Ditch the Disposables Challenge – Sept. thru Oct. 2008

Ditch the Disposables ChallengeIt’s time for another green challenge here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess. I was thrilled with the participation in the 5-minute “Quickie” shower challenge over the summer and I hope we can do even better this time around!

For two months, September and October, I’m challenging you to Ditch the Disposables! We live in a society of convenience, where throw-away products are the norm rather than the exception. But all of the disposable products take resources and energy to produce and then, of course, get thrown away, filling up our landfills. All of this is bad news for the environment.

If you’d like to participate in this challenge, please select one or two (or more! – this can be as challenging as you want it to be) of your disposable products to ditch*, then leave a comment saying which disposable product(s) you will leave behind for two months in favor of an environmentally-friendly reusable product. Like in the last challenge, I will create a list in the sidebar linking to everyone’s blog. Of course, you don’t have to have a blog to participate. I realize that many of you probably are already living without some (many?) of these disposable products, but certainly nearly all of us can find at least one NEW thing we can give up in favor of something better for the earth. I’ll let ya know what I’m giving up in the comments soon.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

You can make the switch from:

  • Paper napkins to cloth napkins
  • Paper towels to cloth towels
  • Tissues to handkerchiefs
  • Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates
  • Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Sigg or Camelbak bottles or the Kleen Kanteen
  • Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Sigg or Camelbak
  • Plastic sandwich bags or paper lunch bags to reusable containers/bags
  • Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer)
  • Disposable dust rags to cloth rags
  • Disposable diapers to cloth diapers
  • Disposable wipes to cloth wipes (inexpensive plain washcloths work really well)
  • Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, Glad Rags, Luna Pads, Pretty Pads, or New Moon Pads, among others
  • Grocery store bags to reusable bags

Or, for the really adventurous:

  • Toilet paper to cloth wipes/washcloths (for #1 or #2 too if you are really, really adventurous)

Please feel free to spread the word about the challenge on your blog by adding the button linking back to this post. If you have other ideas for disposable products people can ditch, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Thanks and good luck!

I’ll host a few check in posts (every other Sunday if I can remember) throughout the two months so everyone can stop by and say how they are doing, and offer support and/or tips to others as well. Together we can Ditch the Disposables!

*When I say “ditch,” please know that I don’t mean throw them away. I want you to try making a lifestyle change from a disposable product you use regularly. If you want to save your disposables until the challenge is over, that’s your prerogative. You might also consider Freecycling them or donating them to a local charitable organization. I do suggest that whichever product(s) you choose to give up, you pack away until the challenge is over, lest you be tempted to use it/them.

Edited to add: For help kicking the paper towels habit, check out my post on SKOY cloths (with a giveaway).

Obama, the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash, and me

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After much deliberation, I finally decided on an outfit to wear last night (a black dress complete with – get this – a non-nursing bra!!!). I blew a kiss to my napping Julian and hugged and kissed my Ava and Jody (hubby) goodbye as I headed out for my first real night out on the town since Ava was born. It was a little hard to leave, but I knew the kids were in great hands with Jody and that there was nothing he couldn’t handle. Me and my girls (women I’ve known as a result of attachment parenting since the birth of our kids 4-ish years ago) – Melissa of Nature Deva, Heather of A Mama’s Blog and Julie of Chez Artz – caught a bus from Boulder and made our way to the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash at Trios Enoteca in Denver.

Me and my blogging girls
All dressed up for a night on the town – Mel, Heather, Julie and me

On the bus we ran into Jeremy Tanner who, upon overhearing our talk of blogging, Twitter and Facebook, asked if we were going to the blogger party too. Was it that obvious? 😉

When we got to the bar, we immediately met up with Amber from Crazy Bloggin Canuck and Mile High Mamas. She’s just as sweet and bubbly in person as she is online. 🙂 And honestly, everyone I met last night was nice as could be.

Not long after we got there, it was time to find the nearest TV and plunk down in front of it. Dozens of us bloggers gathered together (most of us squatting on the floor – which, in a dress, was interesting let me tell you) in the back room of the bar to watch Obama’s acceptance speech. There were many cheers and rounds of applause as the feeling of hope and desire for change was tangible in the room, which made up for the lack of feeling I had in my legs from the precarious way I was kneeling/squatting/sitting. But seriously, the speech was awesome. 🙂 Watching Obama on the TV from Trios Enoteca

After the speech, there were free drinks to be had, food to be eaten and more bloggers to meet. I met Laura (LaLa Girl) who I spent quite a bit of time chatting with and Suzanne (Crunchy Green Mom) who I Tweet with all of the time.
Blogging ladies
Back row: Laura, Heather, Julie, me Front row: Melissa and Amber

Blogging ladies 2
L to R: Julie, Amber, Melissa, Laura, Suzanne, me, Heather

In addition, I met Julie (Mothergoose Mouse), Amy (Inherent Passion), Aimee (Aimee Greeblemonkey ), Tara (I Quit for Ligit), Sarah (Imaginary Binky), a husband and wife (Tessa) from My Left Nutmeg (Connecticut’s Democrats’ blog), as well as others. On our way out to catch the bus, we briefly met Stephanie (Lawyer Mama), Glennia (The Silent I) from Momocrats and Heather (No Pasa Nada). Unfortunately, the BlogHers I hoped to meet up with too got stuck in Invesco and there were a few other bloggers who were at the party that I didn’t know were there and I didn’t get to talk to.

Other bloggers
Julie (Mothergoose Mouse), Amy (Inherent Passion), Aimee (Aimee Greeblemonkey)

Julie decided she had to have the hat in the picture below, so she did her best to sweet talk this blogger (from My Left Nutmeg) out of it, but he wouldn’t give in. Can ya blame him? 😉

Julie and the man in the hat

We soon learned that this man and his wife Tessa were visiting from Connecticut to cover the convention and three of us guest blogged for My Left Nutmeg

Blogging for My Left Nutmeg Bloggers

And, of course, I had to get my Tweet on. (Thanks to Tessa who let me steal her laptop for a bit.) I was trying to find the whereabouts of Erin and the rest of the BlogHers and Momocrats. Thanks to Twitter and Vdog, I found out Erin’s phone had died, but I was able to get in touch with Maria who told me they had a hard time getting out of Invesco and were exhausted and at Denny’s, grabbing some food before going back to their hotels.
Tweet, tweet

So I didn’t get to meet the BlogHers, but I did meet a few Momocrats on our way out to catch the bus back to Boulder.

I didn’t end up getting home until 2 a.m. (wow), but am happy to report that the kids and Jody did great. Jody even emailed me a time line this morning to report back last night’s family events. I didn’t ask for it (really, I didn’t – I know I have control issues, but c’mon), but I guess he knew I would appreciate it. ;)  The time line ended with this summary, “no melt downs. they played well with me, together, by themselves. only time jules really wanted mama was when ava accidentally dropped a book on his foot. how was your night?”

I’d call it a successful night all around. I’m thinking I definitely need to get out more often. Who’s going with me?

Thanks to MrLady and ZombyBoy (both whom I didn’t even get to meet – arg) for throwing such a great party. 🙂 Denver rocks!

Women’s issues, rights and equality

With the Democratic National Convention wrapping up last night and Women’s Equality Day, marking the 88th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, celebrated on Aug. 26, women’s issues have been a hot topic lately.

Kristin at Candy Sandwich received a work email Tuesday “from the Assistant Administrator of Diversity or something like that” announcing Women’s Equality Day. She notes, “For the record, I’m not sure I feel all that equal but that’s another story, for another time. I definitely don’t feel any more equal today than yesterday or last week.” Kristin goes on to wonder, even though she received an email “from the Assistant Administrator of Diversity or something like that,” just how Women’s Equality Day was supposed to be celebrated at her work.

In some of the buildings around here, we barely have bathrooms but as the current president proclaimed yesterday, in declaring the day, “I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate the achievements of women and observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.”

Bring on the appropriate programs and activities.

What were the “appropriate programs and activities?” Did you attend any? Do you know of any that took place?

Barbara from Looking 2 Live commented on Kristin’s post and remarked, “I always hate these ‘special’ days because they point out the fact that equality still doesn’t exist! For the life of me, I don’t see why there ever needed to be inequality. Maybe some day we will rise above things like gender and race. Not yet, however.”

Ashley at Let Me Entertain You is concerned about women’s rights and wrote yesterday about a proposed regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services “that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion.” In her post, she links to the ACLU where you have until Sept. 20 to publicly comment against the proposal by filling out a form.

I intend to do that just as soon as I finish this post and I encourage you, if women’s rights are important to you, to do that same.

Over at The Fashionable Bambino is a post about the Holistic Moms Network who is concerned that “Women’s Rights to Natural Childbirth Are Rapidly Disappearing.” HMN will be organizing a bunch of events around Labor Day to raise awareness a woman’s right to choose where and how she gives birth.

HMN is throwing its support behind Birth on Labor Day or BOLD – a global arts-based movement founded in 2006 by playwright Karen Brody. BOLD aims to inspire communities to create maternity friendly childbirth choices for mothers through presentations of Brody’s play “Birth.” The play tells the birth stories of eight women and paints an alarming picture of how low-risk, educated mothers are giving birth today. Over 100 performances of the play are happening in cities across America in September (see www.boldaction.org). Proceeds from the play are donated to local organizations that provide mother-friendly maternity care, in line with the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative.

You may well know that I’m a big advocate for women’s right to choose where and how they give birth and I am always glad to read of others joining in the fight to preserve that right.

At RH Reality Check, Allison Stevens is keeping a close eye on the Democratic National Convention and asks, “Will Michelle Obama be women’s rights activists best friend in the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt?”

As I reported in Women’s eNews, Obama says her top concern is issues facing women in the workplace — that is, pay discrimination and difficulties women have balancing the demands of work and family.

I agree that it would be wonderful to have a first lady championing for women’s rights.

Over at The Political Voices of Women, guest blogger Deb Della Piana from Turn Left asks women to Use Your Brains, Don’t Vote for McCain.

John McCain is no friend to women. … What really matters is the position of the presidential candidate. Casting your vote for McCain rather than Obama, out of some twisted sense of loyalty to Hillary Clinton, makes absolutely no sense. For the record, Hillary Clinton feels that way too. If, however, you want to set women’s rights back a few decades then pappy McCain is your man and the Republican party is your ticket.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, Pundit Mom live-blogged HRC’s powerful speech on Tuesday and there are over 50 comments from BlogHers with their reactions to it.

All of this goes to show that even though Tuesday was “Women’s Equality Day,” and we should definitely be thankful to all the women who came before us and made great strides to get us where we are today, we still have a long way to go until we will be truly equal.

Cross-posted yesterday on BlogHer

(FYI I wrote this before McCain had chosen Sarah Palin as his VP, which is why she isn’t mentioned in the article. That very well may be a post for another day.)

A night of firsts

Tonight is a night of firsts, some big firsts for this blogging mama.

disco.jpgFirst of all, I’m going out with my blogging friends – A Mama’s Blog, Chez Artz and Nature Deva – and I’m staying out past. the. kids’. bedtime. *Gasp* I know, right?! I’m still not sure how I swung this. 😉 This is the first time in 4 years that I will not be home to put the kids to bed. I’m not complaining because those were choices I made and I’m all good with them, but I am a little excited to have a night off. I’m a bit nervous about how it’s going to go for Jody (my husband), but I’m confident that he can handle it and I’m going to do my best not to worry. May the force be with you, Jody.

Secondly, this is the first time in my three-plus years of blogging that I’m going to attend a blogger event and meet some bloggers apart from those whom I already knew before they became bloggers and apart from a dance in Second Life. 😉 I’m going to the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash which is going on in the madhouse Denver during Obama’s acceptance speech tonight. We’re planning on taking a bus downtown and walking to the bar where the bash is being held. I’m crossing my fingers that with all of the road closures (including I-25), we’ll actually make it there. Once there, I hope to have the opportunity to meet up with some of the fabulous women I’ve gotten to know via their blogs and Twitter such as Queen of Spain, Crunchy Green Mom, Aimee Greeblemonkey, Amber from Mile High Mommas, several of the Momocrats like SoCal Mom and The Silent J, Imaginary Binky, GeekMommy,  Whiskey in my Sippy Cup (the host of the party), MotherGoose Mouse, Inherent Passion, Aviva from Parentopia, and others I’m sure I’ve overlooked. (Sorry!)

Of course, I’m not one to go out much. I live under a rock tend to stay in my comfort zone, so going out to an “upscale” wine bar is all new to me. Heather and I were discussing last night on Twitter what to wear. Business casual is recommended, but guess what – I haven’t had to dress in “business casual” attire in over 4 years and I JUST (as in a month or so ago) gave away most of my remaining (outdated) business casual duds. I tried on a couple pairs of black pants last night and a black dress that I have, but I’m not sold on any of them. I tend to go with comfort over style and my closet reflects that. And Jody has the car today so he can get home in time for me to take off for my night of fun, so I don’t have a way to go clothes shopping (unless I want to attempt public transportation twice in one day and try to wrangle the kids onto the bus to the mall or something). Way to leave it all to the last minute, but that’s how I roll. I hope I can pull something half-way decent together.

I’m also wondering if I should bring my camera. I think I will. I can’t go to an event as big as this without some documentation. 😉 But I’ll just take the point & shoot.

I wish I had business cards to take with me too, but that’s something I’m giving up on for this soiree. Next time.

So there ya have it. Amy’s big night out on the town, right in the middle of the Denver National Convention. 🙂 I’m excited about it.

We’ve had the DNC on the TV (PBS rocks) quite a bit the past few days. We (meaning me, Jody and often Ava) have watched Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Joe Biden’s speeches. When Obama showed up as a “surprise” last night, you should have seen the look on my 4-year-old daughter Ava’s face. She was thrilled. She said, “I thought Obama wasn’t going to be there until the other day!” I’m excited that she’s getting excited about this election too.

These are exciting times and this is going to be an exciting night. I can’t wait! 🙂 And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raid my closet – again.

The 5-Minute Shower Challenge comes to a close

After three hot summer months, we are nearing the end of the 5-Minute Shower Challenge (which was recently mentioned on Consumer Reports – woot!). I thought the turnout was great at over 110 participants. Thank you to everyone who gave it a go! You rawk!

As the challenge comes to a close, I have these questions for you:
A) How did you do? Was it easy? Hard? A pain in the ass?
B) After the challenge ends, will you continue to take shorter showers?

I recently started using a low-flow shower head (courtesy of USALandlord – it’s great BTW and I highly recommend you all replace your shower heads if you haven’t already) and have noticed that my shower times have gone up slightly. Overall, I’m sticking close to 5 minutes, though I do have the occasional day where I “need” to stand under the water for one or two minutes longer. (I know, for shame.) But there are also a couple of days every week where I go stinky au naturale and skip the shower all together so I feel like it all evens out. I plan to keep taking my quickies AKA 5-minute showers, even after the challenge ends.

I’ve got some ideas up my sleeves for future challenges. If you have any as well (especially ones that you think would kick ass), feel free to email me. 😉

Lastly, if you emailed me that you wanted to sign up for the challenge and I inadvertently never added you to the list (in the right sidebar), please drop me another email. I’d like to do one last blog about the challenge with links to all participants and don’t want to leave anyone out. Thanks. 🙂

From fresh fruit to tasty jam in 36 hours

Photography-wise, I only pulled out the P&S and I’ve got nothing to write home about this week. But as far as expanding my kitchen prowess goes, I’m very proud of these pictures. 🙂

On Saturday, we visited Berry Patch Farms where we ate picked organic strawberries and peaches, and had a great time doing so.
Ava’s strawberries 8/23/08Julian helps too 8/23/08
Julian and daddy having fun in the strawberry patch 8/23/08
I was determined to get some of the big ones up high, so up the tree I went:
Me, up a tree 8/23/08

Something like 4 lbs. of strawberries and 15 lbs. of peaches later, our bounty looked like this:
Strawberries and peaches we picked ourselves, plus a few other goodies from the farm store 8/23/08

Then it turned into this (after a fair bit of work) in the span of 36 hours:
Strawberry and peach jam - 8/24/08

That used up all of our strawberries, but we still have a LOT of peaches left that I may freeze or can as slices.

But the big deal here (at least to me) is that Sunday was my first time ever making jam or canning anything! While it was definitely a learning experience, it was also a lot of fun and I’m so proud of my first 10 little jars of jam. 🙂 Those 10 little jars are my choice for Best Shot Monday, although they are hard-pressed to compete against Mr. Strawberry-face up there. 😉

I will be blogging a step-by-step guide to canning jam (with pictures) in the near future, so if you want to get started canning be sure to check it out.

More Best Shot Monday pics

Rate your doctor, midwife & hospital on The Birth Survey

If you’ve given birth in the United States in the past three years, you are eligible to participate in The Birth Survey. Thanks to The Birth Survey: Transparency in Maternity Care, “women can now give consumer reviews of doctors, midwives, hospitals, and birth centers, learn about the choices and birth experiences of others, and view data on hospital and birth center standard practices and intervention rates.” If enough women take this survey, it could have a serious impact on maternity care in the U.S.

The survey was developed by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services or the CIMS. “Our goal is to give women a mechanism that can be used to share information about maternity care practices in their community while at the same time providing practitioners and institutions feedback for quality of care improvement efforts.”

tbs_button1_5×2.jpgFrom The Birth Survey:

We are dedicated to improving maternity care for all women. We will do this by 1) creating a higher level of transparency in maternity care so that women will be better able to make informed decisions about where and with whom to birth and 2) providing practitioners and hospitals with information that will aid in evaluating and improving quality of care.

Can I just say I really wish this type of resource had been available when I was pregnant with my daughter? If I had been able to read about my OB’s episiotomy rate for one, I think it may have helped me pass her by and find another doctor who’s intervention rates were more in line with the type of birth I was hoping to have. My doctor may be a great surgeon, but I felt that she was cut-happy and performed an unnecessary episiotomy that I still doesn’t feel right 4+ years later. Since my daughter was born more than 3 years ago I cannot complete the survey to rate this particular doctor, but boy, oh boy, do I wish I could to help other women with their choices.

However, on a positive note, I was able to rate the midwife that was in attendance for my son’s home birth 20 months ago. She received a glowing review from me and I am hopeful that the information I shared in the survey will influence women as well, just in the opposite direction.

The survey itself goes into quite a bit of detail about your prenatal care, labor, birth, and postpartum care with a doctor or midwife as well as asks you to rate the hospital or birthing center in which you gave birth (though you may complete it for home births as well – as I did – you just aren’t rating a facility in that case). I believe it took me about 30 minutes or so to complete. A very nice feature, especially for busy moms, is you have the option of saving your answers and returning to it later, something I definitely took advantage of.

I believe The Birth Survey has the potential to make a real impact on the maternity care in this country and I hope that many, many women will take advantage of it to share their experiences and their knowledge with other women. I really feel it is every woman’s duty to share her experience in an effort to educate others and, in turn, hopefully improve the quality of care. As Citizens for Midwifery points out, “For years, consumers have enthusiastically shared online reviews of movies, restaurants, products and services, but readily available information about maternity care providers and birth settings was nearly unattainable–but no longer.” Doesn’t it just make sense that there should be some sort of resource to compare care providers so that we can all make educated choices for our health and the health of our babies?

Heather at Meet the Heathons shares my excitement and optimism about the survey:

I am SO excited that this is FINALLY getting done. It was my dream as a public health graduate to do something like this. I’ve heard rumors that there are efforts to do this sort of thing for ALL types of medicine. So that say you needed a knee replacement, you could look up the hospital/doctor and see their success rate, compare prices, methods, etc… How AWESOME would that be. It would be one step towards changing health care in America– but I won’t get started on that one!

Giving Birth With Confidence says, “Hats off to the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, the incredible women working within community based birth networks throughout the US, and to all the women who are sharing their birth stories. Finally, there is hope that birth, and women’s decisions about care provider and place of birth, will no longer happen ‘in the dark.'”

Upon completion of the survey, I found it interesting and helpful that there were additional resources listed for women who may have experienced negative feelings about their birth while taking the survey. Had I been taking it for my daughter’s birth instead of my son’s, I am sure a lot of the anger and negative emotions I have had in the past about the care I received during that time may have been brought to the forefront. (Heck, I’m experiencing some of them just writing the little bit that I did about it.) While it sucks that women may experience these feelings, it’s good to know there are resources available to help them deal with them.

If this survey brought up traumatic feelings for you regarding your labor, birth, or postpartum experience we encourage you to seek help from a licensed mental health professional who specializes in birth trauma. The following resources may also be helpful to you www.postpartum.net, www.ican-online.org, and Solace for Mothers.

Now let’s spread the word. Activistas says, “Share your story, voice your opinion, mamas. It’s important, and it feels really good (kind of like having a baby!). If you don’t, how will your experience help others?”

If you’ve given birth in the past three years, will you take The Birth Survey? Will you forward it on to your friends? Will you add a button to your blog? Let your voice be heard!

Other bloggers who have written about The Birth Survey:

Think Mama Think
Faith Walker
Mama Knows Breast
Finally Living Deliberately
…And a doula, too

Cross-posted on BlogHer

I CAN do it : Learning how to preserve foods

I’ve been wanting to learn how to can food for at least a couple of years now. I’ve done the freezing thing with veggies, soups, casseroles and spaghetti sauce, but I feel like my options are limited with freezing and it’s time to branch out. Oh, what I would give for a jar of delicious strawberry jam, made fresh at home, which is where, of course, canning comes in.

Mason jarsAbout two years ago some of my friends organized a “learn how to can” get together. We made grape jelly and each got to take a jar of it home. (Yum!) It was fun, but I really didn’t pay that close attention to the whole canning process (sorry, Nicole and Julie), and thus haven’t attempted it on my own yet knowing I still need to learn more about it.

I’d actually hoped I might get a one-on-one canning tutorial from my mom during our vacation to MI, but the blueberry farm that we hoped to visit didn’t open until the day we flew back home. Bugger.

A few months ago I started saving Mason jars from our spaghetti sauce, as well as jars from jam and other foods determined that this would be the year I would start canning. I have accumulated a pretty good collection of jars, but I still haven’t canned a thing. However, all of that is going to change this weekend!

strawberries.jpgWhile the organic strawberries I have growing in my little garden are great, or so I’m led to believe (my kids gobble them up just as soon as I pick them), I only had four plants to start out with this year and they aren’t nearly prolific enough yet. So when my friend Melissa said she and her family were planning on going to Berry Patch Farms to pick organic strawberries this weekend and wanted to know if anyone wanted to join them, I was chomping at the bit. I had hoped to visit that farm earlier in the season, but then a bad hail storm apparently wiped out their early crop. So now the plans have been made. The kids, Jody and I will be picking a slew of strawberries and I’m bound and determined to make them into jam. Lots of jam. (Oh, and they have raspberries and peaches too. Whee!)

Today or tomorrow I’m heading over to Ace Hardware where my canning goddess friend assures me they will have “everything I need” to get started. 🙂 Then, in preparation, I’ll be reading my new Ball Blue Book and about making jam.

I’m so excited! I hope the strawberry patch is full and ready for us Saturday morning (oh, and that I can get myself and my family out of the house at a decent time – that will be the real trick!). I’ll be sure to report back how the experience goes.

Have you done any canning? What are your favorite things to can? Have any tips for a newbie like me?

Slowing down to get well

Ever since getting back from Michigan, my family and I have been sicker than dogs. I’ve had a cold, then the stomach flu, then a return of the cold, then the stomach flu again. Ava’s puked, Julian’s puked, and Jody’s had stomach issues as well. Of course in the middle of all of this we’ve had friends from Georgia staying with us (fun for them) and Jody’s now traveling for work for the next several days. It’s been, um, interesting.

I think I’m finally over the worst of it and the kids are on the mend as well, but needless to say, blogging hasn’t been a priority. However, you can read something from me today about how going green has sometimes forced me to slow down and why this is a good thing over at 5 Minutes For Going Green. I’m also moderating over at API Speaks this week. If you haven’t been by there yet, I encourage you to check it out for lots of motivational, interesting, sometimes silly, and often sweet gentle parenting stories.