I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I found my halibut on This Fish...

I noticed that there was a special on Halibut at Thrifty Foods so today I went down and bought some for our dinner.  As the person behind the seafood counter was wrapping the fish I noticed that she put an extra sticker on it.  It was a tracking number for a site called This Fish.  I had a general idea of the purpose of the site and was keen to check out what kind of details I would get about my fish.  I wrote the number down and after the kids went to bed I visited the site and entered my tracking number.  The amount of information I was able to learn about the fish was incredible.

I found out that my piece of fish came from a halibut caught off Northern Vancouver Island by fisherman Peter DeGreef, who is the skipper of Optimist #1.  When he is not fishing he lives in Sidney, BC.  The halibut was delivered fresh to Port Hardy on March 21, 2012 and processed by Pasco Seafood Enterprises Inc.  I also learned that the halibut was caught using a bottom longline with hooks.  In addition to this specific information I was able to expand several categories and  learn more about the life cycle of halibut, what bottom longline with hook fishing is, and more information about the processing company.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Urchin Bags: upcycling

I am fascinated by all of the cool ideas people have to take materials otherwise destined for the landfill and turn them into useful products.  It turns out that a growing number of people are upcycling, a term that I only heard for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  Rather than taking old items and breaking them down into materials of lesser value (downcycling) they are used to make products with a higher value.  Today I got a chance to purchase an upcycled product.

Almost a year has gone by since I first saw a friend's wallet that was made from recycled seat belts.  I had two thoughts at the time.  "Nice wallet!" and "What a great idea!".  It was only a few months after I had started writing this blog and I made a note, Urchin, in my phone to remind myself that it was something I would like to know more about.  As I was scrolling through my ideas a few weeks ago I came across my notation and decided that it was well past time to get on it.

I found the Urchin Bags website and was surprised to see the variety of products available for purchase.  I continued to the Etsy site and found many great styles of wallets, change purses, bags and more.  A couple of them even had the seat belt buckle for a closure.  I easily found a couple of items on the site that appealed to me, finally decided on one, and was looking at my shipping options when I realized that the maker of these unique products lives reasonably close to me.  I sent an email to Clare, the creator of Urchin Bags, and happily she agreed that I could pick up my bag in person and chat with her.