Mom Central Goes Green

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City dwellers need fresh veggies too, and what better way than to grow your own. You don't need a large backyard or even one square foot of green space to do it too. Here are four ways to garden in a city. Window boxes If you have a window then you are getting light. If you are getting light in through a window, then you can have a small garden. Window boxes (inside or out) are great for growing herbs like chives, basil, cilantro, and rosemary. You can choose from a variety of styles to fit your home's decor and your design needs. You can even purchase self-watering window boxes!
Bet your bottom dollar Since we got the set during a Fourth of July weekend sale at Sears, we saved about a $1400 compared to what they cost on the Electrolux website. So, even if you add in the pedestals, we still saved a lot of money. I would definitely advise anyone to wait until they're on sale, or you'll be really sad when you see the sale price a month later. The Electrolux front-loading washer and dryer are up to 83% more energy efficient and use 56% less water than a standard top-loading machine. Now, if you have a new machine that is less than five years old, it would not necessarily be cost-efficient for you to run out and buy this set.
If you are reading this article, chances are you are the one in your relationship taking the lead on living a greener lifestyle. Lately I've seen some discussions on various green forums and it seems like for every one of us 'in the lead' on going green, there is a significant other who is a little more resistant to change. What are some ways you can get your spouse or significant other on-board with going green? Here are a few ideas gathered from around the web and some I've tried in my own home. I'd love to hear your success stories...as large or small as they are!
Moving to a new town, it's been fun to explore all the offerings. Yesterday, I packed up the kiddos and we went to the local farmer's market. Wandering around the booths overflowing with fresh berries, squash, honey, bread and flowers, I picked up some veggies to add to a frittata, a loaf of fresh bread and some rhubarb squares for dessert. The kids each had a honey stick and got to ask the beekeeper questions about the buzzing beauties to their hearts' content and she patiently answered every one. There was a booth with beautiful hand-turned wooden pepper mills and wine bottle stoppers that had red streaks throughout the wood caused by a fungus that occurs naturally.
Have you heard of “The Dirty DozenTM”? This is a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables you can buy, as tested by the Environmental Working Group (a team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers, etc.) and compiled into the EWG Shoppers Guide to Pesticides. Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems related to cancer, the nervous system, and  hormones. Buying organic can reduce your exposure to pesticides, but not everyone can afford, or has easy access to organic produce. These lists can help shoppers navigate the produce isles in any grocery store to get the most fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides. Avoid “The Dirty DozenTM”EWG took the 49 most consumed fruits and vegetables (as reported by the USDA) and tested samples after peeling or washing. They then measured contamination in a variety of ways including the average number of pesticides on a sample, and percent of samples with two or more pesticides. Here’s the list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables:
At the grocery store this week, I was trying to gather snacks and other food that would be easy to give to the kids while we were either at a park, running errands, or in the mad rush to build our fence. It's such a hard balance to try and be conscientious of health,nutrition and environment and what's realistic for both your time and budget. When packing school lunches or during the rush of summer fun and play dates, it's important to me to have at least a few options of easy-to-grab snacks.
Last weekend we had a swim team event at the pool. It was one of many, but this particular event was MY job. I had signed up to set up and clean up as my volunteer job this season. Other folks volunteer to make bring the food, drinks, plates, cups, etc. In other words, a LOT of waste. Yet I realized that these days, we are better trained to go green and sometimes people just need a gentle reminder. Trash vs. recycling As the one trash can started to overflow, people started tossing their trash in the clearly marked recycling can. I pointed to the “recycling only” label to one teenager, who then reminded his friend, and soon a volunteer had set up another trash bag while other volunteers took turns “standing guard” reminding everyone the blue can was for recycling only. Score!
Having been a home owner for all of 10 days, we've made several trips to the store. Coming from an apartment, we didn't have anything for the upkeep of a yard. So when I was at WalMart to get a kiddie pool and hose to beat the current heat wave, a hose that was made by Flexon with “The Green Choice” emblazoned across the front caught my eye.
Reusing things keeps them out of the waste stream. Reusing gives “stuff” another life but it can also get your creative juices flowing. Take a look around your home, in your recycling bins, and even in your trash pile and see if you can come up with another use for it ... maybe in a different format. Think about cutting it up, adding something to it, or using it as building material. Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas. Building with glass bottles Check out these glass bottle buildings on Prince Edward Island, Canada. These structures take reusing to a whole new level. Glass bottles stacked within cement create a beautiful look, and keep thousands of bottles out of the landfill or recycling centers. What can you build with glass bottles?
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