Let's find ways to Flourish!
If you’ve eaten locally grown produce, you’ll know that it tastes much more flavourful and fresher than anything that has been imported to the grocery store. This is due to the fact that local produce is not picked before it is ripe, it travels short distances, and many local farms forgo the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. How can you go about obtaining local produce? While farmer’s markets and growing your own fruits and vegetables are always an option, you may want to look into local farms that offer Community Supported Agriculture programs!
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a process that involves farms growing and distributing their healthy and nutritious produce, which is often organic, to members of the community. Community members are able to select a CSA farm of their choice and pay for a “share” at the beginning of the growing season. These funds go towards the equipment, materials, and...
Carpooling is a great way to get around, as long as you can do it in a manner that is safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carpooling allows you to reduce your environmental footprint while still getting exactly where you need to be in a time-efficient manner! This combination of characteristics can be difficult to find with other methods of transportation.
The trouble with transportation
There are many different ways to get from place to place. Some people may drive private vehicles, take public transportation, ride a bicycle, or walk in order to get where they need to be. While choosing public transportation, walking, or cycling can be a great way to save money and reduce your environmental impact by reducing your carbon emissions, there are bound to be times when it does not suit your needs. You may find that these methods of transportation can be somewhat unreliable when you need to travel to a destination that is out of the way, stick to a rigid timeline, or travel with another...
Do you know that feeling of losing time when you are immersed in technology? Or perhaps feeling a little groggy after too much time with screens? Sure, we all can fall into this trap. Many of us are using electronic devices and looking at various screens for large portions of our day. This may have increased due to working remotely, or just a habit that has crept into our modern lives.
Whether you find yourself scrolling through social media throughout the day, binge watching television, or sending off dozens of emails and texts, there is a good chance that you are letting electronics take up time that you could be spending on other things that you value more. While some forms of electronic use can be vital to your day for work or communications, it can be beneficial to take some time away from the digital world and regroup.
This can be done through a digital detox which entails setting boundaries regarding your electronic device usage or physically separating yourself from your...
What is so great about Green Buildings?
Green Buildings are rapidly increasing in popularity not only because of the imperative to reduce our ecological footprint and carbon emissions, but also because of the low-cost of maintaining these buildings and the extremely high satisfaction among occupants. Not to mention the often highly appealing aesthetics of these high performance buildings.
“Green” is a term that is applied to buildings which have been built and designed in a way that is resource-efficient and environmentally friendly. Green buildings have a reduced impact on the environment, a positive impact on occupant health, and cost less to maintain. As climate change is considered one of the biggest issues of our time, there is an urgent need to alter the way we are currently living. According to the United Nations Environment Program, commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions...
Sidewalks for social justice and environmental change
While sidewalks may seem like a mundane part of everyday life, they play an important role in our cities and suburbs and daily life. Whether you are walking to work, or to the bus, going to the mailbox, or going for a jog, a sidewalk provides you with a safe way to get where you need to go. Unfortunately, lack of sidewalks or poorly maintained sidewalks disproportionately impacts seniors, low-income and Black and Indigenous communities. The lack of a safe alternative to get around on foot has real consequences not just in our attempts to take action against climate change, but it is also a source of social inequity.
The history of sidewalks
Although sidewalks seem to be a staple part of the built environment, they haven’t been around forever! Before sidewalks were invented in the 19th century, pedestrians had to share the road with animals, carriages, wagons, and cars. As you can imagine, pedestrians were at risk of danger...
The secret of great cities
It is a simple secret to most of the world’s greatest, most livable cities. They all have fast, efficient and affordable public transportation systems. Why is public transportation so key to making a city great for living? It means that getting to where you need to go with public transportation is smooth, stress-free and far better than in an individual vehicle. This makes the road less clogged, even as populations grow, it reduces carbon emissions, and traffic accidents and promotes better air quality. It really can be a dream come true, but why are we still not sold on it in many countries?
The great equalizer
Getting around from place to place in an affordable manner is vital to everyone, and when transportation cost or availability is a barrier to low-income families taking preferred employment or getting to school, we have another form of social injustice at play. When a trip that takes just 20 minutes by car takes 2 hours by public transit and...
How to be an eco-friendly fashionista
I love fashion and accessorizing with great jewelry is a part of that - but I try hard to reduce my environmental footprint, so the use of metals and rare gems in jewelry and the plastics, metals and resins used in fashion jewelry just doesn’t fit the bill. But, I have found some great alternatives that you might like to consider when you want to accessorize. In addition to relying on what you already own, or dipping into vintage finds there are cool recycled jewelry on the market that also supports local makers.
Whether it is rings, earrings, body jewelry, necklaces, or bracelets, is often worn to express yourself, complete an outfit, or add some interest to your appearance. Your jewelry may even feel like an extension of yourself – something that you don’t leave the house without! This desire to decorate our bodies has been around for thousands of years. Jewelry, whether it is made from animal bones, shells, precious jewels,...
Photo credit: Until There's a Cure
Little Travellers are small hand-made dolls which have been crafted by women in Africa. These dolls are sold through Woza Moya, an income generation project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. The Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust was founded in South Africa in 1991 and is dedicated to saving lives and making a significant impact on the lives of those who are impacted by the HIV/AIDS crisis. There are many different approaches that are taken by the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in order to meet their objectives and fulfil their purpose. Woza Moya, which means “come winds of change” is an economic empowerment project that is just one of their initiatives.
Woza Moya provides training and support to local artists and crafters, 95% of which are women who happen to be the breadwinners of their families. Woza Moya markets the goods that are made by the crafters on an online platform as well as in traditional brick and mortar stores. Each...
Is there a way to add calm and happiness to our homes while improving our indoor air quality - you bet! Just add a few houseplants and you are on your way. Not only is keeping houseplants a great stress reliever, but seeing greenery in our environment has proven benefits to our mood and helps us remain calm and focused. And who couldn’t use a little of that!
Houseplants can be any plant that is adapted for growing indoors, but tropical plants that are native to warmer climates are the most common. Warm, stable, indoor environments prove to be the ideal environment for tropical plants to flourish. It can be almost guaranteed that while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram you will come across an image of someone’s beautiful and healthy-looking houseplants. Whether this is a garden centre advertising their products or a friend showing off their green thumb, there is no denying the popularity of these plants.
While houseplants seem to be the latest trend, the practice of...
Why consider Co-Housing?
I have a personal love of Co-Housing because I had very formative experiences in my 20s being part of a group of people who developed a Co-Housing building and community that still exists today, over 25 years later. It was a group of like-minded people who wanted more than the normal route of renting or owning their own space, we wanted that, but we also wanted community and more sustainable options. It was exciting, and a lovely way to live, that I look forward to being a part of again. We had close friends nearby, their children who knew us as surrogate aunts and uncles, and plenty of easy gatherings with our communal spaces and activities.
My husband AJ always said, “You know you are living in Co-Housing when it takes you 90 minutes and 2 beers to get up to your suite after work.” Indeed. And for a social person such as myself, having a sense of community and people who care for daily interactions helped to break down the norms of isolation...