Let's find ways to Flourish!
Forest bathing is a mental and physical wellbeing exercise that emerged in Japan in the 1980s, and is a tool of Forest Therapy. The Japanese name, shinrin-yoku, can be directly translated into the English words “forest” and “bath.” This exercise, as its name suggests, involves immersing yourself in nature and connecting to your surroundings through sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
Therapeutic effects of forest bathing
Forest bathing is not only a relaxing and peaceful activity to partake in, but it also has many therapeutic effects. Spending time in a forest can provide individuals with significant psychological and physiological improvements such as anxiety, stress relief, decreased blood pressure and heart rate, pain management, and improvements in certain mood disorders.
Additionally, scientific studies have identified that forest bathing may result in improved immune function. This increased immune response is thought to be caused by human...
Ubuntu is a term that originates from a Nguni Bantu language spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa. In its most simple form, ubuntu can be translated to the English word “humanity.” This translation, however, doesn’t do the term justice, as it can also be translated to the more complex expressions “I am because we are” and “humanity towards others.”
Ubuntu is more than a simple word or phrase. It also has philosophical associations, as Ubuntuism was accepted in Southern Africa in the 1980s and 1990s as a kind of humanist philosophy. In this context, Ubuntu means “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”
As you may be able to gather from the definitions and translations provided above, Ubuntu is about togetherness and sharing the burden of our actions and their impacts. Despite how it may feel at times, we are not alone in this world. Our existence is shared and our actions, whether they are positive or...
Celebrating a child’s birthday is an important marker of time and full of happy chaos! As much as we want to make these events special for the children that we love, the last thing we want to do is throw a party that leaves a legacy of waste. Of course, you love your child and want to protect their future, and throwing a green birthday party is a great way to start! It shows your child and their friends that you can celebrate as you live lighter on the earth.
Here I have rounded up some amazing ideas to get you started!
Think about a goal of Zero Waste and earth-friendly gifts and party favours. It can be unique and special to you and your child, and a really great way to leave a greener legacy for your child.
Let’s start with tackling Zero Waste
It doesn’t have to be any more difficult to host a party that has no waste. Once you are set up, it can be cheaper and easier than buying disposable dishes, cutlery, napkins, wrapping paper, decorations, etc. I purchased...
Composting is a method of waste diversion. As with anything related to sustainability, our main goal should be to decrease the amount of waste we produce. Therefore, composting should be the last step when dealing with waste management.
Composting is a way to safely dispose of food scraps and waste. Food scraps are the inedible portions of food such as peels, rinds, and husks. These are not to be confused with food waste, which are edible portions of food that are thrown away or allowed to go bad. For more information on food waste, check out this article on Decreasing Food Waste.
Why does composting matter?
Although one may assume that food scraps can readily decompose in the landfill due to the fact that they are organic material, this is unfortunately not the case. Organic material needs oxygen in order to properly decompose. When food scraps are sent to the landfill, they are anaerobically digested, resulting in the production of methane.
In relation to carbon dioxide, a...
Yes, we do love our pets! And as a dog owner, I am sure that you are responsible on your walks and pick up after your beloved buddy. But what about the impact of that doggie waste bag? Are we destined to be adding more plastic to the landfill as responsible dog owners?
No, not at all! There are great alternatives in the form of compostable doggie waste bags!
Just because petroleum-based bags are common, doesn’t mean they are the only option. Although we use dog waste bags in order to clean up after our dogs and leave the environment cleaner and safer, we can do this without adding more plastic to the environment.
Compostable doggie waste bags
An earth-friendly alternative to petroleum based doggie waste bags are bags that are compostable. While many products are labelled as “biodegradable,” this term can often be tricky, as most materials will eventually break down in the environment over time. A product may be biodegradable but that doesn’t mean...
The interests of future generations are often on our minds when we think about lasting environmental damage. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we actually followed through and held our governments to account when it comes to protecting natural resources for future generations? Well, this is what brave children are now demanding all around the world. And guess what? It is gaining traction!
Discussions surrounding environmental sustainability often mention the protection of resources, preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as environmental restoration. These goals ensure that not only present generations are provided for, but that future generations will be able to survive and thrive as well. This sentiment is expressed in the 1987 Brundtland Report which defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
The current climate change crisis...
What to do with stuff that we no longer need? Chances are, you’ve been in this position before and have had to decide on the best course of action when it comes to getting rid of things you no longer need. Although the answer may seem straightforward to some, there are pros and cons associated with almost every method of disposal.
For example, while throwing out an item is the easiest and fastest option, it is usually the worst option for the environment and wasteful if the item is still in good repair. On the other hand, donating your things allows them to be used by others, but there’s a chance they will be sent to the landfill anyways if they don’t end up selling. Perhaps there is another alternative…
Freecycle is a grassroots and 100% non-profit network of people who are looking to give and receive stuff for free in their area. This movement works to ensure that good-quality and fully functioning items stay out of the landfill and service...
Ordering take-out is a nice treat every now and then. Whether you are craving sushi from your favourite restaurant, wanting to support local businesses, or simply don’t feel like cooking, ordering take-out can make your meal just a little more exciting. Additionally, ordering food to go is a great way to support your favourite restaurants while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite how much you enjoy the food you order; do you ever feel guilty about the plastic or Styrofoam containers your food comes in?
Environmental dangers of plastics and Styrofoam
Plastics, especially single-use plastics, have a significant impact on our environment. Many plastics cannot be reused or recycled, therefore ending up in landfills, waterways, and habitats. These plastics are unable to decompose and can only break down into microplastics through the process of weathering and sun exposure. These tiny pieces of plastic can be harmful to wildlife and humans, as they end up in their...
There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our lives. With the worrying rates of infection, mask requirements, social distancing measures, at-home offices, and the many more changes that we have had to make in our daily lives, it is not surprising to hear people wishing for things to get back to “normal.” After all, life during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be quite difficult - despite being able to wear pajama pants during your Zoom conference calls! However, the pandemic has brought to the forefront the serious issues of racial injustice that we have in our systems.
While many people may have this thought of wanting to return to some sense of normalcy, it is important to realize that returning to the ways things were is really not what we want, considering the environmental crisis and social inequalities that are a part of our “before”. Instead of only focusing solely on rebuilding the economy, we must strive for a...
It is not uncommon to feel like your job takes up a disproportionate amount of your time, energy, and thoughts. After all, many people work 40 hours a week - or more! In addition to the required amount of time you spend at your job, many workplaces have an expectation that you will work unpaid overtime hours in order to show your dedication to your job and be perceived as a go-getter.
This means that you may find yourself showing up to work early, leaving work late, or spending time outside of work answering emails or trying to get ahead on your workload. Although it is important to recognize that work is an important part of your life for practical or personal reasons, there is such a thing as too much work! You need time outside of work to spend on hobbies, family, friends, and your health for your personal wellbeing.
The 4-day work week
One solution to employee work-life imbalances is the 4-day work week! Although this may sound too good to be true, many employers and business...