Posts filed under ‘Health/Wellness’

Exploring Canada’s Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are a way to think about nature that includes people as part of the environment. For those living in Canada’s Biosphere Reserves, the environment is only healthy if human communities and the ecosystems that sustain them are both thriving – today, and for hundreds of years to come. Narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Striking Balance is an 8×50 minute documentary TV series that goes coast to coast in cinematic 4K – combining aerial, motion capture time-lapse, and nature photography to create a stunning picture of Canada’s Biosphere Reserves. Broadcasts start Oct. 4th @ 9pm on TVO, and will be available across Canada on TVO.org following broadcast. Knowledge Network broadcast will be in the spring of 2017.

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September 27, 2017 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

12 Mistakes to Avoid on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

Image result for vegetarianA balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can provide many health benefits.

These diets have been associated with weight loss, better blood sugar control, a decreased risk of heart disease and a lower risk of certain types of cancer (1, 2, 3, 4).

However, it can be challenging to maintain a well-rounded vegetarian diet that provides all the nutrients you need.

This article uncovers some of the most common mistakes people make on a vegan or vegetarian diet, and how to avoid them.

Read 12 Mistakes to Avoid on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet by Rachel Link, MS, RD at EcoWatch.

September 25, 2017 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

One of the biggest criticisms against wind and solar energy has been quashed

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar Dunhuang, 950km (590 miles) northwest of Lanzhou, Gansu Province September 16, 2013. China is pumping investment into wind power, which is more cost-competitive than solar energy and partly able to compete with coal and gas. China is the world's biggest producer of CO2 emissions, but is also the world's leading generator of renewable electricity. Environmental issues will be under the spotlight during a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which will meet in Stockholm from September 23-26. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT) - RTX13UEF

One of the biggest criticisms of the renewable-energy industry is that it has been propped up by government subsidies. There is no doubt that without government help, it would have been much harder for the nascent technology to mature. But what’s more important is whether there has been a decent return on taxpayers’ investment.

A new analysis in Nature Energy gives renewable-energy subsidies the thumbs-up. Dev Millstein of Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory and his colleagues find that the fossil fuels not burnt because of wind and solar energy helped avoid between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths in the US between 2007 and 2015. Fossil fuels produce large amounts of pollutants like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which are responsible for ill-health and negative climate effects.

The researchers found that the US saved between $35 billion and $220 billion in that period because of avoided deaths, fewer sick days, and climate-change mitigation.

Read One of the biggest criticisms against wind and solar energy has been quashed by Akshat Rathi at Quartz.

August 21, 2017 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Why and How to Shop by Bike

The benefits

1. You save money

I can fit only so much food on my bike when I shop so I buy only what I need. The limited space on my bike makes impulse buys—always processed and almost always packaged in plastic—very difficult unless I eat them on the spot at the store or while riding home, risking my life for chocolate.

2. You eat fresher food

When you shop by bike, because you can bring only so much home, you make a few trips every week rather than one trip every week or two. You have very fresh food on hand, it tastes better and you waste less of it because it has less time to turn before you can eat it. This takes a bit more time than major shopping just once every week or two does, however, on these frequent trips, I can zip in and out with my smaller purchases and often go in the 10-items-or-less aisle. And I’m working some exercise into my shopping too, which I need to do anyway (see #4).

Read Why and How to Shop by Bike at Zero Waste Chef.

August 14, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors

senior-shared-housingThe term “elder orphan” describes a senior citizen who doesn’t have children, a spouse, or family nearby to help them out. Elder orphans are often socially isolated and at-risk of not having their basic needs met. As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, housing alternatives, such as senior villages, senior cohousing networks, and shared housing units, are emerging as community-focused solutions to the problem of isolation.

While shared housing may be thought of a something young people do, it offers seniors social connection, an informal support system, assistance with tasks, and an opportunity to save money. I spoke with Annamarie Pluhar, shared housing advocate and the author of “Sharing Housing: a Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates,” about the best ways for seniors to find and keep housemates and enjoy sharing their home with someone else.

Read How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors by Cat Johnson at Shareable.

July 24, 2017 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Canada’s tree-mendous discovery: Forests limit harmful ozone gas

Darker environments like forests make less ozone gas, as the inorganic molecule is produced from a chemical reaction activated by ultraviolet light from sunshine. There is also less wind in forests because trees reduce turbulence, so there is a smaller chance of ozone gas getting whipped up from fresh air.

What that meant is that deforestation just took on a whole new importance.

Not only do forests suck carbon dioxide from the air, helping to counteract the greenhouse effect that is furthering dangerous and destructive climate change, they also help lower smog and make healthier air to breathe by lessening ozone, a key air pollutant.

Read the full article  Canada’s tree-mendous discovery: Forests limit harmful ozone gas by Karl Meyer at the National Observer.

 

June 28, 2017 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles

A dedicated bicycle lane in Durham, New Hampshire

Drivers, some of whom view the nation’s roadways as their exclusive domain, are having to contend with growing numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bicyclists, who are largely focused on maneuvering through vehicle traffic and not getting sideswiped on shoulderless streets, sometimes don’t realize how they imperil pedestrians.

People traveling by foot often feel under siege from both speeding cars and unpredictable bicycles.

Like many street-level conflicts, this one is about territory. Who owns the streets?

The solution (and key to reducing frustration and preventing actual injury) is to share the streets by providing a space for each group. Recent research shows that bicycle-friendly projects are even good for people who will never ride a bike. Here’s how:

Read 10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles by Jay Walljasper at AARP.

May 15, 2017 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

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