year round! Not only does it taste great, it’s also so much more environmentally friendly! Look at this link for markets near you - https://www.novascotia.com/eat-drink/farmers-markets
Thanks for reading kind krafters! Please leave any of your suggestions for helping to decrease food waste in the comments – I’d love to learn more.
Lots of love,
Hey kind krafters,
I’m sure you have all seen the recent news about the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the outpour of support and memories being shared by Facebook friends and Instagram followers. Personally, I was saddened by the fire and sent good thoughts to those who were battling the flames and for people who were nearby and hoped that no one would get hurt in the incident. I feel badly for those who were deeply impacted by the fire and for those who the cathedral holds a very special place in their hearts. However, I was also saddened by the different posts I saw online surrounding the event.
I was amazed and upset by the amount of money that was raised within the first ten days after the fire had occurred. According to a BBC article published on Thursday April 25th, the amount of Euros raised had reached 750 million. The current exchange rate for the Euro to Canadian dollar is 1:1.50 which makes that total $1,127,497,500 in Canadian dollars. This amount is immensely unreasonable and apparently too much money for how much fixing the cathedral is actually going to cost. Though this building is gorgeous and obviously holds a lot value to many different people, I believe that this money could be used towards much more important restorations.
The picture above was shared over 500,000 times through just one Facebook page – I was one of those people that shared it! I believe that if the money spent to rebuild the cathedral was instead given to corporations that help our planet, a much smarter decision would have been made. There was a post circulating on the days following the fire that stated that the money donated to rebuild Notre Dame would have been enough to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I’m not sure how this was measured and if it is even correct, but I’m sure that 750 Euros could definitely go a long way with helping our environment. So, as I said before I was upset and my heart hurt for the people whose lives had been effected by the fire at Notre Dame, but I was disappointed with how quickly people were willing to leap to action for a building and how long it is taking for people to take any action at all to help our planet. A building is beautiful but only serves a select amount of people, whereas our Earth serves us all.
Another thing that was plastered all across social media after the fire, were posts being shared about how people should not be upset about the cathedral burning because there were more important things happening. A large part of this was saying that there was a load of discrimination attached to the money and the amount of social media coverage that the cathedral received. Personally, I think that if another building – let’s say the Taj Mahal – were to catch on fire, there would be a similar outpour of coverage and financial aid.
A few days before the Notre Dame fire, there were three churches in Louisiana that were also affected by fire. These fires were set on purpose however as a racist attack. This news is upsetting and to me, more upsetting than Notre Dame because the fires were set as an act of hate. After the Notre Dame fire, tragedy struck Sri Lanka as terrorists bombed and killed over 250 people and injured hundreds more. This was an act of hate against Christianity and it deeply hurts me to know that people who were just trying to worship peacefully were killed by extremists. These two current events are shocking and tragic; my heart aches for both communities. However, I am able to feel sad for the communities in Louisiana and Sri Lanka – as well as Paris. I’m crushed that people felt the need to shame others in a time of such immense grief for all communities across the world, and to say that their feelings weren’t valid.
I am saddened by many news stories that I read every day. Some stay with me for a long time, while others I now feel like I have built up an immunity to because I see posts about them every single day. As Nova Scotian’s, we can imagine the devastation felt in a community as a result of a fire. I know many of my friends have posted about both Louisiana and Paris and I think I saw an equal representation of both stories. With all three of the stories shared in this blog, we have seen how faith can be a target. But in all of these stories we can also see how strong faith can be for someone. Whether you’re religious/spiritual or not, I think we can all appreciate the beauty that people are able to find inside a faith. I saw someone share the following quote last week “people don’t go to church for the building, they go for the faith inside” – I think this speaks to the tragedies faced by the three communities mentioned.
At this time, (and in any time!!!!) we must be kind to each other. We have to recognize our own feelings and validate them, but we must do the same for others. I’m not sure if this article has really shared a specific point, or has allowed me to write out some of my thoughts and frustration surrounding all of the posts I have seen on social media recently. Either way, thank you for listening to me this week kind krafters!
Lots of love,
Hey kind krafters,
You’ve known me for quite a while now and so I thought I might tell you a little more about a certain side of me. Around the time that I started university I decided I wanted to start collecting postcards. I have never sent one of them, even though that is their intended use, but instead I have kept them all in a box or put them up on my wall. Whenever I go on a trip, I make sure to buy a postcard and if someone is going away, I’ll ask them if they could bring one back for me. In this blog, I’ll show you a few of my favourite ones and talk a bit about them. I think it’s so important to support our local artisans and buying their cards is a pretty inexpensive and beautiful way to do so!
Thanks for reading!
Hey kind krafters!
Over the last few months I have been watching an extremely powerful young female create change globally. I have slowly been learning more and more about her and I’m sure that many of you have seen her online or in the news. She is so influential to younger advocates as well as older populations as we all have so much to take from the knowledge she shares with us. Her name is Greta Thunberg.
Greta was born in 2003 in Sweden and has lived there her whole life. She comes from a family of artists which I found particularly interesting! Her mother is an opera singer and her father is an actor. In 2018, when Greta was just about to start grade nine, she decided that she was going to stop attending school until the Swedish government promised to reduce carbon emissions as they had announced by signing the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement, each country must figure out how they will contribute in reducing their contribution to global warming and give regular reports on their progress. The long-term goal of the agreement is to keep the increase of the global average temperature below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Greta’s idea to strike for climate came to her after she heard of the teen activists at Parkland School who did the March For Our Lives – she saw other youths trying to create change and so she decided to also. During the first part of her strike she would sit outside Sweden’s national legislature with a sign until the general elections commenced. After the elctions, she chose to only strike on Fridays but her story has travelled far and wide. By December 2018, over twenty-thousand students held strikes in over 250 cities. These cities include both Wolfville and Halifax.
In November, Greta did a TEDxStockholm talk where she discussed her story and what she is trying to do through her strike and other climate activism. Here is the link to her talk –
At the very beginning of her video, she mentions that she first heard of global warming at the age of eight. Personally, I can’t even think of the first time I heard about greenhouse-gasses, my carbon footprint, and ways that I could reduce my impact on the planet. While I was a child, being taught how to recycle seemed like another thing that I had to learn similar to my times tables. It seems so crazy to me, that we teach all of these rules about how long to shower for, how long to brush your teeth for, how to compost, how walking is better than driving, etc. but it was never done with any urgency. But now that the time has pretty much run out, people are still treating these rules with the same lack of panic.
In December 2019, Greta addressed United Nations at their climate change summit about her school strike. She spoke honestly and has been described as being ‘the only adult in the room’. Many people were upset with how a youth had to speak up and stop fully attending school because of the lack of changes being made by the adults in authority and positions of power that would allow for these large changes to be made. A quote that hit me while watching her speech goes as follows, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes”.
There is so much to learn from Greta and there is so much change that we all need to make as global citizens. If you are interested in finding new ways to better the environment, please look at my previous blog posts
Also, please feel free to share more tips/facts/comments/questions about how we can all take the necessary steps to protect our planet!
Lots of love,
Hey kind krafters!
Happy Almost Spring!! I am loving the change in the weather and seeing the ice melt off my driveway! March 20th can’t come soon enough.
This year has definitely been my busiest yet. I’ve taken lots of work-heavy courses and have participated in several extra-curricular activities. A lot of this year has seemed like a complete blur with just trying to get through one day at a time and keep up with all of my commitments. I’ve always been bad at saying no to opportunities and people, and this became very obvious this year. Acadia recently had its February reading week and I didn’t stop once. The next week was my recital and then the following week I had several large papers due. I have found this year to be a tough one for sure.
However, things are looking up! Classes are almost finished, my recital is over and went really well, I got to watch all of my friends do their third-year recitals, and now get to watch fourth-year friends do theirs too! Despite all the work due around recital season, nothing beats getting to watch my friends do what they love! I was so happy to be able to sing for my family and friends that don’t usually get to hear me sing. It was also an awesome accomplishment for Brent and I and it’s a shame that it’s finally over.
I am so thankful to have the friends that I have made while being at Acadia. They always help to de-stress me and get me through the day. Wolfville really has been the best place for me to be during my university years. Every week, I look forward to going on walks with friends around the town, going to choir on Thursdays, and working at the markets on Saturdays. Another favourite thing to do is drive around the valley and visit the farm. As cliché and cheesy as this sounds, it’s always fun to chase the sunset in the valley.
With the school year coming to a close, I am doing a little self-check. Over the past month or so, a lot of my selfcare habits have had to take the backseat. Now it’s time for me to take a quick look at what I need and what I have to bring back into my life to make sure that I’m feeling my best. I need to start meal prepping again and spend less money on buying wraps and tea from the SUB, I have to get back to going for walks every day to clear my mind and get some sun, and I also really need to start using my agenda again because without it my life is getting quite unorganized! My other thing that I’ve started to do in my room, is a good spring cleaning! I didn’t realize how much this was helping until I saw my closet looking fresher and my drawers starting to get more organized after a few months of clutter.
I hope this post makes you want to check in with yourself too as we enter exam season and make sure that you’re giving yourself appropriate time and love!
Becoming a beekeeper is a challenging yet rewarding experience. With an increase in demand for natural household goods, homeowners across the U.S continue to pursue beekeeping for natural alternatives. Whether your beekeeping is a profession or hobby, you can do it in your own backyard.
An ancestor of wasps and ants, the bee is a prehistoric insect that has evolved and divided into approximately 30,000 different species over the years. The first beehives kept by people were called skeps. The problem was that extracting the honey destroyed the skeps. Lorenzo Langstroth developed a new system that is similar to what is used now.
The Pilgrims brought honeybees to North America in order to have beeswax and honey. These bees live in a hive that can produce up to 100,000 bees that not only provide honey and beeswax but also pollinate flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
The Benefits of Beekeeping and Conservation
While many people associate the word “bee” with getting stung, these insects are essential to human life on this earth. They pollinate the crops and initiate the reproduction of many plants as they move pollen from stamens to pistils. Unfortunately, the pesticides used on crops can either kill bees or render them incapable of doing the job we depend on for our food.
Even though states like California are still able to produce 13,000 pounds of honey each year, there are several issues impacting the decreasing the bee population. Environmental concerns, such as pollution, can be a serious detriment to an entire colony of bees. Another danger to the bee population are parasites that can maim or kill both young and adult bees.
Improving the longevity of the bee population isn’t the only benefit of beekeeping.
Here are a few additional advantages:
Now that you know why you should pursue beekeeping, here are five steps to get started:
1. Check Local Beekeeping Laws and Regulations
Research what is required before you take another step toward becoming a beekeeper. Here are a few things to look into:
2. Find the Ideal Beekeeping Location
You’ll need to consider your location and whether or not it is conducive to beekeeping. Bees need hives that get plenty of sun and shelter from high winds. During the winter, you’ll need to have easy access so you can clear the snow away from the hive entrances.
If there are other houses nearby, check with other folks in the neighborhood to make sure you don’t cause a problem. You don’t want to become a nuisance to families with small children who play outdoors or seniors who may have a bad reaction to a couple of bee stings. If you live in a neighborhood, you may want to offer some bee education to the people around you.
3. Gather Your Beekeeping Supplies
Some of the basic items you need include:
Purchase your beekeeping supplies from a reputable dealer. Some of the places you can look include Dadant, Mann Lake, Bailey Bee Supply, and Western Bee Supplies.
4. Get the Proper Beekeeping Protection
Protecting yourself is essential if you want to be a beekeeper. You may choose a beekeeper’s suit when you first get started and wear it until you become more comfortable as you get to know your bees. Bees can sense fear and tension, and they’re likelier to sting if they feel that they’re in danger. You still might get stung, so you may want to invest in an EpiPen if you’re concerned about a possible allergic reaction.
Even if you choose not to wear full protective gear, make sure you wear a veil. A bee sting to the eye can produce long-term swelling and may possibly cause permanent vision loss. Stings on the lips or other parts of the face can be excruciating. There are different styles of veils and hoods, so choose the one that is most comfortable for you.
5. Build Your Beehive
Many people prefer to purchase ready-made beehives when they first get started. However, you may want to save some money and build your own.
Start with any type of solid wood that doesn’t have cracks. You’ll need these items to get started:
The ideal beehive is a box built from finger-jointed wooden pieces. However, you can also use flat-edged wood, as long as you can create a square box that is secure and sealed. If you choose to use wood glue, apply that before nailing the box, making sure the handle is on the outside and easily accessible. You’ll want to paint the hive with exterior paint to prevent the wood from rotting.
Maintaining and Benefiting from Your Beehive
As a beekeeper, you have ready access to honey and beeswax for a variety of uses. Honey is not only a delicious way to sweeten foods it provides some protection from allergies. Many people use honey to suppress coughs, and it’s delicious on peanut butter sandwiches. Substitute honey for sugar in some of your recipes for a deeper, richer flavor.
You can use beeswax in a vast number of ways. Some of the personal uses include lip balm and skin moisturizers. Mix it with chickweed powder, comfrey powder, and olive oil for itch relief.
There are also quite a few things you can do with beeswax around the house. Rub a little of it on the rails of a stuck drawer, and you’ll be able to open and close it with no problem. Wax your wooden furniture and exposed beams with beeswax. You can also lubricate screws, nuts, and bolts with it. Before exposing leather shoes or handbags to the elements, rub a little beeswax on them for protection.
What If I have to Move My Beehive?
As a dedicated beekeeper, you may have to move the hive if you are relocating or the natural environment surrounding the hive is no longer ideal. The idea of moving a beehive can be intimidating for newer beekeepers but can be accomplished under the right conditions.
Typically, most experienced beekeepers believe that you should only move your hive “3 feet or 3 miles.” If you stay within the three-foot radius, the colony will be able to reorientate on their own. On the other hand, three miles is enough for the colony to recognize the new location of their home.
Don’t fret though – transferring a beehive can be done in a few simple steps.
If you want your bees to continue producing honey and beeswax, you need to take care of them. Here are a few final tips to keep your hive buzzing:
Hello kind krafters! It’s so good to be back and I have missed writing and having this blog be a part of my weekly routine. I hope that you’re all doing well and looking forward to spring’s arrival just around the corner!!
With the slow departure from the winter months, more people are getting out and participating in weekly events. I know I am definitely busier now and that the cosy snowy nights will soon be disappearing. One of my workplaces is also getting busier! The Wolfville Farmers’ Market is by far one of my favourite places to shop – and definitely an awesome location to volunteer and work! As well as being a great destination to find fresh and local produce, it’s also the best place to meet new people and reconnect with members of your community. I have made some awesome friendships through working there with people I would probably never have full and in-depth conversations with in my day-to-day life.
At the market, I talk to several people who are a similar age to my grandparents, and I have realized how special it is for me to have the opportunity to learn through them. Every Saturday I listen to their stories ranging from fighting in wars and playing hockey with the army, to their first dates and how they asked their significant others to marry them. I feel so honoured that they share their lives with me and I love sitting down with them and chatting over a cup of tea from Just us!.
I grew up in England until I was ten years old, and so my relationship with my grandparents has been weekly skype calls and the occasional visit over the pond. I feel like a lot of the time our chats consist of catching up and asking what the other person has been up to over the last little while. They do tell me some random and interesting stories, but I feel like if I saw them more often, I would hear a lot more! Maybe it is because of this, that I get so excited when people share their tales with me at the market.
From being in these situations at the market, I have come to realize that life can be short and that we should be more communicative with one another. Several things have happened within the last little while to help me understand this, so I thought that I would share a couple!
Basically, what I am trying to say in this long post (oops!) is that we all need to listen more to each other and put ourselves in situations where you’re given a chance to learn from people that you wouldn’t usually get the chance to! It is SO much fun!!
Much love kind krafters!!
Happy New Year, kind krafters! 2018 was a great year for me and I’m having fun reflecting on my adventures, achievements, and challenges. I rang in the first few days of 2018 in Cape Breton with my amazing friend and her family, I then traveled back to visit family in England in family and met my newest baby cousin, my class and I raised money through music for a great cause, I competed in the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association competition and placed first in my class, I traveled to Newfoundland for the first time for my third year in the National Youth Choir of Canada where I added more friends to my ever-growing choral family, toured Ontario for the second time with Xara Choral Theatre, and then completed my first semester of third year! I definitely experienced some challenges last year, but I think that 2018 was a very important year of growth for me. I have learnt a lot about time management and organization, how to conquer insecurities, and what I need to maintain a healthy and balanced life.
In 2019, I plan to continue to grow as a person, an environmentalist and activist, musician, and friend. Some of my general goals are:
I also want to continue to work hard in my courses and have a successful recital this coming semester. I hope that I can have new solo experiences in the summer and have lessons with instructors for possible graduate programs. I plan on performing in a few recitals outside of school and am excited to plan my own concert and learn about that aspect of my music making too.
All in all, I want to take control of 2019 instead of letting the year fly by. I want to make every moment count and every action that I make be purposeful. I want to listen to my body and know when to push harder or to allow myself rest. I want to continue to put others before me but know when it’s okay to put myself and my own needs first. I want to explore our beautiful planet while I am still able to, and I need to do everything I can to help preserve the earth and treat it with the respect it deserves. I want to continue to love my friends and family and help them whenever they need it and support them in all of their triumphs.
I am so excited for what 2019 holds and I hope that you are as well! I wish you a year full of adventure, fun, and love. All the best, kind krafters!