Summer and Being Green

Summer and Being GreenSometimes you are able to stick to what you believe in and sometimes you don’t. These last few weeks have not allowed me to stick to my vegan commitment or my workout commitment. I blame summer… ok maybe I should blame myself but really summer has not allowed me to stay committed.

When did it start? Vacation… where it starts for most people in the summer. I had a fantastic week off with my family and my husbands entire immediately family. Tons of little kids and great beach weather. You could argue I got excersize carrying children over hot sand dunes but the reality is I did not get the right amount of physical activity that I should have. I layer around as much as I humanly could which is more than I have since my daughter was born over 6 years ago. [Read more…]

What You Need To Know About Safe Sunscreen and Review Of GoddessGarden

s​afesunscreenIt was a long winter for many people in the country. Many of us were cooped up for a long time but now that the weather is nice we want to get outside and feel the sun on our face… not so fast you need to wear sunscreen, safe sunscreen. You should have been wearing it all winter to be honest but if you have not you really have to now. Goddess Garden is a favorite in our house because all of our different skin sensitivities.

Why is Goddess Garden our favorite sunscreen?

My daughter was our sunscreen guinea pig. I must have tried at least 10 different sunscreens on her in the first few years of her life. Some would not rub in easily, others felt greasy, and a few even irritated her skin (she has the least sensitive skin of the entire family!). Putting sunscreen in the morning everyday was an ordeal there were times where I was basically chasing her around the house. At the beginning of last summer I saw a huge display of Goddess Garden sunscreen and tried it, she said she liked it and every morning when and got it for me to put on her before school and camp! [Read more…]

How to Pack a Green and Healthy School Lunch

back to school lunch2It always amazes me how fast summer ends. Kids are heading back to school next week in parts of the country and there are some great things you can get to “green” your kids lunches:

Lunch box. Old Navy actually has some awesome metal lunchboxes, my daughter has a Hello Kitty “Go Green” one. Do not use a plastic one but a metal one or one made of recycled materials (follow the link for some cool bags).

Drinks: Do not waste money and resources by purchasing juice or milk boxes. Think of the packaging: Plastic straws, the plastic they wrap it in and the actual container. You can save money and control what they drink by putting your kids drinks in a reusable water bottle. For those of you who read my blog regularly you probably feel like this is a broken record but it makes a HUGE difference. This is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Klean Kanteen is king at our house we have a few in different colors!!! Be sure to pick stainless steel bottles not alumium (many alumium bottles have a thin plastic coating inside the bottle)

Utensils: Pack utensils for them. I carry a set around with me in my purse and it really helps me be green on the go. It is just as easy to put them into the dishwasher at night with the dinner dishes, their food containers, and their reusable water bottle.

Napkins: Pack a cloth napkin. Some kids may not go for this one… but see how they feel about it. Being green is in right now so they might be game for it. If you are crafty make them cool ones that their friends will be jealous of here is a great tutorial from The Purl Bee!

Containers: Do not put food in plastic anything (bags, containers…etc.). Find a reusable container to put these items in. I prefer the glass (check with your school to see if they have a “no glass” rule) and stainless steel containers. I use Lunchbots because even the tops are stainless steel and they last forever. Feel like you cannot part from the plastic bag? Go on Etsy and search for reusable lunch bags, there are so many amazing people there making cute bags for kids. If you eliminate plastic bags for an entire school year you have saved 180+ plastic baggies from the landfill and our ocean.

Food: I highly recommend The Lunch Box: Loaded with Fun, Healthy Meals to Go. It is a great book with tons of great recipes. I really love this book! The recipe for banana bread is perfect and they have so many other great ideas. I recently let my daughter flip through it and pick things out. The pictures are perfect.

Note: My Mom never did this but I am sure I will do it when my kids are old enough to read or at least appreciate my doodles! Paint the inside top of the lunch box with chalkboard paint and doodle something everyday, it does not always have to be lovey dovey it can be funny like a joke, random fact or some silly short story about when you were in school!

My most important recommendation is to buy a double set for each kid if you can. Sometimes your dishwasher just is not full at night or you forget. The fastest way to stop being green is to be lazy, it is commitment, so to meet yourself halfway if you get two of what you need and you will not have trouble sticking to it. Honestly you will save a ton of money in the long run.

Buy them organic and locally grown food. Even if it is just for a few weeks try to get to the farmers market before they go away for the winter and get some locally grown food.

Avoid prepackaged food. If you are going to give your kids pre-made food like Oreos buy the larger container and put an individual Oreo in a reusable bag. Beside the obvious packaging issues for the environment, think of your kids health.

My usual Lunchable rant: Really read the label of a Lunchable… it is a disgrace and we wonder why kids have health problems… Sorry I have VERY strong opinions about Lunchables you can easily make a healthier lunchable with a stainless steel lunch bot or bento box anyway!

Photo’s courtesy of Daily Voice, Kleen Kanteen, reusablebags.com, Go Lightly, Design Sponge, and Amazon.

 

Two Thirds of the Country Under a Heat Advisory

That was an actual news article title I saw today, yesterday and the day before.

Heat index in most of the country will be over 100 some places reaching almost 120!

There are rolling power reductions across NY city that started yesterday, meaning certain office building are being asked to reduce their power usage during certain hours to make sure that the city can stay powered and keep the residents cool. NY is not alone in this struggle to keep the power on (here is an article on the record-setting power demand).

13 people have died due to the heat and it is still predicted to last for 2 more days. I read an article that states the statistics are really much higher but to “classify” that someone died because of the heat is not usually the primary cause so unfortunately the number is likely much higher. Also the same article stated that more people die from heat (just the defined heat related deaths) than hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme weather COMBINED! I was shocked!

If you are on Facebook you know that almost everyone is posting about the heat either their car’s temperature gauge, a sign they see, or their own comments/observations on the heat and how it has affected them. I have seen no posts about how people love the heat, although to be fair I did read (and comment) on a lively conversation about whether a foot of snow is better than 100 plus heat. I said snow absolutely was better and was pretty much called crazy by every other person!

One common factor I have seen in these posts is the general comments and tone is THIS JUST IS NOT NORMAL. I could not agree more. Each summer is hotter than the last one and the top ten hottest US summers on record the last 3 are on that list and I am willing to bet this summer will make it too.

We all know there are millions of naysayers out there about global warming (a term that should be banned because of its negative connotation with people) and climate change/climate weirding.

How can we all look at this nationwide heat wave and not re-evaluate what we are doing in our lives that is contributing to this discomfort?

PS. I have been writing lots of posts and researching lots of things to post here but when I saw that title I could not let this nationwide heat wave go uncommented on while I work on those other posts!