Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kids keep things in perspective

Kids definitely have a way of keeping everything in perspective.

I mentioned in my last blog that we were a vendor at a home expo list last weekend, and at that expo we received quite a bit of work. This morning I was in a rush to try and finish some work we had picked up at the expo before taking the kids off to school. However, both of my girls were quite demanding and "needed" an adult to get them ready for the day.

"Daddy...daddy...daddy" was their mantra this morning. As my temperature began to rise and my state of exasperation increased....I kept thinking, "How am I gonna get this stuff done?"

Well, I did what I usually (well at least try) to do when my kids get me going, hold my breath and count to 10,9,8,7,6.....

Phew....that brought me back to my senses. I thought, "Does it really matter if I get this stuff done RIGHT now? My girls need me and that is the most important thing. This stuff can wait."

Seems that sometimes it takes me to count to 10 in order to remember what is really important. Everyone should try it.

Jolly Green Dad

Monday, April 28, 2008

Interest in Going Green

I just wanted to say a little bit about the vast interest in Going Green these days, in particular with companies that want to tie themselves into that image.

This weekend, my wife and I were exhibitors at a Home Expo displaying our products, specifically our Eco-Friendly line of cleaners, Go Green. While we did generate some interest from customers perusing the fair, the biggest interest by far came from companies that wanted to get in on the whole "Go Green" thing. One company approached my wife and wanted to use our products as thank you gifts for the services that they render. They were looking for something different and thought that our Go Clean products might be a nice environmental twist to what they did and would make their services stick out in their customers mind.

While this company seemed quite reputable and the vendor personally seemed very honest about his interest in our products, it raised a question. What if a company approached me that was interested in using the Go Green image, but I thought them to be not reputable or would not buy from them personally? Or even that I knew was not environmentally friendly? Would I sell to them? This is the first time that I had been this close to the selling end of business and the first time I had even thought these questions.

Its an interesting question that just made me think a little bit this weekend about my business and how I go about it. One of the things that really attracts me to being a distributor for this company is that I honestly believe that they believe in what they say....helping the environment and doing it in an ethical way.

Go Green!!

Any thoughts or comments?

Jolly Green Dad

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Eco Friendly Office Products

I wanted to write about one of the Green companies we have just done some business with, Eco Green Office. They offer a wide range of eco-friendly services: office products, print services, and green marketing design. The company does absolutely outstanding work. Not only that, but the proprietors of the company are excellent to work for and provide some of the best customer service that I have experienced recently.

Their mission is "to provide affordable environmentally friendly office products. and services for organizations and individuals striving to be green." They tout value added service which I definitely experienced. If you are ever in the market for green office products or design services, I highly recommend them.

They designed and printed I flyer that I am currently using and it looks absolutely outstanding. Come check them out here.

Jolly Green Dad

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Great Guide for Redirecting your spending to Green

Just wanted to write about a guide that I discovered for those of us going Green. The folks at ReDirect Guide publish a written booklet and host a web site which is "The local healthy and sustainable lifestyle directory."

Basically it is a listing of local businesses that promote going Green or organic or just are Eco friendly. They have a neat concept, promote local businesses that in turn try and help people redirect their spending patterns in a more earth sustainable way. They want to show that shopping and doing business like this is not expensive for the individual consumer and economical for business. I think its a wonderful tie in of Business and Green. I have talked to one of their reps and they are awesome to deal with!

They currently promote business in three areas: Denver/Boulder/Ft. Collins, Portland/Vancouver, and Salt Lake City/Park City vicinity. Go check it out!

Jolly Green Dad

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Will today’s kids be the first generation to reverse U.S. longevity gains?

Interesting article I read today about health and kids. I for one am guilty of letting my kids watch a little too much TV at times. But....this sort of article makes one think. We as parents definately need to care for our children, but ensure that they are healthy. This includes enough exercise and the right kinds of foods. It definately gives one food for thought and makes you think about how our kids live their lives.

Our family has gone to ordering organic produce and we love it. Not only that, but the kids love the taste as well.

Here is an excerpt from the article. The full article can be read here.

"Thanks largely to medical and public health advances, Americans are living longer than ever. The average life expectancy in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, was nearly 78. That's up from 47 in 1900 and 68 in 1950.
But even as the market for anti-aging pills and products has never been hotter with Americans seeking a longer life, some experts say we as a nation are doing ourselves in with our couch-potato culture of eating way too much and exercising far too little. Some health professionals even raise the controversial notion that today's generation of kids like Justin — about a third of whom are overweight or obese — may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.
'Like advanced aging'"All of the signs are pointing in the wrong direction," says Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"Young kids are getting what have traditionally been adult-type diseases — type 2 diabetes and heart disease," she says. "It's like advanced aging."
"These kids are headed for real trouble," agrees S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health and a researcher at the Center on Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Their parents may not be faring so well, either, he says. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese.

What's your chance of reaching a very old age? That can depend on when you were born and even where you live. Click to find out more.In 2005, Olshansky and colleagues published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine predicting that in the coming decades, the obesity epidemic and its health consequences would reverse the upward longevity curve in America over the last century, slashing life expectancy by two to five years — more than the impact of cancer or heart disease.
Olshansky says he's particularly concerned about obesity in children, which has tripled since 1970, because they could be dealing with diabetes, heart disease and other weight-related health problems for a longer period of time and face a greater toll. "

I for one will do my part to work on this with my children.

Comments or questions?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone!

I wanted to do my part and just let you all know some simple things that we all can do to help clean up the planet. Even small choices by individuals can have a huge impact in the environment.

Those that have chosen to Get Clean have made the following impact on the environment in tha last 12 months.

Kept 10,230,732 pounds of packaging waste out of landfills. Eliminated 23,492,792 pounds of greenhouse gas.

Here is a list of 5 simple things we all can do to clean up our planet

In honor of Earth Day, here are some small steps for you that add up to a big impact

#1) Clean Up Your Cleaning Products:

Some conventional cleaning products can contain questionable chemicals like phthalates, butyl cellosolve, sodium hydroxide, ammonia, or formaldehyde. Why would you endanger your health or the health of the planet with harsh chemicals and toxic substances when you can choose natural and healthier alternatives?Switch to your cleaning products. Our cleaners offerschoices that are safe, nontoxic, and natural, and they work wonderfully. These products are formulated using sustainably sourced ingredients from natural sources, like activated enzymes or biodegradable cleaning agents derived from corn and coconuts. When you welcome our products into your home, you’re not exposing your family to many of the dangerous chemicals found in conventional cleaners.
A great way to start is with the Go GreenStarter Kit—everything you need to clean your home. To order yours, visit our website and take a look.

#2) Start Using your Dishwasher!

Using the dishwasher is actually better for the planet than washing dishes by hand. The average energy-efficient dishwasher uses just 4 gallons of water per cycle, saving nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year compared with hand washing—as well as $40 in energy costs and 230 hours of washing time, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Make sure to use a phosphate-free detergent. Phosphates spur algae blooms and are a major source of water pollution. Clean Dish Wash Automatic Concentrate is one of the first phosphate-free automatic dish wash detergents.

#3) Ditch the Anti-bacterial Hand Soap:

Triclosan, a common ingredient in antibacterial soap that kills microbes, ends up in our water sources and, at specific levels, is acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic life. Moreover, overuse of antibacterial and antimicrobial soap can help create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may weaken the effectiveness of currently useful antibiotics. Antibacterial soap doesn’t offer any better protection against illness than vigorous hand washing with plain soap and warm water.
Go Clean Hand Wash Concentrate is a great antibacterial-free alternative. It’s soap free, pH balanced, hypoallergenic, and has biodegradable surfactants.

#4) Bring your own bag:

Okay, we’ve all heard this one, but it’s true. Neither paper nor plastic is the ideal choice. Paper is accepted in more recycling programs, but only approximately 20% is recycled, and most bags can end up in landfills. Plastic bags not only can take a thousand years to decompose and but use up nonrenewable resources. The best choice? Bring your own reusable bag. A sturdy, reusable one can take the place of hundreds or maybe even thousands of single-use bags over its lifetime.
Get Clean offers lightweight, sturdy, reusable shopping bags in a bright green color with the Get Clean logo, so you can spread the word while you shop.

#5) Buy from Socially Responsible Companies:

Use your consumer power to support companies that are environmentally responsible and offer products that are safe for you and the environment. Our company has a long history of environmental responsibility, including introducing one of the first biodegradable cleaners in 1960.Shaklee is the first company in the world to obtain Climate Neutral™ certification and totally offset its greenhouse gas emissions.

Pass the word on by either linking to this blog or e-mailing this information! Together we can all make a difference!

Monday, April 21, 2008

You know your old when

OK, definately had a humbling moment yesterday. Decided to go for a short run yesterday and my daughter begged me to go along with her. Now she is seven years old and wanted to go along with me while riding her bike.

I figured ....well...if she can't keep up, its OK. I can run slower if I have to. Needless to say, I was shown up by a seven year old. Not only did she smoke me on her bike, but more than once she asked, "Dad, are you tired", or "Are you sweating? I am not."

I guess I learned my lesson. I am not the High School sports star nor the Army stud that could run for hours at a time. I guess I need to take more of the supplements that I sell in order to keep up with her......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jolly Green Dad

OK everyone, my first official blog as a stay-at-home/work-at-home Dad. I intend this blog to be a little about my story of why I decided to do this, a little about my work and how its the best kind of work I've ever done, and how I am the happiest I have been in years.

So how did I get to this point you might ask? Well, let me tell you, I was the last person in the world that I would ever imagine being at home. As a former Army Officer, and operations/financial manager for a Fortune 500 company, I would have been what many considered to be career driven.

That is until I had my "I have had enough!!!" moment a couple of months ago. I got to the point where I really hated the work environment I was in, was tired and grouchy all the time, and absolutely was not enjoying the corporate environment at all with the "Bottom line or else" mentality. I decided to had to make an exit strategy. I really wanted to get back to working for someone/something that would help others, something with a helpful "big picture" kind of company.

Parallel to what I was doing in the Army and "civilian" career, my wife had started up a small business of her own. Its focused on environmentally cleaning and health and wellness products.
Go check it out. Anyway, this business had developed into quite a good second/part time income for us.

So, this was my plan, we had enough $$ for me to quit, and look for a job for a couple of months. I wanted to get into a job more service oriented. Besides, with my wife's small business, we would be fine for a while. The plan was for me to help her expand her business, and look for a job at the same time. Her business fit in exactly with what I was looking for on a full-time basis. Let me say, this was the plan at least! I can still remember me coming home from the gym the first day after I had left my job saying, "Well, here I am, what do you need me to do here!"

To make a long story short, less than a week and a half after I left my job, my wife got a full-time job offer! And she wasn't even looking for a job. It was as a City Planner (think zoning kind of stuff), which she did prior to me hauling her all over the world with the Army. WOW! So, in military terms.....we improvised..adapted...and overcame the obstacle we were faced with. We decided for her to take the job, and for me to work on expanding her business. Or, should I say, our business now!

So, that is the beginning of it all for me. Not exactly the plan, but let me tell you I am enjoying the heck out of it. Its great to spend time with the kids. My wife loves her job, and I really enjoy what I am learning in our business and expanding it.

Why did I choose Jolly Green Dad? Well "Jolly" in that I am happy doing what I am doing (no i am not big santa claus kin of jolly), "Green" for the kind of business we are in, and "Dad" because I am a work-at-home/stay-at-home Dad now!

Phew, and that was the short version of my story. It would be great to hear from other Dads or other small business owners who might have similar stories, particularly those that have had their own "Had enough" moment and changed what they have been doing. I believe

Jolly Green Dad

P.S. Yes, my favorite channel is still ESPN (not Oprah) my favorite is still Fat Tire beer, and my favorite sports team is the Red Sox! Go SAWX!