Say NO to Black Friday… say YES to 3/50!

Black Friday… I NEVER shop Black Friday! Instead, I celebrateBuy Nothing Day.  Every year.  Period.

Yeeeeess, I know… the bargains, the excitement, the tradition… I simply choose to spend the day NOT spending.  It’s a great reminder that we don’t need to spend obscene amounts of money, rise in the wee hours of the morning and push & shove our way to luxury items that aren’t even needed, if we really think about it.

First, let’s support “Buy Nothing Day” with a little “farewell-to-excess-spending” tribute:

Next, I want to tell you what I AM supporting this year.  It’s called The 3/50 Project… and I love it!  The whole idea is to pick three independently-owned local businesses and spend $50 with each of them (thus the 3/50 concept!).  If we did this each month, it would generate $42.6 BILLION in revenue. Can you even imagine that?  I think it sounds amazing.

So, I don’t want to rain on your parade (I know some of you may love Black Friday) but somewhere along the line, let’s give some ‘locally-owned-love’….

… as the figures tell us, it can make quite a difference.

Even MORE labeling terms you should know about!

organic slYes, friends… once again I’m working on understanding labels and knowing exactly what they mean (or in many cases, DON’T mean!).

I’ve talked about pesticide-free & chlorine-free, non-toxic labeling, fragrance-free vs. unscented, PLU produce labels and certified-organic vs. organic ingredients.

Now I have a few more that you should know about:  “Green”, “Renewable” and “Certified Organic”.  (Have a guess about which ones actually mean something?)

Well, it appears that “Certified Organic” is the only trustworthy label in this group.  Certified Organic is stgrn labelrictly defined and regulated by the USDA.  “Green” and “Renewable”, on the other hand, mean NOTHING! They are undefined and, once again, completely unregulated.

Like some of the other terms I mentioned, any manufacturer can place these words on their label to give you peace of mind about what you’re purchasing.  And ONCE AGAIN they can do it, just because the terms aren’t regulated.  That doesn’t mean that ALL products that use these terms aren’t legitimate, but the problems is that it’s sometimes difficult to really know.

renwable labelThere’s so much greenwashing happening… the best thing to do is to only select products that have legitimate, regulated terms associated with them.  Otherwise, like that box of chocolates, ‘you never know what you’re gonna get’!

So, it’s time again to break out that notepad, just to keep it straight since, sadly, we can’t always believe what the labels are attempting to tell us.

MGG’s FIVE Days of Green Giveaways!

prsent greenAs I attempt to get back into the swing of things I realized that I haven’t shared a lot of new product info with you. I, for one, am always on the lookout for a great new product that fits a need and also fits my need for being green as well…

So, over the next five posts, I’m going to tell you about some of these products and give you the chance to win them too!

It’s the Mom Goes Green FIVE Days of Green Giveaways!

Stick around, take a gander and enter the giveaways for goodies, gadgets and green greatness!

Come back soon for your chance to WIN!!!

Consider the packaging… not just the contents!

produce bagsWhen we make food choices for our families, we often put most of our effort into what we’re buying but, there is another part of the equation.

How is your purchase packaged? I get really annoyed when I see lovely organic eggs placed in a polystyrene container.  Nope, that’s not green at all because, while it can be upcycled, it certainly can’t be recycled.

Take a closer look:

  • Glass – it’s a dream container. Not only can it be recycled but it can be safely reused.
  • Aluminum cans – yes, it’s recyclable but many also worry about leaching into the contents.glss jar
  • Paper packaging – it often gets contaminated from food residue or has a wax coating, making it unrecyclable.
  • Plastic – some of it is recyclable, but it’s also made from fossil fuels.  And, would you believe, only about 4% of plastics ever get recycled! (Plus, many also worry about plastics leaching toxins into the food.)
  • Cardboard or paperboard – definitely “Recycling 101”… make sure it reaches your recycling can.
  • Polystyrene (often called Styrofoam) – covered in my “egg” comment… avoid it!

The moral of the story is to consider the packaging of what you purchase right along WITH your purchase.  You CAN bring your own containers for bulk foods, the meat and deli counter, produce… and you’ll earn a green star for being “as green as you can be!”

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!