Wisdom from the Honey Bee

I recently attended a speaking event called “Lessons from the Humble Honey Bee” through an organization called Ladies Out Loud (details below). Guest speaker, Lori DuMont, was informative, entertaining and truly inspiring!

While Lori covered interesting facts about bees and beekeeping, it was the life lessons we can take from them that I want to share with you.

All jobs are important

  • Whatever you are doing, whether you are the queen, worker or drone, your skills and tasks are vital to the community.

The queen bee works for the colony

  • No matter what your position, always work for the benefit of the group.

Look to the future to prepare and thrive

  • Prepare diligently and methodically for harder times.

Success requires a non-partisan, informed democracy

  • Share wisdom and communicate effectively with each other, always with the focus of benefiting the whole.

Your 1/12 of a teaspoon counts!

  • Each individual honey bee provides about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey. It doesn’t matter how small your contribution is, it still counts!

As we watch what is happening around the world, it can feel discouraging. Will our efforts make a difference? The humble honey bee says YES!

Every little thing we do helps to make the world a better place. Keep going!

Biographies

Lori DuMont is a teacher, pianist, bibliophile, gardener, and honeybee enthusiast. She lives in Airdrie with her husband and two young children.

Ladies out Loud is for women who are interested in learning, who want to be inspired by other women, and who like to have fun and chat about anything and everything (website).

ABC Bees is a pioneer Canada-wide for beekeeping education and innovation. They are Alberta’s only educator of beginner, intermediate, and advanced beekeeping skills. (website)

Replacing Plastic Produce Bags

I’m continuing my mission to eliminate single use plastic in my life. This week it’s about no longer using those flimsy plastic produce bags that come in rolls at the grocery story.

I realize I could just place produce in my grocery cart “as is” and not bother with any kind of bag. I already do that for fruits and veggies that have skins I don’t use (bananas, onions, etc.) however I just don’t feel comfortable putting my kale and broccoli in a cart (or on the checkout scanner) that may have recently been in contact with raw meat.

I did some research on this as I wanted to make sure that my replacement wasn’t harmful for the environment. A friend sent me an article on why cotton totes were worse than plastic (thanks Helen). I also read through All About Bags, Types of Reusable Bags which gives advantages and disadvantages of bags based on type of material.

ChicoBag Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

In the end, I decided to go with bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and chose the ChicoBag Reusable Mesh Produce Bags from Well.ca where we already shop.

They work great! And it feels good to do something to reduce the number of bottles that end up in the ocean.

Now, if we could only get grocery stores to stop using plastic wrap as well.

No Straw Please

When did we become a society of disposable “one use only” plastic items like water bottles and straws? Have we all become so busy that convenience has taken precedence over common sense?

Recycling isn’t the answer. There is so much more we can all do to continue to respect our planet.

Take a few minutes to watch this video and be inspired to do a little bit more today.

www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org

Zero Waste No Packaging Supermarket

I came across a video recently that was labelled “Genius Germans Invent Supermarket So Radically Simple You Don’t Have To Speak German To Get It.”

It’s true and so worth watching.

While the two ladies do speak German, there are English subtitles and you absolutely do get it without knowing the language. The concept is brilliant and I hope that it catches on world-wide.

World Oceans Day

If there is one thing in our world that connects us, it is our oceans. Today we celebrate their wonder.

I always find it inspiring to look out over a huge body of water, watching the waves build and break on the shore and contemplating the bounty of life they contain. It saddens me to think about the amount of garbage the oceans now contain and how we have harmed the corral reefs and sea dwelling creatures.

Today is the perfect day to pledge to do better – to reduce the amount garbage we throw away by recycling, composting, reducing and reusing products.

We can also pledge to eat only sustainable seafood. David Suzuki Foundation’s website Eat for Healthy Oceans makes it easy to find out how to do exactly that.

Let us truly celebrate the wonderful world of oceans by blessing and taking care of them.

Ocean at Essaouira, Morocco

View of the ocean from Essaouira, Morocco

Celebrating Our Beautiful Earth

Today is Earth Day. Let us give our heartfelt gratitude to this beautiful planet in which we live.

Our Gift of EarthTake the time to go for a walk and look around. Notice the sparkling blue sky, the colors of the season, the diversity of the landscape, the flowers and plants coming alive.

Listen closely to hear the insects, birds and animals speaking to us.

Breathe deeply and inhale the scents that come from the earth; enjoy the feel of the air in your lungs.

While you drink and eat your meals, remember where the food came from and how our earth sustains us.

When you stop and think about it, we truly live in paradise. All our needs are taken care of.

Give thanks to our amazing world. It is a gift to cherish.

With a heart full of gratitude, quietly vow to give back to Mother Earth, as she so graciously gives to us.

 

Eat Real, Eat Local, Eat Canadian

Hellmann’s recently created an “Eat Real, Eat Local” campaign for Canadians. They inform Canadians about food that comes from far away – how it is not as nutritionally sound than that which comes from local farmers. As well, it looks at how much of Canadian farmland is being replaced by urban sprawl – for good or bad.

Do you know where your food comes from? Get informed. Watch the video “Get the Facts” on www.realfoodmovement.ca/latesttalk/get-informed/the-movement/.

The company answers “Why Hellmann’s?” with the following statement:  “Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise uses Canadian eggs and canola oil from the prairies. And we’re working on new ways to make the ingredients of many Hellmann’s products as real and natural as possible.”

Consumers can applaud a positive alliance that has been created between Hellmann’s and Evergreen (www.evergreen.ca). This alliance means that Canadians are being urged and encouraged to create and/or help sustain healthy urban land areas. From increasing the number of Farmer’s Markets to eliminating evasive species to making school yards out of natural materials instead of asphalt or concrete to turning vacant lots into parks and/or habitat spaces.

Money talks – and with an economic impact of $3.09B (yes, that’s Billion), farmers’ contribution to the Canadian economy is being recognized and supported. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has come on board with the buy local food stuffs campaign with support of a new national organization, Farmers’ Markets Canada, its new website www.farmersmarketscanada.ca.

Supporting your local farmers, who in turn support their local economies, is actually good for you. Good for you applies not only to your own personal health, but also to Canada’s stewardship of our portion of Mother Earth to keep it naturally healthy – literally and figuratively. The Airdrie Farmer’s Market starts in June 2010. Find out more at www.airdriefarmersmarket.com.

Hellmann’s tag line says it perfectly:

It’s Time to Eat Real.
It’s Time to Eat Local.

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