One Romper, One Week

THIS IS A FASHION POST! AND A ZERO WASTE POST! The two can co-exist!

Normally, my blogs go live on Friday, but I’ve got a little bonus post for you this week. Because I did one of my fave low waste tricks last week.

If you asked me even 5 years ago if I thought a “romper” would be an integral item in my closet, I probably would have laughed. I bought this green number secondhand before my trip to Dubai in 2019, and I wear it all the time. The point of “One [insert item of clothing], One Week” is to explore the versatility in a single piece of clothing. This is one of my fave “low waste” tricks, and the best way I know how to renew my interest in my closet and remind myself that I don’t need to buy more clothes.

FURTHER READING & RESOURCES

[ARTICLE] “How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe” by Courtney Carver (Be More With Less)

[WEBSITE] For more statistics and information on the grotesque amount of waste generated by the fashion industry, I highly recommend Fashion Revolution.

[WEBSITE] Closer to home for me, Waste Free Edmonton has some info on fashion waste as well.

[VIDEO] I like Story of Stuff videos for quick refreshers on some of the larger waste issues in our modern world. This video specifically is about microfibres in our clothes.

[VIDEO] While this video speaks directly to Europe’s fashion waste, I have a feeling there are similar issues happening in Canada & the U.S.: “Textile Mountain: the Hidden Burden of our Fashion Waste

[PODCAST] If you love fashion first, but are still fresh faced in sustainability, check out this podcast: The Wardrobe Crisis. Scrolling through all of the past episodes, she has hosted some amazing guests! Here are all the episodes tagged: “fashion + waste

[PODCAST] The Sustaining Voices podcasts covers a lot of topics, but this episode – Trimming Back Fashion’s Waste Problem – is specific to tackling the problem of fashion waste in a circular manner.

[VIDEO] And just in general, to make me really cranky, here is a video from The Atlantic on “America’s Dopamine Fueled Shopping Addiction”. American’s buy 66 clothing garments per year, which is blowing my mind!

This is 40 – Documented

Like every other person on this planet born from March onward, I celebrated a very Covid Birthday in 2020! I never have grand plans for my birthday, but I did want to make a spectacle out of turning 40. Ha ha ha ha. The difference between the plan in my head and the reality on the ground was night and day, but y’all I had a great birthday.

And in true Lisa fashion, I made a mini book to document it.

(BIRTHDAY) LOGISTICS

Here are some tips that worked for me that might work for you!

  • Only invite people that I absolutely adore and who know each other
  • Be outside as much as possible!
  • Make everyone bring their own food! (this is a COVID thing that I would love to see become a regular thing)
  • Get reassurance from a pal that my idea made sense
  • Lower my expectations, then lower them farther

If you know me in person, from my blog, or from my social media, you won’t be surprised to hear that I have FEELINGS about my birthday. My past two birthdays were so hard, for so many reasons. I was ready for this one to be the same. But it wasn’t. A lot has changed over the past year. I’ve changed. And this birthday was wonderful. What a relief to my heart.

BOOK TALK

A collage of photos of Lisa in her craft room, the table covered in colourful papers and crafting tools.

I haven’t scrapbooked a full book like this in awhile, so it was nice to flex this muscle. This book is made up of all old stuff I have in my crafting stash. I had a blast searching through all the bins in my “scrapbook studio” (HA!), and selecting a bunch of fun items to include. It measures about 5” x 7”, which is my favourite size for mini books for two reasons. One, you can print 5×7 photos to fill entire pages, and two, because one 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper turns into four 5×7 papers! It’s just good math.

The cover is “mixed media” I guess. A combination of sprays, alcohol ink, embossing powders, and interfacing.

[photos]

For this page (below) I made a pocket using some embossed vellum. Inside are printouts of the kind messages – emails, texts, DMs – I received.

My go-to scrapbooking style is a combination between telling the story, great images, and fun embellishments. I use full pages of text to tell the story, or I write directly on the photos. The photo on the left (below) was planned so I could add some text once printed.

FURTHER READING

For more reading about the Elk Island Camping portion of this birthday, click here.

This is 38 – Birthday Post & Birthday Scrapbook by Lisa (Not Ladylike Blogspot)

This is 39 by Lisa (Not Ladylike Blogspot)

If you are looking for a TRULY GREAT local scrapbook store, I wholeheartedly recommend my pals over at Treasured Memories. I got 90% of the stuff you see here from them. They are my forever fave.

My beautiful cake is from local baker Sugared & Spiced.

I encourage everyone who is traveling to national or provincial parks, to at the very least learn the names of the Indigenous folks who were pushed off that land in the name of “conservation” and “preservation of wildness” to create green tourist spaces for white settlers. This is my favourite website for learning: Native Land. Elk Island National Park is located on land traditionally occupied by the Nehiyaw-Askiy (Plains Cree), Niitsitpiis-stahkoii (Blackfoot), Michif Piyii (Metis), and is historically a gathering place for many other Indigenous Peoples.

Autumn Camping at Elk Island National Park

This will be our second year camping on this September weekend. I am hoping to make it a birthday tradition. Last year we spent more time hiking and canoeing. And this year the focus was on a birthday picnic!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The ducks flying in to Astotin Lake at the end of the day
  • Firelight conversations with Dan
  • Hanging out with my best friends
  • A fellow camper mistaking me for a park ranger

HOW WE CAMP

Dan & I are very basic campers, for the most part, especially if we are only going for 1-2 nights. Our camping box with the “kitchen” items was already ready to go. Plates, cutlery, matches, one pot and one cast iron skillet, coffee kit with kettle, etc…all the standards are in there. I built this before our last trip, and it worked really well. I keep it packed all the time now, and refresh any items just before we head out.

We borrowed a simple propane camp stove from a pal, filled a jug of city water, and Dan brings his own firestarter kit. Breakfasts are usually toast/bagels and eggs, and one dinner at least is mac & cheese with vegan sausage and green peppers.

Our tent is new from Canadian Tire. Our old tent was one of the items stolen from the van in July, and this new one was perfect. Aka it was in stock and under $200! I did buy a new mattress pad before we left (to replace my stolen one), but borrowed Dan’s “new” sleeping bag (he used an older one he had held on to).

Camping gear can get expensive. A tent, one mattress pad and one sleeping bag alone cost over $500. But once you have those things, they will last for many years and many trips (in my experience…unless they get stolen 😉

If you want to get started camping, but don’t know how, or can’t afford the initial investment, I would love to hear from you. One of my “Big Ideas” is a camping gear library, so I am always looking for input and feedback.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Just because there is a fence, it doesn’t mean the animals aren’t wild. It should go without saying, but don’t get out of your vehicle and approach any animals you see in the park. And give them all a lot of space if you encounter them on the trail. There are bison, bears, deer and more in this space and they deserve our respect.

There are full washroom facilities at the Astotin Day Use area, and in the adjacent campground. The day use area includes a boat launch, playground, and an assortment of picnic tables and firepits. There is a lot of parking on site, and a few accessible stalls as well.

Camping reservations at all National Parks in Canada start in January. That is when I booked my tenting spot. As far as I know, there are no serviced sites in the Astotin campground, but I could be wrong. The Otentiks aren’t available this year, thanks to COVID precautions.

We find that the best animal viewing times are dusk and morning. Watching – and listening to – the ducks fly into the lake area at dusk was a huge highlight of the trip and is completely mind blowing.

There are a lot of hiking, biking and water crafting options in the Park, for every skill level. The canoe rental is currently closed, but you can bring your own non-motorized craft. We have only visited a few of the trails in the Park, and I can’t wait to explore more.

What else do you like to know before you head to an outdoors tourist spot?

TAKE ACTION

This is slightly adjacent to the post at hand, but I can’t write about camping in Alberta without writing about the current Alberta (UCP) government’s plan to delist and close many of our provincial parks, provincial recreation areas, and natural areas. I urge you to review the posts I’ve linked under “Further Reading” and then take action by:

  • writing to your MLA and the Minister of Parks (there is a tool here)
  • writing to your local newspaper
  • “adopting” a park or logging a visit via I Use Alberta Parks
  • talking to your friends and family about the future of Alberta Parks

I also encourage everyone who is traveling to national or provincial parks, to at the very least learn the names of the Indigenous folks who were pushed off that land in the name of “conservation” and “preservation of wildness” to create green tourist spaces for white settlers. This is my favourite website for that: Native Land.

FURTHER READING

Here are some of my past blogs about Elk Island Park. There are a lot of activities you can do within the Park, and it is a great option for folks in the city (Edmonton) to get out into nature without having to drive 200km.

Please familiarize yourself with any public park or day use space before going. Here is the official Parks Canada page for Elk Island National Park. On it you will find information about trail and road closures, park fees, etc.

And here are some sites that will help you learn about and then take action against the delisting and closure of Alberta parks.

I Use Alberta Parks

Defend Alberta Parks

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society – Northern Alberta

Defend Alberta Parks

In a previous post, I wrote about a recent camping trip, and included some links to help other Albertans take action against the privatization of public lands.

Around the same time I was writing this post, more and more information was coming out about how the initial story we had been told wasn’t the whole story. And Albertans were getting a shittier deal than we initially suspected!


CPAWS has been doing great work around this topic, and I encourage you to explore their site. They have created a “to-do” list to take action, including a great email template for easy sending to Alberta’s Minister of the Environment and Parks. You can find that list and template here. I took that template and made some adjustments this morning. Took me maybe 15 minutes all-in. And I didn’t have to look up any email address!


This is what I wrote:

Dear Minister Nixon,
I do not support the removal of the provincial parks, recreation areas and natural areas from Alberta’s parks system or any of the associated closures, sales or transfers of infrastructure at these areas to third party managers. Alberta’s parks should remain publicly managed, open, and protected under the Provincial Parks Act. I am deeply concerned over the fate of parks and conservation in Alberta and urge you to take immediate action.

It is crucial that parks remain open and protected from resource extraction. I know that our province is traditionally obsessed with the jobs created by that resource extraction, but parks also provide much needed jobs in tourism, outdoor guiding, rural communities and more.

The inherent value of these parks goes farther than any quick dollar you could make from their sale, providing clean water to our communities, and protecting our beautiful and diverse fish and wildlife habitats.

Albertans care about their parks. It seems as if everyone I know in the province right now is either coming home from a trip to a Park, or planning to take one in the next month. This is a gift our parents gave us, and one we can pass along to our children. My son is a teenager now, so making time to connect with him is rare. But we can always count on spending time in a park.

It is YOUR responsibility of Environment and Parks to PROTECT those things. Government protection and management of these spaces ensures their long-term survival, and allows all current and future Albertans to enjoy the benefits of tourism, outdoor recreation, and biodiversity.

Do not close, transfer the assets of, or delist Alberta’s parks and recreation areas.

BUT Y’ALL, THAT AIN’T ALL!

I also wrote to my MLA, the rep for Edmonton-Strathcona and former Premier Ms. Rachel Notley! Here’s how that email went:
Dear Ms. Notley,Thank you so much for standing up to defend our Alberta Parks. I have so many fond memories in our local parks from my childhood, and my son’s childhood. I shudder to imagine a day where those opportunities aren’t available to people. If anything, we should be making our parks and recreation areas MORE accessible, especially to marginalized communities. Or giving these spaces back to the Indigenous people and First Nations who still call this land home. It’s safe to say that I don’t always agree with the Alberta NDP on everything (it’s weird to be a left-of-the-lefties in this province!), but I am ALWAYS grateful for your voice and your opposition to the current government. Thank you and take care, a Ritchie Resident

FURTHER READING

I think I link to a Sprawl article every few posts or so, but TBH they just do great independent journalism! Check out this article by Melanee Thomas: “Albertans love our parks – so why close them?


I am 50/50 on most CBC reporting, but this article (also linked above) is terrrr-ific: “Documents reveal doubts on Alberta plans to close, deregulate parks“.


I’m still digging into the “Don’t Go Breaking My Parks” initiative started by the Alberta NDP, but at the very least I am going to sign up to get a sticker!


And finally, if you like reading reports, check out this link on the CPAWS site: “New Report Shows Parks and Protected Areas are Essential to Our Lives and Economies: Alberta Government Still Needs Convincing“.