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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.

It's a Gift!

By Laura Schmitt As I look over the marvelous pile of handmade gifts that lay in front of me, I think to myself "Look out Martha, there is a new crafter in town and she doesn’t even own a glue gun!" I am giddy with excitement over my crafty-ness and I’m further thrilled that I can say our family crafting has not only saved us money, but helped us to cut back on consumerism, recycle, and even better still, it has helped me to re-create meaningful family traditions in my life, as well as create a meaningful set of values to pass on to my children. In this text you... read more

Natural Family Living

Issue 130By Peggy O'Mara A few months ago I got a call from a reporter who wanted me to define natural family living for an article she was writing for the Seattle Times. Just yesterday a friend told me that the article had turned up in the Baltimore Sun. Until now I have resisted defining natural family living, for several reasons. First, at its best, natural family living defies general definition because it is about discovering what is natural for each individual. Second, I don’t want parents to think they must follow rules in order to be good at parenting. And... read more

Fun and Easy DIY Strawberry Lip Balm

I’ve always said that I’m not a good crafty mom.  I’ll take my kids on a hike, a bike ride, or swimming all day long, but when it comes to creative indoor ideas, I’m definitely lacking.  Recently however, my kids and I have been having a ton of fun making our own body care products that we all use and love!  They get to help create something from start to finish, taking pride in the fact that what they make is equal to anything that they can buy from the store – a confidence boost in that lesson for sure!  And together, we’ve bonded indoors and have found a craft... read more

The Clothesline

By Rebecca Balcarcel Web Exclusive Fifteen dollars, a trip to the local hardware store, and I was all set. One retractable clothesline, guaranteed not to break, rust, or raise the electric bill. Since I own a perfectly-running dryer, more than a few folks wondered at my new purchase. At the store, clerks passed my question back and forth like a smelly cloth diaper. "Clothesline did you say? Let me ask hardware." "A clothesline? Let me check with domestics." "Do you mean a line for hanging clothing? Stay right there; I'll find the manager." I finally scooped the single... read more

Turn Off TV. Turn on Life.

By Ann Vorisek White Web Exclusive The average American child watches four hours of television every day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.1 Videotapes and video games add to the amount of time children spend staring at a screen. How does all this viewing affect us? Television harms our children and families in many ways. Before TV, meals were a time for families to reflect upon the day and linger in peace or lively discussion over home-cooked meals. Today, most American families regularly watch television during dinner.2 Mealtimes are hurried, with... read more

Earth-Friendly Kids

By Heather Cori Rader "Mom, why don't people love the Earf?" asks my son, Jamin. He holds a bag bulging with the trash that he and his dad have picked up from our street. "Because we don't teach our children about reverence," I reply. I smile as he tries the word out for the first time, forming his mouth carefully around the sounds. Reverence doesn't just roll off his tongue - it sounds more like wevewence - but the meaning holds true. I respect Jamin's questions by answering with genuine explanations, even if they are difficult to comprehend or pronounce. In... read more

Kant's Categorical Imperative

Years ago before I had kids I was in Boston taking the T with my brother and the turnstile was broken. There was a long line to buy tokens and I didn’t feel like waiting. “Let’s just jump it,” I said impatiently. “Absolutely not,” my brother answered. “If everyone went through a busted turnstile, where would that leave the public transit system? You have to think about the Categorical Imperative.” That was the first time I was introduced to Kant’s concept of the Categorical Imperative. The way my brother explained it, Immanuel Kant believed... read more

The Joy of Cloth Diapers

By Jane McConnell Issue 88, May/June 1998 I have three children in diapers--a nine month old, a two year old, and a four year old who wets at night. In rough numbers, this means our household has changed more than 20,000 dirty diapers in four years. Now, I'm not a glutton for punishment, and like all working mothers I don't have a lot of spare time. But I've chosen cloth diapers over disposables from the beginning. Like breastfeeding and drug-free childbirth, cloth diapering has always seemed to me to be the most "natural" approach. Yet, even in an environmentally... read more

Media Literacy: Common Persuasion Techniques

By Rob WilliamsIssue 127, November/December 2004You and your children can become more critical media observers (and have fun!) by learning to spot these 11 persuasive techniques commonly used by our media culture's most powerful players.      1. Symbols Persuading through the use of idea-conveyances (such as an American flag on a lapel pin) that associate one thing (a politician) with another (support for his speeches or policies). Symbols are often phrases (“Just Do It”), images (the famous “Earth seen from space” photo), graphic brands (McDonald’s golden arches), or... read more

Resolutions to protect the planet for our kids: Waste less. Act more. Be prepared.

We made it through the twelve days of overconsumption!  We received no gifts for ourselves and only two gifts for our two year old our son--  both beautiful books that he will keep and cherish for a long time.  I feel like a Scrooge, but I am always relieved to get through the holiday without a pile of packaging to recycle and another pile of stuff that I know will end up in a landfill within the year.     We didn’t do as well in other areas as we did on reducing our consumption, though, so that means we have lots of room for resolutions and improvements.  I’m... read more

Mothering › Green Living Articles