Tag Archives: News

Celebrate World Oceans Day

June 8th is World Oceans Day, watch the video below and revel in the awesome beauty and power of our world seas.

Yet, all is not well.  It is easy to recognize environmental crises on our soil, i.e. toxic waste, harvest practices, and many others.  But the health of our oceans is not so evident, not in our face, like other issues.  Even for those of us who live on the coast, we look out upon an ocean that never seems to change.  But the changes are coming, and fast.

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Nine Problems Destroying Our Oceans (Photos)

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TAKE THE GRANDCHILDREN CAMPING

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!

Go RVing
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!

Toys – NOT MADE IN CHINA

Have you started Christmas shopping for those beautiful grandchildren?  Have you tried to purchase a toy not made in China?  Many of us have serious concerns these days about the safety of toys, and other baby/childhood products, especially those manufactured in China. We hear about recalls and potential health risks, yet the imports continue.  In 2010 Fisher-Price recalled 10 millions kids products – 10 MILLION! Mattel recalled 11 million!  I have accepted that we are on our own (must do our own research) and purchase accordingly.

This process is time-consuming, and frustrating, but I believe we have the longterm health of our grandchildren to consider. In this post I am sharing what I have discovered, in an effort to help others understand the risks of childhood products from China, and alternative resources where we can find manufacturers in the US, or other responsible countries.

Listed below are links to recent news (2010 – 2011) on toy recalls, and articles about hazardous and toxic toys:

Latest Toxic Toy Recalls, Lead and Cadmium

Toy Safety 2011  On this site you can research any toy by name or brand.

2011 Toy Recalls, Complete List

26th Annual “Trouble in Toyland” Report

The lists go on and on, and the farther you read the scarier it becomes!  You can type in keywords related to this issue and find hundreds of websites.  My personal concern is directed toward the chemical dangers.  We can obviously look at a toy and determine if it is inappropriate for age on many levels, but the chemical content is a hidden danger.  And, the damage does not even show up immediately.  Exposure to PVCs, (in plastics) lead, cadmium and other chemicals poses longterm, cumulative danger, in the form of learning and developmental disorders, cancer, and asthma, among myriad others.  Lead poisoning can affect children’s IQ levels.

Fortunately, there are alternatives, and the sources are dramatically improved from my research this time last year.  Look at these sites for safe toys:

Healthy Stuff Website

China Free Christmas  This is a great site that  lists hundreds of age appropriate toys, brands you can trust, and brands to watch carefully.

Top Ten Green Toys For Toddlers

There is no going back to the time when our parents knew that if a product was on the shelf in a retail store then it was safe.  We have to be vigilant. I will admit that I am not a purist.  In the past I have purchased toys from China, but the more research I do, the more determined I am to find safe  alternatives.  I understand the financial issue.  Toys made in China are usually much more affordable, but take a look at the volume of toys children receive at Christmas.  Perhaps it would be safer for the child, if Grandma and Grandpa purchased just one or two really healthy toys.

When you’re shopping, let the retailers in your city know your concerns.  It is working, by the way.  I’ve noticed that there are more alternative choices than ever this year.

Enjoy your holidays and happy shopping!

WHY ORGANIC?

Coming into the organic loop was a slow process for me.  A number of years ago I started reading labels on foods, and about the same time we began to hear that processed foods were probably not all that good for us.  So, I started to pay attention.  Not all at once, but gradually I stopped buying items that listed chemicals in their ingredients.  If I wasn’t sure what a word with eighteen (exaggerating) letters in it was, then I simply wouldn’t buy the product.  In today’s world, with our technology, smart phones, etc. we can simply check immediately while shopping in the store.

Putting this much effort into shopping may seem cumbersome or impractical, but let’s take a serious look at our priorities.  We’re talking about what goes into our bodies, our health!  And gone are the days, unfortunately, when we can just trust that if it’s on the shelf in the supermarket then it’s safe to buy.

Fortunately, over time and during the years when I grappled with whether to buy this product or that one, and which one had fewer chemicals, the organic revolution was coming on the scene.  And now, organic products seem to be everywhere, even in the mainstream supermarkets.  Along this path, I also discovered our local Farmers’ Markets, and my husband and I have now evolved into growing our own produce.   It may seem like a huge task, and there will be initial effort and a little expense, but once you’re set up, it’s easy, really!  Listed below are some websites that will help you get started.

GETTING STARTED – QUESTIONS TO ASK

GARDENING 101 – BASICS FOR BEGINNERS

ORGANIC GARDENING ON A BUDGET

COMPOSTING MADE EASY

I’ve chosen the sites above for their simplicity, especially for beginners. There is some work involved, but the process of growing your own food is another wonderful opportunity to get the grandchildren involved, and a great chance to see them more often.  Once the plants start to appear, they will be anxious to follow the whole process through the summer.  On the sidebar, you will see that I’ve listed several sites that relate specifically to gardening with kids.

We all know that gardening is fun and we benefit from getting our hands in the dirt and eating organic, but there is a much more serious side to “Why Organic?”
It’s the issue of pesticides.  They are still there – in our produce.  Back in the day, when I was unaware and trusting, I heard that DDT had been banned, and I some how translated that into the concept that all our produce was safe.  NOT!

On this website HELLO LIFE it is stated, “According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than one billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the U.S.”  One billion pounds! Of course it’s sticking to our produce, but where else is it going, into storm drains, water systems?  This site also states that,  “Approximately 100 percent of all fungicides, more than 50 percent of all herbicides and about 30 percent of all insecticides are known carcinogens and toxic to humans.”  I have also read from more than one source that pesticides are extremely dangerous to children.  

This is not happy news, but we can’t stick our heads in the sand.  I know that everyone of you wants to protect your family, and we can do something about this problem.  We don’t have to try and tackle the giant corporations making these chemicals, we can succeed, once again, by our behavior.  Choose to buy organic and grow your own food, and hopefully, in time the decisions we make will create change.

We’re the Boomers, we’re still here, and we still wield a lot of power by the consumer choices we make!