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Portfolio Detail: Published Articles

Patricia Dines

Freelance Writer, Editor, Public Speaker & Graphic Artist

Specializing in Environmental & Community Topics


Articles Published in Other Periodicals

Articles Included in The Organic Guides

Articles Included in The Next STEP Newsletter



>> Ask EcoGirl. This syndicated superhero eco-advice column answers readers' questions about the practicalities of going green! Click here for more information and to view past columns.



>> Green Zone (2008). Here, I offered insights on current green topics and information on the region's local green folks.

"Thanks so much for this ["Waste Not, Want Not" column]. I made a copy and will use it as a reference throughout the year! Thank you for all your good work!"
Susana Crofton


* "Understanding Concerns About Community Water Fluoridation" (Pacific Health Magazine, May 2013). Written for a medical/scientific audience, and appropriate for mainstream readers, this article offers key facts and a website version with citations for each key point.

* "Investigating The Next STEP Mystery" (Sonoma County Gazette, May 2013). A light-hearted article, told like an investigative mystery story, and describing the innovative Next STEP newsletter/community project.

* "Green Getaways" (NorthBay biz magazine, July 2011). How North Bay businesses and visitors are finding fun and opportunity in local eco-tourism.

* "Healing Our Culture's Abuse of the Earth" (Sonoma County Peace Press, April/May 2011 and June/July 2011). In this article, I explore a topic I've been thinking about for a while: how the psychology of abuse is expressed not just in our culture's families but also in our businesses, politics -- and how we treat the beautiful sacred earth. Thus, I feel that that the abuse model can be a powerful tool to help us steer our culture away from eco-disaster and towards eco-survival and happiness. Read the article to find out more!

* "Profitable Green" (NorthBay biz magazine, February 2011). "Is it still possible for businesses to be both profitable and green? Regular biz contributor Patricia Dines talks with local business leaders to find out how green is weathering today's economic storms."

* "Navigating Nonprofit Technology" (NorthBay biz magazine, January 2011). With budgets and workloads already stretched thin, keeping up with technological innovations can seem like just another task added to the overflowing plates of local nonprofits. But NorthBay biz has found good news about how nonprofits can unlock technology's potential to help them be more effective in their missions.

Reader feedback
"Great Article!
Hi Patricia, I really enjoyed the North Bay Biz article -- great job on covering all that territory. I think it will really help out a lot of nonprofit folks. I wanted to share with you that around the time we were exchanging emails about this article, I was going through some paperwork and ran across a stack of clippings that I had put aside, some dating back years (!) and they were "EcoGirl" columns -- I saw your name and thought, "Hey, that girl leads a double life!!". Very cool. Keep up the good work. :-)
Ruth Persselin, Programs and Outreach Director, Petaluma Bounty

* "True Green: Moving beyond greenwashing to authentic eco-success" (NorthBay biz magazine, Aug. 2010). In this cover story, "EcoGirl Patricia Dines helps NorthBay biz readers see beyond enticing green façades to uncover the products and approaches that support true environmental change." This article offers useful information that cheerfully nurtures meaningful and effective eco-action by both individuals and businesses!

* "A Deeper Shade of Green" (NorthBay biz magazine, Green Scene, March 2010). This column gives you a look into Petaluma's Sonoma Compost Company (SCC) and it's organic community composting operation. For 25 years, SCC has been diverting yard and ag waste from the landfill and turning it into useful organic composts and mulches. Yes, this is where your green can waste goes!

* "Sonoma Compost: Celebrating 25 Years" (Sonoma-Marin Farm News, Feb. 2010). This article gives you a peek behind the scenes at the wonderful Sonoma Compost Company, which for 25 years has been diverting yard and ag waste from the landfill and turning it into useful organic composts and mulches that nurture local farms and gardens.

Editor feedback
"Dear Patricia -- Thanks for the story on Sonoma Compost. It's a great read that our readers will find both interesting and educational. We are happy to have the work of a pro and welcome further stories by you on topics related to the agricultural industry in Sonoma and Marin Counties."
Tim Tesconi, Editor Sonoma-Marin Farm News, Previously Ag Staff Writer for the Press Democrat (33 years)

* "Green Pinstripes: Bringing sustainability to the executive suite" (NorthBay biz magazine, Feb. 2010, Green Issue). This feature story explores the work of three local pioneering "sustainability officers" -- to find out what such a job entails and how they're helping North Bay companies reduce costs and save the environment.

* "Seeking Fulfillment." NorthBay biz magazine, Oct. 2009, Special Wine Issue. This feature story describes how New Vine's collapse last May revealed the booming new market for third-party wine shippers, which are creatively helping wineries make money even in these hard times.

* "Financing a Greener World," NorthBay biz magazine, August 2009. Feature story. Learn more about Sonoma County's innovative SCEIP program, which offers government financing for increasing the energy or water efficiency of a home or business. It'll also finance solar and other alternative energy projects! These projects can save us money, improve our property's value, offer work to local green contractors -- and are vital to reducing our impact on the planet. Click here to view the article in a webpage, with the option to download it in the original layout, in PDF format.

* "Uprooting the Environmental Causes of Poverty & War," Sonoma County Peace Press, April 2009. I was delighted when the Sonoma County Peace Press asked me to write something about the environment, giving me the chance to connect environmental and social justice issues. It's another example of how saving the earth is saving us humans too! My article uses as an example the story of the Nigerian people and their journey with the oil industry. Click here to view the article, as well as bonus links for more information on the topics discussed.

* "Greening Your Home -- With No Money Down," West County Gazette, April 2009. Cover story. On the surface, Sonoma County's new $100 million Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) seems simple enough, offering property owners government financing to install solar equipment and improve energy and water efficiency. Yet, hiding beneath this mild-mannered exterior, lies a powerful tool to help us solve some of our most urgent shared problems. I've been watching this program emerge for a while, so I'm delighted to finally be able to tell you about its special features. Click here to view the article in a webpage, with the option to download it in the original layout, in PDF format.

* Green Zone columns, in The North Bay Bohemian, 2008-2009.

* "Delighting in Our Delicious Local Farms," West County Gazette, May 2008. Cover story. This piece savors the delights of buying in season from local farmers -- and the benefits to community, earth, health, and wallet.Then it shows you how to do it, with a schedule of local farmers markets and links to directories of local farms and CSAs. There's even a table showing what's in season when. How fun! Click here to download the article laid out, in PDF format.

* "Taking Wise Action to Help Protect Organic," West County Gazette, July 2007. Scary headlines and inaccurate articles are clouding consumers' ability to understand what the latest news on organics really means. Click here to get the straight facts.

* "Sebastopol Peak Oil Report Released," West County Gazette, April 2007.

* "Laguna Farms: Sowing Seeds of Sustainability," Common Ground, August 2004. "A family farmer and a talented herbalist joined forces in marriage and mission to create the North Bay's largest Community Supported Agriculture farm."

* Series on Genetically-Engineered Food and Agriculture

* "Vote Yes on Measure M," West County Gazette, Oct. 2005, p. 1.

* "GE Crops: Who Profits, Who Pays the Price?," West County Gazette, Sept. 2005

* "Should Sonoma County Be GE-Free?," West County Gazette, Aug. 2005, Page 1

* "Halting the GMO Invaders," West County Gazette, July 2004, Page 7

* "Organic Standards Update," West County Gazette, June 18, 2004, pp. 1, 10.

* "Worldwide Wine Glut Puts California Wineries at Risk, Or Learning Our Lessons About Gold Rushes," Sonoma Valley Voice, December 2003

* "Nurturing the Bounty of Local Organics," Steppin' Out magazine, Fall 2002, pp. 16-17, 19. (Lead article in color glossy magazine.)

* "Roots of War, Roots of Peace. Calling all planetary healers," Sonoma County Peace Press, Dec. 2001. (This webpage has an expanded version of the original print article.)

* "Good News: Citizens Make A Difference!" (Note: The periodical retitled this article to be, "By the will of the people: GE hits the wall"), Awakened Woman e-zine, Nov. 1999

* "Tinkering with Life's Sacred Genetic Code," Awakened Woman e-zine, Aug. 1999. This is also at

* "Is Your Food Genetically Engineered?", Living Nutrition, Vol. 6/1999, pp. 17, 22-23.

* "Reasons for Hope," Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Dec. 1998, p. 4. (Column EarthWalk.)

* "What's Your Vision of Sonoma County's Future?", Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Oct./Nov. 1998, p. 4. (Column EarthWalk.)

* "Vision and Action Healing the World," Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Aug. 1998, p. 15. (Column EarthWalk, introduction, in this monthly newspaper on environmental issues.)

* "Organics: Choosing a Healthier World for Everyone," Share Guide, July/Aug 1998, p. 80. (Color glossy magazine.)

* "Flooded With Letters, USDA Changes Direction on Proposed Organic Standards," The Vegetarian Grapevine, July-Sept 1998, p. 1.

* "News Munchies," Living Nutrition, Vol. 5/1998, p. 17. News bites about organics and pesticides.

* "For Whom the Toxic Bell Tolls," North Coast Xpress, Dec. 1997, pp. 6-8.

* "What Amount of Pesticides Should Be in Your Food?", Sonoma County Peace Press, Oct/Nov 1996, p. 13. Summary of H.R. 1627.

* "Is the Latest Pesticide Bill Good or Bad News?", Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Sept. 1996, pp. 1, 16. This article is also posted on this webpage.

* "Effective Political Action: Recovering Democracy's True Gift," Sonoma County Peace Press, Dec./Jan. 1995/6, p. 3. (Lead article in the "Participatory Government" issue.)

* "Protest These Attempts to Weaken Health and Environmental Laws," Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Dec. 1995, pp 5, 23.

* "Reducing Pesticides on Local Apple Orchards -- The Necessity, The Challenges, The Successes," Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter, Oct. 1993, pp. 6-7, 26-27. (Full newspaper size pages.)

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Patricia Dines also wrote articles for her book series, The Organic Guides
. A total of seven editions of the Guides were published, starting in 1998. Each of these regional guidebooks were subtitled "Your Organic Adventure Guide & Empowerment Manual." For more about this project, click here.

Here are the key articles included in the most recent Fifth Edition of the "The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties":

* So, What Is Organic?
* The True Costs of Synthetic Pesticide Use
* Valuing Nature: The Costs of Degrading Our Ecosystems
* Organic Is the True Value
* Wise Spending on Organic
* The Hidden Costs of Long-Distance, Industrial Food
    And the Importance of Buying Small and Local
* But What Can I Do?
* Bringing Organic into the Circles of Our Lives
* Buying Directly from Local Small Organic Farmers
* Buying Food In Season
* Getting Our Hands in the Dirt: School & Community Gardens
* Community Action: We Can Make a Difference
* Enjoying Our Local Natural Treasures
* Reconnecting to the Earth
* Reweaving Community, Rejoining the Cycle of Life
* Organic Around the World: We're Part of a Larger Community
* Poem

The Guides also included information boxes throughout, such as:

* Why Organic Cotton
* The Benefits of Hemp
* The Issues with Fish
* What Are We Bringing Into Our Homes?
* Creating Better Pest Control Solutions

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Since 2001, Ms. Dines has been the Editor & Lead Writer for The Next STEP newsletter.
For more about this project, click here.

These are some of the articles that Ms. Dines wrote for this periodical:

* Healthy Homes for the Holidays
* Protecting Children From Pesticides
* Protecting Your Family From Toxic Pet Products
* Nurturing a Truly Healthy Lawn
* Controlling Ant Invaders
* Mosquito Protection Without Toxics
* Oven Cleaning Without Toxics
* Green Air Fresheners
* Choosing Healthier Paints & Stains
* As the Mold Grows
* Perfume Dreams
* What's the Matter with Roundup
* Calculating the Full Cost of Toxic Pesticides
* Preventing Those Neurotoxic Blues
* Natural Cleaners Go Mainstream (and What's Hiding Inside?)
* Safer Chemicals Policy Proposed to California Legislature
* Oil, Katrina, Security, & Toxics
* Teaching Your Children to Work Cooperatively With Nature
* The Laguna's Lushness

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The photograph of Patricia Dines at the top of this page is by Chris Stewart, San Francisco Chronicle.
This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 6/12/13