January 4, 2017: So in light of all of the things happening this year, I’ve decided to make choices to positively change my environmental impact- I did some research and found a list that I feel good about, and will post one of my own challenges each week! 

i.e. What can we do in this increasingly environmentally-aware era?  We now have two children, and I would like to leave a good space for them, have them be aware of the impact they have on this earth, and of course, be healthy.  This began as a little research in the 2017 New Year.  My resolution tumbled into weekly facebook posts, which them spun into this page.  Here are the past posts that I’ve made, as a sort of collection of the things our little family is trying to do to make a better impact on this place that we love so dearly.

What are we leaving for them?


June 22, 2017: Welp, we did it, folks!  Took the trash out for the third time this summer, and only one bag lives in the bottom of the bin.  The rest we’ve diversified to organics recycling (LOVE that it’s on my favorite section of Grand avenue!) and the big blue recycling bin.  This was the first week that the recycling truck drivers had a temper-tantrum with me and flung the extra two bags that overflowed into our yard.  I guess I found their limit!

Also, excited to start reading my next summer read: “Clutter-free with kids” by Joshua Becker.  Our tiny house is overwhelmed with trinkets, most of them forgotten in a day by the kids.  Wonder how this may affect our family and living in our little home?

More about “Clutter Free with Kids”

June 16, 2017: Bringing awareness to a different place this week: Ella has a genetic issue with her eye turning inward (esotropia strabismus), and so we’ve limited screen time to keep her eye issues at bay, with other pretty positive outcomes. After talking to her pediatric optometrist, he lead us to this website to discuss a family media plan. Pretty interesting info for families of all types when considering when and how to use screen time positively!

AAP Media Family Plan link

Awareness in terms of environment- bamboo toothbrushes! Did you know how many toothbrushes float around the oceans and fill landfills? This company makes sustainable bamboo ones, biodegradable and sold at target! Yahoo!

Woobamboo toothbrushes

Woobamboo toothbrushes.  Loved their caption on the back.

June 9, 2017: Michael Pollan on supporting local agriculture: (farmers markets, CSA, co-ops) “Yes, shopping this way takes more money and effort, but as soon you begin to treat that expenditure not just as shopping but also as a kind of vote–a vote for health in the largest sense–food no longer seems like the smartest place to economize.” (“In Defense of Food”)

June 1, 2017: This week has been focused on our new summertime endeavor: organics (NOT organs!!) recycling! I hold out hope that Saint Paul will one day have curbside pickup for it, but In the meantime, we have our bin and have reduced our trash drastically!

Saint Paul Organics information

May 23, 2017: This week: attempting sourdough bread from a starter! I’m just learning about the benefits of sourdough for your gut and well-being. And “feeding” the starter has intrigued my daughter immensely! Let’s hope the family enjoys the bread, too!

Best pastry sous-chef around!

Best pastry sous-chef around!

A comedian joked about Americans’ complete waste of clean water. Makes me ponder our waste. Anyone else looked into what we could do to help communities who need clean water? http://www.charitywater.org/whywater/

May 14, 2017: One big bucket list item achieved, thanks to my dad and kind husband! We will now plant two magnolia trees along our back yard, next spring they’ll blossom a sweet purple and add more to our little world!


My wise owl helping me put the two trees in, mother's day 2017

My wise owl helping me put the two trees in, mother’s day 2017


April 30, 2017: This week’s focus is technology and unplugging at night so save in wasted energy, but it’s turned into a family ordeal in that we’ve limited/eliminated screen time until the kids are asleep. So far, the result has been less, “I’m bored!” Statements from the 3-year old, way more mess at the end of the day, calmer time enjoying each other and a spirit of play. Save on energy AND sanity!

No screens? Might as well make music together!

No screens? Might as well make music together!

April 23, 2017: Happy belated Earth day! This week’s focus is a fun one: buying local to save in transportation (of my drive and the commute of goods). I continue to enjoy shopping at my local shops to get to know my neighborhood- the hardware store with their sweet knowledge, a baby boutique with creative gifts, this SUPER tiny bookshop run by school librarians, and our local co-o to name my favorites. Can’t wait to get some plants from the farmers market!!

He seems to enjoy the good produce!

He seems to enjoy the good produce!

April 19, 2017: Two great quotes I stumbled upon today: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Benjamin Franklin. And “The one condition necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

April 16, 2017: This week’s focus- paper. Recycling newspaper and using or recycling all of the paper we come in contact with. Jeffs birthday is coming up, and so I’ll use Ella’s drawings and newspaper to act as wrapping paper. My to-do lists on old envelopes and recycling all of the packaging (and it’s a lot! Cereal, soap boxes, toothpaste boxes). Phasing out paper towels has been a little tricky, but it’s working out quite well!

some SERIOUSLY fun wrapping paper!

some SERIOUSLY fun wrapping paper!


April 15, 2017: Hung the laundry outside, spread mulch, baked with my daughter with the windows wide open and laughed as the little guy crawled gleefully all over the yard. What an amazing weekend so far!

Nothing better

Nothing better

April 13, 2017: I’m hooked on Netflix’s “Cooked,” and while watching the first episode, I realized our next eco commitment, which we had started thanks to local co-ops. The importance of choosing meat that was given a good life as an animal, preferably locally raised has risen high on my list of priorities. I’m already introducing the family to at least one vegetarian meal a week, but even a glimpse into how corporations treat animals for mass production is enough to make it clear that I cannot support that. Humane treatment is a must if we are choosing to eat meat.

More on Michael Pollan’s “Cooked.” Truly inspiring

April 10, 2017: This week’s eco-focus: recycling! Saint Paul gave us huge single-sort bins, and it wasn’t until we road-tripped this weekend that I realized how set we are on recycling! Boxes, clear lids, the tin foil tops of yogurts, all go in, and this has drastically cut our trash waste down. Next investment is organics recycling (meat and dairy, a drop-off location nearby), then I wonder how little waste we could generate?

We decorated the top to make it more inspiring. Now it fills up 3-4 times weekly!

We decorated the top to make it more inspiring. Now it fills up 3-4 times weekly!

And because I’ve been home with a sick kid: update on un-paper towels. They’re a hit! Ella quickly reaches for them, Jeff loves them as napkins, and our old wet bag from cloth diapers holds the dirty ones between washing. I like sewing new color combinations with each batch, too!

Old diaper wet-bag to hold them in-between washes. Great idea!

Old diaper wet-bag to hold them in-between washes. Great idea!

Buzzfeed video on plastics (now I’m very curious about this CleanPath brand…)

March 26, 2017: Eco-focus for the week:I made reusable bags that turn into picnic plates. Out of oilcloth that will last a lifetime and bring a smile to my face! Less plastic in the trash can!


March 19,2017: This week’s eco-friendly focus (besides dreaming of a homestead…): unpaper towels! I just ordered plain flour sack towels, will cut them up (thanks to a tutorial on pinterest) and will replace them with the paper towels we currently use A LOT. Even our cloth-diapering days are being recalled, as we’ll use the wet-bag to store them in-between washes! 🙂

BIG hit in the Camozzi home!

BIG hit in the Camozzi home!

March 17, 2017: This week’s eco-friendly approach: simple usability. Ella and I have been making things we normally buy: bread (when not sick), soap, washcloths, drawstring bags…. And now that spring is coming, we’re beginning to plot the vegetable garden and think about how we could jar things for next winter. What do we love to eat? Can we grow it in our backyard plot? Spring break is the perfect time for dreaming up a great little veggie/fruit patch!

Given as gifts within the week (infused with lemon, lavender and eucalyptus!). We may need to make more!

Given as gifts within the week (infused with lemon, lavender and eucalyptus!). We may need to make more!

An easy soap recipe I used. Bought the materials and we were in business!

March 7, 2017: This week’s focus- (and as all teachers would state- in need of a little ‘recharging’ as we head toward spring break) using rechargeable batteries, in my class and at home. To save on dumping and filling landfills with batteries, recharging saves money and waste! (I even got a dock in my classroom, super nifty).

February 25, 2017: This week’s (life’s) focus: them. Focusing on my children. My family. After last week and no doubt a lifetime of scary unknowns, I am only reminded more fiercely to love them and celebrate their stages. Ella’s curiosity found a home with science today, as Eldon squeals at every new discovery. I choose to embrace life around these lovely beings so that their future is full of love.


February 21, 2017: This week’s efforts at making a change came as a struggle for me. Then yesterday’s bomb threat and my own childrens’ safety made it clear. I called all congress people that I can effect and told them my story. Thanked them for their effort and urged them to push the NSA and FBI to did those responsible for threatening our children and community. I am not Jewish, but have a profound love and respect for the Jewish community. It warmed my heart to see the Muslim leadership step
Up and offer a reward for finding the caller(s).

Love Wins

Love Wins

February 12, 2017: Focus for the week: DOING something about getting out the vote. Thanks to Katie Bee, I’m learning about phone banking. And thanks to Jeff Camozzi for watching the kids, mostly, we can do it while baking bread and sipping coffee (and feeding babies…)


February 4, 2017: This week’s conservation focus: food. Americans waste more food than any other country, this is no surprise. So with the help of my favorite Mennonite cook book, and my sous-chef, our family is attempting to eat less meat (we don’t eat much anyways), and make food that creates less waste: more home-made, lots of fresh produce, less packaging. And making it together only makes it more fun!

January 27, 2017: This week I’m leaving my environmental list alone and focusing on environment, civics, education and plain morals in the larger aspect. I am grateful for my senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and for my 20 minute commute- more time calling them, I suppose? I believe the enemy of democracy is complacency. Keep calling!

January 22, 2017: This week’s focus on loving our earth a bit more- using environmentally-friendly diapers. In a perfect world, I’d do cloth, but our daycare does not (three cheers for those who do!!). So I’m spending more and testing out brands. Up side? Adorable bicycles and bow-ties on little man’s bum, thanks to Honest company!

January 15, 2017:This week’s crunchy thing our family is doing (my way of protesting these days..): joining a co-op! Mississippi market couldn’t be a friendlier place and they align so well with our eco-friendly meanderings: bringing our own bags and even egg cartons makes it fun. And buying locally is supporting our neighbors and the Midwest. (And have you TRIED farm-fresh milk in a glass bottle???? Amazing!!)

Mississippi Market! Such a happy place…

January 7, 2017: This week’s efforts to conserve- my dad helped me put my outdoor clotheslines up in the basement and I’m hanging laundry. It saves the energy spent on the dryer (and the cost of using it) and it’s been a surprisingly calming activity.(also makes the basement smell good and the dry air dries our clothing out faster than I thought it would!).

January 4, 2017: So in light of all of the things happening this year, I’ve decided to make choices to positively change my environmental impact- I did some research and found a list that I feel good about, and will post one of my own challenges each week! This week? Conserve water by not pre-rinsing dishes. Instead, I’m collecting the water used throughout our mornings and evenings and soaking the dishes in that (along with soap) before tossing them into the dishwasher! In the process, Jeff is calling me “crunchy.” 😜http://www.50waystohelp.com