Ontario artist Annette Gaffney turns trash into treasures

For as long as she can remember, Annette Gaffney has felt the urge to create. “There are kids who pick fights with their brothers just to be sent to their room so they can draw for hours… That was me.” After high school, she worked as a legal assistant in Toronto by day and took art courses…

How a simple jar of pasta sauce sparked a revolution

Amy Harper, and her daughter, Frances. Bartering is nothing new. But in the summer of 2013, the quest for a simple jar of pasta sauce became the catalyst for BUNZ. The mega-popular trading app was started by Emily Frances Bitze, a college grad who struggled to make ends meet after moving from Montreal to Toronto….

How Ontario mom, Sue Jagt, lives and works off the grid

Georgian Bay Soapworks Sue Jagt is a true pioneer. When they were young, two of her three sons had minor skin conditions, so she took a course on how to make her own soap. By her own admission, the first few batches were terrible. But the Meaford, Ont., mom persevered and kept experimenting. When her…

How Ontario mom, Sue Jagt, lives and works off the grid

Sue Jagt is a true pioneer. When they were young, two of her three sons had minor skin conditions, so she took a course on how to make her own soap. By her own admission, the first few batches were terrible. But the Meaford, Ont., mom persevered and kept experimenting. When her youngest son was…

This Ontario mom is sparing our landfills—one dress at a time

Rent Frock Repeat was born in 2010 out of an all-too-common dilemma: having a function to attend and nothing to wear. The concept is simple — customers surf from a selection of designer dresses online then, having pre-registered their measurements, have the garment shipped straight to their door. They “rent” the dress, return it to RFR where,…

This summer, Toronto mom Hasina Lookman is turning city kids into farmers

After a 20-year career spent managing high-profile corporate projects and travelling the globe (visiting more than 45 countries, and living in eight), Hasina Lookman was ready for a change. She wanted the autonomy to do something she loved that would make a difference in the lives of others. But what? Her 10-year-old daughter, Mira, suggested…

How Emma Rohmann threw a kids’ birthday party that wasn’t garbage

Kid birthday parties are garbage — literally. One of the first things mom-of-two, Emma Rohmann, noticed about birthday parties attended by her six-year-old daughter was just how much waste they generated. The decorations, the food and serving dishes, even the loot bags. Early on, Emma — who was profiled by WFHP last year — realized she’d have to “shut [her] brain off” or…

Growing our own in the city

Even though it’s tons of work and likely won’t yield much, I am attempting to grow my first garden plot — in the city. Like most kids his age, my 9-year-old spends an inordinate amount of time glued to screens and not nearly enough time plugged into nature. As a family, we try to get outside as…

Weird and wonderful ways my family saves water

Water. It’s one of those resources you don’t even notice until you are suddenly without it. Then you can probably think of little else. At least that’s how I imagine it was for my friend Sarah, who lives in South Africa, during a recent drought. A reminder message. Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: S Rade Current…

How a bacon-loving family survived eating less meat

Veggie Delights One of my former colleagues — a yoga instructor and vegan blogger — leads an exemplary lifestyle. The few times we’ve met in person I found myself rambling on about how I’d go vegetarian in a heartbeat if my family would only get on board. And furthermore, how I had no intention of becoming a short-order cook….