Category Archives: Health and Safety

New Year’s Resolution: Walk to School

Tired of the constant battle between drivers and pedestrians, I’m hoping this Letter to the Editor will inspire parents to get out of their cars and make walking to school safe for everyone, not just their own kids!
BY BETSY AGAR, NORTH SHORE NEWS DECEMBER 28, 2012
Dear Editor:
Every parent I have ever met, in every area of the North Shore has a singularly unanimous complaint: traffic during pick up and drop off at school. Well, guess what? That anonymously named “traffic” is just another word for “too many of us are driving our kids to school.”

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It seems we are not the only ones suffering school zone traffic issues
My own kids have almost been hit twice in as many years.
The first time, someone thought a three-point turn in an oversized SUV would be a good idea and his back end parted a group of kids walking on the sidewalk.
The second time, one car was parked across the crosswalk while two others made illegal U-turns in the middle of the intersection. When the middle car was held up by the first, she backed up just as my 7-year-old was stepping into the crosswalk.
My children’s lives are worth more than ANYTHING on their busy schedules.

Live within limits without limiting life

Follow me and check out my new blog! Meat Eating Vegans

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Neutral technology is exactly the problem

This is dedicated to my former students. In case I didn’t quite make clear my message about technology being good, bad, or neutral, let me sum up…

Google Images: Technology
Philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and even some savvy technologists (engineers included), have long debated the neutrality of technology: Is it inherently good or is it inherently evil?  Even as I am writing this, an article just appeared in my inbox asking “Is The Digital World Hurting Us Or Making Things Easier?

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My son just ate his first Junior Mint!

His face makes this cartoon character expression – eyebrows up, eyes wide, mouth open – every time he tries something he thought would be verboten. It’s the type of expression that Hollywood tries to replicate in movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Mary Poppins, but never have I seen it so genuine, so virgin, as I have seen on my son’s face when he finds out he can eat what’s on offer. Today Junior Mints earned his rapture.

Does this photo not make Junior Mints look good enough to eat?!?! Thanks Ellboy for this great shot!

That’s right, I’m blogging about what my family ate today. Before your eyes roll, before you groan about yet another mommy blog, before you spit back: “Been there, done that!” give me a chance to explain.

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9. Litterless lunches

I can’t do this justice. I hate packing lunches as much as anyone else. So this is just a plea:

STOP USING PRE-PACKAGED SNACKS!!!!!

For brilliant ideas about simple, lovely, healthy, litterless lunches, I am pleased to present:

Late Night Plays

Late Night Plays

Late Night Plays: Bonkers for Bentos

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8. Push, don’t pull

or even better, you guessed it, make the kids mow the lawn!

Girl pushing rotary mower

Without even mentioning the noise
push mowers get a running start. Lawn experts will tell you that lawns are healthier when they are trimmed by reel mowers (when kept sharp!).

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7. Labels

Boy eating blue cotton candy

His 2am puke was the same colour!

I fully support labeling kids. We need to know at the outset what kind of person each kid is, and it is our social responsibility to inform others about their personality types. Labels help kids take on their expected roles and they help others know how to treat each kid.

Now labels on food? I’m against them. We need professionals and experts to promise us it is good for us, not nutrition data. What does it all mean anyway? GMOs, petroleum based food-dyes, high fructose corn syrup, who even notices that stuff? It’s too confusing.

You’re not really buying this crap, are you?

I LOVE labels!!!!! And my kids are learning to read them – and use them against me, which is highly entertaining.

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3. Kids in the candy store

Yes, I can make even that a mission to save the world! When I started writing these, I didn’t promise it would be easy. In fact, I think that’s one of the major downfalls of the enviro-sell; people want a magic bullet and environmentalists want to promise anything to get you on board.

Don’t lynch me envirofriends. I’m not saying you are lying or wrong, not even close. You’re absolutely right on, it’s just that without our deeply committed tolerance, people don’t have the patience for the steps we take, now matter how quick and easy you promise they are. Continue reading


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