“Warming” Family Ideas

Sara Grochowski Do It Green! Minnesota • Lighting – replacing one 75 watt incandescent bulb with a 19-watt compact fluorescent can cut 55 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Assign your math-loving child the task of determining how many light bulbs you need to replace and the reduction in emissions. Engage …

Read more

Alternative Birthday Party Ideas

SARA GROCHOWSKI Do It Green! Minnesota Growing up, my birthdays consisted of parents, grandparents, godparents, a cake, candles, and, since it was summer, endless games of kick the can, ghost in the graveyard, and flashlight tag. Nowadays, it seems kids have multiple parties with family, friends, and neighbors and the …

Read more

Animal Rescue

Colleen Meyer Coalition for Animal Rights Education Includes Listing of No-Kill Animal Shelters Animal rescue is an all-encompassing word to describe humans helping animals in distress. This includes dogs, cats, wildlife and farm animals. For some, animal rescue is a consistent activity by groups or individuals, for others a spur …

Read more

Being a Green Bibliophile

Eva Lewandowski I love to read, and more than that, I love books, and I’ve always thought of it as a good thing.  But a few years ago, when I was trying to jam more than 1400 books into my tiny one-bedroom apartment, I started thinking that maybe having so …

Read more

Best Thrift Store Buys

Eva Lewandowski If you’ve watched a local television station in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen the commercials for “Goodwill Halloween”, or more specifically for the costumes and decorations that you can find at your local Goodwill Industries retail thrift store. Reuse is a key component of a …

Read more

Children’s “Stuff”

Philipp Muessig Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) For eighteen years, the clothes, toys, furniture, equipment and creations of your child will be like flotsam and jetsam flowing into your home. Or perhaps flooding into your house is more accurate. The sheer volume of clothes, toys and art projects alone, …

Read more

Cloth Diapering

Gabrielle Hagelstrom Think Cloth Company As a mother, I am often questioned about the choices I make in raising my children. Every time I leave the house with my 5 month old I am bombarded with unsolicited advice about all aspects of his well-being ranging from his attire to his …

Read more

Clothing Swaps

Eva Lewandowski I attended my first clothing swap about four years ago, and I’ve helped coordinate Do It Green! Minnesota’s last three annual clothing swaps.  They’ve become one of my favorite green activities; they are fun, they emphasize the importance of item reuse, and they create a wonderful sense of …

Read more

Cook with Your Kids!

JENNY BREEN Local Chef/Educator Whether you have picky or adventurous eaters, you can give your children opportunities to learn about food by letting them help out in the kitchen. Kids will be more likely to eat what they help cook. Here are a few ideas for healthy and fun recipes: …

Read more

Family Activity

Compiled from REDUCE.ORG and DOITGREEN.ORG. 1. Determine how much food waste you create each day for lunch-measure and track all the food you throw away from your lunch during one week on a chart at home. 2. Brainstorm ways to reduce how much food and trash you are throwing in …

Read more

Family-Friendly Eco Activities

Do It Green! Minnesota MayDay Parade and Festival (1st Sunday in May) 612-721-2535 www.hobt.org Make puppets, participate in the parade or just come to watch the puppets float to life. Halloween Harvest Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza (Last week in October) Bare Bones Productions www.bedlamtheatre.org A unique, handmade, nighttime spectacle with giant …

Read more

Free and Green Activities for Families

JEN ZOTALIS Writer When it comes to family time, green activities allow you to go casual instead of commercial, and feed your children’s need for nature while you’re at it. Here’s one cliché well worth believing and embracing: the best things in life-and childhood-truly are free. Create seasonal traditions. Make …

Read more

Girl Scouts Go Green

Missi Arens Girl Scouts Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys To help make the world a better place, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys offers “green” challenges for all girls. Each month during the school year, each Girl Scout receives an e-newsletter where she is given challenges to learn …

Read more

Giving as a Family

JENNY FRIEDMAN Executive Director, Doing Good Together Do you wish to cultivate compassion, kindness, and community responsibility in your children? How can you teach them firsthand that their efforts can improve other’s lives and our world? What are some fun ways to spend time together and strengthen your family? Here …

Read more

Green Birthday Gifts

Dan Marshall/Amee Whittaker Peapods/The Green Goober In generations past, children had fewer toys and their playland was the back yard and surrounding community. Families had less disposable income, and gifts were often handmade. Today, many children actually have their own playroom full of toys, gadgets, dolls and vehicles. Between birthdays …

Read more

Green Your Holiday Tree

Karen O’Connor Mother Earth Gardens Buying a fresh-cut holiday tree that is grown sustainably continues to be a better choice than a buying a plastic one, but have you considered a living tree? The display of a living holiday tree means making the most of the season, because the tree …

Read more

Green-up Your Back-to-School Routine

Rethink Recycling.com Every fall we prepare for back to school. This means shopping for new supplies, setting new schedules, and (probably the kids’ favorite) buying new school clothes. Here are a few ideas on how you can "green-up" your back to school routine this year. Clothes: The best green tip …

Read more

Greening My Child’s School: A Local Story

Julie Jones EcoMom Edina Cafeteria waste contributes immensely to our ever-growing landfills. Considering this, it was easy for me to implement no-waste lunches in packing for my three school-age children, but I thought we could take it one major step further and reduce the waste for their entire school: Edina …

Read more

Hey Kids! What Can You Do to Help the Earth?

Erik Hare Local Author The next time you are doing something creative, take a look at what happens to the left-overs. It doesn’t matter whether you are painting a picture, making dinner, or cleaning up. Whenever you create something you are making more that you didn’t mean to make – …

Read more

Homemade Birthday Gifts

Ann Rinkenberger Owner, Harvest Moon by Hand, hmcf@lycos.com Sometimes it feels as if birthdays are getting out of hand: too many parties, too many gifts, too much money being spent, too much of all the wrong things and not enough of the things that truly gladden the heart. It often …

Read more

How To Build a Babysitting Co-op

Sara Grochowski Do It Green! Minnesota With each new generation, it seems people are more transient and decisions on where to live are not always based on closeness to family. In times past, grandmothers or aunts were so intimately involved in a family’s life, particularly due to their proximity, that …

Read more

How to Talk to your Kids about Climate Change

NICOLE ROM Executive Director, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy Many researchers and educators argue that young children are not mature enough to handle the reality of climate change, and parents are often understandably overwhelmed by the task of translating the technicalities of climate change to so young an audience. Yet …

Read more

Natural Childbirth

Vanessa Stephens Minnesota Birth Network What is natural childbirth? Any discussion of this topic requires a definition of the terms used, because sometimes any vaginal birth, no matter how many interventions are employed, is considered a natural birth. For purposes of this article, natural birth is birth without the use …

Read more

Population Growth: The Multiplication Factor

Ben Stallings World Population Balance — When we talk about environmental and social problems, we rarely mention population growth. We’ll bemoan the shortage of affordable housing, the number of cars on the road, and the loss of topsoil to marginal agriculture. We emphasize how each person can make a difference …

Read more

Raising an Organic Baby on a Budget

Sara Grochowski Do It Green! Minnesota Every decision we make can impact the air, soil, water and our health. If there is one time when these decisions have heightened awareness, it is when people are about to have a baby. People are more motivated to make changes in their life …

Read more

Raising Green Kids

ELIZABETH K. ANDRE Education Consultant, Will Steger Foundation Any parent whose child has surprised them by echoing their speech knows that kids emulate the adults around them. Simply by modeling responsible behavior, adults can inspire children to take green action. In addition, we can engage children in active participation by …

Read more

Read “Green” to Your Kids

Collette Morgan Wild Rumpus Books The key to getting young people fired up about environmentalism is to present them with a balance of information and plausible solutions. This fresh crop of books is intended to give kids clear and achievable ways to contribute to saving the world.   Eco Babies …

Read more

Seeking the simple life, time to begin.

Corrine Bruning So, I’m giving another shot to this whole blog process for a number of reasons. First off, I want to be a better writer. You write in college and in school, and your writing gets judged, edited, you move forward. I’ve always been in advanced writing classes, but …

Read more

Students Taking Action to Save Energy and Money

Patrick Santelli Project Coordinator, Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbom In schools all over Minnesota, students are working with teachers, staff, technical experts, and members of their communities to advance sustainability and do their part to save the world. And more than ever before, these students are collaborating across borders, learning from …

Read more

Things To Do for Kids and Family

Ami Voeltz Do It Green! Minnesota Here are some family and kid’s activities that you may not know about. It is a random list of organizations, groups and clubs that have a focus on the environment, community and the arts. There’s a whole lot more out there, so get out …

Read more

Thoughts from Sustainable Generations

Sara Grochowski and Yea! Minnesota Students Many people think our grandparents’ generation, those who came of age during the Great Depression, are the real environmentalists. However, it often takes a family effort to initiate and successfully accomplish conservation habit changes. Despite all of this, it seems there are various opinions …

Read more

Timeless Games

Sara Grochowski Do It Green! Minnesota Unstructured play (not including video games!) helps children weave together all the elements of life as they experience it. It provides an outlet for their creativity, and is an absolutely critical part of childhood. Before electronic games such as Playstation, Xbox and now the …

Read more

Tossing Activity

Unknown Keep a log for one week of everything you toss – write each item in one of these categories: garbage, recycling, reuse or compost. After the week is over, make a plan for the next week to change ways you can put 50% less in the “garbage” category by reusing, …

Read more

Who is the Greenest Generation?

Leah Deziel and Aaron Vehling Try talking about “green living” with your parents, children, or grandparents and you will learn that the concept carries different meanings. The “Greatest Generation” saved cooking fat, drove less, and grew Victory Gardens to support the war effort. Their children, the Boomers, created communal living …

Read more

Our Sponsors