For many of us, the summer break means just one thing. It heralds the arrival of the long-awaited annual family vacation. Just you, your partner, the kids, your luggage and an exciting new place to explore. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Wrong. At least it is if you plan to take your environmental responsibilities seriously when you are on the move. Airlines use up eye-watering amounts of precious fuel flying their planes across the world and back. Long-distance driving too is a major drain on non-sustainable fuel as Americans set off on summer road trips, often driving for days across multiple states. All this travelling adds up, not just in environmental terms, but also financial. Drivers must pay for gas, not to mention wear and tear on their vehicle. Then there are road taxes to account for, plus insurance. Many insurance companies are encouraging us to ‘think green’ in our vehicle choices by offering discounted quotes on ‘cleaner’ cars.... read more
The Fourth of July is a time to get together with friends and family, to celebrate American history, and to eat BBQ in the summer fun. Traditional 4th of July celebrations can create a lot of pollution. It's easy to replace some old habits with new ones for this year's Independence Day.
Greener Grilling: On the Fourth of July alone, an estimated 60 million barbecues light up nationwide, consuming enough energy to power 20,000 households for an entire year. But who says you need to give up your hot dogs and steak in order to be an environmentalist? Buy a natural gas or infrared grill instead of dirty-burning charcoal. Avoid chrome-coated aluminum grills and instead opt for steel or cast iron (my favorite). Also, go with a smaller grill, as they take less energy to heat up.... read more
If you are like me then you love the sun and summer, but also worry about sun exposure. I've been looking far and wide for a daily use sunblock that's good for my skin and has natural ingredients that won't harm the environment. I'd also like a bit of help in reducing signs of aging... like wrinkles. In my search, I have discovered that the research on sunblock has changed. The chemicals in sunblock can be far worse than sun exposure itself. ... read more
It’s summer! Which means lots of us are making plans for summer travel. This is a perfect moment to think about packing lists and ecotravel. How can you make your summer travelmore green? Check out 7 Packing List Items for the Ecotourist:
Reusable waterbottle | Bring your bottle for water - my new favorite is the Bobble because it has its own filter inside the bottle, no matter where I am I can know my water will get an extra boost of filtration since I have my own with me! ... read more
You may have noticed that there is a new trend in makeup and cosmetics - to provide a natural product line option. The packaging is usually simpler or incorporates green into the label to show that there is something organic about the product. The bottomline is though, we have yet to see Certified Organic Cosmetics and Makeup because this industry remains highly unregulated.
Summer is upon us and the school vacation is just around the corner. All that lovely spare time for you and your kids to have fun and relax together in some hopefully sunny weather. However, although the formal studying has finished for a while, there’s no reason why the learning has to stop. Spending time at home and as a family is a great chance to get the kids involved in sustainable living at the same time as having some great fun.
Here are some suggestions for a sustainable summer vacation.... read more
My Boston neighborhood’s spring festival celebrates the victory of a Green vision of the future over a vision of doom. In 1972 local activists defeated plans for an elevated highway that would have decimated the community. Instead of six lanes bisecting the neighborhood, we now have the Southwest Corridor Park: a five-mile long greenspace with a new subway line, community gardens, and a bike path to downtown. The Wake Up the Earth! festival affirms this victory every year, beginning with a parade of latino dance troupes, ironic New Orleans brass bands, Zairean drum corps, and more, winding through city streets then entering the park to join the festival. Now in it’s 33rd year, Wake Up the Earth! has solar-powered music stages, face painting for the kids, and booths and tables hawking food, politics, and everything organic. The community, the park, and the festival are real-time examples of urban sustainability, founded on the activists’ vision of the kind of place they wanted to live in.... read more
Penny Bauder, mom of two and owner of the popular, earth-friendly craft subscription service Green Kid Crafts shares some tips with us on raising eco-conscious children.
We know that children learn by example, yet sometimes setting a good example can be difficult for parents. But if you start early enough and follow as many of the ten tips given below as you can, you will teach your child to be more eco-conscious. Teaching environmental responsibility from an early age makes it a lot easier for older children to be more earth-friendly.
You can help your child learn to be eco-conscious in the following ways:
1. Unplug your kid and get them outside. People protect what they know from first-hand experience, and so good environmental practices sink in if a child appreciates what they are protecting. This can be as simple as playing in the yard or taking them on a nature walk. Let them enjoy getting dirty. A love of the outdoors and a dirty kid go hand and hand. As a bonus, a love of nature often brings a respite and a safe haven from an increasingly busy world.... read more