Self Care is Good for the Cause!

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With all that’s going on in the world and our country, I think we could all use some self care. It’s important to not feel guilty about taking a moment for yourself to reboot; because ,if you don’t take some time for yourself you’ll burn out, and in a time like this we all need to stay fresh for the long haul.

Take yourself out to a movie, go to bar with friends, stay in and cook dinner with your partner, look at pictures of kittens. The only thing off the menu is talking or reading about politics. Give yourself permission to take pleasure in the things you enjoy, without feeling any guilt.

Then get back to kicking ass.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

4 Ways to Appreciate Nature This Year

pexels-photo-38136It’s hard to sit at a desk all day, it’s hard to concentrate on a single task for hours on end, and it’s even harder to feel fulfilled mentally while doing so.

But, this is the unfortunate reality for many in the workforce. However, there are a few little changes you can make to improve your overall mood and attentiveness throughout the day. It has been proven by the American Psychological Association that a little nature will go a long way. In a study by Rachel Kaplan, it was found that office workers with a view of nature “liked their jobs more, enjoyed better health and reported greater life satisfaction.”

Here are 4 ways to incorporate nature and well being into your everyday life:

  1. Eat your lunch outdoors. It will get you out of the office, and hopefully away from screens.
  2. Keep  a plant at your desk. Succulents are great – they need very little water, but a lot of  light!
  3. Exercise outdoors. Wake up a half hour early and go for a run. It will invigorate you!
  4. Take a moment everyday to step outside and appreciate your surroundings, and if it’s too cold, peep outside your window!

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

 

How Eco are You?

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It’s no secret that western eating habits are unsustainable – producing a little over 2 lbs of beef results in the increase of over 59 lbs of carbon dioxide.

The protein of the future will likely come from insects, and there are a few companies that are already capitalizing on this. It’s not just the most likely option, but it’s the most ecologically friendly. It takes a lot less resources to farm insects such as crickets, and they release much less methane than cows.

About 2 billion people in the world already regularly eat insects, but it’s something not widely accepted by our western palettes.

Are you green enough to try this trend?

You can go ahead and order cricket flour here, or even buy pre-made cookies.

I gave it a try, now tell me what you think.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)

Let’s Talk Green

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A guide to the jargon of the zero waste movement.

Zero Waste: Is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.

Precycle: The practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid bringing items which will generate waste into home or business.

Upcycle: Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.

Circular Economy:  Is a generic term for an industrial economy that is producing no waste and pollution, by design or intention, and in which material flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to reenter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality in the production system without entering the biosphere as well as being restorative and regenerative by design.

Composite Material:  Is a material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. Diapers and juice boxes are made of composite materials, composite materials make it harder to recycle.

Organic Waste: Any waste which can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water, methane or simple organic molecules by micro-organisms and other living things using composting, aerobic digestion, anaerobic digestion or similar processes.

Have any other terms that you would like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

Written by: Mollie Mac

Umuganda – A Rwandan Tradition

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While I was in Rwanda late last year I learned of Umuganda, which is perhaps the best enforced form of community service I have ever seen.

Umuganda can be translated to “coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome,” and it is a mandatory day of community service  that takes place on the last Saturday of every month from 8am to 11am. During Umuganda all Rwandans between the ages of 18-65  (actually everyone is, including tourists!) are required to go outside and clean up a designated area, usually close to where they reside; almost everything shuts down, including private and public transportation.

The purpose of this is twofold, firstly, and most obviously, it is to keep the country clean, and Rwanda was by far the cleanest of the 7 countries I visited in Africa – it’s actually cleaner than most states in the US, and definitely cleaner than NY. It also dissuades people from littering by making them responsible for their actions, you’re way less likely to throw that plastic bottle out the window if you know in a few weeks you’ll be outside picking it up.

Secondly, it brings the community together. In a country that just 24 years ago experienced a mass genocide where neighbors brutally murdered one another, the importance of an allegiance to one’s community over tribe is highly valued and needed for the continued success and healing of this country. It’s amazing how quickly this country has been able to bounce back, since the 1994 genocide the GDP has risen from $416 to $1,784 in 2015, and tourism is it’s fastest growing sector.

Though I must admit it’s not a perfect practice, as Rwanda’s wealthier citizens usually send their help in their stead. But, I do think there is a lot to learn from this practice. I am astounded by how much litter I see on the sides of the highway or on the sidewalks as I run – perhaps if we had our own Umuganda the streets would be cleaner, and we would be more empathetic towards our neighbors.

Written by: Mollie Mac, ECOBAGS® very own marketing maven. Mollie is an adventurer and a green living advocate. If you have any tips or tricks for her she’d love to hear from you, email her at: mollie(at)ecobags(dot)com:)