The BIOS Center will be a Mecca, the world over for healthy living and green building technologies. It addresses the needs of our mind, body, heart and soul today, while teaching us to preserve the future for our children and our children’s children. The BIOS Center represents a better way of life for both current and future generations. A place to heal the wounds of our past, plant seeds for the future and learn to live today to the fullest.
Despite marketing spin and availability, pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers are not very safe for humans and the environment. When sprayed on our backyards, city parks and in industrial agriculture as they are across the nation, cumulative effects of toxic residue, in the biosphere, can have lasting effects. This over use of chemicals is suspected to be a cause of the widespread bee and bat colony collapse and is affecting ecosystems all the way up the food chain to humans. From local lakes, creeks and rivers to the exponentially growing dead zones in the sea, and from lawns, gardens and farms to the atmosphere, the petroleum intensive production and use of these toxic chemicals is a major cause of climate change. Listen in to hear about some safe alternatives to these toxic, petro-based chemicals.
There is plenty of good things going on at Gaiam from the 100% satisfaction no hassle guarantee to the environmental packaging, fair trade policies and donation committee. This is one good , green company that does well by doing good!
History of Gaiam Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 1988, Gaiam is a provider of information, goods and services to customers who value the environment, a sustainable economy, healthy lifestyles, alternative healthcare and personal development.
Our Name Gaiam (pronounced “guy-um”), is a fusion of the words “Gaia” and “I am” Gaia, mother Earth, was honored on the Isle of Crete in ancient Greece 5,000 years ago by the Minoan civilization. This civilization valued education, art, science, recreation, and the environment and believed that the Earth was directly connected to its existence and daily life. The concept of Gaia stems from the ancient philosophy that the Earth is a living entity. At Gaiam, we believe that all of the Earth’s living matter, air, oceans and land form an interconnected system that can be seen as a single entity. The word Gaiam represents planetary awareness, preservation and support of the interconnectivity of all living things. By nurturing, protecting and respecting our planet, its natural resources and its inhabitants, we enrich our own lives and those of future generations.
Company Services By offering information, products and services under Gaiam’s name or recommendation, we are working to become the source for individuals and businesses interested in natural health, ecological lifestyles, personal growth and sustainable commerce.
We offer the highest quality branded products and services available, many of which are exclusively produced for Gaiam. Our merchandising strategy is based on extensive research, customer suggestions and recommendations, attendance at global industry trade shows, and working with vendors and industry leaders on product development. We are committed to enhancing our reputation in the marketplace by continually improving our services to you.
Gaiam Life is your guide to living fit, healthy, green and happy. With thousands of free articles and videos on everything from yoga to healthy eating to personal development, the Gaiam Life library offers solutions for every area of your life.
• Improve your yoga or Pilates technique with tips and how-to’s for beginners and pros alike.
• Learn about ancient Eastern practices such as T’ai Chi and Qigong.
• Work out with celebs like Trudie Styler and Valerie Bertinelli.
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• Find the best foods and yoga poses to detox your body.
• Serve up healthy recipes made from local and organic ingredients — including gluten-free and vegan dishes.
• Combat food waste with our comprehensive composting guide.
• Embrace your eco style with advice on green fashion and décor.
• Save money, and the planet, with tips to reduce your home energy use.
• Calm your mind in our online Mediation Rooms.
• Pinpoint your life purpose with advice from personal growth experts like Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston.
• Tap into your spirituality or explore new concepts in excerpts from today’s most thought-provoking books.
The Good Word encourages you to shop at retailers that strive to leave the world a better place. The links above help support the good work at THE GOOD WORD.
Throughout history, most food was local. Food was grown right where people lived until the advent of factory food the past century or so. Today’s supermarket food travels an average of 1500 miles from industrial systems dependent on large quantities of cheap fossil fuels and pesticides. But as consumers learn more about the disastrous hidden costs and health effects of big Ag and processed foods, the infrastructure for local food networks is being rebuilt community by community. When folks understand the multiple dynamics of local food, including its connection to climate change, support for it is growing in communities across the US.
What do you get when you combine progressive socio-economic incentive with a vegetable? Well, of course, you get a Carrotmob! Popping up over 70 times in 20 countries around the world and with thousands of members, socially networked mobs of supporters are actively boosting local businesses who agree to make smarter choices for conservation and sustainability. In focusing their buying power, Carrotmob organizers get businesses to bid on certain actions like having an energy audit, switching to fair trade and local foods or services and equipment upgrades, changes that are a win-win for the people involved and the biosphere. Join us to find out how consumer power, focused as a Carrotmob, is catching on.
Read transcript below.
Welcome to Good Dirt Radio, reporting on positive solutions…taking root.
What do you get when you combine progressive socio-economic incentive with a vegetable? Well, of course, you get a Carrotmob!
Popping up over 70 times in 20 countries around the world and with thousands of members, socially networked mobs of supporters are actively boosting local businesses who agree to make smarter choices for conservation and sustainability. In focusing their buying power, Carrotmob organizers get businesses to bid on certain actions like having an energy audit, switching to fair trade goods and local foods or services and equipment upgrades, changes that are a win-win for the people involved and the biosphere. Consumer power, focused as a Carrotmob, is catching on.
We caught up with Sarah Zisa, energy activist and Director of Community, through the network of Carrotmob.org. This web-based group promotes positive community involvement and empowerment of citizens through the private sector.
Zisa: Carrotmob, at its core, is a new model for change. It’s a way for consumers to express themselves and their values in the marketplace. The typical way to do that is through a boycott where a consumer says, hey, I’m not going to shop at your place of business unless you do X, Y, Z. A carrotmob reverses that and says if you do A, B, C, we’re gonna come and support you and make it profitable. So a carrotmob is just the reverse of a boycott.
Zisa says Carrotmobs are ultimately about passionate activists changing climate history one business at a time and having fun doing it.
Clint Womack is a San Francisco based social worker by day and an activist with the local Wiggle Party, promoting transit advocacy, including bike power and local food production, as ways to conserve energy and reduce the threat of climate change. He volunteered to organize a Carrotmob.
Womack: What we wanted to do was to help this particular business focus on very concrete changes that they could make. So we wanted to really give them the financial incentives to take those steps. What really makes a Carrotmob successful is the outreach to the community, a pretty local base of consumers. Ideally, you’re using consumer decisions that you would be making anyways, you’re gonna go buy coffee on a Saturday afternoon or you’re gonna go get a bagel. So why not, as a group, collectively decide to all do that at one time at one place and show through your collective, active consumerism that there’s certain things that you want and you’ll demand from a business. And the business not only gets the money, which is a huge incentive for doing the Carrotmob but additionally, it gives the people involved a really good sense of connection to their community and that they can actually affect change.
Womack says this is a good example of consumer’s expressing their values through the power of their dollars.
Womack: Carrotmob really shows that collectively deciding how to buy things, that you can have a much greater impact in the long. And the beautiful thing is that you can keep doing it over and over. I like what they are doing so I want to support that.
A recent recipient of a Carrotmob is the Matching Half Cafe, near Golden Gate Park, who bid to re-invest 200% of profits in renewable changes. Jason Walberg is part owner of the cafe and despite a rainy day, the band played and a big fun-loving crowd showed up, making his mob a success.
Wahlberg: The idea behind a Carrotmob is to promote sustainable business practices and instead of a boycott, you’re basically investing in the business and what their stated goals are. So these people came to help us get more efficient. We’re trying to use less energy, more local produce, trying to convert to more organic ingredients in our menu. And instead of just coming at people with what you don’t want, you’re embracing people who are trying to make the change and you’re giving them the support that they need to do that. It was an interesting day, we got slammed with a bunch of people and there had been several days of prep behind it. But its a really fun crown of people who came in and everyone really excited about supporting us. Its kind of a neat way where the consumer’ s willing to meet you half-way.
Zisa: I want the way we create change to be as positive as the change itself. The thing about Carrotmob is that it’s about fun. And it’s about celebration and its also about impact and making a difference. You have the business owner, and community organizers, ordinary consumers and everybody wins. And it creates something positive for the local community, for the bigger community and for the world.
Some of the best results come after a Carrotmob as participants continue to vote with their dollars, patronizing businesses willing to make a positive difference.
For more ideas on how you can help reduce causes of climate change related to your life, please visit us at gooddirtradio.org. Reports are always free to download and share.
I’m Tom Bartels and I’m Tami Graham. Thanks for joining us on Good Dirt Radio, digging up goodnews…. for a change.
- Do You Have To Believe In Climate Change? [Casaubon's Book] (scienceblogs.com)
- Carrotmob buycott to hit Vancouver’s Cascade Room (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- It’s Time To Get Ready For Food Day 2012 (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- Slacktivism: Do Networks Make A Difference? (uwdigidem.wordpress.com)
- The emergence of social technologies and collaborative consumption could work to our collective advantage in the age of austerity (blogs.lse.ac.uk)
- Buying ‘local’ solves many ills (toledoblade.com)
- Change the World with Local Food – Incredible Edible (ecology.com)
- ** Carrot and Stick…Carrotmob..new rules for radicals (dakotatoday.typepad.com)
- Fact or Fiction? The Truth About Fair Trade (fairtradedesigns.com)
- Rocco the Green Guru: EarthCents (929dave.radio.com)
With food prices going through the roof, folks across the nation are returning to an age-old tradition — planting beautiful, money-saving and edible landscaping. Instead of just colorful vegetation, growing beautiful and edible yard plants can save money on the food bill, provide a very local source for nutrition and help reduce one’s food related carbon footprint. Find out how edible yard plants and trees offer a way that many consumers can get involved in shaping a better world.
Click here for resources and information on this topic.
Read the transcript below.
Welcome to Good Dirt Radio, reporting on positive solutions taking root.
With food prices going through the roof, folks across the nation are turning to an age-old tradition…planting beautiful, edible landscaping. Instead of just colorful vegetation, growing beautiful and edible yard plants can provide an energy-saving source for local food and save money on the grocery bill. It also can also help offset the amount of climate changing gases produced by petro-based, industrial agriculture, packing and long distance shipping.
Author Rosalind Creasy has been a landscape designer in Northern California for 30 years, specializing in solutions related to soil, water and air pollution. The neighborhood kids love to come to her gardens to workandharvest.
Creasy: For me, edible landscaping is taking your yard and instead of putting what are called ornamentals in this country, start putting edible ornamentals. So, for instance, if you’re going to put in azaleas that bloom for only a few weeks out of the year, why wouldn’t you put in blueberries that not only bloom but they bear fruit that’s absolutely delicious and expensive in the store. Why would you put in a crabapple when you can put in a real apple and make your own cider and apple juice and applesauce.
Creasy sites several advantages of edible landscaping available to most everyone.
Creasy: Talking sustainable landscaping, there is nothing more sustainable than growing your own food. It doesn’t have to be shipped to you, it doesn’t have to be mechanically picked, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, you don’t have to drive your car to get it so it saves energy ands water. And you know people don’t think about it but we lose a tremendous amount of soil in agriculture because the water runs off and with it, it takes our wonderful top soil. So you’re going to renew your soil, you’re going to grow things organically and you’re actually going to repair the soil around your yard.
We spoke with Michael McConkey, a musician and owner of a local and online edible landscaping nursery in Afton, Virginia. He’s been an advocate of edible landscaping since 1979.
McConkey: Oh, the benefits are extremely good for everyone, health-wise, extra nutrition value, for saving money. To pick your own fruit is just so much more vital and so much more alive. People who are renting might want a quick turn around of something like strawberries or raspberries, something that’s a small bush. If everything’s planted right and they’re watered well, they pretty much take care of themselves. There’s a lot of nutrition in the berries and you get a quick return.
Durango, CO is lucky to have Katrina Blair, working at the grassroots level. A naturalist and co-founder of Good Dirt Radio, she also founded and operates Turtle Lake Refuge, providing a rich, local source of food and education. Blair takes us on a tour around her yard and shares some garden wisdom.
Blair: Welcome to the garden! This is our edible backyard and in my philosophy, if you’re going to put water on to something, why not have it be food-producing at the same time as well as shade and beauty. I planted this plum tree about three years ago and this was the first year it actually produced fruit, which is super exciting. And then down below from the tree, I always like to plant a whole permaculture garden, we call it the seven stage forest garden. So I like to plant perennials below the fruit trees, I’ve got a patch of strawberries here. Over here behind the greenhouse I’ve got a big patch of buffalo berries mixed in with some Nanking cherries. These are all just native berry bushes that encourage birds and other wildlife but in addition, they’re edible for me and my family too. They make a great wind break in addition to creating a moist environment down low that I can plant other edibles that I like to grow such as my melons. I’ve got some squash plants and peas. I always put peas near trees because they’re nitrogen fixers. So if you’re gonna water the trees and water your peas, why not have them be benefiting each other at the same time and then you get to come out and feast.
Creasy: And it’s a spiritual experience. Everybody gets the goose bumps. And by the way, you can save a lot of money by growing some of your own food. In a hundred square feet, I grew $700 worth of vegetables. There’s no downside to putting edibles in your yard. Its beautiful, its sustainable and its delicious.
While eating industrially farmed food may contribute to climate change, edible yard plants and trees offer a way that many consumers can get involved in shaping a better world.
For more information, including finding out what grows best in yourclimate zone, please visit our website at gooddirtradio.org
- Yard To Table: Growing Edible Plots in Suburbia (karenpavonesfoodforthought.com)
- Planning an Edible Garden in One Day (zen.homezada.com)
- Windowfarms Turns Any Window into an Edible Garden – Living (brit.co)
- Edible Lawns are the New Urban Landscape (theurbn.com)
- The Gifts of Gardening (redenvelope.com)
- How we can eat our landscapes (alternateeconomy.wordpress.com)
- Green My Ballard: Edible Garden Tour offers insights, ideas and inspiration(ballardnewstribune.com)
- How we can eat our landscapes (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- 6 Edible Flower Recipe Ideas (theflyingfugu.com)
- Edible Landscapes Transform a Town (eatdrinkbetter.com)
Agriculture (Photo credit: thegreenpages)
On the shortlist of major causes that effect the stability of the biosphere, factory food systems are very near the top. Proponents of the return to organic food, claim that big ‘Ag’s current energy and petrochemical intensive systems are toxic and too centralized. Petroleum based industrial agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and continues to damage air, water, soil, and a rapidly growing number of species. Tune in to hear how grassroots organizations across the US are working to clean up our mainstream food supply by going local and organic.
Click here for more resources and information on this topic.
Read transcript below.
On the shortlist of major causes that effect the stability of the biosphere, factory food systems are very near the top. Proponents of the return to organic food, claim that big ‘Ag’s current energy andpetro-chemical intensive systems are toxic and too centralized. Petroleum based industrial agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and damages air, water, soil, anda rapidly growing number of species. But the good news here is the expanding movement across the US to clean upour mainstream food supply by going local and organic.
We spoke with Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director and Editor for Organic Consumers Association, a national advocacy group with hundreds of thousands of members. In Washington, DC, she lobbies for strong organic food standards as well as cleaner agricultural and environmental standards. She explains the roles of current systems in climate change.
Baden-Mayer: Industrial agriculture is responsible for between 44 and 57% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Part of that are the agriculture activities, especially growing food with chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that are derived from natural gas. And the other big contributor is the fact that we keep animals in factory farms and we’re basically stockpiling their waste, which is a terrible source of methane gasses. Another piece is the food processing, packaging and transportation and the last piece related to our food system is our organic waste. We let it rot in landfills and that contributes as much as 4% to greenhouse gas emissions.
Baden-Mayor says organic agriculture provides major global solutions and that by eating organic, locally grown and transported foods, consumers can help change the course of climate history.
Baden Mayor: Going organic is the answer to climate change. If we go to local, organic agriculture, not only can we can eliminate the 57% of global greenhouse gas emissions that are related to our industrial ag food systems, but we can sequester 40% of current global greenhouse gas emissions. So, if everyone converted just 10% of their diet to organic, we could capture an additional 6.5 billion pounds of carbon in the soil. That’s the same as taking 2 million cars off the road.
The Rodale Institute in S.E. Pennsylvania has been educating people fordecadesabout their research on the positive effects that organic farming can have on the environment as well as our personal health. Jeff Moyer, Rodale’s Farm Director, describes howorganic agriculture sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.
Moyer: The reason carbon can be sequestered so easily, in organic systems, is because we’re working with the soil. Treating the soil as a living, breathing set of organisms that are physically active and very dynamic and can work in our favor in terms of sequestering carbon. In a conventionally farmed system, when chemically based nitrogen fertilizer is used, it’s a little bit like dumping gasoline on something flammable like wood and it just burns it up, almost instantaneously, and sends it right back into the atmosphere, so you’re not really sequestering it. But in organic systems, that doesn’t happen.
Moyer explains that living, breathing fungi and other microbes absorb carbon and other nutrients, enriching the soil. He says there are multiple benefits to switching to organic food systems.
Moyer: We can protect our ground-water, we can improve our surface water because we no longer have all these chemicals, nitrogen, phosphorus, in terms of fertilizer, and all the other agricultural herbicides and insecticides getting into our environment. So we’re improving our environment and helping to mitigate some of the problems we have with climate change. But the real emphasis is on the quality of the food and our own personal health and there’s no reason for us to not start down that path on a much larger scale than we’re doing today.
Baden-Mayer: To think about how our world can be impacted by climate can be incredibly de-spiriting but to know that the solution lies right in what we do every day, with every choice we make about what food to eat, we can be part of the solution. Locally grown, organic agriculture not only reduces and eliminates emissions related to our industrial food system, but it can sequester an enormous amount of current greenhouse gas pollution.
Please visit gooddirtradio.org for more on eating organic and locally and look for the USDA Certified Organic label in your shift… to renewable living.
Personal health is the microcosm of global health and as they say…wearewhat we eat. Organic living is a powerful way everyonecan help reverse a climate crisis.
I’m Tom Bartels and I’m Tami Graham. Thanks for joining us on Good Dirt Radio, digging up good news…. for a change.
- Is Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Necessary? (chimalaya.org)
- UGA students and ag teachers go organic (m.onlineathens.com)
- Timing is key for climate change, organic research – Guelph Mercury (guelphmercury.com)
- 12 Innovations to Combat Drought, Improve Food Security, and Stabilize Food Prices (agridigest.com)
- Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture (illuminutti.com)
- UGA students and ag teachers go organic – Online Athens (onlineathens.com)
- Why Drought-Stricken Farmers Will Pay The Price For A Failed Climate Bill (thinkprogress.org)
- Severe Drought Shows Stupidity of Corn Ethanol Mandate (ecowatch.org)
- This Is Your Global Food Supply On Climate Change (sustainablog.org)
- Pioneer in Sustainable Agriculture Shares his Vision of the Future of Food (articles.mercola.com)