Becoming Ecoliterate in Our Daily Lives: Interview Part I

At Baby Ventures™, we strongly believe in the importance of teaching children early on about our interconnectedness with all living things, and raising a new generation of ecoliterate, sustainably-minded kids. In order to do so, we must set the example in our own homes and be the change we want to see.

So how do Baby Ventures co-founders Lisa and Golzar incorporate sustainable living in their own daily lives?  In this first of our two-part blog series, read about the changes Lisa has made – and what she pledges to do for the rest of 2020 – to increase her ecoliteracy!
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“I always considered myself to be a decent steward of the planet. While I certainly don’t live off the grid, I thought of myself as environmentally-minded and not a wasteful person. But over the past year, I’ve read and researched and a lot about the state of our planet and what actions individuals must take now (including research for…an upcoming Baby Ventures title!).  I took a hard look at my own actions and realized they were no where good enough. So I’ve taken steps to do better, and plan to do more. Here are 10 things I have done to reduce my carbon footprint and what I pledge to do before the end of the year:

10 steps I took to reduce my carbon footprint:

  1. Started composting (I’ve been amazed how much less waste I now send to the landfill!).
  2. Said “no” to plastic bottles, bags and straws.
  3. Began bringing reusable bags when shopping (at all stores, not just the grocery store).
  4. Purchased fewer packaged items at the grocery store and opted for bulk more often.
  5. Switched to earth-friendly dog waste bags.
  6. Contacted companies who send junk mail to be taken off their list to reduce paper waste.
  7. Spent less time commuting and increased working from home (a small silver lining of Covid-19).
  8. Planted three trees in my yard.
  9. Continued to be mostly vegetarian (I don’t purchase or cook meat and only eat it on  rare occasions).
  10. Became more conscious about using less water when washing dishes, washing hands, taking showers, etc.

5 things I pledge to do this year:

  1. Purchase a rain barrel to collect rainwater for use in my yard.
  2. Increase the amount of produce I purchase from local farmers markets.
  3. Contact my local waste management agency to make sure I am recycling correctly and nothing is being wasted.
  4. Use my voice – contact government officials to voice my support for environmentally-friendly legislation.
  5. Support a non-profit organization doing important environmental work.

Change begins with each of us, at home. And we must be the example today for what we want future generations to be tomorrow: stewards of our beautiful planet.”
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Stay tuned for Part II of this series, as we hear from Golzar on how she practices ecoliteracy herself, and incorporates it into her parenting. In the meantime, download our Eco-Friendly Activities Guide & Checklist for discussion topic ideas and actionable items to take at home and in your neighborhood.

Virtual Spring Story Time Part III: ABCs of Washington, DC

Happy Friday! We’re excited to kick off the weekend with the third book in our Virtual Spring Story Time Series!

Today, Baby Ventures co-founder and illustrator Lisa Hall is reading from our inaugural board book, The ABCs of Washington, DC. Gather your munchkins and click the video below to join Lisa as we take a literary tour of our nation’s capital.

BONUS: Keep little ones reading at home with their own copies of our books! Use the code SpringStorytime on our website to receive 20% off The ABCs of Washington, DC and all other titles. Only a few days remain – special promotion ends May 31st!

Happy reading!

Virtual Spring Story Time Part II: ¡Números, Baby!

Welcome to the second installment of our Virtual Spring Story Time Series! Baby Ventures co-authors Lisa Hall and Golzar Kheiltash are going virtual this spring, so all kiddos can stay safe while enjoying literary adventures!

Today, we’re thrilled to bring you story time with Golzar, reading from our bilingual Spanish-English counting book, ¡Números, Baby! Gather your niños and click the video below to join Golzar as she explores uno a diez across 11 beautiful and diverse Spanish-speaking locales throughout the world!

BONUS: Keep little ones reading at home with their own copies of our books! Use the code SpringStorytime on our website to receive 20% off ¡Números, Baby! and all other titles, now through May 31st!

We proudly donate a portion of sales from every ¡Números, Baby! book to World Central Kitchen, founded by chef and humanitarian José Andrés.

And be sure to stay tuned for our final virtual story time with Lisa later this month as she reads from our ABCs of Washington, DC!

Happy reading, families!

 

On Earth Day 2020, Commit Your Family to Take Action

Happy Earth Day! Today, EarthDay.org marks its 50th anniversary of educating and inspiring people worldwide to take proactive steps and make sustainable changes to protect our planet. This year’s theme of “climate action” highlights not only the challenges, but also the opportunities to take action on the vital issue facing each and every living creature on Earth—climate change.

As parents and educators, we at Baby Ventures™ strongly believe in the importance of teaching children early on about our inter-connectedness with all living things, and in doing so, helping raise a new global generation of eco-literate, sustainably-minded kids. Continue reading On Earth Day 2020, Commit Your Family to Take Action

Virtual Spring Story Time Part I: The ABCs of Annapolis

Every spring, Baby Ventures™ co-authors Lisa Hall and Golzar Kheiltash love hosting story times with our globally-inspired board books at indie bookstores and public libraries throughout our greater Washington region. This spring, we’re going virtual so we all stay safe and little bookworms don’t miss out on literary adventures!

Today, we’re so excited to kick off our virtual story time series with our ABCs of Annapolis book! Gather your munchkins and click the video below to join Lisa as she explores the A to Z of Maryland’s Capital City.

Continue reading Virtual Spring Story Time Part I: The ABCs of Annapolis

Springtime, Social Distancing, and Sticking Together in 2020

It’s already been quite a year for everyone around the globe in the wake of Coronavirus. Here at Baby Ventures ™, we rang in 2020 (which now feels like years ago) with much excitement and creative energy as we worked on our fourth title. We relished in our staple kid-friendly adventures around Washington, DC – including a visit to the Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration back in February. And as the first weeks and months of 2020 unfolded, we keenly looked forward to spring and all the joy it represents for our Baby Ventures family: Iranian New Year (“Norooz”), the iconic cherry blossoms adorning our capital city, and the bustling season of story times and other in-person author events at indie bookstores, public libraries, and fairs throughout our region.

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Norooz Decorations

Continue reading Springtime, Social Distancing, and Sticking Together in 2020

Shop small (today and every day) for Baby Ventures books!

Now in its 10th year, Small Business Saturday was created to encourage shoppers to support local businesses during one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends. Over the years, it has become a shopping tradition and part of the larger Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses throughout the year.

At Baby Ventures, we wholeheartedly believe that shopping small means more than just supporting local businesses. It helps communities thrive. Over the past three and a half years, we have had the privilege of working with 50+ indie bookstores, specialty shops and toy stores, and have witnessed their commitment to community and willingness to support those in need. Continue reading Shop small (today and every day) for Baby Ventures books!

Part II: Meet Gabi! Volunteering at the Rooftop Garden in San Juan, PR

When we first created our new bilingual ¡Números, Baby!, we knew that beyond sharing the book through public fora, free author events, and donations, we also wanted to find additional meaningful ways to give back to the communities that inspired each page. Continue reading Part II: Meet Gabi! Volunteering at the Rooftop Garden in San Juan, PR

Part I: Leemos Juntos! Celebrating books + reading with students in Puerto Rico

Last week, we had the honor of traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico to host story time for pre-K through first grade students at Escuela Inés María Mendoza! We were thrilled to meet the dedicated team of teachers and staff, and get to know their incredible students!  Together, we read from our new bilingual book ¡Números, Baby! as we practiced counting from 1 – 10 in both Spanish and English. With each page, we also explored our book’s illustrations depicting the unique cultures and geography of diverse Spanish-speaking locales. We especially loved sharing page 5 (featuring Puerto Rico’s native coquí frogs) with the students, who then serenaded us with the distinct and beautiful song of the coquí! Continue reading Part I: Leemos Juntos! Celebrating books + reading with students in Puerto Rico

Celebrating Hannah Oliver Depp on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! At Baby Ventures™, we celebrate the remarkable women in our indie literary orbit – women who are trailblazing their own path and lifting up other women along the way.  

Today we’re thrilled to highlight avid book lover, early literacy supporter, and community builder Hannah Oliver Depp! Hannah is the owner and creative force behind Loyalty Bookstore – the beautifully revamped face of Upshur Street Books in DC’s Petworth neighborhood. Continue reading Celebrating Hannah Oliver Depp on International Women’s Day