Category Archives: Blogs

Guide to Starting a Tool Library in an Apartment or Condo Building

Guide to starting a tool library in an apartment or condo building
The Idea Tree Consulting
December 10, 2014

Tool libraries are an increasingly popular form of collaborative consumption, a form of consumption where access and sharing is key, rather than individual ownership. Tools are a great candidate for this kind of sharing because you only need them once in a while and they have a long lifespan. Why should every individual in a neighbourhood or building have their own costly set of tools that they only use on rare occasions and take up limited space? Why not just have a communal set that people can sign out and use when they need them? It’s obvious why this trend is catching on; it just makes sense. Continue reading

A Quiet Neighbourhood

“Is it a quiet neighbourhood?” 
Stephanie Ferguson, Thinking Partner, The Idea Tree Consulting
November 18, 2014

This was the question posed to me recently by someone asking about my new home in Victoria. Not really thinking, I said politely that it I supposed it was, except for the children who play in the complex adjacent to ours, but that was alright as it was good they were playing outside.

Later that day I wondered, why is it a good thing to live in a quiet neighbourhood? Presumably the phrase as people mean it well refers to low crime and few cars going up and down the street. But if you were to look out onto a the street of a “quiet neighbourhood” presumably there would be nobody walking up or down the street, few if any children playing, or people having conversations with their neighbors, checking in on the community regisgarden, or reading a community noticeboard.

At our last place of residence, we were able to create a great deal of community between the 3 buildings that made up our apartment complex, known as St. Regis. Continue reading

Posting With Purpose

Posting with purpose: why you need a social media strategy
Stephanie Ferguson, Thinking Partner, The Idea Tree Consulting
November 12, 2014.

A social media strategy allows you to link the goals of your organization to the interactions you are creating with your social media channels. With every post, tweet, pin, or photo, you should be posting that content for a reason, not just because you like it, or because it’s remotely related to your subject of interest, or it’s what other organizations seem to be doing. Why? Because every bit of effort you put into your social media content should be advancing the goals of your organization, not just giving you a presence on a particular social media platform.

It pains me to see organizations (and businesses) simply treat their Facebook page or Twitter feed as a box that needs to be ticked: as long as they have an account and there’s some activity regularly, they can consider their social media job done. Understandably, resources are limited, time is tight and volunteers may be scarce, but social media is an incredibly powerful tool, and if you have a strategy, it’s easy to make that tool work for your organization and your cause.

Here is an example of some social media use that is good, but just not quite going far enough. Continue reading

Plastic on the Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Plastic on the beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
The Idea Tree Consulting
October 19, 2014

While we were on holiday in Tofino earlier this summer, we learned a lot about plastics in the ocean, and between bits of surfing and reading, we did some beach clean up, removing litter and plastic bits from beaches like this: P1080983  Continue reading

5 Reasons to get an outside review of your grant proposal before you submit

5 reasons to get an outside review of your grant proposal
The Idea Tree Consulting
September 2014

You spend hours putting together grant proposals for the funding that will make your work happen. It’s a crucial part of environmental work, and you’re competing for limited resources amongst many worthy causes. So to give your proposal the best possible chance of being awarded the funds you’re seeking, have someone who is familiar with the issues but has a fresh perspective have a look before you send it off. Here are 5 reasons why it’s a great idea; Continue reading

The Bigger Looming Truth about Loom Bands

The bigger looming truth about loom bands
Stephanie Ferguson, The Idea Tree Consulting
September 2014

The children that routinely play in the adjoined yards of the complex next door to our building sometimes are a bit, shall we say, vocal. It makes me look forward to the school year beginning again, almost on a daily basis. But my momentary annoyance is overshadowed by the fact that I’m glad kids are outdoors, running loom bandsaround, playing, getting exercise and – yes – sometimes screaming their heads off. Because they could be inside instead, playing with an unrecyclable and potentially toxic product like the Rainbow Loom, also known as loom bands.

Loom_bandsThis toy craze is everywhere now, with some parents looking on the bright side – the toy and the elastics are cheap, and it encourages kids to be crafty, putting down the technology for once.[1] I crafted when I was a kid too. My partner was practically raised in an art studio. And crafting sure as hell doesn’t exist because of little plastic bands. It happens because parents provide their children with the necessary materials and instructions. Loom bands as a solution to getting kids creative isn’t an excuse for another plastic toy, it’s just unimaginative. Continue reading