Ladies and germs, children and adults, I welcome you to the September edition of the Green Moms Carnival: the Back To School Edition! Bloggers of all stripes have contributed thoughtful, funny, and inspiring ideas on greening your child's school experience. Read one, read them all...and then skip on down to leave a comment if you'd like a chance to win some eco-friendly back-to-school gear.
Autumn Beck presents How To Start Cloth Diapering on a Budget posted at All About Cloth Diapers. Autumn posts about how to get started with cloth diapers for less than $125.
Tela Kayne presents School Lunches - What are Your Children Really Eating? posted at babyminding.com and reveals some of the scary-sounding ingredients in typical school lunches.
Karen Hanrahan presents Back To School at Best of Mother Earth with tips on everything from nurturing your own mom-self through healthy eating and exercise, to avoiding refined white sugar and consumerism, and organizing the influx of kid artwork. She's even got a tip for negating the evil of nitrate-laden hotdogs!
Diane MacEachern (author of Big Green Purse) presents Taming the Back-To-School Shopping Beast and Check Out Maggie's Organics for Back-to-School Shopping with plenty of tips like "Go shopping in your closet first!" and, well, a source for organic toddler socks which came in plenty useful in our household.
Crunchy Chicken presents Reducing School Bus Emissions with a sample letter to send to your school district to get them to consider switching from diesel to something with less harmful emissions.
EcoBurban Mom presents The Future of School Lunches (on the USDA reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act - head over there asap as you must comment by Oct. 15th) and 4 back-to-school tips for 'that mom' (including knowing your own kid - maybe he'll use up 75 #2 pencils, maybe only 1...depends on the child, right?).
Fake Plastic Fish presents E+Co Pencils Not So Eco, Actually with an insightful example of how important it is to read the label -- and then use your own judgment to decide if there's greenwashing in your hands.
'Burban Mom presents We Needs Us Good Edgewcashun at Going Green with an action item: telling your reps how much we need to fund environmental education (and PE, for cryin' out loud) via the "No Child Left Inside" legislation due up for a vote this week.
Going Green Mama presents Dishing Up Healthier Lunches and reminds us not to overpack the poor kiddo's lunchbox which means "you’re setting them up to overeat or to toss the rest, both of which have negative consequences." Hear, hear!
Gray Matters presents Going Green in Preschool with a lowdown about her kids' snack policies and how she's managed to honor her green roots while working around school regulations (something we all have to navigate).
Greeen Sheeep presents Back to Eww School with her wistful musings about saner school supply lists (can we just use up the old supplies?!) .
Sommer presents Triclosan and a Non-Toxic Classroom, Eco-Friendly School Lunch, and Healthy Breakfast Ideas posted at Green & Clean Mom. Thanks especially for the alternatives to triclosan - I haven't been able to stomach the smell of it since I was pregnant (a surefire way to tell if something's toxic, imho).
Green Bean presents Education is Eco-Logical at Green Bean Dreams with a comprehensive list of ways to push yourself beyond the basics.
Green Style Mom presents Green Education at her blog (where she's "trying to be myself, be a mom, have some style, have some fun...and do it all in an environmentally friendly way.') Love this post about ways to inculcate little greenies at home, where learning begins: "We aren't waiting until our kids are older or waiting for a good green school curriculum. In our house, we don't just act responsibly, we discuss it. We are building a base that will be expanded as they grow. A way of life that is inherent to them as recognizing letters and counting objects."
Green Talk presents Thrifty Is The New Green for Back To School Supplies with a paean to being thrifty and using up what you've got before heading out for (eco-friendly) supplies. She's also written up a great rundown of Eco Fundraising Made Easy and Profitable tips (like recycling phone books! yeah!) and a snapshot of Project Kool which is also a fundraiser (reusable lunch sacks) dreamed up by a 12 year old!
Jennae Petersen presents Green Rooms in a Box Series: A Modern, Eco-Friendly Nursery Under $2500 posted at Green Your Decor. Jennae notes, "This eco-friendly nursery costs less than $2500 overall, and every single item in the room has green qualities. Not a bad budget if you're starting from scratch, from the ground up."
Mary Hunt presents Time To Start A Class War... at In Women We Trust with a rundown of The Eco-Women Alliance's suggestions for greening a school (email her if you want a more complete version of this handy checklist) and her musings about her favorite lunchboxes.
La Marguerite presents Getting Biodiversity on the Cultural Radar Screen with a plea for all moms - and dads - to help spread the biodiversity message in schools!
Mindful Momma presents The Price We Pay for Back2School Cool at ...adventures in living a green & healthy life with a tongue-in-cheek gentle razz of the barrage of advertising she's resisting as she sends her boys to school.
Tiffany Washko presents Back to School - Green Style posted at Natural Family Living Blog.
Lynn Miller of OrganicMania, founder of this marvelous carnival, presents Green Mom Culture Shock: Back to School, musing about going "from the friendly confines of the Green Mom blogosphere to the public school system."
Ena Clewes presents Dealing With Garden Pests the Organic Way - Gardening Articles - Organic Gardening posted at Organic Gardening. As she notes, "for many gardeners, a good offense is better than a good defense when it comes to pests in the garden."
Yours truly presents Back to School: Greener Fundraising Ideas and Back to School: Waste-Free Lunches. Long-winded posts with resources for you to use on both topics. ;)
The Green Parent presents Add Some Green to School Lunches and suggests an "offer vs. serve" cafeteria policy and a "Giveaway Table."
The Not Quite Crunchy Parent presents Ten Ways To Make School Green All Year Long
at her blog (love her tagline - she's "Not quite crunchy, not quite mainstream...news, tips, and information for parents in the middle") with reminders of some basics we can use all year long, like heading to the library (oh, that new booklust, sigh).
Jennifer presents Back to School With Asbestos?? at The Smart Mama with simple steps to reduce asbestos exposure should your child's school be, well, crumbling and old like the rest of America's....
Jenn at Tiny Choices presents DIY: Reusable Sandwich Wraps with a whole host of linkety-goodness on how to make a wrap-n-mat knockoff (possibly one without a plastic liner!).
Thanks once again to Lynn Miller at OrganicMania, the founder of the Green Moms Carnival, for bringing everyone together, and to all of the fine writers who contributed such thoughtful posts about greening our children's lives at school.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a lunch pack sampler of 3 lunchbox napkins and a snack bag made from upcycled vintage fabric at The Guestroom Closet (woo hoo! a fellow DCUM and local business for me) and an assortment of bags from ecogear (organic cotton kid's green messenger bag and toddler natural-with-pink-trim backpack, and a PVC-free-nylon navy adult pack). To enter, leave a comment below about the best tip you got from reading a carnival post about greening schools...and share a new idea of your own. Post your entry comment (with a valid email with which to contact you!) by Friday, Sept. 12th and I will pick a random winner.