Archive | October, 2012

Shaping the Future We Want Global Commitments to Catalyze Change by Brita Belli

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

“We don’t need another plan of action or more treaties; what we need are people that will begin to implement the commitments and meet the goals that have already been created and established,” explains Jacob Scherr, director of global strategy and advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), about the new thinking that drove this year’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The June conference brought together international heads of state, business leaders, nonprofits and activists to prioritize and strategize sustainable development. Unlike the United Nations’ annual climate change conferences, which led to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997—a legally binding treaty that set targets for greenhouse gas emissions the United States refused to sign—the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is held once every 20 years. The theme of Rio+20 was simple and direct: The Future We Want.

Moving away from political posturing and endless negotiating, the meet-up asked businesses, governments and charities to publicly declare their specific commitments and solicited the public’s ideas for realizing sustainability, all aligned with the priorities and opportunities of the 21st century. “With growing populations depleting resources, how do we keep increasing and ensuring prosperity while we are already using more than we have?” queries U.N. spokeswoman Pragati Pascale. “It’s a conundrum.”

Sustainable development, as defined by the U.N., includes fighting poverty, social inclusion (including advancing the status of women) and protecting the environment. Building a sustainable future for the planet, say those involved, means addressing all three simultaneously. It demands the kind of real, immediate action so evident at Rio+20.

Real Results

By the end of the Rio conference, more than 700 voluntarily secured commitments, valued at more than half a trillion dollars, were earmarked to address everything from protecting forests and reducing ocean pollution to building rapid transit bus systems and increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in the green economy. The NRDC launched to track and publicize new pledges and make them easily searchable by region or category.

Some commitments are breathtaking in scope:
• International development banks have pledged $175 billion to boost sustainable transportation in developing countries;
• Bank of America promised $50 billion over 10 years to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy access;
• World Bank committed $16 billion to boost clean energy, access to electricity and cook stoves in developing nations;
• The New Partnership for Africa’s Development promised to achieve energy access for at least 60 percent of Africa’s population by 2040;
• The European Bank offered $8 billion by 2015 to support energy efficiency projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
• Microsoft pledged to be carbon neutral across all its operations by the end of 2013;
• The United States together with the Consumer Goods Forum (which represents more than 600 retail and manufacturing companies) committed to achieve zero net deforestation in their supply chains by 2020.

“The real action, the real energy, was the 21st-century aspect [of Rio+20],” advises Scherr. “I call it the ‘network world’, recognizing the number of players today. It’s not just national governments; it’s states and cities, corporations and philanthropists. In addition to the official meetings and negotiations, between 3,000 and 4,000 other gatherings were going on between business people, mayors, civil society organizations and others, presenting myriad opportunities to make specific commitments. We’re moving to a different dynamic.”

Sowing Seeds

The inclusive atmosphere is reflected in another new U.N.-sponsored international sharing website,, featuring visions and videos relating to sustainability and solutions to dire environmental problems, such as turning global warming-inducing methane from China’s farms into a usable energy source; predicting periods of drought in Ethiopia to prevent humanitarian crises; and investing in solar power to bring electricity to 1.4 billion people around the world. More than 50 million people worldwide have submitted ideas for a more sustainable world, ranging from ways to increase public education to plans for stopping industrial pollution and better managing waste.

“The huge public engagement in the conference is exciting,” says Pascale, “because that’s really how progress will happen. People have to force their governments to take action.”

The NRDC dedicated website is part of a coordinated effort to hold governments, businesses and nonprofits accountable and inform the public. The new U.N. websites facilitate a thriving discussion of what sustainability means and how it can be put into practice.

“We want to continue the overall campaign and build upon it,” says Pascale. “Whatever frustrations people have with businesses, nongovernment organizations (NGO) or governments, we need to harness that energy and keep that dialogue going to give people a voice in making sustainability happen.”

Results-Oriented Role Models

State-based examples of sustainable development in action speak to widespread needs in the United States. Here are examples of five models worth replicating.

PlaNYC: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement of PlaNYC, on Earth Day 2007, signaled a historic moment. The people’s vision of a cleaner, healthier New York City, one that could accommodate 9 million predicted residents by 2030, aims to be a model for urban sustainable development. Its original 127 initiatives leave few sustainability stones unturned, including cleaning up brownfields, building more playgrounds and parks, increasing public transportation and bike lanes, implementing aggressive recycling, enforcing green building standards and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Two-thirds of the initial goals have already been achieved; the latest update calls for 132 initiatives, including a new set of annual milestones.

Speaking at the Museum of the City of New York in 2009, Daniel Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor of economic development and rebuilding for the Bloomberg administration, called PlaNYC “one of the most sweeping, most comprehensive blueprints for New York ever undertaken.” Most critically, all of its stated commitments are achievable (see

Evergreen Cooperative Initiative (ECI): Businesses and community groups in Cleveland, Ohio, determined that they needed to solve the problem of joblessness in low-income areas by creating living-wage jobs and then training eligible residents to fill them. They developed a new, cooperative-based economic model, based on green jobs that can inspire other cities with similar economic woes.

The ECI is a community undertaking in which anchor institutions like the Cleveland Foundation, University Hospitals and the municipal government leverage their purchasing power to help create green-focused, employee-owned local businesses, which to date include a green laundromat, the hydroponic greenhouse Green City Growers, and Ohio Cooperative Solar, which provides weatherization and installs and maintains solar panels. The solar cooperative will more than double Ohio’s solar generating capacity from 2011 levels by the end of 2012 (see

CALGreen: Updated building codes may not generate much excitement until we consider that U.S. buildings account for a lion’s share of carbon dioxide emissions (39 percent), and consume 70 percent of the electricity we generate. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) reports, “If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50 percent less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO2 annually for the life of the buildings—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.”

The California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen), which took effect in January 2011, sets the highest green bar for new buildings in the country. It requires that new buildings achieve a 20 percent reduction in potable water use, divert 50 percent of their construction waste from landfills, use paints and materials with low volatile organic compound content and provide parking for clean-air vehicles. Multiple key stakeholders have been involved throughout the process, including the California Energy Commission and the Sierra Club.

“We really tried to bring together an entire spectrum of people and groups with different perspectives and expertise to build a consensus,” says David Walls, executive director of the California Building Standards Commission. “If we were going to put something in the code we wanted to make sure it was right.” (See

Renewable Portfolio Standard: Texas leads the country in electricity generated from wind power. One complex, in Roscoe, features 627 turbines on 100,000 acres that cost $1 billion to build. Much of the rapid growth of the state’s wind industry can be credited to Texas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, legislation passed in 1999 that mandated construction of renewable energy, including solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and landfill gas in addition to wind.

It further mandated that utilities generate 2,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy by 2009, then 5,880 MW by 2015 and 10,000 MW by 2025. The 10-year goal was met in six years, and Texas has added many green jobs, increased tax revenues and provided security against blackouts, which is critical in the event of extreme heat or drought (see

Edison Innovation Green Growth Fund: Clean technology is booming despite the economic recession and attracting serious investment funds. According to a report by Clean Edge, Inc., venture capital investments in clean technologies increased 30 percent between 2010 and 2011, from $5.1 billion to $6.6 billion.

New Jersey entrepreneurs are upping their state’s potential in this arena with the Edison Innovation Green Growth Fund. The program proffers loans of up to $2 million for companies, research facilities and nonprofits engaged in producing clean energy technologies, ranging from energy efficiency products such as LED lighting to solar, wind, tidal, biomass and methane capture. A condition of the loan is that a project must employ 75 percent of its workforce from New Jersey, or commit to growing 10 high-paying jobs (minimum $75,000 annually) over two years (see

Grassroots Leadership

Elinor Ostrom, the political economist who won a Nobel Prize in economics and passed on just before the start of the Rio conference, dedicated her last blog post to considering the event’s impact. Titled “Green from the Grassroots,” the post stressed the priority of a multifaceted approach to curbing emissions.

“Decades of research demonstrate that a variety of overlapping policies at city, subnational, national and international levels is more likely to succeed than single, overarching, binding agreements,” Ostrom remarked. “Such an evolutionary approach to policy provides essential safety nets should one or more policies fail. The good news is that evolutionary policymaking is already happening organically. In the absence of effective national and international legislation to curb greenhouse gases, a growing number of city leaders are acting to protect their citizens and economies.”

She reported that even in the absence of federally mandated emissions targets, 30 U.S. states have passed their own climate plans and more than 900 mayors signed a climate protection agreement essentially agreeing to reach the Kyoto Protocol goals the federal government refused to sanction.

Rio+20 built upon such bottom-up commitments and pushed states and businesses to go further than they’d ever imagined. “There was an incredible amount of energized activity,” concludes Scherr. “Many people came away feeling empowered and encouraged, because they saw that the sustainability movement is truly worldwide. That’s going to be the legacy of Rio.”

Brita Belli, the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine, reporting for Natural Awakenings.

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Team Up and Have a Ball Warm Winter Workouts by Randy Kambic

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

During seasons of extreme weather, those that prefer to exercise indoors can complement the individual huffing and puffing sounds of gyms and fitness clubs with the social shouts of competitive community sports. Fall is an ideal time to sign up for winter leagues to take advantage of the flip side of outdoor summer leagues. Here we can continue playing what many of us enjoyed as kids―volleyball, basketball and bowling; a welcoming facility is likely just a short distance away.

V-Ball and B-Ball Action

“Many facilities use their gyms for basketball leagues two or three nights a week and set up volleyball nets on the other nights,” notes Bill Beckner, research manager with the National Recreation and Park Association. He reports that in season, there is more open play in basketball, especially on weekends, and also during weekday lunch hours for workers.

YMCA/YWCAs, as well as some public school gymnasiums, welcome adults to play either basketball or volleyball. Opportunities include after school, on weekends and during semester breaks.

While beach volleyball competitions continue to garner more media attention, indoor volleyball has remained consistently popular. USA Volleyball, the sport’s national governing body, has 40 regional associations that provide access to grassroots play, as well as organized competitions. Business team leagues also exist in many cities and towns, as well as informal gatherings of friends that simply meet up.

With six people per side, it’s fun to rotate positions and learn to serve, block the ball, set up a teammate and return or spike it over the net. According to Beckner, “Early Boomers enjoy the camaraderie and generally find volleyball less physically demanding than basketball.” He reports that co-ed volleyball is also popular with young adults, and he anticipates even more interest following the Summer Olympics.

Participating in either sport may lead to minor injuries without proper equipment. To help prevent ankle sprains from an awkward landing, Paul Ullucci, of East Providence, Rhode Island-based Ullucci Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, recommends tightly fitting, hightop sneakers. “Lace them all the way up and tie them tightly,” he says. For some, he also advises an ankle brace over socks for even more support.

Because fingers may get bent by the ball, “Taping two fingers together with thin strips of medical tape above and below the knuckles can stabilize a joint prone to getting sprained while maintaining flexibility,” suggests the member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Board of Directors.

Have a Bowl

Bowling similarly offers friendly social competition, as well as a way to develop individual playing style and track personal improvement. The United States Bowling Congress reports that 71 million people bowled at least once in 2010, making it the number one U.S. participatory sport. Nationwide, it sanctioned 71,904 leagues in 2010-2011, fairly evenly split between men and women.

Steve Johnson, executive director of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, views its 3,600 member locations (about 75 percent of all centers) as community destinations for recreation and entertainment. It’s ideal as a family activity and double-dating venue; more centers now offer fruit juices and energy drinks.

As Stefanie Nation, of Grand Prairie, Texas, an avid recreational league player and member of the United States Bowling Congress’ defending world champion women’s national team,notes, “Leagues are a fun opportunity to get together with others. There’s something about releasing the ball that relieves stress.”

She adds that bowling burns approximately 240 calories per hour and completing three games is the equivalent of walking a mile. Footwear is available for rent at centers if players don’t have their own, and bowling balls of various weights are provided. “A good rule of thumb is to choose a ball that weighs 10 percent of your body weight, up to 16 pounds.” Many serious players wear wrist supports to help absorb the weight of the ball and to keep the wrist rigid for consistency in delivery, she says.

The sport’s appeal is broadening. Especially in urban centers where a Rock ‘n’ Bowl phenomenon often enlivens the young adult crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. Centers have also become sites for community fundraising events and corporate parties. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Sweat Fitness recently added 10 bowling lanes to one of its 10 facilities and is among the community centers expecting to extend the trend.

Randy Kambic, of Estero, FL, is a freelance writer and a copyeditor for Natural Awakenings.

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Global Flavors New Ethnic Vegetarian Recipes Rock Taste Buds by Judith Fertig

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

Celebrating Vegetarian Awareness Month, Natural Awakenings visits the continuing evolutions of vegetarian eating habits and leading cookbooks.

Ancient India and Egypt are known to have served up plant-based diets, but vegetarian cookbooks are a relatively recent American phenomenon.

The genre debuted nationally in 1977 with Mollie Katzen’s groundbreaking classic, the first Moosewood Cookbook, sharing recipes gleaned from her restaurant and a collective co-op in Ithaca, New York. Considered one of Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat, by Health Magazine, she has also hosted several PBS cooking shows.

When Katzen first took up the cause, vegetarian cooking was earnest, if earthy, relying heavily upon such staples as brown rice, mushrooms and tofu. The options were limited for those that didn’t capitalize on a home garden or live in a cosmopolitan city.

Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1970s, cookbook author and food blogger Michael Natkin remembers…“when vegetables were boiled until they begged for mercy.” Being a vegetarian then meant a commitment to a philosophy, not necessarily an expectation of flavor and pleasure.

In 1981, an Indian actress and cookbook author introduced Americans to exotic vegetarian dishes from India in Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East: Vegetarian Cooking. Still, without an Asian market nearby, hard-to-find ingredients like dhal (a lentil) or fenugreek (a seed) might have derailed attempts to make such recipes.

By 1990, Chef Deborah Madison had contributed The Savory Way, which upped the quotient of colorful foods inspired by classic French cuisine. She revealed how plant-based dishes can be sophisticated and even glamorous.

Today’s latest cookbook evolution speaks to the newest generation of vegetarian cooks’ burgeoning interest in tasty ethnic cuisines, home gardening and farmers’ markets as well as meatless meals. Natkin has pulled it all together in Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution, with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes. From the standpoint of a well-traveled home cook, he also chronicles his travels and forays into flavorful, globally influenced recipes at

Why Vegetarian, Why Now?

“Because vegetarian meals are good for you, tread more lightly on our planet’s resources and are kinder to animals,” Natkin responds.

“The planet isn’t designed to support billions of meat-eaters. Plus, many are concerned about the methods of animal agriculture—think of industrial hog farms, for instance, which can be environmental nightmares. If you want to eat meat from smaller producers with higher ethical standards, it’s more expensive,” he says. “Even if you eat meatless only now and again, it’s better for the family budget, your health and the planet.”

Natkin is well aware of the “dark days for vegetables,” when commerce dictated that varieties be chosen and grown primarily for their ability to withstand long-distance transport. Now, due to rising demand, more are grown for flavor, advises Natkin, and that makes vegetarian meals taste better and become more popular.

Natkin further suggests, “If you want a sustainable diet, it must include foods that you like, not foods that you think you should like. They have to taste good, otherwise you won’t stick with it.”

Natkin’s cookbook encompasses dishes from locales as diverse as India, Iran, Japan, Mexico and Thailand. His special touch is conceiving ways to convert traditional recipes to vegetarian variations while maintaining unique flavors and combinations of textures. From a deconstructed sushi to tofu tacos, Natkin coaxes the most flavor out of his ingredients―from cooking pasta in red wine, making “meaty” soup stocks with dried mushrooms or Parmesan cheese rinds to teaching uses of condiments like Japanese sesame salt.

“The least successful cuisine for translation into vegetarian cooking is American comfort food,” he notes. He always encourages cooks to think creatively, not literally, when translating a meat-based dish to a plant-based equivalent. Instead of trying to do a faux turkey for Thanksgiving, for example, he recommends serving a main dish that looks celebratory and mouthwatering, saluting the traditional role of the centerpiece turkey in a fresh way.

Growing Trend

According to a national 2012 Harris Poll, 47 percent of Americans eat a least one vegetarian meal a week. The Values Institute of DGWB, an advertising and communications firm based in Santa Ana, California, confirms the rise of flexitarianism, or eating meat on occasion rather than routinely, as one of the top trends of 2012.

Finally, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman remarks, “When I ask audiences I speak to, ‘How many of you are eating less meat than you were 10 years ago?’ at least two-thirds raise their hands. A self-selecting group to be sure, but nevertheless, one that exists. In fact, let’s ask this: Is anyone in this country eating more meat than they used to?”

Judith Fertig blogs at

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Celestial Living Arts Monthly Forecast October 2012

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

While politicians are trading barbs and the global scene remains unsteady, I encourage you to take a break and remember to celebrate the beauty, comfort and harmony that the sign of Libra offers us all somewhere in our natal chart. Ruled by lover of lovers, planet Venus, you are cordially invited to contemplate your own love and loveliness this month.

Contemplations Celebrating Lovely Libra

ARIES: (March 21-April 19):
Themes for your love calendar, Aries, call upon your ability to sense and feel the vibratory bliss of others, a gift the cosmos is just dying to share with you. The feminine side of your martian get-up-and-go will need a channel for expression and, fortunately for you, the world is full of unexplored channels in that department.
Aries Love Contemplation: Love is anterior to life, posterior to death, initial of creation, and the exponent of breath. ~Emily Dickinson

TAURUS: (April 20-May 20):
Known as the practical builders of the zodiac, the Taurean tribe is of the “if they come, I will build it” school of thought. And this serves you well, as it does the rest of us since we count on you foundationally to have the proper resources in place. However, your love stars call for you to put the cart before the horse and dream up every possible scenario where camaraderie and congeniality meet passion and pleasure to define one of the most unique experiences of love enjoyed by mankind.
Taurus Love Contemplation: It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

GEMINI: (May 21-June 20):
Whatever you’re doing to entertain your desires, ignite your passion and become one with the great cosmic mind, you should plan to be doing it front and center and in public this year, Gemini. You should explore new love vibes by changing dance partners frequently and learning to love each and every one of them in their own special way. This, of course, does not preclude remaining in or seeking to enter a committed and long-standing relationship. If you’re a Gemini, I think you know what I mean.
Gemini Love Contemplation: Love is like pi – natural, irrational, and very important. ~Lisa Hoffman

CANCER: (June 21-July 22):
My fellow Cancerian, if you have not yet experimented with this piece of creative manifestation, I would strongly urge you to bring this universal truth down into the day-to-day functions of your working love life. It’s the one that says, “when you change your view, your view changes.” You can work quite creatively and travel far with your concepts of love in the year to come by aligning with your inner cosmic beloved.
Cancer Love Contemplation: Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery

LEO: (July 23-Aug. 22):
Love often comes easily for Leos, even effusively and effervescently so at times. In the year to come, Leos will elevate their love potential by expanding their natural ability to exude heart-warming affection in a pay-it-forward scenario of a cosmic gifting circle. Venus says, “I love you because you love me” and now Leos can begin to practice the higher octave mantra of Neptune which says, “I love because it is the nature of love to love.”
Leo Love Contemplation: The love we give away is the only love we keep. ~Elbert Hubbard

VIRGO: (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Virgo, this is your opportunity to think like an Aquarian, behave like a Virgo and meld with all others like a Pisces. In other words, stay open to the new and unknown, be reasonable about your expectations and allow yourself to fall in love with anyone and everyone from time to time.
Virgo Love Contemplation: Although the act of nurturing another’s spiritual growth has the effect of nurturing one’s own, a major characteristic of genuine love is that the distinction between oneself and the other is always maintained and preserved. ~M. Scott Peck

LIBRA: (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Libra, can you imagine going into battle as a love slave? Now, I am NOT suggesting we try to solve the world’s problems by increasing the ‘shades of gray’ on the planet, but the very notion of putting down one’s sword in order to raise one’s heart is quite possibly a previously unthunk strategy you might want to consider for optimal interaction on the lovefront.
Libra Love Contemplation: The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. ~Blaise Pascal

SCORPIO: (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Beauty reigns this year Scorpio and the more blurred the vision and bleary-eyed the love-object becomes, the more alluring you will find him/her/it to be. Your personal power base will actually be enhanced with a softer, gentler approach to all matters in love.
Scorpio Love Contemplation: The face of a lover is an unknown, precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment. ~James Baldwin

SAGITTARIUS: (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
Dear Sag, there’s a lot of uncovered ground out there in the unwritten, unstudied, unexperienced annals of love. I feel that this will be your year to engulf yourself with this important research so that we can all excel in our abilities to recognize and reap the benefits of cosmic, blissful L-O-V-E spells love.
Sagittarius Love Contemplation: I truly feel that there are as many ways of loving as there are people in the world and as there are days in the life of those people. ~Mary S. Calderone

CAPRICORN: (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
There does seem to be something of a theme appearing for you, Capricorn, that creates a small struggle between what’s mine and what’s yours, what’s due from the past and what’s negotiable in the present. But ultimately, your most rewarding experiences to be enjoyed and appreciated in the love realms will come through a sense of fortification via spontaneous release.
Capricorn Love Contemplation: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi

AQUARIUS: (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
If you are feeling any sense of being unfairly taxed in duty to a love relationship this year Aquarius, I would urge you to consider how our generous concepts of unconditional love are actually rather conditionally limited in practice. Your growth comes through the investigation of the individual and collective humanitarian potential for both.
Aquarius Love Contemplation: The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one. ~Joan Baez

PISCES: (Feb. 19-March 20):
Of all of the zodiac signs Pisces, your sign is the most navigationally mutable (think boat on a water without a rudder) and psychically attuned to the ambient energies of others (think antennae that indiscriminately picks up all the signals). Therefore, when it comes to your particular lessons of achieving enlightened love, it often boils down to a requirement that you stay present and separately embodied on the road to cosmic bliss.
Pisces Love Contemplation: Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting. ~William Shakespeare

Liz Howell is available for personal astrological consultations and can be reached at

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News from Wisdom of Wool

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

Locally based Wisdom of Wool now makes bedding with Organic Wool. Their Certified Organic Wool Batting is a guarantee that customers’ products are “Chemical Free and Processed” under the strict guidelines set by the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS).
Wisdom Of Wool’s natural 100 percent wool-filled bedding collection is designed with the entire sleep environment in mind and includes comforters, pillows and mattress pads encased in 100 percent organic cotton, all created to improve sleep quality and reduce common allergens while giving careful consideration to environmental sustainability.
Natural Wool Bedding provides a healthier and sustainable alternative to synthetic bedding products— providing the perfect companion for a sound night’s sleep.
To learn more, visit

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Living Yoga Hosts Gala to Fund Prison and Treatment Programs

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

Living Yoga will host its seventh annual Gala, “Invest in the Human Spirit,” on October 5 at Castaway in northwest Portland. Since it’s founding in 1998, the non-profit outreach program has taught yoga as a tool for personal change to disadvantaged individuals in prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and transitional facilities.
The upcoming Gala will help raise funds to strengthen and expand Living Yoga’s programs; these programs support people who are working very hard to change their lives—most people in prison will leave prison, youth in trouble today will grow to become adults, and students in recovery will leave rehab and be back out in the community needing healthy supports to stay sober. Living Yoga provides practical tools that people can use every day—especially when going through stressful times.
Attendees at the Gala should expect a fun and inspirational evening focused around the power of community, hope and transformation. There will be a “Farm to Fork” style sit-down dinner, featuring outstanding vegetarian, gluten-free and omnivore options from local restaurants, as well as live music and a lively auction. If unable to attend the Gala, there are several other ways to get involved.
Visit or call 503-546-1269 to purchase tickets or to learn more about the organization.

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Local Company Green America Award Nominee

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

Portland-based cloth menstrual pad company GladRags has joined the more than 600 businesses worldwide who are certified B Corporations, a new kind of company which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Founded in 1993, GladRags has been a leader in environmentally-friendly products with a message of female empowerment for almost 20 years. Recently, GladRags was named as a finalist out of 250 nominees for Green America’s first People & Planet Awards, which recognizes small businesses with an exceptional commitment to the community as well as the environment.
“We’re proud to be a certified B Corporation, and to have this national recognition from Green America,” says GladRags owner Tracy Puhl. “We started out as a really niche business with very little exposure, and I think this really signals a shift in the public’s perception of healthier, more environmentally responsible menstrual products.”
GladRags offers natural and reusable menstrual products, laundering supplies, and value kits. GladRags sells washable cotton pads and natural rubber or medical-grade silicone menstrual cups online and in stores nationwide.
For more information, visit

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Exciting Things Happening for Solid Gold NW

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Jason

After 15 years at the 88th Street location, Solid Gold Northwest has grown to the point where they need more space. Effective as of August 1, they are now located at 3801 NE 109th Avenue, Suite D, Vancouver. In addition, they have a new name—Whole Pet NW.
There are many reasons for the name change, but one important reason is that many of their clients thought they distributed only Solid Gold products. They are still the same company, the sole and exclusive distributor of Solid Gold products in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. However, they also distribute many other wholesome pet products, such as The Honest Kitchen, Omo’s Pride Frozen Raw products and Tasman’s Natural Bison Rawhide, to name a few.
So when you hear the name “Whole Pet NW,” just think of Solid Gold NW with a whole lot more for your pets.
Their new website is but you can still order from Phone: 360-571-0838 or 888-746-6784.

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