Raising Green Kids

By on November 29th, 2008

Lillidom’s goal is to create fashionable clothes for kids and to ensure that these are made in safe and sustainable conditions whereby encouraging families in here to adopt a more conscientious consumption habits. For more information click Here

Make Current

By on November 29th, 2008

Lillidom’s goal is to create fashionable clothes for kids and to ensure that these are made in safe and sustainable conditions whereby encouraging families in here to adopt a more conscientious consumption habits. For more information click Here

Make Current

By on October 23rd, 2008

This article was originally published on

Editor”s Note: This article was reposted here in hopes that today”s CNN video (see bottom of article) will spark more interest in this issue. The video states that “sweet tooth Britain” will have no honey of its own to sell after Christmas. Can we change that this Halloween?

The honey bees are dying off around the world, and yet still many people have never heard of (CCD). [Last month] the Italian government banned several pesticides that are thought to be linked to the honey bee decline. More research (funding) is required to find out exactly what is causing the disappearance.

During Honey Week, Meridith Melnick wrote:

“One-third of the food we consume comes from pollinators. Bees are responsible for pollinating almonds, apples, soft fruit, and berries among other crops. Without them, we will

lose more than honey (a tragedy in its own right!), we will lose a large portion of the biodiversity we now enjoy on our plates.”

I shared my own honey bee concerns with my preschooler a few months back, and I was amazed how quickly and easily she accepted the need to protect this species. Sunflowers have taken off all over our yard, and while I’m no bee expert there are definitely some pollinators in our presence. My children do their own waggle dance whenever they see a flower visitor. (Planting bee friendly flowers is one of the easiest things you can do as a family to support honey bees.)

Since our governments aren’t acting fast enough, perhaps we need to send our children off buzzing with this CCD news. Have you thought of a Halloween costume idea for your youngest tot? If not consider turning your little honey into a bee. You know your friends and family are going to ask what your precious bundle is going to be on his first Halloween. With your baby on board, spreading the word about CCD will be easy. (And people will be less likely to judge you as a greenie in front of little buzz.)

You don’t need to run out and buy your baby a new costume. You don’t even need to be all that creative. Yellow pajamas (or snow suit) and some black tape may be all you need to get your neighbours going goo goo for your little stinger. Parents who like to join in on the dress up fun might consider pairing a yellow shirt with black pants to form a bee colony.

Here’s another idea for young families who rarely make it down a whole street on Halloween night before little ones tire and are ready to buzz home. Instead of accepting candy that your baby won’t eat, offer pouches of sunflower seeds to your neighbours, with a link to the Hagen Daaz website (www.helpthehoneybee.com).

Eco Challenge: Please use the comment section to send your ideas for crafting homemade (earth friendly) bee antennae that don’t fall off. (My own kids are old enough to decide what they want to bee for Halloween. The Hungry Caterpillar and Monarch Butterfly are going to need antennae too!)

Related Posts on Bees

Image: flickr user Tommie and Georgie under a Creative Commons License

Make Current

By on August 1st, 2008

With the way things are going, children who are born today will probably grow up associating “green” with the environmental movement more so than with the Crayola colour required for frogs and trees. Gone are the days when ‘The environment’ was a single chapter covered in a science textbook. In classrooms around the world, millions of teachers are doing their part to educate young people on the importance of caring for the earth. This is also true in the ESL world, where students come in all ages. According to About.com over 1 billion of the world’s people are currently learning English. Students taking preparatory exams such as the TOEIC and TOEFL will now find that the environment is a topic commonly covered in reading and listening sections.

Millions of ESL learners rely on online resources. One of the most popular FREE e-learning sites for ESL learners and teachers is English Club.com. This month English Club launched a section for learners who are interested in environmental issues.

 

Each English Club environment lesson includes a pre-reading vocabulary list, an English article on a current environmental issue, comprehension questions, and discussion topics. Readings range in difficulty from low-intermediate to advanced. English Club members may also enjoy the Our Planet forum. These resources can also be used by teachers in the ESL or young learners classroom (print them or use them in a computer lab setting). If you have an ESL learner or teacher in your circle of friends, please share the good news.

MORE GREEN RESOURCES for ESL TEACHERS
eslflow.com
breakingnewsenglish.com
ITESLJ.org
esltower.com

Make Current

By on August 1st, 2008

With the way things are going, children who are born today will probably grow up associating “green” with the environmental movement more so than with the Crayola colour required for frogs and trees. Gone are the days when ‘The environment’ was a single chapter covered in a science textbook. In classrooms around the world, millions of teachers are doing their part to educate young people on the importance of caring for the earth. This is also true in the ESL world, where students come in all ages. According to About.com over 1 billion of the world’s people are currently learning English. Students taking preparatory exams such as the TOEIC and TOEFL will now find that the environment is a topic commonly covered in reading and listening sections.

Millions of ESL learners rely on online resources. One of the most popular FREE e-learning sites for ESL learners and teachers is English Club.com. This month English Club launched a section for learners who are interested in environmental issues.

 

Each English Club environment lesson includes a pre-reading vocabulary list, an English article on a current environmental issue, comprehension questions, and discussion topics. Readings range in difficulty from low-intermediate to advanced. English Club members may also enjoy the Our Planet forum. These resources can also be used by teachers in the ESL or young learners classroom (print them or use them in a computer lab setting). If you have an ESL learner or teacher in your circle of friends, please share the good news.

MORE GREEN RESOURCES for ESL TEACHERS
eslflow.com
breakingnewsenglish.com
ITESLJ.org
esltower.com

Make Current

By on July 30th, 2008

eco-baby
If there’s one thing new mom Paola Pena and I agree on it’s this: “It’s never too early to practise socially aware and environmentally conscious habits.”

The owner of LITTLE BODHI makes the above statement on her new e-boutique website, which features an assortment of eco-friendly basics for babies including toys, clothing, and music. At LITTLE BODHI, online shoppers can choose between shopping green, organic, or non-toxic. Brands include Kate Quinn Organics, Speesees, Sckoon, Rockabye Baby, and Anamalz.

While the prices for organic baby wear may be slightly steep for some new parents, we all know there are plenty of aunties out there who see nothing wrong with paying 25 bucks for a unique onesie (especially if it means plugging sustainable options at the baby shower and having a gift that won’t likely be a duplicate). If the parents-to-be are responsible consumers determined to bring baby up green, the thoughtful gift will mean that much more.

Though I choose to clothe my own busy children in mainly hand-me downs or thrift shop bargains, I must admit that my newborns were clad in 99% brand new gift wear like most of their peach fuzzed peers. But one thing I never got around to doing as a new mom was sending out cute birth announcements. LITTLE BODHI offers a free, eco-friendly solution for expecting parents who may never get around to circulating that first photo in a formal way. New moms who choose LITTLE BODHI as their gift registry can sign up for the adorable electronic baby announcement that can be effortlessly e-mailed to friends and family after the baby arrives. Visit LITTLE BODHI for more details.

Make Current

By on July 30th, 2008

eco-baby
If there’s one thing new mom Paola Pena and I agree on it’s this: “It’s never too early to practise socially aware and environmentally conscious habits.”

The owner of LITTLE BODHI makes the above statement on her new e-boutique website, which features an assortment of eco-friendly basics for babies including toys, clothing, and music. At LITTLE BODHI, online shoppers can choose between shopping green, organic, or non-toxic. Brands include Kate Quinn Organics, Speesees, Sckoon, Rockabye Baby, and Anamalz.

While the prices for organic baby wear may be slightly steep for some new parents, we all know there are plenty of aunties out there who see nothing wrong with paying 25 bucks for a unique onesie (especially if it means plugging sustainable options at the baby shower and having a gift that won’t likely be a duplicate). If the parents-to-be are responsible consumers determined to bring baby up green, the thoughtful gift will mean that much more.

Though I choose to clothe my own busy children in mainly hand-me downs or thrift shop bargains, I must admit that my newborns were clad in 99% brand new gift wear like most of their peach fuzzed peers. But one thing I never got around to doing as a new mom was sending out cute birth announcements. LITTLE BODHI offers a free, eco-friendly solution for expecting parents who may never get around to circulating that first photo in a formal way. New moms who choose LITTLE BODHI as their gift registry can sign up for the adorable electronic baby announcement that can be effortlessly e-mailed to friends and family after the baby arrives. Visit LITTLE BODHI for more details.

Make Current

By on July 26th, 2008

I missed the actual Earth Hour this year. Earth Hour, as you probably know, was started in 2007 in Sydney Australia as an experiment to see how much electricity could be saved if everyone in the city was asked to cut down or eliminate their electrical usage for one hour. (See the before and after photos to the right.) The idea was to raise a little awareness of our individual and collective use of energy. This year, on the last Saturday in March, dozens of cities around the globe participated. It was a raging success, by all accounts.

Of course there are skeptics who note that cities like Sydney really only cut their power consumption for the hour by 15%, and that there was a corresponding spike in electricity demand in the hours before Earth Hour — as if everyone just decided to run their dishwasher early in order to avoid the designated hour. Even given these cranky naysayers, I do believe that the experiment is a good one, even if it’s just to make everyone a little more aware of how they use electricity in their own house.

So, since I missed Earth Hour, I decided to try my own. I even thought I might make it a monthly event, as suggested by talkgreen’s Tara Benwell.

We tried it this past Thursday night. I made sure to schedule it on a night when my 14-year-old stepson was with us, and also made sure it was after dark for full effect. I thought the stepson would hate the idea, but when we decided we would turn off everything and then play a board game, he was surprisingly into it. Even better, he chose the game “Clue,” a murder mystery game, perfect for playing by candlelight. It just so happened that my mother-in-law was also with us, so it was a big family affair.

As the appointed time approached, everyone actually seemed to be looking forward to it. “Is it time yet?” I was asked more than once. When the hour arrived, we all rushed madly around the house turning off lights and unplugging televisions. I thought I had explained that only things that can’t be shut off (like TVs that constantly draw power) need to be unplugged, but I guess I wasn’t very clear since my wife and her son went around happily unplugging everything.

Here’s the “lazy man” part: we wimped out a little, I’m ashamed to say, when it came to things that were a little more difficult. If I unplugged the yard’s sprinkler system, I explained to my wife, I will just have to reprogram it — a pain in the neck. So we left it on. And, we could not figure out to shut off the little digital clock in the oven — wired in the wall somewhere. But still: when we started the hour, the little wheel in our electrical usage meter was spinning madly, and when we were done it had slowed to a crawl. We felt pretty good.

The rest of the hour was spent playing “Clue” as Lincoln would have, by the light of several candles. This was probably the first activity that the four of us — me, my wife, her Mom, and my stepson — had participated in together for months. So, dear readers, you don’t even have to care about the environment: Earth Hour is good for family togetherness!

Now one other thing I must admit: we didn’t even make it to the full hour. I had promised to take everyone out for ice cream when the hour was done, as a reward, and the second game of “Clue” ended with five minutes left to go in the hour. We all looked at each other, then jumped up and headed for Baskin-Robbins. Yay!

Tune in next month, in which I commit to turning off the electric sprinkler system, even if it means I then have to reprogram it. I really want to see if we can get that spinning electric meter wheel to stop entirely.

Make Current