Browsing Tag

water

My Family on Conserving Water

FAM, health, kids By March 27, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Waterwell Lemonade StandWell, it’s been quite the week. We were on Spring Break vacation skiing for the beginning but the family took the 30 Green Days Challenge all the way to a condo in Whistler, BC, and we incorporated all of the energy tips we could muster.

Turning off lights and even training the kids that they don’t need as many lights on in order to sleep was key. Our heat turned down or off, and we used a fireplace and sweaters to make up the difference. With towels shoved under door cracks and energy-efficient replacement bulbs stocked for the replacement of burnt-out lights, we felt pretty great about the week of energy saving. One of the best parts of this whole program is that we are focusing weekly on a different green initiative, and as we all know from improving our workout habits – focus and repetition create lasting habits.

Next week, our challenge is to focus on water consumption. My family could potentially be the worst water consumer on record, except for me of course. (As a mom, I somehow don’t find much time to bathe so I suppose I am saving a ton of water with my twice-a-week cleansing sessions. But I probably shouldn’t be proud of that.)

Here are the plans the fam and I came up with for saving water:

  1. Our house is quite large and the upstairs doesn’t get hot water immediately. We have to run water for a few minutes in order for hot to appear. I will delve into this phenomenon and see if we can remedy the situation. In the meantime, my husband and I will brush our teeth and shower on the bottom floor.
  2. We live in Rain-Couver. OK, Vancouver, British Columbia, but we pretty much have a monsoon from November until March. Rain barrels could be filled within a few days, so I have been reticent to invest. But in the dead of summer with no water in sight, I would be grateful for a few gallons of recycled water. I will commit to purchasing at least three barrels.  Maybe I can get a group discount with my neighbours and spread the environmental love.
  3. My son actually lambasted me the other day for letting the water run as we brushed his teeth. We will all heed his advice.
  4. Gardens are a personal passion. This week we planted organic vegetables in a cold frame and took advantage of the sun to plant hardier seeds in the garden. (Well, the kids planted pumpkins while I planed everything else). Starting from seed enables us to use water sparingly and we will also make a commitment to hand water the whole garden so as not to spray sidewalks and paths. And no more noon watering when most of the moisture evaporates in the sun.
  5. This may sound odd, but the family asks for drinking water all the time. We are blessed that tap water is full of nutrients and flavor, and yet I cringe at how many half-empty glasses pour down the drain. I vow to make our water more exciting by using ice and lemon slices. Maybe also put it in fancy glasses. The kids will sip it (and finish it) with awe.
  6. Our children’s school supports the Obakki Foundation to raise money for water wells in South Sudan. They have learned about the value of water to human beings and constantly come up with ways to fundraise for more water wells for communities where kids walk miles to fill a bucket instead of going to school. As it is our second week of March Break, the kids and I will come up with a fun idea that will support this fundraising initiative while we also try to conserve our own water.

I have found so far that the SC Johnson 30 Green Days Challenge has put the environment in the front of my mind at all times, and I am so excited by coming up with specific ways that my family can help.

Cheers to water!

While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within the post are my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Soda Stream

GEAR, tech By May 5, 2013 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

soda streamThis might very possibly be the best invention.  Like EVER.  It’s not turning water into wine, mind you, but to make sparkling water from tap with or without flavours added is epic.  The Soda Stream reduces waste as you reuse the sturdy bottles provided, nor do you have to lug heavy cans or bottles.  Storage space in your kitchen is more plentiful and it’s cheaper than buying soda.  The sparkling naturals flavours are made with all natural ingredients and are healthier than typical pop and soda – plus you can also control the amount of flavour you add.  I’ve found the carbonation refills at Canadian Tire and WalMart as well as online.  It’s my new must-have appliance.

www.sodastreamusa.com 

UrbanMommies was provided with a Soda Stream system for review purposes.  As always, our opinions are our own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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What is Safe During Pregnancy

What is Safe During Pregnancy?

FAM, pregnancy By August 25, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Many a newly pregnant woman has several panic attacks when she realizes that pregnancy means changing some habits.  What is safe during pregnancy?  Can I dye my hair? Eat Sushi? What about nail polish fumes and second hand smoke?  And the stress that all of these questions are causing. UrbanMommies has pulled together articles and advice from our medical experts to help you navigate the beautiful months while pregnant.  Breathe, relax, and remember that moderation and instinct should always remain in the equation.  As with anything, your doctor or midwife should be consulted if you are concerned about any issues you are having.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Beat the Heat

LIVE, rest By June 5, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Severe heat can inhibit the safety of babies and children.  With global temperatures on a slow march upwards, heat waves such as this are unfortunately likely to become more frequent than their previous once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Some people adore the heat, but babies and children as well as pets and elderly relatives are vulnerable to heat strokes, dehydration and other serious heat-related ailments. Here are some tips on surviving the heat:

  1. Never, EVER, leave a baby, child or pet in a parked car during hot weather. The temperature inside a parked car can very quickly rise to extreme levels. Children and pets can become extremely over-heated and some have even died when left in a hot car. This tip is therefore very important.
  2. Make sure babies, children and pets have plenty of water to drink. Heat produces sweat which causes the body to lose vital water. It is very important to replenish the body with water in order to prevent dehydration, which can be very serious.
  3. Keep babies, children and pets where it is coolest. Find the coolest room in the house, most likely the basement, and spend as much time there as possible. Only go outside unless you are doing water-related activities or if your house gets so hot, it’s cooler in the shade outside. Restrict outdoor exercise, including walking dogs, to cooler evenings. Avoiding the heat is a great reason to spend the afternoon at the air-conditioned library.
  4. Dress appropriately. Keep babies and children in lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Is your toddler not a fan of clothing? Well, this is a good time to let him get away with his preference for nakedness!
  5. Hats and sunscreen. If you are outside in the sun at any time, make sure babies, children and yourself have hats and waterproof, high-SPF sunscreen on. Make sure to re-apply it when necessary. If baby is constantly taking his hat off, find a hat that has a Velcro strap that goes under his chin.
  6. Fans and air conditioners. These are of course, summer-heat standbys. Here’s a good tip: put a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The fan will blow the cooler air around the ice towards you!
  7. Don’t leave a baby or child to nap in direct sunlight. That tip speaks for itself.
  8. Utilize water. Cold showers and baths, pools and natural bodies of clean water are of course great. But here’s another tip: fill up a bucket with very cold water and sit with your feet in it. As your blood circulates through your body, it will cool down in your feet and circulate cooler blood throughout your body. I tried this today and it helped a great deal. Just make sure there are no electronics that can fall into it to avoid electrocution.
  9. Keep cool at night. Have the whole family sleep in the basement if possible. Make sure babies and children are in light clothing, if clothing is necessary, and that they only have a sheet to cover them, if necessary. Open windows, if safe, to ensure plenty of circulation of the slightly-cooler night air. A cold shower or bath before bed can also help.
  10. Check in on elderly relatives. If elderly relatives live in hot areas, make sure to check with them that they have everything they need to beat the heat. The elderly are very vulnerable to overheating. Sadly, sometimes, it even causes death.
  11. Be careful of worsening air quality. Heat causes air quality to diminish. Be aware of this and make sure people with respiratory problems, including kids with asthma, are looked after. Try staying inside where the air is a little better.
  12. Indulge your children in frozen treats. If it’s very hot, the cooling effect of frozen treats can be more important than their sugar content. If you’d prefer a healthy alternative, pick up a popsicle mold and make fruit juice popsicles by filling the mold with fruit juice.

Have you got a tip? Email us at info@urbanmommies.com (subject: Beat the Heat) with your name, city and tip and we will add your tip to this page!

Here are some signs of overheating to look out for:
*rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
*weakness, dizziness, or fainting
*more tiredness than usual
*headache
*confusion or disorientation
*nausea

If you see these signs in someone help them cool down by removing clothing, having them drink cool (but not ice cold) water, bathing them with cool water and moving them to a cooler area. If they appear seriously listless or disoriented, take them to the emergency room or call 911.

The above signs to watch out for were taken from the Toronto Public Health’s brochure on beating the heat. This brochure also has tips similar to some of the ones above. You can view this brochure here: http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/pdf/beattheheat.pdf

For more information about the health effects of extreme heat call
Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line 416-480-2615

-Danica Longair

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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summer hydration tips for kids

Summer Hydration Tips for Kids (and parents too!)

FAM, kids By July 7, 2010 Tags: , , No Comments

With temperatures rising, it’s a great time for parents to head outdoors and get active with the family.  but as the kids play, mommies and daddies tend to focus on their children’s needs, neglecting their own bodies as a result. So we thought it would be practical to post some summer hydration tips for kids (and parents too!)

“Only 25%* of parents hydrate properly,” says Dara Duff-Bergeron, mom and personal trainer. “While juggling carpool, volunteering in the classroom and taking care of a sick child, parents often forget to drink fluids and replenish lost vitamins and nutrients.”

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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