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Natural Family Lifestyles

Home Is Where the Heart Is
What better month to acknowledge the love in our families and beauty in our homes than the month of February, a time to remember those we cherish and a time to honor how we live our lives. Our homes can be a reflection of love, and there are many ways to express this sentiment to those around us — in our décor, our behavior and our daily gatherings.

13 Uses for Prefolds — Besides Diapering!
Prefold diapers have been popular since before most of us were born, and they've had a resurgence in the last few years. But prefolds are great for all sorts of household uses.

Why Has Yoga Become So Popular?
Did you know that over 15 million people practiced yoga in 2003, according to a landmark study by Yoga Journal magazine? And the numbers are expected to increase dramatically in subsequent years.

Controlling Mold Without Toxic Chemicals
Mold can grow anywhere there are damp conditions, from a windowsill to a bathroom to a whole house. While the health effects of most common molds are minimal, the chemicals we commonly use to remove the unsightly growth can harm our health.

Essential Art Supplies for Creative Kids
Creativity brings joy to life. Stimulate kids' imaginations by having these inexpensive supplies on hand.

Zap the 10 Most Common Toxins in Your Home
We like to think of our homes as being a safe place to be, a refuge from a dangerous world. Yet some of the exposures that you have day to day that are most hazardous to your health and the health of your family happen right at home.

The Rise of Eco-Parenting
An article about organic foods, organic clothing, cloth diapering and chemical-free toiletries as it matters to parents. Written by an author in the UK, but affecting parents worldwide.

Got Stress? Go Gardening!
In its purest form, gardening is about connecting with the earth and resetting our clocks to the simple, natural rhythms of life. Try as we may, we can't really speed up a tomato plant and make it grow by our timetable. We must adapt, and in doing so, gardening offers us a gentle reminder about what's really important in life: food, water, warmth, a bit of loving attention and some room to grow.

Fresh Ways to Have Fun Outside
Are you looking for fresh ways to spend time with your friends and family? Outdoor activities getting a little boring, are they? With your fast-paced life gaining speed all the time, it’s easy to stick to what’s familiar — but is that any way to live? Let’s take a few minutes and look at how easy it is to break out of the same-ole-routine and into the new with wholesome activities near home and out of doors. Read on to see why it’s tough to beat having fun with friends and family outdoors in the fresh air.

Breathe Cleaner Air in Your Home
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health risks in the United States today. They say indoor levels of pollutants can be two to five times as high as outdoor levels and sometimes more. Some problems of indoor pollution can be traced to energy efficiency, according to the Texas Institute for the Indoor Environment at the University of Texas. A tighter home is good for conserving energy but bad in terms of air pollution.

Frugal Family Fun
Here are some frugal entertainment ideas for the whole family. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find many more opportunities to have fun with your family without spending a lot of money.

Pick a Car With Great Gas Mileage
The cost of transportation can be expensive, and higher fuel prices do not help matters. The following vehicles have good ratings, and they will help to stretch your fuel dollars. SUVs can really eat the fuel; however, they are convenient for hauling cargo, and some definitely have a real advantage in bad weather and off-road conditions.

Natural Bug Repellant
I absolutely dread all the chemicals involved in commercial bug sprays, but I can’t seem to find any natural remedies that work. Is there anything tried and true? Bugs! Do I respect them as part of Nature’s miraculous design? Yes. Do I like them? Not really.

The 21st Century: The Age of Plastic
Plastic has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life. It's molded into our computers, phones, wires, pens, carpets, flooring, window blinds, water pipes, shower curtains, kitchen gadgets, credit cards, cars, planes and even our clothes. The inventory seems endless. We define ourselves as the Information Age. But archeologists uncovering our mounds of rubble might better label us the Plastic Age. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with plastic. On one hand, we're addicted to the affordable and unbreakable luxuries that plastic offers.

Orienteering is Hot!
So you didn't know orienteering was hot, did you? Do you even know what orienteering is? Orienteering is one of the most thrilling activities available for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, and here's the good news: It's inexpensive. If you enjoy spending time out of doors and you are looking to break out of your regular routine, orienteering may be the challenge you've been hoping for. Thousands of men, women and children around the country are addicted to the mental and physical rush of orienteering. Let's find out why.

Three Steps to Becoming a Back-Country Hero
Have you thought about helping to protect wildlife or wildflowers, but you don't know how? Or maybe you want to protect your favorite camping site or that cool little stream nobody else knows about? Making a difference in the backcountry is easy for anyone — you don't have to be Ted Turner. Not everyone can fly to the Amazon delta to move bird nests or trek off to the Aleutian Islands to remove crude oil from a pristine beach, but everyone can help right where they are. Follow these three easy steps, and you'll be on your way to giving back to your backcountry and you'll have a ball doing it.

Plan Your Green Wedding
A wedding is one of life's major rites of passage. It is certainly something to celebrate! Today, wedding books and magazines promote large weddings so that more and more wedding products can be sold. Wedding expenditures run into many thousands of dollars. And after this major outlay of money, most of what is purchased is never used again.

The "Green" or Ecological Wedding
Does it seem like the phrases "ecology" and "wedding" could hardly have less in common? With the average wedding costing well over $15,000 today, one would think so. And yet the do it yourself green or ecologically friendly wedding is gaining momentum across the nation.

Banish Garden Pests Naturally
Everyone loves beautiful plants, but most of us really don't care for the pests that sometimes go along with them. If you love plants but hate bugs, you can get rid of the naturally. Below are some great natural pest control remedies for those unwanted creepy-crawlies.

Are violent movies, video games, and television programs harmful to my child’s education?
The answer is “yes” — experts agree that violent media is harmful to children and their education. Education is the act of acquiring knowledge; therefore, any activity that impedes this knowledge acquisition is undesirable and problematic. There are many factors that contribute to a child’s education, but popular media such as movies, video games and television are profoundly influential because statistics show that the average child spends more time in these activities above all other activities except for sleep.

Get more Time, Energy and Money!
Time, energy and money are chronically lacking in parents’ lives. They are too tired because their children keep them up at night, they are strapped for time between juggling work and family, and they spend all their resources on their kids, the house, the car and the mortgage.
Everybody has a dream. Whether you know it or not, at one time you dreamed all the time. As children grow, their imaginations grow with them. Then they become adults, and the reality of the world sets in. Have you forgotten how to dream? Do you feel as if you have no time to breath, much less make your dreams reality?

What’s Natural in Your Yard or Garden?
Your garden: what fun — and frustration — await you there! The best mentor you can choose, as far as I'm concerned, is nature herself. Nature likes life everywhere. Have an open field and plants magically appear! This is the way plants grow when left to themselves. We don't have to struggle so much. It is wisest to let nature have her way. Nature has her own agenda, and your life as a gardener will be easier if you bow to her desires. Better to dance with the fairies than struggle with eliminating "weeds."

Is Your Microwave Oven Safe?
Inside your microwave oven, an electron tube called a magnetron produces the microwaves, which bounce around inside the oven’s metal interior until they are absorbed by food. The microwaves cause water molecules in the food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food. Since the microwave energy is changed to heat as soon as it is absorbed by food, it cannot make food radioactive or “contaminated.”

Find Community Resources
In an ever-expanding global market, it's easy to forget that most of our needs can be met by using the resources we have access to in our own communities. As gasoline prices rise, which in turn tend to increase the price of every item transported, it's to our advantage as well as the environment to buy locally.

Declutter Your Home With Feng Shui
Most of us look at cleaning our homes as a chore, but revitalizing and organizing your life should be a joyous activity. When there is harmony in the home, all feelings and emotions within the space are harmonious. The Chinese view their lives as having chi energy, which is a "cosmic breath." There is yang energy, or good energy, as well as yin energy, which is negative energy.

Build Your Own Summer Cabin
Of course, when the job is all done, you'll find much hidden and real enjoyment in telling your friends how you did it. If you have an office job where you sit at your chair for eight hours, you'll probably tell them that you ate like a horse all the time you were doing the work and that you never felt better. The truth is, you will probably have forgotten about the office for the first time in ages and found yourself creating something that you didn't know you could.

Pest Control the Frugal, Natural Way
Whether in the garden, yard or in the house, all of us have at one time or another had to deal with pests. Here are some ways to get rid of insects and other pests without spending a lot on expensive products.

Redecorate Naturally!
Families who tread lightly on the earth can make substantial impact by reducing consumption. Besides, reusing materials, buying second hand and furnishing a home with loved pieces of art and sentimental objects creates a more interesting and individual look.

Organize a Clothes Swap!
I was invited to a clothes swap two years ago after a friend (who probably realized we were about the same dress size) invited me to a clothes swap she organized at her house.

Consider Fuel Efficiency When Buying a Car
Buying a compact car with good gas mileage is both friendly to the environment and your pocketbook. You will enjoy the savings throughout the life of the vehicle.

I keep hearing about cloth menstrual pads, and it sounds like a great idea – I think! What’s the scoop?

Four Simple Ways to Make a Difference with Your Dollars
Did you know that even the brand of toothpaste you buy can take the world closer to -- or further from -- peace? It's true: Every dollar you spend can make a difference.

Dispose of Your Disposables!
The answer is as close as that old stand-by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers relied on: cloth.

Natural Household Cleaners

Spring Cleaning the Frugal, Natural Way
Are your household cleaners doing more harm
Cleaning Burner Pans and Covered Casserole Dishes
70 Uses for a Humble Jug of Vinegar


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