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Archive for Green Parenting
February 28th, 2013
Parenting in a digital world can be an uncomfortable place at times. Technology is constantly changing and it’s hard to keep up. There are times when my head feels like it’s going to explode.
As a parent of 3 boys who LOVE technology I sometimes struggle with finding the right balance between allowing technology and limiting their exposure. With smartphones and tablets becoming more and more common place there’s no end in sight. I’ve talked about how young is too young for Facebook and other technology issues that come way (there are many!).
I know I’m not the only one trying to find a perfect set of rules for media consumption. According to a study by Common Sense Media kids ages 0-8 spend an average of two hours a day with screen media like smartphones, video games, computers, television, and DVDs.
Join me for a Twitter Party to talk about parenting in a digital world
Our friends over at FamZee have organized a Twitter Party to explore parenting in a digital world. FamZee is a fantastic phone app that simplifies how parents keep track of their family’s smartphone usage and manage costs, while ensuring their safety 24/7.
What’s a twitter party?
A Twitter party is a fun, face paced event held on the Twitter platform. You do need to have a free Twitter account to participate. Click HERE for more information on what to expect and how to participate.
Join the Twitter party!
Join us for an engaging and eye opening discussion about how to talk to your family members about their mobile device usage habits!
Theme: Parenting in a Digital World
Who: Join me (@groovygreenlivi), Micaela from Mindful Momma (@MindfulMomma) and Monique from My Digital World (@inspiredmomma) for the FamZee (Fam_Zee) Twitter party
When: Tuesday, March 5
Time: 2-3 pm EST (11-12 pm PST)
Use this Twitgrid link to join in the fun on Tuesday: http://ow.ly/i7lDe
Yes, there will be prizes if you are at the Twitter party! We are giving away the following to random winners:
- Two $50 gift cards to Amazon.com
- Final prize: Family prize pack of coupons and a Stonyfield water bottle (prize valued at $50), 1 gift card from Barnes & Noble and 1 gift card from Amazon.com- combined value $100.00
- ALL winners get a FamZee Premium FREE for 12 months
Tweet this to help spread the word: Join me for a Twitter Party: Parenting in a digital world! on Tue, Mar 5 2pm ET #MobileFam http://ow.ly/iapfh via @Fam_Zee
RSVP so we know you’ll be there
Click HERE to sign up for the fun!
Disclosure: I was compensated to host an online Twitter party for FamZee. All bloggers involved in the campaign were compensated as well.
February 28th, 2012
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
When my oldest son (who’s now 11) was born my mother-in-law generously gave us a stack of children’s books she had been saving from when my husband was a child. The books were in immaculate condition and included classic titles that I had also treasured during my own childhood. The Lorax was one of the books passed on to us, ready for sharing with our own children. And that it was-over and over again. I was determined to keep on reading it to them, with the hope that someday they would understand the important (and somewhat complex) messages in the book.
When my kids got wind that The Lorax was going to be released as a movie on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) they were beyond excited. We wondered and discussed how Hollywood would spin an animated version of our beloved book. I was thrilled when I was contacted by Universal Studios and asked to participate in a Blog Tour (see below for the full blog tour schedule) in support of Universal Pictures ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’.
Most of us are familiar with the general story-line of The Lorax. If you need a refresher, Beth from My Plastic-Free Life shared a great summary as part of this blog tour.
With the release of The Lorax there’s no better time to talk with children about one of the many messages of The Lorax: Ways our families can help protect the earth. The good news is there are so many options for change and each will have a big environmental impact on our precious planet. As a family I’ve found it’s important to create routine and habit around these simple changes so they become second nature.
Here are a few ideas to get your family started protecting the earth:
1. Turn your lunch box into a waste-free zone
Did you know that Children’s lunches create more than 3.5 billion pounds of garbage each year, which amounts to a crazy 18,760 pounds of trash annually from an average sized elementary school? We have worked hard over the years to make our children’s lunch boxes as waste-free as possible. Instead of using single-use items in their lunch boxes try using reusables: a reusable water bottle, a reusable napkin and reusable bags for snacks instead of single serving snack bags.
2. Celebrate Meatless Monday (or meatless any day)
Meatless Monday is a movement encouraging people to improve their health and improve the health of the planet by lowering their meat consumption. Each year the average American eats 200 pounds of meat. There are a lot of health reasons to not eat as much meat, but there are also quite a few environmental reasons to cut back on meat eating. The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. There are many ways to green your Meatless Monday (or any day of the week) and all will have a positive environmental impact on the earth.
3. Reduce, reuse and recycle
The 3 R’s still rule when it comes to protecting the earth. Reduce by trying to use fewer resources. This is a tough one-it requires letting go of some very American concepts: the more we have or the bigger it is, the better off we are.
Reusing can go well beyond the items in your lunch box. The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” Encourage your children to give trash a second chance by reusing some of the garbage to make crafts out of recyclables. We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we changed that mentality and considered whether or not a product could be reused before recycling we would keep new resources from being needed and old resources from entering our overflowing landfills.
As The Lorax says:“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “
Don’t forget to visit Mindful Momma on February 29 for the next post in our LESSONS FROM THE LORAX Blog Tour!
Are you planning to see The Lorax? Do you have any hopes for the film?
Follow the Lessons from The Lorax Blog Tour:
2/20 New Green Mama
2/21 The Green Parent
2/22 Eco Child’s Play
2/23 The Smart Mama
2/24 My Plastic Free Life
2/27Retro Housewife Goes Green
2/28 Groovy Green Livin
2/29 Mindful Momma
3/1 Green and Clean Mom
2/2 Moms Going Green Blog
2/3 Kitchen Stewardship
2/4 Nature Moms
*Disclosure: I received compensation for being part of this blog tour. The opinions expressed in this post are my very own.
September 6th, 2011
As we go through our daily lives we are bombarded with information overload. We are overwhelmed with products claiming to be green and pressured to act and think a certain way –the media, our friends and family-everyone has an opinion. While our goal is very simple: to make good choices for ourselves, our family and the planet- the means to get there is anything but simple. How do we sort through it all?
If each of us had all the time in the world to devote towards finding what’s truly green we quite possibly still wouldn’t have all the answers-there’s just that much information to process. There are times when I just want to let my kids be kids, but inside I’m panicked about the Popsicle they are eating that has synthetic colors or flavors or I think about the toxic cleaning products that are used in their schools. It could all drive me insane if I let it.
Over the years I have gathered a few tips and strategies that have helped me stay sane while on my green journey.
- Take small steps. Find what works for you (and that might not be what works for me). Start with your living space and then add when you feel comfortable. This year I made a mid-year resolution to eat local, sustainable food. If each of us commits to making small, simple changes in our lives, together we can create a healthier, safer space for living and ultimately a healthier planet for us all.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. This is a tough one for me-I like to say yes to everything. Focus on changing one or two things-maybe change your cookware or commit to using less plastic. Keep it doable and realistic.
- Find community. Your community could be family, friends, online, local or beyond. It doesn’t matter. It always helps to be surrounded by like-minded folks for support, sharing and discussing.
- Ditch the self-judgment. We can’t do it all and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Guilt and self-judgment are harmful rather than helpful. Find self-compassion and be grateful for all that you are able to do. Whatever you do it is making a difference.
- You are not alone. We are a community, all striving to make the world a better place for our families and others and together we will make a difference. You aren’t the only one feeling overwhelmed and guilty (trust me; I’ve been there many times!).
- Everything in moderation. Again-we can’t possibly do it all so we do what we can. If this means eating organic some of the time, but not all of the time THAT’S OK! Years ago I used to freak out when someone offered my kids snacks that had high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Now, since I know they’re not eating HFCS most of the time I’m ok with an occasional deviation. Read Paige Wolfe’s book, Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. You will realize how completely normal and unnecessary all of your guilt and self-judgment truly is.
- Find your voice. Ask for change on a larger scale. This can be done by joining organizations like Healthy Child Healthy World, which are working to protect our children from toxic exposures. Call or email your representatives and let them know how you feel about the toxins in toys, personal care products and food.
- Acceptance. Focus on what you have done-not what you are unable to do.
- Don’t get discouraged. There are days when I wake up and wonder if I’m really making a difference. Are my kids healthier and safer because of all we’re doing? Is the world a better place because of the small changes I’ve made? Deep down I know the answer is yes.
- Remember every small change makes a difference.
What are your tips for handling toxic information overload?
[Photo used under Creative Commons from Thomas Guest/Flickr]
April 8th, 2011
I’ve had the honor of being nominated as one of the Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms by Circle of Moms. There are some pretty amazing bloggers on the list and I am privileged to be among them.
I can’t do this without you!
Click here to cast your vote for Groovy Green Livin. Click on the orange “thumbs up” and you’re done (takes maybe 5 seconds). You can continue clicking on the “thumbs up” daily through April 17th.
I am grateful to have all of you as part of my tribe. For those of you that have already begun clicking- I sincerely thank you.
Have yourselves a groovy green weekend.
February 11th, 2011
This post is part of the Green Moms Carnival, hosted this month by Karen at Best of Mother Earth. Tune into Best of Mother Earth on Valentine’s Day to see how green moms from all over the blogosphere weigh in on Karen’s prompt: just for the “heart” of it, why are we doing what we do and to say so in 250 words.
I recently ran into a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. We spent a few minutes catching up and during our conversation she shared with me how much she loved my blog and that it has really helped her. This is why I blog.
I blog to:
learn. I learn so much from others through my research and from all the thought provoking comments and emails.
share. A blog is the perfect outlet for sharing with others, with the hope that they will share too.
connect. Blogging allows for a connection with an ever-growing fabulous community of like-minded men and women, all on a journey to make the world a better place.
experiment. Blogging is forgiving and allows for mistakes. It is in essence an unfinished work-in-progress that tolerates experimentation and change.
articulate a perspective. My blog is one of the essential ways I express how we can all make a difference through small, simple changes.
write. I have always loved to write. I wake up excited to go to work. My blogging journey has been filled with growth and fulfillment.
create. Piecing together each article with photos feels so creative-in a way that my past career never allowed. I like to make things look pretty.
live my passion.
This is why I blog.
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*Photo used under Creative Commons from ShashiBellumKonda. That isn’t a photo of me!
January 5th, 2011
This post is part of the Green Moms Carnival. We have gathered this time to to share green authors and books we love. The carnival is hosted by Karen over at the lovely blog: Best of Mother Earth. The carnival goes live Monday, February 13, 2012. Be sure to stop by if you are looking for a few great, green books to read.
My kids are getting a bit older, but there are a few good picture books that remain on our bookshelves. Each of these books has gorgeous illustrations, an excellent storyline and will send a great message to your children. They teach us about basic principles of kindness, caring for the earth and caring for each other. So grab a few of these great titles and cuddle up on the couch with the child ( might be your own inner child) in your life.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This touching story makes me cry every time I read it. Originally published in 1964, it is a tale about a relationship between a young boy and a tree in a forest. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches on which to swing, shade in which to sit, apples to eat, branches with which to build a home. The book shares the message with all ages about unconditional love.
George Saves the World by Lunch Time by Jo Readman and Ley Honor
George is determined to save the world by lunchtime, but he’s not quite sure how. Grandpa suggests they start by recycling his yogurt container, putting his banana peel in the compost pile, and hanging the wash to dry in the sun. The message to kids being that you can help save the world through simple everyday actions such as repairing items that are broken and recycling.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Filled with gorgeous pictures, this book is one boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.
Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff
This book is a great way to share yoga with young children. Babar takes you around his hometown of Celesteville and to exotic locales throughout Europe and North America sharing his love and the joy of yoga everywhere he goes. The book comes with a great poster that my kids have studied over and over.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
This classic Dr. Seuss takes young readers on a journey with a powerful lesson about the dangers of abusing our natural resources. If you haven’t shared this one-this is a must!
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White
This book will be released on February 22, 2011. With stunning portraits of animals, the reader is introduced to endangered species: tigers, partula snails, and many other animals in danger of becoming extinct.
Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants! by Diane deGroat
Gilbert the opossum goes green in a picture book that celebrates Earth Day.
Eco Babies Wear Green by Michelle Sinclair Colman, illustrated by Nathalie Dion
Urban babies and trendy tots have gone green! Readers will learn that eco babies not only wear green, earth-friendly fibres; eco babies also carpool, ride on the back of mom and dad’s bike and eat solely locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper
From the adorable Just Grace series, Grace’s class at school goes green and the book is filled with all sorts of ideas and suggestions about what kids can do to make a difference by reusing, reducing and recycling.
The Giant Hug by by Sandra Horning, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
Owen’s hug travels across the country, via the post office, through heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. A fantastic book about how you can share a little bit of love with friends and family wherever they are.
Think about these titles for classroom gifts or donations to your local library.
Any more favorites to add to the list?
If this post helped you, please share. And don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook!
* Disclosure: If you buy any of the items in this post through the Amazon links it will put a few pennies in my pocket-thanks!
Resources for book suggestions for children: