Doctors are prescribing gardening to improve patients’ health

October 1, 2019 by  
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During their prime, Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir had waxed eloquent about nature’s ability to soothe and rejuvenate the soul, championing nature’s spiritual and restorative benefits. Today, modern science is taking heed of their message as ecotherapy enters the mainstream medical realm, with gardening, or horticultural ecotherapy, being prescribed to some patients at a medical practice in Manchester, England. Doctors at the Cornbrook Medical Practice in Manchester, England have been prescribing some patients, who have anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation, with a unique form of medicine — ecotherapy in the form of gardening . Each patient is given a dosage of plants, which should be cared for and then returned to the medical center after a set amount of time. Upon return, the patient will carefully transplant their plants into the center’s community garden. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says The medical practice’s garden is now blooming with herbs, flowers and produce , including broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Many of the patients live in the city and have little to no access to green spaces, especially gardens, so the community garden offers them a place to nourish their assigned plants and mingle with others. Things are looking good at Cornbrook, our courgettes are huge and we finally got our beautiful murals up! #communitygarden #growyourown #hulme pic.twitter.com/KL2dzNhjv3 — Cornbrook Wellbeing Garden (@CornbrookGarden) August 30, 2019 “Having something to care for brings so many benefits to people — especially for those who may not have a garden or be able to have pets,” said Augusta Ward , a medical secretary at Cornbrook Medical Practice. “The plant is then a reason to come back to the surgery and get involved in all the other activities in our garden and make new friends.” Ecotherapy is not a modern concept. For one, poets like Romantic William Wordsworth and Transcendentalist Walt Whitman have recounted the harmony and inner joy that comes from contemplating nature’s majesty. While ecotherapy is an emerging Western healing art, it has long been in practice in Native American and Asian cultures. Research has also shown that contact with nature heals, because it transforms us, helps us to unwind and boosts the body’s natural endorphins to relieve stress. Scientific evidence has revealed that reconnecting with nature elevates rates of health , immunity, fitness, stamina, self-esteem, social connection, happiness and well-being. It is no wonder, then, that there are healthcare providers who are now giving “ nature ” and “garden” prescriptions to their patients. An added bonus is that horticultural ecotherapy offers a simple, cost-effective means of improving well-being. “I’ve seen how our patients relax in the garden, and how they then get involved in wider events like picking litter, which all adds to pride in our area,” said Dr. Phillipa James, a general practitioner at the medical practice. “There’s a lot of evidence now about how two hours a week in a green space can lift mood — and then that, too, has physical, mental and emotional benefits. That’s something we need to harness.” + Cornbrook Wellbeing Garden Via The Guardian and Manchester Evening News Image via Lukas

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Doctors are prescribing gardening to improve patients’ health

Best US cities for vegans and vegetarians for World Vegetarian Day

October 1, 2019 by  
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Vegetarians and vegans frequently discuss the best cities to live in or visit, because it’s easier to enjoy a place when there are restaurants and activities that match your preferences. WalletHub’s new study , “Best Cities for Vegetarians and Vegans,” uses a variety of sources and statistics to rank the 100 biggest American cities for affordability, diversity, accessibility and quality, vegetarian lifestyle and overall rank. Just in time for World Vegetarian Day on October 1 and World Vegan Day on November 1, here’s what WalletHub found. The overall winners are: 1. Portland, Oregon 2. Los Angeles, California 3. Orlando, Florida 4. Seattle, Washington 5. Austin, Texas 6. Atlanta, Georgia 7. New York City, New York 8. San Francisco, California 9. San Diego, California 10. Tampa, Florida WalletHub used 17 key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness, including grocery costs, proportion of high-ranking plant-based restaurants on online review sites, farmers’ markets and community gardens per capita and the presence of local vegetarian fests and veg cooking classes. The data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, Council for Community and Economic Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feeding America, Yelp, TripAdvisor, USDA Organic INTEGRITY Database, The Trust for Public Land, United States Department of Agriculture, GrubHub, Meetup and Vegan.com. Related: These are the world’s top vegan cities Some of the more social factors, such as festivals and meetups, as well as GrubHub’s list of cities with customers that are most likely to order veg dishes, factored into the vegetarian lifestyle rank. The top five there included a couple of surprises: Anaheim, California and Durham, North Carolina, in addition to the more expected San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Affordability had a roughly inverse correlation to veg lifestyle rankings. The top two most affordable cities — Laredo and Corpus Christi, Texas — ranked 98 and 93 on the vegetarian lifestyle index. The best chance of combining affordability with overall rank was Austin , which ranked fifth overall, 11th in affordability but still only 34th in vegetarian lifestyle. Of course, vegetarians will want to know which cities were at the bottom of the list, so if they visit, they can stock up on vegan protein bars beforehand. Here are the least veg-friendly cities in the U.S.: 91. Memphis, Tennessee 92. Tulsa, Oklahoma 93. Stockton, California 94. Winston-Salem, North Carolina 95. Henderson, Nevada 96. Baton Rouge, Lousiana 97: North Las Vegas, Nevada 98. Greensboro, North Carolina 99. San Bernardino, California 100. El Paso, Texas + WalletHub Image via Tony Webster

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LEED Gold-seeking wildlife center emphasizes energy conservation in Quebec

October 1, 2019 by  
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The Canadian city of Laval in southwestern Quebec has recently gained a new wildlife interpretation center with an impressive, energy-efficient design. It’s the first of its kind in the city and is targeting LEED NC v3 Gold certification . Designed by Montreal-based architecture firm Cardin Julien , the $11.5 million project provides a new community and educational resource for visitors to Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, an urban wildlife sanctuary that spans 26 hectares rich with recreational opportunities including kayaking, canoeing and island hiking. Completed October 2018, the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles exploration center features a main building with three floors. The ground floor houses a large multipurpose hall with a cafe and reception area framing views of the river through full-height glazing as well as museum programming and a monitoring room for conferences and events. The equipment rental space, locker room, ecology laboratory, researchers’ offices and day camp facilities are placed on the lower “river” level. The uppermost floor comprises an employee relaxation area and a flexible multipurpose room that can be partitioned into three sections. Related: Minimalist TRIPTYCH house pulls the Quebec outdoors in “In order for the project to integrate seamlessly into its environment, the use of wood was recommended for the building’s exterior,” reads the press release. “This material, which can also be found inside the building, fosters a warm environment and allows a connection between visitors and the nature around them. In addition, the structure was built in such a way that it preserves the mature trees growing onsite.” The project also includes a new parking pad, bike path, pedestrian walkways and landscaping as well as a new workshop and equipment distribution kiosk housed in a renovated stable. The main building is topped with a green roof as part of the project’s water conservation strategy that includes rainwater recycling. A high-performance building envelope and strategically placed windows and roof overhangs help contribute to energy savings and visitor comfort. + Cardin Julien Photography by David Boyer via Cardin Julien

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LEED Gold-seeking wildlife center emphasizes energy conservation in Quebec

How a Minimalist Lifestyle Can Add to Your Green Efforts

October 16, 2017 by  
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You may have seen the term “minimalism” being thrown around … The post How a Minimalist Lifestyle Can Add to Your Green Efforts appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How a Minimalist Lifestyle Can Add to Your Green Efforts

Urban Farming: 10 Crops You Can Grow at Home

September 26, 2017 by  
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If you think you can’t grow your own food because … The post Urban Farming: 10 Crops You Can Grow at Home appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Urban Farming: 10 Crops You Can Grow at Home

Create a Zen Garden for Your Home: Here’s How

September 14, 2017 by  
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Between a busy office, bumper-to-bumper traffic and endless errands, you … The post Create a Zen Garden for Your Home: Here’s How appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Create a Zen Garden for Your Home: Here’s How

Top 3 Natural Acne Remedies

March 16, 2017 by  
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Nothing destroys my resolve to live a natural, chemical-free life like a giant angry pimple. When I have clear skin, it’s all flowers and rainbows, paraben-free this, phthalate-free that. But when acne strikes, I’ve been known to go…

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Top 3 Natural Acne Remedies

3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

February 24, 2017 by  
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When you find a chocolate brand you like, it’s hard to try something new, especially when it costs more than you’re used to paying. You might browse the candy aisle at your local grocery store and wonder if those fancy $8 bars are worth the price….

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3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

5 Things to Finally STOP Doing in 2017

December 30, 2016 by  
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New Year’s resolutions often center around things we’d like to add our lives — we plan to exercise more, cook at home more, make more phone calls to grandparents or out-of-state friends. The only problem is that come February, we…

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5 Holiday Items Making Your Family Sick

December 2, 2016 by  
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‘Tis the season to be jolly. For many, this symbolizes an all-access hall pass to indulge one’s taste buds along the chocolate-, cake-, cocktail- and candy-lined corridors. While some choose to channel their inner Oompa Loompa between the…

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