DIY Wildflower Seed Ball Kit

Top 10 Sustainable Stocking Stuffers

It goes without saying that most of us have more than we need. When considering gifts for the upcoming holiday season, looking local is a great way to go. The following is a round-up of some gifts with a sustainability focus:

  1. Tree Canada tree seed kits: planting a tree doesn’t get easier than this.
  2. Guide 10 sun powered battery charger: With the Guide 10 Plus Recharger you have a portable, rugged charging kit as adventurous as you are. Ideal for: Phone, GPS, Headlamp.

    Ninja Stars solar LED deck accent lighting

    Ninja Stars

  3. Ninja Stars Solar LED Deck Accent Lighting: Whether you are trying to show off your deck or prevent trips and falls.
  4. Solar LED security spotlight: Sunlight at night-time!
  5. Poop Bags Made with Plants in USA: ‘Cuz the one thing your doggie’s doo-doo shouldn’t do is hang around in a landfill for 500 years.
  6. Planet Earth DVD: With its jaw-dropping, pole-to-pole, high-def footage, Planet Earth is a must-see for anyone claiming to be a greenie or just a lover of this planet.

    Wikki Stix Super from Scholar's Choice

    Wikki Stix Super from Scholar’s Choice

  7. Wikki Stix: Made from simple, non-toxic ingredients (just yarn and food-grade wax) Wikki Stix inspire endless kid (and parent) creativity. Canadians can look in Scholar’s Choice, Staples and other retailers for this classic craft material.
  8. DIY Wildflower Seed Ball Kit: A seemingly rebellious way to add some beauty to the neighbourhood! Retailing at $21 from uncommon goods, this cool gift ships to Canada.
  9. Eco-pen 12 Pack: Write Santa a thank-you letter with a pen that’s made of a cornstarch plastic, which will fully biodegrade in a year.

    Ecojot jumbo journals

    Ecojot jumbo journal

  10. Ecojot Jumbo Journals: This Canadian company has truly sustainable roots. Notebook paper is 100% post-consumer recycled – made entirely from old waste paper in the award-winning Cascades mill in Québec, Canada. All inks and glues are vegetable based, and all black and kraft boards are sourced from sustainable suppliers in North America. Ecojot was awarded the Ancient Forest Friendly and Order of the Forest Awards by Canopy in 2012. The company has also supplied thousands of books to kids in need around the globe with its Buy 1/Give 1 campaign.

Finally, how about a gift with pretty much no ecological footprint but loads of awesome?

Adopt a Star

Can you really name a star? Absolutely. If you know someone who’d be wowed by such a gift, the Pale Blue Dot Adopt-a Star program is the recommended route, as it is a non-profit site that actually benefits Kepler research.


Planting trees for tomorrow

Young Fraser fir treeFor many of us building a custom home, we’ve chosen to build on a patch of land outside of the city. That often means we have one or more acres under own ownership that can be considered for various uses.

Space for gardening, recreation, pure enjoyment, and even aspects of self-sufficiency or cost offsetting (e.g. solar panels) come into consideration.

Why not consider planting trees in volume? Tree planting is a great way to improve a property and its value, provide wildlife habitat, reduce land erosion, create shade and livable spaces, and offset carbon emissions.

For anyone in the Rideau Valley and City of Ottawa, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority offers a tremendous opportunity through its Trees for Tomorrow and Green Acres programs. For any landowner with property sitting idle, RCVA offers technical and financial assistance to reforest that space.

Imagine your property filled with more than an acre of trees for a fraction of the real investment required, where all of the hard work is done by others, including site assessment, clearing and planting. The program includes survival assessments in the early years.

The only commitment on the part of landowners is to cover the heavily subsidized planting effort (this really is a good deal), order a minimum of 500 trees, and to make reasonable efforts to protect the trees from damage.

The program receives significant funding from the 50 Million Tree Program of Forests Ontario.

Do you have land sitting idle? Wondering about how to reforest your property without breaking the bank? Thinking about leaving a bit of a legacy?

Consider planting trees for tomorrow.


EkoModel PassiveHouse to be built near Ottawa

We are please to announce our EkoModel PassiveHouse project is about to begin construction this fall on a rural property just outside the city of Ottawa on a property in McNab / Braeside Township.

The goal of our PassiveHouse & project will be to showcase the simplicity & affordability of building a truly Sustainable, low-energy home. We believe building a leading-edge high-performance home using the latest energy efficient technologies should be a simple and cost-effective process. After all, you can’t do anything sustainable unless it’s affordable!

The best sustainable homes are ones that are both good for the environment & good for people. Good for the environment with low-impact design, superior energy efficiency, and including materials with renewable / recycled content. Good for people with low-operating cost, best indoor air quality, and draft free construction detail for greater comfort.

Here is a peak of ‘The Trillium’ EkoModel:

PassiveHouse Model

‘Trillium’ EkoModel to be built near Ottawa, Ontario built to International PassiveHouse standard