Monthly Archives: August 2008

A Green Pet – Making Your Own Pet Food

When I bought my little cutie, Rex, I felt like a new parent. He was so tiny and dependent on me. I had many questions about what food to feed Rex or how to care for his health, now that I was living a more green life style. I had some nay sayers that couldn’t believe I cared, he was an animal. Go to the pet store and get whatever. Well, yes but he deserves to be well taken care of and if I don’t take good care of him he won’t live as long. Taking care of our pets will decrease costly vet bills.

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Shoes Off!

“Shoes off please.” I am searching for a polite way to say this. It’s not that I am one of those obsessive people who insists on clean floors (okay, well maybe . . . ); it’s just that I am one of those obsessive people who says no to tracking dirt, pesticides, pet dander, lead, and other unhealthy chemicals into my home.

Admittedly, I am duped from time to time. I carry in products made by green washing companies who push so-called “eco” products on consumers like me, who hope to live green and chemical free. Despite my passion for the environment, I am guilty, now and again, of allowing strange chemical cocktails to enter our home (and I’m not talking about mixed drinks).

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Light Green Thumbs

One of the nicest things about the wide green Earth we live on is the plant life that kindly mops up carbon dioxide while it creates energy. If you haven’t got a green thumb, but have a love of leafy decor like I do, you can still get the leafy living greens into your home. Why do that? Well, I’m not kidding about plants improving indoor air quality. And what else are you going to do with the backwash from all your sippy cups?

Green planting 101: use organic potting soil and compost (leaf mold or compost tea) to enrich it.

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No Idling!

How to ban school bus idling

I can vividly recall riding the school bus when I was a kid. I remember the ride as being very long, very boring, and very stinky. And while I was probably exaggerating the long and boring parts (my ride lasted about 15 minutes) I now know that I wasn’t imagining the stink…

A recent Yale University study found that children who ride a school bus are exposed to up to 15 times more particulate pollution than average. Researchers estimate that this increased exposure is due to the idling and queuing of school buses. In other words, as school buses line up and wait in front of the school, they fill up with harmful (and stinky) particulate pollution that will stay with the kids throughout their ride.

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Connecting Green Families

When we had a difficult time finding an eco friendly kids summer program this year, we were amazed. There are your standard programs: arts, sports, dance, music and even How to be a Pirate or How to be a Princess camp. My husband and I would look at each other mystified- where is the How to be a Good Person camp? Dead end after dead end, I felt exhausted trying to find a program and started to wonder if I was the only one looking for more.

One night at dinner, I vented my frustration and elaborated on what had been brewing in my head.

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Slowing Down Is Good For The Soul-And The Earth

clothes_pins.jpgI’ve found there are several aspects of my journey towards going green that require me to slow down my usual crazy, hectic pace, and, I admit, this isn’t always easy. When you decide to do things like prepare your meals from scratch, grow a garden, make your own yogurt or dry your clothes outside on a clothesline, you have to A) plan ahead and B) allow yourself the time to accomplish these things. This doesn’t always make for an easy transition in a world where time is money and we often over-schedule our lives.

When I first started drying our laundry (everything from cloth napkins to clothes, linens to cloth diapers) on a clothesline this summer, I was frustrated with how much time it took, specifically to hang everything up.

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Gardening Cures Depression

In the spring the boys and I started organic gardening at Lincoln Park Farm in the Zoo’s The Edible Garden. Since then we have spent every Wednesday morning with our friends at the organic garden learning, farming, eating and weeding. Each task brings a new invaluable experience. The latest being the revelation that putting your hands in the dirt while gardening relieves depression!

Kord Staley, one of our farmer friends at the Edible Garden, shared this with me after seeing my big satisfied smile while I sat and picked weeds and it makes complete sense. Here I have been researching natural ways to cure my intermittent depression.

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Green and Natural Lunchbox

It is the time of year for summer splashes in crystal blue water, lazy sun induced naps, and barefoot running through green blades of grass to come to an end. The sounds of summer are fading as we enter the new season of clouded skies, yearnings for peaks at the sun, and grass that sometimes matches the color of the soil in which it is planted. Many of you have already sent your children back to school while others are still in the planning stages. Care has been given to choosing appropriate clothing, finding great deals on school supplies, and making sure the first day of school goes as planned.

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Around the Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

These great reads made their way into our minds and we couldn’t keep them to ourselves:

Talking about the latest in toy safety at Grist.

Getting a fresh perspective on reducing, reusing and recycling at Recycle Your Day.

Reading about new ideas on greening your family reunion at Green Baby Guide.

Speaking up about greening up your lady business at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

Learning about more great ideas about canning your food, from our newest contributor–Chez Artz.

Which links rang your bell this week?

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Save Money and the Earth at the Supermarket

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Mommy Blogger luncheon hosted by Stop and Shop/Giant. It is Andrea Astrachan’s job as VP of Consumer Affairs to listen to customer feedback. She shared with us some of the ways that they are trying to meet the needs of earth-conscious consumers (and to encourage others in this direction).

Bringing my own canvas bags is one change that I have wholeheartedly embraced. There’s less waste, and they are actually sturdier and hold more than paper or plastic bags, and they can even be used in other ways (I recently wrote about my use of them at the library in Libraries are Green).

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