The next time you visit your local supermarket, take a look at how many rolls of plastic film bags are placed around the fruits and vegetables. Each time a shopper decides to purchase some apples or oranges, they usually reach out and grab one of those plastic bags. After one use, these flimsy plastic bags are then thrown away. What a waste!! Storing your produce in these plastic bags also speeds up the rotting process…..Can you imagine all those pieces of plastics floating around in the ocean and looking like jellyfish? Poor sea creatures can mistake these pieces of plastics as their food source and suffocate. That is why mesh produce bags are so helpful to our environment.
There are many different types of bags in the market. I personally like ones that are very light and doesn’t have any extra parts that can get in the way. It’s also better if the mesh produce bags have a good stretch to it. You can use the mesh produce bags for other things if they are stretchy.
Different Ways To Use Mesh Produce Bags
1) Shopping for fruits and vegetables: You can transfer the produce into a salad bag when you get home, so that the fruits and vegetables can last even longer.
2) Use the mesh bags for delicates in the laundry wash: All those delicate pieces of clothing can be protected by using the same produce bags in the laundry wash.
3) Toy organizer and storage: By collecting those small pieces of building blocks in the mesh bags, the child can still see what is in the bag, instead of losing them in a gigantic toy box.
4) Travel bag: As you get up from the beach, you can throw your sandy clothing into the bag, so the sand can fall out.
It is too late to feel regretful about not starting to do your Christmas shopping early. What can you do? No need to panic. It is only November, and there is still some time left. There are special ways to deal with this. Besides the lack of time, the other issue is the concern of budget. Depending on how many people you have to purchase this Christmas, this gift-giving often comes with a hefty price tag.
The commercialization of Christmas holidays has been falsely marketed at a time to get your loved ones the special present. From expensive jewellery to super high-tech toys for the children, each year I notice that the advertisements of television and even social media can be a little overwhelming. I am not passing judgement for those who are capable and chose to purchase these extravagant presents. That is their choice.
3 Special Ways
1. Pool resources: Let’s say, for example, a university student is in search of a laptop of his education. A few of his closed friends may gather together and split the cost of the laptop.
2. Christmas Markets: I like to visit Christmas Markets to look for unique and inexpensive gifts. Many of the vendors make their own items. Shopping for local small businesses helps our local economy.
3. Use social media: Signing up for the e-newsletters of your favourite online shops and vendors often gives you the newest deals that are only for their subscribers. Be on the lookout for the different advertisements that businesses often start to post in November on their various social media platforms. You can even use your own chat groups to share what sorts of deals with your friends so that they can save some money too!
This holiday season, thinking and using special ways to save money can be a challenging, but very rewarding experience. Remember to also share this information with the younger ones too.
As I was picking up the children from school, I noticed that some of the younger ones were carrying around different sizes of pumpkins. The students told me that they had just visited the pumpkin patch that day. What fun!! Did you visit your nearby pumpkin patch yet? For the past few years, my children got to pick out their pumpkins at a local community gathering. The coordinators would decorate the whole paring lot and community garden like a pumpkin patch. Then the children got to choose their pumpkins for their jack o’ lantern designs.
Initially, the children tended to search for the largest or the smallest ones. Then, I would remind them that they might want to think about how they were going to use the pumpkins. If the pumpkin was meant to be just painted on and left intact, then they might want the tiny ones. However, if they wanted to be able to carve a detailed jack o’lantern, then they perhaps needed a much larger one.
The Other Side of Jack o’lantern Carving
Painting a pumpkin with paints would just as fun as carving. However, the children and I enjoyed and looked forward to brainstorming for ideas. Back when they were small, I was the only one doing the carving by myself. The children would try their best to scoop out the strands of slimy pumpkin flesh. Afterwards, they helped me to separate the tiny little seeds into a strainer. It was a great way to practice their fine motor skills there. Now, what did I do with those pumpkin seeds? I toasted them as a snack!
Here is my recipe:
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients -Pumpkin seeds of one large pumpkin -1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (mine was a Jalapeño flavoured) -A sprinkle of herb salt (I used Herbamare) or Himalayan pink salt
Directions 1. Rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds. I spread the seeds out on a cooking sheet, lined with parchment paper to dry overnight. 2. The coconut oil that I used was already liquefied, so melt yours before you drizzle onto the seeds. 3. Toss the seeds around on the cookie sheet while sprinkling the seasoning. 4. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C. 5. Once oven is ready, place in the middle rack and bake for around 45 minutes or until the pumpkin seeds begin to change colour. Golden brown is what you are looking for.
Time to do some back to school shopping!! But, isn’t that not a good thing? Spending more money and not very environmentally-friendly? Honestly, looking into the past, as a young student myself, I remember how much I loved to purchase new supplies each year to start school…. It’s a time to have something different from the last school year. As a parent now, I believe that it’s all about balance, to find a happy medium. Therefore, there are ways that you can be frugal and fabulous for the environment.
Two Back to School Ideas
First of all, depending on the individual child and family situation, you are welcome to pick and choose which idea to follow or perhaps leave for next time. Remember that any little action you choose to help protect the Earth, makes a difference, no matter how insignificant it may seem
Here you are: 1) Pens and pencils: As a family, look around the house and collect all the random stationary that are lying around. How many times have you seen a pen or pencil hidden in the corner of the sofa? Time to grab a bucket and collect them like Easter eggs! Once you are finished, sharpen the pencils, and double check if the pens still have ink in them. It’s important to remind the students to replace the caps of highlighters and markers to prevent them from drying up prematurely.
Another great idea is to introduce the use of fountain pensbecause they are refillable. All you needed to buy is the ink!
2) Back to School Outfits: Before you decide to venture to your nearest shopping mall, it’s time to take a good look into your child’s wardrobe. If your child is older, it’s a good idea to ask them to sort out what they no longer wear first. You can take these clothes (and your own pieces too) and have a clothing swap among your friends! Most of the children of my friends are younger, so I just gift them the clothes. I often remind my children to take care of their clothes, so that the clothes will have a longer lifespan.
In conclusion, both of these actions will help save some money and be more conscious about our environment at the same time. To be honest, just focus one step at a time. Be creative and you will discover the joys of being frugal and friendly to our Earth!
After Valentines Day, this February weekend is the start of many celebrations and activities. The third Monday of February was officially known as Family Day in 2013.
So, have you though about what are you going to do on this Family Day? First of all, there are so many activities happening on this day, both free and for a cost. Secondly, each city has their own special events. Let us take a look at the different activities that are going on in your local community!
Free Fun in the City Highlights
Coquitlam: In Pinetree Community Centre and Poirier Community Centre, there will a circus workshop, bouncy castles and Zumba lessons for all.
Delta: In South Delta Community Centre, North Delta Community Centre and Winskil Aquatic and Fitness Centre, they have free skating lessons.
Langley: In Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, there is free family swim and parachute play for the little ones. You can also visit Langley Centennial Museum and sign up for their Scavenger Hunt.
Maple Ridge: In Acts Art Centre, you can make some lanterns, rain sticks, dance and even take part in the Maple Ridge Community Mosiac.
Mission: In Mission Leisure Centre, there is face painting, swimming, skating, a toddler zone, bouncy castle and a magician!
New Westminster: Get to know Century House and Youth Centre! They have activities for all ages on this day. You can even learn to be a DJ!
North Vancouver: Lonsdale Quay Market is having a petting zoo and a free LEGO class.
Port Coquitlam: Hyde Creek Recreation Centre is having free public skating, while Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex is having it at their Green Arena.
Richmond: The city of Richmond has a total of over 65 activities!! For example, Cambie Community Centre organizes a pancake breakfast. City Centre Community Centre has a Karaoke Sing Out and Hamilton Community Centre even has martial arts!
Surrey: First, Surrey Nature Centre has a Family Challenge Station with guided nature walks. Then, you can also visit the Historic Stewart Farm. The staff can show you how the pioneers lived back in the pioneer days.
Vancouver: You can watch the film, Sharks: A 4D Experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.
In conclusion, there are many more fun activities to do in our beautiful cities. Therefore, let us visit neighbouring cities and support the local shops? For those living elsewhere….Does your city have a Family Day?