Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Have an Apple Crisis! Help!

No, not APLS, but there's another topic that I have been lagging behind on. Whew, between kids, jobs and being sick I am really behind! Anyway, make sure to check out the APLS blog to find out more about our local Great Lakes APLS. I plan a quick post later today welcoming everyone back to our region for fall. And, I need some local answers for THIS:

What do I do with all these apples? See, I was hoodwinked. Tricked. Scammed. By my own sister! My mother, yes the one of peaches fame, was kind enough to bring us a couple of bushels of apples from Northern Michigan. My sister was supposed to take half for her family. Does that look like my half to you? I didn't think so. I think she took five apples out of the bag and sent the rest to me!

I will can applesauce, I will freeze apple pie fixin's but how in the heck am I going to store the rest? I don't have a root cellar, we unplugged our extra refrigerator over a year ago and I don't really want to plug it back in just for apples. Help me create a root cellar or rent me a storage space somewhere! I am drowning in apples. Thanks, sis.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mom Down! Mom Down!

I'm sick. I should have seen it coming. Two of the eco 'burban boys were hit with a nasty case of bronchitis and sinusitis last week, requiring mom to dispense medicines, get up in the middle of the night and prepare special meals for the sick ones. Guess who's got it now...??

Two boxes of tissues, countless tea bags and lots of TV watching and I'm still not feeling any better. What have I noticed about being sick? It's not green. Not even a little bit green. This morning I am still single-handedly destroying trees and forests with my tissue usage, styrofoam take-out containers litter the fridge (eco 'burban dad was in charge of feeding the restless natives...) and cardboard bagel buckets reside in my recycling bin. Ugh.

Well, you win some and you lose some. I'm off to toast my leftover bagel in the office kitchen. However, it will be spread with my own homemade jam and some local butter. I guess I'm on the mend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Please Push the Reset Button

What is wrong with the world? We have this. And this. And even rocket fuel in our water.

And, yes, this too is a crisis that could lead to the US's demise as an economic superpower, but is the only worry we have right now the death of banks that really shouldn't have been giving out these kinds of loans anyway?

What are we as a nation reading these days? News of former teen star Lindsay Lohan becoming lesbian tops news the Arctic Circle has dwindled to it's second lowest level making polar bears so desperate they resort to cannibalism.

Even political news is dominated by eye glass trends and email scandal. Doesn't anyone in government, politics or business care that our environment is in crisis too? That in 30 years it really won't make a difference what type of eyeglasses our president might wear or that former teen-queen junkies are unfit parents? Because our earth might be too hot or too unstable or too unsafe for our children to inhabit?

Big surprise, people, big surprise. Don't tell me you didn't see it coming. You didn't care. Today's news stories ranking as most popular? Nicole Kidman is crediting a waterfall she swam in with her fertility. Our possible, shudder, future Vice President likes to pose for pretty pictures, but prefers to dodge and hide when it's time to answer tough questions. Why aren't we reading about health care strategies or renewable energy plans? What about education for the poor, healthier school lunches or animal rights?

I'm screaming inside. I feel sick. Yes, I care about our financial crisis and the election too, when the candidates aren't bickering and pointing fingers anyway. But, that doesn't mean I stopped caring about the environment, education, our children, the Arctic Circle or animal rights. Will someone please press the reset button on the media? On the government? On the political parties? Thank you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And Darkness Falls...

As much as I love fall, the changing of the seasons can be a drag. Just when I'm at my tiredest (back to school time really sucks the life right out of me) the darkness of winter begins to creep in. It's so hard to jump out of bed when it's cold and dark and your brain is telling you to go back to sleep. Walking the dog in the pitch-black, chilly morning doesn't have that same invigorating feeling as it does in the bright sunshine of an early summer's day. Watching darkness fall at 8:00 in the evening when just a month ago children were playing baseball, swimming and swinging at that same time makes you long for a comfy bed and a down comforter.

So, to make a long story short. I'm tired. Really, really tired. I am drifting back into bad habits. Three cups of coffee for breakfast. Meals eaten on the run. Dinner haphazardly thrown together. Laundry piling up around every corner. Doggies staring forlornly a their leashes hoping for a walk. Yesterday, I used a paper towel. I was too tired to make my way to the linen closet for a clean dishtowel. It was my first paper towel in weeks, maybe even months.

How do I get back on track? Or am I just on a slippery slope backwards into a life of un-greenness? I managed to wake up early today to walk the puppy, thinking I was getting back in the game. Wandering through the dark streets I stepped into a pothole, wrenching my back. Figures. At least no one else was awake to hear cursing and muttering. Is it just another sign to simply stay in bed? Maybe...

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Actual proof that maybe the world is coming around. Just when I thought I was too tired, too stressed out, stretched too thin. A sunny afternoon, a circus show, kid's crafts and low and behold - recycling, water bottle refilling stations, local food and drink and an afternoon spent with a 4-year old. Maybe I won't give up the fight today.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thrift Store or Toy Store?

Last month I was busy hitting all the thrift stores around town for back to school clothes. I scored pretty big, but picked up a couple of extra items along the way. The littlest eco 'burban boy tagged along on one trip and managed to hit the toy jackpot.

From the corner of the store I hear a little boy squeal of delight. Out of the depths of a basket he pulls a large monster truck emblazoned with "Grave Digger" in neon green lettering. I gamely try to talk him out of the toy, begging him to think of all the other trucks and cars stashed in his bedroom.

No dice. He's in love with monster trucks, much to my chagrin. (Ummm, I know very little about monster trucks, but something tells me they're NOT eco-friendly?!?) I check the price tag - $2.99. A bargain really, considering it most likely cost a good $30 or more with it's flashing lights and motorized actions. Grave Digger came home with us, and now takes up the most prize parking spot in the eco 'burban boy's bedroom.

This week is "My Favorite Thing" week at his preschool. Rather than choose an expensive remote controlled car, a fancy brand-new truck or even a favorite blankie, "Grave Digger" is going to school. I smile as I pack the truck into his backpack. Who knew $2.99 for a reused toy would bring him - and me - so much joy.

Make no mistakes, the thrift store isn't just for clothing. Sometimes it's the "Favorite Toy Store" too.

Thanks, Ike

Thanks, Ike, for the havoc and disaster in Texas. Millions without power, hundreds of thousands unable to return home. Many dead, many more injured and dreams crushed. Homes, schools, businesses, infrastructure, parks and gardens damaged beyond repair.

Ike reached us all the way in Michigan. We got more than 8 inches of rain in 24 hours. (Following steady down pouring rain unrelated to Ike the entire day prior) Lakes and rivers reached historical heights, roads washed away, basements flooded. My 65 year old lake cottage home sprung a leak in her original foundation that held tight through many families before my own.

Warming, Ike screamed! Warning! Ice caps are melting, ocean temperatures are rising, storms are strengthening. Take heed and protect your family. Protect your planet. Protect your fragile ecosystems.

As I listen to the hum of our two dehumidifiers, one fan and one clothes dryer motor continuously in our basement I understand the power of a storm that started near the equator and reached as far north as the Canadian border. I also realize how lucky I am to be warm, safe and dry with electricity connected and water flowing.

For those of us safely out of the path of hurricanes, tidal waves, tornadoes and monsoons, it's our responsibility to protect those directly in their wake. It does take a village to raise a planet! For those able to donate to the victims of Hurricane Ike, please visit the Red Cross and give to those in need. For those unable to donate, please protect our planet. Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just for Fun!

If you didn't watch it live, it is worth a moment to watch this skit. Seriously, I was laughing so hard I spit out my drink. My dinner guests weren't as amused!

A Green Mom Goes to the Mall

I haven't been to the mall in ages. I can't even remember the last time I even thought I might want to go to the mall. This weekend I had to go to the mall to pick up a few items from Pottery Barn we needed at my office for a research project. While I was there I thought I would wander around as we had the remnants of Hurricane Ike in town on Sunday and our outdoor plans were cancelled. I need to replace my very worn out four-year-old black pants and skirt before a handful of business trips I have to take in October, so I figured the timing couldn't be better.
1. Pants are ridiculously expensive! Can anyone tell me when both JCrew and Banana Republic decided they could charge $128 for a single pair of pants? Don't worry, I didn't buy pants at either store. I succumbed to the Gap for a $54 pair.

2. Did you know Pottery Barn thinks they are green? They carry aluminum water bottles that look mysteriously like a SIGG knock-off, except for the whole "made in China" part. Throw in a couple of recycled material picture frames and a box of sustainable wood colored pencils ($24 for 24 pencils!) and Voila! The store is green! Or not... When I refused the copious paper wrapping for my single plate, single napkin ring and picture frame and then broke out my reusable tote, the saleswoman looked at me like I sprouted horns.

3. No one, and I mean NO ONE, at our local mall carries reusable totes. I'm pretty sure the sales staff at Banana Republic thought I stole something.

4. Did you know 80's fashion is totally back in style? Me neither and it's a good way to keep me out of the mall for a very, very long time. Yikes, totally junior high flash back!

5. Does everyone wear pajamas to the mall? Interesting... I saw more girls wearing pajama pants then the last time I went to a slumber party. Again, total junior high flashback!

6. If you don't have a Starbucks cup in your hand, you seriously stick out like a sore thumb.

Lesson learned. Two pairs of pants and $106 later I won't be going back to the mall anytime soon. I felt like a zoo exhibit someone let out of it's cage. It's funny, once you break the mall-habit it's very hard to go back...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Take a Blog Break for Activism

No, I'm not quitting the blog, but expanding my horizons. Being a Green Mom and an APLS has sparked my interest and, most importantly, made me get off my duff and volunteer.

Thanks to Green Bean's back to school post, I pitched the idea of a sustainable schoolyard to my oldest three son's middle school PTSA president and we have a meeting this Friday to explore the concept in tandem with our Science Department and Life Management classrooms.

I sent my school district leaders my post on the importance of commenting on the USDA's website to improve the future of school lunches before the reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act in 2009 - and got great feedback. Then I took it a step further. After reading The Green Parent's back to school post I also threw out the idea of the Farm to School project to the school principal and the PTSA and again, we are meeting soon to explore the idea of allocating Michigan's $1.9 million in funding for fresh foods (currently purchased from Tennessee?!?!) to our local farmers. This program only operates in four school districts in our entire state and I would love to be the fifth.

Yesterday, while driving to Whole Foods, I passed a small strip mall with a little sign and arrow pointing to my city's 'Michigan for Obama' campaign office. I went inside and met with the Field Organizer to see how I could help. You are now looking at the official blog host and website organizer for the local campaign in my city. (If you're in Southeastern Michigan and want to come by, click the link, we'd love to have you!) I blog about upcoming events, canvassing and volunteer opportunities as well as Obama's policy and reform stances. I'm getting the word out and using a skill that can help make a change.

My own personal blog may look a little scattered for the next couple of months while all these programs get off the ground, but isn't that why we blog anyway? To make change? To inspire change? To be the change? I have been inspired by many of you bloggers out there and I hope to inspire you today. Democrat or Republican, stand up for what you believe in. Volunteer to help. Teach your children the importance of democracy in our country. Vote. Knock on doors. Put a sign in your yard. Blog. Stand up and be proud.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mental Floss for Dental Floss?

The eco 'burban dad looooves dental floss. Seriously, if he forgets to pack it on a vacation or even a weekend away, he's frantic and must have his flossy fix. Me? Eh, I can take it our leave it. Not that I don't think it's important, because it really is. However I am usually happy I've gotten 5 minutes to brush my teeth, slap on some moisturizer and run a brush through my hair before someone knocks on the door, so if I don't get time to floss, I'm not too upset.
That said, the eco 'burban dad burns through enough floss for the both of us. And, yes, I'm sure it's a bit wasteful to use so much, though when he's 87 and still has beautiful chompers instead of dentures in a glass on the nightstand next to the bed, I won't mind so much.

We're just about out of the waxy string at the eco 'burban house and we're currently using the trial size packages we get from the dentist and as I added "dental floss" to this week's shopping list, I paused. Is there a better, more environmentally friendly floss? One without plastic packaging or chemical treatments? I'm betting the minty flavor is most likely derived in a laboratory, not nature! And how does that wax get stuck to the string anyway? We've already switched to Tom's toothpaste, but does Tom make a floss too? If so, I haven't seen it...

So, anyone with a better alternative and has a moment to weigh in, please do. I need a little mental floss before I buy more dental floss.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Affluence attacks suburbia!

An alien has landed! It's taking taking root across our society! I used to think I was the only one who thought living lighter was affluent. But, I see the aliens. They walk among us. There are APLS everywhere and I bet their world looks a little like mine...

photo: ****b/c**** on Flickr

My grass is brown. We don't water it or even have a sprinkler system.

My laundry hangs outside, draped willy-nilly on racks, thrown over patio furniture and hangs from umbrella frames

My children wear thrift store duds, often found with tags still attached and quite often brand name.

We host garage sales, sell and buy used items on craigslist and have been known to Freecycle.

We don't buy juice boxes, Gatorades, ice cream bars, Popsicles, cookies, waffles or pancakes.
We don't drive big, fancy cars or SUVs.

I don't have a housekeeper, landscaper or dog-walker.

I can't remember the last time I had a Starbucks, went to the mall or ordered fast food.

And the list goes on... We walk to the corner store. We turn the tap off when we brush our teeth. We pour leftover boiling canning water over the weeds in our driveway. We are an affluent family.

To many in suburbia, this is truly a strange and unusual concept. I must be an alien to consider myself affluent. Isn't going without all the conveniences and comforts available today a signal of hardship, low-income or thrift? So, in the midst of all of the suburban drones, how does one alien living lighter, when she could afford more, still define herself as affluent when others describe her lifestyle as just the opposite?

Why? I have the luxury to choose my lifestyle. It's as simple as that. I am privileged to have education, an income and career. I am blessed to have options. I am lucky to have multiple sources for food I deem healthy and nutritious to feed my family. I have electricity, running water, comfortable clothing, top-notch doctors and hospitals, an excellent school system and most of all - four healthy children. I am most certainly not going without and isn't it my responsibility to spread my affluence around?

I choose to continue to educate myself and my family. I choose to conserve the resources that we have so others may have a little more. I choose to go the extra mile to support my local farmer and buy his eggs, produce and meat so that not only I can feed my family a healthy meal, but he can feed his family a healthy meal. I choose to educate others, volunteering to share my knowledge with schools, our government and my family. I am an affluent alien walking this planet, attempting to infect the world with my thoughts on lighter living.

As an APLS who once thought she was the only affluent alien living lighter, I welcome all of the APLS to suburbia. I see more of you aliens every day. Hanging out laundry, walking to the store, buying farmer's market produce and most importantly - influencing others. Affluence is catching! It's attacking suburbia! It's not long until affluent aliens take over the planet. Welcome to earth, APLS, we're thankful you're here.
Have you been infected by the lighter living affluents? If you have, join us in the APLS bushel basket. You'll find many of your kind, and like me, you'll find some right in your own neighborhood!

This is my post submitted to the September APLS Carnival. If you want to submit your thoughts, however alien and strange they may be, to the APLS Carnival, please hurry! The mother ship departs on September 10th, so get on over to the APLS blog for more info.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hearing Voices

The email I sent to our school district regarding the USDA's reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act reached my son's middle school principal. She took the time to respond to me and to place the email containing the link to the public comments section into the hands of those who need to comment and have the power to make changes - the District Supervisor of Food Services and the PTA president.

Please take the time to make your voice heard. Comment today and then write a letter to your principal, your PTA president, your Food Service Department. I can't stress how important food choices are to your children. Where is the one place during the day they make their own decisions? It's the school lunch room. Do I take the fruit cup or pass it by because it looks "gross". Do I eat my veggies or toss them in the trash because they are "disgusting".

Providing children with fresh and healthy food choices today will set them up for a life-long education in how to feed themselves and, to me, that's just as important as math class or a science project. If you want a copy of the letter I sent to the school district, please feel free to copy it here. The link the to the USDA's site to comment is here.

Copy of the letter from our school principal:

Dear (eco 'burban mom),

I will forward your email to our district - Supervisor of Food Services, (name) and to (the school's) head cook, (name). Our food service department has done much to address these concerns, and I am sure (the staff) would be happy to talk with you to provide the details. I will also forward your email to our PTSA president, (name). (She) is very involved and always eager to address concerns. Thanks so much. (Principal)

Yes, my voice was heard!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

4 Back To School Tips for 'That Mom'

Rather than wax poetic about sending my four boys back to school, (note: see mom doing a happy, happy dance!!) I thought I would share my 'oh, she's that green mom' tried and true methods for surviving the back-to-school chaos with a little sustainable style.

Tip #1 - Use those leftovers!

Never bother to sort backpacks or bookbags brought home at the end of the school year at the beginning of summer. Why? When faced with four bags stuffed with leftover school supplies almost to the point of bursting and one mom on overload from elementary school graduation planning, summer swim parties, field trips and teacher appreciation luncheons you are more likely to look at the pile and chuck it all into the trash. Really. I swear all sensibility to sort paper, tear out used notebook pages and neatly organize what you 'think' you might need for next year goes right out the window when you're on the brink of exhaustion.

Simply - this is VERY important, please pay attention - sift through the bag checking for errant food items, live animals and/or money (yes, I have found all three before!) and then place the bag into a closet or the basement hidden away until the end of summer. I guarantee you will be much calmer and more reasonable sorting through the bags with your new school supply list in your hand during the month of August when you will find many things on this years list that were only gently used last year. Besides, when faced with the cost of buying school supplies these days, that folder/pencil box/binder doesn't really look so shabby after a month or two hidden out of sight, does it? I didn't think so!

Tip #2 - Backpack wars!

What kid doesn't want a brand spanking new backpack, book bag or tote each year? They all do, but let's face it... Do they really NEED one? Before the schools shopping madness begins (seriously, do this in July) buy the very, very best backpack you can afford that is made of bullet proof, rip stop, stainless steel materials. Just kidding! However, buying the right pack for the right sized kid made of durable materials is well worth it. I highly recommend LL Bean's backpacks and can swear by their durability. I have four boys, each with their own pack, embroidered with their initials, that carry laptops, lunches and binders all at the same time that are going on their 3rd year of use. No broken zippers, no busted straps, no ripping seams. They weren't cheap, but they last and last.

And, another hint? Buying those packs in July, letting your child pick out the fabric and embroider their initials on the bag will be fun for them. Bonus for you? While in the big, nasty discount store buying school supplies your child will see the Spiderman, Barbie and/or Pokemon backpack made of cheap materials guaranteed to only last 3 months and you will calmly be able to say, "Oh, but we have your new bag all personalized and ready to go!" Sneaky, eh?

Tip #3 - Lunchtime drama!

I am a huge advocate for healthy food choices in the cafeteria and making sure my boys eat a well balanced and filling lunch. (If you haven't commented on the USDA's Child Nutrition Act, please do so today!) However, three of my four boys are middle school age and lunch is the MOST important time of day for them for two reasons. One, they like to eat. A lot. As much as possible. Two, lunchtime is social time for middle school kids and, in their very over-scheduled lives and in their highly pressured world to achieve, this is their one chance daily to meet friends, chat up the girls and start to learn about where they fit in the peer groups. So, four days a week I pack a waste-free, organic, local and healthy meal for them. One day a week we allow them to get into the lunch line, buy a pizza with their buddies, pay for their meal with real money and figure out how to navigate the dangerous waters of the middle school cafeteria.

Why is this so important to me, given I am such a locavore and health nut? In the real world we are faced with choices and obstacles and the middle school lunch room is pretty much one of the earliest places we learn to deal with peer pressure, food choices, social rules, manners - all on our own. If I keep protecting my boys behind my shield of pre-packed food, controlled choices and rigid schedule, how will they adapt in high school? Or even worse, college? It's the beginning of letting go, and as hard as it is, I watch my boys choose to recycle their plastic bottles and tell their buddies to do the same. They have learned from stomach-growlings and headaches that maybe deep fried cheese sticks and lemonade aren't quite a balanced or filling lunch. OK, so that means next time they add a banana or apple to their tray, but it's a start. They politely deal with rather crabby lunch ladies who don't always give the correct change and are short on patience. Those are skills you don't get from a textbook, teacher or a perfectly packed lunch courtesy of Mom. These are social graces, manners and confidence you can only gain by being thrust into the deep end and dog paddling like crazy.

Tip #4 - You know your own child!
Doesn't it seem like these kids 'need' a lot of stuff? That's what I thought too. Lists of requested supplies, forms, money, physicals and clothing arrive in the mail the third week of August like the barrage on Normandy. This is my eighth year of sending kids back to school. Eight long years of shopping, packing, labeling, returning, rebuying and shuttling supplies to and from school.

One thing I have learned about these 'required' lists is that not every student is the same. You know your own child after a few years of school. Does your child really need 96 #2 pencils? Not if you're my oldest son who will use a pencil right down to the metallic nub and quite honestly he likes the pencil better when it's short. I'm not sure why, but he is happy to take the younger boy's cast off, slightly used pencils. However, my second oldest will break off the erasers right off the top of brand new pencils from vigorous erasing so I know to make a pencil get right down to the nub, I better add an eraser top. That brings me to the third oldest. He loses pencils faster than the Exxon Valdez leaks oil. He is prone to forgetting to zip his pencil pouch, leaving a trail of pens and pencils from the desk to the door, or leaving them on the bus or forgetting them in the classroom. So, yes, he might need 96 #2 pencils.

My point is? Take a close look at the 'required' supply lists. Can you start by buying a pack of 12 #2 pencils? Can you check their locker or desk during curriculum night or parent teacher conferences to see what supplies they are using and what they are not? At the end of every school year each of my boys will bring home an unopened package of paper, a notebook not even used or a 6-pack of unopened glue sticks. Yes, from time to time I can reuse this item for the next year or another child, but really? Why buy it in the first place? Do you have a child that loves art projects? Better stock up on the glue sticks and colored pencils! Or is your child a perfectionist and will erase every errant pencil mark and use a fresh sheet of paper for every quiz? Well then, round up the pencil erasers and notebook paper! You know your own child, so don't feel like EVERY item on that list is a must-buy.

Oh, OK, you might find yourself as 'that Mom' (or Dad!) who bucks the system, questions authority or ignores the lists, but let's face it... If you're still one of those green Moms still reading this post???? You're already 'that Mom' anyway! Relax though, I've been 'that Mom' for 8 years and after awhile, you wear that label like a badge of honor!
This is my submission for the Green Moms Carnival being hosted by Surely You Nest. If you have a submission, hop on over to her blog for more info and send in your submission before Sept. 7th!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yes, I can!

My last post, before the haze of a holiday weekend set in, focused on the reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act in 2009. I asked readers to comment on the USDA's public comment website to make their voices heard. We want fresh fruits and vegetables! We want increased funding! We want standards for "snack line" foods! And, then I got to thinking. I asked all of you to comment, I commented, but then I stopped there.

Today, energized by a sunny holiday weekend spent with my children, I realized I could do more. Did you comment? Do you want to take it a step further? To quote someone very politically relevant - YES, I CAN! Today I wrote a letter to every member of the school board as well as my children's school principals and some powerful PTA women that I know that can really get the job done. It was so simple and so quick. Visit your school's website, scout out the email addresses and type a quick letter. No time to write the letter? Here - take mine! Just don't tell the kids how quick and easy plagiarism can be!

Dear Members of the Board,

My name is (eco 'burban mom), a mother of four boys attending the (ABC) Consolidated Schools. I am writing you today to request your attention to an important matter:

The Child Nutrition Act - a major piece of federal legislation that helps determine school food policy and resources – will begin reauthorization in 2009. Amazingly, this act has been unchanged since the 1960's and besides being outdated, it doesn't address many issues facing students today, such as: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol levels, allergies, working parent households, religous beliefs and many other factors not present in the 1960's. In addition, the current act doesn't contain any standards for so-called "snack-line" foods such as brand name items, fast food chain selections, sodas and marketing gimmicks.

The good news is the USDA and the government are accepting the public's comments on the reauthorization of this act, but the comment period ends very soon - October 15, 2008. I understand this email is reaching you during the busiest time, right at the beginning of a new school year. However, I am only asking for a moment of your time to pass the word along to your fellow colleagues, the schools and their PTAs and the food service department.

For those who are limited on time, simply visit the website I provided below and enter your comments. The website address:


A basic set of comments are as follows (please feel free to cut and paste these comments into the comments section if you wish!):

  • Increase funding for school meals and provide incentives for schools to offer healthier foods.
  • Increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Improve nutrition standards for school meals so they align with the most recent dietary guidelines.
  • Establish standards for food sold in schools outside of the school meals programs such as that sold at snack bars and cafeteria a la carte lines.

    Thank you kindly for your time, I wish you a wonderful 2008-09 school year! Regards,

    (the eco 'burban mom)