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Green Living

Inspiration and fresh ideas for how to live as a sustainable family.

245 green living article submissions by the Mothering community.

15 Ways to Save a Lake (or part of one anyway)

1. Take a five minute shower. Set a timer and get out when it rings. You can click here to watch yours truly (yep, that’s me in a towel) talking on French TV about the importance of water conservation. 2. Skip the shower. Then you can go on European TV in a towel too. Americans bathe too often and for too long. It’s better for your skin and the planet if you don’t take a shower every day. More in this New York Times article “The Great Unwashed.” 3. Don’t bathe your kids. Children don’t need baths every day. Sponge off the places that are dirty and have... read more

Please Pass the Iodine: ways to protect ourselves and our children from the nuclear fall-out coming from Japan

No one is sure what the death toll in Japan will be from the massive earthquake that struck on Friday, creating a tsunami that then slammed into Japan’s north coast, but it has been estimated that more than 10,000 people may have died, just in the Miyagi Province. Then there’s the problem of Japan’s nuclear power plants. There have already been two hydrogen explosions at one plant and there are fears that a second plant may be facing a nuclear meltdown. When these nuclear power plants malfunction they can dump radiation into the atmosphere. It’s for... read more

Talking to children about natural disasters

- A few days ago I woke up to an email from my husband, who is in Japan on business. There was a massive earthquake today, but I’m OK. I hit my head and we were under tables for ten minutes but we’re OK. As I started looking at news sites, the extent of what happened wasn’t clear at first – it was hard to tell, from initial online footage, how much worse it was than some of the earthquakes we have experienced while living there – but then the stories began pouring in. - Stories from Japan range from the poignantly humorous, such as the woman... read more

How to Start a Worm Bin: Guest Post by Attainable Sustainable (aka Kris Bordessa)

You might know Kris Bordessa from her fabulous books for kids: Team Challenges, which is a book of cooperative trust-building games, Tools of the Ancient Greeks, and Great Colonial American Projects You Can Build Yourself, to name a few. Or you might recognize her as a travel resource for all things affordable in Hawaii. Kris (whom I’ve known for years in cyberspace but never met in person) has started a new project. Her new blog, Attainable Sustainable: Reviving the Lost Art of Self-Sufficiency, helps readers take the small steps towards doing more projects... read more

Living on the Edge

From the devastation in Japan, to the threat of wind-carried radiation, to the predictions of our coast being next in line for a massive earthquake (including one prediction within the next week), I am feeling more than a bit on edge.  Living on an island is an interesting feeling – it makes me feel like we are somehow separate from the vulnerabilities of the mainland, our safe haven from the world at large.  This week has changed that. Now I am supposed to be dosing our family with iodine, eating a whole lotta seaweed, stocking up on extra food and water,... read more

Minimalist Living: Getting Minimal-ish from the Minimalist Mom

Thank you to Rachel Jonat from Minimalist Mom for this guest post. This is part one of three posts on minimalist living. Read post two. Stay tuned for more posts from Rachel and check out her site for even more great information. When my son was 10 months old, when the shock of motherhood had worn off, I looked around my home and knew something had to change. Like a lot of unsuspecting parents, I had assumed that being off work with a new baby would be a time for both baby bonding and home organizing. I could never have imagined the joy of staring at a... read more

Minimalist Living: Before You De-Clutter--Reducing Consumption

Thank you to Rachel Jonat from Minimalist Mom for this guest post. This is part two of three posts on minimalist living. Read post one. Stay tuned for the third post from Rachel and check out her site for even more great information. If you’re thinking about paring down your possessions, or radically de-cluttering your home, I cannot over-emphasize the value in assessing your consumption patterns. Before I sold my wedding dress, and before I donated 80% of my wardrobe, I started a bigger journey to reduce what we brought into our home. In February... read more

These Are Not Food, They're Pretty Poisons

“Look what we’re having for snack?!” my son’s first grade friend said excitedly. He held up the box of faux fruit gummy snacks that his parents (one of whom is a doctor) brought to share with the class. My son was delighted. I was disgusted. The first ingredient: high fructose corn syrup. The second ingredient: sugar. Among the other ingredients: Artificial flavors, Red dye #40, and Yellow Dye #5. In what way could this product possibly be construed as food? No one would ever consider putting diesel fuel in a car that runs on... read more

Are You Being Irresponsible to Your Children if You Carry Credit Card Debt?

When I was in my twenties I used credit cards to pay for almost everything. The convenience! No jangling change in your pocket! No waiting to save before you buy! In those days with only one mouth to feed (I was skinnier back then) and a job in corporate philanthropy, I almost always managed to pay off the balance in full each month. Now that we’re a family of six, when I use our credit card we struggle (and usually fail) to pay it off. Though I’m sincerely grateful to Mr. Visa for financing our recent escape to rainy California, I no longer see... read more

Easy Ways to Green Your Life

“Happy. Mother. You can really use both words in the same sentence” is the tag line to Meagan Francis’s popular blog, The Happiest Mom. Now this Michigan-based mom of five has a book out by the same title, The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood. As part of a cyberspace book tour, Meagan is visiting Mothering Outside the Lines this week. Though I haven’t finished her book yet, I’ve enjoyed what I read so far (full disclosure: the publisher sent me a review copy) and I’m delighted to have her here! Today she writes a guest post about finding easy ways... read more

Mothering › Green Living Articles