The average American generates about 1,500 pounds of garbage annually, and then spends lots of tax dollars disposing of it. Even as recycling has taken off across the country in recent decades, the volume of all this trash has kept growing – albeit at a slower pace.
For eons, human beings have lived in harmony with the light of the sun. But only in the last hundred years or so, since its introduction, have we become rather well adapted to artificial lighting. The advent of artificial lighting liberated us from our dependence on daylight for the accomplishment of most activities, and in so doing it has fundamentally transformed human life.
A company in Scotland has unveiled what it claims is arguably the world’s most technically advanced indoor farm. Intelligent Growth Solutions’ vertical farm uses artificial intelligence and specially designed power and communication technologies. The firm says this reduces energy costs by 50% and labour costs by 80%...
Fireworks are a brilliant way to celebrate special occasions such as New Year’s Eve, as well as big sporting events and independence days – right? Not if you happen to be an animal.
With the prospect of home ownership a distant dream for the majority of millennials, many young people opt to rent a room in a shared flat or student accommodation. While tenancies can be short, research shows that a poor home environment can very quickly become a source of stress.
Urban green spaces – including parks, woodlands, riverbanks, and gardens – are an essential part of a web of physical and mental well-being. They provide spaces to socialise and opportunities to connect with the natural world. They are restorative enclaves in stressful cities.
That animals touch us in a deep, central place is not a modern-day phenomenon, but one that pervades the history of the human-animal relationship. We sense that we can benefit spiritually in our relationship with animals, and we are right. They offer us something fundamental: a direct and immediate sense of both the joy and wonder of creation.
Love is the stuff of dreams, drama, and dread, as well as agony and ecstasy. And yet who among us can live without it? Scientific research has shown that both plants and people perish without attention and care.
In traditional cultures, space clearing, or having your home blessed, has always been considered a vital measure when moving into a new home. In the West, it is more likely to be linked to having a good spring clean, a housewarming party or to have your local priest bless the home.
Eight schools in London have closed this month because of an infestation of spiders. The schools reported that they were concerned for the children’s well-being so they sent their pupils home – in one case for a whole month.
There are many rational reasons that motivate consumers to spend US$65 billion annually on household cleaning products. But non-rational mechanisms are nevertheless still at work in the cleaning products market, as in all others.
Green growing things heal us in surprising ways. Communities are trying to bring plant life to areas that lack it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, exposure to nature can significantly reduce stress. People’s mental health is markedly better in urban areas with more green space.
Over the last ten years, it’s estimated there has been a 360% rise in veganism in Britain – around 542,000 people have “gone vegan”. As a nation of animal lovers, with around 44% of homes owning a pet – and somewhere in the region of 8.5m dogs in the UK – it’s only natural this phenomenon should start to spill over into the pet food world.
Cooperation can be found across the animal kingdom, in behaviors such as group hunting, raising of young, and driving away predators. But are these cooperating animals actively coordinating their behaviur, or are they simply acting individually to accomplish the same task at the same time?
Our Western habitats present us with a very different scenario than that of the original Feng Shui practitioners. Many structures are located on land that the ancient practitioners would never have chosen, and often the structure’s shape and detailing break every classic Feng Shui rule.
There are seven species of Apis honey bee in the world, all of them native to Asia, Europe and Africa. Apis mellifera, the western honey bee, is the species recognised globally as “the honey bee”. But it’s not the only insect that makes honey. Many other bee, ant and wasp species make and store honey. Many of these insects have been used as a natural sugar source for centuries by indigenous cultures around the world.
It is highly unlikely that a butterfly or moth remembers being a caterpillar. However, it may well remember some experiences it learned as a caterpillar.
That fact in itself is especially amazing because inside the pupa (or chrysalis), the caterpillar actually turns to liquid as it transforms into a butterfly or moth (the adult stage).
When those first fat drops of summer rain fall to the hot, dry ground, have you ever noticed a distinctive odor? I have childhood memories of family members who were farmers describing how they could always “smell rain” right before a storm. Of course rain itself...
If you live with a dog you just know when it’s happy or miserable, don’t you? Of course you do. Even the scientific community, now admits that dogs have emotions – even if scientists can’t directly measure what they are experiencing.
People have had a close bond with domesticated dogs for centuries. In his 1764 Dictionnaire philosophique, Voltaire observed: “It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defence and for his pleasure. Of all the animals it is the most faithful: it is the best friend man can have.”
Recognizing faces is essential for how we interact in complex societies, and is often thought to be an ability that requires the sophistication of the large human brain. But new evidence we published in Frontiers in Psychology shows that insects such as the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the European wasp (Vespula vulgaris) use visual processing mechanisms that are similar to humans’, which enables reliable face recognition.
Agriculture is rated among the most dangerous industries by the International Labour Organization, and not just for adults.
“Just how old do you think my dog is in dog years?” is a question I hear on a regular basis.
Keeping your power in every decision is necessary for your growth and for making better, clearer choices. Trusting yourself when you’re stressed out can feel overwhelming and scary.
Studies indicate spending time in nature brings physical, mental and social benefits. These include stress reduction, improved mood, accelerated healing, attention restoration, productivity and heightened imagination and creativity.
But it seems that 40% of dogs in Australia are not walked enough and that a similar percentage of dogs are overweight or obese.
There are a few tricks that architects use to make spaces appear bigger – and you can use them too.
From Lassie to Balto, pop culture loves stories of a dog coming to a person’s rescue.
A couple of years ago, I met Adam (not his real name) at a farm in Dorset. Adam was 14 and had been excluded from mainstream education due to behavioural difficulties and a disruptive home life. The farm where I met him is not a normal farm, but a social one, where the therapeutic use of farming practices and animal assisted therapy is used...
The soaring temperatures in Europe and North America have seen a rise in reports of dogs being rescued from hot cars.
Dogs’ ancestors in the Americas likely came from Siberia, according to a new study. The study also suggests that these early dog populations almost totally disappeared, but left future generations a cancerous tumor that is still found in their canine descendants today.
Many people forget that our gardens can be important havens for wildlife. But with ponds drying up, amphibians are losing out.
When the warmer weather strikes, our gardens and outdoor spaces become a perfect oasis for rest and relaxation. But as nice as the hot weather might be, extreme conditions and record-breaking temperatures can wreak havoc on your plants.
People are willing to pay a premium for energy-efficient homes, according to new research.
Life surrounds us with teachers, if we are but willing to learn. Actually, everyone and everything in our life is our teacher -- they teach by example of something we'd like to attain or something we'd like to abandon. One of my greatest teachers has been my dog, Angel.
After spending many years living in refugee camps, gardening can provide a safe space to establish identity, rebuild lives and attain happiness.
Over the years, I’ve seen and felt consistent messages flow from the animals I’ve loved and the thousands of animals I’ve been honored to work with that, when embraced by their humans as truth, have made a positive, life-changing difference in both of their lives. If your animal could write you a love letter, I think it would look something like this...
If you watch kids at a local playground, sooner or later one of them will run around and fall face-first to the ground. For a moment, there’s likely to be silence. Then the child will look around, catch a glimpse of their parent, and finally burst into a deafening wail.
They are one of the most unwelcome signs of summer. Buzzing through beer gardens, attacking innocent picnics, wasps arrive ominously with a sting in their tails.
MRI brain scans might soon provide the answer Psychologists and philosopher
According to some surveys, more than 90% of owners view their pets as members of the family.
We’re all told we need to eat healthier and exercise more to combat obesity, but did you know that there’s also an obesity epidemic among pets, at least in the West?
I had the privilege of meeting and communicating with Gable over time, and assisting Jennifer and Gable with their end-of-life conversations and decisions. Gable’s strength, wisdom, and inspiration continue to unfold for Jennifer and for all who knew and loved him. Their relationship continues, even though his body is gone. Here is their story.
It is difficult to refer to what dogs, as a collective, like and dislike and how they behave. Just as humans do, dogs all have their own personalities and learned preferences and so can differ dramatically in how they approach life and what they take from it.
It goes without saying that having a baby is a life changing event. Thankfully, there is a wealth of information about how best to raise this new tiny human. However, there is relatively little information on how to prepare four-legged family members for the new arrival.
The idea of work still tends to evoke particular images of manual and blue-collar jobs, but the realities of livelihoods have always been and continue to be much more diverse. Daily life for wild animals involves an elaborate and constant series of tasks and challenges.
I know it may be hard to convince you, but let me try: Don’t kill the next spider you see in your home.
While you may be familiar with your zodiac sign and maybe even the precious stone associated with the month of your birth, did you know that The Language of Flowers shares with us blossoms connected with not only the month, but also the day and even land of your birth?
Your animals are amazing hosts and mirrors through which incredible wisdom, inspiration, and answers to your questions can arrive in many ways, including through the genius of symbolism. When you open your mind and set your intention to receive symbolic messages from your animals, the universe will deliver the goods.
Surrounding ourselves with objects that we are not happy with, that are broken, out of date, or that we seldom use are simply taking up space. Excess baggage in the home has the potential to slow down our chi, limit our perspective of a new bright future and, to a certain degree, connect us more with our past than with our future.
One of the biggest knocks against the organics movement is that it has begun to ape conventional agriculture, adopting the latter’s monocultures, reliance on purchased inputs and industrial processes.
When it is done properly, organic growing methods can deliver two to three times the yield of conventional methods. Of course if you take two fields and plant each with a monocrop, then the one without pesticides will do worse than the one with, but that isn't really what organic farming is.
Pollinating insects like bees, butterflies and flies have had a rough time of late. A broad library of evidence suggests there has been a widespread decline in their abundance and diversity since the 1950s.
Slugs and snails are the bane of almost every vegetable planting gardener and farmer. Slugs in particular have voracious appetites and are relentless in eating stems, leaves and shoots.
Researchers have uncovered exactly where a key protein forms before it triggers the flowering process in plants.
The definition of sentient is simply “able to perceive or feel things”. Today most of us would probably also say that animals are able to feel emotion, form attachments and have distinct personalities. Yet for many decades the idea of animals feeling emotions or having personalities was dismissed by behavioural scientists.
Love them or hate them, it is hard to get away from pets. And even if you don’t own one yourself, you are likely to come across them (or things they have left behind) regularly.
Feng Shui focuses on enhancing the harmony and vitality of your environment. Surrounding yourself with things that lift your spirits and deepen your love for life is a primary goal. Surround yourself with only those items that pass the "I love this!" test. Ch'i is always enhanced by your joy, inspiration, and creativity.
As interest grows in self-sufficient, sustainable communities, and fears over Europe’s reliance on gas imports increase, more and more people are considering moving “off-grid”.
I was as skeptical when I loaded Rodney, my cat, into his carrier to take him down to the holistic veterinary clinic where a psychic was seeing animals. I was having some problems with Rodney that my regular vet couldn't help, and I figured, why not give the psychic a shot? I had found a human being who could talk to a cat...
When people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog.” However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”
Animals seem to be natural healers. In the Healing Power of Pets, Dr. Marty Becker explores many health benefits of having animal companionship. He cites studies showing that people who have animal companions also tend to have lower blood pressure, less stress...
Growing food in cities became popular in Europe and North America during and immediately after World War II. Urban farming provided citizens with food, at a time when resources were desperately scarce.
I trampled clumsily through the dense undergrowth, attempting in vain to go a full five minutes without getting snarled in the thorns that threatened my every move. It was my first field mission in the savannahs of the Republic of Guinea. The aim was to record and understand a group of wild chimpanzees who had never been studied before.
Millennial women in their 20s and 30s have decided to stay single a lot longer than women did in the past. And instead of kids, they have pets. And many of those millennials are looking for pet-friendly workplaces.
Most shoppers—a whopping 83 percent—regularly visit between four and nine chain stores within a year to purchase groceries, a new study shows.
Just as many people are trying to eat less processed food to improve their health, some dog owners are turning away from conventional pet food.
Pet owners will often swear their beloved pooch or moggie does wonders for their wellbeing, and now we have empirical proof.
There has been a trend in recent years, both in literature and in life, for Scandinavian concepts that are encapsulated in a single word. Now, the new buzzword on the block is “dostadning” – a hybrid of the Swedish words “death” and “cleaning”.
Years ago, we believed that we weren’t animals and that animals were here solely for our use. Indeed, a cow was just a walking burger, steak of Sunday roast, keeping itself fresh and tasty ready for when we were hungry.
Gardening is a great way to relax, be one with nature and get your hands dirty. But lurking in that pleasant environment are some nasty bacteria and fungi, with the potential to cause you serious harm. So we need to be vigilant with gardening gloves and other protective wear.
This was the moment I realized that I was treating pet obesity all wrong.
Young zebra finches are intrinsically biased to learn certain patterns of sound over others—and these patterns mirror the ones humans use, experiments show.
Ironically, for me, becoming an animal communicator coincided with shifting away from my previous vegan lifestyle. I have had my own deep journey with this question, and perhaps the understandings I have reached with the help of the animals may be helpful for others who are struggling with this issue.
There is a significant increase in the risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs over the festive period, our latest study reveals. Chocolate contains a caffeine-like chemical called theobromine that is toxic to dogs (and cats) because they cannot metabolise it as quickly as humans do.
Dogs have significantly more neurons in their cerebral cortex—”little gray cells” associated with thinking, planning, and complex behavior considered hallmarks of intelligence—than cats, researchers report.
In 2016, the FBI started to track animal cruelty, including neglect, torture and sexual abuse, because of disturbing connections.
The weather is getting warmer, and gardens are coming alive with bees, flies, butterflies, dragonflies, praying mantises, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, and spiders.
It’s vitally important to learn to differentiate between our own human ideas and thoughts and telepathic communication which comes directly from the animal. This kind of differentiation requires practice and experience; however, there are some...
Your home can be your greatest ally in helping you to achieve your potential. This is true because your home is not only a reflection of you, but in its deepest sense, it also has the power to mold you and shape your future. When you implement changes in your home, you will notice that often your life is...
Will our grandchildren look back, 50 years from now, at a time when human beings ate other animals as one in which their grandparents were “complicit in a bloodbath of unnecessary suffering”
Dogs have been part of human social groups for at least 30,000 years. So it’s not unreasonable to suppose that we might have had some influence on their behavior, and perhaps their understanding, during that time.
Flowers have a secret signal that’s specially tailored for bees so they know where to collect nectar. And new research has just given us a greater insight into how this signal works.
The relationship between people and their dogs can be a lasting and loving bond if the match is right. But when acquiring a dog, how do you know if that match will be a good one?
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of simplicity, offering an empty space for you to pour out the struggles of your day and recharge. When you enter this simple sanctuary, you will feel relief, safety, and a love for every color, image, and object you see. This is your cozy space to nuzzle into when life is being a demanding shrew.
The recent popularity of “designer” dogs, cats, micro-pigs and other pets may seem to suggest that pet keeping is no more than a fad. Indeed, it is often assumed that pets are a Western affectation, a weird relic of the working animals kept by communities of the past.
A great deal has been written over the years about the effects of color on human psychology, and this has been carried into the popular imagination in various ways, from guidelines on how to decorate your house to ensure a calm and peaceful space, to how to attract a partner, or even win at sport.
One of the main reasons for the rise of chronic conditions in both humans and domestic animals is that we are all living longer. Our dogs and cats are living longer than ever before – 16-20 years is not uncommon these days.
Research using surveys of dog owners, suggests that less responsibly bred dogs – including puppy-farmed dogs and those from pet shops – are more likely to be aggressive towards their owners and strangers.
Although most species of plants on Earth have flowers, the evolutionary origin of flowers themselves are shrouded in mystery.
I began to see animals as much more than family members and understood that they were in our lives to help us evolve and heal aspects of ourselves. One of my Native teachers gave us her view on cats...
Everyone thinks that dogs worship their owners – viewing them as gods of some sort. While that may be true in the majority of cases, it isn’t always so. As a veterinarian, I can confirm that sometimes, no matter what, a dog and his person just aren’t going to get along.
In May of 2017, a hot spell broiled Boston. In June, extreme temperatures grounded Phoenix’s planes. Later in the summer, Seattle suffered under record temperatures.
A large body of research shows that living in cities can harm our health. We know poor urban design can lead to people being less physically active, which is a factor in weight problems, obesity and cancers.
Rosie, like a real-life Babe, ran away from an organic piggery when she was only a few days old. She was found wandering in a car park, highly agitated, by a family who took her home and made her their live-in pet.
Unlike parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, marjoram missed out on a role in the classic song Scarborough Fair, made popular in the 1960s by Paul Simon. But it does have a key advantage over most herbs.
Some local governments are more tolerant than others in allowing residents to grow food where they want.
Picture your favorite childhood stuffed animal. Are you clinging to it even though neither you nor anyone else in your household has played with that creature in years?
Scientists are starting to be able to accurately read animal facial expressions and understand what they communicate.
Why do cats purr? Humans tend to think that purring is a sign of happiness in a cat – and indeed it can be – but there are other reasons why our feline friends produce this particular vocalisation.