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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

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Is precycling the answer?

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...

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Have you tried JOMO?

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.

Social media...

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Tool Lending Libraries

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...

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Passive Housing for Low Carbon Living

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...

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Why are children more vulnerable to environmental contaminants?

Why are children more vulnerable to environmental contaminants? It turns out that children are not just small adults, they have a number of behavioural and physical factors that actually put them at greater risk than adults to environmental contaminants.
 
This includes the fact that kids are still growing and developing. Their nervous systems, brains and reproductive systems continue to grow and develop into early adulthood and are more susceptible to damage from man-made chemicals.
 
They also have behaviours such as the foods and non-foods that they eat that put them at greater risk and other factors. Find out more in this episode!
 
  • “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”
  • Maria Montessori
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The one thing to green your decisions: The Precautionary Principle

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.

The...

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Climate Change Stories Rewritten

The Climate Illustrated project grabbed my attention on Instagram because they are doing something different than the other activists out there. First of all, they are using the platform to share stories. Stories from real people allowing us to glimpse into the richness and diversity of the human experience, and how that experience is being threatened by climate change.

 

 

The stories that they share are of real people and their concerns over environmental issues - how they overlap with climate justice, daily survival, and their deep connection to the natural world. It is an amazing way to glimpse snapshots of life around the world.

But more than that, the images that they are using to tell these stories are stunning and powerful at the same time. It goes far beyond the usual depiction of climate change issues with melting glaciers and threatened polar bears. Through illustrations, they depict scenes that could be snapshots of a life or a portrait of resistance.

This...

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Business done better: Triple Bottom Line Reporting

Traditionally, businesses have determined their success by measuring their bottom line, otherwise known as, “show me the money”! Sure, I get it, profits are easily measured, but we know that there is a lot more to a business than just the financials. What about the people, community, the environment and the company’s impact in all of these areas?

Why do we need more than one bottom line?

In the past decade we have started to see sustainability mentioned as a goal or purpose of many businesses, non-profits, and governments. As more and more people become aware of the environmental and social issues we are currently facing, demand for sustainable businesses is increasing. Conscious consumers want to give their business to companies that are mitigating their harmful effects and making positive contributions. And, it turns out that more and more people want to work for those types of companies too!

However, claiming to be sustainable means nothing if there is no way to...

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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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