a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Apr, 2009

Earth Day Giveaway

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews

ETA: A winner has been chosen. Thank you!

Lavish & Lime, one of my awesome bloggy patrons, has given me the green light to give away a sweet little bundle of goodies in honour of Earth Day. (And it’s all STATIONERY supplies people. Something that makes my heart go squee!)

One lucky Fishbowl reader will receive:

  • 1 sugarcane notebook (pictured on this page). These notebooks use Bagasse or sugarcane paper for their notebooks. Bagasse, pronounced “Buh-Gas”, is essentially what remains after the sugarcane plant is drained of its juice. This leftover pulp or fibre has outstanding and very useful qualities. Notebook cover is made from 100% recycled cardstock and ink is non-toxic.
  • set of 10 2B regular pencils made of recycled newspaper. (I love these!) These eco-friendly pencils are made from 100% recycled newspaper, helping preserve our forests. The Newsprint Series features a non-toxic clear coating so the newspaper barrel is clearly visible. Easy to sharpen and splinter free.
  • 1 set of “just a note fern” plantable note cards A mixture of wildflower seeds found in all regions of North America is embedded in this tree free paper and printed on using soy based inks.

Cute stuff eh?

Interested? Here is all you need to do:

  1. 1. Tell me what kind of things you are doing to reduce your environmental footprint (either in your own blog or in the comments below). If you write about it on your own blog, please post the URL of your blog post in the comments below.
  2. 2. You must have a Canadian mailing address in order to enter. You must have a Canadian or U.S. mailing address to enter this giveaway.
  3. 3. Post your comments by noon EST on Sunday April 25th. I’ll do a random draw for the winning name on Sunday afternoon.
  4. 4. I will email the winner (so please make sure you include a valid email address in your comment!) and Lavish & Lime will mail your prize to you directly.

Other points worth a mention:

  • If, after all is said and done, you didn’t win the bundle but REALLY REALLY WANTED TO, you should know that Lavish & Lime is giving 10% off any order with code QUIET. They’ve added a whole bunch of eco-friendly products to their online shop, so do go check it out.
  • As an Earth Day special, they’re giving away a free 18-piece bamboo trapecolo puzzle with every order. No minimum order size, while supplies last.
  • Check out their sale shop while you’re there too (OH, a Moleskine notebook! If someone, ahem, buys this for me I will be a very very happy girl.)

That’s it! Now over to you. Good luck!

47 Responses to "Earth Day Giveaway"

1 | Loukia

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:46 am


I wrote a post about Earth Day on my blog today: http://www.loulousviews.blogspot.com

I brought my travel mug to work for my free coffee at Starbucks.

My shower this morning was 45 seconds. (For the record, I did not wash my hair!)

I tossed my snacks in my purse, rather then put them in individual ziplock bags.

Thanks for this!

2 | John James

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:52 am


My wife and I have started to take the environment very seriously this past year. We’ve managed to accommodate the following in our lives:

– Switched from disposable to cloth diapers for our children
– Switched from a top-load to front-load washer
– Started using a clothesline rather than a dryer
– Use exclusively re-usable bags for groceries or what ever else
– Changed to all-natural cleaning agents in the house
– Managed to continue with only 1 vehicle despite the bus strike

3 | Emma

April 22nd, 2009 at 9:15 am


I feel like it’s a challenge to go as green as we’d like with 2 parents working and 2 little kids so we’ve done small things but hopefully will do more as life becomes more…sane??!
-buying more and more ‘natural’ or greener cleaning agents, or using vinegar or whatever
-HE washer, and using coldest setting on the dryer, or using drying racks
-those curly lightbulbs (although I suppose that’s debatable…)
-bring my coffee in a flask everyday; and a reusable lunch sack
-recycling and composting

4 | Krista

April 22nd, 2009 at 9:24 am


What a wonderful giveaway – so many nice things in that shop!

I have made a lot of changes in the last couple of years:

1. I use re-usable menstrual products
2. I clean with baking soda and vinegar
3. I do laundry with Himalayan soap nuts and dryer balls
4. we use nematodes on our lawn for grub control
5. we use Eco-Lawn grass seed
6. I use re-usable produce bags and fabric shopping bags
7. I wash and re-use milk bags for snack bags etc.
8. I buy in bulk
9. we are avid recyclers and avoid buying products with excessive packaging
10. I buy and consign at consignment shops
11. we keep our thermostat turned down to 65 degrees
12. I use natural deodorant/lotion and soap
13. I buy produce through the summer at a local farm
14. I have asked for a composter for my birthday :-)


5 | Don

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:03 am


Earth Day is a day to celebrate one’s reducing environmental footprint and empower others to do the same. I write about environmental measures on my blog as I implement them. Today, I plan to write about a vegan stuffed pepper recipe, which allows me at least one meal to avoid intensively-reared meat.

As for my “greenness”, I use a stainless steel camp mug for coffee everyday. I carry my breakfast and lunch in re-usable containers. I buy no bottled water, opting for tap water in a BPA-free metal water bottle. I try to purchase fair trade certified ingredients for recipes. When I shop, I bring re-usable shopping bags with me. I recycle everything (paper, plastics, metal), reducing my contribution to the city landfill. I try to purchase publications printed only on recycled paper. Even then, most of the content I read is aggregated using Google Reader. All of my e-waste including non-computer electronic devices go to Ottawa’s own Computer Recyclers, where I pay for the assurance that it will be dealt with responsibly. Finally, I live centrally so that I do not require a car, preferring foot-power and public transportation.

Today, I will be installing timers and switches on all of my electronics, which are mostly Energy-Star certified, to prevent “ghost” drain from always-on devices and battery chargers. This includes the brick from my laptop.

Next big project: modern dish washer that uses less electricity and less water.

6 | Chantal

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:04 am


I already won (your last) Lavish and Lime contest so it is probably fair that I let someone else win this time. I will post my earth day post eventually. Today is so freaking busy, and it has nothing to do with earth :)

7 | Carla

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:20 am


I would love to win the giveaway – love those pencils! I do my bit for this earth of ours, and always thinking of how we can do more.
-We don’t own a car, share one once or twice a week for errands. We walk and bike everywhere.
– use cloth bags for everything.
-take reused plastic bags or net bags for produce shopping
– We always pack a lunch and snacks.
– use reusable coffee cups and thermoses
-wash with Eco Balls (bought in UK, can’t find them here, they’re awesome)
– clean with baking soda, vinegar and scrub scrub scrub
-buy in bulk
-buy and sell consignment or second hand
-make a lot of our food from scratch
-recycle fiendishly
-compost off and on (depending on facilities)
– drink tap water and refuse to buy water bottles
-thinking everyday of how to reduce plastic in our lives (check out this interesting blog called ‘fake plastic fish’)
-I send my plastic bags to a schoolgroup that reuses them to make reusable shopping bags.
and always thinking of more. Great to see what others are doing, gives me more ideas.

8 | Shannon

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:23 am


While we don’t do anything earth shattering, I like to think my family does their share to reduce our footprint, including:

Recycling EVERYTHING we can!
Only using re-usable bags/bins for shopping
Growing our own veggies in the summer
Reusable water bottles
Cloth diapering/wipes
Homemade cleaners where possible (LOVE vinegar!)
Line drying our clothes in nice weather
Using our smaller, less gas guzzling car the majority of the time
Turning our heat wayyyy down at night time
Dont have an A/C, use fresh air/cross-breeze
Walk when we can rather than use the car, but it’s hard as we don’t live in the city

That’s all I can think of now but I’m sure there’s more! Happy Earth Day!

9 | Lynn

April 22nd, 2009 at 11:24 am


Well, these other readers put me to shame. Krista, who commented above, is a very good friend of mine and I really should be more like her! I talk a good talk but I don’t think I walk it enough. Or something like that.

In the past year, here’s all I can think of that we do:
* use a meal plan and only buy what food we need for the week, to reduce food waste
* researched what is and isn’t allowed in blue and black boxes, and tried to spread the word (if you put too much stuff in your boxes that isn’t actually recyclable, your whole box might just get trashed)
* cancelled our weed control people so we can try a more environmentally-friendly approach this year

(I am shamed :) ).

10 | Alina

April 22nd, 2009 at 12:18 pm


We are trying to be as green as we can.
Things that we do:
– never use a dryer for clothes
– never let the dishwasher go through the “dry” cycle
– recycle
– compost
– use the car as little as possible
– use reusable bags in grocery stores
– no water bottles
– use green cleaning products
– turn off the lights when not in a room
– use green cleaning products


11 | Mom on the Go

April 22nd, 2009 at 12:38 pm


Glad everyone is sharing their ideas. I’ll have to visit again later and see what changes I should be adding. I wrote an Earth Day post – http://blog.reidelizabeth.ca/2009/04/22/happy-earth-day-2009/ – and could only think of unplugging always on appliances since we’ve covered using fabric bags, recycling, composting (regular and with worms), using a Diva cup, etc. But there are still ideas above that I should put into play.

Happy Earth Day.

12 | Melissa

April 22nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm


(couldn’t post reply in Firefox — maybe Explorer will let me ;))

We do a lot of home-canning and food preserving to take advantage of in-season local produce.

I use a travel mug for my coffee.

We cloth diapered two children.

When reasonable, we thrift our cast-offs or swap them with others instead of throwing them away.

We purchase a lot of items secondhand instead of new.

We use a frontloading washer with an ecofriendly laundry wash.

I use a Diva cup.

We obsessively make use of reusable shopping bags. :)

13 | Connie

April 22nd, 2009 at 1:06 pm


What great products!
My family is making steps towards being greener on a daily basis. We recently replaced our washing machine with a front loading model. We recycle everything possible. Much of the kids’ clothing comes from second hand stores. My oldest takes a (nearly) litterless lunch to school each day. And of course, there are those handy dandy shopping bags!

14 | Porter

April 22nd, 2009 at 1:31 pm


Yipppeeeeee a give-away! A GREAT give-away at that!

What kinds of things am I doing to reduce my/my families environmental footprint?

I use a large outdoor clothes line from March/April until October/November and in winter hang 80% of our stuff on a line indoors

reusable grocery bags/bins

upgraded to a new hot water tank which uses less energy than our old one, plus turned the temp down

zero pesticides in our gardens or on our lawn

thanks to you, switched to baking soda and vinegar as my main cleaning agen as well as special cleaning cloths that only require water (btw, i used to use lots and lots and lots of bleach so this is a biggy)

unplug as many electronics when we aren’t using them as possible (this includes our microwave) everything gets unplugged at bed (don’t know how much this helps but we are doing it)

pack kids snacks in reusable containers

stopped buying/using plactic resealable containers in our fridge and cupboards

stopped using regular plastic bags and began using biodegradable bags to pick up walter the farting dog’s poop when we are walking!! even walter is doing his part!

no longer buy bottled water and use travel mugs

put a bottle of water in each of our toilet tanks so they use less water

changed our shower head from a gorgeous ‘rain’ type shower head to the friendlier freebie from union energy (just ask and you can get one free) as well as our kitchen and laundry room taps, they are much slower but save, save, save

installed four additional vents on our roof (whirly birds) which keep the attic and therefore our upstairs cooler all winter (this was something very worthwhile, i wish we could track the savings in our a/c bill…i know, i know using the a/c isn’t good).

added more insulation to areas in the house where we had drafts (wow what a big difference this made too)


I could go on for a bit longer (I’m sort of impressed to be honest, wow I’m doing more than I thought) but my ‘break’ is up!

15 | Kristine

April 22nd, 2009 at 1:56 pm



I love your blog. I have only recentlystarted reading and am finding much value in your posts and insights. My family has been making small changes and many more on the way. Here is what we have been up to:
1. only use reusable bags at grocery and retail stores
2. recycle and compost
3. take the bus-we only have one car and I take the bus with the kids
4. we walk to places
5. cold water washing
6. bulk buying
7. coffee in a reusable mug
natural cleaning products…most of the time…I love my magic eraser
8. litterless lunch for kids
9. In the summer a group of families including us will be trying the 100 mile diet for one week…should be fun!

16 | ikkinlala

April 22nd, 2009 at 2:16 pm


Some of the things we do are compost and grow a big garden, buy local as much as we can for the things we don’t grow, clean our house and ourselves with safe substances, use reusable things for as many things as we can (e.g. bags, water bottles, jars to store food, and, in my case, menstrual products), dry clothes on racks, repair things instead of buying new, and walk or bike instead of driving when possible.

17 | Mary

April 22nd, 2009 at 3:12 pm


Thanks for hosting this contest. Reading the previous posts is inspiring.

This past year I’ve switched over to consistently making my coffee at home and using my mug. I bring my lunch to work with my own cutlery and cloth napkin. I cut way back on harsh cleaners and am using a solution of water, vinegar and dish soap and I’m bringing my shopping bags with me.

It’s not new but we’ve always had the one car, don’t buy bottled water (was just too cheap to pick up that trend), and shop second hand for loads of stuff.

I find it very hard to avoid all the packaging especially when buying toys.

18 | Days

April 22nd, 2009 at 3:54 pm


The single most consistent thing we’ve done is going reusable – bags, water bottles, cups, mesh bags for produce, sanitary napkins, and things like that, and usually we bring a tupperware for leftovers if we’re going to get a “doggy bag” anyways.

19 | carrie

April 22nd, 2009 at 5:11 pm


Great giveaway!

We have made some gradual changes in our home to reduce our impact on the environment. Other changes were a bit more drastic (read expensive!) but will make a difference over time as well

Here are the 10 that come to mind today…

1 – As our incandescant bulbs burn out, we have replaced them with CFL bulbs.

2 – We switched over to cloth bags for grocery shopping. I keep these in the car, and for the rare times that I forget to take them with, my ‘fine’ is to have to purchase a reusable bag at the store I am in.

3 – Our daughter is now toilet trained, so we have no more diaper/wipe waste going into the landfill!

4 – We recycle diligently. I’ve also taken a look at ‘pre-cycling’, meaning not buying overpackaged items. Do you really need the item that is wrapped in plastic, inside a box that is wrapped in plastic?

5 – I leave the grass clippings on the lawn. I’d like to say this is because I have a mulching mower, but the real reason is that I am too lazy to bag the grass! This year I have less lawn and more garden because we took out 1/2 of the front lawn for flower beds.

6 – No pesticides here! We garden organically because it’s healthier for us, the plants, bugs and the birds. (Like the grass bagging, I am too lazy to spray things!) The birds take care of most of the bugs that cause issues. If I have to use a pesticide or herbicide, it will be with eco-friendly options like the Doktor Doom products that are all natural and plant based.

7 – Our big purchase this year was a new high efficiency furnace and tankless on-demand hot water system. The furnace is 90%+ efficient, and the tankless rates at 92%. Our natural gas bill was cut in half over the winter, and we are really impressed with the tankless water heater. These have reduced our household emissions, we are using less gas, and they are a more efficient use of resources than the old non-efficiency furnace and hot water heater we had. Well worth the money!

8 – We purchase a lot of our daughter’s clothing second hand. Because young kids grow so fast, the clothing is barely worn, and available at a fraction of the retail price. I scored $35 Gapkids jeans for $4 at a local I’ve Outgrown It sale recently.

9 – I try to support local businesses for items like bread, meats, etc during the winter, and local farmer’s markets in the summer. Once you have local home made bread on a daily basis, you can’t go back to store bought! It’s not quite the 100 Mile diet, but by supporting local businesses at least I know where the food came from and how it was grown.

10 – We have switched to fewer and more natural cleaners in the home. As we use up what we have, we try out a new natural cleaner. I love my Norwex microfibre cloths, and have found some great natural products at our local health food supermarket.

20 | Angela

April 22nd, 2009 at 5:24 pm


We do the standard (rabid recycling) and having just this winter moved into a house, have already purchased a composter for when we have sod… (one of these days).

We purchased a HE washer, and I do all washes on cold, and hang dry most of our laundry instead of using the dryer.

We have all reusable shopping bags, bins and produce bags, and I pack both my child and my lunch into reusable containers – and have since he started kindergarten.

I do not buy any snacks that come in serving size packages, and try to not buy prepackaged food, but buy local sourced and packaged foods when possible.

Within the last year or two, we’re moved to buying organic cotton dish clothes to replace our sponge usage, and have changed to known “green” cleaners instead of the chemical based ones.

We buy solid wood furniture produced in Canada, and try to ensure we’re bringing that business to small local businesses instead of major companies.

21 | Scatteredmom

April 22nd, 2009 at 6:29 pm


Oooh! Sounds nice!

-I use ‘green’ cleaning products, and sometimes I use natural stuff like vinegar/baking soda
-dishwasher is only run when full
-air line dry our clothes
-wash in cold only when it’s full
-consolidate trips to the store (less driving)
-we use our bikes to go to the corner store
-buy stuff with less packaging (yogurt, etc) and portion it out
-recycle whatever we can
-work at being conscious consumers (shopping isn’t a habit)
-we use our own cloth bags
-I have a stainless steel water bottle, we all have our own re-useable mugs
-we like to buy made in Canada, or as local as possible.
-I almost never use paper towel.

:) There’s probably more but my brain is fuzzy right now.

22 | Jonathan

April 22nd, 2009 at 9:18 pm


Ever since teaching a grade 12 Environment and Resource Management class, I’ve finding myself that I need to do better with being greener to Earth.

So far, I’ve done the following:
– bought a house in the city where I work instead of renting a house in a community that’s a 35-minute drive away from work
– recycle and/or reuse as much as I can when I eat out. For example, if I went to a Harvey’s, I’d bring home all of the plastics that I used for my meal to wash them and then to recycle them.
– I’m using a glass bottle to transport water between home and work for drink water out of at lunch time.
– I’ve held off from buying anything for my new house as I want to do some research about purchasing green items for the house, such as lawn mower, a sofa, a desk, etc. I need to do some research to find out what books to get to help me with this endeavour.
– reusing unwanted single-sided photocopy papers.
– double-side photocopying and printing as much as possible.
– replacing incadescent light bulbs with fluroescent ones.
– making lunches at home and having it at work.
– purchasing and using energy-star appliances.
– purchasing and using a cloth replacement of Bouncy dryer sheets
– purchasing and using phosphate free soaps.

I think that’s enough for now…

23 | Porter

April 22nd, 2009 at 10:07 pm


meant to say our whirly birds keep the attic and upstairs cooler in SUMMER oops!

24 | Annie

April 23rd, 2009 at 6:50 am


First off, I want to say that this blog makes me think that I should really be living in Ottawa (instead of Peterborough). Whenever you post wonderful things to do around Ottawa, I think about listing our house and heading east down HWY 7!

Next, I would love it if Carrie from post #19 could share some more insight re: on-demand hot water heaters. I know a number of people who have had them installed and had many many struggles cause they didn’t work properly. I’m not sure if she is allowed to discuss or share brand/companies/etc on blogs…

And finally, how do we live more green? Many little things that (we hope!) add up to big things…

1. I am able to take public transportation to my teaching job in Lakefield and now that the warmer weather is here, I am also riding my bike the 34km (there and back!). On the 1 day a week that I take the car, I carpool with colleagues (I used to work in Bowmanville and had no carpool options – I went from having to buy gas every 4 days to not being able to remember the last time I had to buy gas!!).

2. Today, I am going to stock up on surge-protector power bars so that I can turn off the power on all electrical appliance, to reduce the phantom load, or vampire pull, or whatever it is called. I was ASTONISHED to see how much electricity is being used when these appliances are “off”.

3. We also use our HE front-loading laundry machine with cold water and on the express cycle. When then hang the laundry outside or on racks in the spare room.

4. We shop year-round at our amazing Farmer’s Market, here in Peterborough.

5. I try to model as much as possible for my students. I have organized the school-wide litterless lunch challenge for Earth Week. I will continue this with my class (and any other classes that want to continue) for the rest of the school year.

6. I am also taking the lead and “pressuring” staff to participate in the May-long transportation challenge (organized by our local Green Communities organization, Peterborough Green-up).

I figure that it is all fine and dandy for us to make changes in our house, but it is like I am “preaching to the converted”… The more people who can get involved with greening their lifestyle (who maybe wouldn’t do so), the bigger the impact…

So, now that I am done this comment, I am going to peruse the Lavish & Lime website and make my own wishlist…

Happy Day-after-Earth-Day.

25 | andrea

April 23rd, 2009 at 7:45 am


Wow! You guys rock!

I wanted to let you know that this giveaway is now open to residents of the U.S. Keep those comments coming!

26 | Julie

April 23rd, 2009 at 7:57 am


I’m no where near as green as the other commentors, but would love your gift prize and they have inspired me so here goes …

– no packaging in my child’s lunch
– second-hand cars
– second-hand clothes
– front-load washing/drying
– high-efficiency furnace
– all windows upgraded
– recycle
– buy as few products as possible in general – try to live small but rich lives


27 | Cath

April 23rd, 2009 at 8:16 am


We try but there’s always so much more to do … a few highlights I guess include: cloth diapers, getting a local organic veggie box delivered every week, using Bullfrog power, and embracing the concept that we have ‘enough’.

28 | Jennifer Covert

April 23rd, 2009 at 8:55 am


Thanks for the chance to win this great prize! My family and I are embarking on creating an organic veggie garden from which we hope to share the bounty of a summer’s-worth of delicious produce. We are revitalizing a patch of land on our old farm and re-energizing the soil that used to house the sheep decades ago and so has rich earth. I’m documenting our progress at my blog http://www.stuckinlodiagain.wordpress.com.

In addition I’m really trying to be more organized about remembering my cloth bags (they’re never where I need them when I need them ak!) so I think I’ve devised a system that will work.

Also trying to recyle and regenerate as much stuff as possible by being creative and repurposing things to make them beautiful!

29 | Betsy

April 23rd, 2009 at 9:15 am


Yay! I was sad yesterday (live in the US) but today I can enter.

Let’s see…cloth diapers, buy second hand, natural cleaning products, buy in bulk, cloth shopping bags, recycle as much as possible ( our family of 6 puts out one bag of trash each week) and compost kitchen scraps.

30 | Beth

April 23rd, 2009 at 9:38 am


Although my husband sometimes doesn’t follow the program, we recycle as much as we can, make many donations of used clothing/household items instead of trashing them, use my own bags at the grocery store. We are getting a rain barrel this weekend (yay–free water), and I am contemplating using cloth diapers for our 2nd child, due in August. I try to use containers as much as possible instead of snack bags. Of course we try to keep our water and energy consumption to a minimum–I’m a big fan of no air conditioning in the summer!

31 | pocket buddha

April 23rd, 2009 at 11:01 am


1) I wrote about my newest project, growing a little urban garden using recycled containers to supplement my groceries, on my blog. http://pocketbuddha.blogspot.com/2009/04/just-what-this-city-needs.html

2) I am also slowly but surely replacing all of my light bulbs with those fancy LED lights that last forever and use like, next to no power.

3) I am starting to collect cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories for the arrival of my first child in September.

4) I have never owned a car or bothered to even get my drivers license, and even with everyone telling me that toting a new baby around will be easier if I did, I like taking public transit and hopefully my child will too.

5) Even though it is easy to be tempted into using my dishwasher every day, my partner an I have agreed to keep it to once a week. Which is easy if we wash pots and pans by hand and put only plates, cups, and cutlery in as it takes a whole week to fill that way.

32 | Rebecca

April 23rd, 2009 at 12:25 pm


Great Giveaway!
Here was my Earth Day post: http://alittlebitofmomsense.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-earth-day.html

A few things we’ve done:

-Stainless, reusable water bottles rather than plastic
-Non-toxic cleaners and soaps
-Glass containers for left over food (got rid of most plastic!)
-CFL lightbulbs across the house
-Donate our used items to charity
-Reusable grocery bags

Those are just a few!

33 | Erin

April 23rd, 2009 at 1:29 pm


More of the same….
1)cloth diapers
2)recycling and composting
3)garden, learning to can and make jam,
4)buying second hand or not at all ( did pretty well with the shopping embargo this year),
5) learning to fix things rather than replace, pulled out my sewing machine again and loving the repurposing of old clothes
6) new high-efficiency furnace and low-flow toilets
7) taking our own mugs and non-plastic containers for lunches, snacks ect.

34 | Nicol

April 23rd, 2009 at 1:43 pm


Thanks for opening it up to us in the US. I am really excited about this giveaway.

What are we doing? I would love to do everything at once, but that is not possible. We have tackled several things in the past including greening our clean. I purchase natural cleaning products that use very little packaging. I love the little packets that I can buy that are the size of a cell phone. I simply put it into a spray bottle and add water. I feel that I am saving a lot of packaging this way. If I can find what I like for a cleaning solution, I make my own. I even make my own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar!

We have changed all of our light bulbs, turned down the heat and purchased energy star appliances.

Since we have moved into our new house, we are adding extra inslation and getting rid of a good portion of the grass in our yard. I want to zero-scape a good portion of that yard that way I am not using as much water.

Something that I have been thinking about doing and need to find out if it is possible is setting up a gray-water system. I would love to take the water from our bathes and showers and use that to water outside plants. How neat would that be!


nicolmontero at gmail dot com

35 | andrea

April 23rd, 2009 at 2:05 pm


Posting on behalf of Jen W who writes:

“Wow! What great ideas and comments. I won’t list what we do at home because we do alot of what has already been listed above (although seems most folks put us to shame!!).

For you Westboroites with kiddies, there is a great event going on this weekend at All Saints Church on Richmond Rd.. A baby/Child toy & cloths swap. Bring something you don’t need anymore and get something you do need. Free, reducing and reusing. Very Earth Day inspired. 1:00 – 3:00 Saturday, 347 Richmond Rd. Even if you have nothing to give away, check it out you may find something you need, all for free.”

36 | Sarah

April 23rd, 2009 at 2:17 pm


Being parents of twins, we have tried to costs where possible which is usually eco-friendly.
-using reusable canvas grocery bags
-washing on cold setting
-hanging clothes out on the line in the summer
-chemical free cleaning products
-always recycling and using travel coffee mugs.

37 | Judy

April 23rd, 2009 at 2:22 pm


So many good ideas!

We made it a goal to try to do one new thing a month, but currently are:

-Using cloth diapers and hanging them to dry (most of the time)
– Buying Canadian made baby stuff when we can (our crib was made in Canada with water based paints, and soy glue so there is no off fuming)
– Walking
– One car, but we both bus to work
– Recycling & we have decided we need to chat to our neighbours about it. In our condo complex only two neighbours recycle regularly….
– We each have travel mugs & re-usable water bottles
– We don’t take bags from the store
– Make our own baby food, so no jars to throw out each week
– Buy local produce when we can
– No chemical cleaners (really… vinegar and water works)

Our commitment for the summer is to try to go A/C free as much as possible.

38 | Trea

April 24th, 2009 at 11:04 pm


If I could own any type of store, it would be a stationery shop with cool stationery from around the world (and it might look almost exactly like Paper Papier in the Market)! Back to the point … here’s what we’ve been doing lately to improve our carbon footprint:
1. I take public transit to work.
2. We just replaced our old toilets with low-flow water ones.
3. We just replaced all of our old appliances with energy efficient ones.
4. I’m about to cancel my gas service (for the fireplace) for the summer.
5. We try to buy local and Canadian.
6. I drive everyone at work nuts by turning off the lights in the bathroom and photocopy room when I walk by.
7. My friends and I regularly post on environmental products on our product review blog, an example being: http://www.spiltmilkmoms.com/2009/04/21/compost/

Great contest! Lots of great ideas posted by other people to consider (I’ve been meaning to try vinegar and water … wonder what parts make up the solution).

39 | Reminders! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

April 25th, 2009 at 8:17 am


[…] to win a lovely bundle of goodies from Lavish & Lime? Entries need to be posted by noon on Sunday the […]

40 | Tiana

April 25th, 2009 at 11:11 am


We compost as much as we have space to do (our 2 bins fill up before the end of summer) and we grow as much of our own veggies as we can.

We turn off the lights as often as we can and we turn off our heat/ac unless they are truly necessary.

41 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

April 25th, 2009 at 9:12 pm


Most of what we do has been covered all ready so I’ll only add what isn’t redundant.

– Use baking soda and vinegar (apple cider vinegar) on MYSELF. I haven’t used shampoo since March ’07.

– Meal planning in an attempt to not only cut down on prepackaged, processed foods but also being conscious of leftovers and not letting food in our fridge go to waste.

42 | megan

April 26th, 2009 at 7:03 am


Whath have I done? I have bought tons of reusable bags for myself and as gifts, have not used a disposable water bottle or coffee cup in years. We always participate in community clean ups, have over seeded our lawn with some kind of grass that never (almost never) needs to be cut (we’ll see how that works). And most importantly in my oppinion, we do not use air conditioning and we live is south western ontario where the humidity is so thick in the summer you would not even believe it!

43 | christa

April 26th, 2009 at 8:46 am


Many of the things our family do has already been touched on, but I feel it can’t be mentioned enough

-we pack a litterless lunch (something our school encourgages)
-use the clothesline as much as possible
-use CFL lightbulbs
-use cloth shopping bags
-buy local as much as possible
-never buy bottled water (our well water taste so much better)
and this year we are going to plant our own garden something my girls are very excited about

44 | andrea

April 26th, 2009 at 5:18 pm


Random.org has declared commenter #5 to be the winner. Congratulations DON!

Don, I’ll send you an email and get your mailing info ASAP.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful entries. Keep on being green!

45 | Quirky Future History; Metal Water Bottles can make a Difference | Metal Water Bottle Kiosk

August 29th, 2009 at 3:57 pm


[…] Earth Day Giveaway >> a peek inside the fishbowl – ETA: A winner has been chosen. Thank you! Lavish & Lime, one of my awesome bloggy patrons, has given me the green light to give away a sweet little bundle of goodies in honour of Earth Day. (And it’s all STATIONERY supplies people. … […]

46 | Quirky Future History video on plastic; Metal Water Bottles can make a Diff « Metal Water Bottle News

August 31st, 2009 at 4:18 pm


[…] Earth Day Giveaway >> a peek inside the fishbowl – ETA: A winner has been chosen. Thank you! Lavish & Lime, one of my awesome bloggy patrons, has given me the green light to give away a sweet little bundle of goodies in honour of Earth Day. (And it’s all STATIONERY supplies people… […]

47 | The Canteen | Metal Water Bottle Kiosk

September 2nd, 2009 at 11:22 am


[…] Earth Day Giveaway >> a peek inside the fishbowl – ETA: A winner has been chosen. Thank you! Lavish & Lime, one of my awesome bloggy patrons, has given me the green light to give away a sweet little bundle of goodies in honour of Earth Day. (And it’s all STATIONERY supplies people… […]


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • ubobet.win: Ubobet is an internationally trusted gambling dealer previously 2001 until now. By holding attributed entry for online gambling sites that give vario
  • Wendy Perkins: Can g/f flour be substituted equally?
  • milhiskom.dk: Well done and written. I've jut started blogging myself very recently and observed that mwny articles merely rehash old ideas but add very little o
  • Brien Marshall: It's like Twitter but in real life! Certain people are looking for a platform to vent their opinion and you happened to be in their audience. On my
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Oh my. I don’t know what I would have done. Bent over in agony maybe. Or turned quickly and walked away. Or offered sympathy for the stress she is
  • Lynn: Excellent to hear! Every person who reports getting the shot makes me feel hopeful, like we are one more small step closer to good times again. Our
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive I got jabbed! #TeamPfizer - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] the same day our youngest turned 20, I got my first Covid vaccine. For the record, my next one is scheduled four months from […]

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter