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Thrifty & Green

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WINTER HOLIDAYS Celebrate, Decorate, Entertain, and Give in harmony with the earth and your buget.

Green Gifting Page 22

Visit Your Local Christmas Tree Farm Page 11

Make Fabulous Pie

Learn the art of fruit and nut pie, and get our favorite cherry + maple pecan recipes. Page 52 DEC / JAN 2011 - 2012


10% off Energy

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Star Appliances

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2012

2011/

RECIPES

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A Christmas Tree Farm Supporting local business and creating priceless memories. Healthy Holiday Baking Five favorite baking tips from the T&G holiday kitchen. Green your holiday gift optinons with these eco friendly and DIY ideas.

30 The Global Economy

and Your Health Find out more about how the huge influx of transported goods around the globe affects your health.

Blackberry Bramble Pie Buttery Double Crust Pucker Up Raspberry Pie Maple Pecan Pie

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36 Raising Thrifty & Green Kids 7 Tips for fostering good financial values early on in your family.

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Cherry Pie

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FEATURES

21 Green Gift Giving

Cinnamon Coffee Rolls

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december / january

IN-SEASON

22 LIVING

Greener Gifting Green your holiday this year with tips for eco friendly gifts.

Holiday 26 Green Gift Guide

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Winter Holidays Consider where your holiday table items travel from and how you can reduce your holiday carbon footprint.

All the best green gifts for adults and kids.

Holiday Table 61 Green Sustainable options for all your winter holiday entertaining.

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48 FOOD & HEALTH

Thrifty Homemade Candy Holiday Gifts Share a piece of your heart and make some inexpensive treats.

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Pies 52 Holiday A collection of our fa-

vorite holiday pie recipes

IN EVERY ISSUE

Realities: The Para76 New dox of Thrift.

58 Growing Up Green

The Paglaro family share joys + challenges of busy urban life with eco values.

76 New Realities: The Paradox of Thrift does saving money hurt the economy? on pg. 76

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Growing Up Green: The Family Meal The importance of eating together and expressing daily thanks.


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editor’s letter

elcome to the Winter issue of Thrifty & Green!

My family and I (son Griffin pictured right) are excited to present the first Winter Holiday edition of Thrifty & Green! We have created a useful and entertaining issue for you to draw from to create memories this year while still keeping your family’s impact on the earth in mind. In this issue, we remember our visit to a local Christmas tree farm in Chris McGrath’s Visit your Local Christmas Tree Farm on page 11, show kids where the tree comes from, stay close to home and support local farms this year. Sharpen your backing skills with Lori Winter in 5 Tips to Healthify Holiday Baking page 17. As we know one of the biggest negatives of the holiday’s is unneccesary waste. In Molly Mckinnley’s Green Gifting on page 21. get great ideas for green gifts that won’t break the bank. We also take a look at something that effects us all in so many ways especially around this time of year. The Global Economy and Your Health page 30. Goods are coming from more and more places from around the world and that means new germs are travelling to your house too. Learn what you can do to stay well. Another important issue that we all face is the budget around this time of year and children’s or other family expectations to spend money. Help kids undersetand what it takes to have a family holiday and instill other important financial values with Ken Damato Raising Thrifty Kids page 36. And of course there are the great things about the holidays like food! Learn the importance of sharing family meals in Growing Up Green our regular family series by family editor Tovah Paglaro on page 58. You will also learn more about The Paradox of Thrift on page 76, in a new article in the series New Realities by Dario Piana. These and the many recipes and activities to make your holiday eco-concious, budget savvy and fun, we truly hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Till next time,

Chris McGrath Founder and Editor-in-Chief 6

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Thrifty & Green Founder & Editor

Chris McGrath

Design Director Design Lead Designer

Beth McGrath Chris McGrath Rachel McHollister

SAVING MONEY Saving Money Editor Saving Money Writer Saving Money Writer Personal Finance Writer Personal Finance Writer

Jessica Oman Natalia Tudge Nicole Breit Dario Piana Dave Ramsey

SUBSCRIPTION

Our publication is free in keeping with Thrifty standards, and digital only in an effort to adhere to our Green sustainable values and preserve trees. We publish 6 issues a year. Subscribe free at https:// thriftyandgreen.com/newsletter/subscriptions EDITORIAL OFFICES

9834 Mariner Dr. NW Olympia, WA 98502 CUSTOMER SERVICE

Online: thriftyandgreen.com/contact Questions by phone: 360.339.5339 9-5 PST

LIFESTYLE Lifestyle Editor Lifestyle Writer Lifestyle Writer

Rachel McHollister Lori Winter Greta Brinkley

FASHION & BEAUTY Fashion & Beauty Writers

Adrian & Claudia Kiss

HOME & GARDEN Home & Garden Editor Home & Garden Writer

Chris McGrath Sandy Krepps

FOOD Food & Health Editor Food & Health Writer Food & Health Writer

Chris McGrath Lori Winter Christa Shelton

FAMILY Family Editor Family Writer

Tovah Paglaro Scarlet Paolicci

ADVERTISING

For advertising solutions that reach a Thrifty & Green minded audience contact us today. Our web site www.thriftyandgreen.com and digital magazine as well as other upcoming projects, such as video webisodes and more feature many opportunities for you to build long-lasting relationships. See digital magazine rates on page 103.

Founder & CEO Chris McGrath e: cmcgrath@thriftyandgreen.com p: 360.339.5339

PARTNERS Ogden Publications Mother Earth Fairs Green Festival

Syndication Partner Event Partner Event Partner

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT Director Technology Chris McGrath Technology Consultant Thomas P. Scola

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Jr.


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Time to Bake

Le Creuset Tart Dish Durable stoneware will not wear out and is the choice of chefs the world over. shop collection

Bakeware | Cookware | Cooking Tools | Cutlery | Dinnerware | Storage | Small Appliances

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Buy

local

Visit a Christmas Tree Farm 11

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WRITER CHRIS McGRATH December / January 2011-2012


winter holidays

A LOCAL TRADITION There have been times where one of my family’s favorite things to do each year is visit the local xmas tree farm. We have since moved too far to make that practical so I suppose this is an article of nostalgia. For some years my wife and son were able to go just down the road to a farm that made their living from Christmas. They like many around the country offer u-cut living trees of varying sorts offering you a selection from noble firs or other common varieties. The also offer wreaths, and other centerpiece and decorative items made from nature. The experience for us one year was a memory that I can say I know my wife and I will never forget. We live here in Western Washington so do not get much snow. But this year we got an early storm and were able to go get our tree the day after with a snow covered farm. We drove less than a mile from our home, being lucky enough to live in an area with small farms of varying sorts (not by accident of course) and entered the farm with our station wagon parking in the make shift lot.

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In a small hut hung saws with a sign that read “Please Return”. We grabbed one that looked good and set out on our way to seek the perfect tree for our, so far idyllic, holiday. We shortly found a perfect tree that we proceeded to cut down and attach to the roof of our wagon which we were able to pull fairly nearby. When we paid for the tree I knew we not only were paying about $10.00 less than we would at most grocery store tree lots. We also knew the tree had not travelled far to get to its destination. In addition we had supported the income of our neighbors. A local mulit-generational family that chose to make their living via providing joy to families at Christmas time. That made us feel really good. Now the benefits did not end there. My son was able to see the tree get cut down. I explained to him how long it took to grow and how the family made money by owning the land and planting the trees and selling them to people. He learned many things that day and we had just a

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picture perfect backdrop with which to learn the lessons of cottage industry and tradition. He was able to see a way of life that once was they way of most of the country. Growing making and selling things at market once was one of the only means available to support one’s family. This exposed him to the origins of the tree, he could see it, he could ponder, do I want to do this or is it better to not cut that tree and own an artificial tree. In the end somewhat by choice and to some extent

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driven by allergies, my family has now opted for the artificial. Having had the perfect time choosing our live trees in the past we now live far from a farm and find it best to just unpack the box and cut live decorations from our trees on our property or in the area. I believe either option can work for a family depending on what is available in their local area. If you do have a local farm, by all means support them and tell your friends to do so as well. Cont. on page 15...


Marth Stewart Pets Pique Sleeveless Crab Polo

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Green the way You Read

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MEMORIES ....cont. from page 12. Preserving what is really a lost way of life is a key reason for doing this. Not to mention creating memories that can be priceless. This year see what you can find in your area at the farmers market for your tree. Potentially some of those farmers selling at the market are nearer to your home than you may think. If you live in an urban area I would generally think artificial with a natural decoration. Chris McGrath is the Founder and CEO of Thrifty & Green. He is located in Olympia, WA - devoted to simple living, and creating media that helps make being green fun and easy for everyone. He is the father of 2, has a background in business, ecological design + organic food and writes about the last two. Connect with him on facebook. com/thriftyandgreen

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Books for Winter

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

Paul Hawken (Author), Amory Lovins (Author), L. Hunter Lovins (Author)

List Price: $18.99 Editorial Reviews Amazon.com Review In Natural Capitalism, three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practicing “a new type of industrialism” that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs. Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins write that in the next century, cars will get 200 miles per gallon without compromising safety and power, manufacturers will relentlessly recycle their products, and the world’s standard of living will jump without further damaging natural resources. “Is this the vision of a utopia? In fact, the changes described here could come about in the decades to come as the result of economic and technological trends already in place,” the authors write.

John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays (Library of America) [Hardcover] John Muir (Author), William Cronon (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars List Price: $35.00 This volume is virtually an entire library of Muir. It combines The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, My First Summer in the Sierra, The Mountains of California, Stickteen, and a number of his essays along with illustrations, a chronology of his life, and scholarly notes. At $35, this is a remarkable bargain for public and academic libraries alike. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. 16

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books for winter Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution Auden Schendler (Author) List Price: $26.95 Prius drivers and recyclers take note: according to debut author Schendler, your efforts to be environmentally correct are admirable, but are hardly the kind of urgent, unified action we need to really make an impact on global climate change. In fact, he says, by focusing on small individual actions, you may be actually harming the environmental movement. A pioneer in the sustainability movement, Schendler points out that “there is a hangover from the 1970s that continues to hamper the environmental movement today.” Using examples from his own consulting work as the executive director of Community and Environmental Responsibility at Aspen Skiing Company, he asserts that real change can only come from tough decisions by big businesses and through legislation.

Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet [Hardcover] Edward Humes (Author) List Price: $25.99 Prius drivers and recyclers take note: according to debut author Schendler, your efforts to be environmentally correct are admirable, but are hardly the kind of urgent, unified action we need to really make an impact on global climate change. In fact, he says, by focusing on small individual actions, you may be actually harming the environmental movement. A pioneer in the sustainability movement, Schendler points out that “there is a hangover from the 1970s that continues to hamper the environmental movement today.” Using examples from his own consulting work as the executive director of Community and Environmental Responsibility at Aspen Skiing Company, he asserts that real change can only come from tough decisions by big businesses and through legislation.

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books for winter Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming [Paperback] James Hoggan (Author), Richard Littlemore (Contributor) List Price: $10.09 Prius drivers and recyclers take note: according to debut author Schendler, your efforts to be environmentally correct are admirable, but are hardly the kind of urgent, unified action we need to really make an impact on global climate change. In fact, he says, by focusing on small individual actions, you may be actually harming the environmental movement. A pioneer in the sustainability movement, Schendler points out that “there is a hangover from the 1970s that continues to hamper the environmental movement today.” Using examples from his own consulting work as the executive director of Community and Environmental Responsibility at Aspen Skiing Company, he asserts that real change can only come from tough decisions by big businesses and through legislation.

The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment [Paperback] Peter Dauvergne (Author) List Price: $11.01 “In The Shadows of Consumption, Peter Dauvergne tackles the often hidden consequences of globalization and consumption for the environment and for human health and well-being. He demonstrates how the worst of these consequences are displaced, often to the most marginalized sectors of global society, and discusses ways to cast light into the shadows of global economic development. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars, indeed anyone interested in understanding more about globalization and its impacts.” —Kate O’Neill, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley

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5 tips to healthify holiday baking W e all know the holiday season brings with it ample quantities of baked goods and sweets. And who could resist that small but decadent slice of silky pumpkin pie or just ‘one more��� tree shaped sugar cookie decorated with jolly green icing? The diet and fitness industry loves to take advantage of the extra pounds people will inevitably put on over the next few months, but what if you could avoid that feeling of dread when you stepped on the scale come January 1st?

Thankfully, it doesn’t involve giving up sweets completely! Although, don’t you find it interesting that the cold and flu season also begins right around the time Halloween candy hits the shelves and doesn’t fade away until after the Valentine’s chocolate has all been consumed or forgotten? Even with these five tips for healthier holiday baking, moderation is still key. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible and drink plenty of clean, filtered water

5 TIPS

sible. The toxic residues of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are stored in the fatty tissues of your body, making weight loss nearly impossible until you do a good detox. Nix these mass-produced, chemicalfilled products from your baking regimen and you’re on your way to a healthier holiday season.

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during the holiday season, as well as all year round. When the baking bug bites, don’t shy away from the kitchen. Embrace those cakes and pies with these tips to health-ify what comes out of the oven and into your tummy.

Buy local and/or organic, fair trade ingredients whenever pos-

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Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syr-

WRITER LORI WINTER 19

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up, stevia, or palm sugar. Sugar is the main culprit in weight gain (as well as conditions like heart disease and diabetes). Just a few teaspoons of sugar will depress your immune system for hours. Add to that the fact that processed sugar leaches vital nutrients from your body and you have a recipe for health disaster. On the other hand, honey also contains important vitamins and enzymes and is naturally antibacterial. Pure maple syrup is also high


food & health

in vitamins and minerals. Palm sugar, also known as coconut sugar, has a taste similar to brown sugar, but it’s low glycemic and won’t trigger cravings like sugar will. Stevia is another great alternative to sugar. It’s a zero calorie natural sweetener sourced from the stevia plant and is far sweeter than sugar. There have been no adverse side effects reported and it is completely safe for diabetics. You often don’t need to use as much of a natural sweetener as you would sugar in any given recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of sugar, I will often use 2/3 - 3/4 c. honey, maple syrup, or palm sugar. Far less stevia is required. As a general rule of thumb, where one cup of sugar is called for, you only need 1/2 teaspoon of liquid stevia or stevia powder. Invest in a high quality brand of stevia as some brands can leave a bitter aftertaste.

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Artificial sweeten ers are even worse than sugar. Ar tificial sweeteners like Splenda or aspartame are basically chemicals. Don’t let clever advertising fool you. Splenda may be derived from sugar, but during processing, three hydroxyl groups of the atom are replaced with chlorine atoms. And if you’re not aware, chlorine

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is a proven carcinogen in the body. The chemical structure of artificial sweeteners more closely resembles pesticides than it does a natural sweetener. It’s also been shown that people who drink diet soft drinks containing artificial sweeteners actually gain weight! Stick with the above recommendations for natural sweeteners and consume them in moderation to beat the holiday weight gain blues.

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Experiment with less processed flours that have a lower Glycemic Index. White flour has endured processing and bleaching (having all the nutrients removed) and turns to sugar in your bloodstream in a matter of seconds! This is

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measured by the Glycemic Index of the food. Try flours that are less processed and consequently have a lower rating on the Glycemic Index. Spelt is a favorite of mine, behaving similarly to whole wheat flour, though having a much lower gluten content. Also try buckwheat or millet, or go completely grainless with almond flour or garbanzo bean flour.

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Avoid artificial food colorings as they’ve been linked to ADD/ADHD and cancer. A recent study by the Center for Science in Public Interest has shown that the most commonly used carcinogenic colorings are Red 40, Yellow 5, & Yellow 6. This isn’t limited to

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just holiday baking, either. You might be surprised when reading the labels on many packaged products like salad dressings! If you still want to spruce up your baked goods, opt for natural food colorings derived from plant based sources or make your own using food! 1 teaspoon of turmeric added to a recipe produces a lovely golden yellow color and has a fairly neutral flavor. Juice from 14 raspberries make a lovely pink shade, blueberry or blackberry juice makes purple. Experiment with other colors derived from carrots, beets, chlorella, and red cabbage. The basic idea here is real food versus processed, packaged, and artificial imitations. Whole foods always


healthy holiday baking trump cleverly marketed packages. Follow these tips for your holiday baking this year and enter the new year with a new resolve to be healthy!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins These delicious muffins are a perfect Christmas morning treat. The recipe calls for two different grainless flours and maple syrup as a natural sweetener. Ingredients:

[This next part could be designed in a pop-out box as part of the page layout:] Give a Gift Homemade baked goods make fantastically frugal gifts during the holiday season. If you’re giving cookies or quick breads to friends, family, or coworkers, skip the plastic and wrap with cloth bags or reusable metal containers to reduce your impact on the environment. Lori Winter, is a T&G food and lifestyle writer located in Nashville, TN. She is the host of Sustainable Food - Recipes + Restaurants on thriftyandggreen.com — an original web series that features green restaurant reviews, and recipes as well as tips on eating healthy and whenever possible local. (See this issue Claires on Cedros next page). Lori also travels the world through barter and trade visiting some of the worlds most beautiful places for next to nothing.

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1 c. almond flour 2 Tbsp. coconut flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1/4 c. grapeseed oil 1/4 c. maple syrup 3 eggs 1 Tbsp. vanilla Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add dry ingredients. Combine thoroughly. Pour into muffin tins about 2/3 full. Then make the cinnamon topping: 2 Tbsp. maple syrup 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil Drizzle the cinnamon mixture on top of each muffin. The goopy cinnamon goodness will spread throughout the muffins as they cook, making a gorgeous cinnamon coffee cake muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Make the icing while you wait: 1/2 c. unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 2/3 c. maple syrup or honey (or a combination) Place all ingredients in a large bowl and blend until smooth. Let the muffins cool for 2 hours before icing them to avoid a puddle of icing all over the plate (and your fingers). Find many more healthy baking recipes as well as advice on nutrition and natural living at www.LaurelofLeaves.com

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MADE in the USA

shop collection

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Women’s Fine Gauge Cotton Cardigan Sweater

$13.55 - $29.50

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Avalilable at SEARS


Greener

Gifting

WRITER MOLLY McKINNLEY 24

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T&G Winter Holidays

T

his Holiday season think outside the box. Literally. From the packaging you use to the gifts themselves, there are so many wonderfully green options available! Choose them instead of the traditional Holiday gift approaches and you’ll feel great when your head finds your pillow at night. Let’s start with the packaging: From shoeboxes to the bag your new bed sheets came in, the opportunities are endless when it comes to reusing everyday items as holiday packaging. If you have room in your home, start by flattening and saving boxes that were shipped to you throughout the year or at least throughout the fall season. You can also loan-out baskets or even vases to transport gifts that are going to close family members and friends. Be creative! Once you have your gift packaged, the wrapping options are pretty endless too. For instance, this year try wrapping with the comic section of your newspaper. The presents will stand out from the rest of the pile and probably generate a good chuckle from anyone opening them. Some other ideas include wrapping with recycled aluminum foil to give your gifts a beautiful shine or using leftover fabric. Also consider using part of the gift as the wrapping paper

if it is soft and foldable like a scarf, blanket, or towel. Lastly, present toppers. These can be so much fun to create and they don’t have to be the traditional bows. For instance, take a hike around your community and pick up twigs, branches, pine cones, berries or anything that has fallen on the ground and

is no longer growing. (Be sure pine cones, nuts, etc. are not protected under law in your area before taking them). Tie these collections up with yarn or twine and attach them to the top of your gift for a delicate and lovely accent. For a really out-of-the-box BRIGHT idea, attach a compact fluorescent light bulb

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as the present’s “bow”. Now the hard part, what to put INSIDE all those little environmentally-conscious present containers? Enter… this year’s Top Ten list of out-of-the-box green gift ideas sure to please someone (if not everyone) on your list:


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“Go Tell It On A Mountain”! Give the gift of pristine, protected wilderness for years to come by sponsoring a wild place this year. For the eco-savvy person in your life, visit The Sierra Club to learn more about the twelve different refuges and parks your recipient can help to preserve. As a cuddly bonus: the club sends along a plush toy representing the area they’re going to be sponsoring.

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“Do You See What I See”? Clear, beauti ful, radiant skin! Give the gift of healthy skin by assembling home beauty kits. A quick online search can generate thousands of homemade recipes for at-home facials, body scrubs, hair conditioners, etc… Find a few that use similar ingredients and fill a basket with

them. Some good options (all organic of course) are honey, corn meal, oatmeal, an orange, a lemon, rose water, and various oils like lavender, chamomile, and jojoba. Live-culture organic yogurt can be used in a wide array of recipes as well but it does need to be refrigerated. To complete your kit, hand write on recycled paper a few different recipes your loved one can make using the ingredients you provided.

“Do You Hear What I Hear”? Peace, Tranquil ity and Mother Nature’s symphony. For the outdoorsy family, how about giving them unlimited access to the country’s National Parks this year with an Annual Pass? The eighty dollar price tag may seem

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steep, but it provides entry coverage for four adults, and children under the age of fifteen get in free. There are also special passes for seniors and those receiving disability benefits, so check to see if your loved ones qualify before buying. Click here to learn more and order one for them today.

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“Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”. Or in other words, a voucher for a wilderness survival class. Okay, there probably wouldn’t be chestnuts involved but you can bet you will be learning how to build a fire. Gifting a seat in a wilderness survival class is an interesting option because it’s something

most people wouldn’t buy for themselves but you never know when skills like tying knots, building a shelter, setting traps, treating wounds, finding drinking water, etc… will come in handy. Day courses average around ninety dollars but the price may be petty if these skills save someone’s life one day.

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“Joy To The World”. Celebrate life with a little help from National Geographic. There are hundreds of stunning photographs, many not commonly seen, available for purchase on their website. So find the perfect canvas print for your loved one, whether it’s their favorite animal or a landscape to escape to. Either way, you can bring the wonders of this planet into their home or office one print at a time.

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“Silent Night”. For someone who loves a good quiet night of reading, take the time to clear out some of your book library and give the ones you can part with to close friends who would enjoy them. This way the books get some attention and you get to de-clutter your shelves a tad. And remember, you can always borrow 26

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green giving

them back if you want a refresher read.

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“We Wish You A Merry… Night On The Town”. For those with young children, a great green gift they will appreciate is an evening to get out and be together. So give them a babysitting coupon, redeemable for one night off without the little ones. They get to enjoy a few hours out and you get to give the children back at the end.

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“Deck The Halls and The Chil dren”; a dress up chest for young girls

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and/or boys. Make a clean pass through your closet and take out anything you haven’t worn over the past year that could be fun to play dress up in. If that doesn’t leave you with enough, visit a second hand or thrift store for dresses, hats, scarves, sunglasses, bandanas, and shoes. You can also make a pass through a party store for feathered boas and fun items to add some color.

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“GreenSleeves... Thumbs”; give the gift of healthy and tasty athome cooking with an

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organic Herb garden. You can either start the garden for them and give full grown plants or simply buy the seeds, potting soil and pots. Relatively easy herbs to grow are basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, and even lavender. The potted plants make a pretty addition to any kitchen and can be a great lesson for young children about the importance of proper nutrition, sustainability, and appreciating living things.

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“The most wonderful time of the year” can be

found year-round in a tiny glass ecosystem called an EcoSphere Pod. Developed by NASA these sleek, beautiful, hassle-free “aquariums” are great for the office OR the home. No feeding or expensive filters required, the system simply needs indirect sunlight to sustain itself and you can enjoy watching the little shrimp go about their day as you go about yours. It’s also a neat reminder for those with the goal of a sustainable future. Click here for more. No matter what you decide to give others this Holiday season, the important thing to remember is that the goals of a healthy, safe, and protected planet are all achievable. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your steps are, only that we are moving forward in the same general direction together. And I find great Holiday bliss in sharing that thought. Molly McKinney is a television host, producer, and animal enthusiast. She has been scuba diving with wild sharks since she was nine years old and worked on the children’s environmental T.V. show, “Aqua Kids” for over fifteen years. Her own company, Planetary Research Media (www.PlanetaryResearch.org ), educates children around the globe about the natural world.


T&G Holiday Gift guide Bio-degradable Golf Tees, grassrootsstore.com | $6.00 For the golfing expert in your family, this golf tees are corn-based golf tees are perfect for the green. Unlike their wood and plastic counter parts these biodegradable tees will not linger on the putting green. They will quickly disintegrate if left on the green making it easier on the environment and the golfing staff!

EbookFling, ebookfling.com | $19.00 annually This is a great gift for anyone who loves reading and has some sort of mobile device. for a mere $19 a year, each recipient has a years subscription to the EbookFling a swaping and lending application for the iphone, ipad, blackberry, android, etc. This free application can be downloaded on to any device for free and using credits can purchase, swap and share your very own e-books with your friends and community. This application lets you swap and lend out books for a mere $19 a year. Thus leaving paperbacks out of the landfield and into our hands.

Eco Balance Beauty Bath Gift Set, amazon.com | $15.00 Whether you are wanting to relax in a hot bath or take care of your dry skin, Eco Balance health and beauty gift basket gives you the tools you need to restore your skins natural balance with a healing blend of botanicals essences. Helpful to restore youthfulness and life your spirits.

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T&G Holiday Gift guide Casio Women’s Eco Friendly Digital Runner Watch, amazon.com | $15.00 This Casio watch is made of eco-friendly material and is the perfect watch for every avid runner. This watch stores up to 60 different running times including the date for you to keep track of your best time and push yourself to the next level. The watch can even be set to emit an audible pace signal to help maintain your desired pace. It is also guaranteed for 10 years along with the battery. You will now have a running buddy that will not stop!

Philanthropic Gifts , your choice | your choice For those of us her aren’t that crafty and aren’t looking to purchase more material goods perhaps going another route might help by linking your gift to a charity of choice. Paradigm Project is a charity helping to buy clean burning stoves to families in Africa and with your donation you will receive a holiday ornament. Or, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Green Gift website has a plethora of various causes you can donate to on behalf of yourself and your loved ones. However, these are only a few non-profit’s you can help this holiday season. Check around for some of your favorite causes, most will have some sort of holiday incentive for you and your gift recipients.

The Re-Tire Wallet, uncommongoods.com | $15.00 If you have no idea what to get your man for the holiday season, a wallet is always a must have item for anyone. The re-tire is a handmade card case made of used inner tubes from local bike stores. It features a clear I.D. window. It also features two pockets, perfect for an easy night on the town.

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T&G Holiday Gift guide KIDS The Re-Tire Wallet, uncommongoods.com | $15.20 Get your child’s creative juices going with this amazing and earthy friendly craft kit. Included in this eco kit is more than 430 recycled stickers and shared along with recycled pencil crayons, string, ribbon, glue sticks, tissue paper and much more. This set also comes with easy instructions and is made entirely of recycled paperboard and soy ink. Help your children create puppets, animals and jewelry.

Eco Pad + Eco Paint, uncommongoods.com | $12.00 Perfect for your little artist in training this eco pad is made of sustainable banana fibers and recycled materials. The paint is made up of natural ingredients such as beets, spinach, cabbage, blueberries and tomatoes. The paint comes in a powder form and can be made into paint products by adding water. This can be used as both finger paints or if you prefer less of a mess they can use a brush. They come in green, yellow, orange, purple and blue.

Noah’s Ark by Maxim Toys, amazon.com | $20.00 With 8 different sets of wooden carved animals, two noah’s and his wife this natural woodset is perfect for anyone learning their shapes. All pieces are made from renewable forests and use non-toxic water based paint the ark itself features animal cut outs perfect for shape sorting.

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December / January 2011-2012


T&G Holiday Gift guide KIDS Green Toys Dump Truck, amazon.com | $18.00 Made of recycled plastic and various other recycled and environmentally friendly products, Green Toys is one of the leading eco children’s online toy companies. Help teach you children the importance of recycling with Green Toys recycling truck that has a movable recycling bed and an open and shut rear door. This little green recycling trucks does not have any metal axles making this toy perfect for any age.

Noah’s Ark by Maxim Toys, mbeans.com | $10.00 Help your children burn off their extra Christmas energy with the Green Toys Jump Rope. The 7-foot jump rope is not only adjustable but made of 100 per cent USA organic cotton while the colorful handles (both pink and green) are made of recycled plastic.

Garden in a Bag, branchhome.com | $16.00 What better way to teach your little one how to grow their own ingredients than giving them the task of trying it out for themselves. The Kids Garden in a Bag comes with everything you need, except for the crayons. This will let your kids not only be creative in painting their own ‘garden’ but it is perfect for a desktop plant or sitting on a windowsill. You Child can watch as they grow their own strawberries!

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last minute


The Malaysian Flying Fox Photo by: Eco Health Alliance

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Global Trade and Your Health


food & health

Globally Green: How the Global Economy Impacts your Health

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e’ve gone organic. We eat local. We choose reusable over plastic. Our daily decisions, both large and small, center on the health of our families and our neighborhoods. But we are still inextricably linked to the global community. Where were our computers or cell phones made? Who wove and cut the fabrics of our clothing? From the plastic containers of our cosmetics to the natural resources in our furniture, the contents of a room alone could serve as an

international convention. Thanks to modern trade and travel, things move across the globe faster than ever—including diseases. The Diagnosis When you look at the newest diseases that have hit major news headlines, the overwhelming majority will have one thing in common: they all came from animals. West Nile virus, bird flu, swine flu and SARS jumped from animals to people and spread across the globe with alarming speed. Some of these diseases originated in domesticated

animals, while others came from wildlife. These diseases emerge because of our global practices and our interference with ecosystems. Some diseases travel in cargo holds, and some fly with airline passengers. They can all hit us at home, regardless of our best intentions. A little disease with a big story. One such disease, Nipah virus, has a rather juicy story. Nipah virus first emerged in Malaysia in 1998, infecting more than 250 people and killing 100 in a single outbreak. The

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virus is carried by a type of fruit bat known as the Malaysian flying fox, but this cute critter isn’t the bad guy. A gradual change in local farming practices triggered the spread of the disease. Human-induced change, making us sick Between the 1970s and the 1990s, pig and mango production tripled in Malaysia. Farmers planted mango trees close to pig enclosures, unintentionally attracting flying foxes to the area. As the bats fed and roosted in the trees, nearby livestock be-


food & health

came infected with Nipah virus, which then spread to farm laborers. Pigs were bought and sold across the region, and slaughterhouse workers in Singapore soon became ill. The outbreak was eventually stopped when the Malaysian government halted pig exports and disposed of half of the country’s pig population. Now, in Bangladesh, scientists are tracking annual outbreaks of a Nipah-like virus, hoping to prevent another epidemic. The story of Nipah virus was so riveting that it formed a loose basis for the September box office

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hit Contagion. As a single story, isolated in a region that seems far away, Nipah may not sound like much. In the greater context of our global community, with the backdrop of other serious disease outbreaks, it holds much more significance for the future of our health. The Solution These emerging diseases are a relatively new topic for a lot of government leaders, and effective solutions are only just beginning to emerge. While the first Nipah virus spillover was caused by intensive agriculture, other diseases

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are emerging because of growing populations, climate change, land use change, and other environmental factors. It’s a complex web of human health, animal health, and ecosystem health.

most likely to appear. By monitoring these hotspots and working with local communities across the globe, they hope to identify and prevent the next big disease before it reaches pandemic levels.

The first antidote is collaboration across research backgrounds and international borders. Public health is no longer just about local pollutants; conservation is no longer just about saving a species or resource. Researchers have already identified emerging disease “hotspots,” or places where new infectious diseases are

Sara E. Howard is program assistant at EcoHealth Alliance in New York, NY. EcoHealth Alliance integrates innovative science-based solutions and partnerships that increase capacity to achieve two interrelated goals: protecting global health by preventing the outbreak of emerging diseases and safeguarding ecosystems by promoting conservation.

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Raising Thrifty Kids 7 Tips for teaching kids about money

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December / January 2011-2012

WRITER KEN DAMATO


Raising Thrifty Kids 7 Tips for teaching kids about money

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hen it comes to the New Year, most of us make resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier or get organized, and while that is all very important, why not make one of your resolutions this year to teach your kids some really important lessons for their future? Consider teaching financial and money management lessons they can take with them to adulthood. It’s no secret that Americans are becoming increasingly worried about economic volatility with a threatening double-dip recession, the debt plan crisis, stock market plunge, weak job market, high unemployment rates, continued home foreclosures and consumer confidence dropping to an all-time low in over two years. Our children are not entirely shielded from the economic mess either because of the 24/7 news coverage. Just the other day, one of my sons asked me the meaning of “foreclosure.” Nowadays children are being exposed to many of these terms, yet don’t really understand the basic meaning of money, how it works, or how it impacts their own family. They may

watch their parents pulling out a credit card, but don’t understand how that money will be charged to the credit card and if it’s not paid at the end of the month, the card holder will be charged interest. They may understand they live in a house, but not how a mortgage payment to the bank works. As parents, we’re often more prepared to talk to our children about sex, alcohol or bullying than we are to discuss finances and money values. Many parents find it challenging to teach their kids about money when they are uncomfortable about the topic themselves or feel they may worry their kids with adult topics. The good news is you don’t have to be a Wall Street expert to pass on good financial habits to your children. The best way to teach them is to be a good, open and honest role model. Conversations about money matters can begin as early as five years old and lessons can go well beyond things like identifying the different coins and dollar bills. Kids learn about the importance of money matters, savings and financial planning by hearing about it often — and from a trusted source, like a parent. As the economic uncertainty

continues in our country, it’s more important than ever to sit down and start talking to your kids early and often about money in an age-appropriate manner they can grasp. The Push for Financial Education According to the Jump$tart Coalition’s biennial survey of financial literacy, high school seniors answered only 48.3 percent of the questions correctly, revealing startling gaps in their financial knowledge — only 51 percent know how to write a check, 34 percent can balance a checkbook and just 26 percent know how credit card fees work.

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This 2011-2012 school year, an increased number of school districts across the country have begun to take notice of the importance of financial literacy among our youth, with 14 states now mandating some form of financial literacy be taught to students in the classroom. But, with slashed budgets, some states are grappling with how to achieve these new mandates and weave this extra coursework into the current curriculum; and for the 36 states without these enhanced mandates, financial curriculum is often not being done well in the classroom.


feature Creating Teachable Moments At Home While educators and legislators work to better address financial literacy in our schools, parents should become financial role models and supplement financial lessons that aren’t being fully met in school by creating “teachable moments” at home with their kids. Parents are one of the strongest influences in a child’s life, and with that, have the ability to help mold and determine the financial future of their children. The New Year presents a great opportunity to begin supplementing your children’s education at home with basic money lessons. Here are some simple tips you can try at home with your family to start the year off right by teaching your kids basic money management and savings skills:

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Talk about money as you go: Find moments in your everyday life to teach your kids important lessons. To kids, an ATM may seem like a machine that gives out money. Next time you go to the ATM with your kids, explain how an ATM works and where the money comes from. Or, next time they go to buy a new toy, explain how tax is added to our purchases. Or next time you pay for a purchase or meal using a credit card, explain the

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difference from using cash, and the idea of paying interest. These little conversations go a long way in your children’s financial future.

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Do a family purge: Get your whole family involved by setting up a “Family Purge Day.” Everyone is responsible for their own goods — mom, dad and even the kids. Gather all of your outgrown bikes, baby clothes, old toys and make a list of which items you’d like to donate to charity. Pick a local charity with your children and deliver all your items as a family. This is a great way to encourage giving and recycling with your kids while organizing your house. Don’t forget that donating to charity can also be a tax deduction, and you can use this as a way to explain tax basics to your kids. You can also consider taking your gently used items to local consignment shops, and you can use the money you get back to teach your kids about creating and managing savings.

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Create a matched family savings plan: To your kids, sav ing often seems like an obstacle, especially when you’re waiting for the next great game or gadget to come out. To encourage smart saving habits, create a matched family savings

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plan similar to a 401K you have at work, except you, the parents, act as the company and match your children’s savings. Not only will you be fostering good habits, but also teaching how a matched savings plans works for when they, too, enter the working world.

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Set up a family savings goal: Whether you are planning an outing to a local amusement park or

December / January 2011-2012

an upcoming family vacation, set a savings goal to get every member of the family involved in saving money to fund the activity. As a group, figure out how much the whole trip will cost. Include admission fees, travel expenses, food, souvenirs, etc. Then talk about ways everyone can contribute so you’ll reach your goal. Discuss and practice ways to save through wise spending choices (eating in vs. dining out) and ways everyone in


raising thrifty kids the family can earn money to put toward the family trip. When spending decisions come up — such as “I want that new toy!” — your family can discuss how important an item is when compared to the family’s savings goal.

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Make it fun: We all know our children’s generation loves technology, so why not embrace it. There’s been a great push toward game-based learning — using what our children love, games, to teach them what they need to know for their future. Take advantage of free online educational games available today, like Sand Dollar City (www.sanddollarcity. com), that teach your kids about money in a fun and interactive way they will enjoy. Many banks also have online tools available, like PNC’s “Grow Up Great” program.

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Use allowance as a tool: When allow ance is used as a tool and not as a giveaway, it can be one of the best ways to teach kids, even kids as young as five or six, about money. There are many ways to structure allowance, and each family has to decide what is right for them. This would include how much allowance to give, what kinds of things a child should pay for, etc. I suggest paying children for tasks completed. One can also consider basing the amount of the 41

allowance on the child’s age — perhaps $1 per week for every year of age. I base my own children’s allowance on their grade level. Whatever the amount is that works for your family, give the allowance money each week in small bills or coins that can be divided into three clearly marked envelopes or containers with the “Three S’s”. Decide in advance that a set amount should go to savings, spending and sharing. The largest amount should go to the savings envelope so that kids can see how their money adds up over time

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Provide support: There’s no better financial learning experience than a lemonade or baked goods stand. Support your kids when they want to create their own stand — help bake

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the goods or take them to the grocery store to buy their supplies. Kids will appreciate money much more when they earn it on their own. From my own experience, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your child’s face light up when he or she earns their first dollar. Setting Them Up For Financial Success The state of our economy and the threatening double dip recession is somewhat out of your control, but what is in your control is your children’s education. Preparing our kids for their financial future is one of our many duties as parents, and if we don’t teach them, who will? Start the year off right by supplementing their education at school by teaching basic money skills at home. Incorporating simple

December / January 2011-2012

conversations into everyday life, whether it’s at the grocery store, in the car, or at the dinner table — and approaching daily tasks as teachable moments — can set your children up for a future of economic success, and maybe even give the economy the boost it needs for our future. A nation full of money smart kids may mean a nation full of economic success in the future. Ken Damato is the Founder and of DoughMain (DoughMain.com), a free financial education and family organization website co-developed by teachers to help parents educate children and young adults about the value of money and the importance of money matters, financial planning and financial literacy. To learn more about DoughMain, please visit www.DoughMain.com.


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New: Video Series

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PRESENTS

livin large on small change

BEAUTY

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ENTERTAINING

Join Adriane and Claudia Kiss, The Kiss sisters in their exclusive monthly webisodes dedicated to being young, Thrifty and Green. New in our Saving Money section. Upcoming Shows Oct. 15 T&G Halloween

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Green

holiday

Table 45

Winter holidays

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green holiday table

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hough your neighborhood may be blanketed with white snow, the holiday season is actually one of the best opportunities you have to go green. After all, you will be gathering at holiday events, hosting parties of your own, and telling your life’s story to your neighbor’s dog sitter. What better occasion to share your interest in living an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle? There’s no better cocktail party topic than

how to compost kitchen scraps with worms in your basement. All right, perhaps there are more suitable conversation starters, but the underlying point is still valid–your holiday gala can serve as a role model for green, resourceefficient practices. Obviously, the food is the most important element of any holiday party, allowing you to demonstrate how easy it is to cook seasonally in the midst of winter. It may be tempting to buy those super-

market tomatoes from Florida, but they’ll taste like cardboard and be harder than a baseball. So skip them and venture to your local farmers market or natural foods grocery instead for locally farmed, seasonal foods. Supplies may be limited at this time of the year, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the late harvest abundance of squashes, root vegetables, cooking greens and apples. You may even discover a new vegetable that you’ve never seen before. See www.localharvest.org for a

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market near you. Traditional holiday feasts center around a meat dish. After all, who can resist the aroma of roast turkey or the hearty flavors of country ham? On the other hand, raising conventional livestock requires large amounts of fuel, pesticides and fertilizers, making the process a major contributor to greenhouse gases. According to estimates by the Environmental Working Group, if everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese for just one day per


feature week, the carbon savings would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the roads. You don’t have to make your holiday meal vegetarian, but it is worth considering. A possibility is moving from meat centric dishes to ones that feature smaller amounts of meat as a seasoning. Think bacon crumbles, or shrimp stock, not steaks. Many dishes can feature meaty, robust flavors without including animal products, especially if you take advantage of fall mushrooms and aged cheeses. For one example of a rich, satiating dish that eschews the meat, see the recipe below for Cornbread and Broccoli Rabe Strata.

tibiotic residues, growth hormones, and if you’re lucky, food-borne bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Sure, ethically-sourced meats can cost double what you might pay at Costco, but you’re better off purchasing smaller amounts of meat from a reputable farmer whose husbandry practices you trust. Don’t forget the drinks; we want to make sure all potential family spats are deflected with a timely glass of merlot. Consider getting wine from a local,

organic winery, with less pesticide intensive viticulture methods. Or, support our nation’s growing craft brewing industry by picking up beer from a local brewery. Unlike the homogenous products from national brewers, at smaller craft breweries, you’ll find spicy seasonal brews that perfectly complement the cold weather and your hors d’oeuvres. One of the biggest generators of waste at holiday parties is the use of disposable cups and silverware.

If you do include meat, avoid factory-farmed cuts and buy organic, grass-fed meats instead. The quality and flavor of nonconfinement meat is remarkably better than factory farmed products. Moreover, feedlot meats are also laced with an-

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Though it’s definitely easier to throw everything away, you’ll find that with a couple volunteers to help you wash dishes or load the dishwasher, everything will be rinsed and dried in no time flat. Invest in simple white dishes and silverware; department stores often have them on sale at this time of the year. Or, break out some of the dusty china that’s been sitting unused in the cabinets for so long. If you don’t want to buy additional dishes, consider asking each guest to BYOP, or bring your own plate,


Get ready for

Guests

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green holiday table

along with a glass and fork. That way, you will have plenty of dishes to go around, and the dirty ones will go home with their owners! Once the meal is finished, don’t let it sit idle. Encourage guests to sort and dispose of their scraps in a compost collection. Roughly 40% of food produced in the U.S. is thrown out, an incredible amount of waste. With a well-managed compost bin, those nutrients can be returned back to the soil. Leftover should be packed or frozen and used for future meals. If there is too much for you to handle,

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the food should be redistributed for guests to take home. Ask people to bring a container with them, so that they can tote a piece of the dinner home at the end of the night. Are you exchanging gifts? Consider spreading the magic of real food culture through a hands-on cheese making kit or a home brewing kit. Give the gift of education with a cookbook of fundamental techniques; I like Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. Stocking stuffers might include jars of local honey or a bar of fair trade chocolate. A seasonal produce calendar can

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be a fun reminder of what to anticipate next year at the farmers markets. And seed packets are a cheap and creative way to help develop a green thumb. You can also give postcards or greeting cards that have seeds embedded inside the paper, and can be planted after being read. Wrapping paper is another source of paper waste, but with some creative thinking, it’s easy to find alternatives that can be practical and stylish. Try wrapping gifts in reusable tote bags or light scarves. Reuse old maps, the comic pages from newspapers, and sheet music. If you do

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have a heap of discarded wrapping paper at the end of the night, be sure to recycle it, along with any other cans and bottles. Here’s to a celebration that sustains the spirit, body and planet! Crystal Cun is the Director of Distribution & Campaigns for FRESH, a 2009 documentary about the farmers, activists and entrepreneurs working to reinvent our food system. For info about the movie and more tips on sustainable living, check out www. freshthemovie.com.


Homemade Candy Holiday Gifts for Under $3 Each

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or those of us who love to give but dread the expense of the holidays – and the impact of waste on the environment – here are instructions for making a consumable gift that recycles your holiday tins. Making holiday candy is easy and does not require a lot of energy (human or otherwise). It is a great activity parents can do with kids, or a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends “taste-testing”. And isn’t spending something of ourselves – time, not money – the true spirit of the season?

container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Instructions for Making Holiday Candy There are two basic ingredients for holiday candy: chocolate and candy. Traditional candy bark uses semi-sweet or white chocolate and crushed candy canes, but gum drops or red and green M&Ms can also be used for variety. Find inspiration in the bulk section of your grocery store. You can spend as much or as little as your budget allows in terms of quality (e.g. organic or higher quality chocolate, almonds instead of candy, etc.) and quantity.

Cost Without overspending, keep in mind that the more you make, the less expensive each gift. For less than $20 I recently made two batches of peppermint bark to donate to the Christmas fair at my daughter’s school. Together we made the candy and packaged it in 7 holiday bags at a cost of less than $3/bag and about an hour of our time. For gift giving, we would use tins – and if we had to buy them, this would still put each gift at less than $5 apiece.

Packaging and Presentation Search for holiday tins from previous years. If you don’t have any, ask family and friends if you can reuse theirs. Try thrift stores and dollar stores as another source for inexpensive and reusable containers. Avoid plastic gift bags which are generally not reusable or recyclable. Line your tins with wax paper, place the candy on top, and cover with another layer of wax paper.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Crush the candy canes in a food processor or by hand (rolling a rolling pin over a bag of candy canes will do the trick). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle a thin layer of crushed candy canes on it. Pour melted chocolate over the candy and spread with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of crushed candy cane on top. If using gum drops or other candy, cut into small pieces as needed. Press the candy into the melted chocolate. Chill in the fridge or freezer until hard, then break into pieces by hand. Candy should be stored in an airtight

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holiday Pies

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holiday recipes


holiday pies

She’s My

Cherry Recipe By: Sue Caulfield

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Pure, simple perfection—this is the cherry pie that makes everyone fall in love with you. Definitely do either a lattice top or a cutout crust to ensure that it’s love at first sight! 1 recipe Buttery Double Crust (page 37), rolled out and fit into a 9-inch pie plate FILLING: 5 cups pitted tart cherries 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1\8 teaspoon salt TOP CRUST: Nondairy milk for brushing 2 tablespoons sugar 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the filling ingredients and set aside. 2. Add the filling to the prepared pie shell. Cover it with the top crust, pinch the edges together, trim the excess dough to about an inch, and crimp. 3. Brush the top of the pie with nondairy milk and sprinkle on sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 350°F, and bake for another 30 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling should be bubbly. Place pie on a cooling rack and let cool for about half an hour before serving. 52

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Pie Cherry Pickin’ This recipe calls for tart or sour cherries, and only those will do. Sweet cherries are delicious on their own but baking them takes away their magic. So eat a bowlful of sweet cherries at a picnic, but leave the pie to the effervescent sour cherry. The downside is that sour cherries are virtually impossible to find out of season and the season really only lasts for a handful of summer weeks. But that’s okay; frozen sour cherries work magnificently and are already pitted to boot! When you are able to find them frozen, snatch them up, as they tend to go fast. And follow our frozen fruit tips on page 12 to make sure your pies are flawless. If frozen sour cherries are absolutely impossible to find, your next best bet is jarred. The concern with jarred cherries is that they are stored in a sweetened syrup, so drain them before proceeding with this recipe and reduce the sugar by a tablespoon or two. But don’t let the juice go to waste! Use it for a sweet cherry blast in lemonade or sangria. A handheld cherry pitter is a good investment, especially one that will pit olives, too. You should be able to procure one for well under twenty dollars. Our advice is just to search Amazon for the one with the best reviews!

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pies

blackberry

bramble Recipe By: Sue Caulfield Yield: One 9-inch pie

The edgy, sultry sister of the raspberry lattice pie, this blackberry pastry is spiked with lots of lemon and a touch of blackberry liqueur. It’s a flavorful, aromatic treat worth wading through the brambles for. Crust: Buttery Double Crust (on next page), rolled out and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Ingredients: 6 generous cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (see tips on page 12) Grated zest of 2 lemons 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 3 tablespoons blackberry liqueur or brandy 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pie crust strips in a lattice design (see illustration on page 33) on top of pie and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Directions: 3. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then lower heat 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing to 350°F and bake for another 30–35 minutes. bowl, toss together the berries, lemon zest, The crust should be golden and the filling lemon juice, 2⁄3 cup sugar, blackberry liqueur, should be bubbly. Place pie on a cooling rack cornstarch, and cinnamon. and let cool for about half an hour before serving. 2. Pile filling into pie crust and gently press down berries to even out the top. Assemble 53

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seasonal baking

Buttery Double Crust MAKES ONE 9-INCH TOP AND BOTTOM CRUST This is an all-purpose, flaky, roll-out pie crust, perfect for any of the pies in the book. It’s great for cutting shapes, or making lattices. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons sugar 8 tablespoons cold non hydrogenated margarine 8 tablespoons cold non hydrogenated shortening 6 tablespoons ice water 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Mix in the sugar. Add half the margarine and shortening by about half tablespoonfuls, cutting it into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the flour appears pebbly. Add the remaining margarine and shortening, and cut it into the flour. In a cup, mix together 4 tablespoons of the ice water with the apple cider vinegar. Drizzle the water and vinegar mixture into the flour by the tablespoonful, gently mixing it after each addition. Knead the dough a few times, adding more water until it holds together. You may need only the 4 tablespoons, but add up to 2 more tablespoons if needed. Divide the dough in two, roll each half into a ball, then press them into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them until ready to use, or use as directed in the recipe.

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Variation Vodka Dough: Say you want to be part of the vodka pie crust revolution. Start by sprinkling 4 tablespoons of inexpensive vodka over the flour mixture, then sprinkle on the apple cider vinegar. Gently stir a few times. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of water, a tablespoon at a time. Stir just enough to combine and gather the dough into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, stir in more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together but is not sticky. Proceed as directed. Tips An easy way to keep ice water handy is to plop a few ice cubes in a measuring cup of water. Just dip a tablespoon in as needed, then sprinkle into the dough.

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holiday pies

Pucker Up

Raspberry Recipe By: Sue Caulfield Yield: One 9-inch pie

This raspberry pie has a secret weapon . . . balsamic vinegar! Although you won’t be able to detect it, it simply heightens the tart raspberry flavor like whoa. Even if you’re using frozen berries they will taste like something special. We always like to make a lattice top if there are red berries inside because how could you not? It would be crazy to hide all that vibrant color.

Pie

1 recipe Buttery Double Crust (page 37), rolled out and fit into a 9-inch pie plate FILLING: 5 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (see tips on page 12) 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the filling ingredients and set aside.

dough to about an inch, and crimp. 4. Bake the pie for 25 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 35 more minutes. The filling should be bubbly and the crust lightly browned. Place pie on a cooling rack to let cool. It’s very saucy at first, so give it an hour or so before slicing.

3. Add the filling to the prepared pie shell. Create a lattice crust on top (see illustration on page 33), pinch the edges together, trim the excess

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Maple pecan

Pie 57

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Maple

Pecan Pie Recipe By: Sue Caulfield Yield: One 9-inch pie

This is the kind of pecan pie that has pecans resting in a sweet suspension, somewhere between gel and custard. We’re not going to make any apologies for the tofu in it . . . it works! This pie flies off the table at bake sales and makes even the most un-vegan Southerners weep with joy. Well, we think it’s joy. 1 recipe Single Pastry Crust (page 42), fit into a 9-inch pie plate FILLING: 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup pure maple syrup 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine 6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (1/2 of a tetra pack) 1/4 cup cold unsweetened plain nondairy milk 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups pecan halves First we’re going to make a caramel. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix together the sugars and the maple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start rapidly forming, stir pretty constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy. It shouldn’t be boiling too fiercely; if big bubbles start climbing the walls of the pan then lower the heat a bit. 58

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Add the margarine and stir to melt. Turn the heat off, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and let it cool for a bit. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the filling. Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch, and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Check to see that the sugar mixture has cooled sufficiently; it’s okay if it’s a bit warm, just not boiling hot. Add the tofu mixture and the vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in the pecans to incorporate. Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. When done, the pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set. Let cool, slice, and serve! No cheating and pulling pecans off the pie. Variation Salted Maple Pecan Pie: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt over the cooled pie. Tips This pie works great in tart form, too (as in the photo). Just press the crust into an 11-inch tart pan and proceed with the recipe.

December / January 2011-2012


The importance of

Family Mealtime

Growing Up Green An original series only on thriftyandgreen.com

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Growing Up Green

feature series

The Family Meal

The Many Benefits of Sharing a Mealtime Table

T

here is no one recipe for successful parenting. However, there are a few key ingredients that the experts agree are essential. Luckily, one of these is free, takes only an hour a day and is credited with increased academic performance, decreased chance of alcohol and drug use, decreased rates of obesity and increased levels of self confidence. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that nearly 60% of families report eating together at least five times per week. But it’s not for any of these very important reasons that I established family dinners at our house. We chose to prioritize eating together because it’s nice. Simple as that! It’s nice to sit with one’s family, break bread and share conversation. We also eat together in the hopes that this respect for food will procure in our children an appreciation for food and consequently, for the earth that produces the food.

Nurture Appreciation for Food There are horror stories, urban myths whispered with down cast eyes in mommy circles about children who believe that beans come from cans and milk from cartons. I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t know that vegetables grow in the earth and milk comes from cows, but this basic knowledge doesn’t discredit the worry that fuels the myth. As a culture, we’ve lost our connection with food. Some credit the loss to media, others to the vixen Progress and her partners Fast and Easy, but regardless of the reason, the fact remains that meals are all too often a means to an end. Eat to work. Eat to play. Eat anywhere, anytime, anything. And at all costs, do not be inconvenienced by the need to eat. This disconnect, which has made perilous the most critical of connections that between a species and its food source - threatens the health of individuals,

of society and of our precious planet. At the most basic level, sitting down to eat a homecooked meal models an appreciation for food. If we are to reconnect with agricultural production in an organic and sustainable way, it’s key that the next generation holds food in a place of value. It’s also key that these kids learn to value themselves and that sense of self worth is often taught around a table. Benefits to Family Relations A slew of statistics support the fact that children benefit from family meals. For younger children, having routine family meals provides a sense of security, a feeling of belonging in

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the family and a learning ground for cultural practices. According to anthropologist Dr. Robin Fox from Rutgers University, “a meal is about civilizing children, about teaching them to be a member of their culture.” Higher levels of academic performance have also been noted among children who report eating with their families more than five times per week. This has been attributed in part to increased listening comprehension, vocabulary and oral communication skills, honed around the dinner table. Not surprisingly, the frequency of family meals decreases inversely in relation to the age of children during the teenage years.


growing up green Evidence suggests, however, that the benefits of regularly shared meals are just as strong through adolescence. According to Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Founder of The National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), ?parental engagement fostered around the dinner table is one of the most potent tools to help parents raise healthy, drugfree children.? For over a decade CASA has been studying the relationship between family meals and substance use. In the 2011 study The Importance of Family Dinners, CASA reported that teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more per week) are significantly less likely to use drugs or alcohol than those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week. Specifically, CASA found that teens who have only infrequent family dinners

The Family Meal are: • Almost four times likelier to use tobacco; • More than twice as likely to use alcohol; • Two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and • Almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future. Getting Started Although carving time for family meals is simple enough once the pattern is set, it can be initially challenging to get the family on board when establishing new routines. To help ease the transition, I suggest talking to them in the language of love? food. Lure resistant family members to the table with irresistible culinary delights and make this new family structure one that you all look forward to. Most children do, although it?s

not the food that?s the real draw. According to CASA?s 2011 Family Dinners report, ?three-quarters of teens who report having dinner with their family at least once a week find the interaction and being together to be the best part of family dinners.? This means there is no pressure to master fourcourse French feasts mid-week. It?s as simple as thinking ahead, planning meals your family will enjoy and creating an opportunity to listen to your kids every day. This might mean a lot of kid-friendly favorites like grilled cheese and cut veggies or spaghetti and meatballs to get the ball rolling, or it might mean bringing back dessert and offering a small treat at the end of a sit-down dinner. The benefits of the family time are increased exponentially when everyone at the table is there willingly, so the pains taken to create enticing meals will come back to you ten-fold. Communication is the other half of the recipe. When seeking to prioritize sit-down meals, start by discussing this choice with your partner and your family. In a two-parent household, it?s important that the commitment to

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shared meals is ubiquitous amongst the adults, so decide together on expectations for meal time routines and behavior. Then share the plan with the kids, making sure to explain why a new routine is being introduced, what is expected of them and how they benefit. Having this conversation with a fresh brownie in hand can go a long way in terms of demonstrating the later point, and breaking down potential barriers of resistance. Make it Inclusive Rare is the person, child or adult, who enjoys imperialist doctrine with their dinner. While the shared meal routine is likely a top-down policy, success requires inclusivity. Luckily, engaging the whole family in mealtime is both simple and fun. It starts with preparation and planning: • Make a meal plan together: try dedicating one night of the week to each person?s pick. • Prepare meals together: when the kitchen is a family place, food and meals become everyone?s business Continued on next page...


Growing Up Green • Make your own night: tacos, pizza, crepes & super salads can all be prepped ahead of time and set out as a makeit-yourself buffet. This is a fun staple at our house. Inclusivity is also key at the table. Miriam Weinstein author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals, offers the following Meal Time conversation tips: 1. Keep the topic age appropriate. 2. Turn the TV off 3. Listen Respectfully. Save the lectures for another time.

4. Keep Questions Open Ended 5. Give Little Kids a break if they need it. 6. Set dinner time expectations. Weinstein also offers a list of great conversation starters ? topics and questions that parents can fall back on when the table is too quiet. Among my favorites are; What would your life be like if there were no telephones?? and How do you think the belly button got it?s name? These light queries so often open the door to hidden corners of our children’s inner thoughts.

For more serious fare, the Huffington Post’s Laurie David has a weekly series that appears on Fridays called Table Talk, which highlights a news story from the week with the intent of paving the way for good dinner time conversation. David, who is also the author The Family Dinner, has a knack for boiling down interesting topics into what she calls ‘digestible conversation.’ Ideas for Fun Family Meals Despite best efforts to start interesting conversations using these tried and true resources, hiccups are inevitable. Along the path to a joyous family table every parent is bound to jump and down and scream, I don’t care if you like it. It’s dinner. Sit down and EAT it! And every child is bound to push the buttons that yield this unsightly scene. To minimize the friction, we try to keep family meals fresh and fun with the following tactics: • Seasonal Cooking: Concentrate on local ingredients and eat with the season • Themed Meals: Bring festivals, celebrations and seasonal fun into the meals

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• Around the World Cooking: Try foods from other cultures. • Finger Food: Ditch the cutlery and embrace young children?s innate to desire to eat with their hands. • Monotone Meals: Pick a color and make a whole meal with it! • Rainbow Meals: How many colors can you get on a plate? • Fun Presentations: Not every meal needs to be plated. Pumpkin soup takes on a whole new appeal when served in the shell. Vegetables on a squewer are magically transformed from mundane to delightful. • Off the table: Any meal is exciting when you eat as a picnic. Solutions for Busy Families There is no rule that family dinners at a shared table require an actual table. Or that they be at dinner! The busy urban family needs to stay flexible in their practice by focusing on the intent of the ritual and interpreting its practice in ways that enrich daily life. For a family with older kids who live at a hockey


arena, dance studio or rehearsal hall many nights per week, this might mean bringing the meal, and the family, to them from time to time. A picnic basket with reusable flatware and a blanket to mark the dinner space can help to maintain a sense reverie for out-of-the-house meals. Lasagna or casserole are wholesome one-pan meals that can easily be prepared the night before and warmed in the oven before heading out. By demonstrating a commitment to eating together even when it?s you ? not them ? being inconvenienced, parents reinforce the importance of the practice and model a deep respect for the value of each member of the

3 in

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household. Like the old adage says: treat others as you would like to be treated. The evening meal may also not be the ideal time for every family to eat together. A wholesome breakfast or hearty lunch at a shared table have the same benefits as any family dinner. The point is the ritual - to sit, eat and exist together, how and when is secondary. Dinner Rituals The very act of sharing a daily meal creates ritual, which help children to feel safe and supported. The connections built around the table establish open communication and

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reinforce family values. These meals teach appreciation for one?s self and one?s family, but there is the opportunity at the table to take this to logical next step. Meal times lend themselves perfectly to the practice of daily gratitude. The practice of expressing daily gratitude?s is about looking outside of ourselves, taking a few moments to appreciate all that we have, and seeing ourselves as part of a bigger picture. For families who adhere to a regular religious practice, examples of giving thanks abound. But for more secular families, guidance is harder to come by. Wal-

dorf Methodology is one great resource for creating non-denominational rituals. According to Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner, mealtime reverence is a key component to teaching children an appreciation of the natural world, the food they eat, themselves and their communities. This is expressed in the most popular of the Waldorf verses: Blessings on the blossoms Blessings on the roots Blessings on the leaves and stems Blessings on the fruit Blessings on our meal and on everyone here and dear! We?ve created our own

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family ritual, endearingly termed ‘Gratefulness.’ For our family, full of the beautiful chaos of small children and busyness, a participative expression of thanks that unfolds over the course of the meal is the ideal. Our ‘gratefulness’ routine goes like this: 1.

Dish up.

2.

Dig in.

3. While enjoying the meal, go around the table and share: a. A Gratefulness for the day

b. A Good Wish to send to a friend who needs it Start Today! Like most parents, if I could I’d pay almost anything to significantly decrease my child’s likelihood of using substances while simultaneously bolstering their academic performance, their innate sense of self worth and their environmental consciousness, while also strengthening our relationship. It sounds too good to be true. Certainly out of my price range. But it isn?t. And it doesn?t cost a thing. In the words of Elizabeth Planet, VP of CASA, ?The emo-

tional and social benefits that come from family dinners are priceless,? and the practice itself is free. Since taking the time to eat together is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to yourself and your children, I humbly suggest that you start. Today. Tovah Paglaro is a mother of 3, Family Editor + Columnist for T&G in Vancouver, BC. She writes about Sustainable Family values and eco inspired crafts in her two weekly oringial columns Growing Up Green, and Crafty Kids on thriftyandgreen.com/family

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personal finance

New Realities:

The Paradox of Thrift You’ve probably heard that the US is a “consumer driven” economy. Consumer spending accounts for almost 70% of GDP. Businesses of every kind depend on you to spend your money in order to grow and create jobs. However, the ongoing financial crisis has also been a reminder of the importance of saving. Savings can make it easier to deal with unexpected circumstances, such as a period of unemployment, and keep them from leading to greater losses, like fore-

closures. But saving more means spending less. Does Saving Hurt the Economy? This is what some economists refer to as the “Paradox of Thrift”. Essentially, it implies that when people save money rather than spend it, businesses lose sales, production falls, people lose their jobs and, eventually, their savings as well. So, by being thrifty and saving money, people actually hurt the economy. This so-called paradox is

a widely accepted idea amongst most economists and academics. So, should you grab your credit card and go do your part to “stimulate the economy”? The Short Answer Is: “No!” While it’s true that a short term effect of spending less and saving more will be that some businesses sell less, it is also true that if you spent all your money rather than save for emergencies or retirement, that spending would be unsustainable. Sooner or later, you would stop spending almost completely, because you would go broke. If you use credit to spend more than you have, that spending is also unsustainable. Unless you change the trend quickly, interest payments will increasingly eat away at your income until

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you lose your ability to borrow money. Sooner or later, the spending stops. Consumption alone does not drive an economy. People’s ability to consume depends on their ability to produce. People who produce nothing have nothing to trade in exchange for the goods they wish to consume. Unless they are also producers, consumers cannot stimulate an economy. But the most important reason saving actually helps the economy in the long run is that savers eventually become investors. Savers start new businesses. They fund research and development projects and help advance science and technology. Savers, in the long run, create new jobs and increase production, raising the general standard of living in the process. Debt Is Red, Saving Is Green Saving money may also contribute to saving the


new realities environment, specially if allows you to avoid going into debt. Savers are thrifty and thrift reduces both the demand for natural resources and waste. Every single thing you re-use or recycle, small as it may be, reduces the demand for new natural resources, farmland and landfills. If by spending less you also avoid going into debt, the positive effect is compounded. The world’s financial system is based on debt and depends on the continuous expansion of debt. That is why banks are always trying to give you yet another new credit card and why economists would rather you spend than save, even, or perhaps specially,

personal finance if it means going into debt. New loans allow banks to create new reserves, which they can then use to offer even more new loans. This causes an artificial and unsustainable expansion of available credit and industrial activity. By spending less and saving more, you could also be helping to save the environment. (For more about the relationship between monetary policy and the environment, read “Green Money”) Changing Paradigms The Paradox of Thrift is simply one of many erroneous conclusions at which many economists have arrived as a consequence of accepting erroneous premises.

As we’ve seen, just like the “asset driven economy”, the idea that real-estate prices would always rise or the notion that money is the same as wealth, the Paradox of Thrift It belongs in the recycling bin of history. New economic realities require new paradigms and changes in our attitudes about spending and saving. So, if a shopping spree and racking up debt isn’t really going to help, what can you do? Be Thrifty & Save Reduce your expenses and increase your savings. Saving is the best way to begin securing your financial

stability today, and will also help the economy in the long run. You’ve probably heard that you should have enough savings to cover at least 3-6 months of your total expenses. If you do, you’re off to a great start. If however, like most people, you find you’ve been neglecting or even depleting your savings account, or don’t have any savings at all, keep reading, we have a few ideas that could help as you begin working to reverse the trend. Outsmart The Joneses Keeping up with the Joneses has long been part of normal, middle-class life for as long as anyone can remember. But considering the Joneses are probably up to their eyeballs in debt, it may not be the best idea. Do not allow any concern with keeping up false appearances to influence your financial decisions. What other people might think or say about you should not cost you money. Those people will likely not be there to help you pay your bills down the line. Instead, before you buy something, ask yourself whether you really need it and whether you currently have enough money to

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new realities buy it. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Buying on sale is not saving. Reusing, repairing or recycling something instead of tossing it to buy a new one is saving. Protect Your Source of Income Have you been considering quitting your job to start your own business? Are you about ready to demand a serious raise from your boss or walk? Perhaps you’re thinking about quitting, cashing your 401k and becoming a day-trader? Unless you’ve saved so much that you could retire comfortably today and still have enough money left over to invest and possibly lose, doing so now might could be a disastrous decision. The current financial situation makes it particularly difficult for new businesses to find investment capital simply because, in most cases, the risk is considered too high. While many businesses will be successful, there is a good chance that there will be a better time down the road to invest your savings. For now, it might be a better idea to protect your source of income and try to maximize your income in order to increase your saving capacity, which will

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personal finance also mean maximizing your future investment capacity. Pay Off Your Debts Interest rates are currently at historic lows. This has made it easier for more people to go into debt. However, it also means rates are more likely to move up than down. If you are making payments based on adjustable rates or depend on credit cards to make ends meet, this could mean trouble down the line. Reducing your expenses and maximizing your income should help you stop accumulating debt. Once you’ve done that, start paying it off, high-interest debt first. Spending Is Not Investing Don’t delude yourself into thinking that buying yourself some expensive toy is an investment. Chances are you will not make any money on that new HD TV, specially after you adjust for inflation.

question is: will it produce an income? If not, chances are it’s an expense. Inflation vs. Savers As you begin building your savings, look for ways to protect them from inflation. Inflation reduces the real value of your savings over time. As prices rise, your savings are worth less. Look for instruments that will protect your savings from inflation. Saving accounts are a popular option, as well as CD’s and other instruments, since they pay at least some interest. However, be advised that the interest rate paid on savings and CD’s by most banks is lower than the rate of actual inflation, so you’re still losing value over time. Precious metals may be good options for some part

Cars, ATV’s, boats and even homes are typically not good investments. In fact, in most cases, they are not investments at all, they are expenses. When considering whether something is an expense or an investment, the key

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December / January 2011-2012

of your savings. Over the past 10 years, gold and silver have outperformed all indexes and most stocks. Given the current outlook, they should continue to do well. However, beware of opportunistic and unprincipled sellers looking to make a quick profit from first-time buyers. Secure Access to Your Emergency Fund When it comes to your emergency fund, look for ways to secure fast access to your money any time you need it. Banks are in dire financial circumstances, there are reports of bank closures every week. FDIC insurance provides some protection from possible bankruptcies, but they may not provide quick access to cash in an emergency. Make sure you have direct, independent and unimpeded access to


at least part of your savings at all times. The Virtue of Thrift It is time to do away with the false paradigms of Keynesian economics and to recover the commonsense approach to spending, saving and investing that was so well understood only a couple of generations ago. Part of this is remembering that using resources wisely, reducing waste and being thrifty is not a paradox, it is a virtue. Reducing your expenses while increasing your savings will likely be good for your personal finances. It could also help reduce the demand for natural resources. And, in spite of what some economists might say, it will also help

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the economy to begin a true, long-term recovery, built on a more solid foundation. This article is provided as informative opinion only and is not to be construed as investment advice, nor does it or any part of its content represent a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security, contract or commodity. Dario Piana is a T&G Personal Finance writer and author in Guadalajara Mexico. Dario is interested in educating others about the adjustments needed to cope with the changing global economic climate for the average individual and family. He is also mountain climber, backyard fish farmer and aquaponic systems designer.

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