Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness

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GARDEN TIPS TO GREEN FAMILY ACTIVITIES.

My family made a cross country move last weekend and while moving can be a lot of work, it doesn't have to have a huge impact on the environment. There are many things that you can do before, during and after your move that can make your transition as Eco friendly as possible. Here are 8 tips that my family used while making our move, hopefully next time you move, these tips can help you too.

1- Get it Sold: Usually, the first thing that you will want to do before moving is sell your existing home. During the listing and selling process, consider using a website with fantastic pictures and details of your home for potential buyers to view rather than those costly home listing fliers. If you do opt for the fliers, instead of loading the 'For Sale' sign box with them, leave them inside your home by the front door. Hopefully, then only really interested buyers will take them and less will find their way to the landfill.

2. It's Time to Downsize: My family decided that the best way for us to make our move as Eco friendly as possible was to majorly downsize. This took a lot of preparation time, but we were able to sell several thousands of dollars worth of things that we no longer used or thought that we would no longer need. You can sell your items via eBay or Craig's List or donate them to your local charitable organization. This saved us a lot in the long run, less things to pack, transport and then unpack when we arrived at our new destination. It also gave us a nice amount of money to use towards moving expenses. Plus, it was nice to see my previously loved items go to new homes where they will live a second life.

3. Pack it Up: Once you have decided exactly what items you are going to take with you, pack it up the Eco friendly way. If you are doing your own packing, consider using recycled boxes, bubble wrap and other packing supplies (you can find a great supply on Craig's List or Freecycle.) My family decided to use a large supply of reusable recyclable plastic bins with locking lids that we have used on our previous moves. This bins are fantastic because they are water proof, have locking lids with handles for carrying, stacked nicely on top of each other in the moving van and can be reused in our new space for storage of season items. Any bins that you are unable to reuse after your move, can be sold or donated. Also, I used linens to wrap up breakables and valuables. I figured I will be taking the linens with me, so they should be put to good use in the process. If you do need to purchase packing supplies, consider choosing supplies that are made of recycled materials.

4. Home Sold-Time to Green Clean: Once your home sells and you have packed up all of your belongings, it is time to give your home one last good cleaning. Consider using all Eco friendly cleaning supplies and when you arrive at your new home, only stock green cleaners in your new kitchen, bath and laundry room.

5. Moving Day: If you are using a moving company, consider choosing one that uses green moving methods including recyclable packing materials, low emissions bio diesel fuel efficient trucks and Eco friendly business practices. If you are moving yourself, remember to pack everything up with Eco friendly packing supplies and then rent your own bio diesel truck if possible.

6. Make It Fun: Moving can be super hard on the entire family, especially if you are all traveling via the moving can, as my entire family did. My husband, nine year old son, 2 dogs and myself all traveled cross country together in a moving van. However, we were able to make it fun by talking, singing, playing games, reading and watching movies. Just continue to remind yourself that a few days of traveling will all be worth it.

7. Bring Your Own Body Fuel: Traveling can be hard on your body, especially if you are eating fast food or truck stop "convenience" store items. We stocked a cooler full of easy to eat, organic snacks, fruits and veggies to keep us going on the road and when we did stop for a meal, we tried to pick the healthiest option available. Also, while traveling bring a reusable beverage mug for each member of your family. It is super Eco friendly and much more affordable to refill a mug at the gas station. And those coffee breaks will be imperative during your move!

8. Time to Get a Good Green Rest: If your move is going to take several days of traveling, you will most likely need to stay in a hotel or two. Try to choose hotels that are committed to sustainability and Eco friendly practices. Green hotels lists hotels that choose water and energy saving equipment and techniques, use Eco friendly cleaning supplies, organic linens and also recycle and compost all waste. Now, that is something that can be celebrated with a good night's rest. You deserve it!

Now that you have made it to your new home, it's time to get unpacked and start living life again. Remember to reuse, donate, sell or recycle any of your packing supplies and enjoy your new space.

How will you or have you made your move Eco Friendly?

Please leave your comments below!

 

Photo via Alden Jewell

Although my husband Drew and I just had our first baby in November, we officially became parents 3 years ago when we brought home Molly (our Bernese Mountain Dog, pictured above). We immediately fell in love with the adorable ball of fur and our lives were changed. We want her to have the best of everything: veterinary care, food, toys, bedding - and I know many of you feel the same way about your dog. Well, I stumbled across something I didn't even know Molly needed - a dog house with a "green roof"! Green or living roofs are covered in plants and soil, on top of layers of a waterproofing membrane, drainage and often irrigation systems. Green roofs have caught on in large cities where they not only absorb rainwater and help insulate buildings, but actually reduce air temperatures (which are higher in urban environments). Like the living walls I wrote about previously, they look amazing! Green Roofs Australia's blog has great photographs of all types of green roofs.

Sustainable Pet Design is bringing the green roof concept to a backyard near you with their stylish dog (and bird) houses. There are a number of different styles, all worthy of your pampered pooch. The dog houses not only look great, but are entirely pet safe. Each home is constructed with non-toxic materials: red cedar wood, zero VOC paints and beeswax waterproofing. They even created a palatial dog house for Bo Obama, "the first dog". The people at Sustainable Pet are not the only ones making designer digs for dogs. Architects Kohn Pederson Fox designed a stunning dog house with a green roof that could pass for sculpture. This short video on YouTube shows how they came up with their inspired design. It would be an amazing complement to a modern home - unfortunately the $6000 price tag is out of my league! However, I found the perfect solution on Instructables: a DIY project to build your own green roofed dog veranda. Now I just need to find the time - I'll keep you posted.

 

Going green is something that you can start by taking simple steps and I think you will find the process to be very liberating and rewarding. I think that when it comes to going green, the best and healthiest place to start is at home, since this is the place where you probably spend most of your time with your children and your pets. This is also the place where you can have a large impact on the environment, just think of the things that we could accomplish as a people, if we all followed these few simple steps.

You may have heard that houseplants help purify the air, but did you know that they can actually remove toxins like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene?!  These chemicals are VOC's or volatile organic compounds which are commonly present in paint, home furnishings and other household products and contribute to indoor air pollution.

With a baby on the way, I have become somewhat obsessed with creating a clean and healthy environment throughout the house...

Did you know the air inside your home is 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside? Were you aware that studies show that almost 70% of streams sampled in 2002 contained chemicals from household cleaning products? How about the fact that 10% of toxic exposures reported to the U.S. Poison Control Centers, are related to cleaning products directly touching the skin or being ingested? So, what can you do to protect yourself, your family and the environment? A lot. Follow these four steps to clean your home without any risk to your health or the environment...