Monday, March 29, 2010

Baby Steps

I believe in the power of small changes over time to create a lasting change. Every Monday, I'll post a green tip that can help in greening your life - one step at a time. No need to feel pressured - this should just serve as something to consider and use, if it suits your needs and life. (I should just add that I really feel passionately about the holier than thou greenies out there that use shame to try to force people to change their behaviors. Yuck. Fear, on the other hand, is a good motivator.) :)

Okay, without further ado or preaching, our first tip is: Greening your Cleaning

Want to cut costs at the store on cleaning supplies? Use Vinegar! Want to cut out the chemicals around your home? Use Vinegar!  I jest, but vinegar is extremely helpful to use in cleaning. It kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold and 80% of germs. Use a bit in the kettle with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and some water to dissolve limescale. (I could write a whole post on limescale alone - never experienced anything like it until I moved to the UK.) Use bicarbonate of soda directly on carpet stains. Lemons are also great for cleaning, including copper and brass. You can make your own all-purpose cleaner -which also makes a great shower cleaning spray - by mixing 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 big squirt of eco-friendly dishwashing detergent. 

If you don't have time for the DIY options, I can happily recommend Ecover or Method products. We use a lot Ecover's products: washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, and even their cream cleanser. I must say Method's Ylang Ylang Shower Spray is my latest guilty pleasure. And for only £1.99 now at John Lewis.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Seasonable Cooking


There is so much to be said for a seasonal diet. Eating in rhythm with our earth, not to mention the low-carbon nature of such a life can transform our bodies and our environments. I'll admit I often am draw to prepare whatever little Henry (our 17 month old son) is eating at the moment or fall back upon some easy standbys when times are hectic. (Like a quinoa and courgette pilaf loaded with cheese. Heck, it could be worse, right?) 

As we move into the month of April (YAY, Spring!), don’t forget the vegetables that are in season this month:
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
And for the greatest seasonal food calendar, check out:

Recipe of the Week

I adapted this from an Ina Garten recipe. I served it for a brunch this weekend and guests loved it.

Better yet, it is always a hit with my 17 month old very picky eater.

Smoked Salmon Fritatta

  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10-11 extra-large eggs
  • 230 grams heavy cream
  • 100 grams fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 418 grams smoked salmon, chopped
  • 200 grams spinach, chopped into smallish bits
  • 3 scallions, chopped, white and light green parts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • dash of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Saute the onion and butter in a 10-inch oven-proof omelet pan over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Throw in spinach at the end to saute. 
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the heavy cream, goat cheese, smoked salmon, scallions, dill, salt, and pepper and combine. Pour the mixture over the onions and spinach and place the omelet pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata for about 45 minutes, until it puffs and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve hot directly from the pan.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

Don't forget today is Earth Hour at 8:30 pm!! Turn off your lights for one hour to raise awareness of climate change and its devastating effects on our environment.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Parents Putney

Interesting in joining a group of parents to discuss green issues? 

With the Richmond Environment Network, we host weekly meetings for parents interested in protecting the environment and green living. It's an ideal opportunity to share tips, learn a few things, meet new people and have fun while enjoying coffee, tea, cake, or lunch at a suitably child friendly venue. All interested parents and carers (and babies and children!!) are very welcome to pop along. We would be delighted to hear from you! Email Jessica for more information and join us on Facebook!

Green Parents Putney meetings will be held every Thursday, beginning on 1st April, from 10-11 am at Wallace & Co, 146 Upper Richmond Road, SW15 2SW.


Welcome to Green Families UK!

We strive to provide awareness, access, networking and educational activities to promote eco-friendly and holistic living for families residing in London. See our website at

I created Green Families after being struck by the lack of nature programming and activities for toddlers and children. Sure, there are gardening and science projects in schools, but I find it is important to expose children to nature at a very early age. I hope Green Families will serve as a resource for parents and will encourage families to get outside and experience the seasons, the animals, the trees and plants - everything that nature has to offer. 

I've created this blog to have a space to include random thoughts, recipes, gardening tips, mindful parenting resources, a yoga pose of the week, etc. If you would like to contribute, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Jessica xx