As parents, we spend a lot of time trying to keep them safe. Who could have imagined that harmless toys would have ever presented a threat to the health and well being of our children? The North American scare over lead paint and imported children's toys and the new awareness about standards of production (or the lack thereof in foreign countries) was enough to start a revolution. Demand is consistently growing for eco... read more
Traveling the world is a passion that most have and few are lucky to actually get to experience. Traveling is a wonderful way to learn and see new things but it can’t always be good for the environment. There are some tricks and tips that you can do to lower your negative impact when traveling:
Transportation: Trains, planes and cars all emit carbon and you pretty much can’t get around that. However, you can lessen your carbon footprint by making a few tweaks and changes while traveling. Opt for flights that are non-stop because they use less fuel and fill ups at these stops. If it’s a road trip and you are driving, take a smaller car and carpool.
Digital: Everything is done online for the most part so when buying tickets and booking activities and what not, opt to have everything emailed and not printed. Also when needing travel maps and books download on your smartphone. Once you have arrived to your dictation you can also take photos of maps and what not to zoom in and use for later.... read more
In an age where we understand more than ever just how important it is to be green you might be thinking about the things that you can do to make sure that you are not contributing to the global problem anymore than is necessary. With this in mind, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure that this is the case, and here we will explore some of them in more detail.
One of the biggest problems with carbon emissions actually comes from the cars that we drive. You can find out a lot of information about emissions quite easily, and this means that you have the chance to make an informed decision. Generally, if you try to get as small of an engine as your family can cope with, you will be lowering your emissions. Newer cars are being developed to be more environmentally friendly, so try to consider the latest vehicles if you can afford them. In addition, the amount that you use your car is very important. If you are finding that you are using it for every journey, start to consider cutting back. Walking to the shops if you can is a great way to get exercise and lower your carbon footprint at the same time. You may also want to look into carpools for both your work and your children’s school (if applicable).... read more
My son is almost 2 and a half, and I am having a blast putting his Easter basket together. It's easy to fall into the trap of getting lots of cheap candy, plastic goodies from CVS, and stuffing the basket with Easter grass, but there are many tips for making an Easter basket just a little bit greener:
1. Skip the Peeps and find some sustainable alternatives. Grocery stores like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's have lots of cute and festive candy - some organic, some fair tade - that work as a delicious addition to an Easter basket.
2. Forget about Easter grass. You don't need it! We usually just skip it entirely, but some alternatives are shredded newspaper or some green yarn.... read more
Gotta love those noble intentions. Even if you leap out of bed each morning asking yourself “how can I stop climate change today?”, as a parent you’ll soon confront that daily avalanche of carpools, deadlines, kids’ dentist appointments, meetings, etc, etc. You know that scene in the Gangnam Style video where Psy struts headlong into a raging storm of trash and snow? Well parents, that’s us (minus the chicks and the style.) Who has time to work on climate change amidst all that?
Luckily, after years of herding our kids around, we’ve learned radical prioritizing -- how to cut to the chase. You’ve probably had many conversations like this with your kids: “Now, Jenny (Johnny, Janie, whatever), which do you think will help us get to your school on time; continuing to poke that dead worm with a stick or getting in the car?” We can apply this sophisticated logic to other questions like: which do you think stops people from ruining the environment; asking them nicely, or making carbon pollution illegal and expensive? (Hint: we’ve already tried the first one.) Politicians can pass laws making carbon pollution illegal (cap and trade) or very expensive (carbon tax), but only if we tell them to -- often. So, parents can cut to the chase and tell their representatives to vote for the climate. No need to keep poking the climate with a stick.... read more
Yesterday Farmigo announced that it has launched the first ever online farmer’s market!
The online farmer's market is designed to connect communities such as workplaces, schools, or community centers to local farms. This will help them provide a personalized online farmer's market allowing people to purchase local, fresh food. The first food communities are starting off in San Francisco and New York. Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia will be rolling out soon.
“At Farmigo, we envision a community-oriented food system in which people and farmers in the same geographic region are connected, and everyone has access to fresh-from-harvest food,” said Farmigo founder and chief executive officer, Benzi Ronen. “The Internet has been collapsing supply chains and rewriting conventional business models for nearly two decades, but until now it has had limited impact on the food industry, which is ripe for change. There has never been a better time to disrupt the status quo and Farmigo is poised to fundamentally change the way food is purchased and distributed.”... read more
By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining:
1. Ditch the disposable goods and use your own tableware. Not enough to go around? Consider renting what you need or borrowing from a friend. You can also check your local chapter of Freecycle.org, an online community where members give away used household items.
2. Hold off on shopping for new serving platters, punch bowls and cocktail plates. "Before you buy anything for your party, see if you can borrow what you need from friends or unearth any hidden treasures from that box of stuff your grandmother gave you," suggests Matheson. If you do need to hit the store, swing by your favorite thrift shop or purchase new pieces made from sustainable materials (such as recycled glass or reclaimed wood).... read more
The world at large has a number of concerns. The amount of plastic in landfills is a major concern for some, but should be on the radar for all. Consider the following facts:
- Global consumption of plastics has increased from 5.5 million tons in the 1950s to 110 million tons in 2009.
- Today’s average American disposes of about 33 million tons of plastic. Despite recycling efforts, only 6.5% is recycled. Another 7 to 8% is involved in waste-to-energy projects.
- The rest of the used plastic makes its way to landfills, where decomposition takes more than 1000 years.
Despite recycling and energy pursuits, increased usage of plastics is still a serious issue. While broader global efforts are paramount for the health of our planet, each individual plays an integral role. The more people work together and take little steps, the more the impact will be. A little bit of work (even just word of mouth) goes a long way to inspire a bigger audience. Here’s how you can help curb the accumulation of plastic in landfills.... read more
There is more to being green than protecting the planet. It is also about health. From the water we drink to the lotions we put on our bodies, the amount of harm we can potentially cause from disregarding environmentally sound practices is scary. But, in a world where, one week, coffee causes cancer, and another it actually provides major health benefits, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to do to stay healthy. And, as we all know, staying healthy is majorly important for our pocketbooks.
From medical expenses to higher insurance premiums, the need to stay healthy and fit is not just a health decision, it is a financial one. Luckily, some of the best ways to accomplish both goals are actually very natural lifestyle decisions. If taken on fully, these changes can provide major benefits to your current and future health, ultimately saving you money.... read more
Become a seasonally savvy shopper and learn what’s in season in your neck of the woods and when. This makes it easier to shop for local food. Epicurious has an easy-to-use map, making it quick and simple to learn what’s in season. You can even click on the list to get recipes in case you're stumped.
Whole Foods Markets often have locally grown produce, even in the winter. Many of these items come from local greenhouses and root cellars. Even if the local produce pickins are slim, Whole Foods Markets often has other local foods, such as meat, baked goods, tomato sauces, ice creams, and more. Every Whole Foods Market in the North Atlantic region has a Forager. Kathleen Connolly, Forager at the Newton, Massachusetts Whole Foods Market explains: "Every Whole Foods Market in our region has a forager whose duties, in addition to their everyday responsibilities, are finding local companies whose goals and mission are similar to ours and helping them bring their product to sell at Whole Foods."