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Earth Week Wrap-Up: Results and References

Ok, before I forget I have to tell you
this – tomorrow, Tuesday April 29, is Free Cone Day at Ben
and Jerry’s ice cream stores. All across the country, you can
get a free scoop of ice cream. Just show up! And here’s the
best part – you can get as many as you want. The only catch
is you have to get one scoop, eat it, and come back – no
getting 50 scoops at once. Totally worth going out for, huh? Click
to find a store near you.

Now, on to the Earth Week contest results. In the contest for the
best conservation tip, the winner is Michelle Parlette!
Michelle’s tip – to take a shower with both kids and
share shampoo on each head – is inspired, saving water, time,
and shampoo. Talk about mommy multi-tasking. So congratulations,
Michelle! You’ve won a very cool “Keep It Clean”
t-shirt from target="_blank">Mamaisms.

And the winner of our random drawing for a copy of the new
“Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating A Cleaner,
Greener, Safer World”
is Stephanie Pearson!
Stephanie’s new book is a great reference book for parents
looking to raise their children in a safer, healthier environment,
and is courtesy of target="_blank">Healthy Child, Healthy World, the nonprofit
organization dedicated to supporting and informing parents like us.
Congratulations, you two!

I continued to receive conservation tips
over the weekend, so I’m going to sort through everything
I’ve been sent and post them later in the week for everyone
to use. If you’ve got a tip, please send it in; you
won’t be eligible for the contest any more (since it’s
over!) but I can share the info with all the other moms out there.

Finally, I’ve had a lot of requests for my sources –
not my statistics sources, but where I go on the internet to become
informed or to shop green. So here’s the result of my months
of researching for last week’s articles. Some are sites
I’ve used for years, while others are places I stumbled
across just recently. Save this list to your desktop or print it
out, and you’ll have a great starting place for getting and
staying green. Enjoy!

There’s a few wonderful resources for parents in particular,
most notably:

Choice, Healthy World
As I mentioned before, I love this
site. It’s easy to use, geared towards parents, and spells
out simple changes you can make immediately to make a difference.
This nonprofit organization was started after a mother discovered
her child’s rare, non-hereditary cancer was at least partly
due to environmental influences while she was pregnant. Their href="http://healthychild.org/5steps/" target="_blank">“5
Easy Steps”
is a great way to get started providing a
safer, healthier home for your child.

The EcoMom
is a non-profit dedicated to inspiring and
empowering mothers to help reduce the climate crisis and create a
sustainable future, as well as alleviate the isolation and
overextension so common among mothers in contemporary society. They
believe that the hand that rocks the cradle can do anything. They
work at a local level, inspiring and training small groups to act
for change in their home towns. A great group to be a part of.

The Environmental
Working Group
is a nonprofit alliance formed to use public
information to protect public health and the environment. They push
for policy changes within the government while trying to protect
infants and children from health problems due to environmental
contaminants. I’ve used their href="http://www.ewg.org/forparents" target="_blank">For
section quite a bit; they’ve got great
articles on “safe” plastics and formula, sunscreens,
pesticides in produce, “safe” fish, and more.

target="_blank">Skin Deep is a cosmetics and safety guide
produced by the researchers of Environmental Working Group. They
have an entire section devoted to baby products such as shampoos,
toothpaste, sunscreen, and so on. I search them periodically before
stocking up on the season’s sunscreens or whatever.

The Green
is part of the National Geographic Society’s
global commitment to inform and inspire people to care about the
planet. Dubbed the "green living source for today's conscious
consumer", the Green Guide makes living in an environmentally-aware
way easy, understandable, and practical. I check in with them
periodically to see what’s in the eco-news.

Impact Living
is one of my favorite “green”
sites, and I read their blog often. They’re a sorting-house
for green products and services – it’s a great place to
find a green contractor, or that rain barrel you’ve been
thinking about for your gutters, or just to research your options
on more environmentally-friendly lightbulbs. Their blog is often a
short, easy-to-follow guide for some aspect of green living and I
often bookmark it; some of my favorite articles (some of which
I’ve already linked to) are:

target="_blank">green home improvement ideas

target="_blank">make your own green cleaners

target="_blank">10 ways to green your office

And of course, there’s their href=" http://www.lowimpactliving.com/pages/impact-calculator/impact-calculator"
target="_blank">Environmental Impact Calculator

target="_blank">The Regeneration Project The Interfaith
Power and Light Campaign is an interfaith ministry devoted to
deepening the connection between ecology and faith. Their goal is
to help people of faith recognize and fulfill their responsibility
for the stewardship of creation. I think it’s a great site.

will get rid of 90-95% of your junk mail for you,
doing all the legwork chasing down telemarketers and catalog
companies and “To occupant” mailers. The cost is only
forty-one bucks, and they’ll donate almost half of that to a
charity of your choice. Definitely worth the money, to me.

The href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm"
also lists steps you can take to opt
out of a lot of junk mail.

target="_blank">DSIRE is a database of state incentives for
being energy efficient. In other words, it’s where to look to
find out about all those tax breaks and rebates you’ll get
for buying energy-efficient appliances and installing extra
insulation in your attic. And don’t stop at the state level
– call your city to find out what they’ll give you as
well! I just found out I get a city credit on my water bill for
having an energy-efficient washing machine, low-flow toilet,
special shower head, and more.

is another site to shop for green products for the
home – building materials, decorating items, gifts, etc.

With no real regulation for using the word “organic” in
place, target="_blank">Organic Consumers can help you find brands
and suppliers you can trust; they do the research and take the
guesswork out of it for you.

Having trouble finding a place to recycle that old car battery?
to the rescue; you can search for recycling centers and
companies near you for a variety of materials.

And a couple other shopping sites:

is a site I just discovered – I really love
their href="http://www.reusablebags.com/store/basura-bags-medium-insulated-lunch-p-652.html"
target="_blank">Barusa bag
. It’s an insulated lunch
bag made of repurposed juice boxes. Very cool-looking, and made by
a women’s co-op in the Phillipines. But the whole site is a
great source for reusable shopping bags, water bottles, and more.

And of course, the fabulous target="_blank">Etsy – one-of-a-kind crafted gifts,
often made of sustainable or recycled materials. Really, it’s
just an excuse to shop.

Books for your bookshelf:

target="_blank">It’s Easy Being Green

target="_blank">50 Simple Things Kids Can do To Save the

target="_blank">10-Minute Energy Saving Secrets

target="_blank">Naturally Clean – a guide to cleaning
“green” by the makers of Seventh Generation

target="_blank">Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
– on
eating organically and locally, by Barbara Kingsolver

And of course, href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHealthy-Child-World-Creating-Cleaner%2Fdp%2F0525950478%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1209357069%26sr%3D1-1&tag=1mother2anoth-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"
target="_blank">Healthy Child, Healthy World

I tried to find some great kids’ books you can read with your
children on environmental stewardship and failed miserably. Anyone
have any to suggest?

At any rate, that’s my list – I hope it’s a
starting point for you. Good luck, and good stewardship!


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