It’s that time already! Christmas is just around the corner, and I’m on my bully pulpit again about toys made in China. There are two certainties regarding this issue: Babies and toddlers will put all toys in their mouth, and if the toy is from China we have no knowledge about how it was manufactured. On a recall site that I recently visited, ninety-eight percent of all recalled toys were made in China. Check out this new app:
RECALLS.GOV mobile application You can enter the product name in your phone and check toy recalls instantly from your home, daycare or store.
I’ve been researching this issue for a couple of years, and I understand the difficulty that retailers experience. One told me recently that if they went to market and purchased only toys made outside China, they could not be prepared for holiday shopping. SO SAD isn’t it, from a jobs standpoint alone. And, with all due respect to retailers, many of them are doing their best. It is important to keep letting them know that we have a preference for toys NOT made in China.
I’m not a purist – who can be? If you want to purchase the latest and most popular toy, it will most certainly be from a large toy company and likely be manufactured in China. Nevertheless, there are alternatives. Consider your local holiday fairs and festivals, where you can purchase from local vendors.
And, options online are improving:
China Free Christmas
Toys Made in USA/Amazon.com
Kids Toys Made in USA and Europe
Happy holidays and happy shopping! And remember, it may sound cliche, but our love and attention is the greatest gift we can give those wonderful grandchildren!
We have a few more weeks before school starts, a little more time to get those grandchildren outside.
My husband and I have been camping all summer, and here’s the good news. We are out there, GRANDPARENTS! Camping has been a passion for years, but this was the first year to see grandparents out en masse with their grandchildren. What a wonderful sight!
Well, when I say “camping” we’re not purists anymore. Hitting the 60’s made us consider an RV, so now we are traveling with a small RV – a camper on our pickup.
We can’t wait to take the grandchildren, who are still a little too young. If your bones don’t want to sleep on the ground anymore, or get dressed and trek to the bathroom in the middle of the night, there are many RV rental options. They come in all shapes and sizes, and equipped with various supplies. Check it out!
El Monte RV
Camping World RV
It may be getting a little late this year, as school will start soon in many states, but think about it and see if you can’t put this on your calendar for next summer – camping with the grandchildren! You won’t be alone.
Grandparents exposing those little ones to nature; we couldn’t leave a better legacy!
Recently I’ve been reading, Uprising For The Earth, by Osprey Orielle Lake. This is a wonderfully inspiring book, with a subtitle: Reconnecting Culture With Nature. It’s not so easy these days, as the two have grown apart.
I am fortunate to live on the Pacific North Coast of California, surrounded by rivers, ocean and woods, where my children were also raised. Frequently though, I think about the issues that Lake brings up in these quotes:
“What happens to us, TO OUR CHILDREN, in our urban centers when we experience primarily the smells of industry, smog, petroleum and chemicals? What happens to our native ears when left only with the sounds of cars, telephones, freeways and mechanization? What happens when our hands and eyes rest only upon human made things?…….Our human experience is dependent upon what influences our daily lives, and we are only beginning to take into account the consequences of depriving our children of direct communion with the Earth, and all the plant life and creatures.”
Uprising For The Earth
I know that we can’t all run from our lives in the cities, and it’s no longer just our locale that keeps kids indoors. City dwellers, or country folk, I would love to hear about your plans to compete this summer with your child/grandchild’s electronic tablet, i-Phone, and television. Thank you in advance for sharing on “comments.”
Why is it important to support local farmers?
“The loss of small family farms has dramatically reduced our supply of safe, fresh, sustainably-grown foods; it has contributed to the economic and social disintegration of rural communities; and it is eliminating an important aspect of our national heritage. If we lose our family farmers, we’ll lose the diversity in our food supply, and what we eat will be dictated to us by a few large corporations.”
Go to: Sustainable Table, to read entire article.
To find a Farmer’s Market in your area go to Local Harvest. Put in your zip code and you’re on your way!
To find out what’s in season year round, go to: Eat The Seasons
There is good news, however, in the same article above, “Over the last several years, there has been an explosion of interest in small family farms, local food, and the preservation of rural communities and their heritage. Chefs, food lovers, citizens, parents, activists, students and many others are coming together to rediscover the benefits of eating sustainably-raised, locally grown food.”
When you find a Farmers Market, take your grandchildren along. Turn it into an event, or if possible, take them to a farm. They will love it, and they need to know where their food comes from.
It’s only a stamp. How can it possibly make a difference?
It can, and it does make a difference. Choosing these stamps, and using them may seem like less than a drop in the ocean. But, there are no insignificant acts when we are working toward the goal of a cleaner and healthier earth. Small steps can change a culture.
Each stamp promotes a way to be “greener,” i.e. sharing rides, buying local, composting, etc. And, the graphics are great!
Like Nike says, “Just Do It.” The next time you need to get stamps, purchase these and start using them. You will never know who may have been inspired to change their lifestyle, or at least to think about greener issues. It’s all important, every step that we take toward a greener earth, and a healthier future for our children.
Cool sites to cruise with your grandchildren, then GET THEM OUTSIDE! The grandchildren are so attached to their electronic devices these days, that we may need to start with a really cool site that gets their attention. I believe the ones below do an incredible job of sparking an interest to GO OUTSIDE. As always, you will love the time together. ENJOY!
BIODIVERSITY American Museum of Natural History
THE GREEN SQUAD Kids taking action for greener, healthier schools.
FIELD TRIP EARTH Travel the world with your web browser – use the airplane cursor
EARTH RANGERS Kids taking action to help protect wildlife.
JOURNEY NORTH View migratory animals and report sightings from the field.