Finding Time for Fun: Guilds for Managing your Relaxing Hobbies

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Illustration by eyenne

Habiticans are known for their productivity, but an important part of staying productive is taking time to relax and do the things you enjoy! In this month’s Spotlight we’re focusing on some Guilds where Habiticans talk about what they do for fun and how they make time for fun.

TV and Movie Enthusiasts Club: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/1d9dcf4d-95f7-405c-b4e8-3d998251c7b2

Are you a movie lover? A television connoisseur? This Guild is a great place to meet other Habiticans who are into TV and Movies! There’s a lively discussion in the Guild chat, and several running Challenges including a Movie of the Week!
Gamers Union: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/b767f59d-3743-462f-bd2d-9fe5390ddf53

This Guild is for players of all kinds of games, from tabletop to video games and beyond. They have a great chat filled with discussions of favorite games and recommendations for new ones to check out. Gamers Union also has a number of Challenges to help you discover new games on all kinds of platforms — you might even find a new favorite!

Tabletop Gamers: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/a24a3958-2fda-4c55-a9a6-a1e3d3856df2

Whether you’re a Dungeon Master or totally new to the world of tabletop gaming, Tabletop Gamers is a great place to learn more, find games, and talk to others who share your enthusiasm! Featured Challenges in this Guild include Challenges based around games, but also a Dungeons and Dailies Challenge that helps you turn your Habitica Tasks page into your own tabletop-style adventure!
These Guilds and many others are here to help you make time for fun! And if you’re looking for more advice on managing your relaxing hobbies, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

Behind the Scenes: Spotlight on the April Fool

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Today we’re doing something a little different — we’re expanding on the fictional world of Habitica by spotlighting one of the characters who commonly crops up. Enjoy!

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None of Habitica’s four Masterclassers is as famous — or as frustrating — as the lovable scoundrel who calls himself the April Fool. It’s true that the Master of Rogues may seem elusive and lazy, but there are hidden depths beneath his cheeky exterior.

Backstory

Very little is known about the April Fool’s past, and it might be tempting to assume that the flippant young man simply sprang out of the mist surrounding his floating city. Certainly when he first sailed across the borders of Habitica on some enchanted clouds, he was subject to considerable suspicion. What use was this layabout in the land of productivity?

Interestingly, it was the oldest and hardest-working of the Masterclassers, the Joyful Reaper, who first advocated in the Fool’s favor. When the Fool’s illusory skills inverted all of the domain’s major landmarks, the Joyful Reaper declared that she hadn’t laughed so much for a century, and encouraged Habiticans to embrace the opportunity for fun. (And if she noted any resemblance between the Fool and young Assiduous Fuss, the long-lost heir to the Flourishing Fields‘ most upright and uptight family… Well. For a skeleton, the Joyful Reaper can be surprisingly close-lipped.)

Eventually, Lemoness and Redphoenix struck a compromise with the Fool: he could continue his entertaining pranks if he contained the majority of his mirth to a single day. Since then, he has distracted and delighted us every year during the Spring Fling gala.

When asked about his greatest success, the April Fool tends to proclaim that his most recent prank has surpassed all his others. Indeed, he has only ever been ashamed of one: the shenanigans that lead up to the attack of the Be-Wilder. Other than that “minor mistake,” he insists that he has been “a paragon of perfect taste.” Whether or not you agree, most Habiticans can point at a favorite prank.

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The Time Travelers frequently revisit their own favorite April Fool’s Day.

Personal Life

When he isn’t causing havoc, the April Fool lives in the city of Mistiflying. He likes to drift over Habitica’s various domains, although some have noted that he avoids the Flourishing Fields — dare we say it — assiduously.

More often than not, Mistiflying hovers over the Stoïkalm Steppes, since the April Fool is engaged in a highly enthusiastic (and occasionally combative) courtship with Lady Glaciate of the Mammoth Riders. Though the brusque Master of Warriors may seem like an improbable match for the Fool, he spends a considerable amount of time concocting wildly over-the-top plans to win her love — and she spends a considerable amount of time rescuing him when those plans go dramatically awry. Both claim to be in it solely for the amicable bickering, but their compatriots are not convinced.

Within the city of Mistiflying, the April Fool is constantly renovating his house, since his boredom drives him to constant creative heights. One week’s flashy cottage may be next week’s towering castle. The only constancy is the April Fool’s ridiculous use of rainbow palettes. Although he favors bright hues for his artwork, his apparel, and even his hair, the April Fool’s favorite color is secretly a mundane shade of dark brown: the color of Lady Glaciate’s eyes.

Some of the April Fool’s favorite hobbies include card-playing, karaoke, and keeping his citizens entertained. The messenger-mages of Mistiflying admit that their ruler is capricious, but insist that variety is the spice of life. “Just yesterday, he got all the Mistiflies to switch our latest mail deliveries with freshly-baked pizzas,” one messenger said. “I mean, our routes are terribly delayed now, but the pizza was delicious, and there’s something to be said about that.”
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We hope that you enjoyed this month’s spotlight! Stay tuned for future spotlights on the other Masterclassers of Habitica.

Sample Dailies

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Illustration by Vampitch

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

In last month’s edition of Wiki Wednesday we looked at the Wiki Scribes’ advice about Sample Habits. Now that you’ve set up your Habits column, you might be wondering about that ever-important Dailies column.  Luckily, the Wiki Scribes have more great advice and examples to inspire you as you decide on your Dailies!

Dailies are recurring tasks in Habitica. These are the tasks that need to be taken care of either daily, or at regular intervals, or on specific days of the week. There are differences between a Daily, a To-Do, and a Habit. For a task to be a Daily, it normally needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. The task can be scheduled,
  2. The task recurs at regular times (daily or “every x days” or on certain days of the week), and
  3. The task has a measurable goal that can be checked off and forgotten about until the next day.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

Your Photobombed Party Pics with the April Fool!

Habiticans enjoyed yet another April 1st marked by silly pixel antics this year! The April Fool himself turned Habitica into the Distraction Discotheque and Dazzle Dance Emporium, a sparkly place filled with exciting distraction! Even the NPC’s were not immune…

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Disco Daniel!
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Matt the Beat Master!
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The Sensational Sorceress!

Best of all, the April Fool decided to have a dance party with each and every Habitican! As part of a special Challenge to mark the occasion, many Habiticans  shared their photobombed avatars on social media! Here are just a few of the many awesome pics with the April Fool you all posted as part of the Challenge!


Here are the pictures from the Challenge Winners!

Tousled SmileTousled Smile had a grand time with the Fool on a sunny porch!

Lalaitha

Lalaitha cautions, “The April Fool took over the beehive!”

CaptivatingLight

CaptivatingLight notes, “The April Fool’s hair matches my avatar quite well, I think.”

Anna Lilliman

Anna Lilliman has a new friend, but her Dragon looks less amused.

Acquafortis Fortis

Acquafortis Fortis says, “It was a pleasure having you in the photo, as they say Fools never differ….”


And here are some more of our favorite photobombs! There were so many great ones, it was hard to choose just a few to feature here.

Accio Books

Accio Books! says, “Looks like the April Fool is messing with gravity!”

Fintastical

Fintastical’s Flying Pig appears confused about the April Fool’s definition of “shade.”

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In a major political shakeup, the April Fool appears to have elected Firebirdy as his court jester!

Kirin

Meanwhile, Kirin and the April Fool match nicely in shades of gold…

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… and peoii seems to have just warned the Fool in the nick of time to get out of the line of cannon fire!

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QueenWolf and the Royal Purple Wolf here aren’t quite sure what to make of this Fool, but he does sort of match their outfits, so he’s probably all right.
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Tiffany Sostar knows her Shimmer Fox Mount probably shouldn’t have cotton candy, but it’s a special occasion!


Even the Habitica Staff and Moderators weren’t immune to the Fool’s antics!

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Beffymaroo had unexpected company in the sunflower garden!

SabreCat

SabreCat found the Fool’s kindness to animals quite touching: “My octopus mount is taken aback by the Fool’s sweet romantic gesture.”

shanaqui

shanaqui is an expert at wrangling foolish antics around Habitica, so they were ready: “As befits a moderator, looks like I’m gonna catch that April Fool!”

Breadstrings

Breadstrings decided a Harry Potter themed cosplay was in order, and dressed as Professor McGonagall while the Fool aptly played the role of Peeves!


Last (but certainly not least!!), Vandraren treated us to some wonderful photobomb fanart featuring perhaps the cutest-ever zombie battle!

Vandraren

We had so much fun bringing you the April Fool’s goofy antics! We’re glad you had as much fun as we did. Stay tuned to see what that delightful joker is up to next year!

Use Case Spotlight: Managing Your Relaxing Hobbies

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Illustration by eyenne

So far in our 2017 Use Case Spotlight series, we’ve focused on several health-related topics. We’d be remiss if we didn’t cover an often-neglected aspect of living a healthy life: taking the time to decompress and do activities that you enjoy! Here are some great tips, tricks, and ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Managing Your Relaxing Hobbies. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Juanaxo:balloon::bowtie: offers a great way to block out time for something fun and relaxing:

I created a monthly S.M.A.R.T. Goal in the Long Term Accountability Guild for a Monthly Recharge Day. Each month I pick a day to check into the Inn and on that day I will alternate crafting, cooking something complicated, or family day trip. Because I don’t want to add 12 To-Dos I decided it would work best as a Habit.

 

awesomelibrarian has some great ideas for finding time to mindfully relax throughout the day:

I have some of my dailies reflect my want/need to do relaxing things, such as “color for a little bit” and “read for 30 minutes.” This forces me to be more mindful throughout my day for spots when I can sneak in some me time. In the past I would have just gone through my day without thinking about reading on my lunch break or coloring while I waited for a doctor, but now I do (and it’s made me some friends!). I also keep a habit of “Do something you’re proud of” for times when I do something I never thought I would do (like go to a party with too many people, or type poems to send to friends), and need a pat on the shoulder.

 

akirassasin likes to take it easy by keeping things green!

I take care of cool looking plants as a way to make myself feel relaxed, but they all have different requirements (amount of water, fertilisers etc.) so I use every X days dailies to keep track of what to do 🙂

Pips the Fetid highlights the importance of remembering to de-stress when we need it most:

I started playing the ukulele after my best friend died a couple of years ago, and it helped me through some really hard times. It relaxes me and, depending on what I play, can help me work out emotions or put a smile on my face. The problem is, I often don’t think to play when I’m really stressed – and that’s when I need it most. Putting it as a habit on Habitica helps me remember to take a few minutes here and there to play and de-stress.

Katy133 keeps track of a neat creative project with Dailies!

I’m working on NaNoRenO (a month-long challenge to make a video game in one month) and have been using Habitica to help me manage my time. I have a Daily to work on it, and it’s so nice to visually see my progress increase with the Daily’s Streak number.

 

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

 

Taking Better Care of Yourself and the Planet: Guilds for Living Eco-Friendly

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In this month’s Spotlight we’re focusing on some Guilds in Habitica that aim to help their members to live in more sustainable and ecologically conscious ways. Here are some places you can find fellow Habiticans who are also interested in being better citizens of the planet by reducing, reusing, recycling, and more!

inHabitants of Earth:  https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/9b8989b7-73e9-4904-af1a-77e34e7b8094

This Guild is a place for Habiticans to discuss a wide variety of ways to make their daily lives more gentle on the Earth, as well as gentler on their pocketbooks! They offer many Challenges aimed at helping each other to be more consistent in eco-friendly practices as well as swapping new tips and tricks.

The Urban Homesteaders Guild:  https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/42a0b13a-bc1c-4108-8580-870c70683d1a

The Urban Homesteaders Guild challenges its members to learn new techniques for reducing consumption, waste, and dependence on processed products and foods. Check out their Challenges and learn to ferment or dry foods, and much more!

Sustainable Living: https://www.habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/6471d047-dc13-4687-a76a-389b2cf503c3

Do you want to learn how to live with a smaller footprint of resource use and waste? Look no further than Sustainable Living. They have an active chat for exchanging tips, a great resource list, and sustainability-themed Challenges!
These Guilds and many others are here to help you be kinder to the Earth and all the people, plants, and animals we share it with.Check them out! And if you’re looking for more advice on living in a more eco-friendly way, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

Contributor Spotlight: Dewines

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Dewines, one of our Moderators and the leader and creator of several fabulous Guilds! She helps manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy.

Dewines, how did you get involved with Habitica?

It was all because of the April Fool’s joke in 2014 when all the avatars were turned into fruits and vegetables. Jim Hines mentioned this on his blog, and after reading his post about Habitica, it looked like such a cool idea that I went to sign up to see what it was all about. It turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for to motivate me to actually do stuff, and more than two years later, I’m still here.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

Probably the Guilds I created. I still run some of them but I’ve also handed others over to new leaders. One of these was the Guild Leaders & Challenge Creators Guild, where people help one another by sharing good ideas related to keeping their Guilds active. Of the Guilds I created and still run, I’m probably most proud of the Long-Term Accountability Guild. This helps people plan long-term goals and also encourages them to monitor their progress. It’s easy to let goals slide if you don’t keep an eye on them. Finally, there’s the quirky Haiku Guild where everyone posts about what they’ve been doing in the form of haiku. I created it almost as a joke, but it’s turned out to be surprisingly popular.

What are your secret superpowers?

Being able to make a tasty soup out of random wrinkled vegetables found lurking in the fridge.

What are your secret weaknesses?

It’s not really so secret, but procrastination is my main weakness. Tasks and projects always take much longer than they should because I put off starting. If there’s an external deadline, I’m always finishing things in a panic at the last minute.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

I do love many of the new quest pets, especially the owl pets and the horse mounts. However, I think my favourites are the original fox pets.

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

As well as mundane things like doing the laundry and washing dishes, I’m tracking the hours I spend learning Welsh and using Dailies to make sure I get some exercise each day.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Knitting and crocheting, going for walks, writing and photography.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

It’s important to keep assessing your Habitica tasks to make sure they are still motivating you. My set up now is nothing like what it was when I started two and half years ago. I don’t mean you should be switching tasks round every day, but every few weeks, if you have a daily that you just aren’t doing, you need to ask yourself why that is. Would it be better as a Habit or a To-Do? Also, don’t be overambitious. Start with a few tasks and then build on success. Finally, Habitica is brilliant for finding people who will support you. There are hundreds of Guilds on all kinds of topics and it’s very likely there’s one where you’ll find people with similar goals.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

I’m in quite a lot of guilds but a couple of my favourites are the Long-term Goal Accountability Guild and Venture Outside Your Lair. I founded both of these because I wanted some way of keeping track of long-term goals and I also have a terrible habit of sitting indoors all day working on the computer or trying to read the entire internet. I’m also very fond of the Short-Term Goal Accountability Guild, known affectionately as STAG.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight and Staff Spotlight tags on our blog!

Behind the Scenes: Apps We Use

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Illustration by JessicaChase

 

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

As you might guess, the Habitica Staff puts the Habitica app at the top of the list when we think of our favorite and most-used apps, but today we thought we’d share some of the other apps we use. Some are other productivity tools, some are educational, and some are just fun! We hope you enjoy our list, and that it helps you discover some new and helpful apps for your own use!

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Beth, AKA Beffymaroo:  “I have a lot of fairly mainstream apps on my phone for the most part, but a surprisingly useful one I have that’s not as common is Luna Solaria (Android, iOS; free) It has info on the Sun and Moon’s rotational and orbital (in the case of the Moon) cycles relative to the Earth- so when someone looks up and says, ‘Oh hey, is that a full Moon?’ I can easily confirm or deny. Also handy for finding exact sunset/sunrise times! :)”

Phillip, AKA viirus: PCalc (iOS; $6.99). Because next to being a calculator, it’s also super handy for unit conversion and you can fully customize the UI to contain the features you want with one tap.”

Vicky, AKA redphoenix: “Brain.fm (Web, iOS; 7 sessions free, then subscription)  counteracts noisy working environments. There’s one track that makes me nauseous and their ‘classical music’ option is distracting because my brain keeps trying to break down it into the harpsichord part and other components, but otherwise it’s been very effective for kicking off a hard focus session when it’s not possible to get a completely distraction-free environment. Also, their sleep tracks have been effective in helping me get to sleep in strange new places.”

Leslie, AKA Lemoness: “My favorite non-Habitica app on my phone is Overdrive (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Kindle; free)! My work schedule is tight, so I’ve come to rely on audiobooks to fill my life with stories even when I don’t have time to curl up with a novel. Overdrive lets me check out audiobooks from my local library and download them on to my phone with a single tap. (If your own local library doesn’t use Overdrive, they may still use a similar app, so be sure to ask them.) Nothing’s better than listening to epic battle sequences while I prep Habitica’s pixel art! I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Sabe, AKA SabreCat: Sleep as Android  (Android; free) is my alarm clock of choice. It provides soothing sounds to help me go to sleep, and when it’s time to get up, I have to get all the way downstairs to the office and scan a QR code on the wall to silence the alarm!”

Matteo, AKA Paglias:  “Lately I’ve decided to get serious about tracking my expenses and after a long search I’ve settled on Wallet (Android, iOS; free). It’s a spending tracker with tons of features like budgets, recurring expenses and so on, but what I like the most is that despite all the features it’s very easy and quick to use. It would be great to integrate it with Habitica if they introduce an API one day.”

Keith, AKA TheHollidayInn: “Duolingo (iOS, Android, Windows Phone; free) is an app that is in my daily routine – as a Habitica daily, of course. While I spend all day speaking to computers, it is nice to learn human languages as well 🙂 ”

We hope we’ve given you some ideas for more apps that can help you in the goals you’re using Habitica to reach (or are just plain fun!)! See you next time. 🙂

Sample Habits

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It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

In last month’s edition of Wiki Wednesday we highlighted some fantastic advice from the Wiki about Establishing Your Tasks. Now that you’re working on setting up Tasks, you might be wondering where to start when you’re thinking about new Habits . Luckily, the Wiki Scribes have great examples to help you decide what goals and tasks are best suited for your Habits column!

Not everything will be a Habit. If trying to decide whether to make something a Habit, a Daily, or a To-Do, keep this in mind:

  1. Habits are actions that are performed daily, or even multiple times a day, in daily routine,
  2. usually occur unconsciously, and
  3. take time and effort to change.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

Use Case Spotlight: Living Eco-Friendly

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So far in our 2017 Use Case Spotlight series, we’ve been focusing on what you can do to improve and maintain your health. But it’s also important to consider the health of our planet! Here are some great tips, tricks, and ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Living Eco-Friendly. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Inametaphor starts us out with an Earth-friendly way to begin your day!

I have a habit for “Avoided a Disposable Coffee Cup” (+ or -). When I use my travel mug, up it goes. Any time I find myself with a single use coffee cup, down it goes. This has inadvertently decreased my coffee consumption, because if I forget my travel mug, I don’t want to get dinged for getting a cup!

ProfJohnson has a special Daily to aid in recycling!

In our town we have curbside recycling pickup every other week. I have a daily setup to repeat every 14 days on the same day of the week

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Cvasilevski offers some Habit and Daily ideas for more eco-conscious living:

I use Habitica in a few ways to keep my life more eco-friendly:
Dailies

  1. One of my dailies (every day of the week) is to pick up at least one piece of litter lying on the ground and put it in the garbage or recycling
  2. One of my “weekly” dailies (every Sunday) is to cook all my breakfasts and lunches for the upcoming work week and freeze them in reusable plastic containers

Habits

  1. In addition to my “pick up litter” daily task, I have a positive habit for picking up extra pieces of trash and disposing of them properly. 1 piece = 1 hit on the plus sign
  2. I have a “vegan/vegetarian” habit. On days where I eat no meat, I hit the plus sign once. On days where I eat no animal products at all, I hit the plus sign twice. I ignore the habit (IE: there’s no penalty to HP) on days where I do eat meat.
  3. Buying food in bulk and buying fair trade/organic food are each positive habits
  4. Not sorting trash into proper receptacles is a negative habit (HP penalty if I don’t separate out paper from plastic, etc)

Valkry helps the Earth in a big way by adopting some feathered friends!

My BIG eco-friendly project for the last year was raising my own chickens. Lots of learning curve challenges, but I now have a tiny flock (2 Roosters & 1 Hen, not the best mix) that have survived, dog attacks and MN winters. Hope to add another full grown hen or two, and see if I can raise some chicks to fill out the flock, but for now my lil’ hen is laying an egg a day. Other then the eggs (and future chicken dinners) the best part of chickens is seeing how they LOVE the veggie scraps. It is so much more fun to watch chickens going gonzo for tidbits, then just dumping it in compost, and I still get nice batch of compost material from “deep-litter” straw from coop. Plus, my kids now have better understanding that we are part of nature- it isn’t just somewhere you visit once in awhile.

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.


Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent
Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Food and Cooking- some of the featured groups feature discussions and Challenges related to more Earth-friendly cooking and eating habits!