Letter From The Publishers

Environmental Stewardship

Welcome to our annual April celebration of Earth Day. This outstanding event has become a rite of spring that marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement on April 22, 1970. Every day is Earth Day in tree town. With so many university students and cutting-edge businesses in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area,…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Climate Change and Spirituality

By Barbra White

By Barbra White We are all part of an intrinsic co-arising web of life. One part affects the whole. Through observations from space, we know that what we do in…

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Assessing the Body’s Environmental Chemical Burden

By Cindy Klement

by Cindy Klement We all swim in a slurry of chemicals during our day-to-day life on this planet. Some of these chemicals become stored in our tissue, where they can…

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Reiki Plus Chakra Mat Equals Total Success

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The HealthyLine PEMF Inframat Pro First Edition Chakra Mat is packed with new technology, and its large size of 74 by 28 inches fits perfectly on a reiki table to…

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Well-Being and Meditation

By Kapil Castoldi

The solution to all human problems is summarized in this short paragraph by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007). “I am in preparation. I am in preparation for a new dawn,…

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New Farm Bill Boosts Michigan Agriculture

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The 2018 Farm Bill supports the one in four jobs related to food and agriculture in Michigan, the state’s second-largest industry. It will provide five years of certainty for Michigan’s…

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How to Weave Hemp into Gold

By Richard L. Steinhart

The dilemma facing socially conscious people is how to justify making money through the capitalism system.  Buying shares of stock means owning part of a company. Finding small cap, undervalued…

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News Briefs

Become a Holistic Nurse in Any Practice Setting

Rediscover the heart and art of nursing and meet the CE requirements for Holistic Nursing certification or recertification. The Integrative Healing Arts Program in Holistic Nursing (IHAP) is a unique, three-session, 84-hour continuing nursing education (CNE) program in a relaxing retreat setting. Graduates receive a certificate in Holistic Nursing and Integrative Modalities; become an instrument…

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Attend a Basic PSYCH-K Workshop in Ann Arbor

Mary Mazur, a certified PSYCH-K basic instructor, certified holistic RN and owner of Ignite and Heal Your Life, LLC,  will present a three-day Basic PSYCH-K workshop, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., from April 12 through 14 in Ann Arbor. She advises, “A health crisis may come into your life as an opportunity for you. This…

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Vegans Gather to Celebrate Meatless Living

The 20th annual Michigan VegFest 2019, hosted by VegMichigan, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 28, at the Suburban Collection Showplace. VegFest is the state’s largest event focused on promoting the health, ethical and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. There has been a huge increase in vegan eating, and this…

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Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration coordinated by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and held at Leslie Science & Nature Center. This year, it will be held from noon to 4 p.m., April 28, with displays from 40 local environmental,…

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Volunteer to Support the Local Environment

Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. This involves staff and volunteers conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring and stewardship projects in Ann Arbor parks. Community involvement is vital to the success of its conservation efforts. NAP projects take…

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New Sustainable Learning Exchange

Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC) began with the mandate to create a new kind of teaching cases, co-designed for contributing solutions to real-world sustainability challenges. Organized around real-world case studies, Galaxy will convene environmentally minded people from all backgrounds. They will integrate sustainability science and knowledge from different fields, make sustainability solutions and decision-making more inclusive,…

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GIVE 365 is a Volunteer Clearinghouse

GIVE 365 is a volunteer gateway to a variety of ways to meet neighbors, see new parts of the city and improve the community with year-round opportunities for almost every interest, schedule, ability and age. Volunteers can sign up for one-day events and short-term experiences or make a long-term commitment. Volunteers lead games and activities…

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Double Up Food Bucks for Nutrition Assistance Patrons

Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program doubles the value of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) benefits spent at participating farmers’ markets and grocery stores, helping people bring home more fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Double Up provides SNAP recipients a one-to-one match to buy healthy, fresh fruits…

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Our Planet

Netflix Series Reveals Its Fragile Beauty Ten years after the groundbreaking documentary Planet Earth, an eight-part sequel, Our Planet, shows even more rapturous scenes of our planet’s most precious species and fragile habitats. Premiering globally April 5 on Netflix, it was filmed during four years in 50 countries across every continent, involving more than 600…

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Food Co-op Benefits Available to All

The People’s Food Co-op is Ann Arbor’s first natural-foods grocery store, serving the community by offering a full-range of groceries, produce and environmentally sensitive cleaning products with local, natural and organic options in every department for more than 40 years. Although the co-op is a democratically run, member-owned organization, customers do not have to be…

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Health Briefs

Probiotics Ease Bipolar Disorder

Research on 66 patients with bipolar disorder found that patients receiving probiotic supplements were three times less likely to be rehospitalized than those given a placebo. The study from the Sheppard Pratt Health System, in Baltimore, gave half of discharged patients a placebo and the other half a capsule containing two probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12)…

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Curcumin Boosts Fertility in Men

Sperm counts have plunged by half in the last 40 years among American and European men, according to a recent review of scientific studies. In a new double blind study of 56 infertile men, researchers at Iran’s Qazvin University of Medical Sciences found that curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, can boost sperm counts. Each…

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Gut Susceptible to Food Additives

By mixing food additives with human gut microbes in petri dishes, scientists at the Czech Republic’s Institute of Microbiology found that gut microbes with anti-inflammatory properties were highly susceptible to being harmed by additives, while microbes with pro-inflammatory properties were mostly resistant. “We speculate that permanent exposure of human gut microbiota to even low levels…

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Smoking Bans Lower Blood Pressure

Non-smokers that live in areas that have banned smoking in public spaces such as restaurants, bars and workplaces have lower systolic blood pressure. In a Northwestern University study reported by the American Heart Association, blood pressure readings of 5,115 adults ages 18 to 30 in Birmingham, Chicago, Minneapolis and Oakland were taken over a 30-year…

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Sugary Drinks Linked to Kidney Disease

Drinking lots of sugar-sweetened sodas and juices significantly increases the risk of chronic kidney disease, reports a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Using health questionnaires for 3,003 African-American adults in Jackson, Mississippi, covering a 13-year period, the researchers found that the top third of subjects, those consuming the most…

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Stress May Be Worse in the Evening

Acute, late-day stress may be harder on our bodies, say researchers at Japan’s Hokkaido University. They measured the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 27 young, healthy volunteers, and then put them through 15 minutes of stressful events that included making a speech and doing mental math. Half of the volunteers were tested two…

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Household Cleaning Products Affect Babies’ Guts and Weight

The heavy use of household cleaning disinfectants may contribute to changes in infant gut bacteria and weight gain, reports a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. University of Alberta researchers collected fecal samples and studied the gut health of 757 babies between the ages of 3 and 4 months; then restudied the children…

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Herbs Make Worthy Prebiotics

Ginger, black pepper and holy basil, mainstays in traditional medicines as anti-inflammatories, also contain significant prebiotic potential that could help gut health, report researchers from India’s National Institute of Nutrition, in Hyderabad. Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) showed significantly higher prebiotic activity, especially of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, when compared to the…

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Pine Bark Soothes Prostate

Benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), a condition that affects half of men older than 60, is related to increased prostate land size and a reduced flow of urine from the bladder. To test the effectiveness of the pine bark extract Pycnogenol on BPH, researchers from Italy’s D’Annuncio university divided 75 men with the condition into three…

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Zyto Biofeedback Records Subtle Changes

The ancient Chinese discovered that there is a vital life force energy flowing through the body. They called this vital force chi. They also found that there are 12 life energy meridian lines that flow through the body that transport energy between different organs and systems of the body thus keeping the body in harmonious…

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Global Briefs

Transcendental Meditations

Near-Death Experiences Can Be Learned “Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: a 3-Year Longitudinal Study,” published in Mindfulness, concludes that some Buddhist meditation practitioners can willfully induce near-death experiences (NDE). These profound psychological events typically occur in people close to actual or perceived death. The ability to willfully induce such experiences could help scientists better understand the phenomenon,…

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Shocking Development

Oceanic Blasts Harm Ecosystems Oil companies have received federal permission to use seismic airguns to find oil and gas deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor during offshore oil exploration from New England to Florida. Repeated every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time, the airguns are so loud that…

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Mind Meld

Translating Thoughts Into Speech Scientists are trying to translate speech-paralyzed patients’ thoughts into speech using brain implants. The technique will potentially provide a brain/computer interface (BCI) to enable people with a spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke or other paralyzing conditions to “talk” again. Experts think a system that decodes whether a person is…

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Horse Sense

Wild Horses Ride Out the Storm North Carolina’s freeroaming wild horse herds on the Outer Banks have “ridden out” their share of storms. When Hurricane Florence struck the area in 2018, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund of Currituck County, where the herd lives, announced on Facebook, “The horses have lived on this barrier island for…

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Bat Cave Rescue

Promising Progress Against Disease A cold-loving fungus known as white-nose syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) originating in Eurasia, where bats evolved to develop immunity to it, began infecting 15 species of hibernating bats in North America in 2006. As the fungus grows over bats’ noses and wings, it disrupts their winter sleep, causing them to expend too…

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Fish Revival

Shad Return After 174-Year Absence Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam in Manville, New Jersey, American shad are successfully spawning in the lower section of the Millstone River. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently observed juvenile fish there for the first time since 1845. American shad (Alosa sapidissima)…

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Bug Apocalypse

Sharp Decline Threatens Ecosystem Insects around the world are in a crisis, and a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the problem is even more widespread than scientists first believed. In a pristine rain forest in Puerto Rico, the number of invertebrates—including moths, butterflies, spiders and grasshoppers—dropped…

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Ancient Canines

Presumed Extinct Dog Species Rediscovered After thinking the New Guinea highland wild dog had gone extinct in its native habitat, researchers have now confirmed the existence of a healthy, viable population, hidden on the island in one of the most remote and inhospitable regions on Earth. According to DNA analysis, these are the most ancient…

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Rare Breed

Exmoor Ponies Beat the Odds The Exmoor pony, which inhabits an area bordered by Devon and Somerset counties in England, is currently listed as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. It’s believed that these ponies derive from the original prehistoric horse that made the trek from Alaska to Great Britain some 130,000 years ago.…

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Fire Hounds

Dogs Help Restore Burnt Forests in Chile Forest fires in Chile ravaged vast swathes of land in 2017, burning sturdy older trees in the El Maule region. Since then, three border collies belonging to Francisca Torres, a member of the environmental nonprofit Pewos, have been wandering through the charred remains with special satchels that spray…

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Eco Tips

Healthier Dry Cleaning

Non-Toxic Ways to Lower Risks Chemicals used in dry cleaning clothes have long been linked to health concerns for both people and the environment. Perchloroethylene (“perc” for short) is most commonly used in this process. Federal regulatory agencies have documented myriad negative effects from exposure to the petroleum-based solvent. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health…

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Tips for a Tree-Free Home

Many Ways to Pare Down Paper Use If one in five households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the collective impact would save 151 million pounds of paper annually, eliminating 8.6 million full garbage bags and 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the PayItGreen Alliance. While computers continue to offer significant…

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Breathe Easy

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality For much of the country, winter means spending more time indoors—and exposed to potential toxins. Indoor air quality is critically important to children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems that may be especially sensitive to pollutants, according to WebMD.com. Recognizing and avoiding some of the most common sources…

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Earth Christmas

Guide to Sustainable Merry-Making There is symmetry between living in an ecoconscious manner and the spirit of Christmas. Striving for peace on Earth and good will to all can also be expressed in reducing the holiday’s impact on the planet. Alternatives to a cut or artificial plastic Christmas tree abound. Purchase a potted tree to…

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Rebirthing Books

New Life for Old Friends Spread the wonders and joys of reading to others while conserving woodlands and other resources and keeping books out of landfills by donating them. Many outlets welcome books that may have been collecting dust at home, but can enrich the lives of others of all ages, both locally and worldwide.…

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Action Alert

Support Citizen Action Against Plastics

Every minute, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic gets dumped into our oceans, reports the World Economic Forum. Many of the materials are disposable, single-use plastic products like straws, bags and Styrofoam containers, which some cities and towns have banned. This type of citizen action is increasingly blocked by the Plastic Industry…

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Youth Climate Strike Coming to U.S.

Demanding immediate action, students are taking part in climate strikes around the world, and on March 15, young activists in the U.S. will add their voices to the escalating #FridaysForFuture movement. It was bolstered in January by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, calling for the first global climate strike while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Action in this country is being…

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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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