5 Ways to Become Sustainably Motivated 

Will Ferrel in awe

-Updated Jan 2018-

Find Your Inspiration

If you’re looking for how you can adopt the sustainability mindset, look to what inspires you. Get exploring, and discover (if you haven’t already) what you love most about the world! Is it the oceans and beaches, mountains and forests, or perhaps the incredible animals that inhabit the planet with us? It might even be the people! Yes, other amazing, wonderful and frustrating, heart-breaking, ridiculous, and inspiring human beings. Life, and the vastly complex systems that make it all possible, really is miraculous, and the more you learn, the greater appreciation you get for how amazing it truly is! Use this revelation to motivate you to do good in this world, and help maintain the natural balance for yourself, and our future generations.

It’s terribly important that we regain our awareness of the environment, and curb our abuse and overconsumption of nature’s resources. We need to revaluate what we’re doing. This doesn’t just mean a forced reduction on everything (although there is certainly an excess), but it should certainly incentivize us to find alternative means for satisfying our needs. I strongly encourage sustainability as a mentality with which to view our world, and acknowledge our place in it. Below, I’ve share some practical applications and guidance on how to get onto the sustainability path and adopt for yourself a greener, healthier, and (hopefully) more satisfactory lifestyle.

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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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Cloth Diapering – My 6 Month Experience, and Counting…


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 Daily Commute: Considering the Options

The Road More Traveled

The Deeply Ingrained Car Culture

Most of us living in the US and Canada get to work by car. While I personally use my bike or public transportation, I am keenly aware that I am in the minority. I write this not to pass judgement, but rather simply to state the facts. In the United States, 86% of commuters get to work by car and more than three-quarters of those people drive to work alone. Canadian statistics are no better. Half the Canadian population commutes to work, and of those 74% drive there. Of these, the majority also tend to drive alone. The national average for solo drivers across Canada is 83%, compared with 76% in the US.

These numbers are staggering! Moreso when we consider the cost of all our vehicles. Both in terms of the money we dish out to purchase and maintain this lifestyle, as well as the very real costs to our long term health and the environment. Clearly this is an inefficient system. Not only do our cars rapidly deplete in value, contribute to the extensive use of fossil fuels, require copious amounts of resources to construct, and provide a substantial source of stress and loss of life, they also represent some of the least efficient instruments of our modern civilization. Particularly considering that cars spend the majority of their lifespan parked (and I don’t mean in traffic!). In the US cars are parked for 95% of the time, in the UK the number is closer to 96.5%. After carefully considering the cost benefit analysis our solo car commutes are evidently illogical. So, what are our options?

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The Consequences of Rapid Consumption

Film Recommendation

True Cost (2015)

Following the Trend

This documentary investigates the social and environmental costs of the fashion industry. As described by the filmmakers, Fast Fashion has made significant gains in the garment industry, encouraging consumers to buy more and discard (click for SNL spoof commercial) what is rapidly considered outdated wear. This approach has generated enormous profits at the cost of suppressing labor wages in the developing countries that provide the manufacturing.

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What’s Eating the Planet?

Breaking it Badly

Our Diet’s Impact on Climate Change

As you are no doubt aware, the planet is warming. The earth’s climate is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, and those privileged enough to be educated to that fact are wondering what to do about it. What’s perhaps less commonly known however is the impact that industrial agriculture has on carbon emissions, green house gases, and the consumption of water and energy. Indeed, some reports indicate that agriculture currently represents 30% of green house gas emissions, as well as being a direct contributor to deforestation, and major source for the extensive array of chemicals that are now permeating our soil and water. Not only are these chemicals responsible for the killing of bees and other wildlife, but they are also becoming embedded in our food and water sources. As a result, these chemicals end up in our bodies (including our children’s tinier bodies), and are directly linked to an increase in birth defects, cancer rates, autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and the list goes on. So what are we supposed to do about it?

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My Japanese Farming Experience

Southern Japan (Kyushu)

Organic Farming in Kyushu

Admittedly, farming is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Japan, but this country is famous for its culture of honoring traditions, and organic farming is no exception. I had the opportunity to visit Japan during the previous summer, and was excited to return and take a deep dive (literally knee deep), into a rural part of the country where I could really immerse myself in the culture. This was to be my first trip to the southern island of Kyushu, known across Japan for its striking natural beauty, subtropical climate, and incredible food. Once there, I was to spend 6 weeks with my Japanese host family, earning my keep, and learning as much as I could. I had no prior experience on a farm (aside from our urban garden), and spoke very minimal Japanese. It was an amazing, challenging, tasty, and enriching experience!

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Inspiring Purpose

Indiana Jones

How to Make the Switch to Sustainability

As this is only my second official post, I admit that I ‘m still in the process of figuring out exactly how I’m going to share my motivation for sustainability. There is so much to say, and I’m genuinely excited to relay some of the realizations I’ve made and the awesomeness I’ve seen, heard, and read about. My first entry might have been a bit on the heavy side, as I wanted to lay the foundation of my beliefs and address the seriousness of education and participation. Discussing climate change, and the need for democratic action, really is serious business, but I will attempt to keep more of a conversational flow going with the majority of my posts, so as to keep it upbeat and hopefully easy to read. As per the site itself, I intend to use this blog as a platform to share my thoughts (as most do), but more than that, I also want to use it as a source for gathering interesting and relevant information regarding sustainability.

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