Goodies! Fun! Surprises!
December 5th! www.greenchildmagazine.com
Holiday Health Tips 16 Eco Charities 41 Green Holiday Gift Guide 48 Time to Simplify 76
EcoFab 6 Great Stores 8 Whatâ€™s in Season 12 Nutritional Nuggets 14 Design 18 Look, Listen, Read 66 Recipes 80
photo submitted by enVida Studio
from our publisher & editor It is the Holidays! A certain warmth always fills my heart around this time of year. An overwhelming sense of generosity seems to take hold, and I am thankful for it. It seems to be somewhat of an epidemic and I am not the only one infected with the “holiday spirit.” “Good will towards men” is not just a saying. I think Mother Nature knows, and is on queue with our needs as human beings. We all tend to slow down during this time of year. It is biological. Resting a little more means snuggling and cuddling more with those little ones. I love that nature forces us to slow down, especially since I instinctively try to run at full speed. As we approach the New Year, it is also a time to reflect on the past. What has our year brought and have we reached any goals? For me, this past year has been full of many tests. Some personal and some business, but the most significant was the hospitalization of my daughter in the spring. She was very ill and thankfully has made a tremendous recovery, but we are reminded daily of her time in the hospital. As I reflect upon this, it is never more true that our children are the most important thing in life. It may sound simple, but there is no reason to make it complex. Do I have any goals for this upcoming year? Well, I truly hope to continue a path of simplicity and getting back to the basics. I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday season and wish you the best in the year to come. We would love to hear your goals for 2012. I hope to see you on facebook and please feel free to drop us a line anytime. We love to hear from you. Warmly, Amber email@example.com
ON THE COVER: Photo by Shannon Sewell Photography Clothing by Lillipops, the Measure and zozobugbaby
EcoFab Oshi Mat
This multi-use play mat is cute and portable. Made of environmentally friendly and nontoxic PVC/ Latex-free foam. Easily rolls out into a roomy surface protecting your baby from the common germs and bacteria. www.oshimat.com
This 22-ounce glass bottle has a wide mouth and a comfortable rounded lip, so they’re easy to drink from and easy to clean and refill. All bottles include food-grade silicone cap and matching rings. www.bottlesupglass.com
Aqueduck Faucet Extender
Portable, easy to use, and helps reduce “wasting water” as little ones learn to wash their hands. BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free. www.peachyco.com
Zoe B Pacifier
A safe choice for your baby. This pacifier is 100% natural rubber, with NO BPA, PHTHALATES, or PVC. www.zoeborganic.com
Busy, active parents are able to listen to their baby anytime, anywhere, right from their iPhone or any web browser with a touch of a button. Simply place the Evoz Wi-Fi Baby Monitor near your baby, and your iPhone becomes the receiver. Set alerts however you want them - txt, email or even calls. www.myevoz.com Cardboard Hangers
These cardboard hangers use 100% recycled cardboard and non-toxic inks. They are sturdy and can be recycled. www.walmart.com
The Green Nursery www.thegreennursery.com
This local shop located in the beautiful, and crunchy, Midwest town of Bloomington, Indiana promotes a hands-on approach to their customers. They encourage customers to come in to their Brick and Mortar store for personalized help, as well as to take advantage of touching and feeling the products. The Green Nursery offers a number of great services to their customers, including a cloth diapering class that has been quite popular over the past five years. Parents on the fence about cloth diapering often go to their Cloth Diapering 101 workshop and ask questions, see the diapers in person, learn about the money savings, and leave confident that cloth diapering is the choice for them.
The Green Nursery offers a special shipping option on their website for local customers where they can order online and choose ‘in-store pick-up’ as a free shipping option, and then pick up their order at their convenience. The Green Nursery will even carry out customer’s items to the parking, which is especially useful when there is a sleeping baby in the car. The shop provides a comfortable place to nurse with two couches in their Community Room. Families can also shop for a few necessities for their newborn whilst their older toddler or preschooler can be 8
photos courtesy Venus Leah Photography
entertained. They have PlanToys play tables with dollhouses, parking garage with lots of automobiles, plus a ride on toys, as well as noisemakers. Local customers love their in-store/online rewards program, Green Baby Registry, the cultivated on Facebook community, and bringing their kids in to play while they shop. Proprietors Scott and Abby Noroozi draw inspiration for The Green Nursery from their children and the crunchy community of amazing families. If you are unable to make it to Bloomington anytime soon, be sure to visit them online at www.thegreennursery.com where you can use their GREEN baby registry as well as their Holiday Wish Lists.
photos courtesy Venus Leah Photography
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
•Celiac Disease •GI motility issues •Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis •and more…
by Louise Goldberg RD CSP LD CNSC An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting www.AnAppleADayNutrition.com | 713.478.3823
What’s in Season?
It may be challenging to find local fruits and vegetables in the dead of winter; however the ones that are available are some of the most nutritious foods around. The nutrients that protect the plant from the cold are the same nutrients that protect your body from illness. The veggies typically need to be cooked in order to eat them but no one is going to complain about getting a hot meal indoors when it is snowing outside.
Pomegranate Marinade Meaning “seeded apple” in French, this beautiful fruit is often found whole as decoration in a centerpiece or the seeds are sprinkled on top of salads and other dishes; however the pomegranate juice can also be a star if you give it the spotlight. This is one of my favorite marinades for tofu. It’s tangy and the bright color enhances whatever is added to it. 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup red wine or red wine vinegar 2 Tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup Pomegranate molasses** Mix all ingredients together in bowl and add to whatever you want to marinade. **If you aren’t able to find the molasses, you can make your own! 4 cups Pomegranate juice ½ cup granulated sugar 2 Tablespoons lemon juice Simmer for 1½ hours until ingredients have reduced to approximately one cup. It should be very thick and stick to the back of a spoon. 12
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chestnut, Mushroom and Sage Pasta
Believe it or not - what we know as chestnuts are actually the fruit from the chestnut tree. Some winter street festivals will sell hot roasted chestnuts wrapped up in newspaper. What a treat! They have no cholesterol, are very low in fat but high in fiber and even have a bit of protein. The ‘meat’ of the chestnut is chewy and flavorful. If roasting and peeling them yourself is not your favorite thing, you can buy them pre-roasted and shelled in jars or ask the kids to help out. To roast: pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut a shallow ‘X’ into the side of the chestnut, just enough to pierce the outer shell but not cut through the chestnut. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the shell peels back a bit and you are able to peel more easily. 2 Tablespoon oil 1 onion, minced 2 cups mushrooms, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 Tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried sage 1 ½ cups roasted chestnuts, chopped ¼ cup coconut milk (cream) Salt and Pepper 4 cups of your favorite cooked pasta
Not everyone shares my passion for brussels sprouts…yet. They are high in fiber, Vitamin A and folate plus off the chart for Vitamin C and K. These are my dad’s favorite vegetable so I ate them quite frequently as a child and still do. I am convinced that people who do not like them have never really eaten a good version. Boiled water-logged brussels sprouts will not make you a believer…but pan roasted with oil, sea salt, red onions and garlic? Yeah. That will change your mind. It worked for my husband. 3-4 cups Brussels Sprouts ½ Red Onion, sliced thinly 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1-2 teaspoons Sea Salt ½ teaspoon Black Pepper 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced or chopped fine Clean brussels sprouts by trimming base to remove any browned area. Remove any damaged outer leaves. Slice in half and rinse under cold water. Boil sprouts on stove in water for 5 minutes. You can also cook them in microwave covered with ½ inch of water for 5 minutes. Heat oil in pan on stove. Add red onions and salt until softened and slightly caramelized. Add garlic cloves and brussels sprouts to pan. Cook until edges of sprouts are golden brown and slightly crispy, about 5-10 more minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Optional: add chopped roasted chestnuts for extra flavor and texture.
Saute onion until caramelized. Add mushrooms until softened and the water that was released from cooking the mushrooms has evaporated. Stir in garlic, sage and chestnuts. Add coconut milk to mixture, season to taste, then add to your favorite pasta. If you don’t like the chunky texture, you can also puree the ingredients together in a food processor or blender after adding the coconut milk for a smoother, creamy consistency.
Nuggets What is the new Food Plate about and what happened to the Food Pyramid? In June 2011, the USDA introduced a new icon for helping guide Americans’ diets. Instead of the Food Guide Pyramid, which reflected foods you should consume over an entire day, the Food Plate is a quick easy visual meant to guide you through each meal. In general, the Plate focuses on generous portions for fruits and vegetables, choosing healthier whole grains and limiting portion sizes for proteins. Did you notice the ‘dairy’ group? If your family does not consume dairy, don’t worry! You can easily substitute other foods for that group, such as vegan soy, hemp, almond or rice milk products. For more information, check out www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
to figure out the root cause and how to delicately go about a solution. Find a dietitian in your area through the American Dietetic Association (soon to be known as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) at www.EatRight.org.
How much fiber do my kids need in a day? The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for fiber are:
Our pediatrician recently told us that our son is now overweight, bordering on obese. What can we do to help him lose weight without singling him out from the rest of the family? This can be a sensitive and somewhat complicated topic depending on the age of your kid. There can be many reasons why a child starts putting on excess weight. Has he had a decrease in his activity level? Has there been a change in the food that is available to him (e.g. what competitive foods are offered in the school cafeteria for purchase, what he is eating at friends’ houses, etc.)? Has he been eating larger portions? If so, is he truly hungry or is he eating to meet a different need? I recommend getting support
Children 1-3 years old: 19 grams Children 4-8 years old: 25 grams Children and Adults > 9 years old: 25-38 grams The best sources are fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are minimally processed. If your foods have nutrition facts labels, you can find the fiber amount listed under “Carbohydrates”. At least 3-5 grams per serving or 20% of the Daily Value (DV) would be considered a good source.
I know I’m supposed to avoid them, but what are trans fats? Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them less likely to spoil. It
allows food to be shelf-stable for longer periods of time. These fats have been shown to simultaneously raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels and lower your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. They are found primarily in processed baked goods like crackers, cookies and several fried foods. Many food manufacturers are catching on that consumers do not want them in their food products which is why you see more and more items advertising “Trans-Fat Free” or “Zero Trans Fat”. There is a loophole though…if the serving size listed on the food label contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats, a company can claim there are zero trans fats in the product. Look for the words “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient list to know for sure. The best way to avoid a trans fat? Don’t eat processed foods!
Are soy foods safe for my kids to consume? While there are a few studies that might indicate a link between soy based foods and negative health effects, the majority of research has actually shown significant health benefits, especially when replacing animal products in the diet. 1-2 servings a day of soy foods can be a good source of fiber, protein and other nutrients. There are several companies that advertise use of non-GMO soybeans if that is a concern to you. As with any food, limit or avoid items that have been overly processed with higher amounts of fat and sodium.
Louise Goldberg is a registered dietitian, specializing in child, maternal, and family nutrition. She is also a board certified pediatric nutrition specialist and practices with An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting in Houston, TX. If you have a nutrition question for our next issue, you can send it to her at Louise@AnAppleADayNutrition.com or post it at Green Child Magazine’s Facebook page or An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting’s Facebook page.
photo submitted by Kristen Brundidge
Everyday Healthy Holiday Tips By Dr. Heather Manley | www.drheathernd.com With the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to have a few gentle reminders on how to maintain being healthy and happy during the holidays because ... No one wants to get sick or take care of anyone who might be. Everyday healthy holiday tips: Wash those hands: This one maybe easy to forget (or at least the kids may need some reminding!). It’s important to remember that most acute illnesses are due to poor hygiene and the easiest way to avoid this, is to wash your hands with soap and warm water. Keep hydrated: Tis the season to indulge in hot chocolate, egg nog and other yummy holiday drinks. This is all fine if done in moderation and we don’t forget to drink water. The best way to encourage water drinking is to have a pitcher filled with water available in the fridge at all times. If water doesn’t excite the family, try infusing with slices of oranges and lemons to add some zest, flavor and nutrition. Think color and protein: When preparing meals, think about whole colorful foods. They are very nutritious and extremely tasty! Protein helps sustain everyone for longer periods (therefore no over snacking) and will keep the blood sugar levels balanced (ie: no crazy mood swings). Let everyone have some alone time: For the kids, let them have 15 to 60 minutes of quiet time in their room. They don’t need to sleep but just a time to color or read a book. For the parents, try to get up a little early and begin your day with some exercise – a brisk walk, yoga or a trip to the gym. The morning is a perfect time because as the day gets busy, exercise is one of the last things that we will want or find the time to do. Happy Healthy Holidays! Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of Human Body Detectives, her educational children’s series of story-telling books, ebooks and ipad/iphone apps. She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website drheathernd.com. She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.
The Snug Snag By Laurel Heger We watch from the window inside our house so warm; the old snag on the corner of the freshly covered lawn. As the snow fell around and buried it in, all the animals inside lie nuzzled with their kin. There are woodpeckers snuggled in a hole at the top … A family of opossums with its mom and its pop. Safe on a limb, naps a furry raccoon, that rascal ate our garbage without a fork or a spoon. Huddled off to the side sleeps a little brown hare. Yeeks! Out of the woods came a baby black bear. Hidden under the bark, is a spider with her sack, sure hope she won’t make a tasty midnight snack. What more would we find if we looked deep inside, if you take a big whiff you may be surprised. This snug snag is called home for more than a few. What’s this! A skunk is now moving in too.
Scientific and mathematical studies dating back to far eastern tradition prove that the space that surrounds us is not easily separated from who we are, how we feel, and the life choices we make. Every space has a life of its own – and impacts us as we go about our lives. Our actions, energy and thoughts, as well as our physical well-being, are all profoundly influenced by our surroundings. The design, color scheme, textures, light, furnishings, accessories and placement of each item in our indoor environments impact our senses from moment to moment and shape how we feel about ourselves and others EcoChi® is a brand new, unique design system built on a solid foundation of three basic, tried and true ingredients: feng shui, green and sustainable living, and environmental psychology, that help to bring nature’s elements into indoor spaces. The effects on the inhabitants are transformative and the added bonus is that it is also great for the planet. The integrated system for living aims to: • Help you establish and materialize goals • Nurture your health • Bring you greater harmony and prosperity Whether you’re looking for help moving forward after a loss or crisis, attaining personal goals such as wealth, love and happiness, improving work environments, increasing customer satisfaction, or yielding an increased return on investment, EcoChi offers practical and proven solutions to serve as your guide. 18
As an interwoven system, all of the disciplines described earlier and briefly summarized below have been integrated into the EcoChi System. Classical Feng Shui is an ancient art form and system of purposefully arranging an environment so that it has a positive effect on the people who live or work there. Green and Sustainable Living protects the environment and sustains its natural resources for today and for future generations by choosing environmentally friendly lifestyles and practices. Environmental Psychology is an interdisciplinary science focused on the interplay between humans and their surrounding environments. Healthy Choices is a bonus category added to this list, because optimal health is one of the core objectives of EcoChi. Begin looking at this diagram at any point in the circle and you will see that the result is always the same—each sphere overlaps and influences the other. Each is strong enough to stand on its own, but together the whole creates an undeniable force, one that has the power to revolutionize the way we live.
Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner and Creator of EcoChi. To find out more about the EcoChi system of design or to purchase your own copy of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience, visit www.ecochi.com.
Recycle Your Living Area By Marina Chernyak
Recycling everything and anything that’s not biodegradable is the latest mantra. The more we recycle what we already own, the less we’ll need to buy, and the less that’ll get manufactured. Eventually, if everyone on this planet used only what he or she required and recycled the rest, we can save this planet for our future generations. Here are some things that you can find, in your own home, to recycle and avoid buying new. • If you have old wooden furniture such as chairs that you cannot use inside the house anymore, paint them with waterproof paint and use them as garden furniture. • Break down old, throw away wooden cots into planks; use these planks to support plants, create separators, and build an awning over plants and so on in your garden. • If you use plastic pots in your garden, tear up newspapers, mash them with water and coat the exterior of your pots with the paper mache. Once it’s dry, your pots will be insulated, and you can even paint them. • If you have an old, throwaway bookshelf, turn it on its back in the garden. You’ve got a ready made-sectioned planter to keep seedlings separated. • Don’t throw away old boots; line with Styrofoam or plastic and grow colorful flowers in them. • Shred old newspapers and unwanted documents into bits and layer them on your garden soil. Newspaper mulch keeps moisture locked to the ground and also discourages weed growth. • Cut up old, unusable clothes, sew up the edges and use them as rags in your kitchen and garage. • Nail old and threadbare blankets to the walls of your garage and garden shed for additional insulation during cold weather. • Donate old eyeglasses to organizations that will recycle them for others to use. • You can use airtight plastic film canisters to store rubber bands, paper clips, and quarters for emergency use. Marina Chernyak, who is a freelance writer and writes mainly about specialty products like decorative mirrors, foyer table, retro wall clocks, vanity mirrors and lot more. 19
Africa through Books for Africa.
Better World Books is a global bookstore that harnesse opportunity to people around the world.
• Established a relationship with Feed the Children in October 2009 to send them children’s books. The first shipment of 31,910 books went out 10/7/2009. Core Values
Better World Books • Diverted more than 29 million pounds of books from landfills.
Respect the book. Read often and help others do the same.
• Achieved over 11,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping. • Created more than 200 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits. www.BetterWorldBooks.com
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people around for the Worldfund. world. • $140,000+
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quality of life for w children by provid full-time jobs with meaningful benefits. Seek out opportunities Challenge yourself; to quality education, enhanced learning enviro to make a difference make a point to try economic opportunities with value, service innovative & new things. for the comm Better World Books diverts books from landfills by conducting selection. education and innovative economic opportuniti book drives on 1,800 college campuses, and by collecting with affected communities and strive to improv discards from over 2,000 libraries nationwide. It thenChoose sells wisely; consider Keep it real; be honest life for individuals living in conflict and post con the return on your efforts & those used books and contributes a portion of the revenue
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Books that cannot be sold are frequently donated to at risk communities in the U.S. and African schools by the truckload.
The National for Famil Adapt toCenter circumstances; help others find ways to mission is to create a literate na succeed in our evolving leveraging the power of the fam world. groundbreaking initiatives, the N improvement for the nation’s mo Put your ideas to work; Be humble; welcome dichildren and parents. More than one million fam play to win but never versity and recognize that the country have made positive educational an fear failure. shared success is the only gains as a result of the NCFL’s work, which inc kind that matters. more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of Take a stand; share your enthusiasm and build momentum through human connections.
www.thredUP.com thredUP kids is the place for America’s busiest families to conveniently exchange kids clothing online. thredUP aims to bring a level of affordability, convenience and eco-consciousness to secondhand children’s clothing. thredUP kids is designed to help parents easily swap clothes their kids have outgrown for great new items that fit. thredUP’s best-in-class interface allows parents to exchange with their closest friends or with a national network of parents - all from the convenience of home. thredUP kids combines the best features of some of the most popular sites on the web: Like Netflix, parents can queue up a box of gently used clothes to receive. Then, similar to eBay, members build virtual boxes of clothing for exchange. Finally, like StubHub, thredUP enables, coordinates and manages the exchanges. The marketplace facilitates exact matches, ensures quality and remedies the lack of coordination that plagues offline clothing swaps. The service is a complete end-to-end solution for busy parents. “Children grow out of clothes every 3-6 months, having worn outfits only a couple of times,” said James Reinhart, Chief Knitwit of thredUP. “Currently parents are spending upwards of $20,000 on kids clothing by the time their child is
17. And they’re retiring some 1,400 items! We’ve found that many ‘swap, buy, sell’ sites are not that enticing to busy parents. They are just too much work. thredUP is all about convenience.” thredUP.com is the brainchild of co-founders Reinhart, Lubin, and Chris Homer. They started thredUP in January, 2009 mainly because as football loving, bike riding, beer drinking men they couldn’t be caught dead at a clothing swap. thredUP launched as a men’s and women’s shirt swapping site, but it wasn’t long before the obvious “KIDS” pivot was in view - parents needed this service. Clothes don’t grow. Kids do. They knew that millions of parents simply gave away hardly worn clothing, and bought new stuff every five months. Why? Because no great solution existed to swap outgrown clothes, for clothes that fit. For more information about thredUP, visit them at www.thredUP.com
SHANNON SEWELL PH O T O G R A P H Y
THE G R E E N G A R M E N T
Designer Q & A with Lillipops, zozobugbaby, and the measure GC: Why do you design children’s clothes? ZO: Creating is like breathing for me. I can’t NOT do it. It just seems the natural thing to do when you have 2 girls and love to create! I love making kids happy with fun clothing. GC: Why is being Eco important as a designer? ZO: I try to be as eco-friendly as I can by using a lot of vintage fabrics in my designs, as well as organic knit. I use upcycled woven fabrics in many of my designs, as well. I just think it’s important for ANYONE to be as “green” as they can in every day life. I recycle as much of my fabrics as I can to use for other purposes around the studio and my house. This Winter, you’ll be seeing some fun organic jammies for kids, too. :) GC: What was the inspiration for your garment? ZO: Shannon Sewell (the photographer) had the amazing idea for creams with pops of fluorescent pink. I knew that with my limited color palette, I wanted something special....something textural, light, and airy. Shannon inspires a lot of what I do! GC: What materials are used for this garment? ZO: Organic jersey knit and a bit of sparkly tulle! GC: Tell us the first thing that comes to mind with the word “green.” ZO: Soft!
SHANNON SEWELL PHOTOGRAPHY GC: Why do you design children’s clothes? LP: I design children’s clothing for the pure joy in creating garments that kid’s live their lives in. I hope the pieces I make become a part of those great childhood memories... that special dress that they keep to pass down to their children. GC: Why is being Eco important as a designer? LP: Being Eco is very important to me as a mother, a designer and as an inhabitant of the earth. Our resources are limited, and finding ways to be as gentle as possible the earth not only makes me feel good about the products I send out into the world, but actually stretches my creativity by using green materials as much as possible. GC: What was the inspiration for your garment? LP: I love the purity of white and cream, especially on little children. I was thinking of snowy days, when the sun is shining and there is such a lovely sparkle. Simple, but elegant. GC: What materials are used for this garment? LP: The flower appliqued tshirt is made from a mix of organic and reclaimed cotton knits. The skirt is made from an organic cotton swiss dot fabric with a conventional cotton blend sheer overlay. GC: Tell us the first thing that comes to mind with the word “green.” LP: Being green, to me, means being thoughtful. Instead of reaching for convenience, taking a moment to ponder if there are better methods and better products.
S H AN NO N S E WE LL P H OT O GR AP H Y
S H AN NO N S E WE LL P HO T OG RA P H Y
THE G R E E N G A R M E N T
Designer Q & A GC: Why do you design children’s clothes? TM: I have always loved creating things and sewing, and when friends started having babies it seemed like a natural tangent. The fact that it became a career is just pure luck (and some hard work). GC: Why is being Eco important as a designer? TM: I think being Eco is important in every aspect of life. But particularly when creating things, it means so much to be able to create something new from something old, instead of continuing to use natural resources for every “new” item. There doesn’t need to be a disconnect between living green and dressing your little ones in unique, adorable pieces! GC: What was the inspiration for your garment? TM: Snow falling, and the coziness I love to feel while watching it through the window. GC: What materials are used for this garment? TM: These pieces were upcycled from Goodwill finds - a mens oxford-cloth shirt and a cozy throw. GC: Tell us the first thing that comes to mind with the word “green.” TM: A field full of tall grass, and little legs running.
SHANNON SEWELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Reusable Party Items
How we made an eco-friendly choice and shared it with the world By Flor Lozano-Byrne | www.sillycreatures.com Tired of wasteful birthday celebrations, when my son was about to turn seven we were ready for an eco-friendly change. As we continue to learn and understand how our lifestyle choices affect our planet, our family has been becoming greener every year. Some of our party staples didn’t feel quite right anymore, but we had to have a piñata and the king of the party couldn’t reign without his sparkly crown. What would the guests take home as a souvenir of the great bash? What games could we play without being wasteful? Climbing, pottery, ponies or other experiences were out of question for a little guy who likes “traditional” parties at home. A few months before his birthday, I started a business offering plush toys. These toys were based on my boy’s drawings and stories and adding an educational and therapeutic twist (Silly Creatures®). Aha! I could create reusable birthday items made out of organic and recycled fabrics! Organic Party was born as part of SillyCreatures.com to offer eco-friendly party items. The Piñata Moved by tears over broken piñatas that ended up nevertheless compassionately stored in the basement, I set to build a reusable piñata that would burst without breaking. Using a light disposable paper insert, I created a fabric piñata that can be hit and burst, refilled and reclosed over and over then become a stuffed animal to play and cuddle with. The next step was to fill it up.
would make it too expensive to fill the big piñata we wanted. We figured the perfect solution was to use small Silly Creatures which are very light and fluffy and also very interesting toys, as they can be fed little stones, keeping the children busy for a while. The Crown We used to make a cardstock crown every year and decorated it with stickers and sparkly things. Not very comfortable or durable, it seldom lasted past picture time and with all the shine and glue, was also not recyclable. We needed something sparkly with some room for a child to personalize, but also comfortable, durable and eco-friendly. We built a crown using a sequined fabric outer and a soft organic cotton fleece liner and with a sticky spot in front for attaching felt numbers and shapes. The number displayed in front can be changed for every birthday and, for the rest of the year any other shapes can be used for dress-up. The crown can be washed as needed. The Game For the party, we set up a treasure hunt in the woods behind our house. The treasure chest to be found was filled with, guess what? Little polished stones. Perfect to feed the Silly Creatures that came out of the piñata!
The Piñata Fillers My boy didn’t want just a bunch of candy in the piñata so, over the years I had scoured over the local party stores for small toys to fill it up. I was never satisfied with what I found, quality or pricewise. Cheap toys would end up in the trash, others Sindea Horste Photography, www.sindea.org
In the Footsteps of Mother Nature:
Raising a Secure Foster/Adoptive Child Dr. Kalyani Gopal | www.thesupportivefosterparent.com Mother Nature in her wisdom instilled in our genetic framework and our brains a stage-wise unfolding of emotional and behavioral development. Even before the infant is born, the recognition of the soon to be mother’s footsteps, the heartbeat and the sound of her voice soothes and comforts the little one inside. A bond is being developed, shaped, with hopefulness and aspiration to change from an internal to an external attachment at birth. Birth At birth, the infant’s life form is visible to the naked eye and the sensations from the mother soothe the infant into suckling behaviors and sleep. It is very true that the best sleep is when one sleeps like a baby; being cuddled, tucked in and sang to and rocked by exhausted parents. The goal of this entire process from gestation to early infancy is one of bonding and attachment. Why do you ask is attachment so important? My simple response: Security, Safety, and Sensibility. Attachment Theory Attachment theory put forth in a concise fashion in 1991 and first explored back in the 1960s has been perhaps the most studied phenomenon with Attachment Therapy, Parent-Child Interactional Therapy all offshoots of this work. Three basic life skills are developed during secure attachment: • Basic Trust • Cause and Effect Thinking • Identifying and tuning into others’ emotional states (from ‘The Supportive 32
Foster Parent’ p 34)
These skills are developed within the first 18 months of an infant’s life. All these three critical developmental tasks lead to a secure infant who is trusting, caring, loving, sociable, compliant, and can effectively control emotions. Disrupting Nature’s Course So what happens when we meddle and interfere with nature’s plans? Well, Mother Nature becomes very unhappy to say the least! Lack of maternal nurturing and love due to mental illness, separation of mother from infant, and neglect and/or physical abuse leads to the following behavioral and emotional disturbances in infants and can remain long into adult relationships with violent men and women, substance abuse, poor self-esteem and self-worth, lack of trust with adults. There are three forms of insecure attachments. They are: Avoidant Attachment in which infants will not interact with caregiver and show very little negative emotion, Resistant Attachment in which infants show intense negative emotions with caregiver, but cannot settle down, Disorganized Attachment in which infants show fear of caregiver, freeze, cannot be comforted and show stereotypical movements without any direction. Returning to Nature’s Goals: When infants are removed from their biological mother for a variety of reasons, they are essentially
homeless in the developmental sense of the term as well as physical. Fortunately, research has consistently shown that when infants and very young kids in foster care remain in a stable home and are then adopted, the damage from the insecure attachments is not long-term. These infants develop a healthy bond with the foster/ adoptive parent through maternal sensitivity and responsivity; two ways to undo the damage of the initial insecure attachment. Since secure attachment was not developed as a result of abuse and/or neglect in the first place, the foster/adoptive parent gives this infant the security, safety, and sensibility needed to form the secure attachment through rocking, swaddling, holding, cuddling, cooing, singing, carrying and loving. As a result, the emotional and cognitive development grows in leaps and bounds and can be seen in laughing,
playful, happy child. Adoption is so critical for infants and small children with this background as they have formed the secure attachment they did not previously have.
Dr. Kalyani Gopal is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 25 years experience in diverse clinical settings. Dr. Gopal is author of the book The Supportive Foster Parent. www.thesupportivefosterparent.com
Candy House Gift Card Holder By Heather Valentine | thesewingloft.com
This super simple craft that is perfect for all the “hard to buy” for’s on your holiday shopping list! This pattern is for crafters of all levels.
Heather Valentine is the inspiration behind The Sewing Loft. The mission of all products is focused around the 3 R’s: Reclaim, Recycle, Recraft. To tell her your thoughts or share photos of the project, go to facebook.com/thesewingloftfb or visit thesewingloft.com for more fun crafts. 34
Materials: • Paper Bag • Fabrics • Double Sided Fusible • Trim
Instructions: 1. Trace house pattern on paper bag. Trace all pieces on fusible. Add 1/4” to the bottom of house fabric. Roof line is to fold line. 2. Iron fusible to the wrong side of fabrics and cut out all pieces. 3. Remove backer paper & iron roof fabric to front side of bag. 4. To create chimney, cut 2 1/2” of trim, fold in half. Sandwich the chimney between the back of house & fabric cover. Iron fabric to the back of house. *There is a 1/4” over hang at the bottom. Fold over for a clean finished edge at top of pocket. 5. Fold the house up 2 1/4” to create pocket. 6. Iron on the door and window. (Eyeball placement) Add stitching at the window + glue button doorknob if desired. 7. Glue trim along the top edge of pocket. Fold under edges to inside of pocket. Stitch the pocket closed 1/8” from the edge. *Note- No machine-no problem! This can be glued. 8. Insert card and you are set for gift giving! 35
Upcycled Soda Bottle Ball Ornament By Jenelle Montilone | trash n 2 tees
Materials Needed: Sprite (or any soda bottle) Ornament Mod Podge Paint Brush Tweezers Scissors
4. Secure your ornament so that it doesn’t roll away, I used the top of the bottle as a stand 5. Cover bare spots on the ball using tweezers to pick up the small squares. By this point your glue may begin to dry, I dipped the squares into a small amount of glue before placement. 6. Let dry. Repeat steps 4 & 5 if needed. *Notes: I used old scratched up ornament balls 1. Start off but cutting the plastic soda bottle into I found at the local thrift store, I tried several strips and then again into small squares. different combinations of bottles and ball 2. Using the brush (or your fingers) cover the ball colors- my favorite was the green ball covered with a layer of mod podge. with a Sprite bottle. The Mod Podge will dry 3. Carefully roll the ornament into the plastic clear- don’t worry if you’re ball looks gloppy flakes. in the process, it’s supposed too! (1) 16 oz bottle covers (1) 2 inch ornament
Shift My Gift www.shiftmygift.com
From moms who want to avoid the clutter of more plastic toys from their children’s birthday parties to those who want to create a sustainable planet -- there are millions of people across the globe ready to “Shift Their Gift.” Shift My Gift™ is a digital tool that empowers the user to turn money otherwise spent on gifts they don’t need into money for those with real need. people to spend money they weren’t going to spend. In fact, it enables them to spend a lot less and feel good about it - without even leaving their laptop or smart phone. The opportunity for Shift My Gift is not only in its use as a tool and portal but also a movement - to bring a new vernacular into the mainstream for people to explain how they’re celebrating an event. Here are just a few reasons to say, “I’m shifting my gifts this year.” The “Shifter” turns their celebration into an opportunity for giving to the causes important to them. The “Gifters” avoid the hassle of gift shopping and know what they are giving is important to the recipient. They also save money as the average gift on Shift My Gift will be less than what they would likely spend in the market to find something “meaningful.” They also get a tax deduction and social media “badge,” as a type of “social currency.” Similar to a gift registry, where non-profits are the beneficiaries, Shift My Gift enables users to celebrate any event in their lives by diverting gifts to the charities and non-profits they care about. The website, which is well integrated with major social media platforms, enables people to divert wealth from unwanted gifts to organizations and people with a greater need. Shift My Gift is not a charity website, and does not ask for money to be given that wasn’t going to already be spent. Unlike a “charity site,” Shift My Gift doesn’t ask
With non-profits in dire need of funding due to government budget cuts and the recession, Shift My Gift offers incentive to increase individual giving and enables non-profits to extend their fundraising by raising awareness about Shift My Gift. The elimination of waste in the form of gas, packaging, and wrapping paper makes the planet the ultimate recipient. Shift My Gift celebrates the “less stuff” movement with a focus on meaningful giving. The website is the creation of partners and brothers Blair and Kirk Souder, two experienced business leaders who joined creative forces from California to Pennsylvania.
Earth Givings Around the Holidays many people are looking for ways to give back and to help others. We all want to make a difference. Here are some charities we would love for you to consider.
Our Hen House This multi-media hive aims to effectively mainstream the movement to end the exploitation of animals. Our Hen House builds on the work being done by advocacy groups to truly catalyze a mass movement in which individuals do not merely follow the leadership of animal advocacy organizations, but also take personal responsibility for leading the way to a new world in which the exploitation of animals is recognized as no longer necessary for human progress. www.OurHenHouse.org
Earth Conservation Corps Earth Conservation Corps is a nonprofit youth development and environmental service organization located where the heavily polluted Anacostia River flows through our nation’s capitols most disadvantaged communities. Since 1989 they have been successfully reclaiming two of America’s most endangered resources - our youth and our environment. www.ecc1.org
Children of the Earth United Their goal is to create a healthier planet by educating the general public on eco-logical concepts and to provide a forum for people to share their knowledge and ideas with each other. Children of the Earth United aims to accomplish this through a free comprehensive, interactive educational information system accessible through the Internet and through specific educational programs geared towards mainstream society. www.childrenoftheearth.org
The Conservation Fund The Conservation Fund believes kids have the right to a healthy childhood and that a healthy childhood includes being outdoors. That’s why they work to save lands where kids can play outside and learn about the nature. They provide the skills, strategies and funds that their partners need to fulfill conservation priorities swiftly and successfully. With support from donors, they partner with community, government and corporate leaders to protect America’s favorite outdoor places and to conserve resources for healthy, sustainable communities. www.conservationfund.org
Create Lasting Memories With an Experience Gift By: Amity Hook-Sopko | www.GreenGiftsGuide.com Sometimes the best holiday gift doesn’t come in a box or a gift bag. In fact, the greenest thing you give or receive this year may not be a ‘thing’ at all. When you visit your friends’ and families’ homes, does it look like they need more stuff? Just like those couple of pounds that creep up from all the holiday desserts – gift clutter can add up too. In fact, it can start an endless cycle of needing a place to put it, batteries to power it, someone to fix it, and ultimately crowding our landfills because we never used it anyway. The Gift of an Experience When we put the holiday season in perspective, we’re reminded that people are more important than things. And what better way to honor the people in your life than by helping to create lasting memories or maybe even fulfilling a lifelong dream? The perfect experience gift can do just that. Experience gift options are as varied and exciting as the people on your list. You can give an elaborate adventure package or simply offer to babysit so your recipient can enjoy a night out. No matter what type of eco-friendly gift you choose, it shouldn’t add stress to an already hectic time of the year. All it takes is a little thought and imagination.
For Women Show her how special she is with a day of pampering or indulgence. The lady on your list might be up for adventure. Or if she’s a mom with young children, her eyes may light up at just the thought of a day to herself.
For Men The gift of experience is especially popular with men. Think about what he enjoys most and see how you can surprise him with…
• Yoga or meditation retreat • Monthly pedicures or massages • Hiking expedition • Ballroom dancing lessons • Chocolate tasting tour
• Golf lessons or a weekend golf package • Whitewater rafting • Fishing expedition • Rock climbing adventure • Tickets to see his favorite sports team or band in concert • Pilot for a day or race car experience (consider adding carbon offsets to this gift)
For Kids or Families Anything that gets families to spend time together enjoying nature is not only green; it’s great fun! • Annual passes to the local zoo • Camping trip • Pottery classes • Cave exploring • Sporting events the whole family enjoys
Remember - the gift of spending time with a loved one is more meaningful and memorable than this year’s must-have gadget. A thoughtful experience gift gives them something they’ll always remember, but never ends up in the landfill.
As the creator of www.GreenGiftsGuide.com, Amity Hook-Sopko loves sharing ways to make the holidays more meaningful and how to wrap your gifts “green.” When she’s not blogging, you can find her spending time with her husband and two sons, volunteering at the Humane Society, or ironing vintage maps and papers to reuse as gift-wrap.
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-recyclable 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.c om 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
Beat the winter blues
by making the holidays a little more green! www.terracycle.com While there’s plenty of festive cheer, there’s also plenty of trash this time of year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans’ household waste rises by an estimated 25 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, five million tons of household trash are discarded. 1 million of those tons, or 20%, come from the last six weeks of the year. This household garbage often ends up in landfills instead of recycled. There are plenty of ways to be more environmentally responsible, and with a little imagination, it’s possible for you and your family to keep the holiday season both fun and economical. For Parents: When shopping, opt for reusable bags. You’ll keep plastic ones from cluttering landfills, and the sturdy, stylish cloth or canvas bags can be used for a variety of other things, including trips to the beach or picnics. If you have to use a plastic bag, make sure you recycle it. You’ll likely have plenty of gifts to wrap this year, but there’s no reason to buy wrapping paper --
repurpose the comics section of the newspaper, or use brown bags from the grocery store instead of paper printed with the same old snowflakes and Saint Nicks. You can make gift bags, too: reuse a cereal box by wrapping it in recycled paper, punching holes in the top and tying on ribbon handles. These durable creations can be customized for any gift-giving occasion. Even gift bows can be made by hand. TerraCycle has a simple DIY to help you make the perfect decorations, which can be accessed here. Think twice about that tree. If you buy one, keep the tree from going straight to a landfill by turning it into mulch. Earth 911 has a helpful search engine where you can find recycling centers for practically anything, including your tree. Just type in the item you’d like to recycle, along with your zip
code. Also, planting your tree outside will give you something to enjoy even when the holiday season is long 45
Reach for LED lights. These will last longer, (20 years or 100,000 hours, whichever comes first) and use less energy than regular ones. Not at home, or still asleep? Use a timer. Setting your lights and thermostat to a timer will conserve energy and cash. Or try opening the blinds to let the sun warm your house, and you wonâ€™t even have to crank up the heat.
For Kids: Get crafty. Give an old newspaper or magazine new life as a paper garland, and encourage kids to cut out different shapes. Martha Stewart shows how easy it is to make snowflakes out of plastic six-pack holders: the finished products are simple, festive and help keep plastic out of landfills. You can see the tutorial here.
Let your kids send E-Cards, or have them make their own. Kids can pick different animated messages, or they can design their own holiday cards with recycled paper. Make snow globes. Reuse spaghetti sauce, peanut butter and baby food jars, and have the kids pick out a small toy to place inside. Glue it to the lid, and let them help you fill the jar with cold water and a little glitter. Secure the lid to the jar with hot glue. Leave the jar, lid side up, to dry overnight. Recycle cans by making luminaries. Wash tin cans, remove their lids and labels, and let the kids draw designs on them in permanent marker. With a nail and a hammer, have an adult punch small holes along the marker outline. Place a candle into the luminary, light it and enjoy this festive decoration indoors or outdoors.
Gather pine cones and let your kids coat them with peanut butter before rolling them in birdseed. Then, use string to tie the pine cones to a tree. You can also make edible garlands by stringing popcorn, fresh cranberries or dried fruit. Drape those on tree branches and be on the lookout for birds.
o r w u o n y b e o k w a ! M
gone. Potted and â€œballed and burlappedâ€? (B & B) trees are sold with their roots attached and are a great alternative to cut trees.
Even if youâ€™ve never gone green before, itâ€™s easy to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into a busy holiday schedule without feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes, it actually makes shopping and activities easier and more fun! Get creative and start new holiday traditions by finding new uses for items from around the house to help save money and the environment, and get your kids involved in reducing their waste without reducing the fun.
Holiday Gift Guide
Wool Dryer Balls $11 – A green solution to plastic PVC dryer balls. Made from 100% wool with optional scent and come in a variety of colors. They are great for baby clothes, cloth diapers, and everyday laundry. www.buddhabunz.com
Natural Cleaners e-book $3 – If you know someone who is always looking for ways to make natural cleaners, then this is the perfect gift! Includes a number of recipes and directions on how to make a clean home, naturally. www.thepeacefulhousewife.com
Crash Soy Candle $24 – Beautifully decorated and ultra fragrant, these candles would be perfect in any home. Each candle is hand-poured using 100% natural soy wax and glass can be reused again and again. www.crashcandles.com
Carved Wood Tea Strainer $14 – Carved from wild cherry wood, this oval shaped strainer fits any tea cup. Easy to use and keeps in heat while the tea steeps. Perfect for any tea lover. www.eco-artware.com
Reusable Produce Bags $7 – This upcycled set of two bags made from recycled T-shirts are a great and sustainable alternative to plastic bags. Hip and friendly to the earth, they have many uses. www.etsy.com/shop/TNTees
Rustic Linen Throw $108 – Luxurious, gorgeous, and cozy, this throw is perfect for any season and can easily find a “home” in any room. Made from linen and 100% organic cotton. www.coyuchi.com
Hot Pot $30 – This essential ThermolonTM non-stick pan is a start to finish cooking system. Complete with energy saving pot, strainer, bamboo serving spoon and fork, and serving dish. Great for the beginner and experienced cook. www.green-pan.com
Character Dish Set $108 – Putting a fresh spin on a classic keepsake, this set can be personalized and is food safe earthenware. www.alexmarshallstudios.com Record Label Coasters $20 – Set of six groovy coasters made from original, unplayable records. Sure to be a conversation piece in any home. www.eco-artware.com
Holiday Gift Guide
EcoJot Journal $17 – Great for keeping notes or ideas, this is perfect for any office or handbag. Made from 100% post-consumer waste. Super cute designs available. www.ecojot.com
For Teacher Eco Teacher Tote Bag $35 – Beautifully crafted from 100% organic cotton fabrics, this tote will be appreciated by any child’s teacher. Iconic apply adorns this spacious tote that can be filled with a teacher’s favorite goodies. www.etsy.com/shop/OrganiLuxe
Essentials Envelope $29 – Great for carrying all your natural beauty essentials and can be used as a cute clutch! This bag is beautifully designed and made with organic cotton and hemp. Truly an essential! www.appleandbee.com
Beecology Gift Basket $36 – Luxurious, eco, and oh so “scent”-sational. It is like heading to Nature’s Spa! This gift basic comes with three all-natural hand soaps, two lip balms, and Honey Hand and Body Cream. www.beecology.com
Eco Her Glass Pendant $15 - Made from a Bombay Sapphire bottle and blue wire, this classic piece will give a little “edge” to any wardrobe. Clear Marble Earrings $16 – Beautifully crafted and eco-friendly, any lady would love to have these classics made with unconventional, yet “hip,” materials. www.etsy.com/shop/daisyglass
Mama Kimono Robe $90 – Made with ultra soft bamboo/cotton, this robe will fit before, during, and after pregnancy. Beautifully styled and will coordinate with just about anything. www.westcoastbaby.com Eco GO Bands $10 – These non-slip headbands, are functionally fashionable and made using Eco-friendly grosgrain ribbon from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Mother daughter set is available. www.etsy.com/shop/gobands
Holiday Gift Guide
Eco Him Catalyst T-Shirt $30 – This performance T is soft, durable, and sure to be a hit with any active man. Made from recycled plastic bottles. www.underarmor.com
Wrap It! Envirosax $9 – Instead of wrapping presents in disposable paper, why not use a reusable bag with fun graphics? These reusable bags come in a large variety of styles that fun for kids and gentle on the planet. www.envirosax.com Jersey Robe $75 – This jersey organic cotton knit robe will be well-loved by any giftee. Oh so soft and cozy, just like your favorite T-shirt. Perfect weight for year round use. www.coyuchi.com
Fjord Flannel Shirt $85 – Traditional, yet stylish, this heavyweight 100% organic cotton flannel shirt wears soft but is tough. Great for cool or cold conditions. www.patagonia.com
Cool Mint Moisture Shave $5 – Wonderful smelling moisturizing formula made with natural essential oils, extracts, and vitamins for one the best shaves ever. www.kissmyface.com Brother-In-Law Bundle – Who wouldn’t love coffee, shower gel, and some shampoo made from pure and natural ingredients? onlygreen.com/ferrahgraham/shop/
Holiday Gift Guide Bambino Zip $50 – Made from soft bamboo and organic cotton, this little hoodie zips in the back for easier dressing. No more kids chewing on zippers. Cute for baby and easy for parents. www.littlebambino.ca
Artsy Names Tee $28 – “Stranger Safe” these “namimal” designs are created by using all the letters of a child’s name and shaping that into fun puzzle-like characters. Offered in 100% organic cotton materials and printed with chemical-free inks. www.artsynames.com
CHOOZE shoes $44 – Stylish and fun shoes for your little ones…as well as adults! Every pair is a different. Made of vegan materials, this company also donates 100% of its profits to charity. www.choozeshoes.com
Eco kids wear Rib Beanie $19 – Soft and gentle this cute beanie helps regulate temperature and stays on. Made from 100% organic Merino wool. www.nuiorganics.com
Merah Muda Dress Up Drawstring Backpack $30 – Functional and cute, these backpacks are made from upcycled tshirts and remnants. www.etsy.com/shop/merahmuda
Satsuma Holiday Gift Set $30 – Super cute hat and bootie gift set will look adorable on any little one. Made from organically grown bamboo cotton and trimmed in organic cotton Sherpa. www.satsumadesigns.com
Piggy Paint $9 – A fun and funky color nail polish for your little one that is non-toxic and contains no harsh smelly chemicals. www.piggypaint.com
Eco stocking stuffers Personalized Stationary $10 – Playful, fun, and encourages handwritten notes. What a great “big kid” gift! Made of high quality recycled materials. www.smilegrampaper.com
Crayon Rocks $7 – Soy-based crayons made with mineral colorants, these “rocks” are designed to help fin motor skills. Plus, they are fun! www.crayonrocks.net
Bunny Loves Soap $18 – Organic and plush bunny pal is the gift giver of three fragrance free bunny shaped soaps. Both are luxurious and soft. One is great for cuddling, the other is wonderful for sensitive skin www.babobotanicals.com
Holiday Gift Guide
Glass Bottle Top Necklace $16 – Upcycled from a brown glass bottle and attached to a chain, this necklace is not o cool, but a friend to the environment. www.etsy.com/shop/daisyglass
VHS Tape Flower Pins $5 – Say what? Yes, this flower is made from VHS tape and can be used in a variety of ways. On headbands, dresses, jackets, you name it. So cute! etsy.com/shop/UpcycleYourWorld The Giving Tee $30 – What about a gift that benefits more than one person? This Tee is made of 100% organic cotton and $10 from each Tee goes to care for children in Kenya affected by the AIDS virus. www.tinyrevolutionary.com
Necktie Billfold $25 – Neckties just got a new twist. A fun and funky way to carry funds, and a great use of unwanted neckties. A delight for hipsters everywhere. www.etsy.com/shop/Aisle3
T Shirt Earrings $14 – Fun, hip, and eco-friendly, these earrings are affordable and a great gift for any “trendster.” www.etsy.com/shop/TNTees
Bamboo Bottle $25 – So cool. This flip top bottle comes with a glass insert and protective bamboo cover. Not only is this bottle sustainable, it is safe. www.bamboobottleco.com
T-Shirt Scarf/Necklace $20 – If you know a scarf lover who is loves Mother Earth, this is the perfect gift. This accessory is great with dresses, shirts, and jackets. www.etsy.com/shop/BlueEyesAndBareFeet
Folding Yoga Mat $30 – Unique folding mat is perfect for the yogi on the go. Easily folds into a 12x12 inch square and includes a bag made of recycled PET for easy storage and transport. www.naturalfitnessinc.com
Holiday Gift Guide Pixie Night Light $50 â€“ Cute, adorable, and functional, this LED night-light is rechargeable and has an ergonomic handle. Due to its portability, it is great for late night trips to the potty. BPA free and safe for newborn and up. www.beabausa.com
Bamboo iPad 2 Case $80 â€“ Two piece design for a tailored fit and features a soft, scratch-resistant lining. Made of sustainable bamboo and the company has a long-term partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. www.versaudio.com
Eco tech AirCurve Play $20 â€“ Without any cords or batteries, this little device can make the speaker on an iPhone 4 10 decibels louder. Perfect for pumping up the volume on calls or your iTunes! www.griffintechnology.com
Kindle Family $79-$199 - Paperless reading with a full library of options. We love all of the kindle family options. There is something for every price point and now with the Kindle Fire, you can get fully integrated end-to-end service with the web, apps, and other media. Donâ€™t forget to check out Green Child Magazine on this hot device, and find it in our online shop. www.amazon.com
Holiday Gift Guide
Eco play Organic Smiling Moon Balancer $38 â€“ Heirloom quality and will foster hours of imaginative play for a child, or adult, of any age. Handcrafted from colorful hardwoods and organic finish this toy is safe for little ones. Also this company makes a donation to Peace Corps for every toy sold. www.etsy.com/shop/smilingtreetoys
Modern Twist Kidz Box $30 â€“ Fun and adorable food-grade silicone mats are great for mealtime and on-the-go. Reusable and fun to color again and again with included dry-erase markers. www.modern-twist.com
Eco play Pengoloo $26 â€“ All wood fun to play memory game is intriguing for kids. Kids have fun trying to match colored dice with hidden penguin eggs. Company plants two trees for every tree used in making this game. www.blueorangegames.com
Wishbone Bike $230 â€“ Grows with your child as it transforms from a trike to a running bike. Made of sustainable wood and non-toxic inks. www.mbeans.com
Holiday Gift Guide
Count Your Chickens $15 – This cooperative game allows the players to work together towards a common goal. This fun and rewarding counting game is made of 100% green materials. www.peaceablekingdom.com
Eco Home $65 – Made from sustainable rubber wood and non-toxic inks, this toy not only is made eco-friendly, it teaches children eco-friendly practices like “clean energy.” www.mbeans.com
Wee Can Too Fingerpaint Tottle Set $35 – Edible and safe, children of all ages can be artists. Made of organic and vegan ingredients. www.weecantooart.com
Story Building Barnyard $30 â€“ This earthfriendly playset allows for imaginary play at the farm. Kids can design and redesign the barnyard as they see fit for different storytelling adventures. www.sprigtoys.com
Moon Roof Funhouse $35 â€“ 100% recyclable, kids will love this for imaginary play and shape learning. Assembles easily. www.greentowntoys.com
Holiday Gift Guide
Felt Food Pink Tea Party Set $43 â€“ Made from eco-felt, this tea set is perfect for the eco princess in your life. Great for imaginary play and play dates. www.etsy.com/shop/PixiekidsToys Picnic Pal Gift Crates $39 â€“ A little organic gift ensemble for baby. Gift Crate contains book, teething toy, baby cloth, and finger puppet packed in recycled gift carton. www.organicbabygiftboutique.com
Disney Plush $26 â€“ Safe and soft for baby. Made from organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes this plush toy has wonderful details and a muted color palette. www.organicbabygiftboutique.com
Bamboo Buddy $20 - Made of a blend of ultra-soft bamboo and organic cotton. The hands and feet are uniquely designed for sensory stimulation and provide a great alternative to teethers. www.spotlight-baby.com
Gnome Dolls $25 â€“ One of a kind and handcrafted from upcycled materials. These vintage inspired dolls are the perfect little friends for a little one. www.etsy.com/shop/SewnNatural
Look, Listen and Read
Here We Go! Music CD Hear pirates singing in their search for treasure or join in with a “mob” of Meerkats in a chorus all about family with original music, along with a few classics from GrandCamp Adventures. These songs bring everyone to their feet from blues to bluegrass to reggae and even a lullaby. This CD is sure to appeal to both young and old. www.GrandCamp.com
Arthur Turns Green By Marc Brown
When Arthur’s class is given an assignment in class to participate in the Big Green Machine, everything seems to be going well, and most of his family is getting involved. However, his sister is concerned when everyone’s hands literally begin to turn green. She worries that she may be next to be subject to the Big Green Machine. Will the whole family be green? Printed on recycled paper and printed with soy inks. www.amazon.com
The Earth Book By Todd Parr
Using colorful and delightful characters, this book by Todd Parr uses words and images that a child will understand how and why to be green. Giving suggestions on how to save energy and natural resources as well as why we want to do this, children will be able to relate easily. Comes with a poster on 10 ways kids can help the earth. Printed on recycled paper and with soy inks. www.amazon.com
Look, Listen and Read
Blissful Bites By Christy Morgan
Would you like to make delicious, easy and healthy vegan meals but donâ€™t know where to start? This book not only gives an amazing array of recipes that is sure to satisfy anyone, but also helps you understand the benefits of each dish and its ingredients. Includes helpful tips for cooking and a guide to stocking your pantry. www.amazon.com
The Legend of the Wolves of Gunflint Lake By Lisa Sellman
This wonderful tale reminds us of the beauty of the nature, animals, and the words and stories of our elders. When a community forgets about its connection with the nature, then nature visits the people to remind them of it. It teaches the importance of community and its relationship to living cohesively with the Earth. www.amazon.com
The Green Mother Goose By Jan Peck and David Davis
This modern and Eco take on many well-known and treasured nursery rhymes will have your children engrossed for hours. Using modern issues and infusing them with classic rhymes, everyone can join in the fun and learning. These fun and green sayings are easy to learn and say with children of all ages. www.amazon.com
Look, Listen and Read
By Debra Duneier Learn to design a space with life. Create a space that goes beyond our 5 senses. Bring natureâ€™s elements indoors in a whole new way, the EcoChi system attracts prosperity, harmony, health and happiness - while at the same time propagating environmental integrity. www.ecochi.com
Changing Diapers By Kelly Wels
This modern book about modern cloth diapering really does cover everything. If you have ever considered cloth diapering and donâ€™t know where to start, this is just the place. Covering benefits from eco-friendly to logistics, this book will give any parent the confidence to give cloth diapering a try. Not only for their baby, but for Mother Earth. www.amazon.com
Body Detectives By Heather Manley
Take your children on an adventure, through the human body! Kids will love to learn how their bodies work in this wonderful series narrated by a couple of curious kids who are trying to solve a problem. Learn how the human body pumps blood, makes white blood cells, and digests foodâ€Ś from the inside. www.humanbodydetectives.com
Look, Listen and Read
Vinegar Fridays By Hana Haatainen Caye
Discover the miracle of vinegar through this new book based on a popular feature on the Green Grandma blog. Learn a multiple of uses for vinegar like cleaning, treating physical conditions, gardening, pet care, laundry and many more. Also learn how to spot toxic ingredients in popular cleaning products. www.lulu.com
A Green Pregnancy:
6 Safer Decorating Tips For the Holidays! The holidays are such a fun time to decorate your home with beautiful, festive lighting, have warm, spicy scents in the air and to put up trees and ornaments in your home. Most people don’t know that these decorations often contain hazardous and toxic chemicals! When you are pregnant over the holidays you have to be careful to avoid chemicals and toxins that are lurking in your common holiday decorations as they can cross the placenta and have health effects on your baby. Ack! But don’t stress about your decorating! Just get educated and make easy, safer choices! Here are 6 easy ways to reduce the risks to you, your unborn baby and family. Christmas Lights Holiday lights are such a beautiful and festive part of the holidays! Unfortunately they are loaded with lead. Lead is used in the PVC wiring to keep it from breaking down and cracking, and as well as a flame retardant. In a study by CNN, every brand tested contained levels high enough to cause damage to children (There is NO safe level of lead however!) You can be exposed to lead by handling the lights, as well as from dust released into the air. We suggest purchasing Ikea Lights as they have the lowest levels of lead available in the US at this time, at less than 1000 ppm. We also urge pregnant women and children NOT to handle any Christmas lights at all, washing hands immediately afterward if you do, and keeping areas around the lights dusted well with a disposable wet cloth. A good rule of thumb when you are pregnant is if the label says to wash your hands after handling the item, to NOT handle the item!
Decorative Christmas and Hanukkah Candles Candles nearly always contain paraffin and scented with chemicals called phthalates. Paraffin when burned releases toluene and benzene, which is linked to cancer, asthma and other health problems. Formaldehyde has been detected in the smoke coming from burning candles as well as the neurotoxin lead (even though it was supposed to be phased out of the wicks years ago). Phthalates are often used to create the soothing scents from candles. Phthalates are endocrine disrupters and are linked to birth defects in boys and other health issues. Phthalates are also found in LED and fake candles that have scent. The best way to create a scent in your home is to use essential oils or to purchase soy or beeswax candles scented with essential oils. These types of candles were found to not emit these chemicals. Christmas Trees and Garland There are two different concerns to address with these Christmas classics: Lead and PVC in fake garland and trees as well as pesticides in real trees. Fake Trees: Over 85% of fake trees and garland are made in China. Since they are made with PVC, they contain lead. In fact, in California, these trees are required to come with a warning label stating that they contain chemicals known to cause birth defects. We recommend avoiding artificial trees. Real Trees: Real trees and garland are often coated with pesticides and herbicides. While some studies have stated that as much as 28 pounds of pesticides may be used for just one Christmas tree, other studies have shown it may be as little as ¼ an ounce. Quite a difference in results! What we
do know is toxic chemicals like Roundup are often used (in fact as high as 89% in 2006) as well as other chemicals that are known neurotoxins. For the ultimate green tree, ask your local tree farm if they use pesticides and search for a pesticide-free tree and buy one that still has the roots. You can plant it when you are done! If not, buy a cut tree that has not been treated with pesticides. The last option is to have someone else handle the tree and wash your hands after decorating to reduce pesticide exposure and to keep children from touching the tree.
Just a few simple changes can make the holidays safer for you and your growing family! Education is key! We wish you and yours a safe, non-toxic holiday and Near Year!
Christmas Ornaments Molded plastic ornaments are known to emit a chemical called 1,2-DCA into the surrounding air. In fact, in one study it was found in all samples tested and levels of this chemical in the surrounding air were “cause for regulatory concern”. This chemical is a linked to nervous system disorders, liver and kidney diseases, and lung effects. Other types of plastic ornaments may contain phthalates, lead or other chemicals. Try to buy safe metal ornaments, real wood, ceramic or make your own!
Lead in Fake Tress: Healthy Child Healthy World Pesticides in Trees: North Carolina State University, Organic Consumers Association
Resources Lead in Christmas Lights: CNN Health, Cornell University Chronicle Online Paraffin in Candles: Daily Mail Online.com Other Chemicals in Candles: Lead Action News, Healthy Child Healthy World
Ornaments: Online Library, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry Glitter: Meadowbrook Inventions
Decorations with Glitter Almost everyone loves glittery decorations during the holidays…but everyone knows that glitter gets everywhere! It sticks to your body and finger, showers the floor and windowsills. So what is glitter made of? Is it safe? Well, glitter is made from large rolls of foil, plastics, or aluminum copolymers. It may contain mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides or bismuth oxychloride. And just to know, if you read the material data form for glitter it does state “avoid contact with hands and mouth, use safety glasses, dust mask and protective clothing as needed”. It is best to avoid glittery decorations as the glitter does spread everywhere. You can make your own glitter using egg whites if you choose! Gifts for Mom and Baby Feel free to visit Organic Baby University and search the different videos on toys, products for pregnant mom, and baby to learn how to make safer choices for gifts during the holidays!
Imaginative Adventures Through the Different Body Systems.
Kids' Book Series • Engage
kids in a fun way to learn about how their bodies work • Encourage kids to to make healthy food and lifestyle choices • Inspire kids to take charge of their own health Available through Amazon or on the Human Body Detectives website:
December 21st represents the Winter Solstice, that time in our Earth’s relationship to the sun, which creates the shortest day and longest night of the whole year. It’s a reminder to turn inward toward peace and quiet, a perfect time for contemplation and reflection, a way of reassessing our journey through the closing year with opportunity to prepare for the new one just ahead. The ancients who literally structured their lives around seasonal fluctuations of light and dark, knew the secret to a dark midwinter’s night: it’s the perfect excuse to quit working and do very little; made much easier with the unknown invention of electricity. They intuitively knew that their metabolisms were slowing down, that the human version of hibernation was built into our DNA, and that the worshipful thing was to recognize the very special magic of the hush of new fallen snow on a dark midwinter’s night.
The New Holiday Spirit:
Soulful Antidotes for Seasonal Insanity By Randi Ragan Of course, it’s the supreme irony that our modern holiday season that coincides so perfectly with this naturally occurring “time out”, comes with its own perfect kind of stress. The “tradition” we moderns have is one of wallowing in a consumer fest of unmitigated shopping, spending, and accruing of debt, enveloped this year with the special frosting of a recession that won’t quit. What we will invariably have on our hands again is an almost psychotic rushing about with ten million things to do, gifts to buy, parties to go to, family obligations, travel in overcrowded planes, and a propensity to overeat and over imbibe. What if it doesn’t have to be that way this year? What if you were to create your own traditions and methods for righteously honoring your own definition of this time of year, gifting yourself and your family with peace and wellness? Basically, this means to simplify, simplify, simplify:
• Make gifts yourself. • Visit craft fairs for unique handmade items in support of local artists and craftspeople. • Patronize small owner-operated boutiques - avoid department stores. • Make donations to environmental groups or humanitarian charities in the name of your giftees. • Create gift certificates of your time or skill sets as gifts. • Don’t decorate with store bought things. • Engage others to REALLY help you with meal planning and execution. • Have honest discussions with all the folks you are in an obligatory gift exchange with, and agree to spending limits.
Opt for donations to non-profits instead (see above). Re-ordering the way we all perceive money and spending is an important gift the recession has given all of us (hopefully) and helps us circle back to smarter and more sustainable ways of living.
Dealing with Stress
The Ayurvedic technique, stimulates the T-Cells, and involves tapping your first two or three fingers on the center area of your breastplate. Tap strongly on this area (about 1 or 2 inches below the indentation in your throat), where the thymus is located. While tapping, chant “YUM” (pronounced YOOM) in a low voice (Yum is the sound mantra that activates the energy around the thymus/heart chakra.) The Heart Chakra, or Fourth Chakra, is associated with the thymus. A balanced heart chakra means we have lots of love and compassion to offer the world around us. When we are stressed, this capacity is diminished (no wonder stress makes us “sick”!). To me, the overriding theme of the holidays, is, and always had been, unconditional love and compassion for others, especially the poor, sick and disenfranchised. This exercise is a great way to remind us of these ideas. In Yoga, we recommend any pose that emphasizes the opening of the chest area, to stimulate the thymus and heart energies: Upward Facing Dog or Cobra, and any type of backbend (Bridge, Wheel, Bow, etc.). A simple back bend pose, and fun to do with children, is to lie down on your back, on your bed, and slide your head and shoulders over the edge toward the floor. Raise your arms over your head and see if you can touch the floor behind your head. The edge of the mattress should be right under your shoulder blades, which will push your chest up and out slightly. Relax your neck and let your dangle. With small children, you can hold their ankles down on the bed and let them hang safely over the edge for as long as they want. Here’s to a healthy, happy holiday season!! 75
Photo submitted by Karen Howland
Simplify Your Child’s World For Happier, Calmer Kids By Sandy Kreps As parents, we’re in charge of our family’s daily lives, everything from the schedule of events for the week to the environment where we work, play and rest. We build the structure and set the rhythm for the days, and a lack of routines, excessive toys and clutter, chaotic schedules, and an overload of information can bring even the closest family down. Children are happiest and flourish when they have the time and space to explore their world without the constraints of “too much.” “Too much” is overwhelming and stressful, whether it’s too much stuff, too much information, too many activities, too many choices, or too much speed - always hurrying from one task to the next, never a moment to relax or play. Having and doing too much can overwhelm a kid and lead to unnecessary stress at home and in the classroom. Simplifying a child’s routine and cutting down on their information and activity overload, as well as excessive toy and clutter piles, could help overstimulated kids become less argumentative and disruptive. When you simplify a child’s world, you make space for positive growth, creativity and relaxation. “Many of today’s behavioral issues come from children having too much stuff and living a life that is too fast,” says Kim John Payne, author of“Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids.” Payne says that many American kids are experiencing sensory overload with “too many trinkets, too many choices and too much information.”By approaching parenting using simplicity as a framework, parents may be able to significantly reduce a child’s daily stress, which can lead to happier, more successful children. Probably the easiest way to get started is with your
home environment. “As you decrease the quantity of your child’s toys and clutter, you increase their attention and their capacity for deep play. Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds,”says Payne. When clearing out toys, focus on keeping a mix of toys that your kids consistently enjoy and that keep them entertained for long periods of time. Often, kids’ favorite toys are simple, classic toys without lots of bells and whistles stuffed animals, dolls, building toys such as Legos, trains and cars, dress-up clothes, and arts and crafts materials. Whittle down books to a handful of favorites that can be savored, and remove the rest to create a “library” to find new reads one or two at a time. Add in some fabric, string or pillows for creating forts and playhouses, then give your kids some time to adjust and create their own play world from this simple selection of toys. Another area to make some changes is your daily “rhythm” of events – children are comforted when they know what to expect each day. Your rhythm doesn’t need to be a strict schedule, but a predictable flow from lunch to rest time to outdoor playtime, and so on, helps a child know what comes next and helps the day transition smoothly. Along the same lines, simplifying your family’s schedule can reduce the frantic feeling of always being on the go. Kids with a full plate of school work, extracurricular activities or sports each day may feel stressed and chaotic since they’re lacking the free time children need for creative play and exploration. As a parent “taxi,” you probably aren’t feeling all that relaxed either. Cutting back to just one or two of your child’s favorite activities can give them the freedom not only to have that time to play and explore, but also the time to actually practice and focus on the activities they do choose to partake in. 77
Reducing the physical clutter, setting predictable rhythms and streamlining activities has benefits for parents too. “As parents, we also define ourselves by what we bring our attention and presence to. This is easy to forget when daily life feels more like triage,” says Payne. By simplifying, we can concentrate on what we really value, not just spend our days reacting to everything the world throws at us. Simplification is an ongoing process, not something that can be completed in an afternoon or weekend. It takes time to reduce possessions, change habits and develop new rhythms. It’s not easy to change directions when your whole family is moving at the speed of light and the chaos always feels like it’s creeping in. Begin slowly, with small changes and an eye toward what you want your family life to look like. Simplifying is about finding a place of balance as you move away from “too much.” Only with less can children figure out what they truly like and want.
Sandy Kreps is a simplicity/green living writer and graphic designer in North Dallas. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has two gorgeous little boys. Visit Sandy’s web site, Modern*Simplicity, at www.modern-simplicity.com and follow her on Twitter @modernsimplicty.
RAWTHENTIC RECIPES By Priscilla Soligo | www.rawthenticfood.com
Santa’s Rawthentic Coco-Chocolate Bites with Low Glycemic Chocolate Icing
(Low Glycemic recipe: No equipment necessary!)
These decadent morsels of coconut and chocolate goodness will melt in your mouth and are worth climbing the chimney for! Santa, his elves and reindeer will be sure to make a note to stop by your house again when the treats are this good! Enjoyed best with some freshly made Vanilla Almond Milk for a jolly Ho Ho Ho! 80
Ingredients: ½ Cup Raw Cacao powder (or carob powder, or a combination)
¾ Cup Raw Cacao butter
(melted measurement – see notes below)
¾ Cup Chocolate Sauce
(see ingredient notes below, optional) ½ Cup Coconut nectar (or maple syrup, or honey)
1 Cup Coconut flakes ½ Cup Raisins (leave out if prefer low GI) ¼ Cup Cacao nibs 1 tsp Vanilla extract (or vanilla powder) ¼ tsp Celtic, or Pink Himalayan crystal salt Dash Cayenne Pepper (optional) Tickles for Santa! In a bowl mix melted cacao butter, coconut nectar, vanilla, salt and cayenne together with a whisk until well incorporated. Set bowl aside. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients cacao powder, coconut flakes, raisins, and cacao nibs. Pour wet mixture bowl into dry mixture bowl and mix with hands until well incorporated. Remember to think good thoughts, which translates into your food! Using a square spring form pan, or a bakers tray lined with either plastic wrap, or baking paper press chocolate mixture into the pan and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Once chilled, remove from the freezer and drizzle over the top the chocolate sauce and place back into the freezer for another 30 mins to set up and make it easier to slice. Remove spring on side of pan, or lift out of the pan using the plastic wrap, or baking paper and place chocolate block onto a cutting board to slice into squares, or whatever holiday shapes you so desire. A deliciously healthful treat for the whole family that you can store in a sealed glass container in your fridge (one+ week), or freezer (up to two months)!
2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder Hand mix with a whisk, or fork until well incorporated. If sauce is too dry add a touch more
A Date In The Snow Ingredients:
10 Medjool Dates (pitted - the softer the date the better!) ¼ x Jar Raw Almond Butter (preferably smooth, but chunky will work too)
¼ Cup Shredded Dried Coconut (for rolling) Cuddles under the tree! Flatten each date with fingers into a coin shape, or leave the date in its natural shape. Cover date in smooth Almond butter and then roll into shredded coconut and place onto a plate lined with baking paper. Place into the freezer for about one hour to set and then refrigerate for a delicious caramel tasting ‘wholefood’ raw snack, or eat them straight up without freezing.
How to melt cacao butter: Grate block of cacao butter using a grater, or chop finely. In bain-marie style place near to boiling water inside of a large bowl and then place grated cacao butter inside of a small bowl. Float the grated cacao butter bowl on the near to boiling water in the large bowl (so cacao butter will melt and not ‘cook,’ or get water inside.) Stir to help the process along and then continue with the recipe once melted. Low GI chocolate icing (optional) ½ Cup Coconut nectar ¼ Cup Coconut oil 81
Santa’s Reindeers Sin-Free Chocolate Pudding This amazingly decadent, creamy Sin-free Chocolate Pudding is a favorite in our house - it’s truly the creamiest chocolate treat ever!! After playing in the kitchen one day, I was able to put together what I like to call my magic ‘10’ ingredients to make this pudding, or custard the most mouth watering chocolate snack, or dessert for children and adults! I will make a side note here as a mother and say that while raw cacao does have many health benefits such as being #1 antioxidant and #1 source of magnesium food in the world, it does still contain small traces of theobromine, which is why I only give it to my toddler son as a treat (not everyday!). This recipe only calls for 3 Tbsp and not a cup, or a huge amount for this reason. A wonderful alternative to chocolate is raw carob, which has a natural sweetness to it and you can substitute 82
the chocolate for the carob in this recipe, or use a combination of both, as we sometimes do! (Yields: Approx 2 servings)
Ingredients (nut free): 1 Cup Avocado (about two small-med size avocados) 3 Heaped Tbsp Raw Cacao (variation: raw carob) 1Tbsp Lucuma powder ¼ Cup Coconut meat (variation: Banana) ¼ Cup Coconut oil ½ tsp Vanilla essence (or vanilla powder) ¼ tsp Cinnamon (ground) ¼ Cup Maple syrup ¼ Cup Filtered water ½ tsp Celtic, or pink himalayan crystal salt A Loving thought sent out to someone who really needs it
Holiday Treats Place all ingredients into a high speed blender with the wet ingredients first and superfoodpowders last. Blend on high until well incorporated and if you have a Vitamix blender use the tamper to assist ingredients to blend smoothly. Pour into a martini glass, parfait glass, or bowl and decorate with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or crushed nuts (it won’t be nut-free though, but will add texture and crunch!) and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set up. If you would prefer to use as chocolate custard, no need to set it up in the fridge just pour over bananas, fruits, rawnola and enjoy! You can easily use this as a delicious nut-free chocolate spread too (set up in the fridge for at least one hour), dip (no need to set up), or chocolate fondu (no need to set up). Enjoy!
jug, or bowl and gently squeeze out your fresh milk. Pour out into a mug, or glass and sprinkle with Cinnamon and a dash of allspice. Delicious! Variation: You can pour your strained nut milk back into a clean blender and add in some frozen chopped banana, or mango, or blueberries, or a combination of these for a deliciously creamy frothy flavoured milk shake, or place three tablespoons raw Cacao, or Carob and a Tbsp of Maca powder in for a Cup of ‘warmed’ malted chocolate! Adjust sweetness with a low glycemic sweetener such as coconut nectar. So comforting for this season! Video link for this recipe here.
Video link for this recipe here.
Elves Favorite Vanilla Almond Nut Milk
Almonds are the most alkaline of all the nuts. Soaking the nuts make them more easily digestible and removes the tanic acid. This is a quick and easy recipe to make fresh home-made vanilla nut milk. Remember that you can fresh nut milk too without the sweetener (dates), or the vanilla bean. Leave this out in a mug by the fireplace for Santa’s little elves! Ingredients: 1 Cup soaked Almonds (soaked 8-12 hours - ½ cup before soaking)
2 Medjool dates (pitted) 1 Vanilla bean (or ½ tsp vanilla powder) 2 Cups Filtered water Pinch Celtic Salt (optional) 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (for garnish) Pinch of allspice, or ‘pumpkin spice’ (optional) A lot of kindness Rinse nuts several times in filtered water. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend. Pour out into a nut milk bag fitted inside of a glass 83
Holiday Carob ‘Caramel’ Chews Made with soft organic Medjool dates that taste like caramel inside and a hardened carob outside these ‘lollypop’ style chews will be a holiday favorite with little and big kids! (Yields: Aprox 25 - 35) Ingredients (nut free): 25 Medjool dates (medium to large size, soft and pitted when pitting be sure not to break date in two.) 25 Wooden Paddle Pop Sticks For Carob dipping hard ‘choc-top’ sauce: 1 1/2 Cups Cacao powder 1 1/4 Cups Cacao Butter (melted measurement) 84
2 tsp Vanilla powder 2 Tbsp Coconut nectar (low GI) OR honey, OR maple syrup 1/2 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar (low GI) 1/2 tsp High mineral salt (Celtic, or Pink Himalayan) 1/4 Cup Coconut flakes (desiccated) for garnish Lots of love! (Please note use left over sauce for dipping ‘Chocolate Chia Spirulina Chimes’ in (see below).
Place paddle pop sticks inside of dates where pit was removed and mold date around the stick into the shape of a witches broom end. Do this while you boil your water on the stove for melting cacao butter.
Holiday Treats You want near to boiling water (not boiling) pour water into a stainless steel bowl. Ready a tray with baking paper on it for when you will be laying out your broom sticks later on in the recipe. Chop up cacao butter very finely, or use a grater and place into a small stainless steel bowl that fits inside of the larger one with water inside (you could use a bowl inside of a stove pot too). Allow to stand and melt stirring occasionally. The temperature inside the cacao butter should not be hot to the touch, but should be warm and melting slowly. Pour cacao butter into a dry blender (be sure there is no water residue in blender, as this will effect cacao butter) and continue to add all remaining ingredients, except the coconut flakes with powders last. Blend ingredients until well combined. Pour out carob mixture into a glass, or stainless steel bowl that isn’t too cold for dipping. Take each date pop stick and using the wooden paddle pop stick to hang on to submerge the date totally into the mixture. You may want to use a spatula to make sure the date is completely covered on all sides. Lay out onto prepared tray lined with baking paper and set up in the freezer. These delicious ‘Caramel’ Pop Chews will be a Holiday favorite and can be kept in a sealed container (stores well) in the freezer until ready to eat!
Chocolate Chia Spirulina Chimes These delicious chimes contain chia seeds, which are hydrophilic (hydrating and expand to approx. 12 x their weight!) as well as being jam packed full of Omega 3’s, which is imperative for healthy brain development in young children. Research suggests chia makes one smarter. How much Omega 3 does the chia seed contain? The seed itself is 34% oil and of that oil 64% is Omega 3. Chia seeds contain more Omega 3 than flax and is easier to digest in the body. Plus these clever Chimes have hidden algae (spirulina) inside of them for growing little brains, which contains all 8 essential amino acids in the proper ratios. (Yields: 32 Triangle Chimes)
Ingredients (nut free): 1 1/2 Cups Medjool dates (packed, pitted and soft - if not soft enough soak in water just to cover for 30 mins, drain & use) 1 Cup Cacao butter (melted measurement) 1/2 Cup Cacao powder 1/2 Cup Chia seeds 1/2 Cup Coconut nectar (low GI), OR maple syrup, OR honey. 3 tsp Spirulina powder 10 drops Rose essence (you can use vanilla, or any essence you desire!)
2 tsp Vanilla Powder (may omit) Pinch Cayenne (go easy with this if it’s for the kids!) 1 tsp High mineral salt (Celtic, or Pink Himalayan) Lots of holiday fun! Place dates, melted cacao butter and coconut nectar (or your favourite liquid sweetener) and process until well incorporated (tiny-teeny lumps from the dates - not as smooth as silk is what you are looking for.)
Add all remaining ingredients except chia seeds and process again until combined. Add in chia seeds and process/ pulse through until mixed in. Pour mixture into a plastic lined square tin (for easy removal after setting up) and place into the freezer for 45 min. Remove from the freezer and place onto a chopping board to slice into squares and then further into triangles. Place back into the freezer to set up over night and then continue with the next step of dipping half of each hat into the left over carob sauce you will have from the recipe Holiday ‘Choc-Top’ Chews. Note that the sauce will set much better once your triangles are frozen and this is best done using baking paper then laying them out back into the freezer to set up then you can store them (stores well) in a sealed glass container in the freezer ready to eat. These are so incredibly yummy and go fast!
Priscilla Soligo is the founder of Rawthentic Food, a
company dedicated to organic plant-based raw food health. Her degree in early childhood development and gourmet raw culinary and nutrition studies combines her love of children and raw food together. Priscilla is a mom, a supporter of local organic farming and is currently producing her first e-book. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: rawthenticfood.com Facebook: Rawthentic Food
Raw Organic Whole Food Education Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, GUILT FREE!
Nurture Your Little One Through Cold and Flu Season By Catherine Clinton ND | www.wellfuture.com
With cold and flu season right around the corner it’s the perfect time to time to start planning how to keep your children healthy. Flu season usually begins in October and peaks in January with countless missed school days and work due to illness. Symptoms of the flu include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, runny nose, cough and stomach symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes a flu virus can come on slowly or it can hit suddenly without much notice. As a naturopath I treat lots of families worried about the best way to protect their little ones during cold and flu season. These easy natural suggestions can help prevent and treat viral bugs that hang on to your little ones this winter. Vitamins and Minerals: • Vitamin C - Vitamin C can greatly enhance the immune system’s ability to fight infections of many kinds. In controlled trials Vitamin C has been shown to aid in the prevention of influenza, as well as shortening the duration and reducing the severity of infections already contracted. Winter comes with many fresh choices that are packed with vitamin C like oranges, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. • Zinc - Zinc plays an important role in maintaining healthy immune function. Low levels of zinc are associated with a decrease in T cell function, a vital white blood cell that helps fight infections. • Vitamin D3 - Vitamin D3 is a powerful player against viruses. Research published in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D3 supplement in children decreased the rate of influenza infection by 50%, far better than the effects of vaccines or antiviral drugs. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin that can accumulate over time so you want to be sure to have the right age appropriate dose for your child. 88
Botanical Medicine: • Elderberry - Research demonstrates that elderberry extract has particular immune modulating and antioxidant properties that neutralize the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin and rutin, all of which boost immune function. Elderberry comes in a liquid syrup form making it a great tasting and easy option for kids. • Larch arbinogalactans - Larch arabinogalactans are polysaccharides derived from the wood of the Western larch tree. These polysaccharides stimulate the immune system to fend off infections. Larch arabinogalactans have been studied and shown effective in adults, as well as children, which makes it a great choice for keeping the whole family healthy through the flu season. It comes in a powdered variety that mixes with liquid so it’s easy to give little ones. • Echinacea - Echinacea also has the immune stimulating polysaccharides that give it an important role in natural antiviral treatments. These polysaccharides naturally enhance the body’s resistance to infection. Echinacea can also be found in a liquid glycerin form that is the perfect choice for kids. Lifestyle tips for the prevention and treatment of the flu: • Sleep - Maintaining a balanced sleep routine is one way to keep our children’s immune system healthy. Children need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day depending on their age. Consistent adequate sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting viral infections.
• Stress - While stress is a part of everyday life; excessive stress can decrease immune function and make it easier to come down with the flu. Scheduling down time or rest into your child’ day can actually help their immune system fight infections. • Diet - A diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables and quality proteins is a foundation for a healthy immune system. Recent research with probiotics shows that supplementing with probiotics prevents infection and decreases the severity and duration of the cold or flu. Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to get the flu. A diet filled with fruits, vegetables and probiotics while avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off viral infections. Although vaccinations and antiviral drugs may be helpful in prevention and treatment of influenza, their abilities are limited. Using diet, vitamins, lifestyle, minerals, or herbs to boost your little one’s immune system is an easy and natural way to protect your family this winter. Talk to your pediatrician today about the best choices to keep your children healthy through flu season.
Our Hen House www.ourhenhouse.org
Our Hen House is a multi-media hive that aims to effectively mainstream the movement to end the exploitation of animals. We were fortunate enough to chat with Jasmin Singer, co-founder of Our Hen House, to find out more about this AMAZING organization and what we can do for the rights of animals.
animal advocacy organizations deals primarily with educating people about the conditions within which animals exist, encouraging followers to make individual dietary and other lifestyle changes, and providing opportunities for involvement, primarily for top-down organizational campaigns based in legislative proposals and policy initiatives.
Was there an A-ha! moment that created the idea for Our Hen House? As I began to grasp the power and potential of multimedia outlets to act as a tool for creating social change, I started to think that the animal rights community should have a multimedia hub of ideas and opportunities to change the world for animals. While that was percolating in my brain, I also began to see that although people were thirsty for getting further involved with animal advocacy, they didn’t always know where to start, and so a lot of people relied solely on top-down organizational campaigns.
Our Hen House builds on the work being done by those advocacy groups to truly catalyze a mass movement in which individuals do not merely follow the leadership of animal advocacy organizations, but also take personal responsibility for leading the way to a new world in which the exploitation of animals is recognized as no longer necessary for human progress and must come to an end. With our primary goal being to effectively mainstream the movement to end the exploitation of animals, we showcase opportunities for individuals who care about animals to start changing the world.
Though I’m a huge fan, proponent, and participant in many of these top-down organizational campaigns, I think that concurrently, we each need to be plugging animal advocacy into our everyday lives. That can be done easily and seamlessly, in a variety of ways - and I wanted to help provide a clearinghouse of possibilities for people to tap into. There is some type of activism amenable to everyone - whether you’re a student, teacher, office worker, media maven, artist, lawyer, or whatever. Bridging those two thoughts, and with the insight and expertise of my partner, Mariann Sullivan - Our Hen House’s other founder - Our Hen House was born. What is your overall goal? In order to address the cruelty of animal food production, as well as other forms of animal exploitation, a mass movement is needed that reaches into the homes and working lives of vast numbers of individuals. Currently, the work of 90
How do you try to achieve your goal? Using video, audio, interviews, reviews, and the written word, we provide daily updates on what you need to create change. We also give workshops throughout the country on everything from activism, to veganism, to animal law, and many other topics regarding animal rights. Our Hen House aims to give you what you need to be part of a new world for animals. What is the one thing you think every person can easily do that will have a direct impact on animal welfare? Go vegan. It is easy, accessible, affordable, delicious, healthy, and the best possible thing you can do for yourself, the planet, and all its inhabitants - human and non. What do you think kids can do? Beyond adopting a delicious, healthy vegan diet, kids can speak up for animals in a way that works
for them, such as through their school or extracurricular activities. Some examples of change making that we’ve highlighted on Our Hen House which kids have accomplished include a girl who asked for an alternative to dissection in her science class, and who, when her teacher then assigned her an essay about the benefits of animal research, wrote a report about the misleading scientific results of animal research. That was a story that came from YEA Camp, a camp for kids who want to change the world. We’ve also highlighted a 6-year-old lifelong vegan who talks to her fellow 1st-graders about why she doesn’t eat meat, milk or dairy (“because I love animals,” she told us on a recent podcast). Another story we featured was about some 8th graders in Canada who produced a video about the horrors of pound seizure, which is the removal of animals from animal shelters to research facilities. There are literally thousands of ways that kids can create change for animals, in a way that they will find fun and fulfilling. These are just a few examples. Some other possibilities include writing a story for
the school paper about how delicious vegan cupcakes are, and including a little bit about why ingredients like milk and eggs are byproducts of cruelty, hosting a vegan bake sale at school to raise money for an animal charity, helping to organize (with their parents’ help, of course) a class trip to a local sanctuary, and putting stickers about how it’s not cool to dissect, or how fishing hurts, on their folders and binders. Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you think of animals. Sentient.
Sullivan and Jasmin Singer, the hens of Our Hen House 91
Animal Matters www.AnimalMatters.com
What happens when you combine a compassionate animal lover and a spark of creativity? A lot of things could happen. But, for long-time animal lover, Chris Durrant, this combination sparked a new children’s board game called Fur & Feathers! Durrant stated “I thought of this game about a year and a half ago. I have always LOVED board games (my mom will attest to that) and my daughter told me about a movie she saw in school (Food, Inc.). Food, Inc. brought my attention to the suffering that goes on in America’s factory farms. I had never really thought about how the food made it to the table and once I did, it broke my heart. This prompted me to become a vegetarian in August of 2009 and once I did that, I realized that children should be allowed to make the same types of decisions. The game does NOT address any type of animal cruelty. It does teach children about rescuing and caring for cats and dogs and also fun facts about farm animals. I want children to understand that animals are unique, have feelings and matter in the world. I trust children will make any other connections on their own. I don’t want to present gruesome facts to children to get any points across. I really wanted to find a way to get information to children (the younger the better) that would enable them to start making informed, humane decisions and by doing that, the suffering of many animals would end SOONER.” She also states “We all can make very simple changes in our lives that not only benefit animals but our own health”. The game is designed for up to six players (more can play in teams), features a Farm, an Animal Shelter, a Café and fifty multiple choice 92
animal facts. All of the facts are relevant to animals and completely kid friendly. While some of the facts are simple (How many whiskers does a cat have?) others have a very subtle twist about choices (What would be a good alternative to leather?). Everyone who has played this game has learned something. “The benefits of this game are tremendous. Not only does it educate people about animals in general but a portion of all proceeds are donated to support both domestic and farm animals. Further, this game gets people talking and families playing together. What more could I ask for? It’s a dream come true for me!” stated Durrant. So, if you have a love for animals and you want to teach your children about a more loving way to live, buy this game!
Noah’s Garden When four year old Noah hears about how global warming threatens penguins, he comes up with his own unique idea to solve the problem: he plants ice cubes in his yard. Soon his whole town gets caught up in Noah’s unique way of helping the planet. Noah’s imagination inspired a book that can now be shared with other children. His imagination and inventiveness can give other children courage to express their ideas and maybe one day can make an impact. His story tells about how there are no bad ideas and how sometimes even complex problems can be thought about simply.
by Derek Sherman illustrations by Daniel Weeks
Noah’s Garden is an empowering, optimistic story about children using their creativity and imagination to solve big, overpowering problems. Preschoolers have many questions about global warming, which is often presented in a way that frightens them. No picture book has yet captured the imaginations of this age group, or presented the issue as one that imagination and heart can conquer. Now at age 9, Noah hopes to help the Earth and those who live on it with the help of his family and community. His story is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Maybe his story can inspire others to think about ways they can help the Earth too.
Make the Holidays More Meaningful For Your Family By Maureen Smithe Brusznicki With little ones at home, the holidays are both special and stressful. It is a time for family and fun and love, and it is also a time for expensive stuff to very quickly accumulate. From holiday decorations to gifts to a fridge full of left-overs, families living in an ecoconscious manner often search for greener solutions to traditional holiday merriment. Here are some ways to make the holidays more meaningful and green for your family: While I see nothing wrong with giving kids a day when their dreams come true, I also think the process of gift giving can be overwhelming. Where to start? And, perhaps more importantly, when to stop?? As a parent, I want to give my kids everything on their lists. But, as a fiscally responsible and environmentally conscious adult I simply cannot do that. Kids don’t need an excessive quantity of stuff; kids need quality gifts that will entertain and educate for the coming year. 1
While blog-hopping the last year I stumbled upon a post at Dandee Designs about what to give kids for Christmas. The author suggested a somewhat catchy mantra to recite when gift shopping: Want. Need. Wear. Read. Kids get four gifts - something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
Following Want. Need. Wear. Read. as a guideline helps me define what kind of Christmas to give my precious babes. Of course I plan to sprinkle in some additional fun stocking-stuffers and special treats like little cloth diapers for dolls, but their main gifts fall into these four categories. When wrapping gifts, forgo traditional wrapping paper for eco-friendly alternatives. We use newspaper (the comic section is always fun!), we decorate the plain side of brown paper bags or we source extra scraps of fabric to create a perfectly charming wrapping. 2
Rather than buying holiday decorations, spend a snowy afternoon crafting homemade ones with the kids. Not only will the little ones love getting their hands dirty with glue and glitter, but the time spent together as a family could likely become a new holiday tradition! 3
Make as many recipes from scratch as possible. If making a pumpkin pie, skip the canned pumpkin and steam a fresh one instead. Buy your holiday turkey from a local and trusted farmer (we belong to a wonderful co-op that provides delicious birds). Offer homemade cookies rather than store bought. Making foods at home saves money and significantly cuts down on the trash sent to the landfill. 4
Maureen Smithe Brusznicki is a wife, mother and friend to Mother Nature. When she’s not playing with her kids, experimenting with homemade cleaning products or cooking in the kitchen she likes to blog about living a healthy and simple life at Homemade Mothering. Follow her on twitter and join her on Facebook.
Green Child in the City:
Good Green Gear By Tiffany Casanova | www.tristinandtyler.com
As a New York City mom on the go producing my twin sons’ video series Tristin and Tyler’s Tales from the City! my boys have to be comfortable, but look cool. Unfortunately, there is a lack of eco-friendly clothing for older kids, so my boys wear a mix of eco and non-eco brands. If you’re dealing with the same issue, here’s my round up brands big and small, making older kids wear green well. Rockin’ Recycled I try not to throw clothing away. My husband gets really upset because I save clothes way too long while I look for someone to give them to. These two brands have found a better way to make use of old clothing, minus the hoarding. Love fun dresses? Try CourtneyCourtney on for size. These dresses are TOTALLY unique as they are made from remnants of old cotton t-shirts. How about a little rock n’ roll with your tee? Kaos Recycled uses t-shirts with edgy branding to make items for boys and girls. Hit The Ground Green! I love companies that don’t just sell green, but live it. Keen is one of those brands. Keen has great footwear, produced using sustainable practices, and they are BIG on getting outside and helping others all over the world. The best part about their shoes? The boys think they’re cool, and I know they last. Tristin and Tyler have had a pair of Coronados for over a year and they look GREAT! Want soft, durable and cute? Try Simple Shoes. They are light and airy, which make it easy for kids to get out and play. Simple Shoes use recycled plastic in their shoes, and post consumer paper for their boxes and shoe forms. A pair of Simple Shoes are a great holiday gift and a most treasured souvenir, since they will only be around until December 31, 2011.
The BIGGER Guys Some of the bigger brands and taking eco-friendly steps (it’s about time). One of my favorites is Stella McCartney Kids. You won’t find boring in any of Stella’s 100% organic pieces. Stella’s designs are playful and promote the earth by featuring nature and animal illustrations. H&M has a conscious collection made from “greener and eco-friendlier materials including organic cotton, organic linen, recycled polyester, and Tencel, a renewable material that’s produced with minimal environmental impact.” I have always been a fan of H&M for kids because they definitely set trends, so finding out that they are taking eco-friendly initiatives made I saved the best for last. If you want organic jeans, check out Green Edge Denim. Their jeans are amazingly soft and they are made very well. So there you have it; fun, green and cool brands for the older kids! Older kids love the earth too, ya know! Now go and shop!
A native New Yorker, mom, wife and lover of all things kid-inspired, Tiffany Casanova is a busy mom working as an entertainment lawyer and producer of short-form kids videos and a kid’s web series called Tristin and Tyler’s Tales from the City! which features her 7 year-old twins as they interview New Yorkers finding unique ways to have fun and go green! Check out her blog “Tiffany’s Take” and her fun series at www.tristinandtyler.com. Contact her at email@example.com. 95
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Children in Waiting Meet Shala! Age 16 New Mexico, Child ID 7978 Shala is a bright and active teen who is a member of the Navajo tribe and is proud of her Native American culture. This young woman enjoys spending her weekends reading books, especially the Twilight series. Shala's idea of a good afternoon might be going to a movie, going to the park, or visiting the library. She is happy when drawing pictures or trying out make-up. Shala hopes her forever family enjoys outings together. Her favorite colors are purple, pink and red, and her favorite food is spaghetti. A ninth grader, she does well and enjoys school; her most fun subjects are reading and art. She is gifted in reading comprehension. This young woman's caseworker prefers a Native American family; however, all family types will be considered. Shala has relationships with extended family which she hopes to maintain. She would benefit from a family with structure and consistency. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For New Mexico children, both homestudied and non-homestudied New Mexico families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so. For more information about Shala or other waiting children like her, please contact The Adoption Exchange at 800-451-5246 or visit www.adoptex.org.
Children in Waiting Meet Timothy! Age 14 Missouri, Child ID 8832
A thinker by nature, Timothy contemplates becoming a world traveler! His dream is to take a vacation to Africa or China, an interest which was sparked by a recent fun trip to Michigan. Any small outing will suffice though, such as going to the movies or bowling. A fun center is his number one amusement destination, and swimming, skating and riding go-carts are tops on his list. Reading is a great pastime for Timothy, and his favorite series is Twilight. Living in the city is preferable to the country, and he doesn't really care for pets, although a dog would be okay. Mac and Cheese ranks right up there as a top meal, but if he could choose any food at all, it would be steak. Although Timothy can be shy and quiet at first, it's just because his mind is racing with ideas of what he can do in his life; the idea of a forever family is tops on his list. In the seventh grade, Timothy is partial to math and PE at school. He particularly likes playing football, baseball and basketball at recess and during gym class. This teen aims to please and appreciates hearing that he has done a good job. Timothy benefits from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. This great kid deserves a loving forever family! Timothy would like to keep in contact with his siblings and a mentor. His caseworker prefers a family who will participate in a transitional plan; however, all family types will be considered. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Missouri children, both homestudied and non-homestudied families from all states are encouraged to inquire.
For more information about Timothy or other waiting children like him, please contact The Adoption Exchange at 800-451-5246 or visit www.adoptex.org. 101
photo courtesy of Brie Ritchey
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Ask Green Grandma By Hana Haatainen Caye | www.thegreengrandma.blogspot.com Allen writes: With Christmas around the corner, I am concerned about the massive amount of waste our family will produce. Do you have any suggestions for how this year can be different for us? GG: I love this question, Allen! Good for you for recognizing and caring about this issue. According to the EPA, the holidays garner a staggering 25% increase in the amount of household waste generated. That is an addition one million tons of trash … every year! However, there are things we can all do to limit this. Mail - Opt out of junk mail lists by registering your name and address at dmachoice.org. It will be too late to do much about the onslaught of advertisements this year, but you can expect a significant reduction by the time next year’s holidays roll around. While this will not be right for everyone, some people on your Christmas card list just might appreciate a festive eCard … and might return the favor. The same sentiments with much less waste. Rather than tossing the cards you do receive, repurpose them into tags for next year’s gift giving. Entertaining - Skip the disposable paper products by stocking up on some inexpensive holiday dishes and cloth napkins, which tend to be plentiful at local thrift shops. Who cares if they don’t match? You will be making a statement for the environment and everyone will appreciate your eclectic style! Gift Wrap - When it comes to wrapping gifts, green options are endless! 108
• Wrap gifts in repurposed old maps, newspapers, posters, magazines, or junk mail. • Use cookie and popcorn tins. • Collect decorative boxes to use year after year. • Dishtowels, tablecloths and scrap fabric work well to create fabulous wrappings. Tie with old shoelaces, ribbon or yarn. • Reuse gift bags As you can see, Allen, there are numerous ways to cut back on the amount of trash your family contributes to the landfill during the holiday season … and beyond. Here’s wishing you a green Christmas! Toni writes: What can we do with our old Christmas tree? Is the landfill the only option? GG: Since I don’t know whether you are referring to a live tree or an artificial one, I will give you options for both. Live trees - “Plant” your cut tree in the yard for the winter and string with cranberries and popcorn for the birds to enjoy on cold snowy days. This is a perfect place to hang seed bells and bird feeders. After you are done with the tree, call your local municipality and ask if they have a tree-recycling program where trees are recycled into mulch and/or used to prevent soil erosion. Artificial trees - Check with area schools, colleges, and community centers to see if they could use an extra tree for their programs, theater productions, etc. If no one needs another tree, donate it to Goodwill or another thrift store, or place an ad on www.Freecycle.org or www.Craigslist.com. Toni, if we all put forth a little effort, far fewer items would end up adding to the mountain of holiday trash! Thank you for caring about this important issue! Hana Haatainen Caye, aka Green Grandma, 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, was released in November. Visit her daily blog at www.thegreengrandma.blogspot.com for more helpful tips and practical advice, and keep the discussion going on the Green Grandma’s Facebook page.
This Mom is Going Green Follow Kristy on Her Adventures for a Greener Family
With the crisp air, flamboyant leaves, and pumpkin spiced everything, comes harvesting the vegetables we nurtured all summer long. Autumn also is a time to ready the yard and potted plants for the approaching winter. All of this activity creates piles of organic debris; which can be put to great use in a composter. Outdoor composting is fairly easy once you decide on a composter. It can be as simple as a homemade box or as elaborate as a prefabricated, selfrotating set up. My family falls somewhere in the middle with a basic, vented style with a bottom door for scooping out the “good stuff.” During the growing season it is a great place to discard spent flowers and other plant clippings. In the fall, the outdoor debris ramps up: fallen leaves, annuals that have reached the end of their life cycle, and any other trimmings from soon to be dormant plants find a happy ending in the composter. However, to fully maximize, and to achieve the proper balance, your compost needs to include kitchen scraps. There are several ways to collect these scraps. You could use a regular kitchen bowl, great to collect scraps as you’re preparing meals, best if you are dumping everyday. Unfortunately, during the months of January and February (and a few other months) in Northeast Ohio, tromping though knee-high snow everyday to the composter is not ideal. So I’ve experimented throughout the years in a reasonable collection method. The best solution by far is a countertop crock or pail. The one I’ve been using is a ceramic crock from Williams-Sonoma. It looks like a cookie jar, though I don’t recommend reaching into it! You can use compostable liners, or if you don’t have a problem with a little more cleaning after dumping,
go without. It has a clasp to keep it closed and to keep curious preschoolers out. The lid is vented and it comes with a filter to keep odors in check. It is large enough to collect about a weeks worth of vegetable ends, coffee grounds, and tea bags. I’ve also used it to keep houseplant trimmings and the occasional plum that fell to the back of the refrigerator and got lost for a few weeks. The only issue to watch out for is fruit flies. They are not as bad with the weather turning colder, but in the warmer months it can get annoying. Good news is that anyplace you can find a counter composter; you can find a fruit fly catcher nearby. So, why compost? Aren’t all of these scraps going to decompose in the trash? Well, yes and no. The organic scraps will decompose, eventually. In order to break down, “it needs access to a basic combination of air, water, light, microbes, and enzymes.”(www.practicallygreen.com). Since they are stuck in a garbage bag with everything else, it will likely take some time. As the organic materials try to degrade in these conditions, “they create methane, a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more heat absorbent than CO2.” (www.practicallygreen.com). Composting is so important, Practically Green gives yard waste composting 50 points and kitchen waste composting 100 points. With that, along with marking off a few more smaller accomplishments, my family moved up to an 8, Impressively Green, on the Practically Green website. Where are you this month? Enjoy the holidays, stay green, and let’s see where we are at the beginning of the year.
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For Kiss My Face, olives have always remained close to the heart of the company. Long before olive oil became one of the most coveted ingredients in skincare, it was used by the people of the Mediterranean to nourish and moisturize the skin. Founders Bob and Steve recognized these same benefits back in the early 80s, and Kiss My Face was born when they began selling Olive Oil Bar Soap out of the back of an aging VW van. Today, the company includes an array of natural beauty and grooming products. Olive oil has remained one of the cornerstone ingredients because of its natural antioxidants, vitamin E and Beta Carotene components and its extraordinary emollience.
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We Asked, You Answered: Featured Facebook Questions Cloth diapering is great! We love it. Why do you love it? • Leah Roush Many reasons! They are good for my Mother Earth, good for my baby’s bum, saves money, saves trips to the store, saves even more money not having to buy diaper cream and use gas to go to the store, and they look So Cute on my baby’s bum!!! • Toni Lardizabal Keltner Easy on the budget, eco-friendly, super cute prints!!!!! • Karen Howland it’s just joyful, their skin does better and the knowing that we aren’t adding to the destruction of the planet. • Tiffany Haning I just love them. No particular reason.
Do you think it is harder or easier for those with children to recycle? • Sara Ballard Easier...kids were brought up to know they should recycle everything they can and keep their parents in check! • Nicole Gerard Rouse I have 4 kids and I think easier ....... getting them involved in RECYCLING will do our planet good for years to come. • Megan Bidwell I think it is easier if you teach them from birth- having more “waste” in the home motivates you to recycle more :) • Barb Whitcomb Steffes I think it’s easier - 1) You use more items that need to be recycled when you have kids 2) They do it at school - so they help to remind you at home. • Moms Coach for Life I would say it’s easier... when a child is watching your every move.. suddenly every move counts!
Tell us your child’s favorite veggie. • Lisa Strickland My 4 year old loves broccoli and snow peas. • Sarah Pinneo My 6yo is known at our local Italian restaurant as “that kid who wants extra spinach on his.” • Kate McPartlan Green beans!! Although he would try to tell you its our organic ketchup (: • Connie Brough Kern Mine will eat cauliflower but not broccoli!!!
How many meatless days a week does your family partake in? • Vanessa Quanstrom My husband and daughter are vegetarian, I eat meat once a week. • Ahava Menachem We are meatless six days a week. The only meat we eat is a small amount of chicken in our Shabbos meal. • Mega Church At least 5. It’s a work in progress that for sure!! • Amy Collins Tilson None intentionally, but several just because of how we eat. • Deanna Daniel Sullivan 17 month old is still vegan....but her parents are still meat eaters! We need to catch up with her! Lol
We asked our fans to come up with a caption for this photo:
Nancy Kenney ”Geee..so this is what 100% Organic, non GMO corn taste like!” Jessica Edwards ”Do I have anything in my teeth?” C Millicent Sees Geez Louise!! Can somebody help?.. =D Kelly Delaney MOM you said cheese! this is soooooo NOT cheese! Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony I’d come up with a caption, but it would be corny ;-) Jennifer Shortsleeve Liles Got Corn?
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A blog community celebrating healthier and greener living... with a good dose of common sense! From what you put on your babies’ bottoms to what you put in their mouths — along with tips on how to “green up” the whole household! Product reviews, giveaways, guest posts, cleaning tips, and personal glimpses into what it is like to be a green grandma. http://thegreengrandma.blogspot.com
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