Leave a comment

Winding Trails

Nature has always been restorative for me. If I’m stressed, tired, frustrated, sad, or perplexed, a simple walk through the woods always helped me to process my thoughts, clear my mind, and reconnect with what is truly important to me. I’ve seen the difference being in nature has on my own children–how it soothes and restores them to their happy selves. There are so many benefits to encouraging our children to play and learn outside that I feel it is time to start encouraging schools to integrate outdoor lessons into their curriculum. 

First, there are then many cognitive benefits of free play in nature. Children have better focus and do better in school. Free play encourages creativity, problem solving, critical thinking skills, and self discipline (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005).  Another benefit is simply helping children connect to what they are learning about. This lack of connection, according to Dr…

View original post 925 more words

Advertisements

Victim of Climate Change

5 Comments

Yardley, William. “Victim of Climate Change, a Town Seeks a Lifeline.” The New York Times 27 May 2007: n. pag. Print.

This article is on the impact climate change has had on Alaskan villages, specifically Newtok. Villages like Newtok are ancient places, populated with Native Alaskans who depend on the quality of the land, water, and animals for survival. Climate change caused Newtok to be cut off, and sink below sea level. Village elders wished to move the village, though the cost would have been over $400,000 per resident.

Native Alaskan villages seem worlds away from New York, where this newspaper is located, not just thousands of miles. A piece like this is significant because it gives readers around the world a perspective on what might come to be in their areas: barrier islands, beach communities on a coast, towns in low-lying areas. We have seen some of this happen in a big city with the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and most recently New Jersey and New York City during last fall’s Hurricane Sandy. As larger populations are affected, and more lives are disrupted, will these issues associated with climate chaos be addressed?

As I look at how my family can live more lightly on the earth articles like this show me that every little bit, every change I can make, has a ripple effect. The planet is one big eco-system and even small villages, flights away from cities, feel the impact on their culture. It concerns me that after this article was published U.S. citizens and businesses didn’t learn much. It didn’t really become part of the national conversation and it barely even because part of the conversation in Anchorage.

Leave a comment

Trash Backwards Blog

Yes, you can live without cling film and plastic wrap! Make your own reusable fabric and beeswax food wrap. 

Did you know that you can replace plastic wrap and  cling film (or whatever you call it) with fabric impregnated with beeswax? It’s true.

Inspired by posts at left-handed scissors and bcliving, I decided to give it a try and came up with an easy, no-mess system and solutions for my beginner mistakes.

What you’ll need:

  • Natural fiber fabric of your choice. I used some 100% cotton remnants I had on hand, but there are fabrics with much less impact than cotton – If you’re buying new, please consider an alternative to cotton. Synthetic fibers don’t blend well with beeswax, nor do you want them up close and personal with your food. Fibershedis a wonderful resource if you’re interested in the relationship between textiles, the environment, and local economies.
  • Beeswax. I…

View original post 776 more words

Leave a comment

Excellent chicken-keeping tips in this post from Scratch Cradle.

Scratch Cradle

IMGP9002edd

If you have chickens or are just getting started, here are ten tips for keeping your flock healthy in 2013.

1. Provide plenty of fresh water with ACV.

Whether you choose to provide an open waterer or water nipples or cups, make sure that your flock has plenty of water year round.  Keep waterers unfrozen with heated water bowls, uncoated light bulbs, or by bringing waterers into the house overnight.  Pour a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with the mother into each gallon of drinking water to improve nutrient absorption and keep the water clean longer.

11-week old Basque Hen pullet ranging

2.  Provide plenty of greens.

The orangey color of the yolk is from carotenoids derived from greens such as grass or alfalfa, as is the yellow of legs, skin, and beaks.  Make sure that they have access to fresh or dried greens year-round for their health and yours.

3. Provide animal protein.

Despite proud…

View original post 668 more words

Green Florida – Loxahatchee

2 Comments

 

Loxahatchee is a National Wildlife Refuge located in south Florida, with 221 square miles of Everglades habitat. Small roads take you to different area of the refuge though you’ll want to begin your visit at the small visitors center, boasting several interactive exhibits, including  a simulated airboat.

My dad and Cormac headed out there at around 6 A.M. one morning during our vacation, planning to birdwatch and ride bicycles along the paths to look for alligators. Apparently this is something my dad often does when they’ve gone down there to visit because Loxahatchee, in any given year, has as many as 257 species of birds using the refuge’s diverse wetland habitats, made up of canals and “swamp” areas. My parents have been avid bird watchers for as long as I can remember (and I remember being terrified as we crossed three lanes of Garden State Parkway traffic to sit by the side of the highway watching hawks) and I’ve been to Loxahatchee with them and my grandparents in the past.

20130104-170202.jpg

Cormac and Grandpa at the end of their morning wildlife bike ride.

It was too cold to see many alligators early in the morning, but Cormac got in a great ride and visit with his grandfather while testing out his new camera (see slightly blurry photos below) until the rest of us woke up and drove down. It was still a little cool but we had fun walking on the extensive boardwalk system through the cypress swamp and saw one large alligator off to the side of a small access road. On the way out we stopped at a large farmer’s market on the corner, enjoying boiled peanuts, fruit, organic cookies, and hot dogs.

20130104-170224.jpg

Big ol’ gator (he was a ways away – I zoomed in)

20130104-170306.jpg

Wetland grasses (photo courtesy of Cormac)

20130104-170327.jpg

Grasses and bird (photo courtesy of Cormac)

20130104-170357.jpg

photo bombed!