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Articles by Christine Gardner

Christine Gardner is a freelance writer making a daily effort to find ways moms can stop destroying the planet. She continues to use public transit, buy local, conserve energy, and live simply, despite fears her children one day will be labeled as "the weird Gardner girls" by their schoolmates.

Featured Article

I’ve started running a few times a week.

Each morning, I grab the clothes I’ve set out the night before and finish getting dressed in the garage, because I don’t want to wake my family. Then I go into my neighborhood and run, although running is a misnomer. Really, it’s more of a jog — and sometimes just a walk.

These legs are made for parenting.

These jog/walk sessions don’t have anything to do with being beautiful and thin, although I could do without the little mommy-skirt bathing suit. In large part, running is just a prelude to cycling. For months, my bike hung inside the garage while the streets were too snowy to navigate safely. But after a winter of bus rides, walks, and even occasionally driving my husband to work so I could have the car rather than spend one more day trapped inside, I’ve resumed life with a bike.

It hasn’t been easy getting back to carting my two- and four-year-old daughters behind me to the playground and the grocery store. This year, they weigh a total of 70 pounds. That’s 10 pounds heavier than last year — and my thigh muscles are pisse... Read more

All Articles

  • This family is sticking with eco-alternatives

    This summer, my family and I took an overnight trip to Chicago that started out pleasant enough. We were well packed and tidy. Just before boarding our train, my husband took a few pictures of us, joking that this would begin our slow descent into madness. Consider the alternatives. Photo: iStockphoto Descent into madness. That […]

  • Toxic fun

    Once again, it turns out plastic toys from China are more than just an eyesore -- they're a hazard. A toy recall of 86 Fisher Price products, including several branded toddler favorites like the Dora and Elmo, was issued yesterday because of a lead-paint hazard. After scrolling the list, I decided my kids were safe -- for now. At least I think so.

  • On the difficulties of going veggie

    I love bacon.

    Sure, meat is murder and all that, not to mention it's contributing more emissions than most of us slightly green carnivores would like to admit, but it is tasty.

    And filling. I learned that last bit in June when my family gave up meat at the slight urging of vegetarian Gristmillers responding to my query about the best ways to green my family life. It took me about three tummy-rumbling weeks before I learned veggie burgers satisfied my craving for hearty food.

    In a month's time I came away with conflicting thoughts about meat.

  • Do parents lose or gain by taking kids outdoors?

    I'm a little bitter about not playing soccer.

    Or softball. Or piano. I did take dance lessons, but the name "Klutzy Chrissy" didn't happen by accident.

    My parents preferred to send me outside. Even in our Detroit neighborhood, which developed a reputation during the last 30 years of offering a wide assortment of crack houses, my friends and I explored the alleys while making sure to wear shoes as protection from broken bottles.

    Ah, nature.