This morning at 6:30am I ran with a group from the Raleigh Running Outfitters. It was very hot and muggy but was able to get about a 6 mile run completed. Afterwards, they had a free pancake/eggs breakfast for the runners who participated in the run.
There is an interesting etiquette that is part of a running group. The leader calls out any potential obstacle ("runner up" means a runner is heading towards the group, whereas, "runner back" means a runner is approaching the back of the group). The rest of the group members tend to repeat the leader so that those runners who are farther behind can be made aware of any obstacles.
It has been a positive experience and I plan to run with the group again soon.
As the summer draws to a close, I wanted to share with you some eco-friendly ideas on how you can start off the new school year.
- Have your children reuse their existing schoolbags. You can add a custom patch (retail costs of about $4 or less) and sew it on to their schoolbags so that they feel like it is more personalized and you can continue this "add a patch" a year tradition.
- Participate in a clothing exchange/donation with your local church and/or community center.
- Re-use existing school supplies (e.g. pencil cases and pencil sharpeners) and be selective on what you need to re-stock.
- Vow to either borrow or rent all sports related equipment for any upcoming children's sports activities.
- For children who are in fourth grade or above, you can provide them with a set school supply budget and let them know they can keep the savings or use any savings that they have left over.
- Teach children how to do their own laundry. Children as young as third grade can handle loading the washer and dryer. This cuts the need to have a new outfit each day.
- Repair/mend any good items that have not been outgrown (e.g. pants, buttons on jackets).
-Invest in an eco-friendly water/drink bottle for your children and remember to bring them to all afterschool activities.
-Invest in a snack cooler that you can leave in your car trunk (fill them up with economy/family size snacks for the week and have the children share their snacks as opposed to giving each child individual snack bags).
-Invest in two dozen kitchen wash cloths and have the children use them to dry their hands instead of paper towels (washing wash cloths can easily be part of your laundry routine).
-Ask the students' teachers to allow them to finish using any old composition notebooks that still have alot of unused pages, this applies to other school supplies as well.
-Clear out any existing clothes that your children have outgrown and donate them.
-Clear out any existing school supplies that your children have outgrown (e.g. most fifth graders no longer use gluesticks) and donate them to the schools. Many parents think that they can only donate new school supplies to schools. Most elementary schools welcome and accept all gently used school supplies (ranging from scissors, glue bottles, pencils, etc.).
-Join the PTA and lobby the PTA to limit all communications to email and internet postings (we are in the digital world) or at least provide each parent the option to opt out of the direct mail (flyers) that are included in children's folders. This saves a ton of trees and PTA money!! Volunteer to send the weekly PTA email blasts.
-Ask the school teachers to provide an opt out option for school related printed communication.
-Start collecting empty tissue paper boxes and toilet/paper towel rolls; donate them to pre-K and kindergarten classes for their art projects.
It's late summer and still so hot outside. I feel like I will melt any minute. The following are some eco-friendly ways to stay cool during the hot summer. Feel free to email me any additional ideas you have.
- Make salads and sandwiches: Avoid using the oven and/or stove in the kitchen. Instead make healthy salads and sandwiches that do not require any cooking.
- Avoid the use of unnecessary electrical devices: there is no need to have the television, computer and mp3 player on at the same time. Reduce the use of electrical devices.
- Make cool drinks: Add ice cubes to some water and a few slices of fruit.
- Camp out at the bookstore or library: Instead of staying home and drive up the costs, head out to the bookstore and/or library. Spend the afternoon there.
- Head out to the local park and/or beach. When you are enjoying the hot weather, you avoid driving up the cooling costs at home and begin to enjoy the warm weather.
I have come across a great website that promotes public action in support of federal funding for safe bike paths to schools. We live in a community where a number of middle school students bike to and from middle school. I didn't grow up with that privilege and hope that our proactive efforts will help ensure that all future generation of children have a bike to school option.
Please visit www.saferoutespartnership.org/home.
Getting back to nature is so important, especially when the weather is nice. I wanted to share this sunset photo with you. Plan to get away even if it is just for a day or afternoon. Avoid the mall and shopping crowd, go to a local park or beach. Bring a journal or notepad and jot down some goals you've reached this year and for those goals which you haven't even started, you still have another five months to go.
Times stops for no one.