November's Green Good News

Sometimes being green is a downer. You can't buy this, you don't want your kids to eat that, you go ahead and use this but you can't help but think about the toxic whatsit it contains, and don't even get me started on climate change! While I'm a full believer in knowledge, transparency, and facing the cold hard facts, our brains pay more attention to the negative, and in the high stakes world of carcinogenic toxic chemicals and slow-motion planetary suicide the doom and gloom can become downright paralyzing! So here is some green good news for y'all. If you enjoy this post, please leave a comment. I'm thinking of making it a monthly series.

Uncommon tactics (

How Texas activists beat the well-financed oil and gas industry to pass a fracking ban. By far my favorite story, and proof that ingenuity and wit can trump money in politics! Let's all take a page from their play book, shall we?
"A behind-the-scenes look at the anti-fracking campaign reveals how a relatively tiny group of combatants relied on creative tactics and political gimmickry to outmaneuver pro-fracking forces that outspent them 10-to-1. Their arsenal included puppet shows, flash mob-style improvisational dances and coffin races...The strategy worked. Voters approved the ban 59 percent to 41."

Click here to continue reading at The Green Phone Booth

photo credit: marcusjroberts via photopin cc

Is Your Home Shoeless? 3 Critical Reasons to Leave Shoes at the Door

As we enter the winter months and the holidays, keeping shoes out of your home can become a little more challenging. But the benefits are worth it! Removing your shoes (and encouraging your guests to do likewise) reduces the amount of toxic pollutants in your home, decreases the time and money you spend on cleaning, and promotes the development of healthier stronger feet.

Wild Mint Shop Helps Parents Avoid Toxins in Toys

This post was sponsored by Green Sisterhood. All opinions are my own.

Every holiday there are headlines about the toxic chemicals that can be found in children's toys. While some progress has been made in recent years, there are still plenty of materials to avoid. This situation presents many dilemmas for parents and gift-givers.

Let's say:

You want to purchase an open-ended well-crafted toy for a child you love, but when you browse the toy sections online or at major retailers, you can't figure out if the manufacturer uses safe materials.
Your mother-in-law is planning to buy a gift for her grandbaby, and you are worried she'll choose one you don't feel comfortable letting your baby play with and mouth.
Your child received cash as a gift that she plans to spend on a toy, and you want to guide her towards a non-toxic, sustainably-made toy without being a micromanaging negative controlling-pants.

What is the answer for all of these dilemmas?

Wild Mint

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude with (or without) Kids

Gratitude: the consummate antidote to consumerism. Gratitude is also one of the keys to living a happy, meaningful life, and a trait I hope to model for and foster within my children. Ironically, difficulty and scarcity seem to inspire gratitude more than abundance, and I am often frustrated by my own children's lack of gratitude. So in my readings on happiness and mindfulness, I pay special attention to the suggestions for practicing gratitude and establishing habits of thankfulness.

November and the Thanksgiving holiday are the perfect season to focus on gratitude. Here are 5 ways to practice gratitude this month with (or without) kids.

The Gratitude Tree

We did this last year and plan to do it again this year. You can find lots of elaborate ideas on Pinterest. I chose to keep it pretty simple: I drew a tree trunk and branches on a poster, cut out leaves in fall colors, and then wrote words on the leaves. On family night, we gave each of our kids several leaves and let them glue them on the tree after writing (with our assistance if needed) something they were grateful for on each leaf. After that, I kept a little box of leaves and a marker around so they could add leaves to the tree throughout the month as they thought of new things to add.


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