The Lorax DVD Failed

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It is not hard to imagine that The Lorax book is a favorite in my house. So when we did not get to see the movie in the movie theater we did the next best thing we purchased it on DVD. It is not the greenest thing to purchase DVD’s but I do believe that when you have young children the classic kids movies should be purchased on DVD so they can be watched over and over and over again.

I fully expected Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie to be packaged in an environmentally friendly way. I was horrified when I saw it packaged the way we see every other DVD wrapped in plastic with a cardboard sleeve with a plastic holder inside! I could not believe it.

I went on line to see if we had failed to order the commemorative green version of the movie. To my knowledge there was no such version.

It sounds dramatic but I was so disappointed. Here I am teaching my daughter about the environment and the Lorax story is one of the ways we talk about what we can do and it shows up in the least ecofriendly packaging I can think of.

So I looked for a recycling symbol on the packaging and there was none!! There was “AGIPolymatrix” “eco-lite” imprinted on the spine on the inside of the DVD case. So I took to Google and did some research and this case uses 26% less plastic than other cases. I also found many message boards of DVD collectors complaining about this case because it is “flimsy.” While I would agree it weighs less than other DVD cases and is “flimsy,” it is still plastic, has no recycling symbol and was wrapped in plastic.

According to www.the-numbers.com in the first week of DVD sales totaled 1,964,701. So that means that 1,964,701 DVD cases will be around when my great, great, grandchildren will be born and we know that this is just what was sold not what was produced.

So for a movie that opening scene talks about a world made completely of plastic with nothing natural in it and has an over arching theme of environmentalism, waste reduction and appreciation for nature…. the packaging was a cruel joke and a mixed message for children.

Want to let Universal know they failed our children here is how:

Tweet them at @universalEnt @TheLorax and tell them you are disappointed in their packaging. Here is a sample “@universalEnt I am disappointed in your packaging for @TheLorax Maybe you need to watch the movie again #GreenFail”

Post something on their Facebook wall for Universal Entertainment and The Lorax and tell them what you think.

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How to Pack a Green and Healthy School Lunch

It always amazes me how fast summer ends. Kids are heading back to school next week in parts of the country and there are some great things you can get to “green” your kids lunches:

Lunch box. Old Navy actually has some awesome metal lunchboxes, my daughter has a Hello Kitty “Go Green” one. Do not use a plastic one but a metal one or one made of recycled materials (follow the link for some cool bags).

Drinks: Do not waste money and resources by purchasing juice or milk boxes. Think of the packaging: Plastic straws, the plastic they wrap it in and the actual container. You can save money and control what they drink by putting your kids drinks in a reusable water bottle. For those of you who read my blog regularly you probably feel like this is a broken record but it makes a HUGE difference. This is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Klean Kanteen is king at our house we have a few in different colors!!! Be sure to pick stainless steel bottles not alumium (many alumium bottles have a thin plastic coating inside the bottle)

Utensils: Pack utensils for them. I carry a set around with me in my purse and it really helps me be green on the go. It is just as easy to put them into the dishwasher at night with the dinner dishes, their food containers, and their reusable water bottle.

Napkins: Pack a cloth napkin. Some kids may not go for this one… but see how they feel about it. Being green is in right now so they might be game for it. If you are crafty make them cool ones that their friends will be jealous of here is a great tutorial from The Purl Bee!

Containers: Do not put food in plastic anything (bags, containers…etc.). Find a reusable container to put these items in. I prefer the glass (check with your school to see if they have a “no glass” rule) and stainless steel containers. I use Lunchbots because even the tops are stainless steel and they last forever. Feel like you cannot part from the plastic bag? Go on Etsy and search for reusable lunch bags, there are so many amazing people there making cute bags for kids. If you eliminate plastic bags for an entire school year you have saved 180+ plastic baggies from the landfill and our ocean.

Food: I highly recommend The Lunch Box: Loaded with Fun, Healthy Meals to Go. It is a great book with tons of great recipes. I really love this book! The recipe for banana bread is perfect and they have so many other great ideas. I recently let my daughter flip through it and pick things out. The pictures are perfect.

Note: My Mom never did this but I am sure I will do it when my kids are old enough to read or at least appreciate my doodles! Paint the inside top of the lunch box with chalkboard paint and doodle something everyday, it does not always have to be lovey dovey it can be funny like a joke, random fact or some silly short story about when you were in school!

My most important recommendation is to buy a double set for each kid if you can. Sometimes your dishwasher just is not full at night or you forget. The fastest way to stop being green is to be lazy, it is commitment, so to meet yourself halfway if you get two of what you need and you will not have trouble sticking to it. Honestly you will save a ton of money in the long run.

Buy them organic and locally grown food. Even if it is just for a few weeks try to get to the farmers market before they go away for the winter and get some locally grown food.

Avoid prepackaged food. If you are going to give your kids pre-made food like Oreos buy the larger container and put an individual Oreo in a reusable bag. Beside the obvious packaging issues for the environment, think of your kids health.

My usual Lunchable rant: Really read the label of a Lunchable… it is a disgrace and we wonder why kids have health problems… Sorry I have VERY strong opinions about Lunchables you can easily make a healthier lunchable with a stainless steel lunch bot or bento box anyway!

Photo’s courtesy of Daily Voice, Kleen Kanteen, reusablebags.com, Go Lightly, Design Sponge, and Amazon.

Follow me on twitter @greenforu or Like me on Facebook Green4u blog

Warriors on the Same Path

I thought long and hard about how I could write about my experience at Blogher here that would be of interest. I learned many valuable tips about blogs deep dark technical side but more importantly I was inspired. While at a screening of a powerful movie “Toxic Baby” Dominque Browning of Mom’s Clean Air Force said “We cannot look back on this time and have our kids ask us: ‘what were you doing?'”

I have also had this thought in the back of my mind even before I had children of my own: will history look back on us say what the heck was wrong with these people! It hit home for me more when I became a parent. There are times in history when horrible things happened and I was always fascinated with the question what was everyone else doing? How could people let this happen?

I had the amazing opportunity to meet in person people I knew virtually before and met people for the first time who are working to make sure that when we look back historically at this time there were people working to make a difference.

As a mother, I can think of no greater disappointment than for my children to look back at me and say I failed to do the right thing at the right time. I do not want them to think I did not do what I could to make our home and our planet a place that everyone can live in for generations to come.

I had the great pleasure of meeting my fellow warriors on this path who are all doing amazing work in different but all important ways to help save this planet but more importantly our home. Beth Terry, author of My Plastic Free Life was amazing and I am so happy I was able to get a signed copy of her (plastic free) book. Katy from Non-Toxic-Kids, Lori from Groovy Green Livin, Brenna from Almost All The Truth, Harriet the Climate Mama, Michaela the Mindful Momma, and Anna from Green Talk were all amazing experienced environmentalists. I also got spend time with Paige the author of Spit That Out which is another book on my virtual bookshelf!

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In addition, to these amazing personal interactions I was inspired by Barack Obama, the President of the United States who addressed our group via video conference (or Skype). Did he talk about the environment… nope (maybe I have 2 posts from BlogHer). But the fact that President thought that the group of people I was sitting with was an influential group I realized I was in the right place and doing the right thing for my children to not be disappointed in me.

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Successful mothers like Katie Couric, Martha Stewart, Christy Turlington-Burns, Soledad O’Brien, and Malaak Compton-Rock all spoke at the conference about how they are working to make a difference. They all talked about their inspirations, what makes them work so hard and their challenges. Each one of them had a humility and humor about what they do and I found that to be just as inspiring as the work they do.

So while I think I came home with some more knowledge about SEO, keywords and tweeting. More importantly, I came home with a renewed excitement for what I have been doing here for so long which honestly I was starting to wonder if this was the best platform for me. After meeting this group I know I am in the right place to make my children proud and for my grandchildren to say some day “My grandma and her friends did not sit by and let this happen.”

Top picture: Back row (left to right) @almosttruth, @mindfulmomma@groovygreenlivi, Front rown (left to right) @non_toxic_kids@climatemomma@greenforu. Picture courtesy of www.groovygreenlivin.com Thanks Lori for carrying around your camera all weekend. The other pictures are mine from my iPhone, I thought they would be better.