Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Yoga in the Park, Tidal Power and Food Waste!

Our first Yoga in the Park- to celebrate Ostara or Spring Equinox March 20th!
From Halifax? Check out Halifax Yoga Community for more details and Facebook Group Link!

This past week Andrew and I attended two talks on environmental topics with friends. The first; Tidal Power in Nova Scotia and the second Jay Ingram from The Daily Planet. Although these talks replaced a yoga class or two, I think it's so important to attend free events where we can continue to learn and grow. Especially with regards to environmental topics.

The talk on tidal power was interesting and disappointing at the same time. Nova Scotia has a monopoly on power; Nova Scotia Power, that owns and distributes power almost exclusively. Unlike other provinces, Nova Scotian's power sources come from 75% coal... and our carbon footprint is much larger as a result.

As of last summer, NSPower is required by law to reduce it's reliance on coal power by 25% (to 50% renewable energy sources) by 2020. As a result, they're investigating tidal power. Unfortunately, the entire presentation was pretty cheesy and obviously capitalistic in nature. Check out the cheesy video! The walk away message: each turbine costs 11 million (6 mil at best), would repel local marine life, may remove actual kinetic energy from the tides (lowering water levels) and would only generate a fraction on power compared to wind turbines, despite having the largest tides in the world. (100 billion tonnes of water daily)

I get 'NIMBY' (Not in my backyard) as being an issue currently in Nova Scotia for wind turbines... but this money could certainly be invested in alternative venues. 

Going to see Jay Ingram was by far more exciting (he's on TV!) and entertaining. His talk on food waste was extremely compelling. According to projections, by 2050 (a mere thirty years from now) we'll have to feed approximately 9 billion people, an increase in food production by almost 100%. 

How do we do this? He spoke briefly on genetically modified organisms (ugh...) but the most striking argument? Recently, numbers have revealed that Americans throw out 40% of their food... 40% of food entering landfills. Reasons given ranged from 'being in the fridge for too long' to 'leftovers on the plate'. 

We consume so much as a society, and just because my food gets composted does not mean I should treat it as an expendable resource. My food source, like water, is essential to my survival... and I should respect it as such. In that presentation, I had a moment of being so proud that I made croutons out of my homemade failed bread attempt, as opposed to composting it.

There are many resources out there on internet land on how to reduce food waste in your home. For myself, one of the best places to start was simply buying 'enough' perishable food items for the week. 

First, I had to figure out just how much lettuce-produce etc I would eat before it went bad. I was composting so many produce items that we just never ate in time. Planning your meals definitely helps with this, but we failed miserably at this. I simply try not to think of making a quick trip to the grocery store as an inconvenience midweek. It just means I'm eating *all* of the produce I buy.

Also, buying produce that doesn't go bad as quickly helps. For example, purple and green leaf lettuce will go bad much more quickly than say, romaine lettuce. Or, if local organic spinach is available, maybe I'll just plan on eating LOTS of salads in the next few days. I try to plan my meals around the produce instead of starch.

My last goal for helping with food waste... is growing my own! Last year we had our first attempt at being urban gardeners. It wasn't great, but it wasn't catastrophic. This year we'll try growing lettuce, beets, carrots, strawberries and bell peppers. We'll be ordering our seeds today and getting a few new planters soon! 

Happy Weekend and Blessed Ostara, Spring Equinox!

article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. chris and i went out and bought our seeds yesterday at halifax seed. we bought parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro and spinach.

    our chives wintered over very well again this year, and we've got those going on the balcony already (with this unseasonably warm halifax weather).

    we're also gonna try doing some jalapeno's in a pot in the office, since our balcony doesn't get as much sun.

    the staff at halifax seed are super helpful, if you have balcony-gardening questions, they seem to have answers! they also sell those paper-fibre pots like you guys bought last year.

  2. I think wind turbines are beautiful. They can put one in my back yard ;)

    Outdoor yoga rocks. Not quite warm enough for me in the UK yet though I'm afraid (I am very cold-blooded and neeeeeed heat - clearly need to live in SoCal or Queensland....) :)

  3. You're from Halifax? What uni do you go to? i have a bunch of friends up there, one of whom does yoga!

  4. Oh, I feel so MASCULINE and POWERFUL and I can feel my ENORMOUS PENIS after seeing that video!


    Seriously, though, the whole world has this huge addiction to coal and oil, and we need to quit it.

    Over here in New Zealand (Otago, South Island) we're mostly on renewables, but the current government would love to use more coal, and there are some idiots whinging about wind turbines spoiling the beauty of central Otago - although the only ones who ever see them are sheep, as no-one hardly lives there, the population is so low! Gotta love the NIMBYs!

    As for me, give me a wind turbine on my property any time, if I can have free electricity to go with it! :-) But for now, we're studying which trees to put in for a woodlot, and investigation woodburners to replace our current gas powered water heating. And I'm pleased to say, for the first time in its history AFAIK, our property is now 100% organic! YAY! :-)

    Leanne at Cluttercut

  5. Looks like quite a spot for outdoor yoga you've got.

    While living alone generally isn't the best in terms of sustainable living, I think food waste may be one of the few areas where it's an advantage...since I shop only for myself, and have good places to buy food within a ten minute walk, it's relatively easy to gauge what perishables I'm likely to actually eat in the next couple of days, as well as what I'm actually going to eat at a given meal, and not make the kinds of mistakes common when shopping for a large household (who'd a' guessed nobody'd be in the mood for broccoli the week you got that amazing deal on a truckload of it?)...

  6. that looks like such a gorgeous place to do yoga! I read an article about Earth hour that says in Canada, carbon emissions actually rise in most provinces during the hour- due to candles being used as opposed to the clean energy (most) provinces use normally!
    Good luck with your gardening!

  7. What a blessed Ostara you had :) I celebrated by slamming back the Benadryl and spending the day in a druggy stupor after Mother Nature spanked me with a wicked allergy attack. Ah, spring!


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