Friday, April 15, 2011

Interview with a Mom - Tracey Bianchi... and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello Friends, if you read my review of Tracey Bianchi's book Green Mama - The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet, then you know I'm a fan. Today I get to share a little interview I had with Tracey and at the end of the interview, there just might be details on how you can win a prize or two!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

We've been blessed with a great family. Three children (two boys and a girl). The boys are ages 7 and 4 and our daughter is 3. My husband Joel and I have been married for 14 years and met one summer at a Bible Camp in Wisconsin. My husband comes from an enormous, fun, loud and crazy Chicago, Italian family so we've got tons of cousins and chaos to keep us busy. God has blessed us with a great community of friends and people we love just outside of Chicago.

Tell us a little bit about Green Mama and why you wrote it?

As a Christian I was really struggling with the fact that the whole environmental conversation had been hijacked by politics and the media. I believe in God and believe that he made this world for us to enjoy and for us to know him better. So it made sense to me that we would want to do all we could to protect and care for God's Creation. And, as a mom, I wanted to be sure my kids were growing up healthy and that God's earth would continue to nourish them when they were older. So, I wrote the book to try and take the conversation out of the hands of politics and media and to put it into the hands of us moms who are in the sticky mess of life with our children each and every day. I figured if moms can get behind this issue then we can indeed change the world together, one family at a time.

What has been the most challenging part about being a mom for you?

I love my kids deeply and praise God for them every single day. But I will also say that I had no idea how hard it was to be a mom! When my first son was born I struggled with loneliness and depression for a while and it was really hard. And I will say that some days it still can be lonely. Sometimes there is just too much to do and at the end of the day you are just too tired and exhausted to pick up the phone and try to connect with someone. So for me, just managing the balance between all the duties and details of motherhood and friendships and relationships. This is what has been challenging for me.

Share a tip, or something you do, to help your kids embrace the “green” lifestyle.

I think that the best tip I can offer is to help your kids love God's Creation. So many times in the green conversation people head straight for recycling or reusable bags or other action points. But we can forget WHY we are doing it all. We care about the action points and details because we love God and we want to know him more. So if our kids get outside and play or they pick a favorite trail or animal to learn about they are also learning about God. And if they become passionate about the people and places in this world and the God who made them, the rest will follow. So I think a great starting point is to fall in love with God's creation first, have fun, have adventures and then take the appropriate steps after that.

What is one green thing you wished every mom would do?

Drive less. Even if we live in rural areas and it is really hard to do so. Consider walking to an errand once a week if you can. And I know it is hard to do that for some folks but driving is one of the harshest activities we do. It's hard on our air quality and our quality of life too. By walking places we can take our time, check out the scenery around us. We can say hello to friends and neighbors and we become more connected to our communities and neighborhoods. Our kids get exercise too. So I would encourage people to try and walk to a place or errand at least once per week.

Share your favorite green tip?

I LOVE garage sales and resales. LOVE THEM! My favorite green activity is buying other people's junk ;) Now that's the sort of recycling that I love.

Any parting advice?

Just to encourage moms to really consider making a few lifestyle adjustments that can help God's planet. The Psalmist reminds us that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Every day God is speaking to us though Creation and as parents we've got to start listening to the voice of God from the places of beauty and splendor on this planet. There is a saying that reminds us as parents that we borrow this world from our children. That we are informing their future. We do this so well with worship and Bible study, sunday school classes and VBS. Let's also take God up on his offer to teach us through Creation. So I guess my parting advice would be to simply go outside and let your soul soak up God's sunshine, and then think about how to help others do the same.

Thanks for sharing Tracey!

To learn more on how to become a Green Mama, I'd encourage you to buy the book (or borrow mine if you are local!)


You could win a copy for yourself!!!!!

And that's not all! A second lucky winner will receive a chicobag, reusable bags that can be stored in your purse (the color of your choice!). Go here for more information on the bag.

For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post with your favorite green tip (or simply tell me you'd like to win!).

For two chances to win, share this post on facebook and then come back and leave a second comment on this post letting me know.

You have until Monday night (7 pm CST, April 18th) to enter. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 19th. Please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

Good luck everyone and thanks for playing. :)


Emily said...

i want to win!!!!!!!!!!! hmmm my fav eco tip-- i use cloth bags at the store, i do try to drive less (mostly due to high cost of gas) i DO need to be better about buying used things..

Emily said...

just shared n facebook!!!! (i really want the BOOK!)

Mindy said...

Sign me up!

I know that getting plastic bags at the grocery store is not green BUT I reuse them as liners in my small trash cans or as diaper saks to put stinky diapers in.

Ashton said...

Sounds like a good book...and a cool bag. I don't have many green tips (I only just now started recycling). But I do use cloth diapers about 2/3 of the time and that cuts down on a lot of waste (and expense!).


Marie Stork said...

We recycle as much as possible. Each we usually only have one bag of trash. And for a family of 5 I"m pretty happy with that. I also am a huge fan of resale clothing places and garage sales.

Marie Stork said...

Shared on facebook also. Sorry I did it backwards Megan. Passing time up here at Mayo's while waiting on Kendon's chest tube placement.

Cara said...

I love the Chicobags. Strong & hold lots of groceries.

Cara said...

Posted on FB. Great ideas in blog on going green.

Cara said...

I forgot to post my email. Sorry

Brooke said...

Recycling paper- paper accounts for about 1/3 of our garbage, and it's not hard to recycle.

Ashley Baner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Baner said...

I am totally going to use the excuse that going to garage sales is good for the environment! I love it! I bought giant Aldi reusable bags. They are the biggest I have seen and have held up really well under pounds and pounds of groceries.

Amy said...

We use reusable bags most of the time. Get a few plastic bag now and then for small trash cans and hubby uses them to take lunch to work so he dose not for get to bring stuff home he. I make crafts out of some recycled stuff like pop bottle lids and pringles can lids. also give some pringles to Mother in law she uses them to to send cookies to realtives in the service.

Kasey said...

I want this book! I loved the interview. Thanks for sharing this, Megan. The stuff she said about walking is so true. We really found that while living overseas. As far as a green tip, I have also found cloth diapering to be not nearly as dreadful as it sounds, now that they make them so user-friendly. And its nice to know that the waste is going in the toilet where it belongs, rather than in the trash.

Laura said...

My favorite green tip is getting rid of paper towels. We started using rags and dishtowels instead of paper towels about a year ago. We love it!

Cindy said...

I used cloth diapers. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a 'green mom' because 22 years ago we had fewer choices and I didn't have enough money to buy disposible. Also, I ride my bike (7 miles) to return books to the library--in the summer that is. I also compost my vegetable scraps for the garden rather than put them in the trash.

Emily said...

ok- got the book from the library-- so if you pull my name- don't choose me! it's a great read-- some things that i will do differently-- buy cloth napkins (just order off of etsy0 cute ones for kids-- 22% off for earth day so i got 16!!! for like $22!!!) we use WAY too many paper napkins here. also-- i rec. the SHARK floor steamer-- it cleans your floors with hot steamy water-- no chemicals- and the handheld one cleans everything else (like toilets, etc) NO CHEMICALS!!!!!!!!!!!!) i did do cloth diapers with #1 and 2- but just can't do it now:(- but i loved them!

Unknown said...

We recycle...especially cardboard. It's amazing how much less trash you have when you break down all those boxes and recycle them! We have to drive about 5 miles to the nearest recycling center (unfortunately we don't have town pick up) but it is worth it!

Unknown said...

posted on facebook...hoping I win the book :0)

Sarah Ringger said...

Would love to win!! Loved everyone's comments and the interview.... thanks! :)