10 Steps to Greening Your Life Teaching Kids About the Environment Moving? Ways to be Gentler on the Environment
from our editor.... Hello! Welcome to Green Child Magazine! Green Child has already become a village of moms with one primary goal, to raise healthy, happy children. I love how much I am learning from each of you! Your enthusiasm to be a part of this project and share your knowledge has been heart warming. I look foward to raising our children together, while protecting them and their future.
While helping Mother Earth and raising our children, we have one other mission, to get every single child out of foster care and in to a place they can call home, with a family who will love them, unconditionally, forever. Each issue we will feature chidren who are in seach of their very own family. You can help us by simply sharing our magazine with anyone and everyone you know. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! And again, WELCOME! Danielle
Danielle Sarasua, Editor email@example.com Amy Shepherd Smith, Sales firstname.lastname@example.org Amye King, Art Direction & Design email@example.com cover photo by Paddy + Lily 2
photo by Britsnap Photography www.britsnap.com
For new parents, this issue is full of ways to get your baby off to a green start! We have found so many amazing, eco friendly products, created by parents, and canâ€™t wait to share them with you. We cannot thank our advertisers enough, for their support and faith in us, getting out of the gate. Many of them have also shared their stories, that we hope will inspire you as they have inspired us. Our advertisers would love to hear from you and we hope you will support them as well.
Moving? Do it Greener 37 Green Your Life 43 Empowering Kids 40
Articles Celebrating Mother’s Day 35 Teach Kids About Sustainability 22 Farmer’s Market 9 Composting 15 Lil’ Sisters Folk Art & Veggies 50
EcoFab 4 Book Review 36 Great Stores 48 Crafts 24 Fashion 26 Freshly Picked 13 Recipes 12 greenchildmagazine.com
EcoFab Green Toys Recycling Truck Sort bottles, cans, and paper or just have a blast! This super cool truck has a movable recycling bed and open/shut rear door and no metal axles!
Green Toys Tea Set
GREEN tea anyone? Young hosts can serve up a pot of tea while doing something really good for the earth. This SWEET little tea set is made from eco-friendly materials, helping to reduce fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions, all in the name of Good Green Funâ„˘! Meets FDA specs for food contact. Dishwasher safe.
Green Toys Sand Play Set
Build a castle. Dig for buried treasure. No matter how ambitious the project, the worldâ€™s most ecogroovy sand play set always leaves a light footprint.
Hopscotch Kids Nail Polish
WaterColors is the premier non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative to solventbased nail polish. This water-based formula is free of the harsh, smelly chemicals that most nail polishes contain, helping condition your little oneâ€™s nails with long-lasting, vibrant color. Hopscotch Kids is free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, acetone, FD&C, coal tar and lake colors â€“ so itâ€™s good for kids, and good for the Earth.
Onyx Popsicle Mold
Made from 18/8 stainless steel, this fast freeze mold is easy to use, easy to clean, and will last you a life time. Designed so that one popsicle can be removed (or re-filled) at a time.
EcoFab thinkbaby Bottles
How is the thinkbaby bottle different? Simply creating a baby bottle that was safe just wasnâ€™t enough. thinkbaby went the extra mile to create a bottle that solved many parental complaints. For example, most bottles on the market contain venting systems. The thinkbaby system is built right into the nipple. So there are no extra pieces to clean or potentially lose. They then made the nipple No Spill through the cross cut design. This eliminated a large amount of mess that occurs during feeding. It also mimics the way children feed during breastfeeding, as it requires them to apply pressure and nurse to receive fluid.
thinkbaby Sippy Cup
They also used a little forward thinking and designed the bottles to be convertible into the award winning Sippy Cup. Most parents have between 8 to 16 baby bottles. And when it comes time to move to sippy cup they have to go out and spend a lot of money to acquire them, while also having to toss out all of the old baby bottles which are then destined for landfills. With the conversion kit, parents can simply convert their existing baby bottles into our Sippy Cup which not only saves them money but it also saves the environment from excess waste. Once parents are ready to move on to regular cups, the baby bottles can simply be recycled after use, as they are made from No. 5 plastic.
thinkbaby Feeding Set
thinkbabyâ€™s Feeding set furthers their mission by providing safe, sustainable, functional and elegant products for little ones. In the development of our BPA Free Feeding system, thinkbaby continues the mission by providing a feeding set free of BPA, phthalates, nitrosamines, lead, and PVC. Their Feeding set is also free of melamine. Early laboratory research has shown melamine based tableware to leach melamine at various temperatures and when combined with other chemicals (such as formaldehyde and cyanuric) have the potential to pose a risk. As they expect the debate to begin on the safety of this chemical, the research they reviewed caused thinkbaby to ask a simple question. Does the product have to have melamine? Nope. So they built a set to be completely free of it.
Deryck, age 15 Colorado
Stay fit and have fun! Deryck loves to play sports, especially football and soccer, and keeping in shape by lifting weights is fun too. Like most teens, he's always up for video games, but when there's options like camping and fishing, they win hands down! Deryck had the opportunity to fly a small airplane and remarked that that event was his greatest memory. In the eighth grade, Deryck thrives on structure and benefits from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Deryck hopes to remain in contact with his brother and his mentor. His caseworker will consider all family types for him. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related expenses. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so. Child ID 6234
For more information about Deryck or other waiting children like him, please contact The Adoption Exchange at 800-451-5246 or visit our website at www.adoptex.org.
l a c o L r u o Y Farmerâ€™s Market
by Louise Goldberg RD CSP LD CNSC An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting www.AnAppleADayNutrition.com 713.478.3823
Imagine a place with colorful foods, inviting smells, smiling faces, and your children at your side, happily eating. Where are you? Your local farmers market!
This is quickly becoming a popular place, drawing in families, not only for the fresh food, but also the sense of community. As of mid-2010, there were 6,132 farmers markets operating around the United States, a 16 percent increase since 2009. Despite that rapid growth, farmers markets remain uncharted territory for some people. Getting to one may take a little preparation but worth the effort for fresh seasonal food and the opportunity to connect your family with the people who produce that food. While farmers markets may not be open all day every day, a quick online search of your location and what you are looking for should pull up several results. Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org) is one great resource for finding a farmer’s market in your area. The first time you go, view the experience as a special event with the family. Several
A Sense of Community weekend markets have live music and ready to eat foods available. My kids look forward to hearing the bands and eating lunch outside just as much as getting to pick out our food for the week. In addition to prepared foods, you can find produce, fresh breads and other products like lotion or soaps made from natural ingredients. Vendors are ready with product samples to allow you to try a new food without any financial commitment. While you are there, ask the person at the booth if they use pesticides on their fruits and vegetables? Accountability for how our food is handled has grown ever more important in light of recent outbreaks from contaminated mass produced foods. Can your grocery store answer these same questions? Today’s farmers markets are the direct connection between the people who grow our food and the people who consume it. Cost may be one reason why people have not tried a farmers market. It’s true some of the foods will be more expensive than the grocery store. Many farmers markets have guidelines about what they define as ‘local’, for example, one market in Houston, Texas considers it to be 10
any food that has been grown or raised within a 180 mile radius (approximately three hours distance). Because of this guideline, you aren’t paying transportation costs to haul blueberries from Chile or Mexico in January and this can translate to lower prices on fresh produce. Why is buying locally produced food so important? The food is harvested and brought to the market when it is ready yielding a high nutrient content. When food is traveling only a short distance, no chemicals are added to control when and how fast the food ripens. This means the market reflects only what is in season. It’s a good opportunity to explain to your child why watermelons aren’t available in February. The more you involve your children in food selection and preparation, the more willing they are to accept those foods. A farmers market is an inviting place for kids to try something new. Give them the responsibility of picking out a fruit and vegetable for the whole family. You could even challenge them to find the most unusual one. If they point to something you aren’t sure about, ask the seller how to prepare it and show your kids that food can be an adventure.
Work from home! Sell our award-winning books and gifts in your community. Set your own hours, earn great commissions and get exclusive offers. Become a Barefoot Books Ambassador today! Tammy Bristol Barefoot Books Ambassador Leader GettingBarefoot@gmail.com www.GettingBarefoot.com
So what are you waiting for? Find a market near you, grab your kids, a couple reusable bags and get outside for an experience.
Give baby the gift of green
www.naturalluxe.com Use code GREENCHILD for free shipping in the US 11
Recipes Blackberry or Peach Crisp 4-6 cups berries or fruit, sliced 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup uncooked oats 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 tablespoons dairy-free (stick) margarine, cut into small pieces Preparation Preheat oven to 375°. Mix fruit, brown sugar, flour, and lemon juice in a bowl and place in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Combine 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon, and cut in the margarine with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over the blueberry mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Top each serving with 1/4 cup non-dairy frozen dessert.
by Louise Goldberg RD CSP LD CNSC An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting www.AnAppleADayNutrition.com 713.478.3823
Stuffed Yellow Summer Squash/Zucchini: 1 Yellow summer squash, sliced in half length-wise 1 Zucchini, sliced in half length-wise ½ cup of chopped onion Bread crumbs ½ block of firm tofu, chopped finely 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings Salt/Pepper Preparation Preheat oven to 350°. Hollow out inside of squash with spoon. Chop the removed flesh roughly and add to small pan with onions, tofu, and Italian seasonings and sauté until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add breadcrumbs until mixture stays together with no visible liquid. Place hollowed out squash on cooking sheet in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and scoop filling into the squash shells. Put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
Strawberries Strawberries are in season! These super fruits have higher levels of Vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium than most other fruits like bananas, apples and even oranges. In fact, studies have shown that eating even one serving a day can significantly decrease blood pressure, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Find fresh, local strawberries at Burris Farm Market, a family destination for 25 years, and a must stop for anyone heading down to the beautiful Gulf Coast Beaches. Located 3.5 miles south of Interstate 10 at the Corner of Hwy 59 and CR 64 in Loxley, AL, Burris Farm Market Specializes in locally grown seasonal produce, and also offers a full bakery and deli, famous baked goods, and the Southâ€™s best Strawberry Shortcake. 31000 Highway 59, Loxley, AL 36551 | Open Mon-Sun: 8:00am-6:00pm | www.burrisfarmmarketandbakery.com 13
Trash Talking With Worms The Dirty Truth About Worm Composting By Eric Vinje, Planet Natural | www.planetnatural.com Worm composting -- also known as vermiculture -- is the proverbial win-win situation. It gives you a convenient way to dispose of organic waste, such as vegetable peelings. It saves space in the county landfill, which is good for the environment. It gives worms a happy home and all the free “eats” that they could want. For those that have gardens or even potted plants, homegrown compost is a great way to feed and nurture plants. Worm composting, which some advocates have dubbed “the organic garbage disposal,” recycles food waste into rich, dark, earth-smelling soil conditioner. It’s such great stuff that Planet Natural sells a variety of organic compost that ranges in price from $5.95 to $10.95 as well as potting soil that contains compost. And despite its reputation, worm composting doesn’t need to be a smelly endeavor. If you take care to set things up correctly, your compost bin shouldn’t be stinky. Worm composting is being seen more and more as a way to help our environment and reduce waste. The City of Oakland in California has a recycling program expressly for food waste. (It supplies the bin and you supply the organic garbage.) The City of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, supplies residents with worm bins and even has a hot-line you can call to find where to buy worms. Spokane, Washington posts information on how to get started in worm composting to encourage residents to try this environmentally friendly way of disposing of garbage.
To get started you need: worms, a container and “bedding.” Don’t go out and dig out night crawlers that live in the soil by your home to populate your compost bin. Night crawlers need to tunnel through dirt to eat and survive and they can’t live on vegetable waste. Instead, you need redworms -- Eisenia foetida (also known as red wiggler, brandling or manure worm) and Lumbricus rubellus (manure worm). You can buy worms from sites like Planet Natural. (We sell 500 red worms for $18.95 - shipping included.) If you’ve got the time and the access, you can also find a horse stable and recover worms from horse manure or ask a farmer to ransack his manure pile for worms. Mary Appelhof, author of “Worms Eat My Garbage” recommends two pounds of worms -- about 2,000 wigglers -- for every pound per day of food waste. (Some experts recommend a one-to-one ratio -- one pound of worms for one pound of garbage.) To figure out how much food waste your household generates, monitor it for a week and divide by seven. When populating your bin with worms, also keep in mind that worms, provided you give them adequate food and a good home, can double their populations every 90 days. It’s probably best to start out with slightly fewer worms than you need and just expect that your worm population will increase to fill your demand for processing organic waste. 15
Bins can be located anywhere from under the kitchen sink to outside or in your garage. One important consideration is temperature. Ideally a worm compost bin should be located in areas where the temperatures are between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Red worms generally prefer temperatures in the 55 to 77 degree range. If you live in an area that has harsh winters, you’ll need to move your bin inside during the winter months or compost on a seasonal basis. Another consideration: worms are like people in that they do not like a lot of noise or vibrations. Keep them away from high traffic areas. Once you’ve got the worms and the containers you’re ready to set up your “compost shop.” First you’ll want to build a home for your worms and one which will make them happy and prolific. You’ll need bedding that will fill the bin from one-third to one-half full. To create bedding soak a large quantity of shredded newspapers or cardboard. Worms want an environment that is about 75 percent water. Newspapers should only take a few minutes to take up enough water to make proper bedding. Allow cardboard, such as toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes, to soak overnight. Don’t use garden soil or mix fresh cow, horse or chicken manure into the bedding. These emit gases and will raise the temperature of your compost bin. You could end up “cooking” your worms to death. You’ll also need a container for the worms. Simplehuman offers a composte pail with odorsorb™ filters: natural charcoal odorsorb filter is mounted under the lid to neutralize odors without harmful chemicals. Aventilated lid: a pattern of vents along the lid allows air to flow and helps control odors. Natural bamboo handle: comfortable bamboo handle for convenient carrying. Wire ring: keeps the bag neatly hidden, or use without a bag and simply rinse with warm water to clean. Convenient lid hook: hang the lid anywhere along the rim of the pail. And is made of brushed stainless steel. You’ll also need a container for the worms. If you prefer, you can also build your own. Size does matter when it comes to compost. You’ll want a container with depth of between eight and 12 inches. Wood is a great building material. If you don’t feel like building from scratch, you can even adapt a “Rubbermaid” type tub and turn it into a composting bin. Books such as “Worms Eat My Garbage” give details on how to build your own compost bin. Just remember that worms like a dark, moist (not wet) environment and they hate light. Any container should be opaque. 16
Once the bedding matter has been soaked, wring it out until it is moist, but not dripping. Place it in the bin along with something gritty such as a bit of soil, fine sand, leaves, cornstarch, sawdust or ground egg shells. (Worms don’t have teeth so they need something gritty to help them grind up the paper and food.) Once your bin is up and running it will be self-sufficient and you won’t need to add additional grit until you harvest the worm castings and clean the bin. To make your worms feel at home, dig down until about the middle of the bedding and place your worms there. Don’t just put them on top. Then place the lid on the bin and keep it at a moderate temperature. Leave them alone for about a week to settle in. They will feed off the bedding. After about a week, start feeding your worms food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peels, pulverized egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds. Avoid meat scraps, bones, fish, leftover dairy products and oily foods since these will make your compost pile smell as well as attract flies and rodents. Experts are divided on whether pasta and grains should be tossed into the compost or thrown away in regular garbage. Your best bet is to experiment and let your worms tell you what they’ll eat or won’t eat. Of course, there are certain things that worms won’t eat or shouldn’t eat. Do not dispose of glass, plastic or aluminum foil in your compost. Although paper can be used as bedding, don’t include paper with colored printing on it. Many colored inks are toxic to worms. Also avoid rubber bands and sponges. It’s best to feed worms once a week in small amounts. If you feed them more than they can process you will end up with a stinking compost bin as the garbage literally backs up. Compost actually doesn’t smell. The foul odor comes from rotting food that the worms haven’t eaten yet. If you give them appropriately sized meals -- not supersized entrees -they will eat the food before it starts rotting (and smelling.)
If they are eating too slowly, chop up vegetable matter, which is easier for them to eat and gives new meaning to the term “fast food.” If the chopping doesn’t help enough, reduce the amount of organic matter you are feeding them. When you feed your worms, check and see how things are going. If the bedding is wet, give some additional paper bedding to soak up the excess. (Remember that the bedding should be moist, not dripping.) If the bedding is too dry, use water from a spray bottle to moisten it. Once your compost bin is up and running, it requires little maintenance until little or no original bedding is visible and the contents of the bin are reduced in bulk and mainly consist of worm castings, which are brown and “earthy” looking. Once your bin has reached that point, it’s time to harvest the worm castings and give your worms new bedding. Castings can be harvested anywhere from two and a half months to every six months, depending on how many worms you have and how much food you’re giving them. There are several harvesting methods. For those with the time and patience or little kids, you dump the bin’s contents onto a large plastic sheet and then manually separate the worms from the compost. Children usually love helping out with harvesting the worm casings. Remember that your helpers as well as yourself should wear gloves. Once all the worm casings are removed, keep aside some of the compost to mix in with the new bedding and then the cycle starts all over again. A more common way to harvest is to move everything worms, castings, bedding, food - to one side of the bin. Pick out partially decomposed materials and push to the other side. Place some food on top of the partially decomposed materials. Replace the lid and leave it alone for a couple weeks. During that time, the worms should migrate over to the new food. Once they’ve gone to the other side, put on a pair of gloves and harvest the castings. Make sure you don’t remove any worms in the process. Then give the worms new bedding mixed in with some residual compost. 17
Compost is useful whether you have an apartment adorned with potted plants or you have a backyard garden. Use compost to enrich potting soil and the soil in your garden. It also makes great mulch. It’s relatively hassle-free and you’re not only helping your plants, but the environment as well. Common Problems and Solutions Problem: Strong, unpleasant odors from the compost bin. Solutions: Most likely the odor is from rotting food because you are giving your worms too much to eat and food is sitting around too much so it rots. The solution is to stop adding food waste until the worms have broken down what they have. (Also avoid meat and other greasy food which can cause odor problems.) If odor becomes a problem, also try stirring the contents of your compost pile. That will allow more air in, which can also reduce odors. At the same time you are exploring those solutions also check your bin’s drainage holes to ensure they are not blocked and drill more holes if necessary. Worms will down if the bin’s contents are too wet. Problem: Worms are crawling out of the bedding and onto the sides or lid of the bin. Solution: The bedding may be too acidic which is forcing the worms to migrate. Bedding can become too acidic if you add too much acidic food scraps such as orange peels. Try reducing the amount of acidic organic matter that you’re putting into the bin. Problem: Fruit flies. Solution: Avoid the problem in the first place by burying food waste and not overloading your worms with too much food. You can also try keeping a plastic sheet or a piece of old carpet or sacking on the surface of the compost bin. If flies persist, consider moving the compost bin to a location where the files will not be a problem. Also think about recruiting a few friendly spiders to take up residence near the compost bin. We love the compost pail by simplehuman (pictured)! Clean up the composting process with the new, odorabsorbing stainless steel compost pail. Its integrated odorsorb™ filter absorbs food odors, and the large bamboo handle makes it easy to carry out to the compost heap.
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Teaching Children About Sustainability by Sabbithry Persad
“Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” –1987 Bruntland Report
Sustainability as defined in the Bruntland Report can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed, but teaching sustainability to children doesn’t have to be daunting. In simple terms, sustainability is ensuring that people and the earth have basic needs to thrive both now and in the indefinite future. If we look at this on a parental level, we can then ask how can parents teach children to understand people and the earth and help take care of both for ourselves now and for those that come after us. And according to The Successful Guide to Home Schooling, “studies have shown that children rely primarily on their parents to teach them strategies to respond effectively to external events (Spinrad, Losoya, Eisenberg and Fabes, 1999).” This makes parents a critical foundation for children to learn about sustainability. So how does a parent go about teaching sustainability to their child or children? One way is to teach children the basics of ecology. Allowing children to get outside and learn about the natural earth and its cycles – plants, animals, soil, and all the elements that surround us – can help them to develop an understanding and appreciation for all living and non-living things, including the way they are all connected and dependent upon each other. Encouraging children to interact with their environment and explore the beauty of this world that surrounds them could give them a long lasting gift that they take with them into the future. Other opportunities parents can take advantage of are: Allow children to participate in parents activities. Because children learn first and foremost from their parents, getting children involved in activities such as gardening, composting, reducing and reusing can help them to learn more than just the basics. I remember when my parents taught me how to plant fruits and herbs, something I haven’t forgotten to this day. Parents have a wealth of knowledge that they can impart and what better people to share that with than their children. Celebrate the diversity of culture and citizenship. Understanding different cultures, practices and traditions can help both children and parents to embrace different groups of people that live in their local community. Having a shared understanding fosters a connection with humanity, which might lead to helping the community and those live in it; locally and globally. Embrace multi-disciplinary and critical thinking by allowing children to think outside of the box. Innovation of ideas on how to develop and make things environmentally friendly, more efficient and with less packaging is critical to a sustainable future. Give children a head start by encouraging them to look everywhere for the answers to things that they may not
know or may ask about. With the influx of information on the Internet, parents would need to be a guide to teach children to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of information. And finally, parents could assist children with conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating the information they find. Decisions involve making conscious choices about how one’s behaviour and actions impact the environment, our community, and the world. Preparing children with a foundation that helps them to make better choices that serves humanity and the earth now and in the future is something parents can be proud of for generations to come.
10 Ways to Recycle with Children... 1. Put on a scavenger hunt with recyclable material types: plastic, glass, metal (aluminum and steel), and paper. then show kids how to identify and separate them. 2. Make recycling a fun family activity by reusing unwanted items. Donate them, host a yard sale or make some thing new from them, like arts and crafts. 3. Clean up and beautify the community. Volunteer for city or school recycle events. 4. Start a fundraising campaign/program. Collect aluminum cans and other materials then sell them to a reseller in your area. 5. Start a new game to learn the seven types of plastic. Make a sign with the plastic symbols and test each other to see who remembers them all. 6. Have family story time. Read Garbology Kids Where Do Recyclable Materials Go?. 7. Get together with neighbors and put on a recycle play for the community. You can also video tape it. 8. Start a recycle race or event with neighbors to see who can recycle the most items. 9. Visit a MURF (Materials Recovery Facility or Recycle Center) in your community. 10. Play a word game with kids where they try to make as many words as they can from the words “recyclable materials.”
Garbology Kids Where Do Recyclable Materials Go? by Sabbithry Persad Follow Bubbles and the recycling truck to the MURF. The Materials Recovery Facility! Find out how papers, plastics, metals and glass are collected, sorted and baled to be made into new products. www.garbologykids.com 23
Make Your Own Find It Type Game
By Donna Sangwin, Director | reCREATE.org
My kids are always interested in picking up those games at the store filled with plastic pellets, where you look for the hidden objects, so when someone donated a bunch of silica pellets to reCREATE, we tried our hand at making our own. You can also use rice if you don’t have silica. Items needed: • 10 to 15 small toys or other items (Think party favors) • Empty tennis ball container or other clear container • Silica (dessicant used to absorb moisture.) or rice as the filler • Label or piece of paper to list all the hidden items • Tape to secure the top of the container • A piece of paper to use as a funnel for pouring the pellets in the container This is so easy, just layer your hidden objects in the container, with the filler. Be sure to leave some space at the top so that the items can move around, and you can find the hidden objects. The more full it is the hard it is to find the objects. Tape up the lid. Make sure to secure a label on the top of the lid with the items contained. Ways to play with the treasure hunting game: Use a timer and see how long it takes to find all the items hiding. Find them alphabetically.
Simple Party Favor Recycled Crayons By Donna Sangwin, Director | reCREATE.org
What to do with broken crayons? Recycle them into new multicolored crayon shapes! My kids and I made these recently, and were amazed just how easy they were to make. What you need: • A mold – We used a Silicone Heart Shaped candy tray mold. You need to use something that won’t melt. Mini muffin tins also work. • Loads of broken crayons, with all the paper removed. How to do it: • Break the crayons into pieces. • Put into the mold. We liked many different colors in one crayon, and they were a hit with the kids too! • Put in the oven, heat to 300 degrees and watch them melt. Do not leave them in too long or the colors all mix together and make one icky color. • Remove from oven and cool. • Attach to a small card, thanking them for coming to the birthday party!
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Tiny Revolutionary’s t-shirt line reflects progressive points of view on topics such as the environment, animal rights and war but present them in bold designs that are irresistibly cute and witty. From the controversial, “War is Poop” to the universal “I’ll Change the World Someday,” there is a bit of something for everyone. “We didn’t want to take it all too seriously. It is kids’ clothes after all. We are trying to have a bit of fun with it while maintaining the potency of the core message,” says founder BreeAnne Clowdus. “We’re basically taking the Golden Rule, that all parents teach their children, to the next level by connecting it to social consciousness.” Tiny Revolutionary’s approach is based on the belief that teaching kids to celebrate their individuality and approach the world with a compassionate spirit and sense of social responsibility is one of the very best opportunities to make the world a better place. Tiny Revolutionary products, philosophies and bios of owners are available online at www.tinyrevolutionary.com.
Celebrating Mother’s Day Keeping it Green and Simple
by Erin Ely Mother’s Day is the one special day of the year when families around the world come together to honor their mothers and to show their appreciation and support to mom for her love, care and unconditional support. Despite the commercial aspect of Mother’s Day, it turns out that Mother’s Day has been recognized in special ways for thousands of years. It began in Ancient Greece, with a special day of festivities during the spring to celebrate Rhea, the mother of the gods. During the early 1600s, the early Christians in England translated the celebration into a ritual in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Later, the holiday was expanded in scope to include all mothers and was re-named Mothering Sunday. Eventually, the age-old custom re-emerged in the United States in 1907 when Anna M Jarvis started a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day. As a result of her efforts the first mother’s day was observed on May 10, 1908. The idea of having a special day ‘caught on’ across the US and in 1914, US President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. Today, Mother’s Day is a very special day joyfully celebrated in over 40 countries around the world. Anyway you say it: Mom, Mutti, Mum, Mama, Mutter, Madre.... Mothers deserve the royal treatment on their special day. Mother’s day today is big business and it has become very commercialized. If you are looking for an alternatives for ways to let mom know you care, without buying in to the commercialized mania of this holiday, consider one of these low cost, meaningful, DIY gift items. Keeping it simple is key, one of my favorite ideas is the “Mother’s Day Coupon” book. Martha Stewart has great template and easy instructions to create a memorable gift for mom. There are all kinds of options for coupons, fixing dinner, car wash, baby sitting, chores, breakfast in bed, it’s
only limited by your imagination. You can easily print the template on card stock, cut the coupons out, punch hole in them and tie them with some nice ribbon. For that pampering gift, make mom a salt scrub. Exfoliating with a salt scrub will leave her skin glowing and smooth. Mom can enjoy a refreshing spa treatment at home at any time. Organic carrier oil, Salt and organic essential oils are the 3 basic ingredients for salt scrub. Make sure you are using the highest quality organic oils and organic essential oils. 1) Oil - olive oil is a good choice as it has been used for generations as a skin moisturizer and is easily available. Oils from plants have been proven to heal dry skin. Another option is jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is one of the oils that is most like the natural oils secreted by human skin. Other good oil options: apricot kernel oil, and avacodo oil. 2) Essential Oils - you might want to try one of these ideas for essential oils. Lavender imparts a relaxing scent, Rosemary is invigorating. Feel free to experiment with combining essential oils to create your own scent. You can read more about essential oils at ElyOrganics.com Recipe: Combine 4 oz (1/2 cup) of oil with 5 drops of essential oil. Place one cup of salt into a bowl, add the oil mixture and stir until well blended. Place the mixture into a wide mouth jar or repurpose used bottles or jars. Some of the oil may rise to the top of the jar so stir before using. To customize your gift, clean used jars thoroughly, soak to remove labels and re-create your own label from sticky printer paper. You can also find some clip art label templates here. Add your Mom’s name and perhaps an inspiring or uplifting quote. Include the ingredients used and add “love” and “gratitude” to the list. Erin Ely is the owner of ElyOrganics.com - your source for Miessence certified organic products. Erin is married to Doug and has two children Locke, 20 and Maggie, 16. Erin has spent the last 6 years educating herself about the issues of chemicals in the personal care products and the environment and helping others to understand the dangers of using chemical based products.
Michael Recycle Written By: Ellie Bethel Illustrated By: Alexandra Colombo Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, Michael Recycle tells the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling. After cleaning up a town, the people declare: “To Michael Recycle! The green-caped crusader, our super-green hero, the planet’s new savior!” www.amazon.com 36
Moving? Congratulations! You have decided to take the plunge and move from one place to another. It might be for financial reasons or it might be for familial reasons, but the fact of the matter is that you are reading this article because you have made that decision. You are now ready to go forward, but there is still the logistical matter of actually packing everything and moving it to another location to deal with. If this is something that worries you, it is always worthwhile to consider ways that your moving can be gentler on the environment. It might not decrease the worry about moving, but it will certainly make you feel better in other ways. Recycled Boxes One of the best ways in which you can make your move more environmentally friendly would be to use recycled boxes. Use recycled boxes in all of your packing endeavours, taking with them all of the different things that you were going to move anyway. This is an idea that does not occur to a lot of people, but it is also one that is very easy to institute. It is a good example of an action that is environmentally friendly while at the same time just being a very easy thing to do. A lot of people that are in a position to do this actually shy away from doing it because they feel that recycled boxes would not really change anything. If you are thinking this right now, go and take a look at all of the things that you have to pack. Then, take a look at the size of the recycled boxes. Doing some mental math, come up with the number of recycled boxes you would need in order to support the move. Then, imagine everyone else that moves doing the same thing. Youâ€™ll realize right away that actions like these would add up to something immense if everyone did them. Therefore, you should use recycled boxes when you are moving.
No Downside Truth be told, it is hard to understand why someone would not want to use recycled boxes in their move. The fact of the matter is that there is no actual downside to moving with recycled boxes at the current moment in time. In fact, if you donâ€™t have any boxes to use (which most people do not when they initially think about moving), you are actually not doing anything out of the ordinary by moving with recycled boxes. Instead of going to get normal boxes, you go to a different place and get recycled ones. Aside from that, everything else is exactly the same. There is no downside in exchange for the amazing upside of helping the environment out in a significant way. Conclusion The fact of the matter is that sometimes doing things to help the environment can be so ridiculously easy. This is one of those cases. If you have children, you certainly care about the state the world will be in when they are adults. Help take baby steps in the right direction today by using recycled boxes when you move.
photos by Britsnap Photography
How to Teach Kids About the Environment by Bobby Donohue | www.planetbonehead.com 40
When we came up with the concept of this TV show, the first thing we agreed upon was that it would not promote the same “doom and gloom” atmosphere that is typically associated with discussions about the environment. Global warming, species extinction, ecosystem destruction, natural resource depletion - these are all heavy topics that many adults have a difficult time discussing. So how do you present them to children?
pollution on sea turtles indigenous to the Southeastern United States is affecting our entire ocean ecosystem. Sea turtles are a “key stone” species, vital to the health and balance of our planet’s oceans.
Being parents ourselves, we knew firsthand how intuitive our own children are, and that if presented in a fun, upbeat fashion, kids can tackle just about any subject with wisdom and contagious optimism. While their grown-ups run around fighting with each other over why we can’t do this and can’t fix that, kids approach everything with a “can do” attitude. Luckily for the planet, they just don’t know any better. Planet Bonehead combines a handful of ingredients to create a presentation that kids, parents and teachers around the country are embracing. We present real environmental issues and explain how they affect humans on a local, national and global scale. We showcase real life heroes of all ages who are making headway on resolving these issues. We create a fun, entertaining atmosphere with our own lovable, calciferous characters. And most importantly, we offer kids ideas for things they can do at home and school to make a real difference right now. Our philosophy is that by empowering kids, we are setting them up for success. An empowered mind sees solutions. An empowered child sees a bright future for himself or herself, and for the world at large. Planet Bonehead introduces children to relevant environmental issues, and explains why these issues are important to humans. Two recent examples are honey bees and sea turtles. The mysterious disappearance of honey bees throughout the United States is having a huge impact on our agricultural system (honey bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the food we eat). The effects of global warming and
The question that parents and educators should be asking is not “should we discuss the environment with our kids?” but rather “how do we discuss it it?” At Planet Bonehead, we have found that by showing kids the wonder of Planet Earth, they immediately “get” why it’s important, and that it’s worth saving. By showcasing real scientists and non-profit volunteers working to solve current issues, kids have something to aspire to and admire. And by offering examples of activities they can do right now, kids feel like they are part of the solution. Empowering kids and making them feel vital and valuable is a good idea in any subject. Doing so for our planet ensures that future generations are led by master environmental stewards. Isn’t that something we can all get behind? After all, it’s your planet too! 41
Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green®
Help Put Cloth Diapers in the Record Books
Cloth diapers have come a long way in past 10 years, and it’s time to stand up and be noticed. Celebrate Earth Day, by joining the North American and International cloth diaper community on April 23rd, 2011 at 9AM PDT to set the world record for the most cloth diapers changed simultaneously. There are many ways to participate so please take a few minutes to explore our web site to find a location near you or offer to host a location of your own. The more babies participating the better, so every cloth diapered bum counts. Can’t attend an event near you? Consider getting involved in your local cloth diaper community by learning more about organizations like the RDIA and RDA. We can’t wait to put cloth diapers into the record books!
In recognition of the power of millions of individual actions, Earth Day 2011 will be organized around A Billion Acts of Green®: Personal, organizational and corporate pledges to live and act sustainably. At over 45 million actions to date, A Billion Acts of Green® campaign – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – is steadily building commitments by individuals, corporations, and governments in honor of Earth Day. A Billion Acts of Green® inspires and rewards both simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. A Billion Acts of Green® website quantifies acts of green through an easy-to-use online registration tool. A Billion Acts of Green® demonstrates the kind of environmental impact that can be made when millions of people, corporations and organizations make commitments, both small and large, to better their environment.
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by Lindsay McPhail | www.earthmonkeymoms.com I am relatively new to the whole “green” scene. I have recycled for years, but honestly that’s only because the garbage company brings big recycle bins right to my door and it saves on our trash bill. It hasn’t been until we started developing our eco-friendly line at Earth Monkeys that I started to be aware of just how UN-GREEN I really was. Sometimes I feel like the new kid in church... like the guy up front is going to call me out because I’m not good enough to be in this crowd. (Consequently that is exactly how I felt when I became a pastor’s wife... and it’s not a good feeling.) I tend to be a bit of a rebel... I don’t like to conform and snobby superiority makes me want to do just the opposite no matter what the cause is... immature? Probably, but it’s kind of what has kept me from making eco-friendly changes in my lifestyle until now... right, wrong or otherwise. I am a work in progress when it comes to running a green household. I am passionate that taking baby steps is the key to making lasting, effective change, so that’s what I’m
doing. My life is pure chaos most of the time. I have three boys 5, 3 and 2 and my oldest two have autism. Combine that with trying to run a business, blogging, cleaning, doing the laundry, cooking... like all of you my list goes on... most days I just don’t want to add one more thing to my plate. If faced with the decision between eco-friendly and convenience my choice will vary on any given day... (insert judgment here)… but that’s just how it is, and I bet I’m not alone. What I have realized though, is that there are so many things that I can do right now to make an impact on the environment that aren’t hard and even save me money. The more I do them the easier it gets and the less I have to think about making the right choice. Here are 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO “GREENIFY” your family and probably even save you money in the process... These are just a few of many, but they are what I am working on personally to make this lifestyle change a priority in my life. 1. Stop using paper towels. A few months ago a friend shamed me into (encouraged) me to just buy a pack of those towels and use them instead of paper towels. If I do buy paper, I buy recycled from seventh generation. They are 43
6. Put on some socks. My house is old and drafty, we’re talking all original 1958. I can even feel breeze through my windows on a stormy day, it’s that bad. Someday I hope to replace them with an energy efficient alternative, for now I have to do the best I can with what I have. So, instead of cranking up the heat to 85 to make-up for the cold, we just bundle up 1) Because a $500 power bill isn’t fun to pay and 2) Because it’s an easy energy saver! 7. Join the Reuse Revolution on our Earth Monkeys website! Make the pledge not to buy disposable bibs and changing pads. You don’t have to use our products, but choosing to use washable, reusable items does make a difference. www.earthmonkeys.com
a lot spendier so I think twice before I use them and they last longer 2. Turn your lights off and unplug stuff you’re not using. OK, honestly I am still really working on this one, it’s extra hard when you’re the only person in the house who doesn’t think every single light needs to be on 24/7. However, I do notice a difference in our power bill when I commit to turning off what we aren’t using. Even unplugging the espresso machine and cell phone chargers can make a big impact on our budget and by extension the environment. 3. Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones. They’re a little more pricey upfront but save on the electric bill big time! I replaced them slowly one room at a time so it wasn’t such a shock to my wallet. 4. Check out A Simple Switch by Philips on Facebook. They have great tips and challenges on making small changes, and often do giveaways with eco-friendly and recycled items. 5. Stop Using Plastic Bags. Either bring your own or use paper bags (I shred the paper bags and use them as filling for Earth Monkeys gift bags... so don’t give me that finger wave:) I’ve got the grocery store down but I always forget my bags at Target or other stores... I then have to do the “walk of shame” and hope none of our readers are lurking around the corner waiting to bust me. 44
8. Find a favorite Green Mom’s Blog to follow. My personal favorite is Secret Mommy... she’s a real mom with crazy monkeys who does her best to live a green lifestyle. I have never felt judged or less than by anything she’s written... only encouraged and inspired! 9. Limit shower time. If you’re anything like me 90% of my showers are under 5 minutes because my children are either screaming and crying at the door or they are being “too” quiet (even more dangerous.) But there are those rare occasions when they are napping or hubby is on site to police them, when I can actually shave my legs and maybe even use a loofa. I timed myself the other day and at 5 minutes only one leg was shaved and I still hadn’t shampooed. While once in a while is probably no big deal I have decided to pay more attention to wasting water and save any pampering, “me time” for outside of the shower. 10. REUSE REUSE REUSE REUSE. Of course buying eco-friendly and recycled goods is important when you’re able to, but my new motto is “Old” is the new “Green”. Craigslist is our best friend. It saves money and you’re giving something that another person can’t use anymore new life. I also frequent Kid to Kid, a used children’s clothing and toy store. They only take and sell items that are in great shape and honestly I’ve found some steals there. Another way to promote reusing is to do clothing swaps. Get a group of friends together, crack open a bottle of wine and trade clothes and accessories, it’s fun, cheap and an easy way to score a new wardrobe! This whole process is a journey for me, it is a deliberate choice everyday to have the mindset to make good decisions and to become a good example for my kids. Not because it’s trendy and popular to be green, but quite frankly because Pixar’s Wall-e freaked me out and more importantly because I want my kids to see the value in not just being a consumer in life environmentally or socially and to see how even small decisions can effect the world we live in.
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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 45
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The Franklin Goose Richmond, VA store is an eco-conscious inspiration. The designers and owners worked together to fill their 111 year old building with only reclaimed display pieces. Their dedication to natural & organic products are not just a selling point for them, but also the way they live and do business. When they decided to open their store they knew they had to set an example in the industry of what was possible for retail stores. They began raiding the local salvage yards, thrift stores and antique stores finding items like an old staircase, to be used to store their diapers, old radiators and doors, used for their front desk, and fence posts that now make up the back wall of the check out area. Their bathroom is a testament to what can be done to save our resources, by using a dual flow toilet and water faucet that uses its own water pressure to power its sensor and water flow. Natural & organic toys, diapers, clothing, feeding supplies, bath & body products as well as everyday living supplies line their reclaimed shelves, hang from recycled hangers and stack neatly in old wire baskets. â€œOur customers have come to rely on the knowledge that everything we carry has been carefully vetted to meet the highest safety and chemical free standards there are,â€? states owner Sheri Doyle. 48
Upstairs there is a private lactation & changing room for momâ€™s and their families, and a classroom they use to sponsor community meet-up groups, diaper swaps, and art activities for children. For Franklin Goose, the store is a vessel for the community to come together to learn about natural & organic living and to support each other in their choices. For Earth day the store will be inviting families to come help them plant an edible garden which will be watered with their rain barrel installed in the back of the building. Franklin Goose shares their expertise and knowledge on their blog and website where you can learn great facts, find fun activities, and giveaways as well as share with each other in their online community. We look forward to watching them grow and expand as they lead the industry in setting eco-conscious examples for the community. You can find them at 3401 W. Cary St. Richmond, VA or online at www.franklingoose.com.
Lil’ Sisters Folk Art & Veggies: Living Green as a Family by Sarah Rees
Most of us are aware that Earth Day is some sort of minor holiday, tucked away with Secretary’s Day or National Donut Day. And in celebration, we may drag our recycling boxes down to the curb or throw an organic cotton tee in the Walmart cart. For a lot of us, that’s good enough. And then you’ve got the Moores. Alan Moore, a self-taught folk artist, is passionate about making living green doable, fun, and—most of all—a family affair. Along with his wife Lori and their children: Isabella, Emma, Aidan, and Liam, he’s spreading the eco-love around through gardening and promoting art made with upcycled materials . . . starting in his own backyard. “It started as more of a solo thing,” says Alan. “My exhibits had been individual, and my website
just focused on my work. I’m happy to say that’s changed.” Alan has joined forces with his family to maintain a large suburban garden using all-natural pesticides and plant fertilizer, including homemade compost. The garden itself is a work of art, showcasing brightly colored plant boxes and a picket fence 50
and animal shapes along the length of the privacy fence. Each tier of the garden is home to a unique vegetable or herb, and the nearby section of fence flaunts loofah plants climbing up a homemade trellis. It’s still a work in progress, but one day Lori might be able to trade in purchased sponges for their own homegrown variety. The family’s newest ambitions include plans for Isabella and Emma to host a farmer’s market on the family’s property during the
spring and summer months. “They’re planning on selling seven varieties of tomatoes and three kinds of peppers, plus okra, basil, rosemary, and oregano,” Alan explains. Alan and his daughters are also working hard to create their own spin on Southern folk art, using 99% salvaged materials. Isabella, age 9, and Emma age 7, have their own website (www.lilsistersfolkartandveggies.com) and have opened an online shop at Etsy.com (www.etsy.com/shop/lilsistersfolkart) to sell their artwork. “We paint on old sheet metal, doors, window frames, and wood fencing using low-VOC 51
or no-VOC house paints. We also like to reclaim the ‘oops paint’ from the local hardware store.” Armed with paint, brushes, and the materials they rescue from salvage yards or the curbside, they’re taking recycling to new heights. Both gardening and producing artwork as a family have broadened his own horizons, says Alan. “While I can get stuck in a rut of utilizing the same art patterns over and over, the girls have little to prove and
foraged from the woods. Last year we had jalapeno poppers, potato pancakes, stuffed peppers, fresh tomatoes with chive and basil cream cheese dressing, and berry cobbler for dessert.” For the Moores, green living has been a successful stepping-stone toward the goal of family teamwork. Together, they grow, salvage, visualize, and create. And together they’re carrying this message to their community and beyond—one tomato at a time. Sarah Rees blogs at
Photography by Lily Photography, paddyandlily.com.
To find out more about Alan and the rest of the crew, visit their spot on the web at
nothing to be afraid of. And that’s what their art reflects. They’ve really rubbed off on me, and under their influence, I’ve stretched my imagination to use different techniques and motifs.” In turn he hopes that his children will absorb his values of redemption, creativity, and embracing the mission of taking salvage materials and turning them into something fresh to share with the world. “For us, I really want to promote stewardship of God’s creation. We need to take care of the world He’s given us.” Alan and Lori have a vision that extends beyond their family. Through local festivals and events that promote green living and art, the Moores are carrying their message to the community. “So far we’ve booked events through September, doing stuff from sidewalk chalk art for non-profit organizations to participating in local festivals.” The family hosts Art Days at their home, inviting friends to try their hand at folk art. “We also host an event we call The Annual Moore Family Pick and Eat. It’s an evening during the summer when a few other families join us as we prepare a meal exclusively using homegrown veggies and fruit 53
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Moving? Do it Greener, Greening Your Life, Teaching Kids About the Environment and more!