• A new way of thinking about ice packs for sore muscles

    By Roberta Attanasio We all know ice packs—many of us reach for them soon after an injury to reduce pain or inflammation. Think of strained muscles, sprained ankles, and so on. But is this the right approach to accelerate healing? A 2019 article from The Washington Post states: “Today, ice packs have become as ubiquitous as aspirin—they’re a fixture in…

  • The fertile top layers of soils keep disappearing, a new study shows

    By Roberta Attanasio Plants grow in and out of soils—and sustain almost all living beings on our planet, either directly or indirectly. But soils are rapidly disappearing from farms all around the world, threatening our ability to grow food. The treasure beneath our feet is continuously subjected to erosion and degradation, mostly resulting from intensive farming practices.   Relentless tilling,…

  • Fresh carrots

    An entrepreneur takes the power of healthy soils from local farms—and delivers it to people’s doorsteps

    By Roberta Attanasio All around the world, champions of regenerative farming are spearheading new projects in their communities—bringing the marvels and potential of healthy soils to everyone’s everyday life.  We need them! Few of us realize that—because of industrial farming practices—most of our soils are sapped, devoid of life and nutrients.  Healthy soils, instead, are a bubbling universe of microbes…

  • How protecting our oceans can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges

    By Roberta Attanasio Stories of the past tell us that our oceans are deep, mysterious and indestructible—but oceans are quickly changing, bowing to biological degradation and much more. Oceans are damaged every day by oil and gas drilling, pollution, and industrial impacts. Human activities are changing the ocean’s chemistry, destroying habitats, and killing marine life. The  Great Barrier Reef has…

  • Edith Meusnier' textile art in a forest

    Edith Meusnier — an environmental artist inspired by forests

    By Roberta Attanasio Textile art is all around us, from the clothes we wear to the rugs in our homes. Made of interlacing fibers of any material, woven or knitted, textiles belong to the mundane as well as to the world of artistic expression. In her classic book on the art and history of weaving, Anni Albers writes “Along with…

  • Food market

    A new report shows the worldwide magnitude of food waste

    By Roberta Attanasio The foreword of a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report starts with a poignant observation: “If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste also burdens waste management systems, exacerbates food insecurity, making it a major contributor to the three planetary crises of climate…

  • Nature quotes

    By Roberta Attanasio Nature quotes by Kahlil Gibran, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, William Wordsworth.

  • What is nature?

    By Roberta Attanasio Try to find an answer to the question “what is nature?” and you will be surprised. There is not a clear definition of “nature,” although there are a variety of opinions on what it is. Even in biology or ecology textbooks, you won’t track down an agreed-upon view of the word “nature”—despite the fact that its use is…

  • Children exposed to air pollution are more likely to develop disease later in life

    By Roberta Attanasio We have known for quite some time that the first years of life represent a unique “window of vulnerability”—exposures to environmental chemicals at this time influence cellular programming in ways that shape health and disease in later years. For example, recent research shows that there is a significant association between multiple prenatal and early life exposures to indoor…