Monthly Archives: July 2013

5 Green Craft Supplies for Kids

Kids need something to do over the summer, after school, pretty much all the time. Playing outside is a great idea, but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate or they just need some cool down time indoors. Crafts are a wonderful activity for kids, something to allow them to be creative. You don’t have to buy books on crafting, just have the supplies ready and let your kids go at it. If you can keep the supplies on the eco friendly side of things, so much the better.

Think about crafts the kids can make more or less on their own. It’s good for them to make things without your help, even if they don’t look just right.

1. Recycled goods.

Start your kids’ craft supplies with recycled goods. Junk mail, newspapers, cans, bottles and so forth. The great part about these supplies is that you don’t have to buy them.

If your kids are interested in sewing, old clothes may be another option. Some clothes just won’t be worth handing down, but might be okay for crafting. Take a look and see what you can find.

2. Eco craft kits.

You can buy eco friendly craft kits with supplies made of recycled and eco friendly materials. These are great when you need some ideas to help get the kids started. Here are a few to consider:

ALEX® Eco Crafts
Flower Press
Paper Making Kit
Trash Robot Kit

3. Eco friendly crayons.

There are some pretty nice eco friendly crayons out there. Some have fun shapes while others look more like regular crayons. There are a number of brands to try.

Crazy Crayon Eco Stars
eco-kids Crayons
International Arrivals Natural Beeswax Crayons
Soy Crayon Rocks

4. Eco friendly paints.

Depending on what you want the paints for, it’s not too hard to make paints for your kids. Pudding spreads quite nicely and is really fun for kids, and there are simple homemade finger paint recipes out there. If that’s not your style, there are some relatively eco friendly paints for kids out there:

Glob All Natural Paint Kits

5. Eco friendly glues.

What’s crafting for kids without glue? They will want glue at some point, so make it the safest you can.

eco-kids Handmade Glue
Clementine Art Natural Glue

5 Ways To Keep Leftovers From Going to Waste

5 Ways To Keep Leftovers From Going to Waste

Leftovers are a big problem for many families. They just sit there, unwanted, until they rot and get thrown in the trash. It’s a big source of food waste, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ways you can keep more of your leftovers from going to waste.

1. Freeze them for work lunches.

This only works for foods that can cope with being frozen and reheated, but it’s a great way to save on lunches for people who work outside the home. Freezing allows the food to stay good for longer, so no one is stuck with having the same thing for dinner one day and lunch the next.

2. Add them to other foods.

You don’t have to serve leftovers as is. Some can be combined into other foods to make them more appealing. Think soups, salads, sandwiches and stir fry. Not every leftover can be worked into something else, but it relieves the monotony of eating the same thing over again when it does.

3. Organize them.

Don’t let your leftovers get shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten until the next cleanout. Keep them where you can see them. Mark them with the date the food was made so you don’t have to guess whether or not it’s still good.

4. Have leftover night.

If leftovers are getting out of control, declare a leftover night rather than cook something new for dinner. Anyone who is capable of reheating their own food can select their own meal this way, and the cook gets a little more time off.

5. Just eat them yourself.

Sometimes it’s not worth the trouble reminding people that there are leftovers available. As you remind others to consider eating the leftovers, remind yourself too.

Wonderful Breastfeeding Poem Video By Hollie McNish

I’ve been done with breastfeeding for a while, but I still wanted to share this video about breastfeeding. It’s been making the rounds because it makes a really great point. I was fortunate enough to be mostly supported by family and friends when I breastfed my kids, and even the ones who didn’t like it at first got used to the idea and even became supportive in time.

If you can’t see the video for any reason, there’s a transcript in its description.

I can’t imagine how awful it wold be to have to run home or to a bathroom stall to breastfeed a baby rather than just find a comfortable spot and take care of things. That never made any sense. Babies need food, and that’s the simplest and most appropriate way to handle that at the time. I’ll admit to liking it when I knew there was a women’s lounge available, but that has more to do with the more comfortable chairs than the privacy. If a bench or plastic chair was all that was available, that’s what I used, and considered myself fortunate if my baby didn’t try to overexpose me, as babies may try to do whether or not you use a cover or otherwise try to be discreet.

I wish more moms could know that kind of support when they breastfeed their children. It would really help. There are so many advantages for mother and baby to breastfeeding, why give it up unless that’s really the best path for either. Giving it up for embarrassment is my least favorite reason to give it up, but much more so the fault of the society surrounding the mother than the mother herself. We shouldn’t shame or embarrass a breastfeeding mother; we should give her the space she needs to care for her child.

Los Angeles Banned Plastic Bags. What Are You Waiting For?

Los Angeles Banned Plastic Bags. What Are You Waiting For?

Los Angeles recently became the biggest city in the country to ban free plastic bags. If you go shopping in Los Angeles, you will soon need to be prepared with your own bags or buy a paper bag for $0.10. That’s great, and a step I expect more places to take in time. But why wait? You can decline plastic bags already and just bring your own.

I’m not suggesting the cheap bags so many stores sell for $1. They work for a time, but aren’t all that durable, and they’re plastic too. Better to find or make more durable bags.

The key here is building up the habit of carrying your bags. If you’re doing it without a ban to remind you, you have to motivate yourself. Find that perfect place to store your reusable bags so that they will come with you when you go shopping. This could be with your purse, on the doorknob, in the car, wherever works for you.

The simple truth is that plastic bags are most often a waste. Some people find a way to reuse the bags, but too many end up in the landfill or as litter. You don’t have to wait for someone else to demand that you stop being a part of the problem – you can choose that for yourself.