Good News: Week 14

This week, we found new life from ancient giants, and hope in that 2011 promises to be a big year for important food issues. We discovered the beauty of mundane routines and 11 natural treatments for depression. We explored the DIY movement, made a list of 7 nature adventures we need to embark on and dreamt of building a greenhouse shell for our house.

HEALTHY HABITAT: From Ancient Giants, Finding New Life to Help the Planet
Shooting skyward like a jagged knife, the giant stump in a cul-de-sac in this Northern California town is by all appearances dead and gone: ashen gray, hollowed by fire and sheared at about 40 feet by coastal winds or lightning. But to Michael Taylor, a professional big-tree hunter, there are tantalizing signs of the stump’s potential. “This snag is partially alive,” he explained, pointing to dozens of green sprouts on the trunk. “It has a lot of energy in it, and it will keep sending these up. They just can’t kill this thing.”
From Ancient Giants, Finding New Life to Help the Planet, by Jesse McKinley, The New York Times

FOOD & WELLNESS: 2011 promises to be a big year for food issues in the news
We’re not talking about big food (so long, Supersize). But food is big this year. From longtime recipe columnist Mark Bittman of the New York Times switching to a food issues beat, to the USDA’s approval of genetically modified alfalfa, to the possibility that foodies might save the green movement, edible stories early this year indicate big changes on the horizon in the world of food.
Food Is Big in 2011
, by Vanessa Barrington, EcoSalon

HEALTH & PRODUCTIVITY: How Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic
Every day, you take the same route to work. You stop at the same coffee shop and order your coffee exactly the same way. When you get to the office, clutching the same branded cup, you place it in the same place on your desk. You fire up the same computer, tidy the stuff on your desk into the same pattern, settle into the same chair and open the same tabs on your browser.
How Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic, by Mark McGuinness, the99percent

EXLPLORATION: 7 Nature Adventures Everyone Should Experience
It’s funny with all of the amazing restaurants opening daily, bizarre and trendy night clubs, museums with astounding artifacts and—let’s face it—some hands down credit card-debt-be-damned-worthy shopping areas, throughout the ages, when people are asked what they would do before they died, if they could do anything at all, these largely urban, modern sites don’t make the list. And that is largely because restaurants, nightclubs and shopping come and go. They hold no legacy. The stories of the largest Bloomingdales probably won’t be passed down from generation to generation. When all is said and done, and buildings are put up and torn down, the sites and experiences that will be talked about for ages are linked with—you called it—good old mother earth.
7 Activities To Do Before You Die, by Julia Austin, Planet Green

FOOD & WELLNESS: 11 Natural Treatments For Depression
As an MD, I’ve watched too many of my colleagues yank out anti-depressant samples every time a patient starts to cry. So on behalf of physicians everywhere, let me apologize for our trigger-happy prescription-writing behavior. I don’t mean to diminish the pain someone who is depressed might experience. But tears are healthy. Sadness doesn’t always need treatment. And it’s important to remember that the pain muscle and the joy muscle are the same. If you can’t feel one, you won’t feel the other. That said, clinical depression sucks, and if you’re someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. I’m in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctor’s advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless you’re suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it’s worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.
11 Natural Treatments For Depression, by Lissa Rankin, Planet Green

SUSTAINABLE STYLE & CRAFT: Exploring the do-it-yourself movement
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement has made a grand entrance over the course of the last several years, making DIY an acronym everyone is familiar with. The state of the economy has become the latest, and perhaps greatest, impetus for the DIY craze. Now more than ever, people are turning to a lifestyle that is not only within their control but is completely customizable according to their own needs, desires, and budget. Quite accidentally, the DIY movement has also become the harbinger of healthful living for the average person, drawing attention to the details of those things that surround us, forcing people to understand their environment from a different perspective and helping people make smart yet tough decisions about how their lives should be lived.

Hello, Handmade
, by Rayan Turner, EcoSalon

HEALTHY HABITAT: A House Wrapped in Its Own Greenhouse
With winter weather in full effect (at least for our part of the globe), green thumbs have to take a short break from growing most of their fruits and veggies until the spring. But this very special home in Sweden is an exception due to one very unique characteristic – it’s wrapped in its very own private greenhouse. Designed and built by Swedish architect Bengt Warne all the way back in 1976, the Naturhus not only allows its owners to cultivate their own fresh food for two extra months out of the year, it also cuts the home’s electricity needs in half!
Naturhus: An Entire House Wrapped in Its Own Private Greenhouse, by Yuka Yoneda, Inhabitat

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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  1. Thanks for the link, Johanna!

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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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