Plastic-Free July by Ruth Robinson

While I support “no plastic”, I am not there yet in my own home. How about we try “less plastic July”?

Some suggestions:

Got grand-kids? Do they like summer smoothies? Instead of plastic straws, try to find paper ones. Since that is nearly impossible, try re-usable straws, generally made of metal. You’ll need a tiny special brush to clean the straw, and these are usually right next to the metal straws at places like Whole Foods.

We see the stores starting to display Back to School items. Treat your kids or grands to metal lunch boxes. Not the kind we all had as kids, but the version that looks like a stainless steel bento box. Holds up very well, easy to rinse out at night. Mostly replaces the need to wrap up food in plastic wrap or baggies.

We all grocery shop and the yummy produce is so appealing in the summer. While I’ll bet most of us try and re-use the store’s produce plastic bags, maybe we could dump those in favor of mesh washable and reusable bags. You could buy them on Amazon or at many of our local stores, OR you could go to Joann’s and buy mesh fabric to sew up some. Directions on the internet, just search for “how to make mesh produce bags”. Perhaps get a start on the 2018 holidays and stitch up a bunch for gifts.

Mason jars (remember canning??) make great storage containers for many things.   That grain or rice you buy at the natural grocery store not only looks appealing in a glass jar, but is healthier for you in an easy to clean and non-plastic storage container. Bonus: keeps bugs out and doesn’t temp the little mice if your pantry shelf is in the garage.

Need a new dish brush? Check out the ones with wooden handles vs. plastic. They look so much better and less plastic in the house.

Sponsored Article: Why Do Pediatricians Care About Climate Change?

Why Do Pediatricians Care About Climate  Change?

By Samantha Ahdoot

Sponsored article from Person of the Planet. 

It’s All Connected...

Our hearts are heavy with concern for the children. We watch the news with frustration, dismay and, yes, outrage. It seems hard to refocus on climate change when it feels like we need more attention on people. And yet...the American Academy of Pediatricians is taking environmental action. This highly regarded and respected organization of physicians is showing that policy change is necessary for the health of the children. And this is physical as well as mental and emotional health. Partial article, Read on:

 

Why Do Pediatricians Care About Climate Change?
Samantha Ahdoot, , FAAP
ct. 26, 201

Read the original article by clicking here...

Pediatricians, children and parents see the impact of climate change every day.  Worsening heat waves and severe weather events, changing allergy seasons and shifting infectious disease patterns affect many children directly.  It can be hard to make sense of it all, let alone know what to do about it.  

Because of their growing minds and bodies, children are uniquely vulnerable to changes in their environment. A changing climate has a wide range of effects on the plants, animals and natural systems on which children depend for their own health, safety and security. Here are some examples:

Heat-related illness

As temperatures increase and heat waves become longer and more severe, heat-related illness is expected to increase.  Young infants and high school athletes, particularly football players, are at particularly elevated risk.

Air quality
Warmer summer temperatures can increase the concentration of ozone, or smog, in the air.  Ozone is a strong lung irritant that causes asthma attacks, emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Wildfires, which are increasing due to climate change, produce toxic smoke that can travel for thousands of miles and cause respiratory illness. Pollen allergies can also be affected. Higher temperatures increase the length of the allergy season, particularly in Northern regions. Increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may independently increase pollen production by ragweed, a common cause of seasonal allergies.

"Because of their growing minds and bodies, children are uniquely vulnerable to changes in their environment."

Infectious diseases

Many factors, including climate, influence patterns of infectious diseases like Lyme disease, mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus, and childhood diarrhea. Rising emperature has been linked to the northward spread of Lyme disease in the United States, putting more children at risk of this disease.

Extreme weather events
Children's unique needs place them at risk of injury or death, separation from or loss of caregivers, and mental health consequences following weather disasters.  Disasters can also harm children through devastation of the community resources on which they rely for their healthy mental and physical development like schools and hospitals.

Food security
Agricultural productivity and food prices can be affected by extreme heat, drought, flood and rising sea levels.  The nutrient content of major crops like wheat and rice may be altered by rising atmospheric Carbon Dioxide concentration.

Mental health
Children from communities affected by weather disasters are at high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

"Pediatricians, parents and our communities today have an unprecedented opportunity to protect our children and grandchildren."          

The Birds of Midway Atoll

Midway: Message from the Gyre

(2009 - Current)

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.

~cj, Seattle, February 2011


For updates on Chris Jordan”s upcoming film ALBATROSS, visit www.albatrossthefilm.com.

If Your Pet Could Talk, She'd Beg You to Get These Things Out of Your Home

If Your Pet Could Talk, She'd Beg You to Get These Things Out of Your Home

By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker

Sponsored article from Person of the Planet. Read the original article by clicking here!

Remember learning in elementary school that dogs have super-tuned hearing that’s much more sensitive than your own? Animal experts now know that cats, too, can be acutely sensitive to high-frequency sounds. 

In today’s world, things we absorb as a matter of course are amplified to sensitive animal ears, and they’re forced to deal with them on a daily basis. In the past, there also weren’t the scores of machines and devices that either emit or alert you with noises to scare, confuse and often deeply disturb the pets we love. 

Only a matter of decades ago, technology as we know it today — at least to the degree we know it today — didn’t exist. There were no personal computers, cell phones or Smart Meters, and no power lines, electric lighting, wireless routers or smoke detectors. 

There weren’t blaring TVs, radio and stereos, but there also weren’t flickering light bulbs, particularly from LED bulbs, which introduce a completely separate set of issues. When it comes to your pets, noises connected to our technology may be an auditory cacophony that may include strobe-like effects. 

Ultrasound: You Can’t Hear It but It’s Driving Them Crazy

Dr. Katherine Houpt, an environmental factors expert at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, observes that many dogs are afraid of smoke alarms even when they don’t seem to be making any noise. “So the dog is going crazy and the owner doesn’t know why.” 

Dangerous Decibels explains a little of how frequency and amplitude work for humans: Amplitude is measured in decibels (dBA) of sound pressure and measures how forceful the wave is. Zero dBA is the softest a human can hear; speaking voices are around 65 dBA, and a rock concert might reach about 120 dBA. 

Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures

While it’s completely different for dogs, who can hear sounds up to 45,000 Hz, cats can hear up to 64,000 Hz, a sensitivity that can even cause feline audiogenic reflex seizures. According to a study on the epileptic episodes, without treatment for the cats:

“Many owners reported a slow decline in their cat’s health, becoming less responsive, not jumping, becoming uncoordinated or weak in the pelvic limbs and exhibiting dramatic weight loss. These signs were exclusively reported in cats experiencing seizures for (more than) [two] years, with owners stating these signs affected their cat’s (quality of life).” 

The study noted more than a dozen high-pitched sounds (some you wouldn’t think of in those terms) commonly heard in households and associated, to lesser or greater degrees, with epileptic problems experienced by 96 cats for at least a year. Depending on circumstances, avoiding the noises eliminated seizures in 72 of the cats:

Crinkling of tin foil, paper or plastic bags

The sound created by a dog scratching its neck and jangling its collar

A metal spoon dropping into a ceramic feeding bowl

Tapping of glass, coins or keys

Computer keyboard tapping or mouse clicking

The clicking of an owner’s tongue

The short, sharp scream of a young child

A mobile phone ring or digital alarm

Running water

Flickering Lights: We Might Not See It, but Maybe They Can

As of 2014, 40 percent of the $26 billion market share of LED (light-emitting diodes) in the U.S. began taking over residential as well as architectural and outdoor applications, according to Zion Market Research, which reports that this type of lighting is 10 times more efficient than incandescent lighting, with brightness and lifespan of the product also exceeding that of fluorescent lighting.

For pets, though, it comes at a price, because whether or not a human can see one particular flaw in this type of lighting, they come with the problem of flickering, on and off incessantly, whether they’re set on dim or full brightness, like a constant disco ball that never stops, added to the high-pitched whine. If your animals could talk, they might call it a double whammy of sensory overload. I believe captive birds are especially sensitive to the negative emotional effects of synthetic lighting. 

One expert says the flickering of LED lights is what you get with cheap parts; CNet.com notes that LED bulbs are direct current devices running on alternating current (AC) power that needs to be converted before it feeds the LEDs into the bulbs, and that’s where the problem likely begins.

Something called the critical flicker fusion (CFF) threshold — the frequency a light needs to emit to be considered a steady light source — can be as low as 24 Hz or flickers per second. To the human eye, it’s a “fluid” transition when watching, for instance, online video. Dogs see it differently, however, having, again, a more sensitive CFF of 80 flickers per second, or 80 Hz, which is why most dogs usually busy themselves with something else rather than plopping down in front of the TV.

The effect these types of flickering lights have on dogs and cats is, as yet, unknown, but researchers have uncovered some interesting data, especially since Richard Inger, Ph.D. from the University of Exeter says it effects other animals. A study that took place at Sacramento City College in California and Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts, showed that the humanly indiscernible light show might incite fear in animals. 

There’s a rating site called LEDBenchmark.com that lists ratings of the flicker of many LED lights, with lower numbers in both flicker percent and flicker index being the most desirable to minimize the problem, aside from switching to non-LED lighting. As technologies progress, there’s not much likelihood that we can set aside all the “bells and whistles” that make our households run more smoothly, either now or in the foreseeable future. 

-        But with every new innovation, new construction or refurbishment on homes and businesses, it makes sense to consider the impact certain aspects of it are having on your pets. Things you can do to reduce the electronic pollution in your home include:

-        Switch devices off at the plug or actually unplug them, which also saves on phantom power draw

-        Dedicate one room in your house as a “quiet room,” with no electronics, wireless routers or LED lights 

-        Place home media equipment in a closet or garage to isolate ultrasound, as well as the whine and - buzzing noises, which may be heard clearly by your pet 

-        Shop for LED lights with low flicker ratings or switch to other sources of lighting (including incandescent), which is my recommendation

World Oceans Day June 8, 2018

World Oceans Day

June 8, 2018!

How to Talk About Plastic and the Ocean

Why prioritize action on ocean trash?

Plastic pollution poses a threat to human health, kills and harms marine life, damages and alters habitats, and can have substantial negative impacts on local economies. Unlike many ocean issues, The Ocean Project’s research shows that pollution, especially plastics pollution, is already widely accepted as a big problem that we need to and can address. The first step of avoiding disposable plastic bags is likely to be seen as a difficult but not impossible way for an individual to help. More than 80% of marine litter comes from land-based sources. Businesses and government in the US, alone, spend a combined total of $11.5 billion on cleaning up litter. The primary direct threat to marine life is entanglement or ingestion. Sea turtles, birds, and fish alike accidentally mistake plastic for food and choke or get sick by ingesting it.

How can we effectively communicate this issue?

Make it clear that we can make a difference, especially if we work together. It’s distressing to think about how much plastic is almost unavoidable - sometimes, it can seem useless to take action. But if many of us act together, we can reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean, and show the world that we demand less disposable plastic in our everyday lives!

Show how animals are hurt by plastic.Plastic pollution affects hundreds of different types of ocean wildlife, from massive whales to microscopic corals. Telling an individual animal’s story makes it personal, like this endangered sei whale killed by a DVD case.

Explain the link between plastic and human health.Ocean plastic trash has serious economic consequences for people, but it can also be dangerous to our health! Scientists are finding that chemicals in plastic consumed by fish may eventually travel up the food chain - and get into our bodies.

Use photos of beautiful, clean environments. Use fewer photos of littered areas, even with an anti-littering message, as it could give people the feeling that littering is normal and accepted. Photos that show healthy oceans, or people cleaning them up, inspire.

Encourage a positive social norm. Emphasize that it’s normal to not litter, and that it is everyone’s personal responsibility not only to not litter, but also to stop litter at the source by reducing use. Talk about how many people are switching to durable, reusable solutions, both for their health as well as for the oceans. Don’t make people feel guilty - inspire them to go further for the ocean.

Give people more ownership over public spaces. Make it clear to the people you’re speaking with that this is their community, and it’s a matter of pride to keep it clean. Furthermore, their actions will help keep the oceans, their blue backyard, clean and healthy.

Talking with youth

It’s important to use age-appropriate techniques when talking with kids about environmental issues, so they’re not overwhelmed by the threats our oceans are facing. Here are some tips for helping kids learn about and getting engaged in using less, not littering, and recycling:

• Understanding Marine Debris NOAA’s kit of games and activities for kids of all ages.

• Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum from One More Generation.

• Talking Trash & Taking Action a marine debris education partnership between Ocean Conservancy and the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

• The Plastic Pollution Coalition has compiled a list of plastic pollution curriculum for ages 5-22.

Learn more at www.worldoceansday.org

Getting Crowded Around Here by Shirley A Lutzky

Getting Crowded Around Here

By Person of the Planet Shirley A. Lutzky 

Lately, I have become increasingly puzzled about the intense construction activity going on in our neighborhood of North Oakland, as well as in many areas of the East Bay. It does not seem to be more affordable housing - for which there is a true need - that is rising up, but rather it seems to be high-cost luxury condos. And it seems that every day our area becomes more and more crowded. For the first time in forty years, it's getting so I can't even just drive out of my street without a very long wait because of the flow of traffic that blocks the entrance to the court (no stop sign either way). And once I do leave, it's bumper to bumper all the way to a freeway or main thoroughfare, and then probably more of the same awaits me there. Will the increase of high-cost housing never cease?   Do developers have the right to crowd those who already live in a community? And is this good for the air, for the soil, for the planet?

So I was happy the other day to find an article by Matt Williams in a past Sierra Club Yodeler (S.C.'s local newspaper) on this topic, giving the Sierra Club's views concerning more housing in neighborhoods like my own, which they refer to as "Priority Development Areas". I knew before that both local and state officials were in favor of high growth in cities, and I heard a bit of their rationale on NPR (rationale which I heard only as evidence of officials being friends with developers and of wanting more tax money) but I never realized that this growth was backed by environmentalists. The article gave some food for thought. I still have to look into this topic much, much more to really know where I will stand. But this article was a start. Maybe many or even most of you already know this story, but hopefully it will shed some light for others of you who have been as puzzled about this situation as I have been.

https://www.sierraclub.org/san-francisco-bay/blog/2017/04/help-bay-area-cities-get-moving-smart-housing-growth    

Sponsored Article: World As Lover World As Self by Joanna Macy

World As Lover World As Self By Joanna Macy

Review by Rev. Dorothy Streutker

World as Lover World as Self is a clarion call to environmental action, with a heavy Buddhist accent. Joanna Macy, a Berkeley resident, has a Ph.D. in religious studies and was introduced to Buddhist practice and theory in 1965. She is an internationally known environmental activist, concentrating on the problem of nuclear waste.

Macy starts this book with a solution to the body/mind dichotomy that has plagued Western philosophers. Does the other exist in reality, or only in my imagination? Plato had his ideal forms, Descartes reasoned, “I think, therefore I am.” Others theorized that all perceived reality is merely imagined. Related to this dichotomy is the notion that good and evil are separate realities that are constantly warring against one another. There are also philosophies that put mind above body, theory above physical existence.

In Buddhist thought, there is the principle of dependent co-arising. All things are interconnected in a deep way. Buddha’s perception of “all existence as a dynamic, self-sustaining web of relations ... stood in stark contrast to the other schools of thought circulating in India of the seventh century,” and much of today’s thinking (or non-thinking) as well. The Buddha taught that “[k]nowing is transactional. Like a fire that cannot burn without the wood or dried grass on which it feeds, all consciousness requires an object.” Macy declares that this dependent co-arising heals the separation between body and mind so frequently found in Western thought, and in some Buddhist thought as well, where the mind isexalted and the body reviled. Macy offers Buddha’s creation story, at pages 44 and 45, to illustrate how the principle of dependent co-arising results in a society that is the result of interactions, not imposed by some divine proclamation or inescapable fate.

This teaching, that there is not a permanent, stand-alone self, Macy finds freeing. One is not stuck with one’s karma established in some prior life butis capable of doing what is necessary and right, right now. Co-determinate karma leaves us with free will to act in gratitude for the wonder of existence, our own and all that surrounds us.

This is a basis of ethical teaching in Buddhism: “What we do not only matters, it molds us.” Rather, “[t]he effect of our behavior is inescapable, not because God watches and tallies, or an angel marks our acts in a ledger, but because our acts co-determine what we become.” In this teaching, karma is somewhat like process theology, in that each choice we make determines what next choices will be available.

Macy offers encouragement for environmental activists, and succor for those who feel apathetic in the face of all the damage being done on earth and to the earth today. Apathy, she posits, “stems from a fear of the despair that lurks beneath the tenor of life-as-usual.” The word comes from the Greek, apatheia, which literally means non-suffering. Those who refuse to suffer also miss the joys available to them. Macy calls for compassion and understanding for those caught in apathy.

For activists, pain at the destruction we witness is part of healing. It draws activists into groups, to work together to acknowledge the pain, which also enables them to have hope for humanity. Working together allows us to see others who are not afraid of experiencing the pain. Macy quotes John Seed, a rainforest activist: “When we unblock our despair, everything else follows - the respect, the awe, the love.” The ability to explore the depths allows us to experience compassion. “We are experiencers of compassion,” heroic actors known in Buddhism as bodhisattvas. And we know that there is no such thing as private salvation; because of dependent co-arising, we are all affected by the acts of the individual, for good or ill.

Macy uses a beautiful image to illustrate this. The Jeweled Net of Indra is a web filling the cosmos. At each node of the web is a jewel that reflects all the other jewels. Those jewels are representations of individual beings, reflecting all the other beings. When one is in pain, all jewels reflect that pain. When one acts with compassion, all reflect that compassion.

Macy recommends spiritual practices for activists, to empower them to act as bodhisattvas. She offers several methods of meditation, self-practiced and guided.

A Global Warming Primer Notes from Chapter One: By Shanti Moorjani

In the first chapter of the book, A Global Warming Primer by Jeffrey Bennett, the opening quote in the introduction says: "Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge: it's common sense"  President Ronald Reagan, January 25, 1984 (State of the Union address).  The first chapter of this book starts with basic science, suggesting it is not that difficult and understandable to an average 4th or 5th grader.  The key is to be informed and see the big picture. 

"Is human-induced global warming a real threat to our future?", the first, of many questions Mr. Bennett asks.   He asserts his 3 goals in this Primer book is to, 1) To show anyone can understand the basic science of global warming, 2) To understand arguments from skeptics and make your own decision, and 3) To know there are bi-partisan ways to solve these problems and protect the earth for future generations.

He starts with "The Tale of two Planets", Earth and Venus. They are both a live-able distance from the sun and both about the same size.  The average surface temperature of Earth is 59 degrees  and Venus is 880 degrees. This difference in temperature is because of carbon dioxide. Earth has just enough carbon dioxide to keep in the heat of the planet and make it live-able, while Venus has 200,000 times as much as Earth......too much of a good thing. The trapped heat makes the surface of Venus "hotter than a pizza oven".  This example makes it clear that excesses of carbon dioxide, which we call "greenhouse gases" does heat up a planet! 

The author suggests the arguments for global warming are as easy as 1 -2 - 3.

First, "Carbon dioxide" is a greenhouse gas (a gas that traps in heat) and makes a planet (like Earth or Venus) warmer than it would be otherwise." 

Second, "Human activity, especially coal, oil, and gas all release carbon dioxide when burned - adding significantly to the amount  in the atmosphere."

Third, "The inevitable conclusion is we should expect the rising concentration of carbon dioxide to warm our planet bringing more severe consequences as more is added."

Mr. Bennett goes to explain Fact #1, showing how particles of light that enter our earth from the sun can either escape  back to space, or stay to give heat.  It's a delicate balance that has worked for human life here on earth.   His analogy of too much greenhouse gases (including H20, Carbon dioxide CO2, Methane CH2) is likened to a "blanket" that traps in too much heat, like Venus.  Using basic physics and sophisticated instruments, these measurements of light have been calculated.

The rest of this first chapter in the Global Warming Primer book answers every imaginable question of even a hardcore skeptic, supporting the answers with hardcore proof. The final conclusion is we should expect global warming. The next questions are how much can we handle and how long until the balance is upset?  Part of the answer to that will be coming up in Chapter 2, discussing climate trends, past, present, and future.  More later!

 

Summer Film & Speaker Series Events from Person of the Planet

SUMMER FILM & SPEAKER EVENTS FROM PERSON OF THE PLANET

Films to make us think – documentaries this summer with the organization Person of the Planet. The series covers sustainability, health, environmental impacts and literally, the whole earth.  All films will be shown at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington, Kensington.  Parking across the street from the church.  www.personoftheplanet.org

Film Series:

Cowspiracy.jpg

June 13, Wednesday, 7pm  “Cowspiracy”

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

 

July 4, Wednesday, 10am - 6:00pm World One Festival Person of Planet Booth, Pomona Ave.

WorldOne is El Cerrito's largest community gathering in Cerrito Vista Park at Moeser and Pomona Streets featuring live World music plus circus performers and community groups.

 

Film Series:

What the Health.jpg

July 6, Friday, 7pm  “What the Health”

We follow filmmaker, Kip Andersen, as he uncovers the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community, and explores why leading health organizations continue to promote the industry despite countless medical studies and research showing deleterious effects of these products on our health.

 

Film Series:

Bag It Poster.jpg

July 22, Sunday, 4pm “Bag It “

Try going a day without plastic. Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and frightening ways. In this touching and often flat-out-funny film, we follow "everyman" Jeb Berrier, who is admittedly not a tree hugger, as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic and its effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our own bodies.

 

 

 

Speaker Series:

Jessica Day 5 Minutes.jpg

July 25, Wednesday, 7:00 PM Climate Reality Leaders “If You've Only Got Five Minutes for the Planet...”

Summary:

Come learn about the fundamentals of grassroots climate action with three Climate Reality Leaders who trained with Al Gore. Not only will you hear the abbreviated climate reality talk, but you'll learn tactics for generating change in your own community that allow you to take action in small ways when you have the time. In fact, everyone will leave this presentation having completed one act of grassroots activism. So even if you've only got time for the planet for this one evening, you can be guaranteed to make an impact!

Please email us if you would like to attend so we can provide the proper materials. Email Shanti at personoftheplanet@gmail.com

Bios:

Jessica Day, Climate Reality Leader

Jessica Day is Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing & Communications at IdeaScale, a company that has grown from a small-scale start-up to the world's largest idea management platform in the world. She is a communications specialist who has worked with industry leaders, such as Citrix, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, NASA, the New York City Police Department, Princess Cruises and many others. She was trained by the Climate Reality Project and is a member of the Albany Climate Action Coalition.

Day lives in Albany, CA. She holds a MFA in English, Creative Writing.

Eric Larson, Climate Reality Leader

Eric Larson is Product Manager at Zeiss; his passion is advocating solar and renewable energy to combat climate change. President of NorCal Solar and trained at Climate Reality project, he is committed to making positive changes in our environment and community.

Learn more of the event by clicking here.

 

Film Series:

A Platic Ocean Poster.jpg

August 12,  Sunday,  4pm  “Plastic Ocean”

A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. 

Maya Blow from Soulflower Farm by Shanti Moorjani

Maya Blow from Soulflower Farm

Last night, herbalist and classical homeopath, Maya Blow,  from Soul Flower Farm brought us on a spiritual journey to the transformation of their land into a "garden of eden", giving new meaning to  Person of the Planet. Eight years ago, Maya and her husband bought 3 acres of land near El Sobrante and transformed the hard soil  into healthy dirt through biodynamic gardening techniques and permaculture design.  Today they have a thriving self-sufficient oasis that teaches classes on everything from fermenting vegetables, bee keeping, herbal teas/salves and making wool cloth. Check out their website,  www.soulflowerfarm.com to see all the amazing classes and things they doing.  Below are a couple classes that might interest you.

 

May 2018

Herbal 1st Aid: Build your own kit

Instructor: Maya Blow

Date: Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Time: 1-5pm

Cost: $60

Materials: $25

 

In this class we will learn about how the plant kingdom can support us in emergencies.  We will create a thorough first aid kit with potent and effective remedies including an herbal antibiotic tincture, antimicrobial salve, insect repellent, liniment for muscle aches and pains, poison oak treatment, and more!  You will leave class with a homemade extensive kit and the knowledge to use all the herbs included.  Herbal tea and simple vegetarian lunch provided.

 

JUNE 2018

Spiritual Properties of Plants

Instructor: Maya Blow

Date: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Time: 1-5pm

Cost: $60

Materials: $20

 

For all those interested in plant spirit medicine, this class offers the opportunity to explore the spiritual and energetic properties of plants. Join us in deepening and re-scripting our relationship to them as living and wise beings!  We will discuss properties of sacred plants used in ceremony and ritual as well as several powerful allies we can grow and harvest locally.  We will also journey through some plant and medicine meditations.  All participants will have an opportunity to create and take home a formula that will support their deepening connection to our green family.