Green Lifestyle Changes

http://www.greenlifestylechanges.com/

We have 3 children & write about everything from cloth diapers to camping, gardening, solar panels, carbon footprints and embodied energy. Some posts are health, some energy and sometimes political. My husband & I want to help others start living...

What's a fun way to repurpose household items into toys or crafts?

Do you know any great children's books that teach kids about being eco-friendly?

What organic or healthy snacks do your kids love? Please share a link to a recipe if you have one.

What's an easy, eco-friendly habit that could help families save money?

Alicia Hunt

Pack kids lunches with fewer single-use items. Single-serve fruit cups are much more expensive than getting an assortment of reusable containers and larger jars of fruit. Buying a few metal water bottles & reusable drink bottles and filling with milk and juice is cheaper than sending in juice boxes or juice pouches. Cloth napkins (yes, in kids lunches) that go in the laundry are cheaper than paper that get thrown away (if you & the school janitor are lucky) and teaching your kids to bring their plastic forks and spoons home to go in the dishwasher and be reused saves on buying more all the time! We provide all the how-to details on our blog, twice in fact! Attached is the post that talks specifically about making your own fruit cups (takes about 30 seconds) and a brand of resealable spill-proof cups that we've had a lot of success with.
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Do you have any tips for managing the mail so that it does not pile up?

Alicia Hunt

I have a standing file with folders - to pay - to read - to decide - for partner/husband/other person - coupons & specials I try to look at the mail right away, and then file what goes where and recycle all inserts, envelopes, etc immediately. About once a week I go through the files and deal with everything i couldn't deal with when it first came in.
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How do you keep your kids involved with chores?

Alicia Hunt

We have created a chart for the children, with different activities that they do, with the days they are supposed to do each chore in white, and the others in grey. Then they put a check when they do the chore. This allows for flexibility, sometimes they do laundry or empty the dishwasher on a day they were not assigned, but they can still have credit for it. Also, we like to make sure the chores include good things that we want them to learn about, like hanging the laundry out to dry, watering the garden, weeding the garden or taking out the recycling. We include even the youngest in these activities too. The blog post attach includes a video of teaching our toddler to recycle!
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At what age did you (or would you) give your child a cell phone? (Please include any contracts or conditions you gave your child with this use)

Alicia Hunt

Our eldest children are only in 3rd grade. I suspect that when they are in middle school (6th grade) we will give them a cell phones, most likely with texting. I'll monitor their usage and possibly put some restrictions on it, but at that point I'll want to reach them at my convenience, not just theirs. However, their may be restrictions by their schools or afterschool programs, so we'll have to decide when the time comes.
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