Giveaway: National Geographic Kids “Human Footprint”

plastic bottleIt’s sometimes a difficult task to get kids to grasp the concept of what their daily life essentially means for our planet.

While you can try to explain what their “footprint” means, it can get lost in translation… and the impact of their impact fails to make an impression at all.

Well, what if they heard (and SAW) things like this:

  • You’ll drink 13,056 pints of milk in your lifetimeHuman Ftprnt
  • You’ll eat 14,518 candy bars in your lifetime
  • You’ll spend $52,972 on clothes in your lifetime
  • You and your fellow American throw away 694 plastic bottles each second!

Thanks to National Geographic Kids, you can now tell and SHOW them these facts. Human Footprint puts into perspective everything they will eat, use, wear, buy and THROW OUT in their lifetime, with astonishing photos to make it real.  It also shares great tips to help them lessen their impact on the planet.

I happen to have TWO copies I would love to share with you and your kids.  Interested in a fun lesson?  YES? Then just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winners will be randomly selected on March 22! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

I’ve shared my own list of ways to raise eco-friendly kids and getting a copy of this book was just added to that list!

Could your toilet be wasting 500 GALLONS of water a day?

toil $Sound crazy? It sure does, but did you know that one in five toilets actually has an extremely wasteful leak?  And these leaks can waste anywhere from 30 to (yes!) 500 GALLONS of water per day!

You may presume that you would hear the water or see the leak, but this isn’t the case.  It often goes undetected. It can also increase during nighttime hours when less water is being used and the pressure increases.  So while you sleep, your water bill could be drastically rising and you could be wasting crucially important water.

There is a very simple way to know for sure:

  • Just put a few drops of food coloring in the tank.  Wait about 15 to 20 minutes and if color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak, my friend.

I recommend doing this for all toilets in your home as late in the evening as possible.  The problem is often a poorly fitting flapper valve and the solution is simple… just replace it!

I’m still combating my suddenly excessive water bills that started a year ago, but we’ve checked for toilet leaks and they’re not the problem… (back to the battle with the water department!).

While the task doesn’t sound very glamorous, it’s certainly worth testing just to be sure!  That “one in five” may be in your very own home!

The A to Z Guide for a Green 2011!

hppy nw yr 2010Well, Hello 2011! For some of us, you couldn’t have come soon enough!

It’s a new year with a new chance to make a new beginning… our chance to make a real difference!

If you’ve been “putting off your greening”, I’m going to give you the A to Z list to get the ball rolling. (I think I’ve put together quite the extraordinary list, if I do say so myself!  Be sure to click on the orange links to learn more!)

Hold onto your “green” party hats, and let’s go!…

AAppliances, Animals – Buy energy efficient appliances when you need to make a replacement.  If you’re looking for a ‘cause’ that needs your assistance, donate to help save an endangered species.
BBamboo, Biodegradable, Baking Soda – Buy sustainable bamboo products (everything from towels to furniture).  Think biodegradable for all product choices (detergents, bath products, cleaners, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.).  Use eco-friendly baking soda for everything from health & beauty to cleaning your home.spry bttl
CCFLs, Cleaners, Compost, CSAs – Replace your lights with compact fluorescents.  Skip the chemicals in traditional, commercial cleaners and opt for eco-friendly choices. Start composing food scraps and other biodegradable materials.  Consider buying into a CSA for the freshest, organic produce.
DDonate, Disposable, Dry cleaningDonate your usable but no longer needed clothing, books, toys, household items and furniture to organizations that support the less fortunate, so they can be reused.  Eliminate anything intentionally disposable from your purchases. Look for an eco-friendly dry cleaner to avoid toxic chemicals.
EEnergy, EnvironmentTurn off electronics, computers, lights and all household appliances that aren’t in use.  Consider the effect on the environment in everything you do.
FFood – Make healthy choices of organic and natural foods instead of those filled with preservatives, artificial ingredients and chemicals.  Help your kids learn to make great choices too!
GGlobal warming, Glass, Greywater – Accept that global warming is real and we’re the only creature on the planet that can do something about it.  Recycle all glass (it can be recycled indefinitely!). Learn all the ways to put your greywater to work.
HHeating, HomeTurn down the thermostat.  Excess energy equals an excess of pollution. Make your home safe and clean, and simultaneously non-toxic, by cutting out all chemicals.
IIdeas Share what you know and learn with others.  It can have a fabulous snowball effect!  The ideas from our grandparents are excellent principals to follow as well.farmers produce
JJourney – Give yourself credit for the things you are doing and accept that going green is truly a journey!
KKidsGet your kids involved.  When they learn to respect the environment early in life, that lesson will stay with them forever.
LLandfills, Local – Remember that everything you toss in the trash winds up in a landfill, polluting the soil and water.  Buy local at every opportunity and, especially for produce, get the most out of your food.
MMattresses, Meat, Milk – When you replace a mattress, consider organic.  Traditional mattresses are filled with harsh and harmful chemicals.  Choose organic meat and milk to avoid antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones.
NNewspapers – When you need to keeps something hot or cold in transport, newspaper is an amazing insulator.  When you’re done, recycle them, always!
OOrganics, Outdoors, Oceans – Buy as many organics as you can… simple as that.  Getting outdoors will remind you of this beautiful world we are trying to preserve, and even if you can’t see an ocean from where you live, never forget how crucial they are.  Remember that allowing them to be polluted (the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the Gulf Disaster) must be prevented.
PPlastic, Paper, Palm oil – Avoid the excessive use of plastics or at least make sure the plastics are truly recyclable.  Same goes for paper.  Be conscious not to be wasteful and recycle every unneeded piece of paper that comes your way.  Learn about palm oil and purchase only products that use the sustainable variety.nature kid
QQuit procrastinating and take the next step!
RRecycle, Reusable Bags, Rain barrels – NOT recycling is inexcusable.  Recyclables should never be thrown in the trash.  Invest in reusable shopping bags and stop contributing to the ‘one trillion plastic bags used annually, worldwide’ statistic.  Set-up at rain barrel to capture water for use around your yard.
SSchools, Shopping, “Shoes off – Get  involved at your children’s schools and put together programs to help them embrace recycling and the environment. Realize that every purchase you make has a greener option… it’s up to you to know the difference and choose wisely.  Adopt the “shoes off” rule and avoid tracking toxins and chemicals through your home.
TTrash, Trees, Travel – Make a conscious effort to reduce your weekly trash by not buying over-packaged products or buy only products in recyclable packaging.  Don’t cut down healthy trees… they are more valuable than just their visual beauty (think air quality, soil preservation, wildlife habitat… the list goes on and on). Don’t leave your green principals at home when you travel, take them with you!
UUn-green, Upcycle – When you see a “wrong”, you can make it “right”.  Speak up, help others and make a change that can make a difference.  Before you throw anything away, consider if it has a secondary use and upcycle.
VVinegar, Volunteer – The uses for distilled white vinegar are endless.  Buy some for cleaning, cosmetic uses, deodorizing, and pest and weed control.  Volunteer your time for an environmental cause.preserve wildlands
WWater, Water Bottles, WildlifeConserve water… contrary to belief, the supply is not endless.  Buy a stainless steel, reusable water bottle to avoid BPA and stop contributing plastic bottles to landfills. Contribute to causes that protect the habitats of wildlife and consider what you are doing to their “home” in your every action.
XXenagogue, Xeriscape – The definition of xenogogue is “guide”, so simply guide others and become a steward of both your home and the earth, and make informed choices.  Xeriscape in your yard by planting only native trees, shrubbery and flowers to prevent the need for excessive watering.
YYou – (YOU knew that one was coming too, right?) but sincerely, the changes you make in your daily life are all up to you.  Take what you know and put it to good use.
ZZoos, Zero-Waste – Support zoos that dedicate themselves to conservation and education.  Buy kits and containers that can be reused for lunchtime (or anytime) so that you don’t contribute to the approximate ‘67 pounds of annual trash created by a child’s lunch’.

globe_treeThere it is: A to Z (and I feel like I only scratched the surface!) But the main mission is to simply get started.  Don’t wait for tomorrow, and don’t expect you have to do it all at once, but do admit that we can all make little changes that amount to one enormous difference!

HaPPy NeW YeaR and cheers to making it (and keeping it) green!

Join the White Cloud Holiday Twitter Party!

ornament recycleIt’s a Holiday Party and you’re invited! And it’s the best kind of party too… a Twitter party(!), where you can “come as you are” and don’t have to worry about laughing at the boss’s reeeally bad jokes or your uncle telling you the same story you’ve heard year after year (after year!).

Instead, it’s the White Cloud Holiday Twitter Party… the discussion will be great and the gifts will be just right!  We’ll chat about all the ways to unroll your imagination this holiday and every 10 minutes a $50 gift card will be given away to a random participant.  (See… I told you it wouldn’t be the same old holiday party!)WC Green Earth

The party takes place TODAY, Tuesday, December 14, from 7:00-8:00 pm central standard time (please note your time zone: 5pm pacific, 6pm mountain, 7pm central, 8pm eastern).

Just follow the host @WhiteCloudMom and use hashtag #WhiteCloudMom to participate.  You can also use this Twitter Search to follow the conversation or simply go to this Tweet Grid and enter your username (my favorite way to participate) and you won’t miss a thing, including your chance to win!  The only thing YOU need to bring is your imagination…

twitter ptySo put on your fanciest outfit (or your most snuggly jammies!) and join the party!

(Disclosure: I am a White Cloud blogger.  While I am compensated for my time, my opinions are entirely my own.  White Cloud neither directs nor edits my posts, comments, views or opinions.)

Did you “Unroll your Imagination” and win $$$ ?!?!

WC 1I sure hope you entered the White Cloud GreenEarth “Imagination Unrolled” contest, because today a few families have a lot of extra cash in their pocket!  I would love to know if one of the winners is a Mom Goes Green reader (and I won’t even ask for a commission or “finders fee”, I promise!).

You might recall that the contest encouraged you and/or your children to let your creativity flow and put together a craft project using toilet paper and paper towel tubes, the packaging and/or the product!  The grand prize winner received $1000(!) and two runners-up received $500 each!  The winners are WC 2shown here and I hope one of them is yours!

Even if you didn’t enter you can still visit MyWhiteCloud.com and get ideas for making some fantastic crafts that would make the perfect holiday gift for someone special.  It’s amazing what you can do with some tubes and an active imagination!

It’s also an appropriate time to add that the average household output of trash actually increases by 25% between ThanksWC 3giving and New Year’s (yikes!) so you should be sure to visit your local Walmart and pick up some White Cloud GreenEarth toilet paper (bath tissue!).  Remember that White Cloud GreenEarth is always made from 100% post consumer fibers so hopefully, while you keep your holiday trash volume at a minimum, GreenEarth can help offset some of the other waste that happens this time of year!

I’ve included a coupon so you can keep a little extra cash in your pocket too… we could all use a little savings right now, couldn’t we?

(Disclosure: I am a White Cloud blogger.  While I am compensated for my time, my opinions are entirely my own.  White Cloud neither directs nor edits my posts, comments, views or opinions.)