Documentary Reveals the Hazards of Toxic Mold and Mold-Related Illness

PLEASE NOTE: After 9.10.2015, the video “Moldy” may not be available free of charge. Until then, viewing it through Mercola’s website is the only free venue we know about. LaVerne

This Hidden Illness Is Sweeping the Nation, but Most Doctors Are Clueless

Millions are suffering from mysterious illnesses for which they’re receiving virtually no help from physicians, who are finding it virtually impossible to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Instead, they could send you to a psychologist’s couch for all the wrong reasons…

Documentary Reveals the Hazards of Toxic Mold and Mold-Related Illness

Story at-a-glance

Featured documentary discusses the nature of mold toxicity, why it’s so dangerous, and what it takes to recover your health

About 25 percent of Americans are genetically predisposed to experiencing severe illness from toxic mold exposure

Since the 1970s, industry has inadvertently created “super-molds” through the widespread use of synthetic chemical fungicides, such as Benomyl

By Dr. Mercola

“Probably every doctor in the United States is treating mold illness — they just don’t realize it.”

Mold illness may be the most prominent health problem physicians are missing today — a “hidden” pandemic that’s sweeping the nation.

Millions are suffering from mysterious illnesses for which they’ve received essentially no help from physicians. Some are referred to psychologists after being told their illness is “imagined,” while others are accused of fabrication.

Because mold toxins are so unique and their effects are so broad, symptoms of mold toxicity are complex and varied, making it difficult for physicians to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

Unable to identify the cause of their illness, sick people become much sicker over time. Marriages are devastated, livelihoods are lost, and many reach such levels of despair that they end up committing suicide.

The featured documentary, “Moldy,” explores the subject of mold toxicity through the stories of people who’ve battled this illness and won, as well as interviews with a number of top experts in the field.

The film sheds light on the symptoms of mold toxicity, why it’s so dangerous, and most importantly, how you can recover your health.

Read the full PDF: Documentary Reveals the Hazards of Toxic Mold and Mold-Related Illness

Advanced 4-Day Wilderness First Aid Training at Blackwood Land Institute

Our friends at Blackwood Land Institute are offering a special course in Wilderness first aid training, and we want to be sure you know about it:

Advanced 4-Day Wilderness First Aid Training at Blackwood Land Institute
When:         January 30 – February 2, 2015
Where:        Blackwood Land Institute
Location:    Hempstead, TX
Cost:           $550 (includes lunch)

Blackwood Land Institute hosts Wilderness Medical Associates International’s entry-level, 4-day course , which provides the highest quality comprehensive medical training to those who work or play in remote areas.

Certification Earned:  Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) by Wilderness Medicines Associates(WMA)

The course is for ages 16 and older, it includes CPR training, and the Certification is valid for 3 years.  Learn from the prestigious Wilderness Medical Associates, and enjoy a rare opportunity to spend a week in the country at Blackwood Educational Land Institute.  Manage medical emergencies when hospitals and rescue services may not be available.  Learn from medical professionals with significant patient care and backcountry experience.  Be prepared for emergencies that involve prolonged patient care, severe environments, and improvised equipment.  Have fun while developing confidence in your ability to care for emergencies!

Tim Graham WMA Instructor, EMT-P, Rescue Diver: Tim Graham is retired from Miami Dade Fire Rescue in 2008 after 32 years as a firefighter/paramedic, diver, hazmat tech, etc.  He is a native Floridian, and the ocean has always been and will continue to be a part of his life.  Wave Skis and kayaking occupy his spare moments between volunteering at the local environmental school, running, and managing

Additional Options for the Camp:
Onsite Lodging and Meals: $400
Dorm with bunk beds and shared bathrooms
Camping Option: $20  Bring your own tent, meals not included

Later, this Summer:
4 day Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) + 4 day Bridge Course = 8 day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Course.  The Sessions:
WAFA Course (4 days) June/July, 2015
Bridge to WFR Course (4 days) June/July, 2015

for more information and to register, please go to:

Sustainable Living Through Permaculture 1: SLTP 1

When:       Sunday, January 25th , 2015
Time:         1pm – 5pm
Location:  TBA
Cost:         $40.00

Important NOTE: The Sustainable Living Through Permaculture 1 (SLTP1) class is a prerequisite for SLTP2 (see below) and all other Permaculture (PC) classes, including the Designing Our Green Homes and Communities Through Permaculture Series (please see below, in this entry).

In SLTP 1, the design principles of Permaculture (PC) are explained, observed and illustrated in a series of breakout sessions at a home and garden remodeled to reflect PC sustainability principles. This garden has cisterns, many types of fruits, vegetables, habitat plants, a small area for collecting excess rain and a remodeled home that includes many features to reduce energy consumption. Instructors are members of the Permaculture Guild of Houston, which is a group of people who have completed 92 hours of Permaculture classes to become Certified Permaculture Designers.

Sustainable Living Through Permaculture 2 will be held 2/01/2015  12noon – 4:30 pm.
It will be on the University of Houston Main Campus, Room & Bldg TBA.  Cost:  $50.  It will be a classroom presentation, where participants carefully explore principles demonstrated in the Sustainable Living Through Permaculture 1 (SLPC 1) class, look at issues connected with larger rural sites, and begin the design of a farm/home site that connects and integrates food with housing and nature.  SLPC 2 is designed to complete what is begun in SLPC 1.

Reminder: Sustainable Living classes 1 and 2 are prerequisites to attend the rest of the permaculture class series that includes:

Designing Our Green Homes and Communities Through Permaculture Series
starts Saturday 2/7/15

Designing Our Green Homes and Communities is one of five modules in the permaculture design certificate course, and is open to anyone who has completed Module 1: Sustainable Living Through Permaculture Classes 1 and 2. No city planning, engineering or architectural knowledge is assumed.
#1 Sat, Feb. 7, 2015 from 9:30am-1:30 pm; Univ of Hou
#2 Sun, Feb. 8, 2015 from 1pm-5pm; Tour of Houses
#3 Sun, Feb. 15, 2015 from 1pm-5pm; Univ of Hou
#4 Sun, Feb. 22, 2015 from 12pm- 5pm; Univ of Hou
#5 Sun, Mar. 1, 2015 from 1pm-5pm; Univ of Hou
#6 Sun, Mar. 8, 2015 from 10am-5pm; Animal Farm
#7 Sun, Mar. 15, 2015 from 10am- 4pm; Animal Farm
There are no refunds on classes.

For more information on these and all Urban Harvest classes, please go

Green Home Design

Green Home Design

Title: Texas Green Home Architects Houston, Austin | Houston Green Homes | Environment Associates

Description: Green home design in Texas by LaVerne Williams, Texas’s expert on sustainability and green homes



Simply put, five main factors influence the design of a green home: energy efficiency, water conservation, material selections, indoor air quality, and consideration of the site.


Of course, there is more to it than that.


Building an authentic green home requires a deep understanding of the climate and the microclimate of the lot and site planning, the building envelope, energy and resource conservation, etc. It requires wholistically integrating the building systems, components, and renewable systems with the site to lower building and ongoing living costs.


A green home respects nature, which provides us many free benefits:

–          Breezes

–          Sunshine for heat and energy

–          Rainwater for all our needs

–          Cleared air – the breath of life

–          Sound absorption for emotional peace

–          Grounding for free radical health


A green home is designed for security

–          Food gardens

–          Comfortable outdoor spaces in all seasons

–          Enhanced water storage on site

–          Reduced wildfire threat

–          Solar energy and wind power

–          Solar heating and cooling

–          Natural beauty of visual and acoustic effects


A green home is designed for long, healthy, delightful living

–          Healthy air, water, and sensory reactions.

–          Aging

–          Durability

–          Low Maintenance

–          Comfort in all seasons with minimal air conditioning or heating

–          Visual comfort and appeal

–          Adaptability of the home for several generations

Design For Life Technologies and Features

Design For Life Technologies and Features

Title: Texas Green Home Architects Houston, Austin | Houston Green Homes | Environment Associates

Description: Green home design in Texas by LaVerne Williams, Texas’s expert on sustainability and green homes


An Everyday Oasis

Environment Associates designs aesthetically pleasing safe havens for retreat and recovery from environmental stresses and toxins. (Click here [link to Healthful Homes] to learn more about our healthful homes.) Our homes have clean indoor air, very low energy demand, and are places where you can live in relative comfort without the need for power of any kind (very useful in the aftermath of hurricanes or other events). Because our homes are so energy efficient, they require a significantly smaller and less expensive renewable energy system (such as solar PV). Some clients even collect and store enough rainwater for all their personal and gardening needs.




• Design for the site’s microclimate, place, and ecology

• Natural finishes or no-VOC finishes

• Radiant heat barriers and heat-reflecting exterior materials and colors

• Advanced insulation methods and materials

• Harvesting naturally occurring renewable energy and onsite water resources

• Use of interior thermal storage walls to increase mean radiant temperature comfort and provide natural heating and cooling storage capacity

• Permaculture-based land planning and stewardship

• Low maintenance materials and detailing to provide long-term durability and ease of replacement

• Use of appropriate, cost-effective alternative construction technologies

• Appropriate use of onsite, local, and regional construction materials

• Satisfying aesthetics and functional efficiency are part of the basics

• Fully day‐lighted interiors

• Tightly air‐sealed building envelope

• Advanced natural ventilation methodologies

• Design for naturally cooled/heated exterior spaces to extend outdoor living

• Very high-energy performance design and detailing

• Cradle-to-Cradle concepts to reduce and eliminate toxic waste

• Smaller building footprints are strongly encouraged

• Beyond Net Zero Energy performance‐capable architecture to encourage income-producing renewable energy powered homes

LEED Experience

LEED Experience

Title: LaVerne Williams, LEED architect Houston

Description: EA, the first Houston firm to complete a certified LEED Platinum project anywhere on the planet


LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED AP, is certified as a LEED accredited professional. LEED is an internationally recognized green building program that provides third-party verifications of green buildings. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.


LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities


Environment Associates is the first Houston architectural firm to complete a certified LEED Platinum project anywhere on the planet!


We also built the first certified LEED Silver home in the Texas Hill Country.


Several of our Houston projects have earned Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards.

Healthful Homes- Going Beyond Green

Healthful Homes – going beyond green

Title: Green Homes for Health and Chemical Sensitivities

Description: Environment Associates for home interiors free from environmental stresses and toxins


When LaVerne Williams started EA in 1975, he was plagued with health challenges, which doctors then would only call severe allergic reactions. By creating a workplace where he reduced exposures to allergens and toxic chemicals, this created a “healthy oasis” in Houston not only for him but for all visitors and associates.

Right from the start, his commitment to environmentally sustainable building practices included the interior environment as well as the exterior.

Over the years, LaVerne has helped chemically sensitive people in Houston to create healthy home environments.

Health advocate Sue McDonald suffers from multiple chemical sensitivities, many of which were life threatening. In 1995 she experienced an immune system “crash,” from exposure to synthetic chemicals in her home. She called on Environment Associates to guide her in creating a healthful home environment. By making these necessary changes, she has in large part regained her health

Leading Houston environmental attorney Jim Blackburn and his accountant wife Garland Kerr invited LaVerne to help them assure a healthy home environment for themselves and guests with multiple chemical sensitivities in the new home they were building. They have enjoyed a healthful home for more than 20 years.

Each year, dozens of clients engage EA’s consultingservices to help them identify and help cure their homes’ adverse effects on their health. Dozens more engage EA’s design counseling services to help prevent their new home or remodeling project from becoming another “sick home.”

Wareloft Text

Mayor’s & Houston Green Building Resource Center Tour Featured Project, May, 2012

Houston Texas

The Wareloft resulted from a couple’s desires for an environmentally sensitive home wedded to property they wanted to keep as natural as possible. It had to have interior spaces that are laid back, wide open, adaptable and accommodating for various activities and gatherings. It must provide ample room, have a weaving studio and a study and have gallery-like spaces for the owners’ created art. Using very little energy and having comfortable breezes inside even without power were part of their expectations, as was having a home that had the versatility and aesthetic appeal that loft and warehouse spaces have for them.

The purposely designed result suits the owners’ objective so well that the first expression uttered from new visitors is almost always “Wow!” (about 70% of the time) according to the owners. Weathering Hurricane Ike without damage, it provided comfortable living until power was restored weeks later. Without any PV solar assist, their total energy bill averaged $108/mo for 2010 and their highest electric bill, $137, was for the hottest 30 days ever for Houston (June 15 to July 15, 2009). This proved that the architect’s signature “Design for Life” & Passive Sustainability works very well indeed, despite this 3148 sf home having an interior volume equivalent to a 5800 sf home with 9ft ceilings. This is a Certified LEED Silver rated home on property that is also now a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary by the NWF.

Wareloft Pictures