How Recycling Works

imageHave you ever wondered what happens to all those cans, containers and paper after they are hauled off for recycling? RecycleBank has several fun animations showing how it all works. They’re well done and especially great for helping kids understand the process.

RecycleBank

Thrifty Christmas Tips

image I’m absolutely shocked at what people seem to spend on Christmas presents these days! The idea of going into credit card debt for months after the holidays just to buy Christmas presents nearly knocks me off my chair! What ever happened to the days of Laura Ingalls where a hearty meal or a handmade doll was something special? When did we shift our focus from being with those we love to shopping ourselves to death and filling our homes with STUFF? I think we’ve bought into the lie that more is better and we’ve taken for granted the simple things. With the economy in the shape that it is hopefully more people will return to a life of simplicity where gratefulness and contentedness is the norm.
Christmas doesn’t have to be chaotic, expensive or stressful. Here are a few ideas for making your Christmas celebrations more peaceful and thrifty:

*Buy something that the person needs and would enjoy. - I remember how excited I was as a kid when I would get a new nightgown each Christmas. It was something I needed and because I grew up on hand-me-downs it was great to get something brand new!
*Give handmade gifts. I was totally excited when a good friend of mine gave me a set of fabric napkins that she had made. Not only are they a great way to save money, they’re a great GREEN option too!
*Don’t spend a lot on each person. - You might be surprised how far $20 can go!
*Give homemade goodies from the kitchen. Food and treats make excellent gifts because EVERYone eats! It’s a universal present! Some good ideas are cookies, fudge, home-made pasta, canned jellies, salsa, sweet breads, teas, or cookie mixes in a jar. It’s fun to get together a gift basket of things like these.
*Don’t be afraid to give something that’s been gently used. This is especially true of baby clothes and kids toys. This is after all one of the major themes of recycling (Reduce, REUSE, recycle). Most years we give our daughter something purchased from a garage sale and she loves getting something new to HER.

*Finally, take advantage of gift bags. I love gift bags because they’re reusable. As opposed to wrapping paper, they can be re-gifted many times before they need to be thrown out. I even re-use the tissue paper (unless it’s been torn). 

Making Lifestyle Changes

There’s nothing like today’s economy to get one thinking about their life and how they live it. If you’ve recently committed to making some changes in how you live, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you attempt to do too much you’ll just end up burned out. Believe me, I’ve tried! Remember that every change you make, no matter how small is still a change for the good. Eventually you will be able to look back and be amazed at all the progress you’ve made!

2. Keep things positive. Think about why you are making a change. This is helpful both for adults as well as children. For example:
We recycle to make good use of our resources. We want to create a cleaner planet and a better world for our children’s children.
We eat healthily because it’s better for our bodies. In reality, it’s tastier too! Once you’ve grown used to eating real whole food you look your appetite for processed foods.
We simplify our lives to help us better appreciate the simple things. Our society tells us that more is better. This just isn’t always true. Does having more “stuff” really make us happier or more at peace? If anything, it just gives us more to worry about.
Living differently than those around us doesn’t make us weird, it makes us unique. A clone isn’t likely to make a good revolutionary. Perhaps we will inspire others to consider a new lifestyle themselves!

3. Connect with like-minded people. It can be hard to keep up a resolution without someone to encourage you on.

SIDS Prevention

image Would you be surprised to know that SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is almost completely preventable? The name implies that the cause is unknown but in reality the cause has been known for about 12 years! SIDS occurs due to a couple reasons. First, studies have directly linked the Pertussis vaccine (in the DTP shot) to SIDS. According to a study quoted in The Vaccine Safety Manual, “70% of children who died of SIDS had received the pertussis vaccine within three weeks.” The pertussis vaccine can cause the baby’s breathing to be extremely strained. This introduces the second aspect of SIDS. Crib mattresses in the US are required by law to be treated with some sort of flame retardants, either chemical (like formaldehyde) or natural (such as wool). So what happens is the baby’s breathing is already stressed due to the Pertussis vaccine and then when the baby inhales toxic nerve gases emitted from his crib mattress it just becomes too much for his immature body to handle. The nerve gases are produced when a fungus develops in the mattress and ‘eats’ the flame retardants there. This would explain why the recommendations to have babies sleep on their backs in a well-ventilated room has ‘slightly’ decreased the occurrences of SIDS. Most cases of SIDS occur in the first few months of life. Fortunately you can take steps to prevent SIDS (or more accurately named, ‘Crib Death’) You can choose not to get the Pertussis vaccine (DTP). You can help by ‘wrapping’ your conventional crib mattress. This is done by wrapping the mattress with a polyethylene cover. This cover separates the baby from the toxic fumes. BabeSafe mattress covers can be found at Eve’s Best. They’re much cheaper than buying an organic mattress. I have yet to find them for full-size beds yet though. I would like to just buy a roll of food-grade polyethylene sheeting and use that to wrap all the mattresses in our house but I’m not sure where to get it. You can also buy organic mattresses wrapped in wool (a natural flame retardant).

So why isn’t this news widespread? There has been a LOT of money given for SIDS research! Like I’ve said before, it’s amazing how many things come down to money and greed!

Please help spread the word about SIDS/Crib Death! It’s so frustrating that parents aren’t even made aware of these facts! The media and the medical profession at large refuse to acknowledge these causes.

Sources:
PreventSids.org
“Vaccine Safety Manual: For Concerned Families and Health Practitioners” by Neil Z. Miller
Mattress Off-gassing Confusion on the Net
Research which confirms the toxic gas explanation for crib death
Cot Death: A Single Primary Cause

Our New Baby Girl

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write much on here. Things have been rather busy preparing for our new baby. Now that she’s here, it may take me a bit to transition back into writing again. Anyway, I just wanted to show you our new little addition, Katie Rose!
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While my plans for a home-birth didn’t go as planned I’m still so thankful for a healthy baby girl. I ended up having over 13 hours of horrific back labor and we weren’t able to get the baby turned. I ended up having a c-section which may just have saved the baby’s life. She was quite wedged in the birth canal.
I still firmly believe in home birth and in VBACs for those with a previous cesarean. Even though I didn’t get my VBAC I’m glad I was able to give it my best effort. Plus, I loved having a midwife care for me throughout my pregnancy. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

VBAC Information: International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)

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