How To Give Thanks On Thanksgiving

How to give thanks on thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming around once again. Many people may be looking for new ideas on how to give thanks on Thanksgiving. I think it’s time to spruce up the standard matters that we often give thanks for, but do so in a way that helps us recognise the value our planet brings to the table, if you’ll pardon the pun.

 

Choose Wisely

 

We can easily choose to be more resourceful and caring in what we do and use on Thanksgiving. We can learn what changes to make or alternatives to use when we are in the act of giving thanks. We can opt to do across every aspect of the day, from the decorations, the feast, the traditions, what activities we partake in, and even how we can perform random acts of kindness or volunteering of our time.

I have already touched upon what to give thanks for on Thanksgiving in a previous article, this post follows on and brings it all together to give you the best Thanksgiving ideas in through the entertainment, the celebrations and in keeping with your ideals.

 

New Thanksgiving Traditions To Embrace

 

Let’s Begin With How We Can Give Our Usual Traditions A Fresh New Approach With Some Of  These Ideas.

 

  • how-to-give-thanks-on-Thanksgiving

    I Am Thankful For The Choices I Can Make To Live A Sustainable Life

    Start a new tradition by painting pebbles and writing the things you are thankful for each year. Each year, add more and use them to line your footpaths or surround rockeries or gardens. You might even like to stick them to the sides of plant pots or decorative walls to serve as a reminder each year of the things you have been grateful for in each particular year. Have each member of the family participate in this tradition.

 

  • Decorate a mason jar with some simple raffia and Autumn leaves, place some ice cream sticks and a pen on the table, and get everyone to write down on the sticks what they are grateful for and place them in the jar. They could be read out as part of your prayer or discussion about what you are giving thanks for this year.

 

  • Gratitude jars have become quite popular. It was originally something that was suggested for a person to start for themselves about feeling gratitude and learning to look for the joy in everyday life. The idea is to write down on note paper what you are grateful for at the time of an event. Each year on New Year’s Eve, the person would open the jar and read all of the positive messages they had written to themselves throughout the year and reflect on the good things in life. You could extend this to create a family gratitude jar and instead of New Year, read them out at Thanksgiving, for all the family to see what their blessings truly are. If you are not inclined to make the jar, why not start a gratitude journal?

 

  • If you’d prefer something a little more decorative than a Grateful Jar, you could create a Thankful Tree. This is so simple, all you need is a glass jar or vase with a bit of ribbon or raffia around the top for effect. Then collect some thin branches of similar but varied diameters and lengths with plenty of little twigs jutting out from them. An ideal diameter for the twigs would be slightly smaller than the hole made from a hole punch. Place them in the jar in a bunch, like you would flowers. Tie them together if needed. Buy or make some paper tags or card, you might try using some scrapbooking tags or labels. You could even use scraps of material and a special pen that can write on fabric. Punch a hole in the top of each with a hole punch and leave them with a pen or marker of some kind next to them.Every time something good happens, or there is something to be thankful for, write it down on the card and place it over one of the twigs to keep for Thanksgiving. It would double as a lovely table decoration too, or take pride of place on a mantle in the lounge or even in the hallway entrance. You may wish to do a new one each year, or add to it each year. It’s your tradition, so it’s your decision.

 

  • how_to_give_thanks_on_Thanksgiving

    Create a Thankful Tree like this Wishing Tree at Crystal Castle

    I saw a whole tree dedicated to people putting their wishes on to it at a gardens I visited a while back, which leaves you with another idea of how to express your thankfulness. Use a tree in your own garden and created a proper ‘Thankful Tree’. Gather around it for your prayer, offerings of Thanks, your family games, anything really.

 

  • Take the time to thank a different person each day for being a part of your life. Maybe even do it for the whole month of November leading up to Thanksgiving. Verbal, written, creatively presented, however you decide to show your thanks to the person, it all counts, it all brings joy to them.

 

  • Pressed for time? Give each of your guests little hand notes and a pen so that they can write down what they are thankful for this year while enjoying their thanksgiving feast.

 

  • Create a family tradition where each person writes a thank you note for their other family members everyday of November until Thanksgiving, telling them one thing each day why they are grateful for them.

 

  • Instant Camera, to give thanks on Thanksgiving

    Use Homemade Props And An Instant Camera To Take Photos Every Thanksgiving

  • Everyone has heard of “Warm Fuzzies” right? The act of writing down nice things about other people and giving it to them. Adapt this to Thanksgiving where each person writes down something they are thankful for about each person gathered there, or something positive, or even a happy memory they have shared with them, and everyone gets to feel very loved and blessed on a very special day. In fact, it could even be a great way to start the day and have everyone feeling good at the first.

 

  • A popular trend at the moment is taking photos with props to commemorate special occasions. It would be very easy to make your own props with a Thanksgiving theme to do this yourself. Different styles of moustaches are always popular, the various styles of pilgrim hats would go well with this theme, and there are always the standard props such as beards, glasses, monocles, lips, bow ties. You can make other styles such as frowns, pipes, cigars, various Thanksgiving feast items, and make up captions for photos too. If you prefer to get the photograph instantly to place in a special commemorative scrapbook or other album you could buy an Instant camera. Then you can have a great old get together with some precious memories and family photos. If you make it a tradition you can get them out and share them next year and every year. Don’t forget Christmas is just around the corner too. You could extend this tradition into Christmas very easily.

 

Bring On Christmas Traditions At Thanksgiving!

 

  • to-give-thanks-on-Thanksgiving

    Decorate the Christmas Tree on Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving heralds Christmas so it is a perfect time to put some of your Christmas traditions into action and warm up your Christmas spirit. Make it a tradition to set up and decorate your Christmas Tree at the end of the day.

 

  • Have a Christmas movie marathon. I love Christmas movies, I just can’t get enough of them. It’s one of my warm fuzzies that I give to myself.

 

  • Use thanksgiving to draw names out of a hat for your Secret Santa or Kris Kringle Christmas gifts. For those of you who aren’t aware what a Kris Kringle is, it’s where everyone’s name who will be sharing Christmas day together goes into a hat. Each person draws a name from the hat and that person becomes the one that they buy a gift for. Everyone gets a gift and it cuts down the cost of Christmas for those on a budget. It also allows people to have a slightly more expensive gift bought for them as only one gift is being bought rather than many small gifts.

 

Choose Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Crafts That Double As Decorations

 

 

  • to_give_thanks_on_Thanksgiving, non toxic flour based paint recipe

    Non-Toxic Flour Based Paint Recipe. You may choose to use a plant based dye, or different home made paint.

    Make some planet safe paint and use it to create a Thanksgiving tablecloth. Here are a couple of ways you can do this. To make the profile of a turkey, you can paint the base of the hand with brown paint including the thumb, and then paint each finger a different color, such as yellow and red or orange and purple for example. Then stamp the hand down and add eyes, beak, snood, wattle, legs, etc. The thumb part of the print becomes the turkey’s neck and head. To print a frontal image of a turkey, you can paint the entire hand, including fingers with one color such as yellow, then stamp it down. Next paint the entire hand red and stamp down next to the first one, partially overlapping the first hand, then repeat with another color. This should produce the turkey’s traditional fan tail. Then paint a body and head at the front and add the eyes, etc.

 

  • Make little turkeys from autumn leaves, whole walnuts in the shell, hazelnuts. googly eyes and a bit of felt. Glue the hazelnut on to the top of the walnut. This becomes the head and body. Glue a medium sized autumn leaf to the front of a large orange or red autumn leaf, making sure the bottoms are lined up together. This is your turkey tail. Glue the tail to the body, add googly eyes or draw them on, and use felt to stick on to make a beak, snood and wattle. If the turkey does not sit up properly, you may need to glue something to the base to help it. Use these cute little turkeys for a wide range of things. They could be used as simple table decorations, props, write guests names on them and use as place setting guides, write what you are thankful for on them, or give the guests a pen to write their own, games prizes, little gifts to give away to guests, you might even use them as invitations. I’m sure you can think of many more uses.

 

  • Use orange or onion netting bags and fill it with a gift or treat, tie it at the top, lean it slightly to the side, allowing for enough net to use it as a tail. Make a turkey neck and head from a brown pipe cleaner by rolling the pipe cleaner into a head shape leaving some length to form the neck. Add a beak made from orange or red pipe cleaner and a googly eye each side. Using the netting bag you have made, stick the pipe cleaner down into the bag through the netting, or use glue to stick the neck and head to the bag. You now have a cute turkey gift for someone, or a delightful way to wrap a gift.

 

Random Acts Of Kindness At Thanksgiving Embodies The True Meaning Of Thanksgiving

 

  • give thanks on Thanksgiving

    Pull a name from the hat

    You could do a name draw where each member of the family have their names put into a hat to be drawn out. Each person draws a name and must do a random act of kindness for the person they drew from the hat that day. This could be a daily event or if doing this everyday is a bit too difficult, perhaps do it on the weekends, or draw names at the start of each week and at some time during the week, the act of kindness must be carried out before the next draw. There are many ways to incorporate something like this into your household. Not only does this mean that people get treated nicely, but it is a great way to cement the family relationship and encourage unconditional love for each other, as well as fostering respect as well.

 

  • A popular tradition that isn’t necessarily new to some people, but may be to others, is the volunteer aspect of Thanksgiving. Helping out at soup kitchens are a great way to share the love for your fellow humans. As a family, deliver a hamper to another family in need, or provide one for an organisation that give them away. If this is not easy or makes you uncomfortable, choose to donate to food banks or other organisations, where your kindness can be anonymous.

 

  • Following on from the volunteering side of things, have a big clean out of your unwanted scarves, jumpers, jackets, gloves, hats, blankets and give them to a charity or shelter for the homeless. You are contributing to protecting the environment by recycling, while helping another person in need. If you don’t have anything to give, set about performing random acts of kindness in your neighborhood, or the next one over, if you prefer anonymity.

 

  • When you start talking about what you are grateful for, think of a way to pay it forward to other people. For example if you are grateful for food, give food to the needy. Use your own thanks as a way to help others, it will help give you ideas for how to pay it forward. Here’s a couple of easy ones to do. If thankful for your toys, give old toys away to charity. If you are thankful for a warm fire, deliver firewood to an area where you know people may need it. If you are thankful for money, find a way to provide a means for a person in need to earn a few dollars from you by doing an odd job for you, or simply put money in their hands.

 

  • Invite Thanksgiving ‘orphans’ over for dinner, those people who have no family to spend it with. We have done this before at Christmas as well, where we knew families with only one parent and invited them to come for dinner with us, likewise for our single friends, or people who were not at home to be with their own families. Sometimes our single friends were feeling a little lonely at this time of year and they were very appreciative that we included them and made them feel welcome in our home.

 

  • You could also go slightly different and throw and ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner where you invite friends over to share your family Thanksgiving celebrations together as an expression of how you are thankful for them to be in your life.

 

Don’t Forget The Thanksgiving Feast –  You Can Give Thanks By Choosing Eco-Wise Food And Methods

 

  • Storeys Guide To Raising Turkeys, give-thanks-on-Thanksgiving

    A Guide To Raising Turkeys If You Want To Keep Your Own

    Have you ever considered raising your own turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner? I know this idea is not for everyone, especially if you have a soft spot for animals and tend to make them pets. For those of you who are able to immerse yourselves more fully into living sustainably, raising livestock for food goes with the territory. Many of you may even choose to supplement your income with raising a few extra birds along with your own to sell to others come Thanksgiving.  Sustainable living doesn’t have to mean that your income is less than other people, in fact, in can mean a whole plethora of extra income ideas for many people in terms of selling produce, creating clothing and crafts, and even sharing your knowledge with others.

 

  • Getting everyone involved in the preparation and cooking of the meal contributes a wonderful sharing experience for the whole family and/or guests and gives people a chance to have a catch up and chat while enjoying each others company. Every one helps and therefore no one feels as if they haven’t given something to the day.

 

  • As a Thanksgiving craft that doubles as a food item, melt chocolate and pour onto small flat plates and let set. There are many ways in which you can use this, write a comment on them for each person to show them that you are grateful for them, or an inspirational or motivational word, perhaps draw a cute picture, or make it a family activity to share. You could also use them as place markers by writing names on them with icing or white chocolate colored with a natural food coloring if you so choose.

 

  • If changing over to a cleaner eating style or using greener food choices is a bit much to begin with at Thanksgiving, try replacing one traditional dish by one new clean food dish every year until you are comfortable with the change. I realise that Thanksgiving has very deeply inground traditions that make it difficult to completely turn away all in one hit so go easy on yourself, take it slow and enjoy the journey.

 

  • Create a thanksgiving cook book from the recipes to share between each other every few years. Creations like these often become family heirlooms by scrapbooking the cookbook and passing it down through the years to the grandchildren and beyond. Everyone loves old recipes and they will be treasured for many years to come if they are made with the love and commitment that goes into creating a scrapbook style cooking book.

 

  • Create a new tradition of sharing your family’s recipes on specially made cards with other members of your family or neighbors. How many times have you been asked how to make that wonderful meal you served up one time they visited?

 

  • Paleo Thanksgiving cookbook, give_thanks_on_Thanksgiving

    A Paleo Style Thanksgiving Dinner Is A Good Way To Minimise Processed Foods And Eat More Healthily.

    eating clean for dummies, how to give thanks this Thanksgiving

    Clean Eating Is Possibly The Most Effective Method of Continuing to Live Sustainably

    When thinking about what to cook, using a more natural style of recipe, try looking at a Paleo version of Thanksgiving.

If Paleo is not your thing, then the option of Clean Eating will give you great healthy recipes, or help you to learn ways to adapt any meal, including your Thanksgiving meal to using all clean ingredients.

What better way to save the environment than beginning a clean eating program where you do not use processed foods at all, instead, let nature provide as nature intended and avoid processed goods. Eating clean allows you to continue a sustainable living lifestyle by choosing to eat foods whose processing has not caused harm to the environment, or shows you how to make everything from scratch?

 

 

Wow, I surprised even myself when thinking on suggestions for you on how to give thanks on Thanksgiving. These are really only scratching the surface of what is possible. We live in a world where so much is becoming more easily available to us to give us a choice in how we live on this planet. We can do it, we can bring about change in even the smallest of adjustments we make in our lives. Keep up the good work you are doing so far.

Thank you for reading this rather long article and I hope you have been shown that even Thanksgiving can be altered to suit your ideals and the planet. If I have missed anything, or you would like me to look into anything else, please leave a comment and include how you make your own changes to Thanksgiving. I love hearing from my readers.

Warm Wishes and Happy Thanksgiving.

Ange

What To Give Thanks For On Thanksgiving Day

What To Give Thanks For On Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving

If you are wondering what to give thanks for on Thanksgiving Day this year, you could think about all of the many reasons that most people tell each other they are grateful for, such as their health, their family, a roof over their head, food on the table, a job, money in the bank, your parents, good friends, opportunity, having all of your senses, a good harvest, etc, all of which are genuine and honest.

OR

You could be a bit different than everybody else and add in something new by sparing a thought for our planet as well. Give thanks to our planet, the Earth, our home, the roof over all of our heads, that which provides all that we need to survive, all things in nature. Show thanks by acting the part of being grateful for all it has to offer and give back to it by adopting a sustainable approach to living your life.

 

When ‘Giving’ For Thanksgiving Means Giving To The Planet

 

Many people spend Thanksgiving, or a part of it, giving to others. Make sure you also give to the planet as well. Start your new intention to live a greener lifestyle by choosing greener options with everything you use, eat and do on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t just make it a new tradition for your family, make it a way of life.

 

Being Thankful Is Easy When You Know What To Be Thankful For

 

Here is how you can emanate thankfulness, live sustainably and still enjoy Thanksgiving Day. Think about how you can adapt what you already know and make your day a greener experience, or try these great alternatives to old traditional methods of celebration. You will love it, and the planet will be thanking you in return. There is a saying, “be the change you wish to see in this world”. Instead, be the “Thanks” that you wish to see in this world.

 

Decorate With Style – Make Old Traditions Fashionable Again

 

Back in the times of the pilgrims, they didn’t have the access we have nowadays to ready made decorations and fancy, but disposable ornamental table ware. They made do with what they had, taking inspiration from their natural surroundings.  This is probably the best way to hold Thanksgiving with the intent of maintaining the sustainability choice you have made. Do the same, use natural materials, make your own adornments for the table, and avoid using disposable plastic plates, cups and cutlery, by using your own finery. If you want to think even greener, lean toward using recyclable glassware and include in that, all of the serving plates and platters, and use stainless steel cutlery. Give thanks by being grateful for your natural surroundings.

 

Here are some simple decorating ideas using nature:

 

  • What-To-Give-Thanks-For-On-Thanksgiving-Day

    Pine Cones Make Gorgeous Table Decorations

    Use pine cones. They are so versatile. Try surrounding a large glass candle holder with a soy, vegetable or bees wax candle within it with pine cones at the base to create a lovely warm, inviting atmosphere to your table. It is simple yet elegant. Of course there are many other ways to use pine cones in decorating. You can scatter them across the table in amongst decorated mason jar candle holders or steel buckets, or make place card holders out of them.

 

  • Make a vase or plant pot holder from a carved out pumpkin and place a pot plant or freshly cut seasonal flowers or herbs inside.

 

  • Use upside down, long-stemmed glasses and place soy or vegetable candles on top. You can add additional decorative effect by placing something underneath the glass such as mini pumpkins, leaves, nuts, etc. These make very elegant decorations and you can use them for many occasions, not just Thanksgiving, simply by changing the color of the candles and what you place underneath.

 

  • Use maple leaves or other familiar fall leaves as place cards.

 

  • Make garlands for the landing, walls or table using string and attaching leaves. Write a letter on each leaf and spell out words like gratitude, thankfulness, Happy Thanksgiving, etc. These truly are natural, especially if you choose to write using a vegetable ink or something similar to either write or stamp the letters onto the leaves.

 

  • what_to_give_thanks_for_on_Thanksgiving_Day

    Thanksgiving is about appreciating the bountiful harvest and being thankful for the food

    Sprinkle dried legumes, peas and corn kernels in clumps over the table here and there. Or place them in layers in glass bowls or bottles.

 

  • Place 3 or 4 pumpkins in a row down the center of the table and place sprigs of berries around them

 

  • Make a leaf wreath, or use wheat or flexible branches with berries dotted throughout. Maybe even try making a flower wreath.

 

  • Paint small wooden posts, such as those you might find on an old staircase, or perhaps find some wooden off-cuts, orange and decorate with white paint, bows and raffia and use them as inviting ornaments at the entrance to your home. They don’t need to look like anything specific, just the colors will be enough to generate the feel of Thanksgiving.

 

  • Gather a pile of acorns and paint the bases all different colors, use them in bowls or scattered on tables etc. You might attach them to a card for place settings for your guests

 

  • Baskets of fruit, vegetables and bushels of wheat, look lovely on the table and remind feast attendees what the real reasons behind Thanksgiving are. Bountiful food from a good harvest season.

 

  • Use apples, small pumpkins and other fruit or vegetables and scoop or cut out a portion of them out to turn them into tea light candle holders. If you prefer not to use open flame, you may be able to find LED candles, but personally I prefer not to use them due to being made from plastic and not necessarily in the best interests of the planet.

 

If Choosing Bought Items You Can Still Ensure They Remain As Natural As Possible

 

  • pilgrim costume, what to give thanks for on Thanksgiving

    Dress up as Pilgrims for Thanksgiving

    Go to a thrift store and try to find some old style clothing that might suit, and create your own pilgrim or Indian costumes to celebrate Thanksgiving in true pilgrim style. You will already be creating a setting that would be very similar to the days of old, so why not spruce up your setting a little more and re-create the first Thanksgiving? It could become a tradition for your family. There are places you can buy costumes and provided you pay attention to what they are made from, you may still feel confident that you are maintaining your sustainable choices.

 

  • Find some burlap, some vegetable or soy based ink and something to use to stamp letters on to the burlap and make your own place mats and place cards. You could write messages of thanks, or individual names of guest, or simply say Happy Thanksgiving. If you are only planning on using them for this year, a safe paint could be used, such as a flour based paint, (see below for a recipe).

 

  • Instead of writing messages such as those listed in the previous subject, you might choose to write a gratitude quote on each one to serve as a reminder of the reasons Thanksgiving is celebrated each year. If you follow a religion in your household, pop a note that relates in some way to it on each place mat.

 

 

What Activities Can You Do While Maintaining Your Beliefs?

 

  • home made dinosaur game, what-to-give-thanks-for-on-Thanksgiving

    Our Home Made Dinosaur Game

    Think up, create and make your own family game and turn it into a family Thanksgiving tradition. For example, use pegs and attach colorful feathers and make up a Turkey Tag game to be played at each Thanksgiving. Each person starts with a peg or two attached to their clothing, like a tail. Blow a whistle to start the game. Everyone runs around to try to steal each others feathers until one turkey is left with all of them, declaring themselves the winner. As each person loses all of their feathers before replacing them with any more, they are out. The game is a great way to burn off some of the excess food or work up an appetite. You can think up other games of your own.

 

  • Try painting gourds left over from Halloween and have a go at playing Pilgrim Skittles by making your own set. Pinterest has plenty of ideas of how to create skittles or bowling pins for all kinds of occasions and design styles, all you need to do is choose items to use that are from a recyclable or sustainable source.

 

  • My granddaughter and I made up our own board game about Dinosaurs (see image on the right) and used six A4 sheets of paper and glued them on to cardboard and each piece attached to each other to form a giant board. While dinosaurs are not exactly a Thanksgiving theme, it is still a game we love to get out and play. I already have other games in mind to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m sure the other holidays will eventually have a game dedicated to them. It doesn’t only add an element of fun, you also get to spend quality time together both making it and playing it, and to create something as a joint venture, which you can play for many years of enjoyment to come.

 

  • Why not create a family play or puppet show each year? You can keep it simple by using socks and making puppets, or purchasing proper hand puppets or marionettes. Start with a recreation of the first Thanksgiving. Have it that a different person each year has a chance to create something and include all or some of the guests. Or if the person whose turn it is one of the years is not as creative as other people, they can always create something else as long as it includes the rest of the guests. It shouldn’t really matter as long as everyone gets involved.

 

  • My family love games, as you can probably guess, especially board games. There are the usual standard games for a smaller group such as Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Uno, Skipbo, and many more. Sometimes we choose one of our theme games such as Star Wars Monopoly or Clue for example, yes, we love Star Wars in my family.

 

  • Star Wars Game of Clue, Star Wars Clue, what_to_give_thanks_for_on_Thanksgiving

    Star Wars Game of Clue

    We also love to adapt games that you might normally play on a board, and make it a game for playing in a large group. Games such as Trivial Pursuit, Catch Phrase, Scattergories, Pictionary, can all be adapted for larger groups. You don’t need to use the game board. For example, with Trivial Pursuit the group simply take turns at asking questions from a card and the rest of the group try to answer. You can keep score if you like, but we just prefer to jump in with an answer. We like to give weird clues to ‘help’ each other when it’s a tricky one. With everybody taking turns to ask questions, nobody misses out on the fun. We have the normal Trivial Pursuit, but I also have Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord Of The Rings versions (are you surprised?) of the game as well. So we can vary our theme each year.

Catch Phrase, electronic catch phrase, give thanks on Thanksgiving

Catch Phrase is a great family game

  • Catch Phrase works like a hot potato in your hands if you like to use the buzzer and create teams, or you can just take turns giving the clues for everyone to guess. These games are popular with us because we like to think we are clever.  Although Catch Phrase has plastic in its manufacturing, I like to think it is not as bad because it is a once off purchase and gets used over and over again, making it something that isn’t just thrown away easily to mess up our environment. Often only one member of a whole family needs to buy one game and everyone can share it, and as the case with my family, it is years old, and that way we are still trying to minimise environmental impact. You can help by selecting games made in the most sustainable ways, but if that is not possible, make sure you are holding on to them for many years and traditions to come. Funnily enough, there is also a Star Wars version of Catch Phrase too.

 

  • Make your own popular game using more sustainable materials to construct it. For example, you can make large scrabble pieces from thin, flat, wooden squares. Not only are you creating something to play but you are using alternative means to construct your game not using plastic etc that you might get if you buy the same game from a store. Then there is the added bonus of getting everyone outside in the fresh air to enjoy nature and some quality time together.

 

  • You can do almost anything as long as you remember that what ever you use needs to be made from sustainable, renewable, natural or recyclable materials. Why not make a giant Yahtzee game by using large blocks of wood for the dice and painting the numbers on them? You could keep score using the old style blackboard slates like they used to use at school. Or simply paint wooden boards with black board paint and write with chalk.

 

  • give-thanks-on-Thanksgiving

    Call Someone You Love Who Is Away From Home

    Last but not least, take the time to get in touch with family members or friends who are not present on the day, such as those who live far away, or their job takes them a long way from home, and even those who are working on Thanksgiving who may appreciate a quick phone call from those who care about them. You could Skype them, call, or if you can’t speak to them directly, make sure you email or fax them to let them know you are thinking of them at your time of giving thanks.

 

Does This Help?

 

I hope that I’ve helped you think of a few ideas for what to give thanks for on Thanksgiving Day. It doesn’t have to be difficult to give thanks by choosing to keep the planet green. As you can see there are many ways in which to opt for the more Earth friendly celebratory parts of the day and lead up, many of which are cheap and readily available. Be thankful that the Earth is what she is and gives us everything we could ever need.

 

I’ve written another article giving suggestions on how you can give thanks on Thanksgiving that follows on nicely from this one. If you think of anything else, please add to this post by placing it within the comments section below and help a fellow man to be wise about his choices too. Anything that can be used to make this planet a better place for our future would be accepted with gusto. Likewise, please share with us how you have chosen to give thanks for your own Thanksgiving.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, keep safe and enjoy every minute of it.

 

Warm Wishes

 

Ange

 

 

 

 

Homemade Halloween Decoration Ideas To Change The World In Greener Ways

Keep It Green This Halloween, homemade Halloween decoration ideas to change the world in greener ways

Keep It Green This Halloween

If you are looking to make a difference to the planet this Halloween, why not try these homemade Halloween decoration ideas to change the world in greener ways and contribute to a sustainable future?

They are fun, mostly simple to do, and will go so much further in doing something good for the environment than relying on store bought items that are generally the reverse of all that is good.

Many store bought decorations are made with plastics, vinyl, rubber, and other non-recyclable constituents. You can have all of the fancy trimmings this Halloween, but do so with a lighter heart and free conscience.

There are also greener ways to plan your party, organise some yummy food, create amazing costumes, and green up your trick or treat choices if you care to take a look at the remainder of the articles in my Green Halloween series.

 

Eco Deco – Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

 

What do you do when you are trying to maintain a lifestyle that conforms with the sustainability of our planet, yet want to participate in events such as Halloween with all the trimmings? It is not so hard to keep it green if you have a look at the following tips and ideas.

 

  • Don’t just think of Halloween when the time comes, always be on the lookout for things you find in nature or from your own household for recycling, or thrift stores, that you might be able to use. Store them somewhere and get them out from time to time to see what you have or can create from them.
  • Use glass and aluminum and other recyclable products to make your decorations. For example glass candle holders and mason jars can be painted or decorated with Halloween designs. Mason jars with small soy tea light candles in them work well for small silhouette pictures

 

homemade-Halloween-decoration-ideas-to-change-the-world-in-greener-ways

Mason Jars with a candle within, a silhouette on the side and some paper, make fantastic decorations

 

  • Cans can be used to build tin can men as a basis for a mummy, monster or even Frankenstein if you have enough saved through the year. Try making a berserk robot
  • Give your house a witch-like feel by hanging up sprigs of herbs and placing potion bottles on the window sill. You can easily make these using all manner of shapes and sizes of glass bottles. Cover a bottle with strips of masking tape, scribble over them with brown crayon and so that they look at bit aged, and make labels for them. Decorate with a bit of raffia and a sprig of herbs or a seed pod or other item from nature.
  • A simple stock pot can be used in place of a cauldron.
  • Try dressing up any dolls you have in the house in rags and use scary face paint on them. Other kids toys may be able to double up as decorations. Don’t forget the car Christene, or Cujo the rabid dog. You could even dress your own dog up as Cujo with a bit of tomato ketchup as blood or something that will wash off easily.
  • Some rubbish dumps have shops that you can browse and purchase items from. See if you can find things like old wooden benches, rusty old wheelbarrows, wagons or cart wheels.

 

homemade_Halloween_decoration_ideas_to_change_the_world_in_greener_ways

Hay Bales, An Old Wagon and some Pumpkins Make A Pretty Good Display for Halloween.

 

  • An old squeaky rocking chair sounds like just the thing to create a display of or to turn into a spooky prank, especially if you can rig it to start rocking when trick or treat visitors arrive.
  • Old shop mannequins and dress maker stands, if you can find them, would be perfect for building a scary feature/character.
  • Use only beeswax, vegetable based or soy wax candles rather than the petroleum variety. (Petroleum is a non-renewable resource)
  • Keep your lights out and use solar powered lights along the walkway to your door or as a feature spotlight
  • If you must use batteries for torches or lighting, ensure you use those that are rechargeable.
  • Collect decorations from nature, you could create a scary silhouette using strategic lighting and some weird shaped branches, or make your own

 

homemade Halloween decoration ideas to

Large or Small, You could use items from nature to create these spooky silhouette. You are only limited by your imagination

 

  • Spread autumn leaves over the ground to create creepy crunching sounds as they are walked on
  • Organise a family day out to go and collect items from nature to build your own creepy figures, shadows, wall decorations
  • Hang strings of popcorn through your garden and trees, these are biodegradable and compostible
  • Recycle or upcycle things you find at a thrift store such as old brooms and hats
  • Make a display from seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, leaves and flowers

 

homemade_Halloween_decoration_ideas_to

A Display for Halloween can be easily created from seasonal produce. Add a wicker basket or place in a wheelbarrow or on hay bales and you have an effective decoration

 

  • Stockpile old newspapers and stuff old stockings to create dead bodies or scary monsters. You can shape them fairly easily, especially if you use some thin wire inside such as florists wire.
  • Old, laddered stockings can be used to create spider webs or cotton wool can be pulled apart and thinned out to create cobwebs.
  • Stockings might even come in handy for bat wings, especially black stockings.
  • Be crafty with decorations.

 

homemade Halloween decoration ideas

Clay can be used to make all manner of decorations, and is a natural substance too.

 

  • Make your own skeletons, or perhaps just simply make a pile of bones from papier maché.
  • Use homemade edible colored play dough to make your scary monsters or bugs
  • Rocks and twigs can be glued together for spiders and bugs, or painted for eyes
  • Shells, cans or bits of broken glass and china are a great way to make wind chimes for creepy sounds in the wind
  • If you must buy decorations, please consider buying something that you can reuse every year and even pass down to your children if you store it well
  • Use pumpkins to build a kind of Fall Snowman, maybe call it the Hallowman or Hollowman instead, use natural materials to make the hat and straw as a scarf

 

homemade-Halloween-decoration-ideas

Just an example of what might be possible if you use real pumpkins in place of the ceramic ones here.

 

  • Try making masks from pumpkin skin, clean and wash thoroughly
  • Torchlight silhouettes using cardboard recycle from used boxes, painted black, shaped like spiders, bats, witches, ghosts, cats and the like, and positioned where the torchlight shines on as a spotlight looks great. Or buy some good quality metallic torches and tape the silhouettes directly over the light emitting end of the torch and shine it onto a white sheet or wall.

 

homemade_Halloween_decoration_ideas

Try hanging this up on your window or behind a light source

 

  • Gnarly tree branches can be used to look like skeletal or scary arms and hands reaching for people. Try making a creepy figure by nailing these together, weird shaped tree trunks or driftwood as a head, or perhaps more than one head, and using thinner sticks or branches for arms. Add straw or newspaper stuffed biodegradable gloves or gardening gloves to the ends as hands.

 

Halloween decoration ideas

Halloween Terror Made Simply from wood.

 

  • Adopt and re-home a black cat to love as your pet. It will make a great addition to your home at Halloween for guests at your parties. A black cat wandering around a garden on Halloween, rubbing up against the visitors, or sitting in a window, adds a great atmosphere. I used to have a black cat named Morticia, after Morticia Adams of The Adams Family TV show. She was the most petite and dainty little princess I could have asked for. Beautiful in nature and fantastic with kids. Please make sure you only plan to adopt, rescue or buy a cat that you plan to love at all times, not just use for Halloween. Otherwise buy a stuffed toy.

 

Halloween-decoration-ideas

Typical Witches Familiar (Pet) – The Black Cat – Makes a Scary Addition To The Household on Halloween

 

  • If you are creative, make a skeleton yourself from a gray clay. You don’t need to make a complete skeleton, you can just make a pile of bones if you wish. Or pretend there is a shallow grave that has been unearthed and have a bone or several poking out of the ground.
  • Build a graveyard in your garden and use old wood or furniture for the headstones
  • Use the pumpkins as heads for your scarecrows or witches or any scary favourite that you plan to ‘bring to life’ for Halloween. Try placing one on the top of a stick that supports a plant, such as a vine or tomato plant, to add a spooky feel to the garden.
  • If you don’t mind touching feathers, collect crows feathers you find, or those from other birds, and hold on to them until you have enough to make your own crow design from them, using other natural items for the eyes, beaks and feet. the inside of shells might make great eyes, or long spiral shells for the beak, twigs or leaves can be used to make the legs and feet.
  • Old chests, suitcases and wicker baskets make ideal bases for a decorative display, with pumpkins, apples, garlic, sunflowers and other flowers of the season, fallen leaves. Add some flair with with a sign made from and old piece of wood, furniture or driftwood that you have come across at some time, and some other Halloween items that you have collected, recycled or found in nature.

 

Halloween_decoration_ideas

An old wicker basket, some flowers and some pumpkins and autumn leaves add flair to a simple decoration.

 

  • Hay bales come in handy for decorative props and seating.
  • Shop for material remnants or use your own scraps from old clothes and materials or items you have made yourself to make patchwork costumes for yourself or for your scarecrow or other items that you will use to decorate your house or Halloween scene.

 

homemade Halloween decoration

This witch could easily be made from scraps of material and some clay for the head.

 

  • Make tealight spiders. Use little mini pumpkins by chopping the top off and scooping out the center. Then attach 8 black pipecleaner legs and some googly eyes, place a tea light candle inside the hollowed out area and there you have it. Easy but effective.
  • I’ve seen quite a few people stack pumpkins on top of each other and either paint or carve faces on them, and use them as totem poles.
  • Try wrapping bandages around a pumpkin and suddenly you have a mummy head.
  • Carve out the pumpkin from the side and turn it into a dungeon for some of the smaller spooky creations you have made. You can carve out the bars from the pumpkin, or use thin metal poles or wire as the bars.

 

homemade-Halloween-decoration

Carved Prison

 

Choose Wisely When Purchasing Decorations

Many people don’t have the time to spend on making their own decorations, but would still like to be environmentally conscious in what they buy. If you keep in mind what the decoration is made from and avoid plastic, rubber and latex, generally you can still buy items that are made from material, metal, glass or other planet friendly or sustainable constituents. I have found some items that may help you. There are only a few but many more are available. Just be mindful of what things are made from if you find anything else, even if you intend to keep them for many years and pass them down to the family, because one day it will end up broken or too old and be thrown away.

  • You could try making something like this yourself, but the crashing witch has been a popular addition to the home or business for Halloween.
homemade_Halloween_decoration, Crashing Witch,

Crashing Witch – Look Out

  • Lighting up your Halloween with eco-friendly means can be achieved with placing some old lanterns like the one below and using rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway ones. Solar lighting would be great along pathways etc, but to get an old style feel, this lantern seems to have the right feel and look to add to your spooky atmosphere.

 

homemade Halloween ideas

Old Lantern Breathes Eerie Atmosphere into your Halloween Adventures

 

  • These ghost flags are telescoping so that you can place them as high up as 12 feet, and they hold up well in the wind. They look delightful and I can just imagine having them lining a driveway or standing tall at the entrance to a garden pathway. Having them blowing in the wind would add an effective ghost quality to them too.
Telescopic 12 Ft Ghost Flags, homemade-Halloween-ideas

Telescopic 12 Ft Ghost Flags will delight passersby or visitors alike.

Last But Not Least, What Would Halloween Be Like Without Creating An Atmosphere?

Try adding a eerie touch to your home to scare the daylights out of your unsuspecting Trick or Treaters with this CD of spooky sounds.

Eerie Haunting Halloween Sounds on a CD, homemade_Halloween_ideas

Eerie Haunting Halloween Sounds on a CD

 

I hope you are beginning to see how easy it is to live in a sustainable way while still enjoying the fun, laughter and games of Halloween. Using these homemade Halloween decoration ideas to change the world in greener ways, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to ensure that your Halloween stays green. You can help others understand that they can too by showing them what it is possible to achieve if you set your mind to it. Do the right thing, set a good example, and your children will also understand the need to keep it green too when they are older and have children of their own.

 

I would really love to hear how you have implemented your own ideas and what you did to keep your own Halloween decorations green. Did you use any of my ideas? If so, it would be lovely to see your pictures. Leave a comment and let me know.

 

Thank you for reading and keep on keeping it green.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

Best Trick Or Treat Ideas For A Green Halloween

best trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween, Happy Halloween Friendly Witch

Happy Halloween – Friendly Witch

I’ve given quite a lot of consideration in terms of some of the best trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween. There are many of you who are keen on making sure Halloween does not become an occasion of wastefulness in your household or neighborhood and I’m here to tell you that it is still possible to achieve this all the way down to the ‘Trick or Treat” part of the evening.

 

What Is Tradition?

 

Traditionally, Halloween was not about having the best newfangled decorations, or holding the best party, or even who gives the best treats in the street. In some folklore it is about the end of harvest time and the beginning of winter, at a time when the boundaries between this world and other worlds became thin and other beings such as the dead and fairies etc, could cross over into our world. It was a time when people dressed up in costumes to ward of evil and to serve up offerings to gods for protection.

 

We Are Losing Our Heritage And Our Planet

 

In this day and age, where commerce and modern technology abound, the authenticity of Halloween is becoming lost and so is the health of our planet as they mass produce cheap toys and gadgets specifically for Halloween, that are often thrown away after a day or two. The offerings, costumes and decorations, were originally found from what a person had, or could grow themselves, or create. Not the plastic, latex, foam and rubber items you can buy today. You can help bring back the authenticity of Halloween by creating your celebrations around sustainable practices, including the most enjoyable time of the evening, trick or treating, by taking a look at some of these suggestions. I have also written articles on keeping Halloween as green as possible in your costumes, decorations, party planning, food and games as part of a series, if you would care to have a look at those to maximise your efforts to maintain your sustainable living standards.

 

So Here We Are At Last – The Halloween Trick Or Treat Climax

What steps can you take to ensure you are upholding your beliefs?

  • If you look around, you can find organic and Earth friendly candies such as these lollipops, that are labelled as planet friendly. Although I don’t recommend individually wrapped, if these are environmentally friendly, then the wrappers should be too. You can click on the image and do a search for lollipops and you will find where I found these. This particular package contains at least 125 lollipops to give away and such yummy flavors too.
organic halloween treats, for-best-trick-or-treat-ideas-for-a-green-Halloween

Organic Earth Friendly Lollipops For Your Halloween Treats

  • If you are concerned about disgruntled children not understanding why they are not getting a sugary processed treat, put up a sign and tell them in advance that you don’t give out the standard treats, but if they still want to come and knock on your door, you will be providing treats in some other form. If you make it something of a curiosity, they may be interested enough by what you have for them that you can provide an education about greener living in what trick or treats you offer them.
  • Use fruit or healthy organic snacks
  • Put on a show for them
  • Show them a magic trick
  • Catch some creepy looking bugs or a large spider in bug catchers and have them on display on a table full of other creepy decorations. You can make your own or buy some.

 

The Bug Book and Bottle

Creepy Crawlies and Halloween go hand in hand. Catch some critters and put them on display. Really big spiders can be pretty scary.

 

  • Offer to take photos on an Instamatic camera for them as a group and give it to them as their treat. This way you don’t have parents being concerned about you keeping hold of photos of their children.
  • Give them something you have hand-made instead
  • Provide something for them to do at your house. For Example, make one of those blind boxes with things inside for them to touch, make sure it feels icky but not dangerous. Have them guess how many somethings are in a jar and give a prize to the winner. Make it fun and you won’t have any trouble.
  • Make these cute owls from recycled paper bags and colored paper, feathers and some cupcake cases. If you like, they could double as masks. A glue stick or sticky tape will knock it together in no time.

 

best-trick-or-treat-ideas-for-a-green-Halloween. paper owl

Owls can be spooky at Halloween. My Granddaughter made this one at school.

 

  • You can also give practical treats such as funky erasers, interesting pencils, pens and crayons
  • Get them to choose from pom-pom or pipe-cleaner creatures you have made, or give them take home packs with simple instructions for them to make their own
  • Try melting down old crayons, candles or earth friendly soaps and putting them into little molds or ice trays that are specifically designed for Halloween and give those as your treats.
  • Print out and give away a variety of scary character photographs from old movies
  • Have old scary movies running non-stop on a screen that people can sit down and watch. I’ve seen it done at Christmas where people provide the screen and home theater and the chairs, and people can watch as they wander around the neighborhood.
  • Paint Halloween designs on some pet rocks or shells, and have the children pick their own to take home, or they could decorate their own to take home
  • Collect some smooth rocks, or buy some, and get the children to make their own picture. It’s a pretty popular style of art these days.

 

best_trick_or_treat_ideas_for_a_green_Halloween, Pebble Bird Family, craft with stones, Easy Craft Activity For The Kids

Pebble Bird Family, Easy Craft Activity For The Kids

 

  • Rocks can be painted as pet rocks too, or as scary faces. You could try painting them and writing messages on them.
  • Give out shards or small crystals instead and call it treasure.
  • Try giving out marbles, but be sure to tell them they are not candy so they don’t try to eat them. The kids of the neighborhood can use them to complete against each other at a later date, or swap to add to their own collections. You can find marbles in the section called Toys Made in USA by clicking on the below image and searching.
Marbles, for_best_trick_or_treat_ideas_for_a_green_Halloween

An old favorite, Marbles. This particular pack is sustainably produced . A pack has about 30 marbles inside. Easy to give single ones away.

  • Collect interesting bits and bobs from nature and use them to give out instead of treats. Give them funny names like Ghoul Stools or Skeleton Bones or Witches Hats (you could use those shells that look cone shaped for these).
  • Find a bunch of rocks and spray them with black or brown paint and glitter and call them meteorites or space rocks.
  • Make simple birds, insects and spiders from seed pods and leaves and twigs.
  • Make worms from biodegradable packaging and color them, perhaps get the children to make their own by threading a few onto a piece of wire and putting sticky googly eyes on them or using a marker.
  • Make some edible play dough and the children can make their own scary characters, or use clay so they can take it home to dry.
  • For some Halloween stye protection, break up some garlic into cloves and hand it out to children to ward off the vampires, or thread string through a clove of garlic and make a pendant for each child for the same reason. If you have herbs in your garden, use sprigs of them to give out and make up some special power that they have. Again string a piece on to a necklace and tell children they are protective wards.
  • Make or buy some Kinetic Sand and have enough for a few children to work at the same time and create their own Golum from it. (A Golum is said to have been raised from the Earth to kill anyone who threatens the family members of the person who called it from the Earth)

 

trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween, Make Your Own Kinetic Sand

Make Your Own Kinetic Sand – Your Own Private Beach

 

  • Novelty Band-Aids (Plasters if you live in the UK), temporary tattoos, and stickers are usually a favourite of children.
  • If you want to make your own temporary tattoos for use as make up, you can make them at home yourself by forming a paste made from henna powder and other ingredients, but you will need to paint it onto skin for around 10 hours prior to needing it and test a patch of skin just to be sure you will be fine with using it. Fruits and vegetables can be used to make your own paints. Recipes abound on the internet.
  • Give out necklaces strung with popcorn, leaves or seed pods. Try having children quickly make their own if you are spending the time at a table.
  • Here’s an idea. If you like tarot cards, dress up like a gypsy, witch or warlock and let each child pull a card out from either a real tarot deck or one you’ve created and pretend to tell their fortune.

 

trick-or-treat-ideas-for-a-green-Halloween

Set Up A Fortune Tellers Table and Tell the Children’s Fortune

 

  • Freeze grapes, pineapple pieces, blueberries and other types of berries, orange and mandarin slices, watermelon and cantaloupe if available. Give these out as candies instead. Believe it or not, frozen peas are a yummy snack too.
  • Give fresh fruit slices out and allow them to dip the fruit in chocolate fountain, or chocolate dip them yourself and let them set.
  • Make meringue ghosts
  • Use dates and other dried fruits to give out. They may not be ideal but they will still be better than the highly processed candy bought in stores. If you use seeds and nuts, be aware there may be children with allergies.
  • Buy only organic lollies or make sure any you buy do not include palm oil in their processing or ingredients.
  • Popcorn is biodegradable and you can make up new batches as you run out quite quickly.
  • Offer to tell them a short scary story and create a setting on your porch or verandah, some cushions, use eerie lighting and shadows to set the scene. You may wish to relate the history of Halloween, or talk about the most famous creatures, monsters, witches, etc
  • Find an old lab coat, some crazy glasses and a wacky wig, probably all available at a thrift store, and dress up as a mad scientist. Instead of giving treats, you can find simple experiments to do for the kids, or have them join in on them. There would be a lot of free resources online if you do a Google search, or you can buy a book such as the one below.

 

365 Simple Science Experiments With Everyday Materials

These simple science experiments will capture the attention of the children. Dress up as a mad scientist and start experimenting.

 

  • If you are a Dad, or have a Dad, that loves making cool things, this next book will get you going. Be the mad scientist Dad that your kids will love to show off as their friends come to your door on Halloween.

 

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff

Be the mad scientist DIY Dad that wows your neighborhood with cool stuff that you have created

 

  • Scare them as they walk up and knock on your door or are walking up your path.
  • Hire someone to provide the tables and activities for sand art.

 

The Stage Is Set

After looking through this article about the best trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween, and my other articles, the stage is all set for you to blaze the way into a sustainable future. People will follow, it usually just takes someone to start. Setting things in motion is the most difficult part, being the first to act is tricky, but once you do your bit for the environment, many others will light the same flame. Hopefully it won’t take them too long. The sooner everyone takes a small baby step in the right direction, the faster we halt the progress of non-sustainable practices.

 

Thank you for reading. If you have tried any of these suggestions, I urge you to tell us of your experiences this Halloween by writing them into my comments section.

 

Hope you have a wonderful Halloween.

 

Warm Wishes

 

Ange

Green Halloween Costume Ideas

green Halloween costume ideas

Welcome To Halloween

If you are looking to turn over a new leaf and keep your Halloween celebrations a little greener and environmentally friendly, the following green Halloween costume ideas and make-up suggestions should point you in the right direction.

It is possible to maintain your stance on living a sustainable lifestyle while not feeling like you are missing out on all the fun of Halloween. Being that it is a celebration that involves things from times past, that means that the traditions and decorations have not been influenced by modern technology. It’s only the consumer side of things and big business that has made Halloween the wasteful and not so environmentally friendly occasion that it has become.

 

The Buck Stops Here!

 

Making a buck at Halloween means that companies have resorted to cheap plastics and other non-recyclable methods of mass producing cheap (and expensive) costumes. Now everybody believes they have to wow everyone with the next new Halloween costume, decoration, animated toy or eyeball candy variety rather than bringing it back to what it once was. A time when people lived with what they had.

There are options to create a fantastic atmosphere on Halloween, yet feel confident that your choices are still not having any unwelcome impacts on the environment and our future. You don’t have to look very far, and if you really don’t have the time or creativity there are still places to purchase Halloween costumes that if you are careful with your choice and read the descriptions, you can still find some that fit your needs.

 

Greening Up Your Costumes The DIY Way

Try out your creative talents and make your own costumes from the following ideas:

  • Perhaps the first thing to consider is to make your own costume from recycled items of rubbish, by rubbish, I mean clean, usable rubbish. I’m sure you could come up with a pretty cool name for your character creation. How about Trash Man, or Garbage Guts, or The Creature from the Rubbish Pit, Tip Trouble? I know, these are probably more lame than cool but it’s an idea anyway.
  • Old clothes in your wardrobe
  • Old School uniforms
  • Old sports gear
  • You can get a box of remnants or buy some silk scarves and use them to make all manner of costumes that you can sew or tie together or hold on with pins etc.

 

green-Halloween-costume-ideas, Play Silk Scarves

Box of Play Silk Scarves – 7 Different colors. Easy to throw together into a costume, and earth friendly too. Do a search on the site in Toys and then Fancy Dress

 

  • If you have siblings of the opposite sex, swap clothes. If you are male and have a sister, borrow her clothes dress up as a girl and vice versa. My own brother and one of his friends borrowed some dresses and high heeled shoes from me and dressed up as girls out on the town. Another time he borrowed my nightie. He always liked the attention so he didn’t feel embarrassed at all by this.
  • Swap costumes with your friends that were used last year with your own allowing you to be eco-friendly by recycling old costumes. Store bought costumes, especially masks, are usually made from nasty non-biodegradable plastics or rubber and add to the land fill when discarded.
  • Hold on to any costumes you have previously bought for fancy dress parties or special occasions. They can be reused or revamped.
  • Scour the internet for ideas, suggestions and how-to’s in making your own costumes and see how you can use greener items to improve on it’s impact on sustainability. For example, I found this image of a giant doll that could be made with a little bit of creativity from scraps of material, long white gloves, and a white painted face with very heavy makeup, a red piece of remnant material or scarf could be use as the hair.

 

green_Halloween_costume_ideas, Halloween doll costume

We’ve all heard of the evil Chucky from the movie Child’s Play, but here is an idea for a giant doll that could be made quite easily from scraps.

 

  • You may find people online who are advertising to swap costumes, often these sites are free
  • Search through garage sales and thrift stores for second hand store bought costumes to continue to recycle them.
  • Thrift stores also sell old clothes that you can rip up, tear, dye or put holes in to make all kinds of costumes, the most common being a zombie.

 

green Halloween costume, zombie Halloween costume, recycled Halloween costume

Zombies. A Common and Easy Costume to Make using clothing from your wardrobe or old clothes.

 

  • Use simple items from home such as a sheet that can easily be turned into a ghost, or possibly turn it into a toga to become a Greek God or Goddess
  • If creating is not your style, there are places you can rent a costume, although they may not be as environmentally friendly as you are hoping to maintain.
  • Bandages make great mummy costumes, stain them with coffee or tea for added aged effect.

 

green-Halloween-costume, mummy costume, bandages make a mummy, green mummy Halloween costume

Wrap Yourself In Bandages and You’re A Pretty Effective Mummy

 

  • Hunting through the trash or starting early to hold on to items such as cans and bottles etc, can lead to the creation of some pretty fantastic costumes.
  • Aluminum cans might be transformed into a suit of armor, but remember to cover the sharp edges.
  • Try saving bubble wrap (although not a green product, you can and least reuse or recycle it and using it to make the giant marshmallow man from the original Ghostbusters movie.
  • Likewise old flower pots can be turned into armor or a robot. You get the picture I’m sure.
  • Helmets can make a pretty good base for a costume that you can build out into something crazy. A friend of mine used a bicycle helmet and built it out into a great head for a Jar Jar Binks costume from the movie Star Wars.

 

green_Halloween_costume, Jar Jar Binks costume

My friend made a Jar Jar Binks head from a bike helmet

 

Not As Creative Or Too Time Constrained To Make Something? Try These Options!

 

  • If you find you aren’t all that creative, you can still purchase some pretty cool costumes that are not always made from latex, rubber and plastics. I found this werewolf costume online and it is mainly materials that are environmentally friendly. There are many others at this online store, I have bought some myself, that are safe to use in terms of keeping your costumes as green as possible, such as this child’s bat costume and this adult male’s King Of Egypt. The less latex and plastic in a costume, the more planet safe it is. Choose material only for the best choices.
green_Halloween_costume_idea, King Of Egypt costume.

Even the Adults can be sure to keep it green with this King Of Egypt costume.

green Halloween costume idea, Kids Eco Friendly Werewolf Costume. green werewolf halloween costume

Kids Eco Friendly Werewolf Costume From A Store. Believe it or not, if you are careful, you can still find many. You may still need to do a search for ‘werewolf’ to find this one

Another Eco-friendly Costume, green-Halloween-costume-idea, bat halloween costume

Another Eco-friendly Costume. You don’t find too many bats costumes. Do a search for bats.

 

 

 

Costume Make Up Choices Can Be Natural Or At Least As Eco-Friendly As Possible

 

It’s a bit tricky when it comes to choices in terms of costume make-up. The usual brands claim to be non-toxic so if you need to, you can use those brands and hopefully they will not be a contributor to damage to the environment. You can also try making your own. Here are a few ideas.

 

  • Using up all of those odds and ends of old make-up left at the bottom of your cosmetics case or bathroom drawers is a great way to come up with something spectacular, colorful and weird. This is a way to put them to good use without having to buy more. Less packaging and transportation impacts on the environment than buying brand new costume make up
  • There are recipes you can find online to make your own face paint without the use of food coloring. This keeps the toxins out of your skin and also those same chemicals do not end up in the waterways once they are washed down the sink. It’s easy to search on Pinterest or Google. I found this one on ehow.com and made it into an image so you can follow it easily.

 

green Halloween make up idea, Home Made Face Paint Without Food Coloring

Home Made Face Paint Without Food Coloring

 

  • You can buy natural face paints online and I will let you know once I find a company I feel I can recommend.
  • In the meantime, if buying face or body paints online, be mindful of what is in them. Those that wash off easily are more likely to be better for the environment and yourself. The ones I am showing here are not natural paints.
green-Halloween-make-up-idea,Clown Makeup set

A Clown Makeup set that contains a lot of colors to give you a lot of choice

 

green_Halloween_make_up_idea,easy wash off body paint

If you need to cover more than just your face, this body paint is supposed to easily wash off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have found some useful information for green Halloween costume ideas and how to keep costume make up to a minimal impact on the environment and your own skin. I would really love some feedback on what you thought of these ideas. Let me know if you tried any of them. Better yet, leave a comment and a photo if you are able to. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all do.

 

Have a fantastic Halloween and keep safe.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 


A Green Halloween Is A Chance To Make A Difference -Think Green at Halloween For Food And Games Choices

A green Halloween is a chance to make a difference

An Example of a Sign or Invitation You Might Like To Use.

 

Have you given much thought to how you can contribute to sustainable living during Halloween? A green Halloween is a chance to make a difference in one of the many small ways that we, the little people, can make a statement and educate people on how even such a wasteful yet celebratory occasion can remain as green as possible.

I wrote in my previous article, which together with this and several other articles, offer more than 100 ideas on how it is possible during the lead up, preparation, decorations, costumes and trick or treat ideas for Halloween, for you to make environmentally friendly choices for the event.

This article discusses how you can think green at Halloween for food and games choices by showing you what ways you can be Eco-conscious with your food preparations and party games. The suggestions here are only a small offering in terms of the potential for Halloween to be green, there is so much more you can do, but at least these tips can give you a head start.

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve Got The Preparations Underway, So What’s Next?

 

Green Style Sustainable Food Selections Are Attainable And Available

 

  • Probably the most obvious choice you can make is to bake your own cookies, or make your own toffees, etc
  • Forego individually wrapping items, unless you can find something biodegradable or edible
  • Use seasonal fruits and vegetables and buy organic and from a local market
  • Home make everything rather than use processed, store bought foods.
  • Avoid foods that use palm oil in any part of their processing. The industries using palm oil are becoming a major pain in the behind in terms of the damage they wreak on the environment and habitats. Let’s not help them cause further suffering to animals such as Orangutans. They need a home and a life too, who gives us the right to decide their fate just because we want to use palm oil? We need to find alternatives, not the orangutans.

 

A-green-Halloween-is-a-chance-to-make-a-difference

How can we sit by and let these beautiful creatures die from deforestation?

 

  • Choose food items that meet sustainable qualities or from sustainable sources such as those with recycled packaging
  • Try your hand at making your own style of packaging
  • What about making your own clay plates and bowls? Or You can purchase biodegradable bamboo plates and cutlery.

 

Biodegradable Bamboo Cutlery, A_green_Halloween_is_a_chance_to_make_a_difference

Biodegradable Bamboo Cutlery

Biodegradable Bamboo Plates, A green Halloween a chance to make a difference

Biodegradable Bamboo Plates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Serve up some tasty eyeballs, using hard boiled eggs. Peel and paint eyes and blood vessels on with natural food coloring.
  • Try my simplest pumpkin soup ever if you are having guests or just a family get together.

 

A Family Favorite, Good Old Pumpkin Soup, A-green-Halloween-a-chance-to-make-a-difference

A Family Favorite, Good Old Pumpkin Soup

Party Games Can Be Fun And Still Work Within Your Conscience

 

  • The old traditional game of Bobbing for Apples has always been fairly good in terms of the environment. You can improve on it by using locally grown organic apples and reducing the impact transportation has on the planet. Then make sure that the container holding the water is not plastic. A metal tub that is recyclable will do the trick. Use the water on your plants rather than tip it down a drain somewhere.
  • Play Witch’s Hat skittles with tin cans painted with images of witches and/or hats on them. For the ball, use a hackie sack filled with rice and made from burlap or other natural material.
  • If you have some old door handles or the ends of curtain rods, or find some in a thrift shop, you can try doing this with them and creating a game of skittles or bowling from them.

 

Skittles Idea, A_green_Halloween_a_chance_to_make_a_difference

Skittles Idea

 

  • Play Tic tac toe using natural playing pieces like seed pods, shells, rocks and place sticks on the ground to make the grid.
  • Use hessian sacks or potato sacks for sack races. Add a little fun by making it about escaping from Zombies. You might combine the old 3 legged race with a sack race by having two people with one leg each tied together, that has to chase a person in a sack who is trying to get away.
  • Egg and spoon races can easily be turned into eyeballs on spoons by decorating the eggs.
  • What about a game of Mummy bowling, with plastic bottles wrapped in toilet paper and using a ball or hackie sack to knock the pins down?
  • Bobbing for donuts on string. Each child can try to eat their own donuts with hands tied behind back. Or perhaps string up pineapple slices instead and have them do the same thing.

 

A green Halloween make a difference

Bob For These Yummy Donuts By Hanging them on a String and have children try to eat them without their hands

 

  • Feed the monster! This is a bit like bean bag toss, but use a box painted like a monster with a jagged hole for the mouth to toss the bag into.
  • There is a plastic version of the old ‘Beetle’ game, but when I was younger, it was played on paper with dice and a pen or pencil to draw the body parts. You could make your own Frankenstein version instead and use cardboard to cut out the pieces in advance and have them ready to place on the body when someone rolls a body part. I wonder what this game would be like in giant form like those chess boards you can buy.
  • Croquet using a skull that you have made and sticks.
  • The game of Horseshoes or quoits, using the old rope style quoits, is still popular today.
  • Mummy wrapping competitions. First person to wrap their partner from head to toe in toilet paper. Use the toilet paper made from recycled paper.
  • Scarecrow building competition. Try gathering old clothes, pillow cases for heads, newspapers for stuffing and and any bits and pieces you can find that might for hair and hats. You don’t need to have wooden posts up for them, just lay them out on the ground.

 

A-green-Halloween-make-a-difference, Scarecrow

This Scarecrow Is Very Well Done

 

  • Create a haunted story by starting it off and each person add elements to it to make it as spooky or scary as possible.
  • Could you turn a few pumpkins into a mini golf course by hollowing out and shaping some of the shells as holes or novelty things to get past?
  • Best Frankenstein walk competition
  • Pin the witch on the broom.
  • Monster Mash dance freeze
  • Some of the ideas in the Trick or Treat article would easily double up as party fun and games.

 

At The End Of The Preparation And Celebrations, The Main Thing Is To Have Fun. I Hope You Do.

 

So if a green Halloween is a chance to make a difference, then I hope that you have found some useful tips and ideas from this article and my other articles in this series to make it happen for you. You have choices. Choose to do something good for the world and reduce your own carbon footprint and impact on the planet. Mother Earth will thank you. In fact, I will thank you and so will the rest of the world once they also know there are other choices. Spread the word, keep safe and enjoy your one night of the year where mayhem and madness can take over for an evening and the happiness that it brings to you all.

I would really love for you to let me know if you used any of these tips this Halloween. Put your thoughts and some pictures in my comments section. Or email them to me so I can put them up.

Thank you for reading.

Warm Wishes

Ange

A Green Halloween Is About Saying Yes To Small Changes – Be Green At Your Halloween Party

A green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes

A green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes

Have you thought about what you are doing for Halloween this year? How can you participate in it without compromising your values? A green Halloween is about saying Yes to small changes in all areas of the celebrations and still being able to feel good about what you are trying to achieve in the larger scheme of things. Choose to be green at your Halloween party.

You will find more than one hundred tips and suggestions on this website between several articles, to allow you to think sustainability and still have a great time.

The kids in the neighborhood, and their parents, may even get an education on how to live a greener lifestyle. After all, Halloween is possibly equally as wasteful as it is fun, perhaps more so, and with so many people celebrating it, that is still a very large amount of waste generated. Let’s change that together and do something new this year.

 

Holding A Halloween Party?

 

Here Are The First Steps To Making It Green- Think ‘Sustainable’ From The Get Go.

 

There are many ways in which you can choose sustainable options when throwing a Halloween party. Here are just a few.

 

  • Get your party guests involved in making their own costumes from recycled items, give prizes for best use of recycling, best design, or best theme
  • If holding a street party, do the same. Or let people know that you are holding your own competition and will judge each costume and award your trick or treat visitors with a prize for the best recycled costume. You may need to give some thought to how that will work.
  • You could take it one step further and suggest a ‘Keep It Green’ street party where the entire street holds a Green Halloween
  • Do not use paper invitations, instead email the invitations
  • If holding a party for people you know, use social media, such as creating an event on Facebook or Tweet the info out via Twitter, etc
  • Give the kids pillow cases to use as loot bags, or draw string bags, or ecofriendly shopping bags with handles rather than use plastic bags or containers, to carry around the neighborhood. Perhaps you could make your own and decorate it for Halloween.
  • Be conscious of not leaving any waste behind you, take it home with you.
  • Pick up trash along the way and teach your children to do the same.
  • Remind each of your visitors about not littering.
  • Walk the neighborhood or bike ride, car pool to other areas.
  • Organise a Halloween bus tour and take people around to the best decorated streets
  • When the night is over, compost or recycle the waste

 

A-green-Halloween-is-about-saying-yes-to-small-changes

Compost the waste

 

  • Reuse some of the practical decorations for Thanksgiving, consider this when choosing decorations and try to have them double up as both.
  • Use only biodegradable plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, etc. Bamboo plates and utensils are made from a renewable and easily sustainable source and are available for purchase.
  • If you are a coconut lover, try making your own bowls from the coconut shells.
  • Make sure cups are labelled with a person’s name so that they are reused by the same person and not continually getting put into the trash.
  • Use you own crockery, cutlery and cloth napkins and tablecloths
  • Use environmentally friendly dish washing and laundry items such as soap nuts, and laundry detergents that are safe.
  • Plant your own apple tree and then use your own apples to use for the game of ‘bobbing for apples’, plus you will have a supply of fresh fruit and it will add to your clean living experience as well as you won’t be contributing to the impact that transporting and industry have on the environment.
  • Plant your own pumpkin patch to be able to use specially for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas too.

 

 Green Ways To Remain Green And Use The Entire Pumpkin

Don’t forget in the excitement of it all, that pumpkins can be used for just about anything. Just look what you can do with them!

 

  • If using a carved pumpkin for your Jack-O-Lanterns, choose to buy organic and locally grown to reduce the impact of transportation and make a statement about not buying them from places where you don’t know what’s been sprayed on them. Better yet, find non-GMO pumpkins.
  • Don’t forget to make soup from the bountiful supply of pumpkins available and used by yourself so not to add to the waste. Below is my own very simple recipe that I have chosen to share here with you.

 

A_green_Halloween_is_about_saying_yes_to_small_changes

My Traditional Pumpkin Soup Recipe – Easy and Heart Warming

 

  • Many a pumpkin pie will no doubt be made from the flesh. Pumpkin scones are nice too. There are plenty of recipes to be found online.
  • Try collecting the seeds this year and plant some to grow your own pumpkins for the following year, if you have a few, sell them to neighbors or give them away. There is the possibility of quite a few of them because there are an enormous amount of seeds in one pumpkin.
A green Halloween is about

Plant the seeds and grow your own pumpkins for next year, save money, save the planet

  • Another great use for the seeds you collect is to roast them for a yummy and healthy snack.
  • Use the seeds once washed and dried for props to add to the table or other decorations
  • Use the seeds for craft by gluing them to pictures, try staining or painting them to add color effects.
  • The stringy parts that are attached to the seeds can be used to make stock and freeze it.
  • Apparently pumpkin can be used to make your own skin care, once again, the recipes are available online.
  • Remember it’s a must to compost the remains, or to begin with you can leave out the skin and the seeds for animals. I read that deer apparently love the skin, and of course the seeds will go down a treat with the birds. It’s great to give back to nature in this way.
  • If you have been considering starting a composting bin, why not use this Halloween to make a start?

 

Composting Bin, a-green-halloween-is-about

Composting Bin That Can Be Turned Over To Keep The Oxygen Flowing Through And To Create Compost Faster Than Just Letting It Sit.

 

  • Why not use the hollowed out shells for serving bowls as a one-time quirky dining experience before tossing them in the compost or feeding them to the deer?
  • Jack-o-lanterns, once Halloween is over, can be used as planters. Once you plant something inside, dig a hole and plant the entire pumpkin with the new plant within. The shell naturally turns to compost in the ground around the plant inside and fertilises the soil around it as it breaks down into the soil.
  • Turn miniature pumpkins into candles, or convert a hollowed out pumpkin shell as a lovely Autumn (Fall) decorative vase by placing a glass bowl within.

 

Candles and Lanterns made from all sizes of pumpkins

Candles and Lanterns made from all sizes of pumpkins

 

  • A great way to promote the keeping it green theme and to use all of the pumpkin is to buy all manner of sized pumpkins and once you made all of your snacks, soups, candies, pies etc, use the shells to make all different bowl sizes and use them for serving your meals. You can also use them as candle holders, vases, snack bowls, etc. Use large pumpkins and cut them in half using a jagged cut, scoop out the middle and clean the inside of the shell, then use them for your trick or treat bowls.
  • I’ve even heard of people making butter, candy, cocktails and milkshakes from pumpkin. So versatile, who knew?
  • I think the cutest use I’ve read about so far is to use the pumpkin shell to sit a baby inside for a photography session. It acts as a prop to hold the baby in a sitting position, but also as a photographic prop such as in the photos below.

 

A_green_Halloween_is_about

Cute Halloween Baby Photo

A green Halloween is

Another cute Baby photo for Halloween

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Respond To Questions Is Easy –  Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Do The Right Thing

 

So you see, here are more than just a few easy ways to maintain your green outlook while still enjoying the fun. There is no need to cancel Halloween just because it is a wasteful holiday, just change it, be green at your Halloween party and you will be able to be at peace with joining in and teaching others too. When people question you about why you have chosen to act in a more sustainable manner this year and into the future, you are giving other people a message. One that says a green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes. Even Halloween, is able to be turned into an event sustainable to the planet for generations to come. Do your part and others will follow. More tips and ideas to follow.

 

I would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these ideas this Halloween? Let me know what you did, leave me a message in my comments section. Together we can change the world.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes and Happy Halloween

 

Ange

 

What Feminine Hygiene Products Are Available For Environmentally Friendly Women?

feminine hygiene products
what feminine hygiene products are available for environmentally friendly women, What feminine hygiene products

This mushroom looks appealing, but it is toxic.
A tampon seems appealing but it puts you at risk of toxic shock syndrome.

I recently found myself asking the question: What feminine hygiene products are available for environmentally friendly women? And are these products also safe for a woman without the fear of potential toxic shock syndrome?

Feminine hygiene is a very sensitive and personal topic and this question is one that I hadn’t considered looking into in terms of being greener before now because of the very nature of it. In this case, recycling is not really an option. Thankfully I have found that there are some greener  alternatives to those hygiene products currently on the market, both in the tampon and sanitary napkin styles.

I’ve selected a few to take a closer look at, but, as a lead in to talking about such a sensitive topic,  I felt the need to write this article to get you thinking about why we should care. If you prefer to go straight to the products, please go straight to the other article. [Coming Soon]

 

Frankly I Was Mad At Myself

 

I must admit, I was a little annoyed with myself because I am a female and would like to be as focused as I can be around creating a lifestyle that takes into account sustainable living, yet I hadn’t given any thought to something that produces large amounts of waste to our environment throughout the life of every single woman in the world. Something like this should have been obvious but I was so used to the normal products, having used them for many years, it was something that just did not click. I’ve woken up and letting you know, we have choices in this area too. Did you know this yourself? That you aren’t restricted to what’s in the supermarket shelves?

 

So Why Care? Because Tons Of Waste Could Be Avoided

 

How Do Menstrual Cycle Products Impact On The Environment?

 

What-feminine-hygiene-products-are-available-for-environmentally-friendly-women, What-feminine-hygiene-products

How Much Of This Could Be Feminine Hygiene Products?

Menstrual cycles affect a woman from their early teens, sometimes before that, and stays with them for the next 40 or 50 years or more, until they go through menopause and cease their cycles. When you consider that there are 52 weeks in the year and a female’s menstrual cycle occurs roughly every 4 weeks, that means that every year a woman has about 13 cycles where she is producing waste from sanitary napkins and tampons.

 

Nearly Every Woman Adds To The Landfill

 

One woman would use on average around 3 or 4 of these products each day throughout her menstrual cycle. Work out the math on just one woman over her lifetime and this means that a single woman alone has the capacity to use in excess of 18200 feminine hygiene products in her lifetime. Multiply that by the number of women in the world that have access to them, and you have a huge amount of such personal care items ending up in our landfill, or in some cases, oceans.

 

Let Us Consider The Impact Of This

 

 

What_feminine_hygiene_products_are_available_for_environmentally_friendly_women

Let’s Talk About Finding Alternatives

 

You’ve Thrown Away Your Personal Hygiene Item, Then What?

 

What happens to sanitary napkins and tampons when they are thrown away. Many women would place them in plastic bags rather than straight in the bins, but some may choose to wrap them in paper. Likewise, it is the same with tampons. Once upon a time, the garbage collectors in my neighbourhood where I grew up, demanded that all sanitary napkins and tampons be placed in bags otherwise they would refuse to collect the rubbish from the homes where they found them. I don’t think that practice is allowed any more, but it certainly would have had an environmental impact at the time. If women continue to do this many years later, then we are looking at long term impacts. How long does a sanitary napkin spend decomposing?

 

A VERY Long Time It Would Seem

 

What feminine hygiene products

A Possible Form Of Travel In The Future, Flying Cars

According to an article by Peter Delaney from Down2Earth Materials, it can take 500-800 years for a sanitary napkin to break down. Plastic bags can take 500 – 1000 years to degrade. Due to tampons being made from materials more readily broken down, it can take around 5 months to decompose, however if taking into account the plastic bag that may have been used to throw it away, we are still looking at up to 1000 years for the Earth to be finally rid of all of these items.

That is only if we all stop using them NOW. In 1000 years what would our world look like? To think that we might be flying around instead of driving cars in that time while the last of the sanitary napkins are only just finished decomposing. To think that technology had come such a long way, yet 1000 years later, one sanitary napkin has finally finished decomposing, is a scary thought. One I’d rather see changed.

 

We Could Run Out Of Landfill Space With These Items Alone!

 

As the population grows into the future, we can expect even more women to be using them and I can’t even work out the math on that. Let’s just assume that in another 50 years or so, the population growth will have most likely doubled, meaning that we would be looking at 18200 sanitary items plus plastic bags if used, per life of a single woman, multiplied by double the amount of women alive in the world today that have access to them.  HUGE! I can’t even guess at the amount of landfill space required to dump such large quantities if they were all dumped at the same location.

 

This Doesn’t Include Air Pollution And Pathogens

 

This doesn’t even take into consideration the implications of blood borne pathogens being introduced into the dumping ground, or the pollution generated from the incineration of those items collected in public facilities by sanitary bin disposal units as well. That would take another article or two. One thing I am sure of is that 1000 years of adding to the landfill day after day for just these things, may lead to reduced living space for the population and animals in the long term. What would happen then?

 

A Need For Alternative Housing Would Arise, Among Other Things, That’s What!

What do I mean by alternative housing? If we run out of room to live on our planet, there aren’t many options left for us. We either go up, or down, or sideways, unless we have mastered space travel. Please read the article I wrote as I contemplated the future of the housing of humanity if we continue down this landfill and wasteful path. It’s not a pretty thought. We need to do something about it. Let’s do what we can to reduce landfill.

 

LET’S HOPE WE CAN MAKE CHANGES NOW!

 

I think it’s past time we looked into what feminine hygiene products are available for environmentally friendly women, and I’m glad to say yes, they are available. It is a relief that someone, somewhere has come up with a solution short of going back to the days of using old rags and re-washing them. The products I looked into, include body safe silicone menstrual cups and specially designed cloth napkins, both reusable and safer for the environment and you. I don’t want to keep ruining this planet. Have a think about whether these options work for you and you can make your own decisions.

Thank you for reading

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

 

How To Save The Trees? – Start Small And Make Better Choices

How to save the trees

A Simple Happy Birthday Card Used & Re-Used Year After Year After Year

The question of how to save the trees, and the recycling of paper is something everyone is well aware of. But what simple actions can we take to make a difference to the need to harvest so many trees? Can we make better choices in our day to day living and take small steps in a variety of ways to lessen the number of trees needed and therefore reduce the number cut down? If the majority of people were to do these actions there would be a larger scale impact.

 

Do We Absolutely Need To Cut Down Trees To Make Paper? I Think Not!

 

While there are many ways to work towards saving the trees idea, this article touches upon just one area. The trees that are cut down to meet the demand for paper. If we were to cut down our usage of paper and paper products, we could effectively reduce the number of trees required to be harvested and processed, and also reduce the carbon load on the environment because there would be less damage caused by manufacturing companies as well. I know it is not news to you about reducing paper usage, but I do feel we need to be reminded every now and then. Here is one just idea for the reduction of paper usage and also some ideas for other paper options!

A Tale Of Two Brothers!

 

I was reading recently about two brothers who recycle the same birthday card every year by sending it backwards and forwards to each other every birthday. It got me thinking. It is at least moving in the right direction in terms of a sustainable living plan. This isn’t completely keeping it green but at least it saves on the trees to make the cards that they would otherwise be buying for each other year after year. Plus there are ways to make the practice even greener if you so choose, which will be discussed shortly.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year For Paper Alone?

 

how-to-save-the-trees

The Logging Industry Impacts The Environment When Not Done Sustainably

According to an article from www.ecology.com, about 4 billion trees are cut down each year to make paper for the world’s needs.

 

Why Do We Need So Much Paper?

 

It kind of makes you wonder why we even need so much paper (for communication reasons) these days. Many of us have access to computers, smart phones, tablets and other items that are all quite capable to write and send communications. Even some of the other uses, such as books, leaflets, information sources and even photographic paper, can be replaced digitally.

 

So Why Not Go Digital?

 

We have digital means to use as alternatives, in order to send eCards or computer generated designs to our family and friends or for business etc. Plus it is quick and easy to facilitate.

 

How?

 

So why not do this more? Utilise our digital world to create interesting designs and greeting cards etc, to send to each other via cyber space rather than using paper products to serve the same function. You might try a free online source, such as Canva, to add a greeting to an image you already own, such as a personal photograph. Or you can find some images for free or purchase something specific to your needs. Perhaps scan some of your old cards and reuse them as a digitally made greeting card.

 

How Important, Truly Important, Is It To You To Receive A Physical Card In The Mail?

 

A large number of people already do this kind of thing, but an equally large number are still sticking to the old beliefs that a physical card shows the person that you care about them more effectively than a text message or email. I think the world is changing with regard to this, but maybe not quickly enough. I still like getting something in the mail, there’s a different feel to it, however, do we really need to have a physical item that most of the time ends up in our landfill or in the rubbish and only occasionally back in the recycling? Only about 35% of recycled paper is used to make new paper. Why not tell your family and friends to send digital greetings because you are trying to make a difference in the world? You may even start the whole family or friendship group on the same ideals.

How Can Two Brothers Make Such A Difference?

 

 

how_to_save_the_trees

Just in case you don’t watch this show, please note, these are not the 2 brothers mentioned in the article. They are fictional characters who are brothers in the TV series Supernatural. Actors are Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean on the left, and Jared Padalecki who plays Sam on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas Greeting Card

Merry Christmas Greeting Card

 

Forgive me for throwing in my favourite TV brothers, I couldn’t resist. Going back to the other brother story, I’ve never really sat down and thought about it this way before. When you consider this, if these two brothers began buying cards for each other from the ages of 16 and 18 and they lived until they were 88, that is the equivalent of buying cards for about 70 years.

There would be 2 birthdays per year plus Christmas cards (if they celebrate it), which means buying 4 cards per year every year for 70 years.

 

 

How Many?

 

Father's Day Greeting Card

Father’s Day Greeting Card

That equates to 280 cards in the lifetime of just 2 people, or 140 cards per person buying just 2 cards per year. Add in to this that there are usually more family members and friends to wish Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to, so 2 cards per year per person does not give a true value to the number of cards bought per year per person, more like 20 or 30, even 40.

These estimates do not incorporate Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter if they are believers, or Anniversaries, Weddings, Engagements, Christenings, Births, Naming Days, Get Well Soon, Thank You, Sympathy, Blank cards or any other card or occasion you can think of that a card might be produced for.

 

How Does This Fare With The Rest Of The World?

 

For the sake of keeping things simple, let’s just keep it at 140 cards being bought per person in a lifetime. When you multiply this value by the world’s population, which is approximately 7.4 billion at last count, you are left with the amount of 1036 billion potential cards being bought over a 70 year span. Then think about this, if there are 4 billion trees cut down per year to meet the paper demand, then each year about half a tree is cut down to meet our own individual needs.

This doesn’t include the envelopes or the stamps. If we included these, it means that for every person in the world, assuming they all buy greeting cards merely for Birthdays and Christmas, there would also be 1036 billion envelopes needed to be accounted for and 1036 billion stamps added in to this equation. That’s a lot of trees to be cut down to meet the demand for the paper for just these particular cards, envelopes and stamps.

 

Happy Easter Greeting Card

Happy Easter Greeting Card

Birthday Greeting Card

Birthday Greeting Card

Get Well Soon Greeting Card

Get Well Soon Greeting Card

 

What Other Paper Products Do We Use?

 

Just as an example of how much paper we use and how many trees are required to satisfy the demand for paper in our current society, let’s take a look at some of the things we use paper for. Note books, checks, money, stamps, envelopes, copy paper, brochures, menus, paper napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, newspapers, books, magazines, business cards, receipts of purchases, scrapbooks, disposable party supplies, gift wrap, examinations, prescriptions, photographs, signage, advertisements, shopping bags, letters, bills, and these are just a few.

Some Statistics To Put Things In Perspective

 

The American Forest & Paper Association gives the following statistics on what just one tree is capable of producing, remembering that there are 4.7 billion people in the world and nearly all of them will be using a variety of paper products each day.

 

  • “An average tree can yield 61,370 No. 10 business envelopes”.

  • “One single tree can produce 2,700 copies of a daily newspaper”

  • “One tree can yield 4,384,000 commemorative-sized postage stamps”

  • “The average fully grown tree can produce 942 100 page books”.

  • “1,000-2,000 pounds of paper can be made from a fully grown tree”.

  • “The yield from an average tree can produce 1,200 copies of National Geographic”.

What About Hemp As A Permanent Alternative?

 

Industrial Hemp, to save the trees

Industrial Hemp

In the old days, paper was not made from cutting down trees, it was made from a mixture of reeds and other fibrous plants, even cloth, and sometimes animal skins. Later on, paper was produced from using mulberry bark and hemp plants and mixed with cotton or other linen. The fact that growing marijuana is illegal in many countries, effectively puts a stop to the production of paper using the hemp plant, however in recent times, more countries are beginning to legalise it so that it may well become more readily available to use in making paper and paper products.

 

Hemp Is So Versatile

 

Personally, I can see hemp plants becoming utilised in many industries as a very renewable and fast growing resource. It’s highly versatile potential may be the answer to many of our sustainable living dilemmas. More of this in later articles.

There are quite a few hemp products on the market already, including greeting cards, but if you prefer to create your own you can look into buying packs of hemp paper to create your own cards.

What Else Can We Do Or Use?

 

When we ask ourselves how to save the trees, we can see there are definitely options. If we truly wanted to cut down on the amount of paper being used, but still maintain a tradition such as sending a physical birthday card, it would stand to reason that we would recycle the envelopes used as well. In other words, the person receiving the card, when sending the card back to his brother, could also send back the envelope in which it arrived, making it reusable each time as well, and vice versa. The stamp would need to be repurchased each time and either steamed off, or placed over the previous stamp due to the cost of postage being taken into account. The only time they might need to buy another envelope is when one of the brothers moved, but stickers could just as easily cover the old address.

 

This Is Fabric And Could Quite Easily Be Used To Make A Card Using Starch To Stiffen The Fabric

Christmas Fabric and Design, would make a nice card

What Alternatives Are There To Paper?

 

Let’s go one step further in our brother’s story. What if their cards were not made from paper? Other alternatives to using paper would be to consider using another form of material to make a card. Perhaps using cloth of some kind to make a picture using dyes or paints, or even embroidery or tapestry or other stitching type style.

The image to the left is actually made from fabric and could quite easily be stiffened with starch and turned into a greeting card. Likewise, other fabrics would serve the same purpose.

 

Who Says A Card Needs To Be Flat?

 

Weaving is popular in countries such as Papua New Guinea, making 3D pictures from items such as shells and held together by gluing on to a hard surface could be used instead of paper. Etching and carving can look very impressive too and if you aren’t crafty, then there are plenty of people who are willing to produce pieces of art that could fill this need for the lesser creative beings in the world. Then do the same with it, send it back and forth like the brothers do. Or make something different each year.

 

Be Mindful Of How Simple Changes Can Be A Big Deal

 

If you want to start small in terms of living a sustainable life, think about how to save the trees. It should be one of the things you can easily make a change with. Even the small things can make a difference, just in the same way these two brothers have inspired me to do something similar, I hope that the have given you food for thought as well.

 

Please share with us in the comments below, what ways you contribute to saving the trees. How do you recycle paper or paper products? Is it something that you would find easy?

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

 

Images:

Image of Supernatural brothers Sam and Dean Winchester used under the creative commons licence and attributed to Kristin Dos Santos. No changes were made to the image itself and it was then placed on a background with wording added.

 

What Easter Gifts For Children Can Still Be Green?

We’ve talked about decorating your own Easter eggs in another article. Now I’d like to talk about chocolate Easter eggs. What Easter gifts for children can still be fun and kept ‘green’?  There are ways that you can have all of the wonderfully colourful and gorgeously crafted chocolate versions of Easter eggs by making them yourself. You can keep it relatively simple and use cooking chocolate, or you can choose to decorate with coloured white chocolate, you might make your own wrappings and molds, and even go so far as to make your Easter gifts for children and adults alike with raw chocolate made from scratch. The creative ideas will start pouring out once you know the basics.

 

Prefer Chocolate Eggs?

 

What Easter gifts for children

Easter Bunny Couple

Still keen to keep it green and homemade, but prefer chocolate eggs instead of decorated? That’s OK. You can still choose chocolate Easter eggs but maybe try to make them at home. This cute little bunny couple has been homemade from white, dark and milk chocolate and most likely made from plastic molds.

 

Be As Creative As You Like

 

For something like this, if you decide to still use plastic molds, at least check if they are ones that will last many years so we are being mindful of reducing landfill and other waste. You can purchase cooking chocolate to melt and pour to create beautiful designs like this, or make your own version. The rabbits in the picture to the left requires that you paint the areas with colored, or white melted chocolate, to create the detail on them, such as the white ears, cheeks, eyes and clothing.

 

Break The Mold Of Bunnies And Chickens

 

If you don’t require them to be specifically bunny or chicken shaped, there are plenty of items you can use as molds if you just have a look in your kitchen. I know you can buy plastic molds at the store, but remember if you are trying to reduce the problem of plastics waste, using something a little different and not necessarily traditional might just do the trick.

There are of course metal molds for jellies and other confectionery and these would still work for what you need. Be a little creative! Dig around in your kitchen drawers and see what shapes and designs turn up. Bear in mind too, that melted chocolate can be painted on to a flat chocolate to create a work of art, and also that white chocolate can be coloured with food colouring and used to decorate chocolate designs too.

 

Silicone Putty Molds

 

While this is not a biodegradable choice, you can make your own molds using a food safe silicone putty making product. My suggestion to keep this option as green as possible is to look around a few thrift shops or dollar saver shops for some ornaments such as rabbits, chickens or other type of Easter theme that have some detail in them. You can use your silicone putty to mold around the outside of the ornament, pushing in to the design and detail as much as possible and then leave it to dry and harden overnight. Then you simply slice an opening into it, use something hot to bake it to make it food safe by removing chemicals from it, and wash it ready for use. You simply pour the melted chocolate into the opening and wait for it to set. You can create solid or hollow eggs in this way, simply by slicing the mold all the way through for hollow eggs, or only partially slicing for the solid kind.

 

Why Silicone Not Plastic?

 

My reason for suggesting this instead of plastic molds, even though it is still not biodegradable, is that plastic molds break easily and need replacing more often, meaning more plastic in our land fills and recycling centers. With silicon putty, you only need one of these molds to make as many chocolate bunnies or chickens as you like, allowing time to prepare them of course, and you are still reducing your impact on the environment by using a longer lasting product. Silicone is also recyclable. Your molds that you make from these using ornaments or imprints will make your children’s Easter gifts very original instead of the same store bought items available for most children. You can still use white or coloured chocolate to add detail and colour to these gorgeous eggs.

 

Have Fun With Your Easter Egg Hunts And Never Need Fancy Wrapping Paper

 

 

What-Easter-gifts-for-children

Easter Bunny Garden Variety.

 

There are many ways you can spruce up your home made chocolate eggs without having to wrap them, however I do recommend not leaving them outside without some form of covering if they are to be left there for some time. Ants will have a field day with these delectable delights if left unattended. There is also the sun that may cause melting issues so placing in shaded areas would be best.

 

Spruce It Up With Nature

 

Some sprucing ideas if doing an Easter egg hunt. Place the chocolate bunnies etc in amongst some beautiful flowers in your garden that will add colour and brightness to them if they don’t have any extra decorative effects. Add ribbons or bows for some colour, or dried flowers. Some people have hand sewn bags of hessian or colourful material to place their designs in and decorate with a beautiful bow or dried flowers or sprigs of herbs such as rosemary or lavender.

 

Add A Dash Of Fun

 

Hide the eggs in unusual places, or as if they are performing actions such as on a swing. You can think up all kinds of funny positions to place them in if you feel that is needed. In our family, we write clues from Easter Bunny to locate their baskets. We send them on a trail to find the next clue and the next so that it adds to the fun of the hunt. You can decorate these clues to pretty them up, or write the clues on pieces of wood or bark to save on paper.

Raw Is Not Just Good, It’s Better!

 

Remember, eating chocolate does not have to be unhealthy either. You do not have to resort to store bought cooking chocolate. There are plenty of recipes available to Google users, or Pinterest etc, that tell you how to make raw chocolate Easter eggs. I warn you that raw chocolate is very rich in flavour, therefore anything you make you will probably prefer in small bite size tastes. I can pretty much guarantee no one will be eating the entire egg in one sitting. It also doesn’t set quite as dry as store bought cooking chocolate but is firm enough to hold it’s shape, just a wee bit sticky, however it is very nice.

 

For an easy raw chocolate recipe that uses only 3 ingredients, pop on over to http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/3-ingredient-raw-chocolate-recipe and make home made raw chocolate to your heart’s content.

The 3 Simple Ingredients Are As Follows:

 

1 cup of raw cacao

2-3 Tablespoons of raw honey

1 cup of cacao butter or use coconut oil instead

 

The recipe on the Food Matters website also has some yummy ideas to add to the chocolate to give it that extra special oomph and you will find the method very simple. I’d like to put it on here but it’s their recipe so they should get the credit for it and a visit to their page.

 

What_Easter_gifts_for_children

Easter Bunny Hiding

Fill An Item With Chocolate Instead Of Wrapping It

 

If you are more inclined to wrap your eggs but don’t feel like making something, there are also hollow wooden eggs available, that you can buy and reuse every year. All you need to do is fill them with your yummy homemade chocolates for an even more green version of Easter. These are blank too, so you can paint and decorate them as you like. They are relatively inexpensive so if you feel that way inclined you can buy new ones each year and decorate to your heart’s content.

Why Not Recycle The Foil Wraps?

 

Should you decide to go with the eggs that are pre-wrapped and not homemade, then please consider how you will dispose of the wrappings. If you are into recycling in any way, here’s an idea of how you can use the foil wrap. Many years ago my mum taught me how to use my finger to rub over the paper and smooth out the crinkles in each of the foil wrappings. It takes a bit of time, and you need to be very careful not to tear the pieces, but we used it as craft paper and made it into beautiful pictures by cutting out the paper to the shape we needed, and then gluing it to an picture that we had outlined earlier. For an example, we did a lovely Spanish dancing lady complete with a frilly skirt and veiled head piece. I really wish it had been kept now, all these years later.

 

Mosaic Designs Are The In Thing

 

It is also easy to paste scraps over each other and make up a mosaic of sorts. I just recently saw a Mister Maker episode and he was using all kinds of paper off-cuts for the scales of a fish that he was making. I realised at that time that the foil from Easter Eggs would make some really great scales and there are so many colours available, with so many different designs as well. I am sure you can think of many other ideas to use it for now that you have the inclination to put some thought into it. You’ll be amazed at how lovely these works of art look.

 

This article has hopefully answered your question of what Easter gifts for children can be made in as green a fashion as possible in this article. This means that you can still enjoy all the fun side of things that Easter has to offer.

 

Thank you for reading this article and please, if you can think of other ideas, I encourage you to join in the conversation by leaving a comment in my section below.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange