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As an extension of EarthX (formery Earth Day Texas), the third annual EarthxFilm, held from April 19 through 28, showcases films and emerging media that explore conservation, climate change and the environment, while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. The mission is to turn awareness into action through art and media.

A special spotllight screening selection with a gala presentation will take place at the Perot Museum on April 25. Virtual reality (VR) projects making world premieres include Guardians of the Kingdom, narrated by Sylvia Earle, Tree Hugger, Ocean Life, Bloom and Conservation International's The Elephant Keeper.

With 16 feature films, 40 shorts and 40-plus immersive entertainment experiences and exhibits, EarthxFilm will give an important platform to the filmmakers and the truth they have discovered and uncovered that reaches all of us, many times in our own backyards. Cash prize jury and audience awards total $25,000.

EarthxFilm President Michael Cain, says, “This year, we will continue to increase our footprint across Dallas, screening films, presenting virtual reality, interactive projects and environmentally focused panels at a number of theaters and venues all over the city beyond our wonderful hub at Fair Park during EarthX. These films and the filmmakers behind them deserve the largest audiences we can provide, as the impact and immediacy of their subjects touch every one of us.”

EarthxFilm Artistic Director David Holbrooke, notes, “This year’s EarthxFilm slate clearly shows the urgency of the many crucial battles going on all over the world on the environmental landscape. However, these documentaries aren’t simply earnest attempts to advocate for a just cause, but are serious, well-crafted stories that bear witness to what is happening out there on the front lines. Audiences will be motivated and inspired by the real-life heroes in these movies and will come out of the theaters ready to make their own impact.”


Feature films include:

The River And The Wall
The Biggest Little Farm
Cooked: Survival By Zip Code
Ghost Fleet
Into The Canyon
Sea Of Shadows
The Serengeti Rules
Sharkwater Extinction
Sonic Sea
Thirst For Power
Tribes On The Edge
Wonders Of The Sea - 3d
Youth Unstoppable: The Rise Of The Global Youth Climate Movement


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EarthX, the world’s largest Earth Day Celebration, held from April 26 to 28 at Fair Park, in Dallas, brings together an international gathering of concerned environmental citizens, educators, businesses, nonprofit organizations and thought leaders to celebrate global sustainability. With three days of exhibitions, a film festival, music, entertainment, learning experiences, discussions, forums and conferences, founder Russel S. Crow says, “I think we can agree that it’s in our best interest to talk and take action now. The sooner we pose the right questions, the sooner we arrive at the right solutions for air health, soil health, acidification of oceans and coral reefs, sustainable farming and ranching, and so many other areas.”

The EarthxConference series includes nine conferences to explore the full gamut of environmental positions and perspectives in a balanced atmosphere.

E-Capital Summit is an investment forum where private capital engages with environmental technology leaders alongside an Innovation Expo with exhibits from pioneering technology companies, incubators, accelerators, national labs and universities. 

The EarthxLaw symposium addresses water quality issues like drinking water for cities, climate change and water and oceans, touching on offshore energy, plastics, transportation and ocean acidification.

At EarthxTransportation, hosted in partnership with Transportation Energy Partners and The Nature Conservancy, transportation experts share ways to reduce harmful emissions and achieve maximum fuel efficiency in vehicles.

EarthxFuture500Summit, the signature event of Future500, attracts leaders from non-government, corporate, philanthropic, investor, and policy communities to build broader capacity for collective action to advance systemic solutions to environmental and social challenges.

EarthxOcean will address the role oceans play in our lives with both an Inland Ocean Action Summit and the first Island Resilience Forum. Bringing together island leaders and champions from the United Nations and around the world, the Island Resilience Forum will work towards scalable and comprehensive energy roadmaps, as well as actionable and fundable projects for communities on the front lines of climate change.

EarthxCities will assemble the community and business leaders preparing for environmental impacts, like the increasing number of natural weather disasters. The one-day event will address resilience planning and evolving practices, solutions, and decisions with public officials, recognized experts, and experienced practitioners through plenary sessions, panel discussions, and networking activities.

EarthxUniversity will bring university students affiliated with BridgeUSA together with influencers from business, government, and academia. The two-day assembly will bridge the political divide impeding constructive political action that prevents our collective environmental concern from translating into a multi-part movement.

Incorporating the 30 Under 30: The Green Generation awards, EarthxUniversity will recognize young activists, business leaders, and innovative thinkers, who will also participate in panels discussing ocean/water, wildlife, conservation, land management, clean energy, sustainability, and climate solutions.

EarthxEnergy will gather politicians and industry leaders to discuss the latest in clean energy efforts with briefings on current initiatives and policies.

EarthxMilitary hosts policy makers and members of the military and national defense industry presenting solutions for security challenges and clean tech.

EarthxFilm runs from April 19 to April 28, presenting more than 60 feature and short documentaries at screenings and events across the city of Dallas.

EarthxGlobal Gala is a eco-star-studded evening celebrating progress, hope, and innovation in the global shift toward a sustainable and secure future. The evening will culminate by honoring environmental heroes and change-makers with the Global Impact Awards.

EarthxHack is the world’s premier environmental innovation competition between some of the brightest technical minds of today for 24 hours to create groundbreaking solutions that address the problems of tomorrow.

“EarthX now includes nine conferences and several separate on-site meetings bringing together more diverse global perspectives than have ever been involved in a collective discussion about the future of our planet,” added Tony Keane, Chief Executive Officer of EarthX. “Fifty years ago, Earth Day didn’t even exist. But, here we are in 2019 with the world’s largest Earth Day event convening once again in Texas of all places. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to discover what can be done to make positive and real environmental change happen for all of us.”


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Hilary G. Shaw knows firsthand how holding limiting beliefs can affect our mental attitude. After years of fearing criticism and taking other people’s actions personally, which usually put her in a funk, Shaw reached out to the Option Institute and learned skills that helped her change the way she reacted to others.

At Shaw’s upcoming workshop, Want to Stop Taking Things Personally? she provides take-home tools she learned through the Option Institute to help people get started on feeling comfortable, regardless of the actions of others. The free interactive workshops take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays, April 17 and 24, at Unity Church of Greenville. Each night, Shaw will present new information. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

Shaw had worked in the mental health field for many years and holds master’s degrees in social work and education. Her own self-growth and happiness developed over the last 13 years has motivated her to share what she has and continues to learn.

“About 90 percent of people do not know how to get out of their own way,” Shaw says. “I consider these workshops a gift to men and women who really want to change how they react to situations. We tend to take things personally because of the beliefs we have about ourselves. The good news is that you own your beliefs, so you can change them. Self-understanding and knowledge are byproducts of this work.”

Shaw notes that beliefs like, “I’m not good enough,” or, “There is something wrong with me,” are all common self-esteem beliefs. These are the beliefs that often get activated when someone either criticizes us or behaves in a way that we interpret as rude or uncaring. “Many times we feel hurt, angry or afraid. Our feelings seem so automatic and we believe they are the result of the other person’s actions,” she says. The cost of taking things personally can ultimately make people feel depressed, ashamed or angry, which can rupture family relationships or make work situations feel awkward.

“It may take lots of time and energy to get over taking things personally, but the tools I present are designed to help you help yourself to progress toward an enduring solution to taking things personally,” advises Shaw. “Imagine yourself not taking things personally, but moving through your day with ease and comfort, regardless of what others say and do.”

In addition to the upcoming April workshop, Shaw will be leading future workshops in Dallas. She offers individual sessions using a dialogue method designed to find hidden beliefs and plans to build a network of people to support, study and apply Option Institute principles to their daily lives.

Admission to the evens is free, donations to Unity Church on Greenville are appreciated. Location: 3425 Greenville Ave., Dallas. For more information, email or visit For additional information about the Option Institute, visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.



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The 12th annual Oak Cliff Earth Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 14, at Lake Cliff Park, in Dallas. This year, the fifth annual Green Source DFW Run for the Environment will kick off the festival at 9:30 a.m. Oak Cliff Earth Day will feature a diverse lineup of entertainment, environmental education booths and green vendors, along with food and fun for the kids.

The grassroots green festival was launched in 2007 by volunteers to educate the community on eco-friendly living. After a 10-year-run, volunteers took a hiatus in 2017. Not wanting to see the popular community event end, the Memnosyne Institute, parent of GreenSourceDFW and longtime festival sponsor, took over as host in 2018 and merged the green fest with its annual Green Source DFW Run for the Environment.

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EarthX, the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival , held April 26 through 28, has appointed Tony Keane as chief executive officer. With international leadership in the built environment and sustainable facility management, Keane has developed environmental solutions that matter for the nation and the world. He served for more than eight years as the president and chief executive officer of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), leading the organization through a period of tremendous growth.

This year, EarthX will offer the first Island Resilience Forum, bringing together island leaders and champions from the United Nations and around the world to accelerate the energy transformations for communities on the front lines of climate change. Showcasing the innovative public/private partnerships aligned with the Island Resilience Partnership, the forum will present a standard that can be scaled to create comprehensive energy roadmaps and actionable, fundable projects.

EarthX will also debut EarthxHome, rethinking how to evaluate and purchase products that are sustainable or eco-friendly, as well as EarthxOffice, about how to work, collaborate, and succeed more sustainably in the business environment.

Trammell S. Crow, founder and chairman of EarthX, says, “EarthX made a strategic choice to hire a CEO with a business background, rather than an activist or individual with deep knowledge in a single environmental field, given our organization’s strong participation from business and industry interests, unique among environmental events. Our planet is at a critical point where change is not just something we can dream or talk about—it is our reality, and citizens across the globe need to make adjustments.”

Keane  says, “I am honored to be selected as CEO of EarthX at this critical juncture. I look forward to making EarthX the must-attend event for the environmental sector by developing year-round engagement and impact.”

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The Nourished Festival, formerly The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, relaunched this year with expanded offerings, exhibitors and new locations. The event is returning to Dallas Market Hall on September 7 and 8 for the ninth year and expects to exceed the 3000 attendees welcomed last year. The festival is traveling to nine other cities this year: San Diego, Atlanta, Sandy, Utah, Denver, Schaumburg, Illinois, Worcester, Massachusetts, Seattle, Secaucus, New Jersey, and San Mateo, California and expects to receive over 35,000 attendees.

To better serve individuals with food allergies, specialty diets and those interested in- holistic or healthy living, the Festival will be adding an array of exhibitors to grow with their expanding audience. In addition to the existing gluten-free and nut-free zones, paleo, keto and plant-based zones have been added, along with a variety of health and wellness practitioners. The festival will continue to provide attendees with new products, services and educational opportunities.

At this family-friendly event, attendees are able to sample food and health products, meet with companies and practitioners, learn about the most current food lifestyles, receive coupons and attend educational sessions with industry experts.

Jen Cafferty, founder and CEO of The Nourished Group, says, “For 12 years, attendees have enjoyed our gluten-free and allergen-friendly events. However, as the movement advances, we are finding that more attendees are looking for healthy living options beyond gluten-free. Our festivals will continue to meet the needs of our specialty diet consumers, but a greater emphasis on health and wellness will allow us to help more people. We want to be a marketplace where Dallas-Fort Worth wellness professionals can better connect with our Festival attendees seeking their services.”

The Festival is looking for new speakers and exhibitors in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex, including those specializing in nutrition, integrative modalities and general health and wellness.

Natural Awakenings readers receive $5 off festival admission with code NATURAL5 at To inquire about the new exhibitor discount and speaking opportunities, email



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Buying a green, sustainable car or truck is a big decision toward seeking alternatives to environmentally destructive fossil fuels. For North Texans, vehicle Incentives from a variety of sources make the choice a little easier on the household budget.

There are federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicles; Texas Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program rebates up to $2,500; Texas AirCheckTX Drive a Clean Machine Program vouchers of up to $3,500; and Oncor and Nissan LEAF incentives of $3,000, for a total possible savings of up to $16,500.

A plug-in electric drive motor vehicle tax credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified plug-in electric vehicle, based on each vehicle’s traction battery capacity and gross vehicle weight rating.

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program is administered through the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, with rebates for new, light-duty vehicles powered by compressed natural gas or propane and electric drive or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program is administered in the North Texas area by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. It’s program provides vouchers towards the purchase of a hybrid electric, battery electric or natural gas vehicle up to three model years old.

Oncor customers can also receive an extra $3,000 off of a new Nissan LEAF through a special limited-time offer available from Oncor and Nissan. Both residential and commercial customers can receive this incentive.

Tesla is partnering with businesses that serve customers that own a Tesla by subsidizing the cost of free Tesla charging stations and some universal charging stations to certain workplaces and other eligible locations, as well as employers with employees that currently own or are interested in owning a Tesla.

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Hugs Café has been in the making for more than 15 years and began as the dream of founder and president Ruth Thompson. Her vision was to create a nonprofit bistro that would be operated primarily by adults with special needs. She found her passion working with them in Parker, Colorado, and that served as the foundation for Hugs Café in 2013.

Upon moving to Texas in 2004, Thompson combined her love of people and food by teaching cooking classes to adults with special needs at Market Street, in McKinney. For nearly 10 years, she taught two classes per week, constantly striving to help her students develop new skills, become more independent and enhance their personal self-worth. After retiring from teaching, Thompson searched for new ways to enhance the lives of adults with special needs, and has channeled her energy toward making Hugs Café a reality

Thompson says that when someone with special needs ages out of the school system at 21, most stay home with no purpose. The mission of Hugs Café is to provide training and employment for adults with special needs that she calls teammates. The restaurant employs 11 teammates and five mainstream employees, a full-time restaurant manager and a full-time kitchen manager. All teammates work part-time, and are the heart of the restaurant. They also use community volunteers on a daily basis that act as job coaches and work alongside their teammates, making sure they are doing their jobs correctly. At times, volunteers are used in the kitchen, too.

Since forming Hugs Café, Thompson has surrounded herself with individuals from a variety of backgrounds that share her drive for people and service. This group comes from all walks of life and has decades of professional experience in nearly many fields. The board of directors has made great strides to make Hugs Café a reality, and will continue to help make a positive and lasting impact on all of its employees and the greater DFW community.

Thompson also recently opened Hugs Greenhouse. This allows the mission to pivot as they search for additional ways to serve adults with special needs. “This is just one more chance for us to fulfill that mission,” says Thompson. The products grown and sold at Hugs Greenhouses include a variety of perennials and annuals that survive and thrive in North Texas. They focus on hand-grown, fresh plants.

Hugs café is located at 224 E. Virginia St., in McKinney. The greenhouse is located at 3054 County Rd. 205. For more information, call 469-301-6900 or visit



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Green Living & Design Expo convenes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 23, at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre to introduce the green living alternatives and solutions available in our local communities. This event was created for families wanting to build or design utilizing products, methods and services with sustainable living in mind.  

Applications are being taken for vendors, speakers and workshop facilitators. This is a great new opportunity to learn about green living and for green businesses to inform people about what’s available.

Admission is free. Location: 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. For inquiries and more information, call Jennifer Rae at 469-401-4777, email or visit



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Most relationships go south, not from lack of love, but from lack of understanding. It’s the lingering love that causes break-ups to hurt so much. The thing to understand is what keeps couples from understanding one another—what exactly sends relationships crashing into the rocks, and what keeps them alive and thriving. Also, what makes a relationship so good that even after years together, a couple is still rocking one another’s world in delightful and life-enhancing ways.

We all come into relationships with unconscious expectations that began forming when we were just toddlers. By age 3, most children have been observing their parents and coming to conclusions that will shape their relationships for the rest of their lives, unless they can see and reexamine those conclusions.

The 3-year-old looks at Mom, how she acts, how she treats her children and how she treats her husband, and concludes that this is what it looks like to be a woman, mother and wife. The child also looks at dad and does the same thing. Based on how he acts, how he treats his children and how he treats his wife, the child concludes that this is what it looks like to be a man, father and husband.

Then, as adults, we unconsciously bring those models into our life and relationships. They aren’t just models of how we should behave (or if we rejected the parental model, how we should never behave), they are also models of how we think our significant other should or should not behave. If our model doesn’t match their model, problems begin to brew.

Seldom do couples (or parents) realize that it’s these layers of conditioning that are driving behaviors and sending relationships into the rocks. It’s because of those old programs that we find ourselves behaving in ways we don’t understand or reacting negatively to things we don’t consciously think should upset us.

Happily, there are ways to prevent the past from sabotaging our future and to consciously build relationships that rock. Here are three:

  1. Explore the models we grew up with to discover the expectations that those models created. Awareness of what is driving a behavior is often enough to consciously alter it.
  2. Discover who we are authentically. Often, the authentic self is very different than the models and the stereotypes we have bought into. Through knowing our true self and that of our loved one, we can discover the core needs that drive behaviors and find ways to meet those needs.
  3. Build healthy boundaries around our true self and within the relationship, and give one another permission to say, “You’re in my space,” to prevent infringing on one another’s territory. Then honor and respect one another’s boundaries.

The key to fulfilling relationships begins with understanding. Only through understanding can we enhance one another’s life, and that’s what healthy relationships do.

 For more information, call 214-688-1412 or email



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