Friday, January 31, 2014

Green Family Activities



-- Green and Educational Family Activities -- 

Plan now to find ways of creating educational and green living activities with your children and youth this summer. 


Over the summer, kids often forget how to learn, their minds become more sluggish and they become bored easily. A lot of parents are concerned with the increased use of the TV and online games. Adults are concerned too about finding ways to instill conscious living skills in the youth, while finding activities that increase physical ability and help create stronger bonds within the family.

We have some great ideas to help you with this. Perhaps you can involve other family members, neighbors, coworkers or other parents who are adept at wood working for some of the projects listed below.

Discuss with the youth what they'd like to get involved in to make the world a better place. The best place to start is in your own back yard or on your own balcony, but you can also get involved with parks, wildlife reserves, trails and other places in your own community. The wonderful thing about  making your own yard into a green habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and bats is that it has a long-term affect for the environment, while inspiring neighbors and visitors as well. Reserves and many wildlife charities are often looking for people to build and install bird houses or bat houses.

You can get more involved in the projects by having the youth  keep a log of what they planted and how the plants grew, what they built and where they placed the items...
they can keep a journal on the insects they identified, the changes they saw as a result of their efforts, and can learn to be responsible for food containers (i.e. bird or squirrel feeders) or water sources.

As for keeping costs down - you can often find smaller pieces of wood through contractors and builders in your community, just give them a call and tell them about your project and ask for the scraps from their building projects that they were going to throw away anyway.  Alternatively builder supply stores often have a bin beside their outdoor warehouse where they place pieces of boards and such - usually people scavange the bin for camping fire wood or for heating their homes, but you can find all kinds of stuff there too for your projects - for free. There are also businesses in your area that build things like cabinets or shelves, etc. you might be able to get their scrap wood.

Start planning the projects now though so you can find the plans and information online or purchase the seed you need ahead of time. 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Referral Corner


-- Quote of the Day -- 

 “Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success – but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.” 

~ Vaclave Havel



 -- Referral Corner -- 

Many of our regular readers are already familiar with this section of our blog - where we offer or suggest recommended resources for our readers to check out in their spare time. We hope that our readers will show support of the amazing organizations by helping to spread the word about them through their own blogs, or social media, etc. We also invite our readers to get involved with the organization or send them a quick note expressing gratitude and support for the wonderful work they do for us all. Feel free to scroll through our blog archives to find previously published Referral Corner posts.


Businessof green: This resource offers news of the day in how businesses and governments are addressing environmental issues around the planet. Some of the news is on the negative side of things, but there is plenty of positive news to be found here too.
Info:  http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/earth/index.html

Habitat Conservation Trust Fund: a non-profit charitable foundation acting as Trustee of the Habitat Conservation Trust. HCTF came into existence because its major contributors (hunters, anglers, trappers, and guide-outfitters) were willing to pay for conservation work above and beyond that expected by government for basic management of wildlife and fish resources. Their mission is to invest in projects that maintain and enhance the health and biological diversity of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and habitats so that people can use, enjoy, and benefit from these resources.
Info: www.hctf.ca

Ducks Unlimited:
A registered charity, considered to be the leader in wetland conservation, that partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.

Info: www.ducks.ca






Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Energy Saving Tips


 -- Energy Savings for Home-based or Commercial Offices --

* Today's article was written by: Sam Jones writes on environmental and green energy issues. He keeps an eye on energy suppliers and the cheapest electricity prices and to give his readers the latest information.



Your office, whether at work or at home, is probably not as energy-efficient as it could be. After all, most of us tend to run multiple lights for a brightly lit space, have a computer running all day and night, and keep several appliances - e.g., fax machines, phones, color printers - plugged in and running even when we don’t need them. Whether you are looking to cut your monthly energy expenses at home, or merely want to implement your green-living initiative at work, here are some tips to help you keep a more eco-friendly and energy-efficient office.

Computer Costs - Nowadays, no matter what line of work you are in, you probably use a computer in some professional fashion. Most companies now provide each employee with a desktop computer for their office. To be a little more green, try not only turning off the computer when you aren’t using it, but turn off the entire surge protector as well, as computers use a small amount of energy even when they aren’t turned on and just merely plugged in. If turning off the entire system is not an option, try just turning off the monitor. If you have a choice between using the provided desktop or a laptop from home, choose the laptop every time. Laptops use far less energy than traditional desktops.

Lighting Disasters - In your home office, you have the option to switch to eco-friendly light bulbs, or to rely on natural sunlight during the daytime hours. However, for those of you in a windowless office lit by fluorescent bulbs, your options when it comes to lowering energy consumption from lighting may be slimmer. Consider bringing a desktop lamp to work, and loading it with an eco-friendly energy-efficient bulb. Not only will this help you to be a little more green at work, but it will actually improve your mood at the office as well. Not only are fluorescents awful for the earth, but they have been found to lower morale and make you feel glum.

How You Commute - Some of you may be reading these tips and inwardly groaning, knowing that your boss will never let you power down your computer or bring in your own earth-friendly lighting. If that’s the case, you can still find ways to make your work habits a bit more green. First and foremost, change how you commute. So many workers opt to drive to work when there is a perfectly useful mode of public transportation available to them. If you can make the change to taking the bus or train, you will be making great leaps and bounds in your effort to be more green at work.

If you’ve been making little tweaks to your home-life in the hopes of being more eco-friendly, then congratulations. Hopefully, with these tips, you can go green at work as well. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to suggest some changes that your co-workers can adapt as well. With our collective eco-consciousness on the rise, people are more and more open to adapting green lifestyle choices. Be a pioneer at the office and start a green initiative at your job today.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Eco-friendly Sustainable Farming



-- Quote of the Day -- 

 “It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.” 

~ Sydney Harris


 -- Positive News  --

Farmers who are looking to stand out as being unique in a highly competitive marketplace while diversifying income from their land may well be interested in looking at sharing… sharing the sun that is. Now you’ve heard me mention that in some areas they are experimenting with sharing land with tall wind power turbines and crops in between them on the ground. This idea is a similar one to what I’m talking about here in that solar panels can be spaced out in a grid fashion over the land and crops can still be grown underneath. When you think about it, farmland has an immense square footage use of earth’s surface, and farmers are subject to environmental changes that can make, or break them annually. Forward-thinking farmers are becoming more eco-friendly by attracting birds, allowing space for wildlife and wilderness, planting wind break shrubs and using organic and even no-till methods. They are increasingly growing more sustainably through crop rotation, soil improvement and also growing multi-crops (avoiding monoculture). 

These new initiatives though are offering a much greater advantage for communities looking for ways of bringing in green energy while supporting the farmers.  In a trial run done in Japan they found that just 272 solar panels on farm land can produce about $10,700 annually, enough to pay off the investment in less than 7 years. Once this experiment became known, the interest has spread like wild fire and farmers everywhere are becoming intrigued by the possibilities, including using some of the power generated by the panels on site - for irrigation, or machinery or lighting – as well as selling excess back to the power company. There have been companies sprouting up who are either renting roof space to put their solar panels on, or renting solar panels out for people to have installed on their roof and maintained by the company without the huge expense of purchasing the panels themselves. Additionally, there are government rebates for people investing in solar, wind or geothermal power. Any of these, or a combination of these options might make it possible for farmers to reduce the costs of producing food while creating another steady stream of income.  



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 
 
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Eating well



-- Brummet's In the Media --

Come check out my latest interview on the Ink Pantry site - It was a really nice experience and I enjoyed being asked such unique questions.

http://inkpantry.com/blog/inky-interview-lillian-brummet


-- 8 Simple DASH* Diet Resolutions --
 
 *Today's article was submitted by  Kate Bandos (of KSBPromotions.com) for her client Marla Heller, MS, RD is the author of the best-selling books, The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, and The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook. Marla's specialty is in making complex nutrition easy to understand. While I don't usually post topics on diet, I do feel that choosing a healthier diet goes a long way in making the world more sustainable. Foods suggested in the article below have a very low impact on the planet and many of these foods can be purchased from local farmers and market garden outlets, or grown in your own back yard or balcony. By taking care of our own health we place fewer pressures on the health support systems as well.




Ready for your 8 simple resolutions to get you on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)  diet path?




1. Have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks every day. Deprivation doesn’t lead to lasting weight loss.


2. Make colorful veggies the center of your meal. They are bulky, filling, and healthy, while low in calories.


3. Add lean protein-rich foods to make a meal that satisfies and won’t leave you hungry an hour later.


4. Choose 2 – 3 dairy foods that are low-fat or nonfat, every day. Dairy boosts protein and helps quench hunger.


5. Add fresh fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way.


6. Nuts, beans, and seeds make fun snacks that love your heart and help you lose weight.


7. When you have grains, choose whole grains.


8. Watch your waistline shrink. You are improving your health as you lose weight, with these healthy resolutions.



The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution is based on these rules. And while it helps you lose weight, DASH also makes you healthier. DASH is proven to lower blood pressure, cholesterol; lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.





Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!




Sunday, January 26, 2014

World of Writing, Interview


 -- World of Writing --

Joining us today for a world of writing interview is author Hank Quense - who writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories. He also writes about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 14 books and 50 short stories along with a few dozen articles. He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe.  They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.  Visit Hank's websites:

Q: Tell us about the workshops or events you offer.
A: I give a number of lectures.  The three most important ones are a two-part lecture called Creating Fiction.  The other two are Self-publishing a Book and Book Marketing.  These are given in libraries and adult education classes as well as on webinars.  I also have a number of shorter ones such as Writing Humor and Satire.  All of these are given in libraries, coffee shops and to writing groups.

Q: What inspired you to write?
A: When I was fifty years old, I decided I needed to come up with a second career for after I left my day job.  I decide to write fiction.  I love to write and my favorite type reading is humorous or satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories.  There just aren’t enough of these types of books written.  I feel there is too much serious genre fiction.  These authors have to lighten up a bit.  So I decided I would only write humor and satire stories in the fantasy and sci-fi genres to help fill the void.

Q: How long will we wait for your next book? …What are your current projects? 
A: At the moment, I’m not writing a fiction book.  In January, 2014, I finished writing a series of four books called the Self-publishing Guides.  The titles are Self-publishing a Book, Marketing Plans for Self-published Books, Manage Your Self-publishing Project and Business Basics for Authors.
That effort took me an entire year and I’m now spending all my time promoting these books and will be doing this into mid-March, 2014.  After that, I’ll work on a new novel - a parody of Camelot.

Q: Do you use any set formula when writing a book? (i.e. how you work, use an outline, general work ethic/research style…basically how you go about a new project).
A: I’m a dedicated planner...  I spend a great deal of time developing characters, building a plot, designing scenes and other design work.  And I do all this before I begin to write the first draft.  By the time I start on the first draft, the novel is completely designed and finished.  Unfortunately, the story only exists in my mind.  The final step is to get on paper so I can revise and shape it.

Q: How do you come up with ideas for your writings and why do you feel you choose some over others?
A: Getting a story idea is easy.  I get them all the time. The difficult part about developing a story is the ending.  After I get what I consider a good story idea, I do nothing with it until I can figure out the ending.  Once I have an ending I can believe in, then I begin the design work.  I have story ideas from years ago that I’ve never been able to come up with an ending.  Consequently, these ideas are just that: story ideas.

Q: What was your path to publication?
A: After having about forty short stories published in a variety of paying markets, I had a short novel accepted by an indie publishing house.  I also had an anthology of my best short stories published by the same house.  That experience was so distasteful that I decide to self-publish.  After doing that for a while, I started my own publishing imprint.   Now, all my books are put out by Strange Worlds Publishing.

Q: What’s the best advice you were given about writing?
A: Don’t start writing the story until you know the ending.  I read that in Robert McKee’s excellent book, Story.  Why?  The purpose of a story is to take the reader on a journey from the beginning to the ending (climax) of the story.  If you don’t know the ending, you can’t take the reader on that journey.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Trees and Sustainable Communities


-- Quote of the Day -- 

 “If you want my final opinion on the mystery of life and all that, I can give it to you in a nutshell. The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.


~ Peter De Vries – Let Me Count The Ways


-- Brummets In the Media --

Join me for a live 1/2 hour radio interview on the Funky Writer, with Rob Batista (host) @ 2 PM Mountain / 4PM Eastern  ...Today's interview will also be archived so you can access it at your convenience later on.



I was a guest on Rob's show back in 2009... and have been invited to come back as one of his "favorite guests". I feel honored to have become one of his favorites. :)
To access the original interview visit: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefunkywriter/2009/06/19/the-funky-writer-radio-show-episode-27-


-- Positive News -- 

 
You’ve probably heard of problems with beetles infesting forests and killing trees by boring into them to make homes or safe places for their larvae and often sucking the plant juices from the trees. The problem is not just the death of the trees, but that they then become a fire hazard, and sometimes a safety hazard as they are more apt to fall over during a storm. So what a lot of communities have done is to harvest the trees before they decay and create more jobs in their region by taking the wood and making valuable, and often beautifully colored flooring, roofing, and furniture. In Cincinnati, they created the Urban Timber company that collaborates with the park board and many local businesses and school programs to create products that are sold, and the proceeds raised are used to replant new trees in and around the city.



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poetry


-- Quote of the Day -- 

Re: song writing process:

“Whenever I am in a studio and we discuss a new song, I like to search out songs that talk about real life experiences – that people can find some deeper meaning to the song. Writing a song is pretty tedious between getting the lyrics right and creating the music. …You have to make yourself vulnerable (when writing songs) and so if your lyrics don’t make sense or you feel they aren’t very good you can’t let yourself get mad about it because it is a trial and error process.”  

~ Josey Milner
Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on June 30… titled: Musicians Making a Difference 


 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)


-- Poetry -- 

As you have seen from previous posts I occasionally like to share some of my own poetry here on this blog... Here are a couple that I thought might interest our readers:

CONTRADICTION

Governments are fundamentally unsustainable for our nation.
Sweetened words rot while panels point fingers in every direction.
Implicitly implying our hunger, our homes are worth the risk.
Ensuring the dependents and unproductive ones suffer most,
Our society initially caused this appendage host.
Small islands, we like to call parks, become our only wild lands.
Murdering creative spirits, society crushes and smears the people.
Children, not even safe from their own family members,
Are taught to conform to patterns acceptable to the masses.
Struggling to directionalize their aim -- its there, but there it’s not.
Living lives in contradiction - confinement where the spirit soars.
Keeping open receptors; we armor our selves with our only swords.
Those bright neon lights meant to aid our choice in direction,
Only blend in the masses of society’s blinking illuminations.
Our culture collision ridicules all beliefs while entwining them all.
And peacefully inflicting our belief of justice and virtues on one another,
Our own violence and war feeds our senseless economy and dependence.
And finding a tiny flower in a crack between cement and men,
We become inspired to save it.

- A poet's right is to sometimes get creative with words, even creating our own word... you'll find "Contradiction" has some of this.

TRUE KNOWLEDGE

Each of us is motivated either by intuition or self-servance.
Dented and buffered by our distinct memories,
Which are shaped by our context of experience,
We struggle to find understanding in structured society.
Who says structure has anything to do with reason?
Society is really based on what we do not know.
Yet we generously share knowledge internationally.
So understanding little we grope for leaders, heroes
When what we need are active citizens.
Un-stifled imagination - it is the tool of certainty.
One era’s ethics only corrupt future generations.
Nonconformity is an insult, a sign of disloyalty to society
But does true knowledge belong only to scholars?
True understanding comes not from a degree.
Not from stretching our small mouths to fit,
A vocabulary we are meant to recite.
We are the heroes that we seek. You and I.
What are you doing in your life? That is where it lies.
Does this mean money? I think not.
Does it mean good deeds? Maybe.
I believe it lies in understanding and accepting – before judging or acting.
It lies in the heart - in the mind
Settled in self and matter around us.
A society of followers, of conformists, of memorizers and repeaters.
Why repeat what has been done before?
Be a hero.
Act today.
Create.

  * You can find these poems and more than 100 others that I created in the book: Towards Understanding -





Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!