Greener Living Solutions

Green living is much more than recycling your cans and plastics. Living green encompasses a whole value system that bases all you do on how it will impact the environment. The belief that how you treat the environment will either improve or harm what condition you leave the earth for future generations. The proper stewardship of the place you call home; earth. Big and small ways all around the world people are choosing to make greener choices. Some areas that you can make simple changes to live greener are your food, housing, transportation, and shopping habits. 

Sustainable Farming and Ranching

Green chooses in your food does not mean eating granola, homemade yogurt and drinking goats’ milk. It includes buying and consuming foods that are organic, free-range, and ethically treated. The raising and farming of crops and animals with sustainable practices helps preserve the lands and waters for future generations. Your purchasing power votes for these farmers and ranchers; and it helps create the demand for sustainable, green practices. Many major groceries have increased their organic selections, so you do not have to go out of your way to incorporate green food selections into your life. Your local farmer’s market is always a fun adventure and a great way to learn more green ideas that are happening locally.

Kick the Plastic Habit to the Curb

A simple, easy way to cut out some plastic in your lifestyle, bring your reusable shopping bags along when you shop. Many areas in our country are banning certain items made of plastic. Consider your daily habits and replace a few single-use plastic items with reusable. A travel coffee mug with a stainless-steel straw instead of the disposable cup and a plastic straw can be a great start to living greener. You can pack your lunches in washable containers. This habit may take an initial investment in reusable containers, but the environmental impact is immediate. Less waste going in your trash bin is less ending up in the landfill. You may even try your hand at growing a few of your own veggies. Gardening can be an enjoyable experience your whole family can enjoy and learn together. 

New Life to an Old Item 

Decorating with reclaimed items is a fun and creative way to live greener. Buying used is affordable and environmentally friendly. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a true statement. You can take items from a resale shop as they are or with a little creativity you can create something new for yourself. There are many ideas online and in magazines to give you inspiration for re-purposing all kinds of things. Living greener can be as simple as you make it. 

Next time you go out for coffee, use your favorite travel mug instead of the disposable one. 

Should you get a puppy or an adult dog?

You may be considering adding a new member to your family: a dog. But you may also be struggling with whether or not to get a puppy or adopt an adult dog. Both a puppy and a dog are a large responsibility and an adjustment to your life. Let’s take a look at what to consider before you make that decision.

Rescue or Full-Bred: Rescuing an animal is one of the most amazing things that you can do in life. You are saving a life. If you are someone who wants to change a dog’s life then rescuing is the way to go. Most of the time though, shelters do not have puppies. Depending on the shelters you are looking into adopting from there could be puppies or there could be dogs of all ages. No matter the age, adoption is making a difference in that dog’s life. But be prepared to likely adopt an older dog. But also be prepared to put in work. Often times these dogs have been tormented. They may be sad, skittish, and standoffish. Or they may be perfectly happy. Either way, its important to be prepared.

If you really want a puppy then you will likely be interested in full-bred. But be ready to pay the price, as full-bred puppies don’t come cheap. You may have to search the U.S. for a breeder that breeds the type of puppy you want. It’s important that you look into any and all breeders that you are considering and find out their reputation. Only buy a puppy from a breeder that is reputable.

Time: Both puppies and dogs require your time, effort and attention, but puppies require much more. If you really want a puppy then it’s essential to make sure that you have the time to give. Puppies require more vet visits, more love, more attention, and more work. They require training by either you or a professional— which are both time consuming. When adopting an older dog these things have already been dealt with (most of the time). If you are looking for a little less work to begin with then adopting an older dog is the best option for you. But, regardless of age, your dog will always require your time. If you don’t have an adequate amount of time to give then a dog may not be the best option for you.

Regardless of whether you get a puppy or a dog, it’s vital that you are prepared for what’s in store. A dog is a member of your family and should be treated as such. Being prepared will make the transition to having a dog that much easier.

How to Plan a Weekly Family Night

American households are busier than ever before. Parents are working overtime to keep up with the cost of living. Meanwhile, kids and teenagers have more homework than previous generations. Teens and parents alike are burdened with saving for college. And, everyone in today’s world has to take the time out of their day to stay updated on social media.

That doesn’t leave much time in the day to hang around and relax with your family. If you–like many American families–wish you could spend more time together, it could be as simple as having a plan and making time on your schedule. This article will cover the steps to planning a weekly family night and how to stick to the plan once you start.

Step One: Scheduling

The hardest part of planning a family night is finding a time to have it. Each member of the family likely has sports, extracurricular activities, or other obligations that keep them tied up. Find one night of the week that works for everyone.

To make sure nobody forgets, add it to your calendar and send invites to the whole family. You can do this via Facebook, Google Calendar, or just a note on the refrigerator–whatever works for your family’s needs. A good practice to make sure everyone remembers is to send out a group text message reminder to the whole family so that no one is left out.

Step Two: Make it fun for everyone

If your family nights aren’t “fun for the whole family” you can be assured that they won’t last long. This can be hard in a family where kids are at different ages and have different interests. Games that your two-year-old loves will seem boring to your teenager, and vice versa.

One way to make sure everyone enjoys family night is to alternate who gets to pick the activities. Start off with your youngest child and work your way around to yourself, this way everyone gets a chance to have a night that they can especially look forward to.

Step Three: Choosing activities

There are endless fun family night activities. Depending on the ages of the members of your family, you might have to stick to things that are more kid-friendly. You’re also going to need to pick activities that are season and weather-appropriate. Here are some examples for family night activities that work for various ages and seasons:

  • Paint night – gather the colors, brushes, and paper you need, then watch a painting tutorial together
  • Game night – the most time-tested family night activity is board games. Roll the dice to decide which games to play.
  • Video game night – multiplayer games that include everyone are the best option. But you could also take turns or have tournaments to play against each other.
  • Ice cream – in the summer, take the family out for ice cream and a walk.
  • Bake night – make enough types of cupcakes, cookies, and brownies to last the whole week.
  • Backyard camping – set up your tent, build a fire, make S’mores, identify stars and planets, tell ghost stories, and whatever other fun camping ideas you can think of.