About Me

My name is Katherine Martinko and I live in a small town in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

I am a senior writer and editor at TreeHugger, a leading environmental news website with a large, dedicated following. I have worked there since 2013, exploring important current issues such as local food and agriculture, health, zero waste living, sustainable fashion, eco-tourism, parenting, and corporate responsibility.

Formerly, I worked for the Discovery Network’s Parentables website, and my writing has appeared in the Huffington Post (Germany), The Green Parent (UK), PopSugar, and Geez Magazine (Canada).

I am a graduate of the University of Toronto.

Feisty Red Hair is a personal blog that I created in 2012 as an attempt to find balance between motherhood and remaining connected to the outside world. It was an outlet for my creativity and love of writing.

It also turned out to be the best thing I could have done, because it led to the professional writing career that I now enjoy.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to visit TreeHugger. (Links in words)

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45 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Katherine ,

    I am hearing about Ontario for the first time, just now googled to find out where it is. You have portrayed your world very beautifully through this blog. Keep writing.

    Regards,
    Ammu

    1. Hi Ammu,
      Thank you very much! I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog. That’s what it’s meant for!
      The photos on your blog are stunning, by the way. I’d love to see more. Do you live in Shanghai?
      Katherine

  2. Hi Katherine, I found your blog through Apartment Therapy’s Homies 2012 and had to chuckle. We are using the same WordPress theme, both have red hair (mine’s very artificial and I ADORE yours!), and your posts could have been written by me…mum to 2, always trying to find time to write. It was great finding you. 🙂

    1. Hi Maureen, that’s too funny! It’s always a bit disconcerting to see the same theme being used by someone else! Your blog looks great. I have to say the Mediterranean sounds significantly more exotic than snowy Ontario right now 🙂

  3. I am nominating you for the “Sunshine Award” and the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. It pretty much means I like your blog! If you would like to accept the award and pass on your favourites then you can visit my blog for details. http://www.prytulka.wordpress.com
    Mary

    1. Why, thank you very much!!! What a lovely surprise when I logged on this morning! I’ll follow the rules on your site and post something later today. Thanks a lot, Mary!

    1. you would have enjoyed my grandmother, she filled our old farm house basement with her can goods every year.

      David in Maine USA

      1. That sounds wonderful. It’s such a great way to have the fresh taste of summer throughout the whole winter, because homemade canned goods have an intensity of flavour that no store-bought counterpart can match.

  4. oooh I am so channeling my inner homemaker over the next two days (well, probably the next day and a half). Just found your blog and I am amazed at the time you find to post… must be because you’re so young!! I work full time and I am taking off the day to clean; we have Good Friday off so I’m sure I’ll be doing homemakery things then, too…

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear you found me and connected with my writing; that’s what it’s all about! Being at home full-time does make a big difference. I can’t imagine writing this much if I had to work outside the home. But, really, my writing is also a much-needed escape from the insanity of small kids and they’re pretty cooperative when “mommy needs to work”!

    1. Hello Mrmomman. I apologize for taking so long to respond to your lovely award nomination. I’m delighted and honoured, so please don’t think otherwise because I failed to acknowledge it before now! Thanks for reading and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. Cheers.

  5. Dear Katherine,

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello, and that I am honored to be on your blogroll. I love your focus on home, family, nature, and reading real books.

    Keep up the thoughtful writing,
    Amy

  6. Just stumbled upon this. Your description is very inspiring to people who are afraid that their carefully stitched plans get blown to pieces by unexpected events. Keep writing!

  7. Your writing is genuinely good, belly roll sarcastically humorous, and down right apt…so much so that I feel I’d be missing out if I did not follow…moving cursor to left corner of page NOW….

  8. I ran across your blog and I’m really excited to read more. I’m from a family of redheads with ancestry from Ireland and England. My hair has always been my best feature and always received compliments on my red hair. While I was in college many people asked me if I was from England because of my fair complexion and hair. Looking forward to reading your articles.

    1. Hello Marlene,
      Thanks for stopping by my blog. It’s always fun to connect with other redheads since it seems we’re few and far between! My ancestry is English-Swiss, not Irish as many people think, but maybe it’s mixed in there somewhere further back. Happy reading!
      Katherine

  9. Thanks for your comment on my first post… what a buzz you get from someone you don’t know liking something that you’ve written! This is my second day venturing into the Blogging world and it’s taking me a while to understand the etiquette of the whole thing. I love your writing style and shall continue to read your posts with interest! x

    1. I was wondering if your blog was new because after enjoying your first post so much, I went looking for another one to read and couldn’t seem to find any! Welcome to the blogging world, nonetheless. You’ll soon find it’s addictive.

  10. Hey Katherine,

    Thanks for your article on paper planners: http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/self/staying-organized-old-fashioned-paper-planner.html

    I got a bit annoyed at the “internet litter” comment some “Frank” dude left, but after typing out my reply to him found that I had to be Facebooked up to comment. So I didn’t! FWIW, here’s what I was going to write. (Feel free to delete this from here — I just wanted to lend you some moral support on the paper-use front! 🙂

    He’d woffled :
    #####
    Ridiculous. Electronic calendars are no more difficult, keep records forever, and writing
    in a book is no less disconnecting than typing. Phone calendars are no impractical. This
    article is Internet litter.
    #####

    And I was going to rant back:
    #####
    Now now, @Frank, reasonable minds may differ on these things, no?

    It’s impossible to say, for example, that electronic calendars keep records “forever”. Since they’ve only been around for a few decades, they don’t yet compare well at all with written records, some of which have been around for over a millennium. I already have “electronic” data that is well nigh unretrievable because it’s sitting on old Mac floppies, or in DAT tapes. In fact just this morning I tried to open some old Excel files, untouched for several years, only to find that the current version of Excel is simply unable to read them.

    Also, there is a growing amount of evidence to show that the action of writing does provide cognitive benefits whereas the flood of information one experiences when engaging with electronic systems — particularly internet-connected systems, which, let’s face it, most of them now are — can create cognitive issues. Nick Carr’s “The Shallows” is not the be-all and end-all of the argument — again *reasonable minds may differ* — but it is a well-argued position, and one that lends weight to Katherine’s position.

    Bottom line though, each to their own, eh? Katherine clearly knows how to use technology — she used electronic systems in the past, and she’s still blogging. But despite that, and trying at least a couple of approaches, she still decided paper worked best for her. Amanda sounds similar in her choice. And I’m inclining in the same direction (which is why I found my way to this article, and then down to this comment thread where I’m now smacking you on the head with your own arrogance), and that’s despite extensive experience with numerous Mac, Windows, Linux and OS-independent systems, including writing some of my own. Paper Just Works for some people. Not you, perhaps, but then it’s not all about you, is it?

    Your “comment” would perhaps have been easier to take had you made even a tiny attempt to give a more reasoned explanation as to why you disagree, instead of dribbling what was tantamount to a “Ya boo sucks, me no likey likey” grump. Bear that in mind and perhaps your future comments can avoid being what your recent one here was: in your own words, “internet litter”.
    #####

    Probably just as well I’m not Facebooked 🙂
    Thanks again for the article.
    Jonathan

    1. Thanks, Jonathan! I hadn’t seen Frank’s comment until you pointed it out and was surprised/amused by his intense opposition to my argument. I certainly appreciate the support from you, and am just happy to know that there are still people out there who also can appreciate handwriting on paper! Sometimes I feel like a dying breed…

  11. Hi Katherine,

    I recently discovered you via Treehugger. I love your writing style, topic choices and point of view. I am curious if you would be interested in reviewing my book Long Live Earth which was originally published by Scholastic in 1993 when I was living on a farm in NZ. I’ve recently released the 20th anniversary edition and would be happy to send a copy up to your and your boys (it’s a pre-k and up picture book illustrated with quilt squares).

    http://www.amazon.com/Long-Live-Earth-Meighan-Morrison/dp/0615899692
    http://www.meighanmorrison.com

    I hope to hear from you and look forward to following you now that I’ve found you!

    Appreciatively,
    Meighan

    1. Hi Meighan,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Sure, I’d love to read your book. I’ve actually been thinking about doing a round-up of good books for kids with a green theme, so it sounds as if yours would fit in well.
      I will email you my address separately. Thanks!

  12. Hello,

    I actually just ready your Treehugger article on non-toxic baby mattresses. I got a perscription for a mattress without added fire-retardent chemicals but I am finding that it is difficult to actually get one online! Each time I email a company they simply refer me to their organic mattresses which is irritating. I wondered if you came across any information during your research that could help me out? I am getting tired of getting replys back from people who I thought might help but really are trying to push their “organic” brands. I am reaching out to someone who has no stake in a particular brand. Please help me! Thank you!

  13. Hi!
    I love your work, and was wondering if you perhaps had an email I could send you some stuff about my company Ecoinventions product called the EcoWasher. A Detergent free, Chemical free laundry system! I would love to send you a free EcoWasher and if you love it like we do, perhaps you could write an article on it or review it! Ecoinventions is devoted to cultivating healthy people and environment just like you!

    Best Regards,
    Joey Davis

  14. Awesome! thanks for the opportunity! I emailed you the relevant information with a booklet attached, that should answer any question you may have!

  15. just read your article on cooking with oils. What about the lovely light avocado oil? try it sometime. There is even an organic Presidents Choice out there.

  16. Living with less plastic.
    After deciding that the main purpose of bread on my sub was to keep my hands clean, my Subway lunch routine turned to salad-
    Soon I discovered it was possible to opt out of the chopping – avoiding the huge plastic chopping bowl and chopping tools and all the washing needed.
    Some Subway ‘artists’ chopped so much I would up with relish if not soup!
    Less cutting of any food means more nutrition.
    Could it get better?
    Yes, plastic move over.
    Now I simply place my Corning ceramic bowl on the countertop and in about a minute I have a colorful and healthy salad.
    For the staff it’s the easiest meal of their day
    No cutting bread, no chopping, toasting.
    Some try to be neat and artistic – I say just throw and go.
    If a meat handler does the deed I’ll ask for a wardrobe change with the gloves- though bare hands would be ok with me.

    The food tastes better out of a real Bowl too.
    What’s more appetizing when eating out- the sound of silverware clanging on plates or the silence of plastic knives on styrofoam?

    Though our local Subways are well trained( same bowl boasts 1000 plus salads) some hide behind a policy of ‘our bowl or no bowl’
    And I just walk away and find another eatery
    I’ve even arrived without my bowl and had to hit a local goodwill or dollar store for another glass or stainless bowl to add to the collection.
    We byob at parties, potlucks, and social events where plastic is used and more and more of our friends are following suit
    We have a picnic basket with mugs, bowls, and flatware – sometimes extras for those who want to enjoy their food more!
    Keep up
    The good work I enjoyed your ‘ recycled’ story in treehugger today

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