Love fiercely and steadily, foster curiosity, value adventure, and above all, cultivate kindness.

The backcountry is a sacred classroom for our family--- it’s where we feel invigorated, at peace, challenged, and are able to grow and bond in a significant way. I believe in nurturing with nature.

Better living with Klean Kanteen

Better living with Klean Kanteen

  • This post has been sponsored by Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen is a family owned company that makes BPA free, reusable products, to help make it EASY to live a more eco friendly lifestyle. This week we went for a snowy hike and picnic with our friends, Hyde and Delle, to test out the insulation. We can report that warm Mac and Cheese and piping hot cocoa was enjoyed! Thank you for helping us reach our goals to make a few tweaks in our lifestyle.

Eating lunch in the back of our car after a day of playing in the canyon.

Eating lunch in the back of our car after a day of playing in the canyon.

I have a confession. I kinda suck at green living. Sure, we recycle, bike commute for simple errands around town, and avoid buying bottled water. But I drive my car almost every day. And sometimes I forget my reusable grocery bags. My husband would tell you that sometimes I leave lights on in empty rooms around the house. We use disposable diapers for Huck, and I’m still leery of trying this. I even bought a big pack of single use straws at IKEA last year.

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“I’m a busy working mom!”, I justified. “I’m always on the go!”, I reasoned. “Why should I be uncomfortable?!”, I defended. “How big of a difference does it really even make?”, I questioned.

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But as winter approaches, I can’t ignore the fact that I’ll be griping about the air quality in about a month or two. I don’t want to just be a voice anymore- I want to be part of the solution.

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If you’re like me, green living can be soooooo intimidating. Even when I’m trying my best, there are always a dozen ways I could be better. Instead of feeling guilty about my shortcomings, and overwhelmed by the improvements I COULD make, this month I am focusing on just THREE ways I’d like to live more eco-consciously.

1. Eliminating single use straws, cups/bottles, and food storage:

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We are pretty big smoothie drinkers in our household. It’s the only way we can trick Huck to eat spinach. We use A LOT of straws. In the past, I’ve always been kinda squicked out by the idea of bacteria hiding in reusable straws (especially since I often add Greek yogurt to our smoothies). I LOVE that the Klean Kanteen straws are detachable, dishwasher safe, and come with the perfect brush for cleaning. Don’t tell my family and friends, but a lot of them are getting these for Christmas.

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Using reusable cups and bottles will be the easiest commitment for me to make. I can’t even think of the last time I bought a bottle of water (mostly because #budget), and I have been in the habit of bringing my thermos to work. It’s a bonus when you can pick fun colors for your bottles/ thermoses and slap on a few stickers. Own it. Make it fun.

Our friend, Hyde, refilling his cocoa on our hike at Silver Lake.

Our friend, Hyde, refilling his cocoa on our hike at Silver Lake.

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Hot cocoa too hot? No problem! Add some snow!

Hot cocoa too hot? No problem! Add some snow!

Leftovers are the base of our food pyramid in our house. Seriously. I love making meals in double batches and reheating them throughout the week. If you were to open our fridge and freezer right now, it’d be stacked with containers of leftover food (and probably even a few from last week that I need to toss). The fun challenge for me will be to keep an empty food canister in my car for when we eat out. I’m excited to start using these for leftovers from restaurants instead of those clunky styrofoam take out boxes.

Honestly, we're crazy stoked on these reusable food canisters. Insulated and classic. 

Honestly, we're crazy stoked on these reusable food canisters. Insulated and classic. 

2. Dropping my thermostat two degrees cooler:

I love wearing my pjs (ratty shorts and a baggy t-shirt, sexy I know) around the house after work. But this winter I’ll be wearing wool socks, sweaters, and sometimes even (gasp!) pants at home in the evenings.

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Dropping our thermostat a few degrees might not make a huge difference in the grand scheme of air quality, but it might make a small difference. And really, we can get used to two degree change in our house. I’m outside wearing tank tops and shorts the first time the temps get above 60 degrees in the spring. And who knows, maybe our gas bill will be a few bucks less this winter too.

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3. Only shopping when I have my reusable grocery bags:

I can tell you right now- this is going to be my Everest. It sounds so simple to grab my reusable bags before the grocery store- but some days I just feel lucky to remember my debit card and kid when I leave the house. I have an arsenal of reusable bags that I’ve collected over the years, and I only remember to bring them about 30% of the time. What is it they say about forming habits? Hopefully if I strong-arm myself into this behavior for the next month, it’ll start to become a habit.

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At the end of the day, the world isn’t going to be a better place if we feel guilty and overwhelmed all of the time. If I try to be “perfect” at anything, I can surely guarantee that I’ll be feeling terrible about myself for failing, and will be double fisting chocolate pretzels into my mouth at the end of the day. Keep it simple. Do what you can. And believe that you actually do make a difference (because I can promise you that you do).

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5 Tips for Winter Hiking With Kids

5 Tips for Winter Hiking With Kids