Homemade Halloween Costumes Using Recycled Materials

Instead of filling up landfills with once-used plastics and fabrics, get creative, and come up with your own unique look with reused and recycled materials. You’ll save money, as well as reduce impact on the planet. Besides what better way to stand out in the crowd than to make your own Halloween costume. You will for sure be unique.

Click here to see thedailygreen.com‘s 19 frightfully fun homemade costumes made from recycled materials. Below are a couple of examples.

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Cupcake and Cotton candy made from old tights, and laundry basket.
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Crocodille costume made from butcher paper and cardboard.

All these costumes are made with items you have around your house. Butcher paper, old tights, cardboard, garbage cans, old umbrellas, and plain old trash.

Be creative and think about what you can use and enjoy your eco-friendly Halloween!

Green Kitchen Tools

Complete_SetIf you are anything like me, you probably love to cook and you care about the environment. Combining the two can be difficult sometimes. The other day I was reading Joy the Bakers blog and she mentioned Green Kitchen Tools and so I decided to check them out and see what they are all about.

Green Kitchen Tools:

  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Safe to use on all non-stick surfaces
  • Will not absorb flavors or odors
  • Lightweight and strong

All Green Kitchen Tools are made to be sustainable and practical. We craft our tools utilizing the best materials – scratch resistant nylon, stainless steel and exquisite 100% bamboo handles – all provide strength, durability and functionality.

Tough, durable and lightweight – bamboo is a natural in the kitchen. It’s also one of nature’s most sustainable resources; reaching maturity in just four years without pesticides or chemicals.

Bamboo’s density makes it naturally water-resistant, which inhibits germ and bacteria growth.

Green Kitchen Tools offers a variety of tools for your kitchen and bbq. Selling them individually and in sets. If you are in need of new kitchen tools, check them out!

Green Your Halloween

1006882_17480313Halloween is just over a month away and the stores are filled with decorations and candy for the big day. But don’t go for the easy way out and buy all the goodies at the store because of the convenience. Try to think green. Now thinking green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

Here are 8 helpful Eco-friendly tips:

1. Use a pillowcase or canvas shopping bag for collecting candy, instead of the regular plastic jack-o-lanterns or plastic bags.

2. Make your own costume. All over the internet you can find cheap and easy to make costumes with stuff you have laying around the house. Check out your local thrift store for ideas and help.

3. Give organic, fair trade, eco-friendly treats. For some ideas of ‘green treats’ click here.

4. Walk don’t drive. Stick close to home and walk around your neighborhood while trick-or-treating. Be a part of your community and cut down on pollution.

5. Compost. Jack-o-lanterns along with the abundant leaves that are all over the yard make fall a great time to start composting, if you don’t already.

6. Keep the party green. Use cloth napkins, silverware and dishes, stay away from the wasteful paper products. Make your own decorations by using recyclable materials, get creative – click here for ideas on decorating. Use locally grown, organic foods.

7. Use fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights. You will need a flashlight when your out trick-or-treating so remember to use fluorescent or LED lights.

8. Teach your kids not to litter. If they plan on eating some of their candy before they get home, make sure and tell them to leave the wrappers in their bag and they can throw them away when they get home.

Green Lemonaide

400x400-09_0406_img_9347-2Green Lemonaide is a site that helps you introduce to your friends and family the wonderful world of reduce, reuse and recycle. Help others become green by giving them a Green Lemonaide kit to get started. These are great for those people who have no clue where to begin.

GreenLemonaide is part giving, part saving. Call it responsible gift-giving. Our  green starter kits spread knowledge and a feeling of contribution with easy-to-use, everyday products that lessen the impact on our world. It’s a different way of thinking about gift giving that we hope will spark a different way of thinking about the environment.

They offer 4 different kits full of products such as cloth napkins, Sigg water bottles, compact fluorescent bulbs, faucet aerator, surge protector, and shower timers just to name a few. All in a reusable tote.

Check them out and give a helping hand to those around you.

Green Labels Causing Confusion

505445_73582507In the Statesman Journal on Sunday September 6, 2009, there was an article by Dayna Simpson – ‘Green’ labels can confuse consumers.

In this article Dayna addresses the issue of h0w the word ‘Green’ is misused and sometimes misunderstood.

These days, we expect businesses to do more than simply comply with local, state and national environmental laws. We want businesses to be more considerate of natural resource use in addition to providing consumers with the opportunity to choose more environmentally friendly options when they’re making purchases. Our growing expectations for businesses and their products may exceed the reality of what those businesses can practically achieve.

The final, and arguably “greenest” category of product, has been designed with conservation in mind. These goods effectively incorporate the principles of conservation into procurement, production, consumer use and post-use disposal. Examples include products that have avoided certain materials (lead-free), are more efficient during use (hybrid cars), and have their end-of-life issues taken care of through design for recycling.

As consumers, we can make decisions about whether a product’s “green” claim can be experienced or at least verified. From there it’s only a matter of how much of a difference we want to make and how much we’re willing to pay for it.

As you’re out looking for new products, groceries, cars, whatever it may be, if you want to be ‘Green’ and want to make informed decisions check out this Web site, www.ecolabelling.org. They listed 300 different standards and certification schemes for communicating social and environmental product claims to consumers.

5 Ways to be Green and Save Money

909780_59550139Sometimes I feel being green is a bit more expensive than being careless and not caring about this environment. Buying organic food, buying green, biodegradable cleaning products, organic beauty products all have high price tags but they are good for the environment and not to mention our bodies, but how do you get around this? Below are some helpful ways you can be green and save money.

  1. Give up paper towels, plastic wrap and ziplock bags: Don’t spend your money on things to wrap your food in or paper towels to clean with. Start using your tupperware or save butter containers to store your food in. For cleaning windows use newspaper and for wiping hands use cloth napkins – not only is it green but it makes your table look nicer. You can also use old rags for cleaning with.
  2. Stop buying bottled water: The water from your faucet is just as good, and bottled water produces garbage because most people (over 80%) throw the bottles away instead of recycle them. Check out the facts on the lighterfootstep.com.
  3. Shop at thrift stores: Whatever items you are comfortable buying at thrift stores/second hand keeps that item from going to the garbage dump.
  4. Cut your grocery bill: Use coupons on items you use only, just cause you have a coupon or its a good deal doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Shop for groceries once every two weeks, shopping more than that and you will end up with stuff that you don’t need which in turn will cause you to waste food.
  5. Conserve water: Think about the water you use, take quicker showers, use a timer if you need help, turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth and use less hot water.

There are many more ways to be green while saving money or not spending so keep your eyes peeled for helpful hints and when you come across ways that you have saved please share them.

The No-‘Poo do??

110154_5482Really have you heard of the No-‘Poo Do? This morning one of my co-workers was telling me about just this. I hadn’t heard of it before. In fact I didn’t know there were people out there that didn’t use shampoo when they showered. I figured if they didn’t use shampoo they were using some sort of soap but no – they really don’t use any sort of cleaning agent to wash there hair, they just rinse with water.

I could see how this would be good for your hair and I could see how this could be very Eco-friendly. Your not dumping toxic shampoo/soap down the drain, your not buying shampoo which ends up being less plastic thrown away and your spending less money.

As for your hair this is an excellent way to get your hair back to its beautiful self, it gets the oils to where they are supposed to be, making your hair very shiny and supple. Its much like using chap stick on your lips, your lips get used to it and need it but if you go off chap stick, after about a couple weeks your lips will get back to their supple self, but you go through an extreme drying period in the process. Or lotion, when you use lotion every day, same effects, you stop using it and after a period of two weeks or so your body will regulate itself and not need it anymore.

Here is an article from The Phoenix Network; The No-‘Poo Do. Instructables also has a How to Go No Poo. Check it out and see what you think.

No Waste Lunch – A Green, Healthy and Money-Saving Alternative

1101409_80042520Reading through the Happy Hippie I found an article on the No Waste Lunch – a green, healthy and money-saving alternative. Having kids in school I find it difficult sometimes to get them out the door on time with a no waste lunch. I tend to grab the quick and easy plastic baggies that you throw away. I want to be more intentional about what I send my kids to school with, keeping in mind the amount of trash that schools throw out daily and not wanting to add to it.

The basic steps as mentioned in the article are:

  • Reduce the amount of disposable waste you pack
  • Pack reusable products
  • Recycle anything you have left over

They sound easy enough – don’t they? And yes by each of us doing our part we CAN make a difference.

They have Easy tips for a no waste lunch. To read the full article click here.

Green Your Teeth Brushing

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Of course you don’t want green teeth but how about brushing your teeth and being eco-friendly(green) while doing it? When you think about being green, tooth paste is probably the last thing on your mind, its not a big deal, but it is. In this article, Toxic Toothpaste; The Environmental Impact of Toothpaste from Green Living Tips, you will see ingredients that are in most toothpastes and what problems they cause in the environment or in your body.

Toms Natural Care – Organic and SLS-free

Jason Toothpaste – Fluoride-free; certified organic; promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Natures Gate Oral Care – Fluoride-free, and created with botanicals utilized for their cleansing and balancing benefits.

Kiss My Face Toothpaste – Certified organic, contains no artificial colors or unnecessary ingredients.

Learn to make your own – Not only for savings is it good to make your own toothpaste but the knowledge of knowing what is in your toothpaste is a huge advantage.

Green Laundry Detergent

prod_laundry-concentrate_100oz-wfbc_260x282Seventh Generation – All Natural laundry care, tough on stains, gentle on clothes and the environment. With 4 types to choose from: Delicate care laundry detergent, Baby laundry  detergent, Natural powdered laundry and Natural 2X concentrated laundry liquid.

Method 3X Concentrate Liquid Laundry Detergent – Loaded with eco-friendly features such as non-toxic solvents, natural enzymes stain removers and biodegradable ingredients.

The Laundress’ Delicate Wash – With many detergents to choose from and all are non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen free.

Ecos Detergent – Choose from Lemongrass, Magnolia & Lilies, or Lavender. ECOS is a concentrated liquid laundry detergent that provides better price performance than the competition. It cleans a full laundry load with only 1.5 ounces.

Dropps Fresh Scent & Dye Free Liquid Laundry Pacs – Smaller footprint, one jug of detergent = 292 empty pouches, no waste, and super concentrated.

Caldrea Laundry Detergent – Earth-friendly laundry products that help keep your clothing and linens as fresh and fragrant as the rest of your home. No harsh chemicals and not tested on animals.