Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cloth diapering: Planet Wise Wet bags

Cloth diaper blog is giving away two Planet Wise wet bags. For those of you cloth diapering out there (or hoping to) you know how important a good wet bag is, especially if you travel a lot. Unfortunately, many wet bags are made out of PVC plastic to be waterproof. Well Planet Wise is aware of the harm of producing and using PVC, so they offer wet bags that are PVC free! Click here for a chance to win two of them!

And Happy Mother's Day to all you Eco-Mamas out there!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kid-Safe Chemicals Act

The evidence is clear. We are 'pre-polluting' our children.
Flame-retardants, BPA, rocket fuel, pesticides, herbicides, PFOA (Teflon), mercury, and the list goes on. These and over 200 other chemicals were found in samples of umbilical cord blood of 10 babies in 2004. What's even more disturbing is that many of the chemicals found had been banned 30+ years before these babies were born. Yet they were given the 'gift' of such a huge body burden before they were held in their parent's arms. And they will continue to receive a whole host of chemicals from mom's breastmilk and then of course from the air they breathe and water they will drink.

It's time to act. Of course it has been time to act for too long, but now we have new legislation on the horizon that may actually turn this around and prevent this from happening to the grandbabies of these 10 babies who were tested. It may already be too late for their babies. But it doesn't mean we stand in our tracks and feel helpless.

Sign the declaration to put pressure on congress to push the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act forward. It's really frighteningly simple in what it's calling for: require that new chemicals are not put on the market until proven safe for children. It is what we would hope is happening already. But it is not. That is why this piece of legislation needs you behind it. On the Environmental Working Group's website (such a fantastic organization! If you have the time, check out all the other amazing resources they have available) they have a powerful 20 minute video of Ken Cook's talk on the research and results of the cord blood samples, a factsheet on the bill, status of the bill and a letter to congress.

Please spread the word on this. As Ken Cook says in conclusion to his talk, "we need a thunderstorm to roll into Washington to let them know that all babies deserve to be born toxic-free." You and I are that thunderstom.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A sense of Wonder

On March 1st, a new documentary on Rachel Carson's life will be released. You can view the trailer on the the film's website. Her words began a movement. Yet what astounds me, and was one major reason I even began Eco-Mamas and Papas, is how prevalent the use of lawn chemicals still is in this country. What have we learned from her words? Outlawing DDT is not the end of it. A fantastic question from the trailer is:

"Is it possible to lay down this barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making the earth unfit for ALL life?"

If we could see the interconnectedness of all things more clearly, we would never lay down these poisons on the earth.

I recently read that one in three people in North America will get cancer. A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.

Can we just learn to love dandelions? Maybe make some tea or wine from them? It just seems so much easier to develop a sense of wonder for nature instead of trying to control it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Great Chain of Being

If you have 2.5 minutes, check out this quick clip from Richard Rohr and the "Great Chain of Being" conference.

If you have more than 2.5 minutes, check out the Center for Action and Contemplation's site for more.

From their site:
"Right relationship means to us that we at the CAC are committing to more sensitivity to this earthly household we share and how we mindfully impact all living things. This means paying attention to how we share land, water and air with all creation and return it unsullied for this generation and seven generations hence."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Awake to beauty

This image greets me every morning (after the voices and faces of my beautiful family and a large cup of coffee!). This calender comes from Ministry of the Arts. I have had one every year since just after college (thanks Mom!). These women are amazing. Their artwork, their poetry, their awareness of the sacredness of this earth. They are Sisters of St. Joseph in LaGrange IL. (with contributing artists and writers). Each day there are little messages and suggestions to take with you throughout the day (from "Draw your favorite flower" to "Be awake to the divine unfolding") along with recognitions of people not often celebrated on other calenders. I encourage you to check to check out their site. The beauty alone is a treat, but the underlying message encourages all of us (of all faiths) to renew our connection to this treasured universe.

This year's theme is taken from the Universe Story (from the work of Thomas Berry - see "The Dream of the Earth" link under books). I will write more about the Universe Story another day, but for now will leave you with a little taste of what they have to say in this beautiful work of art:

"Everything we are, have ever been, or hope to be is rooted in the moment when time and space began...because all life is part of this single cosmic event, all life is connected at its most basic level."
-Judy Cannato (Used with permission of Ministry of the Arts)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mmmmm, Compost

We love compost. We don't have the most sophisticated system, but we just could not bear with throwing food scraps out. Hope to try vermiculture (worms) soon (ideas for how to do that here), but for now in our teeny tiny backyard we are choosing this method. Metal garbage can with holes drilled in for drainage and oxygen. We are pretty maxed out with this one and need another. Hoping at the bottom will be some soil we can use for this year's garden. But since we're pretty lazy about the turning, it may take longer. In the meantime, the bugs love us, we've had no problems with critters getting in (or annoying neighbors), and it's great for Nuala to see us bringing our food out for something else to eat what we don't. The cutest thing ever is when she said (shortly after getting it up and running), "Mom, you can't throw that in the garbage! It goes in the compost!"For many inspiring ideas like this and other such projects, definitely check out this book. It's so exciting! I think I might run out now and get the 5 gallon bucket for humanure!!! Ok, maybe not yet, but at least we are going to start looking into using the grey water from our washing machine for the garden!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy St. Brigid's Day

In the Irish/Celtic tradition, this day marks the first day of spring. Hard to believe when the snowbanks are towering higher than the cars and the sidewalks are coated with a thick layer of ice! As a family we are embarking on a journey with our children to reinstate older traditions which aim to connect us to the rhythm of the day and year. Closely linked with seasons, feast days and festivals. Celebrating both the significant and mundane in life.

This book has fantastic ideas/recipes/songs and stories for guiding us in the ways of those who went before us. Today we made crosses of St. Brigid, a doll, and will tonight feast on traditional Irish foods of colcannan, boxty and dumplings. Though the kids are pretty small still, and maybe not all that aware of what's going on, it is helping mama and papa to look more deeply at what makes us human and how we are connected to the earth and each other through ancient (and newer) traditions.

Happy Imbolc and St. Brigid's Day!!!