Posts filed under Green Living. Show all blog posts.
It takes just two weeks to form a new habit (or break a bad one), so why not make a commitment to implement a greener routine that can save money, make a lasting impact on the environment and positively affect the health of your family.
So here’s my challenge to you—commit to making four small and simple changes which can be incorporated into your family’s daily routine that will make a lasting impact on the environment and the health of everyone involved. Greener doesn’t have to cost you more time or money, so get your family involved. Empower them to be a part of the change with these four easy steps and make sustainable living the new ‘normal’ in your home.
Step 1: The Litterless Lunch
As a mom, when I recognized the impact of prepared, packaged and processed foods on our bodies and the environment, I knew that I had to make a change. By swapping out disposable packaging for reusable lunch carriers and avoiding prepared foods, you’ll be saving money, the environment and improving the health of your child. Here’s how:
Step 2: Watch How You Wash
Keep in mind that while you are making an investment in a healthy and more sustainable lunch, it’s important to investigate what you are using to wash and keep your lunch containers clean. Many dish and laundry soaps contain petrochemicals (derived directly from oil). So wherever possible, look to wash your lunch bags and containers with plant-derived, non-toxic dish soap. I make sure the following on are my shopping list:
Step 3: Choose a Fun, Fit and Sustainable Route to School
Getting to school has an enormous impact on our environment as well as our health. With an estimated 1.6 million children in Canada (26% per cent of children) considered overweight or obese, it’s a wonder more parents don’t look at making healthy transportation options a part of their daily lives. Here’s a few ways to work health, cost and environmentally-friendly options into your getting to school routine:
Step 4: Rebrand Responsibility
It’s important to engage your kids in the school preparation and planning process to help set them up for success. This means that kids must be involved in organizing their snacks and lunches for the week, they should help clean and select their clothing and should also be in charge of creating their weekly schedules (including chores, sports practices, music lessons, etc). Most importantly though, they need to understand why it is important that they choose environmentally-friendly products.
After having many conversations with my own children about the environment and what it means to do our part, I recognized that a big part of teaching stewardship is ingraining responsibility into the fabric of your household.
Overall, it’s never too late to set a new standard of what you and your family can do to help care for the environment.
You know by now that high fructose corn syrup is a key suspect in the obesity issue which is crushing our culture (26% of our kids are overweight or obese). You have probably even heard that corn, fed to cows, creates inflammatory fat in the animal thereby adding to our own inflammatory illnesses like heart disease, dementia and arthritis when consumed by humans. On top of it all, it may be that the very growing of so much corn is also the #1 suspect in bee decimating and the puzzling conundrum of ‘colony collapse disorder.’
Here is why you should care…without bees, there is no pollination. Without pollination, the very plants that are grown for food as well as trees and shrubs to keep our planet cool are at risk. Your kids deserve to grow up healthy and on an inhabitable planet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be grown in the soil naturally pollinated by bees. No bees, no green. No green, no food.
This issue could be that big (which is too scary to even think about). New evidence points to the neonicotinoid pesticide used to soak conventionally raised corn seeds may be the very thing that is wiping out our bee population. About 90% of corn grown today is treated this way, and it appears to cause the bees to become disoriented when they leave the hive. If enough can’t find their way back, the colony dies. The sad news it that unless you are carefully reading labels and only buying organic products, you are affected.
But you only eat a few cobs of corn each summer, right? How could that be doing harm? The truth is you are eating truckfuls of corn each year and you may not know it. Corn is used to feed cattle and chickens. It is also grown as a sweetener that is super cheap and sweeter than sugar so it is used in junk food. Junk food’s contribution to our obesity issue is one thing and a multifaceted battle that is and will impact our health care system. If the very growth and use of corn is impacting our eco system, now we have an even bigger issue. So the question is…what to do about it? The answer is simple, the implementation of it not so much.
Stop eating corn. The treasure hunt that those three little words sets up is lifelong and virtually impossible. The good news is that the shifts involved are the very same ones that protect your health in a multitude of other ways. It starts with…
I am not a fatalist but I do think that waiting for definitive proof that this pesticide is harming the bees may come too late. Things are not likely to change from the top down since pesticide makers and lucrative corn crop growers have a vested interested in preventing change. That said, we may have a collective chance from the ground up with these few simple shifts. Have at it.