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Sustainable wellbeing and green living

Let's find ways to Flourish!

Cradle to Cradle

The ‘Cradle to Cradle’ concept was coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough and is discussed in detail in their book ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ published in 2002.

In short, the Cradle to Cradle concept is a reinvigorated way of looking at our lifecycle model of products and waste creation as opposed to the Cradle to Grave model that is often used today.

Cradle to Cradle emphasizes the fact that we live on a planet with finite resources and in order to continue to be able to survive while protecting earth's ecosystems and biodiversity, we need to rethink the way we make things.

An important follow up to ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’, ‘The Upcycle’, published by both authors in 2013 outlines principles for sustainable design that must be integrated into the Cradle to Cradle model.

Rethinking our economy

Too often, we view the economy as a constructive framework that we must live...


The Natural Step for strategic sustainability

"If we think systematically, we will stop asking, How much is nature worth? We will know that we are a piece of nature ourselves." - Karl-Henrik Robèrt, The Natural Step Founder

Want strategic sustainability in your organization? Use The Natural Step method.

The Natural Step is a global network of non-profit organizations with a collective vision of a sustainable society and a mission to facilitate this transition.

With partners in 54 countries, The Natural Step International is striving to transition towards a fully sustainable global society by taking actions to support ecological, social, and economic sustainability. It is a science-based holistic approach that encourages work across disciplines to plan effectively.

The Natural Step was founded in Sweden in 1989 by scientist Karl-Henrik Robert. Robert outlined 4 system conditions for the sustainability of human activities on earth.

These 4 conditions are the basis for the Natural Step mission, which also consists of a...


What does a sustainable economy look like?

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...


10 Last minute Eco-friendly Gifts

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.

1. Give an Eco-friendly Hobby

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,...


The Ups and Downs of the Sharing Economy

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...


Toy Libraries are a Step Towards Sustainable Parenting

People are starting to realize that sharing might be the best solution to society’s overconsumption habit. That’s why we are seeing things like tool lending libraries, car sharing companies, clothing swaps, and carpool apps gaining popularity. You might actually be surprised at all the different items people are sharing nowadays.

For example, did you know that toy libraries are a thing? Just like a regular library with books, toy libraries allow you to check out and borrow toys to bring home. The toys in a toy library are carefully selected, ensuring that there are plenty to choose from for all ages and abilities! Whether you are looking for play mats for a baby or Lego blocks for an older child, toy libraries are likely to have it all.

 And of course, the toys are cleaned and kept in good condition so that they offer each new child a fun and safe play experience.

How toy libraries work

Many toy libraries will charge a small annual or monthly fee that allows you to...


Recipe for a Litterless Lunch

Every meal is an opportunity to live sustainably. This is a topic we’ve explored before – the food we eat has a significant impact on the environment. Some negative consequences of our food choices include excess carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, synthetic chemical use, animal welfare problems, unfair labour, wasteful packaging, and environmental pollution.

On the other hand, making positive food choices like eating local, choosing organic, and growing your own produce help mitigate these issues and bring you one step closer to sustainable wellbeing.

In short - food is one of our most direct connections to the natural world, and we can really make a difference to our wellbeing and that of the planet with our food choices.

However, being environmentally conscious when it comes to our food choices isn’t just about the food itself, but also about the way we package our meals when we’re on the go.

We can elevate our food choices by looking at the big...


Preserving the Harvest

As much as many of us hate to admit it, here in the northern hemisphere summertime is coming to an end. In a matter of weeks, the weather will start to cool down, students will be going back to school, and fall will be upon us.

Although it can be sad to see summer go, there is plenty to be excited about as we transition into a new season! For those of us who have been cultivating our gardens, purchasing produce from farmer’s markets, or have family and friends with impressive vegetable and fruit yields from their gardens, the harvest is always something to look forward to.

There’s nothing like enjoying fresh and delicious produce that has been grown locally. Bonus points if you grew it yourself – it’s always a good feeling when your hard work in the garden pays off. 

You might be wondering “what’s so good about local produce?” Well, locally grown produce is good for the planet, the local economy, and your taste buds. If you’re...


Bartering for the environment

When we think of bartering, it is easy to think of it as an ancient practice replaced by modern currencies. Mesopotamian tribes are thought to have started the first bartering systems in around 6000 BCE to trade food, weapons, and spices. In ancient Rome, services were bartered for salt. Bartering is thousands of years old and precedes the use of money; however, it is still relevant and used today with many online sites available for anyone who has something to trade. But where does bartering fit in a modern society? And what makes it beneficial?

What is bartering?

Bartering is a direct exchange of goods and services, without a money intermediary. It is a great way to participate in a sustainable and circular economy, and encourages the use of second-hand clothing, jewelry, and other items by creating a trading community, as opposed to being centred around a currency. Although it often does, bartering doesn’t have to involve goods. Services such as trade work, cooking and...


Eat out without the guilt

Food is a vitally important part of every day of our lives, and every meal is an opportunity to choose sustainability. Whether it be buying Fairtrade products, reducing food waste, supporting local producers, or reducing meat consumption, we do our best to eat sustainably.  When we decide to eat out, we want to know if the restaurants we support are doing the same. Enter Green Restaurant Certifications.

These certifications assess factors such as water efficiency, sustainable food, energy, and waste reduction to determine whether or not the establishment meets the requirements to be certified green. Green Restaurant Certifications are a great way to help identify restaurants in the community that are striving to promote sustainability so that we can support their efforts while enjoying a delicious meal. In North America, the Green Restaurant Association and LEAF Certification assess restaurants to determine their level of sustainability and then publish these results on their...

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