Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nature's Newest Additions

My daughter received a "Butterfly Garden" this year for her birthday, and we have eagerly awaited the metamorphosis of our "pet caterpillars" into butterflies for the past several weeks. Fortunately, all 5 of them became beautiful Painted Lady butterflies which we let go in our back yard today. Most of them flew away immediately, but one stuck around for a photo op:

So, did everyone have a great Labor Day weekend? We are avid Rutgers fans and spent yesterday at the stadium. Fun until RU lost! But the weather was fantastic (all of August in fact) - let's hope it stays great in September and October for our outdoor sessions!

As summer comes screeching to a halt, I thought I'd share with you some Earth Friendly changes that our family has made over the past few months:

Recycling more - even things that aren't recycled through our town - like plastic bottle caps. Aveda stores take them and reuse them for cosmetic containers. Along those lines, I bought almost no individually packaged water bottles this summer. We have switched out all of our sports bottles for BPA free sports bottles ( http://www.rei.com/ ) in sizes for sports and lunchboxes. Also, I have been checking the products I buy to make sure that they are in containers that I can recycle.

Replacing harsh chemicals - I have purchased earth-friendly high efficiency laundry detergent, kids' body wash and shampoo and household cleaning products and so far I find the ones that I am using to be as good as my old brands.

Growing a Garden - We had a great time planting, watering and "harvesting" our vegetable garden this year. We grew organic peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, dill and mint...a small start but a start nonetheless. It has been a nice feeling to grow and eat our own produce, and to know that it is pesticide-free. Next year we hope to add more selection.

Well, school starts tomorrow for us - here's to a great school year!