Let's find ways to Flourish!
What is the Precautionary Principle?
Life can be unpredictable and sometimes the decisions we make end up causing unintended consequences. This is especially the case when it comes to the natural environment and the implementation of new science, technologies, and activities. The unintended consequences of these activities can result in severe environmental harm.
That’s why it is important to take an anticipatory approach in order to mitigate and avoid environmental harm. With the multitude of environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, and biodiversity loss that we are currently facing, it is in our best interest to start taking this approach!
The Precautionary Principle is based on the idea that it is “better to be safe than sorry.” Opposed to a reactive approach which is concerned with resolving negative effects after they have already occurred; (think plastics polluting the ocean) the Precautionary Principle is preventative.
The Climate Illustrated project grabbed my attention on Instagram because they are doing something different than the other activists out there. First of all, they are using the platform to share stories. Stories from real people allowing us to glimpse into the richness and diversity of the human experience, and how that experience is being threatened by climate change.
The stories that they share are of real people and their concerns over environmental issues - how they overlap with climate justice, daily survival, and their deep connection to the natural world. It is an amazing way to glimpse snapshots of life around the world.
But more than that, the images that they are using to tell these stories are stunning and powerful at the same time. It goes far beyond the usual depiction of climate change issues with melting glaciers and threatened polar bears. Through illustrations, they depict scenes that could be snapshots of a life or a portrait of resistance.
Traditionally, businesses have determined their success by measuring their bottom line, otherwise known as, “show me the money”! Sure, I get it, profits are easily measured, but we know that there is a lot more to a business than just the financials. What about the people, community, the environment and the company’s impact in all of these areas?
Why do we need more than one bottom line?
In the past decade we have started to see sustainability mentioned as a goal or purpose of many businesses, non-profits, and governments. As more and more people become aware of the environmental and social issues we are currently facing, demand for sustainable businesses is increasing. Conscious consumers want to give their business to companies that are mitigating their harmful effects and making positive contributions. And, it turns out that more and more people want to work for those types of companies too!
However, claiming to be sustainable means nothing if there is no way to...
When it comes time to get a new mattress you are faced with not only the dilemma of choosing your new mattress, but also the question of how to dispose of your current one. In Canada, approximately 6 million mattresses are landfilled each year, and that is a LOT of waste!
The issue with landfilling mattresses
Mattresses are large items that take up a lot of space in landfills. While other garbage is compacted, the way mattresses are formed makes them extremely difficult to compress and may even damage the equipment.
They also take decades to decompose within a landfill. And to make things worse, when mattresses finally do begin to decompose, they release toxic chemicals into the environment, effectively causing land and water pollution. With the number of mattresses being replaced throughout one’s lifetime, we are able to see how the accumulation of mattresses in landfills is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
What to do instead?
Well, reuse of a serviceable and...
African wildlife is at risk and in need of protection. Over the span of seven years, elephant populations in Africa have decreased by 30% across the continent, mainly due to poaching. Similarly, rhinos are targeted for their valuable horns. Who is protecting African wildlife and how?
Akashinga is Africa’s first armed, all-women anti-poaching unit which is changing the way the issue of poaching is addressed throughout the continent. Instead of combatting poachers with violence, Akashinga uses a community buy-in approach that focuses on educating communities about the economic benefits of preserving Africa’s wildlife.
Akashinga operates in Zimbabwe and relies on strong and powerful women to protect the environment and as a result, empower themselves and their communities.
How it all began
Akashinga was founded in 2017 by the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF). This foundation was created in 2009 by Damien Mander, an Iraq war veteran who served as a Naval...
Aging is a life-long process that we should embrace and enjoy, not shy away from. However, this can be difficult to do when we live in cities which are designed in a way that tends to exclude the elderly population from being active, social, and properly included in society.
Because this is such a widespread issue, the term “age-friendly” has been developed in order to describe cities and communities that are inclusive of all ages. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an age friendly city includes policies, services, and structures related to the physical and social environment that support and enable elderly populations to age actively.
This is achieved by making sure that public settings and services are accessible for varying levels of ability. It is no secret that urban areas are often designed with young and...
Most people are aware of the fact that vehicles have a negative impact on the environment through their use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, effectively contributing to global warming. However, what you might not know is that vehicles produce 12% more emissions when idling than they do while driving.
What exactly is idling? Idling is running your engine while your car isn’t moving. If you are a vehicle owner, then there is a good chance you have been guilty of this practice. After all, driving isn’t always an efficient method of transportation. You might often find yourself hitting every red light or getting stuck in traffic.
In fact, there are many reasons why drivers idle.
Why we idle vehicles
One of the main reasons why drivers idle has to do with weather conditions. If you live in a location that suffers from very cold winters or scorching hot summers, you’ll be familiar with the practice of...
Active transportation is any kind of human-powered form of travel! This includes walking, cycling, running, skiing, skating, skateboarding, canoeing, and more.
One of the most popular forms of active transportation is walking due to the fact that it is free and doesn’t require learning a new skill!
Active transportation is a great way to get your body moving and enjoy all the benefits that come with physical exercise. While we may not all have time to hit the gym or schedule in some structured exercise, using different forms of active transportation instead of taking a car or the bus can be just as beneficial health-wise!
Some of the benefits that come with regular physical activity include the release of endorphins, increased energy, improved quality of sleep, improved overall mood, and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and diabetes.
In addition, choosing active transportation is great for the environment, as less fossil fuels are used, less...
If you were to make an inventory of all the single use items you use on a regular basis, how many items would be on your list? (for a refresher on the impact of single use items, check out this blog post!)
If you were to categorize these single use items, would you find that many of them are personal hygiene/care products? If you answered yes, you’re not alone! These types of single use products can be some of the hardest ones to ditch.
If you are just starting out on your zero/low waste journey you might not even be aware that products like reusable cotton swabs exist. Who would have thought?! On the other hand, you might be finding it difficult to find a reusable personal care product that works for you and your needs. After all, what works best for your favourite low waste blogger may not be as great for you.
Whatever the case, investing in good-quality, sustainably produced, and long-lasting personal care products will help you with your journey towards greener living!