No Surprise: More Evidence You Need Nature for Good Health

While Americans have watched efforts to improve our natural healthcare system stall (and that’s as much as I care to mention about politics, I promise), I ran across a new European study offering great advice on something we can all do to improve our health right now. Plant a tree. People living in European nations face a lot of the same health problems we do in the United States: obesity, mental health disorders, and negative effects from pollution. On top of this is the stress and impact of living in our typical urban environments in cities. A team of researchers at the Institute for European Environmental Policy spent a year reviewing more than 200 academic studies on health outcomes to see if there were common findings and recommendations.… Read More

The Nose Knows When It’s Springtime

People who live in climates with true changes of season say they love the cycle from snow to rain to sunshine to fall leaves. It’s true there are times of year when spring flowers and fall leaves are a truly beautiful sight. Transplants to San Diego will tell you they “miss” the changing seasons. Southern California seasons change, too. The changes are more subtle, that’s all. We know it’s officially Spring this week, even when we’ve been hit by more rain (and nothing wrong with that). We are getting more hours of sunlight. Human beings instinctively feel it as part of the biophilic connection we have to the rhythms of nature.… Read More

It’s Natural to Love St. Patrick’s Day

You don’t have to be Irish (or part Irish like me) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17. We love any occasion focusing on things that are green! March 17 is the date of St. Patrick’s death. Yes, he was a real person. For many years St. Patrick’s Day was a serious religious holiday in Ireland, honoring the man who converted Ireland to Catholicism and who also reportedly “drove the snakes out of Ireland.” This is a historical headscratcher, because there are no snakes native to Ireland. Some historians now believe “snakes” refers to the ancient Pagans, especially the Druids who practiced the dominant spiritual belief in Ireland before the arrival of Christianity.… Read More

Healthy Houseplants Your Stuffy Nose Will Love

Thanks to everything you’ve read on our blog (OK, and maybe elsewhere), you’ve decided to add plants to your indoor environment. It’s a smart move and with spring around the corner, it’s perfect timing. But for the one out of ten people who suffer from asthma and allergies, you need to make your choices carefully. We’ve known since the landmark 1989 NASA study we quote so often here that plants can greatly improve our indoor air quality by filtering harmful toxins and pollutants – things like benzene, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But many plants also produce pollen as part of their reproductive process.… Read More

Go Green Or Your Employees Might Go Home

The job market has been opening up. It’s great news for people who want to find a quality job. But it’s not such good news for employers trying to retain their most talented employees. Employers should pay attention to the findings in this year’s annual “State of the American Workplace” survey from the Gallup Organization. It gives them a game plan for developing the kind working environment talented people are looking for. A record 47 percent of the workforce say now is a good time to find a quality job. More than half of employees (51 percent) are searching for new jobs or watching for openings.… Read More