plastic bags are the worst practical jokesters

Funny Not Funny Reasons to Bring Yo...

Funny Not Funny Reasons to Bring Your Own Bag I finally got fed up with flimsy single-use plastic shopping bags and bought some fantastic bags to t...

Things to do Outdoors in Georgia May 2015

Things to do outdoors in Georgia Ma...

May is an exciting month with Mother's Day, Kids To Parks Day, Memorial Day and warm weather! Remember that some of the events require registratio...

Three FREE things all kids need to do in National Parks

3 FREE things for kids to do at Nat...

Kids To Parks Day is May 16! Many have already pledged to celebrate by visiting parks with children, so I'm sharing some of my favorite FREE things...

Parks reveal the hidden gems of family travel and local adventures

Parks reveal the hidden gems of fam...

Parks. They come in all shapes and sizes from the neighborhood playground to hundreds of acres of pristine natural heritage. They focus on different...

Travel & Adventure

Three FREE things all kids need to do in National Parks

3 FREE things for kids to do at National Parks + Giveaway

Kids To Parks Day is May 16! Many have already pledged to celebrate by visiting parks with children, so I'm sharing some of my favorite FREE things to do in our National Parks. Family travel isn't always easy. It takes skill to plan a...

Parks reveal the hidden gems of family travel and local adventures

Parks reveal the hidden gems of family travel and local adventures

Parks. They come in all shapes and sizes from the neighborhood playground to hundreds of acres of pristine natural heritage. They focus on different aspects from historic preservation, to conservation and family fun. They offer a range of...

Funny Not Funny Reasons to Bring Your Own Bag

Funny Not Funny reasons to bring your own bag

Funny Not Funny Reasons to Bring Your Own Bag

I finally got fed up with flimsy single-use plastic shopping bags and bought some fantastic bags to take their place. I did it for selfish personal reasons as much as environmental concerns and I’m happy I did. My shopping experience has definitely improved after kicking the plastic bag habit. Because….

Plastic shopping bags are the worst practical jokesters.

They act like they’re making my shopping trip more convenient. Then, they refuse to carry more than 3-4 things each so I look like a walking trash dump lugging 50 of them on each arm.

plastic bags are the worst practical jokesters

I can almost hear them trying not to snicker as they wait for the perfect moment to break and spill everything out on the ground.

Funny Not Funny Reasons to Bring Your Own Bag

Credit: Home Aloine

 

I know you’ve seen them windsurfing around parking lots after they’ve completely abandoned their duty, leaving some shopper to figure out how to carry all the items without their precious plastic bag.

Funny Not Funny reasons to bring your own bag

If I make them ride cargo, they throw all the canned goods at the loaf of bread.

If I let them ride in the backseat, they throw all the canned goods at me when I go to unload them.

They shake up the 2-liters in hopes that I’ll want a soda when I get home.

They pretend like they’ll be useful if I save them to use as bathroom trash bags. Then, they hang around getting in the way and cluttering up the kitchen.

Funny not funny reasons to bring your own bag

The act all weak and flimsy, then they take hundreds of years to bake in the sun, crumble into tiny fragments and contaminate everything.

Fortunately, plastic bags come with a printed warning against using them as baby carriers and halloween masks or they’d kill a lot more people. Unfortunately, most animals are illiterate because only fish go to school.

Funny Not Funny reasons to bring your own bag

They impersonate jellyfish to freak out millions of unsuspecting sea animals.. It doesn’t seem to bother them that these stupid practical jokes are killing millions of sea turtles, birds, seals and other creatures.

Plastic Bags are the worst practical jokers

[Credit: Liz Climo ]

Plastic bags are beach bums. Instead of YOU being down on the beach, chilling, building sandcastles, and playing in the ocean.. it’s plastic bags. They’re the most common type of garbage found on the beach during coastal cleanups.

Plastic bags are beach bums

[Photo Credit: Ocean Conservancy International Cleanup]


Plastic bags pretend like they’re being all responsible on their way to the landfill or the recycling center, but they just catch the first breeze back to the beach!

Reusable grocery bags pros and cons

Spoiler: There aren’t any cons. Read more about my experience with stupid plastic bags and switching to my new reusable bags.

Things to do outdoors in Georgia May 2015

Things to do Outdoors in Georgia May 2015

May is an exciting month with Mother’s Day, Kids To Parks Day, Memorial Day and warm weather! Remember that some of the events require registration through parks or other venues. The links will lead you to more info.

ALL MONTH LONG you can visit Chattahoochee Nature Center to learn about sea turtles and create your own turtle nest and explore animal migrations!

Stone Mountain Park’s Lasershow Spectacular plays every Saturday in May at 9:30pm! Click here for the schedule.

Things to do outdoors in Georgia

Tallulah Gorge
Credit: Lesli Peterson

May 1-7

Education! Discover the diversity of life in Georgia’s streams at Don Carter State Park. May 1

Date Night! Join guided kayak tours under the full moon at Hard Labor Creek, May 1

Date Night! Join guided kayak tours under the full moon at George L Smith State Park, May 1.

Explore! Hike 5 beautiful miles on Pine Mountain Trail at FDR State Park, May 2

Date Night! Join one of the three full moon hikes happening May 2nd at Sweetwater Creek, Panola Mountain, or Tallulah Gorge State Park

Date Night! Stargaze with astronomers at Stephen C Foster State Park May 2, 9, and 16.

Celebrate! the opening of Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gainesville Location! May 2 :)

Explore! Paddle the Chattahoochee River with Chattahoochee Nature Center guides on a River Canoe Adventure, May 2

Date Night! Have fun hiking Tallulah Gorge under the full moon May 3rd

Things to do outdoors in Georgia this MayMay 8-14 Mother’s Day Goes Here! 

Kids! Fun-filled JAKES Day at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center with fishing, archery, animal shows, and more! May 9

Education! Celebrate Migratory Bird Month with a beginner birdwatching hike at Laura S Walker State Park, May 9

Kids! Junior Fishing Rodeo this saturday at Victoria Bryant State Park May 9

Volunteer! Clean up and restore native plants at Panola Mountain State Park May 9!

Volunteer! Mistletoe State Parks needs your help to clean up the picnic area for summer, May 9

Volunteer! Work on the mountain bike trail followed by a free trail ride at Hard Labor Creek State PArk, May 9

Volunteer! Join Friends of Don Carter State Park to work on volunteer projects.

Volunteer! Clean up around the boat ramps at Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area on May 9

Volunteer! Learn the history of New Echota and help clean up the cemetery at New Echota Historic Site, May 9

Explore! Enjoy a spring hike at Georgia’s newest Historic Site, Hardman Farm on May 9

Education! Learn about archaeology as experts identify artifacts at Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, May 9

Education! Learn about Georgia’s frogs on this night paddle at Fort Yargo State Park, May 9

Date Night! Stargaze with astronomers at Stephen C Foster State Park May 2, 9, and 16.

Explore! Join Chattahoochee Nature Center Canoe Guides and Atlanta Audubon Society to paddle along and learn see migrating birds.

Explore! Paddle the Chattahoochee River with Chattahoochee Nature Center guides on a River Canoe Adventure, May 9

Mother’s Day in the Park! Bring mom to FDR State Park for a picnic with fun games and prizes! May 10

Mother’s Day in the Park! Enjoy a peaceful sunset paddle with mom at Hard Labor Creek State Park on May 10

Free Admission for Moms at Chattahoochee Nature Center on Mothers Day, May 10! Enjoy wildlife walks, trails, gardens, and more.

Education! Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Last Homeschool Program of the season! Included with general admission. Ages 5 – Adult.

Things to do outdoors in georgiaMay 15-21 Kids To Parks Day, this week!

Date Night! Unwind from the week & kick off the weekend with an evening at Chattahoochee Nature Center, May 14

Kids! Kick off #KidsToParks Day with a New Moon paddle at Hard Labor Creek State Park on May 15

Experience! Race down 3 miles of the Little River at the annual Big Little River Paddle, Reed Bingham State Park, May 16

Volunteer! Bring your work gloves and help with some of the projects at Black Rock Mtn State Park, May 16

Kids! Come on down to General Coffee State Park to try new outdoor activities and have fun at the jr fishing derby! May 16

Experience! Trailrunners get in on this 30K through Chattahoochee Natl Forest on May 16. Starts at Sloppy Floyd State Park

Kids! Celebrate #KidsToParks Day with tons of fun at Cloudland Canyon State Park, May 16

Kids! Come hike and bike Tallulah Gorge State Park for #KidsToParks Day, May 16

Kids! It’s a #KidsToParks Game Day at Skidaway Island State Park! May 16

Kids! Bring a friend for a hike at FDR State Park for #KidsToParks Day! May 16

Kids! Celebrate #KidsToParks Day at Fort Mountain State Park with water balloons, face painting, 5/16

Kids! Learn Wildlife Tracking at High Falls State Park on #KidsToParks Day May 16

Experience! The darkest skies in Georgia for Astronomy night at Stephen Foster State Park May 16

Experience!  Chattahoochee Nature Center’s inflatable planetarium STARLAB! May 1

Education! Homeschool Day at Hard Labor Creek State Park, May 20

Things to do outdoors in Georgia Kayaking

Kayaking Georgia State Parks


May 22-28 Memorial Day Weekend is here!

Date Night! Join us at twilight for a peaceful paddle at Sweetwater Creek State Park May 20

Date Night! Guided kayak paddle after the sun sets at Hard Labor Creek State Park May 22, 23, 24

Kids! Have a wild time at Little Ocmulgee State Park for Memorial Day Mayhem! Water ballons, night hikes, crafts

Experience Memorial Day Weekend at Florence Marina State Park’s celebration. May 23-25

Experience! Stenuous trek to the gorge floor at Tallulah Gorge State Park!! Swim at the falls. May 23, 24, 25. Must register

Explore! Learn about the geology of Sweetwater Creek State Park on a hike with a geologist. May 23,

Education! Observatory Open House at Hard Labor Creek State Park on May 23, ga.happytrailswildtales.com

Kids! Skidaway Island’s Junior Ranger Camp happens May 25-29, ga.happytrailswildtales.com

Experience! One hour guided horseback ride at FDR State Park, May 25 pre-register

Date Night! Unwind from the the week or kick off the weekend with an evening at Chattahoochee Nature Center, May 28

May 29-31

Date Night! Peaceful paddle as the sun sets at Sweetwater Creek State Park, May 29, register

Date Night! Guided lake paddle beneath the full moon at Hard Labor Creek State Park. May 29 & 30

Experience! Pre-register for this guided canoe paddle at Mistletoe State Park May 30

Date Night! Enjoy a full moon paddle around the lake at Tallulah Gorge May 30! Register.

Date Night! Enjoy a peaceful paddle under the big bright moon at Hard Labor Creek State Park May 29 & 30

3 FREE things for kids to do at National Parks + Giveaway

Three FREE things all kids need to do in National Parks
Kids To Parks Day is May 16! Many have already pledged to celebrate by visiting parks with children, so I’m sharing some of my favorite FREE things to do in our National Parks.

Family travel isn’t always easy. It takes skill to plan a delightful trip that appeals to both kids and adults. Last week, I wrote about relying on parks to find hidden gems and family travel adventures because parks are everywhere and often free or inexpensive. Here are some things you have to do while you’re there! Keep reading to learn about today’s giveaway celebrating Kids to Parks Day!

Three FREE things to do at National ParksPark Passport Stamps

Make your own passport book to collect stamps located at each National Park. We eventually splurged ($10) to purchase the official Park Passports. But, it’s just as fun for kids to collect the stamps in a notebook, journal or pamphlet you make yourself. We’ve collected stamps from National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Monuments, Seashores and Recreation Areas. They’re usually found at the help desk of Visitor Centers. Personally, I think the official Park Passports are worth the $10. They list all the parks and include interesting facts that my kids enjoy.

Three FREE Things Kids Need to do at all National ParksBorrow the Discovery Pack

Now, that my boys are a little older, borrowing the Discovery Pack is a must. It really helps our family get the most out of our park adventures. The Discovery Packs give us everything we need to explore a certain park without having to stock up on field guides everywhere we go. The pictured Discovery Pack is the one we borrowed at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. It included local field guides for plants and animals, maps, binoculars and a pack of cards featuring the most commonly sighted animals. They’re free to borrow at park visitor centers.

Junior Ranger Program

Junior Ranger pamphlets include a variety of activities that help focus attention on the natural environment and historic features of our parks. By completing the activities, kids earn a special badge! They’re available to print on park websites or easy to pick up at a visitor center. The Junior Ranger activities really came in handy that time we were huddled in our tent on Cumberland Island waiting for a storm to pass.

Giveaway

Kids To Parks Giveaway

Today’s giveaway includes two awesome National Geographic books, a camelbak water bottle, and a cute Buddy Bison stuffed animal courtesy of National Park Trust. Enter by leaving a comment on this post telling which park you’ll visit on May 16 to celebrate Kids To Parks Day. Winner will be chosen at random on May 1st.

After you enter this giveaway, pledge to visit a park on May 16th for your chance to win a Nikon Coolpix Camera.

 

Bringing my own bag actually makes my life better

How Reusable Shopping Bags make my life BETTER
It’s really surprising, sometimes, the simple little things that can make our lives easier. For example, the throwaway plastic shopping bags we use at stores. You’d think they exist to make life easier and more convenient. But, they’re actually doing the exact opposite of that. I discovered this when I finally bought my own reusable shopping bags and decided to give up on the flimsy plastic ones.

I have a lot of issues with plastic bags. Of course, there’s the environmental argument. But, what about ME?? Are my own personal selfish reasons not just as important as saving the world from the scourge of plastic bags?

My selfish reasons for buying reusable shopping bags

For starters, if I don’t tie the crappy plastic bags closed when I load them into the car, they spill my groceries out. When I get home, I load the spilled groceries back into the junky bags and wear them inside. I look like a walking dumpster with 50 bags hanging off each arm because only 3-4 items can fit in each stupid plastic bag.

God forbid the bagger put more than 3 things in each bag or they’ll be breaking open and the bunched up handles cutting off the circulation to my fingers. Of course, after I put everything away I try to save the bags to use in the bathroom trash cans. But, what really happens is they just get everywhere and become clutter. I think some smart folks buy those plastic bag saver things… but, seriously, why not just buy a multi-use reusable bag with that money?

Flimsy plastic shopping bags aren’t actually convenient at all.

The plastic bag way is how it’s been for my entire life. We go shopping. We load our junk into junky bags. It seems like the normal thing to do and that the stores are helping us out by giving us these free bags for all our stuff. But, they’re not easy or convenient and they’re definitely not free. According to Wall Street Journal, It costs retailers $4 billion dollars a year to provide us with those bags. Who do you think is paying for that? We are.. consumers. We’re paying $4 billion dollars a year to use cheap, junky, inconvenient plastic bags that clutter up our houses and landfills and Earth. I don’t know about you, but for that amount of money I want a better bag. I want a multi-functional bag that I can use for shopping, for picnics, for beach days and other things.

Find a multi-functional reusable bag that fits your life.

How Reusable Shopping Bags Make my life BETTERSo, I bought some. I searched for the perfect bags for me. I selected large bags that would hold a lot of items. The reusable bags I bought are sturdy and they zip closed. They’re not the cheapo dollar bags that grocery stores are pushing near the checkout line. Those things really look just as ridiculous and crappy as the plastic ones, in my opinion. No.. I want something durable, multi-functional, large, sturdy. Something actually good.

There’s a problem with that. I’m a freakin’ cheapskate. I do not like spending money. Why should I spend money on a bag when the store hands them out for free? (They’re not free) Because I’m fed up with them. I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of these plastic bags and I think the earth is, too. Whoever thought they were a good idea is out of their mind. They’re horrible. There has to be a better way. I admit that I went all-in on my reusable bag purchase. I paid about $25 for two awesome bags.

Are reusable shopping bags worth it?

Yes, it was worth it. I’ll tell you why. My two awesome reusable bags are fantastic. First of all, they’re large enough to carry 5 or 6 times as much as a plastic bag. They are both very sturdy, insulated and zip closed. They are designed to evenly distribute the weight of contents to make them easy and comfortable to carry. I can use them for a wide variety of activities outside of shopping. I really love having these new bags as part of my shopping experience even without knowing I’m doing something that eliminates the release of thousands of plastic bags into the environment. When I add the environmental concern to my own selfish reasons for reusing these awesome bags, it’s just icing on the cake.

 

Parks reveal the hidden gems of family travel and local adventures

Parks reveal the hidden gems of family travel and local adventures
Parks. They come in all shapes and sizes from the neighborhood playground to hundreds of acres of pristine natural heritage. They focus on different aspects from historic preservation, to conservation and family fun. They offer a range of activities like swimming, hiking, swinging, and sliding. They allow us to revisit our favorite past times: camping, baseball and simple picnics. They bring families together and connect people to the great outdoors.

This post promotes National Park Trust’s “Kids to Parks,” campaign. Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a Nikon Coolpix digital camera by pledging to take children to parks on Kids to Parks Day. 

Local parks offer endless fun

Parks play a vital role in our family life. I have run to the parks for everything. When I need a place for the kids to burn off that boundless energy, I run to the park. When I need a quiet place to take a walk or want to meet up with friends, parks are my first thought. When I plan a road trip, I turn to the parks for camping and exploring new terrain.

National Parks make great family vacations & State Parks reveal hidden gems

Camp at Cloudland CanyonFrom the smallest local playgrounds to the biggest national treasures, I’ve found that parks are the most versatile destinations to include in daily life and vacation adventures. I’ll find what I need at a park, whether that be a pitstop to stretch our legs or a place we can set up camp and explore for a whole week! Parks often reveal the hidden gems of our travels by connecting us with communities, nature, and history.  Best of all, they’re inexpensive and they’re everywhere.

Make parks part of your family life by discovering one, with your kids, on Kids To Parks Day. Pledge to celebrate Kids To Parks Day with a trip to the park on May 16, 2015 and you could win a Nikon COOLPIX L830 camera! Visit KidsToParks.org to enter and find some fun activities for the special day at the park.