January 25th, 2016
Sorry to be the winter Grinch, but snow shouldn’t be on your menu. Even if you have some amazing snow recipes don’t eat the snow! Ever. Especially if you live in an urban setting.
I remember as a kid making snow cones with the freshly fallen snow. Growing up in Wisconsin snow cones got me through the long winter months. Not only snow cones, but snow ice cream and even just straight up snow. As a kid I had trouble resisting anything made from fresh snow.
Unfortunately eating snow needs to become a thing of the past since there are now known health concerns to worry about. Remember knowledge is power.
According to a new study, a group of scientists found that snow in urban areas absorbs the toxic and cancer-causing particles that are found in car exhaust. What does that mean? That beautiful white stuff on the ground is soaking up all sorts of toxic chemicals from our car exhaust and other contributors to air pollution. If we eat the snow we’re eating a cocktail of those toxins. Probably not something you want to encourage your kids to eat.
According to Tech Times: One in eight total deaths worldwide occurs due to air pollution. There is a strong association between exposure to pollution and diseases like cancer and heart disease.
As we dig ourselves out from one of the first of many snow storms this winter it’s important to teach our kids not to eat the snow.
Bottom line: So now the phrase “Don’t eat yellow snow” has to be taken a step further. “Don’t eat any snow!” It’s not worth the potential health risks.
There must be another way to make this maple candy? Unfortunately it won’t be as fun.
Do your kids eat the snow? I know it’s hard to resist!
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photo credit: Snowballed via photopin (license)
February 13th, 2013
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.
This double tunnel was one of their favorites and mine too. It provided hours of entertainment.
The snow was incredibly deep-over 2 feet in some spots.
This tunnel ultimately collapsed as the plows went by.
The day after the storm was gorgeous. The sun was shinning and everything looked white and beautiful.
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 Momsense, Live and Love Out Loud, Project Alicia, Mama Dweeb, Farmer’s Daughter and I Thought I Knew Mama.
January 2nd, 2013
Over a foot of snow fell last week while I was on vacation. That might make some of you want to run as fast as you can to a warmer climate and to others it’s a windfall. I’m in the latter camp. I can’t get enough snow. I love to ski, hike, skate, sled and anything else that involves spending time outside. Yes, I get cold but hand warmers have completely revolutionized my love of the cold outdoors.
But the party’s over. I’m not going to lie to you, it was rough waking up this morning and getting back into the groove. After spending 11 solid days with my family in ski country you would think that I would have been just plain giddy when the yellow school bus pulled up to take my children back to school, but that didn’t happen. No giddiness, no relief, only a hint of sadness that another vacation has come to a close. But this vacation felt different than others. The toll of the Sandy Hook tragedy was next to impossible to ignore. The hugs were that much bigger and the ability to remain present in the moment was that much simpler. This vacation represented a much needed break from reality and it’s sometimes harsh consequences.
I spent my days skiing, hiking, sleeping and watching movies, snuggled on the couch with my three children because I could. Remembering that there are so many who couldn’t.
Hiking up the mountain in snow shoes
This time of year is a bit iffy if you’re a skier. There’s no guaranty that there’ll be any natural snow. We really lucked out this vacation with over a foot of snow. We actually skied in powder! Take that west coasters.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. I’m feeling renewed, refreshed and ready to see what 2013 has in store for all of us. There are some pretty cool things in the works here at Groovy Green Livin and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Wishing all of you a New Year where all your dreams come true.
How did you spend the holidays?
photo credit: Palojono via photopin cc
In honor of not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s Momsense, Live and Love Out Loud, Project Alicia, Mama Dweeb and I Thought I Knew Mama.
November 4th, 2011
Mother Nature stopped by this week and left her mark. It’s been a very strange week indeed. We (along with thousands of others) lost power for a few days due to a snow storm this past Saturday. In a nutshell, it was astonishing to see communities come together and support one another. Food and shelter were shared. Friends camped out in our home after our power was restored. It’s still messy out there, with debris from trees strewn all over yards and streets. Trick- or- treating has been postponed until this Saturday night to give everyone a chance to regroup. A post on life during the storm is in the works with more details.
In the meantime, here are a few groovy green things to keep you entertained over the weekend.
- Don’t forget to enter this giveaway for a LifeFactory glass water bottle and Bambu utensil set from Essential Safe Products. You can enter up to 4 times. If you decide to buy something from this fabulous site don’t forget to enter the DISCOUNT CODE: ESP3 for 20% off.
- Hop on over to Evolving Wellness where Evita Ochel interviews yours truly! Evita is the editor of Evolving Wellness and author of the newly released book Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition: Natural and holistic approach for How to Eat, What to Eat and Why for optimal health and wellness.
- Healthy Child Healthy World has a great round-up of posts this week on affordable safer beds and a giveaway for a Lullaby Earth crib mattress valued at $159! Betsy from Eco-Novice was selected as the blog of the week and shares an easy- to- follow guide to buying affordable mattresses and bedding. I also shared a post on how to get a non-toxic night’s sleep and what to look for if you’re in the market for a new mattress.
- If you like to get your eco-friendly holiday shopping done nice and early (oh, how I wish I fell into this category) you might want to take a peek at my list of favorite ‘green’ holiday gifts over at Ethical Ocean. There are lots of very cool, unique gifts to choose from. It’s one-stop shopping for everyone. Even your pets are covered!
Have a groovy green weekend! Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I love hearing from you.
What are your plans this weekend?
October 28th, 2011
As I write this post it’s late at night and snowflakes are falling for the first time this season. It’s October and I am going to sleep tonight in denial -knowing that my kids don’t have boots, coats, gloves or hats that fit. We are not prepared for snow. I’m hopeful that when I wake the grass will be green again and the sidewalks clear of the white stuff. **
In spite of of the atypical weather, it’s still technically fall and our fruit bowl is filled to the rim with organic apples and oranges. It’s a challenge to eat them before they become bruised, mushy and inedible. Recently I tried making apple chips, a recipe that’s gluten, dairy and nut-free. They were delicious, low calorie and devoured. The recipe itself is simple, but the chips have to bake for a bit. Let me know if you give them a try.
What’s your favorite apple recipe? My favorite is apple crisp.
[Photo used under Creative Commons from Hakan Dahlstrom/Flickr]
**Update: There was still snow this morning.
April 1st, 2011
Spring in New England isn’t looking so green. Well it was yesterday. But today’s a whole different ball game. This is what I see outside my back door. Yeah-I know it’s beautiful. But I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had a similar view outside the back door (way too many for one winter).
I’m talking about the green that refers to the color of the grass, leaves and plants as they start to blossom. It’s April 1st and Mother Nature has played a nasty trick on us. Spring has technically begun, however I’m surrounded by about 5 inches of brand new white stuff.
As much as I love winter, I’ve checked out. The gloves, hats and boots are done; packed away for next year.
The optimist in me remains hopeful. I know that warmer weather is coming.
Anyone else have an April Fools storm? Those of you in the sunshine please send a dose to the Boston area (via FedEx).
Have yourselves a Groovy Green weekend!
January 11th, 2011
Photo used under Creative Commons from Diana di_the_huntress
For the East Coast and around much of the country, winter means the arrival of snow and ice-and lots of it. The removal of snow and ice from walkways and driveways is a job that most homeowners would love to hand off to someone else. However, many of us find shoveling well within our job description each time a new dumping of snow falls.
You can do your part to help protect the planet by following a few simple guidelines when removing snow and ice.
THE DON’Ts OF SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL
Don’t use salt to melt ice
Salt will melt the ice but……its not so eco-friendly.
- Salt can leach heavy metals which can end up in our water supplies
- Salt can hurt our pets if it gets lodged in their paws
- Salt residue prevents plants from absorbing moisture and nutrients. Salt kills our flowers and grass.
- Salt is corrosive and can damage cars, leading to reduced sustainability of vehicles.
- It will also damage bridges and any other concrete surfaces it comes in contact with.
- Salt run off from sidewalks and streets can increase salinity in local bodies of water, causing long-term damage.
Don’t use ash and kitty litter
- They don’t melt the ice. They do provide traction only on the surface of the snow.
- They can adversely affect vegetation and get into waterways.
- Can be messy once spring hits.
THE DO’S OF SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL
- Use an ergonomic shovel to protect your back from injury.
- Use an ice breaker and some muscle to chop up the ice.
- Shovel more and use sand less. Get out there and shovel early and often. Clear away as much snow and ice as possible and the need for anything additional will diminish.
- Use sand if traction is all that is needed. Use sparingly because it can clog up sewers and lower air quality in areas that use a lot of it. It can also ruin hardwood floors if tracked inside.
- Use an eco-friendly ice melt product when needed-but use sparingly. When choosing an environmentally friendly ice melt, take the time to read the ingredient list. Make sure all the ingredients are safe for you, your kids, your pets and the environment.
*Ingredient info: Magnesium chloride is salt, a safer and less corrosive salt than the more common sodium chloride, but still salt.
NOW BRING ON THE SNOW!
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