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Adidas Makes Shoes Out of Plastic From the Ocean

November 19, 2016 at 4:57 am

Adidas is helping clean up the ocean by fishing out plastic bottles and using them to make shoes

With estimates that there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, pound for pound, by 2050, the more that can be done to reduce it, the better.

Vegan Group Threatens Primitive Skills Teacher Over “Humane Slaughter” Class

November 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm


Natalie Bogwalker, founder of Wild Abundance primitive skills school

Rather than focus on horrors and atrocities at factory farms, a national animal rights group is targeting the female owner of a small primitive-skills school in the Appalachian mountains for an upcoming course on the humane slaughter and butchery of animals.

Co-sleeping Contributes to Optimal Brain Development

November 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Pediatrician recommends babies sleep with their mothers at least three years for optimal brain development; says babies who sleep in cribs have smaller brains and insecure attachment


Like all mammals, humans have been sleeping with their babies for millions of years. Babies have an innate desire to stay in constant contact with their caregivers for survival.

A 5-Year-Old’s Reaction To Factory Farming

November 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Having a formerly vegan, health fanatic for a mother, my daughter’s meat, dairy and eggs have come almost entirely from local, humanely-raised, grass-fed or pasture-based animals, with one exception…

She loves a local ice cream shop called The Hop. When we first moved to Asheville, North Carolina – a progressive “foodie” town – we took her to a trendy ice cream shop a few blocks from our house. Because the ice cream was advertised as “local,” we wishfully hoped it came from a small, humane dairy. But after searching on The Hop’s website, we couldn’t find the name of the farm or farms that provided their milk.

Time to Rethink Plastic

October 21, 2016 at 1:21 am


Plastic is piling up in our landfills, oceans, beaches, drinking water, food and bodies. It’s destroying our health and our planet, and it’s never going away.

“Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest,” says actor Jeff Bridges in the video below. “Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists.”

Loneliness – The # 1 Public Health Epidemic Doctors Aren’t Talking About

October 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm

More than cigarettes, alcohol and obesity, loneliness is the single largest risk factor in disease and premature death, said Lissa Rankin – physician, public speaker, and author of Mind Over Medicine – in a Ted Talks presentation last month:

Rankin said she’s often met with “dead silence” when she tells people the number one factor affecting their health is loneliness.

“This was a really uncomfortable answer for a lot of people,” she said. “They wanted me to say diet or exercise or yoga or meditation – something they felt they could do and be proactive about. They felt helpless in the face of their loneliness.”

But the numbers don’t lie. While air pollution increases your mortality by 6 percent, obesity by 23 percent, and alcohol abuse by 37 percent, loneliness increases your risk of death by a whopping 45 percent.

Loneliness is as dangerous for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, Rankin says.

In one study conducted in Alameda County, California, people with the fewest social ties were three times more likely to die over a nine-year period.

People who go through their cancer journey alone are four times more likely to die than those with ten or more friends, according to a study by University of California, San Francisco.

In a Harvard study of 700 men over 75 years, the men who fared best were those who “leaned in to relationships with family, friends and community.”

Rankin says lonely people have significantly higher rates of:

Heart disease



High blood pressure








For Rankin, a study of Italian immigrants in Roseto, Pennsylvania, in 1961, highlights the problem. The people in the village of Roseto had half the rate of heart attacks of the national average and a general death rate 30-35 percent lower than national average. There were zero cases of suicide, alcoholism or drug addiction. None of the community members were on welfare and there was very little crime.

Researchers thought maybe it was their diet, but 41 percent of their diet came from fat, they were obese, got very little exercise and smoked. After sorting through potential factors, they concluded the reason for their longevity was they were never lonely. They lived like a close-knit tribe with multi-generational homes.

But by the 1970s they began to modernize. They moved to the suburbs and separated. By the late 70’s high blood pressure tripled and the number of heart attacks in Roseto matched the national average.

In every “blue zone” on earth – places with an unusually high number of people who live past 100 – places like Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California and Ikaria, Greece – people live like the people of Roseto – in community, in tribe. “They know they belong, and this creates a physical protection on the health of the body,” Rankin said.

“We are tribal beings, we are supposed to be together,” she continued. “We come from love and when we die we go back to love. The whole point of being human is we’re here to love each other, to be together. Our nervous systems are wired that way.”

But when we feel socially isolated, the nervous system goes into fight or flight mode, Rankin says. The body fills with cortisol and epinephrine, which put us at risk of heart disease and every other kind of illness. Our bodies’ healing mechanisms only work when our nervous systems are relaxed.

“Think about the single mom whose by herself trying to raise three kids and get to her job, and the kids are sick, and she doesn’t have any help… And what about her social life and what about her self care? Her nervous system is in stress response, all the time.”

Our bodies are only built to handle being in stress response occasionally, like when we’re getting chased by a tiger, Rankin says. But Americans are in stress response more than 50 times per day, and lonely people are in a near-constant state of stress.

Considering 1 in 5 Americans – or 60 million people – identifies as “lonely,” this is a massive public health epidemic, Rankin said. “When was the last time your doctor prescribed healing your loneliness?”

What to do about it

Rankin said the solution to loneliness is not recruiting as many people into our social circles as possible. It’s not about quantity of relationships, it’s about quality, and it starts with having a healthy relationship with yourself.

The story of our separation – of being separate from the love around us – is a primal wound, she says. It starts with a process she calls “othering – which is when I make you other. I’m separate from the terrorists – we’re not part of the same family. This creates a deep existential loneliness.”

The process of reunion starts with befriending yourself, she says. “As long as you’re at war with yourself – with those inner voices that are telling you you don’t belong, that you’re unlovable, that you’re not enough, that you don’t deserve to be part of a community – you’re going to have a hard time magnetizing people toward you that are right here to love you.”

We’re all so afraid of abandonment, rejection, judgement and criticism, because of our childhood traumas, Rankin says. These traumas make us perceive ourselves as separate and forget we belong to each other.

We need to stop shaming ourselves, stop trying to be perfect, own our “stuff,” get out of our victimhood, stop blaming, and then we can stop seeing ourselves as separate, she says.

Rankin also advises engaging in a spiritual practice – “when we meditate, pray and spend time alone listening, we start to get insight and epiphanies. We start seeing the patterns we keep recreating.”

Most importantly we need to be vulnerable and not hide our true selves, or in Rankin’s words, not be afraid to show our big ugly tails. We need to give people permission to break our hearts and our trust, and when we meet enough people who don’t, we’ll develop resilience for when people do.

“Receive love, take down your armor,” she concludes. “We are dehydrated fish swimming in a massive lake. There is love all around. It’s right here.”

“Find your soul tribe – this is medicine people.”

RELATED: Depression is a Disease of Civilization: Hunter-Gatherers Hold the Key to the Cure

Techno-utopia, Elon Musk and the Modern Suicide Cult(ure)

October 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm


Worshipers of the great God of civilisation – Technology – are destroying the planet and the life forms – human and non-human, flora and fauna – that inhabit this little ball of rock in the Milky Way galaxy. They will reduce this once thriving, living, biotic-community to a dystopian nothingness akin to that of cyber-punk science fiction.

Brewery Creates Edible Six-Pack Rings that Feed, Rather Than Kill, Marine Life

October 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Craft brewery could influence big beer and soft drink companies to replace plastic six-pack rings with edible ones, potentially saving millions of sea creatures


A brewery started by surfers, fishermen and “people who love the sea” has developed edible ring-holders for their six-packs of beer.

The material – made of barley and wheat remnants from the brewing process – is 100-percent biodegradable and safe for fish, turtles, birds and other marine life to eat, unlike the plastic ring-holders that are now killing them by the millions.

Beeswax and Writer’s Block

October 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm

14569174_10157669639405106_1540836620_nI don’t know what to do with myself. I’m torn between writing a story about how we can “save the world” by replacing plastic wrap and Ziplock bags (which I still use) with beeswax and just lying here under a tree, staring at the sun, letting the clock run out, until it’s time to pick up my daughter from school, where I send her to so I can work more, so I can feed her and house her and buy her things to make me feel less guilty about never spending any time with her.

Five Simple Ways to Save Trees and Ourselves

October 4, 2016 at 2:31 pm


Global Forest Watch calculates that the pre-industrial world was covered by a vast 24 million square miles of forest. In the past 150 years humans have cut that number in half. Less than 5 million of the remaining 12 million square miles of forest is original high-grade or “old growth” forest.

Europe has only 5 thousand square miles of this “frontier” forest left, on a continent that was once almost entirely woodland. Deforestation there drove colonial efforts into west Africa, where the ancient mahogany forests are now severely decimated.