Friday, February 25, 2011

Beans talk by BEEcycle

Planting season is right around the corner, and here is a neat product to connect kids to growing.

It's ultra-cool design, interactive elements and designer colours will appeal to everyone, and parents will be especially impressed with it's sterility. From here, families can move up to the mini composting pod! From there - who knows!?! - maybe that dark coloured stuff outside has some potential after all...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family-Friendly Waste Management

Happy Family Day!

David Suzuki has some great advice for families in this article in the Daily Gleaner. I love the story of his grandson on the hunt for worms, and the sobering comment from his daughter about being the change you want to see in the world.

If someone as busy as David Suzuki can make time for his family I guess I can too. One tip I learned* is to enter your home through a less familiar door. Park in a different place and pay attention to your journey into your home; take a side trip through the yard; pause on the landing and take a good look around. By taking the time to experience your home through fresh eyes you will be better prepared for the good things waiting inside.
*from Give Me A Break,

Last week, Tracy R-A (class of 97) sent me David Suzuki's call to action on cosmetics, and around the office we have been Oohing and Aahing over the plans for the Airport Lands. Here are two opportunities for families to discuss an issue and take action together. What better lesson for this week than civic responsibility.

If your letter is about waste reduction we will even let you claim your hours on under the Building Awareness and Encouraging Proper Waste Handling

Thanks for being part of our MC\RFamily!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Straw Bale give-away on Family Day

Rose called me today to tell me about a fun Family-Day event at the Steele Heights Community Skate Rink.

The part you will want to know, is that after the skating, and hayrides, and hot chocolate are done, they are giving away their straw bales.

Pick one up at 5825 140 Ave around 7pm; first come, first served.

Harvey (class of 2008) puts straw in in his doghouse to keep his dog, McCauley, toasty warm all winter.
Straw also makes great mulch around your strawberries, or a bottom layer in your compost bin. If you can get enough you can even build with it.
One MC/R Grad who would be interested in this giveaway is Greg dJ (class of 2009) who might use it in an unexpected way (those of you who follow his blog can probably guess what that will be). Poor Carissa...

Happy Family Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The pumpkin seeds are in

....and waiting for you to sign-up and get growing in this year's -the 10th!- Annual Compost Giants Pumpkin Growing Competition.

Ask us for the Registration Sheet, fill it in and fax it to the Composting Council of Canada. After that, for just the sign-up fee of $25 (plus the happy tax), destiny, your garden, and the generous addition of TLC (with the C = Compost) take over .... the precious pumpkin seeds from the Howard Dill Family will be bundled and sent by Canada Post to help you on your path and goal of being proclaimed the 2011 Grand Compost Champion of the Pumpkin Patch.

Just how much fun can you & your team have this gardening season?

Find out by signing up now for the 10th Annual Compost Giants Pumpkin Growing Competition.


Susan Antler

Executive Director

The Compost Council of Canada

Friday, February 11, 2011

MCRPLink has an Illustrious Following

Councillor Sohi has given our tweets a bit of credibility by becoming our first follower.
Welcome! Hope you can make it to our next potluck - it was a great time, and volunteers stayed well into the evening, socializing and enjoying the music of "Up The Creek".

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Upcoming Sustainability / CSR Event

Stantec will be hosting
A Reality Check: 2010/11 Sustainability Trends for Canada’s Oil & Gas Sector
Panel Session hosted by CSR-Calgary and Stantec
Thursday, February 10, 2011 (6:00-8:00pm)

What can we realistically expect from Canada’s leading oil & gas companies, and how well do their future sustainability initiatives align to the changing needs of risk averse investors, engaged communities, influential ENGOs and partnering suppliers – and where are the new drivers where we can expect significant changes in practices at the well head and in the head office?

· Craig Stenhouse, Group Lead, Corporate responsibility, Cenovus
· Jeff Flood, General Manager, Social Responsibility, Nexen Inc.
· Monica Heincke, Sustainability Consultant, Stantec Consulting Ltd.
· Steven Paget, VP, Energy Infrastructure, FirstEnergy Capital Corp.
· Senior representative from The Pembina Institute (invited)
Moderater: Wesley Gee, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Stantec Consulting Ltd.

RSVP Rae at

Friday, February 4, 2011

"I'm doing a worm presentation, what help can you give me?"

The MC/R team has all kinds of resources to help you be successful in your outreach initiatives.

Monique emailed to borrow a worm bin, and asked what else we can provide. Well Monique, when I do a worm workshop I have a set of notes that outlines each step in building and maintaining a bin. Take 'em.

The Composting booklet will meet your needs, but the Compost Bins You Can Build will not. How many of each you want.

The compost chef kit lets you dress as a chef and chop kitchen waste while discussing what to expect from the different material as it rots. You supply the kitchen scraps, but we can help if you don't eat eggs or certain fruits & veggies.

Want to demonstrate building a worm bin and then give it away as a door prize? We supply the container (plus newspaper and autumn leaves) and the worms.

This is just a start, we can loan you display units so you can advertise (that way folks know a bit about it as well as all the benefits before arriving - a real time saver!), or can photocopy notes, or make colour posters,

...hey! If you can dream it we will make it happen.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcome Patty!

Welcome to our new Master Composter/Recycler Program Assistant!

Patty has considerable experience with Community Services in volunteer management and community education programs. She has taught environmental topics both in the classroom and with Inside Education.

You all will be happy to hear that Rose Bangen is enjoying being retired, doing some traveling and spending time with family. Patty is the new “Rose” and we are very excited to have her join the Master Composter team. She and Cecilia are working on the potluck on February 10th and helping us gear up for Spring!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Don't Forget the Compost Pile

If your compost pile is in a sunny, sheltered spot, then our lengthening days will heat the pile enough to get those microbes moving.

If your pile isn't working at this time of year, it is probably because the pile has dried out. A pail of bathwater, aquarium water, non-greasy grey water, or (my favourite) a glass or two of warmed brandy, will provide the moisture needed by the bacteria to do their job.

If you neglect your compost in winter, the nitrogen you are adding now may be lost to our dry air.

and yes, I drink the brandy - it keeps me warm inside while I add it to the pile outside.