Posts Tagged ‘ playgrounds ’

Carter Oosterhouse on Building Active Communities and Living Green

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Parents caught up with HGTV’s reigning expert on eco-friendly living, Carter Oosterhouse. He now plays host to four TV programs including Red Hot & Green all about eco-friendly design. Having discovered carpentry at the age of 12, Oosterhouse is now an expert, which is why he teamed up with Scott Naturals to launch their new tube-free toilet paper. He shares with us his tips to go green (easily!) in your home and the inspiration behind his youth charity Carter’s Kids.

P: What motivated you to start carpentry so young?

CO: My dad was a farmer and was constantly saying “You gotta work. You can’t just sit around the house and watch TV.” So that prompted all of us kids to always be busy. Something that was easy—a summertime job where you could have fun—was building. I liked doing it. I felt like I was getting outside and being active.

Seeing kids now being so stagnant, I started a non-profit [Carter’s Kids] where we build playgrounds and that’s because you see so many kids who don’t get out. You have to provide something that’s a reason for them to get out. Plus, I’m a big kid at heart.

P: What kind of impact have you seen from these Carter’s Kids playgrounds?

CO: We build one playground a month all over the U.S. in random cities, low-income neighborhoods, schools that really need it. It’s amazing to see how kids will respond when they have something attractive to play on. It’s like you put Disney World in their backyard. You have to remember back when you were a little kid and your world is your little town. When that’s just your world and you put something big and shiny it changes the whole dynamic. This playground becomes the community center point, which makes an even bigger impact. You’re not just changing the lives of those kids who are playing on it, but also the lives of the people who live there.

P: Do all Carter’s Kids playscapes include the same basic elements or are they each unique? 

CO: We usually work with whomever we’re building it for and say “What do you guys need? Are you by the water? Do you like boats? Are you in Iowa with cornfields?” They’re all different, but all awesome. Each playground takes a lot of prep. To build it only takes two days. I love doing it. If you do build one playground for the kids you get that rush that keeps bringing you back.

Find more ways for your kids to get outside and moving with Parents’ Activity Finder. 

P: You started on Trading Spaces, and now you have these other shows including Red Hot & Green. How did you get started in the green space?

CO: My parents were big nutritionists. So I thought, Well how else does that translate into other things? And that is: the earth. How could we build without taking away so much? Slowly but surely I got in the TV shows and I thought, I wanna do a show that has to do with eco-living and eco-repurposing and remodeling. Today when people see how they can be more efficient and cut down monthly bills, it makes more economical sense to be green within your home.

P: What are some ways that the average American family can be eco-friendly in their home?

CO: There are so many. It’s cool to buy secondhand stuff and repurpose it and give it another life. Whether that’s furniture or clothes. Around the house, lighting is huge and using CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs. Composting. Recycling is one. When [my wife and I] got married, we actually only had one bag of trash because we were able to compost and recycle. Also, VOC-free paint, and using organic cleaning products. That’s good for you and your plumbing in your house. Oh! And aerators on your faucets. Living eco-friendly is sort of like preventative medicine. This is a better way to provide for your home because in the long run you’re going to pay less, your home will last longer, your bills aren’t going to be as large.

Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles

Top photograph: In honor of the launch, Oosterhouse and I posed in front of this 30 foot replica of the Empire State Building made of 14,000 rolls—the amount New York City throws away in only 15 minutes. Annually Americans toss 17 billion rolls, which is enough to fill the Empire State Building twice.

 

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

A Surprising Risk for Toddlers on Playground Slides
Orthopedic specialists say they treat a number of toddlers and young children each year with broken legs as a result of riding down slides on a parent’s lap.

Houston Woman Has Sextuplets, 3 Boys, 3 Girls
A Houston woman has given birth to sextuplets.

Filmmaker Compiles Daughter’s 12 Years in Two-Minute Video
To creatively preserve the lasting memory of his daughter, Lotte, filmmaker Frans Hofmeester took snippets of footage from 600 weeks of filming her growth, and sliced them together in a time-lapsed montage that documents her development from birth to age 12.

Boy or Girl? Gender-Reveal Parties Are the Hottest Way to Spread the News
An increasing number of pregnant parents are opting to throw parties, complete with pink or blue cakes and party favors, to let others know what gender baby to expect while they’re expecting.

Doctors: Teens Guzzling Hand Sanitizer to Get Drunk
Doctors are warning parents about a dangerous new trend after six teenagers drank hand sanitizer and ended up in Southern California emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning.

Hilary Duff Reveals an Infatuation With Her Son’s Fallen Belly Button
Hilary Duff is so enamored by her new role as mom, she keeps her newborn son’s belly button sealed in a Ziploc bag in her makeup drawer.

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Get Out and Play! Saturday is Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Day of Play

Do you have plans for the weekend? We hope you left some time for playing!

Tomorrow is Nickelodeon’s 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play. The kids’ television channel asks parents to, “Encourage your kids to turn off the TV, get up, get out, and go play.” If your kid can’t resist SpongeBob, don’t worry. Nickelodeon will shut down both its TV programming and websites for three hours tomorrow afternoon. Use the day to remind your children about the importance of exercise and physical activity.

And don’t let the rain keep you indoors. Put your kids in some old clothes and let them jump in puddles and play in the mud. It might mean extra laundry, but they’ll never forget the day you told them to get dirty.

Looking for a playground in your area? Download our Playgrounds! iPhone app!

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Download Our New – and Free – Playgrounds! App

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Playgrounds! LogoThe Playgrounds! app from Parents and KaBOOM! and sponsored by Keen is the newest must-have app for parents. The iPhone app uses GPS or a zip code to instantly find the best local playgrounds closest to you.

But Playgrounds! is more than just a playground locator. The free app allows users to rate and review playgrounds, and post pictures of the space so other parents can check it out beforehand. Parents can even use Playgrounds! to coordinate playground playdates with other families and check-in on Facebook.

The app is already being used by parents across the country, including one very famous mom: Michelle Obama. After helping build KaBOOM!’s 2,000th playground last month in Washington, D.C., the First Lady used the app to post a picture of the new play space.

Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents, says “It’s so important for families to have access to safe places for children to play and the Playgrounds! app makes finding those spaces and setting up play dates so easy.”

The app is free, easy to use, and ready to download today. What are you waiting for? Go play!

Download the Playgrounds! app here.

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