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Environment Blog (15)

Monday, 28 March 2016 17:48

Spring Cleaning, the FQL Way

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We typically hear about spring cleaning in terms of cleaning out our "stuff". And I'm all for cleaning out our stuff. So much so, that I devote an entire chapter to it in my book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life. The chapter is entitled "Free Space, Free Mind." The idea is that when we have a cluttered environment, we have a cluttered mind. You can click on the link to get some ideas for some serious house spring cleaning!But what about making sure the other areas of our lives are clean and clear? We…
Monday, 01 October 2012 11:25

Free Space, Free Mind

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Is your garage so full that you can't park your car in it? Are there piles of papers in your office that prevent you from finding what you need? Do you have magazines from five years ago? Do you keep every gift, even if you don’t like it? Is your closet filled with clothes that haven't been worn in years? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then perhaps it's time for some spring cleaning, even if it’s not springtime. Creating space in your physical environment can improve your mental health. A cluttered environment makes for a cluttered…
Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:40

No More Litter Bugs

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I don't get it. Seriously, why do people think it is okay to litter? The other day I was in the car waiting for my husband to get some items at the grocery store and I saw a guy come out of the store with a pack of cigarettes. He opened his pack on his way to the car, leaving the wrapper on the ground. I was so annoyed with this behavior that I just could not let it go. I got out of the car and went over to him and picked up his trash and said something like,…
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 10:47

Belle of the Ball

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Sometimes I feel like the Environment quadrant is the ugly stepchild of the four quadrants. When I'm talking about the four quadrants, people seem the least interested in the Environment in the context of health. It's not as much in our awareness when we think of healthy living. Each week, I blog about one of the four quadrants so that each one is covered in a month. This week, it's time to feature the Environment. Rather than focus on something specific related to the environment like I usually do, this blog is about giving a general shout-out to it and…
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:23

Stop the (Holiday) Madness!

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Hanukkah. Christmas. New Year’s Eve. The holiday madness begins in November and lasts through the New Year. I'm not a holiday grinch, but I cringe at the waste that comes from the holiday season every year. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste in the U.S. increases by more than 25%. The waste comes in the form of food, shopping bags, holiday cards, packaging, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, and more. This adds up to an additional one million tons a week to our landfills during this time (United States Environmental Protection Agency). Think about the…
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 12:27

Shoeless Sanctuary

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We don’t have control of many of the toxins outside of our home, but we do have control of the environment inside our home. Here are some ideas for making your home as environmentally healthy as possible. Leave shoes at the door. Having a shoeless sanctuary cuts down on dirt and pollutants tracked into your house. Think about all of the places your shoes travel in a day. When you wear them inside your house, you bring all of that into your home—including lawn pesticides, coal tar from asphalt surfaces, lead, and even E. coli. These substances have been linked…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 11:27

Don't Judge a Weed

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Don’t judge a weed by its cover. If a dandelion weren’t classified as a weed, it would probably be a cherished flower. When you think about it, dandelions are pretty darn cool. They even have health benefits. So why do they get such a bad rap? If you look up the definition of a weed, it says, “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.” I find it interesting that the definition has so much subjectivity to it. One person’s weed could be another person’s treasure, depending on how they valued it.…
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 09:46

Frying the Birds

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French fries and pastrami sandwiches are not good for our diet and they certainly aren’t good for a bird’s diet, yet recently I've seen friends on separate occasions feed birds this processed and unhealthy food without a thought for the bird's welfare. It may feel like you are communing with nature when a bird eats a fry off of your plate, but you are actually harming the bird. These foods are not a regular part of a bird’s diet and can cause significant health problems, including death. Harm to wildlife comes not just by eating the actual unhealthful food, but…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 11:12

My Love Affair with a Mountain

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My love affair with a mountain began just over ten years ago when I first moved to the East Bay of San Francisco. As soon as I laid eyes on the 3,849-foot beauty that is Mount Diablo, I knew it was love at first sight. Since that time, I have enjoyed numerous hikes, runs, strolls, and picnics on the mountain. I love watching the colors of the mountain change throughout the year—from lush green in the winter to golden brown in the summer. I enjoy spending time on the mountain alone as well as with friends. I feel lighter and…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 09:25

We Are The Environment

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We are the environment and the environment is us. Of the four quadrants, the environment is probably the one that people think least relates to their own health. The environment is seen as somehow separate from us. It is viewed as external rather than internal. However, we are intimately connected to our environment. The air we breathe in comes from the environment. The air we breathe out goes out to the environment. The air also touches our skin, moving into our bodies through our pores. The water we drink goes into our body. The water we bathe in goes in…
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 10:20

Green Exercise

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A couple of weeks ago, I came across the term "Green Exercise" in a magazine. How clever, I thought. I had never heard that term before. Was that really a recognized phrase? I Googled it out of curiosity and lo' and behold, a lot of articles popped up. I thought it might be a good topic for a blog in the Environment quadrant of the Four Quadrant Living website, so I filed the idea away for the coming weeks. Coincidentally, a week later, I was contacted by a publisher of a local magazine asking me to write an article about…
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 21:21

Peace by Nature

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Okay, so I'm writing this blog from Hawaii where it is pretty easy to find peace by nature. But still, peace by nature can be found anywhere. You just have to realize the power of it and make the time to do it (even just a few minutes can bring you instant serenity). There is so much talk about the environment these days. We hear about our carbon footprints and living green. We talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling. We learn about global warming and environmental toxins. We are told that how we are living is poisoning the environment which…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:59

Plastic At Home, Really?

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One of my biggest hot buttons when it comes to human consumption and the environment is our indiscriminate use of plastic water bottles. Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Sixty million water bottles are thrown away every day in the U.S. That's crazy. I won't lie‚ I used to buy the cases of bottled water from Costco. It was pretty convenient to just grab a bottle of water and head out the door. It was an adjustment to switch to using a reusable bottle, but now I don't even think twice about it. It is better for the…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:54

Broom No, Foil Yes

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I am always amazed at what I see sticking out of my neighbors' recycle bins. I'm pretty sure brooms are not recyclable. Plastic bags, nope. Aluminum foil, yes (this one surprised me when I first found out). Check your recycle bin and see if there is any information on it. Mine has a sticker clearly outlining what items are recyclable. Another way is to contact your waste company or look on their website. If you don't know who your trash company is, next time you get the trash bill, see who you pay it to. Then look them up online.…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:45

Got Vinegar?

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Even I need a friendly reminder to keep it simple. Last week, I asked some of my running friends how they get the smell out of their running clothes. I use Trader Joe's laundry detergent which I like for my regular clothes, but I was starting to feel like my clean running clothes still had a smell to them. One of my friends, Rosaura, suggested I try distilled white vinegar. Why didn't I think of that, especially considering I use it to clean my house? I was ready to go out and buy a sport wash but using vinegar saves…
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Published Articles

Green Exercise: Good for the Sole and Soul
Natural Awakenings, March 2011

Sustainable Danville Area: Find Your People
Danville Today News, February 2012 (Page 6)

Are Genetically Modified Foods Making Your Child Sick?
Active Kids, June 2012 (Page 23)