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Clearing the Air

laptop_teaAsana teahouse does away with Wi-Fi in hopes of a healthier café environment
When Shanna Casey opened Asana, a tea café in Downtown Santa Cruz, she imagined a place where individuals could come together. “Asana’s original definition is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘to sit and be present,’” Casey explains. “That’s why I created this place and I’m almost coming back to this vision.”

As Casey sees it, coming back to this vision means taking part in the growing movement to reduce exposure to Wi-Fi frequencies by removing Asana’s Wi-Fi connection. Now when her customers wish to access the Internet, they must plug one of seven neatly coiled Ethernet cables into their laptops.

After friends and acquaintances raised concerns about the possible health impacts of wireless with her about a year ago, Casey started to do her own research. “Wi-Fi frequencies are not really naturally harmonious with human frequencies, and of course it will upset the balance of human health,” she says, noting that she had anxiety and headaches from exposure to Wi-Fi, Although she was initially concerned about losing business, Casey resolutely states she has been feeling better now that the Wi-Fi is gone.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental exposure to electromagnetic frequencies like those produced by Wi-Fi has been increasing. However, the WHO states that current evidence does not confirm any adverse health effects from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.

Nevertheless, many argue that further research is needed, and people like Casey are persuaded from their own experiences to take a cautious approach. The movement to stop the Wi-Fi enabled Pacific Gas & Electric SmartMeters has gained particular traction in Santa Cruz.

Although some are skeptical, most customers have responded positively to Asana’s Ethernet cables and have reported clearer energy in the cafe and a faster connection to the Internet. Casey has responded to any complaints by reminding her customers that their health is her priority.  “I would rather lose customers,” she says, “than have a business that was hurting people.”

Casey hopes Asana will set an example for other businesses in the community.


Visit Asana online at asanateas.com. To learn more about SmartMeters or electromagnetic frequencies, visit who.int, pge.com/smartmeter, or stopsmartmeters.org.
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