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Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


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Inexpensive and good for you -10 ideas for 10 dollars or less for your Friday night


In Seattle many of the students at SPU have a hard time finding fun activities to do that won’t break the bank. Seattle has exponential opportunities to try something new, but it might cost you a pretty penny. Here are some ideas for students (or people on a budget) for Friday nights.

1) Board games at a local game store (Free + bus fare and snacks) This activity can be totally free! For SPU students Blue Highway is a walk up the 3rd Ave. hill to upper Queen Anne. If the weather isn’t ideal, the 13 also goes up the hill and stops just two blocks away from this fun game store on the corner of Boston Ave. and Queen Anne. The staff is really helpful at teaching you a new game if you need help, and sometimes they even have fun events in their store. It’s also a great place to try before you buy, and then invest in a favorite game once you have a little extra cash. Their Friday hours are 10 am to 11 pm. Playing board games is a great way to connect with people and exercise your brain. This location isn’t the only one though; there’s another game store in Ballard as well.

2) Visit a park and play Frisbee (Free if you own a Frisbee)

view-from-bhy-kracke-300x225

The view from Bhy Kracke Park. Photo credit: SeattleStairwayWalks.com.

Seattle has so many gorgeous parks, and I’m certain other cities and towns have parks with spacious lawns for Frisbee. Getting out and running around a bit can be really fun, no matter how uncoordinated you may be. For Seattlites and other pacific northwesters it can get dark pretty early in the evening, so checking out options for a glow in the dark disc is a must, finding an affordable one isn’t too difficult, just stay away from specialty ones, or the lit ones that require batteries. A few of my suggestions for parks are Discovery park in Magnolia or Bhy Kracke park in Upper Queen Anne. I caution the klutzy though, because Bhy Kracke is on a steep hill and you could easily lose your disc down the hill. Both parks close at 11:30 pm (sunshine and shoes are optional). Continue reading


Tis the Season to be Resourceful- Reducing Holiday Waste


As the season of giving and wrapping gifts is upon us, here are some ways to prevent waste in the midst of the chaos. If you want to avoid wrapping all together, you can give experiences like going ice skating or making time to spend a day baking cookies. Making homemade gifts can also be really fun and give your wallet some relief. Decided to go with boxes and bows? Look at these tips below.

1) Wrap gifts with recyclable or reused materials: Using newspaper, fabric scraps, and parts of the gift itself (like a towel or tie) to wrap a gift can not only show off your creativity, but also help reduce how much of your hard work gets tossed in the trash. If you want to go for a greener feel, using pine needles or holly (and other compostable flora) are other ways to brighten up your packages without subjecting to the plastic coated paper and polyester bows. 2) Pack with precision: Finding packaging that is the right size for your gift reduces filler needed for the inside of the package. If you still find yourself needing to add a little cushion to your gifts, using paper, or paper based stuffers instead of plastic or Styrofoam will help the people you are giving gifts to dispose of their packaging easily, because it will all be recyclable.

Continue reading


Taking a Bike?


That’s right, now in Seattle you don’t have to take a hike (unless of course you want to). Instead you can take a bike with the new  Seattle bike share program, operated by the non-profit Pronto Cycle Share. This program launched in October and was such a hit that it is expanding. Deciding where more of the solar powered bike share stations will go is up to the general public. That includes you, so vote here!

The bike share program encourages Continue reading


The Sustainable Vote


As election week is just around the corner, many of us have probably received our ballots in the mail, but did you ever stop to consider voting because of sustainability? Most of us vote on social issues, or related to how a candidate thinks economically, but the truth is that we can exercise our love for sustainability just by voting at all. Thinking critically about the future and the candidates we choose to make decisions for our future, is being socially sustainable. We can participate in social equality by voting and encouraging others to vote as well.

The Story of Change © 2013 Story of Stuff Project Creative Commons License  http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-change/

The Story of Change © 2013 Story of Stuff Project Creative Commons License
http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-change/

Our neglect of the incredible opportunity we have to vote is often due to it being in the shadow of the power we feel as consumers. Continue reading


Eco-Sanctuaries on Whidbey Island


whidbeyIf I may add to the list of reasons to visit Whidbey IslandThe Seattle Times has recently posted an article about some intriguing zen-centered island spots to visit, starting with the yoga lodge, a super-chill Whidbey Island retreat. The lodge sounds like the perfect place to get your enviro-health on, with yoga classes, a hiking trail, and an all-vegetarian menu. Continue reading


Healthy Habits to Consider this Spring Break


Spring-15When school is in session, there often just isn’t enough time to work on a healthier lifestyle. Eating oatmeal and a banana for breakfast? With a smoothie to drink? Many college kids don’t even spend time eating breakfast at all, whether that breakfast is a three course feast or a bowl of cereal with possibly expired milk. The nice thing about living such a hectic lifestyle is that when a break comes, the world seems to move in slow motion. Even if you’ll still be working a job over spring break, the lack of school will likely transmit itself into little gaps of time that you suddenly have no clue what to do with. While this sudden freedom may be short-lived, you might be able to use the time to implement some healthy habits into your lifestyle that will last even when you return to the books. Continue reading


Sustainability & Film: Frances Ha


Frances-Ha-film-stillIt’s hard to think of a better movie about the sustainability of youthful enthusiasm than Noah Baumbach’s simultaneously charming and distressing dramedy “Frances Ha.” While the post-college transition or non-transition into adulthood is a popular indie-movie theme (and one of my personal favorites), Frances Ha manages to examine it with a hand that is both hyper-realistic and graceful. Greta Gerwig gives one of my favorite performances of 2013 as Frances, a 27 year-old apprentice dancer who lives in Brooklyn with her best friend Sophie. With her dancing career not taking off as she had hoped, Frances’ friendship with Sophie acts as her mental cushion against a discouraging reality. This gets taken away from her when Sophie decides to move in with someone else, and Frances is forced to re-examine the state of her life. Continue reading


Aimee Bender and Renewal


color masterFor those who aren’t familiar with the work of Aimee Bender, her writing includes several books of short stories and two novels, and can be generalized as a blending of the magical and surreal with the everyday. Through unique means, Bender renders characters and emotions with honesty and insight, often cutting to the heart of the human condition with a deceptively simple touch. I’ve been going through her latest book of short stories, The Color Master, and was struck by the way she used the thread of sustainability in a story called Bad Return. Continue reading


Eating to Combat Anxiety


liz-lemon-have-it-all-650x362The first week of a new quarter is notoriously stressful. It’s hit me like never before this winter (though it probably feels that way every time), and I expect that the majority of my fellow students are currently feeling like butter spread over too much bread (because the world needs more LOTR references). I’ve written about less concrete ways of dealing with anxiety before, but just like certain foods can help us to concentrate, certain foods can also help us in the fight against stress. Continue reading


Sustainability & Film: Prince Avalanche


large_Prince_Avalanche_1_PUBSDirector David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche is set against the backdrop of a 1988 Texas wildfire, charred woodland making for a haunting and enveloping atmosphere that acts as the perfect stage for a quiet and meditative study on the relationship between the film’s two main characters. Alvin (a mustached Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch, seemingly competing in a Jack Black lookalike contest) are a couple of mismatched road-workers, stuck with each other as the two of them paint new lines on a rural highway. Party-focused Lance tells the straight-laced Alvin that he gets lonely out in the wilderness, but Alvin stays behind when Lance heads to the city for the weekend, saying that he “reaps the rewards of solitude.” Continue reading