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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

The no yard needed composting solution: Vermicomposting

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of composting?

Do you picture a spacious backyard with an outdoor composting bin situated far from the house? If so, I’m here to let you know that the “traditional” method of backyard composting isn’t the only way to compost!

What if someone else – or more precisely something else- could do most of the composting work for you?

Vermicomposting is a method of composting that involves worms! We know that earthworms are important components of soil health, so why not bring them indoors to work some of their magic on your food scraps? Soon enough, you’ll be left with an amazing fertilizer that can be used in your garden or on your houseplants.

Why composting matters

Before we get into the specifics on vermicomposting, here is a quick review of the benefits of composting.

Your food scraps are organic material that should readily decompose in the landfill, right? Wrong! In order for...

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Why Hockey Guys are helping fight Climate Change

Sometimes the effects of global warming can seem far away or unrelated to your personal life. However, this couldn’t be further than the truth! It is highly likely that wherever you live, you have already been affected by climate change – perhaps without even realizing it.

That unseasonably warm winter you’ve been enjoying? The frequent forest and bush fires? The prehistoric animals being discovered in the melting permafrost? These occurrences aren’t coincidences. They are a result of our changing climate.

Climate change is no longer a distant threat, and people are starting to take notice.

Saving Pond Hockey

Svante, a father of two who lives in Helsinki, Finland, is one of those people who have begun to see the impact that climate change has on his family’s everyday life. In his case, increasing temperatures have started to impact his ability to play ice hockey.

Ice hockey is the number one sport in Finland, and a beloved pastime for Svante and his...

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What are Greenbelts and how can they benefit us?

Urbanization has been around for thousands of years. While the earliest cities developed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, Northern China, and Mesoamerica, we now see that approximately 85 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

Naturally, as cities grow in size, they take up more space. As we have seen with the rise of suburbia in the 1950s, if left unchecked urban areas can end up sprawling endlessly!

Who wants to live in a city made up of endless concrete, buildings, and houses? Not many! That is one of the reasons why it’s important to have adequate green spaces within and surrounding cities. Contact with nature has shown to have a positive impact on human physical and mental health.

It is also important to ensure the survival and health of our wildlife by preserving their natural habitats and preventing cities from sprawling outwards and using land inefficiently.

One of the ways this can be achieved is through the use of greenbelts!

What is a...

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My Green Kitchen Renovation

It was back in 2006 when my husband A.J. and I began to have the big discussion, as many couples eventually do...should we renovate?

Our house was built in 1918 and had many benefits of an older home such as quality craftsmanship, durability and lovely old trees lining the street. However, it also had some of the downsides of older homes, including a kitchen that was separated from the dining room by a wall and a rather poorly done upgrade that was at least a few decades old.

So, we decided to dive into the project and do a renovation of the kitchen, including opening it up to the dining room and doing it as sustainably as possible! I was already teaching sustainability and working in the field, so I knew that I wanted to do something that reflected these values.

And we knew that we wanted to achieve a more functional space, as most of the cupboards and appliances were all clustered in one corner. The cupboards were from about the 1050s or perhaps earlier, and every time you opened...

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Can Flip Flop Sandals Go Green?

As we seek to find ways to live greener lives, it is time to look at the flip flop sandal. They are incredibly prevalent and as a result have a significant impact on the planet, especially when it comes to plastic pollution! But, there is some progress being made.

While sandals have been around for thousands of years and are thought to have originated as early as 1,500 B.C. in ancient Egypt, the popular flip flop sandal became widely recognized in the United States after World War II. American soldiers brought home the Japanese zori, a type of sandal which inspired the plastic flip flops we are familiar with today.

It is easy to understand why flip flops have become so widespread and beloved by women, men and kids. They are lightweight, inexpensive, often waterproof, and come in a variety of fun colours and designs. This makes them the perfect footwear for warm weather or a day at the beach! Most people have a pair or two in their closets.

These sandals may be a convenient and...

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Greening Homes and Investing in People with BUILD

There are some organizations that are particularly close to my heart because they creatively tackle issues of Sustainable Wellbeing on multiple fronts. BUILD Inc. is one of these examples. They work towards long-term poverty reduction through skill development and employment while also working on green housing initiatives. It is beautiful and brilliant!

BUILD Inc. is a social enterprise non-profit contractor and training program that is based in Manitoba. BUILD, which is an acronym for Building Urban Industries for Local Development, aims to improve the sustainability of Manitoba public housing units through water and insulation retrofits.

Some of the services provided by BUILD include:

  • Water saving retrofits
  • Drain water heat recovery (which consists of using the heat from your shower water to heat your hot water tank)
  • General plumbing work
  • Maintenance (including simple repairs such as patching up holes and repainting, as well as deep refreshes of units)
  • Cabinetry
  • Insulation
  • ...
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Dealing with the Denial of E-Waste

Are you in denial about the environmental impacts of your tech devices? Sure they are fun, and necessary, a lifeline in COVID lock-down, and a part of our day to day lives. So it perhaps is not all that surprising that we don’t like to pay attention to the environmental and social issues of the e-waste associated with our tech habits.

In this day and age, it has become almost impossible to live your life without producing electronic waste. For many of us, electronic devices play an important role in our everyday lives. Let’s face it…who can go a whole day without checking their phone or email, or snapping a photo?!

It’s not uncommon for every member of a household to have their own cellphone, laptop, camera, etc. On top of that, shared electronic devices such as televisions, DVD players, gaming consoles, printers, and more, are often found within one household. 

With all these electronic devices around, it is inevitable that we will contribute to the...

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How to be Sustainable and Fashionable!

I admit it. I like fashion, well I did before COVID lockdowns meant that I wear the same darn outfit for an entire week - OK, season, because there is nowhere to go!

Sure, clothing is an essential part of our everyday lives, but it is also a way of expressing ourselves and our values. The clothing you wear impacts the way you are perceived by others, and it can be creative and fun. But, how do we reconcile fashion or even just the necessary clothes that we wear when it comes to the impacts of the fashion industry?

The issues with fast fashion

Purchasing clothing items that align with your sustainability goals can be difficult due to the fact that the fast fashion industry is responsible for a large percentage of today’s clothing production.

Fast fashion clothing items are often made with cheap, synthetic materials, and poor construction. These types of clothing have a very limited lifespan, as they tend to get worn out and fall apart with use. Once sent to the landfill, these...

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The Sustainable Wellbeing of Hygge

Did you know there is a word that describes the feeling of coziness and contentment we experience when taking part in our favourite feel-good activities or indulging in the small comforts of life? The Danish word, “Hygge” (pronounced hue-ga) describes exactly that. Hygge can come in many shapes and forms, as it is any experience that you find comforting and enjoyable, and of course, it is not just experienced by the Danes and it is not only for cold winter climates!

Hygge has been recently adopted into the English language and is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”

By including the word hygge in our vocabulary, we are better able to recognize the feeling of hygge, and the activities that make us feel hygge. This can encourage us to make an effort to incorporate hygge into their lives, and foster Sustainable Wellbeing, which is the wellbeing that comes...

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Kids for Saving Earth: The Resource that Every Teacher Needs

When we think about the long-lasting impact of climate change, our concerns are often centred around future generations. This is because environmental issues such as climate change and ecological degradation have created uncertain futures for children around the globe.

While children are the least responsible for climate change, they will experience the greatest burden of its impact and will be saddled with the responsibility of finding a climate change solution. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals acknowledge that children are “critical agents of change and will find in the new goals a platform to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world.”

Kids for Saving Earth

Clinton Hill was a child who took environmental activism into his own hands. In the 1980s, Clinton started a club for kids which was dedicated to peaceful Earth-saving actions. This club was first started in his school, Sunny Hollow Elementary, located in New...

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