By Sarah K. Highland
If a fundamental principle of health is that you are what you eat, then the basic premise of healthy homebuilding is that you ought to be able to eat your house. If you have kids or pets, you may know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, imagine a door viewed through a very powerful microscope. Every time it opens and closes, particles of the door rub off and waft through the air or fall to the floor. If the door is made of real wood, with an edible finish, well and good. If, however, it's covered with paint or made of a plastic composite, those particles floating around the house won't be so good for you, especially if they land on a kitchen cutting board.
Now let's take a microscopic look at a wall. There may not be visible cracks in the surface, but anywhere there's an electrical outlet there is a hole in the wall that may connect directly to the insulation cavity. Any drafts coming through that little hole are going to carry in with them tiny particles of insulation. Therefore, you may want to consider both of these facts when you evaluate or choose the insulation in your walls: some kinds are much more effective than others (fiberglass, though cheap, is actually not a very good insulator); and some are friendlier than others to inhale. I'd sooner eat straw than cellulose, and you couldn't pay me enough to take a mouthful of fiberglass or foam.
By Zuri Sabir
Walking into Apothekara, our new local place of herbal healing and education located on South Cayuga Street, you are greeted with a warmth that invites you to stay and ask as many questions as you want. It has a familiarity to it, evoking a memory of old-time healing not shared by many in these modern times, but truly felt and valued. Apothekara is minimally and purposefully furnished: beautiful wooden floors guide you in toward a long and sturdy hand-tiled counter flanked by stools on your left. Behind it is a wall patterned with tinctures and to your right is an impressive collection of dried herbs that unfailingly beckons your interest. And then there is Kara, with her wealth of knowledge, who patiently awaits your statement of need.
Adjacent to the main room of the apothecary is a simple lounge. We sit there now as Kara Timmons, Medical Herbalist and owner of Apothekara, tells me her journey. Kara has been learning and educating about herb-based medicine for over 15 years. She was originally introduced to the idea of wild foods and foods for health in the mountains of New Mexico, living in Carson National Forest. There, Kara and a group of friends camped for two months foraging and gathering plants to eat and use for their medicinal properties alongside a larger community of like-minded people.
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By Kristie Snyder,
Tompkins County is famous for its cloudiness. And it's quickly becoming famous for something else — renewable energy. Despite all those clouds, there's plenty of sun and wind, and more and more Tompkins residents are figuring out how to curb their fossil fuel consumption with a variety of sustainable energy approaches, from the tried-and-true to the purely experim...