Friday, April 1, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Okay so we have heard it before, so many times and you would figure that we undersstood it.  Well most of us do:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Most of us are very good at the recycle part.  For me that is the easiest... Recycling.  But then on todays like today, I stop and think and complain a little:  "Why are my recycling cans so small for everything I am trying to recycle; I am trying to be green here and how can I when I can not fit all my recycling in the little bin provided...etc."  BUT I forget or more correctly find it a challenge the reducing part.  I really need to stop and think about the reducing and reusing portions of the cycle.  I think for the week that will be my goal:  REDUCE!!!

Have you mastered the reduce aspect - share your success through your comments.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Importance of Biodiversity in Farmers Markets - GUEST POST by Thomas Morrison

Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) as well as US Ecologist Gary Nabhan believe we must try new ways in order to promote crop diversity. Nabhan takes a different approach to biodiversity and believes that we must remember to try new things and immerse ourselves in the very concept of diversity. He has caught the attention of many over the years through his theories of sustainability through grocery shopping. In an interview recently Nabhan stated that, “in other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage.” His article Coming Home to Eat was published in 2001, and afterwards the local food movement exploded with a movement towards farmers markets and everything green.

Along with Gary Nabhan there have been a rising number of organizations that are starting to see the importance of contributing to sustainability through conservation. Bill Clinton, Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working diligently on removing emission reduction projects throughout the country. They have partnered with companies such as Donlen, Environmental Defense Fund, and GreenDriver to reduce commercial fleet emissions 20% in five years. The Earth Day Network has also been playing a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiast together opening a forum to discussion new ways to support our planet. As climate control continues to worsen, collaboration amongst individuals and organizations is essential for a successful green campaign. As human beings, we’re always being told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and spend less time in the shower. Gary Nabhan strongly suggests that we take a step back and look at this from a completely different perspective.

A study done by the The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, shows that only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and about a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In addition, just about 4 crop species supply half of plant-based calories in the human diet. Nabhan proposes that eating foods that are homegrown will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. Otherwise known as “eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory in that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we’re promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.

Agriculturist Marco Contiero also mentions “biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.” According to Conterio’s theory, this would suggest that as individuals we tend our own crops/plants, and should make sure to purchase localized farm products at supermarkets and groceries. In the end, this condenses export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.

Both theories rely profoundly on an action-oriented approach at conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, organizations and individuals have taken a stronger following to expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists. As the fall season approaches, remember to visit your local farmers markets to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, as eco-conscious individuals, don’t hesitate to stop the next time you drive by a yard stand with fresh crops. It is clear that promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Please Consider the Envirnment Before Printing

Since moving to the beautiful province of Saskatchewan, I have been lucky enough to get a job where I work from home. Hows that for reducing my carbon footprint? I enjoy the job very much and communicate mostly by e-mail to prospective and existing 'clients'.

The thing I am slowly discovering about my new home is that it is not on the "green" cutting edge, and I am faced with daily 'green' obstacles in my community.

Today, I added the "please consider the environment before printing this e-mail" to my e-mail signature. I took the time to google this and saw many comments on its UN-usefulness...just google it and you too can see the comments. However, I believe that it is a very important reminder and another tool to create 'green' awareness. There are still some people who print everything they get on e-mail, this can just serve as a gentle reminder to them. To those who are offended by this reminder well - too bad - write whatever you want on your e-mail signature, that's the beauty of it - we are all free to express ourselves as we choose and I choose to express my "green" concerns.

If my e-mail signature can help reduce the printing of the e-mails that I send out - then to me that is success. Every little green act adds up eventually and the awareness can continue.

One of the comments that got me all riled up was: "when you do print one of these e-mails with the 'consider the environment' signatures, the signature always requires a second page, a then wasted page" What I would like to say to that is: Then delete the darn signature before printing!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Welcome to the Praries

BIG MOVE......Sold our house in September of 2009 and have moved provinces. From British Columbia to Saskatchewan. We are now livingin a small town located 10 minutes from a city.

Many green challenges are on the horizon for me here.... I will attempt to post more regularly as I embark on 'greening' the Prairies.... Stay tuned.

Thank you

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Selling our house

Although I have not kept up to date on my blog of going green - I have maintained the green lifestlyle and continue to grow in greenness.

We are in the process of selling our wonderful house, and once sold and we have moved I look forward to continuing this blog as I do miss posting to it.

In the meantime please visit my new blog: Squamish House For Sale and if you know anyone who wants to buy this house let them know about it and please let our agent know. Thanks to all my followers for your continued support.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mother's going GREEN - Organic Make Up

I have been using my make up for a while now and rather than rush out and buy all natural and green products I figured I would only replace finished items with the new and improved greener versions.

I do not and have never spent large sums of money on make up - drug store brands have pretty much sufficed for me. I do not wear that much and never bought into the claims the more expensive companies make about me looking and staying younger.

The other day my blush accidentally fell on the floor smashing it and leaving me with none. A perfect opportunity to head to the drugstore to see what I could replace it with. My drugstore carried a brand called "Organic Wear" by Physicians Formula and I picked up a new blush and I figured I would try out a lip colour too.

It states that it is 100% of the total ingredients are of a natural origin - but in researching it a bit further I discovered that some of the ingredients are not so natural and according to this site (Cosmetic Data Base) one of the ingredients rates a 4 out of 10 (10 being not natural at all). Considering when I enter my old brand of make up the results came up a 7 or greater I think this is a great difference and price is not bad too.

What I really enjoyed too about this new product is the packaging. The lip colour is a corn based bio-plastic - which is good. Most impressive was the compact for the blush. It is made out of cardboard pretty much. The packaging states 93% less plastic than conventional compacts. I like it and I am looking forward to weather it holds up as well as the plastic counter part does.

So while it is not totally rank at 0 out of 10 it is:

-- 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals
-- 100% Free of Parabens
-- 100% Free of Genetically Modified Organisms
-- 100% Free of Synthetic Colours and Fragrances
-- 100% Cruelty Free

For now I will give this brand a try, it suits my wallet and is 'greener' than most.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mother's going GREEN - Taking some time off to smell the flowers

My apologies to all my regular blog readers and followers. I have not posted for some time. This does not mean that I have given up on "Green" - more like I have been more caught up in it than ever.

My baby is almost 6 months old now and requiring much more of my time and attention. My son is also enjoying his days at kindergarten which leaves my 21/2 year old without a 'friend' so to speak and I am required to fill in the gaps.

Our walks to and from school are also taking up about an hour and a bit a day - although it is just a 10 minute walk each way - with a toddler that 10 minute walk takes much much longer. If you have ever forgotten how to stop and take time to smell the flowers - take a walk with a 2 year old.

I also want to get myself onto the schools Parent Advisory Council and see if I can get some green initiatives started at the school - and I will need some time for that. While the school already has a no idling policy it is still handing out plastic bags to children for their library books. (A no no in my books!!).

Life has suddenly gotten busier or should I say 'fuller'. I will post from time to time but no regular schedule has been determined at this point. I will take each day as it comes.... I do feel though that there is enough here in my blog to get everyone started on a greener path and the basics have pretty much been covered.

Stay tuned....Thanks

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 110 - Colds, Colds, Colds... and Flu

Well it would seem that it is not cold or even flu season yet. But this morning I woke up with a cold. In the old days I would grab the Contact C and what ever cold medicine I could get my hands on to help alleviate the symptoms. IN the past I have found that while they alleviate the symptoms - they also make the cold or flu seem to last longer.

This time I figured I was not going to do that and try and cope with the cold naturally - which means rest and drinking fluids. Thankfully my husband was home today and I got to do just that. REST. I slept most of the day and drank hot lemon and honey water - which does wonders. Not too mention the good old Chicken Noodle Soup. I must say I feel 80% better and I feel the cold is almost over.

It would also be great and natural to prevent the cold from ever happening to begin with and that requires a nutritious diet, sufficient sleep and exercise. Being a mom it is not always possible to get the rest I need. I try eat healthy and do some exercise. But I will admit leading up to the cold I did feel very tired - I was not getting enough sleep. While am not about to trade in my infant for sleep - I will just deal with the cold naturally and get on with it.

No more over the counter or prescription drugs for my colds or my families colds. (Excluding my husband of course - I am sure he will still fill his body with the anti cold drugs - but hopefully I have shown him the alternative way to deal with them.)

I will though take tomorrow off from blogging - just to give me some extra rest. Until Tuesday - I will rest well.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 109 - Bear Aware

Yesterday (Friday) when I went to pick up my son from kindergarten at lunch time there was a bear (a black bear they are most common here) at the far end of the field near the playground. Yes, we live in bear country. I my heart raced about a mile a minute when I heard this and I rushed to get my daughter off the swings she was playing on.

This whole episode got me to thinking about those bears. I have lived before in an area full of bears (Banff National Park) and in the year I lived there I personally only came across 2of them. Each time I was not too afraid and never gave them a second thought. That being said I was not a mother then.

How motherhood changes us. This recent close encounter made me realize too what a mother bear feels when she sees a human near her cubs - more likely to be defensive in order to protect them. We have a lot in common. Mothers and Mother Bears. Wanting to protect our young.

I respect bears and I realise too that we as humans have encroached on their land and we need to be mindful of them more so than they of us. I no longer go for walks in the woods at the back of our house. It is getting cooler and they are out gathering food and now it is there time to explore the woods. I had the summer to do this and they can have the fall. I want to avoid the bears encounter with humans and the only way that I know how to do this is to allow them their space. The more encounters they have with humans the more likely that one day they will be destroyed.

I have researched to on what to do should I encounter a bear in my daily outings. My first instinct would be to run. This is probably the worst thing to do as the bear will run after you.

-- Stand still, perhaps with your hands over your head to appear bigger

-- Talk to the bear in a monotone voice

-- Watch the bear but DO NOT make eye contact, never turn your back on a bear.

-- The bear make a "pretend" charge or get on its hind legs and make loud grunting noises. It is important to stand your ground - he is just testing the situation.

-- If the bear seems uninterested in you slowly back away - still facing the bear, still talking. If he moves closer stop and hold your ground.

-- Once the bear has decided that you are not a threat to the bear and walks away - it is then safe to do so. Always keep the bear in view and DO NOT RUN.




Armed with this information I feel a little more comfortable out and about in 'Bear Country'. I am more BEAR AWARE.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 107 - Mixed Greens - Not the Salad

Thought I would take the opportunity today to do some updates:

Cleaning with my 'green' cleaning products is proving to be most successful. I find that it stays cleaner than before (now that could be because I am cleaning better since I do not mind it now - no fumes and no headaches) But I am finding that soap scum comes off the shower door easier with Borax and then a rinse of vinegar. The toilet stays clean now for up to 2 weeks using borax to clean it - with the other stuff it was a weekly job. So I will say I am very happy with that.

Our vegetable garden is doing fantastically well - so well that we are struggling to eat it all. I am hinting that next year we get a table at our local farmers market and sell the produce we do not /can not consume. This green thing can bring in some money. I must say want I enjoy the most is planning a dinner and then heading up to the garden to pick the fresh peas and pull out some fresh carrots which we eat immediately. Talk about "fresh" - no fresher than that. We have only one pumpkin growing which is a little disappointing - but I guess we only need one for our Halloween Jack-o-Lantern - hopefully it continues to grow well.

My gas tank a month is growing great. In fact I am hardly aware of gas prices now since I am rarely at the gas station now. But when I do go I must say I get a big surprise as it has usually gone up significantly since my last visit.
My 3 minute shower is still going well - although the weather is get cooler and I am often tempted to leave it on while I soap up. I have yet to give in and it is not soooo bad.

Still struggling with the husband in regards to those awful plastic bags - but soon I hope he will get the idea. I still find one or two making their way into our home.

But all in all going green is going great.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 106 - Halloween Treats

Okay, so we still have over a month to go until Halloween, but I have noticed the stores are starting to promote Halloween so I figured so can I.

In South Africa where I grew up we did not celebrate Halloween and it was not until I came to Canada in my late teen years that I had the opportunity to dress up and attend Halloween parties. The first time my son went 'trick or treating' was my first time too - what fun. Needless to say I enjoy Halloween. Love the costumes...the kids....and the candy especially the chocolate. (or should I say DID love the chocolate).

In a previous post I wrote about Fair Trade chocolate and how I was only going to buy and support fair trade chocolate, now let me tell you Halloween is not going to change this for me. And no, I will not be handing out Organic apples to the trick or treaters knocking at my door.

I am going Fair Trade Halloween Chocolates... and so should you. Visit Sweet Earth Chocolates to order yours today or perhaps your local store will carry smaller fair trade chocolates that you can purchase. Since I will order mine on line - I will order them soon to avoid disappointment.

In case you are wondering - I will be letting my children eat some of the candy that they gather from their trick or treating - it would be just plain cruel to take candy from a child. I will though attach somehow a message to the chocolate that I give out making note that it is fair trade and list the benefits of fair trade chocolate so that in Halloweens to come hopefully more and more parents will hand out the "good stuff".
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 105 - What is in your milk?

I was prompted to write about this when I visited the grocery store by myself and picked up some organic milk. Since starting to live a greener lifestyle we have yet to switch over to organic milk. My husband has not been prepared to pay the $6+ for a 2 litre jug when you can buy a 4 litre jug for just over $4.

Let me explain our families milk consumption and perhaps you will appreciate where my husband is coming from. We go through 4 litres of milk in two days sometimes two days and a bit. I have always loved milk and will have a very large glass of it a day. My son will have 1 sometimes 2 small glasses a day and then my 2 year old daughter well she LOVES her milk and drinks a lot of it almost a litre a day. Perhaps this is too much for her and we should cut it down some but for now this is how it is. Then there is the milk on the cereal and milk in coffee and you can easily see how this all adds up. On average we spend $65.00 on milk a month. If we went strictly organic this would be $190.00 a month.

I also more recently noted that milk may contain antibiotics and growth hormones specifically Bovine somatotropin - rBST (rBST is a synthetic version of the cow's own growth hormone) Growth hormones are injected into cows to increase their milk supply thereby increasing the milk produced by farmers to meet the demand for milk. This made me feel a little uncomfortable considering the amount of milk our family consumes. And what scared me even more is that for all my pregnancies I craved milk so our household demand for milk increased to 4 litres a day. Could I have exposed all my children to these hormones and antibiotics in the milk? - this had me quite concerned.

Thankfully, after some research I found out that Canada has banned rBST and antibiotics in milk. But this is not the case in many US states and other countries. In Canada cows are not given any synthetic hormones and if a cow is ill and does require antibiotics it is separated from the milked cows.

From this video I learned that rBST causes up to 16 adverse health affects in cows which in turn then require the use of antibiotics and all eventually land up in the milk being consumed by humans. This video may be of interest to all my US blog readers. Check it out.

I did learn from this web posting that for us Canadians the only difference between organic milk and the 'regular' milk is what the cows have been eating in order to produce the milk. Are they eating organic grains and grass? If yes the milk they produce is organic and if not then the milk is not organic. Organic milk also means that the cows have had some freedom to graze, rather than being a "factory" cow.

What is a Mom to do? If I lived in the US the answer would be simple. Organic Milk and/or rBST free milk. In Canada I am not sure - The cost is a lot for our family.

My goal though would be to reduce our demand on milk and use it in moderation. Perhaps then we could afford the Organic milk, if we had less demand for milk as a whole. Which I guess is were these kind of problems stem from - over demand for a product weather it be fruits, vegetables, milk, chocolate, meats etc... the list goes on.

So whats in your milk?

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 104 - Garbage and Recycling

I am really excited about an article I read in our local newspaper. The district has decided to only pick up our garbage every 2nd week. Why am I excited, well, people will have to create less garbage. On garbage pick up day, every week, I see garbage cans filled to the brim and now if we have pick up every 2 weeks this will have to be halved which forces people to consider what they are throwing away as garbage.

At the same time they will be implementing curb side recycling (currently we have to drop off our recycling at various depots in town). Now every other week they will pick up our recycling they will give a large tote to put our recyclables in - I know our recycling bin will be close to over flowing and I hope other's recycling totes will be too.

I am so thrilled about this new decision although I have read about many complaints too. Many seem to be concerned that their is just too much garbage and pick up every 2 weeks is not sufficient enough. To them I say: Just recycle more - If I can reduce my garbage to a can a month then you can do it too.

Click here to read the full article as it appeared in our local paper

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 103 - Tree Planting

Tree planting or in this case tree rescue. My husbands place of work was getting rid of some of their potted trees. Apparently they were going to be replaced with different more attractive trees. These trees were headed for the garbage.

Now trees are very important to the environment just in case you did not know here are some interesting fun facts:

-- Trees keep our air supply fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.

-- In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles.

-- they provide shade and shelter, reducing yearly heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars.

-- A tree does not reach its most productive stage of carbon storage for about 10 years.

-- Trees cut down noise pollution by acting as sound barriers.

-- Tree roots stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

-- The death of one 70-year old tree would return over three tons of carbon to the atmosphere.

any for many more facts on trees visit this site.

Because of this, my husband took the opportunity to rescue a couple of these trees and we have planted them in our garden.

In my opinion we should not be replacing trees but just growing more and more.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 102 - Beavers and Cubs

In Canada, Scouts has brought outdoor adventure to young children for over 100 years. As their brochure says: "Entering our second century... the philosophy is more relevant and valuable than ever before to Canadian families." and considering the environmental state of our world I could not agree with them more.

Today, I enrolled my son into Beavers (the level just before cub scouts). He is very excited about going and participating in the nature walks, camping and all around outdoor fun.

The Environment section of their mission statement is as follows: youth learn to become caretakers of the environment.

I am so excited for him - it will further instill the values that we are implementing at home and it is my hope that he can gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world surrounding him and how fragile it can be.

Go get 'em my little tree hugger to be...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 101 - Children's Eco-Craft

For today's craft was inspired by a science experiment that I did way back in high school - making sugar crystals. Taking this a step further we are going to make the crystals on sticks to form a sugar stir stick or rock candy. The picture shown is not the end result of my personal craft today as it will take 2 to 3 weeks to get large crystals.

Sugar Crystal Stir Stick

You will need:

-- 1 cup of granulated sugar (ours sugar is a light caramel colour as it is organic sugar, but regular white granulated sugar will do.)

-- 1/2 a cup of tap water

-- 2 sticks (I used a wood skewer cut into 2)

-- string

-- pot to boil sugar and water

-- container to grow the crystals (I used an old jam jar - choose a container that you can see through so you can monitor the progress of your crystals without disturbing them)

Directions (with an adults help if required):

-- Soak the sticks in tap water remove from water.

-- Cover the lower 2/3 of the stick with a light coating of granulated sugar.

-- Allow to dry (this will help the crystallized sugar to stick better to the stick).

-- In a pot boil your 1/2 cup of water and your cup of sugar, until the sugar is dissolved.

-- Once dissolved pour mixture into your container where you will 'grow' the crystals.

-- Allow the liquid to cool until it reaches room temperature.

-- Suspend the 'sugar coated' sticks into the sugar/water mixture (I tied strings around the top of the sticks and hung them in the water, taping the ends of the string to the side of the jar).

-- It is important that the sticks do not touch the bottom of the container and should be about 1 inch to 2 inches apart (again our liquid is a caramel colour because of the organic sugar being used).

-- Cover the container with a paper towel (we opted to use a cloth napkin).

-- Place the container in a secure place where it will not get disturbed.

-- After 24 hours who will see small crystals start to form and after 2 to 3 weeks you will see the larger crystals appear.

-- Once your crystals have reached the desired size, remove them from the liquid and allow to dry.

You can then loosely wrap them in cellophane wrap with a pretty bow and give it as a gift to someone. They can use it as a sugar stir stick in their coffee.

Better yet just keep it and eat it. Rock Candy.

If you would like to make colour crystals just add food colouring to the warm mixture before it cools. We chose to keep ours natural.

I will post a picture of our "actual results" - once our crystals have formed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 100 - Green Party

Today's post will be short and brief... As it is day 100 since that day, which seems so long ago, that I decided to green our family, I have decided to join the Green Party of Canada. With talk of a national fall election I thought it only fitting. In the past I have never been consistent with my voting but now I will vote "GREEN" . There are green parties worldwide - be sure to join the one in your area. In going green try and support the green politics in your country/nation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 99 - Temptations......

I have been pretty darn good on my path and journey to becoming more green in mine and my families everyday lifestyle. But every now and again you are tempted to do an ungreen act.

The other day I went out to the store to pick up some things one of them being measuring spoons. Now I did not have any preconceived idea of what kind of measuring spoon I was going to get as measuring spoons, well are just measuring spoons.

My dilemma started when I found them in the store. They had some nice colour plastic spoons for $2.95 and then they had some stainless steel ones for $4.95. I was drawn to the plastic. Colourful, earth tones to match my kitchen and each measuring size spoon a different colour. They were pretty and I liked them. I wanted them.

The stainless steel ones well pretty boring - stainless steel.

I must have stood in the aisle for about 15 minutes, oblivious to my kids who now were fighting over a pot holder, trying to decide which to buy. Did I mention the colourful plastic ones where so pretty...... Would anyone know or even care if I bought these plastics ones.... No, not really. Okay, I decided if they are a safe plastic I will get them. I then looked for some sign or description of the plastic but none to be found. But they are so pretty.... Then I thought about how much more energy and future pollution this plastic ones would create and who knows after a year or two they would be showing signs of wear and that is not good for plastic and I would have to get rid of them and get some new ones.... but the colours go so well with my kitchen....

Okay so you get the picture. I ended up buying the stainless steal ones and could not be happier. I mean was I really going to put the spoons on display to ensure everyone who came into my house would see how well they matched with the kitchen... No.. They are safely tucked in a drawer for when I need them, and will probably last longer than me and my daughters will be able to use them with fond memories of us baking together.

The point I am getting at is that sometimes we are tempted to engage in not so green activities.... and I think that is okay. We are not perfect as much as we would like to be. Changing our lifestyles to better the environment can sometimes be a challenge. But we are up for the challenge and the occasional lapse is just fine.... Think Big Picture, Think Green.

The image for today's post is: "Growing Through Temptation." And I feel that it sums my post for today. Day 99 on this sometimes challenging endeavour of living greener.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 98 - Laptop Lunches

Pretty much every mom who is writing a green blog has blogged about Laptop Lunches. So you know that they must be pretty darn good.

My story starts in my search for a 'green' lunch container. Back in the day when I only had one child and worked while he attended daycare - I prepared the best lunches. I had searched out these plastic containers with dividers as I liked to send several items in one container and when I found them a t a dollar store stocked up on many of then. Being from a dollar I doubt very much that they were produced from a safe plastic. But live and learn.

Anyway in my greenness I again went on a search. My preferred lunch box would have been stainless steel but I could not find any that was compartmentalized (is there even such a word). I kept running into laptop lunch boxes. I then started looking at them much more seriously and decided to purchase one for my son and his going to school. Let me tell you I am excited. It is though made from plastic - but safe plastic. I am not so crazy about the bottle it comes with, but my son will be taking his Klean Kanteen to school with his beverage.

I have always been and will always be for packing a healthy lunch. Fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. and with the laptop lunch box system it just makes it so much easier and not to mention fun.

This mother who is going green definitely recommends this system and I think everyone should have it. Even adults who take their lunch to work.

If you get a complete system as I did it comes with a handy little book with some fun ideas for lunches as well as some interesting facts on the amount of garbage produced by traditional school lunch systems:

-- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that one student taking a disposable lunch to school every day will create 45 - 90 pounds of garbage per year.
That figure is not hard to believe considering the plastic wrap or bag that the sandwich is packed in. What about all those snacked size items that you can buy to put in lunches - juice boxes, paper napkins, plastic cutlery and straws. Well starting with us that is all about to stop with the laptop lunch system. I love it.
To truly appreciate this product and all that it offers be sure to check out the website:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 97 - Maple Flavoured Sugar Water

Every once in a while my children love pancakes for breakfast. We now use an organic wholewheat pancake mix and my son loves the syrup on it.

His dad will often shout from the kitchen: "Hey Josh, want some Maple Syrup on those pancakes?"

I so often interject, "It is not Maple Syrup!!"

Josh looks at us a little confused and response with "Of course, I want Maple Syrup."

Me again "It is not Maple Syrup!!"

"Dad, What is it then?" his enquiring mind wants to know.

"Well son, it is Maple Flavoured Sugar Water."

And pretty much that is what it is. On my husbands last grocery expedition (that is what it is as he will be gone a good 2 sometimes 3 hours to buy 2 weeks worth of groceries) he brought back some real Maple Syrup.

Lets for a moment just compare the ingredients:

Bottle #1: Glucose; Liquid Sugar, Liquid Invert Sugar (whatever that is), Water, Natural and Artificial Flavour, Caramel Colour, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Malitol and last but not least Sulphites

Bottle #2: Pure Organic Maple Syrup

Now when my husband offers Maple Syrup for the pancakes, he is offering the real deal!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 96 - Greening your School Back Pack

Had I not gone green earlier this year the question for my son starting kindergarten would have been: "which super hero back pack with matching lunch box would you like? Batman, Spider man or Superman?" But as it stands the question was "Hemp or not?"

My first choice was hemp and on a recent post I list the greatness of hemp, but one of the things it is not and that is waterproof - well at least the pack back I was looking at was not waterproof. Since we will be walking to school rain or shine - it would make sense to get a back pack that would still keep its contents dry in the pouring rain.

I have read too about back packs made out of old tires - now that would be great, funky and cool. But I could not find any online to buy and if my sleep deprived memory serves me well - if I did - then shipping to Canada was not an option. (on a side note: I would like to say that global warming is a worldwide thing and that if you are an online store selling 'green' products you should try ship worldwide!!! - it doesn't cost you but the person paying for the shipping, doesn't it??)

We finally settled on a "Book Bag" sold at Mountain Equipment Co-Op. While it not made made from a natural material or from a recycled material it is made from 'safe' material. PEVA - which as this website "Sorting Out the Vinyls" suggests: that the term vinyl in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), and polyvinyl butyral (PVB), however, does not refer to PVC and does not raise the same concerns associated with chlorinated molecules like PVC. Now I am not a chemistry major (but my understanding is that it (PEVA) is safe).
Also, the company representing this product is in support of wilderness and conservation. They develop award-winning green retail stores and they strive to make their products with a minimum impact on the environment. They also are a member of 1% for the Planet which means they donate 1% of all sales back to the planet. The reviews for this back pack noted that it lasts for many years - hence we will not have to buy a new one for a very long time (unlike the superhero models that last - if you are lucky - the school year). So we ultimately will be reducing waste by reusing this bag for years to come.
As this news article from November 2007 states: "High levels of lead in children's backpacks, rain ponchos, vinyl lunchboxes and toys are documented by nonprofit environmental health and consumer protection groups in two reports this week." I wanted to make sure that I at least stayed away from that in choosing a back pack.
Should you wish to look at some really cool hemp backpaks be sure to visit: Rawganique

Mother's going GREEN Day 95 - Natural Teething Poducts

Some of you may have noticed that I have not been posting everyday and have skipped a couple of days and am now playing catchup with my posts.... well, I do have an excuse explanation, make that several explanations.

One being my little girl is cutting teeth and has stopped sleeping through the night. Her new schedule is sleep at about 7pm or 8pm. Awake at about midnight then again at 4:00am and then she is up for the day. She will then nap briefly for about half and hour in the morning and if I am lucky and I mean really lucky I may get her to sleep in the afternoon for a good 3 hours. If I am unlucky it will be an hour in the afternoon.

Needless to say I have been a little sleep deprived and have been going to sleep in the evening at 9:00pm with no time to blog. Add to this, my husband has been working 12 hour days for the last 8 days - which has left me feeling much like a single parent of 3. And when you thought you were coping you get a bonus surprise of a little boy waking you up at 3am with some sort of a stomach bug. (Why do they always seem to get sick in the middle of the night?). Anyway I declared it a relax on the couch watch TV because you are sick day -which gives me a little more time to catch up with this Mother's going GREEN. The joys of motherhood.

But back to the topic of this post: Natural Teething Products. I have 2 great ones.

First there is Sophie the Giraffe and as her marketing blurb states: "She is made in the French Alps with natural rubber and non-toxic paint, Sophie has been safely cuddled and chewed for over 40 years! She is soft, light, and easy to grasp and fits perfectly into little hands. Sophie is loveable and amusing. She even makes a happy sound when squeezed. Babies especially love her bumpy head to soothe their teething gums."
Now as you have read in a previous post - that it is not always a good idea to fall for 'marketing' I was drawn to this product because it was natural and non toxic. And my little one loves it. It certainly, for me, lives up to the marketing blurb. If you want to purchase one just Google 'Sophie the Giraffe' and you will get many links - I have also seen it for sale on eBay.

Secondly, is an item I picked up recently and it is a "It's Only Natural" Organic Teething Ring - Made by a company called Little Star (their website is still under construction - but they offer a toll free number). And again my little one loves it. It is made from organic cotton (4 layers) and an unfinished Birch wood ring which will not splinter. It is made in Canada.

So armed with these teething toys I am hoping for a little more calm as my baby chews her pain away on these natural products.

Mother's going GREEN Day 94 - Children's Eco-Craft

Since I have been talking about hemp I figured we could make some hemp jewelry and such. I have chosen to make a bracelet and/or key chain.

Hemp Bracelet and/or Key chain
You will need:

--Stands of Hemp
-- Beads

-- Key ring (if you chose the key chain)

Directions (with an adults help if required):

We will be using the easiest knot in our creation the "Square Knot".

-- You will require 4 stands in total (so get 1 stand of 24" for 'filler' and fold it in half and for your working stands one strand 6' long and fold it in half).

-- With the loops of the folded stands together tie them together with a knot creating a loop. (in ours we used a bead for a fastener so we measured to make sure the bead would fit through the loop snugly when we tied the loop. (if you choose to make a key chain attach the loop to the key ring at this point).

-- The 2 shorter strands are your filler stands and they are to remain in the centre of your work with the 2 working strands on each side.

-- Follow the instructions on this site to tie the "Square Knot". Please note that they are using four strands for their filler instead of the 2 strands that we are using.

-- To add the beads - insert both filler strands through the hole of the bead and tie the knot around them. We chose to make our bracelet with a message - also by doing this we had way less knots to tie.

-- keep tying the knots until the length of knotted hemp is the desired length for your bracelet and then tie them off. In our case we inserted a bead on all 4 strands and tied it off. (this is where it ends for the key chain)

-- the end bead is then inserted into the the loop to create a 'clasp' to close the bracelet.

This craft is probably for the older children although my children had fun selecting the beads and it was great for letter recognition as my son searched for the letters as I asked for them.

If you are struggling to follow my directions there are many directions available on the Internet.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 93 - Hemp

Since greening our families lifestyle I have never come across hemp or references to hemp so much as now. It seems if you are going green there is no way to avoid hemp and the many products produced by hemp.

Here are some interesting hemp facts:

-- From its fibres we can get textiles, paper, lighting oil, rope, incense, charcoal, glue and some building supplies such as plywood and drywall.

-- US Presidents Washington and Jefferson grew hemp.

-- The US Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.

-- The first American flag was made out of hemp.

-- The finest bible paper remains hemp-based even today.

-- The first Levi Jeans were made from hemp.

-- The rigging sails of every ship that sailed the high seas during the 18th and 19th centuries was made of hemp.

-- Hemp was money and was used to pay taxes for over 200 years.

Hemp may be the 'be all and end all' of our 'green' society it has so many benefits:

-- It can grow in just about any soil or climate and grows quickly and easily, it can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet in as little as 3 to 6 months.

-- It does not require herbicides or pesticides as it is naturally resistant to pests.

-- Hemp fiber is longer lasting than wood pulp; it’s stronger, acid free and chlorine free.

-- Paper made from hemp can be recycled 7 times over the 4 times for paper made from wood pulp.

-- Hemp can replace plastics made from petroleum and are therefore biodegradable.

-- Best of all hemp could be the answer as a fuel source. At a comparable cost in converting petroleum to methane, methanol or gasoline we can instead convert hemp and it burns cleaner without contributing to global warming.

For more information and facts visit this Hemp Site, among the many others found on the Internet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 92 - Packages

From time to time we will all receive or send packages. And if you are like me and do a lot of online shopping you will get more packages than most. Since I have gone green and most of my purchases online have been from green stores I have noticed the packaging is also 'green'.

Lets look at how we can 'green' packaging:
-- First off lets reuse and reuse the boxes that we pack the items in. I am saving my boxes for Christmas when I ship all of our families gifts off. I have noticed too that the companies I am ordering from are also re-using the boxes.

-- For the delicate items and for stuffing lets get ways from the Styrofoam peanuts and plastic bubble wrap and those plastic 'air pouch' things.

-- Instead use newspaper, old magazines and for the 'air pouch things try making your own by reusing the plastic bag your bread comes in and fill with a little air and tie closed.
-- I read about a great idea to use instead of Styrofoam peanuts and that is popcorn. Make it organic popcorn and that is even better. Use it a Christmas and the receiver then can reuse it to make a Christmas popcorn string for their tree.

Which reminds me, I have packages to pack up and ship off...
Also, if you are receiving packages through FedEx or UPS it is best to have them delivered to your business (place of work) as it is most probable that they will be stopping by your office building rather than making a trip out to your home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 91 - Getting your Bills On Line

This is a simple step you can do on your journey to becoming green. While I was receiving some bills on-line there were a couple I was still receiving a paper copy in the mail. Cell phone and land phone. My land phone amounted to about 10 pages. I make lots of long distance phone calls.

So today, day 91, I decided to get these bills on-line. While for my other bills it was relatively easy - just go to the companies website fill in a form and there you go done, not more than 5 minutes. I quickly realized why I had not converted these 2 bills to on-line sooner as I spent the better part of the morning trying to do this. While getting quite frustrated and calling the companies were I was put on hold in total for 30 minutes, I kept reminding myself that this was for the greater good. And now it is done.... All bills from today onwards will be received online.

The benefits of on-line billing are as follows:

-- save paper

-- saves more paper

-- saves even more paper

-- saves trees that are required to make paper

-- saves water that is required to make paper

-- saves energy that is required to make paper

-- and it is convenient

Some interesting facts in regards to paper and for more paper facts click here

-- Approx. 324 L. of water is used to produce 1 KG of paper

-- Paper and paper products accounts for more than 1/3 of all Canada’s waste

-- Canada uses 6 million tonnes of paper and paperboard annually.

-- Only 1/4 of Canada’s waste paper and paperboard is recycled

-- Paper manufacturing is the 3rd largest user of fossil fuels worldwide

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 90 - Green Shopping Sites

In the last couple of days I have been 'googling' perhaps a little too much, but have found some great on-line 'GREEN' shopping sites and I thought I would share.

The Rainforest Site I came across some time ago. It offers great gifts from different countries around the world. When you purchase from the site you help various different organizations and you can also buy gifts for others. I once purchased school shoes for a school girl in Africa. A great way to give a gift to others. It also offers a daily click program where when you click a sponsor will pay for habitat protection at no cost to you. (you can also fist their literacy, breast cancer, animal rescue and child health sites; also clicking to so sponsors can donate to various programs) Check it out a click away each day.

Global Exchange Fair Trade Online Store offers hundreds of fair trade and environmentally friendly green gifts. They have some great gift baskets and gift certificates. I have already picked out some items that will make great Christmas gifts. Yes, I am thinking of Christmas already.

Grounds for Change is the on-line store for any coffee lover. They sell certified organic coffee specializing in Fair Trade Coffee. They have a coffee of the month program which would be a great gift for someone or even yourself. They also offer some other coffee related products and they are also a member of 1% For The Planet and they donate 1% of sales to environmental groups.

Gifts with Humanity this site is just full of art and crafts from around the world. All Fair Trade and some really cool ideas for gifts some creative uses on recycling soda cans, flip flops and telephone wire. I grew up in South Africa and the telephone wire bracelets they sell bring back the memories of my own creations from telephone wire although much simpler than these creations. is just that a store full of boating stuff but all 'green' as there website states: "a speciality store offering environmentally friendly alternatives to the petroleum-based, chemical-laced, plastic-ridden products available at most boating supply stores." they also claim to offer "truly biodegradable sunscreen and chemical-free insect repellents." I have listed this site as both my brother and father are avid sailors so I know I will be returning to this site often.

Another site I will be visiting on a regular basis is planet happy kids toys, toys and more toys need I say more...

This site Eco Choices Natural Living Store you name it it they pretty much have it. Toys, a bedroom section, kitchen section, patio section, clothes. You need to check it out in order to see the large selection offered. Too bad no school supplies.

And the last store I will post for today is a link to getting 'chocolate on-line'- I just loooove chocolate and hence I have to add a chocolate link.

I hope in the near future to create a list (to the left of this post) to all these stores for easier access and also so I can find them again with ease. There are so many more wonderful green on-line stores out there and I am sure I will continually be adding to the list. So check back often.

Also, maybe you know of a store that you would like to share - email me or write a comment.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 89 - Greening your Clothes

Clothes - most of us want to look good and therefore we buy nice looking clothes to wear and I am no exception to that.

I will admit that I do not regularly visit the thrift stores in search of clothes. Not to say I have never been - I have and my last pregnancy wardrobe was made up of 95% thrift store finds and this was before I went green. I guess by my third pregnancy I did not want to pay those high prices attributed to maternity clothes when you only wear them for about 9 months. This last pregnancy I was also a little smarter as I know it takes some time for me to loose the pregnancy weight I also just purchased extra large normal clothes ( like track pants, yoga pants, sweaters - things with a little stretch to it) that way I was not stuck wearing maternity clothes after the baby was born. Some of the clothing because of the stretch factor can still be used well after I have lost the 'baby fat'.

I think this greening of clothes is going to be a little more challenging for me - I mostly now shop for my children and they tend to grow out of their clothes so quickly. I am going to make a resolution of sorts to go a little more greener with their clothes:

-- I will attempt to purchase organic fabrics or natural fabrics like cotton and hemp
-- For their romp around everyday clothes I will visit the thrift store more often (we have a great local kids only thrift store in town with a huge selection)
-- Instead of purchasing gloves and mitts every new winter season - I will invest a few extra dollars and get them a good eco-friendly fair traded set which then can last several years.
-- I will also be reusing some of their summer clothes for winter. T-Shirt can be worn over long sleeve cotton shirts. For girls shorts and skirts can be paired with leggings or tights for a funky look.
-- I will also be handing down more of their clothes. No need to get rid of the 'boy' jean shorts when really a pair of jean shorts is just that jean shorts that can be worn by a little girl. Same goes for regular jeans. With my two girls this will be easy as I can keep the clothes for the little one. In fact our church minister asked when I wanted to get my baby baptised and I replied - well not quite yet as I want to reuse the dress my other one wore and she needs to grow a little so she can fit into it.
-- Once the clothes are done in our family I will as I have always done donate them to charity.

For myself - I tend not to buy that many clothes for me anymore. I have always bought clothes that last through the fashion trends and I have some items in my closet going back over 10 years, with proper care and handling they can last another 10 years. As I type this I think of my favourite wrap skirt - it used to be my mom's then it was given to me and that was a good 20 years ago and I still love it. Because it is a wrap skirt it has always fitted me as I have gained and lost weight through all my pregnancies. Then there is the button up cardigan I purchased a a thrift store for $9.00, 15 years ago - it is still one of my favourites and still looks as good now as it did then. One of my favourite things to do to clothes to is to re-invent them. I am lucky enough to know to sew and have often changed an item of clothing after I got bored with it. An ankle length skirt becomes a short skirt - pants can become capri's or shorts etc.

So I guess I have been on the right track all along - I just now need to ensure that any new items I purchase are either recycled (thrift store) or environmentally friendly and are fair trade.

Shopping for my husband clothes - well I do not do that - so hopefully he will read this post and take a few hints.

Well, I started off this post thinking that it might be a challenge for me to go green with the clothes but it seems at least for myself I am doing a pretty good job already and that I just need to work on the shopping for my kids clothes.

After my post yesterday - I found so many cool online green and fair trade stores that I will be adding them to a list on the right for easy access to all.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 88 - Pre-School Jitters

My oldest is about to start school - kindergarten -in a few weeks and I am starting to feel anxious. Not about him leaving home and going to school, actually I am looking forward to him being away a little. Stretching his wings, gaining some independence and yep, you guessed it a bit of a break for me.

What I am anxious about is him leaving his 'green' nest and going into that toxic world of school. I am anxious about his school supplies - which I have not purchased yet and will not be given an indication to what he needs until 3 days before he starts. Not sure why that is but for the kindergarten class we will meet with the teacher a few days before class starts and as per the letter they mailed: "(the teacher) will be giving you a handout at that time regarding their school supplies and snacks." My mind starts to panic...where am I going to get environmentally friendly school supplies on such short notice. If he needs crayons - do I just purchase whatever they are selling in the store even if it goes against my green ethics. Do I just send him to school with the old crayons we have from home rather than purchase the other new crayons and then wait to order some soy crayons. What about a ruler which is better for the environment plastic or wood are their any other options??? Pencils, erasers where to buy? What to get? And if required can I get them on such short notice.

My husband says I should not worry about it - just pick up the supplies at the store just like everybody else. This is the husband who routinely breaks all my green rules - it is clear that he is not worried. His worry, if anything, is that our son might be singled out for his mothers "greenness". No batman or spider man back pack or lunch bag with matching plastic drink container for him.

Perhaps I am being a neurotic mother and in some part of my sub conscious am being obsessed with the 'green school supplies' to calm my unacknowledged anxieties of him going to school.

If anyone out there can offer some suggestions and guidelines for this 'green school supply syndrome' I would appreciated any comments or feed back.

I will sign this post off as "the neurotic mother who is crazy green"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 87 - Children's Eco-Craft

My son will be starting kindergarten in the fall so I thought we could prepare something that we can file his artwork in once it has had its time being posted on the wall. A variation on the Magazine File. Of course you could make yours to hold magazines, story books, papers that need to be filed etc.
Magazine File

You will need:

-- a cereal box, or any other suitable box
-- Mod Podge (not sure how environmentally friendly this is - but we have it and it works great.)

-- Any one or all of the following: Pictures, newspaper, other children's artwork, pages an old colouring book, magazine pictures or gift wrap. We used an old world map.

Instructions (with an adults help if required):

-- cut the cereal box to resemble a magazine file

-- cut out pictures newspaper or whatever you have chosen

-- glue using the mod podge to the cereal box

-- finish with a coating or two of mod podge

-- allow to dry

You are done... and your magazine file is ready to store all of your chosen items.
Art/Space saving tip: We all love our children's art and it is important to display it in order to build their confidence. Here at our home we display it for a week and then take it down. I make sure I get a digital picture of their art which I save on a separate disk. This way I do not need to keep all of there masterpieces. I will always have copies on file. After awhile I ensure the "old" art is discarded in the environmentally correct way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 86 - Fair Trade Coffee

It took us 80 plus days for us to run out of our our 'regular coffee' (my husband likes to purchase non perishable items in bulk - that means coffee). And with the purchase of our new coffee maker we are finally moving to fair trade organically grown coffee.

The coffee we have chosen is Ethical Bean and according to their website: Coffee is the world's second-largest traded commodity after oil, and the global market for coffee is extremely volatile. Over a decade ago, farmers saw prices drop 80% worldwide in less than 12 months. Over the past three years, the average price of coffee has fallen almost 50% and now rests at a near 30-year low, impacting over 25-million coffee growing families in over 50 developing countries.

But buying fair trade coffee for us just isn't good enough as based on my research it is also important to purchase coffee that is organic and shade grown in addition to being organic.

Fair trade coffee means that the coffee growers will be getting a fair price for their coffee. A price that will ensure a reasonable standard of living.

Organic coffee means that the coffee has been grown and processed without harsh toxic chemicals. When pesticides and chemicals are used to grow anything it not only kills the pests but makes its way into the surrounding environment and water supplies doing further damage to nature. According to this website - organic coffee beans have a rich, smooth flavor.

Shade grown coffee is very important to the environment. Coffee is best when grown in its natural environment - the shade of the rain forest. But because of the huge demand for coffee, forest are being cut down to make space for more coffee plants which then find themselves growing in full sun - not ideal for producing a good coffee bean and because of this it is drenched in fertilizers and chemicals in order for it to grow.

So next time you grab your next coffee consider for a moment where and how it was planted and what was paid for it.
Side note: I have reach 1000 hits today - yippee hooray for me. I get excited when I see how many people visit and makes me feel that all this blogging is worth while.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 85 - Trip Planning

This concept, Trip Planning, is not something new for my family. I would say I have been practising this since I had children. It is only lately that I learned it is a green action. Just goes to show you that some of your habits and actions maybe green and you don't even know it yet.

Trip planning is planning your trip so that you are not running multiple errands separately. This is especially important when you are driving.

For example if you need to say go to the post office, pick up some milk and drop your kid at an extra curricular activity - then you plan out your trip. Not go and pick up the milk in the morning, return home and then after lunch go to the post office and return home and then late afternoon deliver your kid to his karate practise. Instead you leave a little early for the karate pick up the milk and go to the post office on the way to the karate lesson. This saves huge amounts of gas, energy and reduces your carbon emissions.

Since I am using karate lessons - you can guess my son does karate. Instead of dropping him off and returning home only to pick him up later. I either stay and watch the practise or I take my little ones and go for a walk and do some 'window shopping' again saving some milage, gas, and carbon emissions.

On a side note I was impressed by my husbands green action. I came downstairs after settling our little one down for the night and noticed our garbage can in the middle of the driveway with the lid open in the pouring rain. Puzzled by this I ask my husband what he was doing. "I am washing it out. I figured instead of using the garden hose to rinse it out. I would collect some rain water in it instead and use that to rinse it out." was his confident response. WOW was my reaction - this green thing does rub off on him in little ways. Way to go hubby for thinking green.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 84 - Spreading the Eco - Word

Today's post will be brief - I think- I say this as sometimes I start out with this thought but the posting lands up to be lengthy.

The other day I gave myself a new job title. Stay at home mom does not quite cover it. As I have stated in my blogger profile I am now an "Environmental Manager - Lifestyle Applications" Now doesn't that sound important... Well, yes it does and it is an important job - part of my job description is spreading the Eco-word. I then went on to create my own business card of sorts.
The business card stems from a recent incident I had at a local store. I forgot my bags at home (something I seem to be doing quite often - not sure why) but I got to the cashier with quite a number of items and requested not to have a bag. The cashier looked at me quizzically and piled up my items as she scanned them. I then attempted to load them into my arms to carry them out of the store. Remember I have 3 children that are always with me. One I am usually toting around in a car seat so my one hand is always full. The cashier watching my struggles again offered me a plastic bag and I replied: "No thanks, I am saving the environment and will figure something out." I did... the kids each carried 2 items, I stuffed a bunch in my purse and some I stuffed around the sleeping infant in the car seat. We made it back to the car where I unloaded the loot into the trunk.
I felt very satisfied with myself. But I did feel that I could have offered the cashier more of an explanation - other than 'I am saving the environment' hence I came up with the idea of the 'business card' I can hand them out to people I meet - like the cashier - it may explain what may appear to some as my peculiar behaviour.

The front of the card is a snapshot of my blog with my blog address and on the back it has some tips we can use to live greener.

I am hoping this will continue to spread the green word - the more people who implement the smallest of green changes will ultimately make a big difference. SPREAD THE WORD. Green is the new black. BE GREEN.

I too would like to take this time to apologise for any typo's that may appear in my blog. Often I am typing with an infant on my lap and click on the publish now button when the children are needing my attention without proof reading. Thanks to all who read through these errors and still post great comments.