Monthly Archives: December 2009

Resolve to Make Small Changes

I’ve been posting a few small steps people can take to be more environmentally friendly in their lives. I’d like to suggest that you make it a resolution.

That’s the idea behind Hip Mountain Mama’s One Small Change. Their idea is to have people make one small change in their lifestyle each month until Earth Day, blogging about the change they make each month. Or if you don’t have a blog you can post comments about it at their site sharing the changes you’re going to make.

You blog throughout the month about the change you make and how it’s impacting your life, then summarize the entire experience on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.

I’m thinking on doing it myself, although it would be challenging. Many of their suggestions I already do regularly. Others I can’t do as a renter. And then there are things that relate to stuff I rarely do anyhow, such as printing things out.

Bringing more plants into the home sounds fun to me, although my husband should be worried that I can even think it. I’m a little hooked on an orchid my mother gave me and if more get into the house there could be trouble. They might start taking over.

Oh, wait. I have a soon to be toddler. Talk about a home’s natural defense from going overboard on plants of any sort!

Seriously, we aren’t perfect and I’m sure I can find some areas to work on. I’ll be giving this a go.

How about you? And you? And YOU?

My 4 Favorite Budget Environmentalism Posts for 2009

My family has pretty much always been on a tight budget. While I’d love to have the freedom to do more things or to spend money on things that would make being green a bit easier, it’s not going to happen any time soon.

Of course that’s good in a lot of ways. It takes away much of the temptation to go overboard and fall into green consumerism.

Without further ado, the posts I most enjoyed creating about budget environmentalism this past year:

How Much Will Cloth Diapering Save Me?

While the pregnancy wasn’t planned, having a third child has been a lot of fun for me and I’ve gotten to do a lot of things that I didn’t get to do before, such as cloth diapering. And while I can’t yet say that it’s definitely true that cloth diapered babies potty train sooner, the baby is less than a year old and we’re already taking some early potty training steps.

Is the Cost of Going Green Worth It?

Sometimes people say going green isn’t worth the money, that you’ll spend more than you save. Not always true!

6 Ways Cutting Back is Good for Your Family

Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the benefits of having little money to spare. It’s not all bad at all. Stressful at times but also good motivation to make the most of the money you have and the time with your family.

Preparing Your Home for Winter

This is the first year I’ve lived someplace that gets reasonably cold in winter. By that I simply mean below freezing. We may or may not get snow, but that’s still much colder than any place I’ve lived before.

Getting ready for winter can help to save a lot of energy and money.

My 10 Favorite Green Parenting Posts for 2009

2009 is almost over and I’m having a bit of fun looking over the work I’ve done here this past year. While there were times that I struggled to post at all, overall it’s been a good and interesting year.

As a mother, the green parenting posts are generally fun to write. Kids matter a lot to me, and helping them respect the planet they live on is something I want to accomplish.

These are the posts I wrote this year about being a green parent that I liked the best:

What More to Do for a Green Baby and Green Nursery?

So much of January this year was spent thinking about my pregnancy and planning to keep things as green as possible with baby #3.

Is It Safe to Let Your Kids Go Free Range?

I consider giving children a lot of freedom to go outdoors a big part of being a green parent, provided it’s done in an age appropriate manner. But it’s challenging these days when even the police can overreact to a 10 year old walking a third of a mile on his own.

4 Places to Connect Online with Other Green Moms

Being a stay at home mom can be lonely. I found a lot of places you can connect online with other green moms.

Consumer Reports Blows It?

I mostly love Consumer Reports, but I really disagreed with them on their report on baby slings and cosleepers.

Can Baby Go Organic?

Sigh. Reading this post really makes me miss my garden at the old house.

Keeping Kids Green and Busy While School’s Out

This summer was so crazy for our family, with the move and all. But taking the time to be green was still worth it.

The Advantages of Walking the Kids to School

When the school’s within walking range as ours is, there are a lot of advantages to walking to school with your kids. It’s good for you, for them, and a great time to just talk with them. It also saves a lot of gas!

Peer Pressure and Healthy School Lunches

My poor daughter got some pressure this year about her healthy eating habits with the lunches she brought from home. Overall she coped well.

What Equipment Do You Need to Make Baby Food?

Who knew that making homemade baby food could be so much fun? I love having the ability to make fresh baby food with my choice of produce. It’s a bit time consuming sometimes, but really worth it.

Baby Food Making with the Kidco Food Mill

I really do adore my food mill. I’ve used it with three children and it’s still going strong. It’s wonderful to be able to feed my babies exactly what everyone else is eating when the food type is appropriate.

Remember the Reason for Christmas

With all the craziness of this time of year it can be really hard to keep in mind the real reason we celebrate at this time of year. For my family it’s the celebration of the birth of Christ, but even if that’s not your belief there should be more to celebrating at this time of year than just “gimme, gimme, gimme.”

Appreciate Your Family

The holidays are a great time to remember just how much your family means to you. Not just your kids, but your spouse, your parents, your siblings and extended family. Make the most of the time you spend together this holiday season and try to really appreciate each other.

Fun things to do can include sharing favorite stories, baking or doing crafts together.

Appreciate Your Good Fortune

Even if times are tight for your family, you’re probably better off than a goodly percentage of the population of this planet. A good way to remind yourself and your family is to give to charity.  Feed the Children, for example, lets you give animals such as goats to families that need help. Or you can seek out a favorite charity of your own.

Appreciate Your Faith

The entire holiday season can be exhausting, but don’t let that keep you from celebrating your faith. Get to church or otherwise join in the celebrations at this time of year that so many faiths have.

You can also talk to your children about why we celebrate at this time of year. Get beyond Santa and the excessive consumerism that are so dominant at this time of year.

Slime – Another Easy Last Minute Gift to Make for Your Kids

I just posted about making play dough as a Christmas gift for your kids. You can do the same with the ingredients to make slime. I will warn you, however… slime is NOT nontoxic, at least not with the recipe I have.

2 cups water
1-1/4 cup Elmer’s glue
food coloring
1/3 cup hot water
1 tsp Borax

Thoroughly mix 2 cups water with glue. Add food coloring as desired.

Mix hot water and Borax. Stir into glue and water mixture, removing slime as necessary. You may have to make an extra batch of the hot water and Borax to make the entire mixture into slime.

The slime will be rather tacky at first. The more you work it, the less tacky it will be.

To give this as a gift I would suggest giving the kids just the glue and tell them it’s for a special project. Packaging up the rest of the ingredients just wouldn’t work for me.

Slime is rather messy of course, but if you clean up promptly it’s not likely to stain. At least it hasn’t for me.  Don’t let it near carpet as it’s not so easy to clean up there.  Tile floors are a much better choice for this one.

As with the play dough, keep it sealed up and it will last a while. Your patience with whatever mess they create may be another matter.