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On Valentine's Day, people celebrate all kinds of love. And chefs and foodies around the globe are showing how indulgence can often be both healthy for people and the planet. These innovators are making the case that flavorful, locally sourced plant-inspired dishes are perfect for special occasions — and also versatile for everyday mealtimes.

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Extracted from the sap of the coconut, the "lambanog" was once considered a lowly peasant's drink whose potency they claim puts those of well-known liquors and spirits around the world in the shade. JAY DIRECTO / AFP / Getty Images

Christmas celebrations turned sour when 11 people died and over 300 were hospitalized in the Philippines after drinking a batch of poisonous coconut wine, local police said on Monday.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

During the next two weeks, it's estimated that a record 116 million people in the U.S. will travel for the holidays.

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SolStock / E+ / Getty Images

By Heather Cruickshank

  • Signs of holiday cheer can have a flip side for many dealing with loss, anxiety, or depression.
  • Disruptions to your diet, exercise habits, and sleep schedule can also take a toll and lead to holiday blues.
  • Experts say there are clear ways to cope including connecting with others, managing expectations, and practicing self-care.

The holiday season is a joyful time for many people — but it can also be a harbinger of stress.

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Pexels

By Julia Ries

  • Alcohol activates the GABA system causing us to feel less anxious and relaxed. If you stop drinking, your GABA system is still overcompensating and gets mixed up, leading to a spike in anxiety.
  • Drinking can also impact your ability to get REM sleep, which can affect mood.
  • Alcohol can help trigger a chemical that impacts the "flight or flight" response leading to anxiety

For many people, drinking and the holidays go hand in hand.

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Evergreens pictured with foggy sky in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Dave Michuda / Unsplash

It's the holiday season again, and in the midst of making to-do lists and prepping for festive dinners, some people will once again ponder whether it is better for the environment to buy an artificial Christmas tree or to opt for the real thing.

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By Sharon Elber

You may have heard that giving a pet for Christmas is just a bad idea. Although many people believe this myth, according to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. So, if done well, giving an adopted pet as a Christmas gift can work out.

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You can reduce the footprint of a medium-sized live tree by donating it to elephants at a local zoo, like this African elephant pictured above. eans / iStock / Getty Images

The holiday season is supposed to be about giving and sharing, but often it is actually about throwing away. The U.S. generates 25 percent more garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year's than it does during the rest of the year. That's around one million extra tons per week, according to National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) figures reported by The Associated Press.

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By Jennifer Molidor, PhD

Climate change, habitat loss and pollution are overwhelming our planet. Thankfully, these enormous threats are being met by a bold new wave of environmental activism.

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Spiced hot chocolate. Lilechka75 / iStock / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD

Food is the cornerstone of the holiday season. It brings friends and family together to share memories, cultural traditions, and great flavors.

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