Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Human Footprint

I ordered this DVD from our library and we finished watching it last night. What an interesting show.

This documentary shows - in a very clear way - just how much impact the average person has on the earth in their lifetime. The show takes us through an average lifespan in the lives of a male and female. It starts out when the two are born and makes its way through to retirement years. Along the way we are shown the amount of resources used to make diapers for each child for the two years, amount of shampoo and toothbrushes used, number of showers in a lifetime, number of appliances we will go through, clothes we will buy and much more. We were most surprised by the amount of soda and alcohol consumed.

I think you may be able to watch the whole show here (just in case you can't get it from the library). ;-)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Creativity plus duct tape equals hours of fun

I have always encouraged creativity in my family. We like to make our own fun and sometimes the results are somewhat...unconventional, I suppose. We have never wanted our kids to have all the latest toys, instead we have helped them to explore their own imagination and make do with simpler things and to use that they have. Most everything around here involves dirt, sticks, Lego or Hotwheels. When they were younger it was dirt, sticks, trucks and blocks.

This Spring, after much thought, we bought a used trampoline. The boys have had a lot of fun on it. I guess they'd recently decided that they could make it even more fun because one day I looked out the window and saw this.
I don't know if you can tell in that action blur of a photo but that is a skateboard on his feet.
Now each day they go out and make up games involving certain kinds of tricks and all kinds of interesting names for each trick. So, another thing I've learned from watching my kids is this...

Creativity + (lots of) Duct tape = Hours and hours of fun
So if in 20 years you see this as an Olympic sport just remember...you saw it here first. ;-)
And just in case you would like to make this yourself here is a closer view. It's an old skateboard minus the wheels, an old pair of shoes and ooooh, maybe half a roll of duct tape. ;-)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Story of Stuff

I know that I've posted about this before but I like this so much that I want to post about it again. Plus, our library bought the DVD so now anyone who was having trouble viewing it on their computer can order it from the library. We watched it again last week and I really feel as though keeping this information top of mind is very important for my boys. In our society it is all too easy to get caught up in the consumer society mentality and I want to make sure my kids are very aware of the consequences of our actions. I think this is really important information for all of us to hear and see but more importantly, to really get.

The Story of Stuff is just so well done that I can't help but want to tell everyone about it. It covers such an important topic but in a fun and interesting way. It is done in a way that makes it easy for even very young children to watch and understand but it is not dumbed down. In fact, I think there is enough interesting information on it that even people who consider themselves quite "green" will still learn some new things. For example, did you know that out of the total material flow through the production system that only 1 % is "still in product or use 6 months after their sale in North America"? One percent. That surprised me. That means 99% is where? Trashed! How scary is that?
I like for my kids to see shows like this because it doesn't necessarily have to be a hugely depressing thing. It can be an empowering thing. We can talk about our part in all of this and what we can do to make things better. I always think that awareness is the key to change, this show is very straight-forward and the host is very matter-of-fact. It is well worth watching.