Green around town

Today I was at our local zoo and saw many green projects that they have put into place. The automatic sinks and soap dispensers, the air hand dryers, the map recycling bins but most amazing of all... they are selling compost made from the animal waste at the zoo! (Not to mention they have paper made of the elephant waste in the gift shop) I love the fact they are being proactive in the disposable of the animal's waste and at the same time educating the visitors about the benefits of compost use and composting. (search Gardening Renaissance on facebook for more information on composting and sustainable gardening methods; also if you are in the Columbia SC area take one of the informative courses they will be offering!)

Have you seen any greening taking place around you and your community? If so, what was it? If not, what would you like to see?


"...and it was very good." Genesis 1:31a

Creation, great and small, is from God and He has pronounced all sacred and good.
Meditate on this scripture...often over looked. As humans we tend to forget that we are not the only part of Creation. We are called to be stewards of Creation.

What are your thoughts on this? What will you do to be a better steward of Creation today?


Tummy Trouble

Feeling a little under the weather? There's always something going around this time of year. Instead of reaching for your traditional antacid, try grandma's oldest home remedy; saltines and ginger ale. I'm not talking about Canada Dry or one of the conventional ginger ales. Go find yourself some Reed's Jamaican Brew or Blue Sky Ginger Ale; something with a real ginger punch! Ginger has been used for centuries for its many healing effects, and its tasty addition to foods. Another thing to try is peppermint. A midwife solution to tummy trouble in babies (and adults) is to rub pure peppermint oil (or in babies case, diluted peppermint oil) directly on the stomach. If all you've got is your everyday stomach bug, these should have you feeling better in no time. And you'll know that you've kept chemicals out of your body and relied on nature instead.

Have you tried one of these remedies? If so, leave a comment and let me know what you think.


Hyrid to Cloth diapering

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I knew that I didn't want to use disposables. I mean, they have chemicals against baby's sensitive skin plus they take 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill (not counting the plastic bag they are in). But I DID NOT want to use cloth diapers. I thought they would be messy, smelly and time consuming. So to Google I went and after much research I found a few disposables that do not use chemicals and are biodegradable (Tushies and Nature Babycare). But I also found G Diapers! The perfect hybrid of cloth and disposable. Plus, they Velcro toward the back which is great for older babies who start to try and take their diapers off. With G Diapers the cover (which comes in tons of cute colors and patterns) and the waterproof snap in gets washed either after a blow out or after 2 reuses. You just place a flushable/compostable liner in the snap-in and your good to go! The perfect solution! I didn't think twice; we registered for them and after the first week at home (this was before they came out with the newborn size) we were a G Diaper family. Well this was, unknown to me at the time, the first step to becoming a cloth diapering mommy. Thanks to G Diaper' s G Mum/Dad program I met many like minded parents including a friend in my church. She used G Diapers for travel but she was the real deal...she cloth diapered. And so, after learning from her that cloth diapers have come a LONG way I got my first (of many to come) cloth diaper: a brown Fuzzi Bunz.

With my second child I still use G Diapers but they have come out with cloth inserts for all sizes which I now use. I have tried many brands in this journey but by far G Diapers and now Bum Genius 4.0 One Size are my favorites! Bum Genius even has organic cotton diapers which are even gentler for little heinies. I prefer the snap version.
Not only have we lost our fear of cloth diapers we have helped open eyes about the many improvements in cloth diapering... our church nursery is no longer worried they will "do them wrong" and our family sees the HUGE cost savings they have provided.

Speaking of savings, think of this, I have the cloth diapers from my first child that I can use now with my second child and I am not purchasing diapers continuously. Yes, they use water to wash but not nearly as many resources are wasted when you think about the fossil fuels, water and transportation required to make the disposables, transport them to the shops, transport them home and then transport them to the landfill.

Cloth diapers are no longer a messy, smelly plastic pant filled endeavor; I urge you to check out the sites and see how easy hybrid/cloth diapering can be!


Great craft to teach toddler's about nature! (You probably did this as a child)

A pine cone bird feeder! My toddler now knows that pine cones come from trees, that birds can eat birdseed, and is already starting to understand that we must care for creation. All you need (if you have never made one before) is:
Pine cones (FREE from your yard or in our case the local park)
Peanut Butter (a staple in most households but if allergies exist try almond butter)
Bird Seed (very inexpensive)
String (something easily biodegradable in case you forget to remove it once the seeds are eaten)
Take time to teach your little ones (or those around you) about sustainability and taking care of the planet...you will be surprised what they understand. A two year old does understand recycling verses trash, loves making things with nature to help nature... and much more! Let's give the next generation the tools they need to take care of our world...it's the only one we've got!


Super Easy Soupy Chili

Here's a yummy healthly dish for a busy night:

1 can black beans
1 can cannelini beans
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp Cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
1 cup frozen corn
1 to 2 cups chopped kale
2 cups veggie broth

Saute the garlic and onions in a bit of oil. Mix all spices together. In crockpot on high, add the sauted garlic and onions, tomato paste, spices...mix well. Add both cans of tomatoes and beans (rinsing beans first), corn and veggie broth. Mix well and cook on high for twenty minutes. Add kale (or any leafy green) and cook on for 20 minutes more. Enjoy!

You can make this an all day dish as well by cooking on low. I highly recommend it...my two and a half year old loves it because the kale gives it a bit of sweetness. A great way to get loads of veggies into your day! And of course, use organic ingredents to minimize the planet impact and maximize health quality of the dish!

Hope you enjoy!