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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...
Ok, I know, most of us don’t really want to think about death and the logistics of what happens when someone dies, however, the reality is that there are numerous environmental issues with the way we handle funerals and burial. And, there are plenty of ways that we can do better! It turns out there is a growing green burial movement to help us out.
Death is a fact of life that is dealt with in many different ways across different cultures and religions. In Western society, funerals often include flowers, expensive caskets, often embalming of the deceased, cremations, cemetery plots, and more. These funeral elements are chosen in order to pay respect to the deceased, but it is also important to consider whether these elements reflect the wishes and values of the deceased.
Not only do caskets, flowers, and other embellishments cost thousands of dollars, but they also have quite a significant negative impact on the environment. Traditional funerals aren’t green, but that...
Sure, we want to do what is right when it comes to recycling and disposal of our electronics, but for many people, electronics recycling can be a bit of a grey area. It’s hard to know exactly what to do with your e-waste or outdated electronics. That's why so many people find they have a drawer or box full of old electronics that they haven't quite figured out what to do with.
So, here is my quick guide to help you find the best way to manage your e-waste responsibly.
First, let's just cover off what we mean when we are talking about e-waste. E-waste, or Electronic waste, is electronic equipment that is no longer wanted or no longer works. When electronic devices have reached the end of their useful life, for us, they become electronic waste. But, that doesn't mean they are no longer useful!
Keep these devices out of the landfill!
Sending your electronic waste to the landfill can cause serious environmental harm. Most electronic devices contain toxic heavy...
Something we tend to forget about when it comes to green living is our money. The money sitting in our bank accounts or investments may not seem to be a direct cause of greenhouse gas emissions, but the financial institutions we are associated with, as well as our financial investments really can have a large impact on the environment as well as social issues. For better or worse!
While there is no shortage of ways to actively lead an environmentally friendly life - opting for active transportation wherever possible, shopping local, being a part of the sharing economy, composting, zero-waste grocery stores - the list goes on and on. But what about the impact of your money - are your investments contributing to the very issues that have you worried for the future?
Getting Started with Green Investing
So, where do we get started? There are two basic considerations when delving into the issue of green investing. First, we can avoid polluting sectors and industries and second, we can...
Deep ecology is an environmental philosophy introduced by Arne Naess in 1984 which recognizes the inherent value of all living beings and promotes the idea that they have moral and legal rights to live and flourish as humans do.
This philosophy looks deeper into our relationship with the natural world for a more holistic approach to environmentalism. Instead of promoting the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity for human purposes such as resource extraction, deep ecology recognizes the intrinsic value these systems hold, regardless of utility to humans.
The deep ecology framework is not anthropocentric, meaning that all living beings are viewed as our equals and that we are part of a whole.
As a whole, we cannot all thrive to our full potential until all parts of the whole are free to do so. Deep ecology encourages the shift from egocentric living to ecocentric living.
Fundamental principles of Deep Ecology
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 once had visions of selling my hand-crafted delights, everything from paper mache bowls to baked goods. So many people find delight in being creative. Making everyday items like a crochet dishcloth or a hand-knit scarf can be incredibly rewarding as well as eco-friendly.
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