Thrive Napa Valley encourages leadership through awareness, education, and outreach. We empower our community to connect and engage through inspired action to promote environmental sustainability, social equity and compassion. To learn more about these types of happenings in the Napa Valley and beyond, click on the links, logos or photos below.
THRIVING: a state of being characterized by balance, belonging, and harmonious relationships with other people and with Nature
COMPASSION: a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
Definition from Merriam-Webster Incorporated
Napa Valley CanDo brings together people from all over the Napa Valley who want to help our communities thrive through volunteerism and community action. Check out their CanDo Spotlight where events & volunteer opportunities from other groups around the valley are listed. Read the latest issue of the CanDo Connection
SUSTAINABILITY: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
Definition from Merriam-Webster Incorporated
ENVIRONMENT: conditions and influences that affect our growth, health and progress
Definition from Merriam-Webster Incorporated
Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, 10 Keys to Happier Living have been identified that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell "GREAT DREAM".

The Ten Keys to Happier Living are based on an extensive review of the latest findings from the science of wellbeing. They are all areas which research shows tend to make a big difference to our happiness and are within our control. For each of the ten you'll find information, questions, resources and suggested actions to help apply them in your daily life. Listed below is Key Number 4:

Live Life Mindfully
Ever felt there must be more to life? Well good news, there is! And it's right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice. Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life - like our walk to work, the way we eat or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future - so we get more out of the day-to-day.
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. - Lao Tzu
An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness
AN EXPERIMENT IN GRATITUDE: The Science of Happiness
What makes you happy? Have you ever wondered why? Join us as we take an experimental approach on what makes people happier. Behind the Scenes of the episode!


Dignity Health is challenging people to smile more, finding that a simple smile has the tremendous power to foster human connection, without even saying a word. To explore the impact of a smile, Dignity Health conducted a national survey of 1,050 Americans revealing that a smile can start a ripple effect throughout a person’s day that can impact their health, well-being, and happiness.

“We found that a majority (89 percent) of people say that the world would be a better place if more people smiled at strangers every day, and 84 percent of people say our communities would be healthier,” said Stephanie Parmely, Ph.D., from Mercy Medical Group, a service of Dignity Health Medical Foundation. “These findings speak to something that we have long believed at Dignity Health – while medicine has the power to cure, it is humanity and kindness, such as a simple smile, that hold the power to heal.” 

Other notable results from Dignity Health’s “Power of a Smile” survey include: 

  • A smile truly improves people’s day.
    • ­Nearly all (96 percent) respondents said seeing a smile brightens their day, and seeing a smile from a significant other or spouse improves their day the most. 
    • ­Sixty (60) percent said even a smile from a stranger improves their day.
    • ­Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents have noticed a mood lift from taking a smiling selfie.
    • ­Respondents overwhelmingly said that people who smile are happier, more memorable, and more likeable.
  • Smiling can improve health.
    • ­More than half of respondents said that smiling makes them feel kinder towards others.
    • ­Nine-in-ten (89 percent) respondents said smiling has a direct impact on their physical or mental health. 
    • ­Eighty-four (84) percent said smiling makes them feel less stressed.
    • ­Fifty-four (54) percent of respondents said that smiling while sick has made them feel better. 

“Think about smiling throughout your day. When you smile at yourself in the mirror, strangers on the street, or your loved ones, you’ll feel the positive effects smiling can have on you, your health, and those around you,” says Dr. Parmely. 

Starting with smiling at 25 people, many of Dignity Health’s more than 62,000 executives, employees, and physicians, participate in the Great Kindness Challenge, completing 50 acts of kindness alongside millions of students worldwide. Over 10 million students are expected to participate this year, completing more than 500 million acts of kindness. 

Follow Dignity Health’s acts of kindness at facebook.com/dignityhealth.  For more information and results from the survey, and videos on the power of a smile, visit hellohumankindness.org/GKC2017.


The Yountville Community Center is hosting the next, in a series of five, engaging community events that are all about discovering what makes Yountville - "Yountville!"
Featuring speakers from throughout our community as well as nationally respected planning experts who will delve into our "Community Character." 

This event will focus on the impacts of the ag preserve and the obligations that are imposed on the town.
All events will be held held at
The Yountville Community Center
6516 Washington Street in Yountville
​6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

All meetings will be recorded and made available via the document library on our website for future viewing.
For more information: www.envisionyountville.com


Inactive teens have weaker bones than those who are physically active, according to a new study.

Researchers with UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, measured the physical activity and bone strength of 309 teenagers over a specific four-year period that is crucial for lifelong, healthy skeletal development.

"We found that teens who are less active had weaker bones, and bone strength is critical for preventing fractures," said Leigh Gabel, lead author and PhD candidate in orthopedics at UBC.

Gabel and her co-investigators used high resolution 3D X-ray images to compare differences between youth who met the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day and those who got less than 30 minutes a day.

The four-year window -- between the ages of 10 to 14 for girls and 12 to 16 for boys -- is a vital time when as much as 36 per cent of the human skeleton is formed and bone is particularly responsive to physical activity.

"Kids who are sitting around are not loading their bones in ways that promote bone strength," said Gabel, which is why weight-bearing activities such as running and jumping and sports like soccer, ultimate Frisbee and basketball are important.

Bone strength is a combination of bone size, density and microarchitecture. While boys had larger and stronger bones throughout the study, both boys and girls responded in the same way to physical activity.

"We need school-and community-based approaches that make it easier for children and families to be more active," said co-author Heather McKay, a professor in orthopedics and family practice at UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. The good news is that activity does not have to be structured or organized to be effective: short bursts such as dancing at home, playing tag at the park, chasing your dog or hopping and skipping count, too.

Parents and caregivers can support healthy choices by being role models and limiting screen time. McKay highlights simple yet effective tactics used in the Action Schools! BC intervention where children and their teachers took activity breaks throughout the day during lessons.

"The bottom line is that children and youth need to step away from their screens and move to build the foundation for lifelong bone health," said McKay.

Materials provided by University of British Columbia


Long gone are the days when a life of material excess and endless leisure time signified prestige. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, Americans increasingly perceive busy and overworked people as having high status.

"We examined how signaling busyness at work impacts perceptions of status in the eyes of others," write authors Silvia Bellezza (Columbia University), Neeru Paharia, and Anat Keinan (both Harvard University). "We found that the more we believe that people have the opportunity for social affirmation based on hard work, the more we tend to think that people who skip leisure and work all the time are of higher standing."

High-status Americans a generation ago might have boasted about their lives of leisure, but today they're more likely to engage in humblebrag, telling those around them how they "have no life" or desperately need a vacation.

To explore this phenomenon, the authors conducted a series of studies, drawing participants mostly from Italy and the US. While busyness at work is associated with high status among Americans, the effect is reversed for Italians, who still view a leisurely life as representative of high status.

Further, the authors found that the use of products and services showcasing one's busyness can also convey status. For instance, the online shopping and delivery grocery brand Peapod signals status just as much as expensive brands, such as Whole Foods, by virtue of its associations with timesaving and a busy lifestyle.

"We uncovered an alternative type of conspicuous consumption that operated by shifting the focus from the preciousness and scarcity of goods to the preciousness and scarcity of individuals," the authors conclude. "People's social-mobility beliefs are psychologically driven by the perception that busy individuals possess desirable characteristics, leading them to be viewed as scarce and in demand."

Materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research

Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations. - Earl Nightingale

April 22, 2017
11am - 4pm

at Oxbow Commons

Exhibits |  Food  |  Kids Activities  |  Live Entertainment 

Volunteer Opportunity: Help is Needed Before, During, & After Event

Presented by: Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County

All proceeds benefit EECNC’s Field Trip Bus Grant Program and the Darcy Aston Scholarship

Contact Taylor Radek, taylorradek@gmail.com,
Earth Day Coordinator, for 2017 sponsorship opportunities.

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9am - 12pm

Dedicated volunteers will be cleaning up sites around Napa. 

Keep Napa clean by preventing trash from getting to our River, then celebrate our river at Napa’s annual Earth Day Festival!


  • Downtown Napa, behind Firefighter’s Museum at the corner of Main and Pearl Streets.Important!–Volunteers are encouraged to clean the downtown streets and stay away from the reach of Napa Creek where construction was just finished so that the creek banks have time to stabilize and new plantings are not disturbed.
  • South Wetlands, southern end of Jefferson St.
  • Salvador Creek - Vintage High - meet at quad by gym
  • Oxbow District - north end of the market parking lot next to the river
  • Kennedy Park, boat ramp
Visit NCRCD for more information on volunteering and to download the Waiver.

Earth Night Festival and Fundraiser
April 22, 5-10 pm

You're invited to our 3rd annual Earth Night Festival and Fundraiser celebrating arts, music, movement and nature. Support outdoor environmental education while experiencing a rare opportunity to soak in the late afternoon sunshine and play under the stars at Connolly Ranch.
  • Happy Hour
  • Live music by Howell Mountain Boys, Earth Night Band and DJ Boca!
  • Animal tours
  • Art demos and craft projects
  • Movement classes
  • Dance performances
  • Garden activities with UC Master Gardeners
  • Telescope for stargazing by Wine Country Stargazing
  • Nature hikes
  • Raffle 
  • And more...!
New and improved! 
FarmFest for Kids (Onsite Drop-off Program): 5:30-7:30 pm
Kids will love having their own Earth Night adventure! They will spend time with our animals, enjoy seasonal crafts, have a picnic dinner and enjoy the farm under the care of our skilled staff. This means you'll get a little time to eat and catch up with friends and still have plenty of time to enjoy music and fun with the whole family after you pick them up. (must be 3 and potty trained) Only $20 and includes picnic dinner!

Food and drink:
Onsite food and delicious wine and beer available for purchase with Happy Hour specials!

Food: Mark's The Spot Fine Food, Barrio Marin, Ca'Momi Enoteca, Dabba, Model Bakery, Connolly Ranch's Fresh Snack Shack

Wine and Beer: Lagunitas, Napa Green Certified Wines tent, Campesino, FARM Napa Valley, Four Cairn, Gauge Wines, Kelly Family Vineyards, Renteria Wines and more.
*Happy Hour 5-7 pm: Enjoy reduced price food and drinks

Activities and Performanaces:
M.C. Bob St. Laurent, DJ Boca, Howell Mountain Boys, The Earth Night Band (David Hight, John Hannaford, Liz Fanora Jones, Matt Chan, Michael Meredith, Robert Sherman, Sarah Madsen), Bleeding Heart Bellydance, Coffee and Lilacs crafts, Land Trust of Napa County, Wine Country Aerials, Wine Country Star Gazing, World Beat Dance Collective, Zen Lot Wellness Center. 


Purchase your tickets here
Adults $30 @ the door $35
Kids $15 @ the door $18
Toddlers 2 and under FREE

Following Napa’s Earth Day festivities, Earth Night is the after party you won’t want to miss! Learn more here

Protecting the environment can be as easy as telling your kids to go outdoors and play, according to a new UBC study. Research by Catherine Broom, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at UBC Okanagan, shows that 87 per cent of study respondents who played outside as children expressed a continued love of nature as young adults. Of that group, 84 per cent said taking care of the environment was a priority.

"Developing positive experiences in nature at a young age can influence our attitudes and behaviours towards nature as adults," says Broom. "It is important to study these childhood experiences in order to develop environmental awareness and action in the next generation."

The study interviewed 50 university students between the ages of 18 to 25. Of the group, 100 per cent of females stated that they loved or somewhat loved nature and 87 per cent of males responded the same.

While further research is needed, Broom believes that environmental awareness programs like Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, or the Duke of Edinburgh awards may help develop children's environmental awareness and action, aligning with environmental priorities such as Canada's goal to cut emissions by 2030.

According to a 2016 report from the Conference Board of Canada, the province's emissions of greenhouses gases are on track to increase through 2030, with a current ranking of 14 among 16 peer countries when it comes to environmental performance, only beating the United States and Australia.

"Our findings imply that providing positive childhood experiences in nature, such as outdoor school programs, may help to develop care for the environment in adults," Broom says. "However, these may not be sufficient unless programs are building knowledge and self-awareness of environmental stewardship."

Broom believes that schools and early childhood classroom activities should connect positive experiences in nature with mindful learning and reflection that help empower students to take a personal role in protecting the environment by recycling, turning off the lights, and using alternative transportation methods.

"Students need to learn and have a conscious understanding that the decisions we make each day can influence our environment, such as where we buy our food and how we use Earth's natural resources."

Broom's study was recently published in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education.

Materials provided by University of British Columbia Okanagan campus

Honey Nut Cheerios’
BuzzBee Missing
From Iconic Cereal Box for Important Cause

Shoppers might notice something unusual about the boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios on grocery store shelves this spring. BuzzBee, the brand’s iconic spokesbee, is missing, and there's a very important reason why. Buzz disappeared from boxes because there's something serious going on with the world's pollinators.

Pollinators are critical to our environment. More than two thirds of the crops used to feed people, accounting for 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees.1 With deteriorating colony health, pollinators everywhere have been disappearing by the millions.¹

Pollinators need wildflower pollen and nectar to stay happy and healthy. Planting wildflowers is recommended by conservationists as one of the best ways to support pollinators. It's a fun, simple way to help. Honey Nut Cheerios wants to create a more bee-friendly world by encouraging consumers to plant over 100 million wildflowers this year. 

To join #BringBackTheBees, families were invited to order and plant free wildflower seeds from Vesey’s Seeds.

When the Honey Nut Cheerios brand teams in U.S. and Canada launched their “Bring Back the Bees” campaign March 9, 2017 to grow awareness about the declining pollinator population, they never imagined the response. The goal was to provide enough seeds to help Americans and Canadians plant 200 million wildflowers for pollinator habitat.

In one week the campaign not only reached its goal, but surpassed it by an un-bee-lievable amount. Honey Nut Cheerios will send more than 1.5 billion seeds to people who requested wildflower seeds to join the effort to #BringBackTheBees. We’re out of seeds in the U.S. and we’re also close to running out in Canada.

To everyone participating in the campaign: You’re the bee’s knees!

To those who heard the buzz but didn’t make it to the U.S. website before the seeds ran out, there is still a way for you to protect pollinators. We encourage you to buy wildflower seeds at your local store and share your garden’s progress in social media using #BringBackTheBees.

Bees have experienced an unprecedented scale of habitat loss, with more than 9 million acres of grass and prairie land converted to crop land since 2008.2 Although, BuzzBee and his honey bee friends may not be in danger of extinction like some other pollinators, in the interest of protecting our food supply, General Mills is committed to helping all pollinators thrive through the planting of these habitats

“As a General Mills cereal built around nutrition, helping pollinators get the key nutrition they need through fun, family-friendly activities like planting wildflowers is a natural fit,” said Susanne Prucha, director of marketing for Cheerios. “Our commitment to increasing the habitat for pollinators is one way we are continuously striving to be a company that not only makes products people love, but a company that pursues creative solutions to make our world a better place for all families.”

Approximately 30 percent of all ingredients in General Mills’ products rely on pollination. Since 2011, General Mills has invested more than $4 million with the Xerces Society – the world’s oldest and largest pollinator conservation group –to support pollinator and biodiversity efforts. Large-scale habitat projects have already been planted or are underway with farms supplying ingredients to Cheerios, Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, LÄRABAR and Annie’s.

Last spring, Honey Nut Cheerios announced that by the end of 2020, farms that grow oats for Cheerios will house approximately 3,300 total acres of dedicated pollinator habitat on 60,000 acres of land. Previous pollinator habitat plantings on General Mills’ supplier farms indicate that each pollinator habitat is expected to double the amount of bees in the area.

Throughout the spring, Honey Nut Cheerios will continue its efforts to help conserve pollinator populations in the U.S. Visit www.cheerios.com/bringbackthebees for more information on how to help #BringBackTheBees.

1 http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/

2 USDA Farm Service Agency

Co-chairs Sloan and Priscilla Upton invite you to
come celebrate the construction of the new OLE Health South Napa Campus.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cocktails 5:30 PM / Dinner 6:30 PM

Attire: Denim and Boots. Hard Hats will be provided!

Catered by Elaine Bell Catering

Purchase tickets here


Oleo Sponge can be wrung out, the oil collected, and the material reused --
it has stood up to dozens of cycles so far without breaking down.
Photo Credit: Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling pipe blew out seven years ago, beginning the worst oil spill in U.S. history, those in charge of the recovery discovered a new wrinkle: the millions of gallons of oil bubbling from the sea floor weren't all collecting on the surface where it could be skimmed or burned. Some of it was forming a plume and drifting through the ocean under the surface.

Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have invented a new foam, called Oleo Sponge, that addresses this problem. The material not only easily absorbs oil from water, but is also reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column -- not just the surface.

"The Oleo Sponge offers a set of possibilities that, as far as we know, are unprecedented," said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials and a fellow of the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering.

We already have a library of molecules that can grab oil, but the problem is how to get them into a useful structure and bind them there permanently.

The scientists started out with common polyurethane foam, used in everything from furniture cushions to home insulation. This foam has lots of nooks and crannies, like an English muffin, which could provide ample surface area to grab oil; but they needed to give the foam a new surface chemistry in order to firmly attach the oil-loving molecules.

After some trial and error, they found a way to adapt the technique to grow an extremely thin layer of metal oxide "primer" near the foam's interior surfaces. This serves as the perfect glue for attaching the oil-loving molecules, which are deposited in a second step; they hold onto the metal oxide layer with one end and reach out to grab oil molecules with the other.

The result is Oleo Sponge, a block of foam that easily adsorbs oil from the water. The material, which looks a bit like an outdoor seat cushion, can be wrung out to be reused -- and the oil itself recovered.

At tests at a giant seawater tank in New Jersey called Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, the Oleo Sponge successfully collected diesel and crude oil from both below and on the water surface.

"The material is extremely sturdy. We've run dozens to hundreds of tests, wringing it out each time, and we have yet to see it break down at all," Darling said.

Oleo Sponge could potentially also be used routinely to clean harbors and ports, where diesel and oil tend to accumulate from ship traffic, said John Harvey, a business development executive with Argonne's Technology Development and Commercialization division.

Elam, Darling and the rest of the team are continuing to develop the technology.

"The technique offers enormous flexibility, and can be adapted to other types of cleanup besides oil in seawater. You could attach a different molecule to grab any specific substance you need," Elam said.

The research was funded by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The team used resources of the Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, in the development of the material.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

Argonne News Brief: Oleo Sponge soaks up oil spills from water
VIDEO: Oleo Sponge soaks up oil spills from water
How to Change the World With Kindness
Ever have days where the whole world seems upside down and off-kilter? You can change that. And you can do it in less than a minute.
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