By Sharilene Rowland
I must admit, as soon as I arrived home from the Green Living Show at the Direct Energy Centre on Saturday, April 26, I looked around my home with a whole new set of eyes. There were over 400 eco-conscious goods and services at the 8th annual Toronto Green Living Show to inspire, entertain and educate with easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable, healthy, organic lifestyle.
The organizers did an excellent job of ensuring that the show would be significant and enjoyable for all from young to old. We are never too young or too old to awaken to what each of us can do to protect our world and be proud to pass on to our children and their children.
Living green can be incorporated into every aspect of our lives and this show has it all: Green products, local food sources, organic wines, creative activities, swap zone, yoga, dance, fashion, beauty, home construction to solar energy and the newest plug-in electric and hybrid bikes and vehicles.
One of the first booths to catch my eye as I entered the show was The Urban Forest; it was bright and full of life, tree life that is. A small basket full of White Pine seedlings waiting to be taken home, planted, cared for and loved. White Pine is Ontario’s official tree. Properly cared for, it can grow to 150 feet over 100 years. Trees are essential to the earth’s survival and ours. One of the most valuable benefits is the fact that trees improve air quality by removing atmospheric carbon dioxide, absorbing air pollutants and producing oxygen.
Across from the Urban Forest was Ontario Wood, Forestry Innovation and Market Development Section. I had a very informative session with Joe E. Maure, who took the time to share with me facts on Ontario’s six primary tree species. On display were six solid wood ducks of each species of tree to help show their specific traits and differences: Red Oak, Cedar, Black Spruce, Black Walnut, White Pine, and Maple Sugar from which we get our pure maple syrup.
There were so many wonderful and amazing booths to speak of, but a few stuck out such as Sourced & Salvaged, a company that repurposes industrial and vintage items, and Eco Stems, an environmentally- and socially-sustainable flower shop. As it turns out, the founders/owners of each of these companies have been friends for many years and found a way to collaborate their pieces to create unique, recycled home and garden décor. Darius, the owner of Sourced & Salvaged, has opened his first location at 246 Gerrard Street East after years of doing sales only through flea markets such as Leslieville Flea.
Susan Austin, an entrepreneur full of positive energy, loves to help those of us with small spaces to still have beautiful gardens with her Minigarden module solutions. The modules come in different colours and in various levels and widths. For more info check out www.mini-garden.ca
Someone after my heart and taste buds was Shelby Kroach, nutritionist and founder of The Honest Leaf. To promote a healthy mind and body, Shelby created a variety of wellness teas and was offering samples at the show. Being a tea lover, I had to try one or two. Serene was delicate and comforting, while Fresh was an uplifting green tea with ginger and lemon grass.
The Green Living Show is full of innovation and possibilities and is definitely worth checking out with the entire family.