What’s in Our Water? Breaking Down Marine Pollution

What's in Our Water? | Eco-Mothering.com

This Save The Bay graphic for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) shows a breakdown of trash pieces found along Rhode Island beaches and coastlines last year. It amounts to nearly ten tons of trash—and that’s just in the smallest U.S. state. According to the Ocean Conservancy, more than 18 million pounds of trash was collected by ICC volunteers in 2015. That’s equal to the weight of 437 whale sharks!   While cigarette butts are the biggest offender, the remainder consists of food and drink packaging: glass, metal and the dreaded plastic. Plastic pollution clogs coastlines, harms marine creatures and leaches toxins into our waters. It is believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, some floating and some in the deep sea. How Does the Trash Get in our Water? The bulk of it flows downstream, meaning it comes from land-based sources (litter, overflowing trash cans, … Continue reading

Protein-Rich Foods (and Recipes) for Vegetarian Children

Protein Options for Vegetarian Children | Eco-Mothering.com

Recently my nine-year-old has mentioned a desire to eat less meat. We are not a vegetarian family, but Sofie has several vegetarian friends and a soft spot for animals. As much as she loves the taste of most meats, I think she’s grappling with the realization that animals are being killed for her food. I’m all for supporting this change. A semi-vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and eco-friendly (learn why). My role now is to determine good sources of protein to replace the meat in Sofie’s meals. As the main building blocks of the body, proteins are necessary for building and maintaining our muscles, tissues and organs; fueling our brains; and aiding in specialized functions. A “complete” protein includes all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Vegetarians often get all those amino acids through eating a varied diet. After some research, and knowing my daughter’s … Continue reading

DIY Upcycling Projects: 8 of 12 – Outdoor Furnishings

DIY Upcycling Projects for Your Outdoor Space | Eco-Mothering

One of the cool things about the green movement is that it has inspired people’s creativity for repurposing items. The term “upcycling,” which was first used in 1994, is now a widely understood concept that refers to the process of transforming waste or unwanted products into something new, usually of a higher quality. This post highlights 7 DIY upcycling projects you can create for your outdoor garden and patio. Be amazed and inspired! Recycled Door Arbor from GardenWeb     Wine Bottle Tiki Torch from Design Sponge   Pallet Patio Table from Survive France   Wine Barrel Sink from Instructables   Outdoor Movie Screen from The Shabby Creek Cottage   Plastic Chair Kiddie Plaything from Mummy Musings and Mayhem   Denim Planters from Upcycled Garden Style  

Grow a Healing Garden with Medicinal Plants

Plants for Your Medicinal Garden | Eco-Mothering.com

I’m a lazy gardener. This means I plant crops that can thrive with very little attention, which is why our veggie garden typically consists of tomatoes, peas, beans, basil and lettuce. When I discovered herbs a few years ago, I was particularly fond of their perennial properties—plant once and they come back year after year. A lazy gardener’s dream! I love that herbs have multiple uses; not only do they add flavor to meals, many offer medicinal properties. Sage, for example, works in stews and also provides relief for sore throats or laryngitis when used in a tea. Since moving beyond food gardening to other plants, I try to choose those with multiple uses. Yarrow in the front yard gives us fern-like leaves and pretty pink blooms. It also stops my daughter’s nosebleeds. Lemon balm on our patio naturally deters mosquitoes, yet can also add flavor to drinks and salads. As … Continue reading

How to Make Every Day EARTH DAY

Tips for making every day Earth Day | Eco-Mothering.com

Is being eco-friendly on April 22 enough to maintain a healthy planet? Do you wonder how to make every day Earth Day? Well, WONDER no more. Yes, friends, I’ve made an acrostic from my article subheads 🙂  Remember these six basic areas in which you can ramp up your greenness 365 days per year. Watch Your Water Water conservation and sanitation is a huge issue worldwide. Here in the U.S., we can do our part in a variety of ways: Drink from cups and reusable water bottles; reuse cooking water on plants; keep water off while brushing your teeth; install water-efficient showerheads, faucets and toilets; divert rainwater to your lawn or garden with a rain barrel. Here are 100+ ways to conserve water. Opt for Less Stuff Poet, designer and social activist William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or … Continue reading

DIY Upcycling Projects: 7 of 12 – Prescription Bottles

DIY Upcycled Pill Bottles | Eco-Mothering.com

One of the cool things about the green movement is that it has inspired people’s creativity for  repurposing items. The term “upcycling,” which was first used in 1994, is now a widely understood concept that refers to the process of transforming waste or unwanted products into something new, usually of a higher quality. In honor of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (April 30), this post highlights 7 DIY Upcycling projects you can create from those ubiquitous pill containers. Be amazed and inspired! **If you have expired medications, dispose of them safely. Don’t flush them or toss them in the trash! Look for a drug collection site near you. Cute Storage Containers from The Bearfoot Baker   On-the-Go Survival Kit from Survival at Home Faux Bamboo Vase from Mich L. in L.A.   Tooth Saver from About Home   Wall-Mounted Lighting from Instructables   Winter Snowman Decoration from Crafting a Green … Continue reading

Why School Children Need Recess

Why Kids Need Recess | Eco-Mothering.com

Since the implementation of the Common Core State Standards—and its precursor, the 2001 No Child Left Behind law—schools have focused on meeting rigid standards and preparing students for standardized tests. With school test scores being held up to scrutiny (and in some cases affecting teacher jobs or the threat of being put on the “watch list”), a lot of emphasis is put on preparing students for those tests. In many cases, this has resulted in schools eliminating recess in order to squeeze in more teaching time. When Atlanta elementary schools replaced recess with more instructional time, the superintendent was quoted as saying, “We are intent on improving academic performance. You don’t do that by having kids hanging from monkey bars.”  (source) Hanging from monkey bars is one of my daughter’s favorite parts of the school day. We hear detailed accounts at dinner of the games she and her friends play … Continue reading

DIY Upcycling Projects: 6 of 12 – Household Decor

DIY Upcycled Household Decor | Eco-Mothering.com

One of the cool things about the green movement is that it has inspired people’s creativity for  repurposing items. The term “upcycling,” which was first used in 1994, is now a widely understood concept that refers to the process of transforming waste or unwanted products into something new, usually of a higher quality. This post highlights 5 DIY upcycling projects you can create to add flair (and usefulness) around your home. Be amazed and inspired! Chandelier Planter from DIY Show Off   Shabby Chic Toothbrush and Towel Holder from Coffee with the Mrs.   Ceiling Fan Blade Wall Art from  from Life of Eates-a-Lot   Alphabet Photo Holder Magnets from Plum Pudding   Old Door Entry Bench from The Friendly Home   What upcycling ideas can you share?