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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

The simple way to enhance your life

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” - Henri Nouwen

The practice of gratitude has proven to have a substantial impact on the wellbeing and happiness of individuals who consistently express thankfulness for the things and people in their lives, no matter how big or small.

It is important to keep in mind that nobody’s life is perfect. We all experience negative emotions and difficult circumstances but being able to acknowledge the things you are grateful for is an important part in helping you overcome your struggles and feel content with your life.

In fact, one of the best ways to identify your gratitude is by visualizing your life without the positive events that you have experienced. By imagining the absence of these events, you will be able to develop an even stronger appreciation that they did in fact occur and are present in your life.

How you can express gratitude

In expressing gratitude, you will be able...

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The secret to getting the most out of your time in nature

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.” – John Muir

Humans have been connected to nature since the dawn of time, but as our lifestyles continue to change and evolve, people are spending less time outdoors.

This means a feeling of a lost or broken connection between us and the natural world. We sometimes think of nature as being quite separate from us, and just - out there - in the woods or what we see while on vacation. but the reality is that nature is all around us all the time, and we interact directly with it, we are just not aware of these interactions.

Really, do you think about the sun's energy in that spaghetti sauce? Or did you consider the role of the bees in pollinating your apple? Probably not.

The same thing is often true of our time spent outdoors. We are often more aware of the need for sunscreen or insect repellent than we are of the intricate web of...

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Stop Chasing and Start Cultivating Happiness

Sometimes it seems like western culture is obsessed with happiness. Perhaps you know people who are almost like adrenaline junkies chasing their happiness. But I think a big part of the problem here is that we have a poor understanding of what happiness is and that leads us to pursue what is inherently fleeting.

So, if you really want those good feelings on a long-term basis, regardless of what life brings us, that is possible, but we need to revise the way that we define happiness.

It can be hard to know where to begin when we try to define happiness. With so many different definitions out there, and the highly personal aspects of the concept of being happy, defining the word happiness presents a unique challenge.

It is also important to understand the meaning of a few other terms within the context of happiness and greater overall wellness to better understand what we mean when we say we are happy, and what we are really seeking in our quest for overall wellbeing.

Happiness

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Passing Along Wisdom and Cultural Heritage

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

Wisdom and cultural heritage are inherited and passed down from generation to generation. The knowledge and cultural heritage that is passed down creates a sense of belonging and strengthens cultural ties between generations.

Oral traditions, skills, belongings, languages, social practices, and natural environments are all part of cultural heritage and wisdom. They are often learned from previous generations and are considered an integral part of our identity.

The elements that are shared between generations represent the memories and knowledge of the past, as well as their importance in the present moment and in the future. Much of our knowledge of how to live sustainably originates in the principles and wisdom passed down from our ancestors.

Traditions and nuggets of wisdom are passed down not by accident, but because they are deemed...

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Sustainable New Year's Resolutions

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...

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Students and seniors find symbiosis

Do you remember your time as a student where affordable housing meant multiple roommates, and sketchy landlords? Do you perhaps also know a senior who has extra space but lacks good social connections and may be isolated?

An unlikely match: seniors and students

Although these two demographic groups might seem like polar opposites, they actually have housing needs which are quite complimentary.

Let’s look at students first. Students require affordable housing, as they are at a point in their lives where they are trying to finance their education while balancing schoolwork, part-time jobs, and other expenses that occur at this age.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of affordable housing in many cities around the world. More specifically, affordable housing located on or near university campuses can be quite hard to come by. First of all, a large number of students attending a single university may cause a significant increase in demand for nearby student housing. This...

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Makerspaces: Where DIY meets education

Have you ever heard of a makerspace? You might be able to guess what a makerspace is based on its name…essentially, it’s a space where people can create and make things! More specifically, a makerspace is a collaborative space where people can gather to get creative with DIY or tech projects, and share ideas, tools and resources.

If you are someone who enjoys working with your hands and collaborating with others, a makerspace might just be what you are looking for! Makerspaces are quite unique, meaning that the projects and tools found within them can differ from space to space in order to meet the needs of the community. For example, some makerspaces include activities such as coding or robot building, while others focus on woodworking, inventing, and crafting.

Makerspaces can occur in a variety of places. For example, you might be able to find one at your local library, community centre, in elementary schools, or even within your own home!

How did makerspaces come to...

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4-Day Work Week

It is not uncommon to feel like your job takes up a disproportionate amount of your time, energy, and thoughts. After all, many people work 40 hours a week - or more! In addition to the required amount of time you spend at your job, many workplaces have an expectation that you will work unpaid overtime hours in order to show your dedication to your job and be perceived as a go-getter.

This means that you may find yourself showing up to work early, leaving work late, or spending time outside of work answering emails or trying to get ahead on your workload. Although it is important to recognize that work is an important part of your life for practical or personal reasons, there is such a thing as too much work! You need time outside of work to spend on hobbies, family, friends, and your health for your personal wellbeing.

The 4-day work week

One solution to employee work-life imbalances is the 4-day work week! Although this may sound too good to be true, many employers and business...

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Restorative Spaces

Do you have a place in mind that is restorative to you? Perhaps it is spending time on the balcony on a warm day, or maybe it is a sunlit nook at your workplace. It turns out that spaces can make us feel restored and revitalized. A quiet space with a view of nature is often what feels restorative to us when we take the time to notice.

Although it may not always seem like it, our environments have the ability to impact our behaviours, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For example, you may find that you tend to get tired and distracted from your work when you are working in your dimly lit and somewhat cramped home-office. On the other hand, your living room which is flooded with natural light and filled with comfortable furniture makes you feel uplifted and encourages you to sit and chat with family members or friends.

Whether you are at home, at work, running errands, or out at a restaurant or movie theatre, subtle characteristics of your surroundings will be able to influence your...

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Nap Rooms in the Workplace

Have you ever found yourself nodding off at your desk or falling asleep on the job? While this can be embarrassing if caught, some workplaces are actually encouraging their employees to take naps during the day! Napping at work might sound unproductive, but in reality, the negative effects you may be experiencing due to lack of sleep might be causing your performance to decrease.

Some symptoms of not getting enough sleep include lack of concentration, headaches, irritability, and reduced ability to remember and keep track of things. In the long term, sleep deprivation can cause serious health issues such as hypertension, heart attacks, and a weakened immune system. While making sleep a priority and getting a full 7- 8 hours is one way to reduce these negative effects, taking a nap during the day is another option!

Companies with nap rooms/pods

People’s lives are often fast-paced, resulting in seemingly not enough hours in the day. With so many errands to run and tasks to...

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