Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Juicing Seminar!

there will be a juicing seminar with Sadie today at eleven, in The Mez. please bring a donation of $5 for Children's Miracle Network. today we will cover a few key points:

  • why should i juice?
  • what is the difference between juicing and blending?
  • how to get started.
  • a demonstration and taste test!

i will be bringing the basics to make a veggie juice, and a fruit juice:
  • apples
  • orange
  • lemon/limes
  • ginger
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • pineapple
if there is any type of fruit or vegetable you would like to try to juice, feel free to bring it as well! some suggestions are berries, kiwi, your favourite flavour of apple, asian pears, grapefruits, greens such as kale or lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.

after the seminar you can find here a recap, including links to further information. please join us today for a good cause, and some fresh, healthy, delicious juice!

Friday, April 25, 2014


welcome to The Sustainable Sage. this is an offshoot project that ties together my personal journey into better health, a more sustainable lifestyle, and a greener planet. this blog is based on the principles represented in a Walmart associate driven program that acts as 'a vehicle to integrate environmental practices into [our] daily lives', called My Sustainability Plan. this program 'defines personal sustainability' through twelve focus areas that are divided into three categories: My Health, My Life, My Planet.

My Health
  • eat healthy
  • get active
  • quit tobacco [or other degenerative habits]
  • reduce stress.
My Life
  • learn new skills
  • manage my money
  • make quality time
  • help others.
My Planet
  • save water
  • reduce waste
  • save energy
  • enjoy nature.

 over the coming weeks, this page will develop into a hub of resources, links and ideas about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, one step at a time. here i will share my personal journey, and my own interpretation of the MSP program. What's your MSP?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

this year to celebrate the twenty days of MSP, our friends from Southern Ontario Urban Permaculture  [and our store] hooked us up with some great gifts to give away to three random participants in spring 2014's My Sustainability Plan Challenge. MSP pledge forms were printed [on reused paper] and put in the lounge at work for our fellow associates to fill out over the past couple weeks. this Earth Day, three lucky people will be selected from the 'MSP ballot box' and they will get to pick a prize!

we chose items to share that promote healthy living, saving money and sustainable practices. also, a book has been selected from the S.O.U.P. library to be gifted to a special friend who has taken an interest in growing fresh produce for her and her family. what an exciting month!

Brita Water Filter Bottle

this item was an obvious choice for an Earth Day gift. the bottle itself retails for $9.97 [comes with one filter] and $7.97 for two extra filters. the filter needs to be changed roughly every two months, so for under $18 dollars we can drink fresh filtered water from any tap for up to six months! this saves the production and disposal of hundreds of water bottles, and saves us money! not to mention the cost and emissions of cleaning, bottling and transporting that bottled water to the stores, and then to our houses. and once this reusable bottle reaches the end of it's life, it too can be recycled.

Cool Gear Expandable Salad Kit

this 'cool' item retails for around $10 and is a great way to encourage healthy lunch choices over fast food or packaged items. it's a bento-style collapsible salad box that keeps your lettuce crisp and fresh in the bottom, and your veggies and dressing chills in the top. there's even a little leak-proof squirt container for your dressing! the center tray is filled with a non-toxic gel that can be chilled in the freezer to keep your salad cool and crisp for up to 4 hours. thanks to it's collapsible format, it can be stored without taking up very much space, and carrying the empty container home after work doesn't seem like such a 'burden'. plus in the summer months you can show off your home-grown veggies in your cool reusable container!

Tim Hortons Stainless Steel Thermal Tumbler

coffee is a big deal in this city, especially the Canadian classic... Timmies! which unfortunately makes this brand's paper cup a popular sight in street litter and trash cans. the good news is, products such as this stainless steel tumbler are gaining popularity. every year, billions of paper disposable cups are produced and used for coffee alone. this entire process could be avoided if the majority of coffee drinkers would bring along their trusty travel mugs to be refilled. this product values at around $18 and can save someone who purchases two coffees five days a week from using up to 480 disposable cups a year. even better, if you brew your coffee at home, bring it to work in a thermos and use a reusable mug, you could also save up to $800 a year! that's right! wow... what an easy way to save money and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

stay tuned for more great ways to green up! Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Be the Change

what does it mean to "be the change"? be the change can be translated quite simply to: what ever change you would like to see in the world around you, you must first live it to make it so.

tips on how to "Be the Change":

begin.. at the beginning.

the point here is, find something you are passionate about that makes for a better, more sustainable lifestyle, and find ways to live it one small change at a time. it could be something as simple as switching to filtered water and discovering how much less plastic you can use in a year's time. seek communities or support groups [online counts!] that have similar interests and passions to find and share ideas and resources. then bring it home... when others around you start to notice positive changes, some will naturally be inspired to enjoy the benefits, and may ask you questions and do research of their own. spark a conversation, be the change! inspire others with action.

do what you can, where you are with what you have available. let's just say, the change you wanted to see in your area is more sustainable farming practices or naturally grown food. might seem like a daunting task all at once, so what could we do at home to take action? planting a food garden in your yard or patio is a good start. find books and resources on how to apply sustainable gardening practices such as permaculture, which can be applied to gardening or farming at any scale. having a sustainable, abundant and edible garden that also looks nice could appeal to neighbours and passers-by and catch on locally. if you and your neighbours coordinate land use, each can specialize in certain crops based on what grows well on their plot, and trade the bounty with one another. if you can't grow where you are, buy from others who can. support local farmers, CSA programs, or try to get what you can from farm markets. talk to the people who grow and raise your food!

perhaps you wish to see a decline in disease and heart related illness. learn for yourself about how the body works, and what we need to do to maintain optimal health and well-being. diet is a big factor, but not the only one. exercise, relaxation and managing stress are also important. not to mention proper sleep! but everyone is different. i began taking the time to listen to my body, while doing my research, and learning for myself what makes me feel unwell in the first place. with this knowledge i've found what things i have been eating or doing that have been unknowingly causing a lot of pain and weight gain for quite some time. my challenge now is to change my habits one by one with a goal of a total lifestyle change. it's catching on at work, other people have seen a positive change in me, which has inspired them to start doing better for themselves. how exciting to know a positive change for yourself can help others!

  • switch from bottled water to filtered water
  • use re-useable containers, and pack a lunch instead of buying one.
  • incorporate edible and locally native plants into your landscaping.
  • compost your kitchen scraps to improve the quality of your soil at home.
  • start a skill-share group in your neighbourhood.
  • make friends with a librarian! libraries are great resources for information on many topics of sustainability.
  • challenge yourself and others to make healthy lifestyle changes

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Health

  •  eat healthy
  • get active
  • quit smoking [or other degenerative habits]
  • reduce stress.

of the three categories of 'MSP'- My Health, My Life, My Planet, i believe that My Health is the best place to start. remember that age old saying "be the change you want to see in the world"? i know it sounds so cliché, but it's true. if you wanna see it, you have to be it!

there are so many changes that i would love to see in the world.. that i'm sure many of us would like to see. so where do we start? in my opinion the best place is not only at home, but within your body, mind and spirit. start where you are, with what you have access to. building healthier eating habits can give us control over our own health, have a positive impact on our local economy, and potentially even save the planet.. that's right! something as simple as being more conscious of what you're nourishing your body with can have an impact on the world around you and the life you live. remember, you are what you eat! ...literally!

this simple idea of "be the change" is what has inspired my 'MSP' for 2014: eat healthy. i made an attempt at other focus areas of My Health in 2013 such as 'get active' and 'reduce stress'. i discovered after a year long battle that these two goals are nearly impossible for me to achieve without first adding in healthy habits and food choices, and breaking unhealthy habits such as smoking or an excessive/daily intake or reliance on caffeine.

my mission as far as My Health goes, is to continue to learn about nutrition and the human body, and how to 'listen' to my own bodily responses to the things that i eat and expose myself to. my goals for 2014 include losing weight, improving strength, and establishing a healthier long term diet after giving my degestive system a much needed rest. sounds like a huge task, but the outcome of better overall health is worth the effort.

follow my blog The Sage Thrive Challenge for updates on my personal journey to better health!

What's your MSP?

  • could i be making healthier food choices?
  • do i get enough exercise?
  • are there any habits standing in the way of my optimal health?
  • what is causing me continual stress, and what can i do about it?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Planet

  • save water
  • reduce waste
  • save energy
  • enjoy nature
we have a very important responsibility today; to preserve and restore our planet for future generations. this may seem like the most daunting of the three categories of MSP, but we can start right in our own homes and neighbourhoods.

saving water and energy can be easy fixes. we can change to energy saving light bulbs, unplug electronics when they're not in use, walk or use transit instead of driving to more local destinations, take shorter showers, fix leaks etc. the first step is to become more aware of our resource consumption, and then brainstorm ideas on how we can use less.

reducing waste can be a simple byproduct of another category, My Health. making healthier food choices isn't just choosing foods with 'low fat' or 'less calories' written on the package.. in fact, the healthiest foods don't come in packages at all. bring reusable shopping bags with you to the market or grocery store and compost your food scraps, and you can have one hundred percent waste-free meals! not only that, but composting will make for healthier soil and plants!

which brings us to the last point, enjoy nature. this can be as easy as going for a walk each day, or a weekly hike on nearby nature trails. to turn a hike into an adventure, bring a bird watching guide and binoculars, or a book on local flora and try to identify as many different plants as you can. or bring a handheld GPS or smart phone and try your hand at Geocaching or various other GPS supported location based games, they're gaining popularity the past couple years and can be a very exciting way to get outside.

there's another way we can enjoy nature a little closer to home.. plant a garden. if you make it a food garden or incorporate various edible plants and herbs, making healthier food choices become more of an exciting option. there's few more satisfying things than biting into a juicy fresh tomato or snacking on a handful of berries that you grew yourself.

my mission for My Planet this year is to continue to learn and refine my gardening skills and knowledge about plants. and of course, to blog about it! follow the tiny urban farm with the super long name at!

What's your MSP?
  • how can i reduce my water consumption?
  • what products can i replace to reduce the amount of waste my household produces?
  • can i make my home more energy efficient, and save me money?
  • what are different ways i can enjoy nature?

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Life

  • learn new skills
  • manage my money
  • make quality time
  • help others.
the My Life category of MSP covers the rest... how we interact with the world around us on a broader scale, what we do with our time and money, and how we prepare for the future. what we do with our time and money today affects our quality of life for the years to come.

living in the information age, learning new skills and acquiring better and up to date knowledge is easier than ever before. with access to the internet, libraries, museums, forums and tons of resources, many things that we may want to learn about are even available for free. there are great online opportunities for education such Coursera, which offers a wide variety of courses from colleges and universities all across the globe and cover a vast selection of topics from nutrition, to history, to how to change the world.

managing our money could mean starting a retirement savings, keeping a budget or making investments. it can mean figuring out our expenses and which unnecessary ones we can eliminate. putting away small amounts from each pay can add up quickly when left 'out of sight'. for instance having an auto transfer of $20 a pay to an RSP can help you save for the future, and can be claimed at income tax time. the same can be done to put away money for travel or next year's garden or other big-ish expenses that can be a burden when payed for all at once.

time is another thing worth keeping track of, and setting aside. in this rush-and-go lifestyle many of us tend to get caught up in, it's easy to forget to have some quality time. time for ourselves to relax, time to enjoy with family and friends, time to read or learn or get away for a weekend. time management during our work weeks can allow for better quality days off where we can spend more of our time doing things we want to do instead of constantly catching up on chores or errands from the week before.

another great thing to set aside some time for is helping others. volunteering can help to connect you to your own community. helping to improve the quality of life of those around us can in turn make us happier people. it's a fun way to explore interests other than what is in your current field of work, and gain skills in a range of different tasks such as cooking or building or maintaining a garden. there are several different ways to get involved in your community whether it's helping to clean up a park or plant trees, cooking or serving at a soup kitchen, or helping collect donations for 'Community Care' [or your own local community support center]. coming soon: links to resources and programs for you to 'get involved'!

this year for My Life i plan to learn to build things and use some power tools. i'd like to build various things we need around the yard, including a shelter that also functions as a rain catchment system. my partner and i are still working on a budget to help us achieve our goals of travel and gardening while maintaining our standard of living by eliminating unnecessary costs. we will also take part in various community clean-up efforts, and donate my no longer needed bigger clothes to community care so that they can still be used and loved.

What's your MSP?
  •  what new skills would i like to learn?
  • how can i better manage my money so that i can save and pay off my debts?
  • can i set aside a little bit of time each week for myself or friends i rarely see?
  • what can i do in my own community to get involved?