Live A More Sustainable Everyday Life: A Few Simple Ways to Make an Impact

We hear about sustainability in almost every facet of our lives these days. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase sustainability, and cities all over the world are being pitted against each other to determine which ones are the most sustainable. In a society where consumption has been the longtime front-runner in the determination of one’s social standing, sustainability has become a necessity in trying to preserve our planet. It may seem like a daunting, even impossible task, but there are simple things that can be incorporated into our lives that contribute to an overall more sustainable life.

Live A More Sustainable Everyday Life: A Few Simple Ways to Make an ImpactImage courtesy of Getty Images

Shop Less. Begin to unlearn the conditioning that has taught you to purchase so much “stuff”. Instead of buying items that you don’t really have a use for, and will be ultimately be obsolete sooner rather than later, save your money for experiences. Remember the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

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Image courtesy of Getty ImagesRemove Plastic from Your Life. Most plastics are not biodegradable, so they are essentially going to be here forever. Billions of pounds of plastic are currently in the ocean, and they’re killing marine life and destroying ocean eco systems every day. You can immediately start reducing  your plastic use by bringing reusable bags when you go shopping, switch to reusable water bottles (preferably glass or metal), and ditching the unnecessary plastic when buying vegetables and meats (you’ll be rinsing them anyway).

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Image courtesy of Getty ImagesImage courtesy of Getty ImagesDrive Less. This is not a viable step for everyone (depending on your location or place of residence). But, if it is available, opt for the use of public transportation or a carpooling set-up. If you want to take it a little further, and improve your health in the process, start walking or biking instead of driving. If driving a car really is your only means of transportation, be sure to keep your car tuned up; a properly maintained car uses less fuel.

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Image courtesy of Getty ImagesEat Less (Red) Meat. Our society’s meat production process is one of the most destructive industries we have created. The production of meat requires huge amounts of water, creates pollution, and contributes to carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions. Opt for locally grown fruits and vegetables to provide most of your caloric intake, and you will be simultaneously saving the earth.

Click here to see more steps that can lead towards a more sustainable life.

from Vladislav Davidzon – Sustainable Living


Spring is here: Asparagus Risotto

Spring is here: Asparagus RisottoThe GF BFF

Fresh local asparagus means spring is finally here! The Jean Talon Market is full of asparagus and it inspired me to make risotto as the first alfreso dinner at my new apartment. After the winter we had in Montreal eating fresh food outside is more than a treat! Risotto is one of my favourite dishes to make and pretty hard to screw-up once you learn the basic steps. There are thousands of risotto recipes but I love this one from Thug Kitchen as it is simple, delicious and gluten-free. It is also fun to follow recipes from Thug Kitchen as the blog is serious about food but doesn’t take it self too seriously and we can all use some laughs while cooking.

You can find the recipe from Thug Kitchen here. This recipe is vegan as it but I made a few adjustments. At the end I added a pat…

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Eat More Sustainably (Part 2)

As I mentioned in part one of this list t it’s really important for the health of our planet for people to become more aware of the effects of their eating habits. Eating sustainably doesn’t have to be a complete upheaval of your lifestyle. Below, are a few more tips to eating more sustainably.

Grow Fruits, Vegetables, & Herbs

This is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that your food is organic; you have full control over the way that your food is grown. Many people overlook this option because they don’t have access to a garden or a backyard. But, a windowsill is more than enough space for a small herb garden. Every little bit of home gardening helps There are plenty of resources to help you grow food from your apartment.

Stop Buying Bottled Water & Start Drinking Tap

Water bottle production is incredibly bad for the environment. Water bottle production is linked to the consumption over 1.5 million barrels a year. The transportation of that water is linked to four thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Tap water in America is run through several filtration processes, but if you want to take extra precautions, you can always purchase a filter for your tap.

Start Composting

Most people are under the assumption that food breaks down in landfills; that is not the case. Landfills are designed to keep trash dry and away from the air, so even biodegradable items stay intact. You can do you part by saving your food scraps and starting a compost system at home.  It may seem unappealing, but there are many options that will make your compost experience smell and stress free.

Reduce and Reuse Packaging

Start buying your food in bulk instead of smaller, more frequently purchases packages. If you do need to buy smaller items, try to find groceries with recyclable packing (reusable containers or bags). Bonus: Buying in bulk is also a fantastic way to save money.

To learn more about Vladislav Davidzon, check out his website:

Plant-Based Eating | Common Worries Addressed

Eating a plant-based diet comes with a plethora of health benefits. In today’s society, an indicator that this type of eating is healthy comes down to the change that many with ailments follow. Most with some sort of a serious disease are instructed to cut back on meat. There is logic behind this prescribed notion, despite the worries and fears people often experience when questioned about taking on the plant-based nutrition lifestyle.

One of the first concerns that spectators ask in relation to a plant-based lifestyle is whether it will provide enough protein. Other questions that arise may be tied to whether iron and amino acid levels will be adequate. In order to receive protein, eating items such as brown rice, beans, oats, nuts, seeds, and certain vegetables will provide the needed levels. Protein levels in these types of foods may even be comparable to other foods such as chicken breast and amino acids will be included too. Calcium, another nutrient that raised worries, can be found in several plant-based areas. Plants like broccoli and kale are high in calcium, as well as almonds. Legumes and dark leafy greens are high in iron too for those concerned about that aspect.

An area where those on plant-based diets, especially vegans, should be aware includes receiving the proper amount of vitamin B12. Commonly found in milks with a plant based and fortified foods, like cereal, B12 often can not be disseminated to vegans in the same way. The best alternative is to just take a liquid supplement of B12. This is no serious effort and vegans should consider this the same as any multivitamin many take daily.

The concerns that many have entering into a plant-based food lifestyle can be resolved with a little research. The bottom line is that whole foods are most beneficial to human health. To learn more about this topic, visit One Green Planet online here.

from Vladislav Davidzon – Plant Based Nutrition

The Immense Importance Of Permaculture

Since we are witnessing a battle for the preservation of our planet, we are “forced” to pick sides in the “conflict” which could significantly affect the lives of future generations on Earth. In other words, we can either be insensitive and ignore the destruction and pollution of the environment or we can become proactive in our efforts to preserve the ecosystems as much as possible. If we ignore the problem and accept the status quo, the world will continue to slide towards the impending doom, and our green forests and fresh vegetables will become distant reminders of happy days of living on planet Earth.

The Role Of Permaculture

The Role Of PermacultureFor those of you who are not familiar with the term, permaculture is a system of teachings which are designed to promote a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. For instance, Vladislav Davidzon is a notable example of a man who lives by those standards, and his Regenerative Leadership Institute is a unique and highly respected school. The principles of permaculture can help us lead a self-sufficient style of life even in dense urban areas, and that is why this philosophical system has a multitude of practical purposes. As a matter of fact, this pragmatic aspect of permaculture holds the largest importance regarding the preservation of habitats and green areas on our planet, and that is why the role of permaculture in saving the environment is immense and vital.

How To Use And Apply Permaculture

Permaculture is a method that can be easily applied to your daily life, and that is one of the primary advantages of this system. For example, it can teach you about different watering methods for your garden, or it can even help you turn the roof of your building into a beautiful, lush oasis of greenery. different watering methods for your gardenVertical gardens and the utilization of balconies is also easy to accomplish with the help of permaculture principles and strategies, which is why a lot of people are using this method to make their homes green and self-reliant. The preservation of our planet starts in our own house, and that is why you should incorporate permaculture teachings into your daily activities and plans.







Taste the Rainbow: Colors of Plant-based Nutrition

Just because you’re eating clean doesn’t mean your meals have to be boring!  And I’m not referring to skittles and M&M’s.  In fact, the pigment of the food that you eat, (everything from your dark leafy greens to bright blue blueberries) indicates its nutritional value.  Checking your daily “color intake” is a creative method in finding all your necessary nutrients.


Red fruits and vegetables include a class of more than 600 naturally occurring pigments known as carotenoids. Once ingested, cartoneoids are converted to beta-carotenes which ultimately convert to Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports the function of white blood cells (which are important for a healthy immune system), promotes bone growth, and regulates cell growth and division. Cartoneoids also are full of fiber and antioxidants quercetin, vitamin C, and lycopene.  Tomatoes, especially cooked, contain large amounts of lycopene and help maintain prostate health.  Quercetin has also been shown to prevent the loss of cartilage, so it’s helpful for keeping your bones strong and healthy for the long-haul.

RedImage courtesy of Getty Images

red peppers
red onions
red potatoes



Orange foods also contain high amounts of Vitamin A.  The old wives’ tale that carrots improve your vision has been proven, so eat your carrots!

OrangeImage courtesy of Getty Images

butternut squash
sweet potatoes


Be it lemons or pineapples, add some cheerful yellow to your plate for an influx of cancer-fighting carotenoids and skin-strengthening bioflavins.

lemonsImage courtesy of Getty Images


Buddha’s hand (native to China and the lower Himalayas)
yellow pears
yellow squash
yellow tomatoes
yellow peppers
yellow figs
corn (technically a grain)
yellow/golden beets


You’ve probably already joined the masses and  “gone green”; those green juices are being sold everywhere these days! But it’s always good to reinforce the importance of those nutritious greens.  Green foods contain high amounts of vitamins A, C and K, iron, and smaller but still valuable amounts of other nutrients like chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin, and folate.  Did you know that green veggies are also high in calcium?

GreenImage courtesy of Getty Images


bok choy
turnip greens
collard greens
romaine lettuce

Blue & Purple

There are technically no naturally occurring blue foods, so even the magenta-tinted blueberry falls into a blue/purple category.  Two phytochemicals: anthocyanins and resveratrol, contribute to the bluish-purple character of many fruits and vegetables.   Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic, helping in lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol has disease preventing and anti-aging properties.  It also helps to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and lowers the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.


Blue & PurpleImage courtesy of Getty Images

acai berries
maqui berries
purple asparagus
purple cabbage
purple carrots
purple-fleshed potatoes


More often than not, when people start their journey towards healthier eating, the first bit or advice they receive is “avoid white foods”. This advice isn’t wholly accurate at all; white foods actually boost the body’s immune system and help in avoiding weight gain, as long as processed foods like white bread are being avoided.

If you choose to incorporate dairy into your diet, stick with low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk, yogurt, and some cheeses.  These are packed with vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus.  Fat from dairy and oils are important for proper developmental growth, healthy skin, and to help regulate cholesterol.  Fat is also needed for transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as carotenoids, all supplemented with a high-veggie diet.

high-veggie dietImage courtesy of Getty Images

Jerusalem artichokes
white corn


When filling your plate with the colors of the rainbow, don’t forget black foods. Because of their high pigment content, black foods contain more antioxidants than light-colored foods.  Plus, they contain powerful phytonutrients that aid in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

BlackImage courtesy of Getty Images


black lentils
black rice
black garlic
shiitake mushrooms
black beans
black tea
black chia seeds

Imagine your meal as a painting, and each contributing ingredient acts as a brushstroke in healthy eating.  I recommend taking a checklist with you when you go to the supermarket (or farmer’s market) to ensure your purchases contribute to a balanced “palette.”  A diversity of colors signifies consumption of vital vitamins and antioxidants, so don’t hesitate to add color to your plate.

For more information on color related nutrition, see this article.

from Vladislav Davidzon – Plant Based Nutrition



FREE Public Seminar about Plant Nutrition , Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting Powder

FREE Public Seminar about Plant Nutrition , Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting PowderCollector’s Connection

Quezon Memorial Circle , Quezon City-Philippines

Quezon Memorial Circle , Quezon City-PhilippinesPhilippine Horticultural Society Inc. ( Education Committee ) in cooperation with The Philippine Orchid Conservation and Preservation Volunteers and Quezon Memorial Circle .

Because of multiple requests, the course will be presented again middle of February 2015.  Orchidology 1 will be the prerequisite of the laboratory training course: Aseptic Cultures of Orchid to be held on May 2015. This is part of the PHSI’s mission of spreading the science of Horticulture to upgrade the level of the Horticultural Industries in the Philippines.

For the month of August, the lectures will be on Basic Plant Nutrition, Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting Powder Compounding Demonstration and Workshop. The certificate course is intended for commercial nursery operators, academicians, hobbyists and students of Agriculture.  For attendees of Fertilizer Compounding, please bring calculators. Nutrient computations will be part of the exercise. This is one of the public services of…

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Blackened Salmon Quinoa Salad

Blackened Salmon Quinoa SaladThere is definitely “summer food” and “winter food”, right? Who wants to spend a hot summer day out on a boat baking in the sun and then come home to a nice hot casserole? Not I!

I prefer to come home to something fresh, light, and colorful. Salads, grilling, and ICE CREAM particularly come to mind. Today I have the perfect summer salad for you that can be served as a main dish or even as a side at a BBQ or Memorial Day party.

This salad is full of healthy fish fats, whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies. I mean, come on. And it only takes about 20 minutes to make. Its SO good. So make it this weekend. Impress your friends. I dare you.

Blackened Salmon Quinoa Salad
For the salmon:
1 pound fresh salmon fillet
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsps maple syrup
1 tsp…

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Three Reasons We Need to Make Cities Walkable Again

Generally speaking, cities are designed for the automobile. Even in cities like New York, where the public transit network is extensive and easily accessible, the city blocks are designed to accommodate cars and almost all pedestrian activity is directly affected by the flow of traffic and location of cars around the city. City codes are controlled by vehicle-related planning codes, and space that could be used for new business is instead dominated by expansive parking lots and “street parking”. Parking in cities is usually subsidized or free for the drivers, but the cost actually hits everyone in the grand scheme of things, due to the increased costs of goods and services as a result of the cost of parking. The following are three specific reasons that cities as a whole need to begin to move towards being more walkable and less car-centric:

Walkable Cities = Healthier Citizens

Living in a city where walking is encouraged and vehicles do not monopolize the transportation of its people, can improve both the physical and mental health of its citizens. In America, physical inactivity is the cause of almost 10% of its yearly medical bills. Bodies that don’t walk and engage in regular physical activity are more susceptible to hypertension, strokes, and heart disease. On the mental health note, walking requires less “stressful concentration” than driving does and also encourages healthy, unisolated interaction with other people (leading to friendship and networking opportunities.)

Parking Costs Much More Than You’d Think

In the early 2000s, the U.S. parking subsidy was within the range of $127 billion and $374 billion dollars a year, which made our nation’s parking budget close to the budget of our national defense budget. On a smaller scale, individual cities have been moving towards allowing businesses to pay towards farther, shared parking spaces, instead of requiring businesses to provide private parking. This has allowed cities to more accurately gauge how much parking is needed, and has increased the use of public transit and walking. The increased foot traffic has actually already lead to a healthier economy on this smaller scale.

American Downtowns are for People, Not Their Cars

This sounds like a pretty obvious point, but it’s worth noting. Narrow, shop-lined streets provide for a much more comfortable, and positive city experience than a heavily congested, parking lot/car lined street. Many officials believe that the solution to reducing congestion is to add more free-ways, and parking lots, but that’s not the case. The increase of spaces for cars just means that more cars will come. It’s in the reduction of vehicle-only spaces that we’ll be able to reduce the use of cars, and increase the quaint, comfortable feeling of traffic-less downtown spaces that we all want in our downtown areas.


For more information on why we need more walkable places, see this article.


from Vladislav Davidzon – Sustainable Living


Sustainability and College Campuses

Sustainability is a concept sweeping college campuses. This theme comes after diversity became a well accepted practice first implemented during the 1990s. The excitement for sustainability has affected campus areas such as offices, dorms, faculty lounges, and dining halls. Today, the term sustainability not only covers issues involving the environment and clean water matters but also social justice. The movement is geared toward changing political, economic, and social structures. The ideology of sustainability is to encourage all those who are a part of campus life to view the world differently. This encouraged worldview takes place in the form of classes and full degree programs. For example, Cornell University teaches a course in “The Ethics of Eating”.

The idea of sustainability often means changing small habits for the greater good. Some things that students are encouraged to do to make these changes may include taking shorter showers or refraining from eating meat at least one day per week. St. John’s University in Minnesota push sustainability by placing emphasis on economy, environment, and equity when instructing students. This particular school also aims to become carbon-neutral in the next twenty years by making a few adjustments in daily living. By spending money on alternative energy and changing energy sources, this goal can be reached. These practices are incorporated in student’s academic experiences by presenting the idea with exercises in freshman orientation and then having the seniors take a sustainability literacy assessment.

Many students are attracted to the idea of sustainability on their college campuses because it provides them a sense of meaning and purpose. It gives students a chance to exercise moralistic behavior that has the power to restore and restructure the Earth. The element of community is also a desirable aspect of participating in sustainability efforts. A debatable thought related to sustainability may include its close relation to religious practices. Some refer to the practice as the Church of Sustainability which hails its themes from Judeo-Christianity.

To learn more about sustainability on college campuses visit the Star Tribune here.

from Vladislav Davidzon – Sustainable Living