Thursday, June 7, 2018

Drawdown – Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream

“Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” , was edited by the author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken along with a team of over 200 scholars, scientists, policymakers, research fellows, writers, business leaders and activists.
Drawdown contains 80 solutions that are ready today, and 20 additional forthcoming innovations that collectively can draw down atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to solve, not just slow, climate change by 2050. Climate drawdown is the point at which greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere begin to decline on a year-to-year basis.
Drawdown - Awakening the Changing the Dream Dreamer -
The 80 solutions that make up the bulk of the Drawdown book are grouped into seven buckets: energy; food; women and girls; building and cities; land use; transport; and materials. To qualify for inclusion, a solution must have proven to reduce energy use through efficiency, material reduction or resource productivity; replace existing energy sources with renewable energy; or sequester carbon in soils, plants or help through regenerative farming, grazing, ocean and forest practices.
Hawken is quick to point out that the book’s seemingly brash subtitle is a bit tongue in cheek: this is the only “comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming,” he said. The book, along with an accompanying website, may be the first to provide the insight and inspiration, backed by empirical research and data, that could enable companies, governments and citizens to attack the climate problem in a holistic and aggressive way.

One of the ways I do this is by facilitating an experiential event called Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream.

Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream is a program of The Pachamama Alliance that serves as a galvanizing space for individuals to deeply explore the extraordinary possibilities inherent in a communion of technology with spirit. Through participation in this program, people are offered a new place to stand in looking at their world and their lives, and are empowered to formulate their own personal daily practices that contribute to the creation of a new dream for themselves as well as for our world.
The Pachamama Alliance is committed to finding ways to support a growing effort to help us awaken from the seductive trance of unlimited progress, unrestrained private interest and material accumulation. We are clear that there is now an unprecedented opportunity to live from a new vision, one made possible by the merging of two ways of seeing the world that until now have seemed to be totally distinct— a marriage of the technological skill of the modern world, with the earth-honoring wisdom of indigenous cultures.
Each of us can make new choices in our daily lives, to create new practices that we take on each day. Our invitation is for you to design practices for yourself that have you be ‘in action’ consistent with creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet as the guiding principle of our time.
Come and find out what makes you come alive and what’s next for you.
Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium June 9 at 11:30. Get your tickets at Eventbrite.
Please feel free to contact me to find out more.
To your good health!
Charlene
To read more on global issues here are 2 more of my blogs:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Protecting Our Waterways

The harsh chemicals found in most common household cleaning products are bad for the environment…and bad for you and your family. The phosphates, nitrates, and borates in detergents essentially “kill” lakes and streams by causing algae to grow out of control. Not only do they “kill” our waterways, they also are injurious to people. This blog is going to focus on the waterways and the pH balance and what we can do to protect our waterways.
The measurement of pH is a measure of the amount of hydrogen ions (H+) present in a substance such as water. Knowing the amount of hydrogen allows us to measure of how acidic/basic the water is. The scale ranges from 1 to 15, with low values less than 7 being acidic and high values greater than 7 being alkaline. Our waterways of freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and rivers usually have a pH of 6-8.
Let’s consider the pH of chlorine beach: pH 11 to 13, ammonia: pH 11 to 12, oven cleaner: pH 11 to 13, toilet bowl cleaner:  pH 1 to 3, tub and tile cleaner: pH 11 to 13. As you can see besides the toxic ingredients, the pH is “killing” our waterways.
Since there is more awareness around the harm that these chemicals in cleaning products are doing to our waterways and to us, there is a movement towards using less harmful substances. The ones we hear about many times are vinegar and baking soda. People are making their own concoctions and maybe even adding in an essential oil.
Vinegar is natural, but the chemical nature of vinegar is an acid. Once you rinse vinegar down your drain, it makes its way into the waterways and that acid is not good for aquatic life. The pH level of vinegar is between 2 and 3. The same with baking soda except it is the other end of the pH spectrum.  Baking soda has a pH of 9. Again, not good for aquatic life. Unfortunately, we can’t measure the pH of essential oils as they are not a water base.
Let’s just think of a fish tank for a moment. Would you put any of these substance’s residue into your fish tank? You would see very quickly; your aquatic life would be in danger. So too, the larger waterways.

What to do to protect our waterways?

Many years ago, a Dr. Shaklee coined the word biodegradable. He developed a line of cleaners that biodegrade with 30 days, back to earth-friendly elements. The flagship product is known as Basic H.
Get Clean environmentally safe products
Basic-H is non-flammable and contains no volatile chemicals, ammonia, acids, alkalis, solvents, phosphates, chlorine, nitrates, borates. or other harsh ingredients. That means Basic-H is safe to use around children, pets, and plants. Because it’s biodegradable and non-polluting, Basic-H is also safe to use in areas where gutter runoff goes straight to waterways. It will not harm the waterway’s ecosystem.
Basic-H has a pH between 6 and 7 — about the same as your skin and our waterways. Plus, Basic-H contains no added fragrance and is virtually odourless. The formula is derived from corn and coconut surfactants. The genius of Basic-H is that it makes water — the “universal solvent” — penetrate dirt and grime quickly and then rinses away easily, leaving no toxic residue. Intensely concentrated, Basic-H’s cleaning power is unleashed when it is diluted in water to the strength required for the cleaning job at hand. (Ask for the list of uses)
Not only do you save money when you use concentrated Basic H, but you also drastically reduce the amount of packaging you’d have to throw away. For less than the cost of vinegar and baking soda, you get your house really clean without harming your family or our waterways.
There are other cleaning products in the Get Clean line just as safe as Basic H. If one million of us switched to Get Clean, it would have a monumental impact on our waterways. Please join me in protecting our waterways for our future generations.
For more information on this topic, you can check out my other blogs.
To your good health!
Charlene

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Heavy Metals in Food and Solutions

We’re exposed to thousands of toxic substances every day. There are pollutants in the air you breathe, pesticides in most foods that aren’t organic and countless other toxins. Among the worst are heavy metals. They’re in the ground we walk on, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and in the products, we use every day. But high levels of most heavy metals can make you sick.
Heavy metals are introduced into the environment generally as by-products of industrial pollution accumulating in the soil and eventually accumulate in the foods (especially organ meats) that we eat. Some examples of heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Not all heavy metals are particularly toxic, and some are essential, such as iron, copper and zinc.
Understanding the risk these heavy metals pose in our food supply is complicated by the fact that no single food source accounts for most people’s exposure to metals in foods. People’s exposure to these metals comes from many different foods containing low levels of these metals. Combining all the foods we eat; these low levels can sometimes add up to a level of concern. Symptoms come on slowly and can include: weakness and tiredness, achy joints and muscles, headaches and constipation plus a myriad of other symptoms.
Knowledge is power. Use this partial list to help with your buying decisions.

LEAD

Lead is found in refined chocolate, pesticides, lead water pipes in older buildings. City water sources are now being implicated as sources of toxic heavy metals, so it’s recommended to use a water filtration system.
When exposed to lead, animals and humans often store the toxin within bone minerals. In 2013 scientists measured the levels of lead in broth made from the bones of organic chickens. The broth was found to have “markedly high lead concentrations” compared to water cooked in the same cookware. So be aware of bone broth.

CADMIUM

Cadmium is found in fungicides, refined wheat flour (white flour), some skin cream, soft drinks from vending machines with cadmium in the pipes, aquatic animals, and in smaller quantities in grains, legumes, cereals and leafy vegetables.

MERCURY

Mercury is found in dental fillings, primarily released as a vapor gaining access to the brain and blood, many vaccines, high-mercury species of fish such as shark and swordfish, but also tuna, sea bass, halibut, and marlin, as well as many farmed varieties.

ARSENIC

Arsenic can be found in insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, some aquatic animals and seaweeds, rice and fruit juices. Rice efficiently absorbs arsenic from irrigation water, soil, and even cooking water.

SOLUTIONS

An essential strategy to reduce these heavy metals is to consume adequate quantities of minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, selenium, zinc, and folate; antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene and foods like garlic and cilantro, which help with the excretion of heavy metals. For example, if your body is running low on either zinc or iron, your capacity to absorb cadmium may increase. Calcium, iron, and zinc can block out lead, and selenium can serve to prevent the absorption of both mercury and lead. Additionally, selenium helps us excrete toxic metals mercury and arsenic.

Besides this array of supplementation, I also use a green powder called Organic Greens Booster which is a whole food supplement that provides the equivalent of one cup of raw, organic, nutrient-rich green vegetables in every scoop. I love that it is totally safe and I don’t have to worry about any heavy metal contamination and that it helps protect me.
Cleansing is also important and I recommend that as well.
To your good health,
Charlene

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga is misunderstood many times as people think you have to do yoga poses like downward dog, etc. Not true, but there is a yoga connection. Yoga breathing or Pranayama, is the foundation of a laughter yoga practice. Laughter yoga is a unique exercise routine, which combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. Laughter yoga sessions start with gentle warm-up techniques which include stretching, chanting, clapping and body movement. This helps break down inhibitions and develop feelings of childlike playfulness.   Forced laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter.
Science has proven that the body cannot differentiate between simulated or forced and real laughter. The physical benefits are exactly the same, and simulated laughter usually leads to real laughter. It has been proven scientifically that twenty minutes of laughter is sufficient to have physiological benefits. This experience leads to release of emotional tensions and joyfulness, which can last for days. Laughter yoga is the only technique that allows adults to achieve sustained hearty laughter without involving cognitive thought.

Some benefits of laughter yoga

  • makes you feel good
  • helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook
  • supports you to relax and recharge
  • gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope
  • you can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing
  • shifts your perspective
  • brings the focus away from negative emotions
  • gives us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as challenges
  • connects us with others
  • produces a sense of well being
  • has a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health
  • provides a physical and emotional release
  • reduces the level of stress hormones
  • increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies
  • boosts T cells and the number of antibody-producing cells
  • improves your resistance to disease
  • triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals
  • generates the release of oxytocin, aka the love hormone
  • enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air
  • stimulates your heart and lungs
  • provides a good workout for the heart
  • exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, and even works out the shoulders
  • works your muscles and leaves muscles more relaxed afterward
  • provides a natural workout for many muscle groups
  • decreases blood pressure
  • improves sleep patterns
  • increases blood flow and oxygenation to the cells and organs
  • been shown to increase memory, intelligence, and creativity.
Breathing exercises are used to prepare the lungs for laughter, followed by a series of ‘laughter exercises’ that combine the method of acting and visualization techniques with playfulness. These exercises, when combined with strong social dynamics of group behaviour, lead to hearty unconditional laughter.
Laughter Yoga
Charlene being funny
An old Yiddish proverb says,

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

Sunday May 6 is World Laughter Day. It takes place the first Sunday in May every year. Dr. Madan Kataria is the founder of the worldwide laughter yoga movement. Laughter yoga has all the ingredients required for individuals to change themselves and to change the world in a peaceful and positive way.
Contact me if you want to try a class or have an organization who wants to add a little humour into the mix.
To your good health.
Charlene
To read more about Laughter Yoga:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

What is Healthy Food?

We eat food to provide energy and nutrition. Food comes from plants and animals. Healthy food contains the protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and supplies energy. Healthy food comes from plant sources such as fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.), herbs, and spices. We also get some healthy food from animal sources such as meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
When I search “food” on Amazon, the first thing that shows up is candy followed by a myriad of processed foods. I find it fascinating that these things especially candy are labelled as food. They are certainly not healthy food. The same is true in the grocery stores. There are so many processed foods and only a few aisles of healthy food.
The assimilation of the food materials is called nutrition. If our bodies are under stress, we may not assimilate the food and therefore not get the nutrition that we need from the food. If we don’t chew the food properly, we may not assimilate it. Or if we have sensitivities or allergies, we may have malabsorption. The quality of the food affects how much nutrition we get from the food. Early harvesting, transporting, storage, cooking, freezing, canning, over processing, refining, and pasteurization all affect the nutrient values.
What has happened in the last 100 years is that food produced by farmers or gardeners has been changed by industrial processes (the food industry). This means that processed food usually contains several natural ingredients and food additives (such as preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, etc.). Also, the soils have become depleted due to fast growing successive generations of food produced for the food industry.
Since the nutrients we need from the food come from the soil, this is not good news. If the soil is depleted then we are not getting the all the necessary nutrients. What the roots bring to the plant is what we receive when we eat the plant.
There is a movement to find organic healthy foods these days but it is missing the quality of the soil issue. Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Organic food is not irradiated and does not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, nowhere does it say anything about the quality of the soil.

Bottom line is: We need Healthy Food to live.

What is Healthy Food

One of the best ways to improve the soil is to implement crop rotation.

Crop rotation is a system of varying successive crops on the same ground to avoid depleting the soil and to control weeds, diseases and pests. The challenge is that the food industry has a hold on the framework upon which we live so the crops must be harvested quickly so the money can be made. Very few farmers have the resources to implement crop rotation as they are looking for the cash crops to sustain them.
Bottom line, we need food to live. The food is not as nutritious as it was before food became a business. We are currently experiencing a food crisis. The current food is manufactured so much sometimes it is not really food anymore especially candy. The way it is manufactured sets up addictions.  Manufactured food has become highly unnatural.
Thank goodness there is a movement afoot pointing to eating more real healthy food. Going back to nature and starting backyard gardens or getting involved with community gardens. Earthsave Canada is “advocating a more whole, food, plant-based diet for environmental sustainability, better health, and compassion toward animals”. Many people are beginning to see that is time to make changes as healthy food is essential to our wellbeing.
In Toronto, there is an organization called Unify Toronto that is bringing people together who want change. As part of this we are having a vegan potluck to encourage people to go back to real food and create new models for change. Contact me if you are interested in participating. We would love to hear your ideas.
To your good health,
Charlene
If you want to read more, check out:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Project Drawdown, Reversing Global Warming IS Possible

We know the prognosis: global warming threatens the delicate balance of all life on Earth, and must be addressed if humanity is to have a future on this planet.
Good news has finally arrived. And today, on Earth Day, an organization that I am a facilitator for, is excited to share with you a new offering for engaging in climate action. In April of last year, Project Drawdown, a ground-breaking study, demonstrated that it is possible not just to slow global warming, but to actually reverse it by 2050.
Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.  Paul Hawken is Executive Director of Project Drawdown, a non-profit dedicated to researching when and how global warming can be reversed. Paul is one of the environmental movement’s leading voices, and a pioneering architect of corporate reform with respect to ecological practices.
Project Drawdown is a coalition of scholars, scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates from across the globe that is mapping, measuring, modeling, and communicating about a collective array of substantive solutions to global warming, with the goal of reaching drawdown. Drawdown is the point in time when the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.
What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global warming within thirty years. It shows that humanity has the means at hand. Nothing new needs to be invented. Project Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.
Since August 2017, the Pachamama Alliance has been piloting a series of workshops as part of a new Drawdown Initiative that take these ground-breaking findings into communities across the world. These workshops support participants in finding their unique contribution to reversing global warming and provide a space for getting into action with a community of like-minded individuals. Since launching the pilot, there have been 75 Pachamama Alliance Drawdown Initiative events in 23 cities and 6 countries.
You Have a Role to Play
We all need to find our unique contribution to reversing global warming and getting into action. One thing you can do since this is Earth Day month, is take your toxic cleaning products to the toxic waste dump and switch over to Get Clean. Get Clean offers a full line of natural and nontoxic cleaning choices that are Safe for You, Your Home, and Your Planet®. They biodegrade into earth friendly elements with 7 to 30 days. No harmful fumes or hazardous chemicals. They outperform 20 national leading brands. You would spend $3400 for ready to use cleaners to get the same amount of clean found in the Get Clean Starter Kit*.
Project DrawdownAnd when you purchase the Get Clean Starter Kit you also make a positive impact on the planet:
  • Keep 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills.
  • Eliminate 248 pounds of greenhouse gas.
  • This month a tree will be planed in your honor.
I am writing this on the actual Earth Day 2018 and I would love to have you join me in taking one small step to make a difference for our future generations. I changed my cleaning products over 25 years ago now. Also, if you want to know about the Drawdown activities in Toronto, please contact me.
To your good health.
Charlene

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Earth Day 2018, What Can You Do?

Earth Day originated out of a growing global ecological awareness back on April 22,1970. Now more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.
It is a day of planting trees, or cleaning up neighbourhoods, or nature walks.

It’s a reminder that everyday is earth day.

This year the Earth Day Network announced that Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution. The exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet’s survival. The goals include ending single-use plastics, promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics, corporate and government accountability and changing human behavior concerning plastics. EDN will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics. This includes the pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife.
Everything is interconnected. So, our environment is really an extension of us. What we do to the planet, we do to ourselves.
As the Native Americans say, “We have not inherited the earth from our fathers. We are BORROWING it from our children.”

What you can do:

  • Don’t buy individually wrapped items.
  • Choose to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
  • Buy products with less packaging.
  • Use your own reusable bags for every shopping trip.
  • Eat less animal products.
  • Eat more raw food items like salads.
  • Do not waste water.
  • Invest in a home water filter instead of buying and drinking bottled water.
  • Recycle.
  • Replace lights with energy-efficient bulbs.
  • Turn off lights when you’re not in the room.
  • Buy recycled paper.
  • Walk or ride your bike to work, school and anywhere you can.
  • Compost.
  • Boycott the use of pesticides on your property.
  • Start a small backyard vegetable garden.
  • Buy earth friendly cleaning products.
Earth Day
There are many things that we can do as we can make change when we vote with our pocketbook.
In honor of Earth Day, I will give out free samples of the earth friendly cleaning product to anyone who contacts me in April.
To your good health!
Charlene