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Green Living

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

23 green living article submissions by the Mothering community.

Would YOUR Dog Bite Me?

My blogging life (my entire life, actually) was rudely interrupted one week ago today, when I was badly bit by a neighbor's dog. It has put the issue of dog owner denial front and center for me. I realize it could have been much worse, and then my mind spins out further into other scenarios: What if I'd not picked up my dog in the nick of time? What if I'd been with a child? What if I had been a child? So I'm taking this opportunity to ask you to give some sober second thought to your own dog(s): they are your companions, your loves, your joy -- but they are... read more

Local Vacations Save Money and the Planet

                       Summer is here!  Which means it’s vacation time!  Of course, vacations are a little different with a little one in tow.    Before having a baby, my husband and I used to love vacationing in Thailand.  We didn’t even mind the 24  hours in transit to get there, or the insane jet lag.   Things are a little different now though.  I have no desire to sit on a plane for hours, lug equipment through security, or deal with a jet lagged baby.  Also, since we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint below what it was before having a child, flying... read more

Frugal Living Benefits Kids

Five Ways Frugal Living Benefits Kids by Laura Grace Weldon Sophie is a single mother raising a five-year-old boy. She’s working to establish her own house cleaning business after losing her job nearly two years ago. Sophie and her son live in a small trailer home. Marissa and Jack run a thriving dental practice while raising five-year-old twin daughters. They live in a suburban home on several acres. The five-year-olds from these families are at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. But their parents are raising them in remarkably similar ways.... read more

I took the train because we owe it to our kids to tackle climate change

 This week I did something that may sound a little crazy.  I took the Amtrak train from Washington, DC to Milwaukee, WI.  I had to make the trip for a work meeting, and I wanted to see if I could do my part to lower my carbon footprint by not flying.  The train was about 0.04 tons of carbon pollution, while a plane would have had nearly three times the emissions of the train.   Also, once we transition to renewable energy, trains will be an even better option since they can be powered by the wind and the sun.  The train was overnight, so I didn’t miss any... 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

Natural Baby Powder

Talcum powder can be irritating to a baby’s respiratory system. You can make your own powder out of any combination of these natural ingredients found at your natural foods store: Powdered oris root Finely ground oatmeal Finely ground rice flour White cosmetic clay Experiment to see which consistency and ingredients you like. You may add a small amount of finely crushed lavender flowers or rose petals for a mild scent, but make sure their texture is compatible with that of the powder. You could also keep a small lavender or rose sachet inside the... read more

How to live without electricity in a heatwave

Thanks to a freak storm bearing a name no one recognized, Washingtonians are being thrust into figuring out how to live without electricity.  The Derecho not only created a post-apocalyptic scene around town, it also led to some pre-industrial conditions.  Hundreds of thousands of people were without power.  In the middle of a heat wave.  The worst heat wave ever. I feel a little bad commenting on these circumstances since I still have power, and a gorgeous ceiling fan is whirring over my head.  But I do think that I have some experience to bring to bear for... read more

Penniless and Blessed

By Jennie Englund, M.S. Ed.Web Exclusive, November 20, 2006 As I join other Americans pouring out thanks over mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, I consider this question: does money buy happiness? My answer, based on experience, is a resounding "no." In fact, I treasure my little family's state of less-than-desirable money matters—it is a unique and absolute blessing, for which I am truly grateful. In the wake of my resignation from teaching to be a stay-home mom, there has, of course, been a great sacrifice—the illustrious financial one. But our family has reaped more... read more

Using Herbs for Customized Pest Control

  Bugs, bugs, and more bugs!  Some are cute and cuddly, others outright nasty.  Then there are those sneaky ones that can devour a garden seemingly overnight.  I have a no nasty rule in my home and on my property, meaning that I will happily spend an entire day pulling weeds because I refuse to use horrible chemicals on my plants, and on the land.  Because I love to garden, and am definitely not a fan of bugs in my home (even if those daddy long legs do keep other bugs at bay, they still have to go), my arsenal of natural and safe pest control is... read more

Good Housecleaning

By Annie Berthold-Bond My friend Rachel is pregnant with her second child. Like many pregnant women, she is distilling all of society's free-floating anxiety about exposure to toxic chemicals into nine months of serious worrying. Rachel asked me to teach her how to do nontoxic cleaning, and she was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy and effective it can be. There are five basics that I use for nontoxic cleaning: baking soda, vinegar, a good soap or detergent, washing soda, and tea tree oil. I believe you can clean everything in the house with these items. Rachel... read more

Mothering › Green Living Articles