Minnesota EcoMoms-Chapter of the EcoMom Alliance

Saturday, March 22, 2008 is World Water Day

Ten ways that will save the most:

1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering. Saves 750-1,500 gallons per month. Better yet, especially in times of drought, water with a hose. And best of all, convert your lawn to native plants.

2. Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints. Saves 20 gallons per day for every leak stopped.

3. Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end. Saves 150 gallons each time. For a two-car family that’s up to 1,200 gallons a month.

4. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Saves 500 to 800 gallons per month.

5. Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Saves 300 to 800 gallons per month.

6. Shorten your showers. Even a one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month.

7. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Saves 150 gallons or more each time. At once a week, that’s more than 600 gallons a month.

8. Don’t use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Saves 400 to 600 gallons per month.

9. Capture tap water. While you wait for hot water to come down the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can to use later on house plants or your garden. Saves 200 to 300 gallons per month.

10. Don’t water the sidewalks, driveway or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs–and only there. Saves 500 gallons per month.

Look at this awesome display of water.


EcoMoms Alliance-Greening School, Homes, and Lives Meeting Recap
AMpThu, 20 Mar 2008 10:21:09 +000021Thursday, 16, 2008, 12:56 am03
Filed under: Meetings/Events/Gatherings

First EcoMoms meeting was small but mighty! 4 EcoMoms gathered in the classroom of the Linden Hills Coop and strategized how to green their children’s elementary schools. Creek Valley and Highlands in Edina were represented. We discussed zero-waste lunches and grant writing for zero-waste pilot project classrooms. We cheered that Highlands took on and beat Sodexho and the district and successfully discontinued bottled water. We cheered that Mike Seaman got a grant for a wind study the initial phase to constructing a vertical axis wind turbine on Highlands roof. We read about the Linden Hills community solar project and discussed the specifications of a “green certified school.” Michele, Vivien, Amy and Julie talked about the tradition and abhorrent waste and unhealthy junk food present at the money making schhol carnival and strategized how to make that healthier, lower waste and equally profittable and fun! We talked of green fundraisers and Eco kits sold with school apparell. The goal is to have a rep from each of Edina’s school banding together to create change and form an EcoMoms Alliance across the district speaking out to PTA’s and Principals to be greener, less toxic and more health conscious in our kids schools.
Thanks EcoMoms-Julie

Your Invited to an Eco Moms Conversation-Kiss Me I’m Green!
PMpWed, 12 Mar 2008 12:20:33 +000020Wednesday, 16, 2008, 12:56 pm03
Filed under: Meetings/Events/Gatherings | Tags: , ,
EcoMoms Conversation-Monday, March 17th at 7:15-8:30PM-Linden Hills Coop (lower level) RSVP required. Space is limited to the first 18 EcoMoms.Moms control over 80% of the products, produce and materials that come through their thresholds.
Kiss Me, I Recycle!
Being Green isn’t just about being Irish any more. In fact, Irish or not, you can show your Green by recycling more on St. Patrick’s Day and every day! Did you know that recycling just one aluminum can is the equivalent of saving 6 ounces of gasoline? This St. Patrick’s Day, show your Green and recycle your cans and bottles! EcoMoms have a tremendous amount of power and influence. Now, for the education, advocacy and activism.
Let’s get greening. Our homes, our kid’s schools, neighborhoods and lives. An opportunity to hear about the zero-waste class room project and other “greenifications” that are being developed by teachers, parents and students in schools and homes. People are writing grants with school administrators and composting their kitchen scraps with red wiggler worms.Families are driving less and buying bikes. They are boycotting certain companies and buying eco-friendly toys, clothes and products. Families and schools are reducing, reusing, and recycling their stuff. Kids are bringing zero-waste lunches to school and becoming acutely aware of their excess.
Come and get a free Kiss Me I’m Green button!Up Next…Saturday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to noon. Solar Power Project tour of the Linden Hills coop solar project.

Healthy Children-Healthy Planet
AMpThu, 06 Mar 2008 11:14:23 +000014Thursday, 16, 2008, 12:56 am03
Filed under: Sustain Your Home | Tags: , , , , ,

Sent from an Eco Mom. This is the topics chosen for an upcoming seminar on the healthy planet, healthy child connection.

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”

-George Elliott

Healthy Children – Healthy Planet

healthy children, consumerism, raising children, consumer society, healthy planet, kids, healthy lifestyle

Healthy Children – Healthy Planet is a seven-session course for the workplace, faith center, or home addressing how the pervasive effects of advertising, media, and our consumer culture can influence a child’s view of the world.

Discussion Course Goals:

• To understand how the pervasive effects of advertising, media, and our consumer culture can influence a child’s view of the world.

• To discover ways to create meaningful family times and healthful environments for children.

• To explore ways to develop a child’s connection to nature, and to foster creativity.

“The course has been very affirming of our thoughts and values in raising our children. It gave us insight into how others use their values and beliefs to actualize family growth and traditions. Thanks for the wonderful course book.”
– Cami Curran, Columbus, OH

Topics Covered:

1. Cultural Pressures: A powerful fusion of pop culture and peer influence creates a social smog that has a strong influence on today’s children, says author and doctor Ron Taffel. How should adults respond to these pressures?

2. Family Rituals and Celebrations: Meaningful family time can provide an antidote to cultural pressures of consumption. Explore how ritual can enrich a child’s family experience and examine alternatives to elaborate celebrations and gifts.

3. Advertising: The average child sees an estimated 20,000 commercials every year. What are the effects on our children, and what steps can adults take to lessen the impact?

4. Food and Health: Many schools serve high-fat lunches, soda, and candy is readily available on school grounds. What is the link between diet and learning? How can adults encourage children to include healthy foods in their meals?

5. Time and Creativity: Today’s children may have schedules that rival the busiest adults. How can adults help children find balance between activities and unstructured time, which is often the source of creativity?

6. Technology and the Media: Opinions differ on whether computers hinder or help the natural process of child development. Watching TV can displace more valuable experiences. What steps can adults take to create a healthy media environment at home?

7. Exploring Nature: Children have an affinity for the natural world and as Rachel Carson says, “an inborn sense of wonder.” As children spend more time indoors, they connect less to the wild places in their neighborhood. How can we give children the opportunity to connect with the natural world?

PVC out of the marketplace-plastic poison!
PMpWed, 05 Mar 2008 19:12:09 +000012Wednesday, 16, 2008, 12:56 pm03
Filed under: Sustain Your Home | Tags: , , ,

This is a call to action letter. We can make some noise to get PVC out of the market place.

Hi Julie,

You have probably heard all about lead in children’s toys, but did you know many children’s PVC toys contain additional harmful chemicals such as phthalates? Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls-a risk factor for later-life breast cancer. What’s worse, when children play with and chew on their toys, they can be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of these harmful chemicals.

We have an opportunity to prevent harm and get these nasty chemicals out of our children’s toys, and need your help today to make it happen. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act, WHICH would ban phthalates in children’s toys.

What can you do to help right now? Take action! Please contact your senators today and urge them to prevent harm by supporting a ban of phthalates in children’s toys by voting yes on S.2663 and to oppose any amendments which would weaken this all too important bill. A sample letter and talking points are found below.

Don’t know how to contact your Senators? Look up your Senator by going to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

American children are at risk simply by playing with their toys. This is unacceptable in our country! The European Union and 14 other countries, including Japan, Argentina and Mexico, have already banned these toxic chemicals from their children’s toys. In October 2007, California became the first state in the nation to enact a statewide ban on the manufacture, sale or distribution in commerce of children’s toys and child care articles that contain phthalates. In addition, approximately a dozen states have introduced – or are considering introducing legislation – to ban phthalates in toys and other consumer products.

Senator Feinstein is planning to offer her toxic toys legislation as an amendment which is expected to be voted on by the full Senate as early as today or tomorrow. Senator Feinstein’s amendment (S.2663) would ban six types of phthalates from children’s toys and childcare articles, reducing kids’ unnecessary exposure to these toxic chemicals. In addition, manufacturers would be required by law to replace the banned phthalates with the “least toxic” alternative and are prohibited from replacing phthalates with chemicals known or suspected of causing cancer, reproductive harm or birth defects.

Thank your for your help in preventing avoidable harm from coming to our children.


Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator
Center for Health, Environment and Justice

***Sample Letter***

Dear Senator:

I am writing to urge your support of Senator Feinstein’s amendment (S. 2663) to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act which would treat phthalates as a banned hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and prohibit their use in children’s toys and child care articles. I also urge you to support this amendment and oppose any weakening amendments of this important measure.

The CPSC Reform bill will do much to improve the safety of children’s toys. However S.2663 is needed to additionally ban six very harmful chemicals from children’s toys and child care articles. This is a common sense approach that prevents avoidable harm from coming to our children simply by playing with their toys. American children need your support on this bill to protect them.

All six substances belong to a family of industrial chemicals called phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”). Phthalates are used in many soft, plastic toys like rubber ducks, teething rings and bath books and can leech out of these toys when children chew on them. Scientists worldwide have linked phthalates to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls-a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

The European Union and 14 other countries including Japan, Argentina and Mexico have already banned these chemicals from children’s toys, and in October 2007 California passed a measure to ban these six phthalates from toys sold in the state. Moreover, nearly a dozen other states have introduced – or are considering introducing – legislation that would ban phthalates from toys and personal care products for kids. All American children deserve the same protection and truly comprehensive reform for product safety.

These chemicals have no place in our children’s toys, especially when safe alternatives exist and are being used by Brio, Chicco, Evenflo, First Years, Gerber, and Safety 1st. Additionally, Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us have stated that they will begin phasing out children’s toys containing phthalates in the coming months.

Government must be proactive in providing protections for our children today and for generations to come. In considering major reform of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, I urge you to include a ban on phthalates in the final version of legislation.

I applaud Senator Feinstein’s leadership on this issue and urge you to support her amendment – and oppose any weakening amendments – that would provide comprehensive protections for our children’s health.


This message is brought to you by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s BE SAFE PVC Campaign.
For more information visit the BE SAFE PVC campaign’s website: http://www.besafenet.com/pvc
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