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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

Recycling goes beyond beverage containers - Mattress Recycling!

When it comes time to get a new mattress you are faced with not only the dilemma of choosing your new mattress, but also the question of how to dispose of your current one. In Canada, approximately 6 million mattresses are landfilled each year, and that is a LOT of waste!

The issue with landfilling mattresses

Mattresses are large items that take up a lot of space in landfills. While other garbage is compacted, the way mattresses are formed makes them extremely difficult to compress and may even damage the equipment.

They also take decades to decompose within a landfill. And to make things worse, when mattresses finally do begin to decompose, they release toxic chemicals into the environment, effectively causing land and water pollution. With the number of mattresses being replaced throughout one’s lifetime, we are able to see how the accumulation of mattresses in landfills is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

What to do instead?

Well, reuse of a serviceable and...

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Eating for the planet

I love food and eating. Food fuels our bodies and is how the earth directly supports our existence, and yet we have corrupted this relationship in so many ways, harming the planet, animals and even our health in the process. In this episode, I get into the issues with our food and find the 4 big ways that we can eat better for the planet - and for our bodies.
 

Meals are how we fuel our bodies, but they are also important as time to gather as a family, to celebrate together. Meals signal feelings of home, family, identity, and culture. They are tied to place, the region, our history, and the generations of cooks and bakers who have come before us.
 
Eating locally means that you are sampling what grows in the area, as well as the cultural traditions, stories, legends, and meaning behind the food. Just think of paska bread, or the polish white borscht, or hummus, and so on. They all hold meaning.
 
We use food to mark holidays, celebrate together weddings and...
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Akashinga - Nature Protected by Women

African wildlife is at risk and in need of protection. Over the span of seven years, elephant populations in Africa have decreased by 30% across the continent, mainly due to poaching. Similarly, rhinos are targeted for their valuable horns. Who is protecting African wildlife and how?

Akashinga is Africa’s first armed, all-women anti-poaching unit which is changing the way the issue of poaching is addressed throughout the continent. Instead of combatting poachers with violence, Akashinga uses a community buy-in approach that focuses on educating communities about the economic benefits of preserving Africa’s wildlife.

Akashinga operates in Zimbabwe and relies on strong and powerful women to protect the environment and as a result, empower themselves and their communities.

How it all began

Akashinga was founded in 2017 by the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF). This foundation was created in 2009 by Damien Mander, an Iraq war veteran who served as a Naval...

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Creating Age-Friendly Communities

Aging is a life-long process that we should embrace and enjoy, not shy away from. However, this can be difficult to do when we live in cities which are designed in a way that tends to exclude the elderly population from being active, social, and properly included in society.

Because this is such a widespread issue, the term “age-friendly” has been developed in order to describe cities and communities that are inclusive of all ages. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an age friendly city includes policies, services, and structures related to the physical and social environment that support and enable elderly populations to age actively.

“The WHO defines active aging as being able to: live in security, enjoy good health, and continue to participate fully in society.”

This is achieved by making sure that public settings and services are accessible for varying levels of ability. It is no secret that urban areas are often designed with young and...

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What simple trick reduces air pollution and saves money? Idle-Free Zones

Most people are aware of the fact that vehicles have a negative impact on the environment through their use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, effectively contributing to global warming. However, what you might not know is that vehicles produce 12% more emissions when idling than they do while driving.

What exactly is idling? Idling is running your engine while your car isn’t moving. If you are a vehicle owner, then there is a good chance you have been guilty of this practice. After all, driving isn’t always an efficient method of transportation. You might often find yourself hitting every red light or getting stuck in traffic.

In fact, there are many reasons why drivers idle.

Why we idle vehicles

One of the main reasons why drivers idle has to do with weather conditions. If you live in a location that suffers from very cold winters or scorching hot summers, you’ll be familiar with the practice of...

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Getting around while being active equals: Active Transportation

Active transportation is any kind of human-powered form of travel! This includes walking, cycling, running, skiing, skating, skateboarding, canoeing, and more.

One of the most popular forms of active transportation is walking due to the fact that it is free and doesn’t require learning a new skill!

Active transportation is a great way to get your body moving and enjoy all the benefits that come with physical exercise. While we may not all have time to hit the gym or schedule in some structured exercise, using different forms of active transportation instead of taking a car or the bus can be just as beneficial health-wise!

Some of the benefits that come with regular physical activity include the release of endorphins, increased energy, improved quality of sleep, improved overall mood, and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and diabetes.

In addition, choosing active transportation is great for the environment, as less fossil fuels are used, less...

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Are there alternatives to disposable everyday items? Last Object

If you were to make an inventory of all the single use items you use on a regular basis, how many items would be on your list? (for a refresher on the impact of single use items, check out this blog post!)

If you were to categorize these single use items, would you find that many of them are personal hygiene/care products? If you answered yes, you’re not alone! These types of single use products can be some of the hardest ones to ditch.

If you are just starting out on your zero/low waste journey you might not even be aware that products like reusable cotton swabs exist. Who would have thought?! On the other hand, you might be finding it difficult to find a reusable personal care product that works for you and your needs. After all, what works best for your favourite low waste blogger may not be as great for you.

Whatever the case, investing in good-quality, sustainably produced, and long-lasting personal care products will help you with your journey towards greener living!

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A better way to do business: DIFF eyewear

When it comes to combining practicality with personal expression, glasses are one of those accessories that do both, but what about social impact? Can they accomplish all three? DIFF eyewear is trying to.

In the case of prescription glasses, not only are they necessary for your vision, but they are a fun way to spice up your look and express your personal style, and sunglasses are a fun way to add a little extra something to your outfit while staying safe in the sun.

Now, wouldn’t it be great to purchase your glasses from a company whose social mission is great as well? DIFF Eyewear is an eyewear brand with a high social accountability track record, that I thought you should know about. It is impressive what they are doing, and you know that I love to highlight social enterprises!

DIFF Eyewear

DIFF Eyewear was founded in 2014 and from the onset, had some ambitious social impact goals. All three co-founders, Zach Gordan, Chad Jernigan, and Chad Dime had already been working in...

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Creatives for a Sustainable Future

The title image of this article is from @climateillustrated Illustration by @emmamckhann, telling the story of 12 year old Yola, a youth member of the African Climate Alliance @africanclimatealliance.

Have you heard the saying you can’t spell earth without “art”? Artists and creatives have always helped to shape society by helping us to critically examine who we are and what we value. With environmental issues it is no different, creatives in the visual arts, performing arts, as well as writers, musicians and playwrights give us a new depth of understanding the various faces of topics like climate change, deforestation, ocean pollution, consumerism, loss of biodiversity and so on.

Art moves us

To me, there has always been something moving about the way creatives can bring light to an issue. They often do it in ways that go beyond words, right to my emotional connection to the issue. Or they bring someone’s personal story to me in a way that helps me see the...

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Saving our farmland and wilderness through Brownfield Redevelopment

Cities are constantly changing. New buildings get built, old ones get torn down, and land usage changes over time. You may, however, notice certain plots of land that are underutilized and quite frankly – a bit of an eye sore!

If you aren’t familiar with the term already, a brownfield is a commercial or industrial property that is vacant or underused due to past actions and uses that have caused environmental contamination.

Although there are often concerns about soil and groundwater safety due to the threat of contaminants such as hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum, or other substances, brownfield sites have the potential for redevelopment or other economic opportunities.

Benefits of redeveloping brownfields

Why should we care about redeveloping and revitalizing brownfields in our cities?

For one, brownfields are often located in prime areas of our towns and cities. Not only does this mean that they are unappealing to look at, therefore degrading the overall...

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