Eco-whatever

Okay - so maybe you've been inundated with Eco-friendliness - maybe you're even pretty Eco-conscious already, and I thoroughly applaud you for it, but if you're like me, it's a struggle sometimes. Convenience is so, well - convenient.

I want to be the mom who cloth diapers her kiddos, feeds them organic fruits and veggies, bakes my own bread and wears all-natural clothing - but hey, we're on a military salary here.

Though I recognize that over time many of these things pay for themselves, the initial outlay is impossible, particularly when my budget post-bills, gas and groceries is exactly $0. There is no room in our paycheck for large cash outlays right now. (I say our paycheck because though it comes in DH's name, I'm in charge of the books.)

When we got our tax refund (uh, yeah - I filed like five minutes after we received our W-2) we bought ourselves a new mattress (it actually felt like rolling up and downhill when we tried to snuggle at night) and socked the rest away into an emergency fund. When you live paycheck to paycheck, these tend to come up a lot.

To back up a little - we do what we can to help save our planet. I recycle most of the time, and we reuse and repurpose like crazy around here. (Those plastic coffee cans and wipes holders are pretty darn versatile.) I even use an old sheet cake pan thats lost its perfect rectangular shape as a moon-sand station, (and if your kids are playing with it, you know that the stuff gets everywhere!) We are huge fans of freecycle and craigslist, you may remember that I've mentioned that before. I've given away old couches and purchased bedroom sets, and even did an entire spring cleaning with the help of these two sites. We take short showers and only run the washer when it's full. I am pretty strict about turning off the lights. (If you aren't in the room, what on earth is the light doing for you anyway?) I even use old gift-bags to store toys with lots of parts - this keeps the pieces together and makes it easy to tote up and down the stairs. We keep our thermostat at 72 during the day and turn it down to 65 at night on the really cold nights and altogether off otherwise (no worries, people - I keep the kids warm with plush jammies and cozy blankets.) No to mention that we donate, donate, donate.

Even so - I want to do more. And now for the part that is So Cool:

Here are a few places, sites and organizations that can make being a little green a little easier.

Teensygreen I love this blog. Stefani is the kind of person I wish lived in my neighborhood. (Coffee?) Her blog has a great low-key, unpushy vibe, but is absolutely entertaining and even, dare I say, educational?

Do the Green Thing is a so cool Brit-thing that I highly recommend. Videos, ideas, neat sayings, images, games, and social networking, all in the name of eco-conciousness! Rah, Rah!

Miracle Diapers is a non-profit helping to save the world, one baby bottom at a time. By helping needy families with the prohibitive start-up cost of cloth diapering (literally mailing out a start-up kit) as long as they are willing to send it back when done, these people (who are utterly amazing!) are trying to do something about landfill overflow from disposable diapers - you don't want to know just how long it takes for those nasty things to decompose!

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Totally Truthy Tuesday





Okay - I think it's pretty funny that immediately after I complained about vicious campaign smearing, it became a media darling. ie, that's all any of the pundits could talk about. Finger on the pulse, that's me. I've been away for a few weeks, and when I say "away", I mean, home, taking care of sick children, and then taking care of sick me. I know it's bad form to abandon my blog for so long, and I totally apologize. I haven't any particularly good excuses, but please understand that my sleep threshold is hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of four hours per night, and not consecutively. My brain is like mush, and clever repartee is a little beyond me these days.



Because of that, I want to refer my readers, (all three of you, lol) to my fave news site, truthout, which is an awesome way to catch up on the latest political powerplays, scandals, truth-mongering, etc. They are a non-ad supported site, so they rely on reader donations to keep their presence on the web. I think that just may be why I like them so much. There's no worry that they'll be trying to please a sponsor, so you know that any bias hasn't been bought!


According to the people behind the domain (Marc Ash and Scott Galindez): "Truthout is a full-service news agency dedicated to establishing a powerful, stable voice for independent journalism. The core of our mission is educational, as we believe the biggest impediment to responsible decision-making is a lack of information. We provide citizens with reader-supported news instead of advertiser-supported news. Our direction is one of social progress, as we attempt to shed light on issues of vital interest to the community such as health care, the environment, international relations and human rights." In other words, in-depth research and personal passion are the dominating forces behind the articles you'll find there.



Check out articles like "Iraq War's Cost: Loss of US Power, Prestige and Influence" By Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers, or "Tibet and the Ghosts of Tiananmen" By Bill Powell, Time - or "Spitzer's Shame Is Wall Street's Gain" By Robert Scheer, Truthdig (I really enjoyed this one.)


Thanks for understanding that I am a total wipe-out and I hope to get better. In the meantime feel free to subscribe to truthout's newsletter, and maybe even send a donation their way!

One last thing, muchas gracias to Redkid for their fab and free image generator. Notice the fun airplane at the top of the post? Courtesy of Redkid. It's a great site for junior high and elementary school-age kids; with games, school-project help, message boards, free blog-hosting, pen-pal database, nickname generator and tons (really) more. I highly recommend this site. It's a personal fave - and if you're curious, my newest nickname is "Greenie pie".



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