Monday, September 29, 2008

Change the world, one small step at a time

I was reading an interview with Jane Goodall the other day and something she said really hit home. According to Jane,
If people start making changes, then you start getting the major change that we must have if we care about the future for our children.

Sometimes the big picture is so daunting. The damage done to our environment, economy and relations with other countries seems to be permanent.

But it's not. It might be a challenge and it may take years to repair but I believe to my core that we can change.

If everyone made one small change to their daily living such as replacing just one light bulb with an energy efficient light bulb: in one year it would save enough energy to light more then 3 million homes. That would prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of about 800,000 cars. One small change, makes a huge impact.

Consider a slightly more expensive option. Replacing a traditional toilet with a low flush toilet will save thousands of gallons of water a year. If you replace a typical 3.5 gallon model with a 1.6 gallon model, it will save a family of four 11,096 gallons per year. That is a whopping 54% reduction in toilet water use.

Our economy is in slump, we all know that. What can we do to boost it? I am no economist but I am fairly certain that if Americans buy products made in the USA and support our mom and pop shops, it would make a difference. If our lawmakers revoke the tax breaks for overseas manufacturing and bring the big companies back to the USA, I believe that our economic future would look brighter. Sure that is a simple answer for a complex problem, but as I said, small changes make a big difference.

Lets examine for a minute the effect a random act of kindness has on the rest of the world.

In the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may too easily be dismissed as a "soft issue," or a luxury to be addressed after the urgent problems are solved. But kindness is the greatest need in all those areas
-Bo Lozoff

Teaching our children tolerance and compassion is a simple first step that all parents can make. Simple things like holding the door for someone, smiling at a stranger, or even baking your neighbor brownies can make such a positive impact on thar person's life.

I leave you with 20 Ideas for Being Kind, which I found at

20 Ideas For Being Kind

1. Be resolved to become a kind person. How do you do this? Think, speak, and act with kindness.

2. Love kindness. When you do what you love, you are happy. A master of kindness is a master of joy.

3. When encountering someone, let your first thoughts be, What kind words can I say to this person and what kind things can I do?

4. Keep asking people, What can I do for you?

5. Everyone needs encouragement. Ask yourself, What can I say that will be encouraging?

6. Wherever you are, you are there for a reason. Ask yourself, Since I am here now, what kindness can I do?

7. Every kind person is unique. You have unique talents, skills, knowledge, and resources. Utilize them to help others in your own unique way. Ask yourself, In what unique ways can I be kind?

8. Do a daily act of kindness without letting anyone know who did it.

9. Learn from every kind act you see or read about. Ask yourself, What can I learn from this to be kinder?

10. A valuable rule is, Even if you do not feel like a kind person, you can still act like one. Think of a kind act you can do that you do not feel like doing.

11. Think of a kindness telephone call that you can make today.

12. Think of a kindness note, letter, or email that you can write today.

13. View your own pain, distress, and suffering as tools for empathy and understanding. Ask yourself, How can this experience help me be a kinder person?

14. Keep asking yourself, If I were this person, what would I want others to do for me?

15. As soon as your recognize a need, volunteer to do something about it. Do not wait until you are asked.

16. Listen to those who need a listening ear. Listening to someone is a great act of kindness.

17. If you know that someone is looking for a job or needs to earn more money, ask yourself, What can I do to make it happen?

18. Be empathetic and compassionate. Be resolved not to cause distress, pain, or loss with your words and action.

19. Learn from everyone. Keep asking people, What kindnesses from others have you appreciated?

20. Pray for the welfare of others.

© Rabbi Zelig Pliskin [based on "Kindness" by Rabbi Z. Pliskin]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kid -Tested, Mother-Approved...not this mother!

Cherie, my Sister in law, brought my nephew over this morning as she does every weekday morning around 6:30am. This morning she woke me up telling me that she brought a healthy cereal for the kids.


Knowing Cherie it wasn't. So I looked. Kix. Ya.

Really she was trying to do something nice, I know that.

I asked her if she read the label and of course she hadn't. The power of advertising is strong. I think I need to coin a term for false healthy food advertising. Something like greenwashing.

Anyway, Cherie did read the claims on the box that say, "Grow up strong with Big G kid cereals" and "good source of calcium and Vitamin D". What she didn't read was that the 4th ingredient in the cereal is sugar. (She thinks I am ridiculous by the way because I won't let my kids have soda or Hawaiian Punch).

Sugar in the morning has all kinds of ill side effects. According to Dr. Mercola, Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders. For a full listing go to

The point is that Cherie is like so many consumers who believe the advertising. How many people actually read labels with knowledge?

I know that Sugar has been implicated in upsets to the calcium/phosphorus balance.
I know this because I spend time asking our naturapath educated questions about my children's diets and reading research on nutrition.

Don't get me started on the 210mg of sodium in each serving.

Yes, the box listed a table of vitamins that they pumped into the cereal. However, the sugar is going to effect the absorption of those vitamins.

I am not the food police, my kids get there share of Del Taco and cookies. What I am not ok with is the fallacy that we are feeding our kids healthy food when we aren't. I wish more people would take some time to educate themselves about nutrition, artificial ingredients and chemicals in food.

I also think that manufacturers should take more responsibility. Sugar cereals are directly marketed to our kids and they have very little if any nutritional value.

Time to get off my soapbox.

Happy, optimistic Ali can come back out to play.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sexy Dads Change Cloth Diapers

Just sayin...

Something stinks in my yard

Chuck and I have been composting for about a year now. We just throw all our raw veggie and fruit scraps and eggshells into a plastic bin with a lid.

Now that it's been consistently hot for several months, our compost stinks.

We can't use worms because it's too hot. I threw a "compostable" diaper insert in there a few months ago and I wonder if that is the cause of our smell, or maybe it's the new paper plates that you can supposedly compost. (Someone brought them over with food already on them, I NEVER buy paper plates) It could be that we don't know what we are doing and plastic bins are a bad choice.

Whatever the cause, I now have compost soup and it stinks.

Chuck and the kids planted last month. Chuck is not one to waste anything, so he took our compost soup and added it to the soil and planted herbs, tomatoes and peppers. Our yard smelled like a sewage plant for days.

Imagine my surprise today when I looked at these poor plants planted in soupy slime and they are not only thriving, they are overcrowded and need to be thinned out.

I really don't know how or why, but for some reason, our backyard plants love compost soup.

There has got to be a less smelly way to grow plants.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why Made in the USA?

When Melissa and I started Go Green Sustainable Industries, LLC, one of our most important values was that all our products are made in the USA. Not only do want to support our stagnant economy but we believe that in order to be truly eco-friendly, we have to do our best to conserve resources. Even though it is significantly less expensive to manufacture overseas, the waste of fuel is considerable.

I wonder why it is that our laws promote economic growth for other countries and leave the USA in the dust. According to a 2006 government report, many U.S. companies, cloth diaper companies included, employ hundreds of workers overseas which obviously means more economic growth for other countries and less for the USA. Companies have nearly $500 billion stashed abroad that can be taxed here at home. That blows my mind.

While politicians would have you believe that they are going to do something about American companies producing overseas, our tax code actually rewards overseas companies.

“The U.S. tax code is set up so that if I am a U.S. corporation trying to create jobs in Ohio or Ireland, it will point me towards Ireland.”

Says Martin Sullivan, a contributing editor at Tax Analysts.

This is so frustrating for companies like ours who are trying to make an exceptional product domestically. I assume, (yes I know what happens when you assume things), that it is also troublesome for other U.S. manufacturers who cannot compete financially with foreign manufacturers.

Melissa and I are dedicated to producing LolliDoo® Diapers, and product lines entirely in the USA. That means that the fabrics, sewing, labels and notions are made in the USA. Even the PET bottles that are recycled and used in the Ecospun® are domestic.

What does that mean for the consumer?

It means that LolliDoo® will never be a bargain brand. It means that they can be confident in the knowledge that no human rights were violated in the production of their diaper; all contractors are paid a fair wage. It also means that there is less fuel wasted on the transport of LolliDoo® Diapers, so they are helping conserve virgin resources.

Purchasing a LolliDoo® Diaper and accessories means that the consumer can feel confident that they are investing in an environmentally friendly, economically stimulating product that surpasses the average in that it’s handcrafted, made in the USA, recycled and recyclable.

LolliDoo® Be part of the solution, right from the very beginning.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Melissa's well articlualted take on Vegas

If you want full details of the LolliDoo(R) launch, read Melissa's blog:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Photos from the ABC Kids EXPO

Mel and I entertaining the babies out in the hall while the guys set up our booth.

Time for Miss Melody to nurse

Talia showing off her Peace~Love~LolliDoo shirt

Still waiting for our husbands to finish setting the booth up. It seems like we did a lot of waiting that day.
Here is Melissa sewing the labels on the diapers the night before the Expo, while we watched Baby Mama. The guys were getting in some grown up time before they had baby duty for the next week straight.

Finishing a few last minute things.

WOOHOO! Here we are at our first day of the LolliDoo launch. We were very well received and met so many wonderful people. It's so nice to be able to put a face to a name. The cloth diapering mama's went gaga over the laundry loops and the environmentalists loved that LolliDoo is a sustainable diaper.

While we were at the launch, the husbands took the babies all over Las Vegas.

This is Melissa's husband, Carl. I think they are at the Mirage.

Melody and Talia played so well together. Here they are waiting for us to finish the Read Diaper Industry Association meeting. How cool is it that the cloth diaper manufacturers and retailers are banning together to form an association? I have chills.

Melissa and Carl's 3 year old son Skylar needed them to come home, so off they went. Here we all are saying goodbye. Carl, Me, Talia, Melissa slinging Melody and Chuck. I held my tears until we got in the car. Chuck really missed Carl too.

The last day of the show Talia and Chuck helped me.

But she was tired and decided to nap on Daddy.

The show is over, we are here at 10pm tearing down the booth. Yawn...

Monday, September 15, 2008

We are back

The launch was amazingly well recieved! After I finish checking my 1986 emails, I will post details and photos.


Friday, September 5, 2008

And we're off!

I can't believe that it's September 5th already! We are going to Vegas today for our LolliDoo launch! We will hear if we won the JPMA Innovation Award on Sunday. Cross your fingers for us!

I won't have my computer, so check Melissa's blog for updates.

Thanks for all your support!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I put my kid in chemical clothes

Zoe, my 3 year old, is in love with the Jonas Brothers. Too young for a crush, I agree, but it is what it is. We were at Target today picking up some last minute things for our Vegas trip on Friday. I told Zoe she could pick out some new pajamas. Miss Nudie Booty normally doesn't wear any but it's going to be getting colder soon. This story has a point, stick with me for another minute.

So, Zoe spots Camp Rock pajamas. For anyone who doesn't know, Camp Rock is the latest Disney musical. Of course Zoe wants the Camp Rock Pajamas and after looking at the price tag I said, "Sure honey".

So I get home and Chuck asks me what the pajamas were made of, der, I didn't even think to look; 100% polyester, made in China and flame retardant.

Of course I had to do some research on flame resistant sleepwear. Apparently
nylon or acetate treated with fire retardants top the list of toxic sleepwear according to the National Geographics's Green Guide but Polyester is second.


Then I found this at
The Environment Working Group has done a comprehensive study of flame retardants and their toxicity including cancer, info of on-going litigation, and pending restricted use policy by US EPA. See their website for full details: Calpirg, or now called Environment California also has good info at: In summary, US EPA announced that it will be studying a chemical ubiquitous in consumer products, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA to assess the toxicity in people (now found in surprising levels of over 90% of population in the U.S and found to have contaminated wildlife at almost every site tested even thousands of miles from industry due to drift) and develop restrictions.

I wonder if I can hide them, maybe she'll forget about it. Doubtful.

How can I model healthy behavior and habits for my children when I am more concerned with a price tag?


I am not happy with myself.