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Sustainability is often defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations. Typically, sustainability is made up of three pillars: social, environmental, and economic. In other words, sustainability takes into account people, the planet, and profit.
The environmental pillar tends to get a lot of attention when it comes to discussions surrounding sustainability. While this topic is undoubtedly important, it is useful to look at the economic side of things as well! Let’s take a closer look at the economic pillar of sustainability.
Issues with the current linear economy
We are currently operating in a linear economy. That means that consumption follows a linear process referred to as the ‘take-make-waste’ approach.
Take – When there is a high demand for consumer products, supplies such as non-renewable and natural resources get depleted at an alarming rate in order to keep up with...
Science lovers are everywhere! You don’t need a degree in science to know that you love learning, looking at data, and contributing to our collective knowledge about the natural world. Whether your interest in science stems from your desire to know more about the world around you, the intellectual challenges it provides, or educating the children around you, there are ways that you can be a part of scientific research!
It is not uncommon for individuals to believe that there is no space for ordinary citizens when it comes to scientific research. This is not the case! The truth is that you -don’t- have to have a PhD in order to participate in scientific research. Whether you are interested in learning about the ecosystem function of a specific species or the impacts of pollution on water bodies, there is a way that you can collaborate with scientists and researchers in order to gather important data and make a difference in the scientific community! Through citizen...
Ok, I know, most of us don’t really want to think about death and the logistics of what happens when someone dies, however, the reality is that there are numerous environmental issues with the way we handle funerals and burial. And, there are plenty of ways that we can do better! It turns out there is a growing green burial movement to help us out.
Death is a fact of life that is dealt with in many different ways across different cultures and religions. In Western society, funerals often include flowers, expensive caskets, often embalming of the deceased, cremations, cemetery plots, and more. These funeral elements are chosen in order to pay respect to the deceased, but it is also important to consider whether these elements reflect the wishes and values of the deceased.
Not only do caskets, flowers, and other embellishments cost thousands of dollars, but they also have quite a significant negative impact on the environment. Traditional funerals aren’t green, but that...
We live in a fast paced, often tumultuous society in which we are confronted with new problems and stressors on a near daily basis. Whether it be challenges we face at work, conflicts with family or friends, or much larger scale issues like the climate crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel helpless.
It can be difficult to comprehend the effects these challenges have on us and our feelings. They can cause us to feel stressed, anxious and unfulfilled in our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones and our surroundings. It is understandable that we are often left thinking “What I am missing? There must be something more.”
The wellbeing model integrates multiple aspects of our lives, promoting a more holistic approach to leading a fulfilling life. As opposed to being a state of mind or a response to stimuli, wellbeing is a much broader concept of what it means to flourish, and what is necessary to allow us to do so.
Wellbeing has value in itself...
“Right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.” – Anthony de Mello
At one point or another, we have all experienced a feeling of contentment and gratitude for the small comforts in our lives. This warm and fuzzy feeling can be described by the Danish word “Hygge.”
After much publicity around the word, hygge has been recently adopted into the English language. It is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Although there is no direct English translation, the concept and feeling of hygge is a useful lesson that we can learn to foster.
Being able to assign a word to this feeling can help us appreciate, take notice of, and make an effort to incorporate more hygge into our lives!
The word hygge has been a part of Danish culture since the 19th century when it first appeared in writing. Hygge can be used as an adjective, a noun, and a...
We all have a vague understanding that consumer culture is linked to environmental degradation and climate change, but how do we get around this, especially when we live in the real world, with birthdays, and Christmas, social pressures to shop and often a lack of easy to access eco-friendly alternatives.
I like to do a little time traveling before purchasing anything.
Well, there are a few basics to consider, I like to do a little time traveling before purchasing anything. Instead of just thinking about price and value, think about where that good came from AND where it will end up when you are finished with it. That can put the "sale" item into a much more realistic light of its true cost.
But, what exactly are the issues associated with consumer goods?
Over-Consumption of Material Goods and Throw-Away Culture
Consumer goods are products that are found on store shelves and bought for consumption by the average consumer. Consumer goods can be anything from food,...
Environmental justice is a social movement that acknowledges the disproportionate burden of environmental damage, loss of land, poor living and working conditions and risk placed on people of colour, the global south, low-income countries, Indigenous peoples around the world, and marginalized groups.
The modern environmental justice movement emerged in the United States in the early 1980s, and calls for the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens across all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status and seeks to address environmental discrimination.
Environmental justice will be achieved when everyone can enjoy equal degrees of protection from environmental and health hazards as well as access to meaningful involvement in the environmental decision-making process. Environmental issues must be discussed within the context of racism.
Environmental discrimination and racism affect predominantly Black and Indigenous communities across North America. The U.S....
I see a lot of people - especially professional women, mid-career with plenty to manage at home and at work, just really struggling. And I have been there too - heck, every other week! When I was wrestling with the stress of life back at work after my second go with cancer my counselor asked me if I meditated. I said, "No, I have tried, but I either hyperventilate or can't really clear my mind."
She suggested I try one of the Apps for meditation and I did. I use Headspace every day now, and it has fundamentally changed my life. No, it is not all better all at once, it is not a panacea, but I am more at ease - more content. And what could be better than that? Like Dan Harris' book about his journey to meditation, I am definitely "10% Happier".
Incorporating practices into your life that encourage the development of your mind-body connection can result in significant mental and physical health benefits.
Tuning into your body and emotions can be achieved through practices such as...
Don't get me wrong, I love well-integrated initiatives that create lasting change, but what I see ALL THE TIME are people struggling with knowing what action to take - and that leads to inaction, or too many projects started and nothing finished. Without finishing and realizing the end goal, we deprive ourselves and the world of the benefits of these initiatives.
A time and a place
So, there is a time and a place for well-defined, small concise projects that realize their modest little goals - and get the win! These small wins are actually vital in realizing larger goals. They provide us with momentum, and a sense of accomplishment, individually and collectively. And they can be really useful as demonstration projects that set us up for success when it comes to larger projects.
I like to think of these small wins as being the base of the Action Pyramid. They are at the bottom because there are lots of them, they are easy to achieve, accessible, and they save money and even time and...
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