Divorce without Destruction

CoupleChildJigsawPuzzle_11777742_mlCreating a Future of Possibility

by Barbara Mainhart

Sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, sustainable development—all are designed to ensure the health and well-being of future generations. Just like a slash-and-burn mentality demolishes human and animal habitats and devastates economies, an adversarial divorce, with its “scorched Earth” attitude, can hold a family’s future hostage.

Consider the various “resources” at risk during divorce proceedings: time, money, energy, goodwill, equanimity and sometimes even health. All of these are vital to sustaining quality of life after divorce. As opposed to the “do-it-yourself” or “my-lawyer-versus-your-lawyer” models, an interdisciplinary, team-mediated approach to the divorce process can provide a blueprint for moving ahead that reduces stress in the now and conserves those resources that are critical to a healthy, imagined future.

How a couple divorces affects how they and their children move on. What if, instead of trying to get as much as they can for the present, they worked toward preserving as much as they could for their futures? What would that look like?

Sustainable Wellness: Reduce tension and stress.  The most skilled attorney-mediators have years of experience in remaining neutral to assure that the needs and wants of both parties are carefully considered. They are trained in effective techniques for bringing about a settlement even when divorcing couples are highly conflicted and distrustful of each other.

Sustainable Relationships: Build bridges. A parenting mediator, who is a certified therapist, helps the couple create a healthy co-parenting agreement. This agreement gives them a guide for the transition process, including living arrangements, school situations and vacation schedules, so that both parents and children can move forward with their new lives.

Sustainable Finances: Preserve resources and maintain separate, affordable lifestyles.  With accountant mediators and financial consultants as part of the mediation process, a couple’s income and expenses, tax strategies and detailed budgets are carefully studied to ensure that each person can reasonably meet their current financial obligations, as well as have a well-balanced financial structure in the future to cover their housing needs, cash reserves and retirement plans.

Most importantly, the choice to put a family’s future welfare above the individual’s present advantage will sustain peace of mind for all concerned for years to come.

Barbara Mainhart is outreach coordinator for the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, headquartered in Doylestown and offering its divorce mediation program in multiple locations and online. For more information, call 800-310-9085, email AlphaCares@Alpha-Divorce.com, or visit Alpha-Divorce.com and AlphaResourceCenter.com. See ad, page 47.

Why Choose Locally Grown?

by Lisa White

ado_doylestownfoodcoop_201304Every day, people make a series of food choices; selections that obviously affect their health but also have a surprising impact on the well-being of the Earth and even the local economy. We are bombarded with so much food marketing information that it is helpful to be reminded about exactly how choosing food grown locally on small, sustainable farms can make significant differences in our community and on the planet.

Continue reading

Lentzcaping’s Legacy

Beauty and Sustainability

by Linda Sechrist

036In 1988, Al Lentz, third generation landscaper founded Lentzcaping, which serves Bucks and Montgomery counties, with his partner Stephen Happ. In the earliest years of their business, Lentz and Happ provided a wide variety of services to the utility industry and helped them maintain and enhance their customer service infrastructure and corporate industry job sites. Today, the Lentzcaping Utility department continues this tradition in the Delaware Valley Region with vegetation management, stone road construction, erosion control, fencing and barriers as well as debris clean up.

Continue reading

Silver Lake Nature Fest Returns

silver lake oct13Silver Lake Nature Center will host the sixth annual Silver Lake Nature Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 12. Designed to enhance our connections with nature and to encourage sustainability in our local community, the event features nature-based activities including a live animal show produced by the Mercer County Wildlife Center, local artisans and vendors promoting green products and ideas and educational displays from local nonprofit environmental groups. Live music and delicious food complete the festivities.
Continue reading

Green Individuals and Initiatives

By Sam Marquit

I have worked as a commercial contractor for a number of years. In my profession, I have worked with a number of initiatives and businesses that have sought to use building materials that benefit the environment. There are a number of businesses as well as programs and initiatives that are continuing to push the green movement forward. Continue reading

Boost Your Immunity, Boost Your Business

dr warnerDr. Wendy Warner, a board certified holistic physician and obstetrician/gynecologist, is co-author of Boosting your Immunity for Dummies. The nationally known lecturer and teacher of integrative medicine will provide expert advice on how to harness the power of your immune system from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., June 6, at the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce (LBCCC), in Fairless Hills. Continue reading

Planning an Energypath

Energypath, the region’s largest sustainable energy conference, attracting more than 600 participants, will be held on August 1 and 2, at Villanova University. Industry professionals, policymakers, academics attendees and exhibitors can sign up now to attend, register for certification classes or for vendor opportunities to reach business professionals from all over the world. Continue reading

Reiki Master and Animal Communicator Judy Swanson Launches Unique Touch

Judy Swanson, a Reiki master and long-distance healer, has launched the company Unique Touch, in Pottstown. The company is committed to demonstrating that joy and tranquility can be achieved through healing energy. “I believe every animal and human deserves a tranquil universe,” notes Swanson, who is certified also as a crystal medicine therapist, an advanced angel card reader and an animal communicator. “Both humans and animals benefit from the services of Unique Touch.”

For more information, call 610-389-1891 or email TheUniqueTouch@gmail.com.

Recipe: Make Your Own Natural Cleaner

This natural cleaner uses an essential oil blend and is safe for the environment and your family. Use the spray to freshen, deodorize and disinfect everything from the air to kitchen work surfaces, bathroom fixtures and even woodwork, tile and carpets. To have antibacterial properties, the oils used must be essential, not fragrance, oils. To make the concoction organic, buy organic essential oils.


  • 8 oz of distilled water
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 6 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 8 drops of lavender essential oil

PREPARATION: Continue reading

Local Article: WashTyme Makes Biodiesel Even Cleaner

by Andrew Rumbold

Many people are somewhat familiar with biodiesel, a biodegradable replacement for petroleum diesel fuel that is made from any vegetable oil and can be used in virtually any diesel engine or home-heating furnace without modifying the equipment. One of biodiesel’s main benefits is that it can be made from the recycled fryer oil of local restaurants. Of course, any vegetable oil that is liquid at room temperature works, including unused, or virgin, oils; soy and canola are the most common types used. Additionally, biodiesel is cleaner burning than petroleum, the exhaust smells much better and has a higher flash point (making it less likely to combust). Yet, because most folks don’t know much about the process of making biodiesel, they have no idea that one of its byproducts can be just as useful. Continue reading