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One bike ride does make a difference

After turning to public transit for a few years because of injury, I’m back to commuting to work on my bike. I really enjoy commuting on my bike, even when it means starting the day in the dark and cold. Riding contributes to my mental and physical health and I figure it should help reduce … Continue reading

Communicating the reality of climate change without triggering hopelessness

This was a key theme in my doctoral research. Based on research that existed at the time, messages about climate change that portrayed the devastation occurring elsewhere didn’t really trigger a response. It was both too far away and too overwhelming. As a result, I focused my research on picturing (my participants took photos) climate … Continue reading

What will happen to the boreal forest in climate change?

I spent the weekend paddling in the middle of the boreal forest. It was a great mix of good stress navigating rough water and realizing that I had forgotten matches and had to light my stove with a flint and steel and relaxation with sunset paddles and listening to the loons. It also got me … Continue reading

Underestimating random acts of kindness

What was the last random act of kindness you were involved in? Was it something you did for someone else or something someone else did for you? Have you ever wondered how much that random act was appreciated? Based on new research by Kumar and Epley (2022), we tend to underestimate the positive impact our … Continue reading

Book Recommendation: The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee

I have been listening to The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee over the past several weeks. I picked it up after hearing McGhee give a keynote at a sustainability conference last year. Despite this, I was surprised at how prominent the connections to sustainability are in the book. The range of topics McGhee covers … Continue reading

Perhaps it’s an equity issue?

What are your beliefs about aptitude? Can someone who isn’t naturally skilled at math learn and improve and reach the same level of expertise or even surpass someone who has a natural aptitude through time and commitment? What about time management, if someone submits an assignment a day late because they had to pick up … Continue reading

What temperature can you sleep though?

When we had an abnormal heat wave last year I lost sleep, as many others I talked to did as well. It made perfect sense then when I saw the article by Minor et al. (2022) that predicts that climate change will impact people’s sleep globally. Lack of sleep has been linked with many health … Continue reading

We could save 50,000 lives and $600 billion a year

You read that right, and no this is no get rich quick scheme. Air pollution from energy related industries in the US contributes to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory illness. Medical treatment of these conditions costs $600 billion annually and the conditions contribute to the deaths of 50,000 people. Mailloux et al (2022) … Continue reading

Does nature help everyone’s mental health?

Well, we don’t actually know. There’s a problem in a lot of research. We study who we have access to and forget that might not be representative of the broader world. Don’t get me wrong, efforts are often made to ensure generalizability but too often we overlook the lack of diversity completely. For example, I … Continue reading

What would make you choose a meat alternative?

In the past two years I have mostly switched to being a weekday vegetarian. I was able to do this largely because I also switched to using meal kits. The reason these two go together is that I didn’t have to do a ton of research to find tasty vegetarian recipes. So that’s the how … Continue reading

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