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26 posts from May 2012

May 07, 2012

Green Moms: DIY Baby Food


Baby foodGreen moms, you inspire us. This Mother's Day, we've got cost- and earth-saving tips just for you.

Tip #1: Learn how to make organic baby food

Albeit convenient, commercial baby foods are often chock-full of excess salt, sugars, and thickening agents.  

Instead of buying the pre-packaged slop, spend a bit more time in the produce section for a cost- and earth-saving solution, which will fill your baby with something better than modified food starch.  Here's how:

  1. Boil water for diced organic vegetables, or bake organic fruit of your choice in a 350 degree oven.  (Carrots, frozen or fresh peas, yams, apples, and pears are good and can be combined together or with mashed bananas or avocados for various flavor profiles.)
  2. When the fruit/vegetables are boiled through, strain most of the water out, and allow the fruit/vegetables to cool if you're feeding immediately after.
  3. Use a regular or hand blender to puree them.  Strain the puree to remove any seeds or peels.
  4. To store, spoon the puree into ice cube trays, and allow to freeze.
  5. When frozen, move the food cubes into respective labeled and dated ziplock bags. When you're ready, just take your desired cubes and defrost them to the appropriate temperature.

For additional recipes, Super Baby Food and The Petit Appetit Cookbook are the baby bibles, and if you're still too strapped for time to pull off the puree, there are some companies that are closer to DIY-products than mainstream brands.

Learn about other ways to involve your kids in environmental activism on The Green Life!

--Image from iStock/Teresa Kasprzycka

May 04, 2012

Movie Review: The City Dark

CITYDDVjacketFWhen filmmaker Ian Cheney moved to the Big Apple from rural Maine, he says he felt like he had "left something important behind." Cheney's new movie The City Dark is an attempt to answer this question: "What do we lose when we lose the night?"

The documentary tracks Cheney's quest, which takes him to the College Of Staten Island, where Professor Irving Robbins shares what it has been like for his Astronomy Department to gradually lose the night sky. "Since 1966 while living in Brooklyn, I've only seen the milky way twice — both times from a blackout," says Robbins. "I could not believe the heavens."

Next Cheney visits the owner of a lightbulb store in Hackensack, New Jersey. His grandfather knew Thomas Edison and he shares a crash course on the incredible evolution of lightbulbs from Edison's original 50 lumen bulb in 1879 to mercury-vapor lights, high-pressure sodium lights and finally today's metal halides, which produce 15,000 to 16,000 lumens.

Continue reading "Movie Review: The City Dark" »

Joaquin Sosa Wins Best Internship on Earth

 

Near the end of his application video, Joaquin Sosa claims that the opportunity to video-blog his exploits as Sierra Club's Outdoor Youth Ambassador "blows [his] mind." Well, consider the grey matter jolted. 

After carefully vetting hundreds of candidates for the Best Internship on Earth, the Sierra Club has announced that Sosa's creativity and enthusiasm stood out from the pack. The rising senior from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia will travel around the country this summer with the Club's Mission Outdoor programs and work with productions folks in our San Francisco office to document his journey through video. Plus, The North Face will outfit him with $2,000 dollars worth of schwag. 

Check back here this summer to watch his adventures unfold. 

May 03, 2012

The Joy of Gardening (for Kids): Make Applesauce

ApplesauceWe asked gardening-education experts Whitney Cohen and John Fisher to share tips from their new guide The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids (Timber Press, May 2012). This week, Cohen and Fisher will help your kids develop their green thumbs.

Tip #4: Harvest Applesauce

Getting kids to finish their fruits and veggies can sometimes be a challenge — but there are a few healthy snacks that most kids will devour. One of them is applesauce. Cohen and Fisher's recipe guarantees the tough work of growing an apple tree will not go to waste: 

"Here's what you'll need: 5 pounds of apples; 1 (32-ounce) jar apple juice; food mill, if available; large pot with lid; large fork or wooden spoon

Here's what you'll do:

1. If you have a food mill, simply cut the apples in half or, if they are very large, in quarters. If you do not have a food mill, core peel, and cut the apples into halves or quarters.

2. Pour about 1/2 inch of apple juice into a large pot, add the apples, and place over medium heat and cover.

3. When the cooking liquid starts to boil, uncover the pot. Cook the apples for about 30 minutes, stirring and mashing with a large fork [or] wooden spoon . . . until the apples reach your desired consistency.

4. If you have a food mill, pass the mixture through to get smooth applesauce. If not, simply mash up and enjoy a chunky applesauce."

--photo by iStock/creacart

What are your favorite garden recipes?

May 02, 2012

The Joy of Gardening (for Kids): Squash Edition

SquashWe asked gardening-education experts Whitney Cohen and John Fisher to share tips from their new guide The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids (Timber Press, May 2012). This week, Cohen and Fisher will help your kids develop their green thumbs.

Tip #3: Personalize Your Pumpkins

Cohen and Fisher tell us:

"There are not many vegetables that you can write your name on, but you can with squash. When your green little pumpkin is about 3 to 4 weeks old and still on the vine, take a blunt, point object like a nail or ballpoint pen and etch in a word or drawing. In the following weeks, you will see what you drew grow with the pumpkin."

--image by John Fisher

Any other ideas for customized plants? Leave a comment.

May 01, 2012

The Joy of Gardening (for Kids): The Playground

SlideWe asked gardening-education experts Whitney Cohen and John Fisher to share tips from their new guide The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids (Timber Press, May 2012). This week, Cohen and Fisher will help your kids develop their green thumbs.

Tip #2: Encourage Play

When in doubt, throw in a slide. One success story comes from a quick-on-her-feet mom who realized that her children's slide could double as an entrance to the garden. Once inside the garden, kids can collect building materials (bamboo shoots and plum tree branches) to build a teepee or fort.

--image by Sharon Danks

Do you have ideas for creating a garden playground? Leave a comment!


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