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Sustainability is often defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations. Typically, sustainability is made up of three pillars: social, environmental, and economic. In other words, sustainability takes into account people, the planet, and profit.
The environmental pillar tends to get a lot of attention when it comes to discussions surrounding sustainability. While this topic is undoubtedly important, it is useful to look at the economic side of things as well! Let’s take a closer look at the economic pillar of sustainability.
Issues with the current linear economy
We are currently operating in a linear economy. That means that consumption follows a linear process referred to as the ‘take-make-waste’ approach.
Take – When there is a high demand for consumer products, supplies such as non-renewable and natural resources get depleted at an alarming rate in order to keep up with...
"You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option." – Greta Thunberg
Raising awareness about environmental issues is essential when it comes to creating change and protecting the environment. Yes, your personal act matters, but you can amplify your impact by making others aware of your actions and desire for social change.
Without the voices and actions of activists, many environmental issues would go unchecked and cause further degradation. We are in the midst of a critical paradigm shift as I see it. There is an increasing awareness of the issues, demand for a different pathway, and adding your voice can make all the difference!
Education as Activism
Researching an environmental issue will provide you with essential information such as why the issue is occurring, where it is most prevalent, what actions contribute to the issue, how it can be prevented/reduced, and what efforts are currently...
"Yoga makes you harmonious with nature and teaches you to be joyfully curious about your inner world." - Debasish Mridha
Yoga is a mind-body practice that has been around for thousands of years and continues to be a popular method of exercise and wellness today.
And good news, it is not just for the fit and flexible. There is a yoga practice for every body type and ability.
Some physical benefits of practicing yoga include increased flexibility, increased muscle tone and strength, lowered blood pressure, better posture, and improved balance.
These physical benefits are accompanied by many mental benefits as well. Yoga practices often incorporate meditation and breathing exercises in order to reduce stress, increase awareness of your body and movements, aid in sleep, and increase mental clarity.
But even beyond the physical and mental benefits, when we connect deeply with our bodies, we begin to find a new relationship to ourselves and the natural world. Our bodies are made of the...
In honour of the 100th edition of the Flourishing Fridays newsletter, I thought it would be great to profile some of the amazing work that folks in this community are doing. Sharing some inspiration and celebrating our wins, big and small. Together we are learning about how to live more sustainably, how to spread the ideas of green living and to enjoy life more!
What an amazing and inspiring list!
Aditya is helping to educate others about the importance of protecting wilderness.
AJ fixes appliances, builds with reclaimed lumber, raises bees and enjoys time in nature.
AK – promotes thrifted fashion for badass Millennials on her social media accounts.
Angelika got small recycling bins for her condo complex and avoids wasting food.
Anuradha – runs sustainable clothing companies using all traditional textiles and zero waste production that also provides employment for women in India.
Amanda is eating more local food and loves to support local businesses.
Anders helps kids in...
We all know that walking or other means of active transportation is great for your health, yet it can be difficult to fit exercise into our schedules. But if you think about it, that is because exercise is no longer how we get around! When you live in a walkable neighbourhood or city, just getting from point A to point B might fulfil your daily exercise/movement goal.
And, being able to walk, bike, or use other means of active transportation in order to get around significantly decreases our environmental impact. While personal automobiles burn fossil fuels, therefore contributing to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, getting around by foot leaves zero pollution behind.
So, have you ever found yourself wishing you were able to quantify the walkability or overall environmental friendliness of a city or urban area?
This kind of information can be really useful when it comes to finding a place to live or travel to.
Walkability is also financially advantageous. North American...
Like so many people, I do love a fresh start, feeling that I can and will do better, and evolve who I am, becoming the best version of myself. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, I see that way too many of these resolutions revolve around losing weight or eating right, but what I see as truly transformative is living in alignment with our values.
That means living better for the planet - and for our own bodies, in fact, those two acts generally overlap. So, if this sounds like the year that you want to have, where your actions every day are working towards to future that you want, one that is sustainable for the planet AND for yourself, here are my tips on how to get there.
Guess what? It is actually pretty simple.
Yeah, so that sounds great, right? But how exactly do I live that out daily? Have you ever seen ads that talked about this concept...without trying to sell you something? Well, the reality, of course, is that we all consume material goods, food, and resources. But can we do...
We have all been there. Christmas can be a busy time of year and I am always happy to have some last-minute gifts that I can give without having to go out to a store! So, here are some of my go-to last-minute gift ideas that are also great for the planet.
No need to get yourself overly stressed trying to find gifts and then feeling bad that you are doing something that goes against your values when you just get something for the sake of having a gift. Here are some easy solutions that have so many benefits. They are great for the planet because they are low-impact, they support small businesses, and they show others that we can do gifts sustainably.
Ok, I have to admit, I am kind of in love with the idea of the meditative and tactile experience of spinning eco-friendly fibres. Spindle and Company is the brainchild of Kelly Mason, who lives in small-town rural Australia. Out of her own love of spinning and the slow and meditative qualities it brings,...
Jim and Jamie Dutcher take us into one of the most intimate living-alongside experiments with wolves ever undertaken. Through their constructed wolf pack of orphaned and captive wolves who are released into a large study area, we have the opportunity to see the interactions of wolves much more closely than in the wild.
While I whole-heartedly believe that wild animals must remain in the wild, this scenario seemed like a humane and justifiable program to allow a more wild existence for previously captive animals and also allow for the long-term close observation.
A Deeply Intimate Glimpse
The result is the most tender and intimate look at a group of animals, where we get daily accounts of their interactions, movement, and behaviour. The result is an understanding of these wild animals and how clearly they express emotions, forge relationships with one another and face the ups and downs of pack life, aging and social interactions.
From their work, the Dutchers have helped to identify...
It’s no secret that North American cities have some serious urban planning issues which jeopardize the environmental sustainability and overall livability of urban areas. For example, urban sprawl, the rapid expansion of development on the peripheries of cities, is extremely common. This is an issue, as this new development is usually characterized by low density residential housing and single-use zoning, therefore increasing reliance on private automobiles for transportation. With suburban sprawl, we often see inner cities deteriorate as social inequality increases.
So, how do we remedy these issues? With land use and development practices that work to reduce urban sprawl and promote healthy, liveable, and enjoyable cities. Smart Growth is a term which is used to describe this type of sustainable development. As urban populations continue to increase, we need to plan our communities in a way that is environmentally, socially, and economically conscious. In other words, in a...
It’s funny, yes, we want to be independent as teens and young adults. That is what we strive for, and that is what older adults want to retain, right? And there certainly is value in independence, but are we forgetting that there is value in doing things together? We have evolved to form social groups for a reason...because collaboration and connection make our lives better and easier!
When we consider the aspects of independence that relate to owning things - like our space, but more importantly stuff, there are aspects of this trend that are deeply unsustainable. As we are collectively seeking to lower our footprint on the earth by living lighter, sharing material goods can be a great part of the solution!
Just think about all the unused power tools that sit in our garages and all the books we’ve purchased but probably aren’t going to read again. When you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense for every individual household within a community to own...