26 Jun

Gardening for a Better World

There is something about gardening that just makes you feel good. Maybe it is the thought that you have nurtured something to life or, with vegetables, that you are growing something that can feed you, sustain you.IMG_9097

Gardens provide so many benefits – food, herbal remedies, scents, nutrients for other creatures such as bees, reduction of carbon monoxide, a pleasing view and so much more!

When we tend our own gardens, we also reduce the need for imported food and, as a result, eat healthier. In Ontario, much of our food travels over 4000 km before reaching the grocery store despite an abundance of land – there is simply too short a growing season, a lack of farmers and a higher cost to grow local. By growing my own food, I reduce my global footprint. It feels rewarding to watch the garden bloom.

garden box

Need to relax? Spend some time working in your garden. Weeding can help your mind relax. The repetitive nature of pulling weeds, watering your garden and reviewing your plants can be very calming.

The world needs more gardeners. We need more people to grow their own food. We need the beauty and benefits plants bring.

So grab your shovel and gardening gloves and start your own garden today!

19 Jun

The Spirit of WDS

As WDS2015 rapidly approaches I find myself reliving the energy and spirit of last year’s event – my first time at World Domination Summit. (WDS) wds 2014 1497

The spirit of WDS was evident the second I arrived at my first meetup – drinks at a local bar. I knew no one but within 10 minutes I was welcomed by dozens of people, some of whom ended up living only an hour away from me. WDS is in Portland, I am from Ontario. Everyone was welcoming, inclusive and excited to be there.  You could feel the energy in the room – the excitement of the days ahead!

Over the next few days I was swept up by the overwhelming awesomeness created by Chris Guillebeau and brought together by a team of volunteers and over 3000 official attendees with even more gathered in Portland for unofficial events.  The message was clear – be yourself, be awesome and know you can create impact.

It didn’t matter what interested you, where you came from, what stage you were at in achieving your dream or if you even knew what that dream was – the entire WDS community supported you; they encouraged you. One of my favorite event moments was being 1 of 3000 people singing together to Chicago’s We can Change the World (words modified to Portland of course!).  The sound in the auditorium was awe inspiring! This memory stays with me every day.

The spirit of WDS is with us everyday and we have the ability to share it with others.  Please join me in spreading the spirit across the world.

Looking forward to returning to Portland in just a few weeks for #WDS2015.

Until then…

10 Jun

More love, less trash

I think we can all agree that the world needs a little more love and a lot less trash!wds 2014 1584

How do you define trash? Is it garbage and litter? Is it what passes for entertainment on television?

Whatever your definition, the world needs less of it!

Often when I am out walking, I see an abundance of trash – discarded bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts – litter everywhere! It’s difficult to understand why people do not pick up after themselves and easily throw stuff away – do they not care for their environment or appearance?

When I have visited other countries like Cuba and Dominican Republic, I witnessed people picking up litter as they came across it – they took pride in their community and environment and made sure it was kept clean. Now that isn’t to say there wasn’t a heap of garbage here or there – their rural garbage collection appeared somewhat limited.

What these countries also did not have was an abundance of fast food containers, packaging overload or other products creating large amounts of waste. In Canada and the US we have an overabundance of waste.

It is time to rethink our waste generation, reduce product packaging and start picking up regularly in our communities.  We need to give more love to where we live and respect our space.

04 Jun

Women in STEM (technology)

As we talk about narrowing the gender gap, there remains a serious under representation of women in STEM fields(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)Women In Tech

Traditionally, these fields have been dominated by men but recent trends show a large number of females are now pursuing STEM paths.

One pioneer for women in STEM was Grace Hopper who led the way for females to become an important part of the field of STEM.

Grace was a mathematician and a leader in her industry. As one of the programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, her work helped lead to the development of COBOL language and many other programming aspects.

There are many more women who have become influential in the STEM field. We need to hear their stories.

At a recent event, one woman spoke as to why she thought women did not pursue careers in STEM – being from a small town, she simply was not exposed to people in the STEM field thus a career in STEM had never occurred to her.

The next generation of young girls are more likely to be exposed to careers in STEM through use of technology in schools or after school programs such as Girls Learning Code (part of Ladies Learning Code). In addition, many youth now have access to computers and tablets where they can access programs like Slack, Thimble, Pixlr and more.

Access to the internet has opened a whole new world to girls everywhere who can now learn tech at home. I expect we will see many more girls in STEM before long.