Posts filed under ‘Health/Wellness’

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

Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2)

oil-spillAs long as you and I consume oil, we make oil nastiness possible in the most basic way. Our money, and how we spend it, is an extension of our values, our intent, our convictions. If we don’t consume the oil, then, yes, someone else might. But when we participate in the ugly world of oil by consuming its products, we not only make it profitable, we give the whole craziness our implicit consent. Our efforts to change this are not useless drops in the bucket. Paradigm shifts most often happen first within small subgroups that eventually form enough critical mass to cause large-scale cultural change.

Now I know you’re not going to shed your junk miles, move to a ten-minute neighborhood or replace all your flights with trains tomorrow. It may, in fact, take you years to squeeze the oil out of your travel. I suggest for 2017 that you adopt the task as a kind of hobby, (after all, we don’t mind spending time and money on our hobbies) and get creative, flexible and even adventurous about the options available. You may be surprised by the life benefits that cheap oil has been hiding from you.

Read Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2) by Karen Lynn Allen at Musings.

May 1, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention

green leaf breaking through crack in concrete

One of the biggest challenges for many societies in the 21st century is mental health. In addition to the incalculable human cost of pain, distress and heartbreak, it has also become a huge economic cost.

The World Economic Forum report ‘The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases’ revealed that mental health issues are the single largest source of health care costs, more than cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, or diabetes.

At the same time that demand for services is increasing, austerity measures are exerting downward pressure on budgets. Communities everywhere will need creative ways to address mental health, and the associated spiralling costs.

Sharing and collaboration opens up incredible opportunities for strengthening individual and community resilience. Those participating in or monitoring sharing activity know this, usually anecdotally. But what if we could measure the benefits to people and societies?

Read Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention by Sharon Ede at Post Growth.

April 12, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

New Years Resolutions for a Strong Citizen

taking-stockOur hope is that over the course of this year, we will practice living our values more fully, save money to invest in improving our neighborhood, make our home, garden, and neighborhood more resilient and antifragile. So far, Frugality Month is off to a good start. It’s hard—really hard—but when you see your savings rate soar you realize how quickly you could be saving for that business venture, home, or real estate project.

This is a bit of a departure from the typical Strong Towns terrain, but in our movement, getting the “right answer” or understanding the problem is only half the battle. If we are not able to change our own behaviors to respond to our predicament, if we only ask what hypothetical “other people” should be doing differently… we’re never going to get there. We need to develop a practical path to becoming stronger citizens, for our families, neighborhoods, and cities.

Read New Years Resolutions for a Strong Citizen by Seth Zeren at Strong Towns.

February 13, 2017 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

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