Letter From The Publishers

The Sound of Silence

In a country where technology rules, many adults and children are tethered to devices, usually glued to a screen, being constantly bombarded with either trivial entertainment or information overload from the TV, radio, smartphone and Internet. When we were kids, we preferred to play outside all day, only returning home at sunset. We turned out…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Hash Bash Aims Higher This Year

By John and Trina Voell

The 47th annual Hash Bash will be held on the first Saturday of the month, April 7, at high noon on the University of Michigan (UM) Diag, with many events…

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Fostering Independence via Community Support

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) Regional Educational Service Agency Young Adult Program strives to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with partner agencies, community resources, families, employers and others to…

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From the Wilds of the Amazon Comes a 2,000 Years in the Making Fertilizer

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Patrick Schoen is the owner of Ann Arbor Biochar. A gardener for 50 years, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in natural resources and earned an…

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Holistic Center Focuses on Total Physical and Mental Health

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Bio Energy Medical Center is a holistic medical center focusing on total physical and mental health that treats illness at its source and facilitates patients’ innate healing capacity, leading to…

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Halotherapy

By Brandy Boehmer

Salt Cave Provides Natural Therapy The salt of the Earth may be our salvation. Asthma rates have more than doubled in the past 25 years as the planet’s ecosystems groan…

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The Right Food for a Happier Mood

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Holly Higgins is a nutritional therapy practitioner and Whole30-certified coach. Her clinical focus is nutrition for mental health, and she believes that nutrition is one of the most powerful and…

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News Briefs

Natural Life Business Partnership Seeks Holistic Practitioners

The Natural Life Business Partnership (NLBP) formed in January 2016 to support holistic professionals by building a collaborative community who work as advisors for each other to build stronger businesses in the industry. Executive Director, Camille Miller says, “In less than two years, we have grown more than I could have imagined. It says a…

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Beyond Maria: Coming Together to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico

Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry, the publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico (PR) edition for the past 15 years, have a simple request: “Please help us rebuild.” Mendez and Sallabery are remarkable community leaders, having not only launched what is now PR’s number one health and wellness publication, but also having originated and managed the…

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Health Briefs

Air Pollution Linked to Psychological Distress

Air pollution takes a toll on mental health, University of Washington researchers have concluded. By linking health data for 6,000 people to census tracts, they found that people living in areas with the highest levels of airborne fine particulate matter scored 17 percent higher in measures of psychological distress, including sadness, nervousness and hopelessness. The…

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Nature Videos Calm Prisoners

Maximum-security prison inmates in Oregon that spent an hour a day for a year  watching nature videos were involved in 26 percent fewer violent acts compared with fellow inmates, and reported feeling significantly calmer, less irritable and more empathetic. The University of Utah study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, states, “An estimated…

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Less REM-Stage Sleep Linked to Dementia Risk

People that get less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may have a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a new study published in Neurology. Following 321 people over age 60 for 12 years, Australian researchers found that those that developed dementia spent an average of 17 percent of their sleep time in REM sleep,…

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FRUIT PESTICIDES LOWER FERTILITY IN WOMEN

A Harvard study of 325 women undergoing fertility treatments found that those consuming the most produce high in pesticide residues, such as strawberries, spinach and grapes, were 18 percent less likely to become pregnant and 26 percent less likely to have a live birth compared to women eating the least amount of pesticide-laden produce. Study…

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High-Fat Diet Risks Multiple Sclerosis Relapse

A high-fat diet increases the risk of relapse of multiple sclerosis in children by as much as 56 percent, reports The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. A multi-university study of 219 children also found that each 10 percent increase in saturated fat as a share of total calories tripled the risk of relapse. Inversely,…

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Herbs Ease Polycystic Ovary Symptoms

Ingesting a combination of five herbs while making healthy lifestyle changes significantly reduced symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome in a recent Australian study of 122 women published in Phytotherapy Research. The herbs were Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort), Paeonia lactiflora (peony) and Tribulus terrestris (tribulus). Menstrual cycles returned to…

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Whole Grains Help Us Eat Less

When overweight adults exchange refined grain products such as white bread and pasta for whole-grain equivalents, they tend to feel full sooner, eat less, lose weight and experience a reduction in inflammation, the journal Gut reports. Researchers from Denmark’s National Food Institute and the University of Copenhagen studying 50 adults at risk for Type 2…

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Mold Causes Allergies

It is typically known that mold can cause or contribute to seasonal allergies, skin irritations and digestive issues. Here are three common sources of mold. Basement: Mold thrives in basements because the spores travel better in humid air. Stagnant air is also a great place for mold to grow. If we feel unwell when spending…

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Leafy Greens Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Leafy greens, which are rich in vitamin K, have again been shown to provide outsized benefits for heart health. Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University found that a reduced intake of vitamin K1 leads to more than triple the risk of an enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle, which reduces blood…

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Gooseberries are Good for the Gut

Researchers from Malaysia’s Islamic Science University tested 30 patients with gastrointestinal issues, dividing them into three groups. One received lactose, a placebo; another group was given omeprazole, an over-the-counter remedy; and the third Phyllanthus emblica Linn, an ayurvedic treatment for gastrointestinal issues also known as Indian gooseberry. The research found the herbal treatment resulted in…

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Global Briefs

Waxworm Wonders

Caterpillars Offer Clues to Plastic Cleanup Waxworms, a type of caterpillar, are vexing to beekeepers because they devour the wax that bees use to build honeycombs. It turns out that they can do the same to plastic. Ongoing worldwide research reveals several types of bacteria found in waxworms that digest some kinds of plastic at…

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Chinese Chokepoint

U.S. Waste Paper Turned Away Companies that recycle cardboard boxes were overwhelmed after record-breaking holiday shopping online. The U.S. Postal Service estimated it delivered 10 percent more packages in 2017 than the year before. Amazon, the leader in online shopping, said it shipped more than 5 billion items for Prime members in 2017. All of…

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Top Polluters

Just 100 Companies Emit Most Global Emissions In July 2017, historic new research from environmental nonprofit CDP, in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, revealed in The Carbon Majors Report that 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers. It’s the first in a…

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Transforming Plastics

Mobile Trashpresso Turns Trash into Tiles UK furniture and design company Pentatonic has invented the Trashpresso, a solar-powered, mini-recycling plant that transforms plastic waste into usable architectural tiles. Pentatonic doesn’t use raw goods that create excess waste because they are committed to using materials for their products that incorporate some element of recycling, says co-founder…

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Scientists’ Security

France Welcomes Beleaguered Climate Researchers French President Emmanuel Macron awarded 18 climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere millions of euros in grants to relocate to his country for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term. Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants are meant to counter Trump’s intent on the climate change front following…

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Clear Gain

Window-Like Solar Cells Could Power 40 Percent of U.S. Needs Solar energy is now the cheapest form of new energy in dozens of countries, with record-setting solar farms being built worldwide. Researchers have been investigating ways to make transparent solar panels that resemble glass that could be used as window panels at the same time…

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Distributed Power

Energy Users Control Own Supplies Some municipalities spend between 20 and 40 percent of their annual budgets on the energy needed to operate wastewater treatment plants. The city of Thousand Oaks, California, has transformed their biggest energy user into an energy generator. Across the U.S., energy users of all sizes are taking control of their…

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‘Sink’ Setback

Tropical Forests Releasing Excess Carbon A study published in the journal Science found that forests across Asia, Latin America and Africa release 468 tons of carbon per year, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of the annual U.S. carbon footprint. Thus, tropical forests may no longer be acting as carbon sinks and could be releasing more…

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Veggie Renaissance

Brits Cutting Back on Meat Eating In 2015, the World Health Organization labeled bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats with the same carcinogenic label as for cigarettes. According to the Mintel Meat-Free Foods 2017 Report (Tinyurl.com/MintelMeatReport), 28 percent of Britons have now drastically reduced their meat intake. Reasons vary. About 49 percent of…

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Grassroots Gumption

Sweet Potato Project Encourages Enterprise The Sweet Potato Project, started by journalist Sylvester Brown, Jr., will work in partnership with St. Louis University and a small cadre of local nonprofits called the North City Food Hub to hold culinary, small business, horticulture, restaurant management, and land-ownership classes and business incubator opportunities this spring. The goal…

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Eco Tips

We Need Trees

Arbor Day More Vital Now than Ever The 147th annual Arbor Day on April 27 encourages tree planting worldwide to replenish lost tree cover including trees wiped out in the recent fires in California and hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) is committed to providing 5 million trees in…

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Protective Plants

Indoor Greenery Removes Airborne Toxins Along with naturally beautifying a home, many indoor plants help purify air quality often contaminated by chemicals found in common household products and furnishings. A recent study by the State University of New York at Oswego found that bromeliads absorbed up to 80 percent of pollutants from volatile organic compounds…

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Yes to Yarn

Popular Needlework Crafts Go Green Whether for function, decoration or personal gifting, the skilful hobbies of yarn arts such as knitting, quilting, weaving, stitching, sewing, crocheting and macramé are going strong. The difference these days is that doing it eco- responsibly is enhancing the process. “More people are making and hand-dyeing their own yarn,” says…

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Recreate Comfort

Secrets to Better Furniture A new year can prompt us to refresh the look and feel of our home. Eco-minded individuals may wish to spruce up a treasured piece of furniture or find a replacement that’s light on environmental impact. Consider wood furniture made from sustainably harvested forests and tree farms or reclaimed wood. Find…

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Erase E-Waste

Regift or Recycle Smart Phones When replacing holiday purchases of smartphones and other electronic devices, don’t just trash the old ones. Manufacturing electronics consumes many resources and discarded waste can leak harmful chemicals into ecosystems. There are far better ways to redirect and repurpose them. Besides trading in phones for a rebate, another good option…

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Action Alert

Sway Congress

Save Wild Horses Campaign Update The Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget again calls on Congress to lift long-standing prohibitions on the destruction and slaughter of wild horses and burros. The budget seeks to cut approximately $14 million of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program by selling as many as 90,000 federally protected…

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