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Jul. 29th, 2008

Earth

Val's Veggie Bar

Decided to take a chance on a bar soap called Val's Veggie Bar. So far, I'm in love. For the last month or two, my hands have been literally peeling away, they're so dry. Or it could be eczema, not sure. My skin's always been really dry, but this has been worse than usual. As a result, I've been using a ton of moisturizer (conventional ones, unfortunately). It was never enough.

However, I've been using Val's Veggie Bar exactly one day...my hands are no longer peeling at all and they just feel wonderfully, unbelievably moisturized. Normally I have to apply moisturizer every time I wash my hands, but I haven't felt the need to in hours, and I've washed my hands several times (using the veggie bar, obviously).

In short, holy crap. I officially love this soap. The only ingredients are saponified olive oil, water, and sea salt. Sounds good to me.

Now the only problem is using it at work...gonna have to get one of those travel soap holders, I guess.

In other news: it's 4am! I have to go to bed! Not happening, though...I'll be so exhausted tomorrow.

Jul. 12th, 2008

Earth

Blah

Been awhile. Been kinda self-absorbed lately, unfortunately. I got a new computer (my old one crapped out), which was apparently a mistake. I've been doing nothing but screwing around with GIMP (like free Photoshop), downloading shit, and playing games. I know, I'm horrible.

Anyway. I finally joined NEAT. Nothing going on with them right now, but there'll be something to do eventually. I'd like to actually get involved, y'know, fundraising and planning events, all that stuff. But I get the feeling nobody really wants me there. Probably just me being paranoid, I know. But there is one girl there who I'm pretty sure doesn't want me around. Every time I've ever stopped by the office, she's been there, and she's always giving me weird looks and when she speaks to me, it's like she can barely stop from sneering. She probably just thinks I'm a poser. Hell, sometimes I think I'm a poser. I really care about this stuff, but I feel like people see me as just latching onto a trend.

And I really hate that it's become a trend. Everywhere you look, it's 'go green' this, and 'save the planet' that. All the TV commercials aimed at housewives wanting 'clean homes and clean air, too', the constant barrage of ads for 'fuel-efficient SUVs' (HA!). All these people are doing is trivialising the issue. 10 more mpg in your car, natural cleaners, CFL's, etc...these are all great things, and if everyone adopted them, it would be even better... but let's face it: they're not going to save us. A complete global infrastructure rebuild, the total co-operation of energy companies to develop clean energy, and above all, the whole world gaining a total understanding of our place on this earth and how much we've overstepped our bounds...that's what will truly make a difference. So what the hell does a clever car ad have to do with that? Nothing. It's just consumerism in a different wrapper.


Heh, can you tell I'm in a bad mood? My family's bugging me, as usual. I realize they're entitled to their opinions and to live their lives how they want...but they really don't have to treat me like a joke. That's what pisses me off about them. If I try to share something I've learned or feel with any of them, they either completely ignore me or talk to me like I'm a five year old trying to show them a weird rock I found. They've always done this to me. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but it still makes me want to scream every goddamn time.

I've written and erased what I want to say next about a dozen times now. I give up trying to express how shitty they make me feel and how selfish they act. It just makes me too angry. Plus, I suck at explaining things.

Anyway...whatever.

Jun. 11th, 2008

Earth

Arbor Day + Other Stuff

Not much time here, I'm at the library and I have to leave for work pretty quick here.

I did attend Arbor Day, and it was a lot of fun. I helped to plant five or six trees (wasn't really counting) with a mother and son team. Oddly enough, they happened to be the wife and son of the man who founded the group that organized the event. NEAT (Northern Environmental Action Team) is pretty much the only environmental awareness group in my town, which kinda sucks, but what better place to start than locally? I mean, if you set out with the goal of helping globally, you're pretty much going to fail, aren't you?

Anyway, yeah. It was a lot of fun and I'll definitely do it next year, too. I went to NEAT's office yesterday and asked if there was anything else coming up, they said not much. There's a free northern composting workshop tomorrow night, which I'm so going to. And on the 19th, they're having their annual meeting to determine projects and goals for the next year. I think that's my best opportunity to really join in, so I'm going to pray I can get off work early that night.

What I'd love to propose is organizing a community screening of Inconvenient Truth and 11th Hour. I think it would raise more awareness. But it's an oilfield town, so I dunno how far reaching the effects would be...


In other news, I saw The 11th Hour. It's completely changed my ideas about this whole problem. I loved it.


I'm out of time. Off to work. Hooray (not).

May. 26th, 2008

Earth

Bah!

My family has been driving me nuts lately. I live with my mom, her boyfriend, and my sister, and about a month ago I approached them all and asked them if they could try to conserve energy (turn off lights, not waste water, etc). I realize I can't force them to care about anything, but to me it seems like a reasonable request. Why wouldn't my mom want to save money on electricity and water? Why wouldn't we all appreciate having to deal with less trash (plastic bags, utensils, all that junk)?

At any rate, they all agreed. My mum and her boyfriend got better about conservation for about a week. Now they've reverted to their old habits. My sister never made any kind of effort at all, but I'm used to that. She doesn't care about much, period.

But yeah. I run around after them turning off lights constantly. If I turn off a light when I leave a room, I'll come back five minutes later to find that it's on and there's no one even in the room. It's like I never turned it off in the first place. Every night before I go to bed, I go through every room and make sure all the lights are off. Wake up to pee in the middle of the night, there are at least two lights on.

Now granted, we have changed almost every bulb in the house to CF's (my mom went out and bought a ton of them when she realized how bright they were), but that doesn't mean we have to leave the lights running constantly.

I bought a bunch of reusable shopping bags for the family. They're in the backseat of the car, not exactly hard to get at...yet nobody uses them except my sister...she just steals them to use as lunch bags. I'm almost always the one who puts away groceries when they come home, and I've stopped throwing out the bags. It's unbelievable how many bags have accumulated in just one month. Our bag dispenser is so full that if I stuffed one more bag in it, it would burst. But my mum just keeps using plastic.

I also bought a Method all purpose-cleaner for the kitchen and such. My mum admitted that she didn't mind it and that it worked fairly well...and then went out and bought the extremely corrosive and harmful Bam! cleaner. Wow, that makes so much sense...

It's starting to feel like I have to move out just to implement environmentally friendly practices in my life. How the hell do I get a family addicted to the words 'I want' to start giving a damn about something other than themselves?

May. 15th, 2008

Earth

Breathing Easier

So, Imperial Oil's 'Kearl' project in the Alberta Tar Sands has been delayed due to a water permit being revoked by the fisheries department.

Apparently the operation's projected annual C02 emissions being the equivalent of the annual emissions of 800,000 cars won't have a significant impact on the environment. This is what Imperial's environmental report said when they applied for the license. People are funny.

What's even funnier is the fact that the Alberta government essentially took away the license because Imperial is going to do a moderate amount of environmental damage by mining a resource that is basically killing the planet as we know it. I mean, I don't get it. "You can mine for something that's going to aid in the destruction of the world as we know it just so long as you don't cause any damage along the way"? WTF?

But that's okay. What's important is that, according to this article, development might be delayed a year or more. Considering Kearl is supposed to start production in 2011, this is great news. A lot can happen in 3-4 years. Laws can change. People can change. Who knows, if it gets delayed enough, maybe it could be stopped altogether.

Hey, I can dream. :\

Apr. 26th, 2008

Earth

First Post

Up 'til the last month, I was an unbelievable energy waster. Everything from leaving lights on to ripping up blank sheets of paper because I was bored. I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I've decided to change my habits.

No, I'm not doing it 'cos it's popular right now. I'm a loner. What do I care about fitting in or being trendy? I dunno, I guess something out there just finally got through my thick head. But I don't want to be wasteful anymore. And I want to help promote the changing of personal habits in others. *pompous ass of the year award goes to...*

At any rate, here's what I've done so far:

I turn lights off now. This was one of my biggest issues, and I still forget once in a while, but I'm a damn sight better than I was.

I've started to replace our regular lightbulbs with compact fluorescents.

I've stopped putting food for at work in plastic bags. Now I use reusable containers.

I bought a bunch of reusable shopping bags (now if I can just remember to keep some with me at all times, I'll be set, lol)

I bought an eco-friendly all purpose cleaner (great, now I just need similar products for...everything else)



I've also been looking deeper into the facts of climate change, the science and (unfortunately) politics behind it. I'm planning on taking a few courses concerning the environment at our local college, too.

On the volunteer front, I've signed up with a group called NEAT (Northern Environmental Action Team) for Arbor Day planting on June 7th. Not much, but it's a start. Hopefully I'll find a way to get involved before then. Donations, at the very least.



There are a lot of things that I want to start spreading the word about in my town. Non-bottle and can recycling, for instance. I mean, what's the point in having recyclable packaging/products if there's no place to recycle them?

And Kenaf paper. Man, there's one that drives me nuts. In all the tests that have been run (that I know of. God knows, I'm not an expert), it's been shown to be just as good, if not better than paper made from trees. It also produces less chemical waste and doesn't require as much energy to produce. Yet hardly anyone knows about it. If you were to ask someone in my town what they think of Kenaf paper, they'd just go 'huh'?

It baffles me that so few people have heard of it. It's still more confusing to me that it hasn't become our number one source of paper. It's not exactly a new concept. It was proven to work decades ago. What happened to make it sink back into obscurity?

Yes, I have an obsession with Kenaf.

At any rate. It's 4am. I need sleep. Wow, how do I always do that? I mean to write a few paragraphs, end up with a novel. Lovely.
Earth

July 2008

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