July 27, 2009

healthy food in schools

Summer may be in full swing, but the school year is just around the corner. School lunches are always a popular topic. I'm sure readers of Mom Go Green would support requiring higher nutrition standards in school lunches.

On June 24 a broad coalition of mothers traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to support healthy food choices in our nation's schools. These moms delivered over 50,000 petition signatures to Congress - signatures from the Food, Inc. movie website and the Mom's Rising website.

While the day was big success, it would be great for even more people to sign the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act so they can deliver this to Congress for its vote end of July.

It's easy to just click and sign.

July 24, 2009


I've finally jumped onto twitter so that I can share more random green thoughts and links as I come across them. I often see interesting things that never quite make it into a post. Hope you follow along! @momgogreen

July 22, 2009

Under the Sink Makeover

Do you have a friend or family member who, despite your green influence, still has piles of toxic crap under their sink? Seventh Generation has just the contest for you!

The “Under the Sink Makeover Contest” asks you to reveal what is hiding under their kitchen sink. With the area under the kitchen sink as a family’s typical dumping ground for chemical products, Seventh Generation wants families nationwide to know about – and detox – this potentially hazardous area.

Seventh Generation is seeking nominations June 21 through August 14, for under the kitchen sink areas that are in desperate need of organization and detoxification. Submit a photo of the area under a friend’s sink and a 250-word description on why they deserve an under the sink makeover (e.g., she’s concerned for the health of her family and the environment, the area under her sink a toxic wasteland, she’s overwhelmed by the chaos of motherhood and wants to change but doesn’t know where to begin, etc.), for a chance to win great prizes.

One lucky grand prize winner will receive a package that includes:
· An in-home consultation at the friend’s house with Dr. Alan Greene, practicing pediatrician and specialist in green living

· A one year supply of Seventh Generation products for both the entrant and the friend in need

· A trip to New York City for the entrant and her friend that includes a one-night stay at the W New York – Times Square hotel

· A day of pampering at New York’s Green Spa that will include a Body Polish, Wellness Massage, Ocean Vegan Spa Manicure/Pedicure along with a one hour make-up application and lesson

Four other finalists and their friends will receive a Seventh Generation Living Home Starter Kit and a luxurious Lavera home spa kit.

Plus, if you leave me a comment about who you plan to nominate, I'll randomly select one lucky winner to receive a Seventh Generation Living Home Starter Kit!

Hmm. Now, who can I think of that needs some help under their sink?. . .

July 20, 2009

party cups

We had a birthday party this weekend for my younger son. We had some little friends and their families to join us for lunch and cake.

I had set out real glasses to use, but the day was really warm and people were thirsty! We needed extra cups quickly. I resorted to my backup stash of paper cups, since I can compost them.

My pet peeve though is how hard it was for me to track down those paper cups! Luckily I had shopped ahead of the party—just in case. At my neighborhood Whole Foods they only sell Preserve cups. I know they are made from recycled material and can be recycled, but it is still plastic. I thought composting would be better. I went to a Safeway to pick up some paper cups and the shelves were stocked with plastic (and it wasn't recycled, mind you) and styrofoam! Luckily, after some sleuthing I was able to find a package of paper cups.

If I had the energy to drive to a THIRD store, I know I could have gotten some of the nifty compostable paper cups made from 100% sugar cane fiber. But I didn't have the time to head to another location for one item. Maybe I could have found decent paper cups at Target, if I had been in one.

My question is, why does it have to be so hard to find simple supplies like that? Why are recycled or eco-safe goods not even on the shelves at my local big-chain grocery store? Seems they could carry a few for the random crunchy customers that come by. Grrr.

July 15, 2009

no impact movie

I've always appreciated the No Impact Man experiment. I personally learned some great tips from his blog and found his efforts quite inspiring. Of course, I never had the allusion of taking my family that far down the green road, but I was glad to hear about his journey.

This fall there will be a movie about No Impact Man and his family. I just watched the trailer and thought it looked really entertaining! While the experiment perhaps came more easily to Colin, I'd venture to say that his wife's role in the journey represents the perspective of many people.

Can't wait to see the whole film!

July 13, 2009

the green key

A few summers ago I wrote about how I was learning to green our summer camping weekends. For the most part, it has been steadily improving.

This past weekend we went on another camping adventure and I tried a new can of propane for our camp stove. In the past I've always used the small Coleman canisters that screw onto our stove. Problem is, these cans cannot be refilled nor recycled. I've had to save up the empty ones to dispose at a hazardous waste facility due to the unavoidable remaining propane in the steel container.

Coleman has now released a new can in the same size, called the Green Key. It works the same (a one-time use) but it comes with a little green plastic nozzle that sticks in the can once you've used up all the propane. That little green "key" helps release all remaining propane and then signifies the can is safe for recycling. You can also buy the keys separately to use on standard Coleman disposable propane cans.

Coleman acknowledges that steel recycling isn't readily available in most communities, but they say the potential is there and the company is working with waste facilities to help keep the cans out of the landfills.

I was excited to try it—as you can imagine my eco-guilt grows as my cans pile up! I finished the propane can completely and inserted the green key. Much later, we packed up the car and started our drive home. Almost as soon as we were in the car I could smell propane. The can should have been empty by then (it had been over an hour!) But we didn't take any chances. As soon as we passed a garbage can we tossed it out. Bummer!

Maybe I need to look at a way to get a bigger, reusable/refillable tank of propane attached to our stove. Might be a little hassle, but worth the effort.

July 8, 2009

my so-called kitchen

As much as I love good food, I am at my wits end with planning, sourcing and preparing meals. It is time consuming, even when I try to keep things simple. If my focus of the day goes towards the kids or a particular project, then meals that day really suffer. Maybe I need new recipes or inspiration. I'm not looking for complicated, mind you.

I found a blog called My So-Called Kitchen (via Soulemama) and I am loving it. The food and photography are both tantalizing. Just look at her post on wheatberries! I wish her meals could magically appear on my table each day. They are simple, fresh and healthy. She says she "strives to eat foods that are fresh, healthy, natural, whole, organic and local (or as local as we can get)". She's a mom feeding young kids as well. Inspiring, indeed.

Speaking of local food, my garden is growing! But at this rate I think we might starve (or shop somewhere, obviously). I have one tomato and one snap pea. Yes, just one of each. Not exactly a bumper crop.

July 7, 2009

talking chicken

The other day at the grocery I noticed that the packages of chicken breasts were now being sold without the styrofoam trays. What a simple yet fantastic step in the right direction! Hopefully many more chicken producers and grocery stores will follow their lead.

July 6, 2009


This post may well be about one of the coolest things I've heard of yet. As a graphic designer, I'm prone to loving typography as well as clever solutions to big problems.

Ecofont was designed by a Dutch studio called SPRANQ . Ecofont is a typeface which has white circles within the letterforms. This ingenious approach enables you to use the font and then print documents with much less ink—without sacrificing legibility.

The font uses up to 20% less ink, and is free to download and free to use. Ecofont is based on Vera Sans, an Open Source letter, and is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

July 5, 2009

green on the go

A snap from an exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences.

While on a few recent summer adventures, I cannot help but notice the ease of recycling (and even composting!) or the lack thereof.

I spent some time last week at the California Academy of Sciences. Not only is the the building very green and not only do they have a great environmental awareness exhibit up currently, but they also make tossing waste into the right container a simple no-brainer. They offered attractive bins for recycling, trash and compost at every waste station.

This was also the scene at our recent jaunt to the Marin County Fair (the "Greenest County Fair On Earth"). Among many impressive efforts, they offered the obvious 3 bin waste stations throughout the fairgrounds which had receptacles for trash, recycling and composting.

Contrast that to some airports (large and small) we flew through recently where I could hardly find a place to put a recyclable bottle!

I can understand that many communities may not be set up for bulk composting yet, but I really can't understand why recycling the basics is not more commonplace everywhere. Mind boggling.

July 1, 2009

scotch brite greener clean

Have you seen the new line of sponges from Scotch-Brite called "Greener Clean?" They are sold in major stores (like Walmart and Target) and look ever-so eco-friendly, with the brown sponges and all.

I've been a bit obsessed with sponges lately, and I have to say that my curiosity started before I even considered eco-friendly alternatives to the scrub sponge. My main complaint was that the standard yellow sponge with green scrubber became quite stinky pretty quickly. I had a feeling (very unscientifically, mind you) that it was partly caused by the synthetic materials. Later, a friend told me about how some sponges are able to compost—and the rest is history. I've been obsessed ever since.

Which brings us back to the Scotch-Brite. I had high hopes based on the packaging wording, such as natural fiber. Upon closer inspection I saw the scrubbing side of the sponge is made with "50% natural agave plant." Which of course begs the question of what the other 50% is made of.

I called the company to find out. They said the other material was polyester. BOO!!

Despite that, I am actually glad the company has made a greener product. Using 23% recycled paper for the sponge side and almost all natural materials is a step in the right direction. The sponges do work well, I just can't compost them. They do have sponges without scrubbers in the same line that are able to compost.

In summary, if you want to compost your sponges, then buy something else. But if you are still using those green and yellow sponges (like most people who took my poll were) then I would suggest giving these new "greener" sponges a try.

* I have photos to post, but am experiencing a camera issue. I'll add them as soon as possible.

(Just a reminder, I do not get paid to write reviews. I write about green issues which I come across daily.)