Blog Action Day 2010: WATER

Yesterday I recapped my self-made environmental report card and my grade was a 60%.

For this year’s Blog Action Day, I’ve been reading up on The statistics are staggering and inspire me to use less if for no other reason than I otherwise feel helpless in the developing world’s plight for access to clean drinking water & I shouldn’t be plundering my good fortune.

I found a water calculator that can help track our family’s water use. Right now it looks like we use just under 90 gallons again, but that’s just a guess. You read it here first that I’m going t do some record keeping and research and get a more accurate count in November. I’m hoping that by checking in there every so often, we can reduce the amount of water we use. Strikes we have against us is that the fixtures in our home are all 20 years old, and we have a top-loading washing machine. I supposed we if don’t sell our home soon, we could start replacing these water-guzzlers with newer, low-flow models.

Poke around the “facts” pages at Blog Action Day and at and you may be inspired to do the same thing. has several ways to spread the word and show your support, if you scroll down to the bottom of the “women’s issue” page.

Let me leave you with the video below (from and some things to think about (from :

More people in the world have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet.

38,000 children die each week due to dirty drinking water and unsanitary conditions.

One in eight people on the planet don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Women can’t do anything from on Vimeo.

Time Warp: Blog Action Day 2007 Revisit

I just signed up for Blog Action Day 2010. I have a vague memory of participating in Blog Action Day before, so I just went  through my archives and discovered that yes, in 2007, I DID participate.

Blog Action day is now run by and the idea is that  bloggers across the globe all write a post on the same social-issue topic on the same day — thus spreading awareness.

In my 2007 post, I listed 5 things I was doing to help lessen my environmental impact — and  I thought today was appropriate to report how I’v been doing on these five things:

1. Reusable shopping bags: OMG, my collection is legendary. Checkers at Trader Joe’s compliment me on the fact that I have so.many.bags that I don’t need any paper bags when I shop. I only get my meat bagged in plastic, and we are to the point at my house that we really have to look for a random plastic bag when we need one. This makes me happy!

2. The powdered detergent: I have to say, I’ve started alternating between powder and liquid–the powder was gunking up my washing machine and not rinsing well. Any tips in this department are appreciated!

3. Using the dishwasher to conserve water: It still washes just as much as always, and I love it. Go Earth!

4. Bringing my own mug to the coffee shop: The reusable mug kick is largely over for me- I tend NOT to bring one with me these days. Reading my post on this was a good reminder that it’s easy and it does make a difference. Now if I can only remember….

5. Not buying bottled water: I’ve kept up the practice of rarely buying bottled water. We use reusable water bottles, which is no big deal and SO MUCH BETTER for the Earth I can’t hardly stand it! Sure there’s the occasional impulse/unprepared buy, and I’d rather buy water than anything else to drink, but it’s minimal.

One other thing we’ve started doing since that blog post was sign up for curbside recycling. We do pay a small fee, but we recycle so much more because we have one of those huge wheeled bins to fill. Also, when we signed up, we were one of the only families on our street to do so. Since then, it seems like every pick up day there’s another big blue bin on the curbside. It’s not the greatest recycling program (typical contents, except it only takes plastics #1 & #2) , but it’s better than nothing.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post — this year’s theme is WATER.

Dreaming of a Polar Family Vacation

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I learned early on as a new mom that vacation with kids typically isn’t a vacation — it’s a family trip. A family trip means travel, means family, means fun, means memories, but it’s not a vacation for mom. Suitcases need to be packed, children need to be entertained while traveling, and upon arrival? Oh my — there’s the sleeping away from home issue, the eating away from home issue and the pottying away from home issue. That’s a lot of issues for a 5day/6night adventure. My line of thinking is this — for it to be a real vacation at this point, it needs to be all-inclusive. And there needs to be on-site childcare so that at some point in the trip there is an actual vacation. I’ve concluded then, that our ultimate vacation would be an Alaskan Cruise.

Why Alaska? I don’t need to be paranoid about sunscreen, and I think seeing that part of the country would be amazing. I imagine it would be a National Geographic issue come to life — educational, breath-taking, interesting, and fun all in one swoop. The kids would swoon at the wildlife, I would swoon at the lack of housekeeping and cooking for which I’d be responsible, and I think it would be a win-win all around. The four of us would be able to have a lot of family time exploring what the ship had to offer, as well as swimming, sharing meals, and enjoying entertainment when we weren’t on excursions. I would make no beds. I would make no meals. I might even spring for the housekeeping staff to do our laundry. That, my friends, would be a real vacation! Where would you go??

Don’t forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.