The Environmental Fighter in Times of Crisis

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandamic during these months, many environmentalist and activists are wondering how they can still help the planet while we’re all on lockdown. Kids who have been steadily trying to learn about helping the environment and doing their part to make our planet a better place are facing many other challenges. Many kids are not in school nor do they have access to schoolwork or technology. Parents and siblings are scrambling to find lesson plans and indoor educational activities for their families. And depending on the age of your children, there just might not be enough things for kids to do at home. While most states have put in mandatory school closures, we have to applaud those school districts that have contingency plans should there ever be a school closure for weeks on end.

As someone who cares deeply for the environment and for helping kids understand the need to protect our precious eco-system, I’m here to encourage you to continue with your endeavors. Continue with your passion to do good for the planet. And continue to challenge yourself to come up with innovative ways of changing for good. Below you’ll find some ideas for projects and activities that you can do at home and on social media. While the world may seem pretty big, we are all still connected whether through natural disasters, man-made disasters, or climate change.

Some of you may be thinking – well, why should I be worried about saving a turtle or  reducing my waste at a time like this? Because eventually this too will end. We will all come out of this with lessons learned, bravery developed, and humanity united. We have to think positively and do positive things right now and for the future.

How can we still help the planet:

1- Reduce your trash. At these unprecedented times, being wasteful is not the answer. Products are flying off the shelves and many major corporations are shutting down or reducing staff to prevent the spread of the illness. That means the city may end up with less sanitation workers. Trash cans might pile up and we’re left with tons of waste that might flow onto the streets. Reduce your waste by:

*** Using what you already have at home and in your pantries. There’s really no need to panic buy. You can still use what you already have.

***Break down your cardboard boxes. If you’re not already doing this, then start this new and space saving step in reducing waste.

***Cut up your plastic and non-recyclable items. I’m not promoting buying more plastic products, but plastic is inevitable in our world so if you have it, try to cut it up into smaller pieces so they’ll fit better in your trash cans. Just be sure to sort through your trash and notice the PETE symbols. Most cities will recycle PETE # 1,2,5, and 7.

2 – Reduce your food intake. Eating is one of the coping systems most people use in times of crisis, but now is not the time to binge eat either. Eat healthier foods that boost your kidneys and liver’s powers to eliminate toxins in your body. Build your immune system so that it has a chance to fight off any infection, viruses, and bacteria in your body. And eating healthier will reduce the need to buy unhealthy and packaged foods. Buy fresh food so there’s less packaging.

*** Buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Your immune system is your strongest fighter. Buy fruits that do not decompose immediately such as apples, citrus, and any fruit with a thick outer skin. Buy vegetables that contain tons of vitamins and minerals. A good reference to remember is buying fruits and vegetables with lots of colors such as apples, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, broccoli, peas, carrots, and etc.

*** Plan ahead and make a shopping list. When we are panic buying, we tend to pick up whatever is on sale or are on the shelves. Sure, that package of Oreos might make us feel better, but just don’t stock up on unhealthy items. Items we buy or binge might end up in the trash due to expiration dates and no longer satisfying.

3 – Plant a Garden. Gardening is not only beneficial to the planet, but it is also quite therapeutic. Plant some fast-growing vegetables and fruits right now and you’ll get some fresh produce in your yard in no time. Be sure to use organic soil and organic fruits and vegetables if you have access to them. Organic will reduce the toxins that emit into the air.

*** Plant fast-growing fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, and any type of squash. Try to buy these that are already seedlings as seeds will take much longer to mature.

4 – Support local businesses. With many closures due to government mandate, small businesses might be forced to temporarily close to prevent the spread of the virus. Small and local businesses offer products and services locally to help reduce carbon footprint. If you must buy online, then consider taking advantage of the many discounts and free shipping rates and buy what you can afford. This can help reduce carbon footprint and support businesses that sell natural and organic products. Organic products still help in reducing the carbon footprint that taxes our precious eco system.

*** Look to support brands that are also donating their products and services at this time. Food companies, local restaurants, and such must remove their in-house food so they in turn are donating their products. This helps eliminate waste since instead of throwing products in the trash, they are giving their products away.

5 – Eating Takeouts. Because of the “Shelter in Place” or the “Safer at Home” that officials has deemed necessary in many states across the US, people are still trying to access food at grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and sit-down restaurants. But restaurants across the country are mostly closed for inside dining and offering takeout or to-go orders. But most of the time these to-go orders are in the toxic Styrofoam or unrecyclable plastics and they don’t accept your own reusable containers from home due to contamination. So how can you reduce waste in that sense?

*** Call ahead the restaurant and ask what they put their food in for to-go orders. It may sound daunting, but consider the trash that piles up from takeout foods. Most fast food restaurants place their food inside paper wrappers and while they are readily recyclable in most states, some do not.  Starbucks for instance, are not accepting your reusable beverage containers. So instead of having them put a lid on your cup, take the beverage and pour it in your reusable cup. This way you’re still cutting down on the plastic lids use.

For some great recycling and waste-reducing tips, check out Earth911’s excellent ideas! And for family resources, check out CDC’s recommendations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fcoping.html)

https://earth911.com/eco-tech/use-coronavirus-to-reset-your-life-for-sustainability/

Earth911 Podcast: Coronavirus, Sustainability Changes, and Earth Day Planning

Be safe and be diligent!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

A Parent’s Guide to Being Green

Do you ever wonder what the phrase, “going green” really means? This movement, if you want to call it – began over a decade ago when people started to really open up their eyes and notice that our environment is alarmingly in danger. While our planet slowly deteriorating is certainly not new news, the harmful effects of long-term damage has increased drastically over the years.

As a parent and an educator, I want to teach my son and other students the importance of preserving our precious planet. A small impact of good can slowly grow to something bigger and better: one child can make a difference and one adult can help them achieve their goals. And while you’re reading this, let’s break it down to the importance of teaching our children to being “green” and allow them to make a better world for the future.

So how do you “Go Green”? With climate changes negatively affecting the world, greenhouse gases are increasing around the world, making it almost near impossible to reverse the damages. But global markets in major consumer industries are finally starting to recognize the dangers of our depleting environment and are moving towards natural resource energy makers such as wind, solar, and water. We, as individuals may think we can’t do much to improve our environment, but all it takes is one person to care, to make a change for the better.

So how do we teach our children to protect the future of their planet? We must start by realizing that children have the potential to make positive changes in the world. “We must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” – Mary McLeod Bethune. Children have the drive, intelligence, and ability to make positive impacts in improving our planet and being great leaders of society. Children around the world are taking winning steps in reducing waste while not only helping the environment, but other people as well. Their leadership and compassion are things we want to emulate and encourage so that we can all eventually open our eyes to the climate changes around us.

What can kids do? Here are some great (and easy) examples of environmentally-friendly acts and projects for kids of any age:

– Follow the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.

Reduce your purchases, wants, and needs. The less we buy, the less carbon footprint we contribute to.

Reuse what you already have. If we can reuse even just 3 times, we will already have made a dramatic change.

Repurpose what you can still reuse. Repurposing is truly a great trend that should go on forever. For example, you can take a pair of torn jeans and make it into a unique grocery tote* or zippered pencil cases.

Recycling is typically the last resort as not everything can be recycled. Most plastics, glass, aluminum are readily recyclable but it still takes up carbon footprint when machines are used to break down these materials. Still, it’s better than throwing them in the trash where they’ll most likely end up in the landfill. To find recycling centers in your area, check it out here: https://americarecyclesday.org/find-recycling/

– Sort trash properly.

One of the biggest problems with overflowing landfills is trash that aren’t sorted properly. You can probably find at least 30% of your trash that can be recycled, reused, or repurposed. And if you can recycle any kind of beverage bottles, your kids can make money from doing that too. When recyclable products are mixed in with trash, it takes tremendous time, money, and effort for facilities to sort them. Oftentimes, the recyclable items will end up with the rest of the trash, thus leading to the growing problem of overfilled landfills in our country.

– Use reusable containers whenever possible.

Kids can bring their school lunches in resuable lunch containers, water bottles, and utensils. To make it even more fun, give them colorful and fun reusable napkins. Great ones can be found at: http://www.ukonserve.com/ and https://ecolunchboxes.com/.

– Pick up trash.

Pick up trash around your neighborhood as you’re taking walks along the roads. This helps keep waste from going into storm drains and ending up in unlikely places where they might just get disposed of improperly. Plus, it helps the neighborhood look nice and clean too. Just remember to have kids wear gloves if they’re doing a “clean up the neighborhood day”. Then, be sure to sort and dispose the trash properly.

– Eat local, co-op, and organically grown food.

Local foods are usually produced by companies within your county or city’s range. This is a rather tricky range as there is currently no guidelines to how far or close a product is produced in order to qualify as local. Read labels on products and check out the local companies you buy from to get a clearer picture. Co-op farms help the farmers and the consumers. Co-op is governed by its members so there is more control of what is produced, how it’s produced, and where it’s sold. Organically grown food must follow strict guidelines that companies must follow in order to be certified. Organic products simply means any product made without certain fertilizers and pesticides and without any synthetic ingredients used in producing the products. This applies to both food and non-food items. Take your kids to local farmers markets and grocery stores where they can see and feel the difference between organic produce and conventional produce. When you make the change yourself, your kids can greatly benefit from it.

– Reduce use of electronics and water.

In a perfect world, we’d have less electronics to use and we could all produce our own water usage and recycle it. But in this day and age of fast growing technology, it seems that the future will only continue with this trend. While technology is important, using too much of it can also drain our natural resources as well as enable harmful aftereffects of radiation and coal. Remind your children to turn off lights when not in use, reduce their screen time by playing outside or reading a book, and turn off the water when brushing their teeth.

We can all strive to make a better impact on our environment if we remind ourselves that our children, their children, and all future generations should have the ability to live on a clean and healthy planet. It can take small and simple steps but each step can lead to bigger steps that can make a dramatic improvement for our world.

For some fun and helpful tips for parents and kids, check out PBS Kids Green project book: http://meetthegreens.pbskids.org/features/pdf/Greens_Activities.pdf

*photo source: www.denimdoover.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Day – April 22, 2016

earthday-promo

I’d like to think that every day should be Earth Day. After all, we live in a world where we have mast resources of practically anything we can get our hands on. Yet, as humans living on this planet, we are also destructing our own world and endangering our precious environment.

Earth Day was officially coined in April 1970 by a US Senator as the day to support environmental protection and awareness. Now celebrated across the world, Earth Day can be celebrated with even the smallest of acts. No gesture is too small for every step in helping the environment get healthy and abundant is the right step.

Following are some simple steps taken from New Hope Network (http://deliciousliving.com/green-living/4-ways-pay-it-forward-earth-day?cid=nhbc#slide) on how you can help this Earth Day:

You always recycle. You buy organic. But in honor of Earth Day (April 22), why not up the eco-friendly ante? Here are four fun ways you can show Mother Earth a little love.

  1. Live near a beach or a river? Organize a waterside cleanup day in your community. Offer prizes for the people who collect the most junk.

watersidecleanup-earthday

  1. Instead of spraying weeds with herbicides, pour boiling water over weeds (just don’t splash the plants you actually want to keep).

weedkiller-dlearthday

  1. If you’re up for a bigger project, transfer your water-sucking green lawn into a xeriscape, which uses attractive, native dry-loving plants to boost curb appeal.

xeriscapeit-earthday

  1. Bring along small cotton bags to use in the grocery bulk and produce sections, instead of flimsy plastic bags. (Pictured: Flip & Tumble Produce Bags)

producebags-earthday

So this Earth Day, pick up trash around your neighborhood, plant some trees or flowers, recycle responsibly, reuse what you can, turn off electricity when not in use, reduce your water usage, use recyclable water bottles, and pretty much anything you can put your mind to as long as you commit to helping the world become a cleaner and healthier place.

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Earth Day – How will you celebrate Earth this year?

Our planet, Earth is indeed a beautiful planet. If you looked at it through a telescope or from outer space, you’d see the peaceful colors and vibrant life within it. It’s the only planet we can live on for now and until scientists and other experts tell us another planet is habitable, I’m going to try and help save my planet for now. Well, “saving” may be too astronimical of a word but each day I try to remember to do something that will help preserve the planet for my children and their children and so forth. Each year, on April 22, is what we call “Earth Day”. Earth Day is celebrated throughout the world and each nation has their own ways of celebrating Earth and finding ways to help make it better.

We can all make a difference in how we want our world to be. We as individuals can either make things better or make them worse. Basically, there are 3 categories that people may fall in. The first category are those who are constantly finding ways to help the planet, preserve the planet, and make the planet better. They are always recycling, reducing, reusing and never falter in their endeavor to make the world a healthier place. Then there is the second category where most of us may fall in. These folks try to remember to recycle and turn off their lights and electronic equipments when possible. They do what they can to be environmentally  conscious. Then there is the third category where people do not care at all about the planet. They don’t bother with the environment and have no personal reasons to recycle, reduce, and reuse. They don’t know the difference between carbon footprint and their own footprints. Therefore, it’s up to the first and second categories to help make the planet a healthier place for everyone else.

It’s not hard to do something to make the world a healthier place. Even if it’s within your little town or city, any movement you make to help your environment can improve the outcome of our planet. Below I’ve outlined some guidelines in how to reduce your carbon footprint on this planet. According to Green Living of National Geographic, they explain carbon footprint as, ‘Your carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted as a result of your daily activities. When you drive to work, run the appliances in your home or sneak off for a weekend getaway, you cause the burning of fossil fuels, which provide the energy needed to power your lifestyle.’

– Walk to work (if it’s within reasonable distance). Walking is actually one of the greatest ways you can to reduce your carbon footprint.

– Walk to the grocery store (if it’s within reasonable distance).

– Take public transportation

– Carpool

– Buy organic. According to the USDA organic farming laws, toxic pesticides, herbicides, germicides and soil may not be used on food grown for consumption. Neither are chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics allowed to be used on livestock. Irrigation, water, pest managment, processing, and many other strict regulations are set forth to maintain proper organic practices within the US. Organic means a safer ecosystem and healthier living.

– Buy locally grown food and products. This also help reduce carbon footprint as less fuel is used to transport such goods. Some locally grown foods do not use toxic pesticides or chemicals but be sure to check with your local farms first.

– Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve probably heard this many times. It’s fairly easy to do this if you keep up with it. Reduce by using less materials that may harm the environment. Reuse by reusing what you have on hand. Recycle everything that’s possible.  Check with your local facilities on their own regulations on what is and what is not allowed to be recycled.

– Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. Reusable bags can be easily stored in your purse or in your car. Be sure to buy bags that are made from sustainably grown materials or made from recycled materials to reduce raw ingredients from being used even more.

– Use solar energy where possible. Solar energy requires energy from the sun, which is a free source of energy. You can use solar energy to charge your electronic equipments and your house. Solar panels are quickly becoming popular in homes and you can probably find good companies out there that will save you a lot of money on your energy bills.

– Reduce your overall buying. Buying less, especially products that are harmful to the environment could make you feel better about how you can help the environment.

– Buy from companies who protect the Rain Forest through the Rain Forest Alliance.

There are probably a lot more ideas and ways of conserving energy, reducing your carbon footprint, and helping the environment. Good resources are companies like: http://www.earthday.org/, http://www.epa.gov/, and http://practicallygreen.com/ (which has really great ideas, products, and ways of living “green”). You can probably think up some of your own ways in helping the environment.

This year, we still plan on hosting an “Earth Day” event but just not sure what we plan on doing yet. EarthDay.org is a good place to visit on how you can help with the environment. So no matter what you plan on doing to celebrate Earth this year, any step towards improvement is a positive step. You’ll feel better and happier that you are doing something to make the world a healtier place to live for yourself and your future generations.