Category Archives: Eco-Friendly

Fall Produce {Word Search for Kids}

Fall Produce {Word Search for Kids}
Walking through the aisles of the grocery store, you would never know that produce grows seasonally.  These days, fruits and veggies are shipped all over the world, regardless of climate the time of year.  Want strawberries in the dead of winter? No problem.  They can be brought in from parts of the planet with warmer climates.  While it's convenient to have everything our hearts desire, the planet pays a price.  Shipping requires packaging and the transportation of the food produces emissions...

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Waste-Free Lunch Supply Essentials

Waste-Free Lunch Supply Essentials
No matter how your kids are being educated - in a homeschool or classroom setting, packing lunches can be an overwhelming proposition.  First, there is the struggle of feeding the fussy eater, and then websites like Pinterest make you feel inadequate because your lunches don't look like works of art.  Okay, maybe I am projecting.  But still - there is a lot to consider.  For me, it's really important that when we pack lunches to go, we aren't producing excess garbage.  So, when we hit the...

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Buying Organic at Costco

Buying Organic at Costco
I had to stop at Costco today to pick up my new glasses - and of course, I couldn't leave without picking up a few things.  The store usually traps me until I spend more than I intended on items I didn't even think I needed.  But this time, something really caught my attention:  They have a LOT of organic products. Of course, I knew Costco had a large selection of organic items, from snacks to fresh (and dried) fruit, to big bags of veggies (both fresh and frozen!), nuts, canned goods,...

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The VW Scandal – and a Breakup Letter

The VW Scandal – and a Breakup Letter
I haven't been around much lately.  We have spent the past several months getting our home ready for sale, and purchasing another one closer to town.  It has been a whirlwind - and it's not over yet. In the midst of the chaos, the news of the Volkswagen scandal hit me hard.  Really hard.  In fact, I was so upset, that I was inspired to write my first breakup letter ever.  And I even got to read it on the radio!  Our local NPR affiliate station, KQED, hosts listener perspectives and they...

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Thirsty Kitchen - Water Saving Tips for the Drou...

Thirsty Kitchen – Water Saving Tips for the Drought
Yes, we are in a drought.  If you live in California, it's all we hear about.  But it doesn't mean that you can use it as an excuse to avoid the kitchen.  Here are 10 easy water-saving strategies that you can implement in your drought kitchen right away. Limit the water that goes down the drain. Get a small rubber tub to keep in your sink and some biodegradable soap.  Fill the tub with water to wash dishes or fresh veggies.  And when you are done, pour it outside to water some shrubs...

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Promoting Stewardship – Trout in the Classroom

Promoting Stewardship – Trout in the Classroom
There are days when I act like a "traditional" teacher, telling stories (lecturing) or promoting literacy (encouraging students to use the text book), but most of the time, I like to use "out of the box" teaching strategies...like this: We worked with Trout Unlimited, an incredible organization to make this project come to life.  Not only did they provide me with a mentor (my very own former high school biology teacher!!!), but they provided all of the equipment, helped me to set up the tank,...

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New Beginnings…and Trout in the Classroom

New Beginnings…and Trout in the Classroom
I love teaching environmental science.  It is an opportunity to connect science to life.  Real life...so students NEVER have to wonder why the class matters. This year, I took a Project Wild workshop and got certified by the Fish and Wildlife Service to hatch Rainbow Trout in my classroom.  My mentor for this project is my former high school biology teacher, which makes the experience even more special.  He is currently a full time fly fishing instructor.  I realize that it seems a bit odd...

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Natural Dyes – a 4-H Project

Natural Dyes – a 4-H Project
Please forgive me. I am not trying to jump on the natural egg-dyeing bandwagon.  I did that a few years ago... This time, I wanted to share an accomplishment by my eldest pride and joy. My 12-year old daughter has been in 4-H for nearly 5 years and it has been incredible to watch her self confidence bloom.  Recently, we had our county Presentation Day, and my daughter and her friend decided to do a Natural Dyes project...and they won a Gold, the highest level award offered. She'll take it...

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Valley Verde - Cultivating Organic Home Gardens ...

Valley Verde – Cultivating Organic Home Gardens with Low-Income Families
Many thanks to Raffaella for today's guest post about Valley Verde, a non-profit in San Jose dedicated to helping low-income families grow organic gardens. [caption id="attachment_5479" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Growing food and eating well"][/caption] When I moved to California four years ago from Italy, I was excited to move to the birthplace of the organic food movement, and to raise my child in a place that is considered the fruit basket of the world. I was not expecting...

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Halloween Celebrations – Pumpkins on Pikes

Halloween Celebrations – Pumpkins on Pikes
I bet you don't think about farms when you consider Halloween.  I certainly didn't.  At least until recently. About 6 months ago, our family joined a sustainable meat CSA with Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma.  You might remember that until last year, I hadn't eaten meat for nearly 25 years.  But I began to eat it again conservatively from farmers that produce happy animals and care for the land.  We are very fortunate that such a farm exists so close to our home.  Visitors get to take a tour...

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