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What your kids need to know

 

From Calvin and Hobbes "Weirdos from another planet"

 

We all know that teaching our kids to be polite and respect other people is pretty important.

What about teaching our kids to respect the earth, how many parents make this a priority?

We are packing so much into our days that we barely have enough time for homework, let alone a new subject. I think doing 1 thing a month to show our kids that the Earth is important is a goal that we can all achieve. We really don’t want our kids to look back at us and say WTF were they thinking? It is their future that we’re messing with! Do you think they  want to be dealing with our trash or severe weather (due to climate change), that is only getting worse, in 50 years?

Here are a just a  few ideas to introduce or continue teaching your kids about climate change:

If you have a baby or a toddler:

  • Get them outside! Start to teach babies right away that there is more to the world than a TV screen. ( I write this as my baby watches baby Einstein beside me…We’ll be going outside later..)
  • Make a point to recycle in front of them, let them see that this is just a part of life. Talk to them about why it’s important to recycle.
  • Let them watch or help plant a tree or garden and  they will develop a taste for it early on

If you have pre-school or young school aged kiddies:

  • Read them books about the environment. My kids love “It’s Earth Day” by Mercer Mayer and “I can save the Earth” by Alison Inches. Be super eco-friendly look for books like these at a local used bookstore
  • Make something that will spark a conversation like this great Pizza Box Solar Oven
  • Use Tupperware (pvc, bpa free) or a cool reusable sandwich bag in their lunch and let them know that they are helping to save the planet by not using plastic bags
  • Take them to a farmers market, then have them help you prepare a meal with the things you bought. Start a clear understanding of where food comes from early.
  • Have them check out this Climate Kids website that is put on by NASA  or  the climate change kids site by the EPA.

If you have a tween:

  • Take them to a beach or park to clean up litter, have them invite some friends and buy them some yummy food afterward.
  • Have them check out EEK! Another great website.
  • To persuade them with pop culture check out Global Warming celebrities

If you have a teen:

  • Chances are they are more knowledgeable about the environment than you anyway….
  • Grab them a documentary like the 11th hour, an Inconvenient truth or Food inc.

My 6 year old has been into Calvin and Hobbes comics lately. The other night I came across a great story. Calvin  decided  he and Hobbes were going to Mars, because the Earth is too polluted. Wow, even Calvin and Hobbes (in 1990) are hip to the fact that the earth is in trouble.

 

From Calvin and Hobbes "Weirdos from another planet"

 

 

Check out Climate Mama, she is hosting the Green Mom’s carnival to get people moving on 10-10-10 and celebrate climate solutions!

Worth it? I can’t get these diapers out of my head…

As you may be aware I switched to cloth diapers a few months ago, click here to find out more about that switch. Be that as it may, my baby’s butt is often still covered in  disposable diapers by others when I can’t be around.  As an aspiring ecoholic I need to make sure  we use  the healthiest and greenest option available. The disposable diapers I had on hand were not that…

WORTH IT? – PC GREEN DIAPERS

Material & Manufacturing:

  • One thing that I like about these diapers is how open they are on their label.   These diapers are made from wood pulp that was acquired from sustainable forests.
  • They do not use chlorine bleach (good news for baby’s butt as well as the environment)
  • Although there is still a small amount of plastic in these diapers, they are working to source plant based polymers instead

Performance:

Wow! Totally surprised and impressed with these!! They are stretchy and super- absorbent. To put them to the test I changed my baby man before bed at 7pm and left it on until 9am the next morning. All was good, he was dry and so was his bed! He is also teething and having some ahh messy situations down there, these diapers are even holding their own against blow outs!

Disposal:

My waste collection service is investigating these diapers to see if they can be collected curbside as compost, for the time being they do still have to go into the waste can. I will update if anything changes.

Costs Comparison:

Cost per diaper for size 6,

  • Pampers  $0.38
  • Seventh Generation $0.45
  • PC green diaper (look for a comparable store brand) on sale for $0.21 regular $0.42

If you are looking for the cheapest option you can’t beat cloth. It pays for itself in the first few months. If your lifestyle is just not  ready for cloth I say Green diapers are WORTH IT!

Any switch we can make that helps us get off of non-renewable resources, holds up performance wise to the competition, is using less chemicals and is actively trying to improve is so WORTH IT.

Although  I can’t stop thinking about these diapers,  I do know that every baby is different so if you try a green diaper and don’t like it  keep trying until you find one that is a perfect fit for your baby. Check out Diapers.com for purchasing (they only ship to the U.S.)and to read  reviews as well.  Look out for sales when buying diapers, when the time comes stock up!

*PC Green is a local brand, if you can’t find it try Seventh Generation for a comparable product (higher price). In fact Seventh Generation is even more transparent about their diaper production.

If you use another green diaper and love it, please comment!

If you write a blog, check this out.

Really, I love cleaning poop!

Sometimes, I find when you do something quite    often it is easy to get discouraged and want to run out the nearest exit and scream “I quit!”.

Well once you’re a mom “quit” does not seem to be an option. You suck it up and deal.  I found myself in exactly this predicament yesterday.  I witnessed  #3 of my top 3 grosses kid-poop-related incidents.

I have recently switched over to cloth diapers and being distracted and busy the night before I left a soiled diaper on top of the pail. When I woke in the morning and staggered into my laundry room to obtain some school clothes from the dryer, I discovered IT. #3 grossest poop thing ever. 1 poopy cloth diaper with a large community of fruit flies having a conference of some kind inside. (shudder).  It was in that moment of weakness that I decided my baby’s butt was going directly into a disposable diaper. Why did I do this in the first place? I am so not a hippy.

My day went on, still in my anti-eco mind state,  after a little over a month of positive change I was going down hill. I needed some fresh inspiration.

I decided to watch the 11th Hour Documentary.

Baby’s butt is now comfortably resting in his cloth diaper.

In hopes to inspire more to hop up and make a change I am assigning everyone to watch or re-watch the 11th hour!  youtube, amazon (Canada or US),  Google your local library to see if they have it in (request they do), rent it, buy it, whatever it takes this is your assignment!  If it can snap me out of the poop-gross-out induced eco depression, it will work for you!

Other top 2 gross poop related incidents:

#2 While potty training my 2 year old girly, she had a poop on the bathroom floor. I was in my best domestic form and quickly putting laundry away when I slipped on this hidden jem on the floor. Creating skid marks across my floor and falling on my ass. Poop sock.

#1 When my oldest A, who is now 6, was about 18months I went to retrieve him from his crib after a nap. He did the old poop in diaper then remove and paint his body and crib with poop trick. Gag. It took 3 baths and  A LOT of scrubbing to deal with that one. He still makes me tell him that story from time to time and thinks that it is hilarious.

These cases aside most of the time I really don’t mind cleaning poop!

Assignment for the weekend: watch the 11th HOUR for inspiration!

P.S. Check out Fun Follow Friday

Worth it ? Apples to Apples

I’ve decided to do a little Q & A on Inspire Planning.  I ‘d love for readers to comment on this post! Please leave the name of an eco-friendly  choice in the marketplace and I’ll tell you if it’s WORTH IT or NOT, hopefully every Wednesday. Any thing from bamboo floor to toothpaste!

Ok, so I had a bit of a requests from my fantastic  BFF Kat, here is what she wrote,

Q) “Hey, so I have a question/ inquiry. I love the idea of going green, however, I find that most green products are almost double the price. What is the real reason for this? Are green products really more expensive to manufacture? Sometimes I feel like I’m being taken…….thought it might be a good blog topic.”

A)Good question Kat! I have recently purchased my first bag of organic apples. Apples to Apples it is.

Let’s get something out of the way, Organic simply means that it is grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or  genetically modified organisms.

When I refer to chemicals or pesticide  I am talking about the 2 most popular pesticides where I live (Atlantic Canada) which are Mineral oil and Carbaryl. I went pretty light on them too, there is a ton of scary (questionable sources though) info out there.  A host of other pesticides and fungicides are used, but we can get more into that another day.

Mineral oil is a petroleum based product made from crude oil. That’s one more point for the oil industry and how reliant we are on them.  Let us remember sustainability. Using, processing and transporting crude oil is on the negative scale. On a positive note it’s actually not too bad as  pesticides go, but I still wouldn’t want to eat it! CAUTION: One study showed there was an increase in skin cancer when mineral oil is applied as a moisturizer.Watch out for mineral oils in your cosmetics as well.

The other most popular is carbaryl. This chemical is definitely  toxic to humans. It  affects cell division and growth, as in like mutation. The EPA classifies it as a likely human carcinogenic. Not cool. It seems that bottom feeder fish, such as catfish accumulate the carbaryl in their bodies. Oh and it’s also toxic to bees, who are quite  beneficial to the environment. Being as things do need to be pollinated…

Hmm Organic Apples,

Pros:

  • Some studies have shown they are possibly  more nutritious
  • No harmful chemicals for your body
  • No harmful chemicals in the environment

Cons:

  • About $1 more expensive per 3lbs
  • Could be hard to find (although if you ask they’ll generally get it in)
  • The Organic apples that I buy are shipped from the US, more transport pollution

Hmmm Conventional Apples

Pros:

  • Cheaper
  • More convenient
  • Mostly grown close to home

Cons:

  • Contains a very tiny amounts of  chemicals that hurt our babies.  So a tiny bit from 1 apple, what about if I feed my kids other foods all with just a tiny bit of chemicals? Wouldn’t that add up to a whole bunch? Also it’s not just in the peels, traces of pesticides were found on peeled, cored apples.
  • Contains pesticides that harm the environment

So here is what I am thinking, in the end an extra $1 a week for apples is ok with me! Organic apples are WORTH IT. If there are no organic apples where you live, ask your store manager to get them in, but keep eating conventional apples, their health benefits are too good to pass up!

7 fruits that are WORTH IT, a little extra for organic is ok!

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Cherries
  • Grapes

7 fruits NOT to spend extra on for organic:

  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew Melon

A last thought, It seems the toxins are also still present in applesauce and apple juice, if you can, choose those in organic as well.

Info for this article was obtained at http://www.ewg.org/

Links to random Green blog, surprise blog!

Green Your Fall Fashions 2010!

This weekend I was inspired by the 7th annual Ethical Fashion show that’s going on right now in Paris as well as this months Green Moms Carnival , hosted this month by Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse.

I wanted to come up with a few ways to squeeze eco fashion into my wardrobe right now.  FOR CHEAP.

Thrift Stores

Thrifty finds, photo courtesy of Alison DesRoches

In my opinion thrift or vintage stores may be the best tool to green your fashions. By thrift shopping you are extending the life cycle of a garment,

Samantha Pleet AW10 (Via: samanthapleet, ecouterre)

keeping it out of land fills and sometimes getting a great fashion boost for your closet! Here is one example of how a cheap thrift  store find easily compares to a Samantha Pleet design. For a very quick and cheap pick me up for your closet for fall, search  a thrift shop for  something in one of the hottest shades, textures or patterns of the season. This season look out for anything red, animal print or fur-inspired. (Do not buy real fur unless it’s at a thrift store, pretty sure that was obvious anyway…)

SWAP TEAM

Host a clothing swap, there is no faster or cheaper way to update your wardrobe than to have a clothing swap with your friends. If you’re not the same size extend the swap to shoes, jewelry and accessories. If you don’t have any friends with similar taste in fashion try joining an online swap site such as Swap Style, there is something for everyone there!

If you are a Martha Stewart wanna-be

Show your skills by  whipping up something cozy like these recycled wool mittens by Canadian designer Susan Harris.

Susan Harris Design

If you’re like me and don’t have a crafty bone in your body, check out etsy.com for all kinds of home-made and eco-friendly finds.  Like  this  earth happy scarf I came across!

You’re a hoody loving girl (like me)

I love this hoody from Nomads Hemp wear! If you happen to live in your favorite hoody, like me,  I feel like it is okay to spend a little extra for a gorgeous eco option like this one!

7 steps to a fall fashion overhaul for your closet

  • When you don’t know where to start when updating your wardrobe start by looking online at designers like Covet or in magazines (that you will recycle!) for inspiration.
  • Once you have a good idea of the look you want to achieve, first go to your closet and take stock of what you have.
  • Sort your clothes into piles of what is working for you, and what you can live without.
  • Organize a swap or sign up online to Swap Style to see first what you can get (and give) for free.
  • Check out Thrift stores or Ebay for pre-loved lower-priced pieces.
  • Buy retail eco-friendly materials for items you still absolutely need.
  • Enjoy your beautiful green wardrobe and you get to do it all over again in the Spring!!

More Ideas on how to green your fall click here.

Greenie deals – 1st edition –

I’m going to start trying to do an update every few weeks on green deals, worth talking about eco buys  as well as contests and giveaways!

**PEI readers see comments section for easy eco buys**

Lee Valley

Free shipping until September 27th- Get some new gardening tools and do your fall clean up sans carbon emissions!

Chapters

Big Green Purse Book($4.99)72%off or E-Book ($12.99)32% off

Eco S.O.S. , kids book ($19.10) 34%off

Well.ca this week

Nature Photo Contest- Submit Pictures to the Nature Conservancy Open until October 4th 2010.

Bamboo Towel Set Giveaway open until October 12th 2010.

Envirobottles, no sale here just great water bottles. Figured I should post it as I did mention Stainless steel bottles.

Listen to David Suzuki!


Last night my husband was making his lunch and getting his things ready for work in the morning. I noticed he had a plastic water bottle, so like a good wife would, I started to rant (a little) about how bad plastic water bottles are. If you have tried this method before you might have found that ranting, complaining or otherwise bi*ching really is not an effective way of getting a point across. I’ll try a different approach this time and present him with research (I’m so tricky!).

What is not okay about plastic bottles
(our health)

  • BPA– It mimics the female hormone estrogen and may affect fertility and promote cancer, plus a new study has shown that  it may lead to heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.  Many baby bottles and sippy cups have BPA too! Every time we wash or heat these containers they leach more of the toxic chemical out of the plastic.

What is not okay about plastic bottles
(our environment)

  • Only 37% of soft drink bottles and 28% of water bottles are recycled. That other 63% and 72% go to landfills and litter.
  • Think of the manufacturing that goes into water bottles, then the shipping. That’s a lot of wasted emissions if you ask me.

Also as it states right on the bottle, it’s actually just tap water that’s been filtered. Pretty sure I can do that at home myself! You can buy stainless steel water bottles practically everywhere now, take a look at wal-mart next time you’re there!

POINTS:

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