Too many Stars in my eyes (Day 116)…

June 24, 2007

I’m a journalist. I work at a newspaper. And I like to have a real, live copy of it every morning to read with my coffee and oatmeal, so I’m not about to cancel my subscription to the Post anytime soon (plus it’s free, and it’s the only employee perk I get, so cut me some slack).

However, I’ve been getting the Star on Sundays, because the Post only prints Monday to Saturday, and suddenly they’ve started delivering it to me free of charge every day of the week. It’s way too much paper, and while I love getting complimentary anything, it means hauling down stacks of it to the recycling bin every few days and is really a waste.

So as of today, I’m cancelling my subscription, and going back to one newspaper a day.

It Hertz real bad (Day 115)…

June 23, 2007

My mother and I are on a mini vacation at the moment, visiting a friend, and we had to rent a car (there was no getting around it, I swear). Unfortunately, my dad made the booking, and despite the fact that my mom said she wanted the smallest car in the lot, there was some miscommunication about whether this meant a compact or a sub-compact (I would’ve requested a hybrid or something from their Green Collection but by this point it was too late and none were available).

To make a long story short, we show up at Hertz, are handed a set of keys and make our way out to discover a ginormous SUV, a Chrysler Pacifica, in white of course. The words “Oh my GOD” came out of our mouths in unison as we gawked at the gas-guzzling monstrosity before us. We practically needed a set of ropes and carabiners to haul ourselves up into the seats, after which we were greeted with that “new car” (read: off-gas) smell. Yuck.

Driving around in this thing, I feel like I’m undoing every single change I’ve made so far. From now on, whenever I have to rent a car in the future, I’m making sure it’s a Prius or, at the very least, it’s as small and efficient as possible.

Feeling the burn (Day 114)…

June 22, 2007


So I just bought all that fancy, mineral-based suntan lotion, and what do I do? Promptly go out in the sun, neglect to apply any of it and scald my back. The worst part was, I was just sitting there thinking, “My back is probably burning right now,” and did nothing other than half-heartedly rotate, so I was more asking for skin cancer than begging for it.

The product junkie in me insisted I march straight to Shopper’s Drug Mart and buy some after-sun lotion, plus maybe some of that cooling gel meant for arthritis — that stuff rocks.

But then I stopped and reconsidered. For one thing, those lotions have never really seemed very effective, and for another, if something like aloe vera is supposed to be good for sunburns, it would surely make a lot more sense to get an actual leaf of aloe, which doesn’t come in all that plastic and paper packaging. I also have this homemade beeswax stuff that could be worth a try, although the chances that anything other than time will turn this red blotchiness into an even tan are slim to none.

That’s OK, though. I figure, I’ve contributed to global warming, so if I’m stupid enough not to protect myself from it, I might as well pay the price and feel the burn.

Image courtesy from these guys.

Greening my hangover (Day 113)…

June 21, 2007

Sorry for the late, short and all-round crappy post today folks, but this is one sick Thistle. Head pounding. Stomach lurching. Eyes bloodshot. In fact, I’m not even sure how my fingers found their way to this keyboard and made all these words appear.

Nonetheless, the show must go on, so today I’m going to be greening my hangover routine. In place of overpackaged Gravol, I’ll have to either suck on a piece of ginger or just tough it out. Barf bag? Not unless it’s reusable. Basically, the only cure I’ll be relying on for this and any other hangover is the no-frills holistic one: my body’s ability to heal itself.

Man, this screen is bright.

Search and make joy (Day 112)…

June 20, 2007


I must use Google at least 50 times a day, whether researching for work, looking up random trivia or just doing a vanity search (kidding — I’ve only Googled myself twice, three times tops… OK maybe seven). And in all the years that I’ve been using it, I don’t think it’s ever failed me, even with the most obscure, long-winded, over-punctuated queries.

But a little while ago, Shawn over at Kowai mentioned this thing called GoodSearch, which is powered by Yahoo! but has a philanthropic edge: it makes a donation to the charity of your choice every time you type in a phrase and hit Enter (I chose the World Wildlife Fund).

Founded in 2005 by a guy from and his friend, a former MSNBC anchor, GoodSearch donates 50% of its advertising revenue to the charities and schools selected by its users. They estimate that only about one cent from each click goes to the cause, so you really need to search for a whole lot of stuff for it to make a difference.

Still, baby steps are better than no steps, so from now on I’ll make it my primary search engine.

Stickers, stickers, stickers!

June 20, 2007


Big thanks to Jamie, who pointed out yesterday that an easy way to go about making and selling stuff is through the website That’s exactly what I did, which means you can now get your very own “I’ve been reused” stickers at my little online shop right here.

I designed them myself, so they’re pretty basic, not too girly (but believe me, I was tempted to go with a hot pink, extra-serifed font) and can be stuck on anything: a refilled shampoo bottle, a mason jar, a water bottle, a tupperware container, etc.

Make sure you order in bulk to reduce the carbon cost of shipping!

And let me know if it doesn’t work, because this multimedia craziness otherwise known as the Internet can still stump me sometimes. I’ll also take suggestions for more stickers, buttons, T-shirts and anything else all your green hearts desire.

Quiet activism (Day 111)…

June 19, 2007

bike stickers

I’ve mentioned before that sandwich boards are an unflattering look for me and, you know, my biceps just aren’t what they were 10 years ago, so holding up big signs is not an option. Plus, I figure, if I’m going to get off my butt and start marching around, I may as well be marching towards the nearest shoe store.

Protesting, then, is pretty much out of the question. However, I’m all for quiet, small-scale activism, raising awareness about environmental causes with some humour and perspective. Stuff like the PB&J campaign, for instance, is right up my alley.

So are stickers. I love stickers. And while they are made from evil materials like plastic and vinyl, they can also get a worthwhile message across and strike up conversation. Recently, I got some These Come From Trees stickers, which I’ve been sneakily adhering to paper towel dispensers in public restrooms. And I also got a bunch for my bicycle, which pronounce hardly controversial but still pointed statements like “Treehugger”, “I [heart] my bike,” and my favourite, “Mend Your Fuelish Ways”.

A little while back, some readers suggested I make a sticker saying something like “I’ve been reused!”, so people could refill their empty brand-name shampoo bottles with natural product but let everyone else know that, actually, it’s not Pert Plus in there, thank-you very much (note to readers: I’m on it, but making stickers can be expensive).

Then, of course, there are the tote bags, the T-shirts and the wristbands, plus tons of other merchandise, most of which I think is a bit silly, but still, plenty of outlets through which to convey my point of view. And lastly, this here blog gets a message across every day to at least a thousand people — granted, a lot of it is just preaching to the choir, but there are always some newbies who stop by every now and then to pick up a few tips about where to get vegan-friendly floss or how to survive without a fridge.

Today’s change then, is simply to make sure that I step up the green publicity, raise environmental awareness whenever possible and — much like Alina did with her blog — come out of the closet as a organic-eating, handkerchief-carrying treehugger.