Monday, March 29, 2010
Toilet Seats and Earth Hour 2010
My frustration was quickly relieved and my day from then on went very well. After looking after my sister's two boys for the afternoon, my wife and I planned a quiet night at home. Being Earth Hour that evening we set out some candles and grabbed a book. We relaxed with our daughter in the candlelit living room and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Even after Earth Hour was over we still sat by candlelight and watched a great movie. My frustration from the morning chore was long behind me when I crawled into bed that night and in fact I felt rewarded from all that I had accomplished that day.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Forming the Future of FNP
This morning I headed to Alma to provide stakeholder input in a focus workshop and found it very informative. I think that the park staff need to focus more on preserving the ecological integrity of the parks wilderness areas and the interpretive services, while leaseholders or contractors provide the recreation activities in a controlled environment. All partners need to work together to make visitors feel welcome and provide a memorable experience and how that happens really will depend on the visitor.
I encourage you, if you have the time on Sunday, March 28th to take the drive to Alma and have your say. I am almost certain your drive will be more enjoyable than mine was this morning. If you live near the Park and haven't been there recently, then I suggest you go see what it has to offer.
See you in the woods.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Electrofishing is a Blast
Thursday, March 18, 2010
A Work and Learn Afternoon
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
A Personal Challenge with a Global Impact
About two months ago I decided, foolishly, that I wanted to challenge myself to lose weight while saving the environment. Most people would know that I am passionate about environmental sustainability but most would be shocked to hear that I need to lose a few pounds. I didn't want to diet, or change my eating habits, and I didn't just want to hit the gym, so I combined this new weight loss initiative with my passion for the environment. The result is my personal "Green Weight Loss Challenge."
The goal of my challenge is to lose 15lbs while reducing my carbon footprint. To do this I have started walking to work on a regular basis. This reduces the amount of driving I do and thus reduces the amount of carbon I release into the atmosphere. To take this endeavor one step farther I started calculating my carbon credits and comparing that to my weight loss. To be completely honest, it has been a frustrating experience to date. I have lost very little weight over the two months, but I have gained a new respect for those who have battled with their weight for a number of years. My weight issue is not a big one and I truly thought I would easily shed the 15lbs I had set as a goal. Boy was I wrong. On a typical 4day backpacking trip I can lose 5lbs, but after walking to work over 25 times in the last two months, I have only lost 4lbs. It was 6lbs but I gained 2 back somewhere.
Despite the low weight loss number I am happy that I am reducing my carbon footprint. Luckily for me I am not trying to realize any financial gain from carbon credits. I was surprised to learn how much effort I would need to make to simply create one carbon credit, and even more shocked at how little one carbon credit was worth. One carbon credit is one ton of carbon, and it has a trade value of approximately $30. My less than modest car generates approximately 0.237kgC/km (kilograms of Carbon/km) and I walk 4.8km in order to get to work. To date I have walked to work 26 times, a total of 124.8km. This keeps 29.6kgC out of the environment, providing me with a potential financial windfall of $0.89+/-. In order for me to realize 1 carbon credit ($20-$40) I will have to walk to work for about 4 more years and I don't need to tell you what that works out to per hour of walking.
For the time being I am entirely content simply walking for my good health while doing my part for the environment. Whether I lose weight or make a fortune matters very little to me. It is interesting though to bring these two topics together and realize how my personal health can also impact the environment. If you are looking to help the environment then you can start by looking after yourself. Until I started this challenge I didn't really see that connection.
Just a reminder that the Kennebecasis Watershed is hosting a presentation by Roberta Clowater from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, NB Chapter, on March 17th from 7-9pm at 1067 Main Street, Sussex Corner. The title of the presentation is "
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I hope this map works for ya. The picture is from a trek around the hills and streams near Walker Settlement.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010
This is my latest column that appeared in today's Kings County Record
A Morning Walk Leading to a Rant
I have been walking to work quite regularly over the last month and a half. I enjoy the early morning stroll and I find that it puts my mind in a good place before I have to start my day. Another great aspect of the walk is that I not only get a workout for my legs, I also tone my arms. I seem to always be waving to people and every now and then I laugh as I realize how truly great it is to be in this great place. Besides needing exercise, I also started walking to reduce my ecological footprint. The less I drive my car the better for the environment. I realize this isn't feasible for everyone to do but I encourage you to consider active transportation next time you're just heading around the corner. It will make you feel good on more than one level.
Friendly people, unfortunately, are not the only thing I have noticed on my walks. I also have seen a huge amount of litter along our main streets. One morning I could have easily collected $1.50 in refundable cans and bottles, and if I had a place to put them I would have picked them up and bought myself a hot chocolate from Tim Horton's. This brings me to another item of debris, coffee cups. If you stop at the bridge on
Parson's Brook does not always run, I know, but that does not mean it is a garbage ditch. When it runs, it flows into Trout Creek, which flows through Sussex, then into the Kennebecasis River, which flows by Apohaqui, Norton, Hampton, Quispamsis, and Rothesay, then empties into the Saint John River, to the Bay of Fundy, and then finally into the Atlantic Ocean. Last I checked there are no aquatic species that like coffee, so when you throw your cup into Parson's Brook, you are negatively impacting the entire eastern seaboard, because no one likes to see garbage floating by them as they walk along the river, or paddle in the Bay, or cruise on the ocean.
If you want to have your coffee on the go, buy yourself a reusable mug. I think in some instances your coffee might be cheaper if you do and Tim Horton's has a good price on great trendy mugs. If you don't have a mug then properly dispose of your cup. Rinse it and throw it in your blue bag at home and it will be recycled. That is a far cry better than having it float down the Trout Creek.
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