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 2:

Connect With People

Relationships are the most important overall contributor to happiness. People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self worth. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging. So taking action to strengthen our relationships and create new connections is essential for happiness.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that you can practice in your everyday life. - Anonymous
A Day of Love - Seattle
It's not a message, it's a movement.

Houston Kraft doesn't just inspire people for a day. His goal is to inspire a lifestyle - one rooted in character, compassion, and a consistent desire to choose to love people around us (even when that choice is scary, inconvenient, or hard). Each summer, Houston and his wife Harley work with students and staff from schools he's spoken at to create conversations and tools to help sustain the message. Sometimes, it's a day long workshop with passionate young people talking about what students need in schools. Sometimes, it's a Day of Love dedicated to practicing kindness and creating joy in other peoples' lives. Throughout the year, Houston lives his message and works to inspire other people to join him in his pursuit of a better, kinder, more loving world.

Helping Teens Combat Stress
by Staying Cool Under Pressure

The United States suicide rate is at a 30‐year‐high, and teens are facing more stressors than ever before – with social media, cyber bullying, and the pressure to be perfect. In Transforming Stress for Teens (August 1, 2016), leaders from the world‐renowned HeartMath® Institute and Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute team up to teach overwhelmed and stressed‐out teen readers how to use proven‐ effective HeartMath® skills. These tools and techniques will help readers manage daily stress and anxiety and develop resilience by managing emotion.

Scientists at the HeartMath® Institute discovered that your emotions affect your heart rhythms. The research showed that emotions such as frustration, anger, anxiety, impatience, worry, fear and sadness, for instance—the ones that drain your inner battery and that feel lousy—create a heart rhythm pattern that looks disordered and chaotic. That chaotic signal goes straight to your brain, causing a panic mode, preventing you from thinking straight. You can begin to recharge your inner battery by focusing on emotions that feel good to you. Emotions such as kindness, care, courage, appreciation, joy and patience create a smooth and ordered pattern in your heart rhythms. When your heart rhythm is even, you feel more centered, can think more clearly and have greater ability to handle the stressful situations with a lot less emotional drama.

“At the heart of managing stress is how you respond to a situation,” the authors write. “Challenging situations, big and small, are a part of life, no matter how old you are. It’s how you handle those situations that counts.”

Street Compliments | SoulPancake Street Team
JANUARY 21, 2017 - NAPA
There were an estimated 3,000 marchers supporting women's and immigrant's rights and affordable health care for the most vulnerable. 
The march began at 10am at Napa's Oxbow Public Market - crossed Soscol Avenue to the First Street Bridge then headed to Main Street. The marchers arrived at Veteran's Memorial Park at 11am (see photo below). "Drum Party", Chorus, Music, Chants & Speakers continued 11am-1pm.
A Meditation in Honor of The Women's March . . .
There’s so much that we don’t have control over, but what we do have control over is how we show up, how in each moment of our lives, we decide to be. We decide whether we’re coming from a place of fear or faith, from a place of hate or love, from a place of kindness or confusion, from a place of disconnection or a place of connection.
This short meditation was created
by Stefanie Goldstein, mom, psychologist,
mindfulness teacher and co-founder
 of the Center for Mindful Living in LA.


A new international study by Unilever (London, UK) reveals that a third of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.

  • Unilever study reveals a third of consumers are now buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact
  • An estimated €966 billion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear

The study asked 20,000 adults from five countries how their sustainability concerns impact their choices in-store and at home. Crucially, it then mapped their claims against real purchase decisions, giving a more accurate picture than ever of what people are actually buying – and why.

As well as confirming the public’s high expectations of brands when it comes to having a positive social and environmental impact, the study’s findings uncover an unprecedented opportunity for companies that get it right. More than one in five (21%) of the people surveyed said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing. 

The scale of this opportunity is also further borne out by Unilever’s own financial performance. Of its hundreds of brands, those such as Dove, Hellmann’s and Ben & Jerry’s, that have integrated sustainability into both their purpose and products delivered nearly half the company’s global growth in 2015. Collectively, they are also growing 30% faster than the rest of the business.

The study also suggests that the trend for purpose-led purchasing is greater among consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets. While 53% of shoppers in the UK and 78% in the US say they feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced, that number rises to 88% in India and 85% in both Brazil and Turkey.

Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer says: “This research confirms that sustainability isn’t a nice-to-have for businesses. In fact, it has become an imperative. To succeed globally, and especially in emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America, brands should go beyond traditional focus areas like product performance and affordability. Instead, they must act quickly to prove their social and environmental credentials and show consumers they can be trusted with the future of the planet and communities, as well as their own bottom lines.”

The study identifies two probable reasons for consumers’ greater focus on sustainable purchasing in emerging economies compared to developed markets. First is direct exposure to the negative impact of unsustainable business practices, such as water and energy shortages, food poverty and poor air quality. And second is the power of social norms. So, while Brazilian, Indian and Turkish people feel pressure from their family, friends and even their children to buy greener, more socially responsible products, this sense of social scrutiny is currently less prevalent in the UK and US.

100% LEAF - One Way Plates

If you thought eating your food from leaves was something only for survivalists on ancient tribes, you are in for a surprise. German company Leaf Republic has come up with a way to create beautiful disposable tableware made entirely from leaves. 

The innovative plates are constructed from three layers of leaves that are stitched together with 100 percent bio-degradable palm leaf fibers and are then pressed into all different kinds of bowls and plates. All of the layers, a bottom layer of leaves, a middle layer of paper made from leaves, and a top layer of leaves are completely natural with not a bit of artificial material anywhere in sight. Since there are no glues, additives, or plastics anywhere in the product, the entire plate decomposes after only 28 days. 

Leaf Republic's tableware is not only beautiful to look at, but also surprisingly resilient. The plates have a shelf-life of about a year and a half and, when used with dry foods such as chips or other snacks, can be reused multiple times before finding their way into your compost pile. “This is not only about outdoor tableware,” Leaf Republic writes on their Kickstarter page. “It is about food packaging. It is about preventing plastic waste. It is about preventing trees from being cut for paper production. It is about the next generations.” 
Make a plan so you're ready for emergency events. Ensure that your family knows what to do when extreme weather, natural disasters or other dangerous events occur Such events can happen quickly and catch you off guard.
Create a Supply Kit: Stock up on enough supplies to last a week. Put the items in waterproof containers and store them in a place that’s easy to reach. Whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating, in a disaster situation you may need to get your supplies quickly.

Here's what you'll need for your Supply Kit:

 - Drinking Water / one gallon of water per person, per day
 - Tools & Utensils / non-electric can opener, forks, spoons and knives
  - Food / nonperishable and easy to prepare without fire
  - Baby/Pet Food / be sure to include food for all members of your household

  - Flashlights / do not use candles
  - Radio / battery-powered or a hand-crank weather radio
  - Extra Batteries / include two extra sets
  - Mobile Phone / include a portable charger

  - Basic First Aid Kit / from antibiotic ointments and bandages to cold packs and more
  - Blankets and Clothing / blankets, warm clothes, sturdy shoes and heavy gloves
  - Activities for Children / toys, books, games and cards 
  - Important Documents / copies of IDs, medical records, pet vaccinations and family photos
  - Medication and Eye Glasses / prescription and non-prescription
  - Toiletries / soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.
  - Cash & Credit Cards / if possible, put aside at least $100
  - Other Useful Items / paper towels, trash bags, multi-purpose tool that includes a knife

For more information about how to keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. - Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Thanks for participating on MLK MONDAY -
A Day of Action and Compassion

On Monday, January 16, 2017, the largest group of volunteers and participants in Napa Valley joined one another for a community gathering celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Attendees continued his legacy through a day of action and compassion.
The event was organized by the MLK Coalition - a group of non-profits, religious groups and local service organizations. Projects were listed online with the Center for Volunteer & Non-Profit Leadership.

Interfaith Celebrations and Community Service Projects included:
- Keynote Speaker, Amelia Ceja, spoke from her heart about strength, perseverance, unity and the importance of empowering our youth;
- Omar Salem taught Intro to Islam and Rabbi Lee Bycel discussed MLK's Letter from the Birmingham Jail;
- A full house at Congregation Beth Shalom Napa to watch the powerful movie SELMA (this took place the evening of Sunday, January 15th);
- Volunteers planting Red Oaks along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, in collaboration with Napa County RCD;
- Clean Up Animal Rehab Clinic with Napa Wildlife Rescue;
- Art & Games with the Elderly at Aegis of Napa;
- Taking a Senior to Lunch with Share the Care Napa Valley;
- Community Sing-Along at The Springs Assisted Living, with Napa Valley Voices;
- Free vaccination clinic and microchipping clinic for your pet(s), with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch;
- Civil Rights History Walk through Downtown Napa, led by Reverend Jay Lang;
- Workday at Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind with Kiwanis Club of Greater Napa;
- Winter Garden Clean-Up in the Martha Walker California Native Plant Garden with the California Native Plant Society;
- Restoration Workday at Connolly Ranch with Napa Land Trust;
- Clean Up Litter at the Kennedy Park Duck Pond, with Napa CanDo;
- Transforming donated t-shirts into reusable tote bags to give to Food Bank clients with Napa Valley CanDo
- Angwin neighbors and PUC students volunteered at St. Helena's Moore Creek Park with Napa Open Space District;
 - Many wrote a letter to a soldier with Operation: With Love From Home, assembled care packages for the homeless with CalSERVES: Passion, Potential, Power, painted Love Rocks with Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley and MORE!

A complete listing of MLK Coalition members can be found here.
Save the date for the Awards Ceremony and Luncheon: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the Napa Valley Expo, 11:00am to 1:30pm. Registration is open — purchase your tables or seats here

The Napa Parks and Recreation Services Department provides a variety of recreation programs for members of our community including preschool aged children, youth, teens, adults, seniors, and individuals with special needs. 

Our activities include sports leagues and instruction, aquatics, day camps, and a diverse array of fun and educational classes.
From top 10 ways to get healthy, our Junior Warriors affiliation, the variety of opportunities at our Senior Center, Napa Moms, to the variety of upgrades occurring at our parks - there is a lot going on at Parks and Recreation. 

Find it all within our catalogue. You may subscribe to receive future issues of the City of Napa Parks & Recreation Services "Recreation Guide" or click here to read the current Winter/Spring 2017 issue.
2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend -- 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001.
Photo Credit: Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space Flight Center


A North Carolina State University study of middle school science classes explored whether teachers' beliefs about climate change influenced students' perceptions.

"The answer is yes and no," says Kathryn Stevenson, an assistant professor in NC State's College of Natural Resources and lead author of a paper describing the study, published in PLOS ONE. "While students generally mirror a teacher's belief that global warming is happening, when it comes to the cause of climate change, students reason for themselves and reach different conclusions than their teachers do."

Stevenson said the study included 369 middle school students in coastal North Carolina, a region at high risk of sea-level rise and related effects of climate change.

While more than 95 percent of the world's climate scientists attribute global warming to human causes, only about half of U.S. adults agree. Teachers share those views, suggesting such polarization over climate change causes may be spread through classroom teaching.

"We know that adults' views of climate change are strongly related to their worldviews and ideology," Stevenson says. "Early adolescence is a time when students' views are still forming, and we wanted to find out which factors affect their beliefs about climate change."

Researchers found that having a teacher who believed climate change was occurring -- as 92 percent of students in the study did -- was a "strong, positive predictor" of students' belief in global warming.

However, students diverged from their teachers when it came to understanding the causes of climate change. Students who believed climate change was happening concluded it was caused by humans regardless of their teachers' beliefs.

"Students could interpret scientific information for themselves and deduce that climate change is human-caused or anthropogenic," says Stevenson, a former science teacher for grades 4-12. "The strongest factor in students' belief in human-caused climate change was their own knowledge of climate science."

Most middle school science teachers reported spending a short time focusing on climate change -- one to two hours on average.
Greening the House while Cleaning the House

The Sydney Opera House was recently awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), putting the national icon among a select few World Heritage buildings that have achieved green certification globally.

The 4 Star Green Star rating, awarded for ‘best practice’ in the industry, is an extraordinary achievement for a heritage building. It will also be critical to the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, a sequenced program of works to update the world-renowned performing arts centre for 21st century audiences, artists and visitors.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said: “The Opera House is an icon of Sydney and a symbol of modern Australia so it’s vital that it sets the standard. The endorsement of the Opera House by the GBCA

Romilly Madew, Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia said: “About 340 million square metres of commercial and public building space in Australia needs upgrading. Despite the operating costs amounting to around $27 billion a year, the general consensus has been that it’s ‘too hard’ to improve the sustainability of these buildings. The Sydney Opera House has laid down the gauntlet for the property industry with a pragmatic, practical approach which shows even the most iconic, historic and challenging buildings can be high-performing, energy efficient and sustainable. If you can green the Opera House, you can green anything.”

From the installation of new energy-efficient technologies in key performance venues to the use of eco- friendly cleaning products and a robust Reconciliation Action Plan, a wide range of both environmental and social sustainability initiatives across three core areas have contributed to the Opera House’s 4 Star rating.

From the installation of new energy-efficient technologies in key performance venues to the use of eco- friendly cleaning products and a robust Reconciliation Action Plan, a wide range of both environmental and social sustainability initiatives across three core areas have contributed to the Opera House’s 4 Star rating.


  •   Energy efficiency – At a time when the Opera House is putting on more performances and welcoming more visitors than ever before, energy usage has been reduced by more than 10 per cent over the past five years. This has been made possible through a range of lighting-retrofit and lighting-control projects including the award-winning Concert Hall lighting project unveiled last year.

  •   Sustainable heritage design – When designing the Opera House more than 40 years ago, Jørn Utzon was inspired by nature and integrated many features now recognised as pioneering sustainable design. A highly innovative seawater cooling system – considered ahead of its time – still powers the Opera House’s main heating and air-conditioning while an early interpretation of the ‘chilled ceiling’ design remains in the Drama Theatre today to help control the venue’s air temperature.

  •   Green cleaning – The development of a range of eco-friendly cleaning methods not only maintains the heritage value of the building but reduces its impact on the environment. This includes bicarbonate soda for cleaning concrete, olive oil for the bronze and ozone-treated water for disinfecting various areas.

Sesame Street has been educating and entertaining kids, helping them grow smarter, stronger, and kinder for 47 years. In January 2017, the gold standard in children’s television premiered a new season on HBO with a reimagined “Elmo’s World” segment and a kindness curriculum relevant to today’s preschoolers.

This season, everyone’s favorite red monster stars in an updated, fun, and fresh version of “Elmo’s World.”  In 25 five-minute installments, lessons are taught through pre-school relevant topics, live action films, and interactive thinking games such as matching, sorting, and counting. Kids accompany Elmo and his friend Smartie, an animated cell phone and learning tool, as he uses his imagination to dive into the topic of the day. Tony Award-winning Bill Irwin returns as Mr. Noodle, and he has brought some new family members to join the fun!  New characters include Mr. Noodle’s two brothers, played by the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Daveed Diggs from Broadway’s Hamilton and comedian Daniel Koren, and real pet dogs Schmoodle, Floodle, and Frank. Fans of the original “Elmo’s World” can still see Dorothy and the rest of Elmo’s friends in select season 47 episodes, and in previous episodes of Sesame Street currently available on HBO and PBS KIDS and on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel.

“We’re excited to bring back an inventive and interactive take on one of the most successful children’s television segments, ‘Elmo’s World,’ for today’s kids,” said Brown Johnson, EVP and Creative Director, Sesame Workshop. “Kids love to learn with Elmo, and they are sure to enjoy the beautiful new chalk-drawn world Elmo creates in his imagination. We are also thrilled to be working with the legendary ‘original’ Mr. Noodle, Bill Irwin, and proud to bring two new diverse and multi-talented Mr. Noodles into our ‘World.’”

In season 47, Sesame Street introduces an important kindness curriculum to foster behaviors that can have significant outcomes throughout a child’s life. In a recent study by Sesame Workshop, it was revealed that nearly three-quarters of parents and almost four-fifths of teachers say they “often” worry the world is an unkind place for children. Additionally, around two-thirds of parents and more than half of teachers believe that today’s children are generally more disrespectful than respectful, and that people generally do not go out of their way to help others. Sesame Street’s loveable monsters and diverse human cast address parents’ and teachers’ concerns by modeling positive interactions and the value of inclusion, listening to, and respecting others, and being empathetic, warm, and generous, illustrating for both parents and children how to be caring and compassionate citizens.

“Kindness and empathy are learned behaviors,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, SVP Content and Curriculum, Sesame Workshop. “It is important for preschool children to see and understand what it means to be kind. Children can learn that kindness means understanding the feelings and needs of others and that being kind not only makes others feel good, it can make them feel good too.”

Sesame Street’s kindness curriculum is woven throughout the new season, including a new “kindness cam” segment where kids, shown clips from the episode and live action films depicting real children doing similar acts of kindness, point out the kindness moment, thus reinforcing learning moments through repetition.

In ‘The Kindness Kid’ episode, Zachary Levi visits Sesame Street to spread kindness in the neighborhood. Grover wants to be a Kindness Kid too, but every time he tries to do something kind, he fails. Chris helps him realize that just trying to help someone is actually being kind.

Kindness Scientist
KINDNESS SCIENTIST - The science of kindness & compassion video.
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