Author Archives: SusanC

Welcome to 5 Minutes for Going Green #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013Welcome to 5 Minutes for Going Green!

5 Minutes for Going Green is as a Sister Site of 5 Minutes for Mom that started back in July 2008. Over the years we’ve had several great editors and writers contribute here at 5 Minutes for Going Green.

But with all our busy schedules, we’ve unfortunately neglected this site.

That is going to change. We’re going to kick Going Green back into action and we want you to join us.

If you would like to get involved either by writing a single guest post, becoming a regular contributor or even taking on the role of managing editor, please contact us.

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Happy Healthy Eating: Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support your local farmer and keep fresh vegetables on the table. Most CSA‘s work something like this:

Families (or single folk) buy a “share” (or two if you’re a large family)- ranging in price from say $400.00 to $800.00+ and each week you meet at a pick up location for your box of vegetables and fruits. Most CSA shareholders pay in installments, some take advantage of work-share options, and all pay a down payment of some sort. And that’s in part the beauty of CSA– because buyers pay the farmer upfront she can estimate how much to plant.

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Creative “Green” Date Nights

A Candy Kiss Goodbye by James Spicer on Etsy, Fine Art Print

My husband and I are always busy with work, kids, our personal time, and sometimes it’s hard for us to make time for our relationship. But it’s always so rewarding when we do.

Since we don’t always have the money to go out for dinner or a movie, I like thinking of creative ways for us to share time together or with other adults in a playful and romantic way.

Last month I was dreaming up the perfect date night and come up with these fun ways to spend time together.

1) Have a potluck. Instead of heading to the restaurant, invite friends over for a candle light dinner; plan for a house large enough to accommodate kids with a movie and special dinner while the parents (adults) have a special night of conversation and cocktails.

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My own time… a “time in”

leaves 001

The air is crisp, and there are (almost) daily visits of “Jack” frost. The trees are just about completely barren and in town there’s the buzz of holiday excitement. This past weekend we had our first local indoor Winter Farmer’s Market. All the signs indicate the holidays are around the corner!

The end of this week marks the beginning of the Christmas “consumer” season, the holiday parties, cookie baking, travel, decorating…. and the to-do list gets longer and longer. So, here I am to offer a gentle reminder on the importance of simplicity… even in December!

I recently started re-reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and am deeply moved by the words of a fifth grader interview for the book.

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Re-Gifting in the Gift-Giving Season

I really do have some of the greatest friends.

This past week, I let my guard down and showed that I can’t be Wonderwoman all the time. I admitted my struggles to maintain a tidy house while working, keeping up with two young kiddos, and caring for my 5-month pregnant body. And you know what? Those friends took time out of their beyond busy lives and helped me clean and declutter my ENTIRE house this past Saturday! What a lesson in humbling myself and allowing others to take care of me!

I also learned another valuable and money-saving lesson this weekend.

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Great “Green” Toys

Last week, I shared some of my ideas for what makes a good kid toy. This week, I would like to share with you some sources and suggestions for toys that are durable, fun, useful and green!

Next week is Thanksgiving and as we know the day after T-day the Christmas spending season begins. However, some folks (like me) observe a special day of consciously not consuming (known as Buy Nothing Day). I really like this website that has great ideas to make the day after Thanksgiving Make Something Day.

And if you just don’t have the time, skill, materials….

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Timeless Toys

When I go out looking for toys for my son, I want to find things that will become treasures.  For his first birthday he received from family a handmade wooden slide, a rocking boat that can serve as stairs and a small wheel barrow. His second birthday he received a wooden train table with storage drawers for his cars and trains and a small wooden kitchen. This year I am probably going to get him a wooden wagon.

What do these toys have in common? They are timeless… he will continue to enjoy them well into elementary school; they are sturdy and wooden and can stand the test of time; they encourage creativity and community and he (or his friends) are the ones making the action- not the toy.

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Greening Up Isn’t Just for You

This time of year, the urge to splurge on family is everywhere. While the sentiment is nice that we “greenies” are reminded of certain candles to avoid, of how to reuse packaging, and how to keep our holidays green in general, one thing seems to be forgotten: nature itself.

While many of us enjoy using all natural products, we forget that nature is still out there and still needs protecting. As a biologist, one of the things that always strikes me as odd is how one can very quickly spend the dollars for a label that says all natural without any care as to where the ingredients came from.

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Going Cloth for Greener Diapering

When I was pregnant with baby #2 in 2008, several of my friends were making the switch to cloth diapers for their babies. I looked on and listened, all the while thinking they made the grossest and most “trendy” decision in the world. Why would they want to use cloth diapers?! And how could they possibly be making a better choice for their babies and saving money??? Little did I know how far their influence would go.

As I learned more about the cloth diapers they used, the brands they trusted, and changed those little cloth bottoms when I watched my friends’ children, the idea grew on me for several reasons:

* Saving money.

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Greener Cleaning

It was just five months ago when my husband and I moved our family into an 1852 single-family farm home. There was so much we loved about our new home: the increase in living space, the playroom, two large bathrooms, the character that comes with an old home. We saw past the much-needed improvements, looking forward to painting rooms and re-decorating together.

What we did not expect were the struggles we would have with the hard water. For weeks I would pull out freshly-washed clothing from the washer, only to find them looking increasingly dingy. The worst, though, was our cloth diapers.

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