Let's find ways to Flourish!
It is easy for new parents to feel a little overwhelmed and even scared at times when you consider all of the changes happening. Then to add on the concerns over environmental sustainability, and avoiding harmful toxins, what you should or shouldn't buy can be quite the maze!
I chatted with Kimberly McFerron, Pre and Post Natal Exercise and Education Specialist and she talked about her own experiences with navigating sustainability issues in pregnancy and with a newborn and comes up with plenty of great advice, everything from diaper pails to baby food. And all with the perspective that you don't need to do it all at once.
Focus on Essentials
Kimberly suggests that all you really need to do is focus on the fundaments of ensuring that women feel safe and supported during pregnancy and focus on the essentials of what a new baby needs, which is really their food, sleep and clean diapers.
So how does she accomplish this with an eye to living lighter on the earth? For...
"I have nothing to wear!" How often have we exclaimed this even though we have a closet stuffed full of clothes? Yet, it happens - so we might head out and purchase something new at a cheap price point, and there it is - the fast fashion habit! The problem is, it is causing huge harm to the environment, and perpetuates poor labour practices. But, not to worry, we have AK Bryan here to help us to break the fast fashion habit, with practical tips and great ideas!
As you are aware, the fashion industry has been ramping up the production of inexpensive and cheaply made fashion and it comes at a high cost - to the environment and to the poorly paid workers in the industry. The problem with excess production of cheaply made garments is that it is placing an enormous toll on the environment. Everything from the source textiles whether it is cotton or synthetics, and all the way along the production process there are resources used and carbon emitted, and waste generated.
Have you noticed that spending time in nature is a great way to enhance your physical and mental wellbeing? Well, you are not alone! There is a reason that gardening and walking outdoors and spending time in nature is such a lasting activity that people keep coming back to - and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are you growing a garden, perhaps for the first time? It turns out there are benefits to us beyond the joy of watching plants grow and reaping the harvest of our efforts. For starters gardening gives us enjoyable light physical activity and, the psychological benefits of gardening include reduced stress, increased happiness, and overall mood enhancement. To learn more about the benefits of gardening, click here!
Similarly, forest bathing - spending time immersing yourself in nature and connecting to the natural world, provides individuals with significant psychological and physiological improvements such as reduced anxiety, stress relief, decreased blood pressure and...
Cities can be great places to live, especially if you are looking to reduce your environmental impact, as higher-density cities use less land per person, encourage methods of active transportation such as walking or biking, and offer pro-environmental businesses and services like carshare and cupshare.
Despite these benefits, cities are often missing a crucial element: nature! One of the biggest differences between rural life and city living is that nature is less accessible and less visible in urban areas. However, this doesn’t have to be the case!
As we have become more aware about the important role that nature plays in the human experience, it has become more common to include green infrastructure in our cities!
Green infrastructure can be defined as the natural vegetative systems such as green spaces and trees in towns and cities that provide us with environmental, societal, and economic benefits.
Different types of green infrastructure and their benefits
Green spaces in...
While you are likely quite familiar with the phrase “reduce, reuse recycle,” have you ever heard of the term “precycling”? If not, precycling is the practice of reducing the amount of waste you produce by avoiding certain items, actions, and activities that result in the creation of waste in the first place. Brilliant right?
Precycling is essentially the step you take before resorting to recycling, reusing, or landfilling an item, as it occurs at the point of purchase. By avoiding purchasing single use or disposable items, you don’t have to worry about finding the most environmentally friendly way to deal with your waste! Additionally, precycling is a great way to get into the habit of buying earth-conscious items!
In order to apply the concept of precycling to your life, it is helpful to first assess the areas in your life where you tend to produce the most waste. Then, you will be able to brainstorm different ways to precycle, therefore reducing your...
These days, it might feel like your entire world is online. When you’re not using your laptop or phone for work, you may often find yourself browsing the internet or scrolling through your social media news feeds. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, dating apps, your favourite news website, or all of the above, there is a good chance you spend a decent-sized chunk of your day online.
Not only can this end up being a major waste of time, but you are actually consuming and internalizing this content whether you realize it or not! Have you ever noticed that you experience an influx of negative emotions after consuming certain types of online content? Perhaps you feel like your life isn’t as exciting as your favourite social media influencers’, your extracurricular activities aren’t interesting or “on trend,” or your achievements aren’t actually that impressive. Unfortunately, the list can go on and on.
When you hear the word “library” what do you think of? A building or room full of books, films, and magazines that you can rent or borrow? You’re not wrong…but that isn’t the only kind of library out there! Home and garden tool lending libraries are another increasingly common type of lending library. While formal tool lending libraries have been around since the 1970s, informal ones have been around for much longer. If you’ve ever borrowed a tool from a neighbour or lent one of yours out to a family member or friend, you’re already quite familiar with the concept of a tool lending library!
The only difference is that formal tool lending libraries are on a larger scale, likely contain a wider variety of tools, and are often run by a local government agency or non-profit organization.
How do tool lending libraries work?
Tool lending libraries generally offer annual memberships that may cost anywhere from 25 to 100 dollars, depending on the...
Buildings are an important piece of the sustainability puzzle, as residential and commercial buildings have significant environmental impact. For example, the United Nations Environment Program states that commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions annually. This means that we need to change not only the way we are currently living, but the structures in which we are living, working, and visiting as well.
While there are ways to make previously built buildings more sustainable through retrofits and energy efficient upgrades, it is also important to consider alternative ways of building in the first place, as new design techniques set precedents for a more sustainable future.
Passive House (also called Passivhaus in German) is a high-performance building standard that puts an emphasis on energy performance. Passive Houses consume up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than conventional...
What is the Precautionary Principle?
Life can be unpredictable and sometimes the decisions we make end up causing unintended consequences. This is especially the case when it comes to the natural environment and the implementation of new science, technologies, and activities. The unintended consequences of these activities can result in severe environmental harm.
That’s why it is important to take an anticipatory approach in order to mitigate and avoid environmental harm. With the multitude of environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, and biodiversity loss that we are currently facing, it is in our best interest to start taking this approach!
The Precautionary Principle is based on the idea that it is “better to be safe than sorry.” Opposed to a reactive approach which is concerned with resolving negative effects after they have already occurred; (think plastics polluting the ocean) the Precautionary Principle is preventative.