The botanically-created and inspired Season’s Greenings train exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden, on display through January 3, has outdone itself with this year’s theme: “Pollination Station.” A gorgeous tribute to bees, butterflies, and bats and the leafy and petal-heavy beauties they pollinate, the plant-created world is as magical and whimsical as ever. As the images in our photoblog attest, the exhibit is a must-see for all local parents, especially those who want to inspire in their children a love of nature and a respect for all the world’s interdependent ecosystems. Read More
Since the April 2015 Growing Green Schools event, parents and school staff in Arlington Public Schools have made progress in school gardening efforts. Started in June 2015 and now running the first Monday of most months, the School Garden Meetups give parents, teachers, staff and community members an opportunity to share knowledge, discuss successes and challenges, and see different school garden and outdoor learning spaces around the county.
These are volunteer-led opportunities for interested parties to learn from one another about site-specific efforts around the county. In addition to this group, APS also has a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which was launched in 2012 with a team of volunteers from around the community. Now, there is new momentum toward funding a position to support all of these efforts. One of the just-released recommendations of the Science Advisory Committee is to “provide funding and support for one full-time Sustainability and Outdoor Learning Coordinator (SOLC) starting with the 2016-2017 school year.” Read More
If you’re tired of buying new gift wrap each year, only to throw it away or toss it in the recycle bin, take a DIY spin with these environmentally-friendly gift wrap ideas! Read More
The EWG Verified mark from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a new tool for health- and environmentally-conscious companies, both big and small, to communicate their brand objectives to consumers. Launched on October 27, 2015 the program seeks to provide greater transparency and information to the busy consumer. Mindful Healthy Life contributor Katie Cavanaugh and founder Jessica Haney were privileged to interview EWG Acting Director of Research Nneka Leiba to learn all the details, directly from the source, on how a company can obtain the EWG Verified mark.
Here in Metro DC, we have a long growing season. Potatoes can go into the ground in mid-March and can be harvested late into fall. In early November, my children and I pulled up sweet potatoes, carrots and beets. There was chard, kale, beets and lettuce in the garden, and a handful of peas. Dinner that night and breakfast the following morning included just-picked parsley and chives. My son kept saying, “I just can’t believe what a great sweet potato harvest that was!”
For now, with this mild weather, lots of greens are still doing well uncovered. However, it will get a little harder to grow without cold frames or a green house, but it’s easy to stay busy this winter learning and planting. Check out these gardening and eco-themed activities and resources throughout the year to support super-local eating! Read More
Purchasing from local small businesses gives you the satisfaction of knowing exactly where your dollars go, and many of the homegrown DC-area companies in this gift guide are on the cutting edge of sustainable manufacturing as well, which means buying their products over mass-produced items made far away is scoring a win for the environment. So whether you’re shopping for a holiday, for a host/hostess gift, or just looking to restock your cupboards with products you can feel good about, our list contains some local gems as well as some unique national companies we admire.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which many readers already rely on for its tremendous Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, is rolling out a new program. Launched on October 27, EWG Verified: For Your Health will provide a new level of verification and allow qualifying products to display the EWG Verified symbol at the point of sale. Being able to look at a product and know immediately about the safety of its contents will be a tremendous benefit to health-conscious parents who are short on time in general, and especially while shopping with little ones!
This morning, the new Arlington location of MOM’s Organic Market opened to a great crowd. If you haven’t made it there yet, take our virtual tour in this photoblog!
Independence Day brings lots of great activities but also lots of opportunities to come into contact with toxins. Pregnant women and parents with young children might want to pay some extra attention to the additional toxins their little ones are exposed to at this time of year. While no one likes a Debbie Downer, being mindful of our health is not the same as denying yourself and your family a fun time. Getting sick is certainly no fun!
Most kids and adults can handle occasional treats, but toxins do accumulate in all of us. We know from the Environmental Working Group that babies are born now with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood, including BPA. Adults and children who are already compromised in some way or who have poor detoxification for genetic reasons, liver issues, or unhealthy diet would be served well by paying attention to their choices this holiday.
Although most things in moderation can be tolerated by most people, here are some of the issues those with young children and compromised systems might want to consider to stay safe and healthy.