Loneliness: 'Planting' the Seed of Social Inclusion

Fresh Outlook FoundationYou visited your doctor complaining of loneliness… of feeling isolated from your grown children and friends who are increasingly frail and less mobile. You’ve lost your appetite and you’re not sleeping well. You expect a prescription or maybe a referral, but instead she talks about the healing powers of plants and how they can help foster happiness while you foster them! Hard to believe?

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From Open Heads to Open Minds

Fresh Outlook FoundationSteeped in a serious mental health crisis about 15 years back, I asked my doctor what would have become of me if I’d lived a few centuries ago. He said that I’d likely have been diagnosed as an “hysterical” woman and institutionalized and/or treated with “Who knows what!”

I am increasingly grateful that, living nowadays, I have access to information, treatment, and therapy. But I still wonder, what would it have been like 100 or more years ago? Let’s start by looking at mental health and mental illness by today’s standards.

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CUZ? The Buzz!

Fresh Outlook FoundationDeeply rooted inside me is the need to connect with others, and to help others also connect more broadly. So, since childhood I’ve created dozens of opportunities for people to share their challenges, successes, and opportunities in service to what I thought was “the greater good” at the time. This expression of who I am spiritually consistently set the stage for what I did in the physical realm.

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Flushing Our Environment Down the Drain

Fresh Outlook FoundationWhen one considers the source of water pollution, industrial operations quickly come to mind. However, municipal wastewater effluents are also a significant source of contamination. In fact, some pollutant levels in these effluents have been found to be many times higher than those in untreated industrial wastewaters. Although many municipalities utilize advanced processes to treat wastewater, others provide insufficient or even no treatment at all.

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Are Those Cheap Hamburgers Killing Our Streams?

Fresh Outlook FoundationIntensive livestock operations, feedlots, concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms; whatever you chose to call them, they produce most of the meats we consume. In an effort to increase profits and decrease costs, producers are replacing many small livestock operations with fewer larger ones. These huge operations can have tens of thousands of animals confined in an area the size of a city block. When multiple feedlots are concentrated in a single area, the number of animals could be in the millions.

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PPCPs Are Turning Our Water Into Chemical Soup

Fresh Outlook FoundationStudies undertaken in several countries have detected a wide range of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP’s) in surface water, groundwater, and even drinking water systems. The levels of these chemicals appear to be relatively low, however, due to their reactive nature, continual presence in the environment, and unknown effects on both humans and aquatic ecosystems, concern is rising among researchers and health agencies.

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C5H2O – A Formula for Water Management

Fresh Outlook FoundationIn scientific terms, C5H20 is a molecular formula. In human terms, however, it’s a formula that combines the human elements of creativity, communication, consultation, consensus, and collaboration with traditional approaches to maximize water management efforts.

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The Dollars and Sense of Wetland Preservation

Fresh Outlook FoundationWetlands are crucial for the maintenance of a healthy environment and the provision of clean, useable water for human and ecosystem use. They are incredibly productive areas containing an abundance of biodiversity. They are natural buffers that reduce the occurrences of floods and droughts. And, they are critical breeding and nursery grounds for aquatic and terrestrial species.

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More People Are Hitting the Bottle

Fresh Outlook FoundationOn the label there’s an image of a mountain glacier, snow capped mountains, or perhaps a pristine mountain lake. The label may also contain words like: clear, refreshing, healthy, pure, and natural. When you combine these images with aggressive marketing campaigns that promote the benefits of drinking their products, it’s little wonder the bottled water industry is seeing phenomenal worldwide growth.

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Water is a Basic Human Right!

Fresh Outlook FoundationLack of access to safe drinking water is a situation that plagues approximately 783 million people, many of them being among the world’s poorest. Additionally, 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. The use of contaminated water causes many serious diseases, which results in the death of millions of people every year. The lack of adequate quantities of safe water prevents people from obtaining the basic essentials for living, such as proper hygiene, adequate food, and improved sanitation.

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