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 below.
Napa Valley Green Drinks!
Tues., August 4 from 5:30-7:30pm. Hosted by Napa CanDo Co-founder, Grania Lindberg. She will present an overview of CanDo's work and current projects. The meeting will be at Grania & Charlie Lindberg's charming Old Town 1930s home which has been renovated and is as welcoming as it is smart and green. 
See you on Tuesday, August 4th at 1515 Laurel Street in Napa.
FFI and to RSVP, call 707-254-9089 or email
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

TUES., AUG. 4TH: Raise a Green Glass - It's a CanDo Conversation with Green Drinks. It's simple. All you have to do is show up, enjoy good conversation, a bite to eat...bring a friend and a beverage to share. There is no set agenda, no volunteering, just a great opportunity for connection!
to Save Water

> Use a broom to clean outdoor areas and save 8-18 gallons (per minute).
> Watering plants early in the morning saves 25 gallons (each time you water).
> Adjusting sprinklers to water plants, not driveway or sidewalk saves 12-15 gallons (each time you water).
> Add compost and mulch. Compost's sponge-like nature means that any water applied to your landscape will be absorbed and stay in your soil. Follow compost with two to three inches of organic mulch to slow 
evaporation, protect roots and moderate soil temperature.

Recognizing and giving thanks for the positive aspects of life can result in improved mental, and ultimately physical, health in patients with asymptomatic heart failure according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

"We found that more gratitude in these patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health," said lead author Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego. The study was published in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice

Gratitude is part of a wider outlook on life that involves noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of life. It can be attributed to an external source (e.g., a pet), another person or a non-human (i.e., God). It is also commonly an aspect of spirituality, said Mills. Because previous research has shown that people who considered themselves more spiritual had greater overall well-being, including physical health, Mills and his colleagues examined the role of both spirituality and gratitude on potential health markers in patients.

The study involved 186 men and women who had been diagnosed with asymptomatic (Stage B) heart failure for at least three months. Stage B consists of patients who have developed structural heart disease (e.g., have had a heart attack that damaged the heart) but do not show symptoms of heart failure (e.g., shortness of breath or fatigue). This stage is an important therapeutic window for halting disease progression and improving quality of life since Stage B patients are at high risk of progressing to symptomatic (Stage C) heart failure, where risk of death is five times higher, according to Mills.

Using standard psychological tests, the researchers obtained scores for gratitude and spiritual well-being. They then compared those scores with the patients' scores for depressive symptom severity, sleep quality, fatigue, sell-efficacy (belief in one's ability to deal with a situation) and inflammatory markers. They found higher gratitude scores were associated with better mood, higher quality sleep, more self-efficacy and less inflammation. Inflammation can often worsen heart failure.

What surprised the researchers about the findings, though, was that gratitude fully or partially accounted for the beneficial effects of spiritual well-being. "We found that spiritual well-being was associated with better mood and sleep, but it was the gratitude aspect of spirituality that accounted for those effects, not spirituality, per se," said Mills.

To further test their findings, the researchers asked some of the patients to write down three things for which they were thankful most days of the week for eight weeks. Both groups continued to receive regular clinical care during that time. "We found that those patients who kept gratitude journals for those eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they wrote. Improved heart rate variability is considered a measure of reduced cardiac risk," said Mills.

"It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart, and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health."

Article: "The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-Being in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients," by Paul J. Mills, PhD, and Deepak Chopra, MD, University of California, San Diego, and Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Carlsbad, California; Laura Redwine, PhD, Kathleen Wilson, MS, Meredith A. Pung, PhD, Kelly Chin, BS, Barry H. Greenberg, MD, Ottar Lunde, MD, Alan Maisel, MD, and Ajit Raisinghani, MD, University of California, San Diego; and Alex Wood, PhD, University of Stirling Spirituality in Clinical Practice, published online April 6, 2015.
See you at the
Through October 2015

501 First Street in Downtown Napa - across from the Oxbow Public Market
Open Tuesdays & Saturdays, May through October, 8:00am-12:30pm
Join us for a celebration of community and the world-class produce and artisan goods for which our beautiful region is known. A California Certified Farmers Market: we're dedicated to the sustainability of our local environment and purl coal economy.

Crane Park in St. Helena
Every Friday, May through October, 7:30am-Noon, Rain or Shine.  
As we celebrate our 29th Season, we are excited to offer a great team of Vendors (Growers, Gourmet Food and Artisans), Kids' Programs and Entertainment, Market Lectures, Chef's Demonstrations, Book-Signnings and much much more...Staying in town? Don't forget to use the St. Helena Shuttle - call 707-963-3007 for pick-up.

Sharpsteen Museum Plaza (Washington Street)
Open Every Saturday, 8:30am-noon - Now Year-Round!
Fresh, locally grown seasonal produce, vine and tree-ripened fruits & vegetables. Colorful cut-flowers & nursery grown ornamental plants. Gourmet & pre-packaged food, Mediterranean deli items, olive oils & vinegars. Savory breakfast treats. Unique and creative crafts & gift items.
The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. - Lady Bird Johnson
PG&E Wants Every California Family and Business to Have an Earthquake Plan

The 6.0 Napa earthquake last August was a wake-up call for many California families and businesses to take earthquake plans seriously. After the quake, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) initiated its emergency plans to restore power to all impacted customers in about 26 hours and to quickly assess the safety of the gas system. Many customers' emergency plans were also put to the test. During Earthquake Preparedness Month in April, PG&E reminded customers how important it is to be ready to help reduce the possibility of injuries and damage to property that may occur during a quake.

"Earthquakes in California are inevitable, so our focus is to ensure our employees are prepared before one strikes. We test our systems, procedures and people regularly to make sure we're ready to respond to natural disasters immediately, and we encourage our customers to develop and test their emergency response plans as well," said Barry Anderson vice president of emergency preparedness and operations for PG&E.

PG&E and its customers have benefitted from major advancements in infrastructure, technology and preparedness to make its systems and the communities it serves more resilient to earthquakes. Investments in infrastructure, better construction techniques and stronger, more flexible materials have hardened PG&E's gas and electric systems; particularly in fault areas.

PG&E offers these safety tips for before, during and after an earthquake to help keep customers safe.


Chevrolet is repurposing Volt battery covers to benefit bats, bluebirds and wood ducks. The battery cover is challenging to recycle by traditional means, so this initiative provides a more practical solution with less environmental impact. It's an example of how Chevrolet views waste as a resource out of place. But it's also a great project to engage kids and pass along an appreciation for the outdoors. 

General Motors has built these structures for more than 5 years now and have more than 700 nesting boxes installed at their 40 wildlife habitat sites and on various public and private lands across the U.S. and Canada. Efforts have been ramped up due to a disease called white nose syndrome that's killing bats at a fast rate throughout the U.S. and beyond.

White nose syndrome, a deadly fungus appearing on the muzzle and other parts of hibernating bats, has killed more than 5.7 million bats to date in the United States and Canada. Bats with the disease act out abnormally and wake from hibernation too frequently, leading to death. 

There is no cure for white nose syndrome, but remedies like non-toxic fungicides and artificial bat caves show promise. Saving bats is important because they contribute to the overall health of the environment. Bats are critical to ecosystem balance. Each one can eat up to 5,000 insects per night, and as pollinators they play an important role in what we eat, too. Pollinators are responsible for one third of human food crops worldwide.

John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction, came up with with the reuse idea, transforming the difficult-to-recycle material into nesting structures. "Just like our bat houses, we seek out creative reuse projects that touch other elements of sustainability such as community engagement and wildlife preservation," says Bradburn. A tweak of the bat house design has led to 368 specially designed structures to serve wood ducks, owls, bluebirds and scaly-sided mergansers - an endangered species. "It's important to get kids involved in these projects,helping them to see things not as they are, but what they can be," says Bradburn.
John Bradburn Builds Bat Houses Out of Scrap Chevrolet Volt Battery Covers
VIDEO: John Bradburn Builds Bat Houses
GM global waste manager John Bradburn shows kids how to transform scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers into bat nesting boxes. In collaboration with NASCAR Green, the Chevrolet Racing team and sustainability experts assembled a pit crew of 50 little NASCAR fans during a recent race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania to build 15 bat boxes.
simple act of caring creates an endless ripple that comes back to you.  - Anonymous
(There's One for Pet Parents,Too!)

“When it comes to raising their children (and their pets), parents are using everything at their disposal, including the latest high-tech gadgets like baby wearables and night vision-enabled video cameras,” said Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor and global parenting expert at “And when today’s technology can’t help, parents are beginning to seek support to address specific caregiving needs and even aspirations for their children, such as multilingual nannies to give little ones a competitive edge over others and babysitters who have experience dealing with food allergies.”

1. The Drone Parent – Raised by helicopter parents themselves, today’s newest drone parents are more hyper-involved and digitally present in their children’s lives than ever before. Tech-dependent and tech-savvy, these drone parents are using everything from GPS-enabled trackers to baby wearables to monitor their child’s every move (and even breath!) no matter where they are.

2. The Sandwich Sitter – With nearly half of adults falling into the Sandwich Generation (47%) – simultaneously caring for aging parents and children – the demand for providers who can care for both grandma and toddler under one roof will become more prevalent. In fact, the popularity of intergenerational daycare centers complete with adult care programs and child activities has steadily been rising over the past 20 years.

3. Foodie Babies – Apple pear compote. Kale and sweet potato puree. These aren’t dishes at the new “it” restaurant; they’re what parents are serving up to their pint-sized foodies. According to, the percentage of childcare jobs that mention gluten alone has increased by 92% since 2010.

4. The Multilingual Nanny – Do you speak Chinese, Spanish and English? In the rest of the world, being bilingual or trilingual isn’t a rarity, but it is in the United States. To provide children with a competitive edge in an increasingly shrinking global community, parents will begin to seek multilingual nannies to help their little ones “parler français” and “hablar español” at the ripe age of 3. In fact, according to, the three most popular languages that families would like their nannies to speak are Spanish, French and Chinese, respectively.

And because pets are considered family too…

5. The Doggie Cam – Forget nanny cams, modern-day pet parents are leveraging technology typically marketed to parents of human little ones for their four-legged family members. From at-home HD cameras enabled with two-way talk and cloud recording to camera-mounted dog harnesses to get a dog’s-eye view of life, pet parents are keeping a watchful eye on their furry wards at home...and on the streets.

United Airlines, Inc. has invested $30 million in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. and will have the option to directly participate in Fulcrum's waste-to-jet fuel plants across North America. United will also have the long-term off take agreements, subject to availability. This represents the biggest strategic partnership in the biofuels and aviation industries and Fulcrum's second direct investment by an airline (the other being Cathay Pacific Airways).

"This strategic partnership with United accelerates our whole program," said E. James Macias, Fulcrum's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have created a business that will compete directly with fossil fuel on the basis of cost and sustainability. Since our inception, Fulcrum has developed a robust operating platform and business plan that brings in large industry leaders to create value throughout the waste to fuels process."

Fulcrum has partnered and entered into agreements with two of the nation's largest waste services providers to secure large volumes of municipal solid waste ("MSW") under long-term contracts. Fulcrum has established a stable feedstock supply that provides a significant competitive advantage relative to traditional fossil fuels.

Fulcrum converts the carbon and hydrogen energy embedded in MSW into a clean syncrude that can be upgraded to either jet or diesel drop-in fuels. This clean fuel meets all the commercial and military specifications for ground, air and sea transportation fuels. With MSW as its feedstock, Fulcrum's fuel will be very cost competitive with petroleum fuel. In addition, Fulcrum's fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared to fossil fuel.

To learn more about Waste Management, Waste Connections and the Sierra BioFuels Plant, read the entire press release.
Going "Grien" in...SACRAMENTO
California has launched a new website to show state progress towards reducing its environmental footprint by greening the state’s buildings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing water use.

The website provides a status report on each state agency and department’s progress toward meeting the bold sustainability goals outlined in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 2012 executive order on green buildings.

It is essential that we in state government lead by example in greening our buildings in order to promote a greener future for all Californians,” said DGS acting director Esteban Almanza.

The site shows that water used at state-owned buildings has already been reduced by more than 20 percent. These savings were achieved by reducing outdoor irrigation, as well as upgrades to plumbing fixtures, removal of ornamental turf and other conservation measures.

The site also shows that energy reductions in state-owned buildings are on track to exceed the governor’s goals. These savings have resulted from retrofits of lighting and mechanical systems for improved efficiency, installation of onsite renewable energy and energy conservation measures.

In addition to water and energy use, the site also tracks solar power production at state facilities, greenhouse gas emissions and total number of buildings earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The website, which was developed by the California Department of Technology, is part of an ongoing effort to promote transparency, open data and lead by example.

For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at

The Department of General Services acts as the business manager for the State of California. DGS helps state government better serve the public by providing services to state agencies including procurement and acquisition solutions, real estate management, leasing and design services, environmentally friendly transportation, and architectural oversight and funding for the construction of safe schools.

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Copyright © 2015 Thrive Napa Valley
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All sources have been reviewed and, where applicable, permission to reprint has been obtained. Active links have been provided and are current at time of publication.
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