Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2008 Green Living show haul

At the Green Living show last year I stopped in to see and hear Roberta Bondar---astronaut, neurologist, photographer---but I didn't try to see a speaker this year. There were more exhibits and many more give-aways, and I just indulged myself totally---spent about $100, including my GO train fare.

I bought: 1 sandwich, 1 loaf of bread, 2 cups of coffee, 750 ml steel water bottle (with wrist strap and carabiner clip), a bottle of "green works" natural dilutable cleaner (by Clorox), and 2 headrests filled with recycled plastic shavings (and Canadian-made) for Muskoka chairs for my front porch, two flowering tea ball (; you drop the ball in a glass teapot and watch it bloom!), and a 10,000 Villages funky shopping bag that turns into a round basket when you flip the handles down.

I hauled (meaning for free, for talking to a booth person, or wandering by a booth person): about 7-8 (more!) reusable shopping bags, 10 wood clothespins from Toronto Hydro (to go with their free retractable clothesline from Saturday, now holding unmentionables [bra, sockettes, panties]), sample of low-suds cold-water laundry soap from Toronto water (2 loads), full sizes of President's Choice dishwasher detergent, All-Purpose Cleaner, and Multipurpose Cleaning Putty, a 114 ml (about 1/2 cup) sample of Nature Clean All Natural dishwashing liquid ("Made by Really Nice Canadians (R)") and two samples of their Fruit & Veggie Wash (except I like my fruit & veggies dirty and still have their samples from last year), a sample of Liberte yogurt (in a reusable container and with a compostable spoon), tiny samples of "live clean" shampoo and conditioner plus a wild-flower plantable bookmark, Winning Colours stain remover (gentle on human skin; made in Canada or US, and took the in-out show stamp off the back of my hand pretty well), "method" hand sanitizer, a willow tree (really a stick, but plant and grow), a tiny bamboo spork, two pounds of green coffee beans (I used my draw-down from Merchants of Green Coffee), aaaaand that's about it. Oh, and a few discount coupons.

And a sample of worm castings from

My choices: porch lumber made of recycled plastics; Boomerang paint. I would have really liked a lovely bamboo bowl (different sizes and primary colours, very cool), but the prices were NUTS! $18 before tax for a 1-cup bowl.

My complaint: car dealers. Dealing big hybrids.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How to get to Green Living show while TTC is on strike

1. Wow. Got up at 6:03 am and saw by the Toronto Star headline that the streetcars, trains, and buses stopped running as of midnight. Last evening I thought of going to the Green Living show (VERY close to work, with my complimentary ticket from membership in my company's Green Committee) but decided that the cats had to be fed on time. Toronto MPPs are meeting this weekend to end the strike, but my Wine Rack person wondered why I wouldn't take GO transit, which stops not too far from home, and stops again right at Exhibition Stadium. D'oh. Tomorrow it is. (I have a car, but to drive it to the Green Living show is kind of counter-purpose. Also, I would need to top up my gas tank and the price this morning was 1.22 CAD per liter. I wonder what it was yesterday before midnight??)

2. I didn't win the Super 7. Again. This time, however, I bought a ticket for the draw.

3. My physiotherapist has been bugging me to get a knee x-ray, and my doctor's office finally (3 or more weeks after the first request) provided a requisition for it. It was much less bad than the last x-ray I underwent (with the barium enema)---no preparation, and I could pull my sports pants up to my hips so I didn't need to undress. I really really want to get copies of my knees from the inside, but medical records technology is still so primitive for most doctors that I probably won't even be able to see the actual films.

4. By 10 am/10h00 I was standing in line at Zeller's (behind about a gazillion other people) waiting for my free indoor/outdoor clothesline. It's actually pretty cool. I was in line for one hour but I had a very nice person to talk to the whole time. While we were waiting I saw a stack of 100 percent Egyptian cotton, made-in-USA (so you're pretty sure they're union made) Martex towels---$4.97 CA for a bath towel, $2.97 for a hand towel---so I picked up 2 hands and 1 bath. (I generally dry off after a shower with a terry bathrobe and hand towel only---less laundry---but I use a bath towel to wrap my wet hair once a week.) So I got to the cash, and the cashier said they're buy one, get one free, so I ran back to the display (delaying the person in line behind me) and got another bath towel. I also bought 20 high-tech clothes pins, and they cost more than anything else. For 4 towels, clothespins, and free clothesline the bill was less than 16 dollars. I think I'll install the clothesline and airdry the towels. Cool. Except it's going to rain this afternoon.

5. I watched my porch cat (Scuffy, AKA Mister McScuffersons, Boss Cat, Mister Jones) tackle another intruder this morning (a zany cross-eyed thing). Scuffy, who normally limps up to the food I put out for him every morning, leaped, did a major broadjump off the porch over the oatgrass, and did a wild UFC flip right onto the intruder while taking out several just-about-to-bloom tulips. Sigh.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nabes, Hoods, Neighbourhoods

Wednesday evening on my street turned out to be the catch-up time. All the interested people came out in the fine weather to clean their front yards, play ball-hockey, show off their new babies, and just generally catch up since the last fine day last year. Lots of talk about the new recycling bins. No talk about the possible TTC strike.