Socially Conscious Living

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How To Build Resilient Cities In The Face Of Natural Disaster

Canadians can help make their communities resilient. Get together with your neighbours and make a community emergency plan. Identify the most vulnerable in your neighbourhood -- seniors living alone, large families with young children -- and create a volunteer network to check up on them when extreme weather strikes. If you own a business, consider how you could help out--for example, a restaurant might prepare meals for residents stranded in emergency shelters.
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Looking Beyond World Water Day

Tyler and Alex Mifflin spent summers in the water. Childhood memories of canoe trips and pristine waves contrast heavily with something they heard from adults time and again: "Don't swim in Lake Ontario. It's too polluted." That warning was the first drop in the bucket that's become a shared life goal. March 22 is World Water Day and we need the conversation to extend beyond the environment. So we spoke with the Mifflin brothers about the importance of water and how ordinary people can take action every day in unexpected ways.

The Power Of Letters In The Digital Age

Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah's life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein's government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now she puts pen to paper, writing letters on behalf of people unfairly imprisoned around the world.
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Mental Health First Aid Fights Stigma And Saves Lives

Unlike blocked arteries or broken bones, mental illness is shrouded in stigma. People are reluctant to talk about it and, when confronted with someone in crisis, few know what to do. Still, odds are much greater that you'll encounter someone with an anxiety disorder or depression than someone with heart disease. Statistically, mental illness affects much more of the population -- one in five Canadians. You don't have to be a passive bystander, struggling for words or paralyzed by ignorance. You can become a mental health first responder.
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We Shouldn't Be Filling Up Our Landfills With Clothing

A staggering 85 per cent of our collective apparel ends up in a landfill -- that's over 10.5 million tons of clothing, according to the popular second-hand store Value Village. In a single year, Canada produces enough textile waste -- clothing and other goods like upholstery -- to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto's Rogers Centre stadium. Reduce, reuse and recycle has become the mantra of socially conscious consumers. Now we need to extend that philosophy to our old accoutrements.
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Paul Martin Talks About Reconnecting With Aboriginal People

Hitch hiking across Canada as a teen, Paul Martin took a summer job as a deckhand on a tug boat in Canada's far north, toiling elbow-to-elbow alongside Dene First Nation, Inuit and Métis crew. When the work was done, he'd talk with them late into the night. His mates were friendly and smart, but the young Martin saw a sense of hopelessness in them. Most had been crushed by years in residential schools.