granddaughter’s club

Here’s a short report from the Ithaca Journal on the club’s activities:

ITHACA — Kalle Brinnell, 5, of Ithaca, is worried about the turtles. All the plastic floating in the ocean affects them, she said, so she decided to do something about it.

She started the Plastic Hurts Club and she and the other five members: Ana Malina Ramanujan, 13; Kalyani Ramanujan, 9; Ruth Okue, 10; Flossie Martell-Glennon, 5; and Noe Beers-Sancho, 4, all from Ithaca, are hoping to “imprint upon everyone what plastic does to the world, and how to affect change,” they said in a written statement.

On Monday, the Plastic Hurts Club will present a letter to Mayor Svante Myrick in a plea for him to ban the use of plastic bags. In the letter to the mayor, the club wrote, “When grocery shopping, we should bring our own cloth bags.”

These kids are living by the words they write. They made cloth shopping bags to sell to their families in order to raise the $50 registration fee to add Plastic Hurts Club to the network of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots.

The kids hope Ithaca will reduce their plastic bag use and avoid contributing to the plastic in the ocean.


treating lice without chemicals

When my children were young and in school, we often had to treat them for lice until a co-worker of my husband told me about his experience. He had worked for years in a public school where head lice was endemic for reasons he couldn’t fathom. But he did  figure something out. If you use a hair dryer every morning and night for 10 days, you will eliminate the lice. The heat destroys the eggs; the adults only live for 10 days. You can do it dry [baking them], wet [boiling], or oiled [frying]. We found that it always worked.

It’s a good thing to do as the lice medication is a nervous system toxin–putting the stuff on our children’s developing brains doesn’t make sense to me.

practical life

Just a word in support of Ithaca Nancy’s comment about engaging children in the everyday activities of garden, kitchen, household.

I’m a former Montessori teacher, still in love with her insights.  One of her really important ones is the importance of children to engage in these activities for the development of their ability to concentrate.   She encouraged parents to make our daily work as accessible to children as possible.  Even 3-year-olds can help with dishes, with washing vegetables, sweeping, and mopping.  I remember my children using small sharp knives to cut vegetables and they never got hurt.  A lot of the frantic activity I see that some children have could be mitigated with this kind of work

Tangentially, I remember noticing as a young teacher that the children who spent a lot of time in front of the TV were less able to do the “work” of the class than those whose fanatic parents limited the TV.

sids and beds

Just read recently that in Japan and New Zealand , they’ve reduced SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome] to zero by, in japan, sleeping on futons, and in New Zealand, by wrapping infant mattresses in plastic.

Evidentally the flame retardants added to mattresses are so toxic, they are the likely and avoidable cause of this tragic loss of infant life.

The reduction in SIDS by placing babies on their backs [an un-natural position for an infant] is due to the increased distance from the mattress. The toxic fumes are most dense and inch and below its surface.