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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)

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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

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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.

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Illegal Logging in Peru


illegal-logging-in-amazonPeru is currently being plagued by illegal logging, a truly disgusting thing involving ripping up beautiful portions of the earth and leaving the area devastated. Not only is the logging in Peru an aesthetic crime against the planet, the rainforests of the region are also considered very important in the fight against global warming, and serve as the sole habitat to many species of plants and animals. Put simply, illegal logging is an attack against life. Continue reading


An Impending Warm


drought_2398818bAccording to a recent study in the journal nature, areas all over the world will soon reach tipping points leading to an overall hotter climate. The study indicates the year in which different cities of the world are expected to experience dramatically warmer climates (Seattle’s closest neighbor in the report, San Francisco, is set at 2049). It also suggests that the world’s overall temperature will set a new record for heat every year following 2047. Alarming to say the least. Continue reading


Mushrooms!


Giant_Mushrooms_-_Auckland1I’ve always been curious about mushrooms; something that you can go out and receive from nature just by taking the time to examine the crevices of your surroundings. But my curiosity has never led to me actually coming home with some eatable mushrooms to prepare. If like me you’re interested in actualizing your mushroom curiosity and eating right out of nature’s generous hand, or if you just want to geek out on non-psychadelic shroom-speak, here are a few options to look for on future foraging adventures. Continue reading


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More Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Being in Nature


skymallAbout a month ago I happened upon an uber-cool nature fact regarding the ability of soil to improve our mood, acting in a similar way to antidepressants. As it turns out, digging into the matter can bring up scads more information on the subject of nature’s human benefits. Speaking personally, the research I found reveals what I’ve always felt when in nature, but never knew had scientific grounding. My guess is that a lot of people might be in a similar boat. Continue reading


Getting Closer to Nature with Union Bay Watch


putLarry Hubbell’s blog Union Bay Watch might be enough to make anyone feel like an avid bird watcher, even from the seat of their computer chair. A quick scroll through his photography seems to be the virtual equivalent of an in-depth birding trip. The dedication Hubbell shows to chronicling the stories of local wildlife is quite astounding, tracking different birds in the union bay area as they go through the different stages of their life, recognizing them by name as he takes his photos. Continue reading