Sunday, 13 June 2010

Our New Babees

It's nice to have a lot of land that hasn't been sprayed for decades. Especially if you're a beekeeper and are looking for just that to place your bee hives.

Tom is just such a beekeeper who placed 2 hives not too far from our house today. It's a great spot with lots of southern exposure, mature trees providing shelter from the elements, and surrounded by lots of clover and wild flowers that the bees are so fond of. More hives may follow if this works out as hoped.

Northwestern Ontario holds a unique position in the Western hemisphere; it's the last remaining enclave that is free of bee mites and other diseases that currently kill honey bee colonies on a massive scale pretty much everywhere else. Mono cultures, widespread use of pesticides and large-scale intensive bee keeping practices are just a few of the reasons for it.

So far our bee-healthy pocket has been able to keep it that way, thanks mostly to the ever-vigilant regional beekeeper's association and its inspectors. Bees are an essential component in this fragile house of cards called the environment. No bees means not only no honey, but also no pollination of flowers, trees, vegetables, fruits. You know, the stuff we humans need to live.

We're looking forward to see how these colonies will do, the first official honey bee population on our property. Of course it's not an entirely selfless act, as I'm sure there is some great honey in it for us - from our own wild flowers!
Here's hopin' our resident bear won't find out about it...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Save The Planet: Pee In The Shower!

Okay guys, fess up: we've all peed in the shower from time to time. We all do it, yet nobody will ever mention it. It's almost as if by not talking about it it's not happening. There's a stigma attached to it; for some reason in our overly puritanical North America, peeing in the shower is, well, not done (technically).

But why? Is it filthy? Not really. Impolite? Oh come on. Unsanitary? Nope, urine contains no bacteria. So why are we so self-conscious about it?

The Brazilians asked themselves the same question and not only realized there's nothing wrong with it - it's even beneficial for the environment! The logic is simple and undeniable: each time you pee in the shower, you don't have to flush the toilet: tadah, some serious water savings.

So the federal government of Brazil commissioned several PSA's (Public Service Announcements) to encourage this aquatic activity. And what better way than to have kids make the call (kids love a good pee joke, plus they're not self-conscious - yet), and what better medium than animation?

Hey! Wasn't that Mahatma Gandhi peeing in the shower...?!