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feel good • live simply • laugh more





Education for a Sustainable World


ECOTRANSPORTATION Cars & Mass Transit Go Electric

APRIL 2013 | West Michigan Edition | never glossy – always green

natural awakenings

April 2013



West Michigan Edition

contents 10

5 newsbriefs 10 healthbriefs

12 globalbriefs

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

1 7 inspiration


18 healthykids

Saving Nature’s Wild Symphony


by Bernie Krause

12 22 healingways 18 PARK IT HERE 28 fitbody Exploring America’s National Treasures 32 naturalpet 33 consciouseating 22 BAREFOOTIN 34 greenliving Reap Earth’s Energy 22 40 calendar 44 naturaldirectory 24 THE NEXT LEVEL Education for a More 47 classifieds Sustainable World by S. Alison Chabonais


by Debra Melani

advertising & submissions How to Advertise

by Linda Sechrist


To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-656-9232 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

Mental Imagery Boosts Performance

News Briefs & article submissions


Email articles to: Deadline for articles is the 5th of the month prior to publication. Submit News Briefs online at Deadline for news briefs is the 12th of the month prior to publication.

by Debra Melani


Liver and Adrenal Issues Share Symptoms by Dr. Shawn Messonnier

calendar submissions Submit Calendar Events online at: Calendar deadline is the 15th of the month prior to publication.



Tech Advances May Drive Eco-Transportation Mainstream

If you enjoyed this magazine and would like to know where you can pick up a free copy in your area, please contact us at 616656-9232 or email us at:

by Brita Belli

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Beyond our full “carbon neutral” digital issue each month... Check us out and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook! Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings of West Michigan


EARTH DAY Go Green at Parks and Other Community Events natural awakenings

April 2013




ur family has been so busy assembling the Natural Awakenings Annual Directory, now available for you to pick up at hundreds of distribution spots around town, that we have had few opportunities to enjoy winter’s wonderland. So, with warmer weather about to spring forth, we decided to head north for a last week of snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, and skiing. After satisfying our craving, we happily returned home and are now looking forward to hiking and biking Michigan’s country roads and trails studded with summer’s wildflowers. Our state is so great.

contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Assistant Publisher Amanda Merritt Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings 484 Sunmeadow Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Phone: 616-656-9232

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2013 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

Committed to Sustainability Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Each turn of season seems to renew a sense of fresh starts. Our dog Thai loves the fact that he can leave his hibernation spot under the bed covers and get outside for daily walks. Seriously, when temperatures drop, we only see him come out to eat and take care of business; I’ve rarely met a lazier pooch. Extra ounces due to this laidback approach to winter add up on a fivepound Chihuahua. Thankfully, warmer days bring a new workout program as Thai gladly puts his olfactory senses into outdoor overdrive. He loves hiking and biking with us and we love how he adds to the fun. Part of our family’s recent busyness revolved around the expo season and we want to thank all that have stopped by to see us at the many events in which we’ve invested our hearts. It raises our spirits every time we hear, “Oh, we love your magazine” or “We pick up a copy every month.” We immensely appreciate our loyal readers and are excited to greet new fans at every event. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, we will again be participating in many local events honoring the occasion. Be sure to check out our special Earth Day events calendar, on page 40. A Cree people proverb reminds us well: “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” Here’s to celebrating Earth Day every day!

Amy, Kyle & Thai Never Glossy. Always Green. Natural Awakenings practices environmental sustainability by printing on post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink. This choice avoids the toxic chemicals and high energy costs of producing shiny, coated paper that is hard to recycle.


West Michigan Edition

newsbriefs 17th Annual Speaker Series


he Wege Foundation announced the speaker for its 17th Annual Wege Speaker Series will be Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda, Dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment and a national expert on children’s environmental health. Dr. Miranda’s pioneering work uses mapping tools to pinpoint environmental issues— such as arsenic, lead, Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda pesticides, air toxins, groundwater contaminants and more—to support preventive interventions and help improve the health of children. The event, Thursday, April 18 at 4pm, is free and open to the public and will take place at Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center. Guests are invited to stay for a reception after Dr. Miranda’s talk. To RSVP, email or call 616-632-2805 by April 8, 2013. Limited seating is available. For more information, visit Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Rd. S.E., Grand Rapids. See ad page 23.



njoy an evening of wonderful cuisine, live music and more at the 4th annual BARK at The BOB, Benefit Dinner and Auction on Thursday, April 18 at 6pm on the 3rd floor of The BOB located at 20 Monroe Ave NW in Grand Rapids. BARK at The BOB is one of

Mackenzie Animal Sanctuary’s largest fundraisers and they look for support from animal lovers like you to help make this event a success! This year, the goal is to raise at least $34,000 and your support of Mackenzie’s at this event can help make that a reality. You can help by sponsoring a table; donating artwork to the silent auction; donating a good or service to the Live Celebrity Auction or simply purchasing a ticket to attend the event. Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary is the largest no-kill dog sanctuary in the Midwest. The Sanctuary is federally recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and does not receive any state, local or federal funding. Private donations, fundraisers and volunteers are critical to helping them serve the dogs in our shelter. If you’re unable to attend, but would still like to support the event, please visit and click “Make a Donation”. Thank you for your support. Please contact Jorel Davis at 616-693-2490 or at JDavis@ if you have any questions about BARK at The BOB.

First Sphere Weekend


he Ishaya Foundation is a 501(c)3 global nonprofit organization dedicated to the Healing of the world beginning with the healing of the self. Their sole purpose is to share the ancient and flawless knowledge of the Ishayas’ Ascension with the world, by teaching a simple yet powerful practice that naturally releases stress from the body, brings peace to the mind and returns life to optimal potential. Ascension is both spiritual and scientific and works regardless of belief. The practice is used both with eyes open, which helps keep one present so they are more effective and efficient in their daily activities; and as a meditation with eyes closed, which takes one directly into the Source of all healing, pure joy, endless peace, and infinite potential. Stress then naturally dissolves as a by-product. Ascension is taught in a First Sphere Weekend format, which is both informative and experiential. The topics of the weekend include: the importance and power of choice; creating your life and body; from victim to creator; how stress affects your life; how and why it works; expanding

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April 2013


your awareness. Based on Praise, Gratitude, Love & Compassion, the techniques of Ascension are individually shared and experienced during the Course. The First Sphere is a transformative and life changing experience. It is simple, natural and highly effective. Come and join the Ishaya teachers, who will be in Grand Rapids this April facilitating a First Sphere Weekend on April 1921 from 7-10pm on Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday & Sunday. Registration Closes April 5th so contact us today. Here is a link to their upcoming events & course schedule: To Register or for more information, contact us at 888-4742921 or at

Third Annual Grand River GreenUp


est Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Grand Haven Area Jaycees will present the Third Annual Grand River Green Up on Earth Day weekend, April 20, 2013. An estimated 400 volunteers are needed to help clean up the Grand River and its tributaries in Grand Haven and surrounding communities as part of West Michigan’s largest Earth Day service event. The Green Up is relocating and expanding with new and additional sites in Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and Harbor Island. The Green Up to date has pulled nearly 20,000 pounds of refuse from waterways in Grand Haven and Allendale townships. Check-in and breakfast at Harbor Island fairgrounds at 9 a.m. Buses and walking groups depart for cleanup sites at 9:30 a.m., return at noon. T-shirt and lunch provided. All ages with parental supervision or permission slip. Learn more and register online today at Volunteer groups and potential sponsors should contact Daniel Schoonmaker at 616-451-3051 ext 28 or


West Michigan Edition

Passage Meditation & the Allied Skills


s taught by Eknath Easwaran, making the ancient art of meditation accessible to those who hold jobs and lead active lives. The secret of meditation is simple, you become what you meditate on. When you use an inspirational passage every day in meditation you are driving the words deep into your consciousness, they will find constant expression in what you do, what you say and what you think. You find yourself becoming wiser, kinder, with a greater sense of purpose and connection to others. The group is held at Unity of Grand Rapids located at 1711 Walker NW in Grand Rapids. Introduction will be Thursday April 18th from 10-11am & 7-8pm. Find out how this form of meditation can help to solve life’s problems. Experience a 10-minute period of meditation. Free will offering accepted. For more information visit You may also contact Marsha Grice, Program Coordinator 616636-4023.

GR’s First Yoga Studio is Celebrating 35 Years


ounder Carolyn Heines and Co-owner Kat McKinney welcome you to The Yoga Studio on Saturday, April 13th from 5:00-8:00pm to celebrate 35 years of teaching classical hatha yoga in Grand Rapids. They have come a long way in 35 years! The Yoga Studio began in 1979 when Carolyn returned from studying at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and began teaching small classes in her home. She progressed to teaching in numerous storefronts, basements and galleries around Grand Rapids, toting her yoga props from space to space and earning the nickname “The Mobile Yoga

Studio.” Happily, they settled into the vibrant East Hills neighborhood and have expanded to include a staff of six knowledgeable teachers providing classes to students of all abilities and ages. The studio continues to thrive due to the vision established by Carolyn and to Kat’s continuing dedication to the transformative potential of yoga. This celebration marks a significant milestone not only in Carolyn’s inspiring teaching career but also in the history of the studio as it reaches the mid-point of the ownership transition from Carolyn to Kat. All are welcome to attend this joyful occasion as they express their gratitude for the support of the community. Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit or follow them on Facebook: The studio is located at 955 Cherry SE, Grand Rapids. See ad page 17.

4th Annual Green Day 6k Fun Run


oin Harvest Health and Gazelle Sports on Thursday April 18th at the 4th Annual Green Day 6k Fun Run. We use this day to bring the public’s attention to the Earth and the effects our lifestyle is having on the planet. Gazelle Sports and Harvest Health Foods are giving this event back to the community as a way to say thank you for your support and to encourage you to make healthy and green choices. The Green Day 6k Fun Run will take place at Harvest Health Foods in Cascade located at 6807 Cascade Rd in Grand Rapids. The health fair begins at 5:30 and goes till 8:00pm. Run begins at 6:30pm. The 6k Course will be marked but roads will not be closed. Strollers and bikes are welcome. Arrive early to visit the many vendor booths and to pick up your free reusable grocery tote courtesy of Natural Awakenings Magazine. Quantities are limited. Do you have old or unused electronics to dispose of? Comprenew will have their E-drop Trailer onsite for free recycling of your old computers, audio/visual equipment, small appliances and miscellaneous electronics. For information about acceptable items call Comprenew at 616-988-8270. You may register at

Stress Management Retreat


oney worries. Performance anxiety. Health concerns. Life seems more difficult when stress hormones are influencing your thoughts, perceptions and physical wellness. Elle Ingalls teaches a fast, natural stress management system that frees you from effects of adrenaline and cortisol, allowing you to think clearly and perform at your best. “When your mind first goes into stress mode, you have a few seconds to calm yourself and prevent stress hormones from releasing,” Ingalls said. “I give you quick and simple strategies to stay clear of the hormones and on top of your game. Hundreds of people, from teens to seniors, have made massive improvements with the system.” Elle will teach her transformative Pressure-Free Living method at a retreat Friday evening, April 19, and Saturday morning, April 20, at the tranquil, European-style Inn Greencrest Manor, just north of Battle Creek. She also coaches individuals and groups, and offers an online “e-course” featuring video, audio and a pdf book. Information on retreats, coaching and e-courses at www. or 269-832-3573. See ad page 29.

Can My Prayers Have Power


early everyone has tried prayer at some point. For some people, prayer means a last-ditch plea. For others, prayer means a set of words to repeat. But what if prayer is like having a chat with God? In their SEEK course, they encourage each other to experiment with talking with God for five minutes a day. Many have found it can become more like a conversation

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

Mary A. DeLange C.C.T. C.M.T. 616-456-5033

Some Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy: ~ Remove Toxic Waste from ones body ~ Eradicate Constipation ~ Removes Stomach Bloat ~ Increase ones Energy

Therapeutic Massage also available

natural awakenings

April 2013


than a one-way letter. More like dialogue than monologue. In fact, hearing from God can begin a transformative journey as faith comes alive for them. One recent participant said, “I didn’t know you could have this kind of relationship with God; I only ever knew about church... I want to do more!” What is SEEK? It’s an 8-week exploration of faith for people looking to make the next step on their spiritual journey. With food, friends, and open conversation, you walk together through big issues like prayer, suffering, and relationship. More than just debating ideas, it is a sharing of experiences and how they impact our lives.

documentary Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Barlow has also appeared in the documentaries Flow: For Love of Water and Water on the Table. Tickets for the Earth Day Celebration are $60, $100 for couples. Seating is limited. Buy tickets at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is located at 1000 East Beltline Ave NE in Grand Rapids. See WMEAC ad page 15.

For more information visit or email See Ad page 27.

WMEAC Earth Day Celebration


est Michigan Environmental Action Council and Founders Brewing present West Michigan Needs Water: Earth Day Celebration 2013 on Tuesday, April 16, at Frederik Meijer Gardens and

Sculpture Park from 7pm-10pm. The fifth annual event is relocating to a new venue with an expanded format this year that includes dinner, folk music, a silent auction and a presentation from internationally renowned freshwater advocate Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold, the basis for the documentary of the same name. Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow is one of the world’s foremost experts on water issues. She is the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, chair of the board of Food & Water Watch, a founding member of the International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the World Future Council. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. She has authored and co-authored 16 books, including Blue Gold and Blue Covenant, the former of which was the basis for the


West Michigan Edition

Renew Your Spirit This Spring


f there is ever a time of the year to celebrate and renew yourself by uniting body, mind, and spirit, it’s the spring. Who needs Oprah when instead, you can join us in celebration and renewal at the first ever Grand Haven/Spring Lake area Women’s Day Conference held at the Holiday Inn in Spring Lake on April 20th from 10:30-4:30pm. An expert and enthusiastic panel of women will offer their insight, ideas, and healthy practices to live your best, most INSPIRED LIFE! Topics include: homeopathic medicine, making over your medicine cabinet with essential oils, being your own life’s champion, finding peace with Reiki, and more! In addition to incredible presentations, you will participate in activities to ignite your creative soul (yes, I’m talking to you... it’s in there!) and encourage your very best self to shine! Lunch is included, gifts will be given away, and there will be some time during the conference to get in touch with local businesses that are here for you and tailored to renew! Most importantly, you will leave refreshed, inspired and prepared to live a better life. Cost to attend this event is only $50 with lunch included. To register please visit For more information contact Amber at info@ or call 586-646-8085. See ad page 25.

Personal Chef Services


re you too busy to shop, cook and clean up, but want to eat healthy meals? Have you resorted to prepackaged meals or restaurant food because you can’t cook? Do you have health challenges that could benefit from eating a high quality diet? If so, Holistic Nutrition Center has the solution for you. Holistic Nutrition Center now offers personal chef service. This service is ideal for professionals, busy families, recovering patients, elderly and it’s perfect for people who don’t know how to cook. Private cooking lessons are also available. Join them in welcoming Chef Meghan Wilson. She received her culinary training from The Great Lakes Culinary Institute and is a certified chef. Her cooking style will reflect Holistic Nutrition Center’s company standard of ‘eating for wellness’. For more information visit www.holisticnutritioncenter. net or contact or call 616-355-5333.

Party for The Planet


celebration of conservation, recycling and our natural world! This is a national event, taking place at Zoos around the country in an initiative spear-headed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Assoc. (AZA). Party for The Planet takes place on April 20th at John Ball Zoo from 10:00am-3:00pm. Festivities will include booths, stations, and demonstrations from the area’s top conservation-minded organizations as well as a convenient drive-up recycling center for just about any item. Animals

that are threatened or endangered will be showcased with ideas on what you can do to help save these valuable species right here in Grand Rapids. Admission to the event is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for children 3-13 and children 2 and under are always free. The Zoo is open daily 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, but the Party for The Planet activities will take place until 3:00pm. For more information and detail, call Krys at 616-336-4374 or email

Muskegon Area Earth Week


uskegon Sustainability Coalition has scheduled a week’s worth of family fun, festivities and facts to celebrate our planet. Muskegon Area Earth Week begins April 21st and concludes on April 27th with the Earth Fair. The entire week of events can be found at or on the Muskegon Area Earth Week Facebook page. All events are free and open to the public. Joel Darling agrees. “This area has so much in terms of green jobs, eco products, natural resources, and environmental initiatives within schools, organizations and businesses. Unfortunately, our own community is unaware of most of it.” That is why Darling is helping to organize Earth Fair, an event where citizens can play games, win prizes, hear demonstrations and see cool technology. “You can even drop off all those old electronics that are stored in your basement, like tape decks and VCRs.” For Muskegon Area Earth Week event locations and details, view the Calendar of Events section. See ad page 22.

(616) 301-3000 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids (across the street from the Breton Village Mall)

Treatment of

back pain neck pain headaches stress


chiropractic massage therapy spinal rehab traction

Spa Services

massage therapy steam therapy ayurvedic bodywork reiki, meditation

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April 2013


healthbriefs Unique outdoor group workouts all over Michigan Cardio, flexibility and strength training all outdoors in 75-minute sessions, in a different place every time! ~ we welcome ALL fitness levels ~


Embrace life more fully and effectively-one moment at a time. • 8-Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Classes • Next Series Starts April 22 - 25 • Free Information Sessions • Monday, April 8 & 15 • Tuesday, April 9 & 16 • Wednesday, April 10 & 17 • Thursday, April 11 & 18

CALL 616-361-3660


West Michigan Edition

A Bus Pass to Green Well-Being


here’s a way to simultaneously help both Planet Earth and one’s own health, report scientists from Imperial College London, in England. The researchers examined four years of data from the country’s Department for Transport National Travel Survey beginning in 2005, the year before free bus passes were available for people ages 60 and older. The study team found that those with a pass were more likely to walk frequently and take more journeys by “active travel”— defined as walking, cycling or using public transport. Staying physically active helps maintain mental well-being, mobility and muscle strength in older people and reduces their risk of cardiovascular disease, falls and fractures. Previous research by Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes published in The Lancet has shown that just 15 minutes of moderate daily exercise lowers the risk of death in people over 60 by 12 percent, and another study at Newcastle University found that 19 percent of Britain’s adults achieve their recommended amount of physical activity through active travel alone. Public health organizations in the UK believe that “incidental” exercise, such as walking to and from bus stops, may play a key role in helping seniors keep fit and reduce social exclusion.

Mindful Meditation Eases Loneliness


alentine’s Day can increase feelings of loneliness, especially for the elderly, and may pose an additional risk factor for health problems such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. A new study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, offers fresh evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces negative thoughts about being alone in older adults and also improves their physical health. The ancient practice dates back to the time of Buddha and focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment. In the study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pennsylvania, recruited 40 healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 85 that were interested in learning the technique. Subjects were assessed at the beginning and end of the study using an established loneliness scale, and blood samples were collected. After eight weeks of meditation training, participants reported decreased feelings of loneliness, and new blood samples revealed reduced pro-inflammatory gene expression (manifestion of encoded information). Inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Lead researcher J. David Creswell reports, “Mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults. It’s important to train your mind like you train your biceps in the gym.”

Turmeric Acts Against Cancer


hroughout history, the spice turmeric has been a favored seasoning for curries and other Indian dishes. Its pungent flavor is also known to offer medicinal qualities—turmeric has been used for centuries to treat osteoarthritis and other illnesses because its active ingredient, curcumin, can inhibit inflammation. A new study led by a research team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, in Munich, Germany, has shown that turmeric can also restrict the formation of metastases and help keep prostate cancer in check. The researchers discovered that curcumin decreases the expression of two pro-inflammatory proteins associated with tumor cells and noted that both prostate and breast cancer are linked to inflammation. The study further noted that curcumin is, in principle, suitable for both prophylactic use (primary prevention) and for the suppression of metastases in cases where an established tumor is already present (secondary prevention).

How Does Your Garden Glow?


ardening can be a healthy pastime… as long as toxic tools aren’t involved. Researchers at the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center recently tested nearly 200 garden essentials—especially hoses, hand tools, gloves and knee pads—for chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), which are linked to birth defects, hormone imbalances, learning delays and other serious health problems. The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the tested products contained levels of chemicals that concerned them greatly. Cautious gardeners should seek products that are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and lead-free, and follow good garden hose hygiene: Avoid drinking out of the hose, don’t leave it exposed to the sun (where water within the hose can absorb chemicals) and always flush it out before watering edible plants. Source:

Getting the Lead Out


he U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently redefined the “action level” for lead exposure in children. Youngsters are now considered at risk and qualify for careful medical monitoring if they have more than five micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood—half the previous threshold. Lead poisoning can cause cognitive and behavioral problems, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends testing blood lead concentration levels at age 1 and again at 2, when concentrations peak. Most lead poisoning cases occur in substandard housing units, especially those with window frames still coated with lead-based paint banned since 1978. Families in dwellings built before 1950 should also be vigilant about lead. The Consumer Products Safety Commission cautions that home lead test kits sold online and at hardware stores may not be reliable enough to identify and remove sources of exposure. Professional contractors offer more accurate results. Children exhibiting blood lead levels above the new threshold are usually monitored, rather than treated with medications that carry serious risks. Once lead sources are removed, children’s blood lead levels typically return to a more normal range within weeks. The CDC confirms that rather than remedial treatment, the primary goal should be making sure children aren’t exposed to lead in the first place. Fortunately, the levels of most of America’s youngest children today are well below the revised action point, with average blood lead content of 1.8 micrograms, while school-age children, teenagers and adults face little risk.

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globalbriefs News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

Cool Tool

New Calculations for Polar Ice A new report from the University of Washington, in Seattle, published in the journal Science on polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, works to reconcile differences between sometimes-conflicting research studies. Scientists compiled 20 years of data to determine how much ice is being lost and sea levels have increased as the global climate warms. Past studies have shown a range of ice losses, from zero to catastrophic. When the data was synthesized and analyzed holistically, it became clear that the ice sheets are losing three times as much ice each year as they did in the 1990s—in the middle of previous estimates. Ice sheets are one of several main drivers of rising sea levels. Other factors, which account for 80 percent of the increase, include the melting of glaciers on land and the expansion of the sea itself as the atmosphere heats up. The melting of polar sea ice has no direct effect on sea levels because the ice is already in the water. Glaciologist and co-author Ian Joughin told The Christian Science Monitor, “The melting needs monitoring to further understand the ice sheet processes leading to the change.”

Thrifty Threads

Levi’s Latest Sustainable Moves World record holder and Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt will soon model Puma boots that are “made for rotting,” and when the next Levi Strauss collection arrives, their new jingle will be, “These jeans are made of garbage.” Crushed brown and green half-liter plastic bottles will be on display at retail store displays, of which the equivalent of eight, or 20 percent, are blended into each pair of Waste<Less jeans. Nike and Gap have their own sustainability programs, and Patagonia has long supported a small ecosystem of Earth-friendly suppliers. But as the biggest maker of jeans in the world, with sales of $4.8 billion in 2011, Levi’s efforts command the most attention. Levi joined the Better Cotton Initiative, a group of companies that work with local nongovernmental organizations in Pakistan, India, Brazil and Mali to teach farmers how to grow cotton with less water. Last year marked the first cotton harvest given this effort and Levi has blended its share into more than 5 million pairs of jeans. With cotton prices on the rise and pressure from activist groups such as BSR, an environmental organization that works with businesses, large clothing manufacturers are starting to adopt more sustainable practices. Source: Business Week 12

West Michigan Edition

Silver Lining

Cleaning Up the Cloud The New York Times has reported that “cloud” data centers—which store YouTube videos, run Google searches and process eBay bids—use about 2 percent of all electricity in the nation. In some data centers, up to 90 percent of the energy is wasted. Now, an industry consortium called the Uptime Institute is sponsoring a “server roundup” and handing out rodeo belt buckles to the Internet company that can take the largest number of heat-producing, energy-hungry servers offline. Many centers expend as much or more energy in cooling their facilities as in computing and transmitting data. Sharing best practices has become common among data center pros. Facebook won the Institute’s Audacious Idea award last year for its Open Compute Project, which enabled both its server and data center designs to be open-sourced for anyone to access and improve upon. Source:

Better Barters

Swapping Trash for Fresh Produce Mexico City’s innovative monthly Mercado del Trueque (barter market) in Chapultepec Park is a winning trifecta for citizens, local vegetable and plant vendors and the city’s secretariat of the environment. There, residents can exchange cardboard, paper, glass, aluminum, plastic bottles, electronic devices and other waste for paper chits that are redeemed at kiosks for vouchers worth points. The traders can then use the vouchers to buy tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, lemons and other produce from participating farmers from surrounding districts. Mexico produces 40 million tons of garbage annually, but only recycles about 15 percent. With this barter system, farmers have gained a new place to sell their produce and earn extra income, while the materials collected are processed for industrial reuse. Source:

Nordic Order

Sweden Running Out of Garbage Sweden’s successful recycling program ensures that only 4 percent of the country’s waste ends up in landfills, while the other 96 percent is reused. But this means incinerators that burn waste to create heat and electricity are running short on fuel. As a solution, Sweden has recently begun to import about 800,000 tons of trash every year from other European countries, most of it from neighboring Norway, which finds it a cost-effective option. Find details at

Online Literacy

Students Learning to Adopt Internet Academics The findings of a survey of teachers conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, show that the Internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, but digital literacy skills need improvement. Three-quarters of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers say that the Internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research habits, but 87 percent say these technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans, and 64 percent say they do more to divert students’ attention than to help them academically. The good news is that 99 percent of teachers in the study agree with the notion that, “The Internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available,” and 65 percent agree that, “It makes today’s students more selfsufficient researchers.” Read the full report at TeenResearch.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. ~Bill Vaughan

natural awakenings

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globalbriefs Survival Alert

Join America’s Start Saving Water Now Challenge America, like most of the rest of the world, is running short of fresh water. Our welfare depends on having annual access to 150 trillion gallons of fresh water for drinking, cleaning, growing food, making products and generating electricity. In every region of the country, the conservation and recycling of this vital resource is a key solution to achieving a sustainable future. “We can do better” is the urgent message of the 2013 National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. Last year, people in more than 1,000 cities took simple actions to save water and related energy expenditures, pledging to collectively reduce their water use by 4.7 billion gallons over one year. The Wyland Foundation, supported by the National League of Cities and the Environmental Protection Agency, are again sponsoring prizes for residents in the most “water-wise” cities, based on pledges to be made in April. Last year, $50,000 in awarded prizes included a Toyota Prius, Lowe’s gift cards and 1,200 water-saving fixtures. Sign on at

Keystone XL Fight

Protesters Rally Again Against Tar Sands Pipeline In February more than 10,000 citizens rallied at the White House, calling on President Obama to honor his clean energy campaign promises and reject the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, resulting in multiple arrests of protest leaders. The 1,700-mile pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corporation, would carry tar sands crude oil south from Alberta, Canada, through multiple heartland states to refineries on the Gulf Coast. “As our nation’s worst-ever economic recession drags on, creating jobs in the clean energy sector should be priority number one,” states a Sierra Club Beyond Oil campaign spokesperson. “Building the poisonous Keystone XL pipeline would put the brakes on clean energy and exacerbate the pollution and public health problems that come with America’s dependence on dirty, dangerous oil.” The Sierra Club reports that pipeline plans require clear-cutting boreal forests and consuming huge amounts of energy and water, leaving behind toxic lakes. An associated oil spill could devastate aquifers that supply water to 30 percent of America’s irrigated farmland (2,554 U.S. oil pipeline spills occurred from 2000 to 2009). Opponents are also concerned the pipeline would exacerbate air pollution and cancer, respiratory illnesses and other health problems in communities surrounding oil refineries in Chicago, Detroit and Houston. For states directly impacted, visit Learn more and take action at 14

West Michigan Edition


Needs Water EARTH DAY


4.16.13 Learn more and buy tickets at A night of fun, food, music and wisdom to benefit efforts to protect freshwater resources in West Michigan. Featuring nationally renowned freshwater advocate Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold.

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natural awakenings

April 2013


Masters of

s ta e

a g o Y Piandl


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i a T


i h C

with a

view Practice Yoga Overlooking Versluis Lake 5270 Northland Drive NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49525 | 616-361-8580


Earth Music Saving Nature’s Wild Symphony by Bernie Krause


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e may be drawn to the sounds of waves or woodland streams or beguiled by the subtle winds and creature voices of the desert or mountains. Whatever captures our imagination, as we actively listen, something in a wild animal’s repertoire will cause us to catch our breath. Nature teems with a vigorous resonance that is as complete and expansive as it is delicately balanced. Every place on the planet populated by plants and wild animals is a concert hall, with a unique orchestra performing an unmatched symphony. Each resident species possesses its own preferred sonic bandwidth—to blend or contrast—akin to how stringed, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments stake out acoustic territory in an orchestral masterpiece. Into Earth’s daily round are embedded the dawn and daytime, evening and nighttime choruses. Whatever the purpose of a creature’s aural signal— mating, protecting territory, capturing food, group defense, play or social contact—it must be audible and free from human acoustical interference if the species is to successfully function. During the last half of the 20th century, I recorded the wild sounds of more than 15,000 species and 4,500 hours of natural ambience. Nearly 50 percent of these land, sea and sky habitats have since then become seriously compromised, if not biophonically silent. The loss of representative habitats due to human presence and noise has resulted in declines in the density and diversity of creatures large and small that contribute to healthy natural soundscapes. Fortunately, in the absence of human habitation, these places can

become lively again. Fellow British soundscape ecologist Peter Cusack wrote of the restoration of wildlife 20 years after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in the Ukraine: “Animals and birds absent for many decades— wolves, moose, white-tailed eagles, black storks—have moved back, and the Chernobyl [human] exclusion zone is now one of Europe’s prime wildlife sites. The species-rich dawn chorus is one of Chernobyl’s definitive sounds… its nighttime concerts equally spectacular.” In 1968, 45 percent of the oldgrowth forests in the contiguous United States were still standing; by 2011 it was less than 2 percent. Before the forest echoes die, we may want to step back for a moment and listen carefully to the chorus of the natural world where rivers of sound flow, ranging from crickets, frogs and insects to wrens, condors, cheetahs, wolves— and us. Otherwise we are denying ourselves the fullest experience of that which is essential to our spiritual and psychological health. The whisper of every leaf and creature’s song implores us to love and care for the delicate tapestry of the biophony that was the first music our species ever heard. It told us that we are part of a single, fragile biological system; voices in an orchestra of many, with no more important cause than the celebration of life itself. Adapted excerpt from The Great Animal Orchestra, by Bernie Krause, used with permission of Little, Brown and Company. Listen in at and learn more at and

natural awakenings

April 2013



P ARK IT HERE Exploring America’s National Treasures

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

by S. Alison Chabonais


Ralph Waldo Emerson

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he Kent family, of Amherst, New Hampshire, has faced many “Can I really do this?” moments while adventuring in America’s national parks. So far they’ve visited 57, and with Pinnacles just named a full park in January, they’ll likely be headed for California again. American Somoa, in the South Pacific, potentially the last and most remote destination of their 11-year odyssey, is under serious consideration. Along the way, father Scott, mother Lisa and (now) 18-year-old Tanner and 16-year-old Peyton each grew increasingly self-confident in testing their skills at everything from spelunking, subtropical snorkeling and paragliding to ice trekking and kayaking subarctic waters. “If they offered it, we tried it,” says Lisa. “Our family regularly debates our favorite memories.” While they hiked and explored natural rock formations at every opportunity—including New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, South Dakota’s Wind Cave and California’s Yosemite—the gals also liked to ride horses while the guys fly fished. “One of my favorite moments

was when Tanner and I hiked a Colorado trail to a pristine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, where he caught his first trout,” recalls Scott. “I never give the same answer as to the best experience or best park,” adds Tanner, citing Yellowstone, in Wyoming, and Wrangell-St. Elias, in Alaska, as particularly spectacular, partly for their distinctive wildlife. His favorite anecdote? “When I was little, I stared down a barracuda in the Dry Tortugas, off the coast of South Florida, wildly pointing it out to Dad, who was calmly photographing itty-bitty fish and never saw it.” “It’s so cool to get close to a big animal,” says Peyton, recalling when she and Mom were sea kayaking Alaska’s Glacier Bay near a humpback whale. “I thought we were going to end up in the whale’s mouth,” she laughs. The family agrees that their longest expedition—eight Alaskan parks in three weeks—was extraordinary. “We had to fly into the Arctic Circle on a float plane and walk the ice using crampons,” Peyton notes about their visit to the remote Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk Valley, among America’s least-visited parks, in

contrast to the most-visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddling Tennessee and North Carolina. Whether witnessing Kodiak Island bears, Hawaiian volcanoes or Everglades’ alligators, their overarching mission was to visit every major park before Tanner embarked for college. The family’s National Park Service Passport already has 57 stamps secured during school holidays and summer vacations, timed to prime park seasons and complemented by destination photos. “It’s easy to talk about the big moments, but you can have a memorable time in any park,” says Lisa, from appreciating the beauty of a boardwalk to boarding a ferry for an island picnic. “Getting back to basics has been really good for our family, part of the glue that binds us together.” She says her growing children learned to be brave and patient, help fellow travelers and be happy without cell phones. “We moved away from immediate gratification to focusing on a greater good,” remarks Lisa. “We enjoy interacting and doing simple things together.” The family assesses its national parks tour as affordable, accessible and affecting how they experience life as a software engineer (Scott), physical education teacher (Lisa) and student athletes (Tanner and Peyton). They are pleased to be counted among the innumerable national park visitors that have benefited since the inception of what Ken Burns’ video series characterizes as America’s Best Idea. Lisa sums it up: “You don’t have to do it as big as we did to get big out of it.” S. Alison Chabonais is the national editor of Natural Awakenings. natural awakenings

April 2013


Family life, for better or worse, establishes the way children connect with others at school, in their communities, on the job, as citizens and as members of the human race. How can we help youngsters feel truly connected and learn to be responsible for themselves and others?

All Together Now

Children Follow Adult Examples Enabling “We” Instead of “Me” by Michael Ungar

“If you want to be miserable, think about yourself. If you want to be happy, think of others.” ~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


he phrase “connected kids” may describe youth consumed by Internet-dependent relationships. Yet these same young people still crave old-fashioned, face-toface connections with the adults in their lives. With one parent or two, stepparents, a grandparent, aunts or uncles, older family friends, teachers and coaches—experience shows they all can help guide our children by showing the compassion that nurtures kids’ own caring instincts. Swedish futurist and author Mats Lindgren characterizes these young people, raised by the “Me Generation” (born in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s), The MeWe Generation, for their efforts to balance a culture of individualism and their need to belong. He notes, “Although the MeWes travel and experience more than any other generation before them, [in surveys] the small things in life still get the highest scores. A happy life is based on relations and companionship.”


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The cycle we want to start at home encompasses compassion, connection, responsibility and citizenship. The alternative is selfishness, alienation, exploitation and disenfranchisement; terms we hope will not apply to our children. If we want children to embody healthy and positive qualities and play an important role in family life and beyond, we need to understand how to enable kids to think “We” by outgrowing some of our own Me-thinking ways. To start, it helps to understand that when we ask nothing of our children—keep them from experiencing larger challenges and taking real responsibility for themselves and others—we risk spoiling them. Children that instead see and experience We-oriented caring for others and regularly participate in compassionate acts feel more attached to a community of family and friends. A child that feels noticed and embraced, and is then given opportunities to act independently of his parents, also will know what it means to be trusted. Parents convey, “I know you can do this.” A youngster that experiences this compassionate caring and trust will mimic such compassion, because it feels good to give and he wants others to acknowledge his worth. Also, having been allowed to suffer the consequences of some bad personal decisions (up to a point), he understands that his choices affect both himself and others. Given the opportunity to think things through for himself, he can make helpful choices instead of feeling forced to either resist or give in to what adults want. He knows how to show respect because he knows what it feels like to be respected. Acting responsibly follows naturally as a way to identify with others and demonstrate the strength of his connections and contributions to the welfare of others. It sews a child into the fabric of his family and community, which responds, “You are a part of us. You belong and we rely on you.” The child quietly says to himself, “I’m here” and “I count.”

Connecting Places

These connections to others and community are also profoundly shaped by the physical spaces we occupy. Studies cited in Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness, attest to their effects on mental well-being, relationship patterns and even physical health and longevity. Cloistering children inside large, middle-class houses may be the greatest single threat to the realization of We Generation values. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average U.S. home grew from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,434 square feet in 2005. This overwhelming spaciousness dampens family interaction, denying the informality that allows us to offer ourselves to each other spontaneously. Fewer central family hearths reduce the passing of stories among generations, leaving children feeling alone in their

room amidst material abundance. They grow up expecting to have things to themselves without having to share. Why live in a bigger house if it threatens our relationships with our children, neighbors and spouses? It takes a lot of extra hours at work to afford the mini-mansion and two cars for the long commutes required to sustain a detached lifestyle in the suburbs. Countermeasures are called for. When I ask kids where they’d like to live, they want to be where they can navigate their own way to the store, school and friends. They rarely mention square footage. Most would be happy to give up large rooms and en suite baths for greater personal freedom, a cohesive community and more time with parents that are less stressed. Listen closely and we will hear children asking permission to live their lives truly connected with us and with their widening circles of friends around the world. Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a clinician and research professor at the School of Social Work at Canada’s Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He based this article on his book, The We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids, published by Da Capo Lifelong Books.

From Rude to Responsible: Ways to Foster “We” Thinking by Michael Ungar


ach age brings new opportunities to think “We” instead of “Me.” What children can contribute to the family and community will vary, based upon family values. Here are some starting points.

Age 5 and Under

n Help with household chores, including

kitchen tasks and tidying their room n Choose activities they like and politely

ask to do them n Say “Thank you,” and be responsible for

acknowledging gifts n Share toys and donate old ones

Ages 5 to 11

n Have responsibility (with supervi-

Adult Behaviors Count

sion) for a younger sibling’s care n Look after a pet n Learn commonsense use of

Many small gestures by adults cumulatively convey to children that they belong and their contributions are valued. Here are a few of the myriad ways to advance us all beyond Me-thinking. n Pay attention to children n Know their names n Ask them for a favor n Challenge them with responsibility n Encourage them to try something new n Expect something of them n Let them teach everyone a song n Ask them about themselves n Offer to play along n Delight in their discoveries n Laugh at their jokes n Get to know their friends n Accept and love them unconditionally

potential hazards like pocketknives and push scooters n Decide what to wear to school n Get ready for sports activities and special interest classes n Walk to school, where appropriate

Ages 12 to 18

n Obtain certification


lifeguards or junior coaches n Volunteer or seek paid work n Learn how to use power tools and lawnmowers n Accept responsibility for clothing choices and contribute money toward purchases n Plan events at school, such as a dance or preparation for graduation n Participate in religious or spiritual ceremonies that mark their transition to adulthood

natural awakenings

April 2013



BAREFOOTIN’: IT GROUNDS US Reap Earth’s Energy for Wellness by Debra Melani

Imagine feeling the surge of well-being that comes from strolling barefoot on a moist, sandy beach or sinking all 10 toes into a cool, lush lawn on a warm summer day. Both comprise an experience known as “grounding” or “earthing”. Recent research suggests that these tempting life experiences offer more than feel-good frolics; they might help reboot health.


y the end of the day, I could hardly walk. My feet would be screaming,” relates Lynn Deen, 66, of Mio, Michigan, describing dealing with Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in both heels. “I struggled with it for four years. I tried everything, from conventional treatments to complementary therapies. Nothing touched it.” Then Deen listened to an online interview about earthing, a therapy that involves connecting with the Earth’s electrical field, either through skin-to-ground contact (barefoot strolls) or by using home grounding products available online. Motivated by a yearning to maintain her active lifestyle, she decided to try it. Three months later, she attested, “My heels were completely normal.” And because she opted to use a special earthing bedsheet, Deen says her husband benefited, too. “We have better sleep, less snoring and a better sense of wellbeing,” she reports. Theoretically, because the waterabundant human body is a good electrical conductor, such grounding allows negatively charged free electrons, which are rife on the Earth’s surface, to enter the body and scour it for free radicals: those positively charged particles that may cause disease and inflammation. “Most of the diseases today are related to chronic inflammation,” says Dr. Martin Gallagher, a physician and chiropractor who heads Medical Wellness Associates, a large integrative medicine clinic in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. “That inflammation is considered to be the buildup of positive electrons. The Earth’s free electrons neutralize these chemical

The Earth is what we all have in common. ~Wendell Berry


West Michigan Edition

buzz bombs, called free radicals, bringing the body back to homeostasis. It is that state of equilibrium that allows the body to heal.” Today’s lifestyles have nearly eliminated that natural healing effect, says James Oschman, director of the Nature’s Own Research Association, in Dover, New Hampshire. “When I was a kid, my shoes came off in the spring and didn’t come back on until fall,” Oschman recalls. Today, almost everybody wears plastic-soled shoes, rides in vehicles and hangs out indoors on carpet and wood or tiled floors, completely blocking these free electrons, which Oschman maintains are the most effective and efficient antioxidants available. He states, “We’ve experienced a total disconnect.” His claim is supported by small studies that are beginning to accumulate, indicating the potential benefits of grounding. Here is a sampling of the findings, from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Helped the body’s natural healing response. Researchers compared physiological changes during a two-hour grounding session of 14 men and 14

women and then a two-hour sham session. Changes in respiration and heart rates plus blood oxygenation within 20 minutes of grounding appeared to aid the healing process, reports lead author Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., director of the Earthing Institute. He notes that as in previous studies, subjects with acute inflammation experienced less swelling, redness, heat and pain. Improved sleep and reduced pain and stress. Researchers grounded 12 patients looking for these benefits while they slept. Comparing their cortisol levels (a stress-related hormone) prior to the eight-week study with results from periodic retesting and follow-up interviews, they found that grounding reduced nighttime levels of cortisol and better aligned its secretion with the body’s natural 24-hour circadian rhythm, which is important for sleep. Subjects reported improvements in all three areas. Decreased muscle pain. Researchers looked at blood counts and chemistry in eight active exercisers, following routines that assured muscle soreness. Four subjects treated with grounding techniques showed a boosted immune

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response and reported reduced pain. Oschman says that some professional athletes swear by the practice, including members of four U.S. Tour de France teams (between 2003 and 2007) that were grounded nightly during the competitions. Gallagher, who estimates that 70 percent of his patients consciously practice grounding, sees improvement in conditions including heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit disorder, allergies, asthma, menopausal symptoms, sleep apnea and jet lag. Judged safe for all ages, blood-thinners present the only known complication, so heart patients should consult their doctors. “This is like the relationship of vitamin D from sunlight,” concludes Gallagher. “We are receiving something that is integral to our design, part of our nature. Earthing isn’t an intellectual concept; it’s a necessity of life.” Freelance journalist Debra Melani writes about health, medicine and fitness from Lyons, CO. Connect at Debra or


Where Children Matter: Linking Children’s Health to Our Environment

17th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series

Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda

Dean, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment RSVP to or 616.632.2805 by April 8, 2013 natural awakenings

April 2013


positive choices and the necessary tools for problem solving. “These elements enable students to take all that they learn and use it with reverence and a sense of responsibility,” says Weil. Her institute offers the only master’s degrees in humane education that this approach requires, with complementary in-class and online programs for young people and adults. Her determined vision is slowly becoming a reality as teachers become familiar with these concepts and integrate them into hands-on, project-based learning that crosses disciplines and better marries school experiences with real-life lessons.

Zoe Weil portrait by Robert Shetterly

Make the Extraordinary Ordinary

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seymour Papert, a renowned educator and computer scientist, has conducted in-depth research in how worthy real-world topics get students excited about what they learn. They increase their tendency to dig more deeply and expand their interest in a wide array of subjects as they better retain what they learn, become more confident in trusting their own judgment and make the connections needed to broadly apply their knowledge. Young people learn how to collaborate and improve their social and group speaking skills, including with adults.

THE NEXT LEVEL Education for a More Sustainable World by Linda Sechrist


hat is the purpose of education?” That’s a question Zoe Weil frequently revisits with her workshop audiences. As co-founder and President of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), Weil has spent most of her adult life researching the answer. Her conclusion is that the U.S. Department of Education’s present goal of preparing graduates to “compete in the global economy” is far too myopic for our times. Weil’s firsthand research, which grounds her book, The Power and Promise of Humane Education, has led her to forward the idea that the goal should be inspiring generations of “solutionaries” prepared to joyfully and enthusiastically meet the challenges of world problems. “I believe that it is incredibly irresponsible for America’s educators and policymakers not to provide people with the knowledge of interconnected global issues, plus the skills and tools to become creative problem solvers and motivated change makers in whatever fields they pursue,” says Weil. Weil points to four primary elements that comprise a humane education: providing information about current issues in age-appropriate ways; fostering the Three C’s of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking; instilling the Three R’s of reverence, respect and responsibility; and ensuring access to both


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We need to build cases for environmental protection around broad-based community concerns like health, quality of life, the protection of watersheds and wildlife and the education of our children. Environmental issues are also social, economic and quality of life issues. Our challenge is to bring life-sustaining principles into creative thinking for the long view, rather than the short term. ~ Terry Tempest Williams According to Papert, project-based learning improves test scores and reduces absenteeism and disciplinary problems. “If schoolchildren are given the gift of exploration, society will benefit, both in practical and theoretical ways,” notes Papert.

Telling Transformation

Papert’s observations were affirmed by middle school students at Voyagers’ Community School, in Farmingdale, New Jersey, in one of the IHE 10-week online classes—Most Good, Least Harm—in April 2012. “Initially, students were intimidated and underestimated their ability to express their thoughts and concerns or debate issues with the adult participants. That challenge faded quickly,” remarks Karen Giuffre, founder and director of the progressive day school. Posing provocative questions like, “What brings you joy?” and engaging in conversations in subjects like climate change, racism, recycling, green energy, genocide and war challenged the students to step up to become respected equals. “This demanded a lot from these young people, because the experience wasn’t only about absorbing complex issues and developing an awareness of the material, political, economic and cultural world around them. It was also about how they probed their minds and emotions to determine where they stood on issues and what they could do to change their lifestyle, or that of their family and community, to make it more sustainable,” says Giuffre. The students went on to help organize a peace conference that entailed 20-plus workshops to inspire an individual mindful awareness of peace that motivates and empowers the peacemaker within. It was intended to incite collective action across generations, explains Giuffre, and was followed by community service to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Answering the Call

Children or adults that participate in activities such as those created by IHE or the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Challenge 20/20 are developing what Peggy Holman describes as “change literacy”, the capacity to be effectively present amid a changing set of circumstances. Holman, an adjunct professional lecturer at American University’s School of Public Affairs, in Washington, D.C., is co-founder of the Open Space Institute-US, which fosters whole-system engagement, and author of Engaging Emergence. “Conversational literacy—the capacity to talk and interact in creative ways with others that are very different from us—is our birthright. However, change literacy, a necessary skill for future leaders, is learned via curiosity,” advises Holman. “In my experience, children grasp it more quickly than adults, because authentic expression and curiosity come naturally to them. Children don’t have a long history, and so are naturally more present when engaged in exploring things that matter.” Global problems of deforestation, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, terrorism, water pollution and shortages, natural disasters and mitigation, global warming, education for all, biodiversity, ecosystem losses and global infectious diseases aren’t yet subjects found in a normal curriculum for grades five through nine. However, the Internet-based Challenge 20/20 program now has youth in nearly 120 independent and traditional schools throughout the United States working on solutions that can be implemented both locally and globally. “Challenge 20/20 partners American schools at any grade level [K-12] with counterpart schools in other countries, free




616.988.5400 WWW.GRPL.ORG/EARTHWEEK natural awakenings

April 2013


deficit, Fay students focused on the challenges families in underdeveloped countries face that must walk miles to find clean, safe, water sources. A taxing water-carrying experiment brought immediate appreciation for the difficulty of transporting water, prompting them to invent the Water Walker. The modified rolling cooler with heavy-duty straps attached can carry up to 40 quarts of water on large, durable wheels and axles designed to navigate rocky terrain.

Bill McKibben portrait by Robert Shetterly

Re-Imagining Education

of cost,” explains NAIS Director Patrick Bassett. “Together, teams tackle real global problems while forming authentic bonds and learning firsthand about cross-cultural communication.” Qualifying students may have an opportunity to share their experiences at the association’s annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference. In 2010, 11 students at the Fay School, in Southborough, Massachusetts, partnered with Saigon South International School (SSIS), in Vietnam. After a year of studying, raising awareness and brainstorming solutions for the global water


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“Transformative learning, which is vital to the learning journey, goes beyond the acquisition of information,” says Aftab Omer, Ph.D., president of Meridian University, in Petaluma, California, and founder of its formative Institute of Imaginal Studies. “In informational learning, we acquire facts, concepts, principles and even skills, but in transformative learning, we are cultivating capacities. This is how certain capabilities become embodied in us, either as individuals or as human systems,” he advises. Portrait artist Robert Shetterly tours with his series of more than 100 portrait paintings in traveling exhibits titled Americans Who Tell the Truth. They are helping individuals learn to embody patience, perseverance and compassion, while enhancing their understanding of sustainability, social justice, civic activism, democracy and civil rights, via both historical role models and contemporary mentors such as environmental activist Bill McKibben, conservationist Terry Tempest Williams and renowned climate scientist James Hansen. “We don’t need to invent the wheel, because we have role models that have confronted these issues and left us a valuable legacy,” remarks Shetterly. In 2004, he collaborated to produce a companion curriculum with Michele Hemenway, who continues to offer it in Louisville, Kentucky, elementary, middle and high schools. Hemenway also teaches Art in Education at Jefferson Community & Technical College and 21st-Century

Terry Tempest Williams portrait by Robert Shetterly

Civics at Bellamine University, both in Louisville. Out of many, she shares a particularly compelling example of a student transformed due to this learning method: “I taught a young girl studying these true stories and portraits from the third through fifth grades when she took her place in a leadership group outside the classroom. Now in middle school, she is doing amazing things to make a difference in her community,” says Hemenway. Reflecting on her own life, deciding what she cared about most and what actions she wanted to take, plus her

own strengths, helped the student get a blighted building torn down, document and photograph neighborhood chemical dumping and have it stopped and succeed in establishing a community garden, a factor known to help reduce crime. Among Shetterly’s collection is the portrait of John Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, who devised the World Peace Game for his fourth grade students. Children learn to communicate, collaborate and take care of each other as they work to resolve the game’s conflicts. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world. Demonstrating transformational learning at its best, they experience the connectedness of the global community through the lens of economic, social and environmental crises, as well as the imminent threat of war. Hunter and his students are now part of a new film, World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, which reveals how effective teaching can help unleash students’ full potential. Professor Emeritus Peter Gray, of Boston College, who researches comparative, evolutionary, developmental and educational psychology, believes the transformational method will be accepted as part of the increased demand to integrate enlightened educational approaches in public schools. The author of Free to Learn notes, “A tipping point can occur. It’s happened before, when women won the right to vote, slavery was abolished and recently when gays were openly accepted in the military.” Weil agrees that when more individuals commit to working toward a sustainable and just world, it will happen. “What’s more worthy of our lives than doing this work for our children and coming generations?” she queries. “How can we not do this for them if we love them?” Linda Sechrist is a Natural Awakenings senior staff writer. For recorded source interviews and additional perspective, visit her website,

Garden as though you will live forever. ~William Kent

natural awakenings

April 2013



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West Michigan Edition


ast winter, Terry Chiplin went for an early morning run near his Colorado home. Snow crunched as his sneakered feet hit the front porch of his mountain lodge, tucked into a secluded forest. Evergreen boughs glistened in the sun, drooping slightly from the weight of the sparkling white powder. The running coach smiled as he lifted his face to the sky, welcoming the large, wet flakes that kissed his face. “Can you picture it?” asks the bubbly British native and owner of Active at Altitude, in Estes Park. That is visualization, he explains, a concept he uses regularly at retreats he conducts for runners from beginner to elite as a holistic means of boosting performance. “It’s simply a succession of mental images; we use visualization all the time.” Whether it’s Tiger Woods envisioning a perfect golf swing minutes before taking a shot or Michael Phelps replaying a mental video of an ideal swim the night before an Olympic event, many athletes have long worked with trainers such as Chiplin to move beyond strictly physical preparation and consciously enlist creative mental capacities to enhance their performance. Using imagery and positive self-talk can improve

the efforts of any type of athlete and, as Chiplin’s clients have found, improve their lives. “The notion that we are just a physical body, so we just need to train physically, is old-fashioned,” Chiplin maintains. Shortly after launching his program six years ago, he learned firsthand how powerful the mind could be in boosting (or sabotaging) performance. He remarks, “It quickly became apparent that the main issues people face are the mental things, what is happening in their heads.” Chiplin recalls watching runners fall from the peak capabilities they had reached after training hard for endurance events as their mileage tapered off in the final days before the race. Similarly, he thinks the sort of “negative visualization” he witnessed can have a similar impact on everyday life events, such as exams, interviews and job achievement. Although unclear about its exact mechanism, sports psychologists have long recognized the value of positive mental imagery, especially in building skills and reducing anxiety. In working with athletes, they apply shared models such as those reported in The Sport Psychologist.

Both professional and amateur runners have benefited from Chiplin’s camps, including graduate Ginny Landes, 62, who says visualization techniques have changed her running outlook and her life. “My goal is not high achievement or personal records; it’s to always finish my run feeling good,” says Landes, of Lafayette, Colorado. As part of the visualizing process, she says she also clears her mind of negative thoughts, stops comparing her performance to others and accepts factors that are out of her control, whether it’s bad race weather or competitive colleagues. Practicing helpful visualization techniques consistently in daily life can lead to better returns across the board, not just in athletics, according to Terry Orlick, a performance consultant from Ottawa, Ontario, and author of many self-improvement books, including Embracing Your Potential and In Pursuit of Excellence. Orlick has worked with people from many walks of life that use imagery in their quest for improvement, including surgeons, musicians, pilots, dancers, astronauts and CEOs. When working with Canadian Olympic

teams, Orlick found that 99 percent of the athletes practiced visualization an average of 12 minutes per day, four times a week. Studies have linked imagery and improved performance in a variety of sports. For instance, researchers found that golfers that used visualization and positive self-talk improved their putting performance (Journal of Sports Science & Medicine). Another study showed an increase in confidence among novice female rock climbers, leading to better performance (Journal of Sport Behavior). For Landes, her personal experience is all the proof she needs. After years of rarely being able to run the entire course of a major annual race in Aspen—generally walking the last stretch—Landes tried visualizing herself having a strong finish as she trained and prepared for the event. For weeks, she replayed the last three miles many times in her mind. Then she ran the race, paring 12 minutes off her previous year’s time. “It felt great,” Landes says, “and it worked.”


Freelance journalist Debra Melani writes about health care and fitness from Lyons, CO. Connect at Debra or

Source: Adapted from Association for Applied Sport Psychology

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With Open Hands Therapeutic Massage

Community Spotlight by Kim Racette


elping people to play again after living a life hard is a very simple and straightforward goal, but owner of With Open Hands Therapeutic Massage Marcia Flynn, CMT explained that it sums up what she does best. “Most of my clients come to me because they have been injured, life has begun to take a toll on them or they are fed up with chronic pain,” she said. “They want to be comfortable in their bodies, and if we can erase some of the damage they have done they can get back to the business of living.” It was a case of burnout, a common motivator for so many people, in 1997 that put Flynn on this path she is so passionate about sharing. “After spending 20 years as a Computer Systems Specialist, I realized that I needed to do something different. I took two weeks and wrote down everything I loved to do and what I can get paid to do,” she remembered with a rueful smile. “I ended up taking two workshops in massage, the beginning of the journey that led me to this point.” After graduating from a 1,000 hour program at the Health Enrichment Center – Lapeer in Indianapolis, she went on to additional training in Russian Medical Massage, Shiatsu, Advanced Clinical Therapies and French Osteopath practices before eventually relocating to Grand Rapids. “I moved in 1998 from the flat plains of Indy for the beautiful state of Michigan,” she said. “It was kind of a no-brainer because I knew the business opportunities here would be better.” She joined a massage practice with a salon and for the next ten years honed her skills and built her practice. “I am a big believer in continuing education and am always looking to learn additional forms of treatment,” she said firmly. “Adding to my toolbox helps me to be better equipped to work with a variety of conditions.” In 2010, Flynn opened With Open Hands Therapeutic Massage and has enjoyed every minute of it. “I love it. It’s a bit like detective work including everything from really listening to my clients, hearing about their daily activities and looking at them before I am able to put a treatment plan in place,” she explained. “It’s always amazing how many people can’t get anyone to listen to them, or even look at them for that matter, but for me it begins there.” Each situation is different of course and results vary, sometimes depending on that person’s determination to get well. “People need to put their health on a high priority list. By seeking out appropriate treatment that works to reduce or eliminate the core issue rather than taking symptom masking pills, their quality of life improves,” she pointed out. “When you feel better


West Michigan Edition

physically, your outlook on life can improve as well.” One client literally opened her purse on her first visit to show Flynn the six bottles of pills that went everywhere with her. “The last bottle was Valium so she wouldn’t care that she couldn’t work anymore,” she said, shaking her head. “After two visits the acute phase was over, the pills were gone and her outlook had vastly improved.” Flynn cautioned though, that results are also affected by previous body work and when people are better in tune with what their body is telling them. “The body does actually tell us what to do, or at least call for help, if we just listen to its wisdom,” she pointed out. “We just need to get to the root of a problem and take care of it.” Flynn lives with her two cats Shackleton (after the explorer) and Mario (after Chef Mario Batali) and in her spare time enjoys crewing a tall ship out of South Haven through the Michigan Maritime Museum. “This is life, and we need to make the most of it,” she said. “We need to spend time with those we love, doing what we enjoy and feel good,” she said with a smile. “People should not buy into the notion that chronic pain is just the way life has to be, or that at their age they should just expect the ravages of time to stay with them forever. It doesn’t have to be that way.” With Open Hands Therapeutic Massage is located in The Essential Touch Wellness Center in Cascade, at 6810 Old 28th St. SE in Grand Rapids, MI 49546. For more information contact Marcia Flynn at or 616-827-1760 to set an appointment for a consultation or treatment. See ad page 31.

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natural awakenings

April 2013





Liver and Adrenal Issues Share Symptoms by Dr. Shawn Messonnier


drenal and liver diseases can commonly plague pets, with adrenal problems occurring more often in dogs but routinely misdiagnosed, and liver disease more frequently present in cats.

Liver Disease

Adrenal Disease

Adrenal issues, especially common in middle-aged and older canines, can refer to Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease—signifying decreased or increased adrenal function, respectively— and are commonly misdiagnosed as liver disease.   Addison’s disease, although not prevalent, is often incorrectly diagnosed because its symptoms of reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness are shared with most other diseases. Blood testing can

This inclusive term is used to describe any disorder of the liver. In both dogs and cats, common causes include toxins, infections, metabolic problems and tumors. In cats, infections and fatty liver disease are more likely, while dogs more often experience infections and tumors. Clinically affected pets are usually anorectic (not eating) “In my veterinary and lethargic; in severe cases, jaundice practice, pets with may occur. Conventional therapies depend to elevated levels of some extent on the cause, but in genenzymes indicating eral, antibiotics and hospitalization for fluid therapy and forced feeding, often liver or adrenal through a stomach tube, are necesdisease are always sary to give the pet the best chances of recovering. Pets with liver cancer are treated with natuusually diagnosed too late to be a canral remedies first. didate for surgery, unless only one liver lobe is involved, or chemotherapy. In most cases,   More gentle natural therapy often this treatment is results in curing the condition, even in later stages, depending upon the effective and root cause. The herb milk thistle is conventional well known for its ability to heal liver damage. B vitamins, as well as the medication is nutritional supplements comprising not needed.” S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and phosphatidylcholine, may also be effec~ Dr. Shawn Messonnier tive treatments.   32 West Michigan Edition

be helpful, but is not always definitive. Cushing’s disease is a more common problem. Signs mimic diabetes and kidney disease, including increases in appetite, thirst and urination. Accurate diagnosis requires specialized blood tests and abdominal sonograms. Conventional treatment for either disease involves lifelong medication. Natural therapies that work to prevent and alleviate such ailments may involve adrenal glandular supplements, milk thistle and herbs such as licorice (for Addison’s disease) or ginseng and magnolia bark (for Cushing’s disease). Regular laboratory testing is important for a pet to allow for early diagnosis and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases. If a pet develops liver or adrenal disease, combining conventional therapies with natural remedies usually results in successful treatment of the condition. Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. Visit PetCare

consciouseating by Amanda Merritt


ichigan is ranked second in diversity of agriculture, only to the state of California. As the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development has found, “Michigan leads the nation in the production of several crops, including dry beans, red tart cherries, blueberries, squash, nine floriculture products and cucumbers for pickles. Though the state has this great, high quality selection of products, many of us do not understand the value of eating seasonally and all that eating seasonally entails. Eating seasonally means eating the foods that are available here and now and avoiding those that need to be shipped in from other sources because they are not currently in season here. It boasts many benefits and should be greatly taken into consideration when a quick stop to the grocery store or farmer’s market is made. Eating seasonally, as explains, reduces the energy needed to grow and transport the food we eat. If we consume the products we have available in Michigan, we do not have to import foods from elsewhere. It also aids in avoiding having to pay a higher price for food that is scarcer or has travelled a long way. Foods that are brought in from other sources typically cost more due to shipping. Eating seasonally therefore further supports the local economy, allowing our farmers and growers to better prosper here in Michigan, as opposed to paying farmers/growers elsewhere for their products. It also allows us to reconnect with nature’s cycles and the passing of time as the growing seasons have intended for us to live. If the reasons listed above aren’t enough to make you consider how you can better eat seasonally, notice that at the heart of eating seasonally lies the foundation of enjoying fresher, tastier, more nutritious food as we are able to consume local products much faster, and therefore in their prime, than those imported in. Now that the benefits of eating seasonally have been established, this has to be put into perspective with what Michigan has to offer. As we plow through April, we begin to see asparagus, greens and herbs beginning to sprout up in our grocery stores and markets. In May, peas, potatoes and rhubarb will join that list allowing for great salad options or delicious, fresh rhubarb pies. June brings in strawberries, peaches, blackberries, beans, squash and the beginning of cherry season, and July and August host an array of lip-licking summer fruits and vegetables all available right here in Michigan (for a complete crop calendar for the state of Michigan, notifying which months particular crops are available, visit We are blessed to live in a state with such a variety, as previously mentioned, almost constantly at our fingertips year-round. Once a particular growing season begins, that product will begin to show up in your grocery stores, farmer’s markets and hopefully on your plate as well. There are many farms in West Michigan that make eating seasonally a family outing, a great

Eating Michigan date idea or a fun activity for the kids, allowing visitors to get out and pick their own, fresh, local produce, an enjoyable and exciting activity at any age. However, being surrounded by lakes and rivers and a home of great hunting land, Michigan residents must also consider what it means to eat seasonally when it comes to fish and other wild game in addition to seasonal produce. Unlike produce, fishing and hunting/trapping have specific seasons appointed by the state of Michigan, giving licensed fishers and hunters/trappers a certain amount of time to consume some animals legally. Swimming around in our 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan is home to species that can be fished for seasonally such as Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Walleye, Salmon, Trout and many other edible swimmers. To purchase a fishing license or to view the 2013-2014 fishing season calendar, visit For the hunter/trapper, or those hoping to reap the benefits of the hunter/trapper, species such as black bear, rabbits, crow, deer, elk, male pheasants, quail, the ruffed grouse, the sharp-tailed grouse, squirrel, wild turkey and woodcock can all be found in the state. Like fishing, a hunting license is also required, and each species can only be hunted within the specific season denoted by the Department of Natural Resources. To purchase a hunting license or to view the 20132014 hunting and trapping season calendar, you can also visit Though eating seasonally with fish and other wild game can take a bit more work, Michigan is indeed, host of great fishing and hunting waters and land. In fact, in 2012 Outdoor Life Magazine ranked Michigan’s Traverse City as the 11th best fishing and hunting city in the entire country. All of this goes to show that Michigan truly has wonderful resources available to us year-round so long as we pay attention to what they are. Choosing the right foods to eat at the right time can make a big difference in our economy, our environment, our overall health and the quality of foods we consume. Be sure to utilize the impressive diversity of foods available to us proud Michiganders as you seek to plan your meals in accordance with the seasons. Amanda Merritt is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at mandi. natural awakenings

April 2013



while, most EV owners simply charge up at home.

Driving Excitement

GOING ELECTRIC Tech Advances May Drive Eco-Transportation Mainstream by Brita Belli


ith the opening of three new Supercharger stations for its luxury Model S on the East Coast last January, electric carmaker Tesla now operates a total of nine stations serving its electric sedan owners between San Francisco and Los Angeles and between Boston and Washington, D.C. That same month, Nissan announced plans to add 500 public stations for electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging, which provide 80 percent of a charge in

less than 30 minutes, tripling the number of such stations by mid-2014, including the first ones in our nation’s capital. It also aims to increase the presence of charging stations at workplaces. These steps in the growth in infrastructure are easing Americans’ transition from gas-powered to electric and hybrid cars. Already, more than 7,000 public charging stations dot the country, from Custer, Washington, to Key West, Florida (plan a route at Tinyurl. com/MobileChargingStations). Mean-

Excitement has risen in recent years as electric car manufacturers have rolled out more affordable, family-friendly versions like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Honda is testing its Fit EV in 2013; with only 1,100 available to lease, opportunities to try out the fun, sporty car are at a premium. These models offer considerable fuel efficiency, easy charging and even apps to check their charge, yet eco-vehicles continue to represent a fraction of overall car sales. In a 2012 report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted that fewer than 10,000 EVs were sold in 2011. While sales of all-electric vehicles improved slightly in the first half of 2012, dealers saw nowhere near the major jump produced by plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius. Obstacles to a stronger EV sales upswing include purchase price, charging time and driver anxiety about range. “The battery is a big reason the cars are expensive,” says Jim Motavalli, author of High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry. “More public charging

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is coming,” he adds, “but it doesn’t matter as much as a cheaper upfront cost and longer range—200 miles plus—instead of the standard 100 now.”

Mass Transit

Almost any form of public transportation can run on alternative power— electricity or natural gas, propane, biodiesel or hydrogen. “The big hurdle,” says Motavalli, “is having enough stations to rival the 160,000 conveniently located gas stations we already have.” Biodiesel buses have been in use for several years at locations like Colorado’s Aspen resorts and Harvard University. Musicians Willie Nelson and Jack Johnson each rely on a biodiesel tour bus. Many school buses—including those in Charleston, West Virginia; Medford, New Jersey; and San Diego, California—have been converted to biodiesel, significantly reducing the toxic emissions and particulate matter children breathe in at bus stops. Some school systems in Michigan and New York use hybrid-electric buses. Vehicle fleets are also joining the greening trend. Kansas City, Missouribased Smith Electric Vehicles already

produces all-electric, zero-emission trucks for Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Staples and the U.S. Marines. The need for regular recharging, a former obstacle for deploying electric buses for public transportation, has been cleared by Utah State University’s (USU) Aggie Bus. The groundbreaking, all-electric bus has a plate that draws off electricity across an air gap when it pauses over another plate installed at a bus stop. In mid-2013, WAVE, Inc., the university’s offshoot company behind the project, will launch a commercial on-campus demonstration in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority, via a 40-foot-long transit bus and 50 kilowatts of wireless power transfer. Such wireless technology could also revolutionize electric-car recharging. “EV owners and operators will now be able to simply drive over a pad in the ground to recharge their batteries, the benefits of which reach far beyond convenience,” says Robert T. Behunin,

Ph.D., USU vice president of commercialization and regional development. Regarding greening travel by train, Europe is leagues ahead of America; half its trains are now electric. A new regenerative braking system being developed by Deutsche Bahn and Tognum could turn all trains into hybrids. Its innovative drive system converts the kinetic energy produced during braking into usable electrical energy, reducing emissions and saving up to 25 percent in fuel consumption. The first such converted hybrid train testing the technology began carrying passengers in Germany in January 2013. The International Energy Agency’s 2012 EV City Casebook reports that, “Electric vehicles represent one of the most promising technology pathways for cutting oil use and CO2 on a per-kilometer basis. The experiences of urban drivers and the pioneering policies of local governments can help accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable mobility.” Freelance writer Brita Belli is the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine. Connect at

natural awakenings

April 2013


Community Spotlight by Amanda Merritt

Journey Home Yoga & Health


ig changes are in store for Journey Home Yoga and Health, West Michigan’s only Kripalu Affiliate studio, and Chitradevi C. Caradedios, JHYH Founder, Kripalu E-RYT and Wellness Provider, as the one year anniversary of the downtown Ada studio is celebrated this month and the finishing touches are put on an expansion to the studio. The expansion will seek to include a separate yoga studio/classroom, a wellness and private consulting room and a small retail/waiting area. Caradedios’ face lights up as she talks about her passion for yoga, Kripalu yoga specifically, and all that it has to offer those who practice it. She began, as a student in 2001, after her first daughter was born and she wanted some type of physical practice to commit to. Her practice quickly became much more than just a physical practice; it began to form a deeper mind/body connection in her and a deeper awareness and rediscovery of her true self, which she now seeks to help her students find as well. Her journey as a teacher/wellness provider began seven years ago when her own teacher moved away and asked Caradedios to take over her classes. From there, Caradedios went through a Kripalu E-RYT 200 and 500 hour certification program, an Acharya program, she became a Reiki master and she achieved her Positional Release Therapy certification. The highly qualified Caradedios opened Journey Home Yoga and Health a year ago as a mode to help others come to the realization that we’re already good, right where we’re at, and we don’t have to push ourselves to be something we’re not. “Most of us seem to be hungry and searching for a deeper understanding of ourselves and our true purpose and how to grow into that potential; we are searching for true connection with ourselves, with others and with the Divine. Yoga and its practices, not just group classes, but yoga philosophy and science as a whole as offered at JHYH, are one doorway to reach that connection and understanding,” said Caradedios. Kripalu yoga specifically has been consistently called to Caradedios’ attention as it truly focuses on the individual practice aspect of yoga. It’s all about being content with where you’re at and not pushing your body into what your body is not ready to do. That being said, anybody can do it! “Kripalu is a yoga that is much more accessible than many styles and is based on how postures fit inside an individual’s own body,


West Michigan Edition

not someone else’s,” noted Caradedios. The notion that you have to be flexible and in great shape in order to practice yoga is completely false because of this concept and the very nature of Kripalu yoga. Swami Kripalu, of whose experience Kripalu yoga is founded on, stated, “In India, those who teach kindergarten through college are called teachers. But one who has great love, who has attained a higher level of knowledge through practice, and who teaches others through his or her own life, is called an “acharya,” or spiritual teacher.” Caradedios says, “The most exciting part about being a part of this industry is the potential I see to truly help and serve others, to provide a space for learning and transformation on a multitude of levels that enables people to discover and live their lives in keeping with their own authenticity and to help people recognize and really get how amazing they truly are no matter what others might tell them or they might be telling themselves.” In addition to the expansion project as previously mentioned, JHYH is also in the process of potentially bringing two more Kripalu certified yoga teachers on board, allowing more group classes (and potentially an all-men’s class) to be offered as well as additional healing modalities to be available at JHYH. The studio will then host a certified Ayurvedic specialist as well as a certified Thai Shiatsu massage therapist. More information on these teachers and their services will be able to be found at as soon as their services are available. Those seeking ways to explore or inquire into their own self and to further become aware of how that self relates to the world may find their home at Journey Home Yoga and Health. Kripalu is known to be the yoga for everybody, and the comfort and safety of the small class sizes at JHYH may be just what it takes to begin a practice that can change an outlook on the self and on life in general. For more information or questions about Journey Home Yoga and Health, call 616-780-3604 or visit www.urhomeyoga. com. See ad page 16. Amanda Merritt is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at


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localevents Tuesday, April 16 Annual Fundraiser to Benefit Freshwater Protection- 7:00-10:00pm. West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Founders Brewing present West Michigan Needs Water: Earth Day Celebration 2013 at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Tickets for the Earth Day Celebration are $60, $100 for couples. Seating is limited. Buy tickets at

Thursday, April 18 Harvest Health Foods Green Day Fun Run & Health Fair- 5:30-8:00pm. Celebrate Earth Day with Harvest Health & Gazelle Sports. FREE Health Fair and 6K Fun Run. Bring the family. Prizes and more. Full information at 6807 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids.

Honoring Earth Day

Go Green at Parks and Other Community Events


his year’s National Park Week, from April 20 to 28, centered on Earth Day, will offer free weekday admission to all 398 national parks from April 22 to 26, adding 134 more historic sites, preserves, recreation areas and other sites to the usual 264 with no entrance fee. Earth Day’s 43rd anniversary celebrations in America and worldwide will encourage everyone to join in the next “billion acts of green,” aligned with the theme: The Face of Climate Change. “In the face of unprecedented occurrences of extreme weather, loss of species and pollution, it is clear that climate change is affecting our planet. We cannot afford to wait any longer to act,” advises the Earth Day Network, which posts many ideas for participating at Find local park activities by state at htm or check a park’s website for upcoming programs. Following are other leading local events that will help citizens of all ages answer the call to go green.

Look Locally! 40

West Michigan Edition

Saturday, April 20 Grand River Clean Up- 9:00am-12:00pm. WMEAC & the Grand Haven Area Jaycees present the Third Annual Grand River Green Up. Check-in and breakfast at Harbor Island Fairgrounds. Buses and walking groups depart for clean up sites at 9:30am, return at noon. T-shirt & lunch provided. All ages with parental supervision or permission slip. Register at Party for The Planet- 10:00am-3:00pm. Festivities will include booths, stations, and demonstrations from the area’s top conservation-minded organizations as well as a convenient drive-up recycling center for just about any item. Admission to the event is $5/adults, $4/children 3-13 & children 2 and under are always free. John Ball Zoo, 1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids. Green Earth March- 12:00-1:00pm. Come to the Franklin Street parking lot south of the courthouse, and march with us on foot, or on anything that doesn’t use fossil fuels, down Washington and up Columbus to the Earth Day Fair. Free. Corner of Fifth and Franklin Streets in Grand Haven. Earth Day Fair-1:00-4:00pm. Food, games, and environmentally friendly products. Live animal demonstrations. Music from Prevailing Winds Community Band, school choirs, and others. Community Center at 421 Columbus Street, Grand Haven. Earth Day Rock Concert- 4:00-7:00pm. Local bands, soloists, and poets. In Central Park across the street from the Community Center at 421 Columbus Street, Grand Haven.

Monday, April 22 Muskegon Area Earth Week: Electronics Recycling- 9:00am-4:00pm. 4/22-4/26. CompRenew will be collecting your old, unwanted electronics at Nichols Paper at 1391 Judson at no charge. If it has a cord or battery, they will recycle it (with the exception of large appliances & items with coolant). For info on acceptable items call 616-451-4400. Event details, visit Muskegon Area Earth Week: Sustainability Awards- 6:30pm. Awards ceremony will take place at the Book Nook & Java Shop at 8744 Ferry Street in Montague. A pre-reception will be held at Nuveen Community Center for the Arts at 6pm. Come see a special art exhibit about birds. Both events are free. For info call Doug Wood at 231-760-1350 or visit

Tuesday, April 23 Muskegon Area Earth Week: Rain Barrel Workshop- 6:30pm. WMEAC in partnership with the Muskegon Conservation District, Muskegon County and a grant from the Environmental Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, is providing low cost rain barrels through a workshop being held at the Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) at 200 Viridian Lane, Muskegon. Register at

Saturday, April 27 Green Market and Info Expo- 10:00am-3:00pm. Browse fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Stop by the information booths hosted by local earth-friendly organizations to learn about how to make your home more energy efficient, tips on basic bike repair and more. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. Growing Together: A Family Gardening Workshop- 12:00pm. Celebrate Earth Week with a family gardening workshop! Learn about different types of vegetables, what they need to grow, and how families can grow and eat vegetables together. Registration required at Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. Muskegon Area Earth Week: Fuel Economy Challenge- 1:00-4:00pm. Competition is underway for the most fuel efficient vehicles in 5 categories. Come take a close look at the entries, talk to the engineers and owners and even get inside a couple. Electric motorcycles, hybrid cars and more. or visit MAREC, 200 Viridian Drive, Muskegon Muskegon Area Earth Week: Earth Fair- 1:00-4:00pm. Bring the family to play games, win prizes, hear demonstrations, and see cool technology. Organizations and businesses will be showing what our area has to offer in terms of natural resources, eco products and services, green jobs and sustainable practices. MAREC, 200 Viridian Lane, Muskegon. For info: 231-288-0999. Moving by Bicycle: How a Community Bike Program Can Keep You on a Bike- 2:30pm. Tom Bolton, Executive Director of Oakdale Neighbors, will introduce participants to the Boston Square Community Bikes Program and other similar community programs. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids.


Friday, April 12

Note: Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication.

Monday, April 1 Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:458:45pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in Americatrained healers. $5. Satya Yoga, 133 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-929-6796

Tuesday, April 2 Stress & Your Genes- 7:00pm. Performance Coach Elle Ingalls shares research about how stress affects your genes and your health. Free. Call 269-832-3573 or email to reserve seats. Greencrest Manor, 6174 Halbert Rd. Battle Creek.

Wednesday, April 3 Awakened Potentials Women’s Boot Camp- 6:008:30pm. Helping self aware women make the lasting changes they’ve been longing to make, but keep falling short due to over thinking and overwhelm. $20. Daina (DINAH) Puodziunas at Open Mind Store, 39 Courtland, Rockford. Eckhart Tolle Evening Meditation Group- 7:00 8:00pm. Join us for stillness and silent meditation, and explore the teachings of Eckhart Tolle through a video-facilitated by Paul Schroeder. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St., NE; Grand Rapids. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle - 7:00-8:00 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. $5 Donation. Holistic Care Approach 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids. For info call 269-908-1016.

Friday, April 5 Hula Hooping w/ Rebecca Urick- 6:00-7:00pm. Burn up to 600 calories and build core muscles the fun way! $15, hoops provided. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580 Runner’s Workshop- 6:30-8pm. Designed for runners of all abilities, will use Ayurvedic principles to evaluate performance and adapt training techniques for your body type. Discuss injury prevention, proper running form, as well as current trends such as barefoot running. $25. On The Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge Ste A, Spring Lake.

Saturday, April 6 Bija Yoga Prenatal Program- 12:00-1:15pm. Bija is Sanskrit for seed and the name for our prenatal program. Benefits include body awareness, alignment, strength, and relaxation. Breathwork may improve sleep and ease delivery. We welcome you and your baby postpartum too! $10 drop in. On The Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge Ste A, Spring Lake.

Sunday, April 7 SEEK- 5:00-7:00pm on 4/7,4/14 & 4/21. Could Faith Work for You? Food, fun and conversation. A helpful no pressure environment w/o agendas where people can take steps forward on their spiritual

journey. Please RSVP to $35 per person covers 8 dinners. Venue info & more visit

Monday, April 8 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program: Free Information Session - 6:30pm. 4/8 & 4/16. With Carol Hendershot. Manage your stress and take charge of your own health and well-being. 8-Week Program starts on Wednesday, April 24. Call 616361-3660 for info & to register. Free. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 E. Beltline Court, Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, April 9 WMEAC Film Series: The Last Mountain6:00-9:00pm. Explores the devastating effects strip-mining and mountain top removal has on communities and the great American landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains. Panel discussion will focus on water pollution in Michigan from emissions of particulate matter and mercury from burning coal for energy. Grand Rapids Public Museum. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program: Free Information Session - 6:30pm. 4/9 & 4/16. With Carol Hendershot. Manage your stress and take charge of your own health and well-being. 8-Week Program starts on Tuesday, April 23. Call 616-3613660 for info & to register. Free. Held at Wellness Forum, 4990 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, April 10 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program: Free Information Session – 9:30am 4/10 & 4/27. With April Hadley, MSW. Manage your stress and take charge of your own health and well-being. 8-Week Program starts on Wednesday, April 24. Call 616361-3660 for info & to register. Free. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 E. Beltline Court, Grand Rapids. Eckhart Tolle Meditation Group- 12:00-1:00pm. Take time out for peace in your busy life. Join facilitator Patrick Duiven for silent meditation followed by an Eckhart Tolle DVD. This group is very informal and newcomers are always welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St., NE; Grand Rapids. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services Open House- 4:00-6:00pm. Come share and learn about Young Living Essential Oils, the services and classes I offer. Come sample products & services. It is a free event. Call Jodi with any questions 616-443-4225 or 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids.

Reversing Diabetes- 4/12-4/14. Includes book, weekend accommodations, “classroom” sessions, cooking classes, all meals and written materials for $395. Held at the Arundel Mansion in South Haven, Michigan (@2 hour drive from Chicago). Call Jill for more information 269-906-2226. 10 Day “Detoxing” Week: 4/12-4/21. 10 days of “clean” foods, smoothies, fresh veggies, raw soups, etc. Includes book, weekend accommodations, “classroom” sessions, cooking classes, all meals and written materials, DVD, group sessions and day passes to our 8 million dollar Wellness Facility. Held at the Arundel Mansion in South Haven, Michigan. Call Jill for information 269-906-2226 Restorative Yoga w/ Jessica Roodvoets- 6:308:30pm. Let go and enjoy supported poses that deepen relaxation and restore energy. Pre-register $18, $25 at the door. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Saturday, April 13 35th Anniversary Celebration- 5:00-8:00pm. Celebrate Grand Rapids’ first yoga studio, founded by Carolyn Heines in 1979 and journeying through innumerable locations before locating in its present East Hill location with 6 teachers including Kat McKinney, who is buying the studio and will continue the tradition of offering classical hatha yoga to the community. Refreshments will be served. Free. 955 Cherry SE, Grand Rapids.

Sunday, April 14 Introduction to Cupping as a Modality I & II- 8:30am-5:30pm. 4/14 & 4/15. Cupping Massage as a modality 16 NCBTMB approved CE’s. $250. Class includes training on different types of cups, with training on full body and face. Cups are provided to use in training. Enroll at or 616-791-0472. Grand Rapids, Standale area. Eckankar Worship Service- 10:00-11:00am. Live life in harmony with Divine Spirit. Second Sunday each month. No charge. Dominican Center at Marywood, Rm 4, 2025 E Fulton St., Grand Rapids. 616-245-7003, West Michigan Spirit Faire- 10:00am-5:00pm. Aura Photos, Drums, Jewelry, Alternative Health Practitioners, Reiki, Crystals & Stones, Palmistry, Massage, Intuitive Readers, Avon, Reflexology, Candles, Silpada Silver, Energy Tuning and more. $3 Admission - Door Prizes. Plainwell Comfort Inn, Exit 49A off US131. Shamanic Journey - Path of the Seeker- 2:006:30pm at Congregation Ahavas Israel, 2727 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, April 11

Monday, April 15

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program: Free Information Session – 6:30pm. 4/11 & 4/18. With April Hadley, MSW. Manage your stress and take charge of your own health and well-being. 8-Week Program starts on Thursday, April 25. Call 616-361-3660 for info & to register. Free. Center of Unlimited Possibilities, 14998 Cleveland Street, Spring Lake and the Spring Lake Aquatic Center.

NoGMO4Michigan Grand Rapids Chapter Group Meeting- 6:30-8:30pm- Please join the growing Grand Rapids Chapter of NoGMO4Michigan for the April group meeting. Agenda includes: guest speaker, a non-gmo treat, strategy / upcoming events discussion, & building a nonGMO basket to donate. Free. Please bring a GMO free good for the basket. Kava House, 1445 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids.

natural awakenings

April 2013


Tuesday, April 16 Learn Trigger Point Massage- 6:00pm. Presented by Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS. Workshop participants will learn what a trigger point is, what causes them, how to prevent them and more. Free. Seating is limited to first 30 callers. RSVP at 616447-9888. East Beltline Suite #4 Grand Rapids. All About Seeds- 7:00-8:30 pm. Rachelle and Andrew Bostwick of Earthkeeper Farm will discuss details about life giving seeds. The presentation will cover ideas such as heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds, genetically modified seeds and more. Nourishing Ways of West Michigan. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division, Grand Rapids. Improving Relationships-7:00pm. Performance Coach Elle Ingalls shares simple ways to improve relationships with co-workers, parents, teens, children, and partners. Free. Call 269-832-3573 or email elle@Pressure-Free. com. Greencrest Manor, 6174 Halbert Rd. Battle Creek.

Wednesday, April 17 Reiki Share Group- 5:30-7:30pm. For all who are trained in Reiki. Share experiences and Reiki. Jan Atwood, Reiki Master/Teacher. Free. 801 Broadway Ave NW, Suite 436. Grand Rapids.

Thursday, April 18 Introduction to Passage Meditation and the Allied Skills- 10-11am & 7-8pm. As taught by Eknath Easwaran at Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker N.W. Free will offering. Find out how this form of meditation can help to solve life’s problems. Experience a 10 min period of meditation. www.easwaran. org. 616- 636-4023 Grand Rapids. 17th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series4:00-5:00pm. Where Children Matter: Linking Children’s Health to Our Environment. With Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda. RSVP to by April 8, 2013. Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids. BARK at The BOB: Benefit Dinner & Auction6:00pm. One of Mackenzie Animal Sanctuary’s largest fundraisers and they look for support from animal lovers to help make this event a success. Enjoy an evening of wonderful cuisine, live music and more. On the 3rd floor of The BOB located at 20 Monroe Ave NW in Grand Rapids. Basic Homeopathy for the Spring and Summer7:00-8:30pm. This program will help you understand the basics of homeopathy. We will also give you insight into the use of homeopathic remedies for sunburn, poison ivy, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and many other conditions associated with summer “fun”. $10. The Healing Center, 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview.

Friday, April 19 The Cancer Project: Cancer Prevention and Survival: 4/19-4/21. $395 Includes book, weekend accommodations, “classroom” sessions, cooking classes, all meals and written materials. Held at the Arundel Mansion in South Haven, Michigan. Call Jill for more information 269-906-2226 Stress Free Wellness Retreat- 7:00-10:00pm. 4/19 & 4/20: 9am-2pm. Stress, even just a little of it, is a main inhibitor to a healthy lifestyle, meaningful personal and professional relationships and maximized performance. Experience Pressure-Free Living’s


West Michigan Edition

transformational course with Elle Ingalls. $297. Call 269-832-3573 or email Greencrest Manor, 6174 Halbert Rd. Battle Creek.

Saturday, April 20 Women’s Day of Renewal- 10:30am-4:30pm. A day for women set to engage, energize, and unite your body, mind, and spirit. Speakers will offer expertise to live your best, most INSPIRED LIFE! Participate in our many heart-centered activities. $50-Lunch included. Info & register at: www.theinspiredlifestore. com. Holiday Inn, 940 W Savidge St, Spring Lake. Medicine Cabinet Makeover- 11:00am. This FREE class will empower you to take charge of your healthcare with self-directed medicinal oils that you can utilize everyday to improve your body’s chemistry and natural defenses. Zyto scan offered before class. Call 616-634-8500 to register. Serenity4Life, 944 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids. Monthly Tea Tasting- 12:00pm-2:00pm. Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more.... has tea tasting one Saturday a month. Tea tasters get to try 10 teas for $10 (call/stop in for more details). Kin of Hope Natural Heatlh/Perry’s Place LLC, 90 N. Main Street Suite B Cedar Springs. Herbal First-Aid Kit- 1:00-3:00pm. Instructor: Suzannah Barrie, owner BarrieBeau Herb Farm. Showing you how to prepare a Herbal First-Aid Kit and we are going to make our own balm. Herbal snack will be included. $20/ half due upon registration. Birds of a Feather, 5286 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids. Awakening Somatic Intelligence w/ Kathy Florentine- 1:30-3:00pm. A conscious embodiment of yoga - use visualization, breath work and balls to foster mindfulness in the body. $30. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580

Monday, April 22 Meatless Monday- 6:00pm. Learn more about the national Meatless Monday movement and get inspired during the vegan cooking demo. Free and open to the public. Registration is required at register. Free. 423 Norwood Ave SE, Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, April 23 Bringing Your Family From Junk Food to REAL Food!- 6:30pm. A Free Seminar with Kelly the Kitchen Kop - A Real Life approach to feeding your family healthy! More info at Harvest Health Foods, 4150 32nd Ave Hudsonville. More than Everything You Wanted to Know About Birds- 7:00pm. You will learn about types of feed and feeders, what birdbaths and shelters work well, and how to attract more birds to your yard by landscaping with native plants. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, April 24 Reiki Share- 6:30-8:30pm. Come share & learn about Reiki. Open to all that care to share Reiki, and those who would like to try receiving Reiki. No charge - donations are welcome. Call or email if questions 616-443-4225 or heavenlyhealings@ 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, April 25 Introduction to Virtual Gastric Band for Weight

Loss- 7:00-8:00pm.This presentation will explain the use of hypnosis using the Virtual Gastric Band to help people learn to feel full faster and be totally satisfied with less food. Free. The Healing Center, 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview.

Friday, April 26 Reiki I & II Class- 9:00am-5:00pm. Become attuned and learn how to give treatment to self and others. $200 includes manual and the $50 deposit required to register. 8 CE Hours. Call Jodi at 616443-4225 to register or heavenlyhealings@yahoo. com. 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids.

Saturday, April 27 Start on Your path to Teaching Yoga- Join Mimi Ray for the 200 Hour program, The Art of Teaching Yoga. Please contact us at 616-361-8580 for more information. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Essential Oil Training: I (Basic) 9:30am-11:30am & II (Everyday Oils) 12:00pm-2:00pm & III (Raindrop) 2:00-4:00pm. Learn the basics of the benefits and uses of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. $25 includes class materials & pre-registration required. 6 CE Hours. Jodi at 616-443-4225 or heavenlyhealings@ 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids. Aromatherapy Workshop-10am-2pm & 10am-4pm 4/27 & 4/28. Workshop for anyone interested in learning about essential oils and two top therapies using essential oils. Call for details and to register before 04-12-13. Kin of Hope Natural Heatlh/Perry’s Place LLC, 90 N. Main Street Suite B, Cedar Springs. Immersion/Teacher Training w/ Mimi Ray12:30-6:15pm. Begin your Journey to a deeper understanding of Yoga. Call 616-361-8580 to register. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580

Sunday, April 28 Zoo Zen Yoga for Kids- 2:00-3:00pm. Designed for kids aged 5-10 to learn about healthy, noncompetitive physical movement. Helps to find focus and develop body awareness. We keep the fun in fundamentals so little yogis will enjoy moving, stretching, and energizing their bodies. $10. On The Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge Ste A, Spring Lake.

Thursday, May 2 Food is the Problem, Food is the Solution- 2pm or 5:30pm. If you have fatigue, overweight, brain fog, bloating, moodiness or if you’re being treated for disease, food may be an unsuspected problem. Learn to identify underlying food issues. Take corrective action for your whole family in our 4-week ‘Healthy Family Diet’ program - we include the cooking sessions. $147. Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th Street, Holland. Introduction to Rites of Passage & Vision Quest7:00-9:00pm. These ceremonies help us connect with nature and spirit to integrate life changes and seek new direction. Free. Download brochure at or call Owl Hawk at 586-306-6075 / 616856-4957. 4990 Cascade SE, Suite 3, Grand Rapids.

Friday, May 3 Free-Essential Oils from A-Z- 9:30am-5:00pm. 5/3-5/4. Training session with Dana Young, PhD, Founder & CEO of Be Young Essential Oils will

cover the form and function giving an in depth understanding of beneficial properties to the human body. Free. Call to RSVP. Clara VanderZouwen 616698-6148, Holiday Inn 3063 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Kentwood.

Saturday, May 4 Makeup Fearlessly with Sappho Organic Cosmetics- 11:00-5:00pm. Free Toxic Free Makeover Fun was had by everyone who attended the February event, and this one promises to be even better with Steve from Sappho in attendance. Call Teri at Sérendipité Organiques 616-419-8115 to RSVP. Sérendipité Organiques, 944 Cherry St SE Grand Rapids.

savethedate May 10-12 Plant Sale - Find great deals at the plant sale. Top brands, expert knowledge and service at Horizen Hydroponics, 1614 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids.

savethedate May 15 Raindrop Therapy®- 8:30am-5:30pm. Come learn Raindrop Therapy® $125 and 8 CE. We supply all you will need to take the class you only need to bring your sheets. Institute of Sanative Arts, 0-112979 Tallmadage Woods Dr. Standale.

savethedate May 22 Salt Body Polish- 9:00am-4:00pm. Learn a salt body Polish that you can add to your menu that does not require you have a shower at your studio. Earn 6 NCBTMB CE. $75. Bring only your sheets and face cradle we supply all the rest. Institute of Sanative Arts, 0-112979 Tallmadage Woods Dr. Standale.

savethedate May 23 Hot Stone Massage Training- 8:30am-5:30pm. As a full service or as a modality 8 NCBTMB approved CE’s. $75 8:30-5:30. Class will include training on full body and face. Stones will be provided to use in training. Bring only your sheets. Enroll at www. or 616-7910472. Grand Rapids, Standale area.

savethedate June 14-16 Buttermilk Jamboree- Buttermilk is a 3 day music & arts festival that takes place at, and benefits Circle Pines Center; a non-profit cooperative organization. Lineup includes: Rusted Root, Andru Bemis, Anne Weiss, Badenya Drumming Ensemble and many more. Visit for more info. Circle Pines Center, 8650 Mullen Road, Delton.

ongoingevents Note: Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. Events must be re-submitted each month by the 15th of the month. Events subject to change, please call ahead.

All Month Long


April Special: Gemstone Facial- April is Diamond Month. Celebrate it with our Gemstone Facial! The entire month of April only $65! Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, 10500 Chicago Drive, Zeeland. 231-557-3619.

Sunday Sunday Worship and Youth Services- 10:30am. Variety of classes held weekly. A warm, welcoming, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Unity of GR, 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. Intro Class- 2:00-3:30pm. 90 minute class. Not sure if pole dancing is for you? “Test the waters” before signing up for our 8 week sessions. Visit to reserve your spot! $30. Flirt Fitness, 415 Norwood St, Grand Rapids. 616-723-7350.

Monday $30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-the-art profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. Visit for more info. Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman 6:15-7:30 pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459:00am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Free Haircut with Purchase of Color- 3:007:00pm. Free hair cut with an all over color. $55. Schedule your appointment today with Rahchelle 616-818-9224. CJ’s Studio Salon, 5286 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids. On Being a Spirit having a Physical Experience6:30pm. 2nd & 4th Tuesdays. From the Shamanic Teachings of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Path w/ Marie Moon Star Seeker. $10. Owl Hawk Clan. Open Mind in Rockford. 616-447-0128.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-the-art profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. Visit for more info. The Practice of A Course In Miracles- 7:008:30pm. Learn “miracle-mindedness”, the Course’s simple method of opening to and sharing love. Happier relationships, joy and peace result. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Thursday Free Hair Cut with Coloring- 9:00am -5:00pm. Every Thursday I am offering a Free hair with the purchase of a $45 hair coloring at Cj’s Studio Salon. $45. Call for Kathy at 616-835-7627. CJ’s Studio Salon, 5286 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids. Chair Yoga- 4:00-5:00pm. 2nd Thurs or March, April, May, June & Aug. Chair Yoga is a safe and supportive class where you will gently move your body using a chair to help you cultivate flexibility, strength, and balance. $10. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids. Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Friday Village Farmers Market- 1:00-7:00pm. Buy fresh & local from producers that utilize organic farming practices -eggs, meats, cheese, fruits & vegetables, organic Michigan milk and more. Please visit us on Facebook. Spring Lake. 616-935-7312.

Saturday Level 2 Class- 9:00-10:30pm. 90 minute intro pole dancing class. Not sure if pole dancing is for you? This class gives you a chance to test the waters! $30. Flirt Fitness, 415 Norwood St, Grand Rapids. 616-723-7350. Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman - 9:0010:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00am-1:00pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are indoors if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.

natural awakenings

April 2013


thenaturaldirectory ...connecting you to the leaders in natural health and green living in West Michigan. To find out how you can be included in The Natural Directory log-on to



MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings NW Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-735-1285

•Body & Comfort Care products made naturally since 1998 •Essential Oil Blending & Consulting •Bulk herbs, oils, etc. by the ounce •Candles, Spa accessories, Unique gifts •Reference Library •Practitioner discounts •Workspace Rental & Consignment. See ad page 6.

SÉRENDIPITÉ ORGANIQUES, LLC Teri Kelley- Owner 944 Cherry St SE Grand Rapids, 49506 616-419-8115

The only retail location in Michigan to exclusively carry organic, non-toxic products scoring ‘Low Hazard, 0-2’ on skindeep! Product lines are Zum Clean, Face Naturals, Rejuva Minerals Makeup, Elemental Herbs Sunscreen, and Sappho Organic Cosmetics. See ad page 29.


CranioSacral Therapy (CST)/Reiki Master Jamie VanDam 4456 Miramar Ave. NE Grand Rapids, 49525 616-365-9113

CST is a gentle noninvasive form of body work that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release compression in these areas which alleviate pain and stress.

Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 19.


Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Builder 616-299-5815

Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building quality livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Call today for a free quote. See ad page 11.

chiropractic care DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Ronda VanderWall 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050

Family owned and operated in the heart of downtown Grandville, Dynamic Family Chiropractic focuses on lifestyle improvements through living a maximized life. A safe and natural approach to health through the combination of exercise, nutrition, detoxification and chiropractic care.

GASLIGHT FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC 2249 Wealthy St. SE, Suite #240 East Grand Rapids, 49506 616-458-CFIT (2348)

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members.


West Michigan Edition

Experience an individualized, holistic healthcare approach! We combine spinal adjustments, Contact Reflex & Nutrition Response (Muscle Testing), Whole Food Supplementation Orthotics, Massage & Aromatherapy. Common conditions we see include: Chronic Fatigue, Headaches, IBS, Back & Neck pain and Fibromyalgia.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ain , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad page 9 & 31.


Clara VanderZouwen, NORWEX Consultant 616-698-6148 Imagine cleaning with only water! Improve the quality of your life with Norwex products by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. Save Time & Money.

cOlon hydrotherapy HARMONY ’N HEALTH

Mary De Lange, CCT. CMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 7.


Natural Health & Healing Center 723 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids 49546 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 16 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.

dentistry / holistic DENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER

Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 616-974-4990 Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, Low-Dose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia, Dentistry for Diabetes, TMJ, Chronic Head & Neck pain and Non Surgical Perio. See ad page 48.

energy healing AMA~DEUS®

Elizabeth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354 AMA-DEUS energy healing method is a hand mediated technique. Love is the basis for this healing technique, which helps to enhance our spiritual growth, expand our awareness, and promotes physical & emotional healing. See ad page 47.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 19.

essential oils BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara VanderZouwen 616-698-6148

Learn how to address issues of Pain, Stress, Hormone Imbalance, Weight Management, ADD, Allergies, Diabetes & more with Essential Oils, Ionic Foot Baths, BioEnergy scans, Nutritional & NEW Earthing products! Free monthly classes.



Grand Haven 616-846-3026 Muskegon 231-739-1568 North Muskegon 231-744-0852 Find us on Facebook

Jodi Jenks - Reiki Master 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

I am a Reiki Master that also does Essential Oil therapies including Raindrop Therapy, Emotional Clearing and Spiritual Journey work. Call or email for appointments or questions, 616-443-4225 or See ad page 7.

Natural & organic foods, vitamins & herbs, sports nutrition, gluten free food, natural body and homecare products. Open 7 days a week. See ad page 19.

holistic health centers THE HEALING CENTER

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500

HAKOMI THERAPY KEN PORTER CST, CHT 534 Fountain NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-262-3848

Hakomi Therapy can truly change your life. It’s a mindfulnessbased, experiential therapy for transforming the unconscious patterns that keep you from the love, joy, and fulfillment you deserve. Offered with exquisite care and attentiveness.

health education center THE WELLNESS FORUM

4990 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids 616-430-2291 Educational programs for personal health improvement - Workplace wellness programs - Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.

health food stores

Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. See ad in page 14.

WEST MICHIGAN PAIN MANAGEMENT THERAPY CENTER P.L.L.C. Herbert Schlichting M.S., CPT., OPT. 6745 E. Fulton, Suite A, Ada 616-706-6132

We offer various neuromuscular therapy treatments pertaining to acute or chronic condition. We o f f e r p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s training in our own facility. Our focus is to eliminate pain while educating patients own ways to prevent injuries.




Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 4693 Wilson Ave. SW Suite I, Grandville 616-667-1346

332 S. Lincoln Ave Lakeview 989-352-6500

Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing.

A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care. Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We use Clinical Homeopathy to assist traditional medications. We take most insurances. See ad page 14.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members. natural awakenings

April 2013





HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS TEAM Rachael Larabel 616-329-6178

Local independent agent representing providers of dental, health, and accident insurance for individuals and small business. Products are compliant with healthcare reform, offer free preventive care, and dental benefits with no waiting period.

interior design services ALIGn DESIGN, llc

Shawn Merkel, ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071 Align your space to be a true reflection of who you are. Specializing in Wholistic design, repurposing and Feng Shui. Full service Residential and commercial Interior design. See ad page 18.


Pattie Kooy, CMMT, CMT, HTP 5286 Plainfield NE Plainfield Twp, MI 49525 616-648-7217

Professional massage therapist offering Medical Massage, Manual Therapy, Hot Stone, Healing Touch Therapy, Essential Oils, Infrared heat lamp, Bio-energetic Therapy, Hot castor oil packs, Chinese herbal liniments & Detox Massage. Mention ad for $10 off hour massage.


Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 1003 Maryland Ave NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 21 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad page 7.


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472


Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 19.

massage therapy

Wellness spa for massage, bodywork and skincare therapy. Offering a wide diversity of style to encompass the mind, body and spirit of today’s lifestyle. Come in and enjoy our stress free spa environment today.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000


Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 616-531-6050 I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts.


West Michigan Edition

We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 9 & 31.


Grand Rapids, MI 801-557-2723 Experience simple, effortless techniques that allow you to move into a direct experience of inner peace, happiness and clear mental chatter with our free meditation meet up groups. Personal coaching, courses and weekend workshops available.

midwifery FULL CIRCLE MIDWIFERY SERVICE, INC. Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234

In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1200 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways.


Vanessa Allen, Traditional Naturopath 231-571-7724

Naturopathic Consults, Herbal Medicine, Client Centered Massage, Therapeutic Energy Wo r k , D i g e s t i v e H e a l t h , Nutritional Counseling, Primary Care, Child and Baby Wellness, Classes, Cleanses and Workshops. Muskegon/Grand Haven area. “Heal Thy Self – Heal Thy World”.

salon services CJ’S STUDIO SALON

5286 Plainfield Ave., NE Grand Rapids 49525 616-364-9191

I am an award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education. We use and sell Organic Hair Care Products, including Organic Hair Color. We also offer Ionic Detox Foot Baths.

195 calories



0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. Offering high quality, affordable massage certification courses as well as NCBTMB continuing education courses for the experienced therapist. Located conveniently to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale.

NATUROPATHIC INSTITUTE OF THERAPIES & EDUCATION 503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 989-773-1714

Educational Programs Offered: Natural Health Program - Four Years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program - One Year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program - Six Months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad page 2.


Elizabeth Beau

Practical Peace is a catalyst for Spiritual Transformation. We offer weekend classes to help you move from ego-consciousness to Spiritual Awareness to become a more authentic “you”. For more information contact Barbra at

classifieds To place a Classified Listing: Email listing to Must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication. $1.00 per word; must be pre-paid.

FOR SALE Northwest Grand Rapids Commercial Building1058 Richmond NW, Grand Rapids, MI. Current use is a full service salon on the main floor and a spacious 3 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. Great location on Richmond with steady traffic and across from the popular Richmond Park. Only $150,000! Call Jeff Blahnik at Five Star Real Estate 616-791-1500 or visit JeffBlahnik. com for more information.



Find them at 100+ local retailers like Harvest Health, Health Hutt, Earth’s Edge, The Orchard Markets, all WESCO gas stations and all 197 MEIJER locations! *growing list of retailers found on our website: That what you are looking for is the one looking - Muktananda

New Release

Local Author Elizabeth Cosmos Brings the Full Teachings & History of Ama-Deus to Life. Available for Purchase Locally at: Spirit Dreams- Schuler Books- natural awakenings

April 2013



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine April 2013  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

Natural Awakenings Magazine April 2013  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...