Posts filed under ‘Health/Wellness’

14 leading national environmental organizations release platform expectations for the federal election

Today, Canada’s leading environmental organizations released a set of 20 federal party platform recommendations that address the climate, biodiversity, toxics and waste crises harming our country.

These recommendations represent the collective priorities of the 14 organizations and reflect a comprehensive set of solutions to today’s most urgent environmental challenges. These platform priorities are currently being discussed with each of the five main federal political parties to help them develop their own set of committed actions.

In late summer 2019, the organizations will release a non-partisan, comparative evaluation of the environmental platforms of all the parties, to help Canadians make informed voting decisions.

The 20 federal party platform recommendations can be found here.

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May 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

What Can We Do?

Tapajós River in the Amazon © Todd Southgate / Greenpeace

At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being.

”Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens. “What is wealth? What are the limits to growth? We attempt to face our crises head on.”

Some students feel inspired to action, and some report finding the material “depressing.” One student shared the course material with a family member, who asked, “So what can I do?” The student struggled to answer this question, and the listener chastised her: “why did you explain all this to me, if you can’t tell me what to do?!”

A fair question. One that, as environmentalists, we often get asked. At the request of Dr Hagens, here is my list: Read What Can We Do? by Rex Weyler at Greenpeace.

December 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

10 ways to get the most from walking

From frequency and stride to what to do with your arms, here’s how to get the world’s easiest fitness fix.

There is so much fetishizing of exercise. What with the gadgets and gear and just-right outfits – the Lycra! The Lululemon! – at times fitness is more like maintaining membership at an exclusive club.

But the beautiful, gentle act of walking, that’s different.

Walking is not about gear or clothes or expertise; it’s easy, cheap, and exceedingly kind to the body. Walking for the sake of taking a walk is emotionally as well as physically pleasing; walking for the sake of getting somewhere is cheaper and easier on the planet than driving. And for whatever reason you find yourself walking, it’s a great form of exercise. Walking is a win-win-win-win.

With the CDC recommending 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, walking is a wonderful way to fulfill the quota. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) has a good list of tips for maximizing a walking workout, from which I’ve expanded upon here.

Read 10 ways to get the most from walking by Melissa Breyer at Treehugger.

August 29, 2018 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Aging in the Age of Climate Change

After water poured into lower Manhattan subway lines, two million Con Ed customers lost power and Breezy Point took a direct Hurricane Sandy hit, Cornell University’s Elaine Wethington now examines the toll on senior citizens in the wake of major storms and climate change.

July 30, 2018 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

10-Minute Neighborhoods: The Low-Tech Solution to Almost* Everything

Health. Energy. Climate. Crime. Education. Happiness. Water. Housing. What if it were possible to make headway on all these issues with simple changes to our neighborhoods?

What if we could cut our medical costs in half? What if we could give the average American an added five years of healthy life? What if we could cut our energy use, our water use, and our greenhouse gas emissions by more than half while improving our happiness and prosperity? What if we could provide affordable housing for millennials staggering under student loan debt? What if we could help elders age gracefully in a connected community, with their mobility and cognition intact? What if we could create communities where children can experience both safety and independence? What if we could cut in half the cost of essential services provided by cities and towns?

Read10-Minute Neighborhoods: The Low-Tech Solution to Almost* Everything by Karen Allen at Musings.

June 11, 2018 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Provincial Party Responses 2018

Make your vote count: find out where the parties stand. The next Government of Ontario will inherit a province facing many significant environmental challenges, from climate change and ongoing loss of biodiversity to a steady build up of toxics and pollutants in our air, water and land.  Strong actions will be required to address these problems and to position Ontario to benefit in a world rapidly moving toward a low-carbon future and embracing the need for more sustainable economic and social systems. We asked all parties to describe their vision for making Ontario an environmental leader and how they will enhance the quality of life of all of its residents.

We have invited all four parties to submit any additional policies or information as the election progresses, and we will note when new information has been added.

Read Party Responses 2018 at Green Prosperity.

June 4, 2018 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

The town that’s found a potent cure for illness – community

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It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure? No, it’s a newfangled intervention called community.

What this provisional data appears to show is that when isolated people who have health problems are supported by community groups and volunteers, the number of emergency admissions to hospital falls spectacularly.

Read The town that’s found a potent cure for illness – community by George Monbiot at The Guardian.

March 19, 2018 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

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