Routines How to Pack a Healthy
Waste Free Lunch Eco Twins
Teaching Kids to Be
Smart With Money
Tristin & Tyler
Go Back-to-School In Style Back-to-School 2012 1
Features Meal Planning 101
Eco Friendly Fundraising Ideas
Help Your Child Make Friends
College: Keeping it Green
Packing a Waste Free Lunch
Back to School Boosters
Teach Kids to About Money
Learning Through Music
In Every Issue Anni’s Kitchen EcoFab Look, Listen, Read What’s in Season The More You Know Eco Fashion Nutritional Nuggets Ask Green Grandma Eco Craft Your Green Child
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Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.
- O. Fred Donaldson
from our publisher & editor A Second New Year For many parents, a new school year signifies the passing of time far more powerfully than changing the calendar on January 1. Whether it’s our baby starting kindergarten or our teen heading to high school… we tend to prepare ourselves for the big ones. But those smaller leaps can hit us unexpectedly. Realizing your 3rd grader is halfway through elementary school is enough to send the calmest parent into a panic that time is passing far too quickly. Add in the tasks of getting back into a routine, meal planning, organizing things that were neglected over the summer, plus nerves about the transition… and you might find the whole family on an emotional rollercoaster. Every family is different, but what works for us is giving ourselves plenty of grace. So while you’ll find plenty of green Back to School advice in this issue, I hope you’ll also spend some time enjoying the articles on family activities and ways to put simple routines in place for your mornings, packing lunches, and planning dinners. We only have 13 “first days” of school with each child. So go ahead and take her picture that morning, or make his favorite healthy dessert for dinner that night. Most of all, ask questions and LISTEN to how their day went. It’s the Second New Year, and I think we should celebrate it :)
Amity ON THE COVER: Photo by Ana Schechter, Clothing by Tom and Drew Boys, Water Bottle by S’well
By Kim Corrigan-Oliver Along with Back to School comes the return of routine. Schedules get busier, homework is on the agenda, and everyone needs to eat. Meal planning is an important tool which will help you create healthy, nutritious meals at home for your family even when the schedule seems to busy. Here are six easy steps to meal planning success:
Step 1 - Get Ideas
Get the family involved...what does everyone like to eat, what is everyone’s schedule like and can family members help with preparation, cooking or clean up?
Step 2 - Make Two Lists
Step 5 - Create A Grocery list Include everything you need for meal preparation.
List #1 – meals you usually prepare. List #2 – meals you would like to prepare. We all have those recipes tucked away just waiting to be tried, bring them out and see if they fit into your meal planning. One word of caution, try only one new recipe per week.
Step 6 -Put It Into Action
Step 3 - Consider Short Cuts
Family meal planning can be a lot of fun when the whole family is on board; so get the kids involved, let them have a choice on the meals you serve, let them help you in the kitchen and then enjoy the meal you have prepared together.
Ask yourself these three questions: • Can you combine fresh (vegetables) and convenience (jarred pasta sauce) to make a fast healthy meal? • Will using frozen (vegetables) or canned (beans) foods make the meal easier to prepare? • Do you need simpler meals/recipes?
Step 4 - Create A Plan
Decide what meals you will prepare on which nights. Consider the time it takes to make the meal, the nutrient value of the meal and your family schedule. Schedule some time on the 6
weekend to make a few meals ahead of time for those super busy nights.
Let the fun begin! Give the plan a try, see how it works and then tweak it as necessary until you find the perfect fit.
Kim Corrigan-Oliver is a mom, holistic nutritionist, doula in training and owner of Your Green Baby, a nutrition consulting business specializing in mom, baby and toddler. She is the author of Raising Happy Healthy Babies, a book which includes nutrition guidance for the preconception to toddler stage, and everything in between.
See More on Page 36!
In Anni’s Conscious Kitchen with Conscious Family Living Lifestyle Expert, Anni Daulter
Anni is a C onscious Fam ily Living lifestyle exp ert, professio nal cook, advocate of sustainable living and author of 6 b ooks and the new online community, S acred Pregnan cy.
With four children, three being school-aged, we have a lot of lunches to make each day. In our family, we’ve found that pre-planning lunches is EVERYTHING! Here are the tips I like to call “Lunch Leads.” I hope this helps take the stress out making school lunches and gives you a more calm transition time in the morning before you leave to get your children off to school.
Clean Containers Have all of your containers clean and in one easily accessible spot. I have a huge basket for all of our eco-friendly lunch 8
containers. This type of organization goes a long way to save time and be efficient when packing up your lunches. Prep! Prep! Prep! I have found the most important thing in preparing good healthy lunches for my kids is prepping the food ahead of time. Do what you can the night before. For example, cut fruits and veggies, prep salads, make muffins or corn breads, dressings or dips can be made the previous Sunday before your child’s school week starts.
Photos by Alexandra DeFurio
Lunch Lead Lists Get organized! Take a dry erase board or sheet of paper and write each child’s name and each day’s lunch. This process takes the guessing out of our morning routine and helps to have things run smoothly as we are trying to manage breakfasts, get kids dressed and actually in the car ready to go.
This is a way to make the task of cooking great foods for your kidsâ€™ lunches painless and smooth. Its important that our kids eat extra well during their days at school, as they exert so much energy, both physically and mentally and their food gives them the fuel they need to play and learn throughout the day. Left-Overs! Many of my recipes can be pre-made or can even be dinner the night before. For example, we often make a soup for dinner and we know, that will be the main course of lunches the following day. The trick is to make extra so you have plenty left over for lunches. Some things are fine the next day, like soups, chili, or homemade veggie mac-n-cheese.
Keep it Calm My motto is the mornings should be kept calm and rhythmical, both for the children to get started on their days in school with an easy transition, but also for my own peace of mind. Rather than television in the morning, consider replacing any media play before school with looking at books at the breakfast table or listening to calming music while you prepare breakfast and lunch. I have found that media over stimulates the children and does not allow them to transition into the wonderment of school and learning and often causes unnecessary battles. Keeping this practice a daily routine will help you prepare the meals for the school day in a calm environment that everyone will appreciate.
Back to School Lunch Basket Menu Black Bean Soup Served With: Caesar Salad Wheat Parmesan Chips Raw: Asian Pears & Clementines
Garden Vegetable Quinoa Served with: Cucumber & Cherry Tomato Salad Fried Tofu Fries with Sesame Soy Dressing Raw: Summer Bing Cherries
9 In Anniâ€™s Conscious Kitchen
Black Bean Soup • • • • • • • • •
2 cans of black refried beans 5 cups chicken broth 2 cups water ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ yellow onion, chopped ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 1 pinch chili powder 1 pinch salt & pepper 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
1. Put chopped onions in a sauté pan with a pat of butter and sauté until brown and caramelized, approximately 15 minutes. 2. While onions are cooking combine, refried beans, chicken stock and water in a big pot or Dutch Oven, bring to a boil and then turn down to low and let simmer. 3. Add in cooked onions, garlic powder, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper. 4. Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes. 5. Ready to pack in your child’s lunch!
Wheat Parmesan Chips • 5 whole wheat tortillas • ¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese • ¾ cup butter 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. 3. Brush each tortilla chip with melted butter and sprinkle cheese on top. 4. Cut into chip size pieces and put on baking sheet. Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until crisp and browned. 5.
Caesar Salad • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped • ¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese • 2 cups Sour Dough Bread, cubed 10
In Anni’s Conscious Kitchen
Dressing Ingredients: • ¾ cup parmesan cheese • ¼ cup olive oil • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional) • ¼ cup vegetable oil • 3 small garlic cloves • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice • salt and pepper to taste 1. Preheat oven to 350 and place cubed bread on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 min. until browned and crispy. Take out and voila… croutons! 2. For the dressing: Mix all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Adjust salt & pepper to your liking.
Raw: Asian Pears & Clementines
Pears are packed with vitamin C and a great source of dietary fiber. Combine these with clementines and you get a power packed antioxidant duo of a raw snack. Antioxidants are great for boosting your immune system, and everyone knows kids at school get colds! So boost up their immunes naturally with these delicious fruits.
Garden Vegetable Quinoa • 1 cup of quinoa • 2 cups water • ½ cup zucchini, chopped (substitute any fresh vegetable you would like) • ½ cup mushrooms, any variety you like, chopped • 1 pinch salt & pepper • 1 pat of butter • Tamarind sauce for mixing in 1. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan, cover with lid and bring to a boil. 2. Reduce heat, and let simmer for approximately 10-12 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. 3. While quinoa is cooking, melt butter in a sauté pan and add in the zucchini and mushrooms. Stir and brown approximately 5-7 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste. 4. Mix together vegetables with quinoa and pack in a stainless steel to go container.
Cucumber & Cherry Tomato Salad • 1 cup cucumber, chopped • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped • ½ Tablespoon of cilantro, chopped • ½ lemon, squeezed • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar • ¾ cup organic raw sugar • ½ teaspoon salt & pepper 1. Combine cucumber, cherry tomatoes and cilantro in bowl. 2. In a separate bowl, combine, lemon, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. 3. Mix both cucumber mixture and dressing mixture together.
Fried Tofu Fries with Sesame Soy Dip Sauce • • • •
Firm tofu, cut into long strips Olive oil ½ Tablespoon of braggs Salt & pepper taste
1. In a frying pan, heat up olive oil. 2. Lay tofu strips in pan and drizzle with braggs, salt and pepper. 3. Brown the tofu on both sides. This process may take up to 5-7 minutes. Sesame Soy Dip Sauce • ¾ cup of Soy Sauce • ½ Tablespoon Sesame Sauce • pinch of sesame seeds • 1 clove of raw garlic, cut in half • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit for a while infusing the sauce together. 2. Serve with Tofu Fries and Kids Konserve online has great stainless steel small containers that would work great for transporting soy sauce. 11 Photos by Alexandra DeFurio
Helping Your Child
By Julia Cook
To a child, having just one good friend can make a huge difference in how they adjust to the new school year. It’s truly not the quantity of friends that matters… it’s the quality. You can help your children become better at making and keeping friends by teaching them three basic friendship social skills: • How to break the ice with kids they haven’t met before. • How to act positively with others. • How to manage conflict constructively. To teach these skills to a child, focus on how he already makes friends. Specific needs vary from child to child and situation to situation. Here are a few tips: 1. Observe your child objectively in social settings and compare his/her actions to those of well-liked children. 2. Isolate the skill(s) that your child needs to work on. For example, does she continually interrupt others, or always try to “be the boss?” Does he act aggressively toward other children, or cry or pout when things don’t go his way? Is your child excessively shy and quiet, reluctant to join a group, or afraid to try new activities? 12
3. Explain the needed skill to her in detail.
Relate the skill to their world-view by attaching it to a personal experience (i.e. when I was your age….) Demonstrate how to effectively use the skill by role-playing. 4. Set up a safe, critical free, environment that allows your child to practice the skill. 5. Give constructive feedback – always start by telling her what she is doing right. Remember to teach…not criticize. (You will always get more bees with honey, than you will with vinegar.)
• Develop a strong sense of humor. • Be the person that you would want to hang out with.
Image by Cammy Ambrosini
Finally, remember you need to be patient. Teaching friendship social skills will never be as easy as it sounds, and we are all at different levels of learning. Making Friends is an ART! - So get out the paints and plan on using lots of paper! Julia Cook, a former teacher and school counselor, has received the Association of Educational Publishers – Distinguished Achievement Award. The National Parenting Center and Mom’s Choice Awards have honored her books.
6. Explain to your child that in order to have friends, he needs to know how to be a good friend. A good friend will… • Look out for welfare others. • Learn how to place others wants and needs ahead of his own. • Be willing to share their hopes and dreams with others. • Laugh and have fun! • Be a sincere, understanding listener. • Be respectful of others. • Go out of their way to do nice things for others. Image by Eastop
• Show genuine empathy. • Do what they can to help others feel good about themselves. • Have a strong sense of self-worth.
EcoFab Recycled Bamboo Pencils 35 cents each
Acme KleenEarth Blunt End Scissors $2.25
Jungle Vine Colored Pencils $2
100% Post Consumer Waste Notebooks $8
Back-to-School Natural Earth Pigment Paints $29
GreenSmart Backpack $55
Back-to-School Plant Based Hand Sanitizer $6
Safe & Sustainable Goodbyn Lunchbox $20
Active Wrap Sandwich Mat $9
Bitsyâ€™s Brainfood Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin $22 LifeFactory Flip Cap Glass Bottle $23
Wean Green Glass Cubes $22 17
Back-to-School Biodegradable Slider Pencil Case $1
Personalized Labels School Pack $40
Project Binder Naked Binder $7.50
Eco Stars Recycled Crayons Star Shape $6
Ecozoo Backpack $17.50 19
8 Tips for Packing Waste-Free, Healthy Lunches By Calley Pate
The average elementary age child creates 67lbs of waste each year from their lunchboxes alone. If you’re looking for ways to send your kids back to school a little greener this year, start with their lunches…
• Reusable lunch box or bag - The days of brown bags are over. Invest in a good quality lunch box or bag that your child can use over and over again. • Non-toxic, PVC and BPA free items Read the labels of all products you buy for your children and make sure they are non-toxic. Lots of plastic items (like lunch boxes) contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Bisphenol A (BPA). If it's made of vinyl it's probably toxic. • Cloth napkins - Don't forget to pack a cloth napkin. You can buy some already made or make some from old t-shirts or scrap fabrics. • Reusable forks and spoons - Skip the disposable plastic silverware and go with a non-toxic, stainless steel or bamboo set. • Refillable drink bottles - Don't pack juice boxes or pouches that may be filled with artificial ingredients. Not only are they not the healthiest option they create a ton of waste. Find a non-toxic steel water bottle and fill with your child's favorite drink
instead. • Reusable food containers - Ditch the baggies! Instead use reusable containers made from steel or fabric. My favorites are the sandwich bags from Planet Wise. • Buy in bulk - Instead of buying individually wrapped servings of fruit, vegetables, or snacks buy in bulk and wrap them in small portions. Buying in bulk with save you money and reduce the need for artificial preservatives. • Fresh food - Skip the prepackaged snacks like crackers and cookies. Fill your child's lunch with food that will keep them energized all day. Fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and nuts will get them the energy they need to succeed. Let your kids come with you to the grocery store and pick out their own foods by letting them only shop the 'healthy' sections like the deli, produce, and dairy sections. You may be surprised to see what your kids pick out.
Great Lunch Food Options: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
almond butter hummus carrot sticks raisins apples grapes cheese homemade granola cherry tomatoes berries nuts fresh salsa beans brown rice fruit leather water
By packing a healthier and greener lunch you may find your kids doing much better at school. Most prepackaged foods are full of sugar and artificial ingredients that can produce a sugar buzz; causing your child to get tired and drowsy towards the end of the day. You'll also save over $250 a year when you stop buying disposable items for your child's lunch. That extra money you save can go towards buying more organic fruits and vegetables that you may not be able to afford otherwise. For more information about Waste-Free lunches visit the Environmental Working Group and the EPA websites. Calley Pate is a mom of two and the author of The Eco Chic blog where she writes about green living, natural parenting and is an advocate for cloth diapers.
How to Raise Kids with
Healthy Money Beliefs By Sharon O’Day
And off we go again, hearing how the damsel in distress was swept off her feet by her charming prince … and lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, that’s probably one of the most insidious things we can put in our little girls’ heads. Yet it was put in ours, and it seems harmless enough to pass along. What our parents didn’t realize (but we do today) is that those long-ago, childhood memories were often left in that less-visited portion of our brains: the subconscious. And, in many cases, the memories have had long-lasting, sometimes devastating effects on our adult lives. Money Gremlins & Where They Come From Let’s look at how that works: From birth to age six, we function almost entirely from our subconscious minds. That is, we have no real ability to judge what’s going on around us. Therefore, everything we hear and experience, every interchange with others, absolutely everything lands in our little subconscious minds, like throwing everything into a huge bucket. 22
Remember that we all have a biological imperative to survive. So whether we’re functioning from our conscious brains or not, we’re wired to constantly respond to anything that threatens us. (Conversely, we’re attracted to whatever increases our chances to survive.) At the same time, as infants just learning how the world functions, we soak up everything our parents, siblings and relatives do. They are our role models, after all, our only resource. What we see as memorable incidents could include something as innocent as hearing our parents fighting over money and believing we are somehow the cause. Maybe our cousins have toys our parents can’t afford to buy us, and our parents make disparaging comments about our “rich relatives.” Maybe our fathers are always absent, but bring us expensive gifts to show us they love us. Or maybe our mothers unintentionally plant scarcity thoughts in us. Say we grab that yummy treat at the market and she says, “I don’t have any money for that. I barely have enough to put food on the table” … Whatever the incidents, we each installed millions of these impressions in our infant brains and called them Truth. (I call them Gremlins because of the mischief I see them causing my clients as adults when it comes to dealing with money.)
Photography by Jacqie Q
“Read it to me one more time, Mommy.”
How to Raise Kids with
Healthy Money Beliefs
We had no tools to decide what was right or wrong. Instead, we just left each impression there, whether it was rational or not. Then, as we grew older and acquired the skills of critical thinking, we never bothered to go back and revisit all those old impressions. Many no longer affect us: they were innocuous or they got disproved as we grew up. But, like it or not, some of the more damaging Gremlins that were never addressed still seep into the decisions we make today in the form of emotional mischief. The Power of Knowledge Now that we know how that works, we have two tremendous opportunities. First, we can remain vigilant about how our kids might perceive events that, as adults, we consider perfectly harmless. That might seem like a massive task, but becoming a parent is a massive responsibility. And today we’re aware of things our parents never even considered. We know what obstacles we could be creating for our kids’ future well being. From a little girl who grows up to believe she deserves to find a prince who will take care of her, so she abdicates her power around money … to little boys who become workaholics—putting family relationships at risk—because they can never have enough money.
Second, we can plant healthy impressions in our kid’s brains, from infancy onward. Instead of telling little girls they don’t need to be good at math, as our mothers did, we can encourage them to involve numbers in many of their activities. That will keep their math skills active so they won’t shut them down as so typically happens in the early teen years. The result will be to remove a huge barrier to being empowered around money.
If we do read fairy tales to our daughters, we can alternate them with stories in which little girls are celebrated for taking care of themselves. (Little boys will benefit as well, as they won’t find themselves expected to go from prince-on-a-white-horse to sole provider forever!) We can play games with make-believe money, and use that opportunity to introduce the concept of where money comes from. Children today have an even greater challenge than we did. We might still remember putting our hands into our little jeans pockets and pulling out wrinkled dollar bills and coins. It was painful handing our precious money to the nice storeowner in exchange for some candy … and watching our money disappear into his big cash register. But today, it’s all too easy for kids to think money appears miraculously (and effortlessly) out of the wall. All you have to do is walk up to that wall, slide a piece of stiff plastic into a slot, push a few buttons and—voilà! —out comes money. The relationship between money and someone’s effort to earn that money is more tenuous than ever. Even worse, we now call money “funds,” and send them around the world at the click of a mouse. At the appropriate age, kids can be taught that, while the total amount of money in the world is virtually limitless, the amount available to them (or to the family) at that moment is limited and has to be allocated based on needs and priorities. How that is done is up to each parent’s beliefs, but the important thing is that it be done. We cannot function effectively in the world without a healthy relationship with money. So don’t ask your kids to live without such a rela-
tionship in the future because you were a little uncomfortable teaching them about it today. You won’t be doing them any favors by protecting them from that bugaboo called money— through silence or by indulging. In fact, one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is to prepare them to be responsible, empowered adults around money. You can do that by making it part of your awareness every day ... and part of the family conversation when the time is right. Sharon O’Day is a speaker and writer who focuses on people’s relationship with money. She’s a global finance and marketing expert with an MBA from The Wharton School. Sharon has dedicated the last 10 years to understanding the specific money issues that hold women back from reaching financial security.
Look Listen Read I AM: Why Two Little Words Mean So Much by Dr. Wayne Dyer
"I am the part of you that shares and gives from your heart. I am the inspiration behind your music, sports, and art." No matter your faith or beliefs, Dr. Wayne Dyer's newest children's book is a beautiful reminder of our connection to God and all living things. The book ends with an exercise on turning "I am" statements from negatives to positive to help the light inside of them grow and shine. ($10 at Amazon)
The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby's First Year by Megan McGrory Massaro & Miriam J. Katz
Megan and Miriam tell birth and baby raising stories you'd hear among your green mommy group at the park or coffee shop. You know the group that doesn't constantly ask, "Well, what does the doctor say?" These moms cover the basics, but they give you plenty of space to listen to your instincts... something that has been marketed out of motherhood. The inspiring and been-there-done-that tone makes The Other Baby Book an ideal gift for a new or expecting mom. ($9 at Amazon) 26
Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World by Susan Sachs Lipman
Worn out from a life of arranged playdates, lessons, and sports practices, Susan Sachs Lipman began to look at the effects of over-scheduling on today's family. She found that despite all the organizing and hovering, many of us go about the task of parenting relatively alone and unfulfilled. Susan shows how she eased a slower pace into her daughter's daily routine, still keeping her involved in activities. Her book shares how to cultivate a life filled with creativity and play, and an enjoyment of small observations and moments that comes from slowing down enough to notice them. ($15 at Amazon)
Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry
Beth Terry's book, made from entirely plasticfree materials, is the perfect addition to your family's eco resources. With praise from No Impact Man and Jack Johnson, this part-story, part-how to guide shows how to eliminate plastic from your family's routine. Many of the steps are so easy, you'll never look back. Others may be drastic, but undoubtedly worth the effort to both the health of your home and the planet. ($14 at Amazon) 27
Simple Routines for
School Days By Sandy Kreps
With school starting, it’s time to set routines in place to ease your kids through the transitions of their day. For school-age kids, the three most important transitions to manage are morning, the after-school transition, and evening/before-bed. Creating simple routines can make the day go smoother:
Encourage children to be take responsibility for getting themselves ready for the day. A chart of each step of the “getting ready” process can cut down on the number of reminders you have to give. Have a standard rotation of simple breakfast options, including a few “to go” items for those extra-crazy mornings. Crockpot oatmeal, toast, yogurt, cereal and fruit are all easy, healthy choices. Muffins, bagels or breakfast bars make good “to go” options. Associate tasks with specific times, such as what time you should be eating breakfast, and use cell phone alarms for reminders to get going. If you know you need to leave the house by 7:30, set an alarm to go off at 7:20 and again 28
at 7:25 to prod you out the door. Keep screen time off-limits in the morning. Once kids get involved in a show or electronics, it’s often difficult to get them to shut down and go. If your children are ready early, encourage them to play or read until it’s time to leave. Padding extra time into the routine can save you from disaster, since anything from a missing shoe to a spilled milk cup can throw everything off schedule. Figure out how much time you really need to get out the door (time yourself for a week to get an accurate number), then add 15 minutes.
When kids get home, they’re usually hungry. Make healthy snacks easy by putting snack bins in the fridge and pantry so kids can help themselves. The pantry bin can hold trail mix, raisins and energy bars, while a fridge bin may have yogurt, string cheese and fruit. Encourage kids to change out of school clothes as necessary, and hang up any uniform pieces
that need to stay neat. If your kids have afterschool activities, now’s the time to change into appropriate clothing and get gear into the car. If you like your kids to do their homework immediately after school, establish this routine from the first day and stick to it. Set up a homework station at a desk, or keep supplies in a portable container if the dining table is being called into service.
The Evening Routine
Check your calendar so school events, appointments and meetings don’t sneak up on you. Also check your weather app, so you know if you’ll need cold weather gear, umbrellas or extra sunscreen. Set up a “launch pad” area for bags, keys and other items you’ll need for the day. Pack backpacks, musical instruments and sports equipment the night before to ensure you have everything. Check your child’s homework and ensure his backpack is packed before he goes to bed, so permission slips, lunch money, gym clothes, and school projects aren’t forgotten. Prepare lunches the night before, and pack any snacks children need for school or after-school
activities. Line up lunchboxes and water bottles in the fridge to grab and go in the morning. Choose clothing the night before and make sure to include underclothes, shoes and accessories. Hang the outfit on the closet door knob so your child knows exactly what she is supposed to wear. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep. A child (and a parent) who is well rested will have a much easier morning that one who repeatedly hits the snooze button. Also, waking kids gently, with kind words, hugs and kisses, helps ease children into the day more positively than barking “get up!” I’m not a morning person, and neither is my oldest son, Wyatt. Going in to his room and cuddling with him for a few minutes helps both of us wake up in a nicer mood. Sandy Kreps is a writer, graphic designer/art director, and mom to two little boys. Through her Modern Simplicity blog, she is committed to teaching others about choosing a greener, simpler lifestyle.
Nutrition Advice You Can Trust A Registered Dietitian with over a decade of experience working with children and families to find realistic solutions for their nutrition concerns. All from the comfort of your home with one-on-one consultations online or by phone. Perfect for working parents and convenient during naptimes!
Specializing in: •Pediatrics
•Maternal Health •Food Aversions (“Picky eater” or sensory issues) •Weight Concerns •Food Allergies or Intolerances •Failure to Thrive, Poor growth and weight gain •Reflux An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC Online: www.AnAppleADayNutrition.com Email: Louise@AnAppleADayNutrition.com Phone: 713.478.3823 30
•Celiac Disease •GI motility issues •Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis •and more…
Whatâ€™s In Season |by Louise Goldberg RD CSP LD CNSC
As summer winds down and the school year begins, you find yourself, once again, searching for breakfast and lunch ideas that will provide your kids with the energy they need to get them through the day. Using local, in-season ingredients will ensure your family gets the most nutrition from their food. Our Maple Blackberry Muffins have no oil or eggs but still provide plenty of protein and fiber for your kids to start their morning right. They can be made in advance and popped into a little hand on one of those busy mornings. You can substitute other fruits for the blackberries as they come into season, as well. Our Teriyaki Pasta Salad is the perfect dish to fill up the bento box and a colorful way to get in a serving of your kidsâ€™ favorite veggies. Turn the page to check out these delicious and nutritious recipes. 31
What’s In Season
Maple Blackberry Mufffiifins Ingredients: • 2 Bananas • ½ cup Greek Yogurt (0%, 2% or Whole) • ½ cup Maple Syrup • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract • 1 cup Flour • 1 tsp Baking Soda • ¼ tsp Salt • 1 ½ cups fresh Blackberries • Raw Sugar (large crystals) to top muffins Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat muffin tin with cooking spray or oil. Mash or puree bananas in large bowl, then add yogurt, syrup and extract. Add flour, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, lightly coat blackberries in flour and shake off excess. Gently fold berries into banana and flour mixture. Scoop batter into muffin tin. Sprinkle tops of muffins with light coating of raw sugar crystals, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes until muffin tops are golden brown. Cool on rack for 5 minutes.
Teriyaki Pasta Salad Ingredients: • 2 cups dry Whole Wheat Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta • 2 Carrots, shredded (=1/2 cup) • 1 Cucumber, seeded or ½ English Cucumber, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced • ½ Red Pepper, very thinly sliced • ½ cup organic Edamame • ½-1 cup Teriyaki dressing* Directions: Ask your kids to help you prep the ingredients and mix all together. You can substitute other ingredients or double up on your child’s favorite veggies. Serve cold. It’s easy to make your own teriyaki dressing. This version is mild for kids’ sensitive palates but you can double the ginger and garlic amounts if your child enjoys a little more heat. • ¼ cup organic Soy Sauce • ¼ cup Rice Vinegar • 2 Tablespoons water • 2 Tablespoons Sugar or Honey • 1 Tablespoon Ginger, grated • ½ Tablespoon Garlic or 1 large clove, minced • ½ cup Oil • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Add first 4 ingredients to small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and reduce heat to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in oil and mustard until all ingredients are blended well. To save time, you can also find commercially-made Teriyaki dressings. Look for ones made with a nonGMO soy sauce that is free of high fructose corn syrup. 33
More you Know
eco: Moms Clean Air Force
With a lack of ventilation and some schools found in industrial areas, the quality of the air your child breathes all day can be poor. What can concerned parents do? Moms Clean Air Force contributor Katy Farber shares her advice for cleaning up the air at your childâ€™s school.
To Clean Up The Air At Your Child’s School
1. Investigate – Begin checking out what kinds of cleaners are used in your child’s classroom. If they are conventional industrial cleaners, they likely contain harmful chemicals that could be damaging to your child’s lungs, especially if they are already sensitive. Often, schools use these because they don’t know they are harmful. Their plan is to kill nasty viruses that pop up in schools. 2. Exchange Cleaners – If your child’s school is using toxic cleaners, check in with their teacher. If possible, bring in a few non-toxic cleaners such as those made by Seventh Generation. Offer to replace what the teacher is using in the classroom with a cleaner, safer option. Need some resource material about why conventional cleaners are harmful? Please visit this report by the Environmental Working Group. This report outlines how conventional cleaners are linked to cancer and asthma. EWG also provides ways to can engage with schools to convert to greener, safer cleaning products. 3. Go Bigger – On your next meeting with the school nurse, share your concerns about toxic products being used in the school, such as cleaners, strong dry erase markers and white board cleaners. Offer to replace these or help the nurse develop a policy or proposal about cleaning the school’s air. If your nurse isn’t receptive, you can meet with the principal to share your concerns and develop a plan. Need resources? Check out this guide, plan, and steps for schools. 4. No Idling - Make sure there is a no idling policy at your school. Why? Idling cars produce damaging and avoidable air pollution. The fumes from cars idling can aggravate asthma, cause coughing or difficult breathing, decrease lung function, exacerbate cardiovascular problems and lead to chronic bronchitis. 5. Is big industry nearby? – Ask if the school has had the air quality surrounding the school tested. Research what measures are being taken to reduce air pollution at the plant or industrial site. Visit Childproofing Our Communities for resources and to help organize people in your community. Join the Moms Clean Air Force to fight for clean air in the legislative arena, and share your story. 35
Back-to-School Style Featuring Tristin & Tyler
Get to know 8-year old twins, Tristin and Tyler, as we talk to their mom - attorney and producer of Cooking with Tristin & Tyler and Tales from the City - Tiffany Casanova. : We’ve watched Tristin and Tyler for the past two years. It’s remarkable to see how knowledgeable they've become about green living. Does their passion come from you and your husband, or the other way around?
Tiffany: The boys want kids to know that
Tiffany: The boys have always loved creat-
: Do you think the boys will ever run out of green things to do in NYC?
ing things from non-conventional materials so they actually taught us about upcycling and green crafting. On the other hand, we have taught them about eating healthy, reusing, conserving energy as much as possible and recycling. : We love the idea of showing how two little boys can make a difference. Do you get feedback on how cool they are… along with the green advice they give?
Tiffany: Yes! People like to see the innova-
tive New Yorkers Tristin and Tyler interview. They've seen everything from a chair made from old tires, to a school bus that has been turned into an eco art studio. Our viewers are learning that possibilities are endless when it comes to going green!
: What do the boys hope kids will learn from watching their Tales from the City or Cooking with Tristin & Tyler series?
having fun and saving the planet go hand in hand! They also want kids to get inspired and think of their own ways to help the planet, animals or other people.
Tiffany: Never! To us going green means taking care of the planet and all living things around us. It also means accumulating less stuff and volunteering our time to help others. New York is a busy place where lots of work is needed to make it a better place and our family is up for the challenge! : What do Tristin and Tyler want to be when they grow up?
Tiffany: Tristin wants to be a movie producer and take care of lots of animals. Tyler wants to be an animator and play tons of sports! If you’d like to see the boys in action, tune in to their latest series, Cooking with Tristin and Tyler for healthy recipes that get kids helping in the kitchen!
Photo by Ana Schechter
T-Shirt: Dhana EcoKids
Tops: Polarn O. Pyret
Photo by Ana Schechter
You Say You Want A
FOOD Revolution By Kia Robertson
Definition of a Revolution: a sudden, complete or marked change in something or a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm. So what does it take to create a revolution? It takes education, tools, support, enthusiasm and patience because creating a fundamental change in the way we think about food isn't something that happens overnight. By now I'm sure you've heard of celebrity chef and health campaigner Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution. If not, one of the best ways to get to the heart of what Jamie is passionate about is to watch his TED speech. Jamie Oliver has sparked a shift in the way we think about feeding our children, especially the meals they eat at school. 44
I believe parents have an enormous amount of power when it comes to the food revolution. You are the nutritional gatekeepers of your family. Every time you make a trip to the grocery store or farmer's market you can be part of the food revolution by choosing to buy wholesome food for your family. Jamie Oliver shares that same sentiment! "Iâ€™ve given up on governments," he said in an interview with The Times. "But I have endless hope and faith in people once they are given knowledge and skills. Iâ€™ve certainly seen all over the world in many different communities that, once people have a few skills and confidence, they make different choices in the grocery store. Once they make different choices in the grocery store -- and on the Main Street fastfood restaurants -- then companies will be forced to serve a higher quality offer. Thatâ€™s when the real change happens." So what can you do to create your own Food Revolution with your family and at your children's school? A great place to start is to visit
Jamie Oliver’s site, there is a section that is full of school food resources read their "30 Ideas for starting a Food Revolution in your School" and pass it along to members of your school community. While the Food Revolution doesn’t focus on bagged lunches but rather school lunches as every child should great a nutritious meal while at school, there is the option for you to send your kids to school with lunches that will nourish and enable them to be at their best. The food they eat makes a difference in how they go about their day. Did you know that every 35 days their bodies make new cells from the food they eat? They literally ARE what they eat! When you think in those terms it's easy to want to provide them with wholesome foods. It’s no small task to create lunches five days a week that are healthy, well -balanced, and something your kids will enjoy! In the morning rush, it may be tempting to quickly throw a lunch together with pre-packaged foods, however the majority of pre-packaged foods are loaded with artificial colours, sodium, sugar and ingredients we can’t even pronounce.
far more likely to eat lunches that they helped put together! Plan Ahead: Take some time to sit with your kids and find out what they like to eat (no junk food). Come up with a simple lunch menu for the week, then put together your shopping list before you head out to the grocery store. While you're at it, plan your dinner menu for the week at the same time, it will make your life easier and leftovers are fantastic for lunches! Visit Jamie Oliver's site to get some great recipe ideas. Organize: Set up a cupboard where you keep all the lunch gear such as reusable containers, lids, thermoses, water bottles, lunch bags etc… Make sure it’s a cupboard that your kids can reach since they’ll be helping you out. Setting up a specific place for all the lunch gear means that everyone knows where things are when putting together lunches! It’ll also help your kids to put their lunch items in the right place when they are emptying the dishwasher.
Your kids will have a more successful day at school if their bodies are filled with fresh healthy foods. With some planning and creativity, healthy lunches can be fun, delicious and easy! Here are some suggestions: Team Work: Get your whole family involved with lunch preparation. It eases the workload on you and teaches your kids valuable life skills. This is one of the goals of Jamie Oliver's food revolution, passing on cooking skills! Children of all ages can and should help with planning and preparing their lunch. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of healthy food choices. Besides kids are 45
You Say You Want A
Prep Time: Get everyone in family to help wash and prep fruits and vegetables. It’s much easier to put together a quick lunch when everything has been washed, chopped and is waiting in the fridge! Cutting up fruits and vegetables into to smaller pieces makes it easier for your kids to eat them. Carrot sticks, apple slices (sprinkle them with lemon juice to prevent browning) or loose grapes are much more appealing to kids than having to tackle the whole fruit or vegetable. Think Rainbows: Fruits and veggies are a must have for healthy lunches! Get your kids into the healthy habit of eating a variety of colorful fruits and veggies every day. If your kids aren’t too fond of fruits and veggies, try including yummy dips such as their favorite salad dressing, hummus or plain yogurt. By eating a rainbow of produce your kids will benefit from the wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It’s the phytonutrients that give fruits and vegetables their colour and help to keep our bodies healthy! Eating a Rainbow is a fun and easy concept for kids to understand. Balancing Act: Try to incorporate a good variety of proteins, whole grains, and produce for every lunch. Keep things interesting by switching between sandwiches, pita pockets, soups, wraps and rolls. If you feel it’s important to include a sweet treat just be sure to keep it small! Don’t Forget Water: There really isn’t a better drink for your child than water. Having a “cool” water bottle might help you convince your kids to switch to water! 46
Putting together a healthy lunch can be easy with a little planning, creativity, and most importantly by getting the whole family involved! The extra effort will be worth it knowing that your kids are getting a healthy lunch and at the same time they’re learning to take responsibility for their body with their food choices. That is what the food revolution is all about! As parents we all want the best for our children, sometimes we can lose sight of the fact that good health from wholesome real food, is one of the biggest gifts we can give them. Thankfully we have people like Jamie Oliver to lend us a hand in helping us raise children that thrive inside and outside of the classroom. Kia Robertson is a mom, children's book author and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Kia is passionate about creating tools that help parents raise healthy kids!
The 4R’s of
Green Body Green Birth Just as you’ll find the 4 R’s of waste management in our outer environment, Green Body Green Birth teaches the 4 R’s for our body’s environment. By supporting and encouraging the healthy sustainability of our own human body, we have a much greater opportunity to thrive and contribute to the health and sustainability of our earth.
1. Reduce The world’s obesity epidemic is not just physical. We are also experiencing a mental obesity. Our minds have become full and dependent on constant stimulus from screens, phones, social media and working long hours. The space between thoughts, images, and advertisements has grown smaller. Like obesity of the body, obesity of the mind can pose many health issues from depression to ADHD to sleep disorders. We can reduce mental noise, stress, waste, and information overload by inviting space. This can be done by spending less time accumulating more information and more time in meditation, yoga, hiking, nature… or just by simply resting. 48
Photo by Adria Richards
On a physical level, we can commit to only consuming that which is needed for our body. Excess food consumption leads to excess waste in the body, and it leads to an inefficient human machine. A weak body necessitates an entire system and economy to care for it.
2. Reuse what is sustainable and nourishing for the mind, body, and soul.
How often do we catch ourselves reusing or repeating negative thoughts, negative physical habits or perhaps re-entering into unhealthy relationships?
Advertorial A powerful way to transform our lives is by reusing what is nourishing, not draining, to the mind, body, and spirit. Set aside a small time each day to remind yourself of what nourishes you, what it is that you enjoy, what feels good to you:
3. Recycle or transmute your body and/or your story.
Your body is a recycling machine. It is constantly recycling proteins, hormones, nutrients, waste, and transmuting excess consumption into storage. We can transmute all that extra storage into energy in order to create a new body, new shape, and a new life.
Image by il-young ko
• Spend more time with the people in your life that inspire you or feel good to be around. • Reuse your own nourishing thoughts and of those who are living the lifestyle you truly aspire to. • Take reflective walks a few minutes each day. • Dance • Sing • Play • Relax • Listen to your favorite motivational speaker. • Meditate or participate in restorative yoga. ing with clean natural water, you will help your body to remove toxins, clean the pipes, and burn up all that accumulated fuel hanging around you like dead weight.
All the junk food or excess carbs that are now hanging on your body, weighing you down, can literally become the fuel to propel you into a new life.
We each have a story about the world and about ourselves that affects our actions, choices, decisions, personalities, and so on. Stories can be limiting. For some of us, our story can hold us back from thriving or achieving our greatest human potential. Most of these stories don’t serve or sustain us, nor do they give us an opportunity to invite our highest self or our deepest impulses and deepest heart longings.
By nourishing your body with non-processed foods, engaging in a daily form of balanced exercise, getting more sunshine, getting more deep sleep, reducing your stress, and hydrat-
It’s time to stop recycling these limiting concepts of who we are, let go of them completely and only recycle the most unlimited thoughts we can think, feel, and imagine. 49
Advertorial 4. Recover/Restore what has been broken inside of you.
Many of us of are lucky if we have anytime in our today for just the tiniest bit of space. When space opens up, a new world unfolds. Stored up emotions, traumas, unnoticed observations, creativity, intuition, and clarity, all rise to the surface. Beginning a journey toward sustainability and health, many are met with feelings of anger, guilt, fear, anxiety or depression. Our first instinct may be to push away these feelings, ignore, them, or fall deeper into them. I believe it is vital to take such an opportunity to welcome these feelings, discover their roots, and allow them to move through us and out of us so we may heal, restore, and renew ourselves. This is a key step towards wellbeing.
About Green Body Green Birth Your body is your first and foremost environment. It is the environment that you never leave, nor enter. Green Body Green Birth provides an in depth understanding of your bodyâ€™s own terrain and shows you how greening your body and mind leads to a healthier body, a healthier pregnancy, and a greener world outside. Whether youâ€™re an expecting mother, or just looking to gain deeper insights into your health, Green Body Green Birth is for you. Readers are provided with simple, practical, yet effective solutions to empower their health and their life. 50
About Mary Oscategui Mary Oscategui, The Baby Planner is an international maternity business consultant and holistic educator who specializes in maternal health, fitness, nutrition, green living, and sleep. Mary is a leader in educational development and has been consulting and guiding hundreds of clients for the last 17 years. She is the founder, CEO, and President of the International Maternity Institute (IMI), International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP), and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC). Mary also offers health and fitness services through Physical Awakening.com, a holistic integrative approach offering the services of yoga, meditation, Pilates, fitness, and nutrition and TheBabyPlanner.com, offering services, guidance, and support tailored to pre-conceiv-
Hey Parents and Teachers!
Want a free way to help the environ ment, while earning money for charity and teaching your kids about recycling?
TerraCycle is looking for schools, individuals and community groups across the United States to help us collect drink pouches, cookie wrappers and other non-recyclabl e packaging and products!
We'll award two points to the school, community group, or non-profit of your choice for every piece of packaging you collect.
For every piece of packaging you colle ct. We make affordable, eco-friendly products from your waste!
Sign up today, visit: www.terracycle.co m Participating Products:
Capri Sun and the Capri Sun pouch are a trademark of the Deutsche Si-Si-Werke GmbH & Co. Betriebs KG Trademarks of Frito-Lay North America, Inc used under license. (c) 2011. TerraCycle速, the TerraCycle Logo速 and Brigade速 are all property of TerraCycle, Inc. used under license. 息2011. www.terracycle.com
Nutritional Nuggets |by Louise Goldberg
I’ve been hearing about the health benefits of coconut oil. Should we start using it instead of vegetable oils? Some believe that coconut oil can help in a variety of health issues from weight loss to Alzheimer’s to hypothyroidism; however at this time, there are no well executed studies to prove this. Coconut oil is predominately saturated fat and contains approximately 115 calories per tablespoon, like other oils. If you choose to incorporate it into your diet, do so in moderation, as you would with any other fat.
How do I find a healthy cereal that my kids will like? First, ignore the claims on the front of the package and head straight for the nutrition facts label. Then look for no more than 10 grams of sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. When you check out the ingredient 52
list, avoid products that contain refined flours and artificial colors. If your kids can read, tell them what you are looking for and ask them to help you find a cereal that meets the criteria.
How can I make organic food fit into our family’s budget? What you want to feed your family and what you can afford may not always line up so you want to consider where your dollar is most effective. Start with the Environmental Working Group’s list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest level of pesticides when grown conventionally. If your family eats a lot of one or more of the foods listed there, choose organic. Another area where your dollar is best spent would be animal products, such as meat and dairy. In order for these foods to be organic, no growth hormones are used and the animals are fed from pastures that contain no pesticides. Consider heading to your lo-
cal farmers market or participating in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program where prices may be lower due to less cost to transport the food.
Do soy foods contain hormones that cause cancer? If so, what are good alternatives for vegetarians? Soybeans contain phytoestrogen, a plant hormone, however there is no direct link between consumption of soy foods and increased cancer risk. Organic soybeans and soy products contain a wealth of nutrients, including Omega -3 fatty acids and protein, and can be incorporated safely into your familyâ€™s diet. It has been shown that fermented soy products, such as tempeh, miso and natto, have the highest health benefits because they contain less phytic acid (which inhibits the absorption of nutrients) than their unfermented counterparts like soy milk, tofu and edamame. 53
Fundraising Ideas to Kick Off the
By Anna Hackman
Have you grown weary of the same old, same old wrapping paper/candy/cookie fundraisers especially when the products aren’t health or environmentally friendly? So how do you combine teaching children about the Earth and earning money for your schools? My green fundraising committee’s goal was to accomplish both. We started with one program (print cartridges) and after seven years, expanded to twenty different recycling collection programs. Mind you, my school only thought of my committee as a teaching tool so they didn’t push for us to become a financial success. Yet, both can be achieved utilizing the following programs. Check out some of these great programs to get you started:
1. Earn Cash for Waste Programs:
TerraCycle has numerous collection programs where the organization is paid two cents per item. In our case, we collected plastic lunch bags, Capri Sun wrappers, Lays potato chip bags, gum wrappers, energy bar wrappers, markers, glue sticks, and many other items. The kids in the afterschool environmental club counted all of the items. In order for this program to be successful, you need ample space to store the collections. Over the years, due to rising fuel costs, TerraCycle requires a minimum amount of collected product before it can be shipped. For example, energy bar wrappers shipments require a 500 minimum collection. Also, note, their programs fill very fast so some of the above take-back programs are not available. Don’t worry. TerraCycle con-
stantly institutes new programs.
2. Electronic Recycling:
Recycling Fundraiser, Funding Factory, and Buymytronics have fundraising opportunities to buy back electronics which include cell phones, iPhones, iPads, and other digital electronic devices. Some organizations even take back broken items. We worked with both Recycling Fundraiser and Buymytronics.
3. Print Cartridge Fundraising:
Recycling Fundraiser, Funding Factory, and Earthtone Solutions pay for used print cartridges. Again, we used Recycling Fundraiser. By the way, Terracycle pays for the cartridges too.
4. Milk Carton Recycling:
Milkmuny buys certain milk and juice cartons. In turn, the Company makes wallets from the cartons. For Earth Day, we collected the cartons. In retrospect, I should have enlisted the help of more parents since the milk cartons had to be cut up in a certain way. I ended up cutting up 100 plus cartons myself!
5. Shop Green Fundraising:
Greenraising and Koru Fundraising have oodles of great green products to choose from. Each organization has an online shopping web page. The above companies offer various fundraising opportunities such as catalog or website drives where an organization can earn up to 45% of the sales commissions.
6. Snack, Lunch & Assorted Bag Fundraisers:
Everyone is trying to reduce the plastic bag 55
Fundraising Ideas to Kick Off the
habit. Itzy Ritzy® offers fundraising opportunities with their Itzy Ritzy’s Snack Happened™ Reusable Snack Bags and Wet Happened?® Zippered Wet Bags. Planet Wise, eSnackIt®, AgainBags, and One Small Step also offer various bag fundraising. Laptop Lunches and Kids Konserve offer lunch bag fundraising.
1. Coffee, Chocolate & Tea:
Who doesn’t like coffee or tea? Equal Exchange and Grounds for Change offer organic coffee, chocolate, teas and gifts for fundraising opportunities.
Have an event that you need T-shirts? Offer the T-shirts as part of the fundraiser. Eco Sprouts and Green Benefits offer sustainable T-shirt fundraising opportunities.
3. Flower & Seed Power:
Spring and fall are perfect times for a seed/ bulb fundraiser. Sow True Seeds and the OnlineGreenHouse offer non-GMO organic seed fundraisers. EcoTulips sells organic bulbs.
4. Smencils and Smens:
Get your fall fundraising off to a good start with Smencils. Who doesn’t need pencils at the beginning of the year? Smencil and Smens are pencils and pens made out of recycled newspaper that smell good. Also, Smencils are a great Fundraiser for Halloween. Less candy, more pencils.
For more ideas, be sure to check out more green fundraising ideas on Green Talk. As you can see making green and being green can yield wonderful teaching lessons for our kids.
Additional Resources: AgainBags BuyMyTronics Earthtone Solutions EcoSprouts EcoTulips Funding Factory Green Benefits Greenraising Grounds for Change Equal Exchange Itzy Ritzy® Kids Konserve Koru Fundraising Laptop Lunches Milkmuny Online Greenhouse One Small Step Planet Wise ReSnackIt® Recycling Fundraiser® Sow True Seeds Smencils TerraCycle Author Anna Hackman is the mother of four boys, sustainability and green building consultant. She is also the editor of Green Talk, a green living and business blog which offers tools to live better and work leaner and greener.
Back to College
Keeping it Green By Karen Lee
Will their college be green? Will they offer local or organic foods in the cafeterias? Will their rooms have LED light bulbs? Will they have public transportation? You probably have more questions than answers. But before we even look for right green colleges, let’s think about why we should even care about sending our kids to green colleges. According to Princeton Review, there are over 4,300 higher education institutions in United States. Some campuses pre-date Civil War with poorly designed buildings for today’s lifestyles. Some may be energy inefficient, while others may waste water and natural resources. Older buildings can have unhealthy indoor pollutions filled with toxic chemicals. Not only that, not all schools have adequate curriculum for degrees in the green economy for our future leaders. But on the brighter side, there are a plenty of greener colleges that have taken actions to 58
reduce carbon footprint and some even retrofitted their old buildings for more efficient energy consumption, saving natural resources. More and more campuses have LEED buildings and smart dormitories. If sustainability is important to your family, you’ll most likely feel that a green college provides a better learning opportunity for your student. Many greener colleges offer a variety of environmental courses and advance degrees in sustainability. A little research helps you find the right fit for your child, and also to find the healthiest learning environment. So how do you know which school is green? And how do you choose which school is best for your child? One of the best lists that rate green colleges is from the Sierra Club. The criteria for meeting the standards to be on the list is admirably strict. Sierra Club publishes “Top 10: America’s Coolest Schools” every year and the questions range in categories of Energy Supply, (Energy) Efficiency, Food, Academics, Purchasing, Transportation, Waste Management, Administration, Financial Investments, and Other Initiatives.
Image by Jade Gordon
As the parent of a new college freshman, you might be wondering, “How on earth will she live a sustainable life on campus, away from my influence… I mean, home?”
Questions asked include, what energy types that campuses use for electricity and for heating buildings, and what percentage of campus building completed within the past five years have a LEED certification of at least silver? Meeting these criteria is impressive even in this day and age of sustainability awareness. You can bet that the top 10 schools scored very high on these questions. Another impressive list is from Princeton Review that compiles rankings based on similar questions, for its “Guide to 322 Green Colleges”. The Daily Green publishes lists of green schools by school sizes that are nominated and voted by people, and not scored according to answers that colleges provide. Check Greenest Universities and Greenest Small Colleges and see which schools are favored by students, parents, and alumni. Regardless which list you look at, there are admirable number of colleges providing impressive sustainable programs for our future leaders and providing environmentally safe campuses for them.
Once you’ve selected a school, let’s talk about how to green your college experience. No matter how sustainable the college or university is, there are steps your student can take to keep health and the environment top priorities: 1. Use laptop instead of desktops. Most students probably already have laptops but to be even more energy efficient, make laptops hibernate or turn it off when not in use. Charge the laptop at night and use the battery during the day. 2. Use LED light bulbs for the dorm room and the desk lamp. They last 8-12 times longer and use 25% less energy. 3. Use rechargeable batteries. Your child will never have to buy batteries for the mouse or flashlights for four years! 4. Buy a power strip and use it for all the small appliances in the dorm room and turn off the switch when they are not in use. 5. Rent a refrigerator instead of buying a new one. It will cost money to store it over the summer and you’ll have to do all the lifting! 6. Use a recycle bin in the room and recycle unwanted paper. While printing double sided and reusing blank side for scraps are 59
Back to College
Keeping it Green always good practices, make sure to recycle any paper that need to be thrown out. 7. Buy organic sheets and linen for the dorm and use an area rug if the room is not carpeted. Do not wear shoes in the room. 8. Use plant based laundry detergent or give your child soap nuts. 9. Rearrange the furniture to allow more light or shade. It will prevent excess use of heat or air conditioner. 10. Use public transportation or bike. Most campuses have free transportation system for students. Donâ€™t drive or hail cabs. Run errands all at once so you are not making multiple trips. If you must use a car, consider renting a zip car. Many colleges have made phenomenal improvements to be greener but in many cases, itâ€™s the students that are the driving forces behind some of the green changes on campus. Duke Universityâ€™s Sustainable Duke Office works with students provides recycling bins for each dorm room and posts signs about conserving water in all the bathrooms. Students at Washing State University participate in projects focused on the development of clean technology. Students at Unity College restored a solar panel to the White House as part of political action. Carnegie Mellon University takes recycling to a whole another level by providing 10 recycling bins in their student union.
Love Munchkin is a line of simple, safe, effective and uncomplicated skin nourishing oils made from the highest quality natural plant based ingredients. Ingredients are legible, explained, and well-researched. Love Munchkin is also very Earth friendly and uses recycled materials whenever possible. Some of our products: * Belly Oil * Newborn & Sensitive Skin Oil * Newborn & Sensitive Skin Oil + Exzema Essentials * Newborn & Sensitive Skin Oil + Colic Essentials All Hand Made with Love!
Safe & Green Cleaning in Schools There is a growing demand in schools, in many cases driven by municipal or state mandates, to use green cleaning products and services. But how can you be sure that the cleaning products used in your childâ€™s school are truly green? One way is to ask your school administrators if the products and services used are certified by an independent, third-party organization like Green Seal. Green Seal, established in 1989 to protect human health and safety, is an independent non-profit organization that provides certification and science-based environmental standards for a wide range of products and services. Green Seal recently awarded certification to the first public school custodial service in the nation to qualify under its standard for commercial cleaning services, Howard County Public School System in Maryland. This certification covers the use of environmentally preferable products and the reduction of hazardous and toxic chemicals, as well as proper maintenance and upkeep of the overall facility. For more information on green products and services in schools visit:
Ask Hana Haatainen Caye
Rachael asks: My oldest child is starting kindergarten this year and I’m really concerned about the soap he’ll be using in the school’s restrooms. I spoke with the principal about it, and she just dismissed my concern, stating the soap was antibacterial and perfectly safe. It was pointless arguing with her. But what can I do to protect my son from the toxins that are in the liquid bacterial soaps?
But what do you do? You will probably have to speak with the principal again or at least your son’s teacher, and explain your dilemma. I recommend printing out some articles for them, to back up your concerns. Let them know that your son will be bringing his own soap to school and will need it every time he goes to the restroom. Of course, you’ll have to convince your son to follow through with this as well.
GG: Wow, Rachael. I’m sorry the principal did not take your concern seriously. But good for you for caring! You’re right to be concerned about the toxic content of antibacterial soap, particularly triclocarban and triclosan, which is known to have hormone-mimicking endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). Research indicates possible damage to reproductive organs and thyroid, which is enough reason to keep your little one away from it! There is also the issue of food coloring in liquid soap. Artificial food coloring has been linked to behavioral issues with children, which can lead to misdiagnosis of ADHD and other problems. There are also warnings on many antibacterial soaps that they can stain carpets. So, what are they doing to our skin?! It’s a frightening thought.
I recommend small bars of soap (homemade, organic, vegan, etc.) that he could carry in a small container or bag, or a bottle of kid-safe soap, such as Earth Mama Angel Baby Hand to Toe Wash in the convenient 1.67 oz. size. Will it be a bit inconvenient for your son? Unfortunately, yes. But it’s the best option all the way around in the current situation. Try to recruit some other parents to do the same thing, and then, if you’re really ambitious, go to a school board meeting and present the facts about the effects of toxins in the soaps they’re using. Just maybe, you’ll be the Erin Brockovich of your community! Then you could sit back and think about which actress would be best suited to play you in the movie!
Hana Haatainen Caye is a wife, mother and grandmother who shares her passion for common sense greener and healthier living. Based on the most popular feature of her blog, Hana’s first book, Vinegar Fridays, is now available. Have a question for Green Grandma? Ask here!
No Cost, High Style
Bangle Bracelets By Lynn Colwell
Materials: • • • •
Cardboard Core From Empty Packing Tape Thin Paper (For the outside of the bracelet.) Thin Paper (For the inside of the bracelet.) White Glue or Decoupage Medium
• Scissors • Stamp & Stamp Pad (Optional)
1. Rip outside paper into odd-shaped pieces that are long enough lap over the edges of the cardboard. 2. Rub glue on your first piece of paper and wrap it around the outside of the bracelet, being sure to cover the edges and smooth the paper. If it’s not glued down properly, take it off and try again. 3. Keep adding pieces of paper, overlapping each until the entire outside of the bracelet is covered. 4. Cut the inside piece of paper the width of the bracelet minus 1/4” and long enough to go around it with a one inch overlap. This is the “lining.” 5. Stamp or draw something meaningful on the lining. If you don’t have letter stamps, you could also cut out words from a newspaper or magazine and glue on! 6. Spread glue over the wrong side of the lining, then place the beginning inside the bracelet. Smooth the lining slowly along the entire length, ensuring it sticks to the inside wall. 7. Use several coats of thinned white glue or decoupage medium inside and out finish the piece. 8. For a little flair, you can glue on additional elements like “jewels,” buttons, ribbon etc. 64
By Sara Chana
IBCLC RH (AHG)
Back to school is a period of big transition for both your child’s body and mind. It is fun and exciting for kids to get new backpacks, lunch bags and new clothes. The prospect of making new friends is both invigorating and scary. As uplifting as new experiences are, children usually begin having anxious thoughts like, “What if the kids don’t like me?” and “What if the classes are too hard?” or “How am I ever going to wake up on time?” Moms commonly fret about their children getting overwhelmed, anxious and sick after the first few weeks of school. The good news is that there are lots of herbs that can help kids and moms strengthen their immune systems and help calm back-to-school anxiety. Before we begin learning about our herbal allies, it is important to remember that there are a few basic and often overlooked nutrients that children need. The first is water - dehydration is often ignored and can make it very difficult for children to concentrate in school. To combat dehydration, I would recommend giving your child a jug of purified water to bring to school every day and encourage your child to drink it! This is an inexpen66
sive and easy tool to help your child to stay healthy and transition well. The next thing is to give your child snacks that contain oats, which are high in B vitamins which help calm the central nervous system. Oatmeal for breakfast and granola bars for snacks (preferably low in sugar) is two easy and tasty options. Two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year and up to one month after, I would recommend giving children a good immune herbal mixture to support the immune system. Nerves, tension and anxiety can suppress the immune system, which makes children more vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria that just love to ‘hang-out’ in classrooms. I prefer herbs to be in a tincture form, because most herbs are not potent enough in capsule form. In herbal medicine, a tinctured herb is one which is processed in either grain alcohol or glycerides. My favorite herbal companies are Herbalists & Alchemists, HerbPharm, Gaia, and Herbs of Light because they offer alcoholfree herbal combinations specifically formulated for children. You can purchase a blend called immune blends, or cold and flu blends
Image by Emma McCreary
as these blends have herbs that not only fight infection, but in times of health, stimulate the immune system. These herbs should be given morning and evening during health and can be increased to three or four times a day if the child seems to be coming down with an illness. Moms can also take immune blends two weeks before the start of school to protect their immune systems during this stressful time. If your child is nervous or tense about beginning the new school year try an immune blend, cold and flu blend or the herbs listed below, alone or in combination. The best part about incorporating herbs into your child’s routine is that they are safe and non-addictive. The dosage depends on your child’s age and weight, but a good rule-of-thumb to follow is three times a day (breakfast, after school and before bed). • Skullcap – Best used for nervous tension and anxious feelings. You can feel the calming effect within 20 minutes of taking the herb.
• Valerian – This herb is best used to treat a combination of anxiety and sadness. If your child is nervous, sad and weepy he/she may experience problems sleeping (trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much). This herb helps to calm the system, allowing your child to fall back into a normal sleep pattern. • Fresh Milky Oats – The effects of this herb are not immediately felt. It may take a few weeks to work through your system, but this is the best ‘band-aid’ for the nervous system after long-term stress. Works well combined with the other two herbs mentioned above. As an herbalist I believe prevention is the key to good health. Don’t wait until your child has full-blown symptoms because it’s always more difficult to treat. Nip cold, flus and anxiety in the bud for the best possible results and optimal health. Sara Chana, IBCLC, AHG, is an international board-certified lactation consultant, birthing instructor, classical homeopath and herbalist. 67
One Family’s Commitment to the Environment By Mary O’Donohue
In our family, August isn’t just the end of summer and the time we start thinking about heading back to school. For us, it’s also “Commitment Month.” It’s the time of year my husband and I focus on teaching our children, and reminding ourselves, about the importance of making and keeping commitments in our lives.
positive change matters, even if it seems small. So we focus on practical, concrete things we can do as a family of four to make things better.
Throughout the month, we do simple exercises that help our kids understand what it means to be people who honor their commitments, and at the end of the month, we wrap up with a family commitment to protecting the environment.
Sit down with your kids and brainstorm several specific ways you can do better environmentally in your own house. Or walk around the house with your kids and play detective! Where are the clues as to how your family can make a more positive impact on the planet? Take note of any ideas your kids suggest. As my son says, often kids come up with solutions where grown ups see obstacles.
Certainly the environmental challenges that face our world are huge, but the commitment we make isn’t meant to overwhelm our kids. It’s about empowering them to know that every
Here are a few ideas my family came up with. I don’t necessarily think any of them are groundbreaking, but I can honestly tell you that we were not doing these simple things
One Family’s Commitment to the Environment
before we made a commitment to the environment. I truly believe that’s where we started to make a difference.
electricity used to power electronics is consumed by products that are plugged in but not switched on.
Here are some of the changes we made:
These are simple things, but when children grow up with an awareness that even small things they do make an impact, they realize that they are indeed powerful. Powerful enough to change the world for the better, one simple act at a time.
• No more plastic bottles! We now love using glass bottles with an outer sleeve that protects the bottles if they fall. We tote these along everywhere we go. I also bring these up to the kid’s rooms when they get thirsty at bedtime because they’re safer than a glass of water that can get knocked down and break. • Turn off all lights when you’re not using them. My son got so vigilant with this one that he left me sitting in the dark on more than one occasion!
Mary O’Donohue is a mother of two and author of the children’s book, When You Say “Thank You,” Mean It. In addition to writing, Mary is a successful television producer. Her experience includes having worked on The Today Show, Meet The Press, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
• Unplug cell phone chargers from the wall outlet when you’re not actually charging your phone. • Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth. So simple, but isn’t it great that even a five year old brushing his teeth after breakfast every morning can start the day knowing he can do something good for the environment? • Turn off the TV when you leave the room. My dad used to tell me this when I was a kid, and it’s still sound advice. Even better, use a power strip for TVs and other appliances, and turn it off at night and when you leave the house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, almost 75% of the 70
Turn off all lights when you’re not using them!
Hand Crafted Clothing for Curious Kids.
When we heard about the ocarina, a pocketsized pottery wind instrument with ancient roots, we couldn’t wait to talk to music educator Lena Leclaire about the many ways music influences learning. GCM: When our Back to School issue goes live, many kids will have a few weeks left of summer vacation. How can music education help kids prevent summer slide in their grades? Lena: Music education helps children to develop intellectually, emotionally, and physically. It is a fun, life-long process that can be started at any age. To be a good musical role model to your children you don’t need any special training, just a willingness to learn and grow with them.
The break from school can be the best time to start your child’s involvement in music. The fall backslide can easily be prevented by
keeping your children immersed and actively engaged in the arts. Appreciating or playing music will help your child’s problem solving ability, boost their confidence, and inspire creativity – all things that will help the transition back to school go smoothly. GCM: How can parents best encourage their children’s interest in music? Lena: To cultivate your child’s interest in music, it helps to be in touch with your own musical interests. If you are excited by the music you listen to, your children will want to share in that excitement. When listening to music ask yourself, what makes this piece interesting to me? Then when you listen to music with your children ask them to think in the same way. Do they like the words? The melody? Is it scary, funny or sad?
Learning T hrough Music
Approaching music appreciation in this manner highlights the joy we find in music while also developing your childâ€™s analytical and rhetorical skills. GCM: With school systems cutting back on music and art education, how can an instrument like the ocarina be used to help give students a well-rounded education? Lena: With schools cutting back on these funds, it becomes the role of the classroom teacher to help incorporate music into a curriculum. This can be a daunting task for a teacher who has no musical training, but for the same reasons the ocarina is a good instrument for homeschool teachers, it is also a good instrument for classroom teachers. By using arts integration teachers can address different learning styles that are often overlooked with the pressure for success on standardized tests.
This past year I had a wonderful experience teaching ocarina to a sixth grade social studies class in New York. Many of my students spoke English as a second language and as a result of their frustration communicating they were often the first to act out in class. After our first class with the ocarinas these students showed a focus that neither their classroom teachers nor I had seen throughout the year. They were able to learn songs quickly and then help their classmates. Shifting their attention from what they struggled with to what they could do well gave them renewed confidence that carried over to their other course work as well. The ocarina is a great place for any starting musician, adult or child. It provides a gateway into music that can support a lifetime of development and appreciation. For more information about this unique instrument, please visit STLocarina.com. 73
Reduce Waste & Earn Money
for Your School
By Lauren Taylor of TerraCycle
TerraCycle collects about 50 different kinds of hard-to-recycle products and packaging through its Brigade programs. The waste you send us earns you points that can later be converted into money for schools and charities. Here’s how you can get involved: Q: What types of waste do you collect? A: We collect approximately 50 different kinds
of products and packaging including MOM brands Malt-O-Meal cereal bags, writing utensils, GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches, Elmer’s glue bottles and sticks and Huggies diaper packaging.
Q: What happens to the garbage we send you? A: We turn it into new products through up
cycling or recycling. An example of upcycling is turning drink pouches into a backpack, such as the ones seen at terracycleshop.com. When waste streams are recycled, we use the plastic pellets to create an entirely new item, such as a picnic table.
Q: Can I collect waste for more than one Brigade? A: Absolutely! You can sign up for as many
Brigades as you want. All collection programs are listed on our website.
Q: Who can collect? A: Any individual, family, organization or
school can join the Brigades. We have families, offices, churches, Girl and Boy Scout troops and, of course, many schools be-
cause they can collect a lot of items through students and parents. Talk to your child’s teacher about starting one in the classroom or even the lunchroom to encourage wastefree lunches.
Q: How do I sign up? A: All you have to do is go to TerraCycle
and choose a Brigade to join. Click the Join Now tab and sign up.
Q: How much does it cost? A: It’s free! We even provide you with a pre-
paid UPS label to attach to your box when you are ready to ship your waste to us. Not only is it free, but we reward you. In addition to the benefit of reducing what heads to your local landfill, most of the Brigades award two points for each piece of waste collected. You can use those points to buy a charity gift with one of our partner charities or can convert your points to cash that can be donated to any local school or charity of your choice.
So far, more than 30 million people in the U.S. have kept almost 2.5 billion units of waste out of the landfills and raised $4.3 million dollars for charity. Sign up and start collecting!
Your Green Child
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Published on Jul 29, 2012
Eco-friendly back to school advice, waste free lunch ideas, and the latest in green fashions for school, the 2012 Back-to-School issue of Gr...