What happened to Mom Goes Green???

Kuk famFirst of all, I haven’t given up the mission… contrary to how it seems, I am not buried underneath an unforgiving pile of recycleables, I didn’t trip on a barrel of distilled white vinegar and inflict an ongoing bout of amnesia on myself, nor have I decided to give up my title of Mom Goes Green.  I did, however, decide that I needed just a bit more of a break.

Maybe it was my spring trip to the ER that made me decide I needed to take some more “me time”. Perhaps it was also a tad of sadness before sending my kids back to school and wanting to make the most of our last weeks of summer.  Or maybe (quite possibly) it was because I have never taken a break over the three+ years of writing this blog… all of that made me say to myself: “Self, you NEED to take a real break!”

So, I did.  I will now (and I do mean it this time!) be back to my regular posting. I’m sure each of you can relate to the need for giving yourself some simple time… thank you for sticking around for my return!

xoxo, Mom Goes Green

5 tips to “go green” for “back to school”!

back 2 schoolThe summer is dwindling… it’s the countdown to the “end”… sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  But this is truly my least favorite time of year.  Sure the weather is wonderful and there is still so much fun to be had, but I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to send my kids back to school.  I actually happen to be a mom who loooves to have my kids at home!

But school time is looming and it’s time to prepare. So, while you’re prepping your list (the long list!) of everything they need, keep these tidbits in mind to help keep it on the green side:

  • Check your “stock” – you may already have supplies at home; some may even be leftover from last year, so check carefully before you buy.
  • Look for recycled content – notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders and even backpacks… there are lots of options out there made from recycled content, so be wise when you choose. Also, choose paper, paperboard or canvas over plastics.
  • Waste-free lunches – plan to pack your kids’ lunches with reusable lunch kits like those from Kidcitiznpp kits Konserve or Citizen Pip.  Also, opt for reusable containers, bottles, real silverware and cloth napkins over anything single-use or disposable, and make sure everything is BPA-free.
  • Backpacks and totes – as exciting as it seems to purchase new every year, convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable.  If you can, also steer them away from something “character” based, so when they outgrow the character you don’t feel forced into a replacement. And when you do need to replace one, consider donating the outgrown version and make sure the new one is PVC-free.
  • Clothes – we all know how quickly kids grow, but the bigger they get the slower they grow.  Take a little time for a “try-on” session.  If it’s not outgrown, no need to replace it just yet.  When it no longer fits, be sure to donate everything to organizations that provide clothing to those in need.  Even consignment shops and sales or swaps are great resources for giving or getting items that still have usefulness.

schoolbusWhether you get teary-eyed at the idea of sending your kids back to school, or the first day couldn’t come soon enough (I’ll be a teary-eyed one!) be sure to earn a “green star” for your efforts before they go!

Vacation and a “green bravo” to the OBX!

HJ OBX DunesI’m FINALLY back… Mom Goes Green just returned from a summer hiatus and a nice, long vacation at the OBX with my amazing family! We already miss the fresh ocean air every morning, noon and night.  We experienced it all again this year… from dunes to surf, and sun to moon…

You probably already know that I didn’t leave my green principals behind. We conserved, we recycled and we simply enjoyed the purity of a beautiful environment.

Once again, after evaluating our trip, I feel no guilt.  We were honestly conscious not to be wasteful. We made sure not to waste energy or over-consume — from turning off lights to waiting for a full dishwasher — and even purchased all of our usual organic food and earth-friendly products.OBX JBeach

We recycled absolutely everything too. I am proud to say that, over the course of the entire vacation, we created only one small bag of trash… but the amount of recycling was certainly more substantial.  Unlike last year (when my husband delivered our recyclables to the local recycling center!) we were fortunate enough to discover some recycling cans right outside of our condo.  Yes, this was a relief for my husband and quite different than our Myrtle Beach vacation a number of years ago!

I also need to offer some green applause to a community that is wise enough to not only protect the natural sand dunes on the beach but also provide cans for recyclables.  This is a view from our condo deck.  See those two cans with the OBX cansyellow lids? … yes, recycling cans.  And the one small blue can? … yep, that’s for trash.  But I think it’s very telling that there is more than twice as much capacity for recyclables than there is for trash. They acknowledge that there’s PLENTY that can be recycled and DOESN’T need to become trash.

The point is, no matter where we are, we CAN “tread lightly”.  At home, on vacation, in everyday life, everywhere. There’s always an option, there’s always a choice.  Make the right choice.