Natural Life
Eco-Responsible Wood Heat Leading Edge Solar Homes Planning Your Native Plant Garden

January/February 2008


be Today! Subscri
Green, healthy living, from pregnancy through birth and early childhood

Natural Child Magazine
Information and inspiration to help your family live a green, healthy lifestyle.
• the natural, organic nursery • creating a green, healthy home • non-coercive parenting • feeding your child organically • vegetarian babies • children in nature • healthy pregnancy • homebirth and other options • breastfeeding, cosleeping • wellness and natural remedies • natural family fun and play • holistic grandparenting

Subscribe today and receive the charter issue!
USD$27 to United States CAD$30.78 to Canadian provinces of NB, NL & NS* CAD$28.62 to other provinces in Canada* AUD$50 to Australia & CAD$45 to other countries
* Rates to Canada include GST or HST (Reg # 118403385)

Life Media PO Box 112 Niagara Falls NY 14304 USA or 508-264 Queens Quay W Toronto ON M5J 1B5 Canada


January/February 2008

Natural Life
Green Living
7 Ask Natural Life
Can high-tech gadgets make us ill?

10 The Spirit of Interior Design
How to green your home gracefully.

31 My Green Town
Solving global warming at the grassroots level.

34 Outstanding in His Field
Saskatchewan biotech activist wins alternative Nobel Prize.

40 The Media Beat
Natural Life’s editor shares her favorites.

Sustainable Housing
26 Using Sun & Earth to Stay Warm
A net-zero energy home in Quebec.

18 Clear the Air
Find, clean up and prevent mold in your home.

Renewable Energy
12 Rekindling an Old Flame
The safe and environmentally sound use of wood heat.

38 Let the Sun Shine In
Solar Decathlon showcases leading-edge solar houses.

Organic Gardening
28 Go Native
Gardening with native plants and wildflowers.

36 Natural Health News
Good news about organics and natural remedies.

Natural Parenting
32 The Natural Child
Environmental problems hurt kids the most.

Natural Life Interview
20 Natural Food Store Owner Don Smith
Good food and a recipe for environmental consciousness.

Natural Life

From the Editor’s Desk
Trying to Lighten Up
The global warming warnings are getting heavier by the moment now. In response, conscientious people like Natural Life readers (not to mention owners and staff!) are responding to the growing sense of urgency by lightening up our respective footprints. And much of the rest of the world’s population – with the notable exception of North American political leaders – seems likewise engaged, if polls are to be believed. A recent BBC poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries found that four out of five people are ready to make serious changes to their lifestyles to address climate change – even in the United States and China, the world’s two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. In the U.S., that’s a sea change in public opinion and it’s backed up by a study conducted by Yale University, Gallup and the ClearVision Institute. In that poll, 62 percent of respondents said that they believe life on earth will continue without major disruptions only if society takes immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming. Then why is my biggest problem not lightening my footprint but my mood? I keep wondering if all the sacrifice individuals are making really matter if governments and industry don’t stop dithering. And the greenwash gets me down. The other day a PR firm sent me a whole case full of water in plastic bottles sourced from a spring in Fiji…accompanied by a press release telling me how it is the first bottled water brand to go carbon negative! Then I read about how an eight-passenger SUV won the “Green Car of the Year” award at the Los Angeles Auto Show. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was quoted as drooling, “They’ve proven that they can make beautiful cars, strong cars, keep the size, keep the safety, and all those kinds of things, and at the same time be more fuel efficient.” Maybe his heart is in the right place. After all, it is Hollywood. And Hollywood, says American author, columnist and blogger Arianna Huffington, “has gone from the capital of conspicuous consumption to the cutting edge of conspicuous conservation.” So I’m trying to keep my senses of humor and perspective. One of the ways I’m doing that is by working on the launch of Life Media’s third periodical – Natural Child Magazine, which grew out of the Natural Child column that has been a feature of Natural Life for so many years. Starting my own family almost 36 years ago is what got me on this road to a greener, fairer world, after all. Maybe the “natural children” in my family and their peers will be able to solve the problems my generation has created. Another way that I’m trying to stay hopeful for the future is by writing and reading. One of the writers whose books I’ll be exploring more thoroughly this year is a Tibetan Buddhist nun named Pema Chodron. She is a teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. Her books have titles that are well suited to these times, including No Time to Lose, The Places that Scare You, When Things Fall Apart, and Start Where You Are. And what better place to begin than with a quote from the latter title: “The best gift you can give yourself is to lighten up. Enjoy 2008 and keep a light heart to accompany your lightened footprint. Wendy Priesnitz, Editor
Read Editor Wendy Priesnitz's weblog at

January/February 2008
2008 Subscription Rates
To the United States (in US dollars) 1yr Personal $27 4yr Personal $90 2yr Personal $51 5yr Personal $105 3yr Personal $72 1yr Library $36 To Canadian Provinces of NB, NL & NS (in CDN dollars, including HST) 1yr Personal $30.78 4yr Personal $102.60 2yr Personal $58.14 5yr Personal $119.70 3yr Personal $82.08 1yr Library $41.04 To the Other Provinces in Canada (in CDN dollars, including GST) 1yr Personal $28.62 4yr Personal $95.40 2yr Personal $54.06 5yr Personal $111.30 3yr Personal $76.32 1yr Library $38.10 To Australia (in AU dollars) 1yr Personal $50 4yr Personal $180 2yr Personal $95 5yr Personal $215 3yr Personal $140 1yr Library $66 To New Zealand (in NZ dollars) 1yr Personal $60 4yr Personal $215 2yr Personal $116 5yr Personal $260 3yr Personal $167 1yr Library $80 To the United Kingdom (in Pounds) 1yr Personal £22 4yr Personal £78 2yr Personal £42 5yr Personal £94 3yr Personal £60 1yr Library £30 To Europe (in EUROs) 1yr Personal 32€ 2yr Personal 62€ 3yr Personal 90€ 4yr Personal 115€ 5yr Personal 138€ 1yr Library 42€

To Other Countries (in CDN dollars) 1yr Personal $45 4yr Personal $162 2yr Personal $87 5yr Personal $195 3yr Personal $126 1yr Library $60

Life Media 508-264 Queens Quay W, Toronto ON M5J 1B5 or Box 112, Niagara Falls NY 14304-0112 USA Phone: (416) 260-0303 Toll-free: 1-800-215-9574 Email: Web:

Publisher: Rolf Priesnitz
ISSN 0701-8002 Established 1976 GST Registration No. 118403385 Copyright © 2008 Life Media Published six times per year Printed in Canada Cover Photo: Marko Poplasen, ShutterStock

Page 2

NaturalLifeMagazine. Niagara Falls NY 1404-0112 USA www..Natural Life Subscribe today and help create a sustainable future for yourself and your family Life Media 508-264 Queens Quay W. Toronto ON M5J 1B5 Canada or PO Box .

Recommending linseed oil as a wooden toy finish is a very bad idea. That sort of linseed oil is sometimes available as a natural wood finish and will be labeled as “polymerized” or “ . But to work such magic bad things are involved. at some point. pure linseed oil leaves a somewhat sticky surface and dries slowly. However. while allowing the wood to breathe naturally. Thanks for the suggestion. Linseed oil commonly comes in two forms. run an article on monolithic homes? I’ve also read a bit on the geodesic greenhouses and would like to learn more about them. while giving substantial moisture and soil resistance. it can be used as a pre-treatment for surfaces that are to be waxed. it gets thicker and dries faster. which makes a good finish. British Columbia Editor: Monolithic Domes is a Texas-based company that produces a patented type of dome structure.) Boiled linseed oil should never be used around children. John Michael Linck Madison. We don’t publish articles publicizing specific companies or brands. Safe Wood Finishes In your Toxic Toys article (November/December. But we think it is about time that we did an article about domes again. Raw linseed oil is one and may make a poor toy finish.” However. Thanks again for your great work! Margo Westaway Sicamous. They usually involve the addition of heavy metal dryers. I agree with the walnut oil suggestion and it forms part of my two-part finish on my toys with the other part being sunflower oil. rather than boiled linseed oil. as a finish for wooden toys. Thanks for your work in helping parents choose safe toys. (Read very toxic. dries pretty quickly and is not as sticky. Your magazine never fails to inspire me and give me hope that there are hearts and minds out there working hard to better our lifestyle and caring for the planet. Could you please. But very dangerous is the more common Boiled Linseed Oil variety. both of which I buy at the grocery store. I hate to think of children put at risk. These are drying oils and will not turn rancid as wood finishes. Linseed oil is produced from flax seed and provides deep protection against water and dirt. Beeswax is more troublesome but will also serve.From our Readers… Inspiration and Domes Please accept my check for another three year subscription. I hope you can pass this on to your readers. most hardware store linseed oil products labeled as “boiled linseed oil” contain petroleum-based solvents and metallic Page 4 NaturalLifeMagazine. It takes months to dry and remains quite sticky too. 2007) you recommend linseed oil as a toy finish. but we should also have taken the space to explain further. so we’ll get to work. Wisconsin Editor’s response: Our article mentioned linseed oil. They have been used as wood finishes for centuries. When heated.

. . or on our website www. Maybe it’s because our family (and thus our laundry load) is You can find information about their clothesline campaign at the website: www. Ontario www. Even though I’m 40 years older.. healthy finishes that include linseed oil.. because it made me remember “the good old days” when it was a challenge to figure out which was more solidly frozen – my fingers or the sheets that I’d just brought in off the rope line and pulleys during our frigid northern winter. In the U. energy-efficient housing ê Small scale company providing constant. I’m just as proud of that as I once was of our shiny new electric dryer. by email at circulation@lifemedia. feels that either finish should be safe for children to chew on. Toronto ON M5J 1B5 Canada. A number of years ago. Details of our privacy policy are available by phone or by mail. Page 6 NaturalLifeMagazine. somehow I don’t mind the routine of hanging our clothes out to dry.laundrylist.bradenhomes.Pioneers in practical. The Canadian natural wood finish company Eco-House Inc.lifemedia. So we erected a fancy new clothesline and bought a new supply of clothes pegs. it isn’t necessary to use hardware store grade boiled linseed We value your privacy. we’ve come full circle.) You can reach us by phone at (416) 260-0303 or 1-800-215-9574. or by mail at Life Media. And now. But to err on the side of care. sells a variety of environmentally-sound. Tried and True produces a line of linseed oil-based organic finishes that are also safe for toys. by the way! Mimi Kinnear. we may use our customer mailing list for promotion of products or services that we feel might interest you. a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking magazine and the author of the book Understanding Wood Finishes (Rodale Press). Bob Flexner. Great cover. Niagara Falls NY 14304 USA or 508-264 Queens Quay W. I recall missing that incomparable windy scent that lingered on in the sheets and towels. Edmonton. Subscriber Notice: Moving? Please contact us with both your old and new addresses as far in advance of your move as possible (preferably 8 weeks or more... Maybe that’s because my husband now helps. I was pleased when my young family could finally afford a clothes dryer so that I would have the luxury of warm hands and warmer bedding. For instance.S. its use is somewhat controversial among woodworkers. on-site supervision and personal interaction with clients ê Uniquely crafted homes. Alberta Update: The Project Laundry List website mentioned in the “Letting It All Hang Out” article in Natural Life’s November/ December 2007 issue has been changed. I saw the environmental light and realized that the electrical energy used to dry clothes was a waste. Call (519) 856-9306 Fax (519) 856-9611 Rockwood. you can easily limit the use of your contact information that is on our mailing lists by contacting us using the methods detailed to the left. Hanging Out Hi Natural Life! I had to laugh at your article about clotheslines in the November/December issue. additions & renovations ê Extreme care taken in choice of building material for quality and chemical composition ê Barrier free access and attention to other special needs is our standard As this reader suggests.. once it has fully cured for around 30 days. If you do not want us to use your name and contact information for such promotional mailings. Occasionally. PO Box 112. Maybe I understand a bit more about how the world works.

But it took until 1998 for an international panel of researchers meeting in Vienna. And it may be just the tip of the iceberg. The report also cautioned about the health risks of exposure to cell phone antennas (referred to as “base stations”). magnetic and EMF at current exposure Page 7 . cell phones and their transmission towers. government contradicts another study by the Consumers’ Association. this resolution calls for governments to “adopt guidelines for public and occupational EMF exposure that reflect the Precautionary Principle. don’t forget baby monitors. restless sleep and rashes. It suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by NaturalLifeMagazine. the European Union’s EMF Reflex Research Project – an in vitro study – was released. Last fall. just plain electrical wiring…. chronic pain.” Signed by 31 leading scientists from around the world. dimmer switches. brain fog. the government study found that hands-free cell phones cut radiation by up to 80 percent! As far back as the pre-Wi-Fi and cell phone 1950s. which emphasizes that the accumulated evidence points to “adverse health effects from occupational and public exposures to electric. as well as studies that could turn us all into Luddites. Environmental Protection Agency – to agree that the biological effects from low-intensity exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMF) are well-established. microwave ovens. The illness is sometimes called electrohypersensitivity or EHS.K. it was found that relocating asthmatics to areas of low electrical fields eliminated their symptoms. which found that the hands-free style tripled the radiation going into the user’s brain. fluorescent light bulbs. showing that EMF radiation can damage DNA in human cells. wireless Internet connections and all the other electronic stuff that people tell me isn’t good for me. the sense of urgency had become stronger.” By 2007. halogen lights. The other day. computer monitors. high tension wires. someone told me that I shouldn’t have my electric clock radio beside the head of my bed! What do you think about all of this? Are these things harmful? A: There is no doubt that the level of low frequency radio waves is increasing in our environment and that. cordless phones. there are studies that corporations can use to placate people’s fears. those with a wired ear attachment) funded by the U. In 2006. with the increasing popularity of wireless Internet. as a result.S. headaches. radios.all things that researchers say can make some people ill with symptoms that can include nausea. There is much puzzling and sometimes conflicting research on this topic. chronic fatigue. asthma.Ask Natural Life Answers to reader questions about sustainable. most of us are living in an electronic smog. the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) released the Benevento Resolution. one study on hands-free mobile phones (i. tinnitus. And while you’re thinking about sources. healthy living Can Technology Make Us Ill? Q: I’m confused about the level of danger associated with cell phones.e. In 2004. the European Environment Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi. since new research indicates that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) may cause damage at the cellular level. Austria – including a professor from Queens University in Canada and a representative from the U. For instance.

wireless Internet technology and other gadgets. Wi-Fi systems and everyday household devices can give people asthma.asbestos. headaches and fatigue. Cell phone signals utilize pulsed electromagnetic fields. A study by Drs. The greater the electrical field. influenza and other respiratory diseases. Once embedded in the tissue. with a few studies linking cell phone usage and cancer. which related to the distance they lived from power lines and the thickness and number of conductors distributing electricity. published in 2006 in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. which increases the speed at which they strike the tissue. Once the particles are electriPage 8 nals. memory loss. Another study of 12. they were up to 100 times greater. Peter Achermann and colleagues at the Neuroscience Center in Zurich. the greater the charge on the particles. the president of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. More recently. 15 minutes off. they will stick to the tissue of the lungs and respiratory tract when they are inhaled. produced by the international BioInitiative Working Group of leading scientists and public health and policy experts. smoking and leaded gasoline. And Toronto’s public health department has questioned plans to install a citywide wireless network. Austria. A team of scientists at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy found that electrical fields can charge minute particles in the air such as viruses. they can cause infection and other health problems. fatigue and headache for people who used the phones for over one hour per day total. light and always airborne. becoming up to 15 percent stronger in some frequency ranges. The impact of other sources of electromagnetic fields on human health hasn’t been as well studied. Switzerland demonstrated that the type and strength of electromagnetic radiation produced by mobile phones can affect the brain. their electroencephalogram patterns (tracings of the brain’s electrical activity) changed. The researchers also found dose/response relationships with concentration. Every time the signal was first switched on. there is concern. found a significant increase in the risk for malignant brain tumors for subjects with first use of both cellular and cordless phones at less than 20 years of age. Alexander Borbely. For instance. “massively increased” radiation that “has no precedent in human history. suggesting some adaptation mechanism. lymphomas and nervous system tumors for children exposed to very high electromagnetic fields. The level did not drop immediately when the signal was switched off but reduced gradually over the night. allergens. And the result of much of that research isn’t pretty. Last year. Ontario banned Wi-Fi on campus. The warning followed an international scientific review which concluded that safety limits set for EMF radiation are “thousands of times too lenient.” A study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment in August of 2007 describes how electrical fields from computers. causing them to deform and embed in the tissue more firmly. which can greatly exceed the strength of other EMF fields like those from television and radio sig- Research indicates that caution should be the principle guiding our usage of cell phones. publicly-funded study in the UK found that children under the age . likening it to second-hand smoke. The problem is that the charged particles are less than 80 times the thickness of human hair. A study published in 1979 in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper reported an increased incidence of childhood leukemia.” The mobile phone users studied used their phone less than two minutes or two calls per day.000 mobile NaturalLifeMagazine. which means they are constantly being inhaled. so they are small. Because of that – and the fact that cell phones are used in closer proximity to the body – there has been a lot of research conducted into their safety. but are another controversial source of EMR. said the “explosion of new sources has created unprecedented levels of artificial electromagnetic fields that now cover all but remote areas of the habitable space on Earth. Twenty-four men in their early 20s were exposed to an intermittent mobile phone signal whilst asleep (ruling out any placebo effect) for 15 minutes on.” causing “long-term and cumulative exposure” to cally charged. scientists at the 1998 Vienna Resolution symposium noted that in one study undertaken in Salzburg. cell phones. bacteria and other toxic particles. a large.” The review. phone users in Sweden and Norway found “a statistically significant association between calling time/number of calls per day and the prevalence of warmth behind/around or on the ear. High voltage power lines have been around much longer than Wi-Fi. One study.

That may mean something as simple as moving an electric clock a few feet away from your bedside table. 1995) Cross Currents – The Perils of Powerwatch . In her research.emrpolicy. • Use cable or fiber-optic Internet technology rather than wireless. Becker (Tarcher. the speaker phone setting or text messaging. 2006) EMF Book: What You Should Know About Electromagnetic Fields. David Butler-Jones. diabetes and other illnesses improve when capacitators are used to filter the radiation from the wiring in their homes. Since 1995. Electromagnetic Radiation & Your Health by Mark Pinsky (Grand Central Publishing. an environmental science professor at Trent University in Peterborough.holistic-cooking. Nutrition Consultant & Cooking Instructor Page 9 .se Electromagnetic Man – Health and hazard in the electrical environment by Dr. 1990) The Invisible Disease: The Dangers of Environmental Illnesses Caused by Electromagnetic Fields and Chemical Emissions by Gunni Nordstrom (O Books. Meanwhile. • Unplug equipment when not in use.www. • Ensure that electrical equipment is properly grounded. and many physicians say EHS is psychological. not to mention the problem of global warming. 1990) The Powerwatch Handbook by Alasdair Philips and Jean Philips (Piatkus Books. Havas has been teaching a unique course on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields at Trent’s Centre for Health Studies.C. have their share of naysayers – many who are funded by the industries whose profits are threatened by the truth. Also in 2005. advised Canadians to limit their and their children’s use of cell phones until science resolves uncertainties about long-term health effects. Dr. N. has worked with citizens concerned about high voltage transmission. she has found that symptoms of MS.www. Cyril Smith and Simon Best (St Martins Press. some people insist that the science is uncertain. • Use a corded phone/land line for day-to-day needs. limit your exposure. • Since a cell phone radiates even when in “standby” mode. Magda Havas. .powerwatch. • Non-carpeted floors and the use of natural materials in your home will create lower electrical fields. In spite of all this research and scholarly activity.000 children diagnosed with International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety www. • Avoid living near cellular towers and high tension power lines.NL - What to Do? • Keeping your home’s relative humidity above 20 to 30 percent will help keep the level of EMR fields relatively lower. use an earpiece/ Lori Nichols-Davies. either keep it turned off or away from your The German government is already advising its citizens to use wired Internet connections instead of Wi-Fi and landlines instead of mobile phones.icems.feb. the Promise of Electromedicine by Robert O. Learn More The Collaborative on Health and the Environment www. 2004) 63 Holistic Teaching Chefs Wanted by November 2008 Our polluted world needs a new breed of chef The Specialized Holistic Chef * We train you to train these chefs 140-hour classes « Guidance by a distinguished advisory board « Accommodations can be arranged Holistic Cooking Academy “Creating Holistic Chefs for the Health of our World” 613-253-7390 www.H.of 15 living within 100 meters of high-voltage power lines have nearly twice the risk of developing Swedish Association for the Electrosensitive . In 2005. Ontario. The Oxford Childhood Cancer Research Group study involved 33 years of data on EMR Policy Institute . or as complicated as rethinking your cell phone and wireless Internet usage or where you live. But we must remember that the dangers of tobacco usage and second-hand smoke. the UK’s National Radiation Protection Board issued a warning that no child under age eight should use a cell phone. we – along with many scientists world-wide – urge the Precautionary Principle: If there seems to be a possibility of harm. • If you use a cell phone. Canada’s top public official. citing the growing scientific evidence that exposure poses a health risk.

Starting with the bed. Choose the absolute best mattress you can afford. That is one third of the time spent in renewal of energies that should be absolutely free from chemicals. Look for one without a Teflon finish to repel stains. buy a totally organic sleep system. and the FSC wood and adhesives are all put together using an old European technology to provide one of the . The trouble is that the cost of an organic bed. there are several price points to note when considering the lifetime investment of an organic bedroom. There are many options available now. sleeping poorly and/or waking up with fatigue.The Spirit of Interior Design by Eileen Wosnack Beds Go Green S inking into sumptuous clean bed linens with candles softly aglow is a luxury that we all enjoy. it is likely the most valuable to your overall health. dust mites and low levels of mold in beds and bedding. But pollutants commonly found in bedrooms. If there is one investment to be made in the next renovation. natural comfort levels in sleep that there is. but where does one start? Three of the most important areas of the bedroom are the bed. The rubber tree fluid used to create the latex. The Alternate Press Books and magazines about natural living since 1976 www. If you are ready and able to take the plunge to invest in your sleep and your health. organic wool and cotton mattress and Forest Stewardship Council certified wood foundations and frames is expensive. foggy thinking. however. this one is the least seen by others and the least impressive. Going green in the bedroom is more than just a popular fad today and as most of those living the natural lifestyle have known for years. though. affect our bodies’ ability to truly rest and heal during sleep. The second option to consider.LifeMedia. it just cannot get any better than that. the surfaces (walls and floors) and the bedding. joint pain and skin irritations. the wool and cotton used to wrap the mattress.” sneezing and runny nose. headaches. all chemical-free. organic is better. complete with an organic latex rubber. such as toxic chemicals. Several companies have begun to manufacture natural beds with lower levels of fire retardant chemicals and a new foam that does not off-gas as much as the old polyurethane foams Page 10 NaturalLifeMagazine. We sleep on our beds a third of our lives. feeling “stuffed up. sometimes more than the average person can afford. Common symptoms include chronic sinus problems. Natural is good. is to get Sleep is a time to detoxify and regenerate. if the price is not affordable for the investment in a totally organic sleep system.

. restful and relaxing experience. There are several companies that bring in organic cotton bedding from India and one that contracts American farmers to grow organic cotton in the USA. The quality of the bedding is good. organic bedding and dream your dreams in green. British Columbia and founder of Eclectrix™ Organic Home. If possible. cotton or silk. able organic interiors store. Contact her through her website www. Now that was easy! Sleep should be a wonderful. the best part of all. Don’t forget that your pillows and duvets should be of wool. Invest in the best mattress cover and barrier cloth that you can afford to protect your mattress. What you put on your bed is also important in the romantic bedroom setting. Another choice is to buy a cotton mattress or futon made with organic materials. Borax and washing soda may be added and a half cup of vinegar in the rinse water should aid in removing the residues of washing. She is a member of the Canada Green Building Council and the Organic Trade Page 11 . Here is one tip you will love: Do not make your bed in the morning! Instead. [Be careful to place the candle in a safe place so it can’t be knocked over and extinguish it fully before falling asleep. open the window a crack and leave the bed exposed for the day. And we inhale whatever is in those materials. not detergent. Wash natural bedding in soap. feathers. or just to freshen it on a weekly basis.NL - NaturalLifeMagazine.spiritinteriors. Turn your organic mattress end for end and flip it over every two months to provide even wear and to allow all sides to breathe. the cotton soft and. She is also an educator and speaker who is working on her first book Lakota Wisdom. there are no chemicals used in the entire process from seed to sheet. down. free from the onslaught of chemicals and other pollutants.rid of your conventional mattress at least and buy either an organic latex foam mattress or an inner spring mattress with organic upholstery a sustain- For about one third of our lives. Eileen Wosnack is the principal designer of Spirit Interior Design in White Rock. Her natural home design column is a regular feature in Natural Life Magazine. hang the bedding out in the sunshine to air out and dry. our bodies are in direct contact with the materials we sleep in and on. Hang the blanket on a blanket holder or over the edge of the footboard or a chair.] Then sink down into the clean. Burning a beeswax candle before retiring will help purify the air and it doesn’t hurt to create a little romance in the atmosphere either. remove the duvet to allow the mattress to evaporate the moisture from your body that collected as you slept.

com .Renewable Energy Rekindling An Old Flame by Rolf Priesnitz Wood heat can be environmentally responsible if you use high efficiency equipment and sensible burning practices Page 12 NaturalLifeMagazine.

Pile the wood loosely. In contrast.” He says that heating with wood does not contribute to the greenhouse effect as does heating with one of the fossil fuels like oil and gas. This cycle can be repeated forever without a net increase in atmospheric carbon. owners are less likely to damage their forests. some carbon monoxide. “A healthy forest is not a museum. which helps clean your chimney. some of which are carcinogenic. “Green” or wet wood releases less heat energy but more smoke from the fire because it must first evaporate the moisture before producing useful heat. But the newer. split the logs as soon as possible and stack them in a dry spot for 6 to 18 months. so unsplit pieces dry very slowly. on the other hand. Aside from that. you should aim for no pollution. w Firewood Always burn dry. In addition. Gulland also points out that a big advantage of wood over the fossil fuels is that its main environmental impact occurs at the point of use and is visible for all to see. A tree absorbs carbon dioxide from the air as it grows and uses this carbon to build its structure. Although carbon makes up about half the weight of firewood and is released as carbon dioxide when the wood is burned. soothing heat. refining and transportation of the fuels to market. a by-product of combustion. Aside from polluting.F ew people would argue that there is nothing more relaxing on a chilly evening than gathering around a warm. At least ascertain that the wood you buy was not the result of clear-cutting. not wet or freshly cut wood. if you are using wood to heat your home. the carbon is released again to the atmosphere. So buy firewood that is harvested using sustainable forestry practices. if you’re burning well seasoned wood in a new generation. hickory and elm tend to produce a longer-lasting fire. He says that the answer lies in the natural cycle of growth. or at least as little as Page 13 . A very hot. If you are not lucky enough to own a woodlot. Aspen builds a hot fire. Seasoned firewood has around 20 percent moisture content. both plants and animals. Older. an independent Canadian wood heat consultant. And one answer comes from John Gulland. When trees are used for energy. seasoned firewood. the real environmental impacts of oil and gas are hidden from view because they occur during extraction. That smoke is basically a cloud of unstable and smelly hydrocarbon molecules containing dozens of chemicals. eliminating the “energy miles” contribution of the transportation of other fuels from across the country or around the world. allowing air to circulate through the split logs. researcher and author of a number of books on wood heat. Hardwoods such as oak. buy your firewood from the person who does. a part of the forest’s carbon ‘bank’ is diverted from the natural decay and forest fire cycle into our homes to heat them. Wood only dries from the surface inward. but a living community of plants and animals. including one written for the federal government that has sold over a million copies. more clean burning wood heating technologies are in the range of 2 to 5 grams per hour. cozy fire that radiates rich. decay and re-growth of trees and forests. When oil and gas are burned. But burning wood and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere might not seem so relaxing at this time of heightened awareness of the dangers of climate change! However. wood is usually harvested lo- cally. you shouldn’t have to worry. NaturalLifeMagazine. which can lead to a fire. To properly season wood. One of the keys to ecologically sound wood burning is to ensure that the forest from which your wood is harvested maintains a stable level of variously aged trees and provides a good habitat for a diversity of other species. Still. results in carbon dioxide. turbulent fire. a smoky fire wastes fuel and creates creosote in your chimney. some other gases. inefficient woodstoves and fireplaces emit particulates at the rate of 40 to 60 grams per hour of operation. which is the main cause of the greenhouse effect. maturity. The result is an increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. if the destruction of forests contributes to global warming and if planting trees in your community is a good strategy to control greenhouse gas concentrations. carbon that has been buried within the earth for thousands of years is released in the form of carbon dioxide. then how can using wood for home heating be justified? Good question. it is part of a natural cycle. is easier to light and will burn more efficiently. Incompletely burned or smoldering wood produces smoke. or is processed into firewood and burned. When the tree falls and decays in the forest. high efficiency wood burning appliance. water vapor and some not completely oxidized hydrocarbon particulates.

Page 14 NaturalLifeMagazine. If you like the look of a fire. seasoned wood. even cherry pits and other material. Unlike wood stoves and fireplaces. Most pellet stoves produce a small fire that. Large stoves are suitable for larger. quired to be certified to be low-emission according to EPA standards and the Canadian government recommends EPA certification too. so be sure you purchase the correct size for your application. you can use a small stove for zone heating a specific area of your home. leakier houses in colder climate zones. There are. some manufacturers. In larger homes with older central furnaces.Woodstoves If you have an old potbellied woodstove or ancient fireplace insert. choose a unit with a good flame pattern and large viewing glass. voluntarily seek this certification. especially those sold before 1988. stoves that can burn corn kernels and hulled wheat. open plan houses or older. Taking along a floor plan of your home will help you obtain the proper advice regarding sizing of your woodburning appliance. Because they pollute so little. use only a certified airtight woodburning appliance. have your chimney cleaned regularly. unlike log-burning . as it was in 2005 when the stoves’ popularity led to a temporary shortage of pellets. medium-sized energy-efficient houses and cottages used in winter. Medium-sized stoves are suitable for heating small houses. pellet stoves burn a renewable fuel made of recycled sawdust and other biomass wastes compressed into pellets and fed into the stove through a hopper. All wood stoves and fireplace inserts sold today in the U. concentrated in the center of the unit. but require less installation space than other types of stoves and can be easily vented through a wall. however. burning firewood in them produces significantly more smoke than is necessary. conserve energy and save you dollars while maintaining comfort. burns hot. burn dry. most pellet stoves need electricity to operate. put it in the care of a metal recycler so it can no longer be used. Instead of logs. Size it Right Wood stoves come in different sizes. This can reduce fuel consumption. The best choice for a low-polluting wood burning appliance in one labeled by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or another testing and certification body for safety. Small stoves are suitable for heating a family room or a seasonal cottage. Their efficiency is based on controlling the fuel-to-air ratio within the stove. install. and avoid accidents while loading wood or opening your stove door. pellet stoves do not require EPA certification. operate and maintain it properly. Some people feel that depending upon a manufactured product is problematic.S. A new stove or fireplace that uses advanced technology will produce a more stable fire and cut the pollution rate by up to 90 percent when compared with older models. Talk with experienced hearth product retailers who know the performance characteristics of the products they sell. Pellet Stoves One of cleanest-burning and most highly efficient choices is a pellet stove. Because of the inefficiency and the lack of smoke control technology in these older hearth products. ensuring almost complete combustion of the fuel and generating minimal wood smoke. however. are re- For wood burning that’s safe for the health of the environment and your family.

many of them look like beautiful works of custom art. which delivers more heat to the chimney. • the correct type • the correct size. that smoke will not fill the room when you light a fire or open the door to tend to the fire and that no cold air will leak into the house. which makes the fire burn hotter (and lessens smoke). Chimneys No woodburning stove. and are being rediscovered in other parts of the world. Modern. which is usually the size of the stove’s outlet collar (too big is as bad as too small) • the proper height (often taller than minimum code requirements) • the proper configuration (straight up. a large masonry mass and a maze of heat exchange channels. When planning your system. get some reliable advice so that the chimney is: Masonry Heaters While a masonry heater may look like a fireplace. It’s a good idea to select a model that gives you easy access to any parts that need care. then slowly releases the heat into your home for the next 18 to 24 hours. if possible. it is actually a site-built or site-assembled solid-fuel heating Page 15 . Masonry stoves have been used to heat homes in Scandinavia for centuries. Some fireplace inserts include state-of-the-art features such as fans and thermostatic controls (depending on the fuel). It is designed to be fed with wood in the morning and its hot. consisting of a firebox. Some manufacturers also make pellet-fueled furnaces and boilers that are designed to take the place of – or supplement – conventional heating systems. that the draft (the suction that keeps smoke from coming into the room) will build quickly. rapid fire can be left to burn on its own. which pulls in more combustion air. They are similar in function and performance to free-standing stoves. but are designed to be installed within the firebox of an existing fireplace. tightly built houses cannot tolerate that level of exhaust flow without becoming de- • properly installed following building code or manufacturer’s instructions • properly insulated with a flue liner (to keep the exhaust hot until it’s expelled outside NaturalLifeMagazine. You can choose from EPA-certified inserts that burn wood. The heat channels through a baffling system inside the stove and the masonry structure stores heat from the rapidly burning fire. An open fireplace consumes between 200 and 600 cubic feet per minute of room air. The right combination of chimney and stove or fireplace insert is important because heat in your chimney creates draft. with no horizontal runs or changes in direction) • properly located (through the interior of the house where possible) Fireplace Inserts If you rely on your fireplace for added warmth on cold days – or even just for some romance – consider a fireplace insert. pellets or gas that provide the same safe efficiency as their stove counterparts. fireplace or furnace can function properly without a good chimney. your house is kept warm but never overheated and air pollution is reduced dramatically. the heater’s surface remains cool to the touch. They are so efficient that they do not require EPA certification. And as an added benefit. Because masonry stoves are handcrafted in place. The various moving parts and motors require occasional maintenance. The rapid burn means high efficiency and no smoke from a smoldering fire.One drawback of pellet stoves is that they’re relatively complex in design. A variety of styles are available in both freestanding stoves and fireplace inserts. Thus. which makes more draft. A good chimney means that fires will be easy to light.

including those popular in Europe – have continuous US Environmental Protection Agency www. even when burning at lower temperatures for longer periods of time.outdoorfurnacefacts. The extreme temperatures required for complete combustion are maintained by a thermal mass inside the boiler. In cold climates. radiant floor tubing or radiators and the air temperature is controlled with a thermostat. 1996) Natural Home Heating – The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options by Greg Pahl (Chelsea Pellet Fuels Institute www. and all burning takes place remotely. But you do need to remember that unsplit wood will require a longer drying time. These stoves are generally less expensive than catalytic wood stoves. insulated piping. on the other hand. That increases the rate of combustion and produces a long. Outdoor furnaces (also referred to as outdoor boilers) are freestanding units that heat water by burning seasoned Masonry Heater Association of North America www. An outdoor wood-fired furnace eliminates the problems associated with indoor burning.Catalytic or Not? Catalytic wood stoves and fireplace inserts have ceramic honeycombed chambers coated with a metal catalyst (usually platinum or palladium) through which smoky exhaust gases are . radiant floor. combustion occurs in the firebox. resulting in a polluting fire and smoke venting into the room. must be maintained and eventually replaced. Once inside your home. That’s because your house furnace has to work harder to heat up the outside air that must come in to replace air exhausted by the fireplace.epa. 2003) Wood Furnaces If you are building a new home or are open to a major renovation project. making their operation a bit more complicated that other stoves. aided by the use of firebox insulation. Because they suck up so much room air. require less maintenance and in some models provide an opportunity for viewing the fire. Systems are compatible with existing heating systems including forced Outdoor Furnace Facts www. especially an outdoor The New Woodburner’s Handbook (Down-to-Earth Energy Book) – A Guide to Safe. They are designed to burn a load of wood in one continuous burn and transfer the heat to a water storage container where it is stored until the heat is needed. So the minimum required before lighting a fire in your existing fireplace is a set of ceramic glass doors that will prevent air leakage up the chimney and allow heat radiation into the room.pelletheat. provide an on-demand burn. In the past. including domestic hot water. as well as legions of loyal users who swear that their favorite is better than the other. removing the need for the water storage tank. steady heat output. many of the time-consuming chores of tending a traditional wood stove are eliminated. a baffle to divert gas flow and pre-heated combustion air introduced through small holes all around the upper part of the firebox.nficertified. They provide complete combustion. open fireplaces deliver between zero and 20 percent efficiency. Healthy and Efficient Woodburning by Stephen Bushway (Storey Publishing. Boilers with a single combustion chamber. radiant baseboard or other heating applications. the heated water circulates through heat exchangers. The hot water is circulated to and from your home through underground. Many gasificaPage 16 NaturalLifeMagazine. But the pressurized. Eliminating indoor burning can help alleviate respiratory and allergy problems that might be caused by exposure to moldy firewood and ashes. The catalytic element degrades over time. 1992) The Book of Masonry Stoves – Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming by David Lyle (Chelsea Green. You don’t have to bring firewood inside. you might want to consider a wood. Because an outdoor furnace burns larger pieces of wood – up to six feet in length – and there is no splitting required. The catalytic combustor burns away gases and particulates that would normally be emitted into the air.woodheat. outdoor wood furnaces have had a reputation for being inefficient and highly polluting. Some wood furnaces are called wood gasification boilers. dual combustion chambers. tion boilers. A lever-operated catalyst bypass damper opens for starting and loading. anti-freeze is added to the water. With non-catalytic wood stoves. and requiring less National Fireplace Institute www. thereby creating minimal emissions and less ash.mha-net. up to 500 feet away. wood pellets or corn. Learn More Wood Heat Organization www. Both options have their benefits and limitations.or corn-burning furnace.

the bottom pieces should be flaming by the time the door is closed. to only burn dry. it should flame until only charcoal remains. EPA is now certifying some models. But many people are reluctant to give up the charm of a woodburning fireplace or stove. its pollution status. and to avoid accidents while loading wood or opening your stove door. therefore. • With seasoned wood. a new load of wood will ignite almost instantly. or have little other choice as the primary method to heat their homes. No matter what sort of woodburning appliance you choose for your home. Wood smoke also contains organic compounds such as benzopyrenes. carbon char (soot) and inorganic ash. and problems may not be apparent for a considerable length of time – and then only by a resulting house fire or severe pollution exposure. • When wood burns at a high enough temperature. Wood smoke can also aggravate asthma. phenols and cresols. According to the International Conference on Residential Wood Combustion in 1986. so they wind up in the lungs where they can cause a decrease in lung function and an increase in the severity of existing lung disease. Here are some things to look for that could alert you to the fact that your stove is not burning hot enough. Another advantage is that some insurance companies prefer outdoor wood burning furnaces over indoor wood stoves because they remove the fire hazard from the home. operate and maintain it properly. never black.Health Effects While preserving the health of our environment is crucial. If there are no flames. pneumonia and bronchitis. seasoned wood. • If there are firebricks. and these are said to be as clean as the most efficient woodstove when installed and used properly. never black and shiny. and other toxic compounds such as aldehydes. The particulate component is made up of solid or liquid organic compounds. to install. the major emissions are carbon monoxide. you will greatly lessen the negative effect on the environment and on your family’s health. proper protection of combustible floors and proper assembly of the appliance and chimney components. Researchers working for the EPA have estimated that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove emissions may be 12 times greater than the lifetime cancer risk from exposure to an equal amount of cigarette smoke. organic gases containing carbon. dibenzanthracenes and dibenzocarbazoles. to have your chimney cleaned regularly. irritate the eyes and trigger headaches and allergies. Eliminating these health exposures is a good reason to use only a certified airtight woodburning appliance. particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. its installation will affect its efficiency and. something is wrong. That is. Wood smoke is a complex mixture of substances. . correct air settings and proper loading arrangement. Errors in installation may not be visible. the need to protect human health from wood smoke is just as important. emphysema. they should be tan in Page 17 . If you follow the ideas and instructions in this article. • The exhaust coming from the top of the chimney should be perfectly clear or white with steam. The EPA recommends that your wood stove or fireplace insert be professionally installed by a certified technician to insure its safety and proper performance.NL - NaturalLifeMagazine. Some environmentalists will insist that burning wood for energy is fundamentally not green. These particle are too small to be filtered by the nose and upper respiratory system. • Steel or cast iron parts in the firebox should be hot enough to turn light to dark brown. The occurrence of respiratory illness in children has been shown to increase with increased exposure to wood smoke. not blue or gray. There must be proper clearances between the stove and venting system and combustible materials.

old of any kind growing inside your home can pose a serious health risk. curs when mold grows where we don’t want it to. But it can be controlled and prevented. to allergic reactions and respiratory disinsulation.Healthy Homes Clear the Air Find. This includes kitchens and bathrooms where there are plumbing leaks. try dabbing it with a drop of housePage 18 NaturalLifeMagazine. to grow. during colder weather. walls or roof. Dampness alone can provide enough moisture for mold duce rapidly. eases. M Step One: Find out if you have a mold problem Mold tends to grow almost anywhere there is excess moisture. and therefore keep your family happy and healthy. Once inside. wet or cold basements. as well as pets and too many plants. there doesn’t need to be visible running Molds are microscopic fungi that are able to grow and reprowater. A problem ocing. What causes mold to grow? For mold to grow. wet windowsills or anywhere water is coming in through the floor. Daily activities like bathing. moisture can form on cold surour homes. Kitchens and bathrooms will not have mold unless there are unattended leaks or other moisture problems. But as long as you know where to look. are sources of moisture. what to look for – and how to prevent or clean up mold in your home – you should be able to keep any potential mold problems under control. mold can cause problems ranging from faces. They are a necessary part of our environment. washing clothes and cookbreaking down waste and producing antibiotics. such as window panes or walls that are lacking sufficient damage to materials. If you So what can you do to keep mold out of your home? suspect a stain to be mold. such as inside . especially if anyone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies. Visible signs of mold are discoloration or spotting. Clean Up and Prevent Mold in Your Home by Virginia Salares Mold growing inside your home can pose a health risk for occupants.

From spring to fall. Step Two: Clean up the problem Dealing with mold requires a combination of strategies – ventilation. For people living in rented apartments or houses. when you see condensation on windows. keeping surfaces warm and reducing moisture. storing toxic chemicals or harsh cleaners (search “mold”) 1-800-668-2642 NaturalLifeMagazine. Test results will not help. it may be mold. you should be able to keep your home mold-free – and your family safe and sound – all year-round. keep all areas of the house heated. not inside. Use your bathroom and kitchen fans. tell your landlord or superintendent about it. if it loses its color. Virginia Salares is a senior researcher and indoor air quality expert with the research division of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. so save your money and use it to either clean up the problem or have a professional do it for you. but clutter also reduces air circulation. Although a tiny amount of bleach can be used to test for mold. Also. If you find mold. a lingering musty smell tells you there is mold. household rubber gloves and a disposable mask for protection.hold Page 19 . Hang wet laundry outside to dry when the weather permits. To start. So if someone in your family is having trouble breathing. Most people’s gut reaction when they suspect they may have a mold problem is that they want the house tested for mold. Being exposed to any amount of mold larger than three square meters for any amount of time is not a good idea. dampness or evidence of a leak should tell you that mold either already exists or is on its way. Think of the ways you can keep your home dry. Many other activities. work with your landlord to identify and fix the problem at the source. Even if you don’t see mold or notice a smell. burning candles/incense or using plug-in air fresheners can be an irritant for some people. If the mold comes back after repeated cleaning. the best way to deal with a mold problem is to prevent it from growing inside your home in the first place. If your home has an extensive or recurring mold problem. Step Three: Prevent mold from forming Of course. If your house has a small patch of mold (no larger than about a square meter). because mold not only grows on stored materials that absorb and retain moisture. In the winter. . you can clean it yourself using a simple solution of water and unscented detergent. wet spots. the landlord or both. If the mold patch covers an area between one and three square meters (say. this tells you that there may be too much moisture in your home. It’s also important to remember that mold is just one possible irritant that can lead to allergies or respiratory difficulties. it will not cure the mold problem and breathing its fumes can be harmful to those living in your home and to the environment. seek professional help. a dehumidifier in the basement is a must to control dampness in most northern climates. If you do clean up the mold yourself. such as smoking. make sure to look at other potential causes as well. the responsibility for cleaning up mold can fall with either the tenant. preferably with a central vacuum that vents outdoors or one that has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. about the size of a four-by-eight sheet of plywood). you may be able to clean it up yourself. But you need heavier duty respiratory protection and the work area may need special preparation. using an unvented heater or fireplace. It is helpful to consult with a professional first to find out how the mold got there.cmhc. Clear the air! By following these simple steps. Also. using bleach is not recommended. Clean and vacuum your home on a regular basis. Clean and replace your furnace filters regularly. find and fix any leaks that could be allowing water to seep into your home from the outside.NL - Learn More CMHC www. Get rid of excess clutter. and get their permission before trying to clean even a small area.

It is. In September. It has won a number of awards for its retailing expertise and environmental impact.Natural Life Interview Natural Life Editor Wendy Priesnitz talks to Award-winning natural food retailer Don Smith on Smith (pictured above with his wife and partner Claire. at over 6. Ontario that carries products in every category found in a typical supermarket. one of the larger natural food retailers in the province. Don won the CHFA People of Excellence Award for his environmental consciousness. including the 2004 Canadian Health Food Store Association (CHFA) Award for the Best Natural Food Store in Canada. a natural food store in Perth.500 square D . Page 20 NaturalLifeMagazine.) is co-owner of Foodsmiths. 2007.

particularly natural foods. it was a struggle to attain adequate financing and we had to call upon relatives for funds and mortgage our home in order raise enough equity to Foodsmiths is an environmentally aware. We were surprised by how many people made the effort to patronize such an undeveloped business. We couldn’t have done without this consistent relationship with our account manager. But the dried dates had to be kept by the wood stove to be warm enough to separate a small portion from the bulk block. mainly to NL: How does a large natural food store thrive in a small rural town? I’ve seen smaller stores go out of business in areas with a larger market. Don: Four moves and expansions later. when we moved to Vancouver in the early ’70s with a household full of “alternative foods” eaters. Financially. 6. There was an enclosed back porch that was perfect for storing food in the winter since it was uninsulated and therefore cold in the winter.500 square foot natural food store in rural Ontario. herbs and/or supplements. It really gave us a sense of the popularity and need for the products. That led into being involved in setting up the East End Food Co-op. Page 21 NaturalLifeMagazine. We then moved back east to Ottawa. better parking and better . It has grown considerably from its 1976 origins in the enclosed back-porch of co-founders Don and Claire Smith’s old log house. convince the bank to lend us the money to expand. we had a very supportive bank manager who went to bat in order to convince the bank that we were a good bet. particularly in the early ’80s when borrowing rates soared above 20 percent. However. Our customers were friends and neighbors that we had previously collaborated with to rent a truck twice a year to go to Toronto or Montreal to purchase bulk foods together to save money and to buy natural and organic foods that simply were not available in the area. In the meantime. We learned how to be extremely frugal and efficient when those times were so tough. we are in our current location with each move allowing for more floor space. we were lured by the attraction of country living and ended up in the Perth area about an hour from Ottawa and opened up a “store. There were times. in 1976 – the same year that Natural Life magazine was launched. I guess we were both part of the back-to-the-land movement – and a home-based one at that! Didn’t Foodsmiths start out in your house? Can you describe those early years for our readers? Don: They were humble beginnings in an old log house without electricity or running water.NL: Foodsmiths opened. Don: I knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit from my childhood paper route days but really became interested in food.” although it wasn’t a true retail store as I alluded to in the previous question. I believe. NL: How did the business get from those early days to its current level of size and success? I know that you’ve had a few moves and redesigns over the years…. which concentrated on natural and organic foods. NL: Why did you get into the natural foods business? Did you have a plan for a different career path when you were a teenager? allow better accessibility by more people. Six months later we decided to move the business to Perth and open a proper retail storefront. looking to open a business related to natural foods. when we thought we wouldn’t make it.

at one time we were steadfast in not carrying products that contained white sugar. We embrace technology when it makes a lot of sense. Also. and that is to fulfill customers’ needs and that is best done in a compassionate and understanding manner.Don: I can’t say that I know the answer to thriving in a small town myself and I am truly amazed by our size relative to our size of market. For example. and after we began to raise children. Some of my basic retailing premises are: • Listen to and try to anticipate what your customers are saying about what goods and services they are looking for. Page 22 “Today’s talk of turning off lights when not in us required seems almost foreign to me becaus . We wanted to be a store that felt welcoming and comfortable to anyone. not only to the dedicated natural and health food customer. • Try to predict trends and stay on top of them if not ahead of them. There has been a shift in our store towards organic over the years but I will personally buy local. suggestions and change when it is best for the overall good of the customer base. • Constantly reinforce with your staff that they should be focused on one priority. we’re the largest natural food store per capita in Canada. For a long time. in-season. We have also been able to encourage local producers to shift towards organic by not shutting them out in the first place. especially if they are closer to the front lines than you are.99 when there’s a choice – and most of our customers feel the same way. beautiful. From what I know. We felt that we could better educate a larger customer base to make informed choices to manage their sugar intake rather than not provide some of the products they were looking for. At the same time. look at the market and determine whether those needs are being fulfilled and/or whether you can do it better than anyone else in your market area or not. conventionally-grown broccoli over California-shipped broccoli at $5. But we’ve grown into a wasteful. If we all used this rule camper’s credo that states always leave your we wouldn’t have the environmental mess tha NaturalLifeMagazine. • Treat your staff as you would like to be treated and it will not only pay off but it will be a better place for everyone to work. I’m than when you found it. It entails being open-minded while not having a dictatorial attitude of what you think is right for your customers. NL: So how would you describe your philosophy of retailing? And has it changed over the years? Don: I have certainly learned more about retailing over the years but I can’t say that my philosophy has changed. I think this is mostly attributable to having a store culture that listens to. At the same time listen to your staff and what they are telling you are your customers’ needs. we couldn’t source organic produce very easily so we sold very little organic compared to conventional produce. fresh. and is open to. I see it as a more realistic and relaxed rural attitude. we’re very proactive when it comes to ideas that we think will improve efficiency and make sense. our attitude towards controlling others’ habits had to shift – kids do that to you. m of energy and consumer goods in general.

and has a by-product of having less environmental impact.” . More importantly. it is customer service. people should be doing it intrinsically. food can be very personal and part of a dynamic lifestyle and there will always be room for the retailer who captures that personal and exciting approach to food. reducing the store’s environmental footprint is an important part of your philosophy. I’m an avid camper and I like to use the camper’s credo that states: Always leave your route and campsite as good as or better than when you found it. Today’s talk of turning off lights when not in use or turning down heat sources when not required seems almost foreign to me because it’s so logical. Page 23 se or turning down heat sources when not e it’s so logical. the change is positive. as well as selection and cleanliness that are most important to today’s consumer. The health food retailer who continues to be stuck in the past. or close relationship with the customers are treated and served by staff. As well. If we all used this rule as much as we could in our everyday lives we wouldn’t have the environmental mess that we have today. How do you view that? Are these changes positive or negative? Don: As usual. There are some very big players paying attention to the growth in the market and wanting a bigger piece of the pie. When it comes to health. But they also have a disadvantage in that it is intrinsically more difficult to create that bond. because huge companies and close relationships are a dichotomy. but it’s becoming a tougher and more competitive retail market out there. there are good things and bad things happening in our industry. What is behind that? Don: I have always been thrifty in my personal life and do not like to see waste. price is still not the number one reason that most consumers prefer one store over another.• Always be on the look-out for better ideas and try to constantly improve your customer’s experience. But we’ve grown into a wasteful. NL: If you haven’t changed your philosophy much. Independent retailers are still thriving in our industry and will likely continue to. But on the whole. I have always looked at ways in which our business could do a little better on the environmental front hoping that any idea would translate into savings. nothing will ever substitute for the close relationship that is required when dealing with one’s personal health issues. will be a thing of the past in the very near future. This contributes to financial efficiencies. And they have the resources to capture some of that market with better efficiencies. if not all the pie. we can afford to be wasteful but it’s starting to catch up with us on an environmental level. who doesn’t update or keep the store tidy and clean. more affluent society with inexpensive sources of energy and consumer goods in general. NL: Clearly.. the natural food industry certainly has changed over the years. Generally. In other words. Although prices are becoming more competitive.. of course. people should be doing it more affluent society with inexpensive sources m an avid camper and I like to use the as much as we could in our everyday lives r route and campsite as good as or better at we have today.

How Foodsmiths lessens its environmental footprint Buying Local • Use/sell locally made products and produce in order to support other local businesses • Cater to local businesses and consumers. Implement a waste reduction program • Properly dispose of hazardous waste Social and Environmental Responsibility • Sell and provide shade-grown fair trade coffee instead of commercial coffee • Offer products that are not tested on animals and that are biodegradable • Buy environmentally friendly products Energy Conservation • • • • Install energy-efficient lighting Reduce thermostat settings when closed Avoid over-lighting areas Hot water heating is supplemented by solar panels on roof Water Conservation • Repair leaking pipes. water early in the morning • Turn off equipment. including computers and lights. A group of concerned citizens took the idea and convinced the largest retailers in town to begin a BYOB program in order to decrease the use of throw-away plastic bags in Perth. Just having the solar panels on our roof has spawned several inquiries with people giving this much more consideration than they had previously. toner and ink cartridges. On a personal note. air conditioning/heating and in-house electronics are set on timers to maximize efficiency. specializing in local. NL: Could you describe some of the initiatives the store has taken to reduce energy consumption and preserve the environment? Don: A good example of this snowball effect in our town was the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) program initiated by Foodsmiths. fittings and faucets immediately • Install water saving devices and timers on taps. Why not use the spotlight to make the most of it? Our most popular environmental initiatives include: • Charging 10 cents for new plastic bags with the proceeds (beyond the cost of the bag) going to local charities. which can then snowball into actions by others as well. Pollution Prevention • Offer employees a safe place to lock up bicycles and showering facilities to encourage walking/roller blading/biking to work • Create policy to ensure that cars and delivery trucks are not left idling and post signs to that effect in our parking area • Sell reusable bags and offer incentive for customers to use any reusable bag: Charge 10 cents for a new plastic bag with proceeds going to charity • Pay customers to bring back their vitamin bottles for recycling • Donate all unsaleable but useable food to the local Food Bank Waste Reduction • Continually source packaging with lower environmental impact. hoses. showers and toilets • Use “environmentally friendly” landscaping – avoid over-watering. heating and ventilation equipment Page 24 NaturalLifeMagazine. It’s been a runaway success. fresh local choice • Exterior lighting. vegetables and grains • Use recycled paper in the office and reuse paper whenever possible • Reduce margins. I ride my bike 10km to work almost every day in the better weather.we’ve been able to accomplish this goal but if not. Being in such a public location and position has responsibilities and benefits. It is because it is so enjoyable – it clears the head and the fresh air is exhilarating – and I’m sure there are health benefits . when not in use • Conduct routine maintenance on refrigeration. font sizes and line spacing and use double-sided printing to reduce the amount of paper used • Purchase recycled or remanufactured products such as paper. reuse packaging for mail order customers • Compost unsold fruits. seasonal goods for office parties and meetings • Produce fresh meals in-house to provide consumers with a healthy. though that is a great benefit. we have at least raised environmental awareness in our community. But I do this for several reasons and admit that my primary reason is not to lessen my environmental footprint.

But it doesn’t make environmental sense to transport organic lettuce from California if it is produced much more locally. I had to step in to take charge of CEO duties when the network was experiencing rocky times about three years ago. organi- Don: It started with a group of 22 stores. . As well. There are many local farms migrating to organic growing practices and we’ll have the best of both worlds eventually. and the group changed its name to Health First Network. and I. so I haven’t been in any rush to get out of it. Amongst the direct buying and marketing services. making their own way and they have no interest in taking over the business. I speak from experience when I say the networking in the group is invaluable. That being said. But it is now stronger than ever with a new CEO at the helm and growing faster than ever with services provided to members and efficiencies for our preferred vendors becoming more and more a reality. Supporting local initiatives generally makes sense no matter how you look at it. As Chairman of the Board at the time. In some cases they have switched to growing organically and it’s been positive for all parties concerned. • We have replaced and are working towards replacing every incandescent light bulb with a high-efficiency fluorescent or CFL bulb. are from having accomplished what we have. that initiated a private label supplement program in conjunction with a supplement manufacturer. NL: Thirty-one years is awhile to be in business. They’re not living in our shadow and they have every reason to be proud of themselves – just as my wife Claire.foodsmiths. decided to expand our mandate to include buying and marketing efficiencies. • Solar heat supplements our hot water needs. We’ve inherently made it stimulating and challenging and that’s another reason why I think we’ve continued to enjoy it.” cally grown produce than ever before. That being said. But I can’t answer when that day will come. we would continue it independent of the manufacturer.NL - Learn More www. fulfilling the vision of those 22 founders many years ago. We have been able to develop relationships with local growers to publicize why we and our customers should support them. it offers a forum to enable retailers to better network and share ideas and experiences. • Unsaleable but usable food goes to the Local Food Bank rather than in the garbage. called United Health Merchants at the time. It has evolved since then to become much more significant and sophisticated. We certainly offer more. and that it had so much more potential.• BYOB reusable bag program whereby we give a customer a five cent token for every plastic carry out bag they save us and they in turn put the token in a choice of donation boxes to be distributed to the charities of the NaturalLifeMagazine. the stores involved felt that the program worked so well. And Page 25 . • A vitamin bottle recycling program where we give customers a 50 cent coupon for their old empty vitamin bottles towards their next supplement purchase. why did it start and how does it work? Don: From day one our store has always made local products a priority. I couldn’t be happier for them. there will come a time when we will want to move on and let someone else take the business to new levels. The environmental footprint that the transportation of that head of lettuce creates is much greater than the pollution generated by producing the head of lettuce non-organically. Our three children are adults now with their own lives. Staff was then hired to solicit more member stores and expand the services provided. The group of stores. NL: You were involved with founding something called the Health First Network… what is it. When the manufacturer decided to end the program. when feasible. including Foodsmiths. Is retirement on your radar yet? Do you have a succession plan? Don: I truly have enjoyed having this business and feel very appreciative and lucky. organic food needs to be supported for all the obvious reasons. the Network gives a united and more substantial voice within our industry and has the potential to compete with chain stores and conglomerates. in-season. There are many local farms migrating to organic growing practices and we’ll have the best of both worlds eventually. NL: How does the store address the local/slow food movement and how does it reconcile it with the possibly contradictory organic food movement? “It doesn’t make environmental sense to transport organic lettuce from California if it is produced much more locally. The environmental footprint that the transportation of that head of lettuce creates is much greater than the pollution generated by producing the head of lettuce nonorganically.

a geothermal heat pump and photovoltaic electrical panels. Inc. and two bed- NaturalLifeMagazine. É coTerra™. Factory pre-engineered modular sections were used to optimize construction quality and reduce construction as well as environmental impact at the site. but also features a healthy indoor environment. (Alouette Homes).500 square-foot home in Eastman Quebec. renewable energy production. Houses built with the assistance of the program are monitored to assess their performance. by builder-developer Les industries Ste-Anne de la Rochelle. dining room. and eventually Page 26 communities. and are open to the public for tours. kitchen and two-piece bath with laundry on the main floor. was chosen as one of the winners in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations’ Equilibrium project. not only produces as much energy as it consumes in a year (a net-zero energy home). low environmental impact. a new 1. energy efficiency.Sustainable Housing Using the Sun and the Earth to Stay Warm This Quebec house is designed to produce as much energy from solar and geothermal as it . the initiative brings the private and public sectors together to develop homes. Formerly known as the Net-Zero Energy Healthy Housing program. reduced environmental impact and affordability. The R-2000 house. The total annual energy requirement for the home is predicted to be equal to the on-site annual production from renewable energy sources: active and passive solar space and water heat. that address occupant health and comfort. resource conservation. ÉcoTerra™ includes a living room. That energy requirement is predicted to be only 17 percent of that for the average Canadian home. significant resource conservation and affordability.

assisting with space heating. Energy-efficient. A three kW Uni-So- lar PV array. The inverter connects through the electricity meter to the grid. as well as waste water heat recovery. The second floor is constructed with movable interior walls in order to accommodate the occupants’ changing needs. argon-filled windows contribute to the reduction in heat loss. composed of 21 PV film sheets laminated to a standing-seam metal roof. two-story factory pre-engineered rural home Who: Built by Alouette Homes. a system of streams and stormwater management ponds provide erosion control.517 sq-ft. Roof overhangs are used to prevent overheating from solar gain. Thermal mass materials. ÉcoTerra™ utilizes a building integrated photovoltaic system combined with a heat recovery system. is also a key health feature of the home. St-Alphonse-de-Granby. two-stage geothermal heat pump provides space and water heating. On the 2. Quebec When: construction completed November. Heat recovered from the space under photovoltaic roofing supplies dryer. Quebec What: new Page 27 . 2007 Contact: Bradley Berneche www.7-acre forested lot. include the concrete floor and half wall in the family room. In addition. which store heat and moderate interior heat fluctuations. Drain water that would otherwise escape from the house is captured with a heat recovery exchanger. tripleglazed. an office and four-piece bath on the second floor. A rain barrel system captures roof run-off for garden Triple pane argon windows Air supply to each room Waste-water heat recovery exchanger Concrete materials provide thermal storage Under-floor air circulation Heat recovery ventilator Summer flow Geothermal well Winter flow NaturalLifeMagazine. which decreased toxic fumes on the worksite and greatly improves indoor air quality. combined with a heat recovery ventilator. . is connected to a DC/AC inverter. Removing this excess heat from the vicinity of the array also improves its efficiency. Special attention has been given to daylighting. and concrete slab and walls in the basement.alouettehomes. domestic hot water and basement floor space Photovoltaic film laminated to steel roofing ÉcoTerra™ Where: Eastman.NL - ÉcoTerra™ uses both passive and active solar technologies. Solar heat generated at the roof-top system is captured and then distributed in the home. the pre-engineered modular construction allows many interior finishes to be factory-applied. with large south-facing windows and open spaces that increase light penetration to the main floor. domestic water heating and clothes drying. a three-ton.bedrooms. low-e. The airtight construction. The well-insulated building envelope significantly reduces space heating requirements and the house is oriented to maximize solar gain. thermal mass and a geothermal heat pump. To further reduce energy costs.

Organic Gardening Go Native! Native plant gardening is a landscape trend that has taken hold. whether you’re one of the new generation of environmentally aware . by Wendy Priesnitz Page 28 NaturalLifeMagazine. a wildflower garden is a low maintenance (eventually). attractive and decidedly “green” style of gardening. or an established green thumb who is looking for something new.

So unless you are prepared for a drab display this summer. that might not be as easy as you think. NaturalLifeMagazine. Rake lightly again after spreading the seed. initiated by the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew. you find great delight in a glorious display of nature’s most beautiful flowers. Water the area well and then cover securely with clear plastic sheeting. Packaged seed mixes will tell you how large an area they cover. Choose a site with full to partial sun. and understand that you are participating in the inevitable cycle of the seasons. then wildflower plantings will probably not suit you. could be eliminated and new invasive species could take hold as the climate becomes more favorable to them. in mild climates many will reseed to bloom during the second year. University of Virginia researcher Julie Etterson says that native plants face two problems that affect their long-term survival. And some won’t likely adapt quickly enough. Then till the soil to a depth of three inches.or northern hemisphere gardeners. or are replenishing an existing wildflower garden. on the other hand. You can plan for four pounds of seed per acre or four ounces per 2. collecting and banking seed for ten percent of the native flora in order to create an insurance policy against ecological loss or damage. Minnesota’s climate could even become more like current-day Oklahoma. “Climate change is a complex and serious plant conservation issue with a profound impact on plants and ecosystems. you can F Native Plants and Climate Change Climate change experts are telling us that global warming will result in the disappearance of many of our local and regional plant icons. many gardeners experience frustration growing wildflowers because they have unrealistic expectations. The beauty of a wildflower display is seasonal. For instance. This means plants will have to rely more on their evolutionary response to changing conditions. Also. for instance. These plants are exquisite during the blooming season. Remove all existing vegetation. Future maintenance will be easier if you rid the area of as many weed seeds as possible before planting. this can easily be done by hand. Experts around the world are taking notice and planning for the future. is. Minnesota’s climate will be similar to today’s climate in Kansas. Many gardeners believe you can simply scatter some seeds and wind up with a self-sowing meadow. then wildflowers are for you. some of the ecosystems that have been protected. In truth. Broadcast evenly throughout the area to be planted. making it difficult for plants to slowly migrate to areas with more favorable conditions. you’ll need to include some annuals – which can be both native species and quick-blooming naturalized ones.K. However. Aside from what may be negative opinions of neighbors or municipal officials. plant conservation strategy has been involved with protecting and managing land. The Millennium Seed Bank project. One is the fast rate of climate change and the other is that the habitat of native plants is often fragmented to isolated islands between farms and cities. And a study at the University of Virginia suggests that in 25 to 35 years. in the U. along with the related tourism. Most wildflower seeds are very small. which is drier and warmer than Minnesota’s. starting a wildflower garden is often more work than putting in a perennial border and it is not necessarily self-perpetuating. Traditionally. products and ecological communities that depend on them. but may look a little ragged once they have gone to Page 29 . maple/beech/birch and spruce/fir forest types are very likely to be completely displaced by more southern forest types by the end of the 21st century in New England and eastern Canada. such as bogs and northern forests. You must also be patient. Executive Director of the New England Wild Flower Society.. But now. wildflower gardens (perhaps better thought of as “meadows”) are not for everyone.” says Gwen Stauffer. America’s oldest plant conservation organization. that means converting their mixed borders – or even their whole yard – into a wildflower garden. a scenario that would seriously threaten the future of native prairie plants and grasses. If your idea of a perfect landscape is one that is predictably clipped and manicured. mow as low as your lawn mower will allow. For larger areas. If. along with flowers from the biennials and perennials. leaving it to bake in the sun for up to two months. If you had the foresight to prepare your wildflower beds last fall. It’s important to properly prepare the soil. And for increasing numbers of people. Many wildflowers are biennials and perennials. this is the time of year when we begin to think about what we want to do differently for the next planting season. If you’re planting a small area. and will not bloom during the first year they are planted. If you allow the annuals to form seed heads before mowing. Mixing some sand in with the seed mixture will make it easier to spread evenly.500 square feet.

on the other hand. Burning Bush. over-seed with the original Plant Conservation Alliance www. If live in an area with no snow on the ground or if you’re planting later in the . the “junk food” of the plant world and as such may not be as nutritious to local wildlife.newenglandWILD. either intentionally or by accident. Purple Loosestrife (pictured here).wildflower. 2000) A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers: An Organic Guide to Choosing and Growing over 150 Beautiful Wildflowers by C. If you had more weeds than wildflowers. it may be necessary to re-seed every year. Different species will be invasive in different areas. Then there are invasive species. the definition of the word “weed” is up for debate. which are non-native plants capable of moving aggressively into a habitat and monopolizing resources. 1989) Wildflower Field Guide series by Roger Tory Peterson (Houghton Mifflin. Evaluate your planting at the end of the first growing season. Weeds and other unwanted species will always be part of a planted wildflower garden. Since gardeners – botanic gardens and home growers alike – are responsible for about 60 percent of invasive species. A light mulching with straw. as nature tries her best to follow natural succession. but invasive species should be dealt with quickly and mercilessly. By the third year. will be a rewarding project that will not only be beautiful to look at but give you the satisfaction that you are preserving our native plants at a time when they’re stressed by development. not against it. Japanese Honeysuckle and Multiflora Rose. In bare areas or places where perennials did not establish well. unless you live in an area where rainfall is over three inches a month. Some of these “over-achieving” plants contribute to the decline of endangered and threatened native species. environmentally aware gardeners should plant native species only. Wildflowers grow densely and weeding should be required less and less as the garden fills in. peat or compost will help retain moisture and keep the birds from eating the seeds.sow your seed very early in the spring when the ground is just starting to thaw. or a different one if your expectations were not met. 1998) Natural Landscaping: Designing with Native Plant Communities by John Diekelmann and Robert M. Building a garden that works with Nature. Clipping seed heads before they mature helps control species that are becoming too aggressive. A non-native plant (sometimes known as an “exotic species”). has been introduced by human activity. invasive competitors and climate change. 1997) Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants by C. . Some clippings should be left to help desired species reseed. Mow or cut back the entire area to a height of about four inches every fall after flowering is over.nanps. sow seeds of the original mix or annuals in the spaces left Growing & Propagating Wildflowers (The New England Wild Flower Society) by William Cullina (Houghton Mifflin.thewildflowersociety. various dates) Page 30 NaturalLifeMagazine. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center native plants database www. they are so prolific that they create a biodiversity destroying North American Native Plant Society www. 2006) Grow Wild! Native Plant Gardening in Canada by Lorraine Johnson (Random House of Canada. But many of our popular garden plants fit the category. in some cases.NL - Learn More Invasive Species Wildflower gardens are made of native species that have established themselves without assistance from humans. some studies that the fruit produced by invasive plants are. you will need to water during the germination period. To continue to receive good color from annual wildflowers. start over by eliminating all vegetation and weed seed. New England Wildflower Society www. perhaps contributing to their decline. Colston Burrell (Rodale Books. 2003) Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb (Little.plantconservation. Of course. Clippings can be left as a mulch or removed according to individual preference. Brown and Company. your meadow should begin to take on a mature look and the perennials should be well established. including Norway Maple. As you weed. Schuster (University of Wisconsin Press. in effect. Colston Burrell (Brooklyn Botanic The Wildflower Society – UK www.

That was in 2002. business. the use of non-essential pesticides since 1999 and manages its own recreation grounds and street-side weed control virtually without pesticides. a Town Council. But that is just a small part of Wolfville’s sustainability initiative.My Green Town What’s your community doing to go green? Tiny Green Powerhouse taining ecosystems and encroach upon Nature. Its population doubles eight months of the year. Wolfville established a Sustainable Community Planning Task Force. becoming the first municipality in Nova Scotia to ban smoking in public buildings and workplaces. a bylaw has just been passed by Council to ban smoking in vehicles when someone under the age of 18 is present. due to Acadia University’s student population. Public Advicenter of scholarship on environmental sory Committees. It has ship. rabbits. and on activities that harm or use one of the mailing addresses on page 2. .NL set out four sustainability objectives that guide its decisions. wetlands. located on the university grounds. is home to rare orchids and various types of other plants. it was declared the “First Fair Trade Town in Canada. Acadia University also plays an important role in Wolfville’s greening. that’s small for the size of the leadership role the town has taken on the environmental front. ture. its Pesticide Management Task Force recommended that Council move toward eliminating the use of cosmetic pesticides altogether. There is an anti-idling policy for Town Page 31 . overlooking the Minas Basin. The Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens in coyotes and even the occaWolfville Nova Scotia is just one of many sional bear. They involve reducing and eliminating dependence on fossil Tell us what your community is doing to fuels. In 2005. the provincial governthe forefront of environmental stewardment and the community at large. Those objectives are leading efforts to make the Town office and Council paperless. extracted underground metals and make itself more eco-friendly. Town staff.” Wolfville led the way on the non-smoking issue. The area. the Centre for Rural ment Framework aims to place Acadia at Sustainability. Now. on chemicals and unnatural email to the editorial department at edisubstances that can accumulate in Nator@NaturalLifeMagazine. and to encourage staff and Council members to carpool to meetings and functions. while meeting the hierarchy of present and future human needs fairly and efficiently. and the policy has since gone province-wide. Acaissues. green features of this small town. Its Campus Sustainability Assessdia University. Also The Task Force is a citizen advisory located at the university is the Arthur group comprised of representatives from Irving Academy for the Environment. and working toward the elimination of. The Town has recently created a pioneering conservation easement to protect 245 hectares of town-owned watershed land in its natural state in perpetuity. centuries-old hemlocks and deep ravines. Mayor Bob Stead calls it “sticking our necks away out. with old-growth forest. youth. Still. Earlier last year. a network of 151 Canadian municipal governments that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases and acting on climate change.” It has also been concerned about. and is heavily involved in na- T he postcard pretty town of Wolfville (population 3. LED Christmas light and composting programs. tive plant conservation projects. eagles. Recently. which has some of the highest tides in the world. The five-year-old Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. is a unique place to study or just enjoy the native flora of the Acadian Forest Region.600) is situated in the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia. Send an minerals. as well as owls. Wolfville was an early adopter of The Natural Step community planning process and is a member of Partners for Climate Protection.

MPH. outlines the specific ways that global climate change impacts child health.” Peggy O’Mara. It raises the risk for breast cancer and is associated with many high-risk behaviors in later adolescence. disrupted education and displacement. according to a new report. anticipate the impact on their health and advocate for strategies that will lessen those effects. Binns. Lots of help for those who want to give up scolding. The report was presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Francisco in late October. a few months earlier than did girls 40 years ago. chair of the AAP Committee on Environmental Health. power and joy “Naomi Aldort takes the struggle out of parenting. Mothering magazine available at www. author and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber to write The Falling Age of Puberty – the first comprehensive review of the literature on the timing of puberty – to help understand this phenomenon so we can RAISING OUR air pollution-related illness and heat-related illness and fatalities also are expected. Global Warming Hurts Kids Most hildren may be especially vulnerable to the effects of global warming and steps should be taken to safeguard their health as temperatures rise. threatening and punishing. “This is a call for us to look at how climate change may be impacted by what we do as an organization.” Wendy Priesnitz. the Breast Cancer Fund commissioned ecologist. Pediatricians should make sure their patients understand the air quality index. C Growing Up Too Soon G irls get their first periods today. MD. vitamin deficiencies and waterborne illness. Global Climate Change and Children’s Health. The evidence suggests that children’s hormonal systems are being altered by Page 32 NaturalLifeMagazine. RAISING OURSELVES by Naomi Aldort Transforming parent-child relationships from reaction and struggle to freedom. pollen counts and UV measures used in most metropolitan areas. Disruptions in the availability of food and water and the displacement of coastal populations can cause malnutrition.breastcancerfund. the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is calling upon governments and physicians to recognize the impact global warming has on children’s health and develop strategies to protect them from potential harm. Her full report is available for free at the Br e a s t Ca n c e r F u n d ’ s w e b s ite www. but they develop their breasts one to two years earlier. Steingraber is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health.” said Helen J. For children. what we do in our personal business and what we do in our home and in fine book stores protect our daughters’ health. views. Increased climate-sensitive infectious diseases. tips and ideas for families living greener. and calls on pediatricians to understand the threats to FAAP. A new AAP technical report and policy statement. These conversations can be opportunities to introduce the broader issue of climate change and the importance of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. healthier lifestyles children. Editor Life Learning magazine “Aldort operates on the radical premise that neither child nor parent must dominate.Natural Parenting The Natural Child by Wendy Priesnitz News. The group says that direct health impacts from global warming include injury and death from more frequent extreme weather .NaomiAldort. Early puberty poses several risks for girls. on average. Noting that children are often most vulnerable to adverse health effects from any kind of environmental hazard because they are not fully developed physically and psychologically. such as hurricanes and tornados. loss of caregivers. Editor and Publisher. reducing thermostat settings in the winter and increasing settings in the summer and using cars less. To learn more about the trend. this can mean post-traumatic stress. The statement encourages pediatricians to be role models for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions by making small changes such as switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Natural and synthetic hormones are also used as growth promoters by farmers.. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are one culprit.S. there is sufficient evidence for the contribution of body mass to pubertal timing in girls to support efforts that combat childhood obesity. Her other suggested strategies include eliminating exposure to tobacco smoke. natural parenting and more Explore how children learn without traditional schooling Discover how to parent without struggle and coercion Be inspired by stories about self-directed learning Enjoy the life learning journey with your whole family www. she says. she notes.lifemedia.” . any campaign to address this problem should begin with the promotion of breastfeeding because breast milk safeguards against obesity.that ultimately requires a comprehensive.. mercury contamination and endocrine-disruptive chemicals. Steingraber notes that much basic science. tracking and biomonitoring remains to be done. lower birth weight and increase risks for obesity and insulin disregulation – all of which. She advocates supporting organic agriculture and right-to-know laws about toxic exposures. integrated. packaging and building materials. A recent California study found that girls born to mothers who smoked a pack or more of cigarettes daily during pregnancy experienced significantly earlier menarche than unexposed girls. bovine growth hormone has been used to increase milk production since 1993.95 plus shipping (plus GST in Canada) The Alternate Press (800) 215-9574 (416) 260-0303 www. NaturalLifeMagazine. may increase the risk for early puberty. as well as in pesticides. In the U. which shorten gestation time. Hormonally active agents are found in many other consumer products. although it is not approved in Canada or the E. in Published by Life Media. document cases of breast development in children accidentally exposed to estrogen creams used by their mothers. as well as to ointments.. home-based education School Free The Home Schooling Handbook by Wendy Priesnitz Editor of Natural Life a bestseller since 1987 $16. “Early puberty in girls. which has brought you Natural Life since 1976. chemical solvents. Studies from the U. epidemiology. they can make the body more or less sensitive to its own hormonal signals. hair tonics or ingested Page 33 . such as chemicals in the a multi-causal threat. And.. By disregulating the endocrine system.various stimuli. chemical testing. unified response.U.NL - Answering all your questions about child-led.. She says. However. air Life Learning Magazine unschooling.LifeLearningMagazine.

In its statement honoring the Schmeisers. It revealed how traditional seed economics and treatment is currently giving way to a dependency on only a few big multinational enterprises. the Schmeisers are trying to turn the notion of benefit to farmers from Monsanto genes around. In 1998. This would drastically reduce the genetic diversity of staple crops and the economic autonomy of farmers. Monsanto agreed to remove them if the Schmeisers signed a document with a non-disclosure statement and an assurance that they would never take Monsanto to court. the Right Livelihood Foundation noted that this was one of the first and most prominent cases involving a company claiming to own patents on life. The latest award. including Canadians Percy and Louise Schmeiser. When Monsanto did not pay. including about $250. such that in the end the whole food production chain could be dominated by a few giant food enterprises. Thus. Monsanto’s treatment of the Schmeisers is their standard practice. But soon they found genetically modified Monsanto canola plants on their land again. But the Schmeisers neither gave in nor did they accept this blackmailing attempt. The Schmeisers did not sign this statement and again demanded from Monsanto to take these plants off of their land. Monsanto threatened to sue the Schmeisers for infringement of patent. When Monsanto did not react. especially in developing countries. However. had filed lawsuits for patent violations (often. 2008.000. they paid some workers to remove the plants and sent Monsanto the bill of $600. peas and oats in order to avoid future problems. Farmers have so far paid $15 million to Monsanto (mean payment about $400.Good News Percy Schmeiser: Outstanding in His Field I t would have been hard to miss the news last fall that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. the Saskatchewan farming couple received a letter from the American agribusiness giant Monsanto claiming that they had used Monsanto seeds without a license in planting their 1997 crop. because those honored with Right Livelihood Awards in December in Stockholm have.S. because they now contained the Monsanto-owned gene. They called the company and demanded that they be removed. According to a 2005 report by the Washington-based Center for Food Safety (CFS). was shared by five people. worth the equivalent of US$310. which they had built up for decades. the Schmeisers had never bought Monsanto seed nor intended to have it on their owned genes are to be regarded as contamination. Monsanto offered to withdraw the legal challenge if the Schmeisers signed a contract to buy their seeds from Monsanto in the future and to pay the technology use fee. and the varieties that they had painstakingly adapted to their local environment for years through cross-pollination. However.000. Thus the Schmeisers lost their breeding research. $105. It turned out that some Monsanto Round-up Ready genetically modified canola seeds had blown over from the Schmeisers’ neighbor or from passing trucks. With their fight against Monsanto’s abusive marketing practices.000). with teams of full-time investigators out in the field. claiming that MonsantoNaturalLifeMagazine. But news about the so-called “Alternative Nobel Prizes” might have passed you by. relying on very few genetically engineered crops. the Schmeisers shifted their agricultural business from canola to wheat. In May 2007. The CFS re- Right Livelihood Award Foundation . mustard. They contested the case up to the Supreme Court of Canada. also been quietly demonstrating positive solutions to them. Now. Page 34 genes that Monsanto claimed to “own” under Canadian patent law had ended up in the Schmeisers’ seeds. the Schmeisers have given the world a wake-up call about the dangers to farmers and to biodiversity from the growing dominance and market aggression of companies engaged in the genetic engineering of crops. seeking damages totaling $400. At the same time. Monsanto.500 ($15 an acre) for technology usage fees and $25.000 in estimated profits from the Schmeisers’ 1998 crop. After the first court case. because of drifted seed) against 147 farmers and 39 small farming businesses in half the states of the U. whose ruling supported Monsanto in their claim to own the gene. the court also concluded that the Schmeisers should not have to pay anything to Monsanto because they had not in any way benefitted from having the seeds on their property. $13. while raising awareness of major world problems. a mediation attempt failed and a trial date was set for January 23. as with the Schmeisers. And that’s too bad.000 in legal fees. as of 2005. the Schmeisers sued them in a provincial court. in a new legal case.000 in punitive damages. Monsanto conducted tests and confirmed that these were their Monsanto Roundup Ready plants.

Schmeiser promotes 12 principles for food and agriculture in an age of biotechnology: 1. 4. best known for his landmark International Court opinion on the threat and use of nuclear weapons. Regional biodiversity must be protected.port concludes: “No farmer is safe from the long reach of Monsanto. 3. 9. No rules should prevent countries controlling food imports. Regions should have the right to regulate for their own agriculture. Freedom to exchange seeds should be protected. because of the way patent law has been applied. and when they never signed Monsanto’s technology agreement but still planted the patented crop Page 35 . 2. . 11. In his speeches. farmers are technically liable. All humans have a right to food or to produce it. Local production and consumption should be encouraged. traveling the world with his message. Seeds are a ‘common property’ resource. a world-renowned legal scholar. 12. Natural systems must be protected so that they can produce healthy food. Also sharing the 2007 Right Livelihood Award were Christopher Weeramantry (Sri Lanka). and the company Grameen Shakti (Bangladesh). 7.” It has. which has shown that solar energy applications can be scaled up massively and rapidly to provide an affordable and cli- mate-friendly energy option for the rural poor.” Since his court case gained wide attention.NL - NaturalLifeMagazine. Farmers should have the right for their land to be free of genetic contamination. who has engaged in effective peace work and conflict resolution in many of the world’s most divided countries. No life form should be patented and terminator seeds should be globally banned. Farmers have been sued after their field was contaminated by pollen or seed from someone else’s genetically engineered crop. 5. Everyone has a right to information about how their food is produced. presented Awards to 123 recipients from 56 countries. 8. which has had an impact worldwide. It does not seem to matter if the use was unwitting or a contract was never signed. 6. He is also a member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and was a core member of the drafting of the Manifesto on the Future of Seed. In all these cases. 10. to date. Humans have a right to safe and nutritious food. Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Kenya). Percy Schmeiser has become a dedicated activist. when genetically engineered seed from a previous year’s crop has sprouted in fields planted with non-genetically engineered varieties the following year. The Right Livelihood Awards were founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull “to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.

air fresheners and furniture and glass cleaners. And in a study of older people in the Netherlands. Spain. led by Dr. So while meat increases land-use requirements. But. Meat and dairy products are supported by lower quality.500 people from 10 European countries.4. Clean But Wheezing A Sunshine Vitamin Continues to Shine A study last year found that taking the recommended daily dose of vitamin D (400 IU) significantly reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer.000 subjects. Cleaning prod- . It is currently only able to support 22 percent of its population who eat a high-meat. there is a lot of that sort of farmland. recruited 3. needs 2. participants who took supplements had an average 1. adding some dairy products and a limited amount of meat may actually increase this efficiency. the state could directly support almost 50 percent more people. diets including small amounts of meat can feed more people than some higher fat vegetarian diets. The reason a vegetarian diet is not necessarily the most efficient in terms of land use is that fruits. And now. high-dairy diet. the risk increased with usage. The study. research indicates that people who take vitamin D supplements have a lower risk of death from any cause. The study. Say Researchers T he discussion of “foodprints” that we chronicled in the “Ask Natural Life” column in September/October 2007 has been given a new spin. on the other hand. of more than 57. who were followed for eight years. vegetables and grains must be grown on high-quality cropland. In an analysis of data pooled from 18 randomized controlled 5. Jan-Paul Zock of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. compared with control groups given a dummy pill. and people who used them every other day or so increased their risk by a further 50 percent. on average. which found that a low-fat vegetarian diet is very efficient in terms of how much land is needed to support it. The researchers compared 42 diets with the same number of calories and a core of grains. but more widely available. The worst culprits were found to be cleaning sprays. Their study concluded that if everyone in New York state followed a low-fat vegetarian diet. the researchers suggest. young Finnish men who took the nutrient had half the number of respiratory infections compared with those not taking a supplement. Researchers at Cornell University recently agreed with the earlier research that we presented.Wellness Health Roundup What’s new and interesting about food and wellness Add a Little Meat and Dairy.” They found that a person following a low-fat vegetarian diet will need less Page 36 than half (0. published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. the researchers say. who were followed for almost six years. Even using a spray just once a week may be enough to trigger the disease. fruits. but with varying amounts of meat (from none to 13.4 ounces daily) and fat (from 20 to 45 percent of calories) to determine each diet’s “agricultural land new international study involving scientists from a number of European countries and Canada has found that the use of household cleaning sprays may be a cause of asthma in adults. while darker-skinned and older people should think about maintaining that daily intake year-round. Even sporadic use of sprays resulted in a six percent increase in asthma. with participants mainly over age 65. The researchers concluded that up to 15 percent – or one in seven cases – of adult asthma could be caused by household cleaning sprays.44) an acre per person per year to produce their food. Last June. And in New York state. or about 32 percent of its population. land that can support pasture and hay.000 IUs daily during fall and winter. In the nine trials that collected blood samples.11 acres. agriculturally. were investigating the role of vitamin D in keeping bones strong and preventing fractures.2-fold higher blood level of vitamin D than those who did not. researchers found that those with high vitamin D levels in their blood were less likely to end up in a nursing home and less likely to die early compared to those with low blood levels of vitamin D. A high-fat diet with a lot of meat. is the first to examine the land requirements of complete diets. researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the European Institute of Oncology found that subjects who took at least 500 IU of vitamin D each day had a seven per cent lower risk of death. The 18 clinical trials involved a total NaturalLifeMagazine. the Canadian Cancer Society recommended that adults consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 1. Most of the studies. vegetables and dairy products (using only foods that can be produced in New York state). Not surprisingly. Two other recently published papers have also shown Vitamin D’s apparent benefits: In one.

Canada NaturalLifeMagazine. indicating a greater improvement in stress regulation. The technique avoids struggles to control thought. The the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Both groups initially showed elevated release of the stress hormone cortisol following a stressful math task but after training. New Zealand found that those on diets including honey had better spatial memory and were less anxious. The experimental group received five days of meditation training using a technique called integrative body-mind training (IBMT). IBMT has been found to improve emotional and cognitive performance. toning and Page 37 www. which help to prevent free radicals damaging cells in the body. The study. where he is working with coauthor psychologist Michael Posner on a larger study using MRI. relying instead on a state of restful alertness. “Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing. the experimental group showed greater improvement in an attention test. as well as professional Thumper deep muscle massage. . According to findings released by the University of Oregon and published in A H oney could be used to target agerelated problems including memory decline. The experimental group also showed lower levels of anxiety. suggesting that they had better spatial 1-800-695-7338 or at our stores in Fergus & Listowel. IBMT was developed in the 1990s. training and motivation necessary to help you achieve your personal health and fitness objectives.theharvesthelper. The researchers propose that honey may improve memory due to its known antioxidant properties. done in China. a professor in the Institute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory for Body and Mind at Dalian University of Technology in China. the experimental group showed less cortisol release. Tang currently is a visiting scholar at the University of Oregon.NL - FITNESS STORES LEGGE Get Healthy! with our large selection of quality fitness equipment and personal consultation. randomly assigned college undergraduate students to 40-person experimental or control groups. a cooperative of 11. potential risks of nonprofessional uses in private homes had not been evaluated before this study was undertaken. eight per cent sucrose or no sugar at all for 12 months. depression. Your personal plan will include four areas of a balanced fitness program: cardiovascular. The control group got five days of muscle relaxation training. while receiving instructions from a coach.” Dr Starkey told New Scientist magazine. Pay Attention team of researchers from China and the University of Oregon have developed an approach for neuroscientists to study how meditation might provide improvements in a person’s attention and response to stress. . as well as social behavior.ucts not applied in spray form were found not to be associated with asthma. Chill Out.000 New Zealand dairy farmers that is interested in sweetening yogurt with honey. They were also more likely to spend time in new sections of a Y-shaped maze. and offer the products. Studies conducted on mice at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. both groups took tests involving attention and reaction to mental stress. anger and fatigue. Before and after training. Lynne Chepulis and Nicola Starkey raised rats on diets containing either ten percent honey. inversion and decompression. The results were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Several studies have previously provided evidence for adverse respiratory health effects related to professional cleaning exposures. says lead author Yi-Yuan Tang. A Spoonful of Honey… honey-fed rats spent almost twice as much time in the open sections of an “assessment maze. The research was funded by Fonterra. We evaluate your areas of interest and concern. Book & Workbooks on CD Grow a better organic vegetable garden in less time Learn organic gardening the easy way Visit us online at www. Ontario.” which the researchers say suggests that they were less anxious. UK. who provides breath adjustment guidance and mental imagery. according to research recently presented at the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior meeting at Newcastle University.LeggeFitness. Innovative Planting Wheel.

energy-efficient. and said nobody did the . The annual 10-day 2007 Decathlon is made up of 10 contests to design. organic soap • Baby organics • Eco pet 7A-15223 Pacific Avenue. D. White Page 38 opment of energy efficiency and energy production technologies. Solar Decathlon houses must power all the energy needs of a typical household using only solar energy. by consulting with members of their local building community to create grassroots interest in these technologies. Contests ranged from architecture and engineering.C. the National Mall in Washington DC became a solar village.. hardwood. This team won the Architecture. beds. carpet. Solar Decathlon Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/Solar Decathlon Now featuring Green Sleep.S. Each team also had to provide enough solar electricity to power an electric car to get them around town NaturalLifeMagazine. walls and floors. BC V4B 1P8 778-292-0277 www. The Department of Energy hopes the competition will encourage young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. or SIPS. Many used structural integrated panels. bedding. Teams from 20 universities in the U. The winning house blends aesthetics and modern conveniences with maximum energy production and optimal efficiency. The students would then push the research and develJim Tetro. Germany and Spain constructed 800-square-foot solar homes that they had designed and built on their respective campuses in order to compete in the U. The Architecture Jury said the house pushed the envelope on all levels and is the type of house they came to the Decathlon hoping to see. The Engineering Jury gave this team an innovation score that was as high as you could Oak louvers on the Technishe Universitat Darmstadt’s solar powered home provide shading and privacy for visitors to the Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington. completely solar-powered house. towels • Aromatherapy and home spa products.S. possibly the most comfortable sleep system in the world and it is organic! Good for you and the planet! • One stop eco-shopping for home interiors • Complimentary in-store interior design services • Paint.Renewable Energy Let the Sun Shine In L ast October. All homes were powered by off-the-shelf photovoltaic panels. during the Decathlon. acting as a sort of “living laboratory” where visitors could see renewable energy technologies in action. acquaint college students with solar power and energy efficiency and help move solar energy technologies to the marketplace faster. The winner was a cutting-edge house by a team from Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany.spiritinteriors. marketability and comfort to how well the homes perform tasks such as heating water and powering appliances and lights. Canada. mattresses. which are made of rigid foam insulation sandwiched between two structural boards to form a panel that works well for roofs. While on the Mall. Lighting and Engineering contests. the houses were open to the public for tours. The Lighting Jury loved the way this house glows at night. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. build and operate the most livable.

This yields a return for the investors. as the revenue from selling the power is split among them. enthusiastic house tour. which was informative. The Solar Decathlon house will be the first piece in this ambitious project – continuing to showcase the potential of building-integrated solar power generation. Because the feed-in tariff is high enough to more than cover the cost of the installation over the long term.NL - Natural Life magazine online Your trusted online source of information and inspiration A Window on Solar ne of the newest solar technologies will fit on your window.C. For more information about this and future years’ Decathlons. entertaining and very much “on target” for public audiences. The Lighting and Market Viability juries also had high praise. They were one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. regulating the wavelength of light passing through for energy conservation and for aesthetics. as part of the university’s Solar Campus (“Solare Lichtwiese”) project. At the beginning of the week. The University of Colorado’s house has been sold to Xcel Energy. Since the materials are capable of harvesting indoor as well as outdoor light.NL NaturalLifeMagazine. Two U. . after the team expands the size of the house. Market Viability. capable of absorbing narrowly or broadly in one or more regions of the visible and near-infrared spectrum. Third place was won by Santa Clara University. battery chargers. 1994 to present Six subject indexes plus over 100 sub-indexes Thousands of articles Keyword search Events calendar plus complete subscription and advertising information Page 39 . Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is unique among solar energy alternatives in offering the potential for selecting materials for varying levels of transparency. through which all buildings on campus will be equipped with building-integrated photovoltaics. long lines of people waited to get into this house. The Architecture Jury said the house definitely belonged in the top tier. elegant and innovative. education and outreach. the solar modules can be integrated into building sensors. lighting and displays. and Lighting. The Communications Jury also lauded their friendly. All week. people wondered if the Maryland team would have a home-field advantage because their campus is located so close to Washington. Germany has a “solar feed-in tariff” that provides a guaranteed price for any solar power that is fed into the power grid.solardecathlon. True to the Decathlon’s green theme. feeding electricity into the German power grid. Darmstadt was one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. The technology will be suitable for use in windows capable of controlling transparency for privacy. Other teams plan to use their houses on campus to serve as educational tools for their architecture and engineering departments. . an outdoor educational center. all of the homes have a life after the visit th e w eb s ite www.® a flexible material that converts light to energy and is lighter. – are conducting research and development on transparent. and Maryland won the Communications contest and was second in Architecture. The Carnegie Mellon house will be permanently installed at the Powder Mill Nature Reserve. It is made from conducting polymers and nano-engineered materials that can be coated or printed onto a surface in a process similar to how photographic film is made. the university is selling shares to the public to finance these photovoltaic systems. and wireless security monitoring systems. Second place went to the team from the University of Maryland. The Communications Jury praised their excellent website and house tour. which built a sustainable solar house that is functional. will use it as a permanent facility for research.” Konarka is the developer of Power Plastic. But as the week progressed. flexible solar modules for windows and other building integrated applications – or what is called “Transparent Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technology. companies – Air Products and Konarka Technologies Inc.S. The winning solar house has returned to Germany to be used as a solar power O Archived issues of Natural Life magazine from May/June. lower in cost and more versatile than traditional silicon-based solar cells. D. which. They were one of five teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Hot Water contest and one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest.integration of the PV system any better. it became clear that they didn’t need any artificial home-field advantage.

architecture and graphic design. we set out to not only create the world’s first free and accessible sustainable materials library. That’s why we use the slogan ‘Secrets of the Plant Kingdom Revealed’. Ecolect is meant to save designers time and money by answering three important questions: Where do I Not Your Grandmother’s Gardening Resource I f you’re young. the book will fire the imagination of young aspiring gardeners. Gayla grows everything from tomatoes to passion flowPage 40 ers on her urban rooftop patio. Beate grows organic vegetables. Along with all the ins-and-outs of soil. case studies on successful sustainable design and a blog on how ecology affects the world. news about what’s happening in the green design community. she launched the gardening website www.The Media Beat Editor Wendy Priesnitz shares her favorite sources of green information and inspiration materials library for the design community. Simon & Schuster).” The good-looking Ecolect website (www. w . Ecolect T he merging of the words “ecology” and “intellect” creates “ecolect” and that’s the name of a unique and innovative new web-based resource for professionals in such fields as product design. “I strongly believe that most people take the plants around them and the food they eat for granted.” YouGrowGirl’s creators are selftaught plant enthusiasts. Ecolect – www. art and humor. Just as witty. “From there. stylish and practical as the website.” In 2005.ecolect.” Gayla says.YouGrowGirl. and that if they are encouraged to see the wonder of plants and the relative ease with which they can be grown. browsing the website is an educational and fascinating way to spend a few hours and learn about leading edge green materials and technologies. The site has grown into a thriving online community that involves other like-minded gardeners and even some selfconfessed “black thumbs. So in 2000. there is much work to be done defining its many levels and creating tools to help implement it in the way we manufacture and package products and design and create buildings and other infrastructure. Says Gayla. sowing and growing.” says Matt features materials with sustainable attributes. what makes them sustainable and who else is using them and how? Even for the non-professional. you probably don’t relate to traditional gardening websites and advice books.” The project’s aim has always been to promote exploration. “We saw a unique and unmet need in the marketplace. excitement and a do-it-yourself approach to growing plants without the restrictions of traditional ideas about gardening. affordability. While Gayla and her content editor Beate Schwirtlich have never actually said. it will foster a respect for nature that will extend beyond their backyards. the ability to contribute user reviews and images of materials in use. “You must do things this way. but also build a tight-knit global community. Neither consider themselves gardening experts. “People think plants are difficult to take care of because they seem like such a mystery. Created by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduates and awardwinning entrepreneurs Matt Grigsby and Joe Gebbia. Gayla’s particular relationship with plants involves style. content that stimulates discussion about what sustainability is and how it is defined.” organic growing and a motto of “do no harm” has always been the foundation of the site. You Grow Girl is chock full of fun and funky projects that make gardening more than just growing plants. Now that sustainability is becoming important to more people.ecolect. Readers will learn to grow and bag their own tea. the website spawned a book with the same name You Grow Girl (2005. seeds. urban and find sustainable materials. who don’t have a large budget or a lot of – is a free sustainable NaturalLifeMagazine. This is one of the new resources popping up to help those committed to sustainability to fill this gap in this growing green movement. herbs and flowers on borrowed land. make hand salve and hair rinse out of plants from their garden. “Our goal is to provide information to people like co-founder of Ecolect. environmentalism. transform thrift-store finds into cool containers and even sew their own gardening apron. where individuals from around the world can go to learn and connect around the issue of sustainable design. It enables users to quickly find and research a growing range of materials for a variety of projects. At least Toronto-based graphic designer Gayla Sanders didn’t. wise.

And integrating that concern with Friends’ other values is the aim of a spiritually-centered non-profit organization called Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW). corporate accountability. QEW encourages Friends and other like-minded groups and individuals to explore the spiritual roots of humanity’s relationship to the earth and to seek a transformation in attitudes toward the Earth and all living contains an inspiring selection of articles on spirituality and earthcare.S. and to inspire consumers to “Buy Local.” If you prefer mail to the Internet. the OCA provides an important service.” Through its jam-packed website. publications. industrial agriculture. which involves caring for land that is threatened. peace and equality. my first stop is usually to consult the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) website www. Their approach is positive and full of integrity. the latest news. the family farm or organics.NL - NaturalLifeMagazine. loss of arable lands and population pressures. Formed in 1998 in the wake of the mass backlash by organic consumers against the U.QuakerEarthcare. conservation. while caring for people who have no land. embodied in the sentence that heads up each page of the website: “To our testimony of conscientious objection to Page 41 . It is also a major supporter of La Bella Farm. loss of species and habitats. toxic wastes. Burlington VT 05401-1607. recycling. Consuming Organically W hen I’m looking for in-depth information and strongly-held opinion about any policy issues pertaining to natural foods. children’s health. living in “right relationship” with all Creation (which includes simple living) and ecology and public policy. a sustainable agriculture project in Costa Rica. QEW staff and supporters lead workshops.. globalization of food. The website alone provides online discussion opportunities. including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace. The group supports informed. you can also contact Quaker Earthcare Witness at 173-B N. The OCA is a grassroots. articles. as well as mobilization activities such as its Breaking the Chains campaign. spirit-led action on all environmental issues: pollution.Conscientious Planet Protection ost people are familiar with Quakers as living lives focused on simplicity. it has been able to mobilize thousands of consumers to pressure governments in favor of strict organic standards. OCA works with a broad range of public interest organizations to challenge industrial agriculture. Department of Agriculture’s controversial proposed national regulations for organic food. energy use. subscribers and volunteers. let us add conscientious protection of our planet. public interest organization campaigning for health. global In its public education. network building. The beautifully illustrated QEW website at www. Prospect St. online. genetic engineering. It claims to represent over 850. research and campaigns. action alerts and many more useful resources. It also sponsors annual exchange visits between Costa Rican and North American farmers. It deals with food safety. non-profit. Organic and Fair Made. There’s no surprise that Quakers are also concerned for the environment. corporate globalization and the “WalMartization” of the economy. Fair Trade.000 members. justice and sustainability. .organicconsumers. environmental sustainability and other important topics. give talks and staff an Earthcare M Center at Friends’ Gatherings and Yearly Meetings.

a special advertising section providing access to a diverse selection of products and services from companies and organizations dedicated to healthy. E. Delivery Available Page 42 NaturalLifeMagazine.The Green Marketplace Resources for green. it’s a way of life! Call us at 800.growingspaces. healthy living Welcome to Natural Life Magazine’s Green Marketplace. London ON Free Parking. Thurs & Fri 9-6.9333 or visit us online at Lyn-Dys Organic Health Food Certified Organic Food/Produce Herbs & Spices Gluten-free Products Homeopathic Remedies Natural Vitamins/Supplements Fresh Distilled Water Open Mon-Wed 1016 Oxford St..LynDys. Sat 9-5 (519) 455-5573 www. Growing Spaces Much more than a greenhouse. environmentally and socially responsible living. .

natural celebrations. worm composting. sustainable construction November/December. interview with Tina Therrien . socially responsible investing May/June. Toronto ON M5J 1B5 or PO Box 112. organic wine and beer. edible flowers. 47444 Kato Rd. salt-free Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Custom formulations. (plus 14% tax in NB. teas. eco-traveling through eastern Page 43 .Learn Reflexology Parentbooks 201 Harbord Street –Toronto ON M5S 1H6 55 minute Instructional Video or DVD with foot chart Only $22. NL & ON or 6% tax in other Canadian provinces) Natural Life Magazine 508-264 Queens Quay W. vertical gardens. sustainable seafood. private label packing also available. Help Save This Urban Forest! Donate to Friends of Roxborough Greenbelt (705) 673-1874 www. triple bottom line community. companion planting. growing and using grapes. healthy and sustainable housing for cold climates.parentbooks. simple living in Spain. NS. spices.pacificreflexology. co-housing. Free Catalog . simplifying the Education/Special Education Parenting/Family Health ORDERS: 1-800-688-9748 www. intestinal health zero-energy homes. asthma and environment November/December. 2006 Dangers of cosmetics.(510) 770-1215 Inspiration and information about sustainable. Teaching and modeling sustainability. eating locally. extracts.www. simple living. healthy living in the back issues of Natural Life January/February. Buy Nothing Christmas. healthy volunteering September/October. anxiety disorders caused by No additives. growing plants at work and school. eco-friendly musical instruments. what’s wrong with labeling children. ethanol pros and cons. the nutritional value of seeds.® Natu etter! The ultimate source Is B for over 500 varieties of gourmet culinary herbs. attracting pollinators to your garden. essential oils and capsules at wholesale prices. antidepressant drugs and suicide.95 per copy (plus shipping) Shipping: $6 per order in North America $12 per order elsewhere. music as medicine. 2006 Fabric softener dangers. 2007 Green your winter vacation. are wine cartons green?. eco-wise housing September/October. Fremont CA 94538 .straw bale builder. 2006 30th Anniversary Issue. owner-built straw bale house. bird watchers track climate change. interview with Natural Life founder and Publisher. healthy fall garden maintenance.herbspicetea. organic weed control resources. 2006 Raw foods.friendsofthegreenbelt. have a clean and healthy home. living in an eco-hood. the new nomadics. $4. Niagara Falls NY 14304-0112 Phone: (800) 215-9574 or (416) 260-0303 NaturalLifeMagazine. 2005 Understanding carbon offsets. 2005 Choosing a home water purification system. progressive care and housing for the elderly July/August. interview with eco-architects.95 +Taxes + S&H 1 800 209-9182 PACIFIC REFLEXOLOGY e San Francisco Herb & Becaursal Natural Food Co. green roofs. gardening in small spaces.

please visit www. and to sign but we prefer to use real people to tell advertisers about how they can reach their market with our magazines. If you are interested in being one of those people and selling advertising for Life Media’s three magazines on either a full-time or part-time basis. .NaturalLifeMagazine. That’s why we are inviting you to join our volunteer group of readers whose feedback helps us produce a better magazine and build a better web site for the Natural Life magazine community. we believe that change begins at the individual and local levels.We could put our message on a blimp. .ca/opportunities. Pull up a chair and help us spread the word about green living! Join the Natural Life magazine Community Advisory Panel. Here at Life Media. visit www. For information. .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful