Archive for ‘Green Baby’

December 8, 2011

A GREEN Christmas…

Wondering how to create a green holiday season that’s easier on wildlands — and easier on your own soul as well?  Here’s our list of green holiday ideas for turning frenzied and consumer-focused into simple and green — and best of all, kind to wildlands.

1. Green your holiday feasts: Green your holiday meals by buying organic (fewer chemicals, pesticides, and often fewer food miles) or using more vegetarian or vegan recipes (animal agriculture is a major contributor or greenhouse gas, plus plants require less land for production). Buying local is also great choice because it reduces carbon emissions produced in the transportation of food across country.

2. Create cherished holiday rituals in nature: This year resolve to steal some of your regular gift shopping time and replace it with just one special green holiday family tradition in nature. Special time with you is a genuine gift to your loved ones. The memories of snow-shoeing in wilderness or sledding at a nearby hill will be cherished long after boxed gizmos are gone.

Ideas: Stargaze with a hot drink and a warm blanket in the backyard; go ice skating at a local (approved for ice-skating) pond or outdoor rink; go on a winter scavenger hunt (tip #3), hold an ornament collecting party (tip #4).

3. Hold a winter scavenger Hunt: Take the kids in your life on a winter scavenger hunt at your favorite wild place. Write out a list of things to find, such as pinecones, different types of rocks, animal tracks, bird species, bird nests, mountain peaks, tree species, squirrels or chipmunks. Pack up a thermos of hot chocolate to reward the team after the hunt is done. And don’t forget to teach kids about leaving behind the things they find.

4. Ornament collecting party: Rather than buying more plastic ornaments transported from across the ocean, have an ornament party in your own backyard. Collect pinecones, pebbles, leafs or any other items that can be made into tree ornaments using eco-friendly glue and craft products.

5. Trim a tree — outside: Have children decorate yard trees with suet pine cones, popcorn strings, and corn cobs (for squirrels), then watch to see what visitors show up.

6. Send holiday images not paper:  Take digital photos of the wintery journeys mentioned above, then make your own digital green holiday cards.

7. Green holiday wrapping: Put a dent in holiday waste by using recycled or repurposed material — newspaper comics, old calendar photos, unwanted maps, scarves or reusable gift bags — are great materials. If you can’t break away from standard wrapping, at least avoid foil paper as it generally cannot be recycled, then resolve to wrap a percentage of gifts in recyled material. Make it more fun by having a green-gift-wrapping night with children, using crayons to decorate used paper or newspapers.

8. Green up your trees: Shop from sellers that offer native, local trees. Buying local saves fuel and carbon emissions since many trees are shipped from across the country or even Canada. Other options: buy a potted tree or one with its root bulb intact. After Christmas, plant the tree in the yard for years of enjoyment.

Source: sierraclub.com
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November 1, 2011

Going Green: An Environmental Approach to Diapers

The choice between re-useable cloth diapers and disposable diapers has long been the subject of research and debate.  There are numerous factors to consider when making the choice and parents need to be fully informed in order to make the best decision.

While it is important to consider the convenience and effectiveness of our choice we also need to look at the environmental impact; after all we need to do what is best for our children now and in the future.

Government research shows that disposable diapers are the third largest individual constituent of municipal solid waste accounting for probably somewhere between 1.5% and 4% of the total amount.  There are various estimates on the amount of waste the average child wearing disposable diapers is responsible for but the most conservative estimate is about a quarter of a ton per year and climbing.

While some argue disposable diapers can be composted it is important to note that there is an estimated 82,000 tons of plastic consumed by disposable diapers in the US annually that cannot be composted.

Both re-useable diapers and disposable diapers consume fossil fuels for energy. While manufacturing of disposable diapers and the cleaning process of re-useable diapers are both pollutants; the energy consumption from washing diapers still remains much lower and continues to decline as washing machines become more efficient.

In summary choosing cloth diapers over disposable is still the most environmentally friendly choice.

Why Use Cloth Diapers?

  • Natural fabric – no chemicals
  • Lots of savings
  • Potty train faster

Why Kushies?  Experience Matters.

  •  Proven for over 20 years
  • Most economical all-in-one on the market
  • Quality – Our diapers last and can be passed on to siblings
  • All in one systems and organic flannel available

sources: diapernet.org; livestrong.com; Scientific American.com

September 1, 2011

Tips for Kids Lunches that are Safe for Kids and the Planet

Can you hear it? The big yellow school bus is warming up its engine and testing out its new routes. Before long it will be driving down my street, stopping at driveways and designated intersections; collecting children dressed in their new back to school outfits for their first day of school. Eager children will happily jump on board, backpacks filled with school supplies and reusable lunch boxes.

How to make your lunch box eco-friendly

If your school is like most, kids, teachers and staff create a lot of waste every day. The beginning of the school year is the perfect time help reduce that waste. Put down your paper and plastic and invest in a few reusable containers and bags for school lunches. On average, a child bringing a brown bag lunch to school every day generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That can add up to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size school! The Sierra Club estimates that families spend $85/year on disposable plastic baggies.

Investing in reusable products might be a bit of an investment upfront, but the savings over the life of the products is substantial.

What to look for in a reusable product

  • Washable products.Having used reusable products for a few years, I’ve seen how messy they can get. Mashed sandwiches, crushed carrots and leaky drinks make washable products a must.
  • Safe materials.Take the time to investigate what your reusables are made from since they are coming in direct contact with your food.
  • Distance the product traveled. If possible, buy products from local companies to support the local economy and reduce the amount of travel (petroleum) needed to reach you.

 Our favorites for an eco-friendly lunch box

1. A 12 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle. The perfect size for a lunch box and a snack bag. These bottles are made from stainless steel so there is no risk of leaching plastic. By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.

2. Reusable lunch bags. There are so many different designs and brands – just be sure your new bags are PVC and lead free.

3. Kushies reusable snack and sandwich bags. These bags are great! Our bags are easy to handwash and are dishwasher safe.

Two more things:

  • Whatever product you choose, be aware of food temperature safety. A new study of preschoolers’ lunches found that more than 90 percent of the food sent from home was at an unsafe temperature long before children started eating, according to USA Today.
  • Since lunch boxes are often made of PVC, the poison plastic, use the Center for Health, Environment & Justice’s PVC-Free Back-to-School Guide  to help you navigate what’s safe and what’s not!


Source:  www.healthychild.org

August 1, 2011

Tips for enjoying a GREEN Summer…

Here are some ECO friendly tips to help you enjoy a healthy, green summer:

  1. BUY LOCAL AND ORGANIC:  Farmer’s markets are in full swing this summer and nothing is more environmentally conscious than buying local. You cut down on fossil fuels used to transport food across the county and also have access to some wonderful fresh, organic produce.
  2. PLANT A GARDEN: Start in the spring or summer and enjoy a home garden into the fall season.  Gardening is an excellent family activity.  Check out www.digthedirt.com to learn everything from how to build your own garden boxes to garden art projects for your kids!
  3. Using propane to BBQ  is much cleaner for our air than using wood or charcoal.   If you must use charcoal try all natural brand.
  4. Instead of buying boxes of popsicles all summer long, make your own from popsicle molds that can be used over and over again.  This helps reduce the amount of waste we produce and also allow for a healthier treat.  Try making  popsicles using organic yogurt, juices and also adding diced up fruit!
  5. Go for a picnic and bring plates and silverware from home.
  6. Travel local on low environmental impact trips like to parks, woods, zoos, ballgames and the beach.  These are great outings your kids will enjoy and are also low on cost.
  7. Drink lots of cold water.  Cold drinks drop your body’s core temperature and cool you down without needing AC.  Remember to use a reusable water bottle.
  8. Try to be chemical free this summer by choosing alternatives to toxic bug repellents and sunscreens.  Look online or at your local health store for safe alternatives.   Planting rosemary  and mint also helps to block mosquitos.
  9. Turning up the thermostat a few degrees on your AC is a great way to save money while making the planet a cooler place.  When the heat is bearable, turn off your AC and enjoy the fresh air with open windows.  Turn a fan on low.
  10. Keep your blinds and drapes drawn and your home will stay cooler, naturally
  11. Lights produce heat so turn off all lights when not in use
  12. Try using a clothesline while the weather is warm
  13. Try a drying rack for your dishes., they’ll dry fast and save you lots of money
  14. Replace one meal a week with a local, vegetarian meal.  A tremendous amount of fossil fuels are used in raising and transporting meat from all over the country.  Making pasta primavera or spinach lasagna is a great way to help the planet!  If you would like to understand more about this check out this NY Times
    article:     http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?_r=1

And of course HAVE FUN!!

July 7, 2011

Its Easy Being Green…

“When green is all there is to be, it can make you wonder why, but why wonder. I’m green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”  Kermit the Frog

It is important for children to learn a green philosophy at home and in their schools.  Most schools now require children bring litter-less lunches, compost, recycle and wash and fold cloth towels in exchange for paper towels.

Children love to learn about the world so it is simple to teach them about the environment.   It is a positive, productive thing to educate kids about the choices they can make.

Children are also very aware about the world and the creatures around them and by talking to them about the environment you are teaching them about nurturing and community service and this helps bring families together.

Here are some tips on how to teach young children about “being green”:

  1. Use simplistic terms – i.e. when talking about recycling, talk about trees and by recycling paper we save trees
  2. Teach them to turn the lights off
  3. Make it fun i.e. art projects made out of recycled materials

Minimizing your impact on the environment by teaching kids not to use up resources is a very good thing…the younger we start the better.

A Recipe To Help You Enjoy Your Summer Greens….

Here is a safe, natural cleaner for fruits and vegetables:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 lemon juiced or a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Mix up and transfer to spray bottle

Spray produce and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then gently scrub and rinse well.

Source: This recipe came from Dr. OZ

June 1, 2011

All-Natural Cleaner for Fruits and Vegetables

Here is a safe, natural cleaner for fruits and vegetables:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 lemon juiced or a couple tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Mix up and transfer to spray bottle

Spray produce and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then gently scrub and rinse well.

Source: This recipe came from Dr. OZ

May 1, 2011

Superfoods for Breastfeeding

Superfoods are those which are considered especially nutritious or beneficial to health.  By eating the right foods when breastfeeding, you can stay in shape, build a healthy supply of milk and protect the planet too.

You need around 300-400 extra calories per day for the first few months of exclusive breastfeeding.  In order to maintain a balance diet you should select a healthy variety of foods.  By selecting local and seasonal produce you will easily achieve a nice range of nutrients.

Essential Foods:

  • Fruits and Vegetables – 3-5 servings/day. Include green leafy, orange, red and yellow produce.  Organic is best in order to avoid pesticide residues and always try to choose local produce when available.
  • Oily Fish – 2x/week. Smaller fish tend to contain less toxins such as sardines, herring and anchovies.  Salmon is a very good choice as well.
  • Whole Grains – seek out organic loaves with no soy flour, organic oats for breakfast and grains such as spelt.
  • Dairy – organic is free from hormones; natural yogurt has more calcium than milk.

Tips: calcium-rich yogurt contains healthy bacteria; lemons (unwaxed) provide vitamins C and A and are great added to filtered water; Swiss chard is high in vitamins and minerals; red peppers contain antioxidants; oily fish boasts essential omega-3 fatty acids; and oats are a good source of soluble fiber as well as a range of vitamins.

Source: Green Baby by Susannah Marriott

**Just finding out about Kushies Magazine?….Please be sure to visit our archives along the right side of the page.  Click on a heading for our past issues!

April 5, 2011

A Green Solution to Baby Wipes

This all-natural baby cleansing lotion can take the place of baby wipes: spritz it on a wash cloth or natural cotton balls and use it to clean your baby’s bottom at diaper changes.

Recipe:

  • Pour freshly boiled water into a tea-pot containing two organic chamomile tea bags – leave the tea to steep and cool for 15 minutes.
  • Put 1 tbsp hemp oil into a measuring cup and pour in about 1 cup of warm tea.  If your baby is over 1-year-old, add 1 tsp pasteurized clear honey and whisk well to combine oil and honey.
  • Fill a clean, reuseable glass bottle with a spray-pump almost to the top with cooled tea.  Screw on the top and shake well to combine all ingredients.  Use immediately, or once completely cool, store the bottle in the refrigerator.
  • At diaper-change time, spray a little of the lotion onto a cotton ball or cloth, then use to clean your baby’s bottom.  Repeat as necessary.  Make a new batch up every few days and keep refrigerated.

Once you have the ingredients to make this lotion it will become such an easy task and you will feel good knowing you are putting an all-natural, gentle solution on your baby.  In times of diaper rash avoid cleansers and wipes and simply use water, while completely cleaning the area.

Source: Green Baby by Susannah Marriott

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