Mommy Greenest puts a voice—and a face—to the idea of gently persuasive, living-by-example, never judgmental, eco-friendly parenting.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I was inspired by the non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World to start looking at the products that I brought into my home and understanding how they affected the health of my children. Mommy Greenest was a way to share what I learned--and continue to learn--about the small things we can do to make our lives healthier. It's not scary, it's not impossible--it's really pretty fun!

What are 3 things you can teach other moms to make their lives more eco-friendly?

The quickest and easiest thing you can do is to read the labels on your cleaning products. Anything with a skull and crossbones shouldn't be in your cupboards. Replace poisons and pesticides with inexpensive, natural products. I clean my entire house with vinegar--it smells great and gets squeaky clean! The second thing is to assess how much packaged food your family is eating, and make a commitment to increase the amount of fresh foods you cook and feed them. Finally, take a look at the Environmental Working Group's "Clean 15/Dirty 12" lists and shop with those in mind. Avoiding the dirty dozen foods that are the most heavily laden with pesticides can reduce your family's exposure by 80%!

Where is your favorite place to shop for eco-friendly products?

If I had the time to do it regularly, the farmer's market. I have a bike with giant baskets on the sides and front, and when I first got it I vowed I would bike to the market once a week and fill up on local produce--that plan's been totally unsuccessful. We also subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture program occasionally. There is nothing better than getting a big box of summer fruit on your doorstep once a week! But my regular shopping spots are Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, both of which have plenty of offerings, supplements with what we grow in the garden.

What are you most looking forward to as a mom in 2013? Please include a link to a picture if it's relevant.

Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

This year, my resolution (once again) is to get my family meals under control with a menu calendar. It's been a week now's working! I sat down last Friday, looked at cookbooks, made a plan--and a shopping list. On Saturday I did all the shopping for the week, freezing any meat to be taken out two days before we would eat it. We have a dry erase calendar in the kitchen where I wrote the names of the dishes, including a few new ones they hadn't yet tried. (Like the recipe for French Onion Soup, which I just posted. Yum!) Yesterday, my 14-year-old son who is the pickiest eater on the planet said, "Mom, I really like the menu calendar. I liked all the dishes, except the soup." Guess you can't win 'em all!
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What's a delicious meal you can serve to your family when you're trying to lose weight?

Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

Soup has always been my go-to for weight-loss. I eat soup at least once a day, unless it's really hot. It's warm, it's yummy, and it fills you up without a lot of calories. I just posted a recipe for French Onion Soup which includes cheese and toast--carbs are the first thing to go when I'm trying to lose weight. To make this a great recipe for your family and for weight loss, just drop the toast from the recipe and use less cheese. I'm also posting a modified Minimizing Miso Soup recipe that you can make anywhere there's hot water--even work. It's great!
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