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
When you think of professional sports, you don’t usually get a fuzzy, green image. But I recently read that my hometown team, the Philadelphia Eagles, is one of the greenest sports teams in the National Football League. Going Eagle Green Inspired to make a difference by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, in 2003 Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and his then wife Christina launched the team’s Go Green program. They sought advice from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on ways to make their operations more sustainable. Over the past decade, the Eagles’ efforts have included: Eliminating fossil fuels and powering their stadium, Lincoln Lincoln Financial Field, completely on renewable energy. So far this includes 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines. Stepping up their recycling (in 2013, they were at 99% diversion from the landfill). Using green cleaning products. Converting cooking oil into biodeisel fuel. Using recycled paper products and … Continue reading
This is a guest post by Patricia Dimick Children have an innate desire to be outside to burn off extra energy and experience nature. Yet it can be difficult to send children outside if there is not a safe place for them to play. With these helpful hints, some planning and thrifty purchases, you can create your own safe and eco-friendly backyard using recycled and repurposed materials. Creating a Safe Space When your tiny little bundles of joy get their feet under command, they are impossible to keep up with, and a fence may be necessary. Enclose the entire area with no more than five inches between slats. The open/close or locking mechanisms of the doors should be installed out of the reach of tiny “Houdini” hands. All parts of the fencing should be checked for holes or sharp areas. Look into sustainable fence options. You should get down to … Continue reading
Okay, so it’s football playoff season and you or your partner wants to dress the baby in sporty gear. (I’m a football fan, so we had Sofie sporting a Philadelphia Eagles jersey early on.) It’s fun, it’s cute, and—guess what?—it can even be eco-friendly. Here are 5 football-themed baby items to bring out on Game Day. Fair Trade, Organic Football Rattle Spunky Stork Playbook Organic T-shirt Organic Football Layette Set Peepee Teepee for Boys Organic Sports Burp Cloths This post is featured on Natural Family Friday and Natural Living Monday.
This is a guest post by Maggie Richards. For tiredness, stress and ailments, we hurriedly self-medicate with high amounts of caffeine, a glass of wine and over-the-counter pain relievers. Instead of truly treating our mental conditions or physical problems at the core of the issue, we tend to mask negative emotions and physical pain with quick, and usually unhealthy, fixes. Rather than rely on medications to alleviate our various pains, instead resort to holistic approaches and alternatives that also support the global sustainability movement. Suffering from mental anguish, unbearable pain or a significant injury? Head to the yoga studio instead of the hospital. Instead of popping pills and burning through prescriptions, meditate and free yourself from pain through ancient yoga poses. The marriage of physical therapy and yoga is a natural healing solution for physical pain and tension. Yoga for Natural Healing and Wellness If you’re a slave to your … Continue reading
Kids love to move. Getting them started early with yoga feeds that need and offers a ton of benefits—both physical and mental—including: strength, flexibility, concentration, self-control, balance, expression, confidence and relaxation. Who doesn’t want all that for their child? Below are five poses (four easy, one challenging) that are great for introducing kids to yoga. Tree Pose (Vriksasana) This classic is the first yoga pose my daughter latched onto, and she still loves it. Tree pose teaches self-control and concentration while it improves a child’s balance and lower body strength. Kids “become” a tree by planting their feet into the ground for stability and noticing the sway of their bodies. Many often find they have better balance on one side more than another, which is perfectly normal. Downward-Facing-Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) An excellent and invigorating pose for kids and adults alike, Downward Dog is good for relieving tension and energizing the … Continue reading
April 1-7 is National Public Health Week with Friday being touted as National Walk to Work Day. The health benefits of walking abound, from burning calories and preventing heart disease to reducing stress and increasing sexual desire. Take a look at my Top 5 items that can make your walking a little greener. Bamboo Socks Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource. Once cut, it regenerates quickly. A bamboo grove produces 35% more oxygen than a similar-sized grove of trees. In addition, bamboo is naturally soft, absorbent and does not harbor odor. All this makes it perfect sock material. I own several pairs of Ecosox, and I love them. I’ve worn holes into my first pair, but have yet to toss them. They keep my feet dry, warm and cool – whatever the weather calls for. Choose between sport, hiking or work Ecosox. Green Sneakers The Dutch company OAT offers “shoes that bloom” … Continue reading