6 Tips For A Camping Trip With Kids

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A family camping trip can be plenty of fun, a chance to explore nature, take a break from technology, and create some lovely memories. If you’re preparing for a camping trip with your kids, be sure to consider these six tips.

1 . Prepare For The Weather

Check the weather forecast before you go and ensure that you have all the appropriate clothing items and supplies you’ll need. Remember the weather can change quickly, so even if the forecast is sunny, you’ll still want to bring clothes for rainy weather. To help you pack for you and your kids, apps like ‘PackPoint’ can be useful. PackPoint is a pretty cool vacation app, simply type in the details of your trip and it will tell you what you should bring.

  1. Design An Itinerary 

When you’re going camping with kids, it’s best to create an itinerary to plan what you’re going to do each day. Once the camping trip is underway you won’t have the time to plan things and babysit at the same time! It’s best to get your planning done first, to keep things running smoothly. You might plan a hiking trip, a beach day, bike rides, or a few kids games. Book tickets for any activities in advance, to stay on top of things.

  1. Create A Similar Routine

To help your children enjoy the trip, try to create a similar routine. For example, ensure that your kids get the same nap times, lunch times and bedtimes, (where possible). Creating a familiar structure will help your children to feel relaxed and safe, and to make the most of the trip.

  1. Camping Apps To Help

When you’re planning a camping trip with your kids you might find that the following camping based apps come in handy:

  • All Trails: This application can help you to find the best hiking trails near your camping destination. There’s even a section where you can search for ‘kid-friendly’ hiking trails, to make life easier.
  • Wiki Camps: It’s best to book your camping in advance, but if you need a resource to find campsites, Wiki Camps can help. Here you can search for the best sites plus access camping checklists, and a forum for camping tips. You can also use the app to find the nearest eco-campsites to be more eco-friendly.

 Plan Your Meals 

Before you go on a camping trip with your kids, it’s a good idea to have planned out your meals. There are plenty of easy recipes for camping online, write down a few so you can get everything you need. It’s best to stick to simple recipes, (so you can juggle looking after your kids at the same time)!

  1. Safety Supplies & Checklist

It’s important to take safety supplies on a camping trip, you’ll need a first aid kit, a mini fire extinguisher, a torch, safety whistle, lanterns, and spare food supplies. You should also take insect repellents and sun creams. You might also want to look into clothing made from sun protective fabrics. To learn more about sun protective fabrics check out Rockywoods. Here you’ll also find waterproof fabrics that are ideal for camping and hiking trips.

Once you’ve got organized for your trip you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to enjoy yourself!

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Every Little Helps – Small Actions To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to making your home more environmentally friendly. After all, there is so much advice out there. However, all that matters is that you start making changes, as even small ones like the suggestions below will add up over time to make a big difference. Read on to find out more. 

Cut your plastic use

One of the easiest ways to make sure your home is as eco-friendly as possible is to reduce the amount of plastic you use and then throw away. After all, we all know that plastic usually ends up in the Earth’s oceans and wreaks havoc with the ecosystem, killing wildlife and slowly polluting the location around it. 

With that in mind, it’s best to make some simple swaps that will reduce the amount of plastic your household uses. The first of these is to ditch the plastic bags when you go shopping and instead take your own reusable ones. You can even craft your own from old t-shirts which will save even more waste ending up in landfills! 

Use less energy 

We all know that energy is generated by using up valuable and increasingly scarce resources. However, many of us forget that there are several small things we can do around the home to limit our energy use. 

The first of these is to make sure the lights and the heating are turned off in rooms that are in use. Indeed, it’s super simple to do this now, as you can use smart lights and thermostats to control these home features from anywhere! 

Another smart way to use less energy is to make sure your home is well insulated. This should then help keep the heat in during the winter, and help keep your home cooler in the warmer months. 

Indeed, you can reduce your energy usage a great deal by using less to control and maintain the temperature of your home. That is why another task that needs to be completed regularly is gutter cleaning. This is because when gutters get clogged they can cause leaks, which in turn can compromise your insulation, something that means you will end up using more energy for heat. 

The good news is that you don’t have to get up on the ladder to do this less than pleasant job yourself. Instead, look for the most trusted gutter cleaning professionals in your area to do the task for you. It’ll be quicker, safer, and you’ll get a better result too. 

Harvest your rainwater 

Last of all, if you want to make sure your home is as eco-friendly as possible, be sure to start harvesting rainwater. 

Now, you won’t be able to drink this, but you can use it for all sorts of tasks such as watering your garden or washing your car. Tasks that would have previously needed water from the tap to be used. 

Of course, by using less tap water you will not only be preserving this valuable resource but you can help to save on the energy it would take to purify, collect and transport it to your home. After all, every little helps! 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Decluttering the Eco-Friendly Way: Tips for Environmentally Friendly Cleaning

 

 

Decluttering a home that’s overrun with the flotsam of daily life is an excellent way to create a clean and orderly home environment. Unfortunately, getting rid of junk means introducing it into the natural environment, including loading up landfills, expelling toxic material into the atmosphere, and sapping precious natural resources. Enhanced environmental awareness among homeowners and a renewed appreciation of nature’s gifts have led many people to seek eco-friendly ways of discarding household material. Today, dragging old mattresses to the dump and using bleach and other harmful liquids to clean are giving way to healthier, safer alternatives. Not knowing how and where to start can be overwhelming for anyone, however the amazing thing is there are tons of articles online to guide you through the process step by step.

Recycling the Big Stuff

Appliances are a major problem when it comes to disposal because of their size and composition. Unfortunately, people often throw them out because they’re upgrading to a newer, better-looking model, not because they’ve stopped working. This throw-away mentality lies at the root of many environmental issues we’re grappling with today. If that trusty old microwave or refrigerator has looked better, donate it to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity rather than sending it to the landfill. You can also wait for a community scrap metal drive or post it on a free-exchange website like Freecycle. When it comes to bedding and furniture padding, many people are unaware that these materials can be reused. Look for textile drop-off points in your community, or look for a clothing and textile recycling facility nearest you.

Electronics and “e-waste” represent one of the greatest threats to the environment. Last year, more than 44 million tons of e-waste were discarded, according to the United Nations, but only 20 percent of it was disposed of responsibly and safely. Many of these products contain heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium. Consider donating old cell phones, keyboards, and tablets to a local non-profit or charity or to organizations like Dell Reconnect or the World Computer Exchange, which refurbish and donate electronics to people in developing countries.

Embrace the “Cloud”

Old photos and documents can create a tremendous amount of clutter because they tend to accumulate with alarming rapidity. Fortunately, technology and the storage miracle known as “the cloud” makes it very easy to remove all those loose papers and pictures with a few clicks of your computer mouse. Simply scan photos and documents and upload them to secure digital storage space. That frees you to take it all to a shredder and free up your drawer space. Be sure to consult a tax accountant before you dispose of something you might need to keep a hard copy of.

Green Clean

Cleaning your home with products that contain toxic materials is not only bad for the environment, but it’s also unhealthy for you and your family and can cause problems over time. When people clean using products and methods that are free of toxic or unsafe materials, and that are safe for the environment and human health, it is called green cleaning. There are many environmentally safe, eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today that are as effective as anything you’ve ever used. You can also use natural household materials, like vinegar or baking soda, for a number of cleaning needs. Avoid bleach and ammonia, which emit fumes that can cause respiratory problems and are toxic pollutants. Instead of aerosols, use an essential oil like lavender or lemons to get rid of odors.

Decluttering your home can be a freeing experience that opens up new vistas of practical and aesthetic possibilities. Decluttering the eco-friendly way takes a little extra effort. It’s as much an investment in your health as it is a means of protecting our environment.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Brighter Futures – What You Should Consider Switching to Solar Power

 

Image: http://climate.org/smart-solutions/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Solar-Panels-on-MCM-Home.jpg

Cutting the cost of heating our homes can be a long and daunting project. Just keeping the water warm can be costly enough, let alone the whole house. If you live in an older house that is difficult to keep warm or are considering building a new house, you should consider switching to solar power and do your part for the environment.

Solar panels are a great way to go to keep costs low but they also cut back on non-reusable fossil fuels for electricity. With solar panels installed you don’t need oil, gas, coal or timber to keep your home warm and cosy. Solar panels work by absorbing power from the sunlight, storing it in the panels and converting that power into electricity. The result is truly clean energy and it never runs out. It’s a great alternative to using fuels that pollute the environment and run up your monthly household bills.

Keep reading to find out what you need to consider when making the switch to solar.

Invest in the Future

Costs of panels can vary, however, it’s important to invest in a quality setup to save yourself money down the line and get the most from your panels. Despite the initial investment, solar panels will pay for themselves with the amount of money you save on fossil fuels and the reduced impact you will be making on the environment.

When it comes to getting the best return form your solar panels, more is more. If you want to install enough panels to make your home generate enough to be self-sufficient, then it will be more expensive than just installing a few to help ease the cost of heating. Make sure to consider the size of your home and what your expectations are before choosing a setup.

A solar panel can store about between four and five watts per square metre, so for every kW you generate, you need about forty to fifty square metres of solar panels. Many companies offer incentives and there are also tax benefits for businesses for having these panels installed, and the costs saved in the long term are definitely worth it.

Your Usage

Usage and other factors will play a big part in these equations, as well. If you have several people living at home, all taking showers, running appliances, and are in your home around the clock, it will cost more than a couple who are not home much, eat out or go away at the weekend.

The cost of installing enough panels to meet your usage will vary between suppliers. Other factors, like where you live, if you are running a hot tub or air conditioner and whether incentives are offered, are also worth considering.

Having panels installed in a new house or an older one can make a difference in the overall cost for installation, as more work or materials may be involved in an older building and this can be worth taking into account.

Ask around for pricing and talk to your neighbours and friends about their solar panels. It’s always good to go with a reputable company that someone you know can vouch for.

Spend Now and Save Later

The savings solar panels offer in the long run are well worth it, not only for the money you save in electric bills but also the reduced impact on the environment. Once the systems are in place, they need very little maintenance and will pay for themselves for years to come.

The beauty of solar panels is they produce zero waste and cut your costs considerably. You will need to shop around for the best pricing and for what will suit your needs best. It’s also important to consider the size of your home, your energy usage and what your goals are with your new panels before starting your installation. However, once your panels are in place, you’ll be ready to enjoy all of the benefits they provide now and long into the future.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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6 Ways New Moms Can Be Eco-Friendly


There are few experiences so exciting and nerve-wracking as being a new mom. Whether this is your first time being a parent or you are simply adding to your family, you are likely overwhelmed and wondering how to manage life with your new bundle of joy. Your baby is your first priority, but you also care about the environment and want to minimize the impact you are having. With the market of baby products claiming to be eco-friendly, this might seem easy, but you likely know it isn’t that simple. Being an eco-friendly new mom is a deliberate lifestyle choice.

With the right attitude and approach, you can be supermom and save the environment all at the same time. Simply being conscientious is half the battle, and for the rest of the struggle, the following tips should give some guidance. Get ready to save the world, one diaper at a time.

Consider Your Diaper Choice

Diapers, in fact, are one of the most important considerations for new moms. It is not shocking that disposable diapers may not be the best choice for the environment. They create massive amounts of waste and are generally not recyclable. Some suggest that cloth diapers are the better alternative, but according to the Washington Post, these are not necessarily any better. As a mom, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your baby and your family. While the environment is important, your child’s wellbeing is more important. Find the diaper that meets your eco-friendly standards.

Read the Baby Food Label

How often do you read the label of the food you are eating? Every day…or rarely? If you are like most people, you probably pay little attention to exactly what you are consuming, but you are likely far more careful when it comes to the food your baby eats. Not all baby food is created equal—some are filled with harmful and synthetic ingredients, while others are organically produced. Needless to say, one of these is better for both your baby and the environment. Choose the food your child eats wisely for the sake of their health and the environment’s.

 

Be Smart With Resources

Natural resources are limited. As a new mom, though, you may be relying on such resources heavily. Water is just one example. A new baby necessitates baths, additional laundry and plenty of other activities that take up more water than you might usually use. This might be fine were it not for the many areas experiencing droughts. Southern California is notoriously dry, and using excessive water can be irresponsible. Initiatives such as the Cadiz Water Project aim to remedy that, though, by providing sustainable access to water even throughout droughts. Still, you should use natural resources sparingly.

Invest in Sustainable Products

While buying the right products certainly won’t fix all of the environment’s problems, it is a good place to start. Shopping responsibly is an important undertaking, and this is especially true when you are a new mom selecting the products you will use for your baby. Investing in sustainable products means more than just buying items that are labelled “green,” though. It means researching companies, looking up reviews and educating yourself on the different products you are considering. This process can be overwhelming, but it is certainly worth it for both the environment and your new baby.

“If you don’t have time to do the research yourself, this article here details every product you need to get started.” the Invest in Sustainable Products section .

 

Be Aware of Community’s Needs

As a mom, you are automatically attuned to the needs of your child. Perhaps it is more difficult—and seemingly less important—to determine what the needs of your community might be. Immersing yourself in your community is a great way to build a support system as a new parent. You might consider, environmentally, what your community needs. Do you have access to sustainable produce, for example, through a farmer’s market? Is there consistent access to water, or are there issues complicating this? The Cadiz Water Project is a great example of community response to issues with resources.

 

Favor Hand-Made Over Store-Bought

One of the best ways to minimize your environmental impact is to ditch store-bought baby goods and go for hand-made. This is beneficial for so many reasons—of course, you are eliminating the wasteful packaging that so often accompanies items bought in a store. More importantly, however, you are creating completely unique artifacts of your child’s infancy. Rather than buying diapers, for example, sewing simple cloth nappies can be a simple alternative. There are a myriad of other ways for new moms to make the switch from store-bought to hand-made and support sustainability in the process.

Caring for a new baby is overwhelming, but it is also an incredible journey. Any parent who cares about the environment can be eco-friendly while also ensuring their child is nurtured and loved. Invest in your child and the environment by following these tips and becoming the environmentally-minded supermom you were meant to be.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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