Check out my new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, available from Amazon.

2012 Silver winner in the Health/Medicine/Nutrition Category of the Independent Publishers Book Awards

Friday, May 30, 2008

Natural rust cleaner

Okay, I give you free reign to call me a total freaking nut ball, but I just had to share this with you all. And, I too, am going through blogging withdrawals.

But WTF does this have to do with rust? As you may remember, I'm turning into a total Craigslist whore. I can't stop myself - the excitement is beyond palpable. In an effort to prepare my daughter's old trike for sale, I wanted to spruce up the rusty chrome on the wheels to ensure that I can fleece the buyers out of as much money as possible. Well, not really, I just wanted to make sure it looked perty.

So, I went online to find out how to clean rust off bikes. Of course, there is a litany of toxic rust cleaners one can purchase that will do the job. As well as remove enough of your fingertips to render you untraceable by the authorities. Hmmm...

Anyway, I stumbled across a recipe using salt and lemon juice. I fingered I'd give it a try. At first it didn't look like it was doing anything until I scared my 90-year-old neighbor who was out in his yard spraying pesticides for the 18th time this week with my exclamation of "Holy Shit!".

At that moment, I knew I could not keep this little secret to myself and had to spread the Good News. Behold... the before and after pictures.


Recipe

3 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Mix into a paste and go to town on those rusty thangs of yours.

Am I the only retarded person out there who hasn't heard of this? Oh yeah, you didn't see this post. Shhhh.....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Backyard Booty: Vegetables

Calabrese BroccoliThis is the second installment of the Backyard Booty series. Today I want to talk about all the super exciting vegetables I'm growing this year.

Okay, most of these I grew last year, so there aren't too many surprises, but since I know better what grows successfully in our maritime location as well as what vegetables we'll actually eat, I know things will be more productive this year.

Anyway, here's the list so far (number of plants in parenthesis).

  • Tomato (3: Black Krim, San Marzano, Sweet Million Cherry)
  • Kale (2)
  • Lettuce (4)
  • Broccoli Raab (4)
  • Broccoli (3)
  • Red onions (12)
  • Carrots (16)
  • French radishes (16)
  • White Lisbon bunching onions (16)
  • Garlic (6)
  • Spinach, Viroflay (2)
  • Zucchini (3)
  • Sugar snap peas (2)
  • Sugar pie pumpkins (3)
  • Potatoes (French fingerling; Yukon gold)

    This weekend I'll be planting some beets. We used the tops and the bottoms last year quite regularly, but I won't be growing as many of them. My broccoli plants are looking fantastic and I can't wait to try homegrown, fresh picked broccoli to see how it compares to store bought.

    Did you know that broccoli leaves are edible? That's right, just prepare them as you would any other green, like beet, collard or turnip tops. Harvest and prepare only young, tender leaves as older, tougher leaves often develop a somewhat bitter taste.

    I'll be keeping the spinach going since we ended up eating a lot more spinach last year than the lettuce, mostly since it's a hardier plant and can withstand aphid invasions better.

    Last year my zucchini was a total bust (I know, WTF?) so I'm expecting this year to be inundated by acres of zukes. I'll be freezing them in batches for making tons of bread next fall and winter. I also will be planting more pumpkins since making my own pumpkin puree was incredibly satisfying and it gets used for so many things.

    I'm not bothering with peppers, watermelon or any other heat-seeking plants. This summer is supposed to be hotter than normal, but last year was such a disappointment I don't want to relive it again. I still have a few other things to plant and a lot more of the things already in the ground to keep enough going to last through the summer.

    What about you? What are you growing veggie-wise this year?

    (By the way, I'll have an ant update soon.)
  • Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Project Covered Wagon

    On the wagonArduous had this fun post yesterday about picking who you would like to ride your wagon. No, that's not what I mean. The question is:

    Who would you pick (from the blogging world) to be your four wagon-mates on the Oregon Trail?

    Here's my answer (in no particular order):

    1. Sharon - Since we are both six feet tall, our Oregon bound wagon would have some sort of Amazonian woman theme. Except we'd keep our breasts. Kind of like something you'd see at Burning Man, but a covered wagon. Maybe we could trick it out with flames on the side shooting out of an airbrushed quiver. Anyway, Sharon can pretty much grow and raise anything, so she'd be a valuable asset to have around. And, she's damn funny.

    2. Greenpa - If he survives the wagon ride (meaning that no one has voted him off of Project Covered Wagon), he'll know how to set up shop once we get there. He's a freakin' complete walking edition of the Firefox books. Plus, he can provide hours of entertainment and I will have someone to make fun of.

    3. Chile - Quite simply because she knows how to turn shit into gold. Plus, if Greenpa crumps on us with a bad case of consumption, Chile can take over as backup MacGyver and rig us up whatever we need.

    4. April - I'm sorry to say that I don't think April will actually provide much in the way of utilizable skills (unless we need a little Clay work done), but she's such a goofball and does possess one valuable attribute to the wagon ride: she's six feet tall. Oh right, I guess she does have some farm skills.

    UPDATE: Make sure you check out DC's rendition of our wagon. F'ng hilarious!

    So, who gets to ride your wagon?

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa

    Along the lines of my earlier post, I thought I'd let you know about a couple of TV shows that are relevant. If you get the Sundance Channel, you might want to check out this show that is airing tonight at 9:35 pm E/P:

    Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa
    Some 400 people make their home on a rugged 15-square mile stretch of New Mexico desert known as the Mesa. Devoid of basic amenities like running water, paved roads and power lines, the Mesa isn’t an easy place to live, but it does offer solitude and autonomy to those who need it, as well as an alternative to contemporary consumer society. This candid documentary captures the tenor of a proudly self-contained and democratic society while profiling several residents, including Maine, a magnetic Gulf War veteran; Mama Phyllis, an even-tempered former psychiatric nurse; and Stan, a kindly pig farmer and father figure to the teenage runaways that have come and gone for years.

    If that doesn't float your boat, there is another show on at 9:00 pm that you might like (also on the Sundance Channel):

    Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Grow
    Green spaces are essential to the health and welfare of cities and suburbs alike. As urban populations swell, creative environmentalists are scouting surprising spots for vegetation amidst the cement and concrete. Suburbanites lucky enough to have green space are introducing a new level of environmental consciousness to their lawns and gardens.

    I haven't watched them yet (I have Sundance's The Green series on DVD, but have been too busy to watch and review), but hope to do so one of these days.

    Voluntary simplicity

    Harris family from AustinOn Saturday, the New York Times ran an article, Chasing Utopia, Family Imagines No Possessions, that warmed the cockles of my heart.

    It covered several families who are downshifting to a life less harried and one focusing more on self-sufficiency rather than consumerism. In essence, the families, whether they intentionally are or not, are following the basic tenets of the Voluntary Simplicity movement.

    One family you may already know about. It is Matt and Sara Janssen - she writes the eco blog, Walk Slowly, Live Wildly, which I read from time to time. They have completely sold most of their worldly possessions and are travelling the country in a used veggie oil fueled motor home, teaching others how to convert their diesel vehicles into a spent fast-food grease machine. The Live Lightly Tour is quite an exciting adventure and one which I've been following closely.

    Another family has sold all their possessions as well and is planning on moving from Austin, Texas to a rural area of Vermont. They are currently looking into purchasing a log cabin and hope to set up a homestead, grow their own food and homeschool their kids. In other words, the classic "back to the land" scenario.

    Finally, an Annapolis, MD family moved out of their apartment with an "everything must go" party and, along with their 3-year-old son, set sail on a 44-by-24-foot catamaran. Are you listening Burbanmom? (And in case you argue that you have more than one child, I know a family who lives on a sailboat that has one kindergartner and twin 4-year-olds.)

    For those of you who participated in my post last week about living out your wildest dream, you may be interested in reading this article.

    Of course, this is just begging for a poll. I'm throwing in one other example, the Dervaes family in Pasadena who practice the ultimate in urban homesteading, making phenomenal use of their suburban lot to grow a tremendous amount of fruits and vegetables (6,000 pounds annually), raise bees, goats, chickens and whatnot. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of them yet, I urge you to check out their website.



    Photo courtesy of the New York Times

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Ants in my plants

    Last year I reported that I had bumbles in my hole, but this year's infestation seems to be along the lines of smaller, less cutesy critters.

    Yesterday I planted a bunch of herbs (more on that in a later post) and was about to plant some vegetable seedlings into one of my raised beds, the one that hosts all those strawberries except for the back row, when low and behold as I was amending the soil I noticed an enormous ant infestation. Greenpa, do you know something I don't?

    I do have a bit of an aphid infestation on my oregano, which I'm working on, à la a mixture of soap, water and oil. Hopefully, clearing up the aphid population will help get rid of the ants and, thus, no more ant on aphid anal action. I'm not that desperate for entertainment. Anyway, I sprayed some "natural" mint oil stuff on the little buggers today in hopes that it will make them go away.

    Does anyone have any other recommendation for getting rid of ants in vegetable gardens that is safe for growing food crops? The ants are those little tiny brownish ones. I don't mind a few ants here and there, but these suckers are swarming.

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Endangered Species Day

    My sea turtle tattooToday, May 16, is Endangered Species Day, a resolution introduced by Maine Senator Susan Collins and California Senator Dianne Feinstein to help increase awareness about threats to endangered wildlife, fish and plants, and actions we can all take to help them.

    In honor of this special day, I would like to point your attention to the plight of the endangered sea turtles, ancient air-breathing reptiles that date back more than 100 million years to the time of the Dinosaurs.

    Throughout the world, and in particular, the Gulf of Mexico region, sea turtle populations have been severely destroyed by years of careless fishing and hunting practices, exploitation of eggs, rapid land development, pollution, and destruction of sea turtle nesting habitats.

    This post's content was provided by the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja (ASUPMATOMA), a non-profit organization based in Cabo San Lucas dedicated to the protection of endangered sea turtles and environment of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    The first person to guess where the tattoo of this sea turtle is on my body gets a big Friday Prize (consisting of nothing but a pat on the back). And, no, this isn't the tattoo I got during last year's Low Impact Week.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Backyard Booty: Fruits

    Bluecrop blueberriesThis new series, Backyard Booty, will not be a montage of pictures of my ass. Sorry. Instead, it will be a description of what fabulous edibles I am growing on my urban homestead.

    This edition is all about the fruits. I, of course, will be updating this as I add new fruits to the mix. I have grandiose plans, but not a whole lot of time lately. Couple that with some severely wacky weather. For instance, we've had winter temperatures up through May and this weekend it's supposed to be 90. WTF?

    Anyway, I haven't really added anything yet this year to the fruits but I do hope to eventually dig out some more rose bushes to add in dwarf apple trees. What I really want to plant are grapes, both table and wine, I just need to scrape up some space for it.

    Here's what's growing this year so far:

    4 x 1 Cherry Tree. What this means is that 4 types of cherries have been grafted onto one tree. This is great for urban yards where you don't have a whole lot of space to make sure you have enough cherry trees for cross-pollination at the correct time o' year. I bought this last year at Rain Tree Nursery.

    Dwarf Negronne Fig. I also bought this one last year. It's minuscule, but it is supposed to get about six feet tall if I let it. It's currently less than 2 feet, but it's trying real hard to produce fruit. These trees are great - they produce fruit twice a year. I just need to be patient or buy a more mature one to supplement my figgy needs.

    Blueberries. I have Bluecrop and Olympia varieties. I have space for more, but I just haven't had a chance to go out an get some more. But I'd like to add two more bushes for maximum blueberry action.

    Tristar strawberriesTristar strawberries. Oh, how I've been patiently waiting for you strawbs. I planted these last year and this year am suppose to get some sort of strawberry bounty. I have about 16 plants, which sounds like a lot but it isn't. The Tristar grow well for this region, and produce all summer long. So far, we have flowers going to town, so I'm hoping it has survived all the late snow. Go, strawberries, go!

    Neighborhood booty. Not that these are growing in my yard, but I have some neighborhood bounty that I'm hoping to take advantage of this year. One neighbor at the end of the block has a plum tree that hangs quite a bit onto the public sidewalk. Last year I availed the tree of all the fruit that was created a public nuisance/hazard by dropping fruit onto the sidewalk and attracting bees and yellow jackets. Not sure if this is legal, but no one said anything! My next door neighbor has an apple tree. I'm fairly sure they aren't eating any of the fruit off of it because, well, I'm watching them. Mwwoohahaha!

    Down the road there is a ginormous fig tree that is on the public parking strip. I daydream about camouflaging myself and making a midnight foray to steal fruit from this very mature fig tree. Maybe this year I'll have the huevos to collect some.

    Farther afield. A friend from work has an orchard in Central WA. I'm hoping to save him again this year from an overwhelming amount of organic peaches, apples and whatever else I can get my hands on.

    What kind of fruit do you have growing this year?

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Is McCain green or brown?

    Campaign StumpingI really don't like to bring up politics and I generally don't. But, I keep seeing news headlines about John McCain's stance on the environment and global warming and how he's trying to reach out to the green crowd.

    Yesterday, McCain was in the Seattle area and even went on a little promo hike. Ehrr.. I mean a "short nature walk". This brings a whole new meaning to the term campaign stumping. Anyway, I guess I really can't criticize since I don't see Hillary out there wobbling around on her cankles.

    McCain's talk, to a group of about 100 green businesses, centered around the idea that promoting "green" business practices would be good for the economy because it will encourage ingenuity and new products.

    McCain stated, "I just firmly and steadfastly reject the notion that this is going to be something that's harmful to our economy." He also stated that the wind-turbine company in Portland, OR that he visited is employing thousands of people and is "contributing to probably as clean a technology as you'll ever find."

    He, apparently, spent some time haranguing the CEO of REI regarding what ideas she had towards greening up businesses, even going so far as to asking her, "What do you want me to do?" Maybe she should have suggested some more suitable hiking boots? Might I suggest some McKeen's?

    So, has John McCain suddenly gone green or is he just full of shit?

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Y tu madre tambien

    Although no one has accused me today of having balls, like Sharon, it could certainly be applicable.

    My Mother's Day was quite uneventful. Since I have given my husband strict instructions not to get me anything, there wasn't a whole lot of wiggle room there.

    I made dinner for everyone. Well, it was more breakfast than anything - corn waffles with lavender whipped cream. My husband spent most of the day at the clinic going back and forth for labs, a clinic and a platelet transfusion. His second this weekend. At least it wasn't the marathon blood transfusion like on Friday (10:00 am to 8:00 pm). He is in an incredible amount of pain which doesn't exactly make it much better.

    So, I can't say this has been the best Mother's Day, but at least I have my kids around me. My Mom, on the other hand, is being entertained by my brother, knowing that this weekend was going to be crazy for us.

    Anyway, while all of you readers may not exactly be mothers (especially you guys out there), we all have mothers. Or, at least someone gave birth to you.

    So, what's your favorite memory of your Mom?

    Friday, May 9, 2008

    Lightening the load

    I'm finally getting around to selling a bunch of items we no longer use or need. They are mostly kid related. I managed to sell two Britax car seats in the last 24 hours and I've listed a Medela pump as well as a crib to sell.

    I'll also be giving away a booster chair and will probably list some Cooshie boosters soon. I have a list of other things I'll try to sell soon when I get a chance.

    In the meantime, it's been fun "earning" money for things that have just been sitting in storage in the basement.

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    A flotilla of foam

    Ooooh! A floaty star!A while back I reported about the whole idea of Moonvertising, where advertisers project corporate logos onto the moon. Fortunately, it was just an advertising joke - a scheme to get people interested in a third-rate, tasteless beer.

    Well, lo and behold, someone else has stepped up to the plate to ensure corporate advertising infiltrates our airspace. Now, I realize that we already get slightly bombarded by blimps and plane contrails exposing the virtues of such fine products as Goodyear and its ilk, but this just grinds my crackers.

    Picture the Manhattan skyline filled with Nike swooshes. Or the golden arches of McDonald's gently drifting over Los Angeles.

    A special-effects entrepreneur from Alabama has come up with a way to fill the sky with foamy clouds as big as 4 feet across and shaped like corporate logos - Flogos, as he calls them.

    Picture me writing my Congressperson complaining about the intrusiveness of Flogos in my appreciation of the heavens. Now, while they are touted as "green and 100% environmentally safe" it doesn't diminish the environmentally unfriendly aspect of "clouding" (ha!) the sky with stupid logos and other dumb crap I'd rather not see.

    It's bad enough that we have to bear witness to the myriad of billboards out there, but now when I'm lying in the grass with my kids enjoying the sky, there will be no creative "what do you see in the clouds". Instead, we'll be bombarded by visions of Mickey Mouse, Apple, Nike, McDonald's and other corporate schtick.

    Am I the only one annoyed at this? What's next? I giant set of floaty tits to scare the kids?

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    Movie Night: Surfwise

    Surfwise movie posterSurfwise follows the odyssey of legendary surfer Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz.

    Doc, a Stanford trained successful doctor, turned his back on his profession to follow his dreams, taking his wife Juliette and their nine children - all of whom were "homeschooled" on the beaches of Southern California, Hawaii and Mexico - along for the ride. They surfed every day of their lives and adhered to a strict diet of only organic and/or raw foods with no sugar or fat.

    This documentary, which opens in select theaters on May 9th, is reminiscent of the Christopher Mcandless story of Into the Wild - a man staying true to his dreams in spite of the pressure of society to conform.

    Doc Paskowitz certainly paints a very intriguing picture of the alternative life he chose for himself and his family. By turns he seems both Messianic and maniacal. He ruled his roost with an iron hand and set the tone for what was and wasn't acceptable. Doc is quite a character: extremely engaging, smart and funny to watch. The film is peppered with a spirit of "I can't believe he just said that" voyeurism. Watching the octogenarian exercise naked gives you the solid sense that his lifelong exercise regimen has really paid off.

    The interviews with the children (all now quite grown) are also contradictory in their ruminations of the glory days of living free while at the same time somewhat bitter for it. All of them seem to appreciate their unorthodox upbringing but are also resentful for having not been given the tools to operate in modern society. I would argue that the children were not exactly homeschooled, but rather no schooled. As they try to make their way in the world, they find that a lack of education (even informal) is to their detriment.

    More troubling is that each of them has found a moderate amount of success either in the music or surfing world, but were ill-equipped to handle the impending fame and dubious about the monetary rewards that came with it. Having learned all their lives that money doesn't matter makes it difficult to accept it later.

    Their story is extremely inspiring, but cautionary at the same time (do you sense a pattern here?). Watching this movie will make you want to sell all your worldly possessions and buy an RV, convert it to run on waste vegetable oil and travel the country, living from whim to whim. Just make sure you actually educate your kids in the process.

    If you get the opportunity to watch this well-made documentary, I urge you to do so. It is time well spent. I can honestly say this is one of those movies that moved me in many different ways and has truly influenced the way I view my future and the lifestyle choices we will be making.

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Religious asceticism and consumerism

    Did Jesus have an affiliate program?I don't discuss religion very much on this blog, mostly because I don't prescribe to any particular one, but I am always curious about other's belief systems regardless of what they are. Having ruminated on the most varied of religions while studying Anthropology, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people that practice pretty much any ideology and am open minded to most.

    In many of the world's religions there is a strong vein of anti-materialism. Jesus counseled his followers that did have money to give it to the poor and hungry: Jesus said, "If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."

    Buddha tried to find enlightenment through near total deprivation of worldly goods, the Prophet Muhammad lived an austere life, and more recently, individuals such as Gandhi have advised that people "live simply so that others may simply live."

    Of course, everyone's idea of wealth and excess are different and one man's Hummer can be contrived as another's Geo Metro. How do we determine what is sufficient and what is excess?

    Not unlike the message we read in Affluenza, Father Timothy V. Vaverek has written the following:

    The consumerist lust for a better life is inherently destabilizing of our personal and economic lives. Since we are not satisfied with the good we possess and since our self-worth is connected to never settling for less, we must always be earning and acquiring more. Hence we work longer hours, fill our days with more self-actualizing activities, and increase spending so that we can have the better life now. In this way we become slaves to dissatisfaction, time, and money--harsh task masters who allow no rest.

    So, how can someone who follows a belief system that promotes some level of asceticism also accept materialism? Is this contradiction justifiable? For example, is it possible to follow the teachings of Jesus and accept personal, monetary wealth at the same time?

    I'm interested to get your input on how your religious beliefs affect your opinions on consumerism. Do your religious views (or lack of them) directly drive your desire to limit consumeristic desires in your life?

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Reporting in for duty, sir!

    Okay, all you Extreme Eco Throwdown participants, how's it going? Have you been able to get started and, if so, are you able to stick to what you set out for yourself?

    I have to admit, I haven't been able to do much of anything and probably won't for another week. Usually the no paper products thing wouldn't be a problem but we have to follow strict food safety guidelines which involves far too many paper towels while my husband's immune system is bottoming out and recovering for the stem cell harvesting.

    I won't even get into the plastics involved in twice daily injections, care of a Hickman catheter and bags of saline in the 24-hour hydration pack. Oh well!

    The local food only is a little easier, since the farmers markets are starting up, but I haven't been able to get out to them yet. Any success on your end?

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Green Book Week - winners list!

    Green book week!Thanks to everyone who entered the green book giveaway contests.

    I'm glad that so many of you are interested in reading these great books! I encourage the winners to pass along the books to interested friends or family, their local library or hold their own giveaway on their blogs.

    So, without further ado... congratulations to the following book winners:

    Affluenza - Winner: The Things You Didn't Do

    In Defense of Food - Winner: BerryBird

    Simple Prosperity - Winner: Going Green Mama

    Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style - Winner: Sweetpeas

    I'll have one more book review and giveaway this month for Hey, Mr. Green, published March 2008 from Sierra Club Books. Stay tuned!

    Winners - please email me at crunchychickenblog@gmail.com with your mailing info.

    Friday, May 2, 2008

    Green Book Week - Green Chic review and giveaway

    Green book week!It's Friday. It's time for a fun green book giveaway. The book, Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style, by Christie Matheson was just published in March 2008 and was featured in Glamour Magazine's April issue.

    According to the press release:
    Green Chic is a perfect resource for women who want to start making a difference in their environment, but think that it may ruin their chic lifestyle. In fact, this book shows that going green is inherently stylish. Written from the perspective of someone who does not recycle, who doesn't wear hemp clothing and who loves to take long showers, it's informative and entertaining style will relate to anyone who wants to live more environmentally friendly.

    Green ChicUnlike other books on the subject, it's not about buying your way to being green—or just appearing green—it's about shifting your mindset, changing your attitude, and developing a personal style that is green. And being truly green is, surprisingly, inherently chic. With Green Chic, consumers can discover exciting, efficient, and effective ways to be environmentally conscious, and take the stylish path toward saving the planet.

    Based on that description, I fully expected the book to focus on fashion and home decor. In fact, I was rather excited to read a different take on environmentalism, kind of an Organic Style meets Natural Home and Garden, but more fashion and more green.

    Unfortunately, I didn't find it to be any more chic or stylish than the seemingly dozens of other green books that have been published in the last year. It's mostly about how to incorporate green living into your daily life, not unlike The Green Book.

    However, if you are just starting out greening up your life, it makes for a decent reference guide or if you have someone you gently want to convert, it is a suitable read. My one gripe with the book is her treatment of reusable menstrual products.

    If you are interested in entering the book giveaway, add your name to the comments for a chance to win this book. The contest ends today, Friday, May 2nd, at 6:00 pm PST. I'll announce the winner on Saturday. Time's up!

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Green Book Week - Simple Prosperity giveaway

    Green book week!For those of you hedging your bets on winning a David Wann book, here's your chance at another one.

    This makes for a great follow-up to the book Affluenza.

    "Simple Prosperity reads like a well-loved novel, engaging and educational. David Wann offers creative solutions to the challenges of over-consumption and makes it a thoroughly enjoyable read." Jill Cloutier, Producer, Sustainable World Radio

    Simple ProsperityIn his bestseller Affluenza, David Wann and his co-authors diagnosed the debilitating disease of over-consumption. In Simple Prosperity he shows readers how we can overcome this disease by investing in a variety of real wealth sources. To recapture a more abundant and sustainable lifestyle, try:

    *Creating a richer life story through personal growth incentives
    *Forming higher-yield friendships and stronger bonds through social capital
    *Taking preventive healthcare measures to build up wellness reserves
    *Balancing the biological budget through "greener" currency
    *Caring for people, not just cars, to improve your neighborhood wealth index
    *Resolving that pesky carbon conundrum through energy savings
    *Celebrating instead of desecrating! Cultural prosperity futures value the earth as a sacred place

    As usual, add your name to the comments for a chance to win this great new book from David Wann. The contest ends Friday, May 2nd, at 6:00 pm PST. I'll announce the winner on Saturday! Time's up!

    Bonus Note: If you are starting the Extreme Eco Challenge today, I haven't totally forgotten about you! I'll be posting about it soon...

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