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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Sustainable Communities

Oct 01, 2014 03:25PM ● By Bernice Butler

I’m beyond excited by this month’s focus on Sustainable Communities. One of my 2015 goals is to up the ante around this theme to support Natural Awakenings’ coast-to-coast goal of forwarding healthy living on a healthy planet, starting in our almost 100 markets. It’s part of what makes us unique.

Eco-savvy cities are a must today as seismic demographic and geographic shifts in America and elsewhere show an aging population and the near-complete move from rural society to urban areas. In the U.S., more than 80 percent of us are urbanites or suburbanites, compared with 50 percent worldwide. We are all grateful that life on Earth was created to be sustainable—to work in harmony and in healthy balance, reproducing at a replaceable rate while our habitat is regularly fed and cleansed by elegant cycles interconnecting land, water, air and fire. How perfectly God has made this all fit together to form this magnificent place where we are privileged to live.

So, what went wrong that today life on Earth faces so many crises? As the global human population soars beyond the planet’s carrying capacity to the detriment of other species and too many people pursue self-centered goals for more, bigger and faster, we are failing to replenish what we take. We are falling far short of doing our best.

According to Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Yet we go blithely about our daily lives with little regard to this law and are now reaping the consequences. Hundreds of thousands of concerned people are turning out to march for action on climatic change while hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods are becoming more frequent, horrific and deadly as the elements respond to peoples’ collective consciousness.

What can each of us do here and now? As we see in these pages, progress toward restoring a harmonious balance starts and grows by taking lots of small, but deliberate steps. We rejoice that more individuals, community groups and municipalities are putting skin in the game. People are asking, for example: “When people pave over large swaths of land to build highways and houses, where does the rainwater go?” It can create flooding or may be diverted into lovely recreational lakes, as the city of Dallas is doing (page 23).

I love how Christine MacDonald’s national feature story, “Sustainable Cityscapes: Urban America is Going Green in a Big Way,” explores how U.S. communities are becoming more resilient. Good news encourages us all to move forward more sustainably.

Another sign of hope is that a convincing body of healthcare experts is finally beginning to understand that green living is healthy and that healthy living is green, because it’s all inextricably connected. Dr. Andrew Weil’s eye-opening interview, “America’s Evolution into Integrative Healthcare,” yields thought-provoking perspective on the value of returning to the spirit of our Creator’s intentions.

Even our cover image, created for this issue, conveys how it feels when people feel safe, happy and connected with Mother Earth and one another. We hope that you enjoy and are enlightened by this month’s offerings, and that something you see is a catalyst to make going greener your personal mantra.


Bernice Butler, Publisher

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