No More Baby BPA in Maryland: 46 to 0

February 25th, 2010

Talk about a rout! The BPA vote sailed through the Maryland Senate this morning, on a vote of 46 to 0. Wow.

You can read more about it in this piece from the Baltimore Sun.

Congrats to everyone who has worked so hard to get this legislation passed!

– Lynn

BPA for Babies? Say No in Maryland: NOW!

February 24th, 2010

If you’re been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve written about the debate over BPA a lot over the past two years – like here, there, here and there, for starters! I’ve talked about BPA in The Washington Post and on many other great green blogs.

Now it’s time to do something.

We now know that BPA traces are found not only in adult bodies, but in the blood of newborns,  thanks to “Body Burden” tests  conducted by The Environmental Working Group.

But the fact is, to avoid BPA in Maryland, you need to be savvy. You need to be a Mom who is educated about chemicals and the risks they pose, and one who is willing to seek out BPA-free products, which typically are more expensive than products containing BPA.

I think it’s a social justice issue. Why should only educated, affluent women be able to choose BPA-free products for their kids?

We can change this in Maryland. This week debate is expected to start on the BPA-Free Babies and Childrens Act. Let’s have Maryland join Canada, Minnesota and Connecticut in banning BPA in babies and childrens products.

Let’s stop experimenting on the weakest in our society – our babies and children.

What can you do? Click here to send an email  to your local delegate. It’s fast and easy.

What else? Tell your friends. Because not everyone knows about BPA, which hundreds of studies have linked to serious health problems, including obesity, heart disease, liver abnormalities, impaired brain development, cancer, and a number of reproductive problems.

– Lynn

Copyright 2010 OrganicMania

Roses and Thorns

February 22nd, 2010

Say what you will about President Obama. He’s too liberal. He’s not liberal enough.  He needs to move to the center. He’s doing just fine. Whatever. But here’s what we can all agree on:  his family is cute.

So when I saw a Parade cover story  about the adorable Obamas, of course I read it. It was one of those “soft” pieces for which the White House press office was so roundly criticized, right around the time of the Inauguration.

What struck me about the article was a simple story about their family dinners. Each person at the table takes turns sharing the best thing that happened to them that day (the rose) and the worst thing (the thorn).  The joke was that Obama’s daughter Malia thought her dad had a “thorny job” as president.

Source: Freefoto.com

Source: Freefoto.com

We adopted the Roses and Thorns tradition a year ago, and it’s been a blessing for our family. It is such a low pressure way to find out what’s going on in my second grader’s life.  Our 3-year-old doesn’t understand the concept of thorns yet, but he does eagerly share his roses.

Apparently The First Lady has been telling the Rose and Thorns story again as part of her new anti-obesity campaign. As this great post explains, Roses and Thorns not only helps families connect, it encourages the proper expression of emotion – so that we talk about our feelings rather than eat them away…

Rose and Thorns…have you tried it yet?

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Green Valentines for Your Little (and Big) Kids

February 11th, 2010

With all the focus on “Snowmageddon” “Snowzilla” or whatever you decided to  call the two storms that hit the DC area this week, I actually forgot Valentine’s Day is coming up…!

Heck, between snow days (6), illness (2 days) and holidays (2), my kids will have missed 10 out of 11 consecutive school days!  So I think I can be forgiven for forgetting that those darling little Valentines need to be dutifully addressed to each classmate and brought into school next week!

But when I checked the school listserv today, I realized apparently I was the only one who had forgotten…a bunch of other parents had actually spent constructive time during the snow storms making Valentines cards with their kids!

What a great idea….and it’s not too late…

You can get fancy if you want, but in earlier years, when I’ve had my act together (no snow), I got  rave reviews from the preschool teachers with just the simplest of Valentines. Before my son could even cut out a heart shaped valentine, he cut circles, squares, oblong odd shapes – whatever he could muster – from red construction paper. Then I either wrote his name on each one or he stuck a sticker with his name on each Valentine.

The teachers and kids loved the home made Valentines. I loved doing a simple, easy craft with my child from materials that we already had at home. What’s more, I didn’t waste gas, consume unnecessary plastic, or have to spend bucks on silly Valentine’s cards.

C’mon…join me – it’s not too late – we can still get those Valentines cards made! And making – rather than buying – is just one simple way to show love to Mother Earth this Valentine’s Day!

Does your family have a Valentines tradition? Leave a comment and share!

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Coal: Can’t We Do Better?

February 8th, 2010

Lisa was right when she said this month’s Green Moms Carnival topic would challenge us.  Coal. It’s one of those things most of us take for granted. We don’t really think about coal – where it comes from, what it does, why we depend on it.  Oh sure, we think about climate change. We blog about climate change. But climate change is a topic that’s front and center in the media and the blogosphere. We think about the ramifications of climate change: rising sea levels, economic destabilization, melting polar ice caps and so on…

When I stopped and thought about it, I realized I knew very little about coal besides the fact that it accounted for most of our energy use in this country, was a main contributor to global warming, and made up a very dangerous life style for the coal miners in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere.  Oh, and when I was exposed to it for the first time via our family trip to see Thomas the Tank Engine, I coughed and coughed and coughed…

thomas

So I went straight to the US Department of Energy website, where I learned:

Coal is one of the true measures of the energy strength of the United States.  One quarter of the world’s coal reserves are found within the United States, and the energy content of the nation’s coal resources exceeds that of all the world’s known recoverable oil.

The text pretty quickly jumped into an explanation of all that the DoE is doing to try to counter-balance the negative impacts of coal.   “Innovative, low-cost environmental compliance technologies and efficiency-boosting innovations are being developed by the Energy Department’s Fossil Energy research program.

To tap the full potential of the nation’s enormous coal supplies, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy is working with the private sector to develop innovative technologies for an emission-free coal plant of the future.

This research and development program is pioneering more effective pollution controls for existing coal-fired power plants and an array of new technologies that would eliminate air and water pollutants from the next generation of power plants.  Research is also underway to capture the greenhouse gases emitted by coal plants and prevent them from entering the atmosphere.”

Let’s face it. Coal is dirty. “Clean coal” is a dream, not yet proven and with unforeseen consequences for our groundwater supplies.

More people have probably died from coal – from the  toxic pollution it spews into our air and our water – than from both world wars and the 1918 influenza combined.

Coal is destroying our landscape too. Mountain top removal means exactly what it sounds like. It’s horrible. And it’s irreversible.

mountiantopremoval

Can’t we do better than coal?

An entirely new, clean green economy is looking for investment, looking for opportunities to prove what it can do to make our nation more energy-independent and cleaner and greener. Solar. Wind. Hydrothermal. Even, dare I say, nuclear and natural gas – these are the way of the future.

Check out the other posts at the Green Moms Carnival on Coal, hosted today by Retro Housewife Goes Green.

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

It’s International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day on Saturday!

February 5th, 2010

ICFBD_021

Here in the DC region, people are counting on being snowed in tomorrow as we wake to more than two feet of snow.   But if you’ve got any ice cream in your freezer, you can call over to your closest neighbors (who are sure to be home!) and throw an Ice Cream for Breakfast Day party!

Held the first Saturday in February, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is exactly what it sounds like. A great excuse for a party! What began as a small gathering in upstate New York is now a worldwide event, but still very much under-the-radar!

Here’s more on the story from the “official” Ice Cream for Breakfast Day website.

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Ruth and a little boy named Joe. Ruth and Joe grew up in the
back of beyond in New York state where it was very very cold. Every winter between New Year’s Eve and
Passover, life in up-state New York got extremely boring, so their parents invented a holiday to brighten
up the dreary days of winter. It was called Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. This was a wonderful holiday for
children and parents alike because to celebrate you had to eat ice cream for breakfast on the first Saturday in
February.

Well, Ruth and Joe grew up and went away to a university. They made many friends and taught them all
about Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. After college Ruth had a roommate named Barry to whom she also told
about this tradition. Many years later, Barry met Itzah C. Kret in Washington, D.C. and converted him into an
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day observer.

Nobody has kept precise track but through word of mouth ICFBD has been celebrated in many homes, states
and countries all over the world. Some people give parties with musical instruments, others simply
celebrate with family members. There is no right or wrong so long as you follow the 3 plus 1 simple Ice
Cream for Breakfast Day Rules

(1) Eat ice cream
(2) for breakfast
(3) on the first Saturday in February

(4) spread the word

The rest is up to you!

As for me, I’m fortunate to be invited to the famous Barry’s party! But I’ve got to trek through all the snow, which may come up to Boo’s shoulders….so we’ll see if we make it. Actually, nothing keeps me from my ice cream, diet or not (at least not on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day).

Let me know if you spring for Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! (And yes, make it organic!)

Have fun!

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

The Green Moms Get Dirty with Coal. It’s the Next Carnival!

February 3rd, 2010

So what’s up with the Green Moms? Recovered from doing our very best to celebrate the holidays with Greener Traditions and ring in the New Year with Green Resolutions, we’re setting our sights on coal.   Sure, we’ve blogged about climate change before. We kicked off the carnival back in August ’08 with this carnival about climate change, before tackling it again and yet again.

But this time we’re getting down and dirty – we’ll be talking about coal in our next carnival on February 8th.  Oh, maybe some of us will cover the promise of “clean coal,” but it’s still dirty.

greenmoms1

For most of us, coal is an abstraction. Many of the @GreenMoms live in or near big cities like San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Portland, and elsewhere. But for some of us, coal is a real life, every day presence, like it is for Lisa of  Retro Housewife Goes Green, who hails from Oklahoma and who proposed the topic of this month’s carnival. She’ll be hosting the carnival on February 8th.

As Lisa explains, “Coal is a big issue to me in part because a year or so ago I learned we have a lot of coal ming a few hours east of me that is killing a lot of people, also even closer to me I have heard they are mining coal now but I can’t get my hands on all the info. But if they keep at it one of the most beautiful parts of this state will be gone and it is also where we have herds of wild bison that will be harmed and my town and other towns around here will have water shortages. That is why this is such an important topic for me, but I know this is kind of a big topic and can be hard for some bloggers so don’t feel like you have to do it.”

Well, let’s show Lisa we stand with her and we can take it on! If you’d like to contribute to the carnival, please send your post on coal to greenmomscarnival@gmail.com. We can’t promise all the submissions will be included, but we’ll try! Please remember to include in your post a link back to Lisa’s blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green and to the Green Moms Carnival home page.

– Lynn

Copyright 2010 OrganicMania