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by Wendy Gabriel

Mindy Lockard is the founder of, an interactive Mindy Lockardpublication that teaches manners and etiquette to everyday users as well as industry professionals. She is the president of the Mindy Lockard brand, which includes seminars and training materials, stationery, and industry coaching. Mindy teaches formal etiquette courses for people of all ages and provides valuable corporate training for schools, government agencies, and private companies. Mindy writes for Crane & Co.’s, The Crane Insider as well as Stationery Trends magazine’s column “What’s Write.” She is also the online etiquette consultant at and works as a freelance contributor for several other publications and websites.

She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her two daughters and her husband and enjoys traveling throughout the United States.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

Dare I admit it…I was a plastic-aholic! I loved plastic bags! I now make a concerted effort to reuse my plastic bags or find creative ways to substitute the itch to turn yellow and blue to green. For example, I will now wrap sandwiches for a picnic in cloth napkins which the etiquette consultant in me always loves having a good lap napkin on hand.

Your May 2009’s issue of was entitled “Graciously Green.” What is one of your favorite ways to be Graciously Green?

I love the farmers’ market! I have a French market basket that I wheel around and fill with the bounty grown from my local soil. I think it’s really beautiful and gracious to support those who are committed to living organically, promote healthy living, and truly care for the environment. Not to mention the food we buy there tastes so much better!

What has been your biggest challenge living Graciously Green?

I think my greatest challenge to live graciously green is creating new habits, but just like any aspect of living graciously it takes denying my own desire to do what’s easier for me to impact the greater good. The Native American proverb rings true: “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Since we wouldn’t re-gift an item that had been misused, abused, chipped, or broken, we should not bequeath an eco-disaster to our children and their children.

As an etiquette expert and the mother of two little girls, what advice would you give others about ways to teach children Graciously Green manners?

As parents, it is so important that we are aware of what our words and actions are teaching our children. It’s much easier to tell our children a rule; it’s when we take the time teach and model behavior that our little ones can actually learn. At our house, we had many discussions with our children about giving items away so they could be used by another child. Children, almost more than adults, have an amazing capacity to care for others. Giving them the power to contribute brings smiles to their faces.

Our inspirational friends at Healthy Child Healthy World announced their Do You Know a "Mom On A Mission?"first ever search for a “Mom on a Mission.”

In October 2009, the Healthy Child benefit gala will honor one special and inspiring American woman who is dedicated to creating “healthier and happier environments for children and families.” This amazing woman will be flown to Los Angeles for a luxurious and eco-friendly 2 night stay and be presented with the first ever Healthy Child Healthy World “Mom on a Mission” award.

If you know (or are!) an incredible mom, submit your application today! Here’s what you need to know:

Judging criteria: They are seeking a heart-lifting, true story that both moves and inspires us by sharing a mother’s work to create healthier environments for children and families.

Who is a candidate: Any exceptional mother (currently living in the United States) who seeks to make a difference for the better, generously gives back to others, or overcame adversity with courage.

How to enter: Only ONE nomination per person is allowed. Please enter by sending your “heart-lifting, true story” to Submissions should be no more than 750 words in length.

Deadline for Nominations: August 15, 2009, 11:59pm PST.

Learn more at

Image: Heallthy Child Healthy World


by Wendy Gabriel

Marghanita Hughes
is a children’s book author, illustrator and the Marghanita Hughescreator of the award winning Little Humbugs. It was while observing her children revelling in the awesome wilderness of their new surroundings in British Columbia that the idea for the Little Humbugs was conceived. Marghanita is passionate about encouraging our children’s interest in the guardianship of The Earth we share. She strongly believes that children can influence change. Her Mission is to deliver this positive message to them through the delightful characters in her enchanting stories.

Marghanita lives on the edge of a forest, with her husband David, their three children and Prince, their faithful Flatcoat Retriever.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

It’s all the small things that collectively make a difference. I love recycling so my yogurt pots become paint pots, tin cans become pencil holders, flower pots and decorative lanterns. We use only eco-friendly home cleaning products, all natural toiletries, eat local organic food whenever possible. We grow our own fruit, have extended our vegetable patch and added a compost bin. By composting it has cut our garbage by half. We shop with our reusable cloth bags and take our Klean Kanteen bottles everywhere.

Your company, Wildwood Media Ltd, tries to adhere to sustainable business practices. What are some of the things you do to accomplish this goal?

Our small company use local suppliers and business whenever possible. The Little Humbug books are printed in Canada on 100% Post Consumer Waste, Old Growth Free and Chlorine Free Paper using vegetable based inks. Our All Natural Humbug products are formulated and manufactured in British Columbia in a certified organic facility utilizing only all natural ingredients all of which are biodegradable reducing the associated aquatic toxicity upon disposal or spillage. We work with local farmers who provide us with organic seeds for the Humbug seed collection. We have just started working with a Fair Trade Organization that helps support women in work in Nepal. We designed our dolls so they come with no wasteful packaging. And our latest dolls are filled with 100% recycled material (recycled plastic bottles) and their hanging tag doubles as a pledge. In our office and studio we only use 100% post consumer waste paper and we shred most of our mail and reuse for packaging.

There is still a lot to learn and do but we believe we are making small steps to a more sustainable future.

You have written some very charming children’s books, The Little Humbug Series, with an awesome message. What are some of the ways the Little Humbugs teach children about being green?

The storybooks immerse the reader into the world of the Little Humbugs and reveal to the young child just how important it is to look after the natural world they inhabit and that they have an important role to play in caring for it too.

The first lesson the Humbugs teach children is to get outside and explore the wonders of nature. By instilling a love for nature in a child, they will want to protect it.

The little Humbugs encourage children to take an active role in making change with simple tasks they can do by themselves, for example: Use both sides of paper; make your own greeting cards with recycled card. switch off the TV and go for a walk or cycle; swap your old books and toys with friends; turn off the tap when brushing your teeth; switch off lights when leaving a room; attract butterflies and other wildlife to your yard by planting a Butterfly Bush (Buddleia); give a plant or tree as a birthday gift.

I love your quote on your blog, Marghanita, When children and nature mix, something magical happens – every child deserves that Magic! What advice would you give parents about encouraging their children to find that magic?

What’s so wonderful about nature and the outdoors – It’s FREE to all who want to experience it. The magic can be found in your own backyard, local park or even under a rock or fallen branch lying on the walkway.

By taking your child outside, they get to use all their senses. Together you can listen to bird song and spot the many different birds (borrow a bird book from the library). Follow a slimy snail trail, climb a tree, go on a bug hunt. Wade in the creek, let minnows tickle your feet, watch dragonflies perform acrobatics. Plant some seeds or vegetables, kids love to watch things grow and they can learn where food comes from at the same time. Smell the flowers, watch the bees buzz and the butterflies flutter from one flower to the next.

The magic is there to be discovered, at any time of year because each season brings its own magic!

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by Bethe Almeras

One of the first steps to caring for our environment is getting to know and Baby Greek goddesslove it. For those of us who grew up playing outside until the street lights came on, this is not such an alien concept. That said, those days are gone and many kids today are missing out on the opportunities that help foster the connection to nature and help them connect with the world we live in.

Before we ask kids to save the world, we have to give them the chance to get to know it for the shear beauty and wonder of it. To dig in the dirt, climb trees, sleep under the stars, and wade in creeks. Kids need to know the feeling of grass under their feet, sand between their toes, and the joy of watching birds, squirrels, and butterflies. They need to think of the planet as something to love and cherish, versus simply something to save.

Protecting the planet starts with one simple step: playing outdoors! Not only are there countless health, educational, developmental, and emotional benefits to outdoor play, but it is the first step on the road to going green. Simply put, you cannot save what you do not know. It’s time to give kids the chance to know this beautiful planet we live on.

A great way to help bring play back to your community and to the lives of children and adults alike is to host a Play Day the week of September 19 -27th. This event can be whatever you choose to celebrate play and get your community outside!

Why not…

  • Sponsor a community toy swap and park clean-up
  • Host a family nature hike, fishing derby, or canoe trip
  • Have a geocaching or letterboxing event
  • Have a community garden day or a scavenger hunt that challenges families to explore the parks and trails in your community

KaBOOM! can help. Our Play Day Planner will walk you through the steps of planning a successful event in your community. Click here to register your Play Day today, and get started on bringing fun and play back to your community. Join people nation-wide as the celebrate play and connect with nature.

Bethe Almeras writes The Grass Stain Guru, a blog about restoring childhood, and saving ourselves in the process. She is the DIY Online Community/Communications Manager for KaBOOM!

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by Wendy Gabriel

The results are in from our Buck for Charity Drive!

Our Buck for Charity Drive asked you to vote for your two favorite charities Natural worldout of a list of five that we provided, and then asked you to donate $1.00 into a general pool, with the two charities with the highest vote counts splitting the money.

Thank you all who participated

This was a great experience and My Green Side was honored to be involved.

Thank you my amazing readers. You were wonderfully generous and thoughtful!

Huge thanks to the two amazings guys who facilitated this whole party: Adam Shake at Twilight Earth and David Quilty at The Good Human.

Thanks also to all the other writers who participated. It was great working with all of you: The Grass Stain Guru, Lighter Footstep, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, Allies Answers, and Natural Papa.

The Results

The total amount of donations received is $653.00! This is actually a lot of money considering that we only asked each person to donate $1.00, and the money that you donated will be happily received by Sustainable Harvest with 27% of the votes and Water for People with 24% of the votes!

The runner up’s are:

Environmental Working Group received 21% of the votes

Healthy Child Healthy World received 15% of the votes and

Kiva received 13% of the votes

The environment needs to be saved, and together we can do it. ~Rachelle Strauss

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Time is running out!Thanks to everyone who has reached into their pocket and donated a buck for charity. Hundreds of you have responded (many with more than a dollar) as eleven environmental websites team up to make the world a better place. Together, we’re supporting some great charities. And you get to help choose the two from the list that will receive 100 percent of the collected donations:

As of midnight, July 8th the voting is now closed for this campaign. Thank you so much to all who participated!

Summer is a lean time for charities

The summer months are always tough for charitable organizations: People are busy, discretionary funds get diverted to well-deserved vacations, and economic times are currently hard. To be honest, donations have slowed since our initial call, and we’re playing catch-up to meet our goals.

We’d love to present the winning charities with a meaningful check. So would you please consider donating right now? Deadline is Wednesday, July 8th. Each of these charities matter, and every dollar counts.

Share this message with others

You can multiply your donation by passing this along to others. Twitter about it; email the article to friends; post it on StumbleUpon or your favorite social media service. There’s still time to make a difference.

Remember: The winning charities take it all. We’re not holding anything back. Together, we can work for the good — a buck at a time. Thank you for your support.

Participating websites: The Good Human, Twilight Earth, Lighter Footstep, Green Upgrader, The Grass Stain Guru, My Green Side, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, , Allie’s Answers, and Natural Papa.

As writers, we know that part of good stewardship is sharing information, but Save the World!even the most intelligent among us can not make change without DOING something.

So The Good Human & Twilight Earth, along with The Grass Stain Guru, Lighter Footstep, My Green Side, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, Allies Answers, and Natural Papa have teamed up to carry our message with one united strong voice. The message is that there are great organizations out there which are suffering in this economic downturn through decreased donations…and they need our help! So we have decided to give you, our readers, a voice and a choice. We have decided to take on a very simple fundraising mission, and we are asking you to donate just $1.00.

A single dollar; that’s all.

Who cannot afford a buck even in these times? We know you can spare a dollar to help out our fellow humans!

But how do we all decide which charities to give 100% of all monies raised to? Well, we are going to put it to a vote and let you guys decide. The 10 websites participating have chosen 5 charities for all donors to vote for, and we are going to let you guys choose which two of them will receive the all monies donated.

Our purpose in doing this is three-fold

  • It gives YOU a voice. As loyal readers and stewards of our environment, we want to offer you the opportunity to make a difference without breaking the bank.
  • It gives the two charities with the most votes some much appreciated funds to continue their mission
  • It allows all of us an opportunity to connect as a community of like-minded people working for the common good of ourselves, our families and our planet.

If the community of folks who care about our planet cannot come together to rise up to a challenge, who will? That is why we are asking you for a $1 donation. While $1 may seem insignificant all by itself, by pooling our resources together we really can make a difference in these tough economic times. $1 is less than the price of a candy bar and can usually be found under the seat cushions of your couch. Won’t you help 2 of these charities with your $1 donation? (Now, if you want to give more, please – feel free. We won’t stop you! And by all means, send this to everyone you know so we can raise even more!)

Clicking below will take you to the poll and a Paypal donation link asking you to choose which of the 5 charities your favorite is. We ask that you please donate a dollar to the charity pool if you are going to vote, and know that even if your absolute favorite does not finish first or second, all the money donated will be going to worthwhile causes. If everyone we know who reads our sites, our Twitter feeds, our Facebook sites, etc. donates just $1, imagine the impact we can have as a group. And please, spread the word!

The 5 charities that we’ve selected are Healthy Child Healthy World, Environmental Working Group, Sustainable Harvest, Kiva and Water for People.

Voting is now closed for this campaign. Thanks to all of you who participated!

Times are tough and our collective might can really help them out. The results will be tallied two weeks from today, and we will write another article detailing the amounts and the two charities who garnered the most votes and will be receiving the money collected. It’s only $1, so please donate!

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite and to donate just a single dollar to these charities.

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by Wendy Gabriel

David Quilty
is the founder of The Good Human a website that encourages people to be David Quiltybetter humans through working to clean up the environment, being active in political issues or just being more aware of your life and surroundings. He also writes for EcoTech Daily which is a website dedicated to the latest green technology, gadgets and news.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

Well, I already live a pretty green life, but there are a few things I want to do down the line, like install solar panels. But right now, I collect rainwater/snow melt off the roof to do any and all watering in the yard; I hang all my laundry outside to dry instead of using a dryer; I mow my lawn with a push reel mower; I only use natural, non-toxic cleaning products inside the house; and I live in a passive-solar house that stays cool in the summer without using air-conditioning at all and warm in the winter with an occasional blast from the radiant floor heat. Also, everything electronic in the house is either unplugged when not in use or plugged into power strips that automatically cut power when the devices are off.

You have a wonderful website, The Good Human, which sports one of my favorite tag lines of all times, “Don’t Blow It… Good Planets Are Hard To Find.” Why did you start your site?

I started the site over three years ago as a place for me to document the changes I wanted to make in my life – living more sustainably, “going green”, getting involved with progressive politics and volunteer opportunities I was interested in. Over time, it has evolved from that into trying to help people live cleaner, greener lives without the fear factor or guilting them into action. It makes me very happy to know that so many have learned so much from the site, and the feedback I get from readers is tremendous!

You’ve recently joined with Adam Shake and Derek Markham of Twilight Earth to combine forces at EcoTechDaily. How is the “move” going and what can we expect from the new EcoTechDaily?

It’s going pretty well so far. We are working hard to get the site up and running like we want it to and we aim to turn it into a central hub for all things “EcoTech” related. So far, so good, and I am so excited to be working with Adam and Derek – they are both great guys who really know their “green”.

Do you have a favorite green tip you could pass on to us?

Keep it simple, that’s the motto I am trying to live by now. All the money in the world won’t make you greener, but making the right choices at the right time sure can. “Going green” doesn’t really have to be a mantra to repeat to oneself – if people just use some common sense, chances are that they will be green without even knowing it. Avoid toxins in your products and your food, don’t litter or pollute, conserve energy whenever you can, do the right thing for the “common human” and you should be alright.

Read more in the Four Questions series:
Four Questions with Adam Shake
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part I
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part II
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part III
Four Questions with Lisa Mills Sutherland
Four Questions with Melissa Kushi
Four Questions with Dr. Marti Erickson

Four Questions with Linda McNair
Four Questions with Beth Terry
Four Questions with Ryan North
Four Questions with Leslie Quigley
Four Questions with Janelle Sorensen
Four Questions with Bethe Almeras

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Make your purchasing decisions based on informed Shop Wellchoices. Purchase products, whenever possible, that are local and in-season, organic, made from sustainable materials, are fairly traded and have minimal packaging.

I recently read a wonderful article by Laura Weldon at entitled Your Beliefs Create the Marketplace. In the article she describes a growing trend of ethical consumers who make well-informed choices when “putting their money where their values are.”

If you answer yes to any of the following, the “chances are good that you are one of those consumers. Do you prefer to dine on organic foods? Do you choose sweatshop-free clothing? Do you search out sustainable building supplies? Those choices are probably based on your awareness of today’s health, environmental and justice issues. You care enough to make purchases consistent with your values.

“This growing awareness has sparked a powerful consumer market. Approximately 25 percent of adult Americans are considered to be part of this group. Their purchasing decisions are orienting businesses toward more positive social, environmental and humane practices.”

Ms. Weldon goes on to list the verifiable impact consumer choices are having:

• According to the EPA, if every home in America replaced just one standard light bulb with an Energy Star compact florescent light bulb, this alone would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year ($600 million annual energy costs) and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 800,000 cars from the road.

• International products certified as Fair Trade (guaranteeing a non-exploitative relationship between buyer and seller) support the rights of workers in small-scale enterprises. Transfair USA reports that villages benefiting from such income are opening craft cooperatives and health centers. In one area alone, 1,600 acres where poppies and coca once grew for illicit drug trade are now devoted to growing organic coffee.

• Research published by the National Resources Defense Council indicates that 423,900 trees could be saved if every household in the U.S. replaced just one 500-sheet roll of toilet paper with one made of all recycled fibers.

• Purchasing local, in-season produce conserves petroleum. The Organic Consumers Association reports that processed foods travel an average of 3,600 miles in the journey from farm to table. A meal made of locally produced ingredients uses four to 17 times less petroleum than one from typical supermarket products due to transportation requirements.

• Check the Eat Well Guide to find organic and sustainable food in your area.
In an economy where we are trying to have our dollars stretch as far as possible, let’s make sure our purchases reflect our values. Let’s send a message to big business. Just because we don’t have a lot of disposable income we still demand high quality, healthy, sustainable products.

As Ms. Weldon aptly writes, “Each conscious choice, each locally grown meal put on the table and every handcrafted chair purchased, makes a world of difference.”

When you are out and about this Memorial Day weekend being bombarded with amazing deals for products you may or may not “need,” remember to think before you buy.

Shop Well. Be Green.

Portions were originally posted November 30, 2008

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By Wendy Gabriel

Today I am honored to have a guest post on Twilight Earth’s Twilight Earthsite.

Adam Shake, the founder of Twilight Earth, has been instrumental in my journey of environmental discovery. He has also become a friend. I really can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a wonderful writer, a passionate environmentalist and he even wrote a post  to promote The Greek: Christopher Gabriel from Blog Harbor, Live on WDAY – Thursday and Friday.

Twilight Earth’s other mainstay, Derek Markham, has also been a source of wonderful environmental news and discussion. His list of Environmental Clichés I Agree With line up exactly with everything I believe to be true.

Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism, I am thrilled to be part of that shared discussion today.

Please take a moment to read: Let’s Make a Healthier World for Our Children.

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