Posts from the ‘On Being Green’ Category

Flashy Friday May 10

We had loads of fun this week continuing our study of Ancient Rome. Justin was home this week to help us build an aqueduct. The kids both had a great time pouring the water down the chute into the bowl. I hope they have a better understanding of the way aqueducts were used to bring water into the cities.

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This project came from Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (A Kid’s Guide series)
We borrowed ours from the library but I will consider purchasing in the future. It is full of child-appropriate activities to help relate the ancient cultures to children. We are going to do a few more of these before I return the book.

We started baking our own bread this week thanks to a borrowed bread machine from Oma. Here is the first loaf, it came out delicious and was quickly followed by two more loaves.

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Our custom wrap conversion ring sling arrived at the beginning of this week. Cady always hates the “demo” at home but then loves to be carried when we are out. This wrap is a hemp/cotton blend and is great for heavier “babies”. Unfortunately Cady hates the color of this and she can be very opinionated. I hope I can talk her into liking it soon. I sure love it. It is made from Natibaby Olive Gears and I chose Bronze rings to give it a Steampunk look. Zanytoes did the conversion and she did an excellent job and got the sling to me exceptionally fast. She’s my go-to chopper from now on.

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May 9th was a German holiday, Ascension Day. I think it is also their Father’s Day (Vaters Tag). Justin was off and so was a friend of ours so we took him and the kids up to Heilingenberg to the Thingstätte. This is still one of my favorite places close by and the snails here in the spring are pretty awesome. I’ve never seen giant, fat snails like this in the States.

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It makes me want to pop over to Strasbourg, France to chow down on some escargot! 😉 Next week maybe?

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Cleaning Microfiber with Alcohol

We were lucky enough to score a free microfiber reclining sofa this past weekend. This thing was filthy before.

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Yuck. We’ve all seen microfiber look like this before and this particular sofa also had lots of pen marks all over it.

I did some poking around online and found a tutorial for cleaning with rubbing alcohol on Chris and Robin’s Nest. I changed it a little though. A few of the other instructions I saw suggested diluting the rubbing alcohol with water by 50%. So I used VODKA. I went to the shopette and bought the cheapest bottle of vodka I could find. I also bought natural colored sponges and a white scrub brush. The vodka went into a spray bottle and I started with the sponge. I just sprayed a little bit on a small section and started scrubbing. I couldn’t believe the ink just coming off the fabric! When I had the whole thing scrubbed I let it dry and then “fluffed” the fabric with the white scrub brush. White sponges and brushes are important because the color could rub off onto the furniture during scrubbing.

And when I was all done and it dried and we rearranged the living room and got the old furniture out … It looks like this!

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I am pretty impressed! We planned to buy a new sofa when we move in a few months but now I think we may just keep this one. 🙂 it’s amazing what a little alcohol and elbow grease will do.

Earth Day!

Earth Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It has usually warmed up by this time and outside projects and fun are on the schedule. Today, however it is still a little chilly outside her in Germany so we stayed inside. We read The Lorax
And made little mustaches out of Popsicle sticks and construction paper.

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The kids had fun walking around and saying “I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees!” I promised Cady we would watch the movie later.

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These watercolor globes with “helping hands” were a Pinterest project and turned out so fun. They are made with coffee filters and water color paints. We traced our hands on construction paper so we could hold the earth. I think they look great in our back window although Topper didn’t want hands on his.

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I don’t think we will get in a bike ride today thanks to the weather, what are your plans for celebrating Earth Day?

Which is Greener: Books

This month my homeschool book club (via Facebook) is reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Each month I face the same dilemma, do I check the book out from the library, buy a copy from Amazon for my collection, or download the book to the <a href="http://Kindle?

Let’s debate this for a minute. I’m always searching for the “greenest” choice. After all, my family hasn’t used paper towels on a regular basis since 2009. I think the library wins right out of the gate but once we factor in the logistical issues of using the library, (i.e. item already checked out or 3 week check out time for a book I need for 4 weeks, title so new the library doesn’t have it yet) the library isn’t a clear winner.

Is it greener to buy a copy of the book you can resell or an ebook that uses less resources to produce, is downloaded and not shipped but cannot be lent (aside from a few titles) or resold or given away?

For book club I have been buying the ebooks. I do regret that I am not adding these titles to my book collection but since Amazon is so great about keeping track of what you have ordered, I know I will have these forever as long as the technology exists, but I’m still not sure if I won’t really regret it someday when my kids are old enough to start reading some of the same titles.

Anyway, if you would like to read along with me you can purchase your book like I did through Amazon 🙂