environment | pg.3

Is Your Container Too Small? How to Live a BIG Life

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | November 2nd, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: affirmation, anger, big life, blessings, challenge, change, constriction, create space, destiny, emotions, environment, exhaustion, expansion, feel, frustration, give thanks, growing, inner guide, journal, journaling, let go, listen, marriage, peace of mind, Relationships, shift, spiritual disconnection, spirituality, stress, stuck, transformation, work environments

Woman inside a Cardboard Box

In the last few weeks, I have had several clients and other acquaintances who have shared their discontent. Their challenges range from unsatisfying relationships to chaotic work environments to spiritual disconnection to complete exhaustion. As I listened to each person there was a similar question that kept running through my mind: “Is your container too small?”

Is Another Mass Extinction Imminent?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | September 27th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: Anthony Barnosky, biodiversity, birds, climate change, conservation, conservation efforts, die-off, Eco Travel, endangered, endangered animals, endangered-species, environment, extinction, frogs, global-warming, habitat fragmentation, International Union for Conservation of Nature, invasive species, IUCN Red List, loss of habitat, nature, science, scientists, species extinction, Tigers, travel

Pronghorn in Yellowstone National Park

We could be on the brink of a mass extinction — the Earth’s sixth — according to a paper published last year in the journal Nature. First author Anthony Barnosky, an integrative biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, says Earth has experienced five mass extinctions during the past 540 million years, and another extinction could be around the corner. During each of the five previous events, three-quarters or more of the world’s animal species died out. One of the mass extinctions — which occurred 65 million years ago — ended the dinosaurs.

Some say, however, that this isn’t much cause for alarm. Species have always come and gone over long periods of time; and given the five mass extinctions we’ve already had, it’s a natural event. But will this sixth one be a “different animal”? 

Delivering Zen

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | July 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Girlfriend@Gaiam, Giving Back, Green Living, Health & Wellness | tags: aromatherapy, box, chocolate, conscious consumerism, Cosmetics, delivery, eco-friendly, eco-products, environment, environmentally friendly, flower elixirs, flower essences, food, gifts, green iving, himalala salt, infusions, Japan, Kopali Organics, lohas, lotus wei, monthly subscription service, natural products, organic, paper towels, people towels, personal care, Primavera, reusable products, snacks, tea, Teatulia, yuzen, Zen

Yuzen

Whether it’s a free sample at the grocery store or a new brand your best friend just recommended, discovering a fantastic new product is almost like falling in love.

That’s why it felt like Christmas in July when we unwrapped Yuzen’s July “box of Zen,” beautifully packaged and filled with products that are nourishing for the body, soul and planet.

Yuzen, a Boulder, Colo.-based company, makes it easy to find — and fall in love with — the best new eco-friendly products. It’s also an invitation to pause and take a quiet moment to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures: a hot cup of tea, the smell of fresh flowers or a mouth-watering bite of dark chocolate.

Should Natural Areas Be Preserved — or Conserved for Our Benefit?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | July 17th, 2012 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: arctic, biodiversity, cities, conservation, conservation efforts, conserve, Eco Travel, endangered-species, environment, environmental, environmental activists, environmental awareness, environmental issues, environmentalism, environmentalist, forestry, Galápagos Islands, Gifford Pinchot, Grand Canyon, John Muir, natural areas, nature, people, Peter Kareiva, preservation, preserve, pristine, save the environment, species, The Nature Conservancy, travel, U.S. Forest Service, wilderness, Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park

In the environmental world, it’s characterized as the classic battle: Should wild areas be preserved for their intrinsic qualities or conserved for their resources? In other words, should nature be used for “the greatest good for the greatest number of people for the longest time,” as nineteenth-century progressive environmentalist Gifford Pinchot put it; or should the wilderness be protected and revered without human intrusions, a view espoused by romantic environmentalist John Muir?

Today, with a burgeoning population encroaching on our remaining wild areas and economic help scarce, many would say that Pinchot’s beliefs are more realistic for the modern world. In fact, there are even those, such as Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, who would take Pinchot’s notion a step further: Natural areas must be managed to benefit humans, if they are to survive at all.

Are the Dubai Penguins Ambassadors of the Wild, or Agents of Profit?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | June 18th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: animal ambassadors, animals, Antarctica, big cats, birds, captive, captive wildlife, captivity, conservation, Dubai, Eco Travel, ecosystems, environment, Middle East, natural habitats, nature, penguins, pets, photography, threatened, threatened species, Tigers, travel, wild, wildlife

Penguin in Antarctica

In the hot, desert climate of Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula, 20 penguins are living in comfort, say the managers of Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. The birds reside in a climate-controlled environment, receive the best veterinary care, and never have to worry about lurking predators.

When you visit Ski Dubai, you can pay to have a “penguin encounter,” where you’ll be able to play with and touch the penguins. Representatives of the resort say that these animals are “ambassadors,” teaching patrons about their wild counterparts and the need to conserve their threatened natural habitat, Antarctica.

But can animals that have been born and raised in captivity and habituated to humans in unnatural ways ever be true ambassadors for the natural world? Can they teach us anything about the wild or move us to care for the environments from which they are so distantly removed?

Is Neuro-Conservation the New Hope for Environmental Messages?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 24th, 2012 | 12 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: attention deficit disorder, climate change, conservation, Eco Travel, environment, environmental media, environmentalism, forests, fossil fuels, global-warming, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, green, Green Living, green settings, happiness, health, HOPE, hopeful, hopefulness, nature, neuro-conservation, public health, travel, well-being, wellness

Letourneau Creek

Big wads of plastic in the ocean that stretch for miles and disintegrating polar ice caps are the kind of news stories that tend to make us feel hopeless regarding conservation efforts. Why bother to change our light bulbs to compact fluorescents if our planet’s imminent demise is a speeding train that can’t be stopped?

The reason we have these feelings is probably the work of environmentalists themselves. They’re sending the wrong messages, if you ascribe to the new field of neuro-conservation.

Instead of focusing the spotlight on results of scientific studies that prove our planet is rapidly warming, or on statistics about alarming species extinction rates, they should be talking about how an ocean view will make us feel happy or standing among trees will arouse our feelings of peacefulness.

After all, selling us emotions is what marketing professionals have been doing for decades. They know that we don’t just buy a car; we buy how that car makes us feel — wealthier, greener or more in control. Using the tenets of neuro-conservation may just be the boost that environmentalists need to gain support for their causes in a world that’s overrun with more scientific data than we know what to do with — or pay attention to.

Up Your Eco-Action! What’s Your Earth Day Birthday Resolution?

Jessie Lucier by Jessie Lucier | April 22nd, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: 40th, action, birthday, Earth Day, eco-behavior, environment, green, HOPE, stewards, sustainability

Earth from space

Happy birthday, Earth Day!

Today, people all over the planet will be out celebrating our great, green planet! Earth Day, a day that is usually void of the doom and gloom that can sometimes bog down even the most optimistic greenie, will see folks from all corners of the world and all walks of life convening to honor the planet that provides us with water, air, food … with life! Today, communities will burst forth with music, art, films, local and organic food, environmental education and friendships and partnerships will grow.

Celebrate Earth Day — At Home!

Cheryl Terrace by Cheryl Terrace | April 20th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Green Living, Healthy Home | tags: apartment, carbon emissions, chemicals, Earth Day, eco-home, energy, environment, green cleaners, green home, Green Living, house, house plants, houseplant, LED lighting, lightbulbs, non-toxic cleaning supplies, organic bedding, organic food, organic sheets, organic towels, planet, plastic, toxic, water conservation

Earth Day Home BlogWith only a couple days to go until Earth Day, prepare to get inundated with a billion things we can do — should do — to save our planet. Although there will likely be plenty of events to attend and planet-themed parties to enjoy, one of the best places you can celebrate Earth Day is in your own home!

If our homes are a reflection and expression of our lifestyles and values, then it makes sense that we start making conscious (i.e. green) choices at home. The issues affecting the Earth — from the oil crisis to water shortages to disappearing species — are complex, and can seem distant and insurmountable, but it is essential to understand the correlation between our everyday environments and our larger ecosystem. Everything and everyone is interconnected, and even the simplest act, such as turning the water off when we brush our teeth, creates positive change.

Going Geothermal with Ground Source Heat

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | March 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: carbon emissions, clean energy, climate change, Department of Energy, electricity, energy efficiency, energy efficiency rebates, environment, fossil fuels, geoexchange system, geothermal, geothermal system, global-warming, green energy, green home, green incentives, ground source heat pump, GSHP, HVAC, renewable-energy, solar-power, sustainability, tax incentives, the grid, wind power

geothermal heat

Sure, you’ve thought about adding solar panels to your roof as a way of reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Maybe you’ve even given wind power a gander. But what about ground source heat pumps?

What’s Your Water Footprint?

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | March 21st, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: agriculture, America, conserve, crops, drinking water, environment, fishing, flooding, grey water, infographic, job loss, lakes, numbers, outdoor tourism, reduce, river basins, rivers, statistics, streams, United States, water conservation, water footprint, water pollution, water quality, water table, water use, wildlife habitat, World Water Day

Water Footprint Did you know that the average American is responsible for the use of 751,777 gallons of water a year? (That’s enough water to fill more than 15 thousand bathtubs!) Or that depleting the water in rivers and streams can actually lead to flooding?

Sure, we could tell you all the facts about water use, but we’d rather show you, courtesy of this infographic from The Nature Conservancy and The Water Footprint Network.