Greener Gift Wrap

Each holiday season, I try to be as green as one can be and not add to the millions of tons of gift wrap that will be deposited into landfills by practicing a method of reuse.  There are lots of creative avenues to take with gift wrapping.  First I try to use up collected gift wrap and bags from last year and pair them up with whatever string and cards I have around.  Mix and match.  Thankfully, my family doesn’t mind if the presents look a little familiar as last years, so at the end of the crazy tearing spree, I save what I can for the next.  Really, who gives a ho – ho – ho.

Other papers that come in handy when gift wrapping include old posters, magazines, calendars and the miraculous brown paper bag that can be decorated in so many ways.  Save your child’s art work and drawings to wrap smaller boxes.

Reusable fabric bags are a great way to green up your gifts.  Sew up your own drawstring totes or support local crafty girls who will stitch them up for you.  Or learn the art of Furoshiki, using origami like folding with fabric to make eco-friendly wrapping cloths.  You can also wrap up gifts in a bandanna, tea towel or tee shirt making it kinda like a present in a present – double the gifting!

Baskets & cloth shopping totes are also fun to fill with gifts.  You can make the display so lovely, it really would be a shame to hide it under gift wrap.

All Natural Me Wants to Know – so, how green do you wrap?

Immunity Boosters

This time of year, every one’s immune system can benefit from a boost.  The January issue of SHAPE magazine offered these five “5 minute immunity boosters”, which I am shamelessly  passing on to you and hopefully remembering them within my daily routine.  But honestly, I really think Numero Dos should be more than five minutes.  Don’t you?  You’ll see what I mean…

Numero Uno: Eat more mushrooms and broccoli.  Shrooms help you kill pathogens while the green stuff, along with cabbage, kale and cauliflower assist your white blood cells in defending your body from free radical damage.  Hi – yah!

Numero Dos: Sneak off for a quickie!  Have more sex to increase your levels of the antibody immunoglobulin (IgA) which binds to viruses and sends out the 911 to white blood cells to kill the viral mother F’rs.

Numero Tres: Log on to social networking websites.  Having lots of friends to turn to, and being able to purge all your stress onto, can help you stay healthy.  Unless of course, your friends suck.

Numero Cuatro: Drink tea to boost the effectiveness of your white blood cells.  A couple cups a day is good and five is even better.  Hooray for polyphenols!

Numero Cinco: Eat more nuts.  Gotta get your Vitamin E.  Snack on almonds, peanuts, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and kiwi fruit.

Don’t you just love do-able lists?  Easy peasy ways to stay healthy that you can enjoy doing, especially Numero… Uno!  You know how much I love broccoli.

Coal is Naughty

Burning coal is a leading source of global warming pollution and the dirtiest way we produce electricity.  It’s super nasty when compared to wind and solar power.  There are about 600 coal plants creating electricity in the U.S. and not one of them captures its global warming pollution – carbon dioxide (CO2).

And if dirty coal power wasn’t naughty enough, it’s also the largest single man-made source of toxic mercury pollution in the U.S. and also spews out tons of sulfer dioxide too.

There’s just no such thing as clean coal.

Learn more at www.thisisreality.org

Make Your Own Laundry Soap

While I was laid up in the hospital, I decided to do something I don’t do very often – watch TV.  Did you know there’s a show on The Learning Channel about a mother who’s had 18 kids?  Holy $#*!  That woman must have a uterus made of steel.  Anyways, this family does something I thought was very cool – They make their own laundry soap!  And it’s actually a very easy way to save money and reduce the amount of plastic laundry detergent bottles that quickly come in and out of the house.

Look how simple the ingredients are:

1 bar of soap
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
and a big ass bucket

To make your homemade laundry soap, just grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.

Many thanks to the Family Homestead for sharing that recipe, having a step-by-step picture page just for us newbies and they also sell a laundry soap kit for gift giving or for us lazy mamas with the soap already grated.  Whoo hoo!

Replaced by a Toothbrush

Great features, a unique design, extreme oral pleasure…

Getting replaced by a greener version was bound to happen eventually.

** Win a Radius Source Toothbrush **

The Top Commentator of Dec ’08 scores a very eco-friendly toothbrush.

Check out this math: Replaceable Heads + Wooden Handle = Only 7% of toothbrush wasted as compared to 100% of ordinary toothbrushes.  The wooden handle is made half and half of recycled soda bottles and recycled wood sawdust.  That’s a very cool way to green your toothbrush!

Radius is dedicated to having fun with design to make life better. Radius is not a product. Radius is a lifestyle. Radius has a blogLove Your Radius. Love your Life.  And tell them we said hi.

 

Pregnancy Perks

With the due date only days away, Sadie is letting loose.

Even if she did have a choice, would it really be fair to hold back and not share the whole experience with Dreg?  Because when you’re on the same team, you should both get to relish in all the perks of pregnancy.

*Pooof*

Testing Your Toys for Lead

Kudos to Health Toys dot org for testing over 1,500 toys and products for kids.  They are testing for lead, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine and mercury.  They also have information on children’s products that contain chromium, tin, and antimony.

For any parent who’s silently wondering if those things are bad?  Yeah.  Those chems are bad bad news.  So take a minute and research the toys that you do have and before you purchase a new toy, plug that baby into the search box below and see what the rating is.  It only takes a minute and your precious babes are worth it.

Handbag Recycling Program

Recycle your gently used handbags, diaper bags and backpacks with FredaLa.com

It’s very cool.  They are working with a local organization to help support single mothers looking to improve their self esteem by going back to school, being successful with a job placement and looking good.

Handbags have more than aesthetic properties – they are completely necessary to transport all the school, work and baby stuffs that a mother needs to have on hand.  It may just be a perk, but one that we all can indulge in, that our totes be pretty too.

If you have a bag that would make another feel good, send it on in!

Thank you!

Give Thanks

Be Thankful.

Not just for all the food you ate today, but all the blessings you have in your life.  Now it’s no secret that I am a fan of “The Secret” – you know, the good ol’ law of attraction – like be thankful for what you have in your life and more good will come to you.  You know this right?

Here is an excerpt from the Secret Scroll email I received today. It’ll getcha rolling on the gratitude train!

Thank You Thursday

“Today is Thank You Thursday. Today and every Thursday is your day to say and feel “Thank you” in as many ways as you can.

Write a list of all the people and events you want to give thanks for.

Return thanks today to those who have done things for you.

As you walk say “Thank you” in your mind with each step you take.

As you drive, make each time you stop your cue to say “Thank you.”

At various times in the day, think and feel “Thank you” inside you seven times in a row.

Look for every opportunity to say “Thank you” to other people, and say it with so much meaning that the person looks right at you.

Thank your way through every Thursday, and make “Thank you” your predominant thought, feeling, and words of the day.

“Thank you” – two words, inconceivable potential power, and all they need is you to put the power into them by expressing them.

Thank you!”

From The Secret Daily Teachings

Baby Issues

Oh yeah, making babies is fun.

That is until pharmaceuticals and moral ethics try to get their hands on the little squirts.

Pink or blue, Sadie and Dreg will soon find themselves facing issues beyond picking out the perfect baby name.  Issues that may even be more difficult then figuring out how to squeeze three car seats in the back of a VW.