Support Local Farmers
I try not to buy produce out of season instead, I go to farmers markets. I love that I've gotten to meet and connect with the people who are growing the food I feed to my family. There's nothing better than knowing your local farmers!
- Erin Ely, 53, Eugene, OR
Visit nrdc.org for a list of seasonal produce in your area.
Last June I bought myself a smart car, which gives great mileage with lower emissions. I nicknamed her GG it stands for "Girl Going Green." This partially inspired me to give the salon I own a green makeover, buying furniture certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and using eco-friendly hair products. My goal is to motivate those around me to do their part.
- Martis Duarte, 51, Costa Mesa, CA
I help coordinate bimonthly clothing swaps in my community. As our child grows, we're able to give away things that no longer fit, come away with a bag full of clothing for the next size up, and feel a sense of friendship as we connect with other families.
- Elena Lipson, 33, Bellingham, WA
Check clothesswap.meetup.com for clothing swaps in your area.
Grow Your Global Awareness
While watching the movie Arctic Tale with my daughters (ages 7 and 10), we were touched by one of its main characters, polar bear Nanu, and his struggle to survive global warming. We had a discussion about how our actions affect every part of the world, and they took it to heart. Now, when we forget to turn off lights or unplug unused appliances, we rally to "Save the polar bears!"
- Jennifer Pick, 37, La Crescent, MN
Appreciate All Things Organic
A year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to move out of the city to a home with a garden, an orchard of fruit trees, and eight chickens. We have a 3-year-old boy, Charlie, and 1-year-old girl, Juliet. Helping tend the garden, pick fruit, and take care of the chickens has been an invaluable experience for our son. It has made him more interested in trying new foods (he eats handfuls of arugula straight from the garden!) and has made all of us more appreciative about where our food comes from.
- Jora Vess, 35, San Diego
Cycle to Save the Planet (And Lose Weight!)
I started riding a bike! I was never a bike person until my 6-year-old daughter learned how to ride. That same week I bought a utility bike, stuck my 4-year-old daughter on the back, and we were off. We ride anywhere we can. It's economical, environmental, calorie-burning, liberating, and fun especially now that the crashes of the first few weeks seem to be behind us!
- Liz Lavoie Capron, 38, San Anselmo, CA
Mark your calendar: May 15 is Bike-to-Work Day. Find more info at bikeleague.org.
Send an Eco-Gift
My kids decorated reusable shopping bags with fabric paints as gifts to their grandparents. Not only was it fun, but it helped the kids see that they can have an influence in making the earth a better place. Our relatives loved the special gift!
- Wendy Feis, 41, Atlanta
One of my newest green habits is cooking from scratch using local and organic food. The surprising thing is that cooking has improved my health. I have Ménière's disease, an inner-ear disorder in which excessive salt and sugar can trigger vertigo and nausea. By using whole foods, I've reduced the frequency and intensity of these episodes. I also no longer worry about the quality of food my family consumes away from home, knowing that the bulk of their diet is healthy. We eat together as a family and entertain friends more often.
- Stephanie Dobbie, 37, Albuquerque, NM
Pack a Trash-Free Lunch
About a year ago, some moms from our local elementary school started a program called Planet Pals. One of our biggest accomplishments is a program called Trash-Free Tuesdays, where we ask the students to bring their lunches in reusable containers that don't generate any trash. Prior to Trash-Free Tuesdays, our school was generating around 40 large garbage bags of trash a day, but this program brought us to a record low of only three bags of trash generated by approximately 700 students!
- Suzanne Kretschmer, 46, Manhattan Beach, CA
Learn how to green your local school at gogreeninitiative.org.
I started bringing my own bags to the grocery store. Because I have a limited number of bags to carry stuff home in, it makes it easy to skip over the family-size bag of chips. Not only am I helping the planet, but I'm also saving money and doing my waistline some good!
- Liz Kores, 28, Chicago
Pick Veggies...In Your Backyard!
My family created a veggie garden at my sister's house. Not only are we able to have fresh, organic veggies on hand for our families, but we get to spend great time together. This also gives my 2-year-old daughter, Layla, an opportunity to play in the dirt while learning about the responsibility of taking care of the garden.
- Kate Williams, 27, Brookhaven, PA
Visit growveg.com for tips on how to plant your own vegetable garden.
We turned down the thermostat in our bedroom from 62 degrees to 60. It's only a two-degree difference but noticeable enough that I rely on my husband to warm me up under the down comforter!
- Susan Tordella, 50, Ayer, MA
My husband and I make an effort to fill only one small kitchen wastebasket each week. When we shop, we look for items that have recyclable or limited packaging, and we reuse all of our plastic containers. The added bonus? Getting to sleep in on trash days when our neighbors are lugging cans to the curb!
- Gin Ranly, 28, Philadelphia
Be a Carpooling Couple
Last summer, my husband and I went down to one car. It took some getting used to, but it has also brought us closer, as we have extra time in the car when I take him to the bus. There have definitely been times I've felt frustrated having to walk to places, but I appreciate the exercise and the time to think.
- Shannon Polson, 35, Seattle
Start a Movement
I started leading an EcoMom Alliance group in my new hometown. It has been an exciting and rewarding journey for me to see others get excited about greening their homes, schools, and communities. Together, we're conducting used-clothing and toy swaps and drives for needy families; reusing is a great way to be green while helping others in need!
- Kerri Mullen, 33, Bethlehem, PA
To learn more about EcoMom Alliance, visit ecomomalliance.org.