Posted by: Noni | September 17, 2015

Saying goodbye to Summer

IMG_9736I’ve been fortunate to spend a good deal of time this summer tending to a lush garden just outside of Toronto in Oshawa. My aunt and uncle have lived there for over 53 years but still add new plants each season. The high temps during August were hard on these perennial hibiscus but with frequent watering, at one point up to 3 times a day, we managed to save them.

Lucky for southern Ontario it wasn’t too dry a summer. The western provinces were plagued, and still are, by raging fires and drought conditions. In Canada we all too often take water for granted. I was recently reminded of just how precious this non-renewable resource is when I attended a reception at the Toronto Exchange hosted by WINDS OF CHANGE.  (More about them in an upcoming post)

As I watered our tranquil sanctuary this morning I thought about how lucky we are to turn on a tap and have access to a seemingly unlimited supply of clean water. photo credit - alison richards Yesterday I was ordering a personal water filter for my trip to Peru and was considering the multitude of illnesses that many face each day by not having a reliable source of clean drinking water. I reflected on the poverty created by droughts in agricultural regions as I photographed the dew of late summer morning.

I’m asking that you take a moment each time you turn on a tap and give thanks for fresh water. Use it sparingly. Cherish our resources. We’re too often careless with a commodity that many millions are denied. Thanks to Rob Scott, co-founder of Winds of Change Canada, for sharing your expertise with families in Nicaragua while stimulating opportunities for growth by building windmills to pump ground water to surface.

I’m inspired by these types of programs and will be documenting sustainable communities in Peru where both locals and international activists are creating meaningful, impactful change.

Posted by: Noni | September 7, 2015

Searching for greener pastures… and greener lifestyle

In 2010 I returned to Canada after living abroad several years. I had visited many countries and witnessed firsthand how differently people lived in other parts of the world. One of the first things I noticed was how North Americans were over consuming and extremely wasteful.
Environmental Impacts of Consumption
“Calculations show that the planet has available 1.9 hectares of biologically productive land per person to supply resources and absorb wastes—yet the average person on Earth already uses 2.3 hectares worth. These “ecological footprints” range from the 9.7 hectares claimed by the average American to the 0.47 hectares used by the average Mozambican.” (World Watch Institute)
There’s no shortage of land, it’s strictly a distribution problem. On average Canadians discard 40% of their food.  As a filmmaker I used my journalist skills to dig for information. Paper waste carbon emissions toxic foodglobal warming… Understandably overwhelmed by the facts and statistics, I felt I had to do something.
I decided to create a program to bring awareness and to teach simple ways to reduce our impact both locally and globally. My interactive transmedia experience, 30ZeroZero (30 days, Zero Waste, Zero Impact) was a great success. I adjusted my habits and reduced my waste to minimal amounts while influencing others to do the same. But after 4 years of buying local, riding transit and re-purposing goods I felt it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more.
My dream is to live off-grid, build a tiny home and grow my own food, but where, when and how? I came up against so many obstacles. I realized that money was the root of problem. We live in a capitalistic society based on a failing monetary system.  Occupy Wall Street pointed that out, but did protesting  really change anything?  I aligned myself with scholars, scientists and activists to delve deeper, hoping to find simple solutions.
Stop Reset GoIngienous Designs and the Institute for Future Living inspired me to use my talents as a storyteller to document how change can, and will, make a difference.
On October 13th, 2015 my journey begins with a trek to ruins of an ancient civilization in Peru, Machu Picchu. After a personal retreat to acclimate (high altitude)I will begin documenting various new and established communities in South America that are striving to maintain sustainable practices. Permaculture, off-grid communities and shared resources in small hubs are models of future lifestyles required for preserving both our planet and humanity.
I’m asking for your help in producing this learning tool. I’m a minimalist whose proven I can work on a shoestring budget but there are costs that are stretching my savings too far. I humbly request that you consider sponsoring me for expenses like:
Communications – Phone & Internet connectivity
Camera Equipment – repairs to existing gear and additional items suitable for jungle and remote locations (charging batteries won’t always be possible)
Transportation – I travel green and will bus/hike/ride-share when possible
Medical – Vaccinations, insurance, medications and safety supplies
Crew – Guides, translators and when necessary extra camera and audio operators.
Post Production – editing, music, graphics, voice over and additional interviews with experts
Accommodations – While for the most part I will be living out of a backpack or participating within the communities I’m documenting, I may require a safe place to rest between locations.
Contingencies – When traveling abroad theirs always extra expenses that pop up. Whatever is left over will be used towards marketing and distribution of the film.
If you have resources, ideas, extra air-miles or anything you think may help me realize this project I’d love to hear from you! 

Thanks for your good intentions and well wishes.

Share or support this project 

There’s no doubt in my mind…. Canada is in dangerous hands.

Government Passes Anti-Constitutional Surveillance Law During Ottawa Shooting.

Posted by: Noni | October 6, 2014

Sheriff’s Office Re-Victimizes Rape Survivors


If you think there’s no such thing as rape culture, you need to read this.

Originally posted on The Belle Jar:

Trigger warning for rape

When Lori O’Brannon found a card in the mail from Clark County Sheriff’s office addressed to her 18 year old daughter Josie, she didn’t give it much thought. The card, a blue, standard post-card sized piece of cardboard, said that the evidence department had something to release to Josie. Lori figured that it was probably something innocent enough, left over from Josie’s wilder days when, as Lori put it, Josie had “been in trouble” a few times. So Lori called the number on the card, made an appointment, and drove Josie to pick up the “evidence.”

Neither of them could have predicted what was actually in the brown paper bag that the Sheriff’s office handed to her: a soiled grey shorts and a pair of women’s underwear. Both Josie and Lori recognized the articles immediately – they were what Josie had been wearing just over three years earlier, when she’d been…

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Posted by: Noni | August 27, 2014

Hand written letters from climate scient

Hand written letters from climate scientists – How they feel about #globalwarming

Posted by: Noni | August 25, 2014

We against They… The Battle Continues

I found this draft in my WordPress dashboard from January 2012. I don’t know why I never published it. It was finished, except perhaps a few tweaks for grammar and spelling, but for the most part complete. What I find most interesting is that it’s more relevant today than it was back then. We’ve come a long way, but our work is far from done.

January 31, 2012

When I think about being a westerner, I think about having certain freedoms. Having traveled to and lived in the east, specifically Muslim countries, I particularly appreciate that I was raised with a privilege that many women don’t have in other countries, freedom.

There’s a lot of hoopla lately about censorship of the internet, privacy acts and democratic rights to peacefully protest. I’ve been paying close attention not only to my corner of the Universe but to the world in general and I’m a bit disturbed by what’s going on. A general movement towards the erosion of our freedoms seems to be taking place.

I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t happening to me personally or if I hadn’t witnessed first hand some pretty weird shit. I know I just used a cuss word in my blog and I rarely do that (actually never) but I wanted to get your attention. I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a lot going on in the way of people-powered change this past year.

Political upheavals, mass occupations, record numbers of signatures on petitions and generous support of humanitarian causes have been front and center both in the mainstream media and our private social networks. I spend 2-3 times more reading and sharing information than I did last year. My social reach has increased and my Klout score has rapidly risen.

Why? Possibly because besides being fed-up, people are afraid. Shit’s going on and we don’t like it. (there I go again with the cussing) We want change. When we discover something that smells rotten, we share it with our friends, and they share it with their friends, and so on and so on.

I no longer think of myself as an individual; as a woman born in the west. I think of myself as part of a greater whole, part of the solution, part of the mass. My horizons have broadened and my connection to my fellow beings has strengthened. Through internet and on the street, I am joined in solidarity. I am no longer alone in my struggles for justice. My posse is behind me, we shout in unison at injustices.

The Big Boys have noticed that we’re stepping up and speaking out… and guess what? They’re starting to play even dirtier. Manipulating government, lobbying for stricter controls, arresting peaceful protesters, suing whistle-blowers, launching smear campaigns and producing anti-truth propaganda… They have deep pockets and will stop at nothing to protect their interests.

Who are THEY? The greedy corporations, corrupt politicians, CEO’s with carbon footprints big enough to stamp out us little guys. And they are doing just that… and they will continue to do so for as long as they can get away with it.

So what are WE supposed to do about it? How do we protect our rights, salvage our crumbling democracy and protect our precious wilderness and resources? We do exactly what we’re already doing. We stand up, speak out, sign petitions, write letters, sit-down (or sit-in) for those who can’t and blow whistles at those who violate us.

Who are We?

Well first off, what we’re NOT…

  • Radical Ideologists
  • Anarchists
  • Terrorists
  • Wing Nuts
  • Hippies or Homeless

We ARE citizens of the world. Global ambassadors of humanity and preservers of the planet. We are proud and strong. We are determined and steadfast. We are NOT giving up.


Posted by: Noni | August 12, 2014

Be of service

Be of service in these and all times of crisis. Collectively, we can make a difference. ~ Noni #SRG  #whatwouldyoudo

Posted by: Noni | August 11, 2014

Be the kind of person who…


Be the kind of person who significantly and  positivly impacts others ~ Noni

Radio Shack Fall Sale newspaper circular 1975 walkie-talkie CB Radio 8-track

We’ve all had people in our past who were instrumental in shaping our lives. A teacher, scout leader, neighbour, clergy… or in my case, my first real boss.  While most of my friends were working for a buck twenty five an hour at the skating rink or the ice cream parlor or flipping burgers, I was learning how to run a business, (Radio Shack) from top to bottom. And, I was getting paid $5 per hour. (Standard was less than $2/hr for most teens then)

It was a dream job for an over achiever like me. I played with CB radios, sold stereos, learned how to build electronic stuff, balanced the register and maintained the inventories. When a customer demanded to speak to the manager, we were to tell them that in his (Herman Gerrits) absence, we were his replacements. He handed me the keys and asked me to close on Friday night, do the bank deposit, and open again Saturday morning.  I think we got extra hours because Herman was pushing us towards excellence.

I never questioned my abilities because he never showed any doubt in them. He was matter of fact when he delegated duties.  I look back now and realize he had a lot of faith in us. I have taken those experiences and built a work ethic that has set me apart from others in my field.

Sadly Herman Gerrits passed away on Mothers Day  this year. I had lost contact with him over the years but thankfully had reconnected via Facebook.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to thank him and share with him my experiences over the 30+ years that had flown by since our days back at the Shack.

He will be missed, but in every project I do, there’s a little bit of Herman… the dedication, enthusiasm and confidence I have today is greatly due to his guidance and encouragement.

If you’re in a position to mentor or lead young people, give them the benefit of the doubt… expect greatness from them and challenge them to push past their comfort levels and have fun!  Herman always loved to have fun!

Posted by: Noni | August 7, 2014

The Last And First Temptation Of Israel

Originally posted on The Dish:

Palestinian Dina in difficulty opening her eyes

What is one to make of the fact that the deputy speaker of the Knesset has called for ethnic cleansing in Gaza?

He’s not an obscure blogger for the Times of Israel. He is a luminary of the Likud – a man who got 23 percent of the vote in a contest for the Likud Party leadership. He was appointed to his current high position by Benjamin Netanyahu. And this is his proposal for Gaza:

a) The IDF [Israeli army] shall designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined. The supply of electricity and water to the formerly populated areas will be disconnected.

b) The formerly populated areas will be shelled…

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Posted by: Noni | July 11, 2014

“I #StandWithJada #jadacounterpose – Br

“I #StandWithJada #jadacounterpose – Brave 16-year-old shares story after photos of drugged rape went viral.”

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