The Mindful Merchant

Shop – Eat – Live – Mindfully

The Big Reveal July 14, 2010


Ta-Dum!  The Mindful Merchant got a makeover!  What do you think?


Last summer my pal Chris handed me a birthday card. Inside were two words – start writing! He surprised me by setting up all the things I needed to start a blog; domain name, set up a site, accounts etc. Awesomely nice, isn’t he? This pushed me to stop talking about what I would like to do and actually try something new.


After geeking out, studying WordPress guides and blogging 101 books, I felt by mid-August I could give it a whirl. I wrote my first post, and nervously sent it out to a small group of friends and family. Thankfully, my peeps cheered me on with kind words and helpful feedback. I am grateful for their encouragement.


My computer/social media knowledge was…minimal. (o.k. – I am was technically challenged) The learning curve has been HUGE. I finally joined Facebook (told ya) and the magical world of Twitter. A shift in thinking about green, healthy, more earth-friendly living has grown into a fun hobby that I absolutely love. Now I have readers from different parts of the world – and they are not my relatives. Wow.  Through blogging, I have made new friends, met interesting/creative people and feel more connected to the Ottawa community.


Here we are a year later and it is time for a change. I have grown tired of the drab brown and green WordPress template. Thanks to Maria and Dawn at Sweet Blog designs for their creativity, computer tech-wizardry and “getting” my intentions and humour. I hope you like the new design – I do!


Thanks Chris for the inspiration and all the computer help over the year. Thank YOU for subscribing, joining the MM Facebook Page, sharing posts, the kind shout-outs, and taking the time to comment. I especially love the comments – so please keep ‘em coming. 


Here’s to another year making small changes for a healthier home and planet.  Cheers!



If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. 

                                                                                                                                       African Proverb





Earth Hour 2010 March 16, 2010

Filed under: Canada,climate change,environment,reduce energy,sustainable — MindfulMerchant @ 11:55 pm



Saturday March 27th marks the fourth annual Earth Hour.  The WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is asking residents and businesses to turn off non-essential lights and appliances for one hour 8:30 – 9:30pm local time.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the idea of The Sydney Herald Newspaper and the WWF. 2.2 million residents and businesses participated by turning off non-essential lights.  It is a symbolic movement to raise climate awareness and inspire people around the world to play a part in a sustainable future.

Since then other cities and countries have joined the event…and the movement is growing. WWF-Canada says this year exceeds the number of countries participating from 88 officially last year to 105 and counting.  Here in Ottawa, the Parliament Buildings lights will go out (nah, too easy a joke) along with other famous Canadian landmarks.

In 2008, the Toronto Star Newspaper reported that the city of Toronto dropped 900 megawatts during Earth Hour. Apparently, this amount of electricity is enough to power about 434,450 homes. The following year was even more of a success with a 920 megawatt reduction and roughly 10 million Canadians took part in the event. Expectations are high for better numbers this year.

Here is a cool link for more information about Earth Hour celebrations in your part of the world…and a little video for  inspiration.




Last year my family participated in Earth Hour when thirty-five of us gathered to celebrate a big birthday. We kicked off the hour by turning off the lights to sing Happy Birthday and kept them off. We lit other candles and kept a close eye on them. The kids thought it was fun running around with flashlights and making “woooo” scary sounds. Unfortunately, it caused a raucous with the men when we tried to turn off the TV. Turns out Earth Hour coincided with some NHL hockey game…blah blah. A disturbing vote took place in which the TV that night became an “essential” appliance. Although we unplugged everything we could and turned off all the lights…the living room glowed by the light of the screen. It is not a great green story…but it is a positive start.

Earth Hour is more than turning lights off for an hour. The hope is that people will feel a part of a global movement, and make small energy saving changes going forward. How about you?  Are you going to be part of Earth Hour 2010?   I could use some fun ideas.