Archive for the ‘Green Scene’ Category

Spring is in the Air – Attention Gardeners!

March 7, 2018

Spring is in the air – the sap is running and the cardinals are singing!

Spring also means the start of the horticultural season. The year is shaping up to be fun, informative and exciting. Bookmarks highlighting the 2018 program of meetings are available at the Chamber, the Library and The Book Lady.

The first meeting of the year is on Monday, March 26. Judy Seymour will lead a step by step workshop to make a spring centrepiece. Even non-crafters will be able to produce an attractive arrangement. Please bring $5.00 for materials and wire cutters if you have them.

On April 23 Vikki Whitney from Griffin’s Greenhouses will talk about container gardening for spring and summer. Vikki is a delightful speaker and she will be putting together a planter as well.

The popular plant sale is on Saturday morning May 26 at The Salvation Army Citadel, 42 Bond St. There will be lots of top quality plants from local gardens.

The topic at the meeting on May 28 is landscape design using a natural, ecological and sustainable approach. Helen Batten is an award – winning landscape architect from Basterfield Associates in Peterborough.

As well as these monthly meetings, the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society plants and maintains many of the gardens in town. In recent years many of the gardens have been redesigned and spruced up. This year watch for lots of activity on the slope beside the canal into Sturgeon lake with the hedge saying “Fenelon Falls”. Volunteers most welcome. Please contact Laurie Jones 705-887-5300 to help.

No gardening experience required to come out and enjoy the monthly meetings. So, come along to the Seniors Club at 58 Murray Street at 7pm for an interesting and friendly evening.

Everyone is welcome and membership is only $20 for the year.

Kathy Armstrong

President, Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society

Here is a list of the meetings of the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society:

hort 2018


The Country Cupboard Goes Green with New Owner Julia Taylor

February 7, 2018
Julia and Carson at the Country Cupboard

Julia and Carson at the Country Cupboard

Julia Taylor grew up right here in Fenelon. She remembers when they built Langton Public School, and that as a young girl she contributed a $2 dollar bill to the time capsule they created to mark the school’s opening. While she moved away in her early teens, she remained fond of the small community-focused village of Fenelon Falls.

When Julia and her husband were choosing a place to live and raise their family, Fenelon was the obvious choice and they returned in 2007 simply because, as Julia puts it, “Fenelon is our favourite town in Kawartha Lakes.” Julia was drawn to living in Fenelon because of our naturally scenic features: the falls, the locks, the beach, and the green spaces that have remained unchanged since her childhood.

During her years as a stay-at-home Mom, Julia got active with volunteering in the community and quickly saw that when she chose to get back to work, she wanted to bring together her passions for the environment, entrepreneurship, and healthy living in a way that gives back to the community. Julia recently saw the opportunity for her to do just that when she purchased the Country Cupboard on May Street.

Julia plans for the Country Cupboard to continue to be the place in town to go for “knowledgeable and informative help with vitamins and supplements” thanks of course to Carson, who will be staying on as Julia’s “right-hand man and supplements expert.” In addition, Julia will be turning the Country Cupboard into the place to go for “fresh quality pantry staples,” offering a 10% discount for customers who bring in their own containers as an eco-friendly shopping choice.

20180129_182205 (1)Finally, Julia will also bring to the shop a wealth of information on “all things whole-food, plant-based, and chemical-free home and body care.” And don’t worry – the famous frozen yogurt isn’t going anywhere, and she is also planning to offer a dairy-free option soon. Yum!

You can follow The Country Cupboard on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Stop in to the Country Cupboard soon to say hi to Julia and chat with her about living green!


Help the Helpers Keep Beach Poo Free (Summer 2017)

June 27, 2017

20170620_214709Volunteers Injured at Garnet Graham Park in Fenelon Falls

Maybe a little exaggerated,  but picking up fifteen or so pounds of goose droppings everyday is no easy task. Volunteers have reported sore backs from bending over to scoop, and injured wrists from holding onto large bags of droppings in one hand for so long.  It is a task that members from the ‘Take Back the Beach’ crew do not give up on though. “People are coming back to the beach now” a city staffer from the parks and rec division says, and that makes the group proud, but…

“The geese are winning” Gay Fletcher, the organiser of Take Back the Beach says, “So far this season we were able to keep up with the clean up, however, recently it has become overwhelming”.  In the past the team has focused on the beach area, but with the new splash pad, the other end of the beach will need to be a priority too, adding even more work for the small group of volunteers.

But, many hands make lighter work- and less (exaggerated) injuries!

If you enjoy a poo free beach and less beach closures, here is what you can do to help…

If you are walking by and see the geese, shoo them away.

If you are at the beach and see a volunteer picking up goose droppings, offer to help.

If you plan on spending some time at the beach, bring a small shovel and a plastic bag and dispose of any droppings you see.

If you have an hour a week you could commit to helping pick up the droppings please contact Gay Fletcher  at 705-887-3516 or

An information meeting for potential volunteers will be held at the beach gazebo (near the Museum) June 29th at 7pm.

We can all do our part to ensure that we can enjoy our beautiful beach and to keep Fenelon Falls ‘The Jewel of The Kawarthas’

By Julia Taylor

Earth Day Success in Fenelon Falls (May 2017)

May 2, 2017

11 copyThe Earth Day Tree planting in Fenelon Falls was a big success thanks to community members!  Over fifty people came out and worked hard planting trees and shrubs as an act of stewardship for our local environment on Earth Day at the ‘Put Down Some Roots’ event.

A big thank you goes to the community for digging holes and shovelling mulch on their day off, on a sunny spring morning. To the Environmental Advisory Committee and city support staff for purchasing the trees and for their time, ideas, materials, support, and efforts into this event. To Rob Gri from Delvinyl Entertainment for donating his time, talent, and equipment.  To Jodi Rolland from JC Photagraphy for donating her time and talents capturing memories and highlights of this event. To Sobeys for donating snacks to fuel the digging and wheel barrelling. To Taylor’s Home Projects for purchasing coffee from Sweet bottoms Coffee . To the city’s Parks and Rec staff for helping us find a suitable location to plant trees, and for preparing the property for the event. To The Fenelon Horticultural Society for helping with the planting plans, and to Kawartha Conservation for supplying the tools needed, and raffling off a free rain barrel.

16 copyThank you all SO MUCH for making this event come true. We can be very proud to live in a community that comes together like this to support environmental stewardship activities.

It takes a community!


Kids from Queen Street kick off Earth Week cleaning up litter at the old gravel pit, a space they are thankful to have in Earth Weektheir community. Among things found were pieces of toboggans, pieces of chairs, and a full folding chair that had been there so long it was covered in moss. All litter was sorted and put in bins.

Preparing for Mandatory Clear Bag Waste Collection starting January 1 (Nov. 2016)

January 23, 2017


On January 1, 2017, clear bag waste collection becomes mandatory in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Private homes, businesses and all other organizations and institutions that receive curbside collection must use clear bags for waste.

“Clear bag waste collection has already been implemented in several municipalities across Ontario,” explains David Kerr, Manager of Environmental Services at the City of Kawartha Lakes. “It has been proven to reduce the amount of recyclables entering landfill sites and improve worker safety.”

The City provides a variety of resources to make the transition to clear bag waste collection a smooth one.

Recycling Containers/Bins and Backyard Composters

The City will continue to offer a 50% discount on recycling containers/bins (both blue and green boxes) and a $10 discount on backyard composters throughout the month of December or while supplies last. Recycling containers and backyard composters are available at all Municipal Service Centres.

2017 Recycling & Waste Collection Calendar

The 2017 Recycling & Waste Collection Calendar is now available at your nearest Municipal Service Centre or library branch, and can be downloaded from the City website. The calendar contains detailed information on City recycling and waste programs including clear bag waste collection. 

Printed Handouts

Educational booklets have been created to provide information about clear bag waste collection. They can be picked up at your nearest Municipal Service Centre or library branch or downloaded and printed from the Waste and Recycling section of the City’s website.

Online Resources

The Waste and Recycling section of the City website is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about clear bag waste collection. You can download printable educational materials, read the Clear Bag Fact Sheet and find out where clear bags are sold near you. Visit

My Waste App

The My Waste App can be downloaded for free on your smartphone. It has a search feature that allows you to look up how to correctly dispose of specific items. It can also help you keep track of changes to your regular collection schedule.

Municipal Service Centres

Knowledgeable customer service staff are available to help. If you have questions about clear bag waste collection you can visit your nearest Municipal Service Centre or call 705-324-9411. Recycling containers, pre-paid tags and backyard composters are available for purchase at all City of Kawartha Lakes Municipal Service Centres (please call ahead to confirm availability).

For more information contact:

David Kerr
Manager of Environmental Services, City of Kawartha Lakes
705-324-9411 extension 1118

Holiday Waste and Recycling Collection in Kawartha Lakes (Dec. 2016)

December 13, 2016


During the holiday season the average Canadian family sends up to 45% more waste to the landfill than any other time of year. Most of this waste can be recycled or reused. The City of Kawartha Lakes has provided holiday waste and recycling guidelines to help residents reduce waste this Christmas.

Holiday Landfill Hours

Saturday, December 24: landfill hours are 9am to 1pm at the Lindsay Ops, Fenelon and Eldon landfills. All other landfills are closed.

Sunday, December 25: all waste facilities are closed.

Monday, December 26: all waste facilities are closed.

Saturday, December 31: landfill hours are 9am to 1pm at the Lindsay Ops, Fenelon and Eldon landfills. All other landfills are closed.

Sunday, January 1: all waste facilities are closed.

Holiday Curbside Collection Schedule

There will be no curbside waste and recycling collection on Monday, December 26, collection will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.

Holiday Recycling Tips

Green Box

  • Most wrapping paper (no foil wrap)
  • Most greeting cards (non-paper parts removed)
  • Wrapping paper tubes
  • Tissue paper
  • Cardboard and boxboard
  • Gift bags (non-paper parts removed)

Blue Box

  • Styrofoam packaging (not packing peanuts)


Recycle Old Electronics and Batteries

Recycling used batteries and old electronics is a great way de-clutter and make room for new gifts this Christmas.

Unwanted electronics can be recycled free of charge by taking them to any City of Kawartha Lakes landfill or Environment Round Up Day event held in May, June and July.

Broken Christmas lights are considered a recyclable material and can be recycled in the same way as electronics.

2017 Curbside Battery Collection will take place on your regular collection day the week of March 13, and the week of November 6.

During the designated collection weeks used batteries should be placed in a sealable plastic bag, such as a Ziploc bag and placed beside or on top of your paper recycling bin so collectors can easily see them. There is no limit to the amount of batteries residents may place at the curb, the City will not be supplying dedicated battery bags for this collection. More details about curbside battery collection are available on the City of Kawartha Lakes website

Used batteries can also be dropped off to any Municipal Service Centre free of charge anytime throughout the year to be recycled.

Christmas Trees

Real Christmas trees can be taken to your nearest landfill site at no charge for composting, and will not be collected at the curb. If you chose a potted Christmas Tree this year consider planting it in your yard to enjoy after the holidays.

Beautifying Our Village With Blooms and Boughs (Nov. 2016)

November 15, 2016

butterflysThe Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society, Friends of Lock 34 and the Chamber of Commerce have been busy making our village look beautiful with flowers, benches and holiday boughs.

We wanted to take a minute to showcase the work these wonderful volunteers have been doing.

The Horticultural Society and Friends of Lock 34 installed 2 Butterfly Benches at the top of the Falls Viewing Area. The benches are custom made by a local artist Woody Farrow.



Butterfly Garden Before


Butterfly Garden After


They have re-cultivated the gardens at the top of the power station and turned the area into a lovely butterfly garden.

The  job began over a year ago and this summer the group’s efforts were realized with a flourish of blooms that attracted visitors and butterflies.

fountainThey also did a phenomenal job on the water fountain at the Chamber of Commerce Office!

They turned a non-functioning, leaking, dirty mess into a beautiful garden feature filled with flowers. It is now a warm welcome to the west side of the docks and  entry to the boat launch! It also provides a wonderful view for visitors to the tourist information centre. 

The Chamber of Commerce also has a downtown beautification committee. Brandy Watson is the Chairperson, who spends many volunteer hours towards improving our community. The flowers on the bridge, flowers in downtown planters, watering of plants around town, and winter decorations are just some of the items managed by the Chamber.

bridgeThis year, Brandy has been busy forming a group of volunteers and also gathering boughs, dried flowers, berry branches and pine cones that now adorn the bridge planters over the winter months. With the many winter activities available locally, our community can celebrate and welcome visitors all years round.

If you want to become more involved in your Town’s Beautification please don’t hesitate to contact Brandy at the Chamber of Commerce or the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society! They are all volunteers and can always use a hand!

Thanks to everyone who has been helping to make Fenelon Falls a more beautiful place filled with benches, blooms and boughs. Your efforts are having an impact in making our town better!


Martens Win Award for Volunteer Dedication (Nov. 2016)

November 1, 2016


Rolf and Diane Martens “go the distance” to support the Fenelon Falls Curling Club. In addition to taking on leadership roles on the executive, convening several leagues and running several bonspiels each year, they have organized fundraising trips to Europe for the past 12 years. Their friendly faces are seen at the club every day of the week, greeting people and making them feel welcome. The daytime leagues that Rolf and Diane run contribute to the sports social fabric of the community and support the “sports for life” philosophy. The monies that Rolf and Diane have raised have contributed to the sustainability of the club through the purchase of equipment for the youth programme, renovations to the kitchen and washrooms of the club and replacement of some well used furniture!

Nominated by Gail Allman

Kawartha Lakes Sport & Recreational Council dinner honouring volunteers held at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club October 26th 2017.

Photo courtesy Ryan Rogers CAPS community newspaper.

Waste Reduction Week in CKL (Oct. 2016)

October 18, 2016

Waste Reduction Week (October 16-22) is an annual week to focus on producing less waste in our community. 

“The City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to doing its part to reduce waste,” explains David Kerr, Manager of Environmental Services. “As part of our Integrated Waste Management Strategy we have developed several programs that will reduce the amount of waste going into our landfill sites. We depend on support from residents and businesses to make our environmental impact as minimal as possible.”

Clear Bag Waste Collection

Becoming mandatory on January 1, 2017 Clear Bag Waste Collection is expected to reduce 5-10% of the overall amount of recyclable items going into the landfill. Free clear bag samples will be available at City landfill sites during Waste Reduction Week while supplies last.

Curbside Battery Collection

More than 7,000 lbs of batteries were collected and recycled during curbside battery collection in 2016. Due to the success of this initiative, there will be two curbside battery collections in 2017 to make properly disposing of household batteries convenient for residents.

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting is a proven way to reduce waste and turn organics into a rich soil supplement. Backyard composters can be purchased at cost by contacting your nearest Municipal Service Centre. More information on the City’s backyard composting program will be release later in 2017.

Recycle Rangers: Planet Protector Program


This program is a joint initiative supported by the City of Kawartha Lakes and neighbouring municipalities. Classroom presentations educate students and teachers about reducing waste. Recycle Rangers has won widespread accolades and awards by empowering students to educate family and friends while becoming environmental leaders. Visit to participate.


Residents can participate in Waste Reduction Week by visiting the “Waste & Recycling” section of the City website to learn tips and tricks for reducing waste at home.

More information is available about City waste reduction programs in the 2016 Integrated Waste Management Strategy,

Gardening Workshop At The Library (Sept. 2016)

September 5, 2016
fall vegetable garden tips from the masters
Your library card is the key to more than just reading material. Workshops, presentations and support systems like the Seed Library, run by the public library in Kawartha Lakes, are some of the other ways you are able to access knowledge and know-how. The fall is a great time to think about your garden, whether you have one or not! Plan a new garden or get your existing garden in tip-top shape for harvesting and the new season to come. Books on gardening available at any of the CKL branches can be put on hold and brought to the Fenelon Falls Library Branch for you. Just use your library card to sign-in online at

Kawartha Lakes Library is pleased to partner with the Lindsay & District Master Gardeners as they present “Fall in the Vegetable Garden”. This workshop will be held at the Lindsay Branch Library on Saturday September 10 and Saturday September 17 (same presentation on both days) from 10:15am to 11:30am.

Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to helping home gardeners.  Master Gardeners (MGs) in the Province of Ontario are experienced gardeners who have studied horticulture extensively and continue to upgrade their skills through technical training. With this training and continuing education, Master Gardeners provide expert horticultural advice to the general public.

This workshop is intended for gardening novices, but would be a useful refresher for more experienced gardeners and an opportunity for participants to ask all their gardening questions.  The workshop will cover the basics including harvesting and storing herbs and vegetables, fall garden clean-up, soil improvement for next spring and fall planting of garlic and spinach.

Preregistration is encouraged.  Call 705-324-5632 or drop in to the Fenelon Falls or Lindsay Branch Library. The first 30 registrants for each workshop will receive 2 garlic bulbs and a spinach seed packet.  You must be present at the workshop to receive your free gift.

Support for these presentations comes from HKPR Health Unit’s Healthy Communities Fund and Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition.

Saving Money and the Planet with Jars at Country Cupboards

July 29, 2016

Country CupboardsWe have all gotten so good at recycling- we rinse, and sort, and haul that extra container to the curb for the greater good. But have you ever considered the natural resources and energy that goes into those recyclables to be made, and then broken down, and re made? Why not reduce that plastic use from the start?

Well you can- with jars!

Bring your jars with you when you shop for products in bulk at Carson’s Country Cupboards and save a ton of plastic waste- bonus you also save money by buying in bulk!

They weigh your jars before you fill them up, and then minus that weight from the total when you cash out- it’s really pretty easy!

I use different sized glass jars but any reusable container will do. I also let them write the weight of the jar directly on the lid, and if it stays on through the dishwasher it won’t need to be re- weighed for the next purchase. I  try to keep a stash of jars in my trunk for those days that I’m not as organised and forget, also I just use a cloth grocery bag to carry the jars in and, so far no breaks!

For every 1 pound of plastic you refuse 1 pound of carbon pollution is reduced!

To reduce even more plastic you can also get items like peanut butter, almond butter, honey, and extracts from Burns Bulk Foods in Lindsay.

PS- Don’t forget a jar and spoon for some frozen yogurt at Carson’s Country Cupboards to save a Styrofoam cup- because you know you can’t leave that store without one!

Article By Julia Taylor

Don’t Let Geese Ruin Their Day (Jul. 2016)

July 4, 2016


Last Sunday was a scorcher! We headed to the Fenelon beach to beat the heat – packed up the kids in the bike trailer (or their “chariot” as I call it) and pulled into a spot in the shade. Even though the beach was packed (as expected) there were plenty of shady areas to catch the breeze, and lots of room to play in the sand or swim in the water.

It was perfect… except…

There was geese poop all over the dock.

All of the kids did a good job to avoid it and no one seemed to mind yet I thought to myself… if this was my place, and I had the tools I would clean it up…

Wait a minute…

It is my place! Well it is OUR place! OUR dock on OUR beautiful lakefront property, it is OUR shared community space, and as it turns out there are tools there to do just that. In fact there is a group of people who kindly pick up goose poop regularly at the Fenelon Beach.

I signed up to help out and when I got the tour of the shed and learned the tricks of the trade we picked up a few pieces. Two days later I came with my kids on our morning bike ride and we picked up a whole ‘bathroom garbage can’ sized pail! Can you imagine what that beach would look like if no one was picking it up? 5-10 lbs of geese poop per day for a few months….!!! Now that is poopy!

So next time I’m at the beach and I don’t want to step in geese poop I can just pick it up! And when there is none there I can be thankful for the person who came and picked it up before I got there.

Keeping geese poop off of our beaches keeps it out of the water (resulting in less contamination and beach closures) and keeps it off our feet!

Please help out by emailing Gay Fletcher at

Please Brake for Our Turtles (Jun. 2016)

June 20, 2016

Brake for TurtlesWe all love summertime in the beautiful Kawarthas. Part of the attraction to this area is our close proximity to nature and that means sharing this green space with natures inhabitants. This is the time of year in the Kawarthas when the turtles are moving about and are now being spotted regularly along our roadways. Our turtles are a vital part of our ecosystem that we must preserve.

Although most of our turtles are water dwellers, they all lay their eggs on dry land. Since roads are everywhere, the turtles cross them to get to their nesting sites. Most turtles hit by cars are adult females trying to lay eggs. June is prime nesting season, but turtles cross roads anytime between April and November!  PLEASE BRAKE FOR OUR TURTLES.

Consider being a Kawartha Turtle Steward!! You can easily do your part.

You’ll want to get out of your car and help the turtle move in the direction he or she was heading. Turtles know where they are going, and they will turn back into traffic if you don’t send them where they wanted to go.

  • Small turtles can be picked up and carried across the road. Using both hands, you’ll want to gently scoop the turtle up by holding the shell/body, in between the front and back legs.
  • Large turtles or snapping turtles should be handled as little as possible. and should be guided or protected until finished their crossing. If you need to assist them, wear gloves if you’ve got them, and gently encourage the turtle onto a solid, flat surface (like a piece of sturdy cardboard) that can be safely moved a short distance with the turtle on top of it.

If you spot a turtle who is injured and/or has been hit by a car, please don’t assume he or she is dead! Turtles have slow metabolisms and can suffer for days, even weeks, before dying. Test for a reaction by pinching a back toe, or very gently touching the corner of turtle’s eye lid (if possible). Injured turtles must be contained and transported to the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre right away. Call the drop off line at (705) 741-5000

If a turtle is not injured, and not in the street—leave ’em alone! You can look and learn from a distance. Be respectful to the little dudes. They don’t need to be stressed or displaced for your entertainment.  Teach your children to be responsible turtle friends.

Were You There the Day it all Began? (Jun. 2016)

June 6, 2016

Garnet Graham Park, Canada Day 2015


The Canada Geese had taken over the park and avoiding their droppings was quite a challenge! A small group of concerned citizens formed a group called TBTB (Take Back The Beach) and for the rest of the summer of 2015 picked up after the geese on a daily basis. Going forward, the ultimate goal of this group is to help prevent the beach from being “posted”. Other factors are involved pertaining to the beach being posted, but the goose poo (call it what it is), is the main one.

“Many Hands Make Light Work”.   Our small group is looking for volunteers for approximately 1 hour a week, or every other week, to help with this community effort. We have a very flexible schedule and even if you can only help a few times over the summer, every little bit helps!

Thanks to the generosity of several local businesses, the required “tools of the trade” are available and kept at a location very close to the park. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following businesses – Grr8 Finds, Big Event Floral and Decorating, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Kawartha Lakes Agri Services and Kawartha Lakes Home Improvements.

Quoting one of our volunteers who already contacted me to ensure that the park doesn’t get out of control like last year, “I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to what Fenelon Falls has to offer. To keep the beach clean, no matter whose responsibility it is, gives me as a citizen a great sense of pride in this home community I live in. Thanks for including me in this effort. I consider this a gift”!

Please contact:

Gay Fletcher




5 Ways to Green Your Child’s Birthday Party (May 2016)

May 23, 2016

HapBirthPresence not Presents

Request no presents or request second hand presents or request donations in loo of presents to give to your child’s favourite charity or ask for ‘experience’ gifts (lessons, tickets, days out, etc. )

Think I’m crazy? Here is why having tons of stuff is not good for children and here is why ‘stuff’ is not good for the environment. Present giving has become so impersonal and unthoughtful and it puts undue financial pressures on people – let’s change the world and forget about present giving.Crafts

Martha Stewart up some crafts

Disposable products use resources, chemicals, and cheap labour to be made – not to mention the emissions from traveling across the world. Any décor and wrapping paper can be made at home out of recycled paper or my favourite, newspaper; already destined for the recycle bin and free! You could always just skip the decorations all together.

Bust out the Good Dishes

dishesInstead of buying disposable dishes, cups, napkins, and cutlery use your own. If you don’t have enough grab another set at the salvation army real cheap and stash them in a box when not in use. As mentioned above disposable stuff might be cheap and easy but has big environmental and social implications.

Make kids into mini stewards

The main activity could be planting trees or seedsPlants, a nature walk, or head over to your local environmental organization and participate in, or hire a private educational guide. The kids program at Gamiing Nature Centre is super interactive, fun, and educational – an experience the kids will remember more than a bouncy castle!

Send home memories not stuff

If you planted seeds than that is a great send home gift, but other than that we are again talking about stuff that uses resources and lets face it, ends up in the landfill faster than it takes to get made. Skip the loot bags, I promise the kids won’t miss them.

Be bold, be creative, be different! In- laws, kids parents, and kids won’t know the difference, but you know who will – the planet :)

Thanks for reading!

Julia Taylor


on Facebook

Garnet Graham Beach Clean Up (May 2016)

May 9, 2016


Forty Girl Guides from the Fenelon Falls area, ranging in age from 5 to 18, along with their leaders participated in the Tim Horton’s Pitch In Canada Campaign. The group enthusiastically cleaned the Garnet Graham Beach Park and Water Street from the fountain as part of The Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up on April 18th.

The group collected 3 bags of garbage and 6 bags of Recyclables from the waterfront area.   “We would like to thank Tim Hortons for the Timbit Treats and The City of Kawartha Lakes for picking up the bags for us,” explains Annette Poeta, Contact Guider for the 1st Fenelon Falls Rangers. “The project was a good opportunity to teach the girls about ecological responsibility and service to their community.”

Leaf and Yard Waste (May 2016)

May 9, 2016


Spring Leaf and Yard curbside collection will occur once in the spring, residents should take careful note of changes to their pick-up schedule:

If your regular collection day is Monday or Wednesday, your leaf and yard waste will be collected on: Friday, June 3.

If your regular collection day is Tuesday or Thursday, your leaf and yard waste will be collected on: Friday, May 20.

If residents miss their Leaf and Yard collection day, they can take leaf and yard waste to any the City of Kawartha Lakes landfill sites year round, free of charge.

Leaf and Yard material must be contained within brown paper yard waste bags or neatly bundled with string or jute (maximum 3ft. /90 cm in length, less than 40 lbs/18 kgs in weight). Branches must be less than 3 inches in diameter. Plastic bags will not be accepted.

The following items will not be accepted during Leaf & Yard Curbside Collection: Christmas trees, grass clippings, sod, soil, root balls (from planters), stumps and branches over 3 inches in diameter and / or 36 inches in length. These must be brought to a landfill site; charges may apply.

For more information click here

What’s Growing On This May (Apr. 2016)

April 25, 2016

new benches, guest speakers, a plant sale and more!

Fenelon Falls’ very own Horticultural Society is at it again, back in full swing with another year of exciting programming, community garden planning and local garden care-taking…. and what’s this about butterfly benches?

Plant Sale 2016 FlyerBeautiful new benches are coming to the Fenelon Island park in downtown Fenelon Falls. Drop by Sweet Bottoms Coffee to see the first completed sculpted bench on display, done up in Parks Canada’s special shade of green. A smaller version has also been commissioned in red. The FF Hort. Society is pleased to help bring these works of art to Fenelon’s core. (To learn more about the community lead initiative to shape the island and showcase our falls, visit with Friends of Lock 34 at Sweet Bottoms Cafe on May 4th from 5 – 8pm.)

It’s time again for the annual FF Hort. Society Plant Sale, this year held on May 28 beginning at 9 am and running until noon. We’ll be back at the Salvation Army Citadel on Bond Street West. Be sure to drop by and see what local plants and hot tips are available for your garden this year.

Tony Spencer

Our next general meeting, held on May 30th, will feature Tony Spencer, a 2016 presenter at Canada Blooms and a teacher of workshops at the Toronto Botanical Garden. He has been inspired by the work of the influential Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf of the “New Perennial” movement which emphasizes combining plants naturalistically. His talk will feature photos of his former garden at Sturgeon Point (pictured at left).

Explains Tony, “this not-so-cottage garden is my homegrown Canadian version of something known as New Perennial Planting, a design movement with roots originating in Northern Europe, which looks to nature to express a more free-flowing, intermingled, and open-minded approach to the making of gardens. It’s now becoming far better known in the public sphere with a stream of marquee public projects like the High Line in NYC, the Lurie Gardens in Chicago, RHS Wisley in England.”

If you are curious for more, check out Tony’s former Kawartha garden here:

The Fenelon Falls Country Living Show is coming up April 29 to May 1 and the FF Hort. Society is pleased to once again have a booth. Drop by and say hello while you enjoy the show!

For more information, including the full 2016 program, please visit

May 2016 FFHS Mtg Flyer

Say Goodbye to the Serenity of Winter (Apr. 2016)

April 11, 2016

mowSpring is around the corner, and soon the serenity of winter will be broken by the sounds of lawn mowers and weed whackers. Now is the time to do some spring maintenance on your garden equipment to ensure that your tools and equipment are ready for that first cut, and the delicious scent of fresh mown grass.  You don’t want to be caught in a long line-up at the repair shop, as your lawn turns into a pasture and you need to hire a flock of sheep to keep it in check while your lawn mower is getting an overhaul.

Even if your equipment appears to be in good working order, now is the time to at least sharpen the blade. This will ensure a cleaner, more manicured cut, and less wear and tear on your mower. Cleaning under the deck of the lawnmower and then spraying it with cooking oil will keep the grass from compacting on the underside and make clean-up easer.  Spraying with cooking oil a few times during the summer will ensure easier clean-ups, and the grass will be safe for your composter.  Better still, why not use the grass clippings as mulch on your gardens, to help retain moisture, discourage weed growth and return their nutrients to the soil.  It makes for less garbage on the curb side too, and that’s a good thing.  It’s always puzzled me, why we water our grass to make it grow, and then, just throw it away.

Speaking of curb side garbage pickup, fast-forward to the fall, when the trees have dropped truckloads of dead leaves on your yard. Hopefully, they are maple, ash, willow or perhaps fruit tree leaves.  You don’t want walnut leaves, that contain a natural substance called “juglone” that is a respiratory inhibitor and can kill a number of our plants including apples, tomatoes, and white birch. Oak, cedar, pine and spruce leaves and needles tend to add acidity to your soil. But then again, extra acid can be a bonus if your are growing azaleas or blueberries.  Don’t just rake them up, put them in paper bags that trees were cut down to make and add them to your curb side collection.  Instead, spread them out on your driveway and drag your mower, backwards, over a the pile a few times. You will be amazed at how a huge pile of dry leaves can be reduced to a small one, after a few passes.  Now, you have some lovely brown mulch to cover your perennials and rose bushes, that will keep them securely down in the earth during the January thaw and continue to retain moisture, discourage weeds and feed your gardens over the next summer. 

There are many ways to practice the 3 R’s, and sometimes it comes with an added bonus. 

Happy Gardening, Happy Summer.

Judy Kennedy

2012 CKL Environmental Hero

Spring is Almost Here, Get Growing! (Apr. 2016)

April 11, 2016


Spring is almost here.  So, let’s get a jump on spring and start planning our gardens.

Now is the time to start some seeds for tomatoes, and veggies such as cabbage, kale, peppers, squash and cucumbers and perhaps even some corms and tubers, such as dahlias, canna lilies and begonias.

Unless you have a sunny, south facing window, you will need to give them some extra light, to keep them from growing too weak and spindly.  We grow ours in our basement.  When we renovated our house, we replaced the old style, flat surfaced closet doors with new, panelled ones.  Instead of carting the old ones off to the dump, we laid them on top of saw horses and suspended some old fluorescent lights over them, that we found at the Habitat Restore.  We plugged the lights into a power bar that is then plugged into a light timer, so that the lights turn on and off overnight, when the cost of hydro is less. The lights hang from the joists on cup hooks and lengths of lamp chain, so that they can be lowered and raised as the plants grow. A fan is placed at one end of the room, to simulate gentle breezes that help the plants grow strong and sturdy. Considering the prices of fresh produce at the grocery stores this past winter, we pressed our indoor garden into service early and and we have been enjoying fresh and nutritious spinach and salad greens all winter, at a fraction of the cost.

You can purchase growing trays from Canadian Tire or TSC, or you can even go on the green side, using recycled yogurt cups, paper or plastic cups with holes punched in the bottom, foam meat trays, foil pans and bakery boxes, or anything that resembles a pot or a tray that will hold water.  You can even make your own pots out of newspaper, by wrapping a long strip around a juice can and folding the paper in towards the centre of the bottom of the can. Then you slide the paper pot off the can. Fill it with potting soil and place it, tightly together with others, on a tray that will hold water. You can even plant the paper pots right in the garden, when the soil and weather is warm enough.

For potting mix, we use the basic type, without all the added fertilizers and water retentive beads, which we then mix with Coconut Coir and some composted sheep manure at a ratio of 3 parts potting mix, 2 parts coir and 1 part compost.  We recommend and use Coconut Coir, rather than peat moss, because it is and eco-friendly replacement for peat moss, and it soaks up water and fertilizer quickly, but releases them slowly, reducing the amount of watering, while keeping the soil moist at the root level. Peat moss actually repels water, which is strange at the very least, since it comes from bogs. Coir is the fibrous material found between the outer shell and the nut of the coconut, which, for decades, was treated as garbage and discarded. It is only in recent years that it has been introduced to North America as an eco friendly, self sustaining, renewable, all natural replacement for peat moss, and is now used in most commercial greenhouses.  (Don’t know where to buy Coconut Coir?  Call us, because we sell it.) Peat moss comes from Canadian wetlands, which filter water runoff from cities, roads and farmland, before it reaches our rivers and lakes, where our drinking water comes from. Peat bogs also store carbon dioxide, which is released as Greenhouse Gases when they are mined. Once they are mined, it takes up to 200 years for them to regenerate. They also serve as critical habitat for several endangered species of turtles and amphibians, so these are a few more good reasons for not using peat moss. 

After planting a seed or two in each pot, we sprinkle vermiculite and cinnamon over the top to lightly cover the seed.  The vermiculite helps keep the soil surface moist while the seed germinates and the cinnamon helps to curb fungus growth which causes “damp off”. This fungus attacks the tiny seedlings at the soil surface causing them to wilt and die, before they have a chance to sprout their true leaves. Always water from the bottom, so you don’t disturb the seeds or seedlings. We use a weak solution of water and fish or kelp emulsion, to help the plants grow strong and healthy. For food production, we prefer to use natural fertilizers that are endorsed for organic gardening, rather than chemical fertilizers, to ensure better nutrition and food safety.

Place your newly planted seed trays under the lights and lower the fixtures down, so that the lights are about 3 to 4 inches above the soil surface.  As the plants grow, you can raise the lights as needed.  By the time the weather and the soil has warmed up, usually around mid to late May in the Kawarthas, your plants will be big and healthy and ready to plant. 

But wait!  Your tender new plants have been growing in a warm, safe environment and are not used to the temperature changes and wind they will experience in your garden. So, before you plant them where they are to grow, you will need to “harden them off”.  This means setting them outside in a sheltered place out of direct sun and wind, so that they can gradually become acclimatized to the the sun, wind and rain. You can take them outside and back inside each day, or build a shelter for them. Some lengths of thin plastic plumbing pipe stuck into the ground to form hoops, covered with some construction plastic, make an excellent mini green house. Now they can be left outdoors in a sheltered area, but don’t forget to water them.  After a week or so they will be ready to plant and give you baskets full of nutritious home-grown veggies all summer.

Happy Gardening, Happy Summer.

Judy Kennedy,

2012 CKL Environmental Hero


How to Help CKL Environmental Orgs (Apr. 2016)

April 11, 2016

list of all active organizations in the Kawartha Lakes

sogreenithurts.blogspot.caSometimes a click of the mouse is all it takes to put money in the pocket of your favourite environmental organization.

If you’re thinking that you love this planet we call home and want to get more involved, here is how you can do it in the Kawartha Lakes with local organizations that are doing so much to protect the environment and our health.

Participate Online

The easiest thing you can do to help an environmental organization doesn’t even require you to leave your living room – all you have to do is like, share, comment, retweet, favourite, or click on a post. The more you do these things the further the organization’s message goes, so even if you cannot make it to an event; liking or sharing the information spreads the message, and you could say that counts as volunteering.

There is a lot of online voting contests these days and all you have to do is vote for an organization’s ideas and they could receive large amounts of money. Sometimes voting requires you to register with another website, and possibly receive some more mail to your junk box, but is that really a big inconvenience when every vote is potentially hard cash? Not really.

Some contests just ask you to comment on their post or share a picture, guess a location etc. Such an easy way to support organizations that take care of our environment (and potentially win prizes). Speaking of which, be sure to ‘Like’ CKL’s Waste Management Facebook page – they run some pretty cool contests.

Attend events or check out their grounds

Often events offered by these organizations are free or cost very little money so go on and check them out – believe me, you will get addicted to the amazing spaces they have to offer, not to mention the benefits of being in nature for your mental and physical health. There is a ton of educational information too so you will be smarter for attending.

Donate time or money

If you don’t have money to donate consider your time. The great thing about volunteering is you can try it and if it doesn’t work out for you then you stop. Also you can pick when, where, for how long, which tasks you want to perform etc… although you will need to be reliable and come with an enthusiastic ‘up for anything’ kind of attitude. Volunteering has many mental health benefits – meeting people that have the same interests as you, joy in giving back to a worthy cause, being a part of a community, and even life and work experience fit for a resume.

Got money not time? An easy affordable way to support organizations financially is to purchase a membership. Often memberships cost very little but support in a big way. Of course if you have a bunch of money – than go all out! Sometimes organizations will have wish lists of items they need that you may have lying around the house, saving them money, so kind of like donating money!

Here is a list of all of the amazing environmental organizations in our community.
Please consider getting involved with one or more of them!
(click on the name to go to their website)

Gamiing Nature Centre

Gamiing is a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to sharing the enjoyment and importance of living in harmony with nature by balancing human needs with the needs of nature, working together towards sustainable ecosystems and stewardship of our natural resources and heritage for our and future generations. We do this with effective outdoor environmental programs for children and adults. At Gamiing beyond the programs are: a Native Nursery, a beautiful Forest with about 7km of trails, 30 acres of Wetland, and Geocaches.

Peterborough Green Up

For more than 20 years, Green UP has been central and eastern Ontario’s leading organization focused on issues of environmental education, sustainability, and stewardship. A registered charity, we partner with individuals, businesses, other non-profit organizations and governments. Together we work to ensure that our region maintains its long standing track record of environmental leadership in Ontario and across Canada. Green UP is an active community organization offering dozens of programs and services to those living both full time and seasonally in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. Our programs focus on facilitating positive action and provide the tools to make small changes in their home or cottage that can create a large and lasting impact on our environment.

Kawartha Land Trust

KLT is a non-governmental organization and a registered charity dedicated to acquiring land and interests in land and maintaining it in a natural state.

Kawartha Field Naturalists

The Kawartha Field Naturalists is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of our heritage. Meetings, guest speakers and field trips are the means of providing our members with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the natural environment.

Kawartha Conservation 

Kawartha Conservation is a watershed-based, non-profit organization. Balancing environmental capacity and human need, we manage natural resource features that are essential for sustaining water quality and quantity, through watershed planning, stewardship, environmental monitoring and research, and management of conservation and natural areas.

Environmental Action Bobcaygeon

Environmental Action Bobcaygeon, a not-for-profit organization. Our mandate is to encourage, promote, and complete projects that will benefit the environment and the community. They are responsible for Wilderness park.

Kawartha Lake Steward Association

The Kawartha Lake Stewards Association is a non profit, completely volunteer organization of cottagers and year-round residents formed to monitor the water quality of the Kawartha Lakes.

Lindsay Community Gardens

Lindsay Community Garden where people and plants become friends. Not only does the garden support a plethora of fruit and vegetables, but the growers also donate some of the harvested produce to food banks and A Place Called Home

Kawartha Woodlott Association

The OWA promotes the sustainable management of Ontario’s privately owned forest by providing our members with guidance and advice, and by representing their interests through a united provincial voice. We are working to ensure that Ontario’s privately owned forest will always contribute to the health of our society, our environment and the economy.

Eco Stewards of Fenelon Falls

The Eco Stewards built, monitor, and maintain replica chimneys for roost and nest sites for ‘Chimney Swifts’ a bird that is becoming scarce. They raise, tag, and release monarch butterflies, and are currently planting wild flowers with ‘Friends of Lock 32′ after making seed bombs with students from Fenelon High. They are currently looking for help with planting the wildflowers and are also looking to connect with landowners around Cameron and Sturgeon Lakes that have nesting Purple Martins on their property. To get involved please email Judy.

Environmental Advisory Committee

The Mission of the City of Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee is to support council in the achievement of environmental goals and policies of the City of Kawartha Lakes. This includes the maintenance and where necessary the improvement of  water and air quality and quantity. Reducing the amount of waste and the impact of waste on the environment. The protection and conservation of natural systems, and other items identified by council. The mission will be achieved through implementation of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan; including public education initiatives, environmental projects, monitoring outcomes, and input onto other environmental issues or initiatives identified.

Fenelon/Ops Landfill Public Review Committee

The PRC shall serve as a focal point for dissemination, consultation, review and exchange of information regarding the operation of the landfill sites, including environmental monitoring, maintenance, complaint resolution and new approvals or amendments to existing approvals related to the operation of the landfill sites. It is a group of citizens made up of individuals who commonly represent the broader public on issues dealing with landfills and waste management.

Frost Sustainable Campus Initiative

In our 2005-2010 Strategic Plan, Fleming College set the goal to lead Ontario’s post secondary institutions with respect to environmental programs and practices. The Frost Campus is playing a leadership role in achieving this goal, through the programs offered at the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences and by the intensity of its sustainable institutional practices. In January 2006, we launched the Frost Sustainable Campus Initiative to encompass the full range of green steps, events, and activities designed to support the achievement of our goal. Check out their Facebook page

STORM Coalition

Save The Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition is focused on protecting the ecological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Since 1989, STORM has been working at the local and regional levels to ensure that municipalities make good planning decisions that respect the environmental significance of the moraine and that take into account its ecological and hydrological functions.

A Greener Future

A Greener Future works hand-in-hand with local communities to promote environmental preservation through organized litter clean ups, educational programs, and events. Our expanding family of volunteers are committed to creating a clean, healthy environment that can be sustained for generations.

National Environmental Organizations that often overlap into our community:

Julia posts weekly on her blog every Wednesday, and if you don’t want to miss it please like her Facebook page or follow Julia on twitter@sogreenithurts

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling in CKL (Mar. 2016)

March 28, 2016

The Yes's and No's

I have been known to be a bit of a recycling tyrant- “Hey did you just throw that can in the garbage?”

*takes can out and put’s in recycle while muttering under breath* 

Well I guess I should not have been such a tyrant because as it turns out- I was doing it all wrong – and not just the heckling.

When I first moved back here and actually gave a darn about my effects on the health of the planet I was pleasantly surprised to see the Kawartha Lakes recycled all plastics from 1 through 7 – something my previous municipality did not do.

Sweet I can recycle everything! 

I put on my hero shirt and felt really good about doing my part and I recycled as much as possible. I got so into recycling I went to the city’s waste workshop, and that is the day I realized I had been dishonouring my hero shirt.

(insert Price is Right losing sound)

As it turns out not everything is recyclable, in fact if it is not on the list of recyclables on our handy dandy waste calendar provided by the CKL – it is not recyclable. Even though we recycle all numbers of plastics, if it does not have a number on it – it is not recyclable. If it is not clean it is not recyclable, and if the lid is still on it is not recyclable! 

In the City of Kawartha Lakes our plastic recycling is trucked to North Umberland County to a sorting plant, and everything that is rejected is shipped back to our landfill because it is our garbage and it goes in our back yard. 

So if I’m not recycling properly I’m actually creating more garbage and more CO2! 

Here are a few things I thought were recyclable but are not:

- straws 

- k-cups

- chip bags

- dog food bags

To see the full list please visit my blog:

Have A Blessed and Waste-less Easter (Mar. 2016)

March 14, 2016

how to reduce your waste at the family dinner

ecoeasterHaving a house full of family is so special, it also means tons of food and extra packaging waste. There is always going to be waste we cannot get away from (for now) however there are some easy things we can do to throw away less this Easter. Here is a list of wasteful items and zero waste alternatives.

Paper Plates / Plastic Utensils - Use regular dishes and utensils, if you do not have enough, grab a set really cheap at the Salvation Army, and if you don’t have room in the cupboard for sets of extra plates throw them in a box and stash them away until the next family dinner, even if you are not hosting next time you could offer to bring them, reducing waste over and over again!

Paper Napkins / Paper Towels - Use washable napkins and tea towels, you know the fancy napkins are sitting in the drawer for special events, well this is their time to shine!

Plastic Wrap / Tinfoil / Sealable Baggies - Use reuseable plastic containers and cooking dishes with lids. You could also invest in reusable cake/pie trays or bigger plastic pieces for these types of occasions. I grabbed a Corning Wear dish with a glass lid for roasting vegetables at the Salvation Army for $4!

Plastic Trays from Pre-cooked Foods - Use reusable containers and take them with you when you shop at a local bakery/butcher. If you do end up buying some save them for next time or fill them with your own home cooked goods. The same goes for chocolate too, find a local chocolate maker – your gonna thank me for this one. You will never eat factory chocolate again!

Grocery and Produce Bags - Let’s not forget our cloth bags just because we are not doing our regular grocery shop. Try to not use produce bags. I know that a lot of people are uncomfortable with this idea, so just try it for produce that you cut the skin off to eat (squash, melons, bananas, etc.).

We might have a lot of this stuff kicking around or we might have to invest a few bucks, but for every pound of plastic refused or reused we save a pound of climate pollution from entering our air!

Let’s also be sure to keep up with our good recycling habits too.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with waste from a large family feast and then just start tossing stuff into the garbage, so let’s have a plan to deal with it.

Happy Easter!

How to Clean Your Home With Vinegar (Mar. 2016)

February 29, 2016

vinegarSwitching to vinegar and baking soda for cleaning your home is a big positive step, and has a big impact on your health, your budget, the health of our lakes and drinking water, and the health of our planet (less plastic packaging = less pollution). So kudos to you for even considering this big change – and vinegar is a disinfectant so watch out germs!

The biggest challenge to the switch is scents and bubbles. Cleaning with vinegar smells like vinegar, however it only smells for a few hours after you clean, if you think about cleaning with your normal cleaners you really only smell them for a short while after so don’t worry, you and your house wont smell like fish and chips and…vinegar…vinegar (you might sing that song in your head though). You will get over this quickly, if you try vinegar and then you go back to foaming scrub bubbles or whatever the potion, you will be shocked at how hard it is to even stay in the room. As for the bubbles, it is definitely a big change but never fear, a good cloth and scrub down will show you how effective it is, especially if you have hard water – you can see the calcium build up on the cloth.

The Mix

Next time your out of your regular spray cleaner fill it up with half vinegar half water…seriously…that’s it! You can add some essential oils but really they are only going to add a little bit of smell, not really worth it because they are a little bit pricey. I use micro-fiber cloths for the wet cleaning and an old cut up towel for the drying or “polishing”.


Add a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the toilette water and let it sit for a few minutes, depending on your routine you can add the vinegar and then clean the shower and sink and then sprinkle a scoop of baking soda on the inside of the toilette bowl and in the water. Clean the rest of the toilette and than give the bowl a scrub and dry. If you have hard water and that didn’t get the yellow ring out, add another 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let it sit for as long as you can and give it another scrub. It really is the vinegar that does the work, the baking soda is more of an abrasive for extra power.


Spray down with vinegar solution and scrub with cloth, rinse, and dry for a good polish (if your that fancy). If you have a ring or need some extra scrubbing power for the tub sprinkle some baking soda for the abrasive. This solution will work excellent on glass shower walls and doors as well. I have a stand up shower with a plastic rough surface base and I sprinkle baking soda on it and than hit it with a scrub brush. 


Fill your mop bucket with super hot water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar, again you can add an essential oil if you like. Any mop will work, but I highly recommend the KD-Cloth mop, you can grab these at most of the home show events in Kawartha Lakes or online, they say you can just use hot water but mine is a little old now so I add the vinegar.

Kitchen Sink

Sprinkle baking soda in the sink and spray with vinegar solution. Use the baking soda as an abrasive and give it a good scrub, including the drain, then rinse and dry, it works so well!

Kitchen Counters

Spray with solution and wipe. I actually don’t do this because I have white granite so you cannot see streaks or film (vinegar would take care of those) I just use my daily sink cloth and if I have a germy mess I use dish soap on the cloth to disinfect. I also use the sink cloth and soap for the dinner and coffee table.


Spray with vinegar solution and scrub with cloth, and dry off. Again I’m also going to recommend the KD Cloth, it is amZazing! 

Kitchen Drain

Put a scoop or two of baking soda directly into the drain and add a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes and rinse with hot water.

Other chemical and waste free cleaning…


Trade in the Swiffer for a micro fiber dust cloth- it works exactly the same (I put them to the test side by side) bonus- you can buy a cloth for the same price as a box of swiffers but you can use it for years instead of having to purchase new Swiffer cloths every so often.

Furniture Polish

2 parts olive oil 1 part lemon juice- dust off and rub down with mixture.

For anything I missed I’m sure the answer is vinegar or baking soda, seriously every time I google natural or chemical free way to clean (insert anything) it is always vinegar! It is so easy and it will make you wonder why you have 5 million products at your house.


Article submitted by Julia Taylor – environmental author and Kawartha Lakes based blogger of 

3 Ways We Are Donating All Wrong (Feb. 2016)

February 15, 2016

What do you mean nobody wants my 30 year old toaster??
If you are decluttering your house, chances are you are taking a trip to your favourite local thrift shop to donate some pre-loved goodies, but are you helping them? Here are two pet peeves from staff at my favourite thrift shop, the Salvation Army in Fenelon Falls.

Thrift Store Rejects
If you wouldn’t buy it, they can’t sell it. If you’re like me, you hate to send anything to the dump, but if you’re sending trash to the donation box, they have to pay for it to be sent to the dump. So please only send resalable items to the donation bin. Textiles are the exception here; tired old clothes and linens can be bailed and sold in bulk to be recycled. Put all unworthy textiles in a separate bag and mark it as rags.

Hoarding Stuff From The Seventies
Another complaint from Rachel, the manager, is that people hold onto things for too long. Sure outdated things sometimes come back into popularity but her wish is that people would share so things have a better chance of having a second life with a new owner. A good rule of thumb is that if you have not used or worn it in the past few years, it might be time to get rid of it.

Sneaky Midnight Drop Off’sThis one is my pet peeves. The last time I visited the Salvation Army it was pouring rain and there was an employee picking up a bag of soaking wet clothing someone had left behind during off hours, otherwise known as hours they do not accept donations. Do you think they took the time to dry this stuff out to save it for resale? Probably not, it probably went to dumpster along with that 30 year old toaster. If you’re in a jam and have to get rid of stuff during off hours, search out a donation box – conveniently located in at least one parking lot somewhere in your town. To find a location click here.
Now go get your donate on – properly :)
visit for more…

Use An Ashtray (Feb. 2016)

February 1, 2016

Use An Ashtray

Nothing goes better with fishing (or most lakeside activities) than beer and smokes, but just as smoking is bad for us, butt’s are bad for the water – makes sense right? You wouldn’t drink a beer after it had a butt in it, so why would we want our fish swimming around in it. It isn’t just butt’s being thrown directly into the lakes either, it is littering butt’s anywhere. In the city streets they make their way into the storm water that in most cases is untreated and heads right back to the lake. Same idea in the country only they travel with the water in the ditch. Use an ashtray in your car, your fish hut, your dock, and your pocket if needed- and don’t blame anybody else when there is not an ashtray, it is still your garbage. 1 cigarette butt contaminates 1 litre of water!

Most of us live here because of the lakes, people cottage here because of the lakes, people plan trips here because of the lakes, and they eat at our local restaurants and use our local services because of the lakes. Our quality of life here in Kawartha Lakes depends on healthy, swimable, drinkable water bodies. 

Let us give back to the lakes- they give so much to us!

Article submitted by Julia Taylor – environmental author and Kawartha Lakes based blogger of 

The stunning local images in this post were taken by Jerry Holder- @coolhandjer follow him on twitter to check out his other breathtaking photos!

Household battery collection pilot launches in Kawartha Lakes (Feb. 2016)

February 1, 2016

downloadJoining more than 50 municipalities across the Province, Kawartha Lakes will launch a curbside household battery collection pilot program this September.

“This is great news for our residents, our community and our environment,” said Manager of Environmental Services, David Kerr. “Batteries contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium, and anything we can do to help keep these metals out of our landfills and from being dispersed into the environment is a good thing.”

City officials are estimating the initial curbside pick-up could result in as much as 8,000 .lbs of batteries being collected.

Later this spring and summer, residents across the municipality will be receiving a clear, specially-marked bag to place their old batteries into and leave them with their curbside paper recycling for pickup during a special collection day in September.

The batteries that will be accepted include:

  • Standard A, AA, AAA, C, D batteries (both alkaline and “heavy duty”)
  • 6-volt (often used in lantern batteries)
  • 9-volt batteries (often used in smoke alarms)
  • Button cells (typically used in watches, toys, electronics, greeting cards, calculators)
  • Rechargeable battery packs – NiCad, NiMH, or Lithium Ion (typically used in laptop computers, cellular phones, power tools, etc.)

“There is no limit to how many batteries residents can put out, so we are strongly encouraging everyone to store any used household batteries they have between now and September, so that they may be included in the free pick-up,” said Heather Dzurko, Waste Management Operations Supervisor.

“The more we can keep out of our landfills, the more capacity we create and the better for the environment,” added Mr. Kerr. “With the community’s support we know this will be a great initiative.”

If the pilot proves successful, the City will look at expanding the program to two curb side collection dates (spring and fall) in subsequent years.

More details about the program will be announced as the September date is confirmed for the collection.

Being Green in Winter? Yes You Can! (Jan. 2016)

January 18, 2016

WinterWiseOwl_EnglishDark Sky at Night
Artificial night lighting doesn’t just spoil star shows; it can confuse nocturnal animals and waste energy. The International Dark-Sky Association offers these tips for reducing light pollution around your home:

  • Choose the lowest possible wattage. A 40-watt incandescent bulb (or a nine- to 13-watt compact fluorescent lamp) is sufficient for most outdoor uses.
  • Add shielding that points the light downward for any source brighter than a 100-watt incandescent.
  • For security applications, use motion-sensor lights; they save energy and also draw attention to intruders.

Winter Weatherproofing
For an average home in a cold climate, reducing home energy usage by just 15 percent saves the equivalent of 500 pounds of coal a year. Even if your home is insulated, small cracks can add up to big losses. The following projects are not high-tech or expensive but can provide significant savings:

  • Hold a lit incense stick near doors and windows to find leaks, then caulk them.
  • Add a storm door.
  • Install weather stripping around doors and windows.
  • Seal patio doors with rubber compression strips and door insulator kits.
  • Seal entry points for TV, phone and water lines with expanding foam insulation.

This Grass Is Greener
The next time you’re shopping for products made from wood or plastic, consider bamboo instead. The fastest-growing woody plant on the planet, bamboo is not just for pandas and Asian cuisine anymore. First came bamboo flooring and furniture; now the versatile grass is turning up in clothing, computer monitors, surfboards, skis, and even biodegradable plates and utensils. As a construction material, bamboo is light and can be harvested without killing the plant. Most bamboo today comes from Chinese plantations, but scientists are experimenting with growing it commercially in the U.S. and Canada.

Smarter Seafood
Alaska salmon or Atlantic salmon? Skipjack tuna or bluefin tuna? Some seafood choices are more ocean-friendly than others, based on factors such as whether a species is abundant and whether it is fished or farmed in ways that harm other marine life. Check out tips from on how to eat fish responsibly.

Make the Call
Donating your old cell phone to a school, church or community group might seem like a winning deal all around: you unload a piece of junk, the charity raises funds and a landfill is spared. Right? Maybe not. Many charities get paid to collect phones for middlemen who refurbish them for developing countries that lack modern landfills or recycling facilities, so the refried phones will end up trashing the earth anyway. To make sure your old phone doesn’t end up as e-waste, return it to a retailer or manufacturer or donate it to a program with a no-landfill policy. And the next time you’re in the market for a phone, consider buying a “just like new” model.

Think Inside the Box
Annual carbon dioxide emissions that could be avoided if 97 percent of wine made to be consumed within a year was sold in boxes instead of bottles: about two million tons. Better yet- make your own wine and reuse your bottles!!!

Annual carbon dioxide emissions of 400,000 cars: about two million tons. (That’s right: the average passenger car emits about five tons of CO2 annually.)


Reduce Waste During the Holidays (Dec. 2015)

December 7, 2015

PWD photo-Christmas Tree Recycling

We put out a staggering amount of extra trash during the holidays, and not just wrapping paper and packaging. But we can cut down on all that waste.

With a little thought, you can reduce, reuse and recycle during the holidays to give the environment the precious gift of less while saving yourself time, money and stress.

Follow these tips to get started:

1. Throw a green holiday party

Get ideas from this 10 Simple Ways to Go Green at a House Party list.

2. Reduce food waste

Think of ways to use leftovers and scraps to save perfectly good food from ending up in the garbage.  Make your own stock from leftover bones and vegetables, save leftovers for easy and delicious meals and compost what you can if you are set up for it (or take the time to start!).

3. Send eCards or recycled-content cards

Recycle paper cards and send electronic holiday cards to reduce paper waste.

4. Give the gift of togetherness: No-waste gift ideas

Sometimes the most cherished gifts we can give are our time, love and energy. consider making a charitable donation in someone else’s name. Or, give an experience or an event to remember, such as:

  • Candlelit dinner
  • Tickets to a concert sporting event
  • Passes to a favorite park
  • Gift certificates to dinner, for a massage or day at the spa
  • Membership to a museum or zoo
  • Make a coupon or gift certificate that offers your time to walk a pet, babysit or help with extra chores

Giving the gift of an experience is a great option for children who want to give family gifts but don’t have the money or a way to buy them. Let children know that homemade gifts and gifts of their time are more valuable to you.

5. Take reusable cloth bags on shopping trips

Thousands of bags end up in our landfills during the holidays. Reduce the number of bags by bringing reusable shopping bags for holiday gift shopping. If you do use paper bags or plastic bags, recycle them when you no longer need them.

6. Give quality gifts

Durable products last longer and save money in the long run. Cheaper, less durable items wear out quickly and create more landfill waste.

7. Use earth-friendly gift wrapping alternatives, such as

  • Scarves, handkerchiefs and bandannas
  • Old posters and maps
  • Newspapers (the comic sections works great)
  • A present in a present.  Place gifts inside reusable containers like cookie tins, flower pots, and baskets or wrap gift in cloth napkins or kitchen towels.
  • Give a “treasure map” to find an unwrapped gift hidden elsewhere in the house
  • Wrap gifts in your children’s or your own artwork
  • Look through old magazines, catalogs and calendars to use attractive photos
  • Use re-useable or re-used gift bags
  • Replace ribbons and bows with natural evergreens, berries, dried flowers. Keep them as decorations or compost them after the gifts are unwrapped.
  • Wrapping paper made from recycled paper

8. Use rechargeable batteries

About 40 percent of all battery sales* occur during the holiday season. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.

9. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day

This saves energy and lights last longer.  Recycle unwanted or broken string lights.

10. Recycle your live Christmas tree

When the holiday season is over, recycle your holiday trees and wreaths.


Nature Captured at Local Photo Contest (Nov. 2015)

November 24, 2015

Last night (Monday November 23, 2015) the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society held it’s annual end-of-season pot-luck dinner and back for another year was the annual Photo Contest. Organizers nearly ran out of table space, as the photographers in the group entered wonderful examples of nature in all its glory. Congrats to the first place winners and to all who entered.  Here for your viewing pleasure – the winning photographs…

Heather LeCraw – T’is The Season

Heather LeCraw - Copyright 2015 - T'is The Season

Marilyn Britt – Along The Way

Marilyn Britt - Copyright 2015 - Along The Way


Robbie Preston – Out Of The Ordinary

Robbie Preston - Copyright 2015 - Out Of The Ordinary

Jane Clark – Signs Of Summer


Jane Clark - Copyright 2015 - Signs of Summer

Heather LeCraw – On Close Inspection

Heather LeCraw - Copyright 2015 - On Close Inspection


Janet Scott – Garden Guests

Janet Scott - Copyright 2015 - Garden Guests

Meetings will start again in March 2016. Visit for more information.