5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Daughter

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Daughter

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your DaughterOn April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2014.  This is the 44th celebration of Earth Day – a day to appreciate the earth and stand up for protection of natural resources.  It is the greatest legacy we can leave our children.  I’ve listed some ideas here for celebrating Earth Day with your daughter.  Feel free to leave your comments about how you plan on celebrating.

1. Spend some time researching alternatives to disposable feminine hygiene pads.  According to the website Envirocitizen “in a lifetime, the average American women will dispose of about fifteen thousand sanitary pads and/or tampons, translating into about three hundred pounds of waste.” Multiply that three hundred pounds of waste by millions of women menstruating in the United States and you can see how changing to reusable pads or other alternatives would have a huge impact on the waste stream.  Explore sites like Luna pads.com and DivaCup.com with your daughter.  Even if she prefers disposable products now, it will give her something to think about as she grows older.

2. Walk, bike or use public transportation on Earth Day for visiting friends or running errands.  In today’s busy world, doing this everyday may not be practical.  However, choosing one day a week to leave the car parked is an easy way to help the earth and get some exercise.  In our community, ‘walk pools’  instead of ‘carpools’ have become quite popular.  Encourage your daughter to create a group that walks or bikes to school.

3. Donate a tree to a local park in your community.  Many towns and cities have programs in place to encourage donations to support local parks.  The Arbor Day Foundation also offers a program to donate a tree to national forests in honor of celebrations or special people in your life.  What a great way for your daughter to honor someone close to her.

4. Organize a neighborhood clean up.  Doesn’t have to be formal.  Gather a few friends and neighbors around and pick up trash on the streets near your homes.  Recycle what you can and toss the rest into a trash can.

5. Take action on an Earth Day concern.  The Take Action page on the Earth Day website lists active campaigns.

On the Dot – The Perfect Spot

On the Dot - The Perfect Spot

On the Dot – The Perfect Spot

I was recently introduced to a product that I just had to share with my readers.  Especially those tired of storing feminine supplies in plastic bags that always seem to rip apart and spill their contents.

The On the Dot storage box for tampons and feminine pads is new to the market and oh so cute.  Available in three different eye catching designs named after butterflies, the box is specifically made to discreetly store your monthly supplies while also being pretty enough to sit on your bathroom counter all the time.

The founder of On the Dot, Audrey Unrau, was inspired by her daughter’s self made box to store tampons and pads.  Audrey realized her daughter had a great idea and decided to design and manufacture the product.

Plenty of storage space for pads and tampons.

Plenty of storage space for pads and tampons.

Each box design has a butterfly handle to open up the storage compartment. Pulling up on the handle reveals the two part storage section.  The top compartment, meant for storing tampons, has a fold out front to prevent tampons from rolling out.  The second storage section is meant for storing any size feminine pads and is roomy enough to store several different sizes of pads.

The box  also has a plastic frame on the bottom to keep things neat and clean and protect against any bathroom water damage.  With three designs, there is one that will fit any bathroom decor.  The California Sister version (pictured) was specifically designed for young tweens.  The brightly colored box is a wonderful alternative to the plastic bags that feminine pads are sold in making having a period just a bit more fun for girls.

On the Dot has a community page where you can share your period stories and thoughts about the On the Dot product.  You can also participate in creating new designs for the boxes.  What a fun project for a mother and daughter to do together!

 

 

Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign – Update #4

Dot Girl has officially designated today ‘Donate A Dollar’ Day!  Why should you donate just a dollar to the Dot Girl campaign today?  Activity on the campaign leads to greater visibility on Indiegogo.  We are still on page 1 of the Education section however it would help greatly if the campaign moved to the top of the page.

Just a $1 will do it!  And you don’t even have to log in to Indiegogo to make the donation.  It’s a quick, less than a minute transaction.  Please help by spreading the word to your friends too.  Send them the link and let’s see how many $1 donations happen!

http://igg.me/p/the-dot-girl-first-period-kit/x/6790160

Thank you to all of our followers who are showing us some Twitter Love!

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Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign – Update #3

Hello Dot Girl Supporters!

We are moving on up!  This morning finds the Dot Girl campaign on the front page of the Education section.  You can help the campaign move even further up by donating a dollar, choosing the $1 perk  and leaving a comment.  All of these activities help increase exposure for the campaign which means more kits donated.  Help make today a record Donate a Dollar Day!  And as always, sharing the campaign link with friends and family who would be willing to help would also be much appreciated:

http://igg.me/at/the-dot-girl-first-period-kit/x/4598826

For a closer look at the contents of The Dot Girl First Period Kit I am showcasing two items today – The Dot Girl Period Answer Book and the Dot Girl Warm Pad.

The Dot Girl Period Answer Book™

Heating Pad

The Dot Girl Period Answer Book™ – a 20-page question and answer booklet covers the basics about menstruation including: How many days will it last? When will I get my first period? How do I track my period? What about cramps? What is a period anyway? Written in an easy-to-read and positive tone the booklet fits neatly inside the reusable case so girls can refer to it over and over again.

My Period Diary is included on the inside cover of The Dot Girl Period Answer Book™. The Diary allows girls to track their period over the first year.

The Dot Girl Warm Pad™ is a reusable gel heating pad for soothing cramps.

If you have any questions about these two items please let me know.

Thank you for your continued support and interest!

 

 

Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign – Update #2

Yesterday morning we were excited to receive a donation of $225.00 from a group of women who banded together to donate to the Dot Girl campaign.  Each donor in the group contributed a small amount in the neighborhood of $10.00 and the power of the crowd raised enough for a significant contribution.  The group has designated First Place School in Seattle to receive the Dot Girl Kits.

Many of you may not know that contributions may be made in flat dollar amounts instead of choosing a perk.  You will still be able to designate a particular organization to receive Dot Girl kits equal to the value of your contribution.  Please visit the campaign to find out more:

http://igg.me/at/the-dot-girl-first-period-kit/x/4598826

I’ve been asked about other ways that Dot Girl Products supports menstruation education.  For several years now, Dot Girl has been donating free ‘What’s Normal?’ bookmarks to schools and non profit organizations.

bookmark

To date over 15,000 bookmarks have been donated to places such as Pacific Christian School in Santa Maria, CA; Thompson Health Hospital in New York State; and Gregory County Dept of Health in Burke, SD along with numerous Girl Scout Troops and public schools. If you are interested in receiving free bookmarks for your school or organization, please use our Contact Us page to send me your address, organization and number of bookmarks requested.

Thank you for your continued support!

Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign – Update #1

We have broken through the $1,000 mark on our campaign! This translates into 83 Dot Girl kits that will be donated to girls. We still have much ground to cover to reach our goal of 1200 kits donated. Please help us reach this goal by sharing our campaign link with friends and family:

http://igg.me/at/the-dot-girl-first-period-kit/x/4598826

No donation is too small. In fact, we would love to be able to mail hundreds of Dot Girl bookmarks at the end of the campaign to all those willing to donate just $8! A $24.00 means you receive one Dot Girl kit at discounted pricing (with free shipping) and one deserving girl receives a free kit. Any donation is much appreciated.

We would like to thank those companies and sponsors who are helping to spread the word about the Dot Girl campaign:

From the Women’s Health Foundation (http://womenshealthfoundation.org/)
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From The Period Store (http://theperiodstore.com/)

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From Dear Kate (http://www.dearkates.com/)

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Thank you for your continued interest and support of our campaign!

Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign Launches!

Dot Girl Indiegogo Campaign

The founding mission of Dot Girl Products is to prepare every girl for her first period.  The more girls know about the changes that will take place to their bodies during puberty, the more they will face this transition with confidence.  Learning about their bodies in a supportive way will also help girls to take control about future health decisions they will face.

We are a small company with big dreams and we want to help the many schools and organizations that ask for donated kits because of their own limited budgets. Believing that there is no time like the present to achieve our dream, we decided to turn to Indiegogo crowd funding to raise the necessary money to put The Dot Girl First Period Kit® into as many hands as possible.

Our goal is to donate 1200 Dot Girl kits to deserving organizations. Through your generous donations more girls will have the tools and information needed to experience their first period prepared and confident.  Together we will be able to support schools and organizations who are doing the important work of educating girls about periods.

The campaign lasts from March 18th – April 27th, 2014. Learn how you or your organization can donate here.

Tips on Preventing Teen Dating Violence

My daughter is 25 now and throughout her dating career I’ve been a little bit of a protective mother and tried to make sure she was in positive relationships. Fortunately that was always the case, however, it may not be the case for every teenage girl. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about hearts and flowers between loved ones. Lurking in the background though is the possibly of relationship violence. That is why when I saw this article in our local newspaper I thought it would be a good idea to post it for our readers. The article lists phone numbers for support services in the local area. Take some time to research what the resources are in your area and share them with your daughter.

Mukilteo Beacon, February 12, 2014: DVS Working to Prevent Teen Dating Violence
February, often seen as a month for love and relationships, is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

This month, Alyssa Morgan, the teen dating violence prevention expert for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, hopes to raise awareness and prevention of abuse in teen relationships.

An educator, Morgan visits high school and middle school classrooms throughout the county, and teaches students through presentations and interactive activities about healthy relationships so that they are less likely to get involved in an abusive one.

“This is investing in the age where they are starting their relationships, even as early as 11 years,” Morgan said. “It gives us an opportunity to promote healthy relationships, show them what that is, and give them tools to develop healthy relationships. It’s all about education.”

According to DVS, an estimated one in three teens ages 12-18 will be victims of abuse in their relationships. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal or – these days – digital.

However, many don’t know violence in teen relationships is an issue because only 33 percent of teens who are “dating” will report it, according to DVS.

So far in the Mukilteo School District, Morgan has shared her age-appropriate curriculum with students at both Mariner and Kamiak high schools and is working to expand to Voyager Middle School.

Her overall goal is to get teens talking openly about relationships – gender stereotypes, what is healthy, what they want out of a relationship, what isn’t heathy and what they don’t want.

“I also ask the kids, ‘What do you value about yourself?’” Morgan said. “Because what I learned is that it starts inside; it starts with them individually. If they don’t value themselves, then these kids are not able to develop healthy relationships.”

Sarah McCoy teaches Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Health, Personal Choices and Independent Living at Mariner High School. She has asked Morgan to talk to her classes several times.

“For my students, it’s very, very relevant, because they either grow up in homes where they see it or they have experienced it or they know others who have experienced it,” McCoy said.

“They’re dating, they’re in relationships, and they know about abuse, but they don’t recognize the key warning signs.”

Morgan said teens who see abusive relationships as the norm at home are more likely to become victims of abuse or an abuser.

However, when she asks students what a healthy relationship means to them, all of them say it’s about trust, loyalty, love and compatibility.

“They know these things because those words mean something to everybody, but they don’t all know how to put that into practice,” Morgan said. “They don’t all know what is the active sense of those words.”

Morgan said their lack of relationship experience makes teens more susceptible to dating violence. They may confuse jealousy, possessiveness and abuse with signs of love and affection.

“A lot of times, in these relationships, it’s the rose-color glasses,” she said. “They think, ‘It will never happen to me’ or ‘It’s just stress,’ or ‘It’s not that big of a deal.’”

She said the mistake teens make is thinking that they can fix their relationship or that they can change their partner.

“Abuse escalates over time,” Morgan said. “It doesn’t start off with a black eye – it starts off with someone telling you that you’re worthless.”

Teens are more likely to talk to their peers than an adult about their relationships, out of fear that they will lose their newfound independence, Morgan said.

However, she said talking to their peers might make it harder for a victim to judge if his or her partner’s behavior is out of line. Not only that, peer intervention may increase the victim’s risk.

Just part time, Morgan said she wishes she could educate more teens about healthy relationships, but right now the funds aren’t there to make hers a full-time position. She said she has visited about a third of the county’s schools.

Morgan said her presentations seem to be helping. At least one student per classroom comes up afterward and shares a dating experience or says, “Thank you – I didn’t know.”

“You have to nip it in the bud, address it, talk about it,” Morgan said. “It’s scary. We don’t want to talk about abuse, but it is happening.

“We have to start having conversations about these types of things. If we don’t, it’s not going to get any better.”

If you’re in an abusive relationship, call the DVS 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 425-25-ABUSE to report it. If you need urgent help, call 911.

Go to www.dvs-snoco.org for more information about dating violence and prevention.

Want Morgan to visit your school? Contact her at alyssa@dvs-snoco.org.

The following are warning signs of dating violence, if your boyfriend or girlfriend…

• Is excessively jealous

• Checks in with you constantly or makes you check in with him/her

• Has an explosive temper

• Is violent and/or has a history of fighting, abuses animals and/or brags about mistreating others

• Tries to control you by giving orders, making all the decisions, telling you what you should and should not do

• Pressures you or is forceful about sex

• Isolates you from friends and family and talks badly of those who are important to you

• Believes in the stereotypical gender roles

• Gets too serious about the relationship too fast

• Blames you when he/she mistreats you and tells you that you provoked him/her

• Does not accept responsibility for his/her actions

• Has a history of bad relationships and blames them on previous partners

• You fear or worry about how he/she will react to what you say or do

• Owns or uses weapons

• Won’t let you break up with him/her

Above information from Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

See original article here.

The Kids Aren’t All Right

Over the years Dot Girl Products has looked for ways to support girl empowerment organizations. We have donated to the Central Asia Institute, an organization that promotes peace through education by establishing more than 171 schools, most of them for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. We have also made donations to the Mukilteo School District where we are located and promoted the Day of the Girl events.

We’ve done this to help raise awareness amongst our readers of the good works being done by these organizations. When we were contacted to share the below infographic we just knew it was one more way to get the word out and recommend ways to help.

‘The Kids Aren’t All Right’ infographic details the countries in the world that are the worst for kids, our most vulnerable population.  Information is tabulated for everything from percent of child laborers to rates of teen suicides.

How can you help?  We’ve mentioned before a great book that points you in the proper direction.  Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicolas D. Kristof (a New York Time columnist) and Sheryl WuDunn.  While the book focuses on the plights facing young girls, many of the organizations listed in the book help all children.  We encourage you to visit the Half the Sky website to find out more.


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5 Tips to Talk to Your Daughter about Menstruation

Happy New Year from Dot Girl ProductsReposting our New Year’s advice from a couple of years ago.  May you all have a joyful New Year with your families!

Tomorrow starts the new year and that means it’s time for resolutions. If your daughter is approaching puberty and your resolution is to explain things to her, here are 5 Tips to help guide the discussion about menstruation:

1. Don’t leave it up to the schools and Internet websites to deliver the information. Make time to connect with your daughter to talk about this important milestone, make sure she understands the information, and feels comfortable asking questions.

2. Share your own memories and experiences from this time in your life. Did you have any embarrassing moments? Where were you when you started your first period? When did you buy your first bra? Sharing your stories will help your daughter realize that she is not alone in this experience.

3. Ask other women in your family to share their stories which will provide a sense of family togetherness and will give your daughter an idea of how times have changed. For example, girls today don’t have to deal with the belt and napkin. It used to be that feminine hygiene products were not even advertised on TV.

4. Schedule a field trip with friends and their moms to the local drugstore to explore the feminine hygiene aisle. Today, these products are displayed abundantly, just like shampoo and other personal care essentials. A trip like this reinforces that these products are a normal part of life.

5. Remember to keep the lines of communication open and start early. Being open and honest with your daughter when she is in her early years will lay the foundation important conversations to take shape as she grows older and has even more challenging questions and issues on her mind. Try not to have one big talk. Instead, slip in nuggets of information into normal everyday conversation. And don’t wait for your daughter to initiate the conversation because she may be too embarrassed to do so.