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How to leave no waste while outdoors

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Learn simple and effective ways to minimize your impact.  The weather is getting warmer and with that comes more outdoor activities. As you begin spending more time outside it is important to learn the seven leave no trace principles and utilize them to limit your impact on the earth and make some positive changes.  The decisions you make while spending time outdoors will impact you, other people, animals, water and the environment for years to come. In this post I am going to focus on principle number three: Dispose of waste properly. Carry out what you carry in This rule is crucial to minimizing your impact on the trails, beach, park, or anywhere outdoors. Whatever you bring must come home with you or make its way to a proper waste/ recycling bin.  This rule does not only go for energy bar wrappers or plastic water bottles, but food waste as well. Banana peels and apple cores will not decompose at the same rate they normally do if thrown in a land they are not common to.  Make one pi

The benefits of taking a walk

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 Living in New York, I like to call this time of the year fool's spring. One day we are welcomed by the sunshine and weather in the fifties, and the next day slapped in the face with a snow storm.  As the warm weather is slowly approaching us I have been craving more and more time outdoors. Taking walks is an activity I begin to find myself doing again after a dull in the winter. And it has many amazing benefits for my physical and mental health.  Any form of physical activity will provide a variety of health benefits. According to the CDC regular physical activity will lower your blood pressure, help manage cholesterol and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.  Our days become so busy that it can be hard to find the time to fit in the recommend thirty minutes of exercise a day. But walking is something that you can do anywhere, any time, with no special equipment or fancy clothes needed. It makes walking the perfect sustainable activity.  Walking also provides instant menta
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 What is Meditation, and why should I practice? "The mind is everything. What you think, you become" -Buddha  Meditation is the act of giving all of your attention to just one thing. Let it be a moment, the way the wind feels against your hair, or focusing on your breath. It is a way of entering a calm and relaxed state of mind.  With everything going on in the world, it is harder than expected to enter this said relaxed state of mind. But learning about meditation and how to incorporate it into your daily routine will be a beneficial to your mental and physical health.  Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the breath, observing it go in and out. Maybe even counting your inhales and exhales. It also involves accepting that your mind will wander, allow it to do so, and finding the strength to bring your mind back to focusing on your breath. When I practice mindfulness meditation I envision my mind to be a bright blue sky and my thoughts to be the clouds. accepti

Zero waste Valentine's Day

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Valentine's day is a day of love. A day of celebrating those that you care about.  It is also a day that produces millions of pounds of waste. Not only are billions of dollars spent on candy, that's a lot of plastic wrappers, those beautiful bouquets of flowers are also harming the planet. The Seattle times reported that nearly 100 million roses are grown in the United States for Valentine's day producing almost 10,000 metric tons of Carbon dioxide emissions.  Keep reading to learn some sustainable ways to celebrate this day of love.  1. DIY cards If you are shopping for a card, chances are they are made of a plastic coated paper, covered in glitter and other microplastics.  Grab some scissors, construction paper, markers and start decorating. Make your card as silly or heartfelt as you would like. Include a poem, five things you love about them or even a simple knock knock joke. Creating your own card is a meaningful way to tell someone you love them.  2. A potted plant Va

Three reasons to go outside today

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"And into the forest, I go, to lose my mind and find my soul" -John Muir Being outside on a sunny day, with the breeze brushing your arms and birds singing in the air, does some wonderful things for your body and mind. Keep reading to learn three proven benefits of spending more time outdoors. 1.You will exercise.  Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. It helps to reduce risk of heart disease as well as other illnesses . And overall improves your mental health and mood. When you take a walk outdoors you are getting great exercise and even using your muscles and making them stronger as you walk against the wind, go up a slight hill, or manage rocky terrain. Try setting a goal to walk for at least twenty minutes a day.  Kaaterskill falls, New York 2. Improve memory.  Being outside helps to fight against mental fatigue as well as improve memory. Walking outside, or simply enjoying the outdoors for an hour was found to improve short-te

How can I be more mindful?

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  Three simple things that can be done to slow down your day and become more mindful.  In this fast paced society it is far to easy to get caught up in a busy lifestyle. Too busy where you have no moments to stop, slow down, and center yourself. Keep reading for my favorite tips to being more mindful. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment. It is important to be at peace with yourself, open to giving and receiving love and being happier with your day. Below are three exercises to add to your day, or performed any time you are feeling you have lost control of the present moment. Minnewaska State Park Preserve 1. Deep Breathing. Deep breathing is when you inhale, to fill your lungs as much as you can and letting your belly rise. Studies have shown that deep breathing allows a full oxygen exchange to occur. This slows your heart rate and can lower your blood pressure. Inhale through your nose and count to four. Hold and count to two. And now exhale counting to six. Repeat th

Welcome to Through the Lily Vine

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 Welcome to Through the Lily Vine. I am Courtney and a mindful living advocate. This blog is about my journey through life with my partner and our dog Lily.  I am a freelance writer, avid explorer and lover of all things life. Writing gives me the opportunity to constantly learn about myself, my passions, and share what I love with you guys! Come with us on this beautiful journey.