Eco-Friendly February Tasks

Can you believe it’s already February? Last year seemed like the longest year and yet it also flew by so quickly! With February already in full swing, there are lots of things we can do this month to kick start our goals for an environmentally friendly New Year!

VALENTINE’S DAY– Yes, yes, I know most people think this holiday is a marketing ploy, and I gotta admit, brands probably make tons of money for this holiday. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, I think it’s a fun tradition to begin or continue with your children. The colors of Valentine’s Day is quite festive – reds, pinks, lavenders, and even blues. But how do we make this holiday more eco-friendly? Candy wrappers are bound to be thrown into the trash along with other plastic and not so easily recyclable items. Here are some tips to keep it eco-friendly:

  • Send e-gift cards. This might seem less sentimental, but you don’t have to send gift cards to only your significant other. You can send them to your friends, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, teachers, and the list goes on! Electronic gift cards are fast and don’t require any shipping via mail or using those pesky unrecyclable plastic cards.

  • Purchase locally grown flowers or from family-owned farms. Locally grown flowers require less carbon footprint to ship and flower farms owned by small families usually have more unique and fresher varieties.

  • Try making a vegetarian feast for Valentine’s Day with these dishes: – Exotic mushroom pasta by using oyster mushrooms, Shitake mushrooms, or Enoki mushrooms. You can find the more exotic versions at Asian grocery stores and natural grocery stores. – Heavenly Layer Dip, which uses red tomatoes, red bell peppers, sour cream, light shredded cheese, olives, and strawberry jam (or any berry flavored jam). – Chocolate covered fruits such as chocolate-covered strawberries, peaches, mangoes, or any other unique fruits.

  • Most children love to be spoiled on Valentine’s Day! Gift them with homemade heart shaped cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries and mangoes, and a special trip to a local zoo or museum (if they are open in your area).

CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR – This year is the Year of the Ox so it’s important for those born under the Ox sign to be especially aware. Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is a huge celebration every year. But with the pandemic and safety concerns in mind, families might have to celebrate with only their immediate household. Traditionally, there are parades, firecrackers, and huge family and friends gatherings, so you would have to see what your state, country, and city have restrictions on. To make it eco-friendly this year, here are some tips:

  • Red envelopes are traditionally given to children or unmarried young folks. It’s still okay to give cash as cash is a recyclable and reusable commodity.

  • Celebrate the traditions of Chinese Lunar New Year by reading books. There are some great books that children can read to learn all about this holiday. Include books with pictures to make them more festive.

  • Decorate with paper decorations. Red is the traditional good luck color for the new year. You can find paper decorations at specialty Asian stores to decorate your house with.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – During Black History Month, it’s a great way to teach children about historical and iconic leaders who helped change the world. Purchase books with pictures that can be read every year.

VEGANUARY – The month of January was to celebrate Vegetarians and Vegans. But we could still continue with this tradition through February. Try to include at least one vegan or vegetarian meal during the week. Vegetarian dishes are fairly easy to make and don’t have to be just salads. You can make vegetarian pasta, vegetarian soup, and vegetarian tacos. Reduce the amount of animal protein to up to 3 times a week. Meat production is one of the largest polluters in the world and one of the biggest hidden pitfalls in carbon dioxide consuming our planet.

CAMPUS CLEAN UP – Depending on where you live and the safety protocols at your school, you can host a campus cleanup day. With the permission of the school principal, teacher, or an environmental club, pick a day where students can go around the school campus to pick up trash and or/pick weeds. A campus cleanup day promotes environmental awareness of trash and how students can help keep our schools and communities clean. Be sure to wear gloves while doing the cleanup.

SPRING PLANTING – With the spring season sneaking upon us, now is the best time to start your indoor seed planting. When you plant your own vegetables and fruits you get the full quality of your bounty and children can learn the growing process from seed to harvest to eating them! Easy plants for children to grow include: Peas, beans, beets, carrots, radishes, and sunflowers. Planting your own garden also helps with cleaning the atmosphere, reduces carbon footprint, and promotes healthier eating. Start by planting the seeds indoors and then transplant them outdoors when it’s warmer.

Start off the year with a goal to be more environmentally conscious in everything you do and buy. Take small steps if you’re just starting out and soon you’ll become an advocate for the planet!

*photo courtesy of Arbor Day Foundation, Food&Wine magazine, KidsGardenNews

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

 

Surf Sweets/TruSweets – A Valentine Treat!

SURFSWEETS

Red hearts, cupid’s bow, and chocolates – what do they all spell? Valentine’s Day! For many, Valentine’s Day is an annual holiday where people go all out with the extravagance of buying sweets and gifts. And while chocolates seem to be the main choice in offering sweets, this year why not try something different. The idea behind Valentine’s Day really isn’t about giving the most expensive gift or dining at the poshest restaurant. It should be about celebrating the idea of love and friendship. With this holiday being advertised at almost every store since January, my son has already asked me what to give his classmates or if he should get them something. His question was, “do I have to buy everyone a valentine candy?” There are a few girls who’d probably be disappointed if my son didn’t so we decided we should include everyone on the Valetine’s list.

In the previous years we’ve always given his friends and classmates non-sweets as treats but this year when Surf Sweets offered for us to try their new TruSweets organic fruit lollipops as well as their gummy hearts, well, our hearts literally swelled. Surf Sweets makes such delicious and wholesome candies that we tore open the samples the minute they arrived and ate a few bags. Luckily the bags were small enough that we didn’t get a sugar high and of  course we had to save some for an event I was hosting.

Fruity Hearts Multipack (1)

Surf Sweets a division of Tru Sweets (http://www.surfsweets.com) makes only natural and organic candies. Using the finest ingredients available, Surf Sweets makes deliciously sweet and yummy gummy candy and jelly beans that are perfect for little kids. Kids will inevitably eat a sweet now and then so if you’re going to offer them candy, then why not give them something healthier? There are so many candy choices out there and if you peruse the aisles at any grocery store, you’ll find them catered to this holiday right at this moment. I’m not big on the regular candies for Valentine’s Day as I’m a true Chocoholic, but there’s something adorable about Surf Sweets gummy hearts and their entire line of “love” candy.

 

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Each one of the individually packed heart gummies and lollipops are the perfect portions for little kids. And while you’re probably thinking, “wait, didn’t they just have a ton of candy for Halloween?”, well, Valentine’s Day seems to be one of the most popular holidays for kids and teenagers alike. Sure, you’ll probably expect bags full of sweets from your kids when they come home from school, but if you’re the one who’s going to be handing out sweets, then give their classmates a better type of candy – ones that aren’t full of artificial ingredients. And guess what – they’ll probably end up loving Surf Sweets and TruSweets more than the conventional candies. They are shaped adorably like little hearts and the gummy bears are fun to eat and play with. As a parent, I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am that companies such as Surf Sweets/Tru Sweets are dedicated in providing healthier candies.

So this Valentine’s Day or really any day of the year, if you’re inclined to buy sweets for your kids and sweethearts, give them something a lot healthier than those with artificial ingredients. After all, your love isn’t artificial so why should your sweets be? Surf Sweets can be purchased at most natural grocery stores and online through their website: http://www.surfsweets.com/store-locator/buy-online/.

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