February 5th, 2009
Spring gardening season is not that far off! (Seriously East Coasters, hang on!) Today we are joined by Christy Wilhelmi, who is the driving force behind Gardenerd.com. Christy is an expert organic gardener and she often shares her green insights with us here at Low Impact Living. Today she has some great ideas for how to get your kids jazzed about gardening this spring. What better way to teach them environmental stewardship and have some fun in the process!?
Encourage kids to do something with their thumbs this spring besides playing Game Boy. Give them the chance to become a green thumb. Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth for people as well as plants. What better way to renew your relationship with nature and your children than to plant a food garden. For those who aren’t already growing some of their own food, you can use your children as an excuse to start now. Show them the way, or learn how to garden together. Here are a few quick veggies that provide nearly instant gratification and are kid-friendly crops to plant:
Radishes – the ultimate instant-gratification vegetable. They sprout in days and can be harvested in a very short time. Perfect for impatient little ones!
Lettuces – not only will you see sprouts emerge quickly (10 days or so) but you’ll be able to harvest the outside leaves in a little over a month from the time they sprout. You’ll have salads through spring and into summer.
Beets – okay , kids might not like beets, but they are really easy to grow, have virtually no pests or diseases, and bring a lot of color to the garden. Their red-veined leaves and stems might actually convince kids that beets are tasty, too.
Arugula – this green is a little more sophisticated in flavor, but much like radishes, it sprouts in days. Your kids may not like it but you will, so tell them that kids can grow grown-up vegetables to share.
Peas – nature’s snack food rarely makes it in from the garden. Peas take longer to germinate, but given a place to climb, they will thrive. Kids will enjoy watching peas reach for the sky, flower and form little tiny pea pods. Practice patience by waiting for the peas to plump up and then pick and eat them right in the garden. These are the things memories are made of!
For a list of other spring vegetables that can be planted soon, visit Christy’s previous post on spring garden planting Low Impact Living.com. And visit www.Gardenerd.com for more tips and tidbits about organic gardening.
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January 28th, 2009
Becoming a parent seems to turn many people into environmentalists — or at least more active environmentalists. Parents start thinking about indoor air quality, organic foods, and overall sustainability in a whole new light. But with all the information out there, it’s hard to know where to go for good green parenting resources news and tips.
So we asked eco-minded mommies-to-be — Jessica Ridenour, editor of Whole Life Times magazine, and Summer Bowen, founder of eco-boutique called BTC Elements — to share their recommendations for the best green parenting websites! Visit these sites to be the greenest parent you can be:
Kiwi. This organic family lifestyle and parenting magazine’s published 6 times a year. Subscriptions cost $11.95, but team up with a friend and you can get a two-for-one deal right now! The Kiwi website also has a lot of recipes, features, and eco-craft ideas for green-thinking parents.
Rent-A-Toy. Since kids tire of toys quickly, why not borrow toys you can return when the kid gets bored? Rent-A-Toy lets you do just that — and even has an eco-toy section! Toys are inspected and sanitized for safety. Plans start at $24.99 a month and include free delivery and returns, just like Netflix.
Handmedowns.com. This website’s like a well-organized Craigslist for parents-to-be. Find gently used items for sale near you at a fraction of the sticker price! Since handmedowns.com gets its listings both from parents directly posting on the site AND from listings around the web, you’ll get the widest selection of products for the baby stuff you need.
Zwaggle. We teach kids to share — so why not parents too? Zwaggle’s a site for parents who want to share and trade kids’ stuff. After signing up, you can earn points by giving away pre-loved kid stuff — then use those points to get new-to-you kid stuff for your family.
The Tranquil Parent. Written by a team of eco-minded parents, this blog’s an optimistic, can-do site that dispenses green advice, covers health news, and shares child rearing ideas. “I don’t find every post that interesting,” Jessica says, “but I have seen some cool stuff like how to make your own baby wipes with reusable clothes and essential oil/vinegar/water mixtures.” Sounds like a cool money-saving eco tip!
Green Mom Finds. Wondering about the latest in green baby and kid products? Green Mom Finds is a blog that covers and reviews new green books, toys, and other kid-related goods hitting the green market. Best of all, the blog has a lot of giveaways, so readers can win some of the cute stuff for free!
Ideal Bite Mama. Sign up to get a free email newsletter focused on green mommies! Every Monday through Friday, you’ll get a new eco-tip in your inbox to help make green parenting a little easier and more fun.
Green Fertility. Written by a green and health-conscious mom, Green Fertility’s a blog with a heavy focus on health-related issues for both moms and children. The single-author blog has a lot of entertaining personality, with an entire category dedicated to “rants”!
Know of other great green parenting web resources? Share them with all of us in the comments.
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