Monthly Archives: March 2009

Recycling With Kids

Going green is everywhere now and can seem pretty overwhelming at times. With so much information out there it can be hard to know where to start.

You don’t need to go green overnight; take small steps!

Recycling can be a good first step, and it’s also a great way to teach kids about waste.

There are a lot of good resources out there to help you show your kids why we recycle. One site featuring a lot of great information is Kids Recycle. It’s geared toward schools but parents will find the information helpful as well.

One good idea to help kids get involved comes from an episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 where Sara Snow visits.

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Great Green Giveaway: Skeeda

By now most of us know that plastic shopping bags comprise a significant amount of the world’s plastic waste, with The Wall Street Journal estimating that the United States alone consumes 100 billion shopping bags a year. 100 billion is 99.9 billion too many.

The great thing about that outrageous number is that it can be easily and dramatically downsized, one household, and one trendy reusable canvas bag at a time.

Enter three sisters with a mission and www.skeeda.com

About Skeeda

When three sisters from a small town in upstate NY combined their passion, creativity, and concern for the environment, skeeda© was born.

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Renée Anne

Every week or so we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week I stumbled upon this Happy Birthday Cake card from Renée Anne’s Etsy shop and fell instantly in love with the simple (and 100% recycled!) design.

From the seller:

Chocolate Birthday cake is my son’s favorite but this Happy Birthday card is perfect for just about anyone! It is blank inside ready for your personalized message. It features a print of an ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR painting designed and painted by me.

BEAUTIFUL, HIGH QUALITY 100% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED card stock and envelope used.

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What’s Up with Cloth Diapers?

I recently received an e-mail from a fellow mama who was inquisitive about cloth diapers.

Her questions were simple and straight forward. “I see that they now have snaps, but can you tell me how it works?” “I cannot imagine cleaning a cloth diaper and I’m curious why would you do it when you could throw them away. More specifically, how do you clean those things?”

I appreciate her questions; most people don’t even bother to ask before they just assume that I must be crazy or a glutton for punishment!

Quite honestly, I completely understand that mind set though. I used to think the same way!

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Green Groceries: 9 Reasons To Eat Local

If I were to ask you how eco-friendly the food you buy at the grocery store is, you would probably dutifully point out the “organic” label on the fruits and vegetables and perhaps even some cereals and crackers.

For argument’s sake though, let’s examine the reality of how green and even (gasp!) nutritious these foods really are.

Is it environmentally friendly to buy organic oranges from Florida in the middle of a Minnesota winter? What about the shipping costs (and fuel expended) and the extra shelf time? By the time it reaches you, it’s passed through the many stages of handling that has decreased its nutrient value greatly.

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Ursa Freedom Project

Bear Confined for Bile FarmingTo many of us, poaching is an unfamiliar term and practice. It happens on African savannahs and involves clandestine ivory sales.

Unfortunately, the face of poaching is a very real and ugly one in more places than we care to think about.

I recently joined a viral action network whose goal is to raise awareness and ignite action to stop a little known poaching practice that is occurring right now- bear bile farming. Posing as buyers and suppliers in the illegal wildlife trade, eco-warriors have taken hidden cameras where some of the most heinous crimes against nature are taking place: on bear bile farms in China.

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Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

Here are some of our favorite posts from around the greenosphere this week, to help start your weekend a bit greener.

Monday No Impact Man posted a sobering but important article about “the toxic mess left behind when Texaco withdrew from the Ecuadorian Amazon in the 1990s,” inspired by Joe Berlinger’s new documentary Crude.

Monday Earth 911 covered green office remodeling; thinking your office could use a green spacelift? Learn how to get started!

Tuesday Northwest Mom Finds featured adorable playhouse scavenger hunt cards from Blynken & Nod. Need a game to get your little runs outside? Northwest Mom Finds can probably help!

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The Missing Link

Reduce, reuse and recycle. We all understand the importance of the three “R’s” of being environmentally responsible. I believe there is another part of the circle that is often overlooked, and I think it is the most important part.

I am referring to supporting the market for your carefully recycled cast-offs.

When you buy something, look for items made from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials. It doesn’t matter how many plastic bottles, newspapers, cardboard boxes and tin cans we throw in the recycle bin. If there is no market for these materials, the recycling industry will disappear.

In west Texas, for example, it is very difficult to recycle glass.

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“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”

Post title from The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water is really, really important stuff. It’s that clear liquid that quenches your thirst, cleans your body (and clothes and kitchens and loved ones too!) and accounts for about 55-70% of your body weight.  Clean water is essential to life, and if you don’t agree, just ask anyone who doesn’t have access to it.

So, if you’re anything like I was, you realize that there’s a problem, but you’re not really sure what you can do. You use water all the time, and everything that you use seems to be cleaned or manufactured with water–but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to know where to start to make a difference.

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Go Green With Your Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again to go through our homes, clean out the cobwebs, and freshen up things for spring.  I don’t know about you, but this has never been one of my favorite tasks! Nonetheless it needs to be done, so, what better time could there be to start introducing some green cleaning and de-cluttering ideas into our homes?  Moreover, why not have some company along the way?

Here are some of my favorite sites and blogs that are taking on this challenge throughout the month of March and the rest of the year:

FlyLady.net– It can’t get more simple than FlyLady! 

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