Green Living: Make Your Airfare “Air-Fair,” Steve Waller

flying green, Green Living, UP Holistic business, U.P. wellness publication, Upper Peninsula of MI holistic publication

“You are now free to move about the country.” We love to fly, and it shows. Airports and airplanes are crowded. It’s finally affordable and possible to just jump on an airplane and “fly the friendly skies” to grandma and the distant kids for a long-awaited holiday hug. “You deserve a break today” in some warm exotic place. Leave COVID confinement a thousand miles behind. What takes days by car is just a couple of hours away by plane. The power and roar of a jet engine taking off is a sign of “something special in the air”—massive amounts of carbon dioxide, CO2.

But you can fly green. I’ll explain.

A single weekend flight, Detroit to Los Angeles, four thousand air miles round trip, emits more CO2 per passenger seat than the average American car emits in three months. Automobiles with two passengers produce only half the CO2 per person. But airplane miles and CO2 are rated per seat. Two passengers generate 8,000 miles of airplane CO2 instead of 4,000. If you and another fly to Los Angeles, that rate comes to the equivalent of almost seven months of automobile CO2 in a weekend!

Jet fuel, aviation gas, and automobile gas each emit almost twenty pounds of CO2 per gallon. On average, an airplane produces over fifty-three pounds of CO2 per air mile. A 747 airplane can carry up to 568 people and 63,000 gallons of fossil fuel. It burns about 5 gallons of fuel per mile, about 1 gallon per second! That 4,000 mile flight generates (4,000 miles x 53 lbs. CO2 per mile) 212,000 lbs.—100 tons of CO2! In 2019, the average domestic commercial flight emitted 0.39 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile. 4,000 miles x 0.39 CO2 per mile = 1,560 lbs. CO2 per person.

Today, globally, there are more than 100,000 flights per day.

Global airline passengers are expected to double in the next 20 years. Improving fuel efficiency (proudly claimed by many airlines) reduces emissions 1% per year but flights are increasing 6% per year. It’s not even close. Airline CO2 is rising.

Some airlines promise “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” (SAF – biofuels) but hardly any is available. One popular airline boldly committed to replacing 10% of fossil jet fuel with SAFs by 2030 (90% will still be fossil fuel).

Fly greener. Compensate for airline emissions by buying carbon offsets. Offsets try to neutralize airplane CO2 by preventing or removing equivalent CO2 elsewhere. However, it is hard to be sure an offset will permanently “absorb” the emissions your flight generates.

Some offsets plant trees to capture CO2, but seedlings take 20 years to grow big enough to be effective. If seedlings or trees die or are cut down or burn in a wildfire within the next 200 years, the CO2 returns to the air. Instead of planting trees, we must focus on growing and protecting trees, especially the biggest and longest-lived trees, for centuries.

Some offsets support social programs in poor countries that build schools to educate people about carbon solutions and sustainability. They build roads and ranger stations to help prevent illegal logging or provide more efficient cookstoves so very poor families burn less wood for cooking or use less fossil energy. My favorite offsets support methane capture or solar and wind energy projects which directly prevent CO2.

You choose how your offset dollars are used. Average offset prices are between $3-$50 per ton of CO2. Some people annually offset all their CO2. Consider the United Nation’s Gold Standard certification (https://marketplace.goldstandard.org/collections/projects or https://clear.eco/).

Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.

Excerpted from the Winter 2021-22 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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11 Can’t Miss Holiday Safety Tips for U.P. Homes, Rich Beasley

holiday home safety tips, UP holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

The holidays are here! Nothing amps up the holiday vibe quicker than a home fully decked-out with seasonal bling. Many of us are excited to dive into everything the season has to offer after a challenging past year. But before you dig out the holiday gear, let’s talk safety.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates about 200 decorating-related injuries a day take place during the holiday season alone. These injuries can be related to falls, fires, electrical hazards, and more. I will first address electrical issues, as many of the homes in our area feature out-of-date electrical wiring.

Issues such as outdated electrical panels, overloaded breakers, and aging wires can cause unexpected electrical hazards in older Upper Peninsula homes. The good news is there are some super-simple steps you can take to safeguard your home and loved ones during this time of year.

Please review the following holiday decorating safety tips:

Be aware of faulty wiring. If your home was built before 1920, be on the lookout for knob-and-tube and cloth wiring. Knob-and-tube wiring does a poor job of handling the added electrical load of holiday lights and decorations. This presents a fire safety hazard because this type of system has no ground wire. Moreover, knob-and-tube wiring is known to be easily damaged by pests like insects and mice. The resulting exposed wires increase risk of electrocution as well as fire. If you have older wiring in your home, it’s a good idea to have it inspected before stringing holiday lights to be sure it’s up to the task.


Evenly distribute the electrical load. Protect your circuit breakers by not jam-packing your electrical outlets with loads of junctions and extensions (octopus outlets). A safe way to make your home feel more festive is to distribute electrical decorations throughout the house. This way, you don’t blow fuses, overload the system, or start a fire.


Consider no-electricity decorations. Lack of electricity never stopped your great-grandparents from getting in on the holiday fun! There are plenty of ways to decorate for the holidays without overtaxing your electrical system. For instance, you can use mirrors to reflect candlelight around your home, invest in battery-operated LED string lights for your tree, make popcorn garland, or place boughs of evergreen throughout your home. (Just remember never to leave candles unattended, or too close to flammable objects like pine branches. If you have young ones in the house, battery-operated “candles” may be the way to go!)


It simply wouldn’t be the holidays without a large family meal to gather around. But according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, cooking fires are the top cause of residential fires each year.

You can avoid holiday cooking-related mishaps by:

  • Checking smoke detector batteries weekly
  • Keeping flammable objects such as paper or plastic bags and potholders away from the stove, oven, crockpots, and pressure cookers
  • Keeping a fire extinguisher within reach
  • Never leaving cooking food unattended
  • Preparing your meal in stages to avoid overloading your electrical system


One more word of warning: deep fried turkey tastes amazing, but it’s not the safest way to cook your bird. Last year alone, 220 burn incidents involving turkey fryers resulted in $9.7 million in property loss and 81 preventable injuries. If you’re thinking about finally trying a deep-fried turkey for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may want to think again—especially if you have young children in the home or find it challenging to lift heavy objects. If you do decide to go for it, your best bet is to fry that bird outside and away from your home.

But Wait—There’s More! 3 “Cooler” Holiday Hazards to Avoid

Avoiding electrical and fire hazards should be top of everyone’s minds during the holiday season. But no primer on UP holiday safety would be complete without taking note of these three additional common cold climate holiday hazards:
Ice hazards: Come winter, ice can pose a significant risk to the elderly and family members with limited mobility. Clearing your gutters early in the season will help you avoid falling ice and ice damming. And of course, you’ll want to stop slippery sidewalks in their tracks by using eco-friendly de-icing products or sand.

Air quality: Another thing to keep in mind around the holidays is air quality. Each year, countless homeowners report breathing problems when the weather turns cold. Cheap scented candles (especially those made in China) can release volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene into your home. Consider supporting a local artisan by buying beeswax candles that are scented with essential oils. Poorly maintained or aging heating systems are notorious for collecting dust and other impurities which then circulate throughout your home once the heat gets cranked up, so be sure to change your filters and have your unit inspected if you haven’t already this year.

Radon: Lastly, if you’re housing out-of-town relatives in your basement during the holidays, you may want to get a quick radon test to be sure the air is safe.

May Your Holidays Be Safe and Bright

Most people agree that the best thing about holidays is time spent with family and friends. A few simple little precautions can go a long way toward ensuring your memories of this holiday season stay happy and fun—especially if you have an older U.P. home. And if you’re not sure your home is up to the task, all it takes is a quick call to your local home inspector to ensure that your home—and more importantly, the special people in your life—stay healthy, happy, and safe through the holidays and beyond!

Rich Beasley is an InterNACHI Certified Home Inspector and owner of UP Home Inspection, LLC. He holds over a dozen specialty certifications, including Mold Inspector, Radon Tester, Water Quality Tester, Indoor Air Consultant, and many more.

Excerpted from the Winter 2021-22 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

Wishing you and yours as very healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

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Winter ’21 Issue is Out!!

U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication, well-being publication in MI's Upper Peninsula

Click here for a Central or Western U.P. distribution location near you!

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Healthy Cooking: Immune System Boosters, Val Wilson

immune system boosting foods, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

To help boost your immune system, eat foods high in antioxidants. Your immune system depends on the intake of micro nutrients from food which can act as antioxidants. Antioxidants can destroy free radicals, protecting the structural integrity of your cells and tissues. Eating a whole-foods, organic, nutrient-rich diet is your best defense to stay healthy and boost your immune system.

The best antioxidant food you can eat is brown rice. It’s a complex carbohydrate, giving you energy, high fiber, and lots of free radical-destroying antioxidants, such as vitamin E, B vitamins, gamma-oryzanol, alpha lipic acid, glutathione oeroxidase, superoxide dismutuse, coenzyme Q10, proanthocyanidins, lecithin, and IP6 (inositol hexaphosphate). The important thing to remember is that all of them help your body create a strong immune system. Black rice is a type of brown rice that is even higher in antioxidants because of it dark color. The pigment that creates the dark color is called anthocyanin which helps protect cells against damage-reducing inflammation, and can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease also.

Both broccoli and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, which also helps boost your immune system. The whole grain corn contains vitamin A, which helps regulate the immune system and protects against infections by keeping the tissues and skin healthy.

The strongest anti-inflammatory food you can consume is turmeric. It contains co X-2 inhibitors ,which are natural pain relievers and a natural remedy for arthritis. Turmeric enhances the digestive system, contains strong antioxidants, and also has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. In the salad recipe below, the garlic gives the dressing a wonderful pungent flavor that complements the bitter, spicy flavor of the turmeric. And garlic has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years because of it strong antifungal and antibiotic properties.

Black Rice Turmeric Salad 

3/4 cup short grain brown rice
1/4 cup black rice
2 cups water
2 scallions (thin slices)
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
2 cups broccoli (cut up)
2 cups sweet potato (peeled and cut in cubes)

Dressing:
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. tamari
2 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. brown rice syrup
1 T. fresh grated turmeric root (or 1 tsp. dried turmeric)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Put the brown rice, black rice, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to low, and simmer with lid on for one hour, until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Put the rice in a large mixing bowl. Add the corn and peas. The hot rice will lightly steam them. Set aside to cool. Steam the sweet potato until fork tender, approximately 10 minutes. Steam the broccoli until fork tender, approximately 7 minutes.  Put all dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree until well combined. Mix the steamed broccoli and sweet potato, scallions, and dressing all together in the mixing bowl. Serve warm, room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. You can attend virtually including a special class through Peter White Public Library on 6/15/21. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Bodies in Motion: Listen In to Exercise Right, Heidi Stevenson

physical fitness, listening to your body, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

We all want our exercise to be effective: we want it to be good for us, to improve our health, to make us stronger, inside and out. When choosing a way to exercise, we are presented with many options that take a “no pain, no gain” approach. This philosophy asks us to override discomfort. It asks us to ignore messages from our body.

Some disciplines, like yoga and Pilates, are described as “mindful movement.” In exercise like this, we are asked instead to listen to our bodies. Listening to our bodies does not mean backing off from hard work. Instead, it means finding options within different kinds of exercise that are effective without being detrimental. When we listen to our bodies, we try something, continue if it feels like good work, and cease if it feels uncomfortable or painful. This is key to effective exercise without injury. You really can work hard without feeling pain if you listen. Your body will tell you what it needs.

But to listen to your body, you need to respectfully acknowledge exactly what is there, in that moment, from head to toe. A truly effective approach to exercise begins with accepting your body in its present form. If you’re not fully and respectfully acknowledging a part of you—it’s shape, size, strength, or ability—you can’t listen to it. You can’t hear important messages about what it needs to get stronger and healthier without getting injured.

This may be more difficult than it sounds, especially for women.

Our culture can make it incredibly difficult to be accepting of our bodies. As an instructor, I heard a lot of reasons exercising. Often, women told me they “are sick of having this belly,” or “hate this jiggle on my hips.” They’re in my class to “fix” the parts they’re having a hard time accepting.

But if we deny the shape or size of a part of us, we deny its right to speak to us. When we combine this lack of acceptance with a “no pain, no gain” philosophy to exercise, we are much more likely to hurt our bodies than help them. If we accept our bodies for the beautiful, amazing, complex, organic machines they are, and then listen to them, they will tell us exactly how to gain without pain.

The next time you exercise, practice listening. Start by drawing all of your attention to your body. What does the top of your head feel like? Your jaw? Neck? Shoulders? Keep going until you get to your toes. You may want to do this every time you reach a certain common point in your exercise—every time you come back to Mountain Pose in a yoga class, every time you change exercises during weightlifting, etc. You can even do this during movement. Check in with yourself at regularly timed intervals during your morning walk or run.

When you get used to listening to your body during these moments, it becomes easier to listen during exercise. Pay attention to what each movement does to your muscles, joints, breath. Listen hard, respect your body, and back away from movement that causes pain. Stick with what feels like good, hard work, and nothing else. Your body will thank you.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine’s Winter 2009-2010 issue.

Heidi Stevenson is a lifelong Yooper, save for two years earning a PhD in Pennsylvania. She is a former NMU professor, writing center director, group fitness and yoga instructor, and a current wrangler of house cats, autoimmune diseases, and ideas.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Radon Safety in Your Home, Rich Beasley

home health and safety, radon risks and remediation, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that results from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. This odorless, tasteless gas can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, sump pumps, drain tile, floor-wall joints, exposed soil in unfinished basements, and well water. Before cooler weather brings you indoors more, you may want to test your U.P. home for unsafe levels of radon. Let’s explore why.

Radon Health Risks

Radon doesn’t pose a significant risk outdoors because it quickly disperses into the atmosphere. The real threat arises when radon gets stuck inside a tightly sealed home, causing an unsafe gas accumulation. Radon is only implicated in one adverse health effect, but it’s a biggie-the EPA reports that radon gas is estimated to cause roughly 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone. How Common is Radon in the Upper Peninsula? Radon can be present in any type of shelter, home, or structure. In general, the Upper Peninsula is at medium to low risk for radon. But that doesn’t mean your home couldn’t have high radon levels. Some areas of the U.P. are at a higher risk for radon exposure than others.

Radon exposure by county in the U.P. according to the state of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy:

1-9% of homes tested exceeded safe radon levels in Baraga, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, Luce, and Schoolcraft County.
10-24% of homes tested exceeded safe radon levels in Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Gogebic, Houghton, Marquette, Mackinac, and Menominee County.

25% or more homes tested exceeded safe radon levels in Iron and Dickinson County.

Radon is like an underwater spring – it covers a wide area but only exits the ground in a few key spots. Because of this, you can’t depend on test results from other homes in your neighborhood to determine what your home’s radon levels are.

Signs and Symptoms of Radon Exposure

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Wheezing

If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your health care provider right away. However, there’s usually a significant delay (often years) between exposure and signs of illness, so it’s wise to be diligent in monitoring for signs.

How to Test for Radon

When it comes to testing for radon in your home, you have two options. The first is to purchase an at-home test kit. While a home radon monitoring device is not as accurate or precise as professional radon testing, it’s an excellent starting point. The second option is to hire a local home inspector to conduct a radon test. Professional testing typically involves a 48-hour sampling period during which the equipment is left in your home for monitoring.
If a radon test reveals unacceptable levels of radon in your home, standard procedure is to confirm these findings using different equipment. Radon levels can also fluctuate significantly with the seasons. For these reasons, I often encourage people to invest in home monitoring equipment first. Then, if you notice a pattern of high radon readings, you can call in a professional for confirmation.

Ultimately, the way you choose to test for radon is up to you. Whether you choose to hire a professional or use an at-home test kit, the important thing is that you’re testing one way or another.

What Should You Do If You Find Radon in Your Home?

If you find unsafe radon levels in your home, try implementing the following mitigation strategies:

  • Increase the ventilation throughout your home.
  • Invest in a radon-reduction system (these systems can reduce radon levels by up to 99%).
  • Caulk and seal foundation cracks and openings.
  • Create a gas-permeable layer beneath the slab or flooring.

If these measures don’t work, contact a professional radon mitigation company to assist you.

The bottom line is this: Radon is easy to test for and easy to prevent. If you can’t remember the last time your home was tested for radon, now is the time to make it a priority.

Rich Beasley is an InterNACHI Certified Home Inspector and owner of UP Home Inspection, LLC. He holds over a dozen specialty certifications, including Mold Inspector, Radon Tester, Water Quality Tester, Indoor Air Consultant, and many more.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Creative Inspiration: A Secret Plan for Poets, Ronnie Ferguson

creative inspiration, secret plan for poets, brainstorming support, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

“Everything is a boss… You must always have a secret plan!”

– from “Bad Deal/Secret Plan” by theillalogicalspoon (https://theillalogicalspoon.bandcamp.com/track/bad-deal-secret-plan)

In many ways, poetry workshops during the pandemic have been like physical workouts with a group of friends. We all agree to meet in the Zoom “Fitness Center,” the one on the corner of Comfy Chair and Computer, around 7 pm. Over the course of two hours, we try out three different “machines” (writing prompts) that, if all goes well, get our hearts going and stretch us in new ways so our poetry muscles grow. After each exercise, we take turns flexing in our rectangles. We make each other laugh, and sometimes laugh at ourselves. We take risks. We virtual-hug. Most importantly—we feast, passing around encouragement like delicious sides to the main course, which is always We Hear You. Workshops can be a worthwhile discipline for poets, and often lead to joy and revelation.

But sometimes things don’t go as planned. We stare at the blank page and, even with a carefully crafted prompt, nothing comes. The ten-minute time limit ticks away. Maybe we pray. Maybe we panic. If we’re lucky, inspiration makes an appearance before the end, and we scribble until the last second (or after). No time for options. No time for second-guessing. Barely legible. Is it intelligible? Who knows? But at least we have something to share. This is a great strength of the timed prompt—it forces us to write something, anything.

Adding a wrinkle to the format can make the experience even better.

For many poets, getting started is half the battle. For some, it is the battle. It’s not uncommon for poets to collect kernels of inspiration throughout their life. These might be lines of poetry without a home, images, stories, snippets of dreams, random articles, overheard conversations, and more. Lists can get long; inspiration folders can get thick; and there’s always the danger of our kernels remaining, simply, “great ideas I once had but never used.” That is, unless these kernels find a home.

For this reason, in the poetry workshops I’ve been leading, I give participants a three-minute brainstorming prompt—a way of collecting kernels in real time—before they’re challenged with a poetry prompt. When I attend workshops led by other poets, I often bring a single page filled with unused kernels of inspiration. Sometimes the prompts are enough, but when nothing comes, sometimes my unused kernels pair with the prompt in surprising ways and get me started. This is a secret plan for poets: Come prepared to poetry workshops with your own ideas so that, whether or not a prompt inspires you, you’re never forced to stare at a blank page. Allowing yourself this flexibility, this pairing of creativity with creativity, can help you be a better steward of the potential-packed kernels you’ve collected throughout your life.

“An inspiration passes, having been inspired never passes.”
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

Three-Part Poetry Exercise – The People We Pass:

  1. Gather some of your kernels of inspiration and jot them on a single page.
  2. Set a timer for three minutes and, on the same page, brainstorm as many people who you see regularly, near or afar, but never speak with. In most cases you will not know their name, so find some way to identify them, such as “Guy Who Mows My Neighbor’s Lawn” or “Woman I Always See at the Laundromat.” Before moving on, note any interesting connections between your kernels and the people you’ve listed in your brainstorm.
  3. Set a timer for ten minutes and, on a different page, write a poem that considers or imagines the experience of one of the people. You may choose to observe and reflect from afar, allow the poem’s speaker to interact with the person, or allow your poem to take on the voice of the person. Here’s a poem I wrote using this same exercise:

Joy to the World

six mornings a week for minimum wage
the woman with three fingers
serves the greasy eggs and bacon
biscuits
coffee and cream

to all the tough faces
the old hairy moles
the saggy scalps
the hard of hearing
and harder to please

with this hive of damn-near-dead complainers
it’s a mystery she’s usually smiling
but if i had to guess
God has blessed her
cuz she still paints her nails pink

*If you write a poem, please send it to me at rofergus@nmu.edu. I’d love to connect and read your work and tell you about upcoming poetry workshops. I hope to write and share with you soon!

Link to “Bad Deal/Secret Plan” by theillalogicalspoon:
https://theillalogicalspoon.bandcamp.com/track/bad-deal-secret-plan

Ronnie Ferguson is an MFA candidate and an instructor in the English department at Northern Michigan University. A King Chavez Parks Fellow and President of the Graduate Writing Association, his creative work (often hybrid) spans the genres of poetry, music, film, theatre, fiction, and the visual arts.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Holistic Animal Care: Help for Rescue Animals & Their People! Jenny Magli

help with rescue animal, holistic animal care, holistic wellness publication

I have experienced some wonderful rescue animals in my home over the years, and have great memories of all of them. It seems to be my “thing,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are deserving of all the love and care they can get, especially since most of them have come from an abuse and/or neglect situation. Thank goodness there are now more no-kill shelters than ever before. There are also animals that are victims of circumstances when an owner has died. These often aging animals end up with other family or friends if they’re lucky, or a shelter situation if they’re not.

So here are some points to consider.

Please make sure you and your family are absolutely ready to commit to a lifetime of love and care for the animal you adopt. This includes medical care. If you are not 100% sure you are ready to adopt, you might consider fostering first. This way you get an idea of what it will take to care for the animal, and also get some guidance from a shelter along with veterinary care while the pet is with you. You might end up as a “foster fail” because you’ve fallen in love with the pet and wish to have it in your home for the rest of its life. This happens a lot, and is not a bad thing!

Prepare your home for this new addition. Pet proofing your home is important. Keep hazardous items out of reach. Remove loose cords or cables. Safely store medicines, cleaners and chemicals out of reach. Remove poisonous plants and anything that could potentially be chewed and/or swallowed.

Patience is key!

You are coming together typically not knowing much, if anything, about the animal’s past. If you are able to learn something, that’s a bonus! Time will be needed to get to know each other. Remember, typically the animal has come from a shelter or rescue situation, so it will likely be nervous, confused, anxious, scared, sad, bewildered, etc. Imagine how you would feel if you were in this animal’s position!

The first week is often the most challenging but also a wonderful discovery period. Your new pet needs some structure and guidance on what you expect from it, including where it will sleep, nap, eat, play, and so on. As you get through each day, you will learn more about each other. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly. It takes time to become familiar with each other and get into a routine. The animal needs time to adjust and warm up to you and your family, so give it space but also give love and attention. Pet, groom, and play with your pet. Providing a pet bed in a quiet area or crate creates a safe space where it can relax.

If you have other pets in the household, give them time to gradually get to know each other. Avoid forcing them to be together. Let this happen slowly, cautiously, and always with supervision!

Some training will be necessary.

Setting boundaries to stay off furniture and counters or teaching basic commands such as sit and stay are important from the start. If you have a pet with bad habits, or just have trouble with training on your own, there’s an abundance of trainers out there to help for a fee.

If you know the breed of the dog, it can be helpful to study about that breed to help you understand its character traits better.

Some frustration with the new pet is inevitable. Patience and time are needed to get through this first phase. You can do it!

Jenny is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, and a Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES BioEnergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and through email. To contact, call or text (906) 235-3524 or email 1healthlink@gmail.com.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Green Living: Climate’s Magic Pill, Steve Waller

green living, climate change, climate support

Heat domes, temperature records, droughts, wildfires, smoky UP air from Canadian fires. On June 29th Lytton, British Columbia (near Vancouver, BC) recorded an all-time Canadian record high temperature of 49.6°C (121 °F). Then, the next day, that town burned in a wildfire! People were evacuated. Some died.

Is this our new normal? When will it end? Likely not in your lifetime. Humans haven’t figured out how to renounce fossil fuel, but have invented a magic pill that, like aspirin, ignores the problem but relieves the symptoms—air conditioning. As the climate changes, areas that rarely used AC before, such as the U.P., are now rushing to beat the heat by installing AC. But read this first!

We are living more like human dairy products, in refrigerated spaces behind closed doors, protected from the overheated environment. We go from refrigerated houses to refrigerated cars to refrigerated workplaces, then a quick stop at a refrigerated store on the way home.

The magic AC pill comes in two colors: Blue (conventional AC) and red (heat pumps).

Blue pill (conventional AC): Cools your house using more electricity. The blue pill makes you feel physically better, but the additional electricity generates more CO2, making the global problem worse!

Red pill (heat pump): Cools your house using more electricity, but the heat pump supplement for your furnace can also heat your house for much of the cool weather seasons as well as heat hot water. It generates more CO2 during hot weather, like AC, yes, but less CO2 in colder weather. Total annual CO2 is significantly less. Here’s why:

AC doesn’t “create cold.” It simply moves heat from inside your house to the outside. Refrigerators move heat from inside the fridge to the kitchen, making the fridge cooler and the kitchen warmer.

Home heat pumps can pump (move) heat either way. In summer, they move heat outside, exactly like AC. In cool weather, heat pumps run the AC backwards, moving heat from outside back inside, even at freezing outdoor temperatures or slightly below.

Heat pumps can heat your home while generating less CO2 than oil, gas, even electric furnaces. Heat pumps use much less energy because they just move heat to where you want it, outside or inside.

But there is a problem. HVAC contractors spend a lot of time talking people out of getting heat pumps. Heat pumps are not what they are accustomed to, so they discourage them in favor of their favorites—fossil heat and traditional AC. That locks customers into another thirty years of fossil fuels. Boo. Bad. We must move away from fossil energy. Electricity is slowly getting cleaner. Fossils never will. We must go all-electric.

Contractors will claim that heat pumps won’t work because there’s little heat to move at -30˚F. That’s true and that’s why I suggest the red pill as a supplement. On those -30˚F days, use fossils if you must. But the rest of the time, with the help of your thermostat or control system, you can use the heat pump.

There is a special cold weather heat pump option–ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs). Ground below the frost line doesn’t freeze. GSHPs can capture enough heat for your house most of the winter. Back-up is only needed on the absolute coldest days. GSHPs cost significantly more but eliminate fossils.

When it comes to home heating, especially if we end up with a carbon tax, as I believe we will, heat pumps are our best solution. We need young HVAC heat pump specialists to start new businesses providing the expertise and equipment needed to install heat pumps cost efficiently, to out-compete stubborn fossil contractors stuck in the fossil fuel era. It’s the smart move.

Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

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