Here’s a staggering statistic: More than 16 billion diapers are dumped in U.S. landfills each year. 16 billion! Before I had kids, I’d always been environmentally minded (of course I recycled my cracker boxes and used reusable bags for grocery store runs). You know, the superficial stuff. But I didn’t do anything jaw-dropping or brag-worthy until I became a mom (first to Jasper and 18 months later Lennox) and covered both my kids’ bottoms in cloth diapers. Sure, I’ll give myself an eco pat on the back for taking on poop in the name of the planet, but even more so, I’m proud of myself for bypassing the easy path of disposables. I came, I saw, and I conquered cloth diapers. Here’s what I learned along the way.(No room? No problem! See how you can grow tomatoes in the driveway, dill on the deck, and peppers on the porch with Rodale's Edible Spots & Pots—get your copy now!)1. It’s Way Easier Than You ThinkI knew I wanted to … [Read more...] about 8 Things I Learned From Using Cloth Diapers
Best selling toys for 7 year olds
If you are expecting a new addition to your family, it can be easy to get sucked in by the glossy advertising designed to sell you thousands of dollars’ worth of cute stuff for your baby, or find yourself buying every bit of gear a marketer promises will make your life easier or keep your baby safer. Don’t be fooled: Much of the stuff they are trying to sell you is unnecessary and most of it will be used for a few months at most. You can keep your baby safe and happy for a lot less if you take a step back and think before flashing your cash: here are a few generalities to consider: (On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)Make sure you can clean it. Avoid anything you can’t toss in the washing machine or wipe clean easily.Skip over single-use items or baby-specific designs in favor of something that can be used for non-baby … [Read more...] about 20 Things You Really Don’t Need To Buy For A New Baby
For privacy reasons, certain identifying characteristics of people in this story have been changed.I was 15 years old when I discovered my father’s porn habit. It was after midnight, a school night; The blue-green glow of his computer monitor spilled from the crack beneath his door.I let myself in, assuming he was working, and instead found him feverishly masturbating to the images on the screen.It’s a moment as ingrained in my mind as I imagine the porn is in his: He was perched, naked, in his green swivel chair, which he had covered with one of my mom’s best bath towels. He looked angry.Shortly afterward, my mom filed for divorce, and I branded pornography as my father’s—or perhaps all men’s—evil vice.Related: The Truth About How Porn Affects Your Sex LifeI couldn’t understand his desire for the naked pretzel women, contorting into yogalike poses on his computer screen. Or why his porn habit—which, my mother later told me, spanned … [Read more...] about Is Porn Harmful?
I thought I could win the battle for my child's brain.Until she was about 4 years old, Parker, a tall girl with sandy brown hair and enormous blue eyes, was largely shielded from brands and the plethora of screens used to spread their fairy dust. At home, she had no access to cable TV and viewed only parent-approved DVDs and sporadic bouts of PBS Kids. She didn't know how to use the remote control, had no access to video games, and knew only the kind of web made by spiders. Her favorite activities were painting, playing tag, picking tomatoes, and dancing when no one was looking. She remained clueless about the Kids' Choice Awards, Radio Disney, FrootLoops.com, and avatars. I realize that in the eyes of some parents, this makes me a little uptight.In our daughter's presence, my wife and I would mute commercials, spell out the names of chain stores, and refer to Ronald McDonald as "the clown." But we cannot keep our little girl in a marketing-free bubble. Thanks to an aunt, Hello Kitty … [Read more...] about Monsters Inc.
Check out the Men's Health Tech Guide -- The 100 Products that with change your life! 100. Motorola KRZRIn some ways, the KRZR--Motorola's newfangled Razr--represents everything that's wrong with technology. Sure, it's a capable cellphone, sporting a 20-megabyte hard drive, MicroSD slot, 2-megapixel camera with 8X digital zoom, and MP3 and video support. But we were expecting so much more from the sophomore sequel to the hottest handheld in the past decade. We can't blame the marketing gurus for preaching evolution over revolution, but this is how it'll go once we slip this hottie into our pocket: We'll have some great conversations, take her to a few nice places, and then start feeling the itch, craning our necks to see what everyone else is doing. We'll see a Samsung at a bar and wonder what it's like. Is it thinner? Is that a Wi-Fi antenna? And soon, we'll just be playing out the string, waiting on the TAZR or whatever else comes next. So, yeah, we're … [Read more...] about Shift Into Top Gear
Joe English won't show me his new penis. Any other day, I would be grateful. But today, I see 14 of his old ones standing tall on a wooden rack in his office, and I am disappointed.Each of these 15-inch monoliths—some studded, some swirled, some ribbed—is a testament to the creative engineering of a team assembled for one purpose: to build a better condom.The crystal-clear glass molds before me—mocking me, really, with their height—represent the current roster of players for Trojan, the nation's biggest rubber peddler. But what interests me most is the empty post at the end of the rack that, according to English, represents the future of the condom."We can't talk about that one," he says.Of course. State secrets. But English, the manager of Trojan's manufacturing facility, does smile, as if he understands my need for answers. When it comes to rubbers, there's simply a lot we don't know—even though we've all used one at some happy point in our lives.Heck, … [Read more...] about Rubber Soul
Outside and above us, fair-weather cumulus clouds dapple the sky while the green leaves of summer sway in a honeysuckle breeze. Inside the basement pool, it's a different story. Fluorescent lights over the ancient tank barely penetrate the chlorine-and-urine clouds frothed up by today's bladder-challenged day campers. My identical twin brother, John, and I perch on our lifeguard chairs, mouth-breathing through another shift. A month ago, the boss outlawed radios. The struggle to remain awake without Mungo Jerry has become Herculean. Summertime down here in the dank dungeon? For all we residents of aquatic Dante-ville know, it's still the dead of winter. Though John and I don't fully realize it yet, enslavement in the natatorium has carved the first grievous rut in our 21-year-old lives. In his famous First Law of Motion, Isaac Newton observed that bodies at rest tend to stay that way unless some other force intervenes to get … [Read more...] about A New Path To Change
sibling?""Obsessed" didn't capture it. "Fanatical" was a better word. Granted, a lot of kids don't have full biological siblings. But for me, a single woman in her 30s who purchased sperm from a bank to make a baby, there were choices when it came to a second child. I could use the remaining vials of sperm I'd bought the first time and give my son a full sib, or I could start fresh and produce a half sib.The thing was, I was dead set on the full-blood version — even without a dad in the picture, I wanted my kids to have as normal a family as possible — but I only had enough of my son's donor's sperm for two more tries. Why? Because when I was 3 weeks postpartum and having a hormonally induced mental breakdown, the sperm bank called and offered to sell me what was left of the first donation. With the phone in one hand and a screaming newborn in the other, I replied, "Are you insane? How in the hell am I supposed to take care of two babies as a single mom? Is this some kind … [Read more...] about Having a Second Child
With a sigh of relief, you pull into your driveway at the end of another 12-hour day. You're ready to unwind. Already, your blood pressure is falling. But inside your house, your personal life is waiting. Maybe you have a girlfriend or wife who craves your companionship, and children who demand your attention. When you walk through that door, you may be thinking in terms of haven and escape. But in these next few hours, you're really undergoing a transition. You're going to make the switch from work to love, from ambition to emotion, from power to intimacy.This transition is a big job -- and the ramifications are bigger than ever. So you need to handle it well.What if you don't? Hey, no harm done. You'll simply join the legions of the angry and depressed, with half your money gone to your ex-wife, your kids mad at you, your few friends slowly drifting away, and a vague sense of shame that keeps you from making social connections. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience … [Read more...] about Why Men Need to Show Emotion
How’s your recycling karma? Amusing TV commercials make light of the possible perils of not recycling—getting dumped by a date or inciting your in-laws’ ire—but they carry an important message. We’ve only got one Earth, so let’s all preserve it. Too much waste! The average Canadian produces 1,031 kg of waste annually, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada (published in 2008). This adds up to about 26 million tonnes of waste being sent to landfills or incinerators each year. Enter Waste Reduction Week, where recycling programs across the country launch an educational campaign to help reduce garbage sent to landfills. Held annually during the third week of October, this year’s dates are October 21 to 27. During this time, Canadians are encouraged to adopt more eco-conscious choices. Reduce Making a new product requires energy and materials. Raw materials are first extracted and processed—then the product is … [Read more...] about Waste Reduction Week