Saturday, April 30, 2011

A moment

One of my favorite bloggers, The Leaky B@@b, does a post once a week where she just posts a single picture to depict a moment during that week that she really loved. One that she wants to remember. I think every Saturday I am going to do that. One picture to show a moment in time.
Here is this Saturday's Moment:

A Saturday With Mez

So this morning, like most Saturdays, Bug and I packed a diaper bag filled with cloth diapers, grabbed the ring sling, filled our reusable drink cup with iced coffee and our water jug with water, grabbed a few healthy snacks and some toys, packed it all into the stroller (the bike cart was wet from the rain so it needed to dry out) and headed downtown to the library. Today it turned out that baby reading time was cancelled so instead we read and played in the toddler reading area. As Bug and I were reading various board books and toddler picture books my eyes fell on a black and white photo board book bound with hemp string. The title read "A Saturday with Mez: A Day in the Life of a Breastfeeding Toddler".
I was instantly intrigued. I plopped Bug on my lap and we began to read. I was amazed this book showed page after page of our everyday lives. It was pages full of a toddler that could have been Bug, the similarities were amazing. The pictures told the story of a baby named Mez who breastfeeds,

bike rides,

is worn in a sling,

shops at the Farmer's Market and Co-op

It was a book about a very Green Family. The book was written and created by Lauren Serafin and Jason Rohrer. Then I started to notice that the places in the book looked awfully familiar. After looking closer I realized the book was made right here in my town. I actually realized I recognized the people in the book too. They were well known in our town around 2003-2005. They were a really nice super green family. So when we got home I looked the book up. It has gotten quite a bit of acclaim in certain circles. Sadly the family has moved to NM so I could not just go introduce myself and have a new set of greeny friends. I do think though that we need to buy a copy of this book soon. Bug and I really enjoyed this book. I saw so many parralels to our own lives in this book. This was finally a book about the kind of life that we lead, something you do not often see in children's books. Not to mention it takes place right here in our own town.

The couple/authors had this to say about the book. "Exploring the collection of "baby books" at our local library, we noticed a striking absence of any mention or depiction of breastfeeding. Our child, Mez, seemed particularly attracted to books with photographs, and we found plenty of pictures of babies eating solid foods (like chocolate, ice cream, and even orange cheese curls), but no images to which a breastfeeding baby or toddler could relate. Breastfeeding is now recommended by experts across the board, so where are the baby books that depict it? We decided to create one. The photographs for this book were shot on Saturday, September 4, 2004. To fill gaps in the narrative, extra photographs were shot on Sunday, September 5, 2004. This book was hand-assembled and bound with organic cotton in Las Cruces, NM. It is rare these days to find a children's book (or anything else for that matter) that is designed, printed, and assembled in the USA. We are very proud that we have been able to accomplish this. We can assure you that we will never outsource any of our work overseas. Saturday with Mez is an open source book. The complete source files, including high resolution image files, are available for download from the Internet Archive.This book and its source files are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. As long as you give us credit for our work, you can freely redistribute unmodified copies of this book or the source files for non-commercial purposes."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Darwin The Dinosaur

This is something that is more Mommy related than Green, but it is something that deals with biology, ecology, evolution, and other topics that have to do with the Greener side of Science. Mostly of all though it is about love. If you have ever seen the show Darwin The Dinosaur by Corbian Visual Arts and Dance, than you know how utterly amazing it is. If you haven't than please watch this video which will give you a tiny idea of it.

The story follows that of a creator who seems lonely so he creates a pet dinosaur. The dinosaur seems friendly at first but then quickly starts to turn on him so the creator builds him a heart and gives it to him. The dinosaur "Darwin" is now a kind playful sweet dino who plays fetch with the creator. While playing he spots a bug and chases it, getting lost. He befriends many creatures, flowers, a sea turtle and then finds a little girl fish flopping on the sand. He picks her up and tosses her back into the water, saving her life. They fall in love. He dreams he is a fish too and that they can be together. When he wakes up he goes into the water to try and swim with her. They swim together but he almost drowns and breathless gasps onto the sand. He looks for her but she is gone. Meanwhile his creator is very sad having lost him. There is also a larger mean dino that eats and terrorizes the creatures, but they show how after he eats creatures flowers grow from his feces. (See I told you there were Green elements). The creator finally goes looking for Darwin. He instead finds the mean dino and is almost eaten but Darwin comes to his rescue. The two dinos then have a light saber battle (silly yes but so amazing) The mean dino is killed by Darwin but not before striking a deadly blow to the Creator.  Darwin consumed with grief rips out his own heart and gives it to his Master who then is given new life. Darwin now with no heart begins to die. He shrinks into a ball of light but then is reborn as the fish he so longs to be and joins his fish love in the water. 
The story, puppetry, dance and lightshow just are amazing. My son is only 19 months and he sat amazed through the entire show. It was that captivating. I laughed I cheered I cried like a baby. When you see that dinosaur finally get his wish after ripping out his own heart to save his master.... I wept like a baby. If you take your children to any live show ever it should be this one!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Friendly Easter

We here in the Green Mommy house have 4 Easters this year. Two tomorrow and two Sunday. Between Earth Day preparations and Easter preparations I have been very busy. Now that everything is set for this weekend and I have some time to Blog I can finally talk about how to have a Earth Friendly Easter.
Here are some of the things we do to help cut back on waste every Easter.
1. We use the same baskets every year.
2. We use the same plastic eggs every year.
3. We use shredded paper or tissue paper instead of plastic grass.
4. We buy bulk candy or bulk snacks instead of prewrapped stuff. Then you can put them in the plastic eggs.
5. We buy 75% healthy (mostly organic) dried fruit, candied nuts, roasted nuts, and chocolate covered pretzels and sun flowers seeds rather than candy.
6. Any toy treats are educational.
7. Bug gets a lot of gifts from birthdays and other holidays that sometimes get lost in the shuffle or unnoticed and even unopened. Those get bagged away for Easter Basket treats.
8. All other Easter treats are homemade.
9. Dying eggs we make sure we find kits that use food coloring and non toxic dyes.
So there you have it. A Earth Friendly Easter. Hope yours is lots of fun!

Earth Day!!!!!

So despite being ill and being swamped with school work, a messy house, and a toddler, I somehow managed to get all the preparations for Easter weekend done as well as of course Earth Day!
Today is Earth Day 2011, and at least here it is a "balmy" 55 degrees out and sunny! Me and Bug got up early and got dressed, had breakfast and then headed out the door arming the stroller with a 30 gallon trash bag,

antibacterial sanitizer,

 coffee, and my camera. 
We walked all through town and the parks collecting litter from all over. Bug even helped throw some trash away.

Then we went to see the waterfalls.

Bug decided splashing in the overflow was more fun than staying dry.

In the end we ended up with an entire 30 gallon bag full of trash!

I will post more later after we finish setting up our compost bin. Happy Earth Day everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19th Green Tip

Use cloth diapers! I have posted over and over again about why this is so important so I won't bore you guys again with all the facts and figures but the basic idea is they cost 1000's less over the time your child is in diapers. They are infinitely better for the environment and they are so much healthier for your baby. Go green.. go cloth!

School and illness

I am sorry that I got so off track with all the Earth Month fun I had planned for the blog. I still hope to finish the 30 tips for Earth Month. School and illness got me very off track. I would like to remind everyone though that  Earth Day is this Friday. Bug and I have a day of picking up garbage planned. I also think I will start my composting bin on Friday. It is a good day to start!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Ok I have held off on this topic because most of the Green Mommies I know have a very different opinion on this subject than I do. As a Biologist (almost) I absolutely am for vaccinating children. Recent information proved that the studies linking vaccines to autism were fraudulent and perpetuated by celebrities who knew nothing of the science behind vaccines. Now that isn't to say that maybe you couldn't vaccinate them by an alternate schedule such as the Dr. Sears method, but parents who simply refuse to vaccinate are why diseases long since eradicated are making a strong comeback. I just do not understand this logic. Or lack of logic as it seems to me. I really am not trying to offend, I just do not understand the thought process behind this decision. Here your child has an opportunity to be safe from horrible afflictions that were killing our grandparents and great grandparents and you look at your doctor and say... "No Thank You, we will take our chances". Not vaccinating is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with your child's life. Like many other Green Mommy topics it is controversial and I understand that, but it is similar to breastfeeding. When a Mother says to me "Nahh we are not going to BF (do this ridiculously simple way to feed which gives my child immunities, fights cancer in us both, and provide brain building nutrients for my child)" it makes me cringe. So does hearing "No we are not going to immunize (save my child from ridiculous childhood diseases wiped out and prevented by something as simple as a shot)". I seriously cringe. If you read this and are offended at my candor I would love to hear actual science based reasons why you do not vaccinate your child, otherwise maybe you should think twice about why you are doing this really very harmful thing to your precious baby.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Apologies

I started this month with the best of intentions but alas was struck down with a really awful sinus infection for the last few days and have been lax about the tip of the day. I will be back when I can stand without falling over. Hugs!

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11th Green Tip

Buy Energy Star Appliances. We did this like the CFLs. As one appliance needed to be replaced we bought energy star replacements. That way you are only buying new appliances as you need them. If you have the money then by all means replace them all at the same time and soon. It saves more than you could imagine. We have saved a ton in the year since we switched out all of our big appliances.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10th Green Tip

Change your light bulbs to CFLs. We did this in our house slowly. As one light bulb would burn out we would exchange it for a CFL I am happy to say we have been an entirely CFL bulb house for over a year now.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April 9th Green Tip

Hang your laundry outside. This one was always a big deal to me when we lived places where we could have a clothesline. Clothes dried on a clothesline always smell fresher and just feel great. They look cleaner and cloth diapers bleach themselves in the sunshine. Since moving to Market Street if I were to hang laundry outside it would most likely get stolen. So sadly I do not do this anymore. I will start again as soon as we move in the beginning of next year. I greatly recommend this. Not only is it super green but it just makes your clothes look, smell, and feel awesome.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8th Green Tip

Bring a travel mug or travel cup with you to the mall, school, even restaurants (if they tend to use plastic disposable cups). This will cut down on soooo much waste. I admit this one is one I am still struggling with. At school it is so convenient to just grab a disposable cup because I never have time to wash one in the morning. I do though reuse the same cup all day long. Every cup of coffee I get goes right back into that same cup. I figure even with that I am cutting down on a great deal of waste.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7th Green Tip

Try bringing a plastic grocery bag with you when you go out for a walk with your dog or your little one. This serves two purposes (three if you are with your dog). 1 reusing the bag again which helps cut back on bags bought or throw away. and 2. While on your walk pick up any trash or litter you see. You can even have your little one(s) help. Just remember to bring antibacterial hand sanitizer with you. When the bag is full bring it to the nearest garbage and drop it in. You have removed one whole bag of litter from the places you go with your child. Now if everyone did this everyday we would never see litter

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6th Green Tip

I have discussed this one before in this blog but this is a tip that is easy to do and fun too. Buy used clothing and used toys. Second hand stuff is great. Just because it's not new doesn't mean it's not new to you. You can save a ton of money and also save clothes and toys and books from the garbage and give them a new life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Product!

If I told you that we found an all natural organic soda, that is caffeine free, that is also fair trade, uses natural brewing methods, natural sweeteners, uses bio diesel to distribute,and gets their ingredients through environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect the Farmer's heath would you believe me? How about if I told you it's delicious? How about if I told you it is also not very pricey? 
I want to introduce you all to Maine Root Soda! 
Hubby and I came across this product quite by accident. We were shopping at a local grocery store that has an extensive organic section. We found this brand. They make several flavors. We tried the blueberry soda and the ginger brew. Both were delicious. I am sold! For four bottles at only 5$ it was well worth the price. 
All of their sodas use Evaporated Cane Juice as a sweetener. Not only is this farmed by Fair Trade means but is all natural and not chemically altered like High Fructose Corn Syrup. 

This is what Maine Root has to say:  (
"We use Organic Evaporated Cane Juice to sweeten our sodas. This sweetness is made by passing the whole sugar cane through a set of rollers, then drying the extract into crystals, no extra processing and no additives. Organic Evaporated Cane Juice sweeteners are derived from the first carbohydrate of photosynthesis, sucrose. Bottom line is that it tastes better, and since it is Organic, it is better for you, better for the farmers, and better for the ecosystem. By buying this product you are supporting Organic Farming, Organic Farmers, and helping create a demand for non GMO products. THANKS! For local Portland delivery, Maine Root is dropped off in a Vegetable Powered VW Diesel. The Jetta “pickup truck” was converted by Matt to run on Recycled fryer oil collected from local restaurants. It’s true, smell the exhaust pipe, it smells like Chinese food or French fries (depending where the oil came from). In fact he first diesel engines (invented by Rudolf Diesel in the late 1800's) were actually designed to run on plant oils. By using “waste” oil as fuel, we are utilizing a product that was destined for a landfill. Even better, the emissions are MUCH, much cleaner! Tests vary, but results show that running on SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil) produces 40% less soot than diesel, and 50 - 75% cleaner overall. Not only is SVO a renewable resource that's better for your engine, but it's eco-friendly as well. All that and a case of Root Beer!"

April 5th Green Tip

Bring you own cloth bags to the grocery store. This is one I was great about when we walked everywhere but now that we have a car we often forget. I think my goal this week will be to round them all up and put them in the car.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4th Earth Month Tip

This one is an easy one.. but you would be surprised how many people don't do it. Turn of the water while brushing your teeth. This saves literally gallons of water a day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Breastfeeding a No No in Some Places?

So I read two articles recently that set my teeth on edge. Not because the articles were bad just the subject matter of the articles. These two articles can be found here and here. Basically the articles talked about groups of people who are so beyond against breastfeeding that it is seen as wrong, and beyond revolting. They see it as akin to becoming an animal and in some cases even view it as child abuse. The two cultures that perpetuate this view are France and Australia. 
The Australian views are not as strongly minded or worded as the French ones but still not pro breastfeeding by any stretch. They think that BF past 12 months is insane and that it is only done for comfort and unnecessary for the heath of the child. 
The French views though are just outright disturbing. They actively tell mothers that their breast are not for their child but for their husband and that they need to remember that. They tell them in the hospital that they should not breastfeed for fear they will lose their sexuality as women and become like a cow or beast of burden. A leading bestselling book in France, The Conflict: The Woman and the Mother, warns that breastfeeding is a trojan horse rolling back the gains of the women's movement and shackling women to "despotic, gluttonous babies who devour their mothers". The article also speaks of the philosopher Elisabeth Badinter who "argues that women must beat back their babies with bottles of formula milk and rigid feeding regimes if they are to retain their independence and their sex lives." and that the La Leche League is "the most powerful and nefarious lobby on earth, a coven of Catholic fundamentalists bent on using the World Health Organisation to turn back the clock to an unscientific patriarchal "naturalism"." This quote blew my mind.
The idea that two entire nations can overall have such a backward view on breastfeeding scares me a little. Then I remember than from the 1920's until about the 1990's it was commonplace in the United States for doctors to tell pregnant women that only farmers wives and poor housewives breastfed and that if they were smart and wanted the best for their children they would use formula. Which by the way even today formula does not compare to breastmilk but certainly it did not 50 years ago. Then again 50 years ago an invention by child psychologist Skinner encouraged parents to let their children live the first two year of their life in what was essentially a rabbit cage, the "Air Crib". It was a crib with a place for waste to fall and the baby was left to be naked and free and diaper-less.
What I am saying is that we have come a long way. Research today supports breastfeeding as the best option for your baby. It boosts immunity, drastically reduces both your and your babies chances of cancer, allows for chemical and emotional bonding, deters postpartum depression, boosts metabolism for both you and baby... the list goes on.
The first article the one on France's views on breastfeeding is the story of one man and his wife's struggle to breastfeed in a culture that abhors it. I found his words so touching. He had this to say about his own experiences with being French and wanting his partner to breastfeed their baby. 
"Frankly, as my partner and I discovered, getting a mother out of a French maternity ward while she is still breastfeeding is something of a miracle. We were repeatedly told that we would never get our premature child home unless we gave it a bottle. Everyone agreed breast milk was best – in theory – but the hospital (one of the most advanced in the country) preferred if the mothers pumped their milk so it could be given to the babies by a gastric tube or by bottle, usually pasteurizedWe gently resisted the offers of free formula (and the four baby milk posters in our room) and our daughter became known as le bébé au sein(the breastfed baby), such a freak of nature that France Télévisions wanted to make a documentary about how I carried her skin-to-skin, a standard practice for premature children for decades elsewhere. A psychologist, a diehard Freudian (as the law dictates all should be in France), later suggested that my partner breastfed because she was getting a sexual kick out of it. Most of our friends who do manage to breastfeed hit a wall at between four and nine weeks when their doctors tell them they don't have enough milk, and they must pass to the l'étape biberon (the bottle stage). This peculiarly French phenomenon may have something to do with the fact that women are beginning to think about going back to work at that point, maternity leave being on average less than half of what it is in the UK. A paediatrician as good as confirmed this to me, claiming that he was doing women a favour by allowing them to rediscover their vie de femme. It is possible to work and breastfeed in France, although the only woman we know who dares to bring a pump to the office is a human rights lawyer who spends her days putting the fear of God into central Asian dictators and Algerian generals. Which is where fathers come in. Within days of my daughter's birth, doctors, nurses and friends were reminding me of my primary duty as apère de famille – to couper le cordon, to cut the cord, and save my partner from turning into a mama-vacheune bovineune tétine géante(a giant dummy), as one put it. She will get her perinea retrained to return her to peak sexual performance – a wonderful French tradition that is actually about preventing incontinence, and which the NHS would do well to copy – and my job was to make sure the baby did not get in the way of her vie de femme. In that, I am afraid, I have mostly failed as a French father. My daughter is, at 17 months, still a boob baby and we all sleep in the same bed. But that is our little secret, OK? I don't want those documentary makers knocking on the door again, this time for one of the regular reports on weirdos who still allow a sneaky suckle at two or even three years of age! That, as one radio presenter said, is quite possibly sexual abuse."
I am beyond words just reading that. I applaud this couple and there efforts. I for one was proud to be a cow and I would do it again and again. I pity these women who are scorned for wanting the best for their babies in a society where sex is the number 1 priority but the outcome of sex is the lowest priority. As for Australia.. they seem to be making some changes but it seems a slow turn around. Here in America though we are not off the hook. This country also has some backwards views on BF when a national figure like Rachael Ray can bash it on television.

April 3rd Green Tip

This one I got from an article I read in First Magazine. Don't throw out your used egg shells. Collect them and store them in a dry place. Then you can use them in all sorts of ways.
1. Compost them: This adds calcium to you compost which with enrich your soil.
2. Make a Face Mask: crush them into a powder and whisk them with egg whites and apply to face. Let dry and then rinse off with warm water. This rejuvenates your skin.
3. Soothe joints: crush them into powder and then dissolve them with vinegar. After a few days they will be dissolved. Then apply to hands and rub into joints.
4. Make better coffee: For this one make sure they were rinsed before you dried them. Then crush them into powder and mix in your coffee grounds. The calcium will neutralise some of the acid taste and makes for a better cup of coffee.
There were many more but I can't remember them all. The basic point though is something so natural can benefit you in so many ways. Why just throw it out? Reuse!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2nd Green Tip

So today's tip is also an easy one. My goal is to not bombard you guys with 30 life changing things that would be hard to do, but ease you into greener lifestyles with 30 easy peasy tips that most people don't even think about but I bet a lot of you may do already. Today's tip is: When you are done recharging your electronic devices, cellphones, rechargeable batteries, cameras, etc, unplug your chargers. This can save a lot of energy. It seems simple but it really can waste a lot of energy to leave them plugged it. It is just one more little thing you can do.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Earth Month Begins

Today is April 1st. My Green Tip for the first day of April is. Always brush your teeth with lettuce paste. The natural cellulose in lettuce will brush away all that plaque.

LOL! April Fools. Ok I guess that was an obvious one. I have never been all that great at fooling people. Anyway my real tip is one I struggle with and I am going to make a big effort with. Using less paper napkins. If you pack a wet wash cloth in a zip-lock bag you can seriously cut down on any paper napkin use when out and about. If however you forget try really hard to make it through your whole meal using only one napkin. I have been really good about this lately. Even on campus. Using only one napkin cuts down considerably on both waste and napkins being made.

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