Category Archives Going Green

The Granola Strolla Portable Solar USB Charger

Imagine having a dream to create a device and making it come true. This is the story of Granola Strolla founders Irene and Benjamin Rodda. The husband and wife team wanted to make a portable USB battery that was affordable and able to be charged with solar power. Granola Strolla Logo

We all know that keeping our smartphone, tablets, and other devices charged can be a challenge when we are on the go. Many locations do not have plugs for us to recharge and if you are walking around an amusement park you may not have time to stop. That’s the beauty of the Granola Strolla, you can clip it on a backpack, diaper bag, or stroller and it will be ready to give devices that extra boost that they may need during your outing.

Granola Strolla on bag

We met three of the four Rodda family members in May 2011. Since that time, I have kept in touch with Irene and she has been featured on my blog several times. I have been able to see all of the steps that Granola Strolla has done to make this moment happen. During this process, Irene and Benjamin have relocated from the Boston area to Tennessee. In addition to this, they have welcomed their second son into the world. Even during tough moments in their personal life, they never gave up. They kept working on the prototype, registering for trademark, and all of the other business milestones.

Granola Strolla charging

Now Granola Strolla has hit the big leagues and they have launched a Kickstarter campaign. Rather than list all of the details about the Granola Strolla here, be sure to read more information on the Kickstarter page. Disclosure: I was sent a Swag Pack with Granola Strolla items for my support, but honestly would have done this post without it. It is my pleasure to help another family to get the word out. This Kickstarter campaign just started and they already have 128 supporters and close to 40% of their funding. Please take a moment to watch their video to learn more about Granola Strolla.

The Granola Strolla Kickstarter campaign ends on October 12, 2014. Please consider donating toward their project and making this dream come true. FYI this is the Granola Strolla Swag Bag that will be sent to those that pledge $25.

Granola Strolla Swag

Wishing Irene and Benjamin much success with Granola Strolla in the future.

It's Me

Disclosure: I was sent a Granola Strolla swag bag as a thank you. As noted, I would have shared this information with my reader to help another family. All opinions are my own.

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Shining Example NY

Last week, we celebrated Earth Day on Thursday, but more and more people are trying to make energy friendly decisions in their homes on a daily basis. In our home, we are using at least 95% energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). We started off slowly, and then with time made changes in more of our rooms. These days, you can find CFLs that are made for three way light switches, fan lights and many other options. So much has changed with CFLs over the last few years alone and I am very happy with that.

CFLs for the Fan at our house

Thanks to Global Influence, I found out about a great program that is taking place in New York State. Shining Example NY is trying to help New York State residents to make the switch from regular light bulbs to Energy Star qualified CFLs.

Shining Example NY

Here is more information  from Shining Example NY about their program, along with the video and essay contest running until April 30th.

Right now, all over New York, people are becoming "Shining Examples"  of energy efficiency by changing all their old-fashioned light bulbs to ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs that use 75% less energy, save money and last up to 10 times longer.

Our goal is to help New Yorkers reduce their energy costs, and encourage them to make changes at home that will help the environment. To spread the word, Shining Example NY is sponsoring a video and essay contest, and we are currently looking for more video submissions. We invite you and your whole family to become a part of this movement by submitting a video to the contest that demonstrates why you have made the switch, or are going to make the switch, to ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs. Check out the great kid videos we’ve already received by going to, clicking on Enter our Video Contest and then click on View Entries.

Thanks to so many things going on recently, I have not had a chance to enter the contest. Still, I wanted to share the information with you. All you have to do is send in a 90-second video about how and why you have switched to ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs in order to save energy and money at home, as well as help the environment. Video submissions are posted to the Shining Example NY Facebook Fan page that has over 4,400 fans that have been featured on TV, radio and online advertisements in NY State.

What you can win:

Video Entries – Each of the ten video winner will be eligible to:

  1. have portions of their video appear in the Shining Example TV ad debuting in Fall 2010
  2. receive a FREE Comprehensive Home Assessment through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to show where their home is losing energy and recommend way to help reduce energy usage  
  3. receive a FREE CFL bulb makeover for themselves and ten neighbors (up to $150 of CFLs per makeover).

Essay Entried – Each of the ten essay winners will be eligible to:

  1. have their essay posted on    
  2. receive a FREE Comprehensive Home Assessment through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR          
  3. receive a FREE CFL bulb makeover for their home

No matter where you live, I hope that you will make the switch to CFLs in your house. If you are in New York, please think about making a 90 second video and submitting it soon to help spread the word about the importance of using CFLs in your home.


Disclosure: I am posting this information as a public service because I feel it is important to get the information out to my readers. Global Influence is helping spread the word about this public service campaign.

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Sporting Spring Shades

Dear NHL and JSL,

Today, we went out to enjoy the sun while it is here. They are saying that the next four or more days are going to be filled with a lot of rain. We started off going to Home Depot to get some seeds and soil to plant veggies. NHL, you insisted on getting peas to grow. You were also happy that we decided to get some kirby cucumbers like Mimi and Papa taught you to love. JSL, you really did not care too much what we bought. You just liked sitting in the car cart and wanted to hold packages of seeds. In the end, we bought green squash, kirby cucumbers, roma tomatoes, peas, basil, and colorful mix of peppers.

Getting ready to plant

From here, we decided to see if another store had sun glasses for Daddy’s glasses. We also hoped that they would have Topsy Turvy for tomatoes. When we arrived at the sun glasses area, I immediately spotted something. They had Phineas and Ferb shades, as well as some that looked like Tigger. The two of you went crazy. You begged for new shades. Daddy and I knew that you could use them, so we agreed. You were both so excited.

We continued to shop and found Topsy Turvy for not only tomatoes, but also strawberries. That really got us thinking about strawberries. Although they would probably grow well in our yard, the resident bunny would probably eat them all. So we bought one of each to try on the porch. We will head back to Home Depot later to get a few of the strawberry plants rather than starting those from seeds.

After lunch, we went outside to play and clean out the front porch. It was time to ditch the winter gear and get things inside ready for planting. Of course, this was the perfect time for both of you to test our your new shades.

New shades

You both loved them and had plenty of fun in the sun. NHL, after you fell on the sidewalk while running you were not a happy camper. Your hand hurt, so you opted to read a book on our new chairs. Needless to say, JSL had to follow along and get a book as well. Now, we just have to hope that our seeds will grow and we can pick lots of fruit and veggies from our unique garden this summer.




If you want to participate in Dear Kid Saturday, head on over to Cutest Kid Ever by clicking on the button below.

Dear Kid Saturday


Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Easy way to be green = reusable shopping bags

For at least two years, we have been trying to use reusable shopping bags whenever we go to the grocery store. At first, we picked up a few at the store and would forget them at home. Over time, we have obtained many bags and always have a few in the car for emergency trips to not only the grocery store, but any other location that we shop at.

April 22, 2010

It may seem odd, but we appear to have quite a little collection going. We have bags from Price Chopper, Wegmans, Hannaford, Trader Joes, Disney World, Target and one from Environsax (dream about owning more from them since they have so many gorgeous styles). Along the way, several have had to be retired from use, not being made as well as others, and being ruined from other uses. The reusable bags haul things to school, work for TechyDad, to Nana and Papa’s house when the boys stay there and other fun places near and far. No two bags are created equal and there are many different materials used to make them. We definitely have our favorites and know which do the best with frozen food, cans, boxed items or toys.

Of course, using reusable bags all the time does have a draw back or two. When you actually need a plastic bag for something, well it is often impossible to find one in our house. Those moments are few and far between, so we now keep a few plastic bags strategically located in our house. Of course, even the boys like the reusable bags. Check out the little guy playing with one the other day, and then resting by some on another shopping trip. 

Doing our best to be green

So my question to you this week:

Do you use reusable bags when you go shopping? If you use them, do you have a favorite brand/company? If you are not using them, is there a particular reason?

Please be sure to check out my Marcal Small Steps Products (great for Earth Month and beyond), National Geographic Little Kids, and Human Nature – Reach Out. Stay tuned because more will be coming next week.



Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #96

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+