Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties: Alternative Party Supplies

Tips for Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties |

I recently read that August is the most popular birthday month (and today happens to be mine!), which means there are thousands or even millions of birthday parties taking place this month. I love birthdays, and I love a good party. However, all the disposable waste that parties can create is a darn shame, especially when much of it can be avoided. When it comes to children’s birthdays, most people are in the habit of following the majority, which means paper plates, cups and décor in a popular licensed character theme and prettily wrapped presents of the latest plastic doll or truck. Nearly all of this stuff, including the cheap plastic party favors, gets tossed within a few hours. However, if you knew the effect all this paper and plastic waste had on trees, animals, our health and the planet, you might consider eco-friendly alternatives. (Which would likely save you … Continue reading

Inspiring Children to be Lifelong Learners

Inspiring Children as Lifelong Learners |

Welcome to the August 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have talked about how they continue learning throughout life and inspire their children to do the same. ***** From the beginning, my husband and I have been less focused on the academic standards of a school and more interested in what Sofie will learn from her school environment about communication, conflict resolution, working as a team or making mistakes… Rather than be someone who learns just enough to pass the test, we want her to be a lifelong learner. Because of this, we’ve been front-loading her education, spending our dollars in the formative early years as opposed to saving for college, a time when Sofie will be living the values, qualities and influences that she experienced … Continue reading

Parenting According to Dosha

Tips for how to parent the dosha of your child |

The Indian science of Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with nature. Everything in nature is formed from various proportions of these five elements: space, air, water, fire and earth. These elements are also present as biological energies within us, where they are called doshas: Pitta, Vata and Kapha. What is a Dosha? The three doshas, or mind-body types, reveal our personal energy patterns—sort of like the way Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® identifies our personalities (ISFJ, anyone?). While we each have a mix of all three doshas, usually one primary dosha dominates our personality and health from birth. According to Ayurvedic principles, we can achieve balance in our health and our lives by nurturing our particular dosha. Here is a brief summary of each dosha. Pitta (fire and water; summer/early fall): Hot, intense, sour energy. Pitta people tend to have a medium build, sensitive skin and strong appetites. They … Continue reading

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays to Celebrate in AUGUST

Unique and Green Holidays in August |

Some people only think about an eco lifestyle on Earth Day, April 22. However, a little research showed me that every month has a few unique and earth-friendly holidays that can be cause for celebration. Pick whichever ones appeal to you, then get out there and celebrate! August is Water Quality Month. You might never think about the quality of your local water until something goes wrong, but pollution from high concentrations of nutrients in our water is becoming a widespread problem. On an individual level, we can help prevent such pollution by: avoiding pesticides and fertilizers, not dumping chemicals down the drain, picking up pet poop, paving less and planting more. August is also Romance Awareness Month, National Golf Month and Admit You’re Happy Month. The first week in August is World Breastfeeding Week, which promotes the value of breastfeeding and garners support for improved maternity benefits and nursing in … Continue reading

10 Movies with Environmental Themes

10 Environmental Themed Movies for the Family |

It’s summer. The kids are home, the weather is hot, and, in some cases, the brain is on vacation. Relaxing in a cool, darkened room with a good visual story can sometimes be the best way to unwind or enjoy a connecting family evening. If your inner natural parent feels guilty about letting the kids watch a movie, consider choosing one with environmental content. The first five films in this post are great for little kids. The next five are more for adults or teens. All of them involve a great story that goes beyond a preachy eco message. Enjoy! Family-Friendly Movies: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) – This animated movie (with humor from Robin Williams) has rainforest inhabitants trying to save their home from loggers and a dark force named Nexxus. One of the loggers is shrunk to fairy size where he views things from a different point of … Continue reading

Eco-Friendly Pet Names

Eco-Friendly Names for your Pet |

The popularity of my Eco-Friendly Baby Names post inspired me to write one for pets. So here it is, from the serious to the silly. If you’re looking to bestow your beloved dog, cat, rabbit, bird or iguana with an environmental moniker, try this list of 40 names for inspiration. Nature Inspired Eartha Equinox Fern Forest Gaia Glacier Leaf Luna Oceana Seedling Terra Wilderness Activist-Inspired Ansel (Adams) Butterfly (Julia Hill) Carson (Rachel) McKibben (Bill) Ralph (Nader) Roosevelt (Teddy) Walden (Henry David Thoreau) Place Names Belize Galapagos Kyoto Patagonia Planet Rica (Costa) Sierra Cute and Silly Crunchy Betty Eco Mama Fluffy Tree Hugger Free-Range Granola Green Bean Professor Greenie Green Movement Audubon Bear (polar) Eco Freedom (from oil) Hybrid Prius Solar Zero (waste) What names would you add to this list?  

Review: Nourish Your Skin With Bard & Finch Beauty Products

Natural Skin Care from Bard & Finch |

My awareness of my skin seems to increase in summer, the season of allergies, hearty UV rays and hungry little bugs. I used to throw on any old skin product, usually based on whatever was on sale. Since I entered my forties—and learned more about product ingredients—I’ve become more interested in nourishing my skin so that it thrives for the next forty years. Happily, through this blog, I’m frequently introduced to new companies and their fabulous products. Today I want to tell you about Bard & Finch, a family-owned company on the coast of Maine, surrounded by vibrant finches and chatty barred owls. Their focus? Harnessing nature’s nutrients to create nourishing products for healthy skin. The Importance of Our Skin Skin is our body’s largest organ and often reflects our health. The role of skin involves: Protecting our internal selves from bacteria and other environmental pollutants. Regulating our body temperature. Both … Continue reading

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays to Celebrate in JULY

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays in July |

Some people only think about an eco lifestyle on Earth Day, April 22. However, a little research showed me that every month has a few unique and earth-friendly holidays that can be cause for celebration. Pick whichever ones appeal to you, then get out there and celebrate! July is Picnic Month. The perfect time to enjoy eating outdoors. Pack up some eco-friendly picnic supplies and head to your nearest scenic spot. Have you ever enjoyed on of these 10 best picnic spots in the U.S.? What places would you add to the list? July is also Ice Cream Month, Independent Retailer Month and Unlucky Month for Weddings. July’s Celebrations by Date July 3 – International Plastic Bag Free Day It takes a plastic bag anywhere from 100-500 years to fully decompose. In the meantime, there are quite a lot of them forming masses in our oceans and clogging our landfills. … Continue reading