Mindfulness

Practice Being Present

To me, the idea of being ‘present’ was only something that came up in a yoga class when the instructor would tell me to stay present as I struggled and groaned trying to balance one leg over my knee. But recently I’ve read a few excellent articles about every-day presence by David Cain at Raptitude.com….

Happiness

Better Ways to Measure a Country’s Happiness

Since the start of the modern economy, the most commonly used tool to figure out a country’s economic growth has been the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP simply sums up all the goods and services produced in a country. If your country is making tons of stuff and providing lots of services, you’re GDP…

Happiness

Think of the Possibilities!

Do you ever stop and think about the absolutely mind-blowing amount of opportunity and information and freedom that we have in our lives? You can buy any material good you can think of with the click of a button. You can find accurate information and the answers to all your questions within a minute on…

Sustainability

The Oil Sands – Before and After

I really hoped to avoid ever getting too Greenpeace-y environmentalist on this blog. But when I thought about it, simplicity and sustainability go pretty well hand-in-hand, as over-consumption has pushed the carrying capacity of earth to its upper limits. So I figured I could get away with this one, just once. In class the other…

Finance, Minimalism, Simplicity

Are We All Hyper-Consumers?

While listening to CBC radio today about China’s growing smog problems, the word ‘hyper-consumerism’ was mentioned when referring to consumer trends in North America and China.The lady said it quickly and matter-of-factly as if it was a commonly known term, but to me the word felt like a slap in the face. Hyper-consumerism!? Whoa, I…

Sustainability

The Story of Easter Island

I want to tell a story about little place in the South Pacific called Easter Island. Many people will recognize the famous stone heads scattered all over its shores, but I bet some aren’t aware that the island used to be home to a relatively ‘advanced’ society. Polynesian explorers landed there in about 500 AD…

Gardening, Health, Sustainability

Going Vegetarian

Growing up I always thought the idea of being a vegetarian was kind of crazy. It was rare to have a dinner that didn’t have some meat in it, and in school we learned ad nauseam about the ‘four essential food groups’ with meat of course being one of them. I never thought twice about it…

Finance, Minimalism

Buy Nothing Challenge

Buying nothing is kind of forced upon you when you’re a student. Having left my steady paycheck 5 months ago and rejoined the bank-draining world of student life, I’ve begun to revisit old money-saving techniques that I conveniently avoided when I was working full-time. All of a sudden, a new $80 sweater seemed absolutely ludicrous!…

Simplicity, Small Housing

My Dream to Live in a Tiny House

“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” -Leo Babauta The obsession started when a friend first showed me Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, a company in the states started by Jay Schafer. Tumbleweed has been a big part of starting what many are calling the tiny house movement, where thousands of people…