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Archive for the ‘Ultimate Green Eco-Friendly’ category

Leave it to the folks at LoveforEarth to come up with cute, compact reusable lunch bags for kids and adults alike.

UltimateMama loves the eco friendly insulated zipper sandwich bag.  At $9.60 it is a steal!

Bag

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UltimateMama has received some questions lately from active readers wanting to know where they can find BPA-free cups, bowls, plates, and other tableware. 

UltimateMama wants you to try Preserve products which are made from recycled materials and are BPA-free and melamine free!

Treat your family to a safe, functional, attractive tablescape!

Cups

http://www.preserveproducts.com/

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UltimateMama knows that each fall parents and
children all over the U.S. must embark on the annual ritual of back to school
shopping.  This often daunting task can
be turned into an entertaining lesson about the benefits of green shopping for
our planet.  What a perfect time to teach
your children to preserve their environment by encouraging them to take a green
approach to the task.  Armed with the 3
R’s of waste management – reduce, reuse and recycle, you can educate your
children to be responsible consumers and complete the challenge of getting them
ready for a new school year in the process. 

Nowadays it is cool to be
green.  UltimateMama wants you to keep in mind that going green
does not have to be expensive.  Below are UltimateMama's helpful suggestions and tips for GREEN back to school shopping:

– Shop with reusable bags.  Be good to the planet by avoiding plastic
bags.  Make sure you shop with a study
bag that is big enough for all of supplies. 

– Walk, bike, or take public
transportation.  Use the money saved for
the college fund.

– Stick to recycled paper.  Teach your children to be responsible with
paper.  Encourage them to use computer
printers only when necessary.

– Go for pencils made from re-claimed
wood and refillable pens. 

– Opt for reusable water bottles at
lunchtime.  Fortunately, there are many non-plastic, stylish bottle
alternatives out there for your children to choose. 

– Pack lunches with fresh ingredients
purchased at the Farmers’ Market.  Not
only is buying locally good for your child’s body but also for the
environment.  

– Cart those books around in a
backpack made from recycled materials. 

– Treat your children to organic
cotton clothing.  Not only is it
extremely comfortable but it is durable as well. 

– Head into a thrift store for
clothing and other miscellaneous supplies. 
You would be surprised how many items that can be found in thrift stores
are new with the original tags attached. 
Besides, many thrift stores have a charitable element to them so your
child is helping the environment and a charity at the same time.

– Ask your friends and family members
for hand-me-down clothing or school supplies and give away any items your
children no longer use or have outgrown.  

– Buy used books.  Take the suggested reading list to a used
bookstores and have fun browsing the shelves. 
Your family will save trees and money. 
 

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UltimateMama created this equation: Farmers' Markets + Kids = Healthy Fun

UltimateMama knows that parents want what is best for their children and food is no
exception.  In these challenging economic times parents struggle to feed
their children healthy meals with fresh ingredients in a cost efficient
manner. 

Although
not all families can go directly to the farm, many are fortunate to have the
farm come to them.  Exploring Farmers'
Markets together as a family will support local farmers and serve as an
entertaining way to educate children about the health benefits of eating fresh
food.

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Additionally,
Farmers’ Markets provide a quick and easy out of classroom lesson plan for
parents.  Parents can teach their
children about colors, textures, sizes, shapes, and tastes by walking around to
the various stands.  Your children will
learn to select items using all of their senses.  

UltimateMama believes that visiting
Farmers’ Markets is a wonderful way to get your food shopping done while teaching
your children the importance of buying locally. 
And once you return home, your children will be excited to make meals or
gift baskets with the fresh ingredients they selected.   

Below are a few suggestions or tips from UltimateMama to keep in mind while shopping at the
Farmers' Market:

– Start early – in terms of age and time.  Farmers’ Markets are fun for
people of all ages.  Even toddlers love
visiting Farmers' Markets to roam around the colorful food items and smell the
fresh flowers and herbs.  Plan ahead and
shop early.  If you arrive first thing in
the morning the selections are better and the crowds are minimal. 

– Shop with reusable bags.  Be good to
the environment by bringing your own reusable bags and avoiding plastic.  Use some of your old tote bags and have your
children decorate their own Farmers’ Markets bags as a simple craft idea.  Your children will have fun creating their
personalized bag that can be used time and time again.  Just make sure it is sturdy enough to handle
all of your goods. 

– Allow
your children to select fruits or vegetables that appeal to them.  If your
children are part of the selection and purchasing process they will be more
excited when it comes to preparing and eating the meal. Teach your children to
make smart choices for their bodies. 

– Encourage your children to be active participants.  Let them SHUCK THAT
CORN while they are outside at the Farmers' Market.  They will have fun
preparing the corn and your kitchen will remain unharmed in the process. 
Plus, you are one step closer to dinner.   

– Make shopping at the Farmers' Market a routine.  Teaching children to
eat well at an early age will hopefully lead to healthier eating habits when
they are older.  The more you visit the
Farmers’ Market, the more your children will feel like it is a part of their
lifestyle.  

– Visit the Farmers' Market throughout the
year.  Children will learn about the seasonal nature of foods and will
look forward to purchasing "in season" delights.  Create a Farmers' Market calendar with your
children.  After your visits have your children list the foods that they
saw on display and compare the lists with previous trips.  Children love
to make repeat trips to the Farmers' Market to sample seasonal
delights. 

– Venture out.  Don't just stick to
food.  Many Farmers’ Markets also offer cheeses, breads, syrups,
honey, flowers, herbs and more.  Browse
the stands and show your children the many offerings available.  When you return home from your visits, create
Farmers’ Market placemats or bookmarks. 
Have your children cut out pictures of 
items they saw at the Farmers’ Market from your old magazines, glue them
onto both sides of a piece of colored construction paper, and cover with clear
contact paper.   

– Make friends with the farmers.  Sure children can hear about farming,
nutrition, buying locally, and the environment in a classroom
but encouraging children to talk directly to the farmers at the
various stands is more fun.  Farmers will
share details about their current crop as well as what to expect in upcoming
weeks. 

– Share your Farmers' Market finds with other family members or
friends.  Create seasonal baskets of the goodies you and your children
picked up at recent Farmer's Market trips.  Encourage your children to
give these baskets to others as holiday gifts or birthday
presents.  Make a card to attach to the basket detailing your
children's Farmers' Market experience and why they picked the contents to go
into the gift basket.  The recipient will love their thoughtful gift and
your child will be proud of their creation.

– Prepare
new recipes.  Your children will discover that the farmers or chefs
present at the market can provide many delicious recipes for the family.  Cook together as a family and turn your children
into mini culinary masters of fresh food. 
From simple salads and soups to more complex side dishes and
pies your children will have a terrific time learning to cook with fresh
ingredients.  Help your children create great tasting meals that are good
for your family and our planet. 

For Farmers' Markets in your area please check:  http://www.localharvest.org/

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Season’s
GREEN-ings from UltimateMama!
‘Tis the season to give green.  In these challenging economic times families
are searching for ways to buy holiday gifts in an economically and
environmentally conscious way.  Green
shopping trips during the holiday season will not only save your family money
but also teach your children about environmental conservation.  The holidays are a perfect time to remind
your children to reduce, reuse and recycle. 
Your children will learn valuable lessons about waste management as well
as complete their shopping in the process.

We have rounded up some useful, cost efficient tips for a
GREEN holiday season:

         
Reuse bags.  Before you leave the house remember to grab a
few of your own sturdy bags for the shopping trip.  Encourage your children to decorate their own
bags with markers.  Have your children
use old fabric swatches and create fun patterns on their bags with fabric
glue.  This fun and simple craft project
will start the shopping trip off on the right note.    

Give keepsakes.  Keep valuables in the family by giving your
favorite childhood books or precious jewelry to your children.  You can even teach an older sibling to
recycle a treasured toy by passing it down as a special holiday gift to a
younger sibling. 

Go vintage.  Show your children that they can find hidden
gems by shopping at thrift stores.  From
sterling silver belt buckles for dad to crystal vases for mom your child will
have fun perusing the shelves to complete their shopping list.   

         
Shop locally.  Support your local community by searching for
gifts at craft fairs, farmers’ markets, and flea markets.  From handmade candles to apple butter to
sweaters you can find many wonderful gifts for friends, family members,
teachers, and neighbors without even leaving your community.  Let your children get creative with gift
presentation by reusing your old baskets. 
Have your children put the gift items into individual baskets and tie
ribbons around them for a colorful spark.

GiftBasket-Farmers Mkt 6-09

Bu Buy organic cotton products.  Organic cotton can be found in clothing
items, towels, bed sheets, children’s stuffed animals, and bath robes.  Once your family goes organic they won’t go
back.

         
Choose gifts made from recycled
materials.  It is so easy to find a wide
variety of gift ideas that are made from recycled materials including coasters, placemats,
trivets, jewelry, and bags. Bring new meaning to the old phrase “one man’s
trash is another man’s treasure” by engaging in craft projects with your
children to make gifts from your old supplies.  

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Bake.  Host a cookie decorating party or
cookie/recipe exchange around the holiday season to encourage edible
treats.  Older relatives love receiving
cakes and cookies made especially for them by the younger generation.  In the summer months encourage your children
to email family members requesting their favorite holiday treats.  Then help your child make these delectable treats
for holiday gifts and package them in a reused tin.   

Shop online.  Online shopping is convenient and
practical.  The benefits of reducing air
pollution by not driving to a store outweigh the fact that you cannot touch the
gifts.

         
Give gift certificates or
memberships to your local zoo or aquarium.

         
Recycle and reuse wrapping paper,
bows, ribbons, gift bags, and boxes.  Set
aside a small area for packaging supplies and as your receive gifts throughout
the year add the packaging to this area.  
For a little packaging fun, use the comic section of the newspaper for
children’s gifts. 

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