Giveaway: “Green Inspiration” Package — Book + 3-Month Meal Plan $38 ARV {11.22; WORLDWIDE} CLOSED

This giveaway is now closed. Please stay tuned for the announcement of the winner!

This is a joint giveaway with Code Name: Mama, A Little Bit of All of It, and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

This is a combined giveaway of two inspiring products for families trying to “go green”: a three-month meal plan subscription from The Fresh Mode and the book Green Philanthropy for Families (160 Simple Earth Honoring Gifts, Actions, Activities and Projects). One lucky reader will receive both the book and the meal plan, making this giveaway’s total value $38!

From our reviewer, Dionna at Code Name: Mama:

Green Philanthropy For Families is a book written by Helen Deffenbacher and her two grandchildren – Justin and Alexis. Helen, Justin, and Alexis are all actively involved in green volunteer projects in their communities, and they wrote this book to share ideas about simple ways in which people of all ages can practice random acts of kindness toward the Earth and its inhabitants.

The Deffenbachers “define green philanthropy as gifts, actions, activities and projects that contribute toward the conservation of all life on the planet.”1 As an ecosteward and educator, Helen has been moved to involve kids in green philanthropy, because there are so many thing that children can learn. By taking positive action to help the Earth, children can learn:

1) respect for the Earth and all life on it;
2) that making changes does not have to be difficult;
3) that even small acts matter;
4) that change can happen with little or no money invested; and
5) that many small acts done all over the world can have a large impact.2

As a lifelong volunteer who wants to instill community service values in my children, I appreciated the ideas presented in Green Philanthropy for Families. They included everything from free, one-time, simple projects, to activities that will require planning and fundraising. The book is divided into several easy to read chapters, including “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Repair,” “Ecoliteracy,” “In Your Own Backyard,” “In the Garden,” and “Urban Habitats, Wild Places & Wildlife.”

While the book is aimed more toward older children and parents, there are several ideas that are appropriate for younger children as well. Here are a few ideas that parents can implement with younger children:

  • Parents can participate in a regular “green hour” with their toddlers. A “green hour” is when families turn off the TV and computer and head outside to spend time engaged in nature. Research shows that such practices can “improve[] intellectual and creative thinking, emotional well[-]being, self-discipline and physical fitness. It also lowers stress levels” and nurtures a love of nature.3
  • Preschoolers on up will enjoy creating “nature journals.” Nature journals reflect the creator’s “thoughts, feelings, ideas, activities, observations, and relationship with the natural world.” Young children can include physical pieces of nature, drawings or other artwork, or they can ask parents or older siblings to help them write.4
  • Children who love to give to others may enjoy recycling their gently used books into reading packs for friends or strangers. You can turn this into a regular event where groups of children get together to exchange books.5
  • To complement your family’s experience going through the activities in Green Philanthropy for Families, check out the related website. You can share your own ideas (and they might make it into the Deffenbachers’ next book!), find fun free stuff, and find tools to keep a green philanthropy notebook, start a green philanthropy group, and more.

    From our reviewer, Julia at A Little Bit of All of It:

    When I was contacted by The Fresh Mode to try out a month of their meal plan subscription service, I was so excited! I love the concept and have tried other meal plan services in the past but have been met with disappointment. One of the services I tried claimed they had healthy meals, but most of the time the ingredients were definitely not what I would call healthy. Another service did indeed have healthy meals, but my husband did not care for them. The Fresh Mode is different from the other services I have tried, and I was looking forward to trying them out.

    The site was born out of the creators’ desire to help other families create healthy, nourishing meals and to simplify that process by taking the guesswork out. Especially if you are just starting on the healthy living journey, figuring out the best things to eat can be a difficult and exhausting process! I know I personally can spend hours making out my grocery list and list of meals for the week.

    There are three types of meal plans to choose from, so there is a plan to fit your family’s lifestyle. The Alkalarian Diet focuses on foods that alkalize the body (mostly vegetarian but includes some fish). The Flexitarian Diet is an omnivore diet (includes a mix of vegetarian dishes, organic meats and healthy grains.) The Vegetarian/Vegan plan includes options to make the plan compatible to either diet. And no matter which plan you choose, most of the meals are also gluten free.

    Southwestern Quinoa Salad

    I chose the Flexitarian plan for my family as that most closely resembles how we currently eat. The registration process was simple and straightforward and the website itself is very “fresh” looking. It is easy to navigate and has lots of helpful information including a blog and message boards.

    To access your meal plans each week, you sign in and have the option to either download/print a PDF or view in your browser. I liked being able to save the PDF to my desktop but also have the option to go back to the web page to view during the week when making the recipe. Consequently, I never really needed to print anything out except the shopping list. If one of the meals isn’t something you decide you want to make, it is really easy to take those items off your shopping list as each recipe is given a number that corresponds to numbers on the actual list. Just cross those items off your list.

    The meals themselves were great! I loved looking through them and seeing ingredients and not feeling like I would need to substitute something healthier or completely cross it off the list. It saved a lot of time in creating my grocery list for the week since all of the dinners (and sides!) were done for me. Some meals offered are: Southwestern Quinoa Salad, Creamy Avocado and White Bean Wrap, Chili Lime Stir Fry, Chicken with Coconut Quinoa with Sweet Potato Curry, Poached Salmon with Fresh Horseradish Sauce, Sweet Potato, Spinach and Kale Gratin, Mediterranean Crunch Salad, Easy Black Bean and Turkey Chili, and Steamed Tilapia with Greek Salad Salsa.

    I really enjoyed trying new recipes and not having to worry about coming up with a whole week’s worth of meals each week. Of course there were times I had to substitute other meals for meals I knew my family would not like (for instance, my husband won’t eat soup, so we did not have any of the soup meals.) Sometimes I also needed to substitute ingredients just to make the meals cheaper for us. I will say I did not find the meals to be super expensive either, which was nice.

    BUY IT!

    You can purchase your own copy of Green Philanthropy for Families at Amazon. Paperback copies are $7.95 plus shipping and handling (S/H free for Prime members).

    You may also download the PDF version of Green Philanthropy for Families for free at Powell’s Books!

    You can purchase your own meal plan subscription at The Fresh Mode. They offer 2 different subscription types for all 3 meal plans (Alkalarian, Flexitarian, or Vegetarian/Vegan): a three-month subscription is $30 and a twelve-month subscription is $100.

    And just for our readers, The Fresh Mode is offering a limited time coupon code for 50% off of a three-month meal plan subscription! Any reader may use this coupon code only one time: TFMNPNFifty The coupon code will be active from October 22 through 31.

    WIN IT!

    For your own chance to win a three-month meal plan subscription from The Fresh Mode and the book Green Philanthropy for Families (160 Simple Earth Honoring Gifts, Actions, Activities and Projects), enter by leaving a comment and using our new Rafflecopter system below.

    One winners will receive a three-month meal plan subscription from The Fresh Mode and a copy of Green Philanthropy for Families. Contest is open WORLDWIDE.

    MANDATORY ENTRY: Tell us one way your family has been inspired to go green! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

    Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. If on Blogger, you can enter it like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com

    This is a joint giveaway with Code Name: Mama, A Little Bit of All of It, and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy all three sites!

    See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Just click “Click for instructions” for guidance and then “I did this” — any comments or extra information such as URLs can be entered into the “Extra Info” box. Give it a try or visit the Rafflecopter tutorial, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

    Contest closes November 22, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

    Disclosure: Our reviewers received a sample product for review purposes.
    Amazon links are affiliate links.
    We try to seek out only products we think you would find
    relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
    If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you.
    See our full disclosure policy here.


    Information About Our Reviewers:

    Dionna is a lawyer turned work at home mama of her amazing son, Kieran, and she is due with baby number two in late November 2011. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting and life with a toddler/preschooler.

    Julia is the mom to a 2 1/2 year old and is trying to live the natural life. You can find her blogging at A Little Bit of All of It about natural parenting, food, Christianity, babies and childbirth, as well as reviewing products and books.

19 Responses to Giveaway: “Green Inspiration” Package — Book + 3-Month Meal Plan $38 ARV {11.22; WORLDWIDE} CLOSED

  1. Tanya Hebert  

    Our family has been inspired to go green by having kids. We want to make their future the best it can be.

  2. Tanya Hebert offers four different “diets” to choose from, including Vegan,

  3. Sarah Hull  

    Our family has been inspired to go green since we knew we were going to have a baby. It wasn’t about just the two of us anymore. We wanted to know more about what we our putting in our bodies, the products we were using in our home and make the best choices that we could for a healthier future. I just love that my son now likes to help me cook and shop for our food – he loves going to the farmers market on the weekends to help pick out our produce!

  4. Sarah Hull  

    At, I learned that most meals in any category will be gluten free by default. You simply have to make minor revisions to suit your lifestyle if you want to.

  5. Sarah Hull  

    At, I learned that Helen Deffenbacher is a volunteer for the Green Omaha Coalition and a founding member of the Omaha chapter of Slow Food USA.

  6. Jessica S  

    We are vegetarian, use natural cleaners, and are planning to cloth diaper.

  7. Jessica S  

    They have vegetarian and vegan plans.

  8. Jessica S  

    I learned that Helen Deffenbacher is a volunteer for the Green Omaha Coalition and a founding member of the Omaha chapter of Slow Food USA.

  9. andalene

    We make recycling a family duty – we have since the kids were small. They know what goes in and what’s garbage and they help put the bins in and out from the road.

  10. Leslie T  

    With the birth of my son we chose to cloth diaper. From using cloth diapers we have been inspired to replace paper inother parts of our life and go cloth for other paper products

  11. Dina Ramos

    We are inspired to go green to create a better future for our children. We go outside every day and work on the organic vegetable garden, we always recycle everything we can and we teach our children green practices by every day living.

  12. Dina Ramos

    The fresh mode planner is centered around nourishing the body not dieting.

  13. Dina Ramos

    Alexis Deffenbacher joined the youth ecology club in her church when it was first formed and signed up for various projects including selling Fair Trade chocolates, making posters to educate church members about Fair Trade, and volunteering for the club’s “Adopt-a-Trail” cleanup at Standing Bear Lake. She has volun-teered for the Omaha Humane Society and for the Henry Doorley Zoo’s project of creating a butterfly garden on the zoo’s grounds. She is presently collecting eyeglasses for Lions’ Recycle for Sight program.

  14. Heather Swartz

    We recycle (pop cans, bottle, and plastic bags) at my house.

  15. Heather Swartz

    I saw on the website that the meal plans they offer are quick to make and full of nutrition.

  16. Michelle  

    Knowing that tomatoes and chillies are imported from around the world, I was inspired to have a go at growing them myself. I took seeds from some chillies and tomatoes and was quite surprised that they actually grew. I’m in England and knew that the bad weather would be a problem so, after our Summer, I brought them inside the house. Yes, actually inside the house. The tomatoes varied from tiny cherry tomatoes to huge beef tomatoes but they were all vine tomatoes and tasted great. The chillies came out exactly like the ones I took the seeds from and I still have chillies ripening in my dining room. I also have an orange tree and two lemon trees growing on my windowsill. Not sure if they’ll ever produce fruit but it’s worth a try!

  17. Michelle  

    Helen has a master’s degree in education and Justin and Alexis are her grandchildren.

  18. Michelle  

    The fresh mode give tips and encouragement for free.

  19. Anny Gateley  

    My family has been inspired to go greener by the economy. We switched all our lightbulbs to more efficient ones, and are bundling up this winter to save on heating costs.