22 Quotes about Peace, Social Justice, and Sustainable Development

All Posts, Featured, Sustainable Development Goals
At the core of the 17 Global Goals, there is a call to action.  One that asks individuals to actively participate in sustainable development across the globe.  Whether you work at the local or global level; in health care, environmental restoration, or finance, it doesn’t matter – everyone has a role to play. Goal #16 ~ Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies The targets behind this goal are vast and require fundamental change to regulatory systems and dated ideologies.  Success lies in empowering global citizens to take action locally, offering inspiration and ideas to the community at large. Are you looking to get inspired? Here is a small collection of thought provoking quotes by some of the greatest leaders our world has known.  Enjoy! "Peace comes from within. Do not…
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Duty of Care to Act on Climate Change

Duty of Care to Act on Climate Change

All Posts, Featured, Sustainable Development Goals
Have you ever wondered what you can do to help solve the issues surrounding climate change? The impacts of a warming planet and changing climate have been affecting the state of our environment for decades.  Scientist came forward long ago alongside organizations and individuals standing up for the Earth, urging all citizens to recognize the results of the industrial era, and to change business as usual. While there was much growth and prosperity over the past 200 years, it was far too often at the expense of the Earth and its people. ‘We Are the First Generation that Can End Poverty, the Last that Can End Climate Change.” ~Ban Ki-moon Solutions come from the ground up – the grassroots movements across the globe.  It is up to the individual to…
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Why World Water Day Becomes Twice as Important Each Year

Why World Water Day Becomes Twice as Important Each Year

All Posts, Sustainable Development Goals
Do you practice water conservation at home?  Once you become mindful of water use, you begin to notice how easy it is to save clean water from being wasted.  Here we are – a third of the way through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) set out by the UN – Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Water is a basic human right, accessible, clean water, is a birth right that has been taken from the reach of far too many citizens and living creatures on this planet.  As water becomes more polluted across the globe, the injustices associated with it become crystal clear.  A portion of the population has taken this resource for granted; a growing population is deprived of it. While I did learn about water conservation growing up from…
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We Can Learn a Lesson Anywhere & Find a Classroom Everywhere

We Can Learn a Lesson Anywhere & Find a Classroom Everywhere

All Posts, Sustainable Development Goals
Do you believe you can learn a lesson beyond a classroom limited by four walls?   I see education as a two way street with many stops along the journey.  What I put into it, I get out of it.  Over the years I have found different ways to learn, many of them outside the four walls of an academic institution. That being said, I am extremely grateful for the two decades I spent in school at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary level.  Those twenty years were a blessing, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity. Of course the reality is that despite the fact that we can learn anywhere, there is still a large part of our global population that does not have the means or the…
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Is Health and Well-Being the Heartbeat of the SDG’s?

Is Health and Well-Being the Heartbeat of the SDG’s?

All Posts, Sustainable Development Goals
Have you ever considered the importance of your own health and well-being when it comes to achieving sustainable development? If you’re wondering where the question comes from, take a look at Global Goal 3 on the UN website.  Once you’re on the page, you will notice that there is an area that reads “Click to See Targets”.  That will take you to a list of 13 specified targets that have been identified as required to meet the overall goal. In total, the SDGs layout 169 targets to cover the 17 Goals.  We’re not talking identical numbers here, but it’s not really a stretch to compare the collective SDGs to the human body which is made up of organs and systems that keep us alive and well. Awareness of Interconnection The above comparison…
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Working Towards Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Working Towards Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger

All Posts, Sustainable Development Goals
Do you think it's possible to feed our world's population with the global resources we have? Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger.  That’s a big one, but not impossible.  The problem has been identified: “…extreme hunger and malnutrition remains a huge barrier to development in many countries.”  Perhaps we can even edit that to state that it is a huge barrier for development in every community since people all over the world are negatively affected by hunger. Seeking Solutions A child that does not eat properly faces health problems; much like an adult that consumes more processed food than vegetables is not in a healthy state. I could go on for a long while about the problems – because let’s face it – there are plenty.  Instead I prefer to focus on…
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Sustainability Sweet Spot

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Ever tried to fit a square peg into a round hole?  How about a round peg into a square hole?  I have, and the results are revealing. You see, I always believed myself to be a round peg.  And after researching the term a little bit deeper, it's all so clear. The origins of the idiom are attributed to the 19th-century British philosopher and cleric Sydney Smith who uses the word “misfit” to define the peg.  Of course that makes sense – mis-fit. Another part of the example I found quite interesting – “trying to combine two things that do not belong or fit together”.  That one triggered an interesting memory. The Big Question It was fourth year of university, and as I was standing in front of the students in my…
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Romancing the Revolution

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It’s easier to assume a status quo style of life if you’ve never been exposed to the alternative, faced with the opportunity to go in a different direction. For me, doing things differently has pretty much been second nature.  It’s a blessing and a curse to take the road less traveled – near every single time.  Yet, when I’m at the crossroads, the paved way doesn’t quite convince me. My leap of faith therefore leads me off the beaten track, with each new adventure an experience to be had.  Over the years this has taught me lessons, brought me joy, anxiety, fear, love, hate, relief, amongst other sentiments.  Although, above all, it kept me believing – in me. Once I hit my twenties, life was starting to bloom.  A lot…
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Purchase with Purpose

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There is a fine line between conservation and hoarding.  Seeing value in so many things can lead to not throwing items away.  To be completely honest – despite being a Virgo – I am not very tidy.  My older Sister (by only 22 months) has been a role model to me ever since I can remember.  She has been there for me in one way or another for decades and I am so grateful for our commitment to each other.  Luckily one of her expertise and hobbies is Clutter Crackdown and I was her guinea pig. It took a long time for what she was saying to sink in, however over the years her voice (echoed by my mother’s) finally makes sense.  I am finding liberation and enjoyment in getting…
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How do you take your Coffee?

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Recently a retailer asked me a very important question: what brand of Fair Trade Coffee do you recommend? As an avid coffee drinker and inspired to walk the talk, I brew an assortment of Fair Trade, Direct Trade & Beyond Fair Trade coffees. Off the top of my head I rhymed off a few that she could check out – however the question still sits on my mind. Where we spend our money has such a big impact on shaping the world – I wanted to ensure that I was directing her to the best bag of coffee based on her ethical values. What is the ideal coffee for a retailer looking to offer positive products? It was a great question and ever since she asked (about a month ago),…
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Satisfy your Soul

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September is an exciting month. With my birthday at the beginning, followed by an annual trip to Ottawa for Folkfest shortly after, I’ve got a lot to celebrate. Truthfully – I feel as though I grow into myself a little bit more each year. Looking at books about birthdays, reading into my astrological sign over the years & learning about my Mayan sign while traveling have all led me to conclude that I am a lot like they describe. Sure, there are some generalizations that can apply to many – but at the core – I can really relate to what is written. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I went off course, turned into someone else to please others, but luckily – I found my…
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What Makes a City Sustainable?

What Makes a City Sustainable?

All Posts, Fair Trade, Triple Bottom Line
Do you live in a city that practices sustainable development? For me, the desire to live in a truly sustainable city inspired me to become a student again. Luckily this time around technology offers a unique opportunity to learn from great teachers located around the world for free. The online course taught by Prof Jeffrey Sachs offered through coursera.org was eye opening. Sustainable Development based on the key principles of Social Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, & Economic Development is a great objective for the road ahead.  The course concluded last week leaving students with an abundance of knowledge and tools to help us work together at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations. Conscious Consumption Being an entrepreneur teaches me many things that I never would have learned in…
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Is Passion Sustainable?

Is Passion Sustainable?

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Over the past five years I have dedicated my energy to growing and developing a different kind of business.  One that is driven by passion.  I did not fit well into the corporate culture of the companies I once worked for.  Creating my own culture through a personal grassroots movement has been my greatest success. [caption id="attachment_76" align="aligncenter" width="266"] Simply Sustainable at Mariposa Folk Festival[/caption] Growing pains will always be part of the growth process – however solid ground in the overall mission helps immensely.  Defining my mission statement from the very beginning was a bit tricky - but setting out the foundation for what I wanted to achieve helped me walk towards it .  When I first started making jewelry – I was enjoying the art behind it.  I…
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I’m so ready…for a change!

I’m so ready…for a change!

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Have you ever experienced something that changed your life one month to the next? It was the summer of 2003 when I had the opportunity to see two of my favorite bands play live.  Pearl Jam live in Montreal, followed by Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals live in Ottawa.  A pivotal time in my life – that was one Canada Day Weekend I would never forget. A month later we experienced a black out in much of Ontario & the East Coast.  Although my home town of Niagara Falls was not affected, I was living in Ottawa and we were without power for over 30 hours.  It was an eye opener for so many people who take constant running electricity for granted. We were forced to slow down, go…
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