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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

Flourishing Things: Wildlife Corridors

Urbanization and agriculture, both driven by the presence of humans, are two of the largest threats to biodiversity and wildlife. As human presence increases, natural habitats decrease in size. By altering the natural landscape with buildings, roads, and agricultural lands, the habitats of native species are altered or destroyed, and species are displaced. The green spaces that are left within cities are often small and disconnected. This is called habitat fragmentation. Fragmented habitats make it difficult for species to migrate and eventually results in species loss. Wildlife corridors, stretches of habitat that provide protected routes, help to increase connectivity between green spaces. These strategic areas of protected habitat are critical to help preserve biodiversity.

Banff National Park makes use of multiple wildlife corridors in the valley bottoms of the Rocky Mountains. These areas are critical for movement among wildlife species as well as human activity such as roads,...

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Flourishing Things: Green Maps

            Green Map is a non-profit organization that provides a platform for people to create and share environment-themed maps. These maps identify and locate areas in a city which contribute positively to the environment, whether they are local parks, conservation sites, environmentally friendly businesses, electric charging stations, or recycling depots. Green Maps exist and can be created all over the world. Since its 2009 launch, there are now 120 Green Maps and over 10,000 sites which are listed for you to explore and share. Green Maps are a great resource for those who wish to connect with their community and share or discover hidden gems within their city!

             As a Green Map user, you can refine your search by choosing between three categories: Sustainable Living, Nature, and Culture and Society. This feature helps you find sites or amenities that suit your needs!...

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Flourishing Things: Environmental Legislation

             It is easy to enjoy being outdoors when the air is fresh, the water is clear, and the environment is clean. A healthy environment results in the provision of ecosystem services which are vital to human survival. These services include air filtration, pollination, and soil fertility. Environmental legislation protects the environment from harmful toxins and pollutants that threaten biological life. Environmental legislation encompasses rights and regulations regarding pollution control, waste management, endangered species preservation, and other issues that involve the natural environment.

             Citizen awareness of environmental issues increased in the 1960s. The demands for more effective ways of combating these environmental issues resulted in the creation of preliminary protection statutes and environmental rights. The 1972 United Nations Stockholm conference on the human environment led to...

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Flourishing Things: Co-operative Housing

Contrary to popular belief, renting an apartment or buying a house aren’t the only available housing options. Non-profit cooperative housing is often overlooked as a viable living arrangement. Members of housing co-ops have a share in the ownership of the building which leads to a wide range of benefits. For starters, co-operative housing members have more control over their own space. This is due to the fact that members, instead of a management company or landlord, make the decisions about how the co-op is governed and maintained. Casting votes at monthly meetings allows for the voices and concerns of all members to be heard. 

Another benefit of living in a housing co-op is the affordability. Monthly housing fees are decided by members in order to cover the costs of maintaining the building. Unlike landlord-owned apartments, there is no incentive to increase rent to make a profit. This keeps housing affordable and sustainable for all residents. In cities where housing...

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Flourishing Things: Global Climate March

Climate groups and activists around the globe are working together to coordinate Global Climate Marches. This international climate movement, which began in August 2018, as Greta Thunberg’s single person strike, has caught momentum and is inspiring cities across the globe to voice their concerns about climate change. Global climate strikes, which have taken place during the 2019 European Parliament election and the United Nations Climate Summit, demand action from politicians in order to prevent climate change to facilitate the transition to renewable energy. Lessons from the past have taught us that public pressure is essential in evoking change.

The September 2019 strike during the Global Week for Future attracted millions of protesters and is thought to be the world’s largest climate strike to that point. 4,500 individual strikes occurred with crowds made up of schoolchildren, teens, adults, and elders in over 150 different countries. The magnitude of these global...

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Flourishing Things: Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is a sustainable approach to the fashion industry. Considering the environmental and social consequences of fast fashion, the slow fashion movement, which seeks to reduce the environmental harm associated with clothing, is necessary. Slow fashion aims for sustainability by considering the materials, resources, and workers involved in the production of clothing. Opposed to fast fashion, slow fashion encourages creating quality garments that are made to last.

The slow fashion movement echoes historical methods of clothing production. Before the industrial revolution, clothing was made by hand using local materials and workers. Clothing wasn’t about keeping up with fast paced trends or owning dozens of different outfits. An emphasis was placed on quality and longevity. The slow fashion movement shares these values and encourages people to buy less and buy sustainably.

Brands that participate in slow fashion tend to use sustainable materials (whether they are organic,...

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Flourishing Things: Plant and Seed Swaps

Spring has just arrived, which means it is time to get out your gardening tools and gloves! This year, instead of buying seed packets from the store, consider participating in a local seed swap or plant exchange. Seed swaps allow gardeners to exchange seeds from their personal collections. The exchanging of seeds is a time-honoured tradition that goes back many generations. Swapping seeds is a great way to introduce some new plant varieties into your garden, get involved with your community, and learn some helpful gardening tips!

Seed swaps often feature heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants, which means that they retain the characteristics from their parent plant and are able to pass on their characteristics to future generations. Heirloom seeds carry a piece of history, as they come from plant varieties that are introduced prior to the 1950s. Fruits and vegetables from heirloom plants have high nutritional value and taste. Additionally, planting heirloom...

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Flourishing Things: Moving for the joy of it

People are motivated to get active for a variety of reasons. Extrinsic factors such as the desire to lose weight is often motivation for engaging in physical activity. However, extrinsic factors often result in exercise routines that can’t be maintained. Intrinsic factors such as decreased stress and increased health lead to a life-long commitment to being active. It is important to acknowledge that being active does not necessarily mean exercise. Simply increasing your movement throughout the day can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Think back to when you were a child. When running, playing, and moving your body was the best part of your day. Physical activity doesn’t have to be boring. Learning to enjoy not only physical activity, but simply moving, for the way it makes you feel is a great way to incorporate a healthy and sustainable routine into your life.

Sedentary lifestyles are adopted by many, as office-jobs are increasingly common and free-time...

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Flourishing Things: iFixit

It has become increasingly common to own a variety of electronic gadgets and devices. As a result, the issue of dealing with broken or damaged devices increases as well. Broken devices are often discarded and replaced, as the cost of professional repairs can be quite expensive. However, this endless cycle of buying and replacing doesn’t have to be the case! The iFixit website allows individuals to take matters into their own capable hands.

iFixit is a wiki-based website that provides users with a plethora of resources related to repairs. The site features over 60,000 easy-to-follow repair guides for mobile phones, computers, cars, cameras and other electronics. Straying away from technology, iFixit also offers repair information for household items and apparel. Along with the guides, the website helps users diagnose what’s wrong with their devices, sells high quality parts and tools to assist with repairs, and provides an answers forum to promote solution sharing.

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Flourishing Things: Meditation Apps

As a beginner, jumping into meditation can seem quite daunting. You may find yourself asking “how do I find the time to fit meditation into my busy schedule?” “How do I know if I’m doing it right?” “What should I do with my body while I meditate?” Luckily, there’s an app for that! Guided meditation apps and podcasts have been on the rise, providing users with a user-friendly guide to everything meditation. 

There are a variety of apps and podcasts available for iPhone and Android at different price points. Sleep Cove is a free podcast that was created with the intention of helping people fall asleep through guided meditation, hypnosis, and sleep stories. These features aim to reduce stress levels, effectively helping users fall asleep. This podcast can be found on Apple podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, YouTube, and Google Podcasts.

Another free meditation aid is the Insight Timer app which offers over 30,000 guided meditations. The app...

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