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Eco-Joe

eco-green-coffee-6cc1bd3fMaking a Cuppa More Planet-Friendly

Gallup poll last year reported that 64 percent of U.S. adult coffee lovers consume one or more cups daily and the average number of cups quaffed each day is 2.7. We can express our affection for both java and the Earth by following these eco-tips.

• Forego the convenience of single-cup, plastic pod makers like Keurig. As Mother Jones magazine recently reported, only 5 percent of current pods are made with recyclable plastic, and even those, having hard-to-remove aluminum tops, pose recycling challenges. Keurig plans to make all of its pods recyclable by 2020.

• Many other simpler coffee-making devices maximize energy use by facilitating more servings and reducing waste. Treehugger.com recommends the Moka Pot, a pressure-driven aluminum stovetop brewer; the Chemex Coffeemaker, a funnel-shaped glass unit with a wooden collar; the Canadian wood product Aeropress; an old-fashioned vacuum pot with two glass chambers connected by a thin neck; and a traditional non-electric stovetop percolator.

• Some coffee farms exploit their workers, paying subsistence wages, damage rainforests and use unsustainable farming practices. Jake Carney, co-founder of TheAlternativeDaily.com, founded Lucy’s Bru, an organic whole-bean coffee that’s exclusively shade-grown under fair trade conditions, sustainably farmed and free of harsh fertilizers and pesticides.

• Reuse steel and aluminum coffee cans. ChasingGreen.org details how they can make effective dehumidifiers for damp basements when filled with salt; soak paint brushes in thinner solutions; store items in a garage or work space; and serve as a spot lawn or garden seeder after punching holes in the bottom. The website also lists ways that coffee grounds can be used as a beauty, cleaning, deodorizer and dying agent.

• Use better filters at home. Instead of paper, single-use filters, INeedCoffee.com suggests reusable or unbleached, biodegradable alternatives such as the Medelco cone permanent filter and a French press.

• For to-go drinkers, many coffee shops and restaurants will pour fresh brew into mugs that patrons bring in. Keeping a clean spoon in the car can save on plastic stirrers.

Downtown Denton Community Market is Close to Everything

cs-denton-community-market-denton-community-market-1by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Opening Day for the nonprofit Denton Community Market, at the Historical Park in downtown Denton, will be April 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., specializing in local produce, locally produced food items and local artisan wares. It is a producer-only farmers’ market and art market with something for the entire family. The gathering allows people to meet producers, musicians and artists in person.

Vicki Oppenheim, with the market, says, “The farmers sell produce and agricultural products that are produced with sustainable practices, and will gladly talk with customers about their farms and practices. The variety of local food and local items is important to the Denton community and to visitors from all over DFW.”

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Toxic Crops

toxic-irrigation-field-b6d4abf2Oil Wastewater Irrigating California Fields

In the nation’s produce basket, some California water districts are knowingly selling oilfield wastewater to farmers, putting a huge portion of our fruits and vegetables at risk of contamination. Watchdog group Water Defense uncovered one district buying oilfield wastewater to include in the water it sells to farmers to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley. This year, Food & Water Watch uncovered another district buying this potentially toxic wastewater and selling it to farmers.

A threat to California’s agriculture is a threat to the entire country’s food supply. Some staples of which California is the primary U.S. producer include 99 percent of olives, 99 percent of almonds, 98 percent of garlic, 96 percent of broccoli, 95 percent of celery, 91 percent of strawberries, 91 percent of lemons and 83 percent of fresh carrots.

The government is allowing oil companies to sell their wastewater for use on crops. Citizens must call on their elected representatives to fix this broken system and protect our food supply.
Source: FoodAndWaterWatch.org.

Junior Achievement

take-your-kids-to-work-8f6ac83dTake the Kids to Work

The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation (TODASTW) is holding its annual national event on April 27, offering new toolkits and activity guides based on this year’s theme of Dependability at DaughtersAndSonsToWork.org. The group assists businesses, families, schools and organizations throughout the year initiate their own special work day for children and mentees.

Each year, more than 3.5 million American workplaces open their doors to about 39 million employees and their children on TODASTW Day. “Human resources and marketing professionals are typically responsible for creating this day within their companies,” says Carolyn McKeucen, the foundation’s executive director. “We provide templates and automated planning elements to save them time while ensuring success for planners and participants.”

Friends of Landon Seek Volunteers for Charity Race

Natural AwakeningsThe sixth annual children’s Mo-o-oving Thru’ The Mud With Landon Mud Run, named after a young Cooke County child diagnosed with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) at 3 years of age, is seeking sponsors and volunteers wishing to join the fun and support a great cause at 10 a.m., June 3, in Gainesville. The non-competitive mud run is held at Circle N Dairy, a third-generation working dairy farm. Sponsorship levels range from $100 to $1,000.

All of the money raised will be donated to the nonprofit Hope for HH, which provides support to the families, caregivers and healthcare providers dealing with this often under-diagnosed genetic disorder. Over the past five years, this event has donated more than $100,000 to Hope for HH.

For more information, call Circle N Dairy owner Michelle Neu at 940-372- 0343 or visit MudWithLandon.com.

Stress and Fatigue Abate with Combo Supplement

stress-fatigue-supplement-a09785f8study from Dijon, France, found that a specific nutrient combination supplement can help reduce feelings of anxiety and tiredness. Researchers studied 242 subjects between the ages of 18 and 70 that complained of stress and fatigue. Each was given a supplement containing magnesium, probiotics, vitamins and minerals to take for one month.

Researchers measured the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels before commencing the test period and again one month later. They found a 22 percent reduction in psychological stress and a 45 percent reduction in fatigue. Thirty days after the supplementation was discontinued, the subjects’ stress and fatigue levels remained reduced.

Kids Going Online at Bedtime Sleep Poorly

kids-online-bedtime-cdf7c940new study from King’s College London has found that children’s use of electronic devices close to bedtime can reduce their chances of a good night’s sleep. Researchers examined 20 existing studies encompassing 125,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19. They found that youngsters using a device within 90 minutes of falling asleep had an increased likelihood of poor and inadequate sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Study author Ben Carter, Ph.D., says, “Sleep is an often undervalued, but important part of children’s development, with a regular lack of sleep causing a variety of health problems.” These can include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, reduced immune function and poor diet. Poor food choices and excessive eating can start young, as illustrated in a study from Colorado University, in Boulder, which found a link between sleep deprivation and poor diet choices in preschool children.

The Colorado study followed five girls and five boys, ages 3 and 4, that were regular afternoon nappers. They were deprived of their naps for one day, during which their food and beverage consumption was monitored and compared with their choices on a day when their sleep routine remained intact. During the sleep-deprived day, the children ate 20 percent more calories than usual and their diet consisted of 25 percent more sugar and 26 percent more carbohydrates.

Wheezing Toddlers Prone to Food Allergies

wheezing-toddler-food-allergies-bd014a7eResearchers in Singapore studied the relationship between eczema and wheezing in babies and food allergies in toddlers. They collected data from 849 children that had completed skin prick testing for inhalant and food allergies, including eggs, peanuts and cow’s milk at 18 months and 36 months of age. The resulting data were compared to information obtained from questionnaires administered to the children’s mothers at several intervals throughout their first three years of life to determine the prevalence of allergic diseases such as eczema and rhinitis, along with wheezing.

The researchers found children that experienced eczema or wheezing within their first 18 months were more likely to have an allergy at 36 months. Occurrences of eczema or wheezing after youngsters were 18 months old appeared to have no notable impact on the later allergy skin test results.

Get Colorful in Old Town Lewisville

showimageColorPalooza, with a wide variety of exhibits and interactive events, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 8, at Old Town Lewisville. Visitors get to show off their artistic abilities, watch skilled artists create one-of-a kind sculptures and paintings, marvel at colorful sidewalk chalk art and learn how to better care for the Earth and make their homes more environmentally friendly.

Amateur and professional chalk art will be featured, as well as a chalk art scholarship contest. Other events include the DIY Tie-Dye Station ($5). Buckets of water and colorful dye will be provided.

Admission is free. For more information, call 972-219- 3401 or visit Tinyurl.com/LewisvilleColorpalooza and ChalkThisWay.org about the scholarship contest.

NA NTexas Natural Awakenings