Tag Archives: Earth Day

Tips On How To Green Your Grocery Shopping, Cleaning, and Pet Care

Earth Day is just around the corner but I believe that the ‘green trend’ that people used to get so excited about around Earth Day every year is not so much a trend anymore but a lifestyle.  It’s the norm.  Many parents have become more green than they were in the past whether it’s by buying organic, all-natural shampoo for their kids or BPA-free baby bottles.  Being green may not be easy as easy as shopping like we used to 10 years ago, but many companies and stores are putting a lot of effort into providing consumers with many ‘green’ options.

So we have the options but what about the ideas to implement a more green lifestyle?  Here are a few great tips on how to be more green.

You can easily conserve resources in your everyday life just by making a few small changes in and around your home.

Here are some other ways to green your day-to-day duties:

Grocery Shopping

Green your trash bags:  It is so easy and inexpensive to get trash bags made from recycled or biodegradable material these days that there is little excuse not to use them. You can buy a roll at most supermarkets or online from Kokopelli’s Green Market (kokogm.com). Bring your own reusable tote to the grocery store with you. Leave a few totes in the trunk of your car or stash them away in your purse for unexpected trips.

Skip the Suds

Try a green detergent such as 7th Generation which comes in a recycled cardboard bottle. You can also use a detergent designed for cold water; using cold water for each wash load saves energy, which is good for the earth, and also saves money, which is great for your wallet. Cold water detergents are formulated to fight dirt and stains just as well as their warm water counterparts.

Use a dishwasher instead of washing plates by hand. Buy an Energy Star Rated washer, only run it when it is full and skip the pre-rinse cycle.

Choose Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

For every commercial and chemical based product on the market, there is probably a greener alternative…or even a homemade substitution!

•    Baking Soda: This is great for cleaning, deodorizing, softening water and scouring dishes.

•    Soap: Unscented soap in liquid, flake or powder form is biodegradable and will clean just about anything.

•    Lemon: A strong food acid effective against most household bacteria.

•    Borax: Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors

•    White Vinegar: Cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.

•    Washing Soda: Cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans walls, tiles, sinks and tubs.

•    Cornstarch: Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

•    Citrus Solvent: Cleans paintbrushes, oil and grease and some stains.

Green Your Pet

The carbon emissions emitted from the production and transportation of your pet’s food can be quite high; to offset this, look for healthy food alternatives. While organic pet food may cost a bit more, it is made with renewable resources and no pesticides or environmentally unfriendly fertilizers. Whether it comes in bottles, bags or cans, chances are that your pet’s food containers can be recycled.
Scooping poop is no fun for anyone but you can make it more environmentally friendly by using biodegradable bags, which are available at most pet stores. This is an excellent alternative to using plastic bags which are nearly impossible to decompose.

Photo Credit: pure cleaning agency

About GreenBrideGuide.com

GBG is one of the top sites for Green Wedding and they are launching GreenHomeGuide.com this spring, which will be all about ecofriendly home décor. GBG’s CEO, Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master’s from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (Sourcebooks, 2008).   In 2009, she foundedwww.greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy. The site also has a green gift registry and wedding shop.

Green Car Buying Tips from Auto Trader, Just In Time For Earth Day

Buying a car is a task as it is.  What if you are looking into buying a ‘green car’?  There are so many things to consider if you want your next family vehicle to be a green vehicle, such as emissions, fuel efficiency, and electric vs. clean diesel vs. hybrid.  Where do you begin researching what the best green car for your family is?  Auto Trader has a special page titled “Green Car Shopping Tips: Buying the Right Green Car for You” that I think will help you move forward with researching the next green car for your family.

 Auto Trader Green Car Buying GuidePhoto source: Auto Trader

Just in time for Earth Day, AutoTrader.com editors provide expert advice to help any shopper who’s considering making an environmentally-friendly vehicle choice

Earth Day is a time when people examine the choices they make in their day-to-day lives and consider things they can do to conserve resources. For many car shoppers, this means adding environmentally-friendly vehicles to their lists.

When asked to rank features that were important to them in their next vehicle, shoppers in an AutoTrader.com survey picked fuel efficiency as most important above body style, comfort/seating, convenience features and design. Shoppers considering a fuel efficient vehicle said saving money and helping the environment were the top two reasons why.

For those ready to make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly vehicle, AutoTrader.com editors say there’s never been a better time.

“In the past, consumers had limited choices if they wanted a more fuel-efficient vehicle, but that’s definitely not the case today,” said Brian Moody, AutoTrader.com site editor. “Shoppers now have a wide selection of new and used vehicle options that fit most lifestyles and budgets.”

AutoTrader.com editors have created a green car shopping primer that breaks down how electric, clean diesel and hybrid vehicles work, sharing the pros and cons of each technology to help shoppers decide which one could be the right fit for their lifestyle.

“For example, if you have a shorter commute, an electric vehicle might be an ideal option. If you love the driving dynamics and power of a traditional engine, a clean diesel would be a smart choice. And there are a lot of great used hybrid vehicles out there for folks who want the efficiency, but maybe don’t have the budget for a new car,” Moody explained.

Visit AutoTrader.com/greencartips to learn more.

About AutoTrader.com

Created in 1997, Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace. As a leading resource for car shoppers and sellers, AutoTrader.com aggregates millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers and provides expert articles and reviews. AutoTrader.com, which also operates the AutoTraderClassics.com auto marketing brand, is wholly owned by AutoTrader Group. Additionally, AutoTrader Group owns Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) as well as three other companies that provide a full suite of software tools that help dealers and manufacturers manage their inventory and advertising online: vAuto, HomeNet Automotive and VinSolutions. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.

SOURCE AutoTrader.com

How Connected Are Your Kids To Nature?

Earth Day
She doesn't have a black eye.. that's 'eyeshadow'. 🙂

Trips to the zoo, collecting autumn leaves, reading Ranger Rick – sound like memories from your childhood?  If you’re like me, then they do.  When I was a child we visited parks and enjoyed nature together as a family and that was the ‘norm’.

Here’s a question for you: Do these activities sound like a part of your kids’ lives today?

It’s an interesting question we parents should all ask ourselves.

On that note, Disney tells us it’s convening a number of top experts on the issue this week in Orlando as part of its Disney Kids and Nature Celebration (the event also includes a day-long youth summit and the screening of its upcoming movie “Chimpanzee”), and we got some insight on the discussion.  Former Ranger Rick subscribers, listen up:

According to Richard Louv, a Disney partner and author of the bestselling books Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, every child needs nature.  Not exactly a groundbreaking revelation – but certainly one that poses challenges when you look at your weekly calendar (where’d the white space go?).

Here’s some advice we can take away from his philosophy and the bigger discussion in Orlando:

1. Get nostalgic. Take a moment to talk to a grandparent – or even a peer – about his or her favorite nature memories from childhood – was it skipping stones? A favorite picture book about elephants? Drawing horses? Climbing trees?  These simple memories might be enough to remind you just how easy it can be to make nature part of your own parenting style.


2. Think manageable.  Connecting kids with nature doesn’t require a family trip to Yellowstone (phew). What it really takes is getting your kids curious about animals, wildlife and the outdoors – the world beyond their house and school.  What do baby turtles eat? Why do leaves change colors?  How do fish breath underwater? What kind of insect is that in your backyard? Hikes, museums, books and videos can all help spark that fascination.


3. Teach early lessons.  Intuitively, we know kids need to learn about and appreciate nature.  But what are the real benefits?  For one, it’s a sensory explosion for their young minds.  Reading about how birds build nests, watching a baby elephant play, touching a sheep’s coat, smelling a rose or digging a carrot out of the soil  — all of this stimulates curiosity in young minds.

More important, however, is that it instills a love of nature.  And if our kids love nature – won’t they be more likely to protect it?

Find an Earth Day event near you

Disney is hosting an Earth Month event, the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration, April 12-14 in Orlando – and among other things, will be addressing the relationship between kids and nature today.


Chattahoochee Nature Center Earth Day Kids Fest 2011 – April 16th

Chattahoochee Nature Center Earth Day Kids Fest 2011Go outside and play – the mantra of many mothers for years. If you had one of these mothers, you had more opportunities to get outside and run, ride and play. Backyards became jungles and open fields had endless possibilities.
These days the mantra has fallen to the wayside. Children now spend muchof their non-school hours working on growing amounts of homework, engaged in structured activities or in front of a computer screen. Children rarely have unstructured free time to play outside.
The result is that children miss the opportunity to explore nature. To discover ontheir own the animals that live under rocks or the sweet smell of honeysuckle.Children are not given a chance to make a personal connection to nature.
What are the ramifications of this? Richard Louv in his book No Child Left Inside describes how childhood obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and depression could be linked to the loss of unstructured outdoor play. Louv calls this Nature Deficit Disorder. Research has shown that exposure to nature can help relieve depression symptoms, refocus a child with AD/HD and encourage spontaneous active play which contributes to a healthy weight.

This Earth Day, commit to getting outside with your family.What can you do?
Here are some suggestions –

  • Schedule an hour each week (or each day) where everyone goes outside for some fun.
  • Go for walk, toss a Frisbee, pull weeds, write in your journal, just go outside.
  • Build houses out of sticks, rocks and leaves.

But the most important thing that any adult can do is to support and encourage achild’s interest in nature. Your support is the platform that a healthy relationshipwith nature is built upon.
For more fun outdoor activities, come out for Earth Day Kids Fest at theChattahoochee Nature Center, April 16. This event, sponsored by the CaptainPlanet Foundation, features planet friendly activities and lots of fun. For moreinformation, visit chattnaturecenter.org.

How my family is getting involved in Earth Day this year:

Here’s an event at Chattahoochee Nature Center that I plan on taking my 11 and 4 yr old to to celebrate Earth Day this year.

Earth Day Kids Fest with Captain Planet FoundationPresented by Macy’s

Apr 16th, 2011 (Saturday) 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
The whole family will enjoy many ways to connect to nature and learn fun new ways to help the planet.

  • Meet Captain Planet who will give you the power!
  • Visit interactive booths and exhibits from over 30 local groups and environmental organizations
  • Explore environmental themes such as clean water and air, wildlife and habitat protection, native plants, water conservation and recycling while finding ways of taking green steps to a new level in your home and business
  • Enjoy live musical entertainment with messages about our Mother Earth
  • See live animal presentations with CNC naturalists
  • Paddle a canoe on CNC’s Beaver Pond
  • For more information on this exciting event, contact Rebecca at 770-992-2055 ext. 236 orr.gilbert@chattnaturecenter.org.

Learn more about Chattahoochee Nature Center on AtlantaMoms.com here.

Chattahoochee Nature CenterVisit Chattahoochee Nature Center website here

Chattahoochee Nature Center Facebook pageVisit Chattahoochee Nature Center Facebook page here


Enjoy Earth Day with your family this year!

Alicia Hagan, Mom Blog editor


Pocoyo is Global Kids’ Ambassador for Earth Hour – Congratulations Pocoyo!

Pocoyo Global Kids’ Ambassador for Earth Hour

The beloved children’s character, POCOYO, has been named the first official Global Kids’ Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund’s 2011 Earth Hour initiative on March 26, 2011.  My four year old loves Pocoyo and she will be all about turning our lights off at 8:30pm on Earth Day if that’s what Pocoyo tells her to do!

I encourage you to join in the fun with Pocoyo on Earth Day and before by visiting the Pocoyo Earth Hour page here and learning more about this great initiative.  You can download Pocoyo screen savers, a printable Pocoyo activity book, and watch videos here.

Also visit these Pocoyo and Earth Day websites:

Alicia Hagan, Mom Blog editor