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Archive for Wordless Wednesday

May 22nd, 2013

When You Drive the Earth Smokes

Groovy Green Livin Earth

My nephew Eliot is a rock star in my book (not that I’m biased or anything). Eliot submitted this cartoon and won the Yahara River Writers Top Ten Award  for his creation (an event sponsored by Greater Dane County TAG Network).

At age 11 he gets it. He understands that vehicle exhaust is the leading source of the earth’s hazardous air pollution. He’s fighting for clean air and he doesn’t even drive yet.

Somehow he knows that children and cars don’t mix well. Something compelled him to draw this cartoon showing that when you drive the earth smokes.

What we’re inhaling from cars and trucks has been linked to asthma, strokes and heart attacks. Toxic air pollution is killing us and it’s killing the earth and will continue to do so unless we make some changes.

Here are a few tips from the Environmental Protection Agency to help reduce air pollution from cars:

  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned.
  • In the summertime, fill gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation. Avoid spilling gas and don’t “top off” the tank. Replace gas tank cap tightly.
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go in.
  • When possible, use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike.
  • Get regular engine tune ups and car maintenance checks (especially for the spark plugs).
  • Use an energy-conserving (EC) grade motor oil.
  • Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
  • Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
  • Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.

And that’s why my nephew rocks.

Any other tips to help reduce air pollution from cars and trucks?

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject Alicia,  and I Thought I Knew Mama.

May 1st, 2013

Why We Walked to School

Groovy Green Livin walked to school

We walked to school today. To some of you that may not sound like a big deal. Walking or biking to school may be a part of your daily routine. But for us it’s not a regular occurrence. Today was walk or bike to school day in our community, a day where the big yellow bus didn’t take our kids to school.

Way back when someone had the not-so-brilliant idea to create little pockets of housing around town without sidewalks. We happen to live in an area where there are sidewalks, but once you reach the tip of the neighborhood you’re dumped onto a main thoroughfare without sidewalks and without a safe way to school. Big bummer.

So today we joined together with a few neighbors and met up with kids from all over to walk and bike to school together.

My oldest decided to bike to school. I walked to school with my younger two.

Groovy Green Livin Bike walked to school

Why walk or bike to school?

  • It’s fun. And that it was. I had a chance to walk and talk with my kids and others for a mile walk. Usually we’re rushing around trying to get out in the morning so this was a great way to start the day.
  • We used our feet instead of a car or bus. When families decide to lace up their sneakers or strap on their bike helmets to get to school  instead of riding in a car or bus, they help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted.
  • In 2009, 203,000 children ages 15 and younger were injured in motor vehicles crashes; 15,000 of those injured were pedestrians (NHTSA, 2011). Teaching children how to look both ways and walk or bike with caution was a big component of the walk. We had our own police escort with flashing lights. Very fancy.

We clearly weren’t the only ones who decided to walk or bike to school today.

Groovy Green Livin Walked to School

Why we should ride or walk to school more often

A Danish study this past year looked at nearly 20,000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19. It found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.

And then there’s the benefit of physical fitness. Being active before sitting in a classroom all day is priceless. Learning to incorporate fitness into your daily routine is a precious life skill.

We are active as a family, but I’m determined to make walking or biking to school happen more often. Logistically it’s not that easy, but it’s doable and it’s a necessity.

Do you or your kids walk or bike every day?

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject Alicia,  From PDX with Love and I Thought I Knew Mama.

April 10th, 2013

People are All Different

Groovy Green Livin people

People ARE all different. Such a simple phrase, but one that says so much.

Over the years I’ve witnessed children doing unsolicited random acts of kindness. Something so sweet that it takes your breath away leaving you with just a smile. Many times there aren’t words to explain the tremendous impact of their actions. Often times they’re too little to understand why what they’ve done is so powerful.

Do you know that feeling? Maybe your child or someone else’s held a door for a disabled person in a wheelchair without being asked or maybe that same child stood up for someone being bullied on the playground just because it was the right thing to do.

My nine year old drew me this picture a few days ago and when he handed it to me I just smiled. I asked if it would be OK to share and he looked a bit surprised then said “yes”.

After the artwork had been handed over I gave some thought as to why this particular picture made me smile. I think it was the realization that my child actually noticed that people are all different, yet they can all stand united together hand-in-hand. I then took it a step further and inferred from his picture that he meant to say people are all different, but we can all get along.

Nough said.

What’s your favorite proud kid moment as a parent, aunt, uncle or friend? 

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out Loud, Project Alicia,  From PDX with Love and I Thought I Knew Mama.

February 13th, 2013

Buried in Snow: Nemo Found Us

Groovy Green Livin Nemo snow

We finally dug out from under the piles and piles of snow left behind by winter storm Nemo. It was an incredible storm. We were among the fortunate who didn’t lose without power or heat. There are many still reeling from the effects of Nemo and my heart goes out to them. More than 400,000 customers lost power in Massachusetts. Much of the power has returned, but there are still some without.

It was an official snow day as the storm moved in. School was canceled and we settled in to watch the snow begin to fall. The state took extreme steps to assure that no one was on the road when the snow picked up. They issued a travel ban. No cars on the road. It was the first travel ban on roads since the Blizzard of ’78, a ferocious storm that dropped 27 inches of snow, packed hurricane-force winds and claimed dozens of lives. State police credited the travel ban, which was lifted late afternoon Saturday, with only 30 drivers needing to be rescued.

During the two days of the storm my kids, along with neighbors, managed to sled, build an igloo, a fort and several tunnels throughout our yard.

Groovy Green Livin snow

This double tunnel was one of their favorites and mine too. It provided hours of entertainment.

Groovy Green Livin snow tunnels

The snow was incredibly deep-over 2 feet in some spots.

Groovy Green Livin snow mailbox

This tunnel ultimately collapsed as the plows went by.

Groovy Green Livin snow tunnel

The day after the storm was gorgeous. The sun was shinning and everything looked white and beautiful.

Groovy Green Livin snow day

Did Nemo find you? 

It’s no-so Wordless Wednesday so this is a simple post which features photos to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject AliciaMama Dweeb, Farmer’s Daughter and I Thought I Knew Mama.

February 6th, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Instagram Images

Groovy Green Livin Instagram Peace Out

I’ve mentioned before that I have an addiction to Instagram. For those of you who have yet to join, Instagram is a free photo sharing network that lets anyone take photos with their smartphone and apply some pretty cool filters to make the photos extra special and then share with other Instagram users or on Facebook and Twitter.

Yes, Instagram has had some pretty big issues that caused a lot of user backlash after they changed their terms of service giving the company commercial rights to user accounts and images. Initially the changes seemed to allow Instagram to sell our photos to advertisers without our permission. After many users threatened to leave Instagram the company took a step back and said they wouldn’t make those changes.

So for now I’m sticking with Instagram and really enjoying  all of your photos and sharing some of my own.

Here are a few of my Instagram photos from this week.

My nine year old son made the best organic fruit salad.

Groovy Green Livin Instagram Fruit Salad

My 12 year old got some pretty fancy new kicks. He designed these himself.

Groovy Green Livin Instagram New Kicks

I stumbled upon these vegetables at the market. I was amazed by how many of you knew what they were called. What’s your guess?

Groovy Green Livin Instagram Tomatillo

If you want to see the rest of my photos come on over and find me on Instagram at GroovyGreenLivin. Let me know how to find you!

It’s Wordless Wednesday so this is a simple post which features photos to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject Alicia, Mama Dweeb, and I Thought I Knew Mama.

 

January 30th, 2013

Why is There Plastic Wrap on That?

Groovy Green Livin Why is there plastic wrapPlastic wrap is my nemesis.  Have you ever asked yourself  ‘why is there plastic wrap on that?’

I have never touted myself as perfect when it comes to green living, but there are some things that seem so simple, so intuitive that it’s beyond me why they happen.

Take for example this organic cucumber that I recently bought at the market. Yes, it was wrapped in plastic wrap.

Groovy Green Livin Why is there plastic wrap

My kids love cucumbers and this was the only organic version available. I’m having a hard time with this one. Plastic wrap on a cucumber? It reminds me of Del Monte wrapping their organic bananas in plastic. They added a layer of plastic wrap to a fruit that comes with its own natural, biodegradable packaging. Cucumbers, like bananas, have a peel. Maybe its not as thick as a banana peel, but still.

Needlessly covering fruits and vegetables with plastic wrap is an enormous waste. Also (and probably more important on my end) I really don’t want plastic touching anything I’m going to eat.

So I was torn. Standing there in the supermarket staring at the fruits and vegetables I saw a sea of plastic wrap. My choice was to buy the organic cucumber or leave it behind. I opted for the cucumber along with the plastic wrap.

I wonder if plastic wrap is really necessary for packing fruits and vegetables? If packaging is needed for transporting produce there must be a better alternative.

What do you think about plastic packaging on a cucumber or any other fruit or vegetable?

Wordless Wednesday, a simple post which features photos to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject AliciaMama Dweeb, and I Thought I Knew Mama.

photo credit: Ksayer1 via photopin cc

January 23rd, 2013

Climate Change in a Winter Wonderland

Groovy Green Livin climate change

It’s officially winter. Today my thermometer reads 8 degrees. There’s no denying that winter is upon us. There are days where I sit at my desk bundled in a coat and scarf. I’m always cold. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s nothing like being outside in the winter. Skiing, running and exercising in the cold weather is invigorating and ideal in my humble opinion.

Part of New England’s charm is the distinct four seasons. But I’ve noticed a change. Snow cover is decreasing, storms have become fierce and spring arrives earlier.

I worry. The planet continues to get hotter with 2012 being the warmest year ever recorded, by far.

Groovy Green Livin climate change

President Obama thankfully talked climate change during his inaugural address.

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.

Groovy Green Livin climate change

We need more than just words, we need action. Betraying our children and future generations just isn’t an option. Let’s all agree to take action.

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out LoudProject AliciaMama Dweeb, Organic Mama, Savvy Suburban and I Thought I Knew Mama.

Wordless Wednesday, a simple post which features photos to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.

Have you noticed any climate changes in your neck of the woods?

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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