When Business Emulates Nature

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The Circular Economy

This describes a pretty amazing representation of our desire to strive for zero waste. Rather than the conventional means of manufacturing for a single purpose, with minimal thought to a product’s end of life, “the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital.” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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The Bag of the Future

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The New Temp Bag

From Bali, Indonesia comes this awesome new bag that is ready to replace the excessive and antiquated plastic version currently dominating the planet. Although other plastic bag alternates have made the claim to be biodegradable, this one is totally compostable, and can even be eaten safely by wildlife (apparently they dig it)! It’s made from Cassava root (see below), an indigenous plant that’s safely consumed by humans and animals alike, and was engineered to degrade in nature within 3 to 6 months.

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We Shall Overcome

We Must Continue Working for the Future We Envision

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As we advance our vision of a more just and sustainable world, we doubtlessly encounter countless obstructions, pain, frustration, and perhaps even despair. On those occasions Sustainably Motivated turns to Martin Luther King Jr. and takes solace in his reminder that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The Importance of Knowing Where to Start

Book Recommendation

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek (2011)

swwAn astute and inspiring book that lays it all out for you in terms of identifying the purpose of your enterprise. Sinek, a gifted communicator, examines the importance of understanding “the why” behind successful individuals and organizations, and the dangers that befall those who don’t. For those that seek to attain leadership, or simply understand it better, this is a great user-friendly read filled with examples and applications. The author’s case is clearly made, well supported, and connects with the reader at a very primal level. If you happen to have seen him speak (he has a great TED Talk, and an even better 99U Talk – although this one is significantly longer, it’s totally worth it), this book serves to explore in greater detail his investigation of the impetus that can keep you and your organization sustainably motivated.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Recalibrating Our Needs to Get the Most Out of Life

Film Recommendation

Minimalism (2016)

An Alternative Outlook

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, a touching documentary of life out on the road with Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists, as they promote their book and the philosophy of minimalism. I’ve had the pleasure of following their blog for some time now, as it syncs wonderfully with the idea of sustainability and the need to reduce our environmental impact, getting the most out of what we spend our precious time and money on. The idea is to focus on relationships and experiences, and less on the the material. Many in the world today equate success and satisfaction with material possessions, particularly in the United States where consumerism has become a source of patriotism. The Minimalists seek to offer Americans, and indeed the world at large, a reminder of what is truly valuable and the consideration of a possible alternative lifestyle where consumption is not the driver.

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Discoveries from the Sustainability Reporting Conference

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The Toronto Sustainability Reporting Symposium

In the fall I attended a conference on sustainability reporting. It was held in Toronto’s swanky financial district (where they film Suits btw), where leaders in sustainability reporting, subject mater experts, corporate sustainability chiefs, and academics, congregated to share insights and developments with regards the current state of sustainability metrics. It was certainly enlightening, although simultaneously somewhat disconcerting.

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Cloth Diapering – My 6 Month Experience, and Counting…

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Before the baby was even born

When I found out I was pregnant, I had so many questions and mixed emotions! Incredible highs clashed with anxious lows as I contemplated what was best for baby and me, and I kept awake for many nights as I considered the future, something that is undoubtedly common with all new moms. Added to the emotional brew was my own blend of curiosity and conviction, and it does make for an exhilarating ride!

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The Candian Government Meets to Talk Climate Change

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CANADIAN PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a public consultation on combating climate change. It was the first such hearing offered here in Montreal by the incoming (Liberal) federal government. This type of event was definitely not a priority for the previous government, nor was combating climate change. It is evident however that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his new cabinet have sincerely taken steps towards increased transparency and inclusion. Having said that, those of us strongly concerned with climate change really want our governments to be doing more, and therefore public consultations are indeed a vital part of the process.

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Getting Past the Plastic: Exploring Alternatives

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A Worldwide Staple

Plastic is a pretty impressive material capable of providing society with all sorts of advantages, and yet it is also responsible for sitting interminably in our landfills, leeching into our soil and water sources, and chocking up our oceans. Its notable properties, that which make it so lightweight and durable, are also what make it so awful to the environment. For starters it is petroleum based for the most part, which means there’s the whole extraction factor to consider, but even beyond that, once it’s processed and manufactured into one of the countless objects we used daily, unfortunately it’s shelf-life outlasts our own.  It was designed to last, and yet it’s being used for single serving “disposable” items such as bottled drinks, product packaging, grocery bags, and children’s toys (to name but a few). Recycling isn’t quite the solution either. While it may lessen the environment impact to a certain extent, the ideal is to dramatically cut back on its use, and thereby avoid the recycling issue altogether.

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