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Living Abroad Boosts Creativity
September 2011

Multicultural Learning Provides Inspiration

TravelingStudents that have lived abroad appear to be more creative than peers that haven’t had such an experience, according to a study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Enhanced creativity was linked directly to the students’ open-minded approach in adapting to a new culture in another country. Results indicated that multicultural learning is a critical component of the adaptation process, which acts as a catalyst for creativity.

 
Eco-Fashionista
September 2011

Summer Rayne Oakes Models the Future

Eco_FashionistaFashion model Summer Rayne Oakes has created a growing platform for taking eco-fashion mainstream. She’s seen firsthand how a more sustainable lifestyle can start with something as simple as choosing certified organic lip balm or a pair of shoes made from organic cotton and recycled rubber.

Because of her close ties to environmental causes, Oakes is known as “The eco-model.” The title seems to fit her well: She has put her name behind many cause-related programs, including a skincare company that uses active natural ingredients and a maker of recycled eyewear that plants a tree for every pair of frames sold.

She didn’t set out to be the eco-fashionista. Oakes, whose first name derived from being born, she states, on a “rainy summer day,” was raised amid Pennsylvania farmlands north of Scranton and developed a love of nature from an early age. By 13, she was the youngest member of her hometown’s environmental advisory council and after high school, went off to Cornell University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and entomology.

 
Green Chic
September 2011

Earth-Friendly, Feel-Good Fabrics

Green_ClothingInnovation is shaping every facet of the eco-fashion industry—from organic crop standards, energy-efficient production, local sourcing, community reinvesting and fair trade, to the recycling of excess fabric and other materials and repurposing used garments.

Yet, half of all textile fibers still come from conventional cotton, which soaks up a quarter of all agrochemicals and insecticides sprayed on the planet, reports Paul Hawken in Natural Capitalism – Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Cotton also requires 2,600 gallons of water for every pound grown.

Other natural fabric plant fibers are much less resource-intensive. Here are some clues about what to look for.

 
Creative Therapy
September 2011

“The hand is the window on to the mind.” ~ Immanuel Kant

Creative_Therapy"Of all our limbs,” explains Professor Richard Sennett, “the hands make the most varied movements, movements that can be controlled at will. Science has sought to show how these motions, plus the hand’s different ways of gripping and the sense of touch, affect the ways we think.” Sennett expounds at length on this topic in his book, The Craftsman, and teaches sociology at New York University and The London School of Economics and Political Science.

He explains that making things by hand engages the brain in special ways. The furniture maker, the musician, the glassblower or any other person engaged mindfully in arts and crafts needs to first “localize,” or look at just what is there—a piece of wood, a musical instrument or melted glass. The second step is to question—“What can I do with this?” The third is to open up—figure out how to create something unique.

 
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