Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Stuff on the Blog a Holiday Entertaining Idea and Some Inspiration

The blog has seen a lot of activity this week. Make sure you scroll down in order to keep up with the comings and goings, thoughts and ramblings of the staff.

New to the sidebar (look to the right of the screen) is a link to the World Clock. The default setting for the world clock is "Year" and the scrolling numbers represent accumulations over the past twelve months. If you click the "Now" button at the top, most values will reset to zero. It's a pretty interesting look at the state of the population and the rate at which we produce and consume.

If you are planning your holiday party this year, keep in mind the impact of your dishes and cutlery. Most of us do not own enough plates, glasses, cutlery etc... to stage a house party. Your options for putting your hands on more stuff are kind of limited. Obviously we'd prefer that you not buy foam plates, plastic cups and plastic cutlery. These are single use items that are not recyclable nor are they biodegradable. Foam and plastic will simply sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. Your best option would probably be to rent from somewhere like Parkland Party and Equipment Rentals. Sure, there is an energy cost to washing and sterilizing the dishes after each rental. However, there are no new materials being consumed to produce new items and there is no waste heading to the landfill. It's a trade-off but it's probably the best option in the end. If you must buy disposable, head on over to the Waste Reduction Store. They have disposable biodegradable cutlery, plates and glasses. Their containers are made from potato, corn and sugar cane by-products. They breakdown quickly in a landfill, release no harmful chemicals into the air or ground water and consume very few resources in terms of new, raw materials. We use them here at the Nature Centre for large events and public gatherings.

And finally - for today at least - get inspired to take some local action to help your planet. Here is Al Gore's Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Now that winter's here...

...we can ring in the New Year! We have some great events coming up in January here at the Nature Centre!

Join us New Year's day for some family winter fun. From noon til 5 p.m., enjoy a barbeque and winter activities. Call 346-2010 for more details.

Get your mountain culture fix with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, in Red Deer on January 10 & 11. There are still some tickets available: call 346-2010 or pop in to Valhalla Pure Outfitters, our co-presenter for this event, to reserve yours today!

On January 12 & 13, come to the Red Deer Rock and Gem Show, co-presented with the Red Deer Rock and Gem Society (a great bunch of guys who know practically everything about rocks). This year, we're showcasing Jobs that Rock, a.k.a. jobs that have something to do with rocks or the Earth. Lots of fun activities are planned, so come have a look!

Then, on January 26, we're hosting another Eco-Session, this time on Freecycling and Community Gardening. (In case you're wondering, freecycling is a grassroots movement of people trading their unwanted goods through a web-based group, and community gardening is just that, a garden worked by the community.) This one will be admission by donation, so come on out and support the Nature Centre while you learn more ways you can help the planet.

And that's not all! Public planetariums, singles' night, kid's sessions....winter doesn't slow us down. Remember to call the Nature Centre for more information about our winter schedule, then come out and have some frosty fun!