Monday, March 25, 2013

Eight alternatives to plastic Easter eggs!

It's that time of year and Spring/Ostara/Easter baskets have lined the shelves for weeks now.  Plastic eggs are being purchased by the millions, (billions?) with nary a thought to where they will end up (in the landfills, in the rivers, in the oceans). 

I'm no saint when it comes to living green, but there are some things that come more easily to me than others.  This is one of those things.  Leaving the plastic eggs at the store is not at all hard, especially since there are loads of other options.  No guilt if you have already bought them, but never fear, there are solutions!

1)  If you have them from years before or have just bought them, don't get stuck.  Just DON'T BUY MORE, and USE THE ONES YOU HAVE.  FOREVER!  Offer them on Freecycle when you are done with them, and make a note of what year you purchased them so that others know if it was before or after the big "lead in toys scare," and keep them out of the landfill.  Finding a specific person to give them to is better than donating them to a resale shop where they may or may not have value.

2)  Try making paper-mache eggs.  That's what we are doing and Lusa Organics has a great tutorial for them.  This took us a while for the first stage, but Jetta was singing the praise about it the whole time we did it.  Thanks to Lusa Organics for such a wonderful tutorial!  But please make note:  if you use a balloon for every egg, what happens to the balloon when you are done?  That's right.  It GOES INTO THE LANDFILL.  Don't use a balloon.  The Lusa Organics tutorial provides other options.



3)  Make sewn, wool felt eggs.  Remember, the felt has to be 100% wool in order for it to be natural.  Poly-based felt and fabrics DO NOT DEGRADE.  They are plastic in fabric form.  Lusa Organics also has a great tutorial for this, but there are others.  One Inch World has a more 3-dimensional version of this.  Or you could support an Etsy shop and buy something like these, at I Dream in Green!




4)  While we're talking about buying things, check out these beautiful wooden, fillable eggs.  Pricey, but long lasting and definitely degradable!

5)  You could try Eco Eggs, a non-petroleum plastic egg that is, according to their site, compostable.  If you have to have something that looks like the plastic stuff, this would be the way to go.




6)  Solid wooden eggs, easily purchased at your local craft store, can be decorated as you choose and used just like any other egg.  You could have a trade-in for candy-- each color could trade for a different treat!



7)  Eggs are the tradition, but these days, isn't candy the point?  So why bother with eggs at all.  Try this non-egg option, which is just as cute!  Thanks Eve of Reduction for your clever idea!  Cooking with My Kid has another version of this that is wrapped in tissue paper.  Just as cute, but make sure you use upcycled paper to wrap it and don't fill it with plastic toys or it defeats the purpose!




8)  My favorite, which is a pretty darn good standby, is, simply, to use real eggs.  And then you could, ya know, eat them.  Chocolate can still go in the basket, or you could trade them in for goodies (no plastic!) and then still have some nutrition at some point!



What are you doing this year to make your egg hunting eco-friendly?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Let's get one thing straight . . .

I read an article about a woman who lost 180 pounds and until I read this article, it had not occurred to me that EVERYONE was looking at me with disgust because my ass is big and because I have to squeeze behind them to get past.  It had not occurred to me that EVERYONE was relieved when I went past them on an airplane, and it had not occurred to me that I was so intensely loathed by all the world around me just because I weigh more than they want me to.

So let's get one thing straight.  I'm fat.  I am most definitely fatter than you want me to be and most days I am fatter than I want me to be.

But do you loathe me?  Are you relieved when I walk past?  Are you so fearful of my flesh that I disgust you?

Maybe.  Maybe you are part of the EVERYONE that is so fearful of their own flaws that you project that judgment onto me.

Let's get another thing straight.  There are loads of things about being fat that really suck, but it's more about convenience and acceptance than it is about the actual sucky-ness of my girth.  But don't you skinny folk have issues too?  Don't all of us have issues?  Don't we all long for approval by our peers and want to be loved for who we are?  If I looked like J Lo wouldn't I just then feel badly because I was only loved for my looks and not my brain, or my innate goodness?

So here is what I have to say about this issue.  Fuck all this shit.  I'm so sick of it.  I'm sick of somebody being disgusted because my hips are wide (and they are!), but I'm also sick of them not knowing that I, too, am disgusted with them.  That's right.  If you can't handle me being fat then you need to remember it works both ways.  We get to be disgusted with you too, and there are a lot of us! So get over it.

THERE IS NO MORALITY TO BEING FAT.  I am not bad, I am not evil, I am not lazy, I am not willfully creating this situation.  It's all bioligical, it's all limiting, it's all cruddy to be in the body that isn't approved of by society, but there is no moral issue about it.

What there is, instead, is fear. 

Fear that you will become like me. 

And so I must be judged, shunned, boxed up and shipped to the north pole?

If you know someone fat, and you have judged them, then why don't you consider the notion that you are really judging yourself.  You are really working at making sure someone else has issues that are worse than yours.  And if that person in your life is fat, try considering the possibility that the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry still hasn't figured out a way to make all us fatties turn thin, so surely, if there was a magic pill we'd already have taken it.

And if you are that fat person, come with me and let all this go.  No one is equipped to accept you in this modern society until you accept yourself and demand respect.  That's just how it is set up.  If you want others to respect you, approve of you, you have to stop thinking they are right for their judgment.  And you have to look in the mirror and recognize your own personal worth, no matter what your size.  You have worth because you are a human being.  And there is only one way to really move into believing that.



Make the choice. 

Make the choice right now to walk past all this shit, and love yourself.  Our lives are limited on this earth, and this might be the one shot you've got to stand up and say "I am fucking awesome!"  And that goes for you skinny people too.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eco-friendly Markers for Eco-friendly Creativity?

Creativity is something I believe to be essential to my and my children's development.  Creativity unleashes the intuition and gives the soul permission to express itself in a uniquely individual way.  That said, we spend a lot of unstructured time at the table with colors, scissors, glue and fun.




And as we craft and play on this beautiful spring-ish day, I am pondering the question, "How much longer can I keep markers out of my house?"  The girls seem fine without them . . . until they have them.  And then, like with plastic toys, they are little beasts inhaling the food of which they have been starved.  They didn't know they were starving of this novelty, and maybe they really weren't, but when the opportunity to indulge in the forbidden fruit/plastic happens, they go wild.

What's the big deal?  Why won't I just give them plastic markers?

The purist in me that likes to ignore the mounting pile of gifted plastic toys and desperate purchases I have made for them also likes to envision that we use the real deal and skip all that plastic if we don't need it.  We have beeswax crayons.  We have water colors.  We have color pencils.  Who needs a marker?  They really are just water color in a tube.

But they are also kinda cool.  So I know some time in our future, while making paper and painting masterpieces, my kids will also be demanding markers.


 

There is no perfect solution, but there are, at present, a few options that will lighten the load if you choose markers and want to do it in a way that is more eco-friendly.

1.  Don't use them.  This is obvious, but needs to be stated.  No one NEEDS markers.  We will not die without markers.  There is no "marker imperative" to our survival.  So just skip it if you can.

2.  Choose natural instead of just non-toxic.  You can get natural markers through Clementine Art.  They make and sell beautiful natural products that might just be available in a locally owned shop near you.  But they are still packaged in plastic and are pricey.

3.  Use a marker that is refillable.  A Google search will reveal a lot options, but here is an example of AusPen refillable whiteboard markers:  http://www.auspen.com/collections/refillable-markers/products/auspen-6-assorted-marker-pack

4.  Use Crayola and sign the petition at Change.org to start a take-back program so Crayola can keep all those plastic tubes and parts out of the landfills and oceans.  And then hope for change.

5.  Use Crayola, sign that petition (see link above) and then take it upon yourself to recycle those tubes.  Crafting a Green World has a tutorial on doing just that, though you will want to hand deliver these to your recycling station to make sure they don't get discarded.  They are made from #5 plastic and recyclable, but not marked.

6.  If you aren't up for the messy process of dismantling a dozen or more markers at a time, you could always send them to Terracycle and they will recycle them for you.  Terracycle has a ton of brigades, and I am happy to report that our local Comal County UU Society participates.

There is no perfect solution at this point, and while markers are not a true need in our lives, creativity is.  Promoting eco-friendly creativity is an important part of the process and makes me feel much better for that time down the road when, and if, markers find their way to our creative days and ways. 

Do you use markers in your creativity?  How have you made your creative process more eco-friendly? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pisces Reflections

It is the new moon in Pisces and still Mercury retrograde.  Old habits die hard, but with this combination we're sure to reinvent ourselves or dig up an old project that is ready to be refreshed! 


 

Each month, Rachel and I have a theme for the new moon, a focus to guide us in our journey through body wisdom.  The Body Wisdom Project is what we've dubbed it.  It is an opportunity for us to remember and relearn the wisdom our bodies innately carry and the wisdom we gain from tuning in and listening.

Last month was our Believing Moon.  Believing, having faith, trusting.  And with that new awareness, that new ability to listen and believe what our cells are working to convince us of, we sit with this Pisces moon and reflect.  This month's theme is Reflection Moon.

I am reflecting on what has passed, on what I have learned.  But I am also REFLECTING, being a mirror to the moon and showing the moon her own beauty.  She is doing the same for me.  She is reflecting back what I have not been able, willing or BRAVE enough to see.  She might show me flaws, but she will also show me the wisdom, beauty and strength that is so hard to see about myself.

And there it is, right in front of me.  No reasons to deny it.  No way to ignore it.  Pisces Luna and her water nature cannot resist mirroring what needs to be resurrected, an image of myself that is a Goddess, a powerful manifestation of all that has come and all that has been weathered.  I grow larger than life in the pool of reflection with this moon, and my confidence soars as she smiles with psychic love, basking in this divinity that I mirror for her.



 


And all this is with the sliver of a moon.  Surely this journey will swell as she does!

To keep tabs on our Body Wisdom Project, or to join us in your own Body Wisdom experience, check back here, visit www.creativitytribe.com, or find Rachel on Facebook.

The Ol' Switcheroo

Looks like it's time for the ol' switcheroo.  Back to WildWood Naturals.  Like an old sweater and jeans on a cold morning.

I hope you'll stick with me and hunt me down at www.wildwoodnaturals.blogspot.com!

In the meantime, enjoy the last week of mercury retrograde!