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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

Indigenous Dance Troupes

Dancing is an art that is full of emotion, culture, and history. Dance has, and continues to, play a large role in the human experience, as archeological evidence has identified that dance was occurring thousands of years ago and its importance and prevalence persists today. Different types of dance can be found across many cultures and are often incorporated into social functions, major events, storytelling, religions, and spirituality. Theatrical or performance dance offers participants a way to express themselves, a chance to perform, and a medium to tell a story. This connection between culture and entertainment is prevalent in Indigenous dance troupes.

Indigenous dance troupes also provide a meaningful way for Indigenous children and people of all ages to connect with their heritage and cultural practices. Seeing young children proudly perform their traditional cultural dances gives hope that children can grow up knowing and embracing their culture. Contemporary Indigenous...

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Rooftop Gardens

Gardening is a great pastime that benefits your mental and physical health, and allows you to create an aesthetically pleasing environment and harvest different fruits and vegetables. That being said, not everyone has access to a yard or garden. Living in an apartment building may mean that traditional forms of gardening are not an option for you. However, rooftop gardens are a great alternative for those who have limited space. The easiest approach to rooftop gardening is the use of containers and planters. This method is affordable and practical, as the containers can be easily moved around to suit your needs and preferences. Alternatives to container gardening include installing a permanent green roof. Green roofs have soil and plants built directly into the roof structure and require professional design and installment. Make sure to check with your landlord before implementing a rooftop garden as there may be certain regulations you must adhere to.

Some considerations you might...

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Flourishing Things: Communities Banning Single-Use Plastics

Plastics are durable and inexpensive which means that they are used frequently in packaging, furniture, clothing, electronics, utensils and more. While plastic is used for a wide variety of purposes, it is associated with significant disposal and environmental issues, as many plastics cannot be recycled and reused. Instead, they are thrown out and sent to landfills. Due to its long-lasting nature, plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment. When plastic does eventually break down through weathering and sun exposure, it turns into microplastics which are very small pieces of plastic (generally less than 5 mm in length). While larger plastics pollute the environment in obvious ways, microplastics are so small that they get ingested by wildlife and accumulate through the food chain. Single-use plastics are especially harmful due to their short lifespan and lasting environmental impact.

Single-use plastics are items that are meant to be used once and then disposed...

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Flourishing Things: Keeping Whales Wild

Whales are magnificent creatures that are highly intelligent and social. Their graceful movements, as well as their playful interactions with each other, are mesmerising to watch. It is not surprising that humans have the desire to get a closer look at these beautiful sea creatures. Beginning in the 1960s, Orca whales have become main attractions at many aquariums and amusement parks. Their playfulness and trainability have made them prime candidates for amusement park performances. The captivity of whales, however, is a cruel practice that significantly degrades their health and wellbeing. There are many reasons why whales should be kept wild.

Enclosures for captive whales are far from adequate when it comes to size. Orca whales, which are most commonly held in captivity, range from 16 to 23 feet in size. As one might imagine, such large animals require a large habitat. Any aquarium or enclosure, no matter how big, isn’t able to compare with the vastness of the ocean where...

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Flourishing Things: Public Meditation Spaces

Taking time to meditate is a great way to recharge and centre yourself throughout the day. Some of the many benefits associated with meditation include reduced stress, improved focus, re-energization, improved sleep, and increased attention span. You don’t need to be at home or have a large block of time in order to meditate. Meditation can be done on the go whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Public meditation spaces offer individuals a quiet and peaceful place to reflect without having to relocate to a completely private location.

One solution to meditating in public spaces is making use of mindfulness or meditation pods. These are structures which are designed to allow individuals to escape from the business of everyday life. The creators of Headspace, a popular meditation app, worked with architects at Oyler Wu Collaborative to create a meditation pod which combines natural materials such as wood and screens that allow users to access Headspace guided meditations....

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Flourishing Things: Gardening

Gardening is good for the soul! Getting outside in the fresh air and physically connecting with nature is a great way to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. The act of gardening provides individuals with a form of physical activity that is not only enjoyable but helps to burn calories and reduce blood pressure. The mental benefits of gardening include reduced stress, increased happiness, and overall mood enhancement. Research has shown that soil contains natural antidepressant microbes! If these reasons alone aren’t enough to get you digging in your garden this summer, consider the visual and aesthetic appeal you will be adding to your yard!

Caring for plants is a great way to immerse yourself in the outdoors and better understand and appreciate what nature has to offer. Interacting with the soil and greenery lets you connect with nature by engaging your five senses. You’re able to see your plants transform from sprouts to seedlings, develop buds, flower, and...

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Flourishing Things: Water Bottle Refilling Stations

It is well understood that single use plastic water bottles have a negative effect on the environment. Although the packaging indicates that the bottles can be recycled, in reality only a small percentage of plastic bottles contain recycled material. It is cheaper for manufacturers to produce new plastic instead. The majority of recycled plastic is used in products other than water bottles such as carpets and textiles. This is an issue because once plastic is used in these types of products it generally can’t be recycled again. What happens to the plastic water bottles that aren’t recycled? They end up in landfills and oceans where they take hundreds of years to break down into microplastics that have the ability to pollute the environment and harm wildlife.

Due to the harms caused by single use plastic bottles, people are opting for reusable water bottles instead. Reusable water bottles come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from durable plastic, glass, and...

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Flourishing Things: Farmer's Markets

Grocery stores aren’t the only place to purchase your fruits and vegetables during the warmer months. Instead of browsing the produce aisle at your regular grocery store, get outside and explore what your local farmers markets have to offer! While some farmer’s markets are open year-round, the number of vendors and products being sold tend to increase during the spring, summer, and autumn months when crops are harvested and ready for consumption.

Purchasing produce from famer’s markets means that you are getting fresh, local produce straight from the source. When you buy fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, there is a good chance that the product has been shipped from a different region or country. Shipping produce results in a considerable carbon footprint, possible food waste if the produce spoils during transit, and poor taste and quality if the produce has been harvested before it is ripe. These transportation issues apply to meat products as well....

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Flourishing Things: Gratitude Practice

While our lives aren’t always perfect, it is important to acknowledge the things we are grateful for whether they are big or small. Simply taking time to notice and reflect on the things in your life has the ability to change your life for the better. In expressing gratitude, you will be able to change your perspective by focusing on the things that bring you happiness, peace and comfort. Practicing gratitude will allow you to experience more positive emotions and celebrate life more effectively!

One of the best ways to practice gratitude is to write down the things you are grateful for. Gratitude journals are a great place to reflect on moments, activities, people, and things for which you are grateful. One of the best things about gratitude journals is that there are no rules when it comes to expressing your gratitude! Entries can be as long or as short as you would like and can be about anything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. In fact, being as specific...

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Flourishing Things: Ikigai

It is no secret that people feel happier and more fulfilled when they feel that they have a purpose in life. The Japanese word Ikigai, which roughly translates to “reason for being,” refers to having a direction or purpose in life through balancing passion and practicality. Ikigai can be found at the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Being able to balance your career and your interests, or in other words, find your Ikigai, will result in a life full of happiness and fulfillment.

Although it can be financially beneficial, pursuing a career solely because it will bring you wealth leaves you with a sense of dissatisfaction and meaninglessness. This way of living becomes unsustainable as it is difficult to find the drive to continue with your work if you are not emotionally and spiritually invested in it. On the other hand, if you are only focusing on things that you enjoy doing and are passionate about,...

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