8 Help Me Save Langley - How to say Thank You

I struggle with what to write in this post. I want to say Thank You to everyone involved in Help Me Save Langley but I feel like the words do not do justice to what I am feeling in my heart. Every day I would check the Chip In to see if the total amount raised had moved and every time it did I would smile (okay and cry). Every single donation mattered. Every single time you shared Langley it made a difference. You did this, not me. This would not have been successful without each and every one of you. 

We had 55 donors with more than 500 entries in the giveaway!

You donated $2,391 to Langley's adoption grant account on Reece's Rainbow. There are no words as to how massive this dollar amount is. Joe and I promised to match all donations up to the first $2500 raised and after seeing your generosity these last few months I feel compelled to not only match your donations but to donate the full $2500.  This means that together we have raised $4891 to help save Langley. 10% of this amount is automatically routed to the Voice of Hope which helps fund the operations of Reece's Rainbow. It pays for things like PayPal fee's and getting information on children like Langley so they have a chance at being adopted. That means that we have added $4402 to Langley's grant account bringing his total account to $6585!! (Our matching dollars will be added in a few weeks when our cheque arrives at RR. Also we just received another $100 today so I have updated the totals based on that!)

I want to thank our fantastic sponsors. When I reached out to companies and individuals I did so knowing that most likely I would get turned down but that did not happen. The majority of people I reached out to were happy to be on board with our fundraiser. They offered up some awesome prizes for the giveaway as a way for Joe and I to thank you for your generosity in donating and sharing to help save Langley.

The Winners!

Gord Eyers - RIM - BlackBerry Torch 9800 (Telus)  (MRSP $599) Facebook Twitter
Katie Schneider - LVE Life - Solar Powered Backpack (MRSP $199) Facebook Twitter
Sharon Blair - Rapanui Clothing - Gift Package Facebook Twitter
William Larsson - Ethical Ocean - $25 Gift Card (x2) Facebook Twitter
William Larsson - Darly Bird - $30 Gift Card
Steve Kovacevic - Clean and Green - Package of cleaning essentials Facebook  Twitter
Katie Schneider - Blushing Pixie Jewelery - $40 Gift Card Facebook Twitter
Kathryn Hopkins - Perseus Books - Copy of Skinny Bitch: Home Beauty and Style Twitter
Heather Hickey - William George - Baby Gift Package Facebook
Heather Hickey - Brant Heritage Travel (Marlin Travel) - 400 additional Air Miles upon booking
Kristin Ireland - Samantha's Art Studio - 2 8x10 Prints Facebook Twitter

I used random.org to pick the winners and have screen shots of this if anyone requires it. I will be contacting each winner today to get their information to pass along to our sponsors.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me do this. This isn't the end of the road for Help Me Save Langley. I promised I would help find him a family and help that family get fully funded and I plan to keep my word on that. Please continue to share Langley's sweet face via any means you can. His forever family is out there somewhere.



5 Garden Project - Sowing Seeds Indoors

Check out Part 1 - Picking Seeds and Part 2 - Planning

I have been saving toilet paper rolls for a few months now so I could easily sow the seeds for our garden. I have never grown from seeds before so easy was exactly what I was looking for. I sat down today to finally put them to use and get the seeds into them.  I followed this tutorial from You Grow Girl.  I didn't have enough to sow all my seeds so I had to use egg cartons for the rest.


1 Our Earth Day - UPDATED

Sunday was pretty crappy weather here. In fact thinking back Earth Day is never good weather for us!  There was a small window of time where the clouds parted, the rain stopped and we were able to get out for a walk to pick up garbage. 

At first I thought we weren't going to find very much. The path behind our house had barely any garbage! But as we got closer to the new home construction area the amount of garbage increased. I expected this. What I did not expect was what we found. Yes there was the typical construction debris - plastic wrap, styrofoam insulation, pieces of wood etc but there was also the annoying shit like water bottles. Who is still drinking bottled water these days??? And who is ditching it on a walking path??? 

My anger intensified when we found this.

See those 2 things I have circled? Those are full bundles of newspapers that some asshat dumped in the woods instead of delivering them. There was 3 of these in the same area. I need to go back and get an up close picture (my battery died after I took this picture) and then email it to the newspaper.

I was only able to carry 2 large reusable shopping bags with us but we stuffed as much as we could into them. B was my lookout and pointed out all the best garbage for me to pick up. I think a lot of times the garbage is from the wind. I really want to believe that this much garbage is not from people actively choosing to litter. Lately it has been really windy the night before or the day of garbage pickup so I believe that could explain some of the trash that we found that is closer to the homes.  There are many ways to prevent your recycling from blowing away and becoming litter.

* Don't put it out at the curb the night before pickup
* Stack your aluminum/glass/plastic blue box on top of your paper blue box
* Weigh down your blue boxes with heavier objects on top
* Don't overfill your blue box. If you need to get a 2nd/3rd/4th box then do it!
* Look at what you are buying and cut back on items with lots of packaging

This is what we found (you can find the pictures on Facebook): 7 pop cans, 2 plastic cups, 2 plastic lids, 1 apple sauce container, 6 water bottles, 3 drink boxes, 6 scraps of paper, 5 coffee cups, 3 pieces of cardboard, 2 poop bags (why on earth did I pick these up?? I didn't know they were poop but still!), 5 pieces of styrofoam, 9 plastic bags (some very large) AND 1 bundle of junk mail. 

Oh hi things that should never have been printed in the first place. 
What were you doing in the forest?

Now this is ironic

Guess who is going to get a nice Tweet and email from me?

Update - I tweeted Rogers about this and they responded asking for the details (location etc) so they can figure out who should have delivered these mailers.  They are just as pissed as I am.

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2 Get your Mom Jeans ready!

May is almost upon us and is the time of year to celebrate all that it has to offer. Fresh air flowing in through open windows, the smell of fresh cut lawn, packing away winter clothes and of course celebrating Mom! On Tuesday May 8th it is time to dust off your Mom Jeans and join us for the Thanks Mama Twitter Party hosted by Baby Rabies. Join us as we celebrate the most important woman in the world - Mom! From 8-9PM CDT we will be chatting, offering trivia questions, cloth diaper tips and tricks, natural parenting topics and more. Use #thanksmama to participate.

There are some fabulous eco-friendly prizes up for grabs too for 6 lucky party participants from Thanks Mama:

* bumGenius Freetime All in One cloth diaper
* Rumparooz One Size cloth diaper
* Fred’s Swim Academy Swimtrainer
* iPlay Ultimate Swim Diaper & Kushies Pool Shoes
* Sophie the Giraffe
* $25 gift card to ThanksMama.com

To win you must RSVP and you must tweet at least once during the party including the hashtag #thanksmama. To collect your prize it is very important that you attend and tweet between 8-9pm CDT on May 8. To RSVP, click here!

Stephanie from Good Girl Gone Green and I will be helping Jill with the Twitter Party so make sure you follow us all of us on Twitter. @JnJGoGreen   @GGirlGGreen   @BabyRabies  @ThanksMama

Disclaimer - I don't own any Mom Jeans


3 More than Earth Day

This weekend marks the 42nd Earth Day and in our home the day will pass with only a minor bit of fanfare...because for me I try to live every day with the same notoriety that Earth Day gets. Last year we bought a tree (which due to crap weather we planted on Mother's Day). This year we will be outside enjoying nature and undertaking a throw down given to me by a colleague to pick up as much garbage as I can. Challenge Accepted!

I love the discussions Earth Day creates. At work we were talking about litterless lunches and the challenges that can be created when you have takeout for lunch. So on Thursday a colleague and I challenged ourselves to ask our favourite takeout restaurant if we could use our own bags, chopsticks and containers. They answer was a very appreciative YES. 

I love the events that pop up locally around Earth Day.  Communities band together to plant trees, pick up litter and learn about their local environment. You see more families out enjoying the natural environment whether it is a hike in the woods or riding a bike instead of driving. 

I love thinking beyond Earth Day. Think about what you can do every single day. Think about your current behaviours and how you can change them to live and more eco-friendly life. The biggest thing we have done on our green journey is to understand where we are having the biggest impact. It is important that you evaluate your life! Figure out where your opportunities for improvement are and come up with a plan to work on those. You can't know where you are going if you do not know where you are currently at. Don't just pay your utility bills and not think about what you are really consuming. Look at the numbers, examine the data...figure it out. 

I hope you have a fantastic Earth Day. But even more so I hope the days after are just as eco-friendly as Sunday. 

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3 Operation No Ants

Last year we had an ant problem and I talked about the eco-friendly methods we used to try and get rid of them. This year the only ants that will be in our house will be on a log of celery. To accomplish this takes a bit of upfront work but it is worth it. If you follow these tips hopefully you too will be ant free this year!

Use a sealant to seal up cracks and holes in bricks, siding and foundation. There are even eco-friendly options on the market. They contain zero isocyanates and zero urethanes and meet strict regulations for states like California.

Use a non toxic caulking to seal up any holes around your windows and doors. Eco-friendly options are outlined here.

Make sure you have good weather stripping under your doors. Ours was old and worn out and the ants would get in under it (while the door was closed) to get into our house. 

In the area's where you have previously had ants enter the house put down a line of real cinnamon. Ants hate it so it will deter them from entering your home in that location.

Watch where you put your backyard compost bin. If you have it too close to your house (like we do) then ants may be attracted to it and in turn then to your house.

Ants hate mint too so consider planting some in the gardens that surround your home.

When you are spring cleaning think about every area ants could hang out. Clean the area with vinegar and hot water to get up any food residue that may attract ants. Make sure you get in under your appliances and shelves in your pantry.

Don't leave food out on your counters or tables and ensure anything that hits the floors is quickly cleaned up. Organize your kitchen to ensure food is in air tight containers. If they can't smell it then they won't want it!

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2 Help Me Save Langley - The Final Push

It is hard day after day checking on Langley's page on Reece's Rainbow and seeing that he has not yet been scooped up by a family. Langley doesn't know what we are doing for him. He doesn't even know that you and I exist. But we know that he exists and that is huge. Together we can change the path he is on and give him a chance at a good life.

We have 2 weeks left to do all we can to help save Langley. To do this we need to get his grant account up as high as possible and we need to get his precious face out there. Both of these will increase his chances of finding a forever family.

I have been amazed by what you have given and how much you have shared our efforts to save Langley. You have donated $2061 which means together we will have added $4122 to Langley's adoption grant account. When we reached the $2000 goal for matching I was beyond happy and as a result we have decided to increase our matching to $2500. This means for every dollar you donate you are really adding $2 to Langley's grant account. 

I've thought about what we can do to keep the momentum going as we come towards the end of our fundraiser (ends April 29th). So here it is:

The on-going rules:
* For every $5 donated you get 1 entry into the giveaway (use the Chip In located on the right)
* Every time you share this on Facebook, Twitter or your blog you get an entry (tag me so I know)

Additional rules:
* Buy Norwex products from Rachel and you get an entry (leave a comment so I know)
* Buy a balloon for Langley and you get 1 entry/balloon (leave a comment so I know)
* Get someone else to donate and you will get an additional entry (leave a comment so I know)

Prizes are listed here.


4 Disappointed in Wendy's

Great minds think alike and that was evident last night. I got a BBM from my friend Amy just as we were getting home from swimming. As I was opening it Joe was getting dinner out (we had picked up Wendy's). Amy had sent me this 

This is a "holder" that Wendy's burgers come in now. They wrap them up and then put them in these cardboard containers.  And of course not only did Amy have one for dine-in at Wendy's but I had one with our takeout. Neither of us understood the need for this holder so I tweeted Wendy's to find out. They responded right away with this

The burgers fall apart??? If this was the case then why do not all burgers get these holders? Joe's triple burger didn't get one. And how was Amy's burger going to fall apart as it was put onto the tray and then as she carried it to the table? I found this online which may explain their original reason for having this holder.

The new wrapping is wax paper rather than the old plastic wrap they used to use so that is an improvement. In our case my burger did not come like the picture above. It came fully wrapped and then in that cardboard holder.  This new packaging also means that they have to place burgers in their own separate bag to prevent them from toppling over (this did not happen with us - but it is a common theme I read about online).

Wendy's did say that you can opt out of the cardboard holder if you ask when you order which may be the only option consumers have right now because Wendy's also does not have any recycling in their restaurants. You can find out more about that here but to me it looks like it is because they say fast food packaging is typically not accepted by recyclers (but it is here). 

If you want to see the good things Wendy's is doing for the environment you can find it here. No, Wendy's isn't all bad but I just think a little short sighted when it came to their new packaging design. I think it is supposed to have a "throwback" appeal which it does...right back to the time when there was no recycling and we waste resources with no thought. The only thing worse would be styrofoam.

What do you think? Will the new packaging keep you from going to Wendy's (if you go there) or will you try to opt out of the cardboard holder?

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8 Garden Project - Planning

In case you missed Part 1 of our Garden Project about picking seeds you can find it here.

I'm a planner which means when it comes to our Garden Project I am in spreadsheet heaven planning out every square inch of deliciousness. With our first garden we didn't plan it out. It really was an impulse buy when we were out one day. We grabbed all the supplies and just came home and did it. As a result we forgot to put tomato cages over our tomatoes, the bean poles were not strong enough for our bean plants and we did not account for the fact the cucumbers grow like a mofo. All this added up to us not getting all that we could have out of our garden. I am determined to not let that happen this time!

Planning your garden is important for several reasons:

Size and Location
The size of garden you build will most likely be linked to the type of plants you want to grow and the optimum conditions they need. Once you have the location and size figured out you can start to focus on what materials you will need. Think about the proximity to your rain barrel or garden hose too. You don't want to build a garden and then not be able to water it!

You want to make sure you have all the materials you need. Planning in advance will give you the time and option to look for second hand items (arches, cages etc) and ensure that you do not buy too many plants or sow too many seeds. Remember to always sow a few extra seeds just in case some do not germinate. 

Our Garden Plans
With our garden I have several things planned. I am looking into hooking our rain barrel up to a pump and then having that feed to a watering system built into the garden. It has been a really dry winter and spring so far so I am not sure if this will work for this year but I still want to plan it out and know what it would take.

I am going to build (okay Joey is going to build) 3 container beds and then separate them by little rocks. This way I can tend to the plants at the back of each garden and help control and issues that may arise in each garden. I'm thinking about having one area of one of the bed raised to hold the herbs and maybe even having one bed be specifically for experimental plants (ie: large pumpkins).

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7 Potty Training (babies really should come pre-trained)

There are so many things in life that while you are in the midst of it you feel like it is the HARDEST THING EVER. Since becoming a mother I have had several of these moments. My first was just before B was born when I became terrified of labour. This was after several "fun" appointments with our midwife where they performed the stretch and sweep.(DO NOT google this if you do not know what it is. You're welcome). My last few days being pregnant I contemplated how to still have a home birth but not have to actually push anything out of me that would remotely feel like what a stretch and sweep feels like.

Then there was teaching B how to sleep which we tackled by following the No Cry Sleep Solution. Which yes was no cry for him but I shed many a tear during the process.We made it through this phase and as I came out of it I seriously high fived myself at what I had accomplished.

Potty training seems easy. You have to pee or poop? Sweet! Do it on the toilet! I would say it was sometime during Day 3 of our training where I found myself wondering if he would ever understand what I was asking him to do. And then on Day 7 the familiar THIS IS THE HARDEST THING EVER and tears came back as I attempted to get us ready for work/daycare while cleaning poop off the kitchen, living room, dining room, hallway and bathroom floors, the toilet and B. 

We are almost a month into our potty training journey and it is going well. The hardest thing ever has been replaced with a new hardest thing ever moment (Operation No More Soother). When we started down this road we wanted to make the process as green as possible.  Here are some of the things we did and what we found worked.

Don't use pull-ups!
When I was reading about all the different potty training methods (Day 3) I noticed a common theme. A lot of books and web resources talk about using pull ups or cloth trainers but then every blog or person I have talked to talks about their frustration with these methods and how good old naked time work the best for them. For months before we started training I had gone back and forth over what we would replace diapers with. Pull-ups were automatically out of the question because I could not find a single provider here that made a pull-up that was close to what our diapers are made from. I looked at cloth trainers but then dismissed them when most users said they were for "advanced" potty training. So I bought little underwear and he wears them when he is out of the house.

Naked Time
We found that just letting B run around pantless really worked for us. If he started to pee he would see it and then stop it as he ran to the bathroom. On the times that he didn't hold it in we didn't have to worry about wet.dirty clothes but instead just about cleaning the floor. Overall we have found that the amount of laundry we do has not increased from potty training. At a month in we are only now starting to add clothes back into his home routine (obviously he wears clothes when he isn't here!).

Think about rewards
We opted to reward B with stickers. I put a sheet of paper up on the wall at his eye level and put a little box of stickers on the back of the toilet. He gets 1 for a pee and 2 for a poop. For every 5 he got at first he would get a treat but now that we have progressed he gets a treat for every 10 stickers. The stickers we had around the house so there was no cost to them. They were from birthday grab bags and from junk mail we got with return address labels with Disney characters on them (I just cut the address off and kept the characters).

Borrow potty training tools
Figure out what tools work for your little one (and you!) before you commit to anything. This will save on the resources needed to make these items and it will save you cash. We didn't know if a potty seat on the toilet or his own little toilet would work so we started with the seat on the toilet. We borrowed it from our friends since their daughter is now fully trained. Once we knew this method would work for us we bought a 2nd seat for daycare. We also bought a small stool second hand rather than new and instead of buying potty training books and videos we downloaded them to our PlayBook for all of us to learn from. 

Kids love to flush the toilet for some reason. B loves to say bye bye to pee and poop and sometimes he tries to do it when there is nothing in the toilet. We stop him every time before he flushes and remind him that flushing is only for when there is something that needs to be flushed. I thought about introducing the 'If its yellow let it mellow' concept to him but I didn't think his school teachers would like that too much so we will save that for a later date.

What have you done to reduce the impact of your potty training? What worked best for you?

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2 Spring Cleaning

Throw those windows open, let the winter air that has been cooped up out and rejoice that spring is here! And with its arrival comes the dreaded spring cleaning. This was in our mail this week.

This is NOT how you want to tackle your spring cleaning.

Paper Towels
The Impact
The production of 1 ton of paper towel uses 8299 gallons of water and countless trees, the bleaching processes uses a ridiculous amount of chemicals, they can not be recycled and so end up in landfills (you can compost them if your city program allows for it). Great resource on paper towel production.

Make your own cloth unpaper towels. I used old worn clothing to make ours. I cut them into the size I wanted and that is all. Some people sew them too but homeslice didn't have time for that. Perhaps in the future though.

The Impact
Well it is a chemical and it has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Don't let MSDSs scare you, they are written based on worse case scenario, they are not written for the bottle you buy off the shelf. But allow them to educate you about what is in products and what their impact can be on you. In this case it is Alkyl alcohol ethoxylates which is a surfactant and causes Pine-Sol to be an eye irritant.  And it is made by Clorox....I shouldn't have to say anything more.

If you are using Pine-Sol because you love the smell (it reminds me of cleaning lats as a Girl Guide) look for Dr. Bronner's products with the same smell or use tea-tree oil in your home made cleaner.

Green Works
The Impact
This about sums it up and it is made by Clorox.

Make your own cleaner with Dr. Bronner and Vinegar. If you are looking to buy a cleaner I would recommend Method or Gloves Off.

The Impact
It's bleach, it's nasty, it stinks and it is killing you. Heck right on the bottle it says 'CAUTION IRRITANT' and has a boney hand. This is the MSDS for the Clean-Up spray and this is the MSDS for the toilet cleaner. Scary. These products impact not only the environment in their production but they enter our waterways as we use them and then also end up in the landfill when they are disposed of. They also have a negative impact on our health. They are irritants and corrosive. In my mind they are just not safe for use. 

Vinegar, vinegar, vinegar. Don't believe the hype that you need bleach to have a healthy home and keep your family safe. It is BS. If you want something specific for your toilet that isn't home made I recommend Ecos.

Garbage Bags
The Impact
They are made from plastic and they do not break down in the landfill. This includes the bio-degradable kind because the conditions within the landfill are not conducive to biodegradation (do you ever see a landfill getting shorter once it is "closed". I didn't think so).

Avoid using garbage bags when you can. We don't use them in any of our bathrooms. Our waste goes right into the can itself and then when full we dump it into a bag in the garage. We soon will be able to do this in our kitchen too which will result in us no longer having bags inside a garbage bag. We will use 1 garbage bag every 3-4 weeks. 

* I didn't include tissues and toilet paper as pictured above because they don't have anything to do with spring cleaning.

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0 Garden Project - Picking Seeds

There is something about going out to your own garden that you have poured your time, energy and love into and picking fresh produce. There is something about taking a bite right there in that moment. I remember as a kid a special treat would be running outside to pick raspberries off the bush to put on our ice cream. I also remember going strawberry picking with my grandma. It was a lot of hard work (for a kid) but oh so worth it once I dove into those sweet Ontario berries.My favourite vegetable straight from the garden is hands down tomatoes but it is followed closely by green peas. I love picking the pods and popping them open to find the awesome goodness inside. 

This year we are expanding our garden to that we can grow more by ourselves and rely less on others. Plus I just want to try out a bunch of different things to see what will actually work! Because I doubt everything will be successful.  Our last garden was much smaller but at the time met our needs for our very first garden. We grew that garden from plants not seeds which meant it cost us more but took less effort and time. We were able to find mostly organic plants and used organic materials to build the garden. 

I went on the search for organic, GMO/Monsanto free seeds this year from a Canadian company.  There are a lot of seed companies out there but not nearly as many in Canada. I ended up going with Ontario Seed Company (OSC) because they had organic, GMO/Monsanto free seeds AND they were local to where e live. I also came across lots of lists of other companies that fit our criteria including: The Cottage Gardner, Annapolis Seeds, Seeds of Victoria, Terra Edibles, Salt Spring Seeds. If you live in the US Treehugger has a great list of companies here and there is also the Sustainable Seed Company

I bought my seeds yesterday and can not wait to get started. My coworker and I went at lunch and in the end we decided to share 4 packs of seeds because we knew we wouldn't be able to each use a pack. I bought the following (squeeeee): carrots, radishes, green beans, peas, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin (for Joe - le sigh. He wants his own pumpkin patch), chives, oregano, basil, thyme, peppers, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, salad mix. Total cost (including tax) $38.14.

Is it harvest time yet????

What are you growing in your garden and where did you get your seeds?

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0 Wordless Wednesday - Eco Decorations

These are eco "balloons" that my coworkers made to celebrate my 5 year work anniversary this week. Notice the newspaper chain the background too!


0 So...we have bunnies (not Easter Bunnies)

This past weekend I was cleaning in the kitchen and glanced out the window to see two bunnies hopping around at the very back of our yard. It isn't the first time we have had bunnies in our backyard as we have seen them pretty much every spring. 

Bunnies circa spring 2009

My first thought was 'OMG bunnies!!! Wait NOOOOO what if there is a nest. WHAT ABOUT MY GARDEN (that isn't built/planted yet)???'. I walked back to where the bunnies were and I was able to get very close before they hopped away. That is when I saw it. A tiny nest with a furless bunny inside. It was tiny and was probably recently birthed. I so wanted to pick it up and love it but I knew that was the opposite of what I should do. Unlike 2009 when this happened. 

I can't believe I let him pick it up but yet thought to ensure he put gloves on. 2012 Jen is so much smarter than 2009 Jen.

If you find that you have bunnies in your yard here are some do's and don'ts to ensure that you do not have an impact on their survival rate.

* Make sure your pets do not disturb the nest however if you find they have then rebuild it close to the original nest. Use grasses and straw to help rebuild it.

* Don't feed them!! This means the babies AND the parents.

Mom's come back to feed their babies in the evening and early morning. They only need to eat their Mom's milk for 5 minutes a day to be full! If you notice that the Mom is not coming back each morning and night to feed the babies (they will do this for the first month or so) you can check on the babies. There are ways to determine if they are dehydrated the best being to pinch the skin on the back of their neck. If it stays pinched then they need immediate medical help for dehydration. Call your local Wildlife Rescue or a rabbit vet.

After about 5 weeks the babies will be off to explore on their own and hey who knows maybe they will be back next year with the neighbour bunnies to make new babies in your yard! (That is the theory we are going with for the new babies...that the Mom and Dad are totally from our 2009 baby bunnies).

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7 Grocery Store Adventures

Yesterday I spent more time than I have in a very long time at the grocery store. I decided to really read labels and compare different products. It is amazing how different two of the same type of product can be. It is also amazing how many clearly false claims companies can make. 

First it was the organic yogurt section where I buy B's yogurt. We used to give him YoBaby by Stonyfield but as of last month they are no longer on our grocery store shelves (NOOOOOO). I replaced it with another organic yogurt brand but during this trip I looked at the other brands on the shelf to see how they compare.

The brand on the right is what we had switched to. Notice the label clearly indicates that it is 'Certified Organic'. On the back it notes the certification authority and has its stamp (it is from Quebec). The brand on the left says it is organic but not certified organic and there is no certification logo on it. So is it really organic??  The price difference between these two was about $1 (with the non certified "organic" brand on the left being cheaper).  I felt confident in my decision to keep using the brand on the right but then another brand caught my eye.

This brand is certified organic (Canada certification), Foodland Ontario and made from 100% Canadian milk. Bonus is that it is made in the city next to ours which is about a 15 minute drive from here. It's price was comparable to the brand on the right above. I think the decision was clear. I went with the certified organic local yogurt. But I have to wonder how many people make their decision based solely on seeing the word organic and then taking the one with the lowest cost. In this situation I believe it would have resulted in selecting yogurt that may not actually be organic.

A few weeks ago I excitedly posted a picture to Facebook showing that our organic bananas no longer had individual stickers on them. Yesterday at the grocery store I nearly died when I saw the changes they had made. Every single piece of produce that was not in a bag had a sticker on it. I asked a Manager why they had done this and he explained that it was for easy checkout for those using the self checkout. Seems like a very non eco-friendly and labour intensive exercise to save a few seconds during checkout. I plan on writing to the store and corporate office to see if they are open to suggestions to improve this (because I have some).

I did a double take in the eco-cleaning section when I saw new packaging on the Seventh Generation products. Love that there are non plastic options now (except the lid) and it is 4x concentrated so you are getting more in less packaging. I'm pretty sure that I could compost it in our city composting program too.

How closely do you read labels when you are shopping? Do you check out new brands when they pop up on the shelf to see how they compare to your usual?

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