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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

Cradle to Cradle

The ‘Cradle to Cradle’ concept was coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough and is discussed in detail in their book ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ published in 2002.

In short, the Cradle to Cradle concept is a reinvigorated way of looking at our lifecycle model of products and waste creation as opposed to the Cradle to Grave model that is often used today.

Cradle to Cradle emphasizes the fact that we live on a planet with finite resources and in order to continue to be able to survive while protecting earth's ecosystems and biodiversity, we need to rethink the way we make things.

An important follow up to ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’, ‘The Upcycle’, published by both authors in 2013 outlines principles for sustainable design that must be integrated into the Cradle to Cradle model.

Rethinking our economy

Too often, we view the economy as a constructive framework that we must live...

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The simple way to enhance your life

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” - Henri Nouwen

The practice of gratitude has proven to have a substantial impact on the wellbeing and happiness of individuals who consistently express thankfulness for the things and people in their lives, no matter how big or small.

It is important to keep in mind that nobody’s life is perfect. We all experience negative emotions and difficult circumstances but being able to acknowledge the things you are grateful for is an important part in helping you overcome your struggles and feel content with your life.

In fact, one of the best ways to identify your gratitude is by visualizing your life without the positive events that you have experienced. By imagining the absence of these events, you will be able to develop an even stronger appreciation that they did in fact occur and are present in your life.

How you can express gratitude

In expressing gratitude, you will be able...

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The Natural Step for strategic sustainability

"If we think systematically, we will stop asking, How much is nature worth? We will know that we are a piece of nature ourselves." - Karl-Henrik Robèrt, The Natural Step Founder

Want strategic sustainability in your organization? Use The Natural Step method.

The Natural Step is a global network of non-profit organizations with a collective vision of a sustainable society and a mission to facilitate this transition.

With partners in 54 countries, The Natural Step International is striving to transition towards a fully sustainable global society by taking actions to support ecological, social, and economic sustainability. It is a science-based holistic approach that encourages work across disciplines to plan effectively.

The Natural Step was founded in Sweden in 1989 by scientist Karl-Henrik Robert. Robert outlined 4 system conditions for the sustainability of human activities on earth.

These 4 conditions are the basis for the Natural Step mission, which also consists of a...

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Green Investing and Banking 101

Something we tend to forget about when it comes to green living is our money. The money sitting in our bank accounts or investments may not seem to be a direct cause of greenhouse gas emissions, but the financial institutions we are associated with, as well as our financial investments really can have a large impact on the environment as well as social issues. For better or worse!

While there is no shortage of ways to actively lead an environmentally friendly life - opting for active transportation wherever possible, shopping local, being a part of the sharing economy, composting, zero-waste grocery stores - the list goes on and on. But what about the impact of your money - are your investments contributing to the very issues that have you worried for the future?

Getting Started with Green Investing

So, where do we get started? There are two basic considerations when delving into the issue of green investing. First, we can avoid polluting sectors and industries and second, we can...

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Getting the most out of your food choices

The natural world very directly impacts our physical, mental, and emotional health every single day, whether we realize it or not. And yet, it can be easy to forget about the deep connections we share with nature.

Sure, we know that clean air and clean water correlate directly with our health. But we rarely think deeper than that.

We also depend on trees, plants, and algae to produce the oxygen we breathe in and recycle the CO2 we breathe out. Carbon sinks such as wetlands and forests play an important role in mitigating the effects of pollution by drawing large amounts of carbon out of our atmosphere. 

Healthy water systems do so much more than provide us with clean water. They transport nutrients, mitigate flooding, support local biodiversity, and work to remove toxins and waste from our surroundings.

These ecosystem services are of vital importance in our day-to-day lives.

Our bodies and our environment

On a much smaller scale, our relationship with our environment is...

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One Year of Sustainable Wellbeing Activities

Sustainable wellbeing is the intersection of personal wellbeing with social and environmental sustainability. By pursuing sustainable wellbeing, we can feel good about ourselves while taking care of the planet and community we live in!

While finding sustainable wellbeing is our goal, it might seem easier said than done. You might find yourself wondering “what exactly does sustainable wellbeing look like?” or “what concrete steps can I take to achieve sustainable wellbeing?”

Well, there isn’t one path towards sustainable wellbeing. The truth is that sustainable wellbeing looks different for everyone. The steps you take to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing are likely to be determined by your own lifestyle, values, personality and more.

That being said, it certainly can be difficult to forge your own path at times. If you struggle with thinking of ways to achieve sustainable wellbeing, you’re not alone! Staying inspired...

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How to use soundscapes to be present

Sounds is interesting. It has the power to transport us to a calm and centred frame of mind or to stress us out. While a babbling brook might feel calming to our nervous system, traffic, the sounds of the urban environment, or noisy neighbours can stress us out. So what makes some sound pleasant and others stressful?

Is sound really just subjective and could we train ourselves to observe sound without judgment and simply use it as a tool to connect with ourselves?

When we find ourselves facing eco-anxiety, mindfulness is an excellent tool to help ourselves be more present, and gain perspective, but we often think about meditation or mindfulness as requiring a calm environment. However, in addition to basic breathwork, soundscapes are all around us all of the time and present an opportunity to tune in to our surroundings and practice mindfulness.

Once you are meditative, music will naturally be a part of your life. Everything is vibration – everything is sound.” -...
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Is sustainable wellbeing the answer to eco-overwhelm?

So many of us feel a deep desire to create change in the world, but it is often just such an enormous task that we can feel paralyzed with overwhelm. We can feel like we don't have the energy in our day to add something else and yet know that the world needs to shift to be more sustainable, to make real systemic change to deal with the climate crisis, species loss, and the plastic pollution crisis.
 
When we feel this way it means that we don't know where to begin, and when we do take action it might not feel right or like something that we can keep up for the long run. That's where Sustainable Wellbeing comes in. This is exactly the place where we need to focus on the benefits of finding actions that align with living well for the planet, for society and for our personal wellness.
 
That is the concept of Sustainable Wellbeing.
 
So, how do we get there?
 
Let’s first start with sustainability. The concept of sustainability can be vague.
 
When we...
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The secret to getting the most out of your time in nature

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.” – John Muir

Humans have been connected to nature since the dawn of time, but as our lifestyles continue to change and evolve, people are spending less time outdoors.

This means a feeling of a lost or broken connection between us and the natural world. We sometimes think of nature as being quite separate from us, and just - out there - in the woods or what we see while on vacation. but the reality is that nature is all around us all the time, and we interact directly with it, we are just not aware of these interactions.

Really, do you think about the sun's energy in that spaghetti sauce? Or did you consider the role of the bees in pollinating your apple? Probably not.

The same thing is often true of our time spent outdoors. We are often more aware of the need for sunscreen or insect repellent than we are of the intricate web of...

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Stop Chasing and Start Cultivating Happiness

Sometimes it seems like western culture is obsessed with happiness. Perhaps you know people who are almost like adrenaline junkies chasing their happiness. But I think a big part of the problem here is that we have a poor understanding of what happiness is and that leads us to pursue what is inherently fleeting.

So, if you really want those good feelings on a long-term basis, regardless of what life brings us, that is possible, but we need to revise the way that we define happiness.

It can be hard to know where to begin when we try to define happiness. With so many different definitions out there, and the highly personal aspects of the concept of being happy, defining the word happiness presents a unique challenge.

It is also important to understand the meaning of a few other terms within the context of happiness and greater overall wellness to better understand what we mean when we say we are happy, and what we are really seeking in our quest for overall wellbeing.

Happiness

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