Contest: Pin to Inspire

Pinterest Inspirations

We’ve been having so much fun pinning our ParentbyNature inspirations on Pinterest that we want to invite you to pin with us. We’ve created a contest to encourage you to join in the fun.

The contest is easy. You make a Pinterest board and call it “Inspiring Change.” We have a list of 20 things your board needs to include, such as a nature-inspired children’s bedroom, a small vegetable garden, and your favourite reusable item. Once your board is ready and you’ve added the #ByNature.ca #Pin2Inspire hashtags, submit your entry before Saturday, March 31st.

The winning board will be selected based on: uniqueness, creativity, and content. Pins that inspire conversations will stand out. Winner will receive a $100 Gift Card to use at bynature.ca.

Are you ready? Pinterest is a service by invitation. Request an invitation from any user or from Pinterest directly. Or, pop over the the Parent by Nature Facebook group and let us know that you need an invitation.

Most of all, have fun with this. We’ve seen so many inspirational images on Pinterest. Let that creative energy flow through your board and let’s inspire change together.

See full contest rules and details at bynature.ca.

My Choices Are the Right Choices! and other ways to fail at sharing

Women sharing eco choices

If you are excited about the changes you are making in your life, you probably want to share. If you have shared your experience, you may have found that sometimes people really just don’t want to hear it. What is the best approach to sharing as you make big life changes?

Just like sharing your eco-friendly lifestyle choices with your children, we need to recognize that the choices and decisions all belong with the other person. Make sure you are sharing without judging. Don’t let your sharing become bullying.


My Lessons Learned from Birth Stories

I have become especially aware of the perils of sharing when it comes to birth choices. I love to share my experience of birth. I realized over time that just talking about my birth choices and experiences was seen by some as a judgment. I didn’t intend it that way, and I didn’t say my way is the right way, but people are especially sensitive about their choices. The result can be tense. So I am less likely, maybe even unlikely, to share unless asked, and I make an extra effort to keep myself more aware of how to share without triggering a negative response.

Also, when a woman is pregnant, she’s in the middle of her journey and doesn’t need my baggage on her trip.

Now, I’m always careful in how I ask about birth plans and expectations. I end a conversation with a pregnant woman about birth by saying, “I hope the birth goes exactly as you want it to.” My wish is sincere, and it doesn’t add my own expectations where they don’t belong.

My experience with birth stories helped me to share with greater compassion and understanding for the perspectives of others. My experience is just mine. I do want to connect with others, but I don’t want to impose my truths on them.


Your Baby Steps Aren’t My Baby Steps

Your eco baby steps aren’t necessarily my eco baby steps. I try to share my steps, and I want to hear what steps you are taking or aspiring to take. You’re out there taking steps that haven’t even occurred to me yet, and I want to know all about those as well!

Don’t let worry keep you from talking. The conversations are inspiring. We all want to take steps to improve home and world for our families. Sharing how we do that is a catalyst to new ideas and an inspiration to action. Making these connections is such a pleasure, and we develop new relationships around these conversations. So, talk!


Where to Start?

When you want to share your new choices, start by listening. Ask questions. Establish an understanding of what you share in common with others. Then share your experience where it differs after you have established a level of trust.

Sharing gently and genuinely is an art. I’m sure I fail every day, but I try again to improve.

I know from our recent customer survey that many of you want to find ways to educate family and friends without offending them. Next week, I will try to help you find those ways to share.

Image © Edward Bartel | Dreamstime.com

Baby Steps…with vinegar!

One of the first baby steps I took almost 5 years ago now in an effort to “clean up” my home was switching from using Windex as a cleaner to using plain, white vinegar. The chemical smell of Windex always bothered me, and I would feel nauseous after cleaning with it. This was a small step, but it made a big difference. Not only was it healthier for me and more environmentally friendly, it was so much more economical! Fast forward to today and I buy the large economy size bottles of white vinegar when I’m grocery shopping as I use it for anything and everything I can. Washing windows, cleaning floors, wiping down counters and even dusting my furniture is all down with vinegar mixed with water.

My favourite use for vinegar has been as a replacement for fabric softener. My husband was getting terrible rashes any time I would add fabric softener to our laundry and when I started using vinegar in our rinse cycle, he never had a problem. Our clothes still came out clean and soft so I was happy with the switch! Next time you reach for a bottle of Windex or Downy, try using vinegar in its place. It’s a baby step and a great start to replacing some of the harmful chemicals most families have in their kitchen cupboards.