Ignorance is NOT bliss…

This weekend I was out running an errand with my kids and I met an ostrich.

I was rockin’ one of my organic cotton tees.  The shirt is green and says “My favorite color is green” with a swirly vine design around the words.  A woman walked up to me and (I suppose she was just trying to be friendly) said “…and MY favorite color is blue!”  (oh brother!)

I smiled and said “oh, no.  Actually it means ‘green’ as in ‘the environment’.”  She looked at me blankly for a few seconds and then said “Oh? OH!!!  I get it!”

Umm, no lady.  You don’t get it.

In today’s world, it shouldn’t take that long to “get it.”  I really wonder how many people are still living with their heads in the sand when it comes to recognizing the critical state of our world in terms of the earth, global warming and the well-being of our environment.

I guess it always surprises me when I get comments like this because it’s so much in the forefront of my mind, I can’t imagine how it can be so far from others’.  And then I wonder what else I could be doing…what else I SHOULD be doing.

I suppose “doing, leading and teaching” is my contribution.  I am “doing” the right things in my daily life (learning along the way, and hopefully getting better all the time!).  I am “leading” others in the right direction by helping to put practices into place (in my kids’ schools, for starters).  And I am hopefully “teaching” others through this blog.

I truly appreciate your comments, your “kudos”, your “thank yous” and your time to share this journey with me.  It’s been three months now and I believe it’s been well spent!

Let’s all keep fighting the good fight!  Green is a beautiful color but it’s an even more beautiful CAUSE!

…aaaand we’re back!

I’m back up and running.  We have power, phone, our safety and our home — something that many, in the wake of Hurricane Ike, cannot say.

Our utility company said we peaked at over a million customers without power and we’re now down to about a quarter of a million… and some, whose power will not be restored until sometime Sunday…eek.

I’ve been seeing the aftermath and hearing chainsaws all day but, again, we have our safety and our home to be grateful for.

…sending all the best to those who can’t say the same…. wish I could hug you…

Take a hike, Ike!

I suppose I should have been saying this Sunday afternoon BEFORE the remnants of Hurricane Ike decided to take his hike through Northeastern Ohio, mix with a cold front entering from the west and stir up 70 mph winds that toppled trees, ripped down powerlines and left us WITHOUT power or phone.  Yippee!  Thanks, Ike!

It’s not fun around here.  They say it will likely be FRIDAY before everything is restored.  FABULOUS!  But at least we’re not in Galveston…  🙁

That’s where many of our power crews have gone to assist in restoring their power first.

Right now, I am away from home, on borrowed power, with a borrowed connection and I am, unfortunately, on hiatus until everything is restored.

It’s the power and force of Mother Nature.  Don’t suppose it has anything to do with global warming, do you?  Hmmmm…..

Just a lot of hot air

If you knew my father-in-law you might think this is a comment he is making about my mother-in-law, but alas, it is not! (And after 49 years, I suppose he doesn’t mind the hot air all that much!)

But I’m having the strangest little obsession with public restrooms and the unimaginable amount of paper towel waste that gets generated in a single day.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not lying awake at night thinking about it, but for the longest time I’ve felt that while I’m recycling my tiny cream cheese box, all around the country there are public restrooms that essentially “allow” people to use four feet of paper to dry their hands.

One of the greatest things I’ve seen recently is an EXTREMELY high powered hand dryer that dries your hands in about 7-10 seconds flat…poof, you’re done… then it shuts off immediately. (Warning: they also nearly blow the flesh off of your hands and it almost shot our son across the room, but they’re great!) Problem is, you don’t see them often and far too many public restrooms haven’t even moved away from paper towels.

The thing I struggle with is the germ-factor.  When you walk away with damp hands, it’s a place for even minimal germs to hang around.  Paper towels help you dry better, right?  Plus, that door handle-factor…even our kids will occasionally yell out, “I got it, Mommy!” and use the paper towel to pull the door open.  Then I prop my foot by the door and they run back to throw it in the trash.

When I was thinking about alternatives, I discovered that in many Asian countries, you aren’t provided either choice.  You carry a small towel or handkerchief for hand drying!  I think that’s pretty cool, but how neurotic would I look doing THAT around here?

Given the choice, I wish more public restrooms would use hand dryers.  They are the far better choice for the environment…just a lot of hot air!  And despite the energy usage, that doesn’t compare to the extreme paper waste of dispensers.

On second thought, the back of my kids’ shirts will do…never mind. 🙂

Betty Botta bought some better bot-a (huh?)

H2O…a requirement for healthy little bodies. Our kids love water, but it can be dull, dull, dull.

When our daughter was about a year and a half old, my husband and I started talking about what a goldmine it would be to package water in a really cool box (like juice boxes) because I truly believe the package is a HUGE part of the appeal.  We even named it “Aqua Box”, but never developed the idea.

Bad move. There are some great products out there now and I missed my boat! There goes my mansion!

Now, as our daughter gets older and has more occasions to be away from us, (although she is a big water drinker) we worry that she’ll get sucked into the vortex of “Juice Box World!”  She’s bound to be surrounded by tons of over-sugared, artificial temptations that will be offered to her.  Good lord, I’m making it sound like a 6th grader is going to corner her on the playground and offer to sell her a juice box!!!

But, honestly, I found a really cool solution for water (that went quite a few steps further) and I had to share.  It’s called bot.  Simple as that…bot.  It’s a vitamin fortified water, made without artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or preservatives, with 75% less sugar and calories than 100% fruit juice!  It comes in four flavors – grape, orange, berry & lemon – and tastes great to boot.

Top that off with a recyclable bottle made from recycled materials, and a company that donates 1% of their annual revenues to environmental causes, and it’s a green mom’s dream.

The bottles’ characters are way cute, too, and each has a little personality that our kids love.  Now they don’t feel left out when their friends are rockin’ their juice boxes, because they have something cool of their own.

Honestly, it’s great to send to school, on playdates, to sporting events, on the road — and it’s even yummy enough for mom and dad (although our kids won’t let us get near theirs with a 10-foot pole!)

So, if H2O is an H2-NO(!) in your fam, give it a try! It’s like the Cristal of kiddie water and they might just like it!

(*Does the “Betty Botta”-thing make you think I’ve lost my marbles? It’s actually a tongue twister I remembered from being a little kid.  Don’t believe me?  Then check here!  🙂