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Study shows Transcendental Meditation helps vets with post-traumatic stress disorder
18 November 2018 - Transcendental Meditation worked as well as traditional therapy for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in a small experiment sponsored by the Department of Defense. The study was published Thursday (15 November) in the journal Lancet Psychiatry. When researchers accounted for other factors, meditation was better than the classes and equally effective as exposure therapy. The type taught to vets in the study was Transcendental Meditation, or TM, which involves thinking of a mantra or sound to settle the mind. TM was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (more)

US: California recommends restrictions for popular pesticide
18 November 2018 - California regulators recommended new restrictions Thursday (15 November) on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies. The Department of Pesticide Regulation issued temporary guidelines for chlorpyrifos that include banning it from crop dusting, discontinuing its use on most crops, and increasing perimeters around where it's applied. (more)

30 under 30 2019 Social Entrepreneurs: Leveraging business smarts to save the world
17 November 2018 - Fourth-generation beekeeper Leigh-Kathryn Bonner is just one of 30 innovative ventures on this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list using business acumen to make an lasting impact on the world. The list was judged by a blue-ribbon panel of judges: Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation; Lisa Curtis, Founder of Kuli Kuli; Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green; and Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer of Forbes Media. Here are the inspiring startups to keep an eye on in 2019: (more)

Social enterprise restaurant offers Hong Kong's senior citizens job opportunities - and dishes up new careers
17 November 2018 - Mdm Kitty Li Siu-yin, 69, says she enjoys working in a social enterprise restaurant that has helped many elderly Hongkongers to restart their careers. The eatery [Gingko House] ... is known for its Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant chain Mdm Li works for is one of a growing number of employers offering job opportunities to the city's senior citizens. Gingko House general manager Kenneth Choi Man-kin said he also helped run the social enterprise's partner, Everbright Concern Action, which was opening an organic frozen food production line to offer simple jobs to the city's retirees. (more)

UK: CEO of social enterprise consultancy Ninety on the firm's future
17 November 2018 - Founded in 2011, Ninety is an agile digital transformation and customer experience firm based in London. The consultancy helps brands adapt to a world of changing technology, innovation, and digital disruption, but in a marked difference with the broader industry, while the digital transformation market booms, 90 percent of Ninety's distributable profits go to charity. According to the firm's CEO Dan White, the company's distinct social enterprise model has far from compromised its competitive capabilities. (more)

Ireland: Women's Enterprise Day: Go forth and be successful
17 November 2018 - Four female entrepreneurs share the secret of their success to mark National Women's Enterprise Day (18 October), which aims to help women in business to take their ideas global. (more)

Paul Newman's social enterprise now provides clean water to nearly 1 million people
17 November 2018 - Nearly 4.5 billion people around the globe will live without access to safe water by 2030 under current spending levels and conditions, according to the United Nations. The Safe Water Network was founded in 2006 by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, along with a group of prominent civic and business leaders to address this significant global challenge. (more)

US: How a Broward nonprofit boosted its revenues and created jobs -- and did a lot of good
17 November 2018 - For a peek into what's possible in the world of social enterprise for the greater good, check out what the 63-year-old Arc Broward is doing. The nonprofit organization that supports individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities began building social enterprises 16 years ago and now has three: Arc Tech, Arc Culinary, and Arc Educates. (more)

Invasive trees targeted by new South Africa anti-drought fund
16 November 2018 - Big business is backing a South African fund to eradicate invasive trees around Cape Town and yield billions of liters of water as the city emerges from its worst drought in a century, officials said on Friday (16 November). Alien species, such as eucalyptus trees which are largely native to Australia, are thirstier than indigenous vegetation and draw more groundwater through their roots. Preliminary studies estimate 1.8 billion liters of water is lost each year due to alien plants on one aquifer north of Cape Town. (more)

Therapy through song: Choir helps Hungarian lung patients breathe more easily
16 November 2018 - A Hungarian doctor has prescribed her lung disease patients a new form of physical and spiritual therapy -- singing in public as part of a choir. Its members, many seriously ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and drawn from hospitals across Hungary, say the singing has improved the quality of their lives. (more)

A slew of electric truck plans may deliver the goods for China's EV ambitions
15 November 2018 - For a growing number of automakers operating in the world's biggest vehicle market, it's time to invest in electric vans and trucks. They're convinced by increasingly stringent restrictions aimed at reining in pollution, generous subsidies, as well as robust demand for light-duty trucks as e-commerce flourishes. (more)

India: Union minister inaugurates the Global Cooling Prize Innovation summit
13 November 2018 - Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated 'The Global Cooling Innovation Summit' on November 12, 2018, in New Delhi. The Global Cooling Prize is an international competition to encourage the development of a residential cooling technology which impacts the environment five times lesser than the standard Room Air Conditioning (RAC). (more)

Organic products still on growth track worldwide
12 November 2018 - There's a good outlook for the international organic food industry -- both in Europe and worldwide. European and international markets remain on a growth track. Experts currently put global revenues above USD 95 billion; Europe accounts for more than EUR 33 billion. The market is now growing very vigorously in many European countries. 'We're seeing lively growth in North America and Europe, but the Asian market is also catching up fast,' notes Amarjit Sahota of the London market research and consulting firm Ecovia (formerly Organic Monitor). (more)

Pennsylvania ranks 2nd in US in organic production
12 November 2018 - 'Pennsylvania has grown phenomenally in organic sales, doubling from 2015 to 2016 alone, and we are now second in the nation in organic production,' Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. 'We are not a leader by accident, but because of public and private investment in taking a strategic approach to industry growth. These funds support that forward-thinking innovation by those seeking to grow and sustain their businesses, respond to consumer trends, and diversify their operations.' (more)

Branson backs $3 million cooling challenge
12 November 2018 - British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is backing a new $3 million initiative to find a more efficient residential cooling technology. 'Air conditioning needs to become acceptable to all. It should not be a luxury as it is today,' Sir Richard Branson said at the competition's launch. 'If we carry on using the same outdated air conditioning technology the temperature of the planet will rise by 0.5 degrees by air conditioning use alone.' (more)

France: Greater Paris to ban old diesel cars from summer 2019
12 November 2018 - The Greater Paris region will become a low-emission zone from next summer, which will limit the circulation of old diesel cars, the regional authority decided on Monday (12 November). The council plans to gradually tighten regulations in order to allow only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars on Greater Paris roads by 2030. In central Paris, pre-2000 diesels have been banned since July 2017. (more)

Germany: Stuttgart to ban older diesel engined cars after court ruling
12 November 2018 - Stuttgart will enforce a ban on older diesel vehicles by 2019 following a local German court ruling on Monday (12 November), the latest German city to fall into line with moves to cut pollution. Diesel bans have now been allowed in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. (more)

Ideas on organic agriculture from around the globe sought, shared at UW-Madison Harvest of Ideas forum
12 November 2018 - For Kate VandenBosch, dean of UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, holding an event like the Harvest of Ideas comes back to the Wisconsin Idea, which signifies a general principle that education should extend beyond the classroom. The October 31 event, a forum that brought together people from around the globe to explore organic agriculture and how the University of Wisconsin can best contribute to the advancement of organic agriculture, also served as a venue to share ideas and create more cooperative solutions world-wide. (more)

Switzerland: Sales of organic products are growing strongly
12 November 2018 - Sales of organic vegetables and organic fruits in the retail sector are growing strongly [in Switzerland]. From September 2017 to August 2018, sales of organic vegetables in the retail trade increased by 7 percent, as reported by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). In the same period, however, sales of conventional vegetables decreased by 3 percent. The share of organic retail sales amounts to 15 percent for vegetables. (more)

Richard Branson just launched a $3 million prize for a better air conditioner
11 November 2018 - When people move out of poverty, one of the first things they buy is an air conditioner -- and the world can't handle the emissions that are going to come from an air conditioning boom. 'The increase in energy consumption for cooling represents a massive risk to meeting our climate goals,' says Richard Branson, who today helped launch both the report and the Global Cooling Prize, a $3 million competition to spur new technology. ... It's supported in part by the Indian government, as that country alone will add around 1 billion room air conditioners by the middle of the century. (more)

Electric bus orders more than doubled last year in Europe
10 November 2018 - According to Transport and Environment, the number of orders for electric buses in Europe more than doubled from roughly 400 in 2016 to 1,031 in 2017. The market is expected to double in 2018 as the number of buses ordered during the first half of this year (including trolleybuses with batteries) almost exceed the number for all of 2017. (more)

US: New York eyes plan to be first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes
9 November 2018 - New York state is taking steps to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in the hopes of curbing a sharp rise in the use of vaping products by young people, the Cuomo administration said Friday (9 November). New York state health officials began tracking e-cigarette use in New York in 2014. Since then, use by high school youths increased from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent in 2018, the health department said. (more)

US: This Houston urban organic farm honors veterans with jobs
9 November 2018 - When Gracie and Bob Cavnar launched the Recipe for Success Foundation in 2005, their main goals were to battle childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate, and eat their food, and to provide the community with healthier diets. But rather than sitting on their laurels, the couple became inspired to do even more. ...To further their important mission, Hope Farms instated a grant-supported program to train U.S. military veterans to become new urban farmers. Hope Farms integrates farming, education, and community engagement on seven beautiful acres where they use organic methods to grow a wide variety of crops. (more)

Construction starts on 220-megawatt solar park in Mexico
8 November 2018 - The Enel Group has commenced construction of a 220 megawatt solar photovoltaic park in Mexico via its subsidiary, Enel Green Power Mexico. The Magdalena II facility is located in the state of Tlaxcala and is slated to commence operations in the second half of 2019. The solar power facility will produce around 600 gigawatt hours of energy per year. (more)

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