Oct 062016


Speaker: Kerri Brock from Splash Concepts
Written by: Sheena Jain & Esha Jain

            Scents, whether from the fragrance of one’s perfume or the aroma of a burning scented candle, can create strong emotional connections for people. Where the scent of an ocean breeze candle can take an individual back to a family vacation at the beach or a mountain scented glade plug-in can bring someone back to the first time they climbed the Himalayan Mountains. Scents can be a great marketing tool for production companies; however, 95% of these aromas are synthetic and contain chemical toxins that are detrimental to our health. Some chemical toxins in particular are the nitro polycyclic musks. Polycyclic musk’s are known as “endocrine disrupters” which along with other toxins can enter our bodies through inhalation, ingestion and dermal inhalation, which is absorbed through our skin. These endocrine disruptors have adverse effects on the pituitary gland, thyroid, ovaries and testes. Some of their effects include low fertility, late puberty or early menopause. Women are exposed to approximately 12 products per day which can be as many as 150-160 chemicals per day.    Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 6, 2016
Oct 062016

Speaker: Skye Vanderberg from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
Written by: Sheena Jain & Esha Jain

            Not only is food necessary to sustain life and provide nutrition but it also gives people a sense of comfort, security and sovereignty.  Food security can be described as all people regardless of socioeconomic status, having access to food to meet their dietary needs. It is the ability to access appropriate food. Food sovereignty refers to people’s rights to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through economically sound and sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems. Although food is culturally, traditionally, environmentally, and physically important to us all, we must adapt and alter our food choices to ensure that we reduce our pesticide and toxin intake.

            Unlike organic food, conventional foods are grown using pesticides and fertilizers. Although organically grown foods are more expensive, the pesticides sprayed on food are harmful to our health and to the environment. The “Clean 15” and the “Dirty Dozen” were lists that were established to provide information on safe and harmful foods based on their pesticide exposure. Specifically, the “Clean 15” includes crops with a hard outer shell, making it more difficult for pesticides to penetrate through their skin. Therefore the “Clean 15” provides a list of conventionally grown foods that are safe to purchase. The “Dirty Dozen” on the other hand provides a list of crops that are exposed to larger quantities of pesticides, making them more harmful to our health. The “Dirty Dozen” provides a list, in which it is important to choose foods that are grown organically instead of conventionally. These lists provide consumers with the information needed to make healthy dietary choices when purchasing food.  Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 6, 2016
Oct 062016

Speaker: Vincent Schutt from Environmentum (A Project of Tides Canada)
Written by: Sheena Jain & Esha Jain

Using the acronym F.E.A.R, Vincent Schutt has created a strategic method on how to approach and manage “toxic thoughts.” He suggests that first, we as individuals need to locate the source behind the toxic thought, in order to eventually resolve or reconcile with that initial thought.  The following depicts the necessary steps required to adequately manage toxic thoughts.

1)  Frame:  Locate your toxic thought

    → This can be done by classifying the source of the thought as:

  • The individual themselves
  • Their Family
  • Their Community
  • Their City
  • Their Province
  • Their Country
  • Their Global Society

2)  Evaluate the thought: Narrow in on the type of problem, in order to gain perspective on what steps

   can be taken to improve the “toxic thought”. This will prevent the “toxic thought” from, weighing the

   individual down.

    → Create a spectrum that increases progressively from least to most beneficial ways to   

          improve the toxic thought.     

3)      Assess/Appreciate: Locate where you are on the spectrum

4)      Reconcile: Determine whether you have the capacity in your life to do something about the toxic


  • Maybe you will realize that you cannot actually move forward with resolving this toxic thought
  • Maybe you will not be able to approach this problem right away because you have spectrums in other areas that need to be addressed first
  • Managing your toxic thoughts using these steps can give you a better perspective on where you are in terms of managing the problem, what future steps you can take, and what limitations you may have. Thus allowing you to put the thought to rest once and for all.     

Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 6, 2016
Sep 142016

Speaker: Megan Savage
Written By: Sheena & Esha Jain


            DRUMI, the foot powered washing machine, what lead to the invention of this “travel size” laundry machine? It all started with an innovative university student, Yi Jiang and an unpleasant experience at the laundromat. This lead to further research, regarding other disadvantages of public laundromats.

            Some of the biggest concerns with public laundromats include environmental factors such as CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption as well as travel time required to go to the laundromat to get clothes cleaned. Based on his research, the following statistics were found:

Per load Annually (if 1X/week)
500 Watts of Power 26 Kilowatts of power
50 L of Water 2600L of Water
2.4 kg CO2 emission 124.8kg CO2 emission
$4 per load $200

These factors have detrimental effects on our environment because they contribute to ocean acidification, smog pollution and ozone depletion. These environmental issues in turn, have a direct effect on human health and plant growth. Health concerns that arise following exposure include: reduced life expectancy, inhalation of emissions can lead to lung cancer as well as increases chances of developing respiratory and cardiac disease. Harmful effects on plant growth and nutrition levels include a 2-5% decrease in key staple crops.

The development of the DRUMI made many breakthroughs in reducing the negative effects of public laundromats. Its convenience reduces the total amount of time required to travel to the laundromat and complete a load of laundry. With the Drumi, one can complete a load of 7 articles of clothing in a total of 5-10 minutes, decreasing laundry days by up to 75%.  It uses only 5-10L of water per load and reduces consumption by up to 90 kg of CO2 emission per year. The development of the Drumi has been successful in diminishing many environmental concerns that occur with public laundromats. If the Drumi is implemented by all GTA residents it can reduce carbon neutrality by almost 300 million (254 700 000)kg CO2 emissions each year.

           Increasing awareness and educating more people about the advances made by the development of the Drumi, can allow more of the population to take advantage of all of its potential benefits, while simultaneously helping to improve our environment.

Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 14, 2016
Sep 142016

Speaker: Vincent Schutt of Environmentum
Written by: Esha & Sheena Jain


Vincent Schutt, the director and co-founder of Enviromentum took a remarkably appealing approach when discussing the impact of individual action to climate change. He focused on 3 main principles, which included: what best represents your values in life; what effects of climate change concerns you and finally what steps do you currently take to aid in mitigating climate change. The intention of the exercise was to illustrate there is no need to worry about the logistics regarding environmental concerns; as it only brings upon a sense of impending doom and uncontrollable fear for what the future holds. He suggested that rather the emphasis be placed on your values so that one can take more actions based on these values. This method prevents one from enforcing their views upon others. Instead, it assists individuals in discovering what is important to them, which allows them to connect their behaviors to their values. This strategy permits individuals to discover their own motivation to make a change.  

Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 14, 2016