Energy-Wise Landscape Design – This Book Will Save You Money

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In the depths of winter, it’s always good to remember that spring is just around the corner. After the holiday rush ends, it will be a great time to start planning and dreaming about your yard. And if you’re planning to build or renovate this coming year, you’ll want to be sure you incorporate landscaping ideas that not only look pretty, but that are also energy efficient.

Careful landscaping can be much more effective at saving energy than many of the other efforts we make each day, like turning off lights and turning down the heat. Having the right plantings outside your home will not only save you money, it will also help you live more comfortably in an esthetically pleasing environment.

That’s the essence of the message embedded in every page of Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for your Home and Garden by Sue Reed….

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Americans Are Now Fatter and Dying Younger

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A recent report (Thursday, December 9, 2010) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed what many of us in the preventive medicine circles have feared: Americans are now dying at a younger age.

This is the third report in the last few years that indicates life expectancy in the United States is no longer increasing and, in fact, is decreasing.

Sadly, this generation of children may be the first to die before their parents.

The reality, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Child Trends DataBank, is this: “[C]hildren in the United States have a shorter life expectancy than those in at least 20 other countries with populations of one million or more.”

And while we seem to have made inroads in some areas of longevity, chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases remain rather unscathed at the top of the list of overall killers, with a combined contribution that accounts for half of all deaths in the U.S….

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Dr. Jason Bradley, Contributing Writer

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Dr. Jason Bradley practices naturopathic and chiropractic medicine in Iowa City, IA. After finishing his undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and English Literature, he attended Palmer University in Davenport, Iowa, where he attained his Doctor of Chiropractic, graduating summa cum laude.

Early in practice, he realized that his patients were coming to him with complex questions about metabolic and nutritional medicine and that naturopathy school was calling him. He attended Trinity College in Warsaw, Indiana, where he earned his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, again graduating summa cum laude.

A lifelong learner, Jason recently completed a Master’s Degree in Journalism at the prestigious Adler School at the University of Iowa. While continuing to see patients, he is currently completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Frontier School of Medicine in Hyden, Kentucky and will sit for the Board Certification exam in Anti-Aging Medicine in April of 2011.

In his practice, Jason specializes in treating complex metabolic disorders, weight loss, fatigue, thyroid and adrenal imbalances and bio-identical hormone replacement therapies….

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Green Therapy Grows into Medical Mainstream

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Kathyrn Cummings walks along a wooded nature trail in Hickory Hill Park near Iowa City, with her patient a few steps ahead of her. She stops every so often to examine the colors in a leaf or point out the number of rings in a tree stump. It’s the third time this week that she has visited a park to walk the trails, but not because she enjoys the sunshine.

Cummings, an assisted-living counselor, works with a nonverbal, disabled woman, who suffers from severe anxiety and aggression issues. When the woman begins to show signs of an impending panic attack or begins to clench her fists out of frustration, Cummings knows it’s time to go for a walk. Taking a hike is often the only way to relieve the woman’s symptoms.

This is just one example of how interest in the therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors is starting to gain attention in the medical mainstream….

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Kara Bennett, Contributing Writer

December 11, 2010 by  
Filed under BPGL Crew, Contributing Writers, Kara Bennett

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Kara Bennett is a recent University of Iowa graduate, having received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication and a Certificate in Sustainability.
She is currently working as a marketing intern with Denver’s Westword, an online and print publication that covers news, culture, and events in the greater Denver area….

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Atlas of Mud: A Cautionary Tale

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A young girl emerges from the darkness on stage. She is awakening, deep in the belly of a vast, wooden ship, reminiscent of Noah’s Ark. I listen intently as she vividly recounts a dream:

“I was in the sky…

“I was flying…

“And there were people – so many people. They were all moving towards the water. They didn’t notice me so I swooped low over them looking for you. There were boats – just like this one but hundreds and hundreds of them. And around every boat were soldiers. People were crowded onto the decks of the boat and all of them had suitcases and boxes. There was no room to move and still more people kept climbing on.”

Her dream is frightening and the event confusing. Who is this child? What prompted her nightmare? Who is she talking to?

This is the Working Group Theatre’s production of Atlas of Mud in Iowa City’s Riverside Theatre. The audience is in rapt attention as the scene the young girl describes gets worse, horrifyingly so. The images are chilling…

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Lauren Mills, Contributing Writer

December 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Iowa, Kansas, Lauren Mills

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Lauren Mills is a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring in Journalism, English, and Spanish. She recently returned from studying abroad in Chile and loves to travel, but she’ll always come home to her beloved Kansas City.

Her interest in environmental journalism began when she worked the environmental beat as a reporter for the The Daily Iowan…

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The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment

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Frustration. That is the best way to describe the experience of reading The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment. Page after page reveals the history of industries spewing toxins into our air, water, and soil and a government more apt to look the other way. Presenting the conflict through the lens of individual action and human cost, authors Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter provide an engaging and unsettling account of U.S. pollution.

Turning to the first page of The Polluters, the reader is presented with an image that will haunt the pages of the book: the funeral procession of a victim of the Donora (Pennsylvania) Smog. The burial takes place as smoke from the offending factory rises along the horizon….

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Woofables – A Gourmet Bakery Your Dog Will Love

December 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, Iowa, Pet Food, Pets, Slideshow

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Although Woofables, The Gourmet Dog Bakery in Coralville, Iowa, sells dog food, it has the light scent of a real bakery. Owner Laura Taylor, who used to work in marketing, now spends her days crafting handmade treats for canines out of all-natural, all-human-grade ingredients.

While frosting a cake, Taylor explains that everything made in the store can be eaten by people; they’ll just think it tastes bland. Salt is unhealthy for dogs, so items are flavored with pumpkin, peanut butter, and cinnamon. Frosting is made with carob and yogurt and tastes like white chocolate….

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