Earth Hour 2010…and the lights dimmed all over the world!

Earth Hour switchOnce again the Mom Goes Green household proudly participated in Earth Hour 2010!… and the kids were no less excited than they were last year!

They eagerly stacked pillows all over the floor so we could snuggle up to read some books by flashlight and assisted Daddy in getting a fire roaring in the fireplace so we could make “S’mores”!  Undoubtedly our book was about climate change and I might have been annoyed by all of the interruption of questions, but it meant they were listening… and understood… and cared.eiff twr

They knew it would be fun but they also excitedly talked about how people all over the world were switching off their lights too.  I can’t tell you how many times they asked where the lights were going off!  I’m excited to say that I can actually show them…. thanks to this fantastic collection of photos compiled by Boston.com you can show your kids that they really did participate in an incredible worldwide event.

In this presentation you can click on the photos and watch as the lights dim in these amazing places all over the world… take a look at this list:  Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Seattle, Singapore, Beijing, Moscow, Sydney, Athens, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Oslo, Albany, Hiroshima, New York City, Abu Dhabi, Bucharest, Capetown and Cairo! When else can you imagine these cities and countries banded together in a unified cause… Earth Hour brought the world together in support of our common thread… Planet Earth!

EH MalaysiaI loved being a part of Earth Hour again this year. It “moves me”… what can I say!?  Now I’m also excited to see how many students from our daughter’s school participated.  Last week I sent home a notice with all 402 of them(!) announcing Earth Hour and, if they sign the pledge that says they participated, some of them will be randomly selected to win an eco-prize reward including BPA-free water bottles, pencils made from recycled newspapers and TerraCycle pencil bags (made from upcycled drink pouches)!

If you and your family participated, THANK YOU! If not, look and be inspired… and take a moment to enjoy the view of this spectacular event…

Giveaway: “Little Green Books” for your little green kid!

mom kid read

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.  See “comments” for the winner! And thanks to all who entered!)

One of my favorite family traditions is snuggling up to read books with my kids. They love a great story and there is no better way to give a “little green lesson” than to wrap it into a fabulous story that kids can embrace.

I especially love when a book ‘practices what it preaches’ and that’s why I love Simon & Schuster’s new series of “Little Green Books”! With Earth Day right around the corner (April 22nd, so mark your calendars!) there is no better way to start the conversation about our fabulous planet Earth!  And this series of books is as green as the tales they tell… they are made from 100% recycled paper, printed with vegetable based inks and 100% recyclable too (not that you would ever want to part with them unless you were passing them along, but “just so ya’ know!”).

I’ve always encouraged reading stories to children as a way to help plant the seed of awareness for protecting our environment and endangered species, and teaching kids that they can ‘take charge’ by recycling and conserving our resources… and my kids and I give this series a big green thumbs up!

I’m excited to tell you that Simon & Schuster is also offering a terrific “book bundle” from their series of Little Green Books for a Mom Goes Green reader!  Books include:i can save

  • I Can Save the Earth!
  • I Can Save the Ocean!
  • The Polar Bears’ Home
  • Trees for the Okapis
  • SpongeBob to the Rescue

All you have to do is leave a comment saying you’d like to win and tell me about the “little green kid” you’d like to share these books with, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winner will be selected on April 7, so they’ll arrive in time for Earth Day! (US entries only… sorry!)

In the meanwhile, consider sharing some “little green books” to create some “big green ideas!”

Simple health tip: Remove those shoes!!!

shoes off matScenario: You come home from picking up the kids from school, after walking the dog, visiting the grocery store and stopping for a fill-up at the gas station.  You’ve trudged though gas, grass and “goo” all along the way, but you run into the house (with bags of groceries flung over your shoulders to get them to the freezer before the ice cream melts!) and don’t remove your shoes before you get to the kitchen.

Have you ever thought about what is on your shoes?

The fact of the matter is, your shoes encounter a lot more than you’d ever want to know… chemicals, pesticides, toxins and lead that rest on every inch of the ground where we walk.  And when you don’t remove your shoes everything you walked through becomes embedded in your carpets or rugs and transfers to your floors, and THEN it literally becomes airborne so you ALSO inhale those same contaminants that were once a part of your shoes!

Another scary fact:  studies have shown that wearing shoes indoors is a larger source of children’s pesticide exposure than eating non-organic fruits and vegetables!

Time to remove those shoes at the door… and it’s okay to ask your guests to do the same!  What is tolerable for your “soles” is not tolerable for your health or your most “beloved souls”!

March 27th is Earth Hour 2010 (can you spare the time?)…

earth hour commitmtHave you marked your calendar?  This Saturday, March 27th, 2010, from 8:30-9:30 pm is Earth Hour!

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights for one hour as a “vote” FOR the earth, and a “vote” AGAINST global warming.  By 2009, this movement had grown to hundreds of millions of people, and even darkened the Sydney Opera House, Rome’s Colosseum, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Parthenon in Greece, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Las Vegas Strip and New York City’s Times Square.

Last year people from all around the world switched off their lights in a unified vote because, regardless of where you live, we all depend on the same planet! This is the perfect time to turn off the lights, discuss global warming and the importance of “being green” as a family and consider taking actions to assure that we aren’t polluting our earth and overusing resources in our everyday lives.lght off

For more information, go to www.earthhour.org and sign-up to be “officially” counted!

Want to know what we did last year?… click here… now…

Will you “vote” with me again this year?

Spring has sprung… 10 ways to “green clean”!

sprng clnSpring is one of my favorite times of the year. Everything feels new and there is something very refreshing about sitting back and seeing things literally spring to life.  One thing that does need our assistance, however, is our home. Unfortunately there is NOTHING refreshing about a house that has been closed for months on end.

The problem is that, while we attempt to do our spring cleaning, we can actually create some heavily toxic air inside our homes and create a lot of waste.  Here are some tips on how to avoid this:

  • Open windows. Let the fresh air come in. It does wonders!
  • Buy distilled white vinegar – and lots of it.  The uses are amazing… everything from cleaning and sanitizing to disinfecting and stain removal.  Check out vinegartips.com for ideas, but whatever you do, do NOT use commercial household cleaners… they are harsh, harmful and unnecessary.
  • Buy baking soda – fantastic for cleaning but also for removing odors from rugs and carpets.  Sprinkle some on, let it sit for 30 minutes and vacuum it up… nice and simple.
  • Skip paper towels and sponges – gather old t-shirts and towels (not suitable for donation) and put them to work.  Skoy cloths are another favorite of mine, and they can all be washed and used again for later cleaning projects.sprng cln rag
  • Recycle – magazines, mail, catalogs, any needless papers, packaging….the list goes on and on.  Don’t just put them in the garbage can.  Put them in the recycling can.
  • Food cupboards – you thought you’d need it, use it, want it, but alas you did not.  Donate it to a food pantry if it hasn’t expired; otherwise make sure the packaging, cans and containers get recycled as well.
  • Donation boxes – inevitably you will find lots of things that no longer have usefulness for you but that doesn’t mean they’re not useful for someone else.  Clothing, shoes, household items, books, furniture, toys, anything and everything. Pack up these items and donate them to a charity, list them on Freecycle or Craig’s List.  But never throw away anything that still has “life” left in it.
  • Proper disposal – motor oil, paint cans, aerosols… check Earth911 to find out where these toxic products can be dropped off for proper disposal.  Same goes for electronics.  If they can’t be given away check local resources or again Earth911.
  • Consider air freshening in a less harmful way – If you MUST put the scent of spring in the air, forgo the aerosol air fresheners and instead fill a spray bottle with a combination of water and essential oils, and “spray away!”
  • Consider some “Spring Resolutions”no more antibacterial soaps (their harmful effects can be greater than their benefit), no more harsh cleaners and chemicals.  Vow to replace them with eco- and health-friendly products.  Put CFLs on your shopping list and use them for every bulb that needs replacing from here on out!  And when you buy these products, make sure they get placed in reusable bags!

Start stretching, limber up and let the green cleaning commence!