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Thursday, March 25, 2010

MOMS ROCK!!


The Go Green Expo in New York City this past weekend was packed with fabulous exhibitors with services and products for living healthier and living greener. But HMN was especially honored to meet and get acquainted with Joy Rose, Founder of Mamapalooza. The mom of four, Joy founded Mamapalooza "to enlighten and empower all women to claim their voice" by creating a space to celebrate mothers, give them an outlet for their artistic and literary talents, and to host sustainable opportunities and events to showcase the amazing talents of moms. Their mission is a big one: "MAMAPALOOZA’s mission is to change the way modern mothers think about themselves. By giving voice to the daily struggles, joys and triumphs women face as mothers, we are providing a platform for women to discover (and re-discover) their creative selves." As moms, we have all experienced that identity shift that comes with motherhood and recognize how easy it is to lose ourselves, our passions, and our outlets in the day-to-day of motherhood. Mamapalooza helps mothers to regain their souls, find their creativity, and showcase it in powerful ways. The creative talents of moms reach far and wide, and it is time that we help reveal them!

In addition to hosting stages and events, Mamapalooza is dedicated to eco-consciousness and sustainable businesses that are mom-powered. They also celebrate the herstory of mothers with the founding of the Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M.) honoring the experiences, work, and art of moms. MamaZina, the new publication of Mamapalooza, gives voice to mothering. What fate and honor it is to have shared some space and time with an organization who is also passionate about empowering, supporting, and celebrating mamas! We look forward to connecting our mama communities and invite you to check out Mamapalooza!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Green Your Home


BPA, VOCs, and CFLs, oh my! Just the language of greening your home can make one's head spin. It can be overwhelming to learn that everything from the chemicals used to make your mattress to the toxins in your paint are having deleterious effects on the health and well-being of your family. Sometimes, we cannot digest it all and we react with fear and inaction. But we can choose to be paralyzed by uncertainty or empowered with new information. We just need the right tools and the support to help us feel confident in our choices.

Connecting parents with credible information and empowering them with knowledge and support is what the Holistic Moms Network is all about. And we are excited to become an education partner with the Sierra Club's Green Home program to help our members discover ways to live more sustainably and more healthfully! Founded in 1892 by John Muir, the Sierra Club is the oldest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the country. Working to protect the planet and its inhabitants, the Sierra Club works to safeguard communities. Sierra Club Green Home was designed "to help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy." Their user-friendly website is packed with fun information from the online Home Health Quiz to a video library including a lesson on Composting 101.

The Raising Healthy Kids section is packed with attainable goals for every family - from switching to eco-friendly personal care products to focusing on whole, local foods. Realizing that we can all make simple changes, one step at a time, is an approach we can all relate to. Understanding that day-to-day choices add up and make a difference is a valuable lesson for us and for our children. Beyond the basics? Then use their CO2 calculator to find out what your home's carbon dioxide footprint is or determine your savings for going solar with their Solar Savings Calculator. Fun, educational, and making a difference! A nice combination that we are happy to share with our members!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oddball Weather

Growing up in the Northeast, March was always an exciting month when crocuses first pop through the ground and the birds are audibly chirping at the signs of spring. Yet, here we are and if the crocuses are trying to rise up, they have a good three feet of snow to get through before they'll find sunlight. And the birds aren't happy.

February was nothing short of bizarre. Heavy snowstorms dumped piles of snow across the mid-atlantic states and others saw deep freezes previously unknown in their area. What is with the oddball weather? The National Wildlife Federation knows: they say it's all thanks to global warming. Oddball Winter Weather: Global Warming's Wake-Up Call for the Northern United States was just released. According to the report, winter is becoming milder and shorter on average while at the same time we are experiencing record-breaking snowstorms. Indeed, winter seemed rather condensed into the month of February here in the Northeast - and what a month it was! Huge snowfalls closed schools, roads, and businesses, while also taking down trees and power lines - not to mention the rampant cabin fever experienced by children across the region. On a serious note, the report argues that global warming is altering temperatures, moisture availability, and storm tracks - all of which disrupt ecosystems. The lack of bone-chilling cold has been credited with an explosion of pests and invasive species normally tempered by cold. One particular concern is the explosion of ticks who carry Lyme Disease. Warmer winters mean winter tick survival is more likely and populations will rapidly expand as global warming trends continue.

Is global warming to blame? Most Americans don't think so. The number of people who are confident about global warming is declining. A recent study conducted by Yale and George Mason Universities shows that only 57 percent of respondents believe that global warming was "happening", down 14 percentage points from October 2008. American who don't believe in global warming argue that these are just normal weather patterns. The Washington Post recently reported that area residents are quickly tiring of this year's heavy snowfalls - more than double the normal average. But a quick chart of average DC snowfall from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows marked increases about every eight to ten years, with the last occurrence in the winter of 2003-04. So are this year's storms just part of a weather trend or is global warming a scientific reality?

The Stanford University's Solar Center argues that global warming is "now well documented and accepted by scientists as fact." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also concurs and agrees that warming trends are due to human behavior. Changing our everyday lives, individually and collectively, can make a difference. The Environmental Defense Fund suggests some actions you can take now to help reduce global warming: for example, buying the greenest vehicle you can for your budget or choosing energy efficient appliances in your home. Mother Nature isn't very predictable these days, so it seems. But with a few simple changes we can try to impact our climate and, hopefully, our weather.