… connecting parents of connected children.

Children’s Programs at Cedar Ridge Preserve July 25, 2007

Filed under: Education & Learning, Green Family, What's Happening — apconnect @ 2:09 pm

Let your child explore the wonders of nature at Cedar Ridge Preserve! The wonders of nature come alive during this 2-hour, hands-on program. During a nature walk, children will use their senses as they explore and discover the escarpment, prairie and forest ecosystems. They will see evidence of animals, hear a variety of birds, feel an Osage Orange fruit and smell the flowers in the butterfly garden.

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 28 (8-, 9-, 10-year-olds)
Saturday, August 11 (6-, 7-year-olds)

7171 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75249

$5 per child; $1 discount for each additional child from same household

Enrollment is limited. RSVP with Randy Schoen by e-mail or by calling (972) 754-1755.

Audubon Texas
2904 Swiss Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 370-9735


Is this glop safe to put on my face? July 18, 2007

Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group. Skin Deep pairs ingredients in nearly 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind.

  • Makeup
  • Skin care
  • Hair products
  • Eye care
  • Manicure/pedicure products
  • Baby care products
  • Dental care
  • Fragrance — yes, even perfumes!

The ugly truth: Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.

And as the hot sun finally gets cranking for the summer in Dallas/Fort Worth, check out Skin Deep’s Sunscreen Summary — What Works and What’s Safe.


Bottle it up!

Last year, Americans tossed over 22 billion empty plastic water bottles in the trash, according to The Green Guide. In bottle production alone, the more than 70 million bottles of water consumed each day in the U.S. drain 1.5 million barrels of oil over the course of one year.

The plastic in both single-use and reuseable water bottles can present chemical hazards, so be stylish, healthy and practical — bring your own bottle! Check out these convenient and good-looking alternatives.


Kleen Kanteen




Read more about bottled water — as well as bottles, and water — at The Green Guide. Also read their plastic container report for more facts on plastic water bottles.


Yeah, it’s raining again — but we still need to conserve water July 17, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, What's Happening — apconnect @ 1:37 pm

Please join WE (Women in the Environment) for a meeting on “Water Conservation — Practical Strategies” with Alan Watts, of TCEQ on Thursday, July 19th. The meeting will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Spring Creek BBQ, 3514 W Airport Freeway (Beltline Rd, south exit) in Irving, 75062. This meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend, so bring your male co-workers!

Recently we have experienced a once in a generation monsoon summer, but long-term water conservation is important to Texas and Alan will share guidelines for us to use in our personal and commercial lives. (more…)


Get Mosquitos to Buzz Off — naturally July 16, 2007

Filed under: Natural Family Living, Green Family, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 10:24 pm

North Texas’ torrential rains this spring and summer have brought more than blessed relief from the summer heat. They’ve brought mosquitos … Swarms of hungry moquitos that are making play dates at the local sandbox a miserable experience for parents, babies and children alike.

“This sudden explosion of mosquitos is a result of the recent rains which have flooded low-lying areas where Aedes vexans mosquito eggs have laid dormant for two years,” explains Scott Sawlis, Entomologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS). “And while, these mosquitos do bite and are definitely a pest, they do not pose a risk of exposing humans to mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus. In North Texas, the culex mosquito or southern house mosquito is the vector for West Nile virus.”

But you don’t have to resign yourself to dousing your family in chemical-laden repellents for the rest of the summer — there are effective natural alternatives! “If you’re looking for an effective insect repellent without the potentially harmful chemical deet, you’re in luck,” writes Consumer Reports’ Greener Choices. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that two commercially available alternatives to deet are just as effective.” (more…)


Toxic Shock — Are Dallas Kids Soaking in a Stew of Chemical Pollutants?

Filed under: Green Family, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 1:25 pm

Toluene. Lead. Chlorodifluoromethane. Do you know what these substances are? You should. They’re the top-three chemicals released into the environment in Dallas, Collin and Denton counties respectively and they all pose potentially serious health hazards to your children.

Toluene (used in sealants and cleaners, among others) and lead are both recognized as developmental toxicants, which means they are known to cause adverse effects like biological or behavioral difficulties in your tiny tot. Additionally, chlorodifluoromethane (found in aerosol insecticides and lubricating oils) has suspected links to cardiovascular, endocrine and kidney problems.

Sound scary? Consider this — the United States manufactures and imports upwards of 15,000 chemicals at any given time, with an additional 67,000 on inventory and about 1,500 new chemicals that come under review annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Meaning? We are soaking in a big toxic stew with little or no knowledge about potential side effects. Whether through the inhalation of fumes, the consumption of tainted food and water or by chemical-to-skin contact, we are in essence polluting our bodies, even before we’re born.

Read more at DallasChild magazine.


A woman of the cloth July 12, 2007

Cloth menstrual pads? Eww, isn’t that messy, wet and … well, gross? “We thought so too — at first,” admits pad maker GladRags. “Then we tried them and we’ve never gone back. Safe. Simple. Smart. Good for you, good for the environment — no plastics, no perfumes, no over-packaging.”

Sound good? We think so, too! We tested the leading cloth menstrual pads to bring you the inside scoop on today’s softest, most comfortable and absorbent pads. Read on to find out our picks for pads that pamper. (more…)


Time to Rethink Your Secret Obsession With “New Car Smell” July 9, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, Products & Services, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 8:20 pm

You knew the plastic in your car and your little one’s car seat were giving off chemicals, but it was pretty easy to brush off without any real way of measuring the effects. Don’t rest too soon — the hard facts are in. Now, find out the real score at HealthyCar.org.

“Everyone knows that cars are a major source of air pollution,” notes the site’s introductory page. “But most people don’t know that it isn’t only what comes out of tailpipes that’s the problem, but what’s inside cars as well. ‘New car smell’ for example, comes from toxic chemicals being released from plastics, foams and fabrics used to make steering wheels, dashboards and seats. These chemicals are inhaled or ingested by drivers and passengers through dust and air, potentially causing allergic or other acute reactions or even long-term health impacts such as birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in a car every day, toxic chemical exposure inside vehicles is becoming a major source of potential indoor air pollution.

“Child car seats also contribute to the problem. They are made with some of the same chemicals as car parts, and also off-gas inside the car.”

Ok, so maybe you already knew that — but this site comes through with more facts, from healthiest choices to least healthy choices and more. Read more at HealthyCar.org.


The local scoop: Earth, Health and Animal Newsletter June 21, 2007

Green families, listen up: The Dallas/Fort Worth Earth/Health/Animal Newsletter is one green resource you want landing in your mailbox every month! As the name implies, news ranges from eco-happenings and local issues, to holistic and alternative health, to veg lifestyles, to animal compassion. The newsletter lists dozens of local events and resources. Stop by — but make sure you have plenty of time, because this list is a great read!


Sprouts: Sprouting up in Southlake June 18, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, Products & Services, What's Happening — apconnect @ 1:37 pm

Sprouts is sprouting up in Southlake!

Grand Opening Monday, June 18, 2007 at 8am
Southlake, Texas
220 Randol Mill Ave.
Southlake, 76092

(682) 223-5805 (more…)


Organic Gardening the Dallas Way June 14, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, What's Happening — apconnect @ 8:46 am

The Dallas Organic Garden Club invites you to attend its club meeting and experience the joy of gardening with us. The Dallas Organic Garden
Club mission is to promote knowledge, understanding, use and research of organic methods and cultural practices by helping people to relate and cooperate in harmony with nature rather than attempting to dominate it. The sun, air, rain, soil, moon, insects, plants and animals will teach us their lessons and do the gardening for us — if we will only watch, listen, and learn.

The Dallas Organic Garden Club members of the greater Dallas area meet year-round every fourth Thursday of the month (Refreshments 6:45 p.m., Lecture
7:15 p.m.) at Fretz Park Recreation Center (214-670-6203). Visit Dallas Organic Garden Club or call 214-824-2448 for meeting updates, map and details.


Holistic Vet Care for Your Beloved Family Pets June 5, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, Products & Services — apconnect @ 8:42 pm

When you think of alternative medicine, you might think of a person having acupuncture treatments or taking herbal remedies. Alternative or holistic veterinary medicine has been around for many years, but the new Katy Trail Animal Hospital in Dallas is among the first in the area to combine traditional and alternative therapies under one roof.

“Alternative medicine is about lifestyle changes that have a gradual effect over time,” says the founder of the new clinic, Dr. Colleen Murray, who practices traditional veterinary medicine. Known for her willingness to integrate traditional and holistic medicine for the well-being of the animal and owner, Dr. Murray opened Katy Trail Animal Hospital early this year after 20 years at a familiar Park Cities clinic. (more…)