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Teach Your Child to be Eco-Conscious with These Ten Simple Tips

Penny Bauder, mom of two and owner of the popular, earth-friendly craft subscription service Green Kid Crafts shares some tips with us on raising eco-conscious children.

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We know that children learn by example, yet sometimes setting a good example can be difficult for parents. But if you start early enough and follow as many of the ten tips given below as you can, you will teach your child to be more eco-conscious. Teaching environmental responsibility from an early age makes it a lot easier for older children to be more earth-friendly.

You can help your child learn to be eco-conscious in the following ways:

1.  Unplug your kid and get them outside. People protect what they know from first-hand experience, and so good environmental practices sink in if a child appreciates what they are protecting. This can be as simple as playing in the yard or taking them on a nature walk. Let them enjoy getting dirty. A love of the outdoors and a dirty kid go hand and hand. As a bonus, a love of nature often brings a respite and a safe haven from an increasingly busy world.... read more

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk's Sustainable Fish Exhibit

Recently while driving from NYC to Boston, we stopped in Norwalk, Connecticut to visit their Maritime Aquarium.   It turned out to be a great little aquarium, with lots of fish, a ray touch tank, a sustainable fish exhibit, and more.  Check out some photos of their sustainable fish exhibit with info from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

sustainable fish... read more

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste

We all know the adage:  reduce, reuse, recycle.  I try to put "reduce" first whenever I can, and whatever I'm still stuck with, we'll reuse or upcycle, and then ultimately recycle.  

Here are ten super duper easy tips to help you reduce waste:... read more

  1. Remember your reusable shopping bags. We’ve all got tons of reusable shopping bags, but how frequently do we actually remember to bring them to the store?  I’ve gotten much better about remembering them lately and I do this by covering my bases.  I keep a few bags in my car, a few in my purse (ChicoBags fit everywhere!), a couple in the basket underneath our stroller, and some by both our front and back doors.   Don’t forget reusable produce bags – I like the produce sacks by Earthwise.  They’re mesh and take up little space.
     
  2. Drink tap water. No need for bottled water – most tap water in the U.S. is safe to drink.   There are lots of reusable water bottle options these days for when you’re on the go!   If your tap water has a funny taste, buy a good filter.  
     
  3. Cook at home and from scratch. We’re all busy and it’s hard to cook from scratch every night, but try picking a two or three days a week where this is something that you do.  Think about all the packaging when you buy premade food.  I love me some chicken tikka masala from Whole Foods Market’s prepared food section, but it still comes in a plastic tray which is also wrapped in plastic.  So wasteful!  

Green in the Classroom

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

Conservation in the Classroom
 

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

Raising environmentally savvy kids is one of the most powerful ways to help them enjoy a protected planet. To foster your children’s eco-education, encourage their schools to go green.

As part of National Green Week (an annual program developed by the Green Education Foundation), schools can devote any week from now until Earth Day (April 22) to projects that help create a more sustainable classroom and community. “One of National Green Week’s goals is for schools to start making environment-focused changes they can stick with for the rest of the year and beyond, so that the program can truly have a lasting impact,” says Green Education Foundation president Victoria Waters.... read more

Thinking and READING Green!

Jeanine, Tyler and TristinJeanine, Tyler and Tristin

Tristin and Tyler LOVE books. Big books, small books, superhero books, fairytale books, you name it, they love it! Their first, and now favorite, green/eco book is called THINK GREEN! by Jeanine Behr Getz. Jeanine self-published the book via her company Kids Think Big. In this episode of Tristin and Tyler's Tales from the City! the boys learn that they too can impact the earth, even though they are little guys!... read more

Getting Knowledge is Green!

Faye Rogaski, Tyler and TrisitnFaye Rogaski, Tyler and Trisitn

Sometimes going green is about NOT accumulating more stuff that would end up in a landfill! How about experiencing something, or learning something new?

Well, that's what Tristin and Tyler did in this episode of Tristin and Tyler's Tales from the City! which you can check out below. In this episode, the boys head to socialsklz, a company dedicated to teaching kids the "tools to thrive in the modern world."  The boys learned everything from how to properly shake hands to proper phone and table manners.

Socialsklz2Socialsklz2

Faye Rogaski, the founder of socialsklz, and her team did an amazing job of teaching the kids social skills in a way which allowed them to retain it.  It has been a while since they attended the course and they still know how to shake hands and introduce themselves properly. How cool is that? 

Faye and the boys!Faye and the boys!

Check out the episode, and make sure to play the memory game and see how many social skills tips and tricks you can remember!

What do you think about using experiences and education as a way to help the environment?... read more

Are Applesauce Pouches Recyclable?

I'm sad to say that I developed an unkeen, ungreen habit in 2011.   Sometime after my son's first birthday, he went from eating almost everything served to him to being the type of kid who would prefer to exist off yogurt, mac and cheese, and crackers.  Sigh.  

Frustrated, I'd wander the supermarket aisles trying to think of what I could possibly feed my picky son.  Then at my local Trader Joe's, I noticed these:

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Pouches of applesauce - some plain, some with carrots, some with bananas.  To my surprise, my son loved them.  These pouches (and also the GoGo Squeez which I could buy in bulk at Costco - and a few other brands like Peter Rabbit Organics) quickly became my son's favorite snack while out and about.  Healthy, mess-free, portable...I could stuff a bunch in my purse for a quick snack on the go.  Genius, right?... read more

Being a Greener Diaper User

cloth diaperIn an ideal world, everyone would use cloth diapers and these cloth diapers would be self-washing!  There are many reasons why an eco-friendly parent might opt not to use cloth diapers - poor laundry facilities, a daycare that doesn't accept cloth diapers, a low threshold for cleaning poop, whatever.   There can be many different reasons why.

That said, even for parents who aren't willing to make the commitment to cloth diaper, there are many ways to make your diaper usage a little greener.

Compromise

Buy a few cloth diapers.  For a low-maintence type, go for a one-size or all-in-one diaper, like a Rumparooz or Easy Fit.   Commit to using one cloth diaper a day instead of a disposable.  It's totally doable and it will keep 365 diapers out of the landfill a year.   ... read more

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