The Anatomy of A Fun, Family Eco Home

The Anatomy of A Fun, Family Eco Home

Of course, it’s very important to get a good balance in your home between being eco-friendly and making it a fun and pleasant space for family life to happen in. So to that end, here is a quick and simple guide on how to both ensure that your home is not putting too much of a strain on the environment, and is a comfortable haven for your family.

Insulation

One aspect of a family eco-house that you need to be on top of the insulation that you use. Why? Well because not only does it keep your kids warm in the winter and cold in the summer, but it also vastly reduces your heating and cooling bills as well.

This is because good insulation means it’s harder for the temperature in the air to be transferred out of the building, whether it’s hot or cold.

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You can insulate your home with spray foam, or fiber insulation. But an even more eco friendly method is to use insulative substances that are made from recycled glass. With the added benefit that these tend to be hypoallergenic as well.

Recycling

Obviously, recycling is a vital aspect of being green these days. But how can you make sure that you take every opportunity to do this in your home, while making it safe and pleasant for the kids?

Well first of all it can really help to have a designated recycling zone. Whether that is in the kitchen, utility room, or even outside. Then you know all of the waste is kept together one place and not taking over the house.

Secondly, it really can be beneficial to talk to the kids about why, and how to recycle and the dangers that it could pose to them. Such as cut from tin lids, or cross contamination of bacteria from raw meat packages that haven’t been washed properly.

Then they can get involved and help you to keep on top of this task too.

Solar power

Another important aspect of a fun, family friendly home is using power that is generated at cleanly as possible. Of course, you could always hook up the kids’ biked to the generator! But a more practical option would be to insist on solar panels from your home builders, when constructing a new new property, or install them yourself in your current home.

These then convert energy from the sun rays into usable electricity, meaning you can powder alo of the facility that you need without having to result electricity that gha been created by fossil fuels.

A Sustainable Garden

Lastly an arae of the home that can be both eco gr finely and fun is the garden. Here you can teach kids all about where the food comes from, and how to grow their own produce. Try easie thing at first like tomatoes, and carrots and then move on to more difficult project like peas and potato when they have gained some confidence.

You can also teach them about healthy eating and organic gardening and provide items for your family meals, all while making a minimal impact on the environment.

The Gizmos And Gadgets We Love In The Kitchen

The Gizmos And Gadgets We Love In The Kitchen

No twenty-first-century kitchen is complete without a plethora of amazing tech to help with the cooking. If you love healthy eating as much as we do, you might find you are often disappointed by the ranges carried by the supermarkets. No wonder more and more of us are enjoying home cooking. It offers us the food we want when we want it. No need to worry about additives, poorly sourced ingredients and unethical transport of produce.

Prepping

Food processors are an essential part of home cooking and preparing foods. They can help you create the size, shape and consistency you need for a wide range of recipes including ice-cream, butter, soup, and salads. Preparing vegetables can put many people off home cooking. We simply don’t have the energy for the time and hassle it causes when we’ve been at work all day. The humble food processor comes with many attachments to make light work of all your prepping and mixing needs.

This picture is from Flickr

Hand Blender

These mini blitzers can whip up a mousse, smooth out soup, whisk an egg and mash a banana smoothie. They’re really handy because they are small enough to pop away in the drawer when you’re not using them. Many parents with babies love these because you can pop in a small amount of your meal to puree for the baby. The whole device can fit into the pot or cup you’re using, then comes apart easily for washing.

Countertop Cookers

Anything that can offer a different texture or style of cooking is great when you cook for yourself. Websites like Healthy But Smart detail things like air fryers that offer a healthier way of getting that fried outer texture we all love. Single loaf bread machines are another favorite. You can control every last ingredient that goes in there, but you won’t have to mix or knead a thing! Add seeds, choose wholegrain flour, and even whip up a healthy pizza dough. Soup makers are like kettles, but they’ll whip you up a healthy veggie soup in minutes. Pick the consistency you want and enjoy your soup fresh every day.

 

This picture is from Pexels

Microwave Oven

These are most handy if you are a fan of batch cooking. Reheating single portions is what this beauty does best. Of course, most microwave ovens come with a wealth of programs and features to cook anything and (almost) everything you could want. Yes, you can cook scrambled eggs. Yes, you can enjoy hot, freshly popped popcorn. And yes, it is possible to enjoy healthy fish dishes and meats without succumbing to food poisoning. A handy food thermometer will confirm your food is cooked throughout.

The Almighty Slow Cooker

Perhaps one of the most popular kitchen worktop appliances available today is the slow cooker. They can cost less than a week’s grocery shopping. They cost almost nothing to run (nothing at all if you use your solar panels). Best of all, there are more and more tasty recipes available to make good use of this. It’s the most convenient way of enjoying fresh, home-cooked food when you’re too busy to cook. What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

 

 

This is a collaborative post with YourOrganicChild.com 

 

30 Totally Doable Ways to Be a Greener Parent

30 Totally Doable Ways to Be a Greener Parent

This is an article this month on Parents.com that Yourorganicchild.com was a contributor for.  

30 Totally Doable Ways to Be a Greener Parent

These 30 tips make it easy to be a greener parent—on Earth Day and year round.

We get it. Some days you actually feel like you’re Mother Earth and the weight of the world is on your shoulders. That’s why we came up with 30 small changes you can make that will lighten your load and your carbon footprint.From household hacks to money-saving tips to what kids should (and shouldn’t) be bringing to school, we consulted six experts—and did plenty of product-testing and soul-searching ourselves—to present you with these (totally easy!) ways to be a little bit greener as a family.

1. Cut back on red meat, which is detrimental not only to your health (it can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) but to the environment as well. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, cattle farming is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases and is a major source of deforestation. Consider swapping red meat for these delicious, kid-friendly chicken or turkey recipes instead.

2. Ditch the plastic bags. Nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste fill the oceans every year, but it’s easy to do your part to reduce that number if you keep a reusable one with you at all times—like this cute and charitable Earth Enthusiast tote from FEED or this compact grocery bag made in the USA from Maptote.

3. Plan a greener getaway. Be a family of responsible travelers by supporting small community-driven businesses wherever you go, flying with eco-friendly airlines like Jetblue and United—that make it easy to offset your trip’s carbon footprint in a few clicks!—and booking an environmentally conscious room with hospitality industry trailblazers like Kimpton and Starwood’s Element.

4. Don’t support fast fashion. Kids outgrow clothes so quickly, and given the environmental impact of making clothing, it’s more eco-friendly (and cost-conscious!) to embrace hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes. Try second-hand outdoor apparel shop Threadlyte as well as Luvmother for durable, sustainably sourced clothing that’s great for passing down to the next kid or your friend’s new baby.

5. Wash clothes in cold water. Your washer will use much less energy when it doesn’t have to heat up the wash water. (Bonus: You’ll save on your energy bill!)

6. Use a plant-derived laundry detergent free of artificial fragrances and sulfates—that’s gentle on baby’s skin and the planet, yet tough on stains—like Seventh Generation or Thieves.

7. Say bye-bye to chemical fabric softeners and dryer sheets and opt for handmade Wool Dryer Balls from Nurtured Sew Naturally, which makes long-lasting 100 percent Canadian wool balls that not only reduce static and wrinkles, but also save you money and loads of energy by cutting dryer time up to 50 percent.

8. Pack silverware and cloth napkins in your child’s lunch instead of plastic and paper. Also, opt for reusable containers (try ECOlunchbox(re)zip, or Stasher).

View the rest of the article at http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/green/totally-doable-ways-to-be-a-greener-parent/

Two Under Two? Here’s How You Can Make Life Easier

Two Under Two? Here’s How You Can Make Life Easier

 

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Looking after one baby is difficult enough, but when you have two little ones, it is likely to be one of the most demanding times of your life. Maybe you have twins, or perhaps you just had your babies close together- either way, two under two is no walk in the park. Not that it doesn’t come with a plus side, instead of starting again with another baby in a few years you get all of the hardest part out of the way all at once and within a couple of years can settle into a much more laid back lifestyle! But for now, here’s how you can make life easier with two kids under two.

Get The Right Stroller

The right stroller is essential when you have two little ones under the age of two. What exactly you will need will depend on whether your children are twins or varying ages. Check out the Caboose Sit and Stand stroller by Joovy for example, something like this would be ideal if you have a new baby and a fussy toddler who you’re taking out together! Plenty of space for the essentials that you need with two babies is also a must.

Sync Up Naps

If both babies are sleeping at separate times, it will leave you no time to get anything done. As soon as one is going down, the other will be waking up. Syncing up naptimes can make life much easier, this can be done once your younger child reaches around six months.

Hire Some Help

Two young kids mean double the laundry, double the dishes, double the toys. As a busy parent with a million and one things to do already, keeping on top of the house too can be a bit of a struggle. One or two days a week, how about hiring a cleaner or someone to help with laundry? It can take a huge weight off your mind and check off a couple of things off your never-ending checklist.

Make Some Time For You

While this might seem like an impossible task with two little ones, it’s so important to avoid burnout. Even just an hour or two for a hot bath and pamper session can make you feel a lot more relaxed and like yourself again. You could go out for a meal with your partner or even just put your feet up and have a takeaway without having to worry about the kids for an evening. You could hire a babysitter, or ask friends and family to help. If you and your partner are lucky enough to both sets of parents, how about them looking after one child each? Perfect if two young kids at a time is a bit too much for them. While it might only be a once in a blue moon situation if the chance does come up grab it with both hands and don’t feel guilty. You deserve some time off every now and again.

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This is a collaborative post with YourOrganicChild.com

Beware Of The Unicorn, Why You Might Not Want Your Kids To Drink The Latest Craze

Beware Of The Unicorn, Why You Might Not Want Your Kids To Drink The Latest Craze

It seems lately on every social media site there is a photo of someone drinking the new Unicorn Frappuccino. Either they really don’t know what’s in them or they really don’t care.  If you do care what your children drink you will want to know this. I’m glad this drink is only for a limited time, not that I think the other drinks they serve are healthy.  I know that I won’t buy it but to each their own.  For starters, it contains 1 1/2 times the amount of sugar that is recommended a day .

Here are the nutrition facts straight from Starbucks menu.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

(16 fl oz) Calories 410 Calories from Fat 140% Daily Value

*Total Fat 16g 25%

Saturated Fat 10g 50%

Trans Fat 0g 

Cholesterol 45mg 15%

 Sodium 230mg  10%

Total Carbohydrate 62g 21%

Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Sugars 59g  Protein 5g

Vitamin A 15%  Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 20% Iron 0%

Ingredients

Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Mango Syrup [Sugar, Water, Mango Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Turmeric, Gum Arabic], Blue Drizzle [White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides), Classic Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Sour Blue Powder (Citric Acid, Color [Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid])], Pink Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato)], Sour Blue Powder [Citric Acid, Color (Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid)].

Caffeine 0mg***Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.

 

Just by looking at it you can imagine the amount of sugar and fat that’s in it without even seeing the ingredients first.  From what I heard it’s a huge sugar rush.  Let me know what you think, have you tried it or would you?

 

 

Photo source: newsmax