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The Truth of Coffee: Why Do We Love it so Much?

As creatures of habit, there are pieces of our lives that become an everyday staple without us realizing it. It can be doing your hair how you like it, your refined cooking methods, or the news you read each morning. One daily routine seems to be a consensus in the US. It’s drinking our favorite hot, caffeinated beverage: Coffee.

It seems simple enough. People drink coffee because caffeine is technically addictive. But to coffee drinkers, there are factors of having a morning (and maybe afternoon) coffee that go beyond needing a kick of energy. So, why do we really love coffee so much?

The Social Aspect

Coffee, over time, has become a social experience of togetherness. Hearing the words “Let’s get together for coffee” is just music to our ears. Chatting over a latte is something special. It can spark new relationships, keep friendships going strong, and even mend broken bonds. (Wait… is coffee actually magic?)

A Sweet Escape

On another hand, coffee is simply a comforting drink that has the power to make you feel warm inside. While it’s popular belief that coffee drinkers are always itching for some caffeine to keep them energized, more people drink it to relax than you may think. Enjoying a familiar, warm beverage like coffee in your favorite mug can aid in creativity, mental stimulus, and overall calmness.

Productivity

After a while, coffee becomes a staple to your workday. As we mentioned, humans are creatures of habit. Once you get used to being productive and getting work done with a coffee in your hand, it feels right to have a cup to keep that momentum going. It’s similar to how some people end the day with a cup of tea before bed to wind down. Maybe that’s why talking around the coffee pot in the office brings unity and a feeling of teamwork; we are enjoying each other’s company before getting back to work.

Drink Up!

It may come as comfort to our fellow coffee lovers that not only is the drink good for energy and productivity, but it’s good for you, too. It burns fat, contains essential nutrients, and stimulates the nervous system. So, drink up, but be sure to drink even more water than you do coffee. Cheers!

by Isabelle Brown  | 


World Humanitarian Day

Each year on August 19, we pay tribute to dedicated humanitarian workers who have been injured or lost their lives in the course of their work. We also honor all health and aid workers who continue to provide support and life-saving protection to people in need all around the world.

This year on World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations chose to focus on the global challenge for climate action. A phrase used to summarize this effort: “In the race against the climate crisis, we can’t leave anyone behind.”

#TheHumanRace

To stand in solidarity with the people around the world who are vulnerable to the climate emergency, the UN has created a campaign called #TheHumanRace.

To join #TheHumanRace, you can sign up to complete 100 minutes of any activity of your choice between August 16 and August 31. This will act as a unified message to world leaders, telling them that we as a world community expect developed countries to deliver on their pledge of $100 billion annually for climate adaptation in developing countries.

As it stands, there are over 440,000 participants all over the world that have already signed up to take part in #TheHumanRace.

There are dozens of activities that count toward reaching everyone’s 100-minute goal, from yoga to windsurfing. Making a difference is available to us in the form of walking around the neighborhood, going for a hike in nature, or riding bikes with friends.

As said by Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres: “The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.”

by Isabelle Brown  | 


NYC Open Streets? Yes, Please!

Can you imagine walking along car-free streets in Manhattan?

That’s exactly what people are able to do with NYC’s Open Streets program. It’s a pedestrian and cyclist prioritized project that is changing the way people explore the city that never sleeps.

This program embraces public spaces while supporting the small businesses that line the streets of NYC. The areas chosen as open streets are coordinated with local community organizations and are scattered throughout the five boroughs.

You can check out more about the program and see all the open streets here on the New York City DOT website.

As a nonprofit that supports every alternate mode of transportation, our mission is constantly adapting to innovations like this in the industry. Seeing that streets throughout NYC have been transformed into public spaces is an important victory that moves us in the direction of being able to imagine car-free societies.

Have you been to any of NYC’s Open Streets? Share a photo with us on our Twitter page with the hashtag #LoveOpenStreets!

by Isabelle Brown  | 


Who Needs Some Summer Fun in their Workday?

As we settle into August, we know it can feel like we’re missing out on some great summer days as we work from home. By the time we are off the clock, the hot, sunny day has become a warm, golden evening.

Since we can’t all sit at the beach all day, here are ways to bring some summertime joy into your workday, and we’d like to share some with you.

Try different lunches that remind you of summer days. We’re talking watermelon salads, BBQ sandwiches, and iced coffees. Food is a big part of your day, whether you realize it or not.

Brighten up your desk! Let in the natural sunlight, get a bouquet of flowers to put in your space, or get some new décor that makes you smile. Whether you are working from home or back in the office, making your workspace a positive environment will in turn make you happier to be at work!

Try some fruit infused water. The flavors of summer can channel the joy that relaxing by the pool can bring. In season fruits in August are strawberries, lemons and limes, blackberries, blueberries, and more.

We hope these tips can help you bring the summer fun to your daily life, even on the weekdays. Happy August!

by Isabelle Brown  | 


Van Life: The Ups and Downs

A lot of niche lifestyles became mainstream in the strange year of 2020. It seemed everyone was becoming a banana bread baker, an avid cyclist, or a plant parent.

Some people took it to the next level and changed their entire way of life by packing up and living on the road. Living in a van was once something you rarely heard of, but 2020 changed a lot for us. Suddenly, a nomadic lifestyle appealed to more people than ever before.

“Van life” videos were becoming some of the most watched content on social media for so many different reasons. Getting to see the process of stripping an old school bus or Volkswagen van and converting it into a tiny home was like HGTV taken to new heights.

The Ups

A huge trend within van-lifers is the joy of being able to telework from wherever you choose to go in your home on wheels. It’s as easy as parking in a McDonald’s parking lot for the day to get your work done with their free Wi-Fi.

Many content creators living the van life focus on the glamorous parts like parking by the beach at sunset, hiking with your dog in a different state every day, and not being tied down by rent or mortgage. However, a lot of van-lifers are transparent about the harsh realities of life on the road.

The Downs

Gas prices have spiked this summer, as we are all very aware of, making fueling a van a heavy expense. Dealing with repairs and vehicle maintenance can also make a home on wheels extremely inconvenient. Imagine having to drop your house off at the shop for a couple days!

Is it Sustainable?

While the lifestyle isn’t without its carbon footprint, the majority of people living in vehicles utilize solar energy, produce less waste, and become conscious consumers with their limited space.

One solo van-lifer, Cori Geiger, works fully remotely for a marketing organization. She installed solar panels on the roof of her van with the knowledge she acquired from YouTube.

All in all, van-lifers chose a nonconventional and exciting way to live. So, what do you say; are you ready to pack up and hit the road?

by Isabelle Brown  |