April 2019 Letter From Publishers




Holly Baker

Welcome to our annual celebration of Earth Day—an excellent time to remind ourselves that sustainability isn’t a vague, esoteric concept, but a critical factor in our very survival. The Earth Day Network has chosen to focus this year’s campaign on protection of species to raise awareness of the crucial roles that plants and animals play in the ecosystem and the current threats faced by many of them.

This web of life is inextricably woven into the habitats that form our planet’s life support system. Each link in the chain that is lost or broken—from the smallest microbe to the largest mammal—will have a profound effect on future generations.

And so, sustainability is the watchword of this issue of Natural Awakenings, beginning with the excellent feature “Power Switch: Taking a Home Off the Grid”. Writer Jim Motavalli delivers an in-depth dive into sources of alternative energy, costs, technologies and special considerations—including the availability of government tax credits and the option to make a partial transition to green power, without leaving the grid entirely.

Crucially important in our quest to be sustainable is our ever-growing use of technology. We’re too often jumping from one device to the next, but what happens to the “old” models of cell phones—and were they really that old to begin with? Don Gibbens gives us some simple tips for thinking more sustainably when it comes to computers, phones and other electronic devices, on page 23.

Tucson is a mecca for great hiking spots, and as we learn in “Into the Woods” (page 30), hiking is an all-natural remedy for health and happiness. There’s just something about connecting with nature and stepping away from our worries and the ever-present “blue light” of technology that reminds us of the importance of the great outdoors. Celebrate Mother Earth this month with a hike—you’ll be happy you did.

You will find enlightening and innovative ways to connect with people and the planet on every page of Natural Awakenings this month, be it plunging into the woods, enjoying a potluck with friends, celebrating 4/20, exploring creative art therapies or taking kids on extraordinary outdoor adventures, even if it’s in their own backyard.

Happy Earth Day, Tucson!

Holly

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