During ChangeLabs Heather Wooten’s Keynote presentation at the Built Environment and the Outdoors Summit, we were asked to guess what the gold dots on this map represent.

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Heart Attack Grill

Photo by Gina Sowell. (This is not actually in a hospital).

Business as Usual

At least two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is either overweight or obese and that number is expected to increase to 75% by 2015. Childhood obesity is also widespread, afflicting 17% of U.S. children under the age of 18 (Wang and Beydoun, 2007). While many factors can contribute to the development of obesity, perhaps one of the biggest is diet. With food playing such a large role in the obesity epidemic and its related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, and certain cancers, should it not follow that our centers of healthcare provide the healthiest food possible for healing? Is it possible that the very institutions trusted with making us healthy might, in fact, be putting us in the hospital?

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Elderly woman crossing city intersection.

Photo by Pietroizzo.

Baby boomers are starting to retire and with that comes the  challenge of supporting their needs. When most of us think of our parents or grandparents aging, I’m guessing we picture them in a  suburban home or, eventually perhaps, a care facility just down the road. What if, like many young people today migrating to cities, our elders instead choose to see their retirement years out in an urban center? Continue Reading »

Two years ago I worked with youth in a school and summer program on local farms and in school gardens. In between learning sessions and actual garden work, we played games to drive home the day’s message. In this post, I describe one of the most beloved activities among the youth in the garden. Continue Reading »

Four years ago, the United States government held the first congressional hearing on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), an as yet unknown affliction responsible for the devastating and sudden losses of native honeybees, which mysteriously disappear and never return to their hives. While the news has been relatively silent on CCD the past couple of years, there’s been a resurgence of other media around this phenomenon, including “Vanishing of the Bees,” a documentary film directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen and narrated by actress Ellen Page (“Inception” and “Juno”). Continue Reading »

Pacha's Pajamas Performance

Aaron Ableman and crew beginning Pacha's story.

Pacha’s Pajamas debuted at Pizzaiolo in Oakland tonight (Mother’s Day), Sun. 8 May, with a hip, multi-generational, multi-cultural celebration of song, poetry, dance and wild animal calls from the audience.  In attendance were ravens, lions and elephants, among others. Continue Reading »

Living Peace Mandala

Components for the peace mandala.

A PLACE for Sustainable Living attracted over 100 Oakleyville residents with the celebration of their official launch yesterday, Sat. 7 May, 2011, featuring local vendors of sustainable products, workshops on beekeeping, cob building and herbal salve making, food, music and more.

The center is the brainchild of the Sustainable Living Roadshow, a volunteer-organized biofueled caravan that tours the nation each year to showcase and inspire sustainable living practices. Continue Reading »