We Should Teach The 5 R’s from Refuse to Recycle

EnvironmentalistsMy children are not even in school yet but it I see everything they are learning about already at life and in daycare tells me they are ready for a real education in environment.

Refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle and are all things kids can learn about at a very young age.

Refuse

We refuse single use plastic bags (and paper bags) because we bring our own bags. My daughter is the first one to remind me that we need our bags. We have a few Disney bags in our collection so she likes to make sure we have her bags with us when we go to the store. We use these bags at every store too, I have gotten some looks at the mall with my bags when I am not interested in taking their shopping bag. It seems to not be social acceptable yet to bring your own bag to the mall. [Read more...]

Parents: What To Ask About Greening The Classroom

Welcome to the September 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Extending Natural Living to the Classroom.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they extend their family’s natural lifestyle to their child’s school. Hop around to each post to get some tips and share your own!

 

What Parents Should Ask About Greening The ClassroomMy children are not in school yet but this fall my husband and I are looking into all the educational options for our kids. My daughter starts kindergarten next year and we are starting to tour private schools and arranging a visit to our local public school. Our mind is all over the place with options and what we think we might want to do. What I do know is I am going to look at the following things at all the schools.

Curriculum: Where does science, social studies, and environmental education fall in the curriculum. It is one thing to have an assembly or some activities around Earth Day but it is a another thing to incorporate it into the curriculum as whole. I want to see science lessons in the curriculum including education about weather, plants, and animals. Often in preparation for core skills testing mandated by state and federal guidelines science and social studies get pushed to more of an elective role, or worse, it is almost nonexistent. I want to see it incorporated as much as it can be even in kindergarten. [Read more...]

How To Pack A Zero-Waste Lunch

Zerowastelunch1My children are young but I have already packed at least 1,250 lunches (not including my own) over the last four years and every single one of them has been zero waste. Earthshare.org estimates the average American child who brings their lunch to school creates 67 lbs of garbage per year! This garbage includes juice boxes, plastic bags, plastic utensils, napkins, and single use containers like potato chip bags and cans of soup. All of this waste does not get reused and most of it ends up in the landfill. Purchasing prepackages and pre-made food not only contributes to the waste but is often less healthy than a homemade “real food” option with no preservatives.

You can pack a lunch for one kid or the entire family without packing lunches filled with plastic parts and disposable bags. Here are some tips, tricks, and favorite products that have helped me keep at least 670 lbs of garbage out of the landfill in the last four years.

Sippy Cups and Water Bottles

No matter what is going on, your kids will need a drink. We have five Klean Kanteen stainless steel sippy cups that we converted to water bottle tops as the kids got older. They take these cups to school everyday and use them all day. We still have the same one that we purchased when the kids were born and they are still in great condition.

Head over to Klean Kanteen’s website to see all their products you will see all their sippy cups, water bottle options for Mom and Dad (my kids love that I have my own), and their new stainless steel containers. [Read more...]

The Lunch Revolt: How I am Fighting Back

Lunch RevoltI loved the Chappelle Show when it was on and one of my favorite bits he did was “when keeping it real goes wrong.” As mom, who blogs about the environment and real food it is tough when yours kids completely revolted against everything you write about. My kids have not eaten most of their lunch this past week and I am completely baffled.

I have a picky eater and one that will try and eat anything. The picky eater is always a challenge but she generally eats her favorites in fact I find it frustrating making her almost the same or similar lunch everyday. My adventurous eater who eats a ton of food everyday decided he did not want to eat pretty much anything this week for lunch or dinner (my kids like me have ALWAYS loved breakfast). [Read more...]

Unacceptable Levels: The Documentary

facts from unacceptable levels image Even before I was a Mom I always wonder: What is in the air I breathe? The water I drink? The food I eat? Even the things I put on my skin? When I was a child I had a friend who had to be home schooled with a tutor after the chemicals they started spraying in school made her so ill she could not walk into the building. Film maker Ed Brown asked many of these same things after his wife suffered two miscarriages (they now have two beautiful children). He traveled around the country with his video camera to interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy and law and learned there are unacceptable levels of chemicals in so many things including our bodies.

Approximately 200 synthetic industrial chemicals interact with our cells every single day. Ed’s documentary titled Unacceptable Levels dissects the ways chemicals saturate our homes and environment amida backdrop of a glaring lack of regulation. It chronicles the results of the post-WWII chemical boom and details common avenues of exposure, from food to fluoride to toxic sludge. [Read more...]

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