I remember Summer Sanders from the '92 Barcelona Olympics. Cute as a button and representing the US with a huge heart and an even bigger grin. Well, now America's sweetheart is all grown up, married (to a three-time Olympic skier) and a mom of two. Summer's a busy media mom, she covers sports for NBC and general interest stories for Rachel Ray as well as a budding blogger. Now she can add green parenting resource to her list of accomplishments.
When we met on twitter, I approached Summer about giving Momtrends her exclusive "Go Green" tips, and she graciously accepted. During our phone interview, we talked about easy ways to teach kids about the environment. Now that Summer lives in Utah, her first concern is getting the kids outside as much as possible so they can experience nature first hand. In fact, Summer found a pre-school that will actually take the kids on a weekly skiing field trip during the winter.
But teaching your kids to love the outdoors isn't enough. "As a parent I try to use green lingo," says Summer. When talking to her kids (ages 4 and 2) she is careful to "talk a lot about recycling and the kids know how to separate the garbage," she says.
Curbing waste is also a big concern. Summer tries to pack her preschooler a lunch that is "littterless"--relying on re-susable Snack Taxi bags lunch and on-the-go treats.
Her big green project this year is going to be gardening. Summer tells me a friend of hers has an organic garden and she plans to get her kids to dig in the dirt. "I want them to experiemce the joy of watching something coming from the earth," says Summer. So she's pledging a weekly trip to the farm to teach the kids a little farming magic.
After I got all the green scoop, I couldn't help but ask about the medals and the kids. Turns out the little people in her house have no clue mom's such a great swimmer. "I only just recently pulled my Olympic medals out of my sock drawer for a photo shoot at my home." Humble, smart and cute--you've got to love her. We think this green mom is inspiring for her (ahem) down-to-earth attitude and great ideas to make going green a family affair. To read more about Summer, check out her web site: www.summersanders.com