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

Why Trees Are Awesome (and Why You Should Plant One)

Benefits of Trees | Eco-Mothering.com

Most everyone is familiar with Joyce Kilmer’s poetic line: “I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree.” What makes trees so lovely? They tower over our landscape with their leafy, needled and willowy beauty; mark the cycle of the seasons from stark nakedness to riotous colors; and serve as symbols of strength and flexibility. We know trees are good for the earth, but do we really know why? Here are some reasons behind the awesomeness of trees. Let me know if this doesn’t make you want to hug one or plant one — which you can do at the end of this post! Trees Conserve Energy and Water. Placed strategically, trees provide shade to homes and office buildings, either reducing the need for air conditioners or cutting AC costs by 15-35%. Trees planted in cities help combat the “heat islands” of unending asphalt and concrete. … Continue reading

Sing for Climate Change Action

Taking Action on Climate Change | Eco-Mothering.com

Recently, my daughter came home singing this song she had learned in school. “We need to wake up, We need to wise up, We need to open our eyes and do it now, now, now! We need to build a better future and we need to start right now! We’re on a planet that has a problem. We need to solve it, get involved, and do it now, now, now! We need to build a better future and we need to start right now!” View full lyrics of “Do It Now.” These were fabulous words to hear Sofie singing around the house. And then I discovered it was part of a global movement to affect change at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. From November 30-December 11, 190 nations will convene in the City of Light to discuss ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the year 2020 (when … Continue reading

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays to Celebrate in SEPTEMBER

Unique and Gently Green Holidays in September | Eco-Mothering.com

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! September is Baby Safety Month. While most people focus on external safety—sharp objects, chokeables, hazardous climbing structures—you might also consider your baby’s internal safety. That means the invisible chemicals and toxins that permeate many household and hygiene products. Start with these 5 toxins to avoid in baby products and see what your alternatives are. September is also Piano Month, Self Improvement Month, Chicken Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. September’s Celebrations by Date: September 4 – Lazy Moms Day Celebrated the first Friday in September, Lazy Moms Day is a holiday I can get behind. From savvy.com, here are 25 ways to be lazy today. … Continue reading

Be Guilt-Free, Buy Fairtrade

Why Buy Fairtrade | Eco-Mothering.com

This is a guest post by Frugal RJ As environmentally conscious parents, we try to be knowledgeable about the contents and history of the products we use, but it can be awfully time consuming to find out where every product comes from and how it was made. We might purchase clothes and supplies labeled “organic,” but how true is that label? And does being marketed as “organic” automatically mean that the product was made through ethical means? Thankfully, as the “green movement” becomes a regular way of life, many organizations and agencies have emerged to help make living eco-friendly lifestyles more manageable. One such group is Fairtrade International, an organization that has fought to secure international standards for the ethical production of goods. Recognizing that every product results from a partnership between producers, businesses and consumers, Fairtrade International has created a set of standards that allow a product to carry Fairtrade … Continue reading

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays to Celebrate in MAY

Unique and Gently Green Holidays in May | Eco-Mothering.com

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! May is National Bike Month. Since 1956 National Bike Month has given Americans the chance to celebrate this two-wheeled and eco-friendly mode of transportation. And from 2000 to 2013, bike commuters in the U.S. rose 62% – how awesome is that? Bike to Work Day is May 15 this year. May is also Barbecue Month, Get Caught Reading Month, National Photo Month and Date Your Mate Month. May’s Celebrations by Date: May 1 – May Day Whether it’s fertility dances, political protests or spring celebrations, May Day is honored around the world. One of the most common activities is maypole dancing, which really … Continue reading

Take the #GreenScream Challenge and Affect Climate Change

#GreenScream Challenge | Eco-Mothering.com

Remember last year’s ALS ice bucket challenge? That was wildly successful with donations topping $100 million in a single month. Now, in honor of Earth Month, the Environmental Media Association brings you the #GreenScream Challenge. This is totally fun because you get to sneak up on someone and scare them. And videotape it. And post it on Facebook or Instagram for the world to see. Ha. Even celebrities are doing it — watch Lance Bass #GreenScream Michael Turchin in this video. Why are we being challenged to scare someone? To spread the word on the scary impacts of climate change, which we’ve been seeing in the form of sea level rise, extreme heat, droughts, blizzards, storms and flooding. How does this help the earth? Everyone who takes the challenge needs to challenge three more people and plant an herb, flower or veggie within 24 hours. Carbon pollution is the main … Continue reading

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green Holidays to Celebrate in DECEMBER

Unique, Wacky and Gently Green December Holidays | Eco-Mothering.com

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! December is Human Rights Month — Created by the United Nations in 1948 to promote awareness about human rights worldwide, Human Rights Day is observed on December 10. It commemorates the day the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Select a preferred human right or country and learn what you can do to help. December’s Celebrations by Week: Tuesday after Thanksgiving – Giving Tuesday In 2012, several organizations came together to promote the idea of giving, particularly after the consumerism of Black Friday. Donations that first year reached $10 million. Here are five ways your family can give on this day. … Continue reading