Holiday green finds

We found a gingerbread house at the library made entirely of cardboard and paper. The oversized peppermints are paper plates, the red and white checkered path–computer paper. If you strain through the window you can see a precious tiny face.

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The greenness of a child

  1. All her clothes, shoes, books and toys have been second hand except for a few gifts from family members up to year three. My goal was not to purchase new. There was no baby shower.
  2. We used cloth diapers. She’s potty trained but still wears diapers at night. They are still cloth. We use four of them now at a time. She can’t walk when she wears four. But she’s sleeping so she doesn’t need to walk.
  3. I nursed.
  4. I bought all her food at the Wisconsin farmer’s market before she had teeth and purreed it, froze it in ice cube trays and fed it to her. The baby food I did purchase came from the Amish Salvage store in glass which I later sold on Craig’s list to a girl for her wedding. She placed candles in the tiny jars for table settings.
  5. Rather than have our own pool, this kid is a member of the YMCA, a community program that shares resources with other families, including one pool.
  6. The holiday decorations that we now put up are second hand (except for the potted tree/plant) that belonged to my mother or my grandmother. I found some brand new green and red streamers in the trash behind the elementary school.
  7. She knows what the recycling bin is and goes there first before putting something in the trash.
  8. She believes all food scraps go in the compost bin on the counter, not in the trash.
  9. She thinks everyone uses handmade wipes from old white t-shirts for cleaning up spills or as toilet paper and cloth napkins are the norm. Paper towels aren’t in the house.
  10. We do not buy books or videos but use the public library instead.
  11. As of year three, we have not thrown a birthday party, though I know there is a way to throw a green party. Instead, I made cake or cupcakes myself. We reused the candles from the year before and visited the beach or the park. Maybe next year, I’ll challenge myself to see if I can throw a party “green.”
  12. So far, this kid has not cost an arm and a leg and has implemented right into our green lifestlye. I foresee her main cost being education. But again, if I can teach her to swim or speak another language myself, I have every intention to try until I’m tapped out and she surpasses me. That’s what tutors are for.
  13. Unlike the swish of the fairy wand she holds, my little green bug will not be able to change the world alone. But one day she will connect with all the other green bugs brought up by green-ish parents who are also teaching their children the value of resourses and not to waste them, to reuse rather than buy new and to tread lightly…
    I do feel I am fighting a loosing battle here. ESPECIALLY here, when I look around Miami at the waste and I feel I am wasting my time doing all the things I do.
    IMG_7295But then I see her face.
    She’s learning from me by what I DO, even more than what I say.Then I see her face…

    How can I not try?
    As they say on ONCE UPON A TIME—We have to give her her best chance.IMG_6772


From cheese to candles

Not ready to give up my soft cheeses that come in the red wax just yet. So, I melted the wax down and made candles out of them.


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Happy Holidays

While unpacking last spring, I ran across this card from my niece whom we lost in 2012 at 12 years old.

I don’t know when she created it for me. It must have been before I got married as there is no mention of anyone but me on the card.

It was as if a quiet whisper of her voice rang through my ears encompassing me in peace and love for that moment. All I could see was her smile.

When I find things like this randomly, I believe she left them for me in that very spot for me to find.


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Handmade Harry Potter house

My cousin built this AMAZING Harry Potter house in 8 months from scratch, 80% of it from recycled and repurposed materials–Pringles containers, cardboard boxes, tissue paper, packing materials, small plastic tips off nasal spray. Many of these items he found in his own recycling bin, some out on the curb that folks had put out with the trash.



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Free teaching tool

By signing up on line and participating in the Recyclebank program that Jamie told me about (thank you Jamie), we get points for recycling every week. By answering surveys on line to learn more about recycling, I can accumulate even more points. The points can be used for various things—to buy items from a refurbished and green-ish store, a magazine subscription, every once in a blue moon a coupon for 10% off groceries at the grocery store, Publix, and lately to park at the beach for $1 all day, just to name a few.

I hadn’t received a magazine subscription in forever. In my opinion, it was something else to read, get rid of and just more waste.

But wait…

After I look through it, I can leave it at the V.A. Hospital for someone else to look through, recycle it, or use it as a teaching tool by cutting the pictures out which I find relaxing.



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Trying shampoo bars

So, no poo was a big fail. I wrote about that disaster here.
How about shampoo bars?

This is what I found.




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The tree we chose this year


The hunt for an environmentally sound tree starring Goldylocks.


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Commissary find

My husband sent this little nugget from the commissary on base while in Hawaii. A recycling bin sat beneath this advertisement for bags to be used again.
Kudos to the commissary!


Reusable advent calendar

Never introduced to the advent calendar until adult age, I adore the idea of it. Who wouldn’t want a tiny bite of chocolate each day to count off the days until Christmas?

I bought two this year! One chocolate and one reusable because unfortunately chocolate simply cannot be reused. Shame really…


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