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.
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
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5, at 2:00am.  Now, we “fall back” by setting clocks back one hour (i.e., regaining one hour).
Neighborhood Networking
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your community and your neighbors. Use the power of technology to build stronger & safer neighborhoods.
Over 113,000 neighborhoods across the country use NEXTDOOR.
Nextdoor is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, learning about an upcoming block party, or hearing about a rash of car break-ins. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us, we just need an easier way to connect with them.

We created this company because we believe that the neighborhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person's life. Living in American Canyon, Napa (districts), Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, Saint Helena and Calistoga). Register online and connect with your neighbors.
November 5th & 19th

Join the fun! Plant acorns and increase your oak IQ with RCD and Friends of the Napa River at one of our upcoming community planting events. All planting materials and tools will be provided.
BYO water and enthusiasm for oaks! 

This event is kid-friendly, youth 12 and under must be accompanied by a chaperone.

Alston Park
2037 Dry Creek Road, Napa

Contact: Eric at 707-252-4189×3120 or

A monthly lecture series

Nov. 9th at 7pm
Napa Main Library
580 Coombs St., Napa

DRAGONFLIES with Kathy Biggs, Author
Did you know that Napa County has at least 51 species of dragonflies? Did you know that dragonflies eat the most dangerous critter on our planet? Author Kathy Biggs will teach us about the diversity, biology, and amazing life cycle of our local dragonflies. Learn how you can attract these beneficial insects to your garden and how to help them thrive.

LEVEL 3 - Neighborhood Nice Guy

Things that you can do outside your house:
  • Shop local. Supporting 
    neighborhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
  • Shop Smart - plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys.
  • Buy Funny Fruit - many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not "right". Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer's market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
  • Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
  • Consider shopping vintage. Brand-new isn't necessarily best. See what you can repurpose from second-hand or consignment shops.
  • Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer toxic fumes.
  • Donate what you don't use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.
These are only a few of the things you can do. Explore the Guide to find out more about the Goals you care most about and other ways to engage more actively.
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. - Ndukwe Dike Kalu
Below is a partial list of Retail Chains that will close their stores on Thanksgiving Day:
American Girl | Barnes & Noble | Burlington | Cabela's | COSTCO | Crate & Barrel | Harbor Freight | Home Depot | Home Goods | IKEA | Jo-Ann Fabrics & Craft Stores | Lowe's | Marshalls | Neiman Marcus | Nordstrom | Office Depot & Office Max | Patagonia | Petco | PetSmart | Pier 1 Imports | REI | Staples | T.J. Max

Just like eating a slice of Great Aunt Edna's award-winning Carrot Cake.
  • Made with Organic Rolled Oats
  • Good Source of Protein
  • Good Source of Fiber*
  • 11 Vitamins and Minerals
*Contains 4 grams of total fat
Most companies have one bottom line. At Clif Bar & Company, we are a private, family and employee-owned company guided by five “bottom lines” or what we call our Five Aspirations: Sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet. These aspirations help us consider decisions from multiple perspectives that we value, and we choose the word “aspiration” in recognition that we’re on a journey and can always do more in each of these areas.

Like the spokes of a wheel, the Five Aspirations keep our company in balance as we move forward. Read our latest All Aspirations Annual Report.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Kick off the holiday season in the Napa Valley town of Yountville. Celebrating its 28th annual Festival of Lights, Yountville invites friends, families, neighbors and visitors to gather in the heart of the Napa Valley for a feel-good family event. The entire town will be twinkling with merriment to rival any Dickens fantasy - a welcome diversion from Black Friday madness. You won't want to miss Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting, Joyful Music, Romantic Carriage Rides, Photos with Santa and Tree & Town Lighting.

Click here to order Tickets and to view the Event Schedule.
Michigan State University's William Chopik led a study examining empathy by country. Countries in dark red have high empathy, while countries in light pink are low empathy. 
The countries in gray were not studied due to small sample sizes.

Credit: Image courtesy of Michigan State University

A first-of-its-kind study that ranks nations by empathy puts the United States at No. 7, behind countries ranging from Peru to Korea to Saudi Arabia.

While a top 10 finish isn't bad, Michigan State University's William Chopik, lead author of the study, notes that the psychological states of Americans have been changing in recent decades -- leading to a larger focus on the individual and less on others.

"These changes might ultimately cause us to leave our close relationships behind," said Chopik, assistant professor of psychology. "People are struggling more than ever to form meaningful close relationships. So, sure, the United States is seventh on the list, but we could see that position rise or fall depending on how our society changes in the next 20-50 years."

The researchers analyzed the data from an online survey on empathy completed by more than 104,000 people from around the world. The survey measured people's compassion for others and their tendency to imagine others' point of view. Countries with small sample sizes were excluded (including most nations in Africa). All told 63 countries were ranked in the study.

Ecuador was the most empathetic country, followed in order by Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica and Kuwait.

Chopin said he was surprised that three countries from the Middle East -- Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait -- ranked so highly in empathy considering the long history of aggression and wars with other countries in the region. That could be because the study did not distinguish between feeling empathy toward people in other countries vs. people in one's own country.

The least empathetic country was Lithuania. In fact, seven of the least 10 least empathetic countries were in Eastern Europe.

The study, published online in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, was co-authored by Ed O'Brien of the University of Chicago and Sara Konrath of Indiana University.

Konrath and O'Brien in 2011 published research suggesting that American college students had become less empathetic over a 20-year span. Potential factors included the explosion of social media; increases in violence and bullying; changing parenting and family practices; and increasing expectations of success.

The latest study is the first to look at empathy on a country-by-country level. And while it "only grabbed a snapshot of what empathy looks like at this very moment," Chopik noted that cultures are constantly changing.

"This is particularly true of the United Staes, which has experienced really large changes in things like parenting practices and values," Chopik said. "People may portray the United States as this empathetic and generous giant, but that might be changing."

Azure-winged magpie, Cyanopica cyana (stock image). Credit: © Erni / Fotolia

Magpies do not always have the best reputation, as they are generally known for their tendency to steal shiny things. Also other bird species tested for prosociality so far turned out to be either indifferent to benefitting others or only provided food when the other repeatedly begged for it.

Azure-winged magpies seem to be the exception to the rule. They provided food to their group members spontaneously and without the other birds begging them. "This so-called 'proactive prosociality' has long been believed to be a human hallmark," explains lead author Lisa Horn. It was however suggested that cooperative child rearing promoted this tendency to benefit others without expecting anything in return in early humans. In line with the hypothesis, researchers also found evidence for prosocial behavior in cooperatively breeding primates. "But so far results from other animal taxa were missing," says Horn.

Therefore, Horn and colleagues tested prosociality in a cooperatively breeding bird species -- the azure-winged magpie -- using an ingenious experimental design. By landing on a perch, the birds operated a seesaw mechanism, which brought food into reach of their group members. If the birds wanted to grab the food themselves, they would have had to leave the perch and the seesaw would tilt back, thereby moving the food out of reach again. Even though the birds thus could not get anything for themselves the magpies continued to deliver food to their conspecifics across all sessions and at similarly high rates as humans and cooperatively breeding primates. Also, the birds only operated the apparatus when their group members could actually obtain the food, and not in a control condition where access to the food was blocked.

"Our results seem to support the hypothesis that raising offspring cooperatively may have promoted the emergence of prosocial tendencies not only in humans, but also in other animals. Further tests of non-cooperatively breeding birds are, however, needed," concludes Horn.

Journal Reference: Lisa Horn, Clara Scheer, Thomas Bugnyar, Jorg J. M. Massen. Proactive prosociality in a cooperatively breeding corvid, the azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyana)Biology Letters, 2016; 12 (10): 20160649 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0649
University of Vienna. "Azure-winged magpies show human-like generosity: Prosocial behavior due to cooperative breeding." ScienceDaily.

We share the earth not only with our fellow human beings, but with all the other creatures. - The Dalai Lama
View the Video and use the "I see that and it's Not OK" emoji.
The Emoji is available on iPhones running iOS 9.1., Android Nexus phones running in Marshmallow, and via a downloadable keyboard available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Teens can post the Witness Emoji when they see hurtful comments or send GIFs and stickers to show support for someone in need. All assets drive to the campaign website
How Sniffing Priceless Art and Artifacts Could Save Them — Speaking of Chemistry

Odor-detecting devices like Breathalyzers have been used for years to determine blood-alcohol levels in suspected drunk drivers. Now, researchers are using a similar method to sniff out the breakdown of art and artifacts. By tracking the chemicals in “old book smell” and other musuem odors, conservators can react quickly to preserve priceless art and artifacts at the first signs of degradation.

In this Speaking of Chemistry video, Sarah Everts explains how cultural-heritage science uses the chemistry of odors to save books, vintage jewelry, and even early Legos.

5 TIPS from the Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team to help you have a More Sustainable Thanksgiving

1. End wasteful practices. Use reusable dinnerware, glasses and napkins. Not only is it better for the environment, but who likes cutting turkey with a plastic knife and hoping the gravy won’t soak through the paper plate? 

2. Purchase local and organic foods when possible.  There are significant benefits of using local and organic foods, and free range and naturally fed animals taste better. While a lot of these choices may seem cost-prohibitive, buying even one or two items locally and/or organically grown can make a difference. 

3. Eat mindfully.  Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for eating to excess, but if you take a few moments to enjoy your food and eat with a purpose, you’ll most likely find that you’ve eaten less than you normally do. 

4. Eat less meat.  The meat industry is the number one source of methane gas, which is a major contributor to climate change. Another major environmental impact of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources. Even if you’re not vegetarian, try adding a little less meat to your plate and filling the rest of the plate with healthy sides, such as squash, green beans or kale. 

5. Get outside.  The temperature around Thanksgiving is perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Connecting with nature doesn’t have to involve hiking up a mountain, just being outside and feeling the sun on your face improves your mood and health greatly. 


As the days shorten and the earth cools down it becomes the perfect recipe for planting a garden for fall and winter vegetables.

In California, vegetable gardening doesn’t stop with the fall harvest. There are many varieties of vegetables that do best in cool weather. Lettuce, cabbages, root vegetables such as carrots, and beets are a few of them. It’s also an ideal time to start a winter hardy herb garden.

The cooler temperatures will allow the herbs to be firmly established by the warmer days of spring. Herbs also do well in containers or planted along walkways where their fragrance is released as someone brushes against them.

Remember, a garden started now means fresh vegetables for winter stews and garden salads as well as herbal seasonings all year round. If you haven’t planted your winter vegetables yet, this would be a good time. Fresh carrots, onions, cabbage will all taste great in winter stews and casseroles.

The ABC's of Living Green
Each month we will spotlight letters of the alphabet with suggestions for living a sustainable lifestyle:

V - Value Vegetables, VolunTourism

W - Walk Your Watershed, Waste Avoidance, Wind Energy, Waste Less, Wash Clothes in Cold Water, Walk More/Drive Less
Purchase this beautiful 24" x 36" poster and start living the green life. Sassy and fun images and words by Donna Tarbania, Karen Kerney (illustrations and design), Dik Cool and many friends. SCW © 2010
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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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