“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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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: …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Healthy and Responsible Eating on a College Student’s Budget

Since moving away from home and subsequently being forced to become more self-sufficient, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is how to eat healthy with a limited budget. The following is a bit about how I changed my diet for the better both for myself and for the environment. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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The Necessity of Nature in Children’s Development

Jen Zotalis Do It Green! Magazine With non-stop schedules, a plethora of electronic devices and a devastated image of the environment, children today have little opportunity or encouragement to experience nature as an enjoyable and sustaining presence in their lives. The result, Richard Louv suggests, can be found in record …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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Workparties: Many Hands Make Light Work

Philipp Muessig Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network Each month, like a roving band of grain threshers or barn raisers, my family of four and two other households descend upon one of our homes to paint, build, garden and clean, and to eat, drink and be merry. This is our work cooperative, …

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