Saturday, December 15, 2012
Think green gift giving is too big of a task to tackle? Think again! We've got tips and strategies to help get you started.
Some believe if you can’t do a thing 100 percent, it’s not worth doing at all. That certainly doesn’t apply to greening your gift giving. No matter what you celebrate or when, there are many small things that you can do to have a positive impact. Small steps start the shift. Momentum builds and confidence grows. Before long, you’ll have formed new routines and shopping habits that will serve as the foundation for building a sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started: What have you done to green your giving? Tell us about it in the comments section.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Being green is about more than being eco-friendly; it's about being a good citizen of the earth in ways that go far beyond the environment.
When I think about being green, eco-friendly or earth-minded, I don’t just think about being kind to the environment. Sure, I think about conservation, preservation, and about embracing a lifestyle that embodies sustainable living; but I also think about simple things individuals can do to make the world a better place. It is in that spirit that I offer these eight great green ways to express thankfulness as we head into Thanksgiving week: Have a fun, festive and filling Thanksgiving!
Saturday, August 18, 2012
A recent rendez-vous with a friend conjures memories of our family's connections with various sites along the Mt. Vernon Trail.
During the school year, I had a standing date with a friend who I met 10 years ago at a new mom’s group at Alexandria Hospital. I had just had my first child and was in full-scale panic mode, fearful that every decision I made would scar my weeks-old baby. A recently broken-in, clear-headed new mom friend with a daughter less than a year older than my newborn, swooped in and whisked me and child off to the new mom’s group where I gained a little perspective. As the newbie moms circled the room sharing our fears and concerns (some rational, some not), I was embarrrasingly surprised to find that my issues were not unique or complex. I almost instantly began to feel more grounded as we all shared our stories and discovered how much we had to…
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Even nature nuts can use technology to enhance their connection with nature and live greener lives. Here a five fun apps that can help you along the way.
Not all nature enthusiasts are technology averse. In fact, many, like me, are using technology to enhance their connection with nature and live greener lives. Mobile devices have made it easier than ever to get the information we need when we need it to make greener choices on the go. Check out the following list of some of my favorite (mostly free) green apps: The Dirty Dozen From the Environmental Working Group, this app is your go-to-guide when shopping for produce. Buying organic can mean a big hit to the wallet. But even experts agree that eating non-organic fruits and vegetables is better than not eating any at all. The good news is that buying organic matters more with some foods than with others. This app helps you make smart …
Friday, July 13, 2012
Will advanced planning and sunshine lead to a green and simple vacation?
This week, as we prepare to head north for our annual trek to Massachusetts, I have been awash in planning, coordinating, and mapping -- none of which has felt simple. But, I have invested the time and energy up front knowing that doing so will make the prospect of a simpler vacation more plausible. Our annual summer vacation has it roots in my quest for simplicity. For years, we used to make the trek up to visit my family during the fall and winter, alternating between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. After having our travel impeded and plans shifted due to weather events one too many times, we shifted to going in the summer and haven’t really looked back since. Especially when our oldest entered kindergarten five years ago and we…
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
After an overwhelming spring, simplicity is the key to a fun-filled summer.
For the last couple of months Green and Simple has been all about the Green. The Simple has been more elusive. As the early spring beckoned, I felt compelled to be out in the thick of it. We hiked trails we hadn’t hiked in years and breezed down bike paths we had never ridden with the kids. We even added new plants to the front flower bed, into which we’ve put very little effort over the past decade. So it’s the outdoors I have been drawn to write about lately. As with writing, the time spent outdoors steeped in nature has helped keep me sane during this less than simple spring. Just as we were rebounding from our first foray into soccer, in which we enrolled all three kids, the end of the school year was approaching. Field trips, school …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
When pollinators are threatened, our food chain and our ecosystems are threatened. Learn what you can do to help!
Did you know that pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food that we eat? Or that pollinators help to grow approximately 1,000 plants that are used for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines around the world? Or that some plants and animals have interdependent relationships where a single pollinator species depends on a single type of plant food and vice versa? Neither can survive without the other. These are just a few of the fascinating facts about pollinators shared by the Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals, as part of the 6th Annual Pollinator Week. Initiated by the Pollinator Partnership in 2007, …
Monday, June 11, 2012
Help wildlife and migrating species by creating a wildlife habitat in your yard. It's easier than you think!
When I first heard about the concept of establishing a backyard wildlife habitat, I thought, “Yeah, right. Nice for the folks who live down the George Washington Parkway and in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills where trees and woodlands are an integral part of the landscape, but not for those of us living in Old Town.” Sure, there are pockets of wildlife-friendly terrain in Old Town, but I certainly did not think I could support wildlife in my own backyard. We barely even have a backyard! But, the more I learned about the effort and the resources available to help everyday families like ours to create wildlife-friendly spaces, the more inspired I became. It turns out that just about anyone can establish a wildlife habitat in one's yard, …
Friday, June 1, 2012
June is National Outdoors Month, and we've got you covered with events for all!
June is a great month to head outdoors. Here is a guide to great green events happening this month. June is Great Outdoors Month Celebrate the occasion by taking advantage of all that our great city and nearby areas have to offer. From bike trails to farmers markets to parks and playgrounds, there are plenty of options from which to choose. Try the Old Town Farmers Market in Market Square on Saturday mornings. National Trails Day June 2 According to the American Hiking Society, America has more than 200,000 miles of trails connecting you to the great outdoors. Celebrate the day by hiking a new trail and invite some friends to join you. Learn more. Potomac and C&O Canal Tow Path Clean-up and Repair June 2, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. River …
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
With our son just having graduated from a nature-based preschool, I wonder if the transition to a traditional public school will be more of a challenge for me or him.
Last week the youngest in our clan graduated from preschool, and I find myself feeling conflicted about the transition ahead. Our son has been at this school for his entire preschool life and has been pretty content for the majority of it. There were the early days, when he was still quite clingy -- I would feel the torturous tug during drop-off, his screams echoing through the classroom as I headed for the door. Overtime, this was balanced and eventually replaced with his resistance to leaving school at pick-up time. He has come to enjoy his independent life and the rich relationships he has developed with adults who are not his parents. Now this phase of his childhood and this stage of our parenting is coming to an end, and I am not …