Sunday, November 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
You can grow these herbs in your very own home and begin making your own beauty products today.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Keeping a child entertained is never easy, as parents and guardians have to avoid exposing a baby to dangerous pieces or chemical substances that are on practically everything. Besides this, they have to make sure the toys have a positive influence on growth and development. However, you can avoid most pitfalls by going for eco-friendly toys for toddlers. Here is what you need to know.
Best Plastic Toys
Most toys found in our homes are made of plastics, because parents find them cheap, easy to clean or maintain, durable and to some extent, we can say that it’s because they're easily found in kids' playstores. However, there are harmful substances like PVC, VOC and lead found in most plastic toys, not excluding the highly regarded brands. Although it takes an expert to identify the safe to use brands, there are many websites and publications that can help you make the right decisions when it comes to plastic play toys.
Since babies like putting things into their mouths, parents should consider toys made from recycled or natural wood. Talk about killing two birds with one stone; entertaining your kids in a safe way and promoting environmental concerns. Sustainable wood products especially those made from organic rubber are not only safe but also durable.
Organic Cloth or Plush
In terms of the safest play pieces, organic toys or plush ones are among the top brands. However, parents shouldn't overlook the fact that some brands made from organic, hemp, cotton or wool contain chemicals and dyes that can harm a child. Guardians should look out for certified organic cloth and plush eco-friendly toys for babies.
Although battery-powered toys excite most babies, they should be discouraged, because they hinder creative minds. Baby toys should encourage them to do things on their own, given that when children pushes, pulls or moves objects around, it helps improve their eye-hand coordination. Batteries have toxic metal compounds dangerous to the health of little ones, and they also degrade our environment, as they're among the hardest to dispose of waste materials.
There are many ways to make sure that children have minimal exposure to harmful toys. Going natural is a way of maintaining safe standards. However, you should go the extra mile to read labels carefully and avoid those with toxic finishes. You can also convert things like empty boxes, and other safe to use objects in your home, or simply buy fewer practical, durable and safe to use toys that can be passed down from generation to generation as a measure of minimizing exposure to harmful toys. The idea is to look for the best alternatives when you want to keep babies entertained. On the other hand, you're better off playing with your kids as well, as this not only helps develop stronger bonds, but also allows the child to play under your supervision, which is the best way to keep them safe while playing.
The end result of any play time should be a healthier baby and this task is always simpler when the choice is safe, healthy and eco-friendly.
Black and Into Green Readers, if you liked this post, you have Joseph Rodriguez of Guest Post U to thank. Joseph writes about parenting tips and child development. His recent work is on his plans to earn an online mba in healthcare management. It is good to know that there are environmentally friendly healthcare administrators in the college pipeline! If you occasionally need support with your writing and blogging, you too can use the services of Guest Post U, The University of Great Content at www.guestpostu.com. The business model is that you get great free writing, in exchange for linking to the service and an ad, in addition to helping a college student. A fair exchange in my opinion.
|A clump of cherry tomato plants and a pear tree near an alley dumpster.|
Monday, October 14, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Some of these cities are pretty progressive in their attempts to limit human induced climate change. We need to work harder and be louder in addressing our concerns about the impact of greenhouse gases on our childrens future health, quality of life and security. We need to also plan accordingly for impacts that are unavoidable. This means addressing urban and suburban weather-smart planning, addressing gentrification caused by middle and upper income individuals increasingly desirous of the amenities of walkable cities, supporting companies that are smart about reducing waste (of limited resources - do we even know if any resource is truly unlimited), supporting research that contributes to innovative and safe products and processes, eating sustainably produced food and demanding accessible green jobs from our elected officials. Think about how you will respond if asked 40 years from now about your role in creating the earth that our children will have inherited?
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I pass this strip of landscaped parking that belongs to an African American church on my way to work. The designer of this garden did a great job of selecting natives and drought tolerant plants for this garden. These pics are about a month old. I love when businesses go the extra mile to beautify the neighborhood.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
GE, Other Firms Commit $9 Billion to ‘Power Africa’
I'm getting quite a charge out of this powerful, capacity building initiative to light up and power up some African countries!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Maya's Ideas Shop: Two new articles on The Kind Life and the TOMS Sho...: Check out my two new articles on actress Alicia Silverstone's blog The Kind Life, and the TOMS Shoes blog! :) I'm so honored to be f...
Check out Maya's newest articles!
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Ahh, summer. Does it evoke youthful memories and feelings? It reminds us of good times whether they be vacations or stay-cations, Koolaid or iced tea, summer camp or summer street games, camping or cookouts, shorts or sundresses and summer school or summer reading lists. Yes, I said summer reading lists. As an avid reader most of my life, I genuinely enjoyed summer reading lists, though may not have enjoyed all of the books on the list. So like many others, I've maintained the tradition of summer reading by creating my own summer reading list. Some summers reading lists are more aspirational depending on what's going on that summer and others leave me with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of summer. Summer reading lists can include whatever suits your reading fancy, but should include some books that you normally would feel guilty about reading because you should be reading something related to professional, human or self development. Categories to include could be fiction, science fiction, humor, travel, interesting biographies, coffee table books, hobbies and the like. A great resource for finding books from authors of all hues is the bookstore site, Hueman Books. All books are discounted by 20%! Keep that dollar re-circulating people. And don't forget the People's University..the library! Introducing my summer reading list of 2013:
- Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi
- Cooked, Michael Pollan
- Flight Behavior, A Novel (P.S.), Barbara Kingsolver
- Little Green, An Easy Rawlins Mystery, Walter Mosley
- Kindred, Octavia Butler
- The Edible Balcony, Alex Mitchell
- Eco-yards, Laureen Rama
- The Urban Birder, David Lindo and Stephen Moss
What's on your summer reading list?
Monday, June 10, 2013
Agencies unite to reduce food waste
Did you know that Americans throw away up to 40% of perfectly good food, while millions go hungry in this country and other? The USDA and the EPA are teaming up to understand exactly how much food is being wasted and how do divert this waste from going into the landfills to the bellies of hungry people. This is good news! What are your ideas for reducing food waste?
To often when we think of women growing vegetables, we may think of women gardening at home, working farmers markets, community gardens or women chefs, but did you know that there is another demographic of women growing vegetables? They are women farmers! I've been recently re-introduced to women farmers through the magazine MaryJanesFarmers and now via Grist, that gritty and informative environmental website. I loved this slideshow which highlights Farmer Fatales growing huge yields of produce which help us to enjoy our wonderful fruits, vegetables and fungi. I even discovered a Cleveland farmer fatale (loving that name) who is part of a mushroom operation. I must find her to enjoy some her meaty and tasty tumor blasters. Featured below are two of my favorite slides from the Grist article, photos of the members of the National Women in Agriculture Association and Monique Grider, co-farmer at Kai's Kultured Mushrooms. Be sure to check out all the slides as they are pretty cool.
|Members of National Women in Agriculture Association, rockin' that pink!|
|Monique Grider of Kai's Kultured Mushrooms. Cleeeev-land!|
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Today was one of those days when I wasn't hungry for breakfast, but felt compelled to put something in my stomach for fear of tearing up the refrigerator this evening! LOL! Filling smoothies are perfect for these kinds of mornings. Since I've been on a edible flower kick recently, I was determined to get some in my smoothie. This recipe was influenced by a delicious honey lavender ice cream treat created by Mitchell's Ice Cream, a local favorite in Cleveland. So here is an informal recipe:
Add to a blender the following:
1/2 large very ripe mango (broken into chunks)
1 small banana
Large handful of ice cubes (about six)
Dash of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried lavender or 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lavender flowers
1 cup of almond milk (give or take some according to how thick you like your smoothies)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Tablespoon of cacao nibs or 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips
Agave or honey to taste (if you have a crazy sweet tooth, because mangoes and bananas are pretty sweet)
Crank it up in the blender on high speed!
Makes one very large serving or two medium size servings
|Mango Banana Lavender Smoothie in Chill Mode|
Saturday, June 8, 2013
So now that gardening season is upon us, let's think about eating some of those delicious flowers that you are thinking about planting. While you are at it, think about using these glorious lovelies on your skin to cleanse, scent, tone and moisturize and in your house to clean and beautify. The beauty of using herbs and edible flowers for these purposes is that you can plant a grand bounty in a front yard, a community garden plot, that secret guerrilla garden spot that you cultivated, on your building's rooftop or just enough in your grandma's garden patch, on your balcony or in a sunny windowsill. Since I've become familiar with permaculture principals (mindful, practical planting), I've become more interested in planting edibles and to my delight, have discovered that some of the beautiful flowers in my perennial garden are actually edible! (Not all flowers are edible, some are poisonous, so do your research) See how God works it out?
|Thyme and Savory, below, Lavendar, Chamomile, Oregano, Pansies|
books about edible gardens, crops in pots, edible flower cookbooks and the like. I happened upon the magazine "MaryJanesFarm" last summer and found some nice recipes and picked up a special "Nature Knows Best" issue yesterday. It is filled with ideas and recipes for using flowers, herbs and oils to create medicines, delicious breads and ice cream, soaps, cleaners, dream pillows and good stuff for mama and baby.I think I will even send a copy to my son, who has started a backyard garden with his roommates. I recommend that you make the $5.99 investment and pick up an issue, even if you are an urbanista like me or a manly man. You can pick up your supplies for your edible garden and toxic free personal care and home products from the herb and organic seed section of your garden center/nursery, an organic farm (for edible perennials like roses, daylilies and bee balm) or a wonderful, green, amazing award winning website specializing in bulk materials for your inventory like Mountain Rose Herbs. This year, I'm planting some of the following edible flowers and herbs:
- Lavender (delicious added to tea, cookies and smoothies)
- Chamomile (cancer fighter)
- Borage (will complement my Morrocan themed patio)
- Fennel (more of it)
- Organic Roses
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I would like to thank Marc Littlejohn of the Google Group, Fair Climate Network, for always sending such great information around environmental justice and sustainable communities. I've not had the pleasure of meeting Marc, but hope to one day. Today I received a glorious email which contained nearly dozens of exciting green job opportunities from the likes of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, National Wildlife Federation and many more. It appears that in the spirit of the type of green diversity that I've posted on recently, these organizations reached out to the NAACP to post career opportunities within their organizations. Bravo! This is the kind of outreach that I hope to see more environmental organizations pursue in an effort to be more representative of this country's diverse population. I don't have a link to Marc's share, because it is an email, but if you want receive these job listings that are part of the NAACP Black Green Pipeline Digest, send an email to BlackGreenPipeline@naacpnet.org.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
- PETA Vegetarian Soul Food
- Pinterest - search vegan soul food
- Vegan Soul Kitchen
- The Sweetest Vegan
- VegNews - search soul food
- Vegan Crunk - more of lifestyle of a Dirty South Vegan
- I Eat Grass
- By Any Greens Necessary
- Vegetarian Times - Cajun Food
Monday, April 15, 2013
Black and Into Green readers, which environmental organizations have you found to be most inclusive?
Sunday, April 14, 2013
A Profound Hatred of Meat: Broccoli Pistachio Soup: Even a broccoli lover like me, gets tired of eating it occasionally. I try to eat a lot of it because it is an especially good cancer fighter for black women, it is delicious and so easy to prepare. I like this dish because it also features another one of my favorites - pistachios. MMM! Like peanut butter and chocolate, broccoli and pistachios. We will see. Looks pretty simple to make too! The recipes from this website are always amazing, so add it them to your reading list.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Langston Hughes' Children's Garden, Harlem, 1955 In honor of National Poetry Month, I share this article from a garden historian, on one of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes. Apparently this great intellectual and poet also shared an appreciation for the greener things in life and children. A black and green poet, nice.
|Photo by Don Hunstein, 1955|
Friday, March 15, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
EC approves animal meal in fish food
Okay so I guess it's not enough that poultry and cows are being fed animal by products, now farmed fish will be expanding their diets. One more reason to consider going fully veg. Also, if you didn't catch the story on NPR's This American Life, you need to be careful about where you buy your calamari. All is not what it seems...
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Herman Miller, Herman Miller Please consider Herman Miller for your next office furniture purchase. This company has been a leader in sustainable business practices for many years. Read more about the company on Sustainable Business and check out the video.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
Activities and Resources to Teach Environmental Health A toolbox for teachers of grades 9-12 to raise awareness of environmental health issues and solutions.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Mayors focus on "local warming," urge Obama to act | Yahoo! Health All of climate change is local, but mayors of American cities want President Obama to assume more visible leadership in pushing for real action on the climate. In the interim they are working on their own local solutions to mitigate and manage the effects of a heating climate. Heat waves, floods, drought and infrastructure under pressure, are just some of the issues that mayors must address. Let's hope we hear more about the president's plans on climate change this weekend.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
I continue to see Maya Penn of Maya's Idea Shop featured in need articles and thought that it was about time for me to give to give her a shout out on Black and Into Green. She is the most productive 12 year old that I know!! Her advice featured in the above Techyville article is inspiration for us to keep plugging away at our green living, advocacy and business goals for 2013. Love her ideas about keeping a journal of your ideas. I keep a memo on my smart phone of problems that I've identified that need a product or process solution. All great businesses are founded on problems that need to be solved, though there are some problems that we didn't even know we had until someone developed the idea (though, not always guaranteed to be a profitable business). Anyway, let's all show Maya some love and put her site on our blog roll and support her Etsy shop. You go, Maya!!
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Hello! It's that time of the year again. Internship applications are starting to open up. Thank to my famous friend, Rue Mapp, of Outdoor Afro, I was alerted to some paid green internships for high schoolers and college students that are available at the Nature Conservancy. There are even internships specifically targeted to diverse demographic groups, in recognition of the changing faces of America. These environmental organizations are recognizing the need to nurture a love for nature in what has been a historically ignored demographic - people of color. Need to ensure a future base of volunteers, donors and employees, right? You will need to type "internships" in the keyword search bar in the career section, as internships are not listed. Some internships start as early as February, but most start June 2nd. You should also continue to visit the site to look for new postings.
From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Fiscal Cliff Deal Extends Some Green Programs, Gives Up On Farm Bill. Well, we all survived the fiscal cliff mess, for now. A few environment related programs survived and few did not. The commuter tax break was maintained - this allows you to have money deducted pre-tax from your paycheck to cover a limited amount of public transportation expenses. Tax credits for plug-in motorcycles and energy efficiency home renovations or home purchases, survived. Items in the farm bill that would have supported healthy, sustainable farming practices fell off of the cliff. For more specific details read the article that I shared from Sustainable Business.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Wishing all of my readers a blessed, happy and very green new year! Thank you for being you and doing what you do. Looking forward to a great year of spreading the green gospel and encouraging others to take care of this great earth that God has given to us and having some fun while doing it!