#UpgradeYourWorld

#UpgradeYourWorld

To celebrate the launch of Windows10, Microsoft is launching a really exciting campaign – #UpgradeYourWorld. I’m really excited to have been asked to help spread the word because everything about #UpgradeYourWorld fits with my vision of changing the world.

My blog and everything that has grown out of it, is founded on the idea that we can all make a difference every single day and that all of the things that we can do – big and small – add up make a difference in the world. Through my work with Free The Children and We Day, I have grown to understand that change is urgent locally and globally. When we come together as a community to share and celebrate the change that we are making, we inspire others to join us in their own way. These things are all part of Microsoft’s #UpgradeYourWorld.

#UpgradeYourWorld is a new year-long initiative to celebrate those who inspire and empower others, led by Microsoft’s vision to help people achieve more through technology and in celebration of the Windows 10 launch.

The #UpgradeYourWorld initiative has a few different components and ways for you to get involved and share the ways in which you are taking action to #UpgradeYourWorld.

1. Social Media

Share what you are doing to make a difference in the world – locally or globally – on social media. Remember – everything makes a difference and no act is too small to share. Are you working with an organization that helps people? Do you do random acts of kindness daily? Share them and don’t forget to use the #UpgradeYourWorld hashtag and tell @WindowsCanada] so that all of our actions add up. Microsoft will bring a few of these ideas to life in the coming months.

2. Help choose #10

Microsoft is investing ten million dollars to support global non-profit organizations. They have selected 9: CARE, Code.org, Keep a Child Alive, Malala Fund, Pencils of Promise, Save the Children, Special Olympics, The Global Poverty Project, and The Nature Conservancy. They are looking to us to choose #10.  Starting July 29th, you can vote for the 10th non-profit to receive $500,000 in funding from Microsoft here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/upgradeyourworld/

3. Go Local

In addition to these global non-profits, starting in September, Microsoft will be crowdsourcing nominations for 10 non-profits in each of the following 10 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. The 100 local winners will each receive a cash investment to support their work to upgrade the world. Stay tuned and share your pick to receive this generous help.

This is a great video from Microsoft to launch #UpgradeYourWorld. I love this: Making our neighbourhoods, communities…there has never been a better time to make a difference. #UpgradeYourWorld

Cool fact: Around the world, tens of thousands of Microsoft employees will participate in the Upgrade Your World initiative by taking a day off to volunteer to upgrade their community, many of them on July 29, in celebration of the Windows 10 launch.

I’m a big user of Windows for school and for my blog, presentations and speeches and I’m excited about the new Windows 10. There are a lot of cool new features and the upgrades are based on feedback and input that they have collected from more than 5 million Windows Insiders. It’s a free upgrade if you’re already using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Phone here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/features 

So, now tell me, tell everyone, how are you going to #UpgradeYourWorld?

 

Note:  I am talking part in sharing this campaign. While I have recieved compensation as part of my affliation with this program, all opinions and ideas are my own.

 

 

 

Top 10 List: Awesome things that happened in the world while I was away at camp for 3 weeks.

Top 10 List: Awesome things that happened in the world while I was away at camp for 3 weeks.

I just got back from 3 weeks at sleepover camp! I had so much fun, made new friends and created memories that will last forever.  As much as I love camp, I’m so happy to home! While I was gone, a lot of awesome things happened in the world and I’m excited to share some that really stood out to me with you.

Top 10 Awesome things that happened in the world while I was away at camp

1. NEW INVENTION: A soccer ball that creates energy for people in places that have none

“In areas with no electricity, this power generating soccer ball is providing the light.”

I LOVE this invention. This soccer ball comes from Uncharted Play and they call it Soccket! How it works is so easy: you just kick around the ball for a while and the ball literally creates and stores energy. So awesome! If you play with the ball for about an hour, it stores up to 3 hours of energy that can charge your phone, run a heater or a light for you to study. Another awesome thing about the Soccket is that it encourages kids to get outside and play and proves that play has many benefits! Uncharted Play also has a jump rope that charges your phone! Learn more about the Soccket and what they do here.

2. Taylor Swift surprised a young fan who is living with Leukemia

Naomi Oakes is 11-years-old and posted a video on YouTube where she and her family talked about how Naomi had Leukemia and how big of a fan she was of Taylor Swift. It sucks having Cancer for anyone at any age, but what Naomi was really sad about was that she would have to miss Taylor Swift’s concert in Phoenix. It was a huge long-shot that Taylor would actually see their video, but she did. She even made a generous donation of $50,000 to Naomi’s Go Fund Me page to help pay for treatment. THIS is another reason why Taylor Swift rocks. Here’s the link to the full story!

3. Leo the Dachshund get’s a statue to recognize his bravery

Just like humans, smaller animals are usually intimated by bigger animals because of the size difference. So, you would think that when Leo the Dachshund saw the neighbour’s guard dog pinning a 10-year-old kid to the ground, he would be scared, do nothing about it and run away, right? Think again. Also, like humans, dogs protect their kind no matter what and try to stop them, even if it means sacrificing something. Instead of being a bystander, Leo tried to fight the big dog and succeeded at saving the girl. Unfortunately, the bigger dog fought back and killed Leo. They just made a bronze statue of Leo for his bravery. Check out the full story here!

3. Molly Burke’s ‘See The Real Me’ MTV Clean and Clear video

I love this video. Molly shares her story – in grade 8, when she fully lost her sight and her life was a real struggle in many ways. Bullies brought her down and they stopped her from doing things she loved to do, including public speaking and sports. Molly talks about how she coped with them and used her story to help others, why she does what she does and her advice to people that want to make a difference. Check out this video about Molly Burke with MTV and Clean and Clear.

4. Adidas turns illegal ocean garbage into new line of shoes

adidas

This shoe is helping raise awareness for the amount of garbage that is tossed into the ocean. Parley, the organization Adidas is working with, removed over 72 kilometres of illegal garbage from the ocean to make the shoe. In less than 6 days, designers were able to work with nets and garbage and create a finished shoe, which was unveiled at the UN headquarters. The shoe will soon be available in stores. Learn more here.

5. 9-year-old girl fights to attend boys only robotics event…and succeeds

Cash Cayen’s hobby is robotics and when she saw that there was a robotics event, she was so excited to attend! But then she found out that they wouldn’t let her attend because she was a girl and she was mad because she couldn’t go because of her gender. She then learned about the other challenges specifically girls face around the world. She put up a petition on Change.org for the ability for girls to attend. The event then sent her a letter stating that girls could now attend! Learn more about Cash here.

6. Cool hearing aids for kids

cooldesigns

Sarah Invermee’s son has had trouble hearing since he was 5 months old. He is now 4 years old and he is deaf is one year and has a lot of trouble hearing in the other one. Like a lot of other kids that have cochlear implants and/or hearing aids, he didn’t like wearing them because they felt embarrassed and were getting teased about them. So Sarah was inspired to create her company, Lugs, which would put cool designs like cars, superheroes, flowers and more, on the device so that kids would be more comfortable with wearing them. It worked! Kids were now excited to put them on because of Lugs! Check out the link to the story here.

 

7. NEW Always #LikeAGirl Campaign

When I finished watching this video, I almost cried. Lots of young girls face challenges and stereotypes because they of their gender. The video series and campaign #LikeAGirl shows that we can change that and rewrite the definition of what it means to do things #LikeAGirl. The video shows us that gender doesn’t define what we want, what we are interested in or what we are able to do. Girls can do anything boys can, maybe even more. We are unstoppable.

 

8. Home For Life – An animal sanctuary that promotes kindness

Lisa Laverdiere, founder of Home For Life, was declared the winner of the Random Acts of Kindness challenge. Lisa, a former lawyer, has loved animals since she was a little girl. She volunteered at the Humane Society and believes that “your calling always stays with you.” She has devoted her life to caring for animals who have been in tragic situations that have prevented them from being adopted and finding homes.

9. Pay it Forward with kindness….and pizza  

Mason Wartman believes that people want to help people but don’t always know how. He used to work as a businessman on Wall Street but wanted to do something that made a difference. He opened  Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in his hometown, Philadelphia with a busness model that makes money and a diifference. It’s really simple and really cool. It’s all about community, paying it forward, post-it notes and pizza. Check out his story to learn how he feeds 40 homeless people every day.

10. Malala celebrated her 18th Birthday #BooksNotBullets #MalalaDay

On July 12th, Malala turned 18 and she celebrated in a way that honors her commitment to education. In the weeks leading up to her birthday, she asked people to take a picture of themselves with their favourite book and share it on social media with the hashtag, #BooksNotBullets. This ask generated more than 20,000 responses from people all over the world. I took my #BooksNotBullets photo from the dock on the lake at camp:

booksnotbullets

On the day of her birthday, she opened a school for girls for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The new school will give 200 girls the opportunity to get an education. Malala said that she chose to go there because she feels that right now, these children have the greatest need. You can read more on Malala’s blog.

Has there been a story or event that got your attention so far this summer? Did I miss something else? Share them in the comments, you know I love a good story.

If you read one thing today, let this be it. A poem about life.

If you read one thing today, let this be it. A poem about life.

This is an amazing piece of poetry that has been circulating on social media in the last few days. Most people sharing it have not attributed it to the authour who is Chanie Gorkin. She is a grade 11 student from Brooklyn, New York.

Today was the absolute worst day ever.

And don’t try to convince me that

There’s something good in every day

Because, when you take a closer look,

The world is a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in awhile

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart

Because

True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree that

The reality

Creates

My attitude

It’s all beyond my control

And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day.

 

Wow. That’s pretty powerful. Depressing right? The writer seems as if she has no hope.

Now, read the piece from bottom to top. Let me know what you think.

 

Things

 

She Created Change with homework, a dress and Malala. Please meet Erinne Paisley.

She Created Change with homework, a dress and Malala. Please meet Erinne Paisley.

TheDressIn the past year there were two huge social media sensations having to do with dresses. Remember that one – was it blue or gold? I saw #TheDress for myself at the Twitter Nestwarming and I can assure you that when I saw it in person – it’s blue. Recently there was another story about a dress that caught social media’s attention. Erinne Paisely from Victoria, BC  wore a dress to her prom dress that she made out of her math homework to support the Malala Fund. Erinne, who is a passionate youth activist for global education, donated the money she would have spent on a prom dress and donated it Malala. Like me, you probably think she’s awesome right? Well it is and so is Erinne. I had a chance to catch up with her and find out more about who she is.

Hannah: Your most recent initiative has gotten a lot of attention! But it is not the first thing that you’ve done to take action about something you care about! Like any good journalist, I did my research and I found that when you were in grade 9, you shaved your head for cancer awareness and that you co-founded a group at your school called “Action Now”. Tell me more about Action Now.

Erinne: Yes! I’ve been passionate about activism and giving back to my community for as long as I can remember. As you said, I shaved my hair for Cops for Cancer in grade nine when I first entered high school. It was a very scary thing to do, but my school was very supportive which made it a lot easier. Near the end of grade ten I realized that there were no fully student-driven leadership endeavors at my school, and I wanted fill this gap. I found in a lot of “leadership” type courses the focus was often put on fundraising (which is a very valuable thing to do) but not really on any other aspects of giving back. This is where the idea of the fully student-run activist group “Action Now” came from. I co-founded it with two older students and we based it on the three pillars of Learning, Dialogue, and Action. We wanted it to be a space where students could explore their own passions that connected to activism, learn from each other and outside sources, discuss in our group pressing topics as well as create discussion in the greater community, and make change right now! This year the topics we chose to focus on were Women’s Equality and Youth Voter Turnout.

ActionNow

We also heard from guest speakers this year such as NDP MP, Rob Fleming, and leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May. I’ve been so happy to see how many students become passionate about activism when they have a space to explore and learn with their peers!

Hannah: Let’s talk about social media. What platforms do you find give you the greatest impact? Is there a network that you like better than others? Why?

Erinne: Firstly, social media is such a powerful tool so I’m very excited to talk about this! I find different social media platforms are very beneficial for different types of messages. For the story of my grad dress the message spread the furthest, and fastest, through Facebook. As well, I received a lot of professional inquiries through Twitter. I often find Twitter can also be a very good platform to get a message out in a quick and large way. I very much enjoy using Instagram as well, but I use it more for my personal life. I find Snapchat is a good way to keep people updated on your day-to-day lives, but also in more of a personal way. I also used LinkedIn often for professional purposes.

Action Now created this short PSA on feminism and shared it on YouTube.

Hannah: You and I have lots of things in common, but I want to talk about someone who we both admire. Malala. What about Malala inspires you?

Erinne: There are many, many things that inspire me about Malala! I was fortunate enough to see her speak live at the first ever We Day UK in 2014. The way she spoke was so grounded and real that it made me realize how much of a reality not receiving the right to an education is for over 62 million girls around the world. It also inspires me how outspoken Malala is and how committed she is to her causes. How she balances her life (activism, work, school etc.) is something that also comes to mind right away.

WeDayUKCollage

Hannah: And now, we have GOT to talk about THE DRESS. How and when did you come up with the idea? Did you at any point think that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do it? Tell me about the process of making it. Tell me what your friends said. Tell me how you felt when you wore it to prom?

Erinne: Someone that I knew a few years ago made their prom dress out of old newspapers to raise awareness for environmental issues, so the idea of creating a dress out of recycled materials first came from that. Then, as prom began to approach, I realized how much attention and energy goes into grad. I wondered if I could re-direct some of that into creating the same opportunity for a secondary education that we had all received, for others who aren’t able to receive it.

At first I created a few drafts of the dress to see if it was even physically possible. Then, I created the draft that you see in the pictures over the course of one whole day, in my living room, with my best friend! It took a lot of trial and error to get something that could actually hold together and that looked like a dress, but it was definitely worth it.

I did have some times where I considered wearing a regular prom dress. In the beginning I actually had bought a prom dress online, but I sold it after I decided to create the paper one. Once I started to realize this could be an opportunity to support Malala and everything she fights for, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Physically, it was quiet uncomfortable to wear in all honesty. My best friend and I kept tape in our purses to make sure we could fix it if it began to fall apart. At one point, we lost track of the tape and used wet gum to hold part of it together!

My close friends and family knew I was going to wear this dress, but the majority of people did not. When I arrived at prom I think most people were shocked and curious about what I was wearing and why I was wearing it. A lot of people approached me and asked me about it, which was great because it started a discussion about the topic of women’s rights and education. Starting a discussion is exactly what I wanted to do! I’ve also been able to raise money for the Malala Fund through donating the money I would have spent on a dress to the foundation, auctioning off my dress, and other individuals donating directly on my behalf!

Erinne Dress Collage


Did you know that Erinne’s Malala Paper Prom Dress is now up for auction in support of The Malala Fund? You can check it out bid on it here until June 29, 2015.

 Hannah: What’s next for you?

Erinne: This is the first time I have officially spoken about this, but very soon I am going to be launching my own blog just like this one! It will focus on integrating activism and pop culture to weave activism into mainstream media for youth. Each post will mainly focus on one topic (such as women’s rights), something that has happened recently in pop culture to support it, an organization that is working to positively progress it, and something you can do to make a difference right now! I hope it will be able to show this generation how easy it can be to make a positive change in the world as part of your every day lives.

There are a few other opportunities that I am hoping to also explore that have arise from the dress story, but more on that soon!

Also, in September I will be studying International Relations and Peace, Conflict, and Justice at the University of Toronto as one of eleven National Scholars from across Canada!

Hannah: What advice do you have to offer to young people who want to make a difference?

Erinne: I think my biggest advice would be to think about a passion you have and an issue you want to make a positive difference in. Then brainstorm ways you can use that passion to create the positive change. For instance, both Malala and you enjoy writing blogs and used that to make a positive change in the world on topic(s) that are very important to you.

Always dream big and find people who share common passions because you are even more powerful when working together!

MoreErinne

Description3

Here is what I have learned from getting to know Erinne and her story:

Role models are everywhere. Your role models don’t have to be famous speakers, authors, artists or activists. Your role model could be sitting at the desk right beside you.

You don’t have to do it alone. Most of the initiatives that Erinne has done have involved other people who share common interests and passions. She found a community to work to create awareness and change.

Ideas only work if you do. Erinne is a do-er. She thinks of an idea and she makes it happen. She doesn’t just talk, she acts.

The formula, Issue+Gift=Change, works.. With the dress, Erinne identified her issue – education and paired it with her gift – the creativity and skills to make the dress. The awareness that she was able to create when people saw what she was doing had a lot of people talking about why she did it – education.

Knowledge is so important to make a difference. Erinne has spent a lot of time and energy learning about the issues that matter her. In the fall, she is going to the University of Toronto to study International Relations.

Social Media can be powerful for social good. Erinne uses social media to her advantage. Erinne became a social media sensation overnight. This is because one person shared it, then more and more. Erinne and her dress it seemed were everywhere online MTV, Seventeen, Cosmopolitain, Teen Vogue, The Malala Fund and many, many more.

On a personal note: Thank you Erinne for taking the time to talk with me, share your story and photos with me. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

UPDATE ON ERIN’S BLOG: IT’S LIVE! CHECK IT OUT HERE: http://erinnepaisley.com/

You can find Erinne on Twitter: @ErinneP 

 

Girl Heart World – That’s me!

Girl Heart World – That’s me!

I’m really excited to share a special project that I’ve been working on is ready to reveal. You know that I love animals and the environment and when I started my blog, I set out on a journey to share things that we can all do to honour and protect them. I believe that this starts with knowledge. Learning about the things that we are passionate about is the first step in creating connection and change.

Enter Girl Heart World.

GirlHeartWorld_logoFRAMED

Girl Heart World is a series on Youtube that I host where I answer a different question and give cool facts about wildlife each week. Want to know why zebra’s have stripes or why pandas are vegetarian. I’ll tell you…but not here. Check out Girl Heart World on Youtube.

Here’s the first one:

..and the second one:

…and the third one:

Girl Heart World is part of the Love Nature channel Love Nature brings audiences closer to the beauty and wonder of nature, inspiring them to nurture and protect our natural world.

Girl Heart World is based on the show The Big Feed, which is a documentary takes you behind the enclosures, exploring the challenges of feeding animals in the zoo. From giraffes and gorillas to penguins and pandas, every animal is part of THE BIG FEED. Each episode features three different animals, giving you a look at their day-to-day life.” It is airing on Love Nature right now.

Is there an animal that you want to know more about or a question about animals that I can answer for you? Let me know and maybe we’ll feature it on an upcoming episode of Girl Heart World.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from filming.

GHW

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I Am Proud To Stand As An Ambassador For Bystander Revolution

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I Am Proud To Stand As An Ambassador For Bystander Revolution


bystander banner

I am so excited to share the news that I am a now Youth Ambassador for Bystander Revolution! Bystander Revolution is an anti-bullying organization founded in April 2014 with a mission to inspire and motivate people to take the power out of bullying with simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion. Through their website, bystanderrevolution.org, the organization is a source of direct, peer-to-peer advice about practical things anyone can do to stop bullying. The site also encourages anyone to share their own perspective by submitting a personal story in the form of a video, written story, or short tip. The Bystander Revolution website is a place where you can get information and advice about the problems AND the solutions for targets, bystanders AND bullies.

I became involved with Bystander Revolution when I spoke at We Day Seattle with one of their celebrity Ambassadors, actress and activist Lily Collins. We co-hosted the segment, Social Empowerment, and we talked about equality and inclusivity. Lily talked about her high school experience as a leader for a peer to peer support group where students gathered to talk openly about issues that they were dealing with. She said, “No topic was out of bounds, whether it was grades, bullying, depression – anything. And what I found was pretty incredible…when people opened up, everyone listened. Overtime, things began to change. Barriers between different groups started to break down.” For Lily, it was all about creating a safe and supportive space and that’s what drew her to become an Ambassador for Bystander Revolution.

LilyCollage

But Lily is not the only celebrity that supports the mission and work of Bystander Revolution. Demi Lovato, John Green, Olivia Holt, Neil Gaiman, Jared Leto, Shaiiene Woodley, Monica Lewinsky, Ansel Elgort and Lucy Hale. The website includes videos from all of these people sharing their own brushes with bullies and they also give their advice.

I believe in the power of community, compassion and kindness. I believe that when these things have a big and active presence, there will be less bullying. I believe that through friendship and awareness, we might see a world one day that doesn’t require anyone to have to stand up against bullying. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

You might have seen my social media support recently for a the Bystander Revolution initiative #StandKind. The call to action is to be kind through social media by giving compliments with the idea that compliments are contagious. The goal is to create a ripple effect that would see more people saying thank you, you inspire me and great job. I would love to see you join us and #StandKind. It’s easy! Here’s how:

standkind2

I am so proud to be a Bystander Revolution Ambassador and hope that you’ll join me and #StandFirst #StandUp #StandProud #StandOut #StandWith #StandStrong and #StandKind

Bystander Collage

I can make a difference. You can make a difference. We can all make a difference.

I can make a difference. You can make a difference. We can all make a difference.

I just had one of the most breathtaking experiences since I started my blog. When I got home from school today a big yellow envelope was waiting for me. It was from a school in New York that I spoke at a few weeks ago. I was the opening keynote speaker for their school’s annual Power of One day and I shared my thoughts and experiences about how we call make a difference in our communities and in the world.

I believe more than anything that we can all do something to make a difference – I talk about in this in my presentation. I give examples of all kinds of things that we can do that include raising awareness about an issue that you care about, donating your time to someone who needs some help and using your talents and skills to take action. I talk about a lot of things that you can do to create change that don’t cost money – just time and thoughtfulness.

One of the things that I talk about is how far kindness and compliments can go. When I give suggestions about acts of kindness, one of my top recommendations is always to make a handwritten thank you card for someone that has helped in some way – a teacher, a coach a friend. Today I am overwhelmed and on the receiving end of this type of outreach.

Back to that envelope.

Armonk

It was filled with personal letters written by the students who were at the assembly where I presented by keynote. They expressed their gratitude and told me what they learned and what impacted them. They said that they now recognize that one person has the power to make a difference and also that they are not too young to make a difference, no matter how small our actions might seem.

I sat on the floor with my Mom and read each one out loud to her. After I read the first few, it brought me to tears. These letters were so personal and thoughtful. It means so much that they took the time to write letters and make these beautiful cards for me. I was so amazed to hear about the actions that they took that were inspired by our time together. It means the world to me to know that I made a difference that day.

In my speech i say that when people do little things for me, it makes a big difference for me and I try to pass that on.

To the wonderful community at H.C. Crittenden Middle School, you made a big difference for me. Thank you so much and I promise you, I will pass that on.

Love,

Hannah

 

My must-watch favourite video of all time and the Mega Pet Adoption event this weekend in Toronto.

My must-watch favourite video of all time and the Mega Pet Adoption event this weekend in Toronto.

Hey Toronto! Looking for a new BFF? I think you might find one this weekend at The Toronto Humane Society‘s Mega Pet Adoption Event.

Mega Pet Adoption Event happening all weekend – June 5-7 at the Queen Elizabeth Building (200 Princes’ Blvd.) from 10am to 6pm.

All adoption fees are $25 and the goal is to find homes for 600 pets in need of homes and families.

We got together with family friends last weekend and their dog, Griffin, that they adopted a few years ago. We happened to be there for dinner the night that they brought Griffin home as a surprise to their kids. It was so cool to be part of that moment and even better to see that Giffin has found his people.

Griffin

Do you have a story to share about pet adoption? I’d love hear it.

Adopting a pet could be the best day of your life, and theirs.

Hey Toronto! NEW Items Accepted In Your Blue Bin!

Hey Toronto! NEW Items Accepted In Your Blue Bin!

I’ve got something to tell you.  I LOVE JUNE!  And it’s only the third day of the month!  As much as I love school, I love summer, so that’s reason #1. On June 1st, I had an awesome time participating in Pinball Clemons new initiative #JustGive (read more about that here), that’s #2. I’m looking forward to participating in the #ExploreGTA Twitter Party tonight at 8pm. We’re going to be celebrating and talking about conserving our green spaces in and around Toronto (read more about that here). And now, #4.  I’m pretty excited to tell you that as of June 1st, Toronto has added a huge list of things that are now being accepted in your blue bln for recycling.

Toronto’s Blue Bin recycling program, one of North America’s largest residential recycling programs, is now even bigger and better with the addition of new types of soft plastic material. Starting June 1st, Toronto’s recycling program accepts plastic film – the soft, stretchy type that includes bags used for dry cleaning, soil, sandwiches, bread, milk, bulk food and produce, frozen fruit and vegetables, as well as overwrap from toilet paper and paper towels. Full list and instructions are below.

“Every addition to our recycling program results in less garbage ending up in the City’s Green Lane Landfill,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “We’re moving closer to our waste diversion target, and that’s great news for Toronto.”

Adding these plastics to Toronto’s Recycling Program will result in approximately 3,500 tonnes of waste being saved from landfill.

As of June 1, 2015, the following soft, stretchy plastics can go in recycling:

  • milk bags (inner pouches and outer bag)
  • bread bags (non-foil)
  • sandwich bags (e.g. resealable type bags)
  • bulk food bags
  • produce bags
  • dry cleaning bags
  • newspaper/flyer bags
  • diaper and feminine hygiene outer bags
  • frozen fruit bags
  • frozen vegetable bags
  • transparent recycling bags
  • over-wrap from toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, water and soft drink packaging
  • garden soil, manure or compost bags
  • road salt bags

Instruction on how to add the above to your recycling routine:

  • Just like your cans and bottles, empty and rinse bags to remove residue before recycling.
  • You may either bundle your bags inside one bag and ties handles or put bags in loose.

Still NOT accepted (types of plastic film):

  • Biodegradable plastic containers and film (e.g. compostable plastic bags)
  • Any type of black coloured plastic
  • Laminated plastic film (e.g. chip bags and stand-up resealable pouch bags)
  • Snack food bags (e.g. potato chips, peanuts, cookies)
  • Meat and cheese bag packages
  • Household cling wrap
  • Cellophane
  • Cereal liners
  • Candy bar wrappers
  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Shower liners, pool covers, boat wrap

Good news Toronto eco-warriors, it’s happening. While there is a still a long way to go, we’re moving in the right direction for the city and the earth.

More details are available at toronto.ca/recycle

 Post-City-8b

(Photo Credit: Post City Magazines)

Kindraising with #JustGive

Kindraising with #JustGive

This morning I joined Pinball Clemons and his team at The MPCF (Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation) to kick off their week-long campaign #JustGive. #JustGive is not a fundraiser, it’s what I like to call a ‘kindraiser’. All week Pinball, his team and volunteers will be at different locations sharing kindness in different ways all over the city. Today we held doors open and wished commuters at Union Station a good morning.

I am a big believer that the power of small actions can change the world. When people do nice things for me (big or small) it makes a big difference to me. This inspires me to do nice things for other people. Sometimes those people are family and friends and sometimes they are people that I don’t know – people that I might not ever see again. Today, holding doors open for #JustGive, was an example of that.

JustGIveTweets

Sometimes we think that the biggest and most effective change we can make in the world is by donating money. It seems that this is the change that we hear about the most. But not all of the change that we wish to see can happen with money. Some changes are better served by giving your time, energy and smiles. Today, as we held doors open and said “Good to see you”, “Have a great day” or “Good morning”, we made a difference and changed the way that a Monday trip to work or school would normally be.

JustGiveCollage

What made it so fun was that it was unexpected. We were like a flashmob of kindness that made people smile and I hope that they spent the rest of the day paying it forward!

If you want to get involved with #JustGive (and of course you do), please check their website and follow them on Twitter @TheMPCF, @JustGive31 and #JustGive. There are different actions going on all week long.

If you can’t make it to any of the official events, don’t let that stop you – Mrs. Beckett’s grade 3 class at Bruce Trail Public School didn’t let it stop them. #JustGive.

unnamed

And when you #JustGive please share it. This morning, when Pinball greeted the volunteers, he said “when you rise up, WE rise up.” So, #JustGive and inspire everyone around you to #JustGive too.

PinballSq