Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’


Long Time No Write

April 2, 2013

It’s spring time, so it is a good time for new starts. My last post was in October.  I had good intentions of DSCF1496being a more consistent blogger, but life interfered more pointedly than usual with family illness on top of the usual work and community responsibilities (everyone is fine now – knock wood).  And then, of course once you are out of the writing habit it can be hard to get back in.

But I would like to get back into the writing habit.  And so I plan to. I’ve been accumulating bits and pieces of things to write about.  It actually is surprisingly difficult to find the happy medium between ideas to blog about and ideas just to post on Facebook. And then if something is blog worthy, I want my writing to be interesting at least, maybe even entertaining, and definitely not preachy.  It’s a careful balance.  I won’t always succeed.  Sorry.

The picture?  It’s my early spring picture.  A birch with just a tinge of red from new buds.  The last bit of snow left in the creek bed.  A partly sunny but bright and pretty day.  A harbinger of good things to come.


Try Something for 30 Days

July 1, 2011

I saw this video this afternoon – a TED talk about trying something new for 30 days.

I want to do that.  Or a variation of it.  What I have in mind will not be something new – but something no fun that I am motivated to do. 

When I was pregnant with my youngest I had gestational diabetes and had to carefully watch my diet and blood sugar for the last 8 weeks.  It was hard but I did it – my mantra being “I can do anything for 2 months.”  Well, if I can do anything for 60 days I can certainly do it for 30.

I’ve just come back from a family vacation and my niece posted a picture of the family.  Those who love me tell me I am not fat.  I am, however, not svelte.  I am now uncomfortable in my clothes and unable to move with the ease I was used to.  It is time for a change.

So I have decided I will monitor my food intake via SparkPeople for 30 days. I’ve done this before – about 4 years ago. SparkPeople I’m optimistic that just paying attention to what I’m eating will have me modifying habits.  For instance, I’m 56 calories over my goal calorie intake – I think I’ll take a walk after this and try to work some of it off (today we came home from vacation – 8 hours in the car – no exercise – and a big sub for lunch…that’ll get you every time.)

Oh – and I do intend to get back to blogging more regularly.  My excuse – end of semester craziness, big project (remember the big project that kept me from blogging last summer/fall – writing a 3rd edition of a textbook – end of May was editing said galleys).  And then my brain went on hiatus.  I think it’s back now though – so I’m planning to blog more – but perhaps not everyday for 30 days.


The Consumer Power of Green Moms

July 11, 2010

After a wonderful vacation (more about that in other posts) I finally turned on my computer and started deleting spam.  Among the questionable e-mails was one from someone I didn’t recognize and with a suspicious subject line: Thank You!.  If I had a buck for every message caught in my spam catcher with Thank You! as the subject line I’d have a pretty darn thick wallet.  For some reason I opened it though – and although I think it might have been written by some one for whom English is not their first language (which gives you pause as you are weighing whether it is spam or not) it was interesting. So I checked to see if the organization mentioned is legit.  Apparently it is.

The Social Studies Group is a consumer research group that focuses on social media.  Hmmm, consumer research…will their knowledge be used for good or for evil?  Will it be used so that companies will produce what we want or so they can sell us what they want us to buy.  Still, I’m a sucker for research and they wanted me to take a survey.

Actually it was neater than that.  They were doing research on green mom bloggers and apparently this here blog is one of the 300 they had been perusing.  It was kind of fun to realize that I was the subject of a research project.  I mean, I do research.  I collected survey data this winter from about 1300 beekeepers, now the tables were turned. 

I took the survey.  I’m not sure I was very helpful.  The survey said the most important question was what were the URL’s I most often used for blog ideas… I ended up leaving it blank because I hardly ever get blog ideas from other sources (well I guess today is an exception).  Occasionally I encounter something in the big wide virtual world that I look into, but mostly you just hear about my bees and my garden and my attempts to buy green, be green, and encourage greenness around me.  So, anyway, I left it blank.  Some researcher somewhere is rolling her eyes at my reply.

Preview - Report: The Green Mom Eco-Cosm

The Social Studies Group has already created one white paper on Green Moms.  This based on reading our blogs.  It’s 16 pages of easy reading – but perhaps not everyone is as motivated as I was.  Here’s my summary:

They categorize the Green Mom Bloggers into three main groups: Super Greens, Eco-Moderates, and Mainstream Greens.  I think I am probably an Eco-Moderate:

They represent a broad group of mothers that is very concerned about the environment, but also with balancing the realities of juggling career, family, home and their desire to live an eco-aware, sustainable life – with limited time, and in many cases, limited resources. They are oftentimes concerned with their family’s consumption, and recognize excess consumption as being central to the conversation on global sustainability.

Super Greens are watchdogs and more radical in their views of the three groups.  The Mainstream Greens are “most likely to philosophically align with the concept of green consumerism” looking for the greener version of things they already buy.

They also give special nods to two other subgroups of green moms.   Green and Frugal Moms are noted for their focus on personal economy, buying less, conserving more, is recognized as also being good for the environment. Natural Parent/Simple Lifestyle Mamas are also noted because their choices align well with the green choices made by Super Greens and Eco-Moderates.

All in all, the message to businesses is green moms are a force to be reckoned with – ignore us at your own risk. 



Not NO Impact – But REDUCED Impact

October 22, 2009

[I created a blog post on the No Impact Experiment social network today.  I have reposted it here:]

I have not been a model "no impact" person this week.  I had a sick child for the first 1/2 of the week and now she has given me her cold.  A virus can sap your will to have a life let alone your will to consciously change your life.  But still, I’ve made an effort. 

My trash creation is still low and I feel guilty about every piece I create.  However, I’ve noticed that one of my reactions to the admonition to reduce trash creation is to avoid throwing things away at all, including things that should be tossed.  So there are items laying around that I would otherwise toss but I’m waiting for the week to be over – I don’t think that’s the point – but it’s keeping my personal trash bag emptier.

Transportation Day was a loss.  I don’t have any real options that I can make on a permanent basis.  Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough.  When gas goes up to $5 a gallon I bet I’ll be trying.

Food Day.  My husband was out for the evening – and he’s usually the family chef.  So dinner was Market Day breadsticks and salad.  The good thing was the salad was fresh greens from a local hydroponic farm – so that gives me a point or two.

Today was energy day.  I was conscientious about turning out lights at work, I made sure that the power cord for my laptop, which is always plugged into an extension cord at home, was turned off while I was at work (I have a funky little switch where the cords connect – I got it years ago at a Big Lots and have never seen them again).  And we had dinner by candlelight.  There were more things I could have done though.  I could have been even more conscientious about classroom lights – I think I left some on after my 12:00 class.  And I could have been more thorough about plugged in appliances around the house.  We have many things plugged into power strips, but we aren’t always good about turning off the power strip.  On the other hand, the house temperature is set at 64 while people are home and at 58 during the day and night. 

Tomorrow is water conservation day.  It’s pouring outside.  It’s hard to worry about too little water when I’m wondering if the basement is wet.  Still, we’re pretty water conservative.  None of us run water while brushing out teeth.  I only heat the amount of water I need in the teapot, not a whole pot full.  We run full loads of wash and full loads in the dishwasher.  We have a rain barrel – which is full to the brim and we don’t have much to do with the water actually since we don’t water plants (and the garden is done for the season anyway).  I rather hate just emptying it onto the ground, but I’ll need to before it freezes. 

The next day is giving back day.  Hmmm, that will take some thought.  I’m rather overextended in the volunteer area as it is – – it may be a check writing day.

What I’m really looking forward to is my Eco-Sabbath – my time of minimal resource usage – my time to sit, preferably outdoors, and read a book. 

So, the short story is I’m putting some effort into this and it is paying off in small ways.  Certainly I am not as obsessed with the topic as some or as lackadaisical about it as others (hey I’m registered and blogging about it); I think I’m at the appropriate medium involvement that I can afford right now.  Conservation of mental and emotional resources is important too you know.


Blog Action Day ‘09: Climate Change

October 15, 2009

Perusing my favorite blogs and I found that a friend who doesn’t typically do “green” (not that she isn’t environmentally conscious, just her blog is not devoted to that topic) had a post on endangered species.  There she mentioned Blog Action Day.  Blog Action Day is always October 15th, when bloggers around the world blog on the same topic.  This year’s topic is Climate Change.

The first thought that comes to my mind is an illustration I saw this summer in a Union of Concerned Scientists report.  It showed how Illinois’ heat index measures will increasingly approximate those seen in more southern states over the next century.  A quick search (I love Google – or more specifically The Eco Key) and I found The Union of Concerned Scientists, July 2009 report: Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Midwest: Illinois.  And here’s the picture.

The yellowish states are what Illinois will be like in 2040–2059 and then 2080-2099 if the world meets the lower of two emission standards.  The red depictions are what Illinois will be like if the world meets the higher of the two emission standards (and the higher standard is still lower than the emissions of up to at least 2008).



The report describes how climate change has already and will continue to affect Illinois, particularly how it will affect Chicago and how it will affect agriculture. [They have reports for all the regions of the country and an international report.]  Long story short: it will be hotter in the summers and wetter in the winters, springs and falls with more heavy downpours.  Flooding will occur more frequently in the winter and spring, but droughts will increase in the hotter, drier summers.  How this will affect crops is somewhat unpredictable, although most models are suggesting it will be for the worse.  Livestock is also likely to suffer from almost constant heat stress under the hot dry summer conditions.  The report shows how the effects will be much more severe by the end of the century if emissions follow their higher emissions model rather than the lower one.

It isn’t all doom and gloom.  The report makes some fairly concrete suggestions for how to minimize the effects of climate change on Illinois.  They suggest:

• increasing energy efficiency and conservation in industries and homes;
• boosting the use of renewable energy resources such as wind power, advanced biofuels, and geothermal energy;
• improving vehicle fuel efficiency and reducing the number of miles driven; and
• improving agricultural practices to reduce the release of heat-trapping emissions from soil tilling and fertilizer application.

I wonder how the people of the United State and the world will react to global climate change.  Will we ever make any changes or just let climate change and deal with the aftermath?

Meanwhile, this website is just chockfull of information – it’s going to be a new go-to site for me.