Dawn Green – Writer

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Never a dull moment



Credit: Wayne S. Grazio, Flickr

The moaning cries of, “Mum, Dad… I’m bored!” are rarely, if ever, uttered by kids in Whistler. Why is that, you ask? Well, it can be broken down to one word, F-U-N. For kids, Whistler is an ultimate playground, bursting with opportunities for nature play and sensory amusement.

One memorable way to spend a day in classic Whistler-style is to get the kids on bikes on the 40-kilometre Whistler Valley trail system that links all the neighbourhoods in town. The best way to experience the trail is to pack a picnic lunch and head off with no set plan, and be pleasantly surprised by what lies around the corner. Alta Lake sparkles in the sun and invites sand castle building contests at Rainbow Park and the ice cream cone at Whistler Creekside to top off the day is completely satisfying.

The Adventure Group (TAG) offers up a fantastic nature experience on their aerial tree course (aptly called The Treetop Adventure) that features a mind boggling 70 different obstacles from balance beams to rope swings. This is a natural team building adventure and a great experience to share with family.

And why not try out the art of ziplining while you’re in Whistler? Ziptrek’s Bear Tour involves zipping down five ziplines, all the while enjoying aerial vistas above Fitzsimmons Creek and laughing with your kids. And if you’re not quite ready for ziplining, there’s the Tree Trek Tour which takes you on a canopy walk over treetop bridges and suspended stairways in amongst the lush old-growth forest.

The Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre is also a must-see for families where interactive displays and guided tours tell the rich stories of the First Nations people of the region.

Even long after you’ve left town, be warned: a phrase that you are guaranteed to hear often and repeatedly from your kids will start off with, “Remember that time in Whistler when we…”


~This is an excerpt from an article published in The Province and the Vancouver Sun in August 2016

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The backcountry beckons

Photo creditTucker Sherman

Photo credit: Tucker Sherman, Flickr

I am at a loss for words. This is how I feel, faced with the daunting task of attempting to describe what lies before me, as I peer out from the top of Whistler Mountain into the vast backcountry of Fitzsimmons Valley and beyond. The backcountry has this effect on people. It’s almost mystic in its strength, enticing you to explore, yet keeping its secrets close to its heart.

And so I turn to an expert for help with unravelling its spell. Keith Reid, a professional mountain guide with Extremely Canadian Backcountry Adventures and a twenty-year veteran of the mountains, describes how its aloneness is so appealing.

“The terrain here is big, breathtaking and world-class,” he explains. “On a given day of backcountry skiing, we might traverse half a dozen glaciers and numerous high alpine peaks without crossing the path of another skier.”

Guided tours are recommended in this out-of-bounds play area— and for good reason— whether your passion is ski touring, ice climbing, heli-skiing or splitboarding. Local guiding companies, such as Whistler Alpine Guides and Extremely Canadian, can show you secret stashes of powder and most importantly, safety. The backcountry is also avalanche country and it’s reassuring to have safety experts by your side while you explore.

And what’s the best thing of all? That it’s possible to spend epic days in the backcountry then snuggle up warm and cozy in a chalet in Whistler each night.

“What differentiates the Whistler backcountry is the ability to get on a lift from the Village in the morning, backcountry ski all day, then ski back into the resort at the end of the day,” says Reid. “There is nowhere else in North America where you can access this level of terrain on a daily basis without a helicopter.”

The backcountry changes people, he adds, and maybe this is its secret, revealed.

“We introduce them to an environment which, for many, is a ski of a lifetime. Seldom does a day go by that we don’t see that twinkle in our guests’ eyes that says they have been to a magic place and accomplished something very special.”

Find out more at www.whistler.com/activities/backcountry/

By Dawn Green

~This article was published in The Vancouver Sun and The Province on 3 May 2016:


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Ocean pollution – the monster that never sleeps

This guest post comes courtesy of Andrew Dilevics of Divein.com and reminds us of the worldwide problem of ocean pollution and how changes to our everyday lifestyle can indeed make an impact:

The ocean is one of the largest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet. It provides over 70% of the oxygen we breathe and covers 72% of the world’s surface. Without the ocean we would not be here today, it’s that simple.

However, everyday our oceans are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans, which is causing untold devastation. Not only is pollution affecting marine life and habitats, it is also affecting man.

There are a number of ways in which we can help lower the amount of pollution entering our oceans and bring them back from the brink of disaster. Reducing your carbon footprint is a good start; you can do this by reducing the amount of energy you use in your household. Turn off the lights when you are not in the room and leave your car at home and ride a bike to work.

Avoid buying plastics; plastics are one of the biggest factors in the pollution of our oceans and once you have finished with your plastic products, their end destination is usually the ocean. Use reusable bags when going to the supermarket and reusable water bottles. If you have to buy plastic products then make sure you recycle them.

Help to take care of the beach. If you enjoy swimming, surfing or just relaxing on the sand, make sure that you clean up after yourself. If you see others littering try to encourage them to protect our oceans and its wildlife.

If you would like to learn more about the oceans and how pollution can affect mankind, then take a look at the fascinating infographic below, created by the team at divein.com


How ocean pollution affects humans How ocean pollution affects humans – Graphic by the team at DIVE.in

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Why ecological literacy is important for kids

I am delighted to feature another fabulous guest post from Ella Andrews – this one tells us how essential it is for our children to understand build a relationship with nature.

Why ecological literacy is important for kids3

Mother Nature is very important for our future. A major part of our future are our kids. We must teach them ecological literacy so as to make them learn how important it is to take care of the environment. Being introduced to nature from when they are little children will help develop in them a deep love and solicitude for their surrounding environment.

While young, kids explore and discover a lot of new things. We can help them expand their knowledge by showing them outdoor activities. The best way is if we have a garden on our property or take them to any of the nearest parks. Once we find a suitable place to play with our kids, we must do some preparations first. Playing outside may be dangerous so we have to do some efficient garden clearance first. Kids will be happy to see how plants smell and how the bees are alighting on them so take them on a trip in a garden that has lots of different flowers.

Once our kids see the beauty of nature, it is almost certain that they will turn into an adult who appreciates the small things and will take care of the natural world. Ecological literacy is important for our kids because if we lose nature, we will be lost too. Each living creature on the planet can’t survive without water and food and this is something that our kids must learn from childhood. Teaching them to take care and respect nature is maybe one of the most important lessons we have to teach them.

Planting some flowers will be very interesting to them, with this you can show them how to take care of something. After some time they will see the growth of their flowers and you will be surprised how satisfied they will be.

Another interesting thing for your kids will be for them to meet a gardener. A gardening professional will help you with not only the lawn care but also may help you with ecological education for your children.

Meeting with nature face-to-face, kids can see the different elements of our surrounding environment working together. Even doing some patio cleaning will show them how to take care of the world around them.

A good ecological literacy is something that is a must for every person in the world. As youngsters, we start understanding the importance of taking care of nature, and we can call ourselves decent people who know what is important for our health in the future. Many schools have classes that show the kids how to take care of nature. All the books and videos won’t educate kids on ecological literacy as much as looking at their parents doing some gardening outdoors and spending time playing in nature.


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Seven ways the Internet is changing our brain

During one of my many random internet searches where, after awhile, I forget what even prompted the search in the first place (sound familiar?), I came across this intriguing infographic.

It really sums up  our collective addiction to the Net and tells us how that addiction is actually changing our brains, and in some not so good ways.

Who reading this can relate to the first one, FOMO or Fear of Missing Out? Wow, that one strikes close to home and used to be a big issue for me, particularly with social media channels. Thankfully I have now managed to wean myself off of that unhelpful mindset and even take days off from checking social media, with positive results. I feel much more free and yet still enjoy my limited time on there, so luckily I have struck a good balance.

Good food for thought and perhaps a prompt to us all to enjoy the Net in moderation (just like with wine and chocolate). Sometimes it is good to simply turn off the screen, take a deep breath and head outdoors and notice the little things that matter in life.

Your Brain on the Internet
Source: OnlineCourseReport.com

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The Ultimate Guide for the Green Parent

The following is a guest post from Ella Andrews on green parenting – a topic that is near and true to my heart.

Thanks Ella!


Credit:  moralfibres.co.uk

Embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle and being a parent at the same time can seem like a tough task. Even the zealous green activist will find it challenging when it comes to the enormous piles of laundry and the infinite numbers of diapers that need to be changed on a daily basis. A little dedication and determination can take you a long way. Green parenting is a great way to help the planet, while raising a healthy and environmentally conscious child. The following basic green parenting ideas can get you started. Of course, these tips are not prescriptive and depend on your parenting style.

  1. Eco-friendly Diapers

If you decide to ditch the conventional disposable diapers, there are several green options for your changing table. The most obvious choice is cloth diapers. These solutions have come a long way since your grandma used them. You can wash them at home or at a local diapering service. Don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning diapers every day? Pick eco-friendly, disposable ones. These green diapers are made without fragrances, latex or chlorine. The Diapers Free movement is another alternative that might take some time and effort. You need to learn to recognize when your baby needs to “go” and take care of the business. The advantage of this method is early potty training.

  1. Wipes

Let’s talk about the other baby product that you use on a daily basis – the wipes. This is your best friend when it comes to efficiently and professionally cleaning the mess. Disposable wipes are filled with chemicals that are bad for both your child and the environment. Pick ones that contain only organic ingredients. To be completely sure that your wipes are safe, make them yourself. You will need a roll of heavy duty paper or cloths if you want reusable wipes, 1 ¾ cups of boiled water, 1 table spoon of pure aloe vera and the same amount of pure Witch Hazel, olive or almond oil, Liquid Castille soap. Fold the paper or cloth wipes in a container and pour the mixture.

  1. Toys and Baby Accessories

When selecting your child’s playthings, keep in mind that your baby likes to touch everything and put toys in their mouths. Your best bet is wooden and organic cloth items. Most plastic objects including the baby bottles contain Bisphenol-A, which is an artificial estrogen. Look for wooden toys with water base-stains or unfinished solid wood. As for the cloth items, get products made out of organic cotton and other natural fabrics.

  1. Cleaning Products

Cut the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, by choosing eco- friendly alternatives you can find on the market or in your kitchen cabinet. Make your own green cleaners by using nontoxic ingredients such as lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and borax. If you are not into homemade cleaners, you can find great organic alternatives on the market.

  1. General Green Tips
  • Reuse, reduce and recycle – borrow or buy gently used items you will need only for a short period like bouncers and cribs.
  • Recycle bottles, clothes and paper.
  • Green eating habits- breastfeeding and organic food are super healthy for your baby.


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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog.

Thanks everyone for having a look at my sporadic postings throughout the year on a variety of topics ranging from kids’ screen time to the plight of community newspapers.

Wishing you all much happiness for 2016 – the new year has 365 blank pages…what will you fill it with?

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.