Friday, November 28, 2008

green holidays, tolerance & understanding - green technology

-- Innovative Green Technology --

An article by Trey Granger at site shared interesting recycling endeavors by the city of San Diego. Apparently they are offering free surfboard recycling to keep obsolete surf-boards out of landfills. The city will sort the surf-boards and any that are reusable are donated to various Los Angeles nonprofit organizations - while broken boards will be ground up and used in mixing concrete. According to the article: “Over 750,000 surfboards are produced each year. Because modern surfboards are made of polystyrene (which you may know as #6 plastic), finding recycling options can be a challenge.” Now of course there may be concerns with this new innovation such as the possibility of contaminating the concrete, a relatively benign material. Leaching pollutants into the air or water table could be another concern. However, I found this innovative approach to a growing landfill problem quite interesting and it is possible that these concerns have already been addressed by the creator of this exciting technology.

-- Green Family Holiday Activity Tips --

As we near December, the joy of the holidays is making its way into our homes and offices. There are a lot of people out there on constrained budgets, while others want to instill conscious living patterns in their children. Families are aching to spend time together, but sometimes, they just don't know what to do that would be fun for everyone.

Here are some tips that could help you accomplish all of these things:

Save all of your old birthday or other holiday cards - these are great craft items! Consider all the cards you've received or those that you've made wrong entries in and don't want to send it out with a big scribble in the inside :) .

Create beautiful bookmarks & Gift Tags: These are extremely easy to construct and depending on the size, shape and type of scissors you are using - they can be made into very creative craft projects. Those little bits of ribbons that you've been saving will come in handy now too. If you don't have any, visit your local wedding and flower shops to see if they have any bits and ends for your projects. Bookmarks are a lovely gift and are even more meaningful because they were handmade by someone they love. Consider a set of bookmarks in 2's, 4's or even 6 per recipient.

Those same cards can be very useful for creating unique gift tags, which can extend your budget by reducing the number of gift wrapping items you need to purchase. These unique gift tags can also be a wonderful gift - consider creating a package of a dozen or so per recipient.

For either of these craft ideas simply look for interesting images and make sure there is no writing on the reverse side. Cut those out into the desired shape and - voila ! - you have your bookmark or gift tag. Smaller images work best as gift tags, while long, narrow images work best as bookmarks. Use a hole punch on the top of the bookmark or gift tag and attach a tassel or ribbon.

-- Tolerance - Understanding --

“…we were part of what is called today as the 60’s scoop… another process of assimilation. We ended up off reserve with a non-native family… I became a goalie (hockey) for local teams…and then for the Detroit Redwings… the road to get there was full of bruises & cuts & emotional exhaustion. …at the end of my hockey career, before I knew it I was in Toronto …& ended up on the streets… there is a false feeling of family on the street but it isn’t really there because no one can really trust each other. …in the workshops for youth I give today, I talk about life on the streets, the native culture… I think they really need to hear that someone will be there waiting for them when they hit bottom & come back. …we tell stories & have fun, …sharing native culture …& giving them a sense of identity… a sense of respect for life…” ~ Michael White 02/10/08

I chose this quote because recently we celebrated Tolerance day and Michael's interview reminded me of experiences I had when growing up. You see, I was on my own when I was 14 due to an unstable home and an abusive past. I was lucky in that I was already working at nurseries doing odd farm work so I was able to pay rent on a small apartment. I tell the full story in my book Towards Understanding. Anyway, while in that position I had a lot of people staying with me from time to time. Run-aways from angry parents who hit, or divorcing parent that fight. There were rich kids, poor kids - each had their own individual chains to over come in life. And looking back, I am honored to have been able to provide a safe place for them, even if only for a night or two. The interview with Michael shows another side of people on the street.... without means to support themselves or without the emotional strength to carry on. According to Michael - the street is an equalizer. You'll find lawyers, doctors, housewives... people from all walks of life. Very few are there just because they didn't want to abide by rules. I encourage our blog readers to visit the Conscious Discussions Talk radio show to hear this incredible interview.

Michael's interview aired on Feb 10, 2008 - Look to the archives on the right side of the Conscious Discussions talk radio show. Click on the hyperlinked show title here in the blog or click on the link on the right side of the blog's page... either will get you there ;)

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at

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