Join Tree of Life Birth and Gynecology as they host a Stroller Walk for Nurse Midwife Week October 8th from 8am-12pm at Ft Mellon Park in Sanford, Florida! This is a great event for the whole family. Face Painting, Envision Therapy Chair Message, MY GYM, Cup Cakes and more will be a part of the fun. Bring your strollers and show your support for the midwives in your life! Call 407.878.27574 for more details!
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
This summer, my children and I went to a sleep-away camp in the beautiful Poconos of Pennsylvania. What a neat way to get back to nature! My kids spent most of their days outside! They swam in the lake, went horseback riding, did arts & crafts, and more. This was an experience that I was able to provide them with because of my background in education. While they were playing with friends, I was checking on campers, supervising counselors, and communicating with parents. Sure, it was hard work, but I got to spend my summer with fabulous kids in a place that was completely different from Orlando. For the most part, the weather was beautiful, and like my kids, I got to spend most of my time outdoors! I know it makes me sound like I’m 12, but I made some really good friends at camp, too. What a neat experience! We were in PA for 9 weeks.
When I started this blog many years ago, I planned to get new posts up weekly, and for a while, I did exactly that. My goal was to write about every new “green” business in Orlando, along with covering local events that would interest CFGG readers. I also wanted to see our site have great content that relates to green living and holistic health. Therefore, I recruited a number of individuals (mostly moms) who were interested in blogging about such topics on a regular basis.
Writers have come and gone, contributing what they could when they could–leaving when they could no longer make time for blogging or to start blogs of their own. My life has changed dramatically over the years, and this has resulted in inconsistent writing on my part. Having started this blog as a full-time parent, I found it hard to keep up when I returned to my teaching job in 2008. I’m home with my children again, but now I’m working towards another degree in education at the University of Central Florida. I spend my weeks with my children and my weekends doing homework, so blogging regularly about natural living has been a bit of a challenge.
We’ve been back from PA about a month now, and we’re having fun reconnecting with family and friends. Now that the kids and I have found our homeschool groove, I’m looking for ways to get more focused on green living. One idea that interests me has to do with my 4th grader, David. I’m thinking about helping him write some articles for the Green Guide. This would be a great way to integrate language arts and science. I might be able to involve my 1st grader as well! We’ve never had a kid’s perspective here at the GG!
We’re visiting Our Vital Earth (a worm farm) next week with our homeschool group. I’m ashamed to admit that we have not been composting. It’s been on my “to do” list for years. I need to just go ahead and get started. I’ve also been talking about a rain barrel for too long. What else? We moved to a new home and need to look into water filtration again. I’ve been so out of touch–I don’t even know what’s out there.
Oh, and if you’ve been wondering, the site’s name change was not intentional. This website is designed for those living in Orlando and the surrounding areas.
The Orlando Green Guide is a labor of love. If contributing appeals to you, please email me to get signed up AFTER reading the Guidelines for Writers. This is a non-profit site, but you will be allowed to add your link in exchange for monthly contributions. Do you have a child who would like to submit an article that relates to a green topic? What about a book review? We’d love to hear from you!
Y360 Health is hosting a “Raising Healthy Kids Workshop” on Saturday, June 25th at 11:30am. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Leif Martensson, a Chiropractor at Y360 Health. Dr. Martensson will present topics on family health and wellness including information on childhood vaccines, the effects of posture on children, and the top healthiest snacks kids will love.
Y360 Health is a chiropractic center focusing on overall health and wellness for your entire family. Headed by Dr. Dan Yachter, they believe in treating the root cause of sickness and disease and not just the symptoms.
Their workshop will be held in the Y360 Health Center located on Lake Emma Road in Lake Mary. Register to attend the workshop by calling them at (407) 333-2277 or visit their website at http://www.y360health.com.
Y360 Health Center
3621 Lake Emma Road
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Two Dragons Tang Soo Do opened its doors in March of this year in Downtown Sanford. Owned and operated by Master Constantino Terrigno, they offer Karate classes Monday – Thursday for children and adults. He accepts children from 8 to 12 years old, but I’ve seen some younger than 8 attend. It all depends on your child’s readiness. Adult classes are for ages 13 and up. My son and husband attend classes here at separate times.
The facility is a nice 1800 sq ft with an open waiting area, 1100 sq ft training floor, and changing rooms. It’s a very family friendly environment. The thing that attracts me most is Master Terrigno himself. He began his martial arts training in 1981. He has a calm, soothing, wise demeanor that reminds me of Chuck Norris; even in his appearance. Whether he is training children or adults, he relates his training to real life scenarios and teaches the importance of self defense, self discipline, and self confidence.When I think of a martial arts instructor, I think of people like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies and in my opinion Master Terrigno falls right in line with the best of them.
Overall, the classes are very affordable for 4 days out of the week. There are also combined rates for families. You can come as often or as little as you’d like. However, your success to the next level or the next belt depends on your commitment to learning the art and training. Occasionally, Master Terrigno will offer Women’s Self-Defense classes or Buddy Day for kids currently enrolled to bring a friend for one free day of instruction. Currently, my son has 2 passes left for Buddy Day on Monday, June 20th, 2011 from 6:15p to 7:15p for all you young budding martial artists. Contact me, if you’re interested.
Two Dragons Tang Soo Do is located at 115 S. Oak Avenue in Downtown Sanford. You can find them online at http://www.twodragonstsd.com or phone them at 407-312-9702 for more information.
For those with a green thumb in Clermont!
B.B.Brown’s Gardens in Clermont, FL is a native and organic nursery located in the country outside of Clermont. We also operate the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, a 501(c)3, not-for profit habitat restoration project dedicated to saving Florida’s only endemic bird, the Florida scrub-jay.
Part of our program is to offer classes, designed to widen people’s knowledge of a variety topics including: organic gardening, saving water through the use of rain barrels and other methods, beekeeping, and creating wildlife habitat in our communities through our National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards programs.
We invite you to join us for these upcoming programs…
Posted in Conservation / Environment, Natural Products, Parks and Recreation, Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, Uncategorized, tagged compostable picnicware, composting, recycled paper products, Recycled supplies on March 19, 2010 | 2 Comments »
Picnics with friends and family are a wonderful way to connect with one another and enjoy nature. Remembering that we are in their environment is key to assuring we are picnicing in an Eco-friendly way. As the park rangers often tell children:
“Leave nothing behind but your footprints.”
In our hurried, convenience-driven lives, we often pack our picnics more with our time in mind, than the environment. Fortunately, some eco-friendly companies out there have seen this problem and are offering solutions. Today, there are many compostable, recycled and reusable picnic supplies available, making it easier to enjoy an “impulse picnic” than it used to be. Planning is much quicker when the supplies are at hand, and the only thing to do is pack up the food.
Here’s a few tips on acquiring some Eco-friendly picnic or cookout supplies for your pantry, to be sure you’re ready when the perfect day arrives:
- If you really want to be a ‘Frequent Picnic Patron’, perhaps a reusable picnic basket, supplied with reusable plates, utensils, cups, and napkins, is a good idea. In the long run, this will save you money, and it sure will be cute sitting on the blanket. That said, the most important part is that you won’t be tossing a lot of paper goods into the trash–or the landfill.
- Okay…so you’re not into the every weekend picnic. No problem. You can still have a environmentally friendly picnic, with a few supplies that are compostable, recyclable, and made of recycled materials–all good things to save the earth. Check out the photo below, with its accompanying information, and you’ll find that you can pick up everything you need at your neighborhood healthy food market.
- Skip the vinyl table cloth and grab a sheet for the table (washable!) or a blanket for the ground. Either way, it will be easy to clean up the mess.
- If you’d like to bring along some vino, reusable plastic wine glasses are available most everywhere now. I’ve even seen them in traditional grocers, and they’re beautiful. Watch for BPA-free labels and these should last you a lifetime of picnics. Don’t forget the corkscrew.
Left to right, you’ll see my favorite picnic and cookout supplies, all of which (except the 100% recycled aluminum foil for grilling) can be tossed into my compost pile when used:
- Twist, the 100% biodegradable sponge cloth, is a favorite in my kitchen, as well. I particularly love that I can sanitize this sponge (unlike old fashioned ones) simply by tossing it in the dishwasher or zapping it in the microwave. I have 2 under my sink that have lasted me nearly 2 years, and are still showing no signs of wearing out. That’s what I call sustainable!
- Glad’s trash bags, if you plan to cookout, may be a necessary evil. While others also make plastic bags that include recycled consumer plastics, these are the highest percentage I have yet to find.
- You’ll never know you’re not using plastic, when you eat with Earth Friendly Cutlery. Made by TerraWare, these utensils are surprisingly strong, use sustainable resources, and are made from GMO-free cornstarch resin.
- Sustainable and compostable plates made by WorldCentric.org are the biggest surprise. They’re made from wheat and are nearly as sturdy as the Chinet of my childhood.
- Speaking of Chinet, if soup bowls are needed, Chinet is biodegradable in your compost pile. Some natural foods stores may carry other choices, and TerraWare plans to add bowls to their line soon.
- When it comes to cups, there is a plethora of recycled choices at most every grocer’s paper aisle. TerraWare also plans to add cups to their line, so watch for these. Most importantly, be sure to choose the cups with the least environmental impact, and dispose of them properly. Reusable cups are preferable.
- If cloth napkins are not an option, skip the fancy ones and toss in a roll of 100% recycled post-consumer paper towels, to be used as napkins and for all manner of cleaning up. I favor Greenwise brand, both for the cost and the texture.
- Finally, if you plan to cook out on a grill, you may need tin foil. Please choose 100% recycled tin foil, and use it sparingly.
Now, all you have to worry about is the food; that’s the fun part. See you at the park!
Creatively Financing Your Dream Home Birth
For many parents money is an important factor when paying for prenatal care and the birth of their baby. Home birth can be a great option for the safe, affordable care of yourself and your unborn baby. This option is less expensive than hospital birth, yet has been proven very safe for low risk mothers. Financing this option, however, can be a stumbling block for many who do not have insurance, or whose insurance company will not cover home birth. Over the years, I have seen many ways of creatively financing a home birth.
One of the first and foremost options for financing a home birth is to pre-plan your pregnancy and its costs. Seeking out and speaking with home birth midwives will give you a solid foundation of numbers to work with. Most midwives offer self pay packages that are reasonable and even discounted! When you pre-plan and save a little each month, you can easily have the basis for your down payments and/or deductibles and co-pays. For Example, if you saved $200.00 a month for 1 year, you would have $2400.00 saved for your care. If you continued to pay $200.00 a month to your midwife during your pregnancy, you would have most of your fee covered in full! Many maternity riders for insurance policies cost much more than this monthly. This “baby fund” can even be started via a wedding gift, or Christmas present. Instead of gifts for the next year, request deposits to your fund!
When talking about insurance, shopping around ahead of time can go along way. In this case you will need to know what insurance your midwife takes and whether she is in network or out of network with that company. Even if she is out of network, it may be financially better to pay 40% of the fee, rather than 100%. Most midwives actively encourage interviews with them prior to your pregnancy to help you plan ahead.
Many parents find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of a pregnancy that was unplanned, or finances that change, such as lost insurance coverage. You may not have the luxury to pre-plan your finances around having a baby. In those circumstances, the financing needs to be creative to pay for your dream birth. Family and friends can be a good source, but this avenue has a rocky road of pitfalls associated with it. The next few tips are not ideal, but can offer a different way to help cover the cost of the home birth.
Something to consider is a low or zero interest credit card. Those introductory offers for credit cards can be enticing. Used responsibly this can be a great way to finance a home birth, even if your preferred midwife does not take credit cards.
This can be used to make your payments or pay your midwife in full earlier in the pregnancy for a discount. You could use the cash advance feature of most credit cards (although at a higher interest rate), or simply pay others bills with your credit card, up to the amount of your monthly payments to your midwife. For instance, start making your car payment with your credit card, and take the cash you would normally pay your car payment to pay your midwife, if you she doesn’t take credit cards.
When using this type of creative financing, you will usually have time before any interest starts to accrue on the account. If you pay off the balance before then you have basically gotten an interest free loan!
The trick is to cut it up after that, or simply tuck it away as a medical fund only, should you need it. If you decide to make less payments on the balance, and take it out longer than the introductory period, then paying off a good portion of the balance prior to the interest rate spike, may still leave you in the green. You will have only a small chunk that will collect interest, as opposed to a full balance, and the cash discount given by your midwife for early payment may offset even that interest!
Another tactic would be a home equity loan. These can be easy, convenient and may possibly have tax benefits! The same principle applies, to use a lump sum payment to your midwife to achieve a cash discount and then pay your balance off as your comfortable, aiming at paying of your loan within the 1st year, to save the most money.
Most home birth midwives are also willing to consider a bartering agreement for all or at least part of your bill. Bartering can be a powerful tool. It never hurts to ask. Readjusting your budget can also help. Think about swapping in your car for one with a lower monthly payment, or taking a year off of some of the luxuries, like dinners out, premium cable channels or selling items gathering dust in your garage. It all adds up.
Here is the bottom line: Home birth is worth the money. Your dream birth is worth the effort. Consider this: Many young girls spend their childhood dreaming and fantasizing about the perfect wedding. The place. The dress. The flowers. The ring. All these images float in our dreams. So what is the average American wedding tab? According to the “American Weddings” study conducted by The Fairchild Bridal Group in 2005, it was $26,327with an average planning time of 1 year. So much goes into planning this one very special wedding day, but when we become pregnant, all of a sudden we are okay with paying our $15.00 co-pay and take what we are handed at the hospital without question. Many do not even spend time choosing their doctors, opting to go with their old stand by GYN, or pick randomly from an insurance provider list to save money.
This day is very, very special. This event, like your wedding is irreplaceable. While you might be lucky enough to get a “do over” with your next birth, this baby’s birth can’t be done again. The outcome of this birth may affect all of your future births as well. Having an unnecessary c-section could affect your plans for years to come. Why is your birth experience any less important than any other special event in your life? As much as we are lead to believe that birth is solely a medical procedure, it isn’t. You DESERVE to be spoiled, pampered and well taken care. Even if that means coming out of pocket for that wonderful home water birth you have thought so much about.
I’m hopeful that in the coming years, insurance coverage for home birth will be the norm and those choices between the birth you want and the one you have to settle for are far in the past. Until then, parents will have to continue find creative ways to cover the expenses of their perfect birth. – Robyn Mattox LM, CPM http://www.inspirationmidwifery.com
(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2010
No More Gas Guzzler for Me!
Doing the pedestrian thing is great if you live in the city. An urban environment is set up for locals. Unfortunately, much of the U.S. population is either rural or suburban, leaving us wondering how we’ll get everything done if we walk everywhere.
After pondering the possibilities of switching to bicycling as my primary mode of transportation, I quickly realized that far too many of my necessary destinations included either a passenger or a larger load than my backpack would accommodate. My solution? A hybrid vehicle boasting 50+ mpg is now sitting in my driveway.
Yet I still have to wonder what else I can do. When the automobile dealership offered a new owner’s workshop, to include helpful tips on saving gas, I was quick to sign up.
The gas-saving ideas, sourced from a Bankrate.com blog, were quite interesting. I’ll share a few of the ones you may agree are particularly helpful:
- Use the slower setting when pumping gas. I’m guessing this is because air takes up some space when the gas is pumped at a faster flow rates.
- Don’t top off your tank; the extra gas you pump, stays in the hose and never makes it into your tank.
- Don’t fill up when a tanker truck is filling the station’s tanks. The pressure of the flow tends to stir up sludge from the bottom of the underground tank, which could end up in your gas tank.
- Fill your tank during the morning, when temperatures are cooler. Gasoline expands in warmer temperatures, and is more dense when cooler. Therefore, a gallon in the afternoon will be somewhat less than a gallon in the morning.
- Be sure to tighten your gas cap. According to the Car Care Council, evaporation causes a loss of about 147 million gallons of gasoline each year.
- Keep your tires full of air. Underinflated tires cause a multitude of side effects, one being lower gas mileage.
- Cars that need a tune up will see a 4% increase in gas mileage after the work is done. Stay on top of your maintenance.
- Replacing dirty air filters can improve your gas mileage by up to 10 percent.
- Using the manufacturer’s recommended oil has been shown to improve your car’s gas mileage by one to two percent.
- Fill up your tank when it is still half full. Less air in your tank means a lower rate of evaporation during pumping.
Of course, none of this means that you can’t get out and walk. That’s always the best way to save on gas and burn calories instead of gasoline. Spring is almost here; time to tune up that bicycle for your warm-weather errands. Meantime, hope these tips help you out during our unusually cold winter.
Soap Packaging Varies Widely
Recycling and saving gasoline are currently among the most highly touted ways to save the Earth. Oh, my bad! Don’t let me forget switching to CFL lightbulbs. This is probably the iconic, Eco-Friendly photo you’ll see anywhere, except for perhaps the recycle icon or symbol itself.
Anyway, the purpose of this post is simply to get you thinking about the packaging your purchases are wrapped in. This is one area that is less talked about, and yet can have a tremendous impact on our landfill space, as well as the toxins we deposit there.
Take a look at the photo above. These are my 3 favorite soaps that I can buy at many local healthy food stores. Can you guess which packaging is the most Earth friendly? Tricky, huh?
Let’s start at the right. The Clearly Natural glycerine soap is wrapped so that you can see the product. This is appealing to many consumers, so it often has the desired effect–a purchase. However, plastic or celophane wrappers, plastered with a large, metallic sticker, don’t even begin to make the sustainable list for packaging.
Moving on to the Tom’s soap in the middle, we see, at first glance, that the box is recycled paperboard. This stuff is compostable or recyclable, thus making it highly sustainable, even though it originally came from one of our coveted trees. Once again, though, there’s a catch. If you open the box, you’ll find that the soap inside is wrapped in clear celophane. Major blunder on Tom’s part. I wish they would drop the plastic wrap, although I understand they’re trying to give the product a longer shelf life. Soap doesn’t exactly have a problem in this area, as compared to other products. They could earn consumer ‘brownie points’ by losing the inner wrap, in my opinion.
Finally, at left, you’ll find the Sappo soap, labeled simply with a sticker. I found this quite surprising the first time I saw it. The bars were just stacked in a shipping box on the shelf. If I remember correctly, the ingredients were printed on the shipping box, as there is nothing much on the sticker–just a name, ‘flavor’ (almond, in this case), and a bar code for price scanning. Awesome! Despite the fact that you can’t recycle or compost the sticker, it still is the clear winner because of its size. And of course, there is NO other packaging.
I hope this little exercise will get you to watch your many other purchases. Every product category has its own variations, and there often is one company who has found a way to beat the system. Look for them. Support them. Drop them an email and let them know you appreciate their efforts. Vote for Earth.
This is an adorable book to share with your children about homebirth. It’s short, colorful and reiterates that birth is a natural process.
We’re Having a Homebirth talks about:
- Midwifery care
- Labor positions
- What Mom may or may not need during labor
- Birthing the placenta
- Clamping & cutting the cord
This is a great gift idea for an expecting homebirther or a birth professional.