The best GREEN fashion, toys, products, venues and activities
with Lindy Klim
A Tiger Tribe bumper prize pack
Welcome to the ECO issue of the Alphabet Street Mini Mag ! Well it has been a while since our last mini mag and we hope that the wait is well worth it. With the environment being a major priority in our lives we thought we would put together a dedicated Eco issue that featured the best products, activities, and events that Eco friendly. We are so excited to have a wonderful Q & A with Lindy Klim, one of the busiest mumprenuers in the business plus some wonderful articles contributed from other busy Mumpreneurs from Itty Bitty Greenie, Gardening 4 Kids, My Book Corner and Meetoo. We have to send out a big thank you to TIGER TRIBE who are giving our Mini Mag Readers the opportunity to win $500 worth of Tiger Tribe toys. You wonâ€™t want to miss out on this competition, especially with Christmas 6 months away. We hope you enjoy reading our ECO issue and hopefully you will be encouraged to do what you can to keep this wonderful planet we live on GREEN.
Penny Price OWNER Alphabet Street Privacy Statement: This issue of the Alphabet Street Mini Mag may contain offers or competitions that require you to provide information about yourself if you choose to take part in. If you provide information about yourself including email address, Alphabet Street will use this information to provide you will the products and services you have requested. We will not onsell you details to a third party and will used for our publication only.
“I am a modern lifestyle portrait photographer with a passion for people and photography which really is perfect for what I do! I love capturing the soul and spirit of you and your family and creating those memories that last a lifetime. I love capturing those candid moments you never knew were taken.”Newcastle Photographer Kylie Mitchell is owner of two fabulous photography Businesses; Heart in Motion Photography for kids and families and Spice Photography for women. Donna MacMullin is the director of Itty Bitty Greenie an online shop offering fun and functional children’s products with a safe and sustainable point of difference. A portion of every sale supports children’s and environmental charities.
Mini Mag Editorial: Penny Price All editorial and advertising enquiries e:email@example.com
Caroline Roberts, is a mum, a ABN: 89826197104 primary school gardening teacher Photography: Heart in Motion and owner of Photography Gardening4kids.com.au , a website that specialises in providing everything you need to get your kids off the couch and into the garden.
Emma Perry is owner of My Book Corner, a website that reviews only the very best in children's literature, alongside live price comparison
Kate Nelson is a Melbourne mum of two and owner of Meetoo, a website where you can find personally reviewed activities, classes, events and school holiday programs around Melbourne.
COVER: Our Model Dorian wears Gaia Organic Cotton marley & me patch top - red + grey stripe with wheelbarrow
School Holiday Fun 16.
Why is plastic not so fantastic Q & A with 24 Lindy Klim 10 Eco Activities 31
Worm Farming for kids Eco Product Directory
Tiger Tribe Giveaway Business Profile
Emma from My Book Corner shares her top childrenâ€&#x;s books & apps that will educate as well as entertain.
The Curious Garden
By Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy Picture Book Suitable for Ages 5-11 This poignant picture book communicates an important message about the landscape and the devastating impact mining is having on key areas in Australia. This deceptively simple, yet incredibly powerful story in a parable format follows the main character Dingo as he and his friends care for the last remaining tree and drop of water. The beauty of its narrative, combined with the Milroys' warm illustrations ensure that Dingo's Tree will leave a lasting impression.
By Peter Brown Picture Book Suitable for Ages 4-6 This is such a gorgeous picture book - full of inspiration, oohs and aahs. Open the first page of The Curious Garden to reveal the depiction of a city smoke filled, grey and gloomy. Hover over the page a little longer and you will spy a little boy with a brilliant flame of red hair ... turn the pages as the book reveals how one little boy with one little hope can transform a city. Beautiful. Liam, with the determination only young person can really know, sets about showing how industry and nature can live side by side, and how nature has the power to transform lives. The intricate details on each page, some not even requiring words, capture the imagination and thoughts of its young (and old) audience. .
By Jane Garlil Christophersen Chapter Book Suitable For Ages 7-11 Bunitj writer Jane Garlil Christophersen pens five engaging short stories about five different children. Jane's passion for the environment is so clear, the need to respect nature is communicated in a manner that children will just 'get'. The stories help to communicate another way of living in Kakadu, one which relies on the environment, respect and the teaching of important skills to a new generation. .
Dr. Seuss, a Book App from Oceanhouse Media Book App Suitable for Ages 4-11 An environmental slant that demonstrates, to a new generation, what happens when businesses and greed try to overlook and ignore the repercussions of their actions ... with Dr Seuss trademark wit and humour of course! Presented here as a wonderful Book App the message is certainly not lost as readers are encouraged to read along and explore the world of the Once-ler, Thneed, Grickle-grass and the Brown Bar-baloots!
Full reviews, plus on line price comparisons can be viewed at www.mybookcorner.com.au
More and more family movies and TV shows have an underlying ECO message . We have found some of the best ecoanimations for the kids all with an environmental & educational message hidden within.
"WALL-E" is a futuristic film that depicts Earth covered with garbage, uninhabitable because of man's destructive habits. With Earth becoming a dumping ground by mankind and therefore being unable to produce plant life, the humans are forced to enter space leaving WALL-E to clean up the mess.. With the help from EVE, a sleek (and dangerous) reconnaissance robot, they search for proof that life is once again sustainable.
Although many of us would see the main storyline of Happy Feet revolving around the small penguin Mumble who has no talent for singing but has an astute talent for tap dancing , there is an underlying environmental message in the denouement of the film. At the end of the film we see a group of researchers taking video of the colony of dancing emperor penguins, and the footage is broadcast globally. After many heated arguments this publicity generates considerable pressure to stop commercial overfishing of the Antarctic. Happy Feet 2 which was released in 2011 has a similar environmental message as we see melting ice on snow capped environs and melting icebergs in the Antarctic.
The latest movie adaptation of The Lorax sees a young boy Ted seeking the affection of the girl of his dreams, Audrey by seeking out the now recluse Once-ler who can tell him what happened to the trees in Thneed-ville. Something that Audrey longs for more than anything. He hears the tale of how the Once-ler meets The Lorax, a grumpy yet charming orange creature who served as guardian of the land he arrived in. This movie shows children how precious the earth is and how quickly we can destroy mother nature for consumer needs.
Recycling Peppa and George are introduced to the world of recycling as they visit Miss Rabbitâ€&#x;s recycling plant with mummy and daddy pig. Peppa learns how to divide up the garbage into recyclables and waste.
Look After Your Planet After Lola decides to tidy up her room, Charlie suggests that instead of throwing things out she should recycle them. Lola learns all about recycling and how it is extremely very important to look after our planet. Soon she has found an extra-specially fun way to do more recycling - and gets lots of her classmates to join in too.
Earth Day It's earth day in Dirtgirlworld and it's time for the earth day parade... a parade where all living things in Dirtgirlworld come together to celebrate the little things they do everyday to help the earth survive.
Manny's Green Team Team up with Manny and his talking tools as they protect an endangered nest of baby turtles. Watch them tackle a tricky chandelier repair with an inventive combination of light and mirrors. Then, find out how solar power works when Manny uses the sun to make a motorized sign move.
Vegecation at Centro Box Hill
Eco-Friendly School Holiday Fun
There are so many wonderful activities planned for kids in the school holidays, but they are even more wonderful when they teach the kids about the environment we live in.
Vegecation Winter Wonderland- Centro Box Hill
Explore the fun to be had in your backyard during the colder months, with bugs, vegetables and maybe even a surprise penguin or two with Centro Box Hill's Winter Wonderland Vegecation program. Read more.. WHEN: 9th-13th July 11am to 2pm each day, interactive play times: 11.30am and 1pm WHERE: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court) COST: FREE to attend. Every child receives a free apron to take home
Apples & Jam Drive-In Theatre
Roll on up to the Apples & Jamâ€&#x;s Drive-In Theatre where kids will watch an earthfriendly film from the comfort of their very own designed and decorated cardboard box cars! Children will have the opportunity to buy a variety of healthy snacks during the film with some of our Kidz Cash. Come and join the fun!. Read more..Thursday 5th July 1.30pm-4.30pm WHERE: Apples & Jam- 217-239 Montague St, South Melbourne COST: $40 per child Suitable for Children aged 4+ years.
Junior Ranger Birdwatching-Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Learn how to use binoculars and get a close look at some of Coolart's birds! Take a walk with the Park Ranger to Minsmere bird hide on the wetlands where you'll learn 'What bird is that? How do they fly? Where do they nest? What do they eat?â€ž Read more... WHEN: 13th July 1pm - 2.30pm WHERE: Coolart Wetlands and Homestead - Somers COST: FREE
These school holidays, bring your kids down to your local Flower Power as you will go back to basics with the FREE Kid's Gardening Classes. Kids will learn about the different parts that make up a plant, and what each of them do. They'll pot up their very own seedling, and receive activity sheets with a colouring picture, find-a-word and experiment to do at home. Read more... WHEN: Mon 2 July ,Fri 6 July, Mon 9 July , Fri 13 July at 11am WHERE: Flower Power Gardening Centres COST: FREE
Eden Gardens-Big Tree Small Tree
Get the kids out of the house and into the garden these school holidays. Discover the wonder of trees from big to small, evergreen to deciduous. Look at leaf, bark and flower features and shape your own mini tree into a bonsai. WHEN: Wednesday 11th of July 10am11.30am (5-7 year olds) Wednesday 11th of July 12.30pm-2pm (8-12 year olds) WHERE: Eden Gardens-Cnr Nepean Highway and Canadian Bay Rd Mt Eliza COST: $16 per child Bookings essential-PH 92151500
Brainy Bird Antics- The Briars, Nepean Highway, Mt Martha Spear fishing, spoon sifting, „white air‟ rafting, skydiving and dancing, dive bombing and handballing in the air are all amazing bird antics. Please bring a shoe box for the craft activity. Don‟t forget your drink & snack for afternoon tea in a small backpack (nothing with nuts please) and dress appropriately for the weather. WHEN: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th & 13th July 2012, 1:30 - 4pm WHERE: The Briars- Nepean Highway, Mt Martha- Meet at the Visitors Centre COST: $15:50 per child Bookings and prepayment are essential Ph: 5974-3686
Rockpool Ramble/Beach Comb-Winter by the Sea Marine & Freshwater Discovery Centre A guided walk discovering interesting bits and pieces that have washed up on the shore and looking into rockpools to find curious creatures. Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet or gumboots, sunscreen and a hat. No thongs. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. WHEN & WHERE: Mon 9 July 9.30-11.00 at Point Lonsdale Wed 11 July 10.30-12.00 at Barwon Heads Thur 12 July 11.00-12.30 at Point Lonsdale Fri 13 July 11.30-1.00 at Barwon Heads COST: FREE Bookings essential- 52583344.
To the Arctic-IMAX Melbourne
Come with us and follow one extraordinary polar bear mother on the ultimate journey of love and survival. In To The Arctic 3D captivating footage brings moviegoers up close and personal with this family's struggle to survive in a frigid environment of melting ice, immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls, and majestic snow-bound peaks. Read more... WHEN: From the 21st June WHERE: IMAX Melbourne COST: Adult-$18, Children-$13.50, Family (2 Adults, 2 Children-$55)
Cards for Fun-Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Have fun with pressed flowers and leaves to make and decorate your own cards and bookmarks. Suitable for children aged 6 years and above. WHEN: Wednesday 11 July & Thursday 12 July 10.30 – 12 noon and 1pm – 2.30pm WHERE: Plant Craft Cottage-Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne near Hgate. COST: $10 per child (must be paid in advance) Bookings/enquiries: Phyl: 9885 7293 or Judy: 9741 6046 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fungi fairy and elf craft
Pot up your very own fairy and elf attracting plant to take home and plant in your garden. Suitable for children aged 2 – 5 years. WHEN: Thursday 5 & 12 July, Tuesday 10 July 11.30am – 12.30pm WHERE: Australian Garden, RBG Cranbourne COST: $3.50 child, $3 Garden Grubs Kids‟ Club member Bookings/enquiries: Tel: (03) 5990 2245
Eco-Friendly School Holiday Fun There are so many wonderful activities planned for kids in the school holidays, but they are even more wonderful when they teach the kids about the environment we live in.
ECO Space Guest writer Kate Nelson from Meetoo test drives Creative Time at Apples & Jam. 16.
is THE space where imagination creative passion and planet happy principals naturally shine through all the children's parties, programs and activities that are scheduled. Run by two mums whose beliefs, ethics and love for the environment contribute to a sustainable venue on all levels. Kate Nelson from Meetoo had the extreme pleasure of visiting to check out the Creative Time session. The team behind Apples & Jam could be accused of subscribing to the Eco Chic movement – personally I am a fan on the movement (even if purest eco warriors deem it contradictory), because what‟s not to admire about aspirational, ecological coolness?
The South Melbourne Commons (Apple & Jam‟s landlord) has a zero waste policy and also a very strong community focus – and these two points are key elements of all their tenant‟s agreements. So naturally Apples & Jam (and their neighbours) are a business driven to ensure they uphold an eco mindfulness to everything they do, from their aim to achieve zero waste through to how they decorate their space for a birthday party.
It‟s true we can‟t change the world overnight, but if we subscribe to the philosophy of the team at Apples and Jam and “inspire small changes” – we‟ll be on the right track. To help you get on track with your own small changes here are some tips from Jess at Apples & Jam -you don‟t need fancy craft materials for creative time at home – recycling items like long life milk cartons, toilet rolls, egg cartons, tin cans etc can all be used to make anything from awesome racing cars to chain saws -house-hold items such as wool, pasta, straws, patty pans, buttons also make great creative time materials for embellishments -look for the green (and safe) options when it comes to paints and glues -old newspaper makes great seedling pots – and you can plant them, pot and all, straight into the ground when they are ready for planting -vegie scraps make great worm food – start a worm farm
We have been lucky enough to take part in some of Apples & Jam‟s activities, and these are always presented so beautifully that both adults and children can‟t wait to dive in with much enthusiasm.
Donna MacMullin from shares with you her knowledge about plastic products. Most of us have heard that drinking out of plastic baby bottles can be harmful to a child‟s health, but how much do we really know about BPA and other toxins found in plastics – including toys, food containers and other items we use everyday?
There‟s plenty of research that reveals plastic isn‟t so fantastic. In a 2009 study, the Harvard School of Public Health found that bisphenol A, a chemical used in the manufacture of some plastics, can leach into humans. As BPA is an estrogen-mimiking chemical, it has been shown to interfere with reproductive development, and has been linked with cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. As a result of this and other studies on BPA, the toxin has been banned in several countries including Canada, the
European Union and Malaysia, but currently there is no regulation on toxins in plastics sold in Australia. Phthalates and Dioxins (PVC) are also common chemicals found in plastics and have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders and behavioural disorders in children. What‟s more, studies have found that when some plastics are heated (like when you microwave leftovers in a plastic container or heat your child‟s milk bottle), the amount of toxin leached into your food can be significantly greater.
While more research is being done worldwide, parents are wise to choose products that are toxin-free, and here are a few simple alternatives to help you reduce exposures:
Food grade stainless steel – 100% food safe and will not leach chemicals or flavours. Get yourself a stainless steel drink bottle and stop buying bottled water.
Also try to avoid using plastic cutlery, bags and cling wrap when storing food. Not only will you be sparing your body from some nasty toxins, you‟ll be making better choices for the environment as well. Here are some more useful links with more information on toxins and plastics: Read the full Harvard Medical Study on BPA Plastics – what do those numbers mean? More information on Phthalates PVC: The most toxic plastic Bottled water alliance - facts about bottled water
Ovenproof glass – baby bottles, food containers, etc. Glass is heavier than plastic, but much safer if you want an easy way to reheat leftovers straight from the fridge and into the microwave. Silicone – it‟s heat resistant, odourless and non-toxic. It‟s great for storing food in the freezer, and you can also bake with it. Polypropylene or high-density polyethylene – These are recyclable foodsafe plastics (#5 and #2) that do not contain BPA, phthalates or lead. Reusable cotton food wraps / bags – perfect for wrapping sandwiches and snacks, there are some great eco friendly and toxin free alternatives on the market.
Donna MacMullin is the director of Itty Bitty Greenie an online shop offering fun and functional children‟s products with a safe and sustainable point of difference. A portion of every sale supports children‟s and environmental charities.
As parents of small children, it is a growing concern amongst us all to hear that childhood obesity have been rising over the years for a number of reasons including the fact that children are eating more foods that are high in fat and sugars and spending less time on physical activity.
In 2001 Stephanie Alexander trialled the Kitchen Garden program at Collingwood College in Melbourne and with an overwhelming interest and support , followed on to create the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Foundation where funding is sought to roll out the program to other interested schools.
Well renowned Australian cook and food writer, Stephanie Alexander felt it was largely caused by people simply not knowing how to prepare fresh, nutritious and delicious food. She believes the problem begins in childhood, and that the best way to address it is by means of early intervention. Enter the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Foundation.
Kitchen Garden Schools commit to a dynamic and innovative model whereby kitchen and garden classes are run weekly, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum.
The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging childrenâ€&#x;s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.
Children across Years 3 to 7 spend a minimum of 45 minutes a week in an extensive vegetable garden that they have helped design, build and maintain on the school grounds according to organic gardening principles. They also spend 1Â˝hours each week in a kitchen classroom preparing and sharing a wonderful variety of meals created from their produce. The school employs two part-time specialist staff, a Garden Specialist and a Kitchen Specialist, to run these sessions.
In both the kitchen and the garden the children work together in small groups with the assistance of community volunteers. The finished dishes are arranged with pride and care on tables set with flowers from the garden, and the shared meal is a time for students, helpers, teachers and specialists to enjoy the meal they have prepared together.
Australian schools to establish the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program by 2012. In addition to the Federal Government, the State governments have also come on board to provide much needed funding for this wonderful initiative. In 2012, 265 schools around Australia are Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Schools, with almost 35,000 children actively engaged in the Program each year. To see what schools are actively participating in the Kitchen Garden program click HERE.
The Australian Government has provided $12.8 million of infrastructure funding over four years, to enable up to 190 eligible
For more information about the program and how you and your school can jump on board go to www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au.
Paper towels decompose quicker than banana peels
84 percent of all household waste can be recycled.
Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 13 trees
Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy than burning it in an incinerator
A disposable nappy can take 300 million years to decompose naturally
An unplugged mobile phone charger wastes 95% of the energy used doing nothing
Did you know? 10 ECO facts you may not know about! #7
The Styrofoam cups used every year would circle the planet at least five times, they are not biodegradable and are rarely recycled.
Mobile phones and iPods are made from metals that do not biodegrade at all
Once an aluminium can is recycled, it's back on the grocery shelf as another aluminium can in 60 days.
Each year, Australians use 6.9 billion plastic shopping bags. Tied together this amount of bags would stretch around the world 37 times! 23.
What was the inspiration behind the MILK BABY brand? When my husband Michael was developing his menâ€&#x;s skincare range Milk by Michael Klim I was a young mum and pregnant with my second child. I couldn't find anything that I felt comfortable using on my young childrenâ€&#x;s skin so I developed Milk Baby. Can you give our readers a snapshot of the MILK BABY products you have developed so far? Milk Baby is an all-natural skincare range for babies and kids, made in Tasmania which is where I grew up. The range is made from the finest ingredients and is comprised of products that range from the perfect gift to everyday products that you just couldn't live without.
How does your product range differ to other similar products in the market? Baby is housed in our custom made packaging which not only looks great in the bathroom, is also 100% recyclable including the pump! This was something that was very important to us. Milk Baby also has three room sprays which I developed personally due to my children‟s needs and I know there is nothing else like it on the market. Can we look forward to another MILK BABY product line being launched sometime soon? Yes definitely, I am always thinking up new and exciting things that I would love to add to the Milk Baby range. At the moment I am focusing all my attention on an apparel line which would have the same ethos as our current Milk Baby range, stay tuned, very exciting times ahead!
What is one tip you could offer on how to manage a business with a family? Be very well organised! Time management is definitely something I had to learn when managing both a family of three and Milk Baby. Is there one place or is there one activity you like doing as a family to enjoy quality time together? The kids, my husband and I are all very active so whether it is going for a bike ride or just heading to the park we love to get out and about whenever we can. You have also been known to DJ at some high end events in Australia. What is one track that will always get you up on the dance floor? Oh dear – they change all the time depending on where I am DJing but my favourite song at the moment would have to be Car Song by Spank Rock feat. Santigold.
How does your family practice being environmentally aware at home? The kids and I pay a lot of attention to recycling. We are also very mindful of water saving, I find it is little things like turning off the taps when brushing teeth that really helps.
What would be your one wish for the environment for the future? Wow, there are so many; we all wish for a perfect world and I see that as being pollution free, if everyone did their own little bit I think we could get close. Other than MILK BABY is there one Eco/Natural product you would recommend to Alphabet Street Readers? It‟s funny actually as I recently got sent some „Tom Tom‟ organic tampons which I think are an amazing idea!
Top 10 Eco-Friendly Eco-Friendly School Holiday Fun Activities for Kids There are so many wonderful activities planned for kids in the school holidays, but they are even more wonderful when they teach the kids about the environment we live in.
Teach the kids from a young age about the environment with our top 10 Eco-friendly activities.
1. Whale watching
Happy Giddy Kidsâ€&#x; Binoculars RRP $12.95 playsafekids.com.au
Watch these magnificent creatures as they migrate to warmer waters from June To October each year. Best vantage points- Take a trip to the Great Ocean Road, where you can view from these spectacular creatures from a specially constructed viewing platform at Logans Beach. (Location of platform-Logans Beach Road, off Hopkins Point Road, Warrnambool. Head further west to Portland see blue whales migrate to the waters to feed on the abundant swarms of krill.
Must Have Makedo Free Play Kit RRP $19.95 ittybittygreenie.com.au
2. Recycle and create Keep the recycling aside for the little ones to create and construct . Cubby houses or dens are the perfect play space to create with recycled cardboard boxes. Have a recycling craft challenge to see who can come up with the most useful recycled craft item. If you need a little assistance or would just like to escape the house, head to Creative Time at Apples & Jam in South Melbourne where children can explore their creativity through the various art/craft stations that are set up using recycled 26 materials .
3. Build your own veggie patch Not only is a childâ€&#x;s very own veggie patch a great way to develop good eating habits but also a wonderful way to introduce children to the garden and the environment. Composting, worm gardens, water reticulation plus the harvest are all parts of the veggie garden the kids will love and learn from. If you need a little assistance in setting up a veggie patch or introducing you little one to the garden head to the Gardening 4 Kids Blog for all your answers.
Must Have Twigz Hand Tools Set of Three RRP $16.50 brightbuttontoyscom.au
Twigz Hand Tools Set of Three RRP $16.50 brightbuttontoyscom.au
Community Garden Port Melbourne
4.Visit a community garden
With the increase of urban living in the city, many children are without their own gardens and therefore donâ€&#x;t have the same exposure to gardening as suburban families do. Community gardens are a great way to educate children and get hands on with nature and the environment. CERES is an award winning, not-for-profit, environment and education centre and urban farm located by the Merri Creek in East Brunswick. Children can get involved in the many workshops that are held including Cheeky Chooks held on the first Wednesday of every month. There are also many community gardens in Melbourne where you can get involved with their DIG IN monthly working bee. To find a local community garden click HERE.
5. Pick your own What a wonderful activity for children to be involved in. Pick your own berries allow children to see how a fruit is grown and delivered to your table. Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, beans and peas are all available for U-Pick across various locations in Victoria. U-Pick season is available across the summer months. For more information on pick your own farms click HERE
The Very Hungry Caterpillar RRP $17.95 booktopia.com.au
OOBI Ava Pink Apple Hat RRP $24.95 www.oobi.com.au
6. Butterfly HouseMelbourne Zoo Step into the world of butterflies at the Butterfly House Melbourne Zoo. Children will love being surrounded by hundreds of colourful butterflies and if youâ€&#x;re lucky you may even be the landing ground for one or two. Such an important part butterflies play in ecology aiding in pollination, eating aphids and rotting fruits. Melbourne Zoo has put together a checklist of steps you can take create your own butterfly garden.
7. Rock pooling All kids love playing in water, especially if there is a marine life to explore in the process. Grab your magnifying glass and head to a beach inlet to beach comb the marine life that is washed up on shore or within small rockpools. Along with small fish and small crabs, children can investigate the sea anenomes, starfish, coral, shells, sea grass and sea sponges that sometimes fill the small pools. Check out the wonderful rock pools at Ricketts Point, Red Bluff & Point Gellibrand.
Green Toys Sand Play Set RRP $39.95 Ecotoys.com.au
8. Get back to Nature
Jumbo Magnifying Glass What better place to experience the RRP $14.95 sounds and smells of nature than the Ian entropy.com.au Potter Children‟s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. It‟s a wonderful place where children can dig, build, imagine, create, and hide. The garden features plants, water, structures and pathways that reflect Melbourne's changing seasons. The garden has been designed to intrigue, teach and excite children from a very young age about the importance of conservation and the environment. In addition to there regular term programs there is a wonderful range of school holiday programs the children can book into.
Goodbyn Lunchbox Green Apple RRP $35.95 ittybittygreenie.com.au
9. Educate at the Melbourne Museum
The Museum is the perfect place to learn all about nature and the environment. Explore the world of bugs, marine life, wildlife, forest secrets and dynamic earth. You can also found out how to reduce water use in the home and garden with the Water Smart Home permanent exhibition. A perfect place where children can get interactive with the exhibits whilst learning in the process.
10. Become a Junior Ranger Junior Rangers provides Ranger Walks and Talks for families with children aged six to twelve. Several parks throughout Victoria deliver the program during school holidays and on some weekends. Junior Rangers activities are led by a park ranger and are designed to get children outdoors, have fun and learn about the state‟s wonderful parks and natural and cultural resources. Check out the school holiday program these winter holidays.
Junior Navigator Compass RRP $9.99 zanui.com.au
Further Afield-A sustainable theme park? It is not often that the environment is a key ingredient to consider when building a theme park however when an extension in Peppa Pig World was built in the UK, the architects brief was to put together a design that needed to be in keeping with the style of the Peppa Pig World whilst being sustainable. Some of these sustainable features include an inbuilt rainwater harvesting system allowing the roof to self-irrigate. Any excess water drains into a man-made lake through steel columns at the edge of the roof. Additionally any surface water surrounding the building is drained into the lake, where it can be stored until required. However, the most striking feature is the curved green roof, which adds biodiversity to the site, creating a haven for wildlife which ticks the box for bio-diversity.
The wildflower roof is planted with native vegetation and flowers from the surrounding landscape and also features windcatchers for natural ventilation and its own rainwater harvesting irrigation system.
For more information on Peppa Pig World go to Peppapigworld.co.uk.
Worm Farming for kids
Kids love worms and setting up a worm farm is an excellent way for them to learn about science and the world around them. Having a worm farm in your garden is a great opportunity for kids to learn first-hand about waste recycling, reducing our environmental impact and life cycles.
Keeping a worm farm also teaches children about responsibility and is a great introduction to owning pets. A worm farm is fantastic for your garden too. Worm castings (aka worm poo) are an excellent soil conditioner and worm wee can be watered down and poured on plants as a fantastic organic fertiliser which is safe for children to use. Cont...
How to set up a worm farm -What type of farm and where to put it Commercial worm farms can be bought from nurseries or be made by drilling holes into the bottom of two out of three styrofoam boxes (easily obtained from a green grocer – if you ask they will often give them to you for free) that are stacked on top of each other with the solid base on the bottom of the stack and a lid placed on top box. A box of composting worms to kick start your farm also needs to be purchased. You will need to find a suitable place to keep your worm farm. An ideal location is cool, shady and in an area that is easy to access. Worms do not like extreme temperatures so we keep ours under a deciduous tree that keeps the farm cool during summer and allows some warmth in winter.
-Bedding Place approximately three layers of wet newspaper in the bottom tray of your worm farm then place your worms on top. The worms will eventually eat through this layer of paper so it will need replacing over time. Finally add a piece of old carpet, towel or a hessian bag to cover the top layer of your worm farm to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer.
-Food Worms can eat a variety of food including fruit and vegie scraps
(though they don‟t really like citrus or onion), egg shells, teabags and coffee grounds, wet shredded paper and cardboard, and even hair! Worms do not have teeth so it‟s a good idea to cut up your scraps into small pieces to help them process them quicker. To feed your worms simply open your worm farm, peel back the carpet or hessian layer and empty your scraps on top. You can bury your scraps into the castings to help cut down on smells.
-Using worm wee and poo After a few weeks worm wee will begin to collect in the bottom of your worm farm. It is known as liquid gold in the gardening world and is fantastic for plants. To use worm wee it needs to be diluted until it looks like the colour of weak tea. Kids can then use a watering can to water the garden with the solution. To collect worm castings (poo) to use on your garden take the lid of your worm farm, lift off the first layer and then scoop out the brown solids. Create a pyramid or cone shape out of the solids and leave for around 10 minutes. The worms with bury into the centre as they do not like light. Scrape away the sides and return the centre of your shape to your worm farm. You can then use the collected castings by sprinkling them over your garden beds or mixing in with potting mix to use in pots or planter boxes. Cont...
Final tips for keeping your worm farm happy and healthy •Don‟t feed your worms meat, bones or dairy as these can lead to maggots and bad smells. •Bury your food scraps in the worm castings to help prevent vinegar flies and odours. •Flush your worm farm weekly with a bucket of water. Collect the water as it filters through into the bottom tray. Flush your worm farm weekly with a bucket of water. Collect the water as it filters through into the bottom tray. This can then be used directly on your garden as it will already be diluted. Setting up and keeping a worm farm is great activity for the whole family to enjoy. It is a great learning experience, reduces your carbon footprint and is fantastic for your garden. Why not start one today?
Caroline Roberts is a primary school environmental education specialist, mum to an inquisitive toddler and owner of Gardening 4 Kids – a unique online Australian website that sells educational gardening products for children. The website also features a blog full of ideas to inspire parents, caregivers and educators to get their little green thumbs out and active in the garden. You can visit Gardening 4 Kids at www.gardening4kids.com.au
The best in GREEN
Looking for the best Eco fashion for kids? Check out our top picks.
www.purebaby.com.au Purebaby is an Australian owned fashion label creating unique, organic clothing for babies and children. Established in 2002, Purebaby was born out of a desire for beautiful and simple products made with awareness and care.
www.gaiaorganiccotton.com.au 100% certified organic cotton babywear with unique designs that feature soft, tactile fabrics,frills, unique gaia designed prints, satin trims and embroidery
cocoomeorganicsleepwear.com.au Cocoome Organic is proud to design 100% pure organic cotton sleepwear for your baby and child Australia. Cocoome Organic Sleepwear print designs are exclusive and designed in Australia.
www.overcrawls.com Mother Overcrawls, Mary-Jo, has created an exclusive range of colourful, happy, fun clothes that are not only natural friends of the earth, theyâ€&#x;re also delightfully practical. The worldâ€&#x;s first wipe down babywear! Overcrawls are made from Eco- friendly PU. leather which is so soft and free from harmful chemicals and dyes and paired with an Ecofriendly pure cotton lining.
www.babyjo.com.au Babyjo create a beautiful range of bamboo and organic cotton clothing. Bamboo not only promotes sustainable living, through being a quickly renewable resource to protect future generations - but it is also said to be an excellent choice for babies health reducing skin irritations such as eczema.
Kids Eco Style
www.kidsecostyle.com.au Kids Eco Style is here to provide products that are better for everyone, better for your children, better for the planet and better for the people involved in making these gorgeous products.
Get Reading..... Green stuff for kids By Tanya Ha
"Green Stuff for Kids" is the latest instalment in Tanya Ha's bestselling "Greeniology" series. Aimed at children eight years and over, is a young readers' guide to what's up with the planet and what they can do to make a difference. If you have an inquisitive child who is keen to learn about the environment we live in then this book will answer all the questions. Jam-packed with fun
facts, eco-activities, information and green tips, this book covers a huge range of environmental issues and hot topics, including air pollution, biodegradability, climate change, e-waste, litter, natural disasters, recycling and water conservation. With recommendations from DR KARL KRUSZELNICKI it is the book that should be a part of every EcoWarriors to read list. www.tanyaha.com
Eco Product Directory
Showcasing the best Recycled, Organic, Natural & Sustainable products for kids 37.
Ecosaucer RRP $17.95 flyingpenguin.com.au
Babushka Colouring Book RRP $10 babushkagirl.bigcartel.com
Dirtgirlworld Scrapbook RRP $39.95 leafjournals.com
Eco Stars Crayons RRP $19.95 ittybittygreenie.com.au
Dandelion Re-Play Spill Proof Cups 2 Pack RRP $15.95 sustainababy.com.au
Smencils Gourmet Scentedâ€? Pencils-5- coloured pencils RRP $45.00 smencils.com.au
Calafan5 Cardboard Fire Engine Incl. Textas RRP: $12.50 stateofgreen.com.au
Green Toys Skipping Rope RRP $21.95 buxtonbaby.com.au Cardboard Doll House RRP $30.00 muddkids.com.au
Flatout Frankie- Flatpack cardboard aeroplane RRP $44.95 babysgotstyle.com.au
Everearth 53 Piece Organic Farm RRP $64.95 treefrogtoys.com.au
Organic Cotton Sneaky Stripey Rattle RRP $29.95 flyingpenguin.com.au
Duez Organic Cotton Playmat RRP $82.90 littlefrenchy.com.au
Little Innoscents Nappy Change Cream RRP $10.99 littleorganics.com.au
Green Sprouts Organic Bath Puppet - Hippo or Pig RRP $7.95 treefrogtoys.com.au
Cocoome Dandelion Romper RRP $27.95 Cocoomeorganicsleepwear.com.au Gaia Organic Cotton j'adore wrap RRP $22.48 gaiaorganiccotton.com.au
Organic Cotton Carrot RRP $17.95 lewlewbelle.com.au
Only Organic Teething Rusks RRP $4.98 littleorganics.com.au
HappyMais Flower Kit Bag RRP $16.50 flyingpenguin.com.au
Tumblemonkey Handmade Dryerballs RRP $16.50 tumblemonkeyhandmade.com
eco-kids eco-paint RRP $43.95 sustainababy.com.au
Natural Sophie Giraffe RRP $34.95 buxtonbaby.com.au
Eco-dough RRP $43.95 sustainababy.com.au
Milk Baby Snotty Grotty Room Spray RRP $24.95 milkskincare.com
Pure Poppet Natural Play Makeup RRP $34.95 purepoppet.com.au Natursutten Rubber Teether Toy RRP $15.95 ecotoys.com.au
Plan Toys Food and Beverage Set RRP $37.95 ittybittygreenie.com.au
Bajo Wooden Police Car RRP $14.50 flyingpenguin.com.au
HILO High Chair RRP $399 kiekaboo.com.au
Sustainable Timber Flower Stacker RRP $55.00 stateofgreen.com.au
BAJO Push Along - Spinning Flower RRP $54.95 stateofgreen.com.au
ECOTOYS Pretend Play Stove oven RRP $199.95 ecotoys.com.au
Eco Max Art Pack with 12 Oil Pastels Blue RRP $9.95 treefrogtoys.com.au
PLANKS Green Hat Workshop RRP $119.95 greenhatworkshop.com.au
Would you like to WIN a Tiger Tribe prize pack worth approximately $500? All you have to do is simply head over to the Tiger Tribe website and email email@example.com in 50 words or less with details of your MUST HAVE product from the Tiger Tribe range and why.
Terms and conditions •Entrant must reside in Australia and must be over 18 years of age. •Employees and their immediate families of Tiger Tribe Pty Limited and its associated agencies and companies are not eligible to enter. •The prize includes (Boxset Train, Boxset Beach Villa, Magna Play Creatures, At the Market (magnetic playbook), Travel the World (magnetic playbook), Reward Chart Stamp Pack, Jnr Stamper Set (garden), Card Making Kit, Zing Glider, Butterfly Duffle bag, Guitar Duffle bag, Butterfly Drawstring bag, Guitar Drawstring bag, Alphabet flashcards, Makedo Kit for 1, Makedo Kit for 3, Makedo Playhouse). Prize value is in excess of $500 retail. •If any item in the prize is unavailable, for whatever reason, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize for a prize of equal or greater value, subject to State Regulation. •Competition closes Tues 31st July at 5pm and will be notified by email •Entrant must include their contact details to be eligible
If you have not yet had the chance to enter the world of Makedo, you are definitely missing out. Makedo is a connector system that enables materials including cardboard, plastic and fabric to easily join together to form new objects or structures. And when you have finished constructing, you can pull it apart and start again.
of children, parents and educators who love the simple way its reusable connector system enables the easy construction of reuse-art creations - both small and larger than life size. Makedo makes making faster, easier, sturdier and cleaner than using sticky tape and glue alternatives. Not to mention it provides a fun way to learn about recycling and reuse.
With the sheer genius of this product and the success it has generated, many of us would be mistaken to think that this amazing product has come from a European company.
Makedo project kits are designed to encourage open ended creativity and play. There are many different kits to choose from including a Find & Make Shop, Elephant, Space Pod, Robot, Flowers, Car and dollhouse and for those who like to come up with their own creations you can purchase the FreePlay kits that contain the connectors that turn recyclables into a new creation.
Makedo is a home grown Australian product which was created by a Melbourne Industrial Designer and father, Paul Justin, whose frustration with a “rigid world of prescriptive toys” lead to a more diverse system that allowed a way of using and reusing stuff that were lying about into something new. Makedoʼs multi-award-winning range has already captured the hearts and minds
To purchase from the Makedo website go to www.mymake.com or for more information on distribution go to Educational Colours http://www.edcolours.com.au/ Telephone: +61 (0)3 9729 0788
Dates for the Diary JULY- National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day
National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day provide all Australians with an opportunity to do something positive for the environment and reconnect with nature. In 2011, thousands of Australians planted over 1 million native trees, shrub and grasses at more than 2900 Tree Day events, and a host of other Tree Day activities were held. In 2012, National Tree Day will be on Sunday 29th July and Schools Tree Day will be on Friday 27th July, although events can be held on any date during the year.
NOVEMBER-National Recycling Week
Planet Ark's National Recycling Week campaign promotes the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling! National Recycling Week 2012 runs from Monday 12 â€“ Sunday 18 November.
Who’s making a difference? Makedo’s Find & Make Shop
has received a big green nod as a winner in Dr Toy‟s Best Green Toy Award program 2012 for its ability to teach children about upcycling and reuse in a playful way.
Live Play Create is committed to
making kids lives simple and stylishly fun. tike wooden balance bikes allow young children freedom to explore and have fun while nurturing the development of balance and coordination. The wood used in the bikes is sourced from European plantation timber farms and for every product bought, a tree is purchased and planted through CarbonNeutral.com
IKEA Springvale is making it easier for
you when it comes to recycling the items you are unsure about. Instead of throwing out your batteries and light globes into your normal waste take them to the recycling station where Ikea Springvale will dispose of them safely with the correct recycling companies. 48.
Mobile Muster is committed to
reducing the impact of mobile phones on the environment. Since 1999 they have collected 6.34 mobile handsets and batteries, recycled 886 tonnes of materials and saved 7,100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. Check out where your local mobile muster drop off zones are.
When you hear that the 500 billion disposable cups used in the world each year placed end to end could circumnavigate the earth 100 times, itâ€&#x;s no wonder that KeepCup are spreading its global reach with great success. Read the overwhelming facts here on how KeepCup is contributing to a sustainable future.
Monty & Frank's Designer Toy Co. believes in an environmentally sustainable future. Where possible plantation timber is used to construct their toys and furniture. To ensure that the process is sustainable they make sure a tree is planted for every product that is purchased.