Simple green tip…just “concentrate”!

Today I’m going to keep it nice and simple…

method detergentIf you want to “buy” greener, just “concentrate”… buy concentrated formulas of anything and everything, that is.  It helps to eliminate a lot of packaging waste, even if it happens to be recyclable.  As much as I hate math… it’s simple math.  Less volume = less packaging.

Another tip is to buy in bulk.  Sure, you’re buying a bigger package, but it’s still less packaging than what is needed for multiple smaller sized packages versus the one larger size!

Final tip… avoid excess packaging.  Over-wrapping and over-packaging results in excess waste, recyclable or not.

So “concentrate”, “go big” and “keep it as skimpy as possible”… wow, this post has gone someplace else entirely…

How to keep your birthday parties green!

bday ckeI hardly blinked and my kids’ birthdays were staring me in the face again! Besides the celebration of the two amazing days that they arrived, I knew it also meant lots of planning… for parties, presents, treats, favors and everything that goes with their big days.

I also knew that I didn’t want to get sucked into the vortex of waste… something that seems to go hand-in-hand with any celebration!  So, was I able to keep it green? You bet I was, and here’s how:

  • Gifts – only one gift each:  a new bike.  The outgrown versions will be donated to a charity so some deserving kids can ‘get their pedal on’ too!
  • Party – hosted at home, I pulled out all the dishes, the cups and glasses, utensils, serveware… every last thing.  Use of disposables: NONE!
  • Wrap – all wrapping paper was recycled, gift bags were flattened and saved, along with ribbons and bows.
  • Decorations – yes… I tried to talk my kids out of balloons, but they insisted… so I insisted on the biodegradable versions and they will be properly disposed of.
  • Waste – there was none.  At the end of the night, I asked my husband if he had taken out the trash… he said he hadn’t, but there wasn’t one piece of trash that was added to the can during the course of the entire party.  Even the cake box… recycled!nyln bag
  • Party favorsjust like last year, no plastic junk here!  I instead opted for drawstring tote bags (picked up at the local craft store for $1.99 each!).  They’ll get used by the kids again and again!
  • Treat bags – everyone at my kids’ schools traditionally brings a treat bag for their friends on the day of their birthday.  Instead, we gave their friends a recycled paper mini-notebook and pen.

Each year I seem to get a little better at this!  For every choice you make, there IS a greener, more environmental option… don’t let yourself go down the usual road just because it’s what you’ve always done.  That’s a route you don’t need to take.

Remember, “green parties” are NOT just for St. Patrick’s Day or politics!

When a green mom needs an organic cocktail…

The chores are done, the day’s “to do list” is complete, the kids are asleep and you need to relax… drinks anyone?

I’m sorganic cocktail bookure many of you are waving frantically enough that I’ll feel my monitor shaking!  I, for one, am always up for a nice, new, green adventure that goes beyond the daily routine of regulating water and energy usage, keeping harsh chemicals at bay, reusable bags and recycling!

Thanks to Paul Abercrombie, I can look forward to an adult beverage adventure in his new book Organic, Shaken and Stirred.  It’s the first book of its kind, full of unique creations and, the photos are so deliciously tempting, I want to lick the pages… and then grab my car keys and head to the store!  (Okay, so a bike would be greener transportation, but balancing the bottles can be tricky!)

In all seriousness, just like all of the foods and beverages we consume, cocktails made with organic alcohol and ingredients also mean organic growing methods that are less harmful for growers, better for our environment and more sustainable. (See, when you host an “Organic Mojito Night” you’re actually being environmental!)

Speaking of… I love, love, love Mojitos… so this speaks to me…moj drink

Prickly Pear Mojito

  • 2 ounces organic rum
  • 3 organic mint leaves
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed organic lime juice
  • ¼ ounce organic prickly pear juice (canned or fresh)
  • splash of club soda

Combine the first four ingredients in an ice cube-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into an ice cube-filled glass. Top with the club soda and give a quick stir.

Mmmm… can you already taste yourself relaxing?

Now, the next time you host a party, whip up a tasty concoction for a few friends, or simply settle in for the night with your beloved, skip all of those commercial, syrupy mixers and eco-unfriendly ingredients, and instead… get Organic, Shaken and Stirred.

Is climate change affecting your HEALTH?

Global WarmingThat’s a question I had always wondered about.  When we think about climate change, or global warming, we often visualize an image like a polar bear precariously balanced on a small floating patch of ice but, in the bigger picture, can it affect our own health?

The answer is absolutely.

Unfortunately, there are many ways that are often overlooked and never even discussed when we consider climate change.  The change in global temperature can have long-term effects on human health because it affects the food we eat, the diseases we get, the disorders we develop, the air we breathe and the water we drink… all the things essential to a healthy body.

Here are just a few concerns to consider if anyone ever thinks this is only an environmental issue:

  • Greenhouse gasses can cause respiratory issues and more severe problems for asthma suffers because plants will actually produce more allergens when temperatures increase.
  • Extra heat creates more ground-level ozone, and increases pollution, which creates added stress for our heart and lungs.childhealth
  • Rising temperatures can increase the range of infectious parasites and therefore increase the rate and severity of infectious diseases.
  • Weather extremes will increase, resulting in intense heat waves or bouts of bitter cold, resulting in cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
  • Crops can become compromised, decreasing the yield and reducing their nutritional quality.
  • Water supplies are reduced along with the quality of water, coupled with an increase of water-borne illnesses.

Research has shown that bugs, plants, animals are all literally moving closer to the poles to escape the increases in heat.  Tropical fish have even been found off the coast of Long Island, New York, because of the rise in water temperature.

The next time someone rejects the idea of climate change affecting their lives, remind them that our environment can’t change without changing us too!

The inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr.…

peace hndsToday we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Although he died before I was born, I have always stood in awe of his passion, dedication and ability to take action and make a difference.

I also find it nearly impossible to see one of his speeches and not feel moved, inspired, energized and driven to speak clearly about what I feel passionate about as well.

While his legacy is the civil rights movement I have no doubt, were he alive today, he would embrace this movement to also preserving our precious Earth.

Use today to reflect on some of his words.  They are truly relative to every aspect of human life and the world amlk picround us.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

You, too, need not wait a single moment before you begin to speak out and make a change that makes a difference.