Author Archives: Kim

3 Reasons to Write With Me in the Peruvian Amazon & Machu Picchu This Summer!

I am so very excited about leading this creative writing workshop in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu!

Sponsored by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER), we will literally be experiencing Nature from the depths to the heights, in all her splendor and glory. Here are just three stellar reasons for coming:

  • This workshop will provide inspiration, support and just enough structure to get you writing and moving toward whatever your goal may be.
  • All participants will have the opportunity to write and submit a story about their experience that will be published online by ACEER.
  • The rainforest has a way of stripping away all that stands between you and your inner voice. For the observant writer, it will rock your world!

Come join us! Registration ia due May 1.  Message me, Kim Henderson at: for more info. Please feel free to share with others!

Layout 1



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roasted, Lightly Salted Brazil Nuts—The Gift that Saves the Amazon Rainforest!



Need an easy gift for someone at the office, a neighbor, teacher or dear friend? Here’s one that has the added bonus of helping to save areas of the Amazon Rainforest: Brazil nuts!

You’ll be giving something really special as Brazil nuts are deliciously decadent, healthy and most of all, meaningful. Better yet, it takes very little time to salt and roast them in the oven to bring out their unique flavor.

But first, here’s the 411 on the Brazil nut-Amazon rainforest saving connection…

How Giving Brazil Nuts Saves the Rainforest

Brazil nut trees have a unique distinction that makes them important to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest — they flourish only in the Amazon’s untouched rainforest. Growing Brazil nut trees is quite difficult. Cultivation requires a particular species of bee as well as unique soil-content characteristics.  Accordingly, attempts to cultivate Brazil nut trees on plantations have largely failed with only a few exceptions. Basically, if you want to harvest Brazil nuts, you can only do it in healthy tropical Amazon rainforest. That’s the great news. A thriving Brazil nut trade keeps significant areas of the Amazon rainforest intact! In fact, Brazil nuts are considered the most viable non-timber forest product (NTFP) in the Amazon, and they are the only wild-harvested tree nut in the world. Simply buying them helps support this mutually beneficial trade.

Brazil Nuts are Exotic, Delicious and Healthy!

Brazil nuts make a great gift because they come from the exotic Amazon rainforest and they are both delicious ad healthy. You can chop and add them to salads, pasta or rice dishes, baked goods, cereals, and sauces or have them by themselves as a snack. My personal favorite way to enjoy them is by adding them to chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

The Brazil nut holds a treasure trove of nutrition too! Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, copper, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. They are one of the few nuts to have enough amino acids to make a complete protein (important to vegans and important in a snack). The fiber adds to a feeling of fullness, and selenium is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help protect against breast and prostate cancer. One Brazil nut contains 780 percent of the U.S. selenium recommended daily allowance!

All you have to do is stop by your local health food or grocery store and pick up a pound or two of Brazil nuts (preferably organic). Come home and spread them out on a couple of cookie sheets. Preheat the oven to 375°, drizzle some high quality virgin olive oil on the nuts and sprinkle them lightly with sea salt or Himalayan salt and slip them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Take them out; let them cool, and voila! You’ve got your nuts ready to go. Just fill them into a few canisters, boxes or mason jars that you can pretty with a red or green ribbon and you have several lovely, personal gifts.

The Gift that Gives

Enjoy Brazil nuts this holiday season whether giving them or eating them personally, and take extra pleasure in knowing that you are feeding your body something good as well as helping to bring sustainable income to those who live in the Amazon, which helps preserve the greatest rainforest on earth!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get In the Flow, Get It Done! Amazon/Machu Picchu Writing Adventure!

Hey, check out my new writing workshop next summer in the Peruvian  Amazon and Machu Picchu. Here’s the description and a link to ACEER–the group sponsoring it.

Get in the Flow/Get it Done: A Creative Writing Workshop

This workshop will be led by Kim Henderson. Kim is an award-winning environmental author, reporter and seasoned publishing professional. Having met hundreds of deadlines as both a writer and magazine editor, she knows how to manage the creative process to completion. She uniquely encourages writers to spend time in nature and practice informal meditation as sources of both inspiration and restoration. And by setting doable writing commitments, she helps writers get in the flow. She gets writers writing—and writing to completion. As Kim notes, “You can think it and you can feel it, but if you don’t put in into words, it will never delight, inform or move another human being—or shape our world. My job is to empower the writer to commit to the process and get words on the page. The rest falls into place.”

Kim spent three years researching the impact western lifestyle choices have on tropical rainforests as well as the deep connection and dependence westerners have on the rainforest for survival. She discovered the power consumers have to shape environmental practices in tropical regions and to bring income to impoverished communities. But perhaps most importantly for this workshop, she experienced firsthand the effects the tropical rainforest have on the human spirit. “The rainforest connects us to our primal roots. What’s essential comes to the surface. You cannot spend time in the rainforest and leave unchanged. You hear your own voice clearly and find new inspiration. What’s more, in this workshop, you will literally ascend from the Amazon to the heights of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas!”

A final itinerary and cost will be posted here soon, so please check back. In the meantime, additional details can be obtained from ACEER

Link to ACEER:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing Workshop Series with Kim Henderson

Come join my next writing workshop in Thousand Oaks, CA on November 22! It will get you writing!

Layout 1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Getting Hip to the Rainforest Destructive Nature of Rayon


The Rainforest Action Network’s recent launch of its new campaign “Out of Fashion—A Campaign for Forest-Friendly Fabrics” got me thinking that it’s a good time to share a chapter from my book about rayon. Aside from one type of rayon that is more eco-friendly, the production of this textile is hugely destructive to tropical rainforests particularly in Southeast Asia. The problem is that many of us Westerners unwittingly feed this destructive trade with everyday clothing purchases. Awareness can reverse this issue—so please share this freely with as many people as possible.




Who would think that something as innocuous as a rayon Hawaiian-print shirt might be linked to rainforest destruction? But indeed it is. Many of us have no idea that rayon—this seemingly harmless textile so popular in warm-weather clothing—is made from wood or pulp through an intensive chemical process, requiring vast amounts of water. Rayon is not a natural fiber, yet it’s not completely synthetic either. It’s a hybrid of sorts or what’s called a semisynthetic fiber derived from a reaction of carbon disulfide and cellulose (sourced from wood pulp) through a long and intensive chemical process. Unfortunately, in tropical areas, the wood pulp comes from either healthy or degraded rainforest or deforested areas replaced with tree plantations. The tropical rainforests of Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries provide an ideal habitat for rayon mills, as environmental laws are not strictly enforced and there’s an abundance of cheap labor, water and wood sources, making it a top supplier, followed closely by Japan and Korea.


Conservation groups are very concerned about existing rayon mills and their continued expansion. “Rayon mills are rapidly destroying native rainforests and coastal mangroves and causing grave water and air pollution problems in many places, “ reports “The rayon mills are huge consumers of rainforests,” adds Borneo Orangutan Survival.


These rayon mills are affecting the habitats of endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, rhino, elephant and orangutan—as well as the livelihoods of subsistence farmers and locals who depend on the forest for survival. Chemical byproducts from rayon mills such as zinc and hydrogen sulfide are emitted into the air and wastewater, which find their way into the surrounding environment and drinking water.


Rayon mills are inherently unhealthy for workers due to chemical exposure. Studies of the impact of exposure to carbon disulfide on rayon plant workers have revealed that the risk of death from cardiovascular causes is greatly increased (as much as two to three times fatality risk) if the levels of this toxin are high, according to a Super Eco report. Labor abuses have been an issue as well, according to reports from the organization Down to Earth.


But perhaps what’s most detrimental of all is the disappearing forest and degraded forest replaced by tree plantations to feed the rayon mills’ incessant need for wood. Local populations that depend on the forest for food and other resources are displaced. And as journalist Chris Lang has argued, what some rayon manufacturers and governments define as “degraded” forest is actually quite viable, providing many resources to local populations. While the industry and government may accept eucalyptus plantations as “reforestation,” the experience of locals whom Lang has interviewed shows that plantations offer very little in the way of resources to locals compared to even the most degraded forest.




You can help rainforests and those who are suffering directly from their loss by simply avoiding rayon. Rayon can look like silk, wool, cotton and linen. Check labels when purchasing clothing, linens, drapery, pillows—any item involving textiles.


It can be tricky to identify rayon sometimes, because it has several names and some safe textiles have names that sound like rayon. For instance, in Europe, rayon is more commonly called viscose or viscose rayon. And acetate rayon is actually not rayon made from wood, but rayon made from cotton that is not destructive to rainforests—so it is okay. There are some trade names for different types of rayon as well. Bemberg is the trade name for cuprammonium rayon, produced in Italy. It is the most chemical-intensive form of rayon and a good one to avoid, whether produced in tropical environments or not. Tencel is the trade name for lyocell rayon produced in a nontoxic organic solvent solution that’s reclaimed and recycled in a closed-loop spinning process that conserves both energy and water. The wood pulp is sourced most often from eucalyptus plantations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It’s a better choice than rayon, but we are hesitant to heartily recommend it as tree plantations are not equivalent to forests.


To summarize, these are the most common names for rayon and should be avoided:


•           Rayon

•           Viscose

•           Viscose rayon

•           Bemberg

These types of rayon are better choices:


•           Tencel (the more eco-friendly type of rayon)

•           Acetate rayon (made from cotton, not wood pulp)


Look for organic cotton, linen, washable silk or hemp instead of rayon. These textiles will keep you as cool as rayon in the warmer months—and you’ll be additionally cool for avoiding harming rainforests!



Here’s a link to RAN—join the campaign:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment