Friday, 6 September 2019

Guest post: 30 Days of Our Earth

by: Jenn Forgie

On the morning after the July fireworks in The Beaches, where I live, I set out to walk dog walk. What I saw when I arrived was heartbreaking. An overwhelming site of discarded and disregarded garbage filled the beach. Everything from diapers to plastic straws, cigarette butts, to-go food and drink containers, liquor bottles and more.

I am a visual storyteller, a writer and an artist and been creating a "30 Days of" social media project for some time. They are always inspired by something I’ve witnessed or experienced relating to a darkness in the world. They are my way of bringing light and awareness through art and story.

As I stood on the beach that morning amidst the scattered waste, I knew I needed to do something. I decided to commit to picking up beach garbage every day for 30 days and share the visual stories online. That was Day 1 of 30 Days of Our Earth, and that morning I filled and refilled seven bags before I forced myself to move on.

I wanted these daily posts to be inspiring and positive. With a focus on garbage and a hard look at the evidence of the disrespect for our land, how could I draw people in rather than shut them out?

I brought a small figurine into my photos and crowned her Earth Warrior. Her tiny body posed with the garbage showed a perspective of the seemingly insurmountable size of the project and its subject, and at the same time she perfectly illustrated the belief that one “small” person doing their part each day does matter.

I hoped my project would elicit a look at our individual responsibility for our earth, locally and globally, while inviting people to offer ideas on how we can raise awareness while also inspiring action.

30 Days of Our Earth connected many people to each other though Instagram, Facebook and word of mouth. People shared that they were now inspired to carry a bag and pick up garbage on their walks. Yes, some responded to my posts with blame and anger and, while I understood their frustration, I was committed to focusing on the good that could come.

This was a challenging project. By Day 3, the weight of the beach garbage left me questioning how I could possibly positively sustain these 30 days. Yet I did. I thought of the city workers and that this as their job, day in and day out and wondered how they stay positive. I thought about the people who left their garbage and how disconnected they must be from themselves to act in such a way.

So, how can we come together? How can we wake up and take care of our earth, including our one small beach? How can we move from blame to inspiration and action as a community? I live with these questions and I remain hopeful, engaging in conversation with others, continuing to pick up what I can, and seeing others also picking up garbage.

On the 30th and final day of my project, a neighbour contacted me about her friend’s daughter who was having her 8th birthday party and was going to celebrate by cleaning up the garbage on Woodbine Beach with her friends. It seemed only right then that I pass my little figurine on to this young girl, a true member of our growing Earth Warriors community.


Jenn Forgie is an artist, writer, playwright and actor. She is passionate about creativity, community and belonging. She creates her 30 Days of ___ social media projects to inspire awareness and positive connection with others, near and far.

You can follow her on social media:
Instagram @jennforgie
Email jennforgie [@]

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Palm oil and the environment; a complicated relationship

Editor's note: We received a request from a follower to provide some insight into palm oil - timely, given that it August 19 marked International Orangutan Day. Here is the TL;DR version: It's a complicated issue. The oil palm is the most efficient producer of vegetable oil in the world, but its agriculture has significant environmental impacts - including deforestation and terrible impacts on endangered species like orangutans. One of the surest ways of reducing the impact of palm oil agriculture is to purchase products that use sustainable oil palm agriculture. Read on for more. /ms

Article by: Tyler Linwood

What is palm oil?

You may or may not be familiar with the name, but chances are that you're more familiar with this versatile product than you know. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. In fact, it is the most commonly produced vegetable oil in the world. The reasons for this include:

  • It is a relatively healthy form of fat to use in processed foods
  • It is relatively cheap to produce
  • The oil palm tree is highly productive compared to other oil producing plants. 

Oil palm trees are native to Africa but were brought to southeastern Asia in the 19th century. Now, Indonesia and Malaysia are the two largest producers of palm oil, and together account for 85% of the world's palm oil supply.

What products commonly contain palm oil?

Read more, including what you can do, after the jump.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

July 30 is officially "Single-Use Plastic Free Day"

It's official! Toronto Mayor John Tory has proclaimed July 30th, 2019 as Single-use Plastic Free Day.

This is the final chance to pledge to go single-use plastic free at lunch for the remainder of July. Take our 'Refuse Single-use Plastics at Lunch' Pledge and you'll be entered in a draw for a $250 prepaid credit card and a 'Go Plastic-Free' swag bag courtesy of Live Green Toronto.

The Plastic Free July challenge is nearly over but we want to encourage you to take what you've learned along this journey and continue breaking the plastic cycle in the months to come. Keep up the great work!

More Great News: We will be throwing a Plastic-Free Picnic to commemorate going plastic-free at lunch for a whole month and to celebrate Single-use Plastic Free Day. RSVP to the picnic here.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Improving the resiliency of Toronto's critical services

By: Kristin Burns

In line with our TransformTO objectives, the City of Toronto recently completed its first solar photovoltaic (PV) + energy storage project on Toronto Paramedic Services' EMS station 46 in the Woodbine and Danforth area.

EMS 46 showing off its new bling

The building's roof and south-facing wall have been outfitted with a 10 kilowatt (kW) solar PV system, coupled with two 13.5 kilowatt-hour (kWhr) Tesla Powerwall batteries.

Our Tesla Powerwall batteries

More photos and details after the jump >>

Sunday, 30 June 2019

This July, Refuse Single-use Plastics at lunch!

by: Candice Keast

Hello my fellow Live Green Beans!

Summer has officially started - the weather is hot, the lake is cool, the streets are bustling - and there's plastic litter everywhere.

Fortunately, Plastic Free July is here and Live Green Toronto has launched a city-wide campaign to help YOU go single-use plastic-free at lunch! Take our "Refuse Single-use Plastics at Lunch" pledge for a chance to win a $250 VISA gift card or a Live Green Toronto Go Plastic-Free swag bag.

Plastic Free July encourages you to go plastic free all day, every day in the month of July - but we know this is no easy feat. Refusing single-use plastic at lunch is a great first step!

This is how we do it

1. BYOL: Bring your own lunch
2. #BYOC: Bring your own container. Many food court and restaurant vendors will allow you to bring your own container when you are getting take-out. None of them promote or advertise this but all you need to do is ask. Some will even give you a small discount.
3. BYOM: Bring your own mug. Refuse disposable coffee cups for your morning and afternoon pick-me-ups!

Your turn

Let's break the plastic cycle together: 

- Take the pledge at 
- Follow us on social for tips and tricks for going plastic-free and
- Share your journey with us! @LiveGreenTO #BYOC #PlasticFreeJuly2019