Blog: Horticultural Therapy

 

 

I’ve come across a couple of small articles on how gardening soothes us. “Geosmin” is the component in soil that affects our brains and gives us a feeling of peace. But, did you know there is a formal association for and about horticultural therapy? My guest this week, Jeff, the Plant Guy, reminded me. He highlighted the various institutions he personally travels to, various programs he shares and the positive results. Results can happen on a more subtle level. Memories are stirred, we think back to other times and places often with positive results. Here’s a great article that talks about gardening improving longevity.

Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

They also state: “A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active depending on the garden design and users’ needs. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.” (American Horticultural Therapy Association)

I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to help out at the Hobbs Farm on LI. They produced food for the 11 food banks that existed at that time throughout LI.

The founder had a son who was severely injured in a car accident and disabled. They were able to put in a macadam surface for wheelchair access and built high raised beds for wheelchair bound folk. The canopy and benches gave them a place for snacks and a way to get out of the sun. It was and is a very practical and useful therapeutic design garden area, all part of the bigger farm.

Today I’d like to remind you to get out into your yards, gardens, nearby forests. If you can’t and have houseplants spend some time with them today. They clean our air, add moisture to it and lend a feeling of well being. All good.

Do you have any memories connected to a particular plant or flower? We enjoy hearing from you. Please share. Thanks. Judith

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Christopher Salem, Author, Influencer

Description: What creates success? We all look for some kind of answer that will bring us the satisfaction of prosperity. But, there’s no magic bullet. Accountability, responsibility, creating positive patterns and habits, showing up with more mindfulness each day empowers us and our creativity which brings success. Join Chris Salem and me for an engaging and inspiring discussion on how looking at our limiting beliefs, how getting to the root cause of our problems leads to more sustainable solutions. Chris is an author, speaker, and influencer contributing to the success of many businesses across our country.

About My Guest: Chris Salem is a highly authentic person who for over four years has had a special passion for empowering and serving business leaders, entrepreneurs in various industries, sales executives, coaches, authors, speakers, and others, taking their business and life to another level. For many years, Chris has seen people aspiring to make changes and grow but struggled at different phases of their career and life. He is just like you, a regular person that has faced similar struggles. Chris shares from experience what has worked successfully through hard work and dedication to help in your challenges.
Chris also delivers world-class content to audiences as a speaker that is high-impact which shifts people toward positive action. The focus is on the “root cause” that leads to changes and results, thus moves the audience toward improving their business and personal life. Always coming from the heart and personal experience, the audience is able to draw their own conclusions as to what is required of themselves to come out of their comfort zone and strive toward prosperity. Unlike seminars or programs that scratch the surface, the focus is always on the audience to make changes by addressing the “root cause” that holds back their greatness. Chris is 100% committed to SERVING & TRAINING the audience versus SELLING just products and services.

Transcript: #63 Chris Salem

Earth Day: Precious Water, Symbol of Life

 

My podcast guest this week, Grandmother Nancy Andry, shared her story, her wisdom and spoke about women as caretakers of the water. She is one of the singers, sharers, and promoters of the Algonquin Water Song. This incredible gift, the Algonquin Water Song is for us. Please listen to the recording and sing the song every day. We have misused our water, shown great disrespect for water as evidenced by the level of pollution that exists on our planet.
In the past 12 years, drinking water used by 49 million residents of the United States has been contaminated with bacteria, radioactive materials, and arsenic in levels that are both illegal and incredibly unsafe. 

Water, a powerful symbol in every culture, is our lifeblood. Water is connected to healing, cleansing, and renewal. I ask that you remember to give thanks for every drop of water you drink, bath in, wash in not just during Earth Day Celebrations but every day. Today I am adding the River Song sung by Brooke Medicine Eagle, and, a song for and with the creatures of the Oceans by Dr. Leesa Sklover, also a podcast guest.

Water is crucial to our existence on this planet. Please share these beautiful songs and sing the water song every day. Did you enjoy these songs? I hope so. We’d like to hear from you. Enjoy. Judith

 

Interview with Host Christopher Salem, ‘Sustainable Success Show’ on Voice America

Description: We all know that old models are not sustainable. Creating product, manufacturing product at the expense of everything else has placed us, humans and other species in a precarious position. Jean Houston says: “We cannot reverse the overuse of our environment without facing the gross underuse of our interior environment’” So, from Judith Dreyer’s experiences as a dreamer, presenter, and writer, she feels we are looking for ways to write a new story, one that is regenerative and sustainable.

It was a pleasure and an honor to be a guest on Chris Salem’s show. I hope you enjoy our engaging discussion. Remember now is the time for practical action and profound inner change so we value our world today.


 

Blog: Restoring Our Relationship with Microbes for Optimal Health

There’s a buzz going around in soil science and health about our “microbiome”. Both are equally important for different reasons yet for the same result. Healthy soil teeming with microbes and bacteria, supporting a fungal network thus creating a vital microbiome grows nutritious foods. Nutritious foods, freshly picked or organically grown or purchased retains a bit of the soil biome and contributes to keeping our gut in better shape microbe wise. Researchers like the presenter above are connecting the dots about how our relationship to soil, microbes, and health are interconnected. It’s like another version of the web. And, It’s a win-win for us and the planet.

My podcast guest this week, Kimberly Kresevic, founder of InSoil Health seeks to do just that. She can show farmers in real time the health status of their soil. Where there are deficiencies, she can advise farmers on the correct amendments to positively build soil health, all of which grows healthier foods. We take care of the soil and the soil takes care of us. A relationship we have forgotten about. We may not have had the science to understand our relationship in the past but now we do. And, It’s a bit scary when we look at the scope of the problems facing us today. And, It’s fascinating, too and what folks are doing one talk, one garden, one business at a time.

Yes, we can make a difference.

  • Grow your own food.
  • If you can’t, join in a community garden venture.
  • If you can’t, buy from a CSA.
  • If you can’t, buy organic and from local organic farmers.
  • Remember: every purchase is a vote.

I hope you enjoyed the TED Talk above. He defines microbiome, shows colorful slides so we can envision how this microscopic system works within us. And, the best news is that with a few lifestyle changes, we can experience a more positive health response, enabling us to live healthy lives while improving our partnership with the earth.

Did you enjoy his review? Let us know what you can do to make a positive change in your life today. Thanks.

Enjoy. Judith

 

Blog: 10 Facts Need to Know About Plastic Bag Use Today.

 

 

 

 

Students at the University of Connecticut are making a difference one issue at a time. Over this past year, the PIRG chapter volunteers got plastic bags banned from dining services. It’s all part of UConn PIRG’s zero waste campaign. Can we make a difference by decreasing plastic bag usage? These students, 2 of whom are my podcast guests this week and next, said yes. They researched the issue, offered education, got students and faculty to sign petitions and basically got the job done. I’m proud of them for their efforts, their enthusiasm and their willingness to create change, one that promotes sustainability and takes care of the earth for the future.

However, I wondered about the facts around our use of plastic bags today? So, I decided to look into the issue more deeply. It’s simply astounding. And I feel saddened to think we have waited so long to take action over a serious problem that has shown us the error of our ways so graphically. Why are we taking so long to make a difference for us and all species?

Let’s look at the UK: Anna Schavorion who writes in Forbes magazine:

England’s single-plastic bag use before 2015

“The use of plastic bags in England’s supermarkets was out of control in 2014. More than 7.6 billion carrier bags were handed out to customers that year and that figure had been on the rise for the previous four years.

England was the last country in the U.K. to introduce a charge for single-use plastic bags. Wales was the first to do so, in 2011, followed by Northern Ireland in 2013 and Scotland in 2014. All saw plastic bag use decrease by 70-80% year-on-year.”

That translates into a huge decrease in personal usage of plastic bags which means a huge decrease in production. Let’s look at more facts:

    1. Ireland alone reduced plastic bag consumption by 1 Billion bags between 2001 and 2011 by imposing a bag tax of $.37
    2. We use 1 trillion plastic bags worldwide, a product that consumes resources, contributions to species deaths, adds to pollution.
    3. The European Union is beginning to get behind promoting a decrease in plastic bags due to the great harm seen in our oceans and other waterways.
    4. Plastic baags contribute to malaria in Kenya.
    5. Camels and other animals such as cows and sheep die from plastic bag ingestion.
    6. 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found. Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic. A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate.”
    7. “There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to the current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.”
    8. According to National Geographic: 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the ocean every year from coastal regions. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash sitting on every foot of coastline around the world. And 40% of plastic produced is packaging, used just once and then discarded.
    9. How does the US rate in recycling plastics? We recycle 9% compared to Europe at 30%. Here in the Us, we throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually. That’s about 307 bags per person.
    10. If a ton of plastic bottles is recycled, the energy that is saved is the same as the amount of energy used yearly by a two-person household.

What can we do? A lot. Simply stop using plastic bags, straws and be mindful of packaging. Got your bags in the car and forgot to bring them in? I do that too. But, one student reminded me to reverse bag: put all items into your cart, take to your car and bag them there.  When I only have one or two items I tell the cashier that “zero waste is coming. No thanks, I don’t need a bag.”

Got any great ideas for zero waste? Let me know. Thanks. Judith

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