Turning Trash Into Puppy Love

Two local ladies are helping Ottawa’s pets in need by recycling and upcycling just about anything they can get their paws on.

Barbara Poulin and Melody Lachance run Empties for Paws – Barrhaven & Area, a not-for-profit group.

They turn appliances, textiles, empties (including wine box bladders!) into cash and supplies to help rescued cats and dogs.

The duo pick up, collect and sort broken Christmas lights, power cords, coffee makers, telephones and e-waste. 

They bring what they’ve collected to the scrap yard, where they are paid by the pound.

Local groups that benefit from the Barrhaven chapter of Empties for Paws include Adopt Me Cat Rescue, Safe Pet Ottawa, Pet Resource Bank and Vanier Street Cat Project.

The money helps the groups to get animals spayed or neutered, provide young kittens without their mothers with specialty food, assist seniors and low income pet owners with transportation to get to the vet and foster animals that need a home while their family members leave abusive situations.

The ladies have raised nearly 2,000$ since March 2015.

But it’s not all about the money.

Donations are another major factor in their achievements.

They pick up, collect and distribute donated carrying cases, cages, crates, beds, food, cat litter, litter boxes and toys.

These ladies are also crafty and creative. They upcycle gifted textiles, fabrics, towels and bedding; transforming them into animal beds, pads, toys and tuggs.

dog pulls
Upcycled tuggs and beds.

I love this program. Helping local pets in need through a recycling and upcycling program has my two thumbs up.

So don’t throw out those random cords or telephones that don’t work! Don’t stick your beer cans in the recycling!

They have another purpose to serve: helping animals in need.

If you have anything that could help Barb and Melody on their mission with Ottawa rescued cats and dogs, please send me a message or be in touch with them directly.

They can be reached via the Empties for Paws – Barrhaven and area Facebook page.

If you’re reading this and are no where near Ottawa but would like to help, place a call to your local animal shelters or pet rescue organizations.

Spring at the Market

Markets are wondrous places where sights, smells, tastes and noise blend to truly create its own unique breathe. No two are ever the same.

Night markets, food markets, street markets, underground markets, textile markets, dingy markets in sketchy neighbourhoods, Russian markets in Phnom Pehn, junk markets in Seoul: I love them all!

But most of all, I love farmer’s markets.

There’s just something beautiful about buying from the guy or gal that planted the seed, fermented the cheese, baked the baguette, collected the honey and spun the wool.

And now that spring is sort of finally here in Ottawa, it’s time to start going to the Ottawa Farmer’s Market! And I’m so excited.

(But, in order to maintain this excitement, I must not look out the window because it’s snowing. Again.)

I saw a post from the Ottawa Farmer’s Market yesterday and, despite today’s weather, it’s getting geared up for spring too.

I haven’t been able to go to their new location yet so I’m really anticipating my first trip out in 2015.

They’ve moved back to their old location at Landsdowne Park in late 2014 after spending a couple of years at Brewer Park. I must admit, I really enjoyed Brewer Park. It was surrounded by trees, picnic tables, play structures, available free parking and green space. I could have gone without the excessive amount of yellow jacket wasps but even they were attracted to the delicious treats.

But the return to Landsdowne Park sounds really promising too.

Landsdowne itself has undergone major changes and can now host a year around farmer’s market. And, as of May, the market will be open three days a week.

The Ottawa Farmer’s Market has always offered a great day out  so I can’t wait to see how it reinvents itself.

If the weather and the baby cooperate, I’ll be heading to check it out tomorrow morning.

Check it out: ottawafarmersmarket.ca/

Happy weekend,