While our northern neighbors are still fighting the effects of the brutal winter, we Southwest Floridians are gliding into another pleasant season. Springtime everywhere brings renewal, refl ection and rejuvenation—all characteristics we aim to help you realize each month in Natural Awakenings. In Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, people love to get out to festivals and fl ourishing farmers’ markets. Runners, cyclists, standup paddlers, kayakers and cyclists are everywhere. We feel our spirits sing.
This special Green Living issue honors our families, community and planet. From thought-provoking articles on national trends and local folks to news briefs and Calendar offerings, we join Natural Awakenings readers nationwide in celebrating this glorious season of promise.
Recognizing our shared natural desire for spring cleaning in our homes and offi ces, we offer easy cleaning tips that are friendly to health and Earth, without sacrifi cing time, money or effectiveness. “Eco on the cheap” is a theme throughout this issue, as we all seek affordable ways to live up to sustainable ideals, simplify our lives and realize the inner peace that comes in walking our talk.
Earth Day is the centerpiece of April, as many millions of people across the country and around the world extol the value of Earth’s vibrant life. The sheer beauty of Southwest Florida’s incredible environment urges us to become increasingly better stewards of our little slice of paradise. The three R’s of reuse, repurpose and recycle are solid starting points with myriad manifestations. Each individual action makes a positive difference; coming together in a united effort, we can help save the world. We hope to see you at local Earth Day events, where we have a chance to learn and do more for Mother Earth. Our news briefs list the details.
Maybe you’ll also participate in spontaneous festivities. What a great way to meet like-minded folks and pay homage to all that is naturally beautiful. Contributing editor Suzi Harkola’s article on Heartwood Retreat Center introduces an exceptional setting and opportunities to do just that.
Here’s to all the springtime joys in our own backyard. Pick a few wildfl owers. Host a barbecue. Go to the beach. Hit the trails. Dance in a drum circle. Maybe plant a garden. Let’s join in making Earth Day a special day and year-round celebration of Earth’s own delights. Together, we can keep the party going.