Happy Holidays! 2012 Gift Guide

Melissa, November 5, 2012

B is for Batteries

Melissa, October 23, 2012

Powering up all the gadgets in our lives with conventional batteries and then dumping them in landfills creates a toxic mess. Instead, try rechargeables. They are 20% less harmful than tossing out a one-time-use one and if stored properly – you can get a lot more charge out of the battery life.  Read up on how rechargeables are better for us and our world, and tips on how to get a long lasting charge here. Also take a look at wind powered, solar powered or hand crank eco-gadgets coming on the market with great force. If you do use batteries, make sure they are put in the right place when you are done with them.  TAKE ACTION find out how and where to recycle batteries in your area, and why throwing them out does more harm than good http://earth911.com Lisa Borden, champion for change, mom of 3, and owner of Borden Communications believes, “If you aren’t outraged, then you just aren’t paying attention.”. You can follow her on twitter @LisaBorden for rants, raves, inspiration and information.    

Making Change

Melissa, October 16, 2012

Are you ready to make a change in your families eating habits? Are your children resisting your efforts? Here are some steps I often suggest parents take when they are trying to change family eating habits: Take a look at your child’s current menu and pick out the healthiest foods they eat, incorporate these foods as much as possible in their meals. Begin to offer new foods with the favourite healthy foods. When you offer new foods, offer small portions…just a “taste” to begin, and expect your child to make faces, silly sounds, etc. as they make a drama out of tasting it. If they don’t want to try it, don’t force them. If they don’t like it, don’t worry. Just smile and say thanks for trying. And then…try again next week J Slowly reduce the “junk” foods you are bringing into the house, replacing them with healthy foods. If the “junk” foods are not in the house, they can’t eat it. Make the healthy alternatives easy to get so your child has options when hunger strikes. Get your children involved. I know your trip to the grocery store is much quicker without them, but involving them is important.  Let them help decide what is on the menu for dinner, let them help with meal preparation, and so on. Involving them in the process means they are more likely to enjoy eating it. These are just a few first steps to take when you are working to change family eating habits. Keep in mind changing habits is never easy. You have to keep trying. Know this when you start, set small steps for your family and change only a few things at a time. It is a process, a journey; it does not have to happen overnight. And remember your children are always watching…so make sure to set a good example. What steps have you taken to change your family’s eating habits?

Wean Idea-iPod Shuffle Holder

Melissa, October 9, 2012

Keep your iPod’s safe in a Wean Bowl.

A is for Anti-Perspirant

Melissa, October 9, 2012

This blog is part of a series based on Lisa Borden’s book, The Alphabet of Avoidance. Each time Lisa writes, she will highlight one thing we all should avoid (and rant about it a little bit to bring awareness to things that we need to consider changing). She will also include (what she takes great pride in) solutions to those problems. A is for Anti-Perspirant Do sweat the small stuff…that’s how we can change the world. You may even perspire as you consider how much you need to avoid! So, before you roll on, read the labels and ingredients on your deodorant. There are plenty of safe, healthy options on the market, and for the DIY’er at heart, you can make your own personal deodorant with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard!  Read these helpful suggestions by Environmental Defence’s very own Communications Manager for tips on how to beat the stink – naturally.  Don’t just stop at your anti-perspirant – check the ingredients on all your other personal care products too. Do you know what they are? Can you pronounce everything? Are there parabens in there? Is there even an ingredient list? Remember, if it’s on you, it’s in you.   TAKE ACTION shop for safer personal care products using this “wallet” sized guide evaluate what you use, and research safe alternatives   Lisa Borden, champion for change, mom of 3, and owner of Borden Communications believes, “If you aren’t outraged, then you just aren’t paying attention.” You can follow her on twitter @LisaBorden for rants, raves, inspiration and information.

Wean Green – Grown Up Style

Melissa, October 3, 2012

I love things to be planned, organized and…well…pretty.  Every Sunday I (mostly) plan out my meals for the week, it motivates me to make good choices, and it takes the thinking away in the craziness of my days.  I always plan dinners, but this week I decided I was going to plan my meals AND prepare snacks for a few days at a time.  I get so busy that I forget snacks…and for me, eating every three hours keeps my energy up during the day and my cravings down in the evening. I portioned out the first four days and on the fourth day will do it again for Friday-Sunday. Now here at Wean Green we love to show off how we are using these cubes in fashionable and functional ways.  I love this..I should have taken a picture of how great it looks hanging out in my fridge.  Motivation, yes.  Inspiration, for sure.  I am pumped to go through this rainbow of goodness as my week progresses.  No thinking, just grab and go. I have a small lunch cooler if I venture out.  Perfection. I bet you are dying to know what some of the snacks are that I have planned right?  Here is what I have in the picture (other than the coffee): Morning Midday Monday Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries & Almonds Raw Veggies & Hummus Tuesday Watermelon & HB Egg Cucumber, Ham Slices and Spreadable cheese Wednesday Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries & Almonds Coffee meeting! Latte & Mini Treat      

Wean Idea-Candles

Melissa, October 2, 2012

Create a romantic ambience with tea lights in Wean Cubes.

Happy 4th Eco Birthday!!

Melissa, October 1, 2012

Talia is 4! I love throwing a good party packed with good eats, tons of friends and even some treats…eco style. This year was no different. Top 5 Tips to Throw an Eco Friendly Birthday Party 5. Rethink Gifts This is harder on your guests than it is on your little ones, especially at 4 years old when she hasn’t been to enough birthday parties to witness the gift giving tradition. Work with your kids to decide if they would like to collect donations, completely omit a present or maybe you can buy them a great gift so they are fulfilled and don’t require anything further. 4. Trash the Disposables Regardless of the material disposable party supplies (plates, cups, utensils, decorations, etc.) are such a burden on our landfills. Use your regular plates, bowls, cups and utensils. Try making some really unique birthday decoration pieces that you can reuse for each party. 3. Make the Food buying a large premade veggie tray from the grocery store is not only way more expensive than doing it yourself but chances are that the grocery store is not picking the best produce to throw on the tray. How about the birthday cake? I love using organic ingredients in the kids birthday cakes and finding great recipes that don’t call for excessive amounts of sugar. 2. Rethink the Loot Bag My favorite loot bag at one of our shindigs was the homemade playdough in Wean Cubes. My second was the first year when we painted planters and planted plants. Last year was fun when we decorated our bird feeders (ours are still bringing birds to the yard). This year I did gift cards. Ha, not exactly my most creative moment but it got the job done with no lead filled dollar store toys. 1. Offer Healthy Food This year I cheated and used the new weelicious cookbook. The table was filled with all gluten free homemade snacks and niblets including taquitos, chicken fingers, dips, veggies, fruit and more! Check out her first, second and third eco birthdays for more ideas. 

Autumn Apple Recipes

Melissa, September 30, 2012

We live a few hours away from some amazing apple orchards. Every autumn we gather up a bunch of apples and bake some of our favorite recipes. It has always amazed me to see how much sugar people add when baking in their own homes. These two traditional recipes are fantastic and sweet enough without sugar. The cinnamon gives them a little added flavour and the kids will LOVE them! Apple Sauce 8 apples peeled, cored & sliced 1/4 cup water 2 tsp cinnamon Add all ingredients into a pot. Cover. Boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree (you can use a fork or potato masher or throw it in your blender) Apple Chips 4 apples 2 tsp cinnamon Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Thinly slice apples (I cored them but then made them again and you can just remove the seeds). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle Cinnamon over apples. Bake for 1 hour.  Carefully turn the apples over and bake for another 30-60 minutes until the apples begin to brown and the moisture is gone. DISCLAIMER: I don’t know how these taste once they have cooled off. We have never managed to have any leftovers after taking them out of the oven! Some other Wean Green’s favorite apple recipes: Wean Green’s Slow Cooker Applesauce, savvymom.ca’s Leek, Potato & Apple Soup (which I have made so many times, a family Autumn recipe!), savvymom.ca’s Apple & Brie Stuffed Chicken, Marni Wasserman’s Sweet Apple Cider Dressing, Food Network’s Baked Apples with Fennel 

Wean Idea-Nuts, Bolts & Tools

Melissa, September 25, 2012

Add a little organization to your work bench!

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