Category Archives: Being Green

Redefining Progress

There are days I wonder why I bother to read the paper.  I typically end up shaking my head in disbelief or shuddering at the apathy and viciousness with which we seem to be treating each other.  Yesterday was no different.

In an article about the vast environmental controls and protections that are being eliminated in Canada, it seems the government has defended it’s actions by stating that “…caring for nature is a barrier to economic prosperity.”

In that very same paper there was an article about a beach that I’ve been swimming in since I was born that was closed to swimmers over the weekend because of increased e-coli levels.  The beach remains closed today.

Alberta is still dealing with a massive oil spill that went undetected for days, the second spill in the past year, and ten animal species were added to the Canadian endangered list in May 2012.

I find it shocking that our leaders have decided to grow (resuscitate) the economy at the expense of the environment. The leaders of this amazing country, so rich in natural resources, should be using their position of power to build on something genius, something that future generations will marvel at like my son does now when he asks in awe how people were able to think of technology, skyscrapers and other wonders of daily life we seem to take for granted as adults.  Our leaders should be working to redefine progress not forging ahead focused only on the dollar and so little on the splendor and necessity of our natural world.

The definition of progress is forward movement towards a destination.  I want to move towards a future where my kids have clean water to drink and Lake Huron is still clean enough to swim in.  I want an economy that embraces the environment instead of  exploiting it with such an intense focus on money.

I’m not even close to perfect when it comes to having an eco-friendly lifestyle but I’m happy about the changes that my family and I have made.  And, I’m especially proud of the changes I’ve made with mocobabies.  I no longer manufacture overseas, our packaging is eco-friendly and each component I’ve sourced is made in North America.  Still, we can do more.

The kids and I were out playing in the rain yesterday and as the thunder grew louder my son said “Isn’t it weird that the earth would want to destroy things and sometimes kill people with tornadoes and lightening when it should be protecting us?”  I tried to explain that the earth supports us but it’s our job to protect it.  Unfortunately, we’re doing a horrible job.

Since our leaders aren’t providing us with ingenuity, we have to work on ridding ourselves of apathy and get creative; it seems it’s up to us to redefine progress.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hug a tree.



Filed under Being Green, Life

Hugging Trees

I’ve been working on it for a long time now.  Searching.  Thinking.  Searching some more. Rethinking –  it’s been a long process.  But, I’ve done it; in a just a couple of weeks our new, more eco-friendly flash cards will be online!

Seven years ago, when I first started mocobabies, I offered a set of ten flash cards that were packaged in a clear cellophane envelope with a small homemade label across the bottom.  I still remember my first few sales, how exciting it was when someone said they’d love to carry them and more importantly when I got those first reorders.  My excitement quickly turned to rattling nerves as I  got to the point where I couldn’t keep up with my orders.  After some bumps and bruises trying to manufacture in North America, I eventually made the decision to have our expanded set of thirty-five cards made overseas.

However, when I recently sold out of our last shipment of cards, I decided I wanted to keep production closer to home; I wanted to reduce our footprint.  I’m happy to say that it’s been a much easier process than it was seven years ago.  There seems to have been a shift and small business is embraced rather than shooed away by local manufacturers and suppliers.  Years ago, I was repeatedly told that it wasn’t worth their time unless I was going to place a million dollar order.  This time around, companies have been helpful and more than willing to take the time to talk with me about my product.  It’s been wonderful to experience such a turnaround.

Long story short(ish), I’m really proud of our new cards and the path we’re forging for mocobabies.  Perhaps most importantly, I’m also working hard to buck the recent trend of skyrocketing prices; our cards will be greener, Canadian made and more affordable.  I’m pretty excited.

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Filed under Baby Signing, Being Green, Business

Being Green(er)

Jack came home from school the other day singing a ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’ song so I took it as an opportunity to chat with him about the environment (and legitimize the reasons why I go batty when he wastes water!).

I think most of us are trying to find ways to lessen our impact on the environment.  With mocobabies we try to reduce our footprint by using very little in the way of packaging – our tins are our packaging; the tins are functional in that they can be reused many times over (great crayon tins, one customer even used them to hold q-tips!) and we reuse and recycle everything we can. 

Jackson just celebrated his fifth birthday and we were very conscious of the environment when trying to figure out what we could do for his loot-bag.   We didn’t want to send home a bag full of  things that would be tossed in the garbage after a few minutes of play or toys that would go untouched.   It was a ‘Calling all Superheroes’ party with just a few friends so we decided to make the kids official.  Upon arrival each child had their picture taken in their best superhero pose.  They then told us their superhero name, their powers, favourite colour and superhero hobbies.  My incredibly talented and creative husband had made a logo for our little “League of Extraordinary Kids (LEK)”.  While I had Jack and his friends drawing their superhero pictures on their LEK paper, my husband was putting their pictures into his layout to create a baseball style superhero card.  Each card had the child’s picture, their real and superhero name and their ‘stats’.  Thankfully we rarely throw anything out and Chris was able to dig through his childhood baseball card collection to find a few plastic holders.   Each child went home with their superhero credentials  (their art, the questionnaire and the stats card) in a ‘top secret’ LEK envelope along with a Spiderman pen and a cupcake they had decorated (the cupcake box  was also recyclable).   The kids had a great time taking part in it and (almost) everything that went home was repurposed, recyclable or edible!

We would love to hear some of your earth-friendly ideas!  If you’ve put together a great loot-bag, reused our tins for another purpose or have an idea of what you can do this Earth Day and beyond to help reduce your footprint, we’d love to hear it!  I’d love to make this an ongoing theme and keep sharing ideas to help make the planet healthy and safe for our children and theirs.  

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”  ~Native American Proverb

Happy Earth Day!



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Filed under Being Green, Life