Taking care of ourselves & our planet

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cute, crafty creations for Christmas!

I just LOVE making gifts for my family and friends for Christmas! I've never been much of a shopper but I do enjoy going to local craft shows to get ideas of things I can make by either sewing, painting or iron-on transfers. Here are some ideas to make personalized gifts that your loved ones will never forget!

This first idea I got from one of my high school friend's moms who made it for her kids. What a GREAT way to reduce waste (wrapping paper) by making these huge, monogrammed Christmas cloth gift bags. Looks like Santa delivered them himself!


My family always enjoys the personalized calendars I make them each year with all the birthdays and anniversaries listed. I also make sure to get a family picture each year when we are all together so that I can include that picture as well. (I had to do a little photoshop work to put a missing family member in the picture but it worked!)


One year, I made different versions of these crosses for each of my friends. I picked out some scrapbooking paper that reminded me of them, some coordinating craft paint, some plain wooden crosses and got to work.


Sewing and iron-on transfers were a big part of these grandparent gifts I made a few years back.

Some sewing, shape cutters and lamination can get you a long way! Check out this padded photo book I made for my nieces.


So, HAVE FUN...BE CREATIVE...BE RESOURCEFUL!

Your family and friends will love you for it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creating learning moments in Nature









We love to go for nature walks so what better way to get the kids out and also help teach them about Mother Earth, Science, and Math!

The kids are learning to keep the Earth clean by picking up litter and recycling by sorting the cardboard, paper, tin, aluminum, plastic and glass.

We donate the Capri Sun pouches to our church for their fundraising brigade with Terracycle: http://www.terracycle.net/

The kids actually keep a log to reinforce their counting and writing skills also.

I love to educate children about the small steps they can make a big difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling...GO GREEN!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School - Waste Free Lunches

I have stumbled upon MANY ways to reduce waste in your lunch box. Here are some excellent resource websites.

What do I love most about these companies? They are:
*Going Green
*Providing fundraising opportunities for schools and businesses
*Including a wealth of healthy menu ideas for kids


1) Fabkins: "An Easy Way to Be Green-and Save Money-Every Day"



2) Klean Kanteen: "Not ALL metal bottles are created equal..."


3) Kids Konserve: "Choose to REUSE!"


4) Laptop Lunches: "bento-ware for everywhere"
http://www.laptoplunches.com/




5) Goodbyn: "a better lunchbox, reinvented for kids, parents,
and our planet"


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My first video

video

I put together this video because I have had many people ask what I do when I perform as Green Girl for the students and teachers. I plan to reshoot my performanes/lessons but I had fun putting together and editing my first video!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eco-Friendly Parties

I LOVE to plan my daughters' birthday parties!! I've searched high and low for ways to reduce waste and send a positive message to parents and kids about simple ways they can reduce their footprint on our beautiful Earth.

Here are some tips I have formulated over the last few years.

Before the party:
  • Send out paperless party invitations through www.evite.com (personalize with your child's own pictures);
  • Ask that party guests bring a cash donation, instead of bringing wrapped gifts. Explain in the Evite that half the money will go to a charity and the other half will go to one special gift for the birthday child. This has worked out perfectly ever since I started a few years ago. The one special gift we have always gotten my girls is an activity class, like gymnastics, tennis, acting, etc. It really does teach a wonderful lesson of serving others and not being consumed with a ton of unnecessary toys;
  • Support local, small business owners (embroiderer & sewer) by having themed CLOTH napkins embroidered with kids’ initials that can replace paper napkins & serve as party favors for kids to use in school lunch box;

During the party:

  • Use solid colored CLOTH tablecloths that can be washed & reused;
  • Use reusable dinnerware (plates, bowls, forks, spoons) that can be washed & reused - look in the dollar bins at grocery & craft supply stores;
  • Recycling the rinsed out SOLO cups or recycling the Capri Sun pouches is great but why not take it a step further and use reusable plastic cups (like what you get at restaurants for kids);

After the party:

  • Instead of a plastic bag of party favors that end up in the landfill, send home a gift card for a free ice cream cone from a local eatery (along with the cloth napkins)
  • Send out paperless thank you cards through www.smilebox.com detailing how much money was raised and how much fun your child enjoyed sharing their birthday with their friends & family. I love to include a picture of all the party guests as well.

Here are a few very helpful websites as well:

http://www.greenpartygoods.com/

http://www.greenplanetparties.com/

Do you have any other ideas? I would love to add them to my list!!

"All education is environmental education"

I love what William Bryant Logan has to say about teaching kids to take care of the Earth:

"All education is environmental education," writes Oberlin environmental sciences professor David Orr in his foreword. "The ecological crisis is in every way a crisis of education." Calling on a tradition that stretches from Plato to John Dewey, Orr insists on defining good education not simply as mastery of subject matter but also as cultivation of values. "Education," he writes, "[has] to do with the timeless question of how we are to live."

"Ecological Literacy" will certainly be of great use to teachers and other educators, but it is equally important for parents to read it. It is about time that this pedagogy got into our schools. As Orr has pointed out repeatedly in recent speeches, the ability to live more sustainably on the earth is no longer technically beyond us. It can be done. It takes the will and persistence to do it. And schools are a proper place to begin.

We really can change the world!
By empowering our children, being genuine in our effots and being good role models, we can develop and nuture a world of caring individuals.

The world is in our hands!!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I finally did it!

I have been encouraged by many friends to start up a blog to share my ideas for "going green" from the inside-out. Although I don't feel I am an expert on the topic, I try my hardest to learn and teach what we can do to keep ourselves and our Earth beautiful and clean.

About a year ago, I came into contact with a City employee whose mission it was to continue the Environmental Education program that no longer fit in the budget. So, I added additional volunteer appearances for "Recycle Girl" in local schools and started spreading my message.

When that same City employee nominated me as Volunteer of the Month for Keep Texas Beautiful on my birthday this year, I took it as a sign that I needed to jump start a career. On a very long Sunday, I taught myself video editing and put together a short film giving an example of what my lessons/performances are like.

My short term goal is to get federal grants to perform for different school districts across Texas. My long term goal is to sign on with a network to do short commercial-type lessons on kids' programs.

I'm currently working on revising my video...more to come soon!

My dear childhood friend wrote the following on her blog. http://praiseworthythings.blogspot.com/2009/08/being-good-stewards-recycle-girl.html