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
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
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
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?
Parents who return to work after a baby is born usually rely on childcare outside the home. While cost, location and availability are big factors in making such a decision, natural parents might want to consider eco-friendly factors as well. This was not something I had considered at all when, at four months old, Sofie went off to daycare. My daughter’s first childcare provider was an in-home day care, which was nice in that it was small (3-4 kids) and Sofie received lots of loving, individual attention. The provider was agreeable to changing cloth diapers, feeding Sofie with my warmed-up breast milk, and occasionally wearing her in a carrier. Her home was cozy with plenty of time spent outside. On the down side, the TV was often on, and no preference was given to green furnishings or materials. At age two, we moved Sofie to an early childhood education center. … Continue reading
Already, at nine years old, my daughter has mentioned that she keeps her stress in her neck and shoulders. Stress? At nine? What’s happening? Nothing major, as it turns out. But I haven’t attributed much weight to Sofie’s everyday quarrels with friends, homework anxiety, or even how she reacts to issues within our family. Apparently, as much as we try to feather their nests, our kids still deal with stress at an earlier age than we may have thought. While we can’t relieve them of their anxieties, we can help them cope. Here are some tools your child can learn now and use for the rest of her life. Cultivate a Positive Outlook The more you focus on your child’s best parts and behaviors, the more he will learn to see the glass as half full and seek solution to his problems. The latest research shows that we can mold … Continue reading
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 for unique Valentine’s Day gifts. Be amazed and inspired! FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER: “52 Reasons” Card Book from Austin, Texas FOR YOUR KIDS: “I Love You Around the World and Back” Globe from Driven by Decor FOR YOUR DAD: Scrabble Tile Cufflinks from Mom It Forward FOR YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER: Apple Clay Jar from Crafty Moods FOR YOUR CHILD’S CLASSMATES: Hand Warmers from About a Mom
Wetlands are areas where water mixes with or saturates the land at least part of the year. Areas like bogs, swamps, vernal pools and salt mashes are considered wetlands. While they may not be as scenic as other landscapes, wetlands are vital ecosystems that provide habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife. Below, you’ll learn why we should value wetlands, plus fun ways families (or classes) can learn more. What Do Wetlands Do? They filter pollutants from the water, trapping heavy metals, phosphorous and other toxins in their sediment. They act as a frontline storm defense against strong winds and tidal waves, reducing a storm’s impact and preventing erosion. They collect and store flood water. Acting as sponges, wetland vegetation absorbs heavy rain and snow melt to keep rivers at normal levels and prevent flash flooding. On the other end, wetlands can also recharge groundwater supplies and control flow … Continue reading