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Green your getup: Fun costume ideas to cut down on Halloween waste
There's no question that Halloween is big business. The National Retail Federation projected last year that consumers would spend $6.9 billion on Halloween, an average of $75 per person. And the U.S. Census has estimated that in recent years some 41.1 million kids and teens go trick-or-treating. How many of their costumes are shiny and new each year, all wrapped in plastic? How many former costumes and their accessories are thrown away?

As you prepare to face ghouls, goblins and other things that go bump in the night this October, spending a lot of money and creating more waste shouldn't be things you have to fear. Luckily, when it comes to costumes, there are plenty of ways to "green" your Halloween garb.

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Bet on this wetland: QCCA outdoor classroom already showing potential
Although there's still a lot of work to do, the QCCA Wetlands Center already is hinting at the kind of natural area it can be.

The center is about 58 acres of land near the Quad City Downs, which the Quad City Conservation Alliance obtained in 2013. The alliance plans to restore it and allow college and public school educators and students to study the ecology there.

On a recent August day, Monarch butterflies, resplendent... More »

Simply stunning: Treat yourself to a stuffed pumpkin
For many years now my husband and I have had a special Halloween tradition: early in the evening when the trick-or-treaters are about to take to the streets, when our jack-o'-lanterns are set out grinning on the steps and a cauldron of treats are set by the door, I retreat to the kitchen and take up a knife to carve out one last pumpkin.

I stop short of giving it a ghoulish expression, though. Instead, once the seeds and strings are removed,... More »

Warrior within: Yoga technique focuses on military, rescue personnel
After reading an article in Yoga Journal about military personnel who were using yoga as a tool to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, yoga instructor Joan Marttila decided "someone" should get the specialized training to offer this type of yoga in the Quad-Cities. She didn't imagine then that the someone would turn out to be her. From these beginnings, the Yoga Warriors class at the Davenport School of Yoga was born.

To prepare,... More »

Fear not: Don't let worry keep you from a life-saving exam
Mary shouldn't have died.

She wasn't a person you would look at and say, "Gosh, she should take better care of herself." In fact she was the proverbial picture of health: Strong, lean, a life-long athlete, and an active mom who loved to shoot hoops and play catch with her sons. Just two days before she was admitted to hospice, even, she went on a 4-mile walk.

But Mary had colon cancer, and three days before Christmas 2012, colon... More »

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