This Kid is Watching You!

by Tiffany in Children, Environment

I found some great YouTube clips that show a small boy getting involved with environmental concerns. No doubt his parents have helped “educate” him in this regard but it is admirable nonetheless to see a child concerned about the future and especially climate crisis. So are we going to leave this environmental mess for his generation to clean up or are we going to fix this for the children?

[tags]environment, kid, children, climate crisis[/tags]


Christmas for Homeschoolers

by Tiffany in Children, The Homestead

I know I have a lot of homeschoolers who read this blog so I thought I would pass along a great deal I just heard about.

The great thing about homeschooling is that you are not confined to educating within a certain time period or a traditional September to June year. Homeschoolers can do their schooling whenever the mood strikes them and to honor that perk The Old Schoolhouse magazine if offering a HUGE special on their web site. They want to provide encouragement for homeschoolong families ALL year long.

This package deal includes a one year subscription to their awesome magazine and 19 FREE gifts including a history sampler, e-books, a Paws & Tales audio CD (a full length story for kids!), lapbook stuff, and a growth chart from Walden Media. Wow!

From today until this upcoming MONDAY at 11:59PM eastern time, you can subscribe for one year for only $19.95 AND get the 19 FREE gifts. I know I took advantage of this offer.

Happy Summer!


Thoughts on Kyoto

by Tiffany in Environment, Political Action


I ran across this great cartoon today and it reminded me of a debate I recently had in a community forum for my small town. I am pretty much the ONLY person in this town who is concerned about the climate crisis. I asked a few of the other members, who were claiming that global warming is an elaborate hoax if they could give me one single solitary reason why we should not plan for the worst case scenario and clean up our environmental act anyway. The best they could come up with is that other countries are trying to get the US to accept Kyoto to make us relinquish our sovereignty. Uh….yeah….sounds like a good reason to let the earth go down in flames.

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

1 Comment on Thoughts on Kyoto


Toxic Schools

by Tiffany in Environment

I don’t know how I missed this headline but when I saw over at Wellness and Beyond. It had me seeing red. Apparently a reporter, Michael Gartland, 33, of Jersey City, along with Thomas Adamkiewicz, 63, of Hewitt, a field manager for an environmental testing firm, were arrested after they went to West Brook Middle School to collect soil for an independent analysis. Gartland had broken a story about how the school found that soil in the area was heavily contaminated with pesticides and failed to alert parents for 5 whole months. This had the school feeling ansty and parents feeling outraged.

No doubt it was this school’s lack of integrity in alerting parents that prompted Gartland to go to the school and collect soil samples for independent testing, despite the fact that the school was already having it tested on their own. This is just ridiculous really. Public schools are on public land and if there is something potentially hazardous in the soil then all concerned citizens and especially those with children who attend the school,school-arrest should be able to evaluate soil samples themselves if the notion strikes them. Is a public school a business or are they there to serve the public? It is most certainly a service that is paid for with taxpayer dollars and the arrest of a man trying to make sure the soil was safe for kids should be applauded…not arrested.

This story brought to my mind a school not terribly far from me.

River Valley High School in Marion County, Ohio sat atop a waste dump created by the US Army. Tests now show that students may have been exposed to more than 75 hazardous contaminants, including 16 of the 20 substances that the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry rates as most toxic. Everyone in the area is very familiar with this story because so many of the graduates ended up with various cancers and especially Leukemia. Using established methods, it was calculated that the incidence of breast cancer was 30 per cent higher than expected; ovarian cancer and melanoma, two times higher; cervical cancer, four times higher; and leukemia, six times higher. And the victims speaking out were receiving death threats because it was perceived by many in the community that this bad publicity was making property values plummet. And of course the school took a lot of heat because they knew for quite awhile what was below the school and did not warn parents until the last possible second. It was a big old mess.

These stories should teach us that even schools will not look out for our kids…only we can. This makes me want to do some independent soil testing…….hmmmm.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

2 Comments on Toxic Schools


You Expectant Cheapskate

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

expectant-cheapskateA couple days ago I gave you some ideas for natural and frugal beauty products and routines. Well, this is part two being a natural and frugal expectant mother.

When most moms find out they are pregnant their first thoughts automatically center on how to make sure their lifestyle and home is as safe and healthy as possible. Many times they also start to worry about money. Babies are cute, but they certainly are not cheap. If you have a new addition on the way or perhaps just welcomed one, it’s a smart idea to learn to save money wherever you can.

Most new parents want to run out and buy all new things for their baby. This is a wonderful idea but not very practical or good for the planet. Before you buy, see what you can borrow from other family members and friends. Reusing items is much better than buying new. Not only would you be avoiding toxic off gassing from brand new products, hand me downs are the more sustainable option.

Clothing is another item that you can save money on. They don’t need expensive little outfits, babies can’t read the tag to know whether the outfit came from Gymboree or whether it was purchased at Baby GAP. Instead of investing in many pairs of pants why not buy a few pairs of Baby Legs, which will fit for years. Two of my kids often wore T-shirts, cloth diapers, and a pair of baby legs. They even wore Baby Legs on their arms and years later they still fit. My three year old daughter wears them as tights for dancing.

Clip coupons. Money-saving coupons are available each month in magazines like Kiwi. Mothering magazine also has some great discount codes in the classifieds section. Online, subscribe to websites for new or expecting parents to receive bonus offers and free samples.

Breastfeeding saves money. Not only is breastmilk the healthiest option for baby, every month that you nourish your baby this way, is a month that you do not need to buy expensive formula. If you do have to use formula then contact the makers of organic baby formulas and inquire about free samples. Also, many plastic bottles have toxic plastic in them so look into glass bottles for the first few months when breakage would not be such an issue. They are easier to clean and their sturdy nature means they can be used for your next baby too.

Make your own baby food. Don’t buy those expensive little jars of baby food, make your own. It is easier then you think.

Make your own talc-free baby powder, baby wipes, and body lotions. Natural Baby Care has recipes for your natural baby.

Use cloth diapers. Cloth diapers can means savings up to $2000 on average and they are a much healthier option for baby and for the planet. You can always sew your own diapers too.

And while we are on the topic of sewing for baby why not sew your own baby sling, diaper bag, nursing pads, or even postpartum pads. Sewing your own is a HUGE money saver and a very enjoyable endeavor. Nothing gave me more joy then sewing dozens of cloth diapers for my last two babies.

Moms, resist the urge to buy trendy maternity clothing. The new fashions are a sight better than what your mother had to wear, but are they practical? Most women don’t need anything different from their normal clothing until they are well into the pregnancy. At that stage, see if you can borrow some outfits from a girlfriend, borrow from your husband, or shop at second hand stores for used clothing.

Saving money before baby arrives means more money will be accessible when it really counts!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

4 Comments on You Expectant Cheapskate