Thursday, 23 October 2014

BEST HOMES Investment Case Study


Here’s a very simple scenario, but a target scenario for Toronto (based on an actual property available for purchase, real world renovation costs, real estate fees, etc. and greenhab investing with PeapodLife BEST HOMES Program):

House in trendy/desirable “Junction” in Toronto (nicely renovated properties sell in $1.3-1.8 million range in the Junction, usually for asking price, sometimes above asking).

Image: PeapodLife BEST HOMES Investment Case Study

The Bottom Line

In this scenario, the Investor nets out at an estimated ROI of 77%.

As you can see, PeapodLife takes a 1% commission / management fee for managing the PeapodLife BEST HOMES process beginning to end on behalf of the Investor. We are therefore incentivized to create a truly stunning home, perform outstanding marketing and promotion to and through the real estate brokers (and beyond), negotiate the best sale price, and realize savings whenever and wherever possible. This is a preliminary fee% for initial deal, and is subject to increase moving forward, based on performance.

We are certain that there are investors who will want varying degrees of involvement, etc. in the process. PeapodLife’s goal is to identify the “right” investor(s) for PeapodLife BEST HOMES. Ones who can SEE our Vision/Mission (SEE – Social, Environmental, Economic) of our consortium of partners, and who want to get on the same page with us: to make money building BEST HOMES and bringing Advanced Human Habitat to the world. We encourage any Investor to check their values against ours and that of our Non-Profit Division,, as expressed on its website and PeapodLife’s blog:

And again, please understand that no other company in the world has PeapodLife’s ecosystem technology. Any Investor who thinks they can build something on par with a BEST HOME will soon find themselves knocking on PeapodLife’s door. Also, we have made no mention of our social housing opportunities, and commercial building concepts. We are trying to keep things simple at this stage.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Life After Digital shows Need to bring Balance to the Dark Side

Video: How digital technology and social media impacts our lives
Credit: TVO 
“That Place…is strong with the Dark Side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.
[Luke: What’s in there?] Only what you take with you.”
~ George Lucas via Yoda, Star Wars
Image: Social Media Hell 

Everything has a dark side. Unfortunately, there’s only one way to get past it…we have to descend into it, experience it, go through it, so we may discover something about ourselves and emerge into the light on the other side.

Digital technology and social media are having impacts on our lives no one could have ever imagined or predicted.  People are finding themselves descending into depths of darkness and depravity that are beyond disturbing—they are life-altering (in some cases terminally) experiences.

Last night TV Ontario aired a documentary: Life After Digital, which not only looked at the rise of interactive technology in our lives, but the emergence of social media and the impacts they are having on us. Some positive, others anything but.

From the tragic, much-publicized case of online predation and cyber-bullying which led to the suicide of Amanda Todd, to the emergence of “revenge porn,” the documentary obviously looked at some pretty dark extremes.

But it also looked at some of the more subtle yet ubiquitous effects of technology on our lives. For instance, the allure of the Internet as a shortcut to fame and/or fortune. Or the lingering anxiety we feel for the approval of others measured in “friends, followers, and likes.”   

You can watch the documentary online here. Also, be sure to watch The Agenda with Steve Paikin TONIGHT on TVO (Thursday 16th of October, 8pm & 11pm) for an in-depth panel discussion on the issues raised in the documentary.

Image: The Agenda with Steve Paikin 

For our part, we thought we’d get our two cents in ahead of time, by going a bit deeper into this thing called the worldwide web and ask some tough questions.

A Mirror for Humanity

For starters, is it not obvious that the worldwide web is an outward expression of the collective unconscious of the planet? Two glaringly obvious facts support this assertion of truth:
  1. Everything on the Internet came from someone’s mind at some point in time.
  2. Everything that persists on the Internet does so because it appeals to something in people’s minds. Not just one or two people, either…thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands (or more).

This is not an easy fact to swallow. But a fact it is. Wishing it were otherwise or pretending that somehow we are exempt from it does not change it. We are culpable. We are not innocent.

After all, have we not all chuckled at some Internet meme, at a YouTube “fail” video featuring the mishaps and suffering of others? Have we not all sent nasty emails or “flamed” someone in a comment?  Downloaded “free” music, movies, software, etc.? Indulged in fantasies of every kind, from real or simulated violence to real or simulated pornography to…[fill in the blanks]?

And if not, have we congregated online with like-minded individuals to point fingers, condemn all that is wrong with the world and assert our own “holier than thou” positions of being “in the right?”  

All that and more is there, online. And all that and more is here, inside our own psyche. The thing about technology is that it brings our dark side up and out of us.
“He’s more machine now, then man…twisted and evil.”
~ George Lucas via Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
Image: Darth Vader Mosaic 

We are products of our environment, and we are what we eat. The more we interact with each other and the world through the mechanistic medium of digital technology and social media, the more we strengthen the binary, mechanical processes in our own psyche: black or white, yes or no, right or wrong, us or them. Action– reaction. Stimulus – response. Input, output.  Automatic. Unconscious.

There is no middle way in technology. No softness, no kindness, no compassion, nothing gentle. Forget the soothing voice of Apple’s Siri…there is no love there. Just programming. The more we engage in programming, the more programmed we become. It is a fact. It is undeniable.

And what is that programming? What is running on the program of our subconscious mind? We need look no further than the Internet: conspiracy theories, personal professional and philosophical attacks, revenge porn, identity theft, hacking, binge-watching, time-wasting, etc. Fear, anger, pride, lust, greed, laziness, etc. 

The more identified we become with technology, the more it becomes a part of us…the more it becomes us…the more we become it. We lose our humanity in the process. Don’t believe us? Just consider the new wearables and the enthusiastic anticipation—if not outright euphoria—being expressed online for the arrival of these gadgets and devices.

Image (modified): Montage of Wearable Technologies 

What’s even worse is the pseudo-esoteric talk of the “singularity” being promoted by the likes of Raymond Kurzweil and others, who actually see the evolution of humanity taking place through the proliferation of the very technologies that threaten our core values.

Is there an antidote?

There has always been a place of refuge from the monstrosities imposed on humanity which emerge from the depths of human depravity itself: nature.

Many have expounded on the virtues of nature to soothe and invigorate, inspire and insight, relax and rejuvenate, to help one reconnect with one’s true self. And we certainly don’t need to repeat ourselves for the umpteenth time. 

We will mention that in recent years, the natural havens and sanctuaries of the world are becoming an ever-scarcer resource, as multinational corporations and our voracious appetites for consumption have placed a higher valued on “natural resources” via the decimation of pristine environments.

And let’s face it, living our life at the speed of the digital age means we don’t all have the time or energy to spend walking in nature an hour a day (especially not when we have a backlog of hundreds of emails, dozens of IM’s, countless tweets, several episodes of our favourite show on the PVR we need to catch up on…not to mention the vacation pics to post and the latest version of “this or that” software to download and install).

ENOUGH ALREADY! If we can’t get away into nature, how about inviting nature back into our lives?

An indoor ecosystem fills our living space with an electromagnetic field resonating with harmony and symbiosis…the exact opposite of the vibrations we experience in social media hell.

Where social media is all often about everybody expressing their “opinions” in short, reactionary, oftentimes offensive ways, an indoor ecosystem is about experiencing the peace and harmony of who you really are. 

Where the internet is all about bringing out and feeding the darker aspects of our psyche, the ecosystem is about bringing forth and nourishing our better, brighter, Higher Self…the part of us which longs for the end of all suffering for all creatures…for calm, wellness, peace, harmony, joy and happiness.

These are the “killer apps” of an indoor rainforest ecosystem from PeapodLife.  

Image by Peapodlife: Indoor Ecoystem at Fitch Street Retirement Centre, Welland

So our answer to Life after Digital? Live the PeapodLife.

You don’t have to go live in a swamp like Yoda to surround yourself with the life-force of nature. Bring balance to the forces at work in your life. Immerse yourself in lush beautiful nature. It sure beats living on another kind of world…

Image: Death Star

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Nature’s Worth, Beyond Words

Image: “For going out, I found, was really going in because what I gained most from nature is beyond words.” ~ John Muir & John Fowles.

“For going out, I found, was really going in because
what I gained most from nature is beyond words.” 
~ John Muir & John Fowles

Normally, when one thinks about a TED Talk, one’s mind turns to images of highly educated, intellectual, experienced and/or self-important individuals strutting around on a stage for 10 to 20 minutes or so expounding the virtues of their work, field of study, insights, discoveries, theories, etc.

Image: UAB’s Sarah Pacak in the TED 2012 Spotlight  
Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham: UAB News Blog: UAB's Sarah Parcak in the TED2012 spotlight

PeapodLife enjoys TED Talks as much as the next person, but every now and then, one comes along which decides to do more showing then telling. A TED presentation which adhere’s to a picture is worth a thousand words school of knowledge.

It just so happens that today we share the highlight of just such a presentation; and well, you could say it presses all the right buttons with us…

Video: Nature Beauty in HD and Slow Motion  
Source: YouTube -

In the spirit of this video, we decided to share another which will give you a sense of how you can feel every time you find yourself in the company of your own indoor ecosystems from PeapodLife:

Video: Beautiful World - Equator 3 1080p HD  
Source: YouTube -

Of course, as beautiful as such videos are, they are no substitute for being there, for experiencing nature directly, personally and intimately. There’s something about the energy and vitality combined with peace and tranquility that cannot be duplicated or substituted.

That is why PeapodLife works with nature to bring lifeforce back into people’s stale, stressful, technocratic, and often toxic living environments. We don’t waste our time with novelties, mechanical monstrosities and half-measures which offer at best a mere fraction of the benefits of real ecosystems—and in some cases can actually seriously deteriorate the health of your space.

Rather, we invite nature on its terms—self-contained high-order rainforest ecosystems—into your home, office, school, retirement and/or healing centre so that you and yours can benefit from its calming and rejuvenating powers.

There is only one way to bring the harmony and symbiosis of nature into your life, and that’s to work in harmony and symbiosis with nature itself. This is PeapodLife’s secret, and why no other competing technology comes close to how our solutions can make you feel.

Consider that, especially considering winter’s fast approaching—one the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting will be worse than last year’s winter!

In light of all this, imagine being able to enjoy the energy, fresh air and soothing comforts of your very own high-order indoor rainforest ecosystem:

Video: PeapodLife Living Wall EcoSystem Fitch Street 

…even as you find yourself in the middle of winter, surrounded by this:

Video: 12-Hour Winter Snowstorm  
Credit: Edward Huff  
Source: YouTube -

Enough said.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Organic Landscaping:
Better than “Man-made;” more than “Nature’s Way”

Image Collage by PeapodLife: Organic Landscaping in Bloor West Village, Toronto

“If a landscaper says they want to fill your garden with manufactured stones,
you may as well tell them to use plastic plants and Astroturf.”
~ PeapodLife  

Some may be under the impression that PeapodLife only does indoor ecosystems. Not so. We specialize in all manner of organic landscaping, from decks and patios to gardens to chemical-free pools and ecosystem ponds.

What we don’t do is “industrial landscaping,” with cookie-cutter approaches such as pre-fabricated stones which are completely lifeless. There’s a reason why the expression, “on the face of the very living rock” exists. Anyone who works with stone in any meaningful way knows that stone is alive.  Not in the way that plants and animals are alive, but they are alive nonetheless. They have energy. They have character: a face, a body, a right-side up and an upside-down. If a landscaper says they want to fill your garden with manufactured stones, you may as well tell them to use plastic plants and Astroturf.

Industrial, commercial landscaping has an overly polished, mechanical feel…like the so-called living walls of PeapodLife’s competitors…which feels like plants being forced into some manmade design schema. It becomes a kind of artificial expression. Real plants, fake rocks, a completely contrived, disconnected, disingenuous landscape.

Real stones, consciously arranged and interconnected make all the difference. Since they are interconnected, they reflect the interconnectedness of all things. Since interconnectedness is foundational to nature, they act as cornerstones. Since they are alive, they bring a garden to life:

Image: Front Yard Garden by PeapodLife featuring Rhododendrons and Real Stone

Just as ancient peoples built their incredible stone structures and monuments without mortar (even bridges that still stand today!), creating “the perfect staircase” is not about pre-fab anything, or super-expensive single pieces of rock “perfectly cut.” No. Working with stone means just that: working with the stone! Let the living pieces of stone guide you into beautiful, organic expressions of “nature’s perfect staircase.” 

Image by PeapodLife: Front Stone Staircase

If done properly, the hewn stone staircase or pathway integrates flawlessly into the surrounding garden, appearing as though it belongs there, as if Mother Nature herself intended it to be there, as if they appeared there on the landscape organically…the effect is subtle, deep and profound. It’s a feeling that is not altogether aesthetic…it reaches beyond the 5 physical senses.

Image by PeapodLife: Real stone staircase winds through backyard rock garden and leads to deck patio.

So is that “organic landscaping?” We’re sure you’ll find many approaches and definitions on the Internet, and frankly, we could care less what others’ think. What matters to PeapodLife is this: working with nature to help it achieve its highest expression, so that it can freely give back all it has to give. 

Just as indoors, it’s about creating a space of love; for in the final analysis, love is the underlying quality of all of nature: true beauty, selflessness, sacrifice, harmony, oneness, etc.

Many interpret these words to mean “letting nature do its thing” in one specific way…
Image Collage by peapodLife: Wild Gardens 

And if you like wild gardens and wild gardening, more power to you. But this is not the only way in which nature expresses itself. It is the most common way, to be sure; and largely free from human intervention—except perhaps for some forethought, selection of plants, etc.

But nature is capable of expressing itself in ways which are uncommon, require human participation / cooperation, and which result in gardens and landscapes which are not just beautiful, they make you feel special just by being there.

If we likened it to the most common of all activities in nature, sex: there is the physical act of sex with a purely physical goal (either the creation of a baby or the enjoyment of physical pleasure or both). It requires no particular connection whatsoever apart from the physical.  Basic fornication. It’s as common as can be. An industry, in fact.

Then there is making love. And at the risk of sounding cliché, anyone who has ever experience this latter expression of that most natural function, sex, will attest to the difference between the mere physical act with mere physical goal(s), and intimacy which transcends the physical…an act of union which is transformed and transforming. It is much less common these days…and certainly something the sex-related industry knows nothing about and cares even less for. It is interested only in pleasure.

Image Collage by PeapodLife: Sex versus Making Love

And that’s where landscaping and gardening—like all things—are today. At one end is the manufactured, industrial approach which organizes nature into man-made eye-candy; and on the other end of the spectrum is the wild approach which creates “all-natural” landscapes which certainly look and feel as if they are completely devoid of human participation. The former is an expression of human mechanicity, the latter mechanical nature.

Then there’s the middle way…the way of lovemaking. When landscaping and gardening are no longer about creating something of aesthetic pleasure; rather, they are an experience…a labour of love for the expressed purpose of co-creating of a space of love. It’s neither cramming nature into human “design,” nor is it letting nature run amok to sow its wild oats however it sees fit.

Organic landscaping and gardening, in PeapodLife’s view, is about making a conscious connection with the very heart of nature itself—which is love—and allowing that deep connection to inform and unfold itself through a conscious co-creative process.

Image: Backyard Garden by PeapodLife with integrated sprinkler system

To make a physical space requires a physical act. To make a space of love requires a process of love-making. Most anyone who loves gardening, loves cooking, loves painting, loves just about anything creative should get this on some level, especially those who do it for the pure joy of it—not for a living.

At PeapodLife we are blessed with the good fortune of being able to offer you our joy for—and mastery of—creating beautiful natural spaces of love, even as in this case—featured in photos throughout this article—on a relatively small front / backyard in the heart of Bloor West Village.

We want you to be able to experience nature beyond the five senses…feel special just by being in your garden. All that (and more) is how PeapodLife practices organic, conscious landscaping.

Note: This garden was freshly planted and is still in-progress. Still more to come, including moss and more features. Stay tuned for updated photos.