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Green Living

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

29 green living article submissions by the Mothering community.

The Problem with Palm Oil

Shampoo and my hair just don’t get along. This is a recent enmity. In my twenties and early thirties my hair looked good no matter what shampoo I used. I don’t think I should give you the details about how my hair has been coming out in clumps since the baby was born or about how greasy it looks no matter the shampoo, but suffice it to say that my once thick hair has become so uncooperative that it would probably be better if I just made it into dreds. I’ve tried the no ‘poo approach espoused by Beth Terry and also used by Frugal Kiwi with... read more

12 Ways to Avoid Toxins in Packaging

By Annie Berthold-Bond Dioxin in paper and chemicals in plastics can migrate into food. For example, everyone knows the taste of water from a plastic bottle that has been left in the sun. One should go to extremes to eliminate these circumstances and others that can cause such migrations of chemicals because some plastics can disrupt hormones. The following guidelines should help give you ideas for how to avoid food contamination from packaging. 1. Plastic tends to migrate into fatty foods, especially hot fatty foods. Don't leave cheese wrapped in its plastic... read more

Is It Ever Possible to Suggest People Change?

Peter was buying tomatoes on the vine at the Ashland Food Co-op. He stuffed them in a plastic bag and deftly twisted it shut. “You know, you don’t really need a bag for those,” I suggested with a smile. “Oh Yes I Do.” Peter was categorical. A friend of my husband’s and foodie from the north of England, Peter seemed like the kind of Gen Y guy who would be open to critiquing American culture, which is the only reason I was brave enough to say something. It drives me crazy how Americans, even the hippie progressive types who shop at the Co-op, shove... read more

When life gives you sunshine . . . do laundry?

Awoke to a forecast of hot and dry. So I washed my new favorite (went Goodwill shopping Saturday) sleeveless white shirt, then hung it on the clothesline to dry, jumped into the shower, and—voilà!—hopped out of the shower and into a clean, dry, cool shirt. # Photo: How can laundry on a line NOT be beautiful with a sky like this one? High altitude, clear skies, sunny weather make for a blue that’s almost impossible to match in CMYK (though, admittedly, much easier in RGB!). I love living in Santa... read more

The Price of Gas Won't be High Enough

  Cartoon Courtesy of Andrew Singer On NPR this afternoon a pundit predicted the price of oil would be going up this summer and the price of gas, which is already climbing, will get higher. If the way people use their cars in the small town where we live is any indication, the price of gas this summer won’t be high enough. Our entire town is only three square miles. One of the reasons our family moved here is because it’s small enough that you can easily walk and bike anywhere you want to go. But even on a Sunday afternoon when the... read more

Sixteenth Way for Dads to Change the World: Ride a bike with your kid to school (or walk or share transportation...)

Credit: Carlos Pardo In two days, the nation will pay its taxes. But did you know that April 15 is also Bike to School Day? I discovered this while writing an article for Mothering about ways parents can help green their schools, due to be published in its Fall back-to-school issue. The people urging families to walk or bike to school normally frame it as a solution to rising rates of childhood obesity: Thirty years ago, reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of children who lived within a mile of school walked there. Today, that number... read more

My Father-in-Law Has Throat Cancer

  How do we ensure a healthy future for our children? In America savvy marketers have effectively duped us into believing that convenience in the Holy Grail: fast food, paper plates, quick-drying high-tech fabric, take-and-bake pizza. We eat our meals out of cans or boxes or plastic bags; we put diapers made of wood pulp and petroleum-based super absorbent polymers on our babies, and we use our cars to drive half a mile away. The happy woman in the TV commercial spraying toxic chemicals to get stains out of a collar shirt has no wrinkles on... read more

My Green House Experience

So here are some things I learned… I stayed in a net-positive, freshly built green house right outside of Burlington, one of the houses in the South Farm Homes development (Hinesburg, VT). It was designed by the architecture firm Truex Cullins. Net-positive means that not only is it made so that it generates all of its own power; it actually generates more than it needs and gives power back to the grid. The owner will actually get a check for about $200 every year for her contribution. How is this done? The house was built to maximize passive solar... read more

Affordable eco goods: good.

Hi… Um, April is coming in like a lion. What the…? So much for plans of early-evening tennis. The wind would blow the ball into the next court. At least I could blame it on the wind if I whomped it there…and yet…no.  So I got turned on to this really great site: www.ecosteal.com. They offer one affordable eco item until it’s sold out, and then move on to a new item. The products are 40-80% off, and you can buy up to three of them, so it’s one way to do holiday shopping all year long, in small, manageable increments. You can sign up for alerts so that... read more

Mothering › Green Living Articles