Green Living Magazine May 2021

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your conscious life

GREEN LIVING May 2021

greenlivingmag.com

Gena Lee Nolin

Talks about living an eco-friendly lifestyle, her celery juice habit, and her skin care Great Girlfriend Getaways A Guide to the Health Benefits of Tea 3 Women-Owned Arizona Businesses

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The Power of Water There is true beauty in water for sure. If we took the time to really understand the beauty it entails, we might have a better understanding of why it’s so beautiful.

Well... I’ll tell you. Over the last 10years Exceptional Water Systems has been researching the benefits of raising the D.O. level of water for different environments and the results were astonishing!

Water holds a variety of elements and minerals that are essential for sustaining life. Some of the most of the basic essential minerals consist of Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and much more. Without these basic minerals and balance, water is not as healthy as one might think. One of the most essential elements it holds that is truly needed for all life is oxygen. If water had no oxygen it would not be able to sustain life at all. Just as we as people need water to live we also need oxygen as well. Our bodies consist of about 75% water, so it’s important to know what kind of water your drinking. You cannot live with one and not the other.

When we used it in a swimming pool environment the first thing we noticed, along with our clients, was how clear the water is. It was like a mirror image with pristine clarity. The second thing that was noticed was how soft the water felt. Most of our clients thought the pool they had been using was salt water... except it didn’t taste salty. The third thing people noticed most often was that the pool they used for so long no longer smelled or felt like there was chlorine in the water anymore regardless if it was indoors or outdoors.

Aquatic life thrives when there is an abundance of oxygen in the water. The fish are more active, they grow bigger, and they are much healthier. Yet without it, they would perish. What do you suppose would happen if we were able to raise the D.O. level of water that people used such as swimming pools?

Today many are looking for safer and healthier ways of treating their pools for their families and loved ones. Exceptional Water Systems is proud to introduce one of the healthiest ways of treating water the industry has ever seen. For more information about our technology and how it can help you, please visit our website at www.exwsystems.com or call us at 480-694-4709.


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CONTENTS

May 2021 GOOD

16

Live Outside With Neighbor Furniture

Meet the company making environmentally responsible outdoor furniture

That Helps 18 Activewear the Earth The story of Yoga Democracy

HEALTH

22 Tea-tastic

Spilling the tea on the best drinks for you and your health

That Takes 24 Self-Care No Extra Time What to know about self-care

28 Into the Blu

Phoenix Blu Dragon is a first-of-its-kind therapy business

BEAUTY

30 Skin Know-How

The most effective ways to keep your skin hydrated in the desert

SAVOR

32 32

Gena Lee Nolin

34

Three Women-Owned Arizona Businesses

40

How CNUW is Solving The Pigeon Paradox

Speaking with the actress, author, and healthy lifestyle advocate

Meet the forces behind them

At Scottsdale Community College’s campus, conservation biology takes center stage

42 Life in an RV

Karen Langston shares her adventures

GR E E N L I V I N G

5 tips to get you started

48 Recipes

Dishes to try

TRAVEL

FEATURES

6

to Begin Transitioning to 46 How a Plant-Based Diet

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Getaways 50 3YouGirlfriend Need to Take From glamping to pampering

Veteran Female Business 54 AOwner’s Travel Experience

How she’s helping young college graduates

TECHNOLOGY

58 Electrifying the Future

SRP rewards electric vehicle purchases

IN EVERY ISSUE

8 8 10 12 14 60 62 64

Editor’s Note Contributors On the Web What’s Hot Cool Outrageous Stuff She’s Green, He’s Green Green Scenes Final Word


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EDITOR'S

Note

Contributors

Zac Dunn, writer Zac Dunn is a writer and communications specialist who helps difference-making organizations, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits tell their stories. His company, New Summit Communications, is based in Phoenix. Happy May! It’s only fitting that this month, when we celebrate Mother’s Day, that we are honoring women in the issue. You probably recognize our cover model—Gena Lee Nolin is an actress, author, and health advocate. She’s used her recognition from wearing the famous red bikini (yes, on Baywatch) to help make the world a better, and healthier, place. Read how in our story on page 32. We also feature other amazing women who are making their mark in our story on female-owned business leaders. For those needing time to de-stress, we offer some great girlfriend getaways (after 2020 I’m even more ready for one, how about you?!). There are lots of other great stories, as well, from the nutritional benefits of teas to ways to keep your skin hydrated, to one of my most-needed stories, "Self-Care That Takes No Extra Time." I’d love to hear your feedback on what your favorite articles are in this issue, how you celebrated Mother’s Day, and who are the most important women in YOUR life. Send me an email and let me know! Have a wonderful month, and to all the moms out there—Happy Mother’s Day!

Silver Rose, writer Silver Rose is an author, speaker, and stand-up comic. To sign up for her free Happiness Hacks, visit www.silverhappiness.com. Her book Change Your Focus; Change Your Outlook can be found on Amazon. Rose can be contacted at 480.560.9452 or silver@silverspeaks.com.

Environmentally yours,

Michelle Glicksman Editor-in-Chief michelle.g@greenlivingmag.com

On the cover: Actress, author, and health advocate Gena Lee Nolin Photography by Tracy Ann Battaglia, Fully Alive Photography Photographed on-site at The Scott Resort & Spa Hair by SKW Extensions Styled by VICI Collection

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Christine A. Vogt, Ph.D., writer Christine A. Vogt, Ph.D. is professor of tourism and community development in ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. She also directs the ASU Center for Sustainable Tourism.


your conscious life

GREEN LIVING greenlivingmag.com

PUBLISHER Dorie Morales EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Glicksman VP OF OPERATIONS Diana Vowels ASSISTANT EDITOR Kyley Warren ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Sly Panda Design GRAPHIC DESIGN & SOCIAL MEDIA Victoria Klotz COPY EDITOR Michael Ziffer

CONTRIBUTORS Tony Barrera David M. Brown Jennifer Burkhart John Burkhart Zac Dunn

EDITORIAL INTERNS Erin Epel Eva Halvax STUDENT ADVISOR Chloe Billingsley

Karen Langston Deanna McCormack Dr. Vikki Petersen Silver Rose Christine Vogt

DATA ENTRY INTERN Edward Balderrama PUBLISHER'S ASST. INTERN Brinton Carlson

ADVERTISING Julie Baum - julie.b@greenlivingmag.com Sheree Kamenetsky - sheree.k@greenlivingmag.com Dorie Morales - sales@greenlivingmag.com

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! CONTACT US AT:

Subscriptions: hello@greenlivingmag.com Advertising: sales@greenlivingmag.com Editorial: editor@greenlivingmag.com

480.840.1589 • www.greenlivingmag.com 13845 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste. 201, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 Please recycle this magazine Green Living magazine is a monthly publication by Traditional Media Group, LLC. Periodical rate postage paid at Scottsdale, AZ. Publisher assumes no responsibility for contributed manuscripts, editorial content, claims, reviews, photographs, artwork or advertisements. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the company or official policies. Entire contents © 2020 Traditional Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Submissions will not be returned unless arranged to do so in writing. One print subscription is $25 per year or digital subscription is $12 per year. Canadian orders please add $13 per year for shipping and handling. International orders add $22 per year for shipping and handling. Bulk and/or corporate rates available. No representation is made as to the accuracy hereof and is printed subject to errors and omissions. Green Living magazine is printed on recycled paper.

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ON THE

Web

This month on greenlivingmag.com and social media. /greenlivingmagaz

@greenlivingaz

@greenlivingaz

@greenlivingaz

HEALTH & WELLNESS

TECHNOLOGY

GOOD

Naomi Davis of “Love Taza” Talks Motherhood & Mental Health in Debut Book

EarthX Launches Environmental Conservation TV Channel

5 Community Gardens to Support in Arizona

A Coat of Yellow Paint: Moving Through the Noise to Love the Life You Live offers a lively perspective of how to foster good mental health and overcome the criticism of others.

The international nonprofit organization is expanding its global reach via a channel that will focus exclusively on environmental conservation content.

These local gardens provide destinations perfect for building community through service and a shared love of agriculture.

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

Similar to Green Living’s brand mission, our Instagram aims to inspire and empower our audience with weekly motivations— with this particular mantra being from Chief Seattle.

As part of our partnership with the City of Scottsdale, Green Living shared simple solutions for how to live more sustainably driven lifestyles.

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Are You Sleeping in a Toxic Bedroom? While you are sleeping, you’re breathing. For eight or more hours, you’re in intimate contact with a very large object–your mattress. And whatever your mattress is breathing out, or off-gassing, you are breathing in.

You sleep for a third of your life. In terms of where you most directly rest, restore and replenish yourself, your bedroom is probably the most important part of your home. There may be no immediate escape from pollution and pathogens outside of your door. But in your bedroom, you can create a healing nest by choosing to surround your sleeping self with non-toxic, organic materials. Unbleached sheets of organic cotton, a duvet, an organic mattress topper or comforter filled with organic wool, pillows made of natural latex rubber. Don a pair of organic PJ’s and you’re ready for a truly regenerative sleep. • Organic Mattresses

• Non-Toxic Flooring

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WHAT’S

Hot

Family-owned homebuilder Fulton Homes was recently announced as the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winner for Sustained Excellence. This award is reserved for ENERGY STAR partners demonstrating outstanding leadership, year over year, as presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is the highest honor among the awards. This marks the seventh straight year that the Tempe-based homebuilder has received recognition for the EPA’s program. To be certified as ENERGY STAR, a builder must meet strict energy performance standards set by the EPA. Visit www.fultonhomes.com for more information.

Daily Dose Grill Launches Habitat Builders Boxes Some days a sandwich, chips, and a cookie hit the spot— especially after a morning spent swinging a hammer and helping to build a home. Thanks to a new partnership between Daily Dose and Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, a new Daily Dose menu item—Habitat Builders Box lunch boxes—helps raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. Each Habitat Builders Box lunch includes a wrap sandwich, chips, and a homemade cookie. For every $10 lunch sold, $1 will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona. The lunch boxes are available for takeout at Daily Dose Old Town, Daily Dose Midtown, and Daily Dose Rio Salado. Visit www.dailydosegrill.com for more information.

Photo courtesy Pair Cupworks

Fulton Homes Wins ENERGY STAR Award

Heather Reading

Land Advisors Organization Forms Land Conservation Team Scottsdale’s Land Advisors Organization recently formed a Land Conservation team, which specializes in facilitating real estate transactions that conserve important land and water resources, with an aim towards balancing the built and natural environments. Services provided by the Land Conservation team include designing and implementing strategies for protection of source water and other natural resources; developing effective mitigation strategies to offset development impacts; planning for parks, open space, and protected land networks; and evaluating conservation options and funding sources. Heather Reading, former land and water protection director for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, will lead the team with Pete Johnson. Visit www.landadvisors.com for more information.

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Pair Debuts ‘Bag-in-box’ Coffee In 2019, Kimhak Em and Eugenia Tai launched Pair as a weekend pop-up. Now they’ve opened a brick-and-mortar location in Mesa, Pair Coffee & Tea, inside Cider Corps' taproom. The pair wanted not only to offer top-notch coffee, but to "spread happiness through coffee and tea"—and part of that joy extends to responsible packaging for the beans they roast and sell. Unlike other coffee bags, they used a "bag-in-box" concept. A paper box covers an LDPE zip bag that is 100% recyclable. The packaging forgoes the plastic valve most bags utilize, which needs to be removed before other bags can be recycled. Find them at www.paircupworks.com.


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STUFF Outrageous

COOL

Get Ready for Summer

Spring into summer with these eco-friendly products BY MICHELLE GLICKSMAN

1

Super Sunscreen Thrive Natural Care’s BodyShield 50 Mineral Sunscreen’s unique mineral SPF formula leaves zero white or greasy residue, and actually helps restore sun-damaged skin with proprietary natural ingredients only grown on Thrive’s regenerative farms in Costa Rica. The sunscreen is packaged in a tube that is made from sustainably sourced sugarcane from Brazil—meaning zero virgin petroleum plastic. $20.95 at www.thrivecare.co

2

2

Double Duty Who couldn’t use a full-sized water bottle with a removable, insulated coffee cup hidden inside? Currently available for pre-order, the water bottle is 18 oz. with a 12 oz. removable, barista-approved cup and lid inside. It’s made of stainless steel, is vacuum-insulated, and can keep things cold for 12 hours and hot for six. The innovative product is made by Hitch, a climate positive company. $65 at www.carryhitch.com

3

Bag It MadeTerra's Woven Oval Straw Bag Purse offers the perfect boho chic vibe for summer vacations. The 7-inch wicker rattan crossbody bag is hand woven from organic seagrass and water hyacinth grown in Vietnam. $34.95 at www.madeterra.com

4 Eye Do The world’s first 100% biodegradable sunglasses, these Solana Eco Friendly Sunglasses in Black Matte from PelaVision offer full UVA/UVB protection, and were made with the intention that at the end of their life, the lenses will break down. $64.95 at www.pelavision.com

5 Trend-Forward Towel The towels from Nomadix are made using post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and then printed for colorful style instead of using harmful dyes. They are resistant to sand and pet hair, are super absorbent and quick-drying, have moisture-activated slip resistance, and are lightweight. This Banana Leaf Green Towel is a travel towel, beach towel, and yoga towel all in one. $39.95 at www.nomadix.co

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GOOD

Outside

Live Outside With Neighbor Furniture

From FSC-certified teak to marine-grade hardware and Sunbrella cushion covers, Neighbor is building high-performance, environmentally responsible outdoor furniture that looks like indoor furniture BY DEANNA MCCORMACK

T

There's a certain kind of freedom in the outdoors. For Neighbor, a Phoenixbased outdoor furniture company, that is true even at home, especially during a pandemic. Friends Nick Arambula, Mike Fretto, and Chris Lee came up with the idea for Neighbor in 2020 because they wanted to marry their shared experience and craftsman-like ideals to better the outdoor furniture industry in a real and responsible way. They jumped in quickly, and it paid off. As a three-person team, they sold through the stock they thought would last a year in a couple of months.

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One of the biggest reasons people have responded so positively to Neighbor is because it delivers a means to extend your living room outdoors. And as the team at Neighbor will tell you, that's the idea. They have pored over every detail and design element so that when you receive something from Neighbor, you can assemble it easily and live with it right away, however that looks to you. Materials, of course, are anything but an afterthought. At the intersection of sophisticated, adaptable, and rugged, Neighbor's furniture is durable, weather-resistant, and design-forward. It is outdoor furniture that looks like indoor furniture. For the brand's first collection, the pieces feature FSC-certified teak, an instant heirloom-type wood that only gets better with age. The FSC certification means they source the wood from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. In terms of flexibility and longevity, Neighbor’s Sofa and Sectional have a modular design, which means you can configure the furniture to fit your space, and then change your mind later. Plus, the seating components come together beautifully in a way that looks seamless and are locked into place with highly durable, marine-grade hardware. As long as you love your furniture, it can grow with you.

Where comfort is concerned, the team tapped into their roots at Tuft & Needle and created a quick-drying foam that allows water to flow through the cushion without getting trapped. The cushion covers, which come in two colors—coal gray and canvas—are made of 100% Sunbrella solutiondyed outdoor fabric, a name that has become synonymous with outdoor durability and environmentally responsible manufacturing.

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GOOD

Activewear

Activewear That Helps the Earth

Meet Yoga Democracy, and its Co-Founder and Lead Designer, Haley Byfield BY KAREN LANGSTON

H

Haley Byfield took her love of upcycling her parents’ clothes and made a career out of it. Today, this eco-friendly fashionista helps women create a platform to feel inspired and seen, through her co-owned company, Yoga Democracy.

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“It may seem cliché, but I dreamed of being a fashion designer ever since I was a little girl,” Byfield says. At a young age, Byfield was forever foraging through her parents’ wardrobe, creating outfits to wear to school. And creativity was a household activity. “My mom had a flying trapeze over our pool,” Byfield says. “And she let us cover ourselves in paint and roll around on the tile, and dance on the tables to the Tarzan soundtrack.” Although it may sound like the perfect upbringing, there were some hardships. When she was happily expecting her fourth sibling, Jack, her younger brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After surgery, he was diagnosed with autism. “My mom swallowed her grief and learned everything about Jack’s condition and how to help him lead a normal life,” Byfield shares. Byfield’s older sister, Brittany, voluntarily and without a complaint, stepped in at 10 years old, cleaning and caring for her siblings so that their mother could focus on the best care for Jack. Byfield reflects, “My mom never gave up, and she never let the pain of losing a normal future for her son cripple her. She always pushed forward knowing normal was different, and embraced the abnormality and had fun with it. My sister exuded such leadership, which taught me that life is going to throw you curveballs, and you choose whether to sulk or rise up and actually enjoy the challenge.” These life experiences are what fuel Byfield today. Just before beginning her senior year at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Byfield met Travis Strote. It was a match made in heaven. The pair created Yogavated Athletics, which took off like wildfire. For the next three years, Byfield kept up with the demand using a barely functioning, 1960s-era sewing machine. Something had to give. A serious cutting accident landed her in the emergency room, and gave her the much needed time to reflect—they needed help. The partners learned about the company Yoga Democracy, which was for sale in Cave Creek. Yogavated transcended into Yoga Democracy Activewear. The fabric of their inspirational pieces comes from her customers’ quirky attitudes, bright spirit, voices during social injustices, and commitment to the environment to create change in this world. All of their activewear is produced from plastic water bottles and discarded ocean fishing nets. The entire team is deeply

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rooted in honoring Mother Earth. Byfield developed a fun culture and takes pride in her hard working “freerange humans.” “Every single item leaving our door is touched by 10 artists. It doesn’t leave their hands until it is perfect,” she says. “It is uplifting to be able to work together creating something beautiful to be worn by such incredible women living their best life.”

ARE THERE UPS AND DOWNS? “Starting a business is such an unbelievable emotional roller coaster,” Byfield shares, reflecting on the last 10 years. “Putting your true self out there is so vulnerable, especially when there is so much intention and care put into the concept. I was sewing each and every legging myself. My soul felt personally insulted if there was a complaint or, if they tore or ripped, I would be mortified and embarrassed! With so much passion infused into everything the business had to offer, it was hard not to feel everything so deeply. Luckily, I got to a point where if one good thing would happen it would sustain me for weeks.” BYFIELD’S FAVORITE ASPECT OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? “I think being a female entrepreneur is an important role. We have the ability to share a voice that hasn’t always been heard. We are now highlighting women who inspire us, we are applauding women who lead organizations focusing on lifting up other women, and getting involved in the work they are doing. This is truly magical. In today's world, 'achievement' is a weighted word; instead, let’s honor women who get up in the morning and live the life they dream.” Byfield’s advice for females interested in starting their own business is to “check out the book Building a StoryBrand, Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller. It is my favorite. Seriously a game-changing book. It will help any entrepreneur polish their business in a way that is crucial to their success.”

WOULD BYFIELD DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY? “I would do everything exactly the same, even though it wasn't perfect. This time, I would focus on the present moment, worry less, and enjoy more. I spent so much time worrying about the future or the past, I let fear and stress cripple me in moments when I should have been focusing on how proud, happy, and grateful I was. Every single part, even the struggle, is what makes a business great, and I urge other entrepreneurs to appreciate every single moment of the adventure.” Visit www.yogademocracy.com for more information.



HEALTH &

Wellness

The Best Tea to Drink For Your Health Spilling the tea on the best drinks for you and your health

M

BY TONY BARRERA

Many countries come to mind at the mention of the word “tea.” There’s India, or Great Britain, or even the United States. And while the exact origins of tea are unknown, the most widely accepted story comes from a Chinese legend. The legend says that in 2737 B.C., Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a tree while his servant boiled water for him, when suddenly some leaves fell into the water. The emitting aroma was pleasant, so the emperor decided to try the concoction. Alas, tea came to be. Of course, there is no way to know whether this story is fact or fiction, but no historian can deny the ancient roots tea has in this Asian country. It was established as a beverage centuries before you could order it at your local corporate coffee shop. For this, we are undeniably thankful. While this drink has been a worldwide staple beverage for a long time, its popularity only seems to be increasing. Coffee connoisseurs have been around for a while, but more recently, tea aficionados have become a norm, too. But with this wide-spreading popularity, it’s important to recognize that not all teas are the same, and not all of

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them even serve the same purpose. Some teas have relaxing properties, while others have enough caffeine to energize you for the day. Here’s a quick guide on the most common types of tea and the purposes they serve.

GREEN TEA Known for its mellow grassy taste, green tea has countless benefits. These include improved brain function, fat loss, detox effects, and protection against several illnesses, including cancer and diabetes. However, despite what some may say, green tea does in fact contain caffeine. So, make sure you’re not drinking a cup in order to feel relaxed. Instead of having a cup before bed, consider having a cup before you go on your morning run. ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA English breakfast tea (which is made by combining different


black teas) is the perfect way to start the day. It’s also a good substitute for coffee for those trying to decrease their caffeine intake. The tea contains many healthy antioxidants and minerals, including flavonoids, magnesium, lipoproteins, potassium, and many more. These can help lower one’s chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It can also help lower cholesterol levels.

MATCHA TEA This green tea is made from taking young green tea leaves and grinding them into a powder, which is then whisked with hot water (typical green tea is made by infusing the leaves in water). So, with matcha, you’re actually drinking the leaves—which are very nutritious. Matcha is believed to have cancer-fighting effects, and to help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It is also reported to help lower blood pressure.

GINGER TEA Known for its spicy but sweet flavor, ginger tea has a considerable fan base that continues to grow—and with good reason, as this beverage has a lot of benefits, including helping with motion sickness and nausea. Additionally, ginger tea can help with blood pressure and heart health, and with weight and blood sugar control. Some find it to be a natural pain-reliever. Since it’s caffeine-free, this one can be sipped before going to bed.

CHAI TEA This sweet or spicy tea offers many health benefits. There’s evidence it helps improve heart health, including potentially lowering blood pressure. It’s also been known to help reduce blood sugar levels, and can be good for digestion. Chai tea does contain a good amount of caffeine though, so limit the amount you drink per day.

BLACK TEA Nothing like the classics. Black tea still reigns supreme as the most popular in the world. It can be enjoyed hot or iced, and with or without sugar. Although the southern U.S. has established it as one of its staple beverages, it’s consumed in most every corner of the planet. Fortunately, it’s also packed with benefits—such as improving heart and gut health, lowering bad cholesterol, and improving focus.

CHAMOMILE TEA Last but not least, we have chamomile tea. Known for its calming and relaxing properties, it’s probably the most popular of the herbal drinks. It has a sweet floral flavor and is usually consumed hot. Because of its soothing properties, it’s a great drink to enjoy before bedtime. Some studies have even shown it can help with depression and anxiety symptoms. So, if you ever find yourself in a low or agitated state, try a warm cup of this—it might just provide the comforting properties you need. MAY 2021

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HEALTH &

Wellness

Self-Care That Takes No Extra Time BY SILVER ROSE

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When you hear the term “self-care,” what do you envision? Massages? Jacuzzis? Drinks with umbrellas served while you lie in a hammock? Deep sigh... me, too. But those fantasies don’t do much good when you’re restricted by COVID captivity and beyond busy. Your only self-care is remembering to breathe. So, let’s face reality (aww, do we HAVE to?) and talk about self-care that takes no extra time. You in? Excellent!

These are a few of the tools I’ve learned from therapists, teachers, and books while on my quest to recover from 30 years of depression. I use them every day to stay balanced.

FEED YOUR MIND ONLY WHAT YOU WANT MORE OF In our society, we are obsessed with what we put into our mouths. We think about it, plan for it, and feel guilty

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when we eat something that is pleasurable but “bad for us.” Conversely, we pay scant attention to what we feed our minds! One of the most powerful practices that keeps me from relapsing into depression is that I am extremely careful about what I allow into my mind. I’m inviting you to be equally diligent. It takes no extra time and will result in less stress and more energy. What does “being careful” mean? It goes way beyond taking a break from the news. It’s about bringing the same mindfulness to what you put into your mind as you do to what you put into your mouth. For example, I recently became enamored with the Netflix show Billions. It’s wellwritten, compelling, and Damien Lewis, one of the stars, is


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Imagine walking into an octagonal mirrored room and lying down on a therapeutic bed surrounded by calming music and soft narrowband UV-B lights. As you surrender to whatever experience comes –as you simply BE- for 20 minutes. Phoenix businesswomen, Patricia Duryea, PhD and Jayme Ambrose, DNP RN have brought innovative light and sound therapy to the Valley. Some say it is out of this world. Deep relaxation, improved sleep, decreased stress, decreased depression and decreased anxiety have been reported by those using the Blu Room technology.

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certainly easy on the eyes. I quickly became hooked. Then, I noticed something. My mood was darkening, I was feeling pessimistic, and I was angry. I quickly realized that I despised these people and what they were doing. So, despite the lure of finding out “what happens next,” I stopped watching. My mood lifted immediately. There is a universal principle that goes like this: You get more of what you focus on. Beyond our mere physical bodies, we are energy beings. The energy we put out attracts energy that matches it. I was attracting the dark energy I saw acted out on this show. Knowing where that energy could take me, I opted out. What are you feeding your mind that you could opt out of?

SMILE—ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT Here’s an insider secret: Your brain does not know the difference between pretend and reality. When you smile, your brain gets the message that you are in a good mood and sends feel-good chemicals into your body. Conversely, when you frown, your brain sends those icky, feel-bad chemicals into your body. Which would you prefer? My friend Ginger took care of her father when he was in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease. She recently shared with me that, despite the incredible stress she was under, she remembered my words and would deliberately smile. It didn’t take long at all for her mood to switch from glum to good. She also revealed a side benefit—not only was she calmer, but her father, sensing her mood, would also become more peaceful.

LAUGH Laughter is smiling on steroids. What you may not know is that you don’t need a reason to laugh. You can laugh on cue! Try it when you first awaken, while getting ready for your day, or driving your car (people will just assume there’s something funny on your radio). I don’t recommend laughing when you’re walking alone down the street—they lock people up for that. There are numerous benefits to laughter, but, keeping to the topic of this article, all you need to know is that it is an incredibly effective form of self-care. It will lower your stress level and leave you feeling rejuvenated. Why not trade that stress-inducing TV show for a sitcom or some funny YouTube videos? Your body will thank you. Self-care is important. When you redefine what it means and substitute, at least for the time-being, that massage with a deep belly laugh, you’ll instantly feel better. And, isn’t that the end result you’re looking for?

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HEALTH &

Wellness

Photos courtesy Phoenix Blu Dragon

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Into the Blu

First-of-its-kind light therapy business, Phoenix Blu Dragon, debuts in the Valley BY KYLEY WARREN

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When Pat Duryea, Ph.D., and Jayme Ambrose, D.N.P., R.N., arrived in Arizona 20 years ago, they had a shared dream to impact the lives of others. That dream eventually came to fruition in the form of a medical case management company, Adobe Care and Wellness, in Tempe. Most recently, though, the duo also introduced Phoenix Blu Dragon—a wellness space where light and sound therapy are seamlessly combined for a healing experience.

Light and sound therapy have been used for thousands of years for health and healing benefits. Over 20 years ago, Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D., wrote Light: Medicine of the Future. And the famed innovator, Nikola Tesla, also expressed strong beliefs regarding the science—which D. Vucevic and T. Radosavljevic discussed in their 2016 article, Nikola Tesla and Medicine: 160th Anniversary Revisited—after he declared that electricity was the greatest doctor of all. But with the emergence of modern medicine in the 18th century, many healing modalities were hidden and suppressed. Thanks to spaces like Blu Dragon though, these alternative approaches to wellness are now being reintroduced into mainstream culture.

knowledge and bring stasis to a person’s well-being. The octagonal version of the Blu Room is meant to act as a conduit that bridges ancient and future technologies with invisible forces that balance the energy of the heart and mind. The therapy promotes a feeling of “floating” that taps into the sensations of sound, light, vibrations, and solitariness. Duryea believes that “in the absence of light, there is no life.” Through the thoughtful, healing therapy provided by Blu Dragon, she and Ambrose are shining a new light on the benefits of alternative wellness. Visit www.phxbludragon.com for more information.

“Our drive has always been to create opportunities for others to improve their quality of life and increase their sense of self. As we have worked in the healthcare arena for many years, we know that a shift needs to occur to move from a place of managing diseases to truly focusing on what creates wellness,” says Duryea. “When we contemplated opening the Blu Room, we felt this was a perfect way to increase the shift towards wellness and improve quality of lives.” At Blu Dragon, narrowband UVB light, sound therapy, and sacred geometry are used to support the body’s own MAY 2021

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STYLE

Beauty

The Most Effective Ways To Keep Your Skin Hydrated In The Desert BY MARISSA ABDO, MS, RN, CANS, AND MORGAN RENFRO, RN, CANS, FOUNDERS OF LUMEN + BEVEL AESTHETICS

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Living in a dry climate with low humidity usually leads to dry skin, wrinkles, and a very dull complexion. As temperatures in Arizona hit 90 degrees, it seems as though dehydration is inevitably knocking at our doors. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your skin looking flawless and feeling hydrated throughout the hottest summer months. Drink lots of water: This may sound like a no-brainer, but to properly stay hydrated you should drink an ounce of water for each pound that you weigh, each day. So, 150 pounds = 150 oz. Skin is a living organ, and because it has its own process of breathing, a ton of water is lost to the air through sweat evaporating through our pores. In fact, we sweat out up to a quart of water each day.

build up over time and will leave your skin looking dull and dried out, which means more fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliating also allows products to penetrate the skin better so you are getting the most out of your skincare.

Eat fruits and veggies: Some of the best waterrich foods include cucumber (96% water), tomatoes (95%), spinach (93%), oranges (86%), and apples (85%). These foods keep us hydrated and boost absorption because they’re also full of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Fruits and veggies are also high in antioxidants, so consuming these superfoods add up quickly to provide nourishment for your skin.

Try filler: Hyaluronic Acid (HA) dermal filler is a gel that replaces the volume we lose over time. HA fillers attract volume to help hydrate the skin from a deeper level, lasting longer than topical HA.

Sleep: Our bodies repair when we’re sleeping, and this includes building healthy new skin cells and maintaining collagen. A restful night of six to eight hours of sleep also reduces inflammation, promotes skin health, reduces redness, and preserves collagen structure. Exfoliate: At least one to two times a week, exfoliate to get rid of that topmost layer of dead skin cells. They can

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Use a humidifier: By adding moisture to the indoor air, you help to reduce the occurrence of dry, cracked skin.

Use topical Hyaluronic Acid (HA): HA is a skin plumper by way of its ability to retain moisture by attracting water. It helps to hydrate dry skin, providing a smooth, soft appearance by hydrating fine lines on the skin. A top-notch go-to is SkinMedica HA5. Use a hydrating sunscreen: Ideally, look for SPF 30 or higher and know your skin type. If you have dry skin, look for moisturizing ingredients that enhance luminosity, moisture, and glow, such as Alastin Hydratint, which can be used as a daily foundation.



Gena Lee Nolin Talking with the actress, author, and healthy lifestyle advocate BY MICHELLE GLICKSMAN

Photography by Tracy Ann Battaglia, Fully Alive Photography Photographed on-site at The Scott Resort & Spa Hair by SKW Extensions Styled by VICI Collection

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Actress Gena Lee Nolin is a longtime Scottsdale resident. She is known as much for her days running down a beach in the iconic red bathing suit on Baywatch as she is for being a health advocate and author. Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis herself, she is now a thyroid advocate. She’s also turned towards a healthy lifestyle. Here, she talks about being eco-friendly, helping the planet, her skin care, and her “edible backyard”—yes, even in the desert! You’ve transitioned to a pretty eco-friendly lifestyle over the years. Can you tell us why doing so was important to you? It was a slow progression of awareness, but we’ve seen firsthand what a difference one person, one family, a group of people can do to help our planet. I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy a clean and progressive planet that can make changes for a better life lived. What types of eco-friendly or sustainable changes have you made in your lifestyle? Goodness! (Laughs) We are consciously making an effort to eliminate single-use plastics in our home. We’ve also decided to purchase electric vehicles. While making a considerable difference to our planet, driving eco-friendly cars definitely has its perks. We hear you have an “edible backyard.” What’s back there? Yes! I have an incredible garden. We have eggplants, figs, oranges, lemons, peaches, green and red grapes, key limes, lemons, rosemary, mint, oregano, apples, carrots, kale, cucumbers, and strawberries... I think I got everything! What do you love about being able to forage in your own backyard? There’s nothing like cooking dinner and running out to the garden for a little organic zest. Don’t get me wrong—having a garden takes a lot of work, but when you see the fruits of your labor pay off, there’s truly nothing like it. The simple pleasures in life. I get my children involved and they see firsthand the importance of a garden, composting, keeping it up, and witnessing the seeds they’ve planted turn into big strawberries. It’s so much fun to witness! We hear you also have a celery juice habit! Why did you incorporate that into your routine? Having Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune issues, I’ve found that celery juice has helped immensely. I juice it myself every morning on an empty stomach. It’s takes a while to get used to, but now I can honestly say I look forward to it. In addition to being an actress and author (Beautiful Inside and Out: Conquering Thyroid

Disease with a Healthy, Happy, "Thyroid Sexy" Life), you are a health advocate. Has your own health journey played into your lifestyle changes? One hundred percent! Everything I’ve done in my career has taken me to exactly where I am today. Having thyroid issues for several years [undiagnosed] posed for some really tough times. Working through flare-ups, trying to diagnose myself, starting my Facebook and Instagram support page “Thyroid Sexy”... I learned quickly that I had to change my lifestyle in order to feel my best, and looking good was an afterthought! It actually was the last thing I thought of because I felt so horrid, and anyone out there who suffers from autoimmune disease gets it! Going green and primarily eating plant-based, with the exception of some cheat days of course, has helped me beyond measure. You’ve mentioned in previous conversations that you and I have had that you feel that modeling an eco-friendly/sustainable lifestyle to your children is important—why do you feel that way? It’s so important! Our children pay attention when we least expect it. They’ve seen the changes and heard our discussions. I want them included in everything—their input, how they feel about our planet, what makes them happy, anxious, sad, excited. I am always looking ahead trying to find ways to create a sustainable, eco-friendly environment that ultimately is teaching them a healthy lifestyle while taking care of their true home, planet Earth! To veer from this topic slightly—tell us what you’ve been up to and what’s on the horizon professionally... I’m so excited to be writing my second book. I’m working with a brilliant doctor, Dr. Scott Gerrish, who treats all aesthetics in a holistic way. I love working—it's purpose and my happy place. It’s been a hard year for everyone, and we need to be especially kind and respectful towards one another. Visit @genaleenolin and @thyroid_sexy on Instagram for more about Nolin. For more about Nolin's skin care, contact Dr. Scott Gerrish, 480.651.8110. MAY 2021

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BY DAVID M. BROWN

Anna May Cory: Celebrating 20 Years at Pines Inn & Suites Anna May Cory just changed the name of her Cottonwood lodge to Pines Inn & Suites. Built in 1996 as the 12-room Cottonwood Pines Motel, 920 S. Camino Real, Cottonwood, the acre property is, as she sees it, a boutique getaway. This isn’t the 1950s-style place your parents or grandparents happened to pull into after tiring of driving; Pines Inn & Suites will be one of the highlights of your Arizona adventure. “We’re really a unique family-owned and -operated property with personal, friendly service we pride ourselves on. It just makes sense we would improve our name, logo, and image to match the quality of our product,” she explains. “We are affordable, friendly, and modern.”

This May, her family is celebrating 20 years of ownership. “During that time, we’ve invested time, energy, upgrades, and made countless improvements to make our inn the special place it is,” she says. She has had the parking lot paved, a salt water pool built, and installed the area’s first Tesla charging stations at a lodging venue. In 2008 she remodeled the property, adding 15 units and a lobby area where guests can receive free chilled and filtered water in their refillable bottles, eliminating plastic waste to the landfills or as litter. Because of this and other environmental efforts, the inn is Certified Green by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and Certified Silver by the Sustainability Alliance of Arizona.

The Pines Inn & Suites offers a variety of bedding options. Photo courtesy Pines Inn & Suites

Some of the 26 rooms have kitchenettes. They have a variety of bed sizes, and customers can also select the Apartment or Grand suites. Dogs of all sizes are welcome. While capitalizing the property during the last two decades, she remembered her father’s advice: “He went through the Great Depression and taught me to not spend money I did not have,” she says. “This philosophy has kept us out of debt.” In addition to minding paternal guidance, she had acquired years of business experience before purchasing the inn. Formerly a resident of Lakewood, Ohio, she owned and

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The team at the Pines Inn & Suites is, left to right, Cory Bruening, wife Martha Bruening, and Anna May Cory. Photo courtesy Pines Inn & Suites

operated six health food stores from 1968 to 1985. From her next home in Aspen, Colorado, she also operated a gourmet cheese store from 1978 to 1985. In 1986, she moved to Sedona and owned the Prickly Pear Restaurant from 1989 to 1994, and then managed the Railroad Inn, also in town. In 1998, she moved to Cottonwood to become the general manager of the Verde Canyon Railroad in nearby Clarkdale. After becoming a real estate agent, she learned that the Cottonwood motel was for sale and she saw her destiny. Cottonwood, “The Heart of Arizona Wine Country,” is about an hour-and-a-half north of the Valley, 18 miles west of Sedona, and close to Jerome and Camp Verde. Pines Inn & Suites is just one block from State Highways 260 and 89A, and about an 8-minute drive from vibrant Old Town Cottonwood, with its cafés, restaurants, and wine boutiques, such as Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room on Main Street. In addition, the Verde Valley is known for its vineyards, state parks, hiking, and Tuzigoot National Monument. Other attractions are the Verde Canyon Railroad and Out of Africa. As a family team, she assists with capital improvements and marketing, her daughter-in-law Martha Bruening is the general manager, and Martha's son Cory Bruening oversees much of the back-of-the-house, including software upgrades and maintenance.

“My goal this year is to produce YouTube videos with information about our property, as well as activities here in Cottonwood,” she notes, adding that she is learning about online marketing through the Yavapai College Small Business Makeover. In this business instance and for herself, she continues to learn, remembering always the Albert Einstein maxim: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” She notes: “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses,’ I say, ‘Wow, here’s a chance to grow.’” Three recent Tripadvisor reviews indicate that 20 years of growth-mindedness and hard work is working. Claudia B., for instance, was upgraded to the Grand Suite and noted that “the apartment was spacious, comfortable, and beautifully decorated... and this was an affordable alternative to the expensive Sedona hotels.” Glenda B. and her family were visiting the local national monuments: “This little motel was an unexpected surprise… Super clean… Just right.” And, for Maggie, “The Pines [Inn] was the perfect place to make home base... We will be back.” Visit www.pinesinnandsuites.com for more information. MAY 2021

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Earth and Images team, left to right, Abby Temple, Angelica Ponce, Tanya Alongi, Chris Fulinara, Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, Nikka Bochniak. Photo by Nichole Kathryn Studios

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Isabel Dellinger Candelaria: Earth and Images, and Beauty Isabel Dellinger Candelaria was born and raised in Española, a small city about halfway between Santa Fe and Taos along the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. “It was a beautiful place to grow up. The skies were bright blue, and every sunset was beautiful. I learned early to appreciate nature and to use my imagination,” she recalls. From early on, she liked the outdoors and indoor spaces, too. When she was a girl, she began to consider interiors and imagined how rooms might be improved. “I didn’t figure that out as a career, though, until my 30s,” she notes with a smile. Her mom worked as a med tech, her dad was a logger, and her grandfather owned a sawmill. “They made a lot of beams in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so if you built a home in the Santa Fe area back then, there’s a good chance it had one of our beams,” the Phoenix-based interior designer recalls. She earned a bachelor’s in psychology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. Her senior thesis, Consumer Involvement in a Straw Bale Group Home, combined these passions for the environment and space-creating. “I was obsessed with the straw bale method of construction at the time, so I came up with the idea of having the residents participate in the construction of a care facility,” she recalls. Her concept was similar to that of Habitat for Humanity, although she wasn’t familiar with the home-building group at the time. “Both enrich the lives of the inhabitants through participation and ownership,” she explains. She pitched her idea to the State of New Mexico, which supported funding the project at first. But, because straw bale construction was just beginning and there wasn’t enough documentation that the materials would last, even though there were standing structures more than 100 years old, the State ultimately declined. A Valley resident since 1992, she acquired her Earth and Images firm in 2007. There, she met local architect Mark Candelaria, AIA, in December 2010, through Facebook, then in person for business at her studio. They made it personal soon after, and married three years later at Lake Como in the Villa d’Este. Two years ago, prior to the pandemic, the couple returned to the five-star hotel to celebrate their anniversary and her recovery from breast cancer.

“We’re wired the same way, in that we are always focused on our clients. We want to make them happy,” she says. “And, just because it’s five o’clock, we just don’t turn it off; we’re always working for them. We’re very lucky to have that kind of commonality. We are happily enmeshed.” When she was just getting started, she completed two commercial projects: renewing 32 rooms at the Franciscan Renewal Center on Lincoln Drive and the lobby at Café Valley Bakery in Buckeye. She then added color to three home models in Payson, and followed this with her first residential remodel in Desert Mountain. “Everything took off from there and we have now done more than 60 projects of all styles and sizes,” she says. These include two Barrio Queens, The Herb Box restaurant in Scottsdale, and many residential remodels and new-builds. Her environmental efforts are rooted in common sense. “Wherever we can work with clients to use what they already have, we do. For instance, we might move furniture that clients might be tired of from primary to secondary locations. We might reupholster and fluff up existing soft goods instead of purchasing new. We also repurpose items.” One client had stashed an old dresser from the 1920s in a shaded area. “We had it refurbished into the vanity base for their powder room, and it looks smashing,” she says. “She loves it because it was something meaningful to her, and now it’s in a place where it shows.” Earth and Images applies this to materials as well, saving fuel, packaging, and other costs. “For instance, if we are doing a remodel and can work with existing ceiling heights and designs, we can freshen up existing beams by sandblasting if they are too dark to lighten them up, or to correct an ’80s whitewash by making them the more acceptable wood tone of today’s demand.” Candelaria and her seven associates just moved into a larger studio at 4120 N. 20th St., Ste. B, Phoenix. “The bursts of creativity, the science of figuring out design concepts, and leading my team are what I find so fulfilling about my work. Then our clients take it over the top for me,” she says. “My heart beats to the frequency of beauty. My purpose in life is to create it.” See www.earthandimages.com for more information. MAY 2021

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Ann Siner: A Life’s Purpose Repurposing In 1991, Ann Siner and her sister Jennifer leased a small storefront at Camelback Road and 20th Street in Phoenix. Siner was then-director of marketing for PetSmart.

been a board member at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, and is on the Board of Trustees for both the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Humane Society.

“It took several tries before we found a shopping center that would take a chance with letting in a resale/consignment store,” she recalls. “We had been turned down by several other shopping centers. No one wanted a resale store!”

Green is always fashionable at Eco-Chic.

But that first My Sister’s Closet was well received, so they expanded with other stores and new concepts.

“We are beyond committed to the environment,” she explains. For instance, the stores ban single-use plastics such as plastic bags. Employees are given a refillable Yeti-type water vessel, and the locations all have Elkay filtered-water fountains.

Today, Siner is the CEO of Eco-Chic Consignments Inc., which includes three high-end designer consignment concepts with 11 Arizona and San Diego-area locations: My Sister’s Closet (clothes for women), My Sister’s Attic (home furnishings) and Well Suited (clothes for men). The company also manages a 501c3 thrift store in Chandler, My Sisters’ Charities. Her sister Tess Loo is now a partial owner and chief fashion officer for the company.

“Even though this costs us around $60,000 a year not to use plastic bags, we feel the savings are worth helping the environment and the oceans get rid of plastic,” she says.

Each shop sells consigned items at 60%–90% below retail, and the public has positively responded: Eco-Chic Consignments is now a $30-plus million business with 117 employees.

During 30 years, nonprofits have benefited from generous company donations, including Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, San Diego Humane Society, and Phoenix Art Museum.

“I’m proud to say I’ve never taken out a loan, and we were in the black in the first year of business,” Siner says, noting that she plans to expand web sales, as well as open more brick-andmortar stores in Arizona, California, and possibly new markets. Success is based in keeping to the basics: “We catered to the customer with convenience, we’re open seven days a week, our consignors get paid as soon as their items sell, and no appointment is needed,” she explains. “It was a hit with people ready to clean out their closets.” Says one customer: “I bought a car from the money I made selling my clothes and furniture.” And another: “I paid my rent in 2010 from selling things I really didn’t need when the economy was so bad.” Siner and Loo were born in Colorado Springs. Siner moved to the Valley in the 1980s to attend the Thunderbird Graduate Business School in Glendale. “I got a job in Phoenix after graduating and had to admit I really loved it here,” she says. Loo went to school in Chico, California, and joined the business in 2010 as the visual merchandising and social media manager. Siner enjoys her dogs and cats and loves to hike in the desert. She has served on boards for the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, the Nature Conservancy, and the President’s Council for Defenders of Wildlife. She has also

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The business also promotes full-life-cycle use. “What we can’t sell in our stores, we donate to thrift stores. What they can’t sell is purchased by a bulk buyer,” she adds. “Our goal is to keep toxic materials out of landfills.”

The company has just donated another $100,000 to the Arizona Humane Society as part of a three-year, $1 million commitment for its new Central Campus and Animal Medical Center, which is set to begin construction this year near the juncture of the 202 and 143 freeways in Phoenix. That facility will deliver acute medical and trauma care, behavior rehabilitation, rescue and cruelty investigations, adoption resources, and education programs. Dr. Steven Hansen, Arizona Humane Society (AHS) president and CEO, says, “Ann, Tess, and the team behind Eco-Chic Consignments Inc. are not only an integral part of this community, but their philanthropic generosity has helped transform our community for homeless pets, and for that we are grateful.” Adds Siner: “I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this campaign and I am 100% behind them and everything they do. Animals are my life’s work, and I wanted to really make a difference. “Our donation gets AHS closer to fulfilling the dream of the new campus that will provide care for our most vulnerable pets—the sick, injured, abused, and abandoned—and ultimately save the lives of hundreds of thousands more animals in the process.” Visit www.mysisterscloset.com for more information.


Ann Siner is the founder of My Sister's Attic and its sister stores, My Sister's Closet and Well Suited. Photo by Greggo Photography

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How CNUW is Solving

The Pigeon Paradox At Scottsdale Community College’s campus, conservation biology takes center stage BY ZAC DUNN

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The Pigeon Paradox, as described by Dr. John Weser, executive director of the Center for Native & Urban Wildlife, and originally posited by Dunn et al. (2006), points out that: “People are more likely to take conservation action when they have direct experiences in the natural world, and as conservation efforts shift to cities, people primarily experience nature through contact with urban nature. Therefore, to better support future conservation efforts, it will depend increasingly on people’s interactions with urban ecosystems.”

That’s a foundational philosophy at the Center for Native and Urban Wildlife (CNUW), a division of the biology department at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). Since 2000, the team at CNUW has made it their mission to teach students and the community at large about conservation biology, and the incredible biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert within an urban environment like Scottsdale. The SCC campus serves as a refuge for several threatened and endangered species. These include fish like the desert pupfish and Gila topminnow, plants like the Huachuca water umbel and Arizona eryngo (members of the carrot family), and even some of Arizona’s signature protected species like the desert tortoise and Gila monster. CNUW uses these “ambassadors” to further connect people with nature through direct interactions. To support these and other species, CNUW intentionally and actively uses “wildscaping” at SCC’s campus, which “promotes using native plants whenever possible to support and attract native wildlife,” says Natalie Case, education

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programs developer at CNUW. “The idea is that our native wildlife are already adapted to and attracted by native plants...The campus has become our wildlife demonstration garden. It's more than that—it's an outdoor classroom; a living classroom.” That classroom has become a beacon of biodiversity to over 35,000 elementary school students since CNUW’s community education outreach program began in 2002. SCC students who participate in CNUW’s conservation efforts are encouraged to lead these field trips, which introduce fourth-graders to the basics of biodiversity and the unique nature of the Sonoran Desert. “The idea is that whenever you can communicate or teach a subject to someone, that’s when you learn it the best,” says Weser on the importance of students leading those tours. Weser goes on to describe the variety of projects CNUW is involved in that provide students with firsthand experiences dealing with the unique challenges and attributes of our


Sonoran Desert home. CNUW’s projects are as diverse as the animals and plants they study, and many recruit undergraduate students who would otherwise not have the opportunity for hands-on research until later in their academic careers. Those include: • Tracking burrowing owl populations on campus and assisting with the construction and maintenance of artificial burrows. • Propagation of native plants for restoration efforts around the Valley. • Developing a method for studying the pollination and nesting behaviors of over 1,000 species of bees. • Seasonal research and citizen science projects with partner organizations from across the state. It’s not only elementary school students visiting SCC either, as the commitment to wildscaping coupled with the campus’s unique location in Phoenix has made it a birdwatching hotspot, with over 140 species of visiting birds. Case reiterates the importance of fauna-focused pruning, pointing out that by rejecting more aesthetically focused landscaping—which would prune away the thick and lush understory vegetation that many birds need for cover— plants are left wilder to better suit the needs of the animals.

Like everything else, CNUW faced pandemic-posed challenges throughout 2020. Case remembers the early days of the pandemic when it was unclear if staff would be allowed on campus to care for the animals, and the team frantically delegated who would be taking chuckwallas and tarantulas home with them. Fortunately, they were able to continue to attend to the needs of the campus’s plants and animals while following CDC guidelines, and Case says that with less foot traffic around campus, even more growth and diversity have thrived over the last year. That includes a surprising herd of cactus wrens and a kaleidoscope of Western monarch butterflies, the latter of which are quickly approaching endangerment. Now, as a return to normalcy seems imminent, Case is looking forward to welcoming back students who she says have “been champing at the bit” to return and lend a hand. It will also mean they can re-start their community outreach programs and so continue their mission of educating Phoenicians and protecting the wildlife we share our home with. To learn more about how you can take part in CNUW’s numerous programs, visit https://cnuw.scottsdalecc.edu/. After all, urban biodiversity is about much more than pigeons. Note: There is no relation between the author of this article and the co-author of The Pigeon Paradox: Dependence of Global Conservation on Urban Nature, Robert R. Dunn.

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Life

RV in an


One of Green Living’s monthly contributors has been living in an RV, traveling the country. Here is her story BY KAREN LANGSTON

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Have you ever just wanted to pick up everything, and hit the open road and wander North America? We had never thought about it, and then, in the blink of an eye, we did it.

Although we didn’t know what we were doing, we said yes to this adventure. Three months later, we sold our home, auctioned off our car and all of our worldly possessions, and moved into our 45-foot luxury motorcoach. Looking back, I was terrified—and then, liberation set in. I can not believe how free I feel. My husband and I both grew up camping, so it’s not like this was completely foreign to us, but, full-time? We both have had virtual businesses for years, so all we really needed was WiFi. There were things that took some time to find, like the world's smallest printer, scanner, and paper shredder—and, figuring out each other's schedules so that we would not both be on a conference call at the same time. Sometimes it is unavoidable, so I am in the bedroom while he is in the living room, or I am at a local coffee shop. I love scouting out local coffee shops. Being completely green, I turned to Facebook groups, and learned a ton. I learned some lingo like “boondocking,” which means, parking somewhere where you are not connected to anything. On Bureau of Land Management areas or national park land (where allowed), boondocking is known as dispersed camping. If you are connected to shore power, it means you are plugged into electricity. Full hookups mean electrical, water, and sewer. And, let’s talk about the black hose. As a healthy gut advisor who talks about poop all day, it was assumed, like the kitchen, that this would be mine to master. Instead of flushing a toilet and never having to think about where it goes, in an RV, it goes into a holding tank. Eventually that has to be emptied. Thus, once the black water hose is connected to the park's handy sewer connection, you pull the valve open on the RV and pray the connection is tight! We have had some mishaps; a “sewer pig” full of water is super helpful to hold the hose down. I have a whole new appreciation for the sanitation department! Our maiden voyage was Jan. 1, 2020. We left Arizona for Nevada, keeping close to Arizona in case we needed some help from relatives. We landed in Nevada, with a steering fluid leak. This required a week-long wait for parts and then repair. One thing I have learned is that the RV life is about upkeep and constant repairs.

Waiting for parts means either being kept in a nice beautiful park, or living in a bay with no windows. Trying to find good repair service is interesting because you know absolutely no one, and have to rely on reviews. When you get the right repair guy, you get him to fix everything. We stayed in Oklahoma for two months while Joe fixed everything—he was that good! Has it been worth it? It is still the best decision we ever made. Even my cats of 13 years love the open road. (OK, well, maybe not in the beginning.) Due to the COVID-19 virus lockdown, there were some states that made it clear we were not welcomed, yet there were just as many accommodating states. Honestly, I do not feel greatly affected by the lockdown, other than not having a coffee shop to use their WiFi. My lockdown was looking out over an ocean or a forest where social distancing is a natural state. In fact, because of COVID-19 and lockdowns, RV sales and rentals for 2020 were over one billion dollars, more than any other year in history. Would I do it again? Heck, yes! I would have done it sooner. We have met so many wonderful people, and some have become close friends. I have been gently lulled to sleep by ocean waves, watched dolphins play in the bay, and been surrounded by deer, turkey, lakes, creeks, and forests. I have taken early morning walks in fields lit only by moonlight, watched fireflies dance over a creek, and witnessed the most incredible sunrise and sunsets and every day. I smell the fresh air, dirt, and pine trees. I am currently writing this from Acworth, Georgia, in a little local historical bookstore and coffee shop, watching the train roll by. Two years ago I became a U.S. citizen. I remember thinking that I wanted to learn more about this great country. I had no idea it would be exploring the quirky, the weird, enjoying the local flavors of small towns, and hiking in sacred places or historical battlefields. It is truly a wonderful way to see America and all its glory. If this sparks a passion deep inside, act upon it. Rent an RV and go and adventure for at least two weeks to see how you like it. Or, just do what we did, say yes on a whim, don’t think about, and just do it. There are tons of people with similar stories just waiting to share with you on the open road.

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Mother's Day Gift Guide e

Matcha.com Know someone into health & wellness? Matcha.com can be your one-stop-shop for all gifting. Matcha is an emerald infusion of calming energy, plus it tastes delicious! It is sourced and approved by co-founder Dr. Andrew Weil. Use promo code GREENLIVING at checkout.

Beet Kvass Beet kvass is a fermented beet tonic made up of natural probiotics and the nutritional power of beets. It helps boost the immune system, curbs sugar cravings, increases mental clarity, cleanses the blood, combats fatigue, and maximizes physical performance. Order from it from Garden Goddess at www.pickupthebeet.com, and follow the company on Instagram and TikTok at @ggferments.

Burn Candle The soy wax candles from Burn Candle, a Phoenix-based boutique home fragrance company, are created with one goal in mind—to provide a great sensory experience at a reasonable price. Each candle is hand poured using 100% advanced soy wax harvested entirely from crops in the U.S., as well as unique blends of fragrances and essential oils. Visit www.burncandles.co and enter promo code MOM2021 at checkout to receive free shipping through the end of May.

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SAVOR

Lifestyle

How to Begin Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet 5 tips to get you started

BY DR. VIKKI PETERSEN, CERTIFIED CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST, CHIROPRACTOR AND FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DOCTOR

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Plant-based diets reduce inflammation, the lynchpin of most degenerative diseases killing Americans. If done correctly, a plant-based diet is satisfying, energizing, mentally balancing, and a good way to shed extra pounds.

Often, individuals are afraid to begin because they assume they will stop enjoying food and they will feel hungry all the time. In fact, cravings will actually go away on a plant-based diet and, with some effort, food is incredibly satisfying. Here, five tips to get you started on a plant-based diet.

1. START SLOW Begin your plant-based journey with one day each week where you forgo animal-derived products. “Meatless Mondays” actually evolved from this idea. Make sure that you eat enough and include healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and healthy oils so that you are not left feeling “hangry.” Think a whole day is too much? Start with a single meal and go from there. 2. IDENTIFY YOUR FAVORITE PLANT-BASED FOODS Be sure to identify some plant-based foods that you already enjoy. Include the fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes you have eaten and found enjoyable. Then, add the animal-based dishes that are your favorites to your list, so that you can begin to research plant-based alternatives. As an example, “tuna pasta” was a family favorite that we now make completely plant-based—and everyone agrees it is better than the original! 3. PLAN AHEAD Plan ahead for your meals and educate yourself on what a meal with adequate protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates looks like. If you enjoy cooking, this journey is much easier for you. Find online resources for recipes and ideas for substituting plant-based products into your meals. A patient who was convinced he could “never” enjoy coffee again without cream is now in love with a coconut-based creamer. On my website, www.rootcausemedicalclinics.com, we also offer hundreds of plant-based recipes and healthy substitutions for animal products.

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4. GET HELP FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES If you dislike cooking, find restaurants, grocery stores, or food services that can assist you. There are reasonably priced food services that provide step-by-step cooking instructions, or better yet, fully prepared meals for every meal and snack of your day. It is a personalized choice you need to make, but you must prepare your food options to make the transition successful. 5. ALWAYS AIM FOR HIGH QUALITY When you do eat an animal-based product, ensure it is of the highest quality. Organic, free-range, grass-fed meats and dairy, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, etc. Eating only the highest-quality animal products will provide higher nutritional value, and they will also be less inflammatory because they have not been fed GMO foods, eaten pesticides, or been given antibiotics (hopefully). Eating such cleaner animals will align well with the nutrition you are receiving from your plant-based diet, and you will enjoy improved health and vitality.


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SAVOR

Recipes

Chimi Cheeseburger

RECIPE AND PHOTO COURTESY OF GUACSTAR, WWW.GUACSTAR.COM SERVES 1

1 Impossible meat patty 1 Follow Your Heart cheese slice 2 oz. Rajas 2 oz. Southwest Sauce 5 g Fry Spice 1 10-inch tortilla Season both sides of the burger with Fry Spice and place on the flat top at 350°. Sear both sides of the burger for 2 minutes each. Warm the 10” tortilla on the flat top for 10 seconds, and then place on the cutting board. Place 2 oz. of Southwest Sauce directly in the center of the tortilla. Place one slice of American cheese directly in the center followed by the Rajas. Place the burger on top of the Rajas and then begin folding. Fold the burger with the tortilla making a hexagon shape. Place the burger into the chimi basket and fry at 375° for 3 minutes. Set the burger on a plate, and slice the burger in half.

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Beyond Beef Buddha Bowls RECIPE AND PHOTO COURTESY OF BEYOND MEAT, WWW.BEYONDMEAT.COM SERVES 4

1 lb. Beyond Beef® 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp.) ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ cup soy sauce 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 1 Tbsp. sesame oil ½ cup plant-based mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. sriracha 1 Tbsp. lime juice 4 cups cooked brown rice 1 cup kimchi 1 cup shredded purple cabbage ½ cucumber, sliced into half-moons 1 avocado ½ cup sliced green onion 4 tsp. sesame seeds

Start by preheating a pan over medium-high heat, add the Beyond Beef, and break into quarter-sized crumbles. Let cook for 8 minutes or until a crunchy crust starts to form on the outside of the crumbles. While the Beyond Beef is cooking, whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Once the Beyond Beef gets crunchy, turn the heat to low and add the sauce mix you just created. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and coated the Beyond Beef. In a separate bowl, make the spicy aioli by combining the plant-based mayonnaise, sriracha, and lime juice. Assemble the bowls by scooping 1 cup brown rice, ¼ cup kimchi, ¼ cup purple cabbage, ¼ of the sliced cucumber, and ¼ of the avocado into each bowl. Garnish each bowl with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

For more recipes and food-related articles, visit www.greenlivingmag.com/savor

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TRAVEL

Getaways

3 Girlfriend Getaways You Need to Take BY MICHELLE GLICKSMAN

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Whether it’s a glamping experience or a pampering experience, gather your top girlfriends and recharge at these great getaways.

GET READY TO GLAMP At The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms, find glamping at its finest. Grab your girlfriends and settle in amidst a beautiful peach farm and a view of the San Tan Mountains in your own refurbished vintage Airstream trailer. Mind you, these are no stripped-down trailers. These cute refurbished vintage options are outfitted with plush bedding, flat screen televisions, new air conditioning units, nice bathrooms, microwaves, Keurig coffee machines, real grass front yards with brick porches, patio furniture, individual fire pits, and barbecue propane grills. “It’s the perfect girlfriend getaway,” says Carrie Schnepf, owner of Schnepf Farms. “You can just be girls. You can each have your own private Airstream.” The Airstreams range from a 1948 Spartan Manor to a 1950 Spartan Mansion to a 1955 Terry Pullman Train. There are

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also 1969 Airstream Ambassadors, a 1972 Airstream Land Yacht, and more. At The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms, there is plenty to do beyond those girlfriend chats. Grab a bike and go bike riding, hang out by the bonfires, barbecue, get a massage, enjoy a picnic lunch or farm-to-table dinner, hang out in the secret library, and explore the garden or bakery. “Ride your bikes to the garden to pick your own veggies or make flower arrangements,” Schepf recommends. “Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner followed by wine and cheese while you sit around a bonfire sharing your stories, and in the morning, enjoy breakfast and an early morning massage.” Visit www.glamping.com for more information.


GET REVITALIZED AT THIS RETREAT Recharge with your girlfriends during a Revitalization Retreat at L’Auberge de Sedona, a luxury resort tucked into Sedona’s famed red rock canyons on the banks of Oak Creek. The mindful and restorative-centric retreat offers daily transformative workshops, mindful practices, and opportunities to explore Sedona. It is helmed by Professional Life Coach and Soul-Centered Facilitator Donna Bond, as well as a skilled group of practitioners and healers. Together, they guide guests throughout a 4-night, 5-day experience and offer the coaching, tools, and activities necessary to make intentional and sustainable changes to have a positive and lasting impact on participants’ overall health and wellbeing. The Revitalization Retreat includes accommodations for four nights, three daily meals, and three spa treatments throughout the retreat. Upcoming retreat dates include June 20-24, July 25-29, Aug. 22-26, and Dec. 5-9. Visit www.lauberge.com for more information.

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HEAD TO TAHOE Those looking to get out of town can venture to Edgewood Tahoe, a leader in the wellness hospitality space. Located along South Lake Tahoe’s blue waters and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the luxury property offers healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Wake up and take advantage of the property’s daily morning après sleep cart, created with an array of offerings designed to open sleepy eyes, enliven both the body and mind, and fuel an adventurous day ahead. Mindful mountain yoga can be enjoyed lakefront, in addition to soothing, wellness-forward treatments at the property’s Spa Edgewood. There’s also a curated picnic that can be enjoyed while taking in the scenery of Lake Tahoe—a perfect lazy meal

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where you can catch up on each others’ lives. Or, join Edgewood Tahoe for a guided nature walk experience that winds through the golf course’s trails and concludes at the Champagne Chalet featuring Veuve Clicquot. Located near the 10th hole of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, the Champagne Chalet is a charming and retro-inspired, intimate bar with outdoor seating and gourmet specialty bites. Cheers to friendship! If you visit on May 14, watch as the sustainability-focused property hosts and participates in Clean Up the Lake, a 72-mile underwater clean-up, along with the Tahoe-based nonprofit that is focused on scuba dive clean-ups, beach and community clean-ups, and waste reduction strategies in the Lake Tahoe Region. Visit www.edgewoodtahoe.com for more information.


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TRAVEL

Entrepreneur

KCA Staff. Photo courtesy KCA

A Veteran Female Business Owner Invests in Young College Graduates BY CHRISTINE VOGT

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An angle of sustainability is ensuring there are generations of professional leaders and innovators. As director of a research center at Arizona State University, I was tasked with starting an advisory board for the Center for Sustainable Tourism and our tourism degree programs.

To do this, I considered who was speaking in our classes to motivate college students, who was giving our students an opportunity to intern, and who was employing our students after graduation. The answers to all those questions was Kate Christensen, a female tourism entrepreneur extraordinaire.

THE WOMAN Christensen is an Arizona female business owner and has been working “on” and working “in” her business for nearly 30 years. Katherine Christensen & Associates, Inc. (KCA) was established in May 1992 as a home-based business. In just eight years, she and her early employees outgrew the space and she purchased (not leased) her first building. In

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the years since, she has renovated the space many times over—but remains operating at that very address in Chandler, Arizona. Christensen’s team has grown to 24 people (mostly Arizona State University (ASU)/University of Arizona (UofA) interns and grads); many having some serious tenure and have earned their way to managerial and directorship positions. Christensen is proud of that human investment into Arizona university graduates, and over the years, the firm has been successful because KCA is able to make decisions and pivot quickly and easily (a hint for a business survival tactic).


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KCA manages nonprofit professional and trade associations. The travel piece with association management is planning meetings and events for the associations, as well as managing other corporate and government meetings and events. Some of those events are booked and staged in Arizona; others move to various states or countries per the client’s needs. Christensen loves the planning. The real gratification is seeing the planning come alive at the event and being on-site and seeing the product of KCA’s team work, she says.

THE SECRETS TO BEING A LEADER I asked Christensen what shaped her as a leader. She shared with me that it was a variety of positions, including serving our country in the U.S. Air Force, educational opportunities such as graduating from ASU’s Executive Business Program in 1990, and professional experiences working for other companies. It is from these life-shaping influences that she crafted her own company. Another secret ingredient to her own company’s successes was joining Meeting Planners International (MPI) and being involved in committee and board work. She rose to the top of MPI as the association’s president in 1996 to 1997, and remains involved as a member and national and international conference attendee. Local involvement also shaped Christensen and her business. She became very active with the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC-West) as a member and volunteer, and also led the Council. The Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce is another local group where Christensen gave of her time and talents. Once again, she joined the board, and she chaired the Chamber. Her mantra is “to move over to allow others to move up.” She encourages her employees to participate in the industry and community in order to develop Katherine Christensen themselves. Her staff has learned from Christensen the value of participation, accountability, compassion, and simply helping those in need. Today, the KCA team participates annually with the Salvation Army’s Angel drive and uses its planning talents to package, coordinate, organize, and distribute the gifts at holiday time.

A POINT OF PRIDE FOR A FEMALE BUSINESS OWNER AND LEADER Christensen prides herself on being a stable employer and team-oriented owner. This means providing opportunities for her team of talented employees, and attracting and retaining

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wonderful long-term commitments. She always speaks about her team and includes them in everything. Christensen is grateful for all of them through the years, and as she readily admits, she could not do it alone. It isn’t “her” business, Christensen says, “It is OUR business.”

MANAGING THROUGH COVID Travel, tourism, and event management have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Christensen recognized the challenges and used a tactic of listing and examining the challenges as they unfolded, and then found solutions and strategies to overcome the challenges. Besides the possible loss of clients and their association management contracts, the larger challenge was the eradication of in-person meetings. According to Christensen, her business has thrived because “people need to see, laugh with, and learn from each other in person.” KCA already had experience with two international association clients holding meetings via technology. In March 2020, most clients were reviewing their needs and concluding they needed to continue to deliver member services via technology. KCA had a solution in place and seamlessly rolled into this new era of remote staff and “Zooming.” Christensen says the KCA team cannot wait to get back out there with in-person meetings and events to fuel their souls—after all, that is what they love doing.

HER FINAL ADVICE TO WOMEN SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM Christensen has mentored many young entrepreneurs over her nearly 30 years in business and tees them up for success. To sustain a business, an owner and its employees need to have the thirst, the hunger, and the desire to work hard. Rarely is an entrepreneur a 40- or 50-hour-per-week worker. And as an owner, Christensen is thinking about, working on, or planning ahead all the time. For the younger entrepreneur, she suggests that they have to not only have the passion and skill for what they want to do, but also immediately understand that only 50% of their time will be involved with client or project servicing. As the owner, the remaining is working on the business functions, including accounting, banking, and cash flow, marketing, human relations, technology, database management, registrations, licensing, insurance, taxes, and so much more. Her final point is, “Lucky are the few who can navigate through the periods of growth, recessions, or pandemics.”


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TECHNOLOGY

Transportation

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Electrifying the Future SRP rewards electric vehicle purchases with $1,000 rebate BY KYLEY WARREN

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In March of this year, Salt River Project (SRP) introduced the “Plug in and Save Rebate,” which aims to offer a $1,000 rebate to residential customers who are purchasing or leasing a new plug-in electric vehicle (EV) from a Valley dealership.

The pilot program is a part of SRP’s greater mission to drive Arizona towards a more sustainable future by increasing the number of EVs on the road. The utility company is working under an ambitious sustainability goal to support the adoption of 500,000 EVs on the road by 2035—a large increase from the reported 20,000 EVs that are currently registered in SRP service territory in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area. Catherine O’Brien, electric vehicle lead in SRP's Sustainability Policy & Programs department, says that the inspiration for the pilot campaign was born out of a mission to help restart Arizona’s local economy off on the right foot.

“Over this last year, there was a huge hit to the economy. And while we [SRP] already had certain customer programs in place, we wanted to look at the ways that we could help the economy recover faster by identifying different types of potential EV initiatives that tied in with our EV strategy and corporate goals,” says O’Brien. Only residential customers who purchase or lease a qualified new plug-in EV on or after February 15, 2021 from Valleybased car dealerships are eligible for the rebate. In an effort to truly incentivize the company’s EV push for the future, SRP is also offering $250 off of a Level 2 charger when it’s purchased from SRP's marketplace.

And according to O’Brien, the EV rebate is set to be available through the end of the year, or at least until program funds have been depleted. “We plan to survey and really understand what the motivations are for any customers who participate in this rebate program. And hopefully this type of incentive will provide a lot of opportunity for us to learn what factors a customer considers when choosing to either purchase or not purchase an electric vehicle.” Looking ahead, EV strategies and initiatives will undoubtedly be a central priority for SRP in the coming years. “This is really a great time to start adopting electric vehicles— there's been a lot of different studies which have reported a huge improvement in air quality when this pandemic first happened, and there were less cars traveling on the road. I think, because of that, this is really a great time to ask: 'Why should we bring those pollution levels back up, when we can just move forward in trying to maintain it or make it better with the reduction in tailpipe emissions from from the adoption of electric vehicles?'" For more information, visit www.srpnet.com/ev.

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She’s GREEN He’s GREEN BY JENNIFER & JOHN BURKHART

Supermarket Showcase We love that there are so many organic food options in our local grocery stores nowadays! The best is when you find great-tasting food in a store brand, because who doesn't love to save money? Well, this month we decided to grab organic store-brand food items, from five different stores. We present... the Supermarket Showcase!

Natural Grocers organic popcorn, movie theater butter

Good & Gather Organic (Target)

O Organics (Safeway)

london fog tea latte

mint chocolate chip ice cream

He said: The fog in London tastes like this?! Pack up the house—we’re moving. I've always loved a good English Earl Grey, with that malty black tea and citrus bergamot flavors… mmm-mmm. The lavender in this London fog pushes this from tasty to heavenly. Heat it piping hot, add a splash of cream, grab a pastry and a book, and you'll know what I mean.

He said: Oh no, they've found my kryptonite! Ice cream is my weakness. It's the one thing that I can't seem to say no to. And, this mint chip was super smooth and minty, with some nice semi-sweet chocolate bits mixed in. Should I have another bowl? Yes, I think I will.

She said: Oh my, what is happening here? This has the potential to replace my morning coffee! (Did I just say that out loud?) I'm not a huge tea fan, but this one was so delicious mixed with oat milk. I loved the delicate notes of lavender and bergamot.

She said: Oooh, super creamy and sweet! And the chocolate chunks actually tasted like the real thing, not the hard-as-rocks, flavorless waxy-bits I've had before. I would have loved a more intense mint flavor, but overall it was still a yummy treat!

He said: What movie theaters have these guys been going to? This was some dollar-theater, been-sitting-there-all-day popcorn. The popcorn was full of shells and hulls, and the flavor was off by a slightly sweet, powdered milk-like taste. I could taste what they were going for, and I'll give them props for attempting it, but this was no movie theater popcorn.

She said: I'll be the first to admit that I love movie theater popcorn. Yep, those (likely) GMO, chemically flavored/colored poofs! I figure it can be an indulgence the 1-2 times a year us parents actually get to see the inside of a movie theater. So, did Natural Grocers really create the organic equivalent? Sadly, no. Loved the real ingredients—didn't love the super salty/ hint of dairy flavor.

Simple Truth Organic (Fred Meyer) buffalo chicken tenders He said: This was another Goldilocks food item. We cooked them the max recommended time and they came out soft on the outside. Popped them back in for a minute and they were dry on the inside. Which means there was a 10-30 second window where they were perfect. I thought the buffalo flavor was pretty weak too, but our boys loved them, so I can't knock them down too far.

She said: These were a bit of a let-down. They weren't pieces of chicken, but more of a ground-up and smashed into a “tender” shape. I didn't like the texture of the meat, nor did they crisp up enough (had to broil the crud out of them!) The package said “mild,” and they truly were not spicy at all. I could taste “buffalo” seasoning and garlic, which were both great, but I gotta have some of that hot stuff, baby!

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GREEN

Scenes

May Events Throughout Arizona

CENTRAL ARIZONA May 21-30 Arizona Restaurant Week Explore your favorite local restaurants or try something new during Arizona Restaurant Association’s Arizona Restaurant Week. Diners can explore the culinary talent that exists throughout the state by feasting on menu items specifically dedicated to the 10-day event. Three-course prix fixe meals are available for $33 or $44. Visit www.arizonarestaurantweek.com for more information and a list of participating restaurants. T. Cook's

BUSINESS

May 5

May 13-June 24

Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández

Restaurant Startup Boot Camp Join Local First AZ for a six-week Restaurant Startup Boot Camp to learn about starting and growing a career in food entrepreneurship. Participants will learn about food safety, business planning, purchasing, and managing food operations. The program meets once every Thursday from 8-10 a.m., and costs $250. Visit www.localfirstaz.com/events to learn more.

AZSA Sustainable Food Systems Monthly Meeting The Arizona Sustainability Alliance is hosting its monthly meeting to discuss food system sustainability. Attendees will hear about some of the work that AZSA is working on its Sustainable Food Systems Priority, and how they can help with the projects. The meeting will be held online. Visit www.azsustainabilityalliance. com/events/?eid=13509 to join the meeting.

Every Wednesday, Wonderland hosts a volunteer day to welcome community members to its one acre of land in Mesa. Volunteers will learn how to garden by working with the land and will also have the opportunity to grow their own fruit trees. The volunteer days begin at 9 a.m. and end around 5 p.m. Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/ volunteer-day-at-wonderland-tickets-149237819335?aff=ebdssbd estsearch to sign up.

May 22 Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race

May 27 Sip & Connect Join the Arizona Green Chamber and Green Living magazine for the Sip & Connect networking series. Connect with other business owners throughout Arizona and share your own experiences from your business this year. Bring your favorite beverage for a fun evening of networking and chatting. The event will take place from 5-6:15 p.m. Visit www.azgreenchamber.org/ page-1292644 to register to attend.

GREEN LIVING

May 5, 12, 19, 26 Volunteer Day at Wonderland

May 20

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a lively mariachi performance at the Madison Center for the Arts, featuring the Grammy-nominated mariachi band, Sol de México®. Experience the band’s energizing music, rich cultural expression, and unique rhythms and sounds. The performance begins at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $30. Visit www.themadison.org for more information.

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Join Rugged Maniac in this mud-filled fun-for-all with trampolines, water slides, and fire jumps. The 3-mile course is packed with loads of crazy obstacles designed to make everyone have some fun. When not competing on the course, participants, their friends and families can enjoy live DJ music, interactive games, and lots of food. Visit www.ruggedmaniac.com/events/phoenix/ to register.


NORTHERN ARIZONA

SOUTHERN ARIZONA

May 1

May 2

Root Camp: Why Organic Gardening?

Children’s Day Festival

Join Warner’s Nursery over Zoom or in-person to learn about the benefits of organic gardening and how to start your own organic garden. This hour-long class will teach attendees about sustainability, water conservation, soil health, and eco-friendly fertilizers and pesticides. The class begins at 10 a.m. Visit https:// warnercompanies.com/event/why-organic-gardening/ to register.

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson is hosting the annual celebration of the Children’s Day Festival in honor of the Japanese national holiday. This Japanese holiday celebrates the health and happiness of their children. The festival will feature a Taiko Drum performance, Kamishibai storytelling, origami, and fan/lantern painting. Visit www.yumegardens.org/upcomingevents to register to attend.

May 8 & 22

May 8

Bird Walks at the Arboretum at Flagstaff

Tucson Train Day

Beginning May 1, the Arboretum at Flagstaff is opening for the season and is beginning new socially distanced tours on its grounds. The Bird Walks take 10 participants through the arboretum in search of some of the beautiful bird species that call Arizona home. All Bird Walks begin at 7:30 a.m. Make sure to have your camera ready! Make a reservation at https://thearb. org/calendarofevents/.

The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is celebrating the 141st anniversary of the railroad first arriving in Tucson. The celebration will take place in front of Locomotive #1673, and will include woodworking demonstrations, toy train operations, children’s activities, and visits to the trains. Train souvenirs like T-shirts, books, toy trains, and more will be available for purchase. Visit www.visittucson.org/event/tucson-train-day for more information.

May 26-30 5-Day Arcosanti Experience Week Become acquainted with Arcosanti’s unique environment and architecture through this five-day, immersive experience where participants will live among Arcosanti residents. Each day is filled with fun and educational activities that will bring participants closer to nature and the community. Participants will join in on potluck dinners, learn about ceramic silt casting, adventure through the desert on guided nature hikes, learn about Arcosanti’s sustainable technologies, and much more. Visit https://shop.arcosanti.org/products/copy-of-5-day-experienceweek?variant=38275022553267 for more information.

May 15-16 Willcox Wine Country Spring Festival The Willcox Wine Country Festival, held in the historic railroad park in Willcox, will feature 15 of Arizona’s best wineries and over 30 craft vendors. This weekend-long celebration will bring together people from all over the state with tasty drinks, live music, and good vibes. The event opens daily at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Visit https://willcoxwinecountry.org/event/willcoxwine-country-spring-festival/ to purchase tickets.

May 29 4th Annual Wine, Beer & Spirits Fest Sierra Vista is hosting its 4th annual wine, beer, and spirits fest this month, featuring top wineries, craft breweries, and craft distilleries in Arizona. While there is no charge to enter the event at Veterans Memorial Park, tickets available for purchase include a wine glass and 10 wine tasting tickets. Bring your friends and family for a relaxing and fun-filled day with food, drinks, and music at this grassy venue. More information is available at https://visit.sierravistaaz.gov/wine-fest/.

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