My guest today is Dana Simpson, co-author of Journeys: Healing Through Nature’s Wisdom. This inspiring book of essays and gorgeous nature photographs follows two women as they discover nature as a healing force. Dana was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease in 2012, nearly a decade after a tick bite during a summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. For years, she felt “unwell,” with symptoms of fatigue, depression, and chronic pain. A daily practice of gentle walks and writing inspired a dialogue with nature that gradually allowed her to understand and accept her condition. Dana attended Bryn Mawr, Harvard and Columbia, and holds master degrees in Urban Planning and Art History. She lives in Santa Barbara where she works in the nonprofit sector, and cares for a beautiful garden with her partner. www.healingthroughnatureswisdom.com/
My guest today is Teresa Villegas, author of How to Celebrate Winter Solstice. I’ve been celebrating Winter Solstice since 1987, when my discovery of toxic chemicals in consumer products lead me to search for a celebration beyond toxic consumer gift exchange. I did learn that I could give gifts made from toxic free materials, but in the process found in Winter Solstice a celebration of reconnection with Nature and intention for the coming year. Teresa shares my viewpoint that Winter Solstice can be a celebration for everyone—of every religion and viewpoint—because it’s a celebration of the return of the light of the Sun that supports all life on Earth. Join us as we talk about what Winter Solstice means to each of us, why and ways we celebrate, and how you can celebrate Winter Solstice too. www.heartandmindpress.com
Another book Teresa likes, and I like too, is How To Celebrate The WInter Solstice: A Rational Approach to Celebrating the Season Without Religion by Thomas Harrop.
Today my guest is Lierre Keith. She is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, which has been called “the most important ecological book of this generation.” We’re doing Part 2 of a discussion we began last week on The Vegetarian Myth: Why A Vegetarian Diet Might Not Be Best for Health or the Environment. While The Vegetarian Myth does address the vegetarian diet, it does so by comparing the diet to the natural processes of life itself. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today: how life works and how different the natural world is from the industrial world. Lierre and I will each share our experiences of becoming aware of life beyond industrialism, and we’ll discuss some key points that relate to eating. Lierre a writer, small farmer, and radical feminist activist. She is the author of six books and coauthor, with Derrick Jensen and Aric McBay, of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet. www.lierrekeith.com
Today my guest is Marcie Cuff, author of This Book Was a Tree: Ideas, Adventures, and Inspirations for Rediscovering the Natural World. Because this show is about toxics and alternatives to toxics, part of my mission is to encourage everyone to become more aware of the natural world, which supports all life. For decades I have looked to nature for life-enhancing ways to live, as a toxic-free alternative to industrialism. Marcie doesn’t wear a bonnet, carry a hatchet, eat hard tack or forage for wild herbs, fruits and nuts each morning. She prefers, instead, to wear spandex and a superhero cape and drink tea while planning clandestine small-scale seedbomb planting attacks in neglected neighborhood vacant lots. Between seedbombing excursions, she and her family live atop 0.013 acres of paradise just north of Manhattan. When she isn’t writing, digging in the dirt, or shop vac-ing the basement after a heavy rain, she is raising two small wild girls and a menagerie of pets with her clever and mesmeric husband. On any given day, Marcie’s small house is teeming with a maelstrom of rowdy kids, powerful ukulele ballads, disorganized experiments in various stages, and a potpourri of fort-building, dress-up bins and early-risers. Before earning her M.A. in Secondary Science teaching and writing THIS BOOK WAS A TREE, Marcie had plunged into a whirlpool of prerequisite employment—everything from organic lettuce farmer, to tropical rainforest field technician, to stuffed animal designer, to Alaskan tent-dwelling goose researcher. Her award-winning blog MOSSY is devoted to families who share a love of slowing down, simplifying, getting dirty, and finding hands-on connections to art and nature. www.marciecuff.com | www.mossymossy.com
My guest is Nathanael Johnson, author of All Natural: A Skeptic’s Quest to Discover if the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier. A journalist who lives in San Francisco, Daniel has contributed to magazines such as Harper’s, New York, and Conservation, and to National Public Radio, and This American Life. He worked at a small-town newspaper in Idaho before going to study with Michael Pollan at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. We’ll be talking about how living naturally in our industrial world contributes to our well-being (or not?). www.allnaturalbook.com (no longer in business)
My guest Carol Venolia says, “There’s much more to ‘not toxic’ than the absence of toxic chemicals!” She and I agree there is a whole other world beyond the toxic industrial life: the nurturing, nourishing, healing world of nature. Founder of Come Home to Nature website, Carol is an architect with a passion for reconnecting humans with the rest of life. She wrote the e-book Get Back to Nature without Leaving Home; coauthored Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House; wrote Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Being; penned the “Design for Life” column in Natural Home Magazine for 9 years; and has designed eco-homes, schools, healing centers, and eco-villages. Carol has been honored by The Green Economy Post as one of ten pioneering women in green design, and was named a Green Design Trailblazer by Natural Home Magazine. In this show we’ll be talking about how you can improve your general well-being by bringing elements of nature into your home. www.comehometonature.com